The US May Get Drawn Into War With Syria, And ISIS Has Nothing To Do With It

Four UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters provide air support for Soldiers conducting an air assault exercise as part of the Full Spectrum Training Event in Hohenfels, Germany, Oct. 14, 2011. The UH-60 crews are assigned to the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade-Europe. U.S. Army photo by Richard Bumgardner

Daily Caller, by Saagar Enjeti, March 22, 2017:

Tensions between U.S. ally Israel and the Syrian regime are flaring up after a series of military confrontations, which could escalate into a larger military surge in the already crowded war zone.

Tensions reached their highest level Friday when Syria launched a series of anti-aircraft missiles intended for Israeli jets engaging Hezbollah supply lines. One of the Syrian missiles was destroyed by Israel’s Arrow missile defense system. The incident marked the first known time Syria has fired on Israeli aircraft since the Syrian civil war began in 2011, and prompted a fierce Israeli response.

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman declared to Israeli media “The next time the Syrians use their air defense systems against our planes we will destroy them without the slightest hesitation.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu added Friday, “When we identify attempts to transfer advanced weapons to Hezbollah and we have intelligence and it is operationally feasible, we act to prevent it.”

Russia, the Syrian regime’s main sponsor, also summoned the Israeli Ambassador Friday for an explanation of the strike.

Russia’s concern underscores the interwoven role of multiple global powers in Syria. Other countries involved directly in Syria include the U.S., Turkey, Iran, Russia, multiple rebel groups, al-Qaida, and the Islamic State. Many of these rebel groups have international sponsors including Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and other gulf countries.

Any military confrontation between Damascus and Jerusalem would almost certainly draw U.S. support, which could in turn endanger U.S. troops inside Syria. Military confrontation could threaten conventional escalation between Israel and Syria, the U.S. and Moscow, the U.S. and Iran, and deepen the already ongoing conflict.

Israel defiantly followed up on Netanyahu and Lieberman’s pledges when it carried out a series of airstrikes against Hezbollah and the Syrian regime Sunday and Monday. The Sunday strike, carried out by an Israeli drone, killed a pro-regime soldier with reported deep ties to Assad.

Israel appears likely to continue its air campaign and Assad increasingly appears emboldened after his victory in the city of Aleppo. This stance could put the two, and their global allies at war.

Follow Saagar Enjeti on Twitter

A leftist State Department official is publicly attacking President Trump on social media

Kambiz Hosseini | Wikimedia Commons

Conservative Review, by Jordan Schachtel, March 20, 2017:

Alan Eyre, a high-ranking State Department official known for his pro-Tehran, anti-Israel biases — and a key component of the Iran nuclear deal’s negotiating team— has been using his verified Twitter account to repost articles attacking President Trump, the man who he ultimately answers to.

The postings, shared below, are only a small snapshot of what Eyre has tweeted out over the past month and shared with his 100,000-plus followers. Some mock the president and question his intelligence and integrity (again, Eyre’s boss). Another post calls President Trump’s decisions “senseless” and “heartless.”

Eyre now works at the State Department’s Bureau of Energy Resources, within its Middle East/Asia department, according to his bio.

Under the Obama administration, Alan Eyre served as the State Department’s Persian language spokesperson. According to reports, he played a critical role in advancing the Iran nuclear deal, which resulted in a cash windfall for the terrorist regime in Tehran.

This is not the first time Eyre has been noticed engaging in controversial social media activities. In 2015, the Washington Free Beacon exposed that he had been promoting anti-Israel conspiracy theories.

From his personal Facebook page, Eyre published stories by anti-Semitic authors and fringe websites that “demonize American Jewish groups and Israel,” the report said. But that was at least from his personal page. His current stream of anti-Trump postings are being distributed from his verified public Twitter account.

As an Obama official, Eyre twice keynoted the annual conference of the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), a group that many Iranian dissidents and freedom fighters consider to be a front for the regime in Tehran. NIAC is led by Trita Parsi, an Iranian-Swedish national who reportedly acts as a the point of contact for top officials in Iran.

NIAC became very cozy with the Obama administration (Parsi visited the White House 33 times), and coordinated with it to sell Iran deal lies to the American people. In its hell-bent quest to push the deal, NIAC painted opponents of the agreement as “warmongers” and challenged the loyalties of American Jews to the country and president.

Eyre is not the only State Department official who has pushed for policies that directly contradict President Trump’s platform.

Chris Backemeyer currently serves as deputy assistant secretary for Iranian affairs under Secretary Rex Tillerson. He was intimately involved in pushing for the Iran deal and misled the American people about where billions of dollars for the Tehran regime had gone.

Sahar Nowrouzzadeh, an essential advocate for Obama’s Iran deal, is currently in charge of Iran and the Persian Gulf on Secretary Tillerson’s policy planning staff.

And Michael Ratney, who oversaw a group that campaigned to oust Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, was one of John Kerry’s closest confidants. He’s now in charge of the Israeli-Palestinian portfolio at the Department of State.

Jordan Schachtel is the national security correspondent for CR. Follow him on Twitter @JordanSchachtel. 

EXCLUSIVE – Feminist Leader Phyllis Chesler: Women Strike Movement Hates Israel Instead of Islamic Misogyny

Phyllis Chesler/Joan Roth

Breitbart, by Deborah Danon, March 9, 2017:

TEL AVIV – Leaders of the International Women’s Strike have no idea about the meaning of feminism and have hijacked the movement to protest the “occupation of Palestine” and “Israeli apartheid” instead of speaking out against the “occupation of women’s bodies” and “Islam’s religious and gendered apartheid,”  a leading Jewish-American feminist told Breitbart Jerusalem.

According to Dr. Phyllis Chesler, emerita professor of psychology at City University of New York and a bestselling author, following Israel’s 1967 defensive war, Palestinians replaced women as “the favored victims of the month” in liberal circles.

“Now, it was formerly colonized Arab men of color, symbolized by the Palestinians, that became an obsession,” she told Breitbart Jerusalem.

Even feminists themselves, Chesler noted, were no “longer concerned with the occupation of women’s bodies worldwide, but rather with the alleged occupation of a country that had never existed: Palestine.”

Chesler, considered a second wave feminist leader, said her generation was focused on “the sexual objectification of women; economic parity; abortion rights; and on all the violence that took place mainly against women: rape, incest, sexual harassment, woman-battering, pornography, and prostitution.”

But then, “post-colonialism and postmodernism swept the Western Academy,” she said.

Indeed, organizers of Wednesday’s Women’s Strike published on their website that they “stand for an uncompromising anti-racist and anti-colonial feminism” first and foremost the “decolonization of Palestine.”

As Chesler notes, women’s rights have been pushed out the picture in favor of a warped anti-colonialist view.

“The West, including Israel, became the world’s worst colonialists. Israel, not Islam, was accused of practicing apartheid. In reality, Islam is the largest practitioner of both gender and religious apartheid, but Israel served as the scapegoat for all the crimes perpetrated by Muslims including slavery, anti-black racism, conversion via the sword, persecution of non-Muslim religious minorities, imperialism, colonialism – and the most barbaric abuse of women,” Chesler said.

“Feminists and other Western academics and progressives simply do not want to know about Islam’s history or current nature. Those who critique Islam, however mildly, are accused of being racists and Islamophobes and may be sued or killed,” she added.

Chesler said that feminists today should be focusing on combating “forced face-veiling, forced child marriage, female genital mutilation, polygamy, and femicide, or honor killing.”

“Sadly, tragically, the feminists who are being funded by Soros; the non-Muslim feminists who proudly wore the hijab at the anti-Trump march simply do not understand that girls and women are killed for refusing to wear the hijab,” she said.

She praised Israel for having robust feminist and gay rights movements and mused that any activists hoping to spearhead similar movements in countries such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iran, and Pakistan, would end up being “jailed, tortured, raped, and murdered, perhaps beheaded.”

Women like Rasmea Odeh and Linda Sarsour, the faces behind Wednesday’s women’s strike as well as January’s Women’s March, are not feminists, Chesler said.

As Breitbart Jerusalem reported, Odeh, who together with other strike organizers are calling to “decolonize Palestine” and protest the “white supremacists in the current government,” is a convicted terrorist accused of bombing attacks in the late 1960s that killed two Israeli university students and injured nine more.

In 1980, Odeh was freed from an Israeli jail as part of a prisoner exchange deal, and a decade later emigrated to the U.S. She recently made headlines again after being charged with immigration fraud for lying about her terrorist background when applying for U.S. citizenship.

For her part, Linda Sarsour is an anti-Israel Palestinian-American activist who made headlines for becoming the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit against Trump’s executive order on immigration.

***

Hamas Terror Double Game Backfires as Fighters Defect to Islamic State in Sinai

hamas-isisPJ MEDIA, BY PATRICK POOLE, FEBRUARY 27, 2017:

The Hamas terrorists in control of the Gaza Strip adjacent to the Sinai Peninsula find themselves between a rock and a hard place these days as the double game that they’ve played with the Islamic State affiliate in the Sinai has backfired as reportedly hundreds of their trained Qassam Brigade fighters have defected.

Meanwhile, an attempted rapprochement with Egypt in recent weeks also appears to be breaking down as the Islamic State is reportedly setting Hamas up for a war with Israel that it is most likely not prepared for.

As I reported here at PJ Media back in June, Hamas, fashioned by some in the Washington D.C. ‘smart set’ as supposed ‘moderates,’ had been actively cooperating with the Islamic State.

Read more

Nikki Haley Puts UN Anti-Israelism In Crosshairs

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New ambassador makes clear change has arrived.

Front Page Magazine, by Joseph Klein, February 21, 2017:

The Trump administration’s U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, has hit the ground running.  She spoke truth to power by strongly calling out the United Nations for its anti-Israel bias and double standards. Her predecessor, Samantha Power, never came close.

After attending her first regular meeting of the UN Security Council devoted to the Middle East, including the Palestinian-Israeli situation, Ambassador Haley remarked to reporters, “The first thing I want to do is talk about what we just saw in there.” Calling the meeting “a bit strange,” Ambassador Haley noted how the focus of blame for everything that has gone wrong in the Middle East seemed to be placed almost entirely on Israel.

“The discussion was not about Hezbollah’s illegal build-up of rockets in Lebanon,” Ambassador Haley said. “It was not about the money and weapons Iran provides to terrorists. It was not about how we defeat ISIS. It was not about how we hold Bashar al-Assad accountable for the slaughter of hundreds and thousands of civilians. No, instead, the meeting focused on criticizing Israel, the one true democracy in the Middle East. I am new around here, but I understand that’s how the Council has operated, month after month, for decades. I am here to underscore the ironclad support of the United States for Israel. I’m here to emphasize the United States is determined to stand up to the UN’s anti-Israel bias.”

Ambassador Haley was speaking against the backdrop of the anti-Israel Security Council Resolution 2334 passed last December, which the Obama administration refused to veto. “We will never repeat the terrible mistake of Resolution 2334 and allow one-sided Security Council resolutions to condemn Israel,” Ambassador Haley declared. “The outrageously biased resolutions from the Security Council and the General Assembly only make peace harder to attain by discouraging one of the parties from going to the negotiating table.”

How refreshing it is to hear such sincere words of support for Israel after eight years of Israel-bashing by the Obama administration. Former Ambassador Power had hypocritically mouthed some formulaic acknowledgements of bias against Israel in the Security Council and other UN forums, but while contributing strongly to that bias herself.

Resolution 2334 reeks of such bias. Yet Power strongly defended the Obama administration’s decision to abstain rather than veto it. The resolution outrageously declared that “the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-State solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace.” When it came to the resolution’s call to prevent “acts of terror” and “to refrain from provocative actions, incitement and inflammatory rhetoric,” the resolution referred elliptically to “both parties.” Power could not defend why the resolution failed to call out the Palestinian Authority or Hamas by name for committing acts of terror, incitement to violence and glorification of terrorists. Her lame explanation to reporters at her farewell UN press conference was that Resolution 2334 “was not our resolution, so I think you can probably pose those questions to the people who were negotiating the text.” Of course, she could have insisted on including such specific references to Palestinian terror and incitement to violence in violation of international law in the resolution itself as a condition for a U.S. abstention. She didn’t. Instead, add a display of moral cowardice to Power’s list of “accomplishments” during her tenure as UN ambassador.

Things will be different from now on. And it is not just a change in words and tone. Expect concrete actions demonstrating the Trump administration’s moral clarity in holding the UN organization to account.

For example, Ambassador Haley objected to the proposed appointment of the Palestinian Authority’s former Prime Minister Salam Fayyad to become the next UN envoy to Libya. Palestine is not a full member of the United Nations. It is just an observer state. Israel, on the other hand, is a full member state. Yet the new UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, sought to elevate a Palestinian official to a high UN Secretariat post, while Israel has been denied the opportunity to fill such a position. Inner City Press has reported that, according to its sources, “the nomination was really by Jeffrey Feltman, the Obama administration’s appointee to head the UN Department of Political Affairs.” Feltman served previously as U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs in the Obama administration. Through Feltman, the former Obama administration would still have someone inside the UN bureaucracy to further enhance the Palestinians’ favorable position at the UN at the expense of Israel. But this appointment was not to be.

Shortly after Salam Fayyad’s proposed appointment was announced, Ambassador Haley issued a statement, which read in part: “The United States does not currently recognize a Palestinian state or support the signal this appointment would send within the United Nations, however, we encourage the two sides to come together directly on a solution. Going forward the United States will act, not just talk, in support of our allies.”

Evidently, that was enough to block the appointment. The Palestine Liberation Organization protested, of course. It’s not used to rejection at the United Nations.

Other actions appear to be underway or are soon to come. Late last year, during the waning days of the Obama administration, the UN General Assembly approved funding for compiling a blacklist of private Israeli companies doing business in the “occupied” territories. Samantha Power claimed the Obama administration objected to the blacklist project, but did nothing to stop it from proceeding. Less than a month after President Trump took office and Nikki Haley became the U.S.’s new UN ambassador, it was reported that the anti-Israel United Nations Human Rights Council decided to delay the publication of a report in connection with establishing the database of Israeli companies with business links to settlements in the West Bank until some unspecified time later this year. There is now a good chance the database will not see the light of day.

Blank checks for the UN’s multiple pro-Palestinian programs may finally become a thing of the past. Ambassador Haley singled out the UN Department of Political Affairs – still headed by the former Obama administration Assistant Secretary of State, Jeffrey Feltman – for having “an entire division devoted to Palestinian affairs.” She added, “There is no division devoted to illegal missile launches from North Korea. There is no division devoted to the world’s number one state-sponsor of terror, Iran. The prejudiced approach to Israeli-Palestinian issues does the peace process no favors. And it bears no relationship to the reality of the world around us.”

As governor of South Carolina, Nikki Haley had a reputation for being a strong fiscal conservative. The United Nations is on notice that as UN ambassador of the country paying a disproportionate amount of the total UN budget, Ambassador Haley will continue to be a fiscal conservative with American taxpayers’ money. She will aim to sharply reduce the rampant waste in the UN budget, perhaps starting with the often overlapping, over-the-top pro-Palestinian agencies and programs the UN has established over the years.

Gorka: Left Cares About Alinsky Tactics and Political ‘Triangulation’ More Than Safety of Americans

Scott Olson/Getty Images

Scott Olson/Getty Images

Breitbart, by John Hayward, February 13, 2017:

Deputy Assistant to the President Dr. Sebastian Gorka, formerly National Security editor for Breitbart News, addressed the controversy over National Security Adviser Mike Flynn’s pre-inauguration phone calls to Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak on Monday’s Breitbart News Daily.

“I can’t comment on what was said, or what wasn’t said, on those telephone calls even though the good general himself says that he can’t remember all the details,” Gorka said. “All I can tell you is my personal experience. I spent several months working very closely with General Flynn and the transition team, in his National Security Council transition team. He’s a man you would trust with your life. He’s a great patriot, man of honor, worn the cloth of the Republic.

“The bottom line is, he shook things up in the DIA, and there are a lot of people who want to take revenge on him. Names I’m not going to list across the airwaves right now, but people who do a little bit of research can work out. The Establishment doesn’t like General Flynn, and for me, that’s a good thing,” he told SiriusXM host Alex Marlow.

Marlow proposed that Flynn was but the latest target of the Left’s “pick a target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it” strategy, as defined by Saul Alinsky in Rules for Radicals.

“You’re absolutely correct,” Gorka said. “Whether it’s Steve Bannon, whether it’s Stephen Miller, whether it was Monica Crowley, or whether it’s General Flynn now. Important point for the listeners, and this is what has to be grasped: it’s never about the issues. It’s not about Russia, it’s not about the safety of Americans, it’s not about preventing attacks like Paris or Nice happening in America. It’s the triangulation. We have to isolate and take down the individuals, separate them from their community, pillory them, and then just make their position untenable. It’s classic Alinsky, and I’m sorry, they’re just picking on the wrong guy, because this guy is as hard as nails.”

[CJR: I feel very bad about Monica Crowley. She deserves her reputation back. Read this – Rising to Monica Crowley’s defense ]

Turning to President Donald Trump’s meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Gorka said “the message that has to be taken home by everybody – our allies, our partners, and our competitors and our potential enemies – is that our relationship with Japan is back on track.

“Do you remember the ‘Asia pivot’ that wasn’t a pivot, that ended in China intimidating all her neighbors, building fake atolls with military installations on top of them? That age is over. Whether it’s sending a message to put Iran on notice, or whether it’s rekindling one of our closest ties in the region with Japan, this is a new age for America in foreign policy.”

Gorka said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s upcoming visit to the White House would cover the “obvious issues,” such as “what can we do, as the outside potential interlocutor, to bring stability, to bring some kind of lasting peace to the region?”

“As part of that, it’s going to have to be a discussion of settlements, what is the status of settlements,” he said. “On top of that, one of the things that we are very keen on is to represent an understanding to the world that Israel isn’t alone. It’s not the threat to Israel from local terrorists. It’s the same thing as Orlando, as the attacks in New York, in Boston. There is this, what I like to call the global jihadi movement, and Israel is as much on the frontline – if not more – than any other country. So we want to bring that international recognition that Israel isn’t just our strongest partner in the region, it’s also really on the frontline of the war against the global jihadists.”

Gorka said the White House was not so much “shifting policy” with its latest statements on Israeli settlements, but offering a “nuanced explication of what our policy is.”

“I’m not part of that team, but I’ve spoken to the people that are working that issue, and it’s a fine line,” he said. “What we have suggested is that when it comes to the settlements, you can build on what you’ve already got. So if you’ve got a building, and you want to go up another story, it’s fine. But going to new territories is not going to help anybody. So we’d like to see a little bit of a snapshot in time. Let’s not have any more territory taken as part of the settlements, so that we can get down to some serious negotiations right now.

“That’s a nuanced policy statement from the team, but I think it bears recognition as acting in good faith, so we can bring the partners to the table.”

Another imminent presidential meeting will involve Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, described by Marlow as “pretty much the anti-Trump” for being “a young man who is very photogenic,” raised in an atmosphere of deep left-wing politics for his entire life.

Gorka thought the two leaders might find common ground by acknowledging “there are issues that have to be dealt with in every country,” including “the tension with regard to the terrorist threat internally.”

“We may be from different political communities, but the bottom line, it’s our northerly neighbor. They share a lot of the same issues that we share, especially when it comes to national security,” he observed. “President Trump is the master of the deal, and he can negotiate with people who even have different political opinions. So let’s see what the day brings, but I think it will be a substantive meeting for both parties.”

Gorka said President Trump will soon decide how to proceed on his immigration executive order, after the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a judicial restraining order against it. He praised the analysis Breitbart News has offered on the decision.

“Let’s not talk about the fact that the Ninth Circuit Court has been reversed 82 times. That’s their batting average. What Breitbart has very, very rightly revealed is that of the seven nations on the list that came from the Obama administration, 72 nationals of those nations have been convicted of jihadi terrorist activity in America since September the 11th,” he said.

“This narrative, this politicized narrative that it’s Islamophobic, and it has nothing to do with terrorism, and nobody from those countries has ever committed terrorist acts in America is so totally and utterly fallacious that we need to reset the standard of the discussion. It’s about national security. Seventy-two people – think about that. That’s more than five times the number of hijackers that did September the 11th. So we are going to maintain our commitment to that executive order and those seven countries being on a temporary halt.”

Same interview:

Gorka: Radical Islam Has Grown ‘Much, Much Stronger’ Since 9/11

On Monday’s Breitbart News Daily, SiriusXM host Alex Marlow asked for Deputy Assistant to the President Dr. Sebastian Gorka’s assessment of radical Islam and its position in the world today, compared to its influence on the morning of September 11, 2001. “Is radical Islam stronger now as a movement, or has it been weakened since 9/11?” he asked.

“Superb question,” Gorka replied. “And the answer is unequivocally, without a doubt, much much stronger.”

“Just think about one metric. Let’s look at ISIS. ISIS, the Islamic State, has achieved that which no other jihadi group has been able to do in 90 years since the dissolution of the Caliphate by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in 1924. He fired the caliph, he dissolved the Caliphate, when he created the secular republic of Turkey. For 90 years, the bad guys – al-Qaeda included – have tried to re-establish a theocratic Caliphate. ISIS didn’t talk about it. They did it,” he noted.

“They did it in 2014 from the pulpit of the Grand Mosque in Mosul,” he continued. “According to our own counterterrorism center – this is open source – ISIS has 18 operational affiliates around the world. Compare that to just three years ago, when they had seven. They are getting stronger.”

“This is why it’s very important to understand, we’re not at war with Islam, but there is a war inside Islam, for which version is going to win. And right now, it’s the wrong version,” he warned. “It’s the seventh-century atavistic bloodcurdling version that is represented by the Islamic State. The version that is portrayed by Jordan, by Egypt, by the Emiratis, that needs our support because we cannot see the Islamic State expand any more. That is why the president used the phrase, ‘We are going to eradicate the Islamic State.’”

Gorka said there were two important conclusions to draw from the foreign policy speech President Trump gave in Youngstown, Ohio, during the campaign, principles that continue to shape his policy outlook since the election.

“Number one, it’s very clear, he’s given the generals 30 days to come up with a war plan to defeat the Islamic State, as the epitome of the threat right now – destroy it in theater with our allies, with our partners,” he said. “But that’s the smaller part. We’re the most powerful nation the world has ever seen. We can do that relatively easily.”

“Long-term victory, if you read General Flynn’s book, you’ll see this explicitly laid out,” he continued, referring to The Field of Fight: How We Can Win the Global War Against Radical Islam and Its Allies by retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who is now national security adviser to President Trump’s. “Long-term victory comes when people don’t want to become jihadis anymore.”

He said this would require a longer and more difficult second-stage strategy to “delegitimize the narrative of jihad.”

“Just as Ronald Reagan undermined the narrative of the communists, we have to help our allies, the Sunnis of the region, make the totalitarian ideology of the jihadists look hollow and crumble in upon itself,” Gorka urged. “The larger part of our task is to have a very, very full-throated counter-propaganda campaign, which means the Islam of our allies against the Islam of groups like the Islamic State.”

Dr. Sebastian Gorka is the author of the best-selling book Defeating Jihad: The Winnable War and was national security editor for Breitbart News before joining the Trump administration.

Trump Should Shred Iran Deal During Netanyahu’s Visit

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Center for Security Policy, by Fred Fleitz, January 27, 2017:

One of President Trump’s many achievements this week was repairing our relationship with Israel. The president told Sean Hannity during an exclusive interview on Jan. 26 that he has already repaired these relations that were seriously damaged by the anti-Israel policies of Barack Obama.

Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke on Jan. 22.

During the call, the president invited Netanyahu to visit the White House in early February. The Israeli leader said after the call that President Trump understands the danger of the Iran nuclear deal.

Here’s a way President Trump can best celebrate his mending of U.S.-Israel relations: Trump and Netanyahu should jointly tear up the nuclear deal with Iran when the Israeli leader visits the White House.

This would be a powerful and meaningful rejection of the dangerous nuclear deal with Iran, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). As I explained in my 2016 book “Obamabomb” and in National Review Online (NRO), the JCPOA is a fraud that has not halted the threat from an Iranian nuclear bomb.

There is clear evidence Iran has cheated on this agreement. Iran also was given secret exemptions for not meeting its requirements. We still do not know the full extent of JCPOA secret side deals that exempted parts of Iran’s nuclear program.

President Obama also promised Americans that the JCPOA would improve both U.S.-Iran relations, and Iran’s behavior. Not only did this not happen, Iran’s behavior significantly worsened.

Iran has conducted several ballistic missile tests since the agreement was announced.

Some of these missiles had the words “Israel must be wiped off the map” written on their sides. Iran also increased its support to terrorist groups, the Assad regime in Syria and the Houthi rebels in Yemen.

Iran briefly captured and humiliated 10 U.S. sailors and held them at gunpoint last January on the day of President Obama’s last State of the Union address. Other U.S. citizens and green card holders have been taken prisoner by Iran since the nuclear deal was agreed to.

There has been a sharp increase since July 2015 of Iran harassing and threatening ships in the Persian Gulf, including U.S. Navy vessels. Houthi rebels — probably with Iranian assistance — fired anti-ship missiles at American and United Arab Emirates (UAE) ships in the Red Sea last September.

Another reason the JCPOA is a fraud is the fact that President Obama rammed it though without ratification by Congress as a treaty even though it was submitted for ratification by the Iranian parliament. A majority of Congress voted to oppose the JCPOA, including the top Democrats on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Congress was unable to block the agreement because of the bizarre Corker-Cardin Act which required JCPOA opponents in Congress to get veto-proof and filibuster-proof majorities.

But the worst aspect of the JCPOA is that even though it would have a huge impact on Israel’s security, the agreement was negotiated over Israel’s objections and behind its back.

It also was negotiated behind the backs of America’s other friends in the Mideast.

It was an act of extreme arrogance for the Obama administration to negotiate this terrible deal with zero input from regional states who are most affected by Iran’s nuclear program.

By contrast, when the Clinton and Bush administrations held nuclear talks with North Korea, Japan and South Korea were always kept full informed and were usually at the negotiating table.

A new nuclear deal with Iran must actually halt its nuclear program and also require that Iran cease its missile program, sponsorship of terrorism and meddling in regional disputes. Such a deal must use a new negotiating group that includes Israel and other regional states.

By tearing up the JCPOA with Prime Minister Netanyahu, President Trump would celebrate America’s important relationship with Israel and make amends to Israel and our Mideast friends and allies on the dangerous nuclear deal with Iran.

Mr. Trump also would declare an important principal of his presidency: the Trump administration will not will not support or stand by fraudulent agreements that endanger American and global security.

Report: Obama Gave $221 Million to Palestinians in Last Hours

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Getty

Breitbart, by Joel B. Pollack, January 23, 2017:

The Associated Press reported Monday that former President Barack Obama released $221 million in U.S. funding for the Palestinian Authority on the morning of Friday, January 20 — just hours before he was to leave office.

The AP details:

A State Department official and several congressional aides say the outgoing administration formally notified Congress it would spend the money Friday morning, just before Donald Trump became president.

More than $227 million in foreign affairs funding was released at the time, including $4 million for climate change programs and $1.25 million for U.N. organizations.

At least two GOP lawmakers had placed holds on the Palestinian funds. Congressional holds are generally respected by the executive branch but are not legally binding.

This was not the first time Obama had granted funding to the Palestinian Authority despite Congress’s wishes. In 2012, for example, he unblocked nearly $200 million that had been frozen in response to Palestinians’ unilateral actions at the United Nations, using a legal waiver included in the Palestinian Accountability Act.

Republicans have increasingly called for blocking or canceling funding to the Palestinian Authority, not only because of unilateral diplomatic moves toward statehood, but also because of increasing evidence that funds are used to incite violence and provide financial rewards to terrorists.

The Palestinian Authority reportedly provides compensation to the families of terrorist prisoners incarcerated in Israeli prisons, as well as to those who have killed themselves in attacks on Israeli civilians. The total amount allocated by the Palestinian Authority budget for “the Care for the Families of the Martyrs” was reportedly about $175 million in 2016, and an additional $140 million was reportedly allocated for payments to prisoners and former prisoners.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was also among the first world leaders that President Obama called after taking office in January 2009.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named one of the “most influential” people in news media in 2016. His new book, How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

Report: Trump to Announce U.S. Embassy Move to Jerusalem Monday

THOMAS COEX/AFP/Getty Images

THOMAS COEX/AFP/Getty Images

Breitbart, byJoel B. Pollak, Jnuary 22, 2017:

Numerous unconfirmed reports are circulating in the international media that President Donald Trump intends announcing Monday that he will relocate the U.S. embassy to Israel from the coastal city of Tel Aviv to the capital city of Jerusalem.

Jerusalem has been Israel’s capital city since its founding in 1948, but most countries have deferred moving the embassy there because the original UN partition plan for the British Mandate proposed Jerusalem as a city under international sovereignty.

Jordan, the Palestinians, and all surrounding Arab nations rejected the UN plan, and the Jordanian army took over the eastern half of Jerusalem in 1948, expelling the Jewish inhabitants of the Old City, where Jews had lived for several millennia.

With that part of the UN plan effectively rejected by Jordan and the Arab world, Israel established its capital in western Jerusalem. Though Palestinians, in theory, claim all of Jerusalem for themselves, the part of Jerusalem west of the 1949 armistice line (the “1967 lines,” or the “Green Line”) will unquestionably remain part of Israel in any peace agreement.

The core of the Arab and Muslim rejection of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is a rejection of Jewish claims to religious and historical connection to the city itself. Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat once turned down an offer of shared sovereignty over the Temple Mount because, as he told then-President Bill Clinton, he saw the Jewish claim to the holy site as fictitious.

In 1995, Congress mandated that the U.S. move the embassy to Israel through the Jerusalem Embassy Act. The law, however, contained a waiver that allowed the president to keep the embassy in Tel Aviv, acknowledging the supremacy of the executive in determining the foreign policy of the U.S. Trump’s pledge on Monday — if it comes to fruition — would decline that waiver.

Opponents of the decision to move the embassy have warned that it would set off violence in the Arab world. But it would also inspire joyful celebrations in Israel and around the world, as the U.S. would likely inspire other countries to follow its example, and would help Israel cement its national vision of “a free nation in our land, the land of Zion and Jerusalem.”

At the inaugural ceremony itself, Rabbi Marvin Hier of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles stressed the themes of Zion and Jerusalem, quoting from Psalm 137:5: “If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget its skill.”

President Trump was scheduled to speak to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netnayhu by telephone on Sunday afternoon.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named one of the “most influential” people in news media in 2016. His new book, How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

10 Reasons Hamas Should Not Be in Any Government

Hamas leaders at a rally. (Photo: © Mahmud Hams/AFP/Getty Images)

Hamas leaders at a rally. (Photo: © Mahmud Hams/AFP/Getty Images)

Fatah and Hamas have formed a national-unity government following talks in Moscow. Here’s why that’s a bad idea.

Clarion Project, by  Elliot Friedland, January 19, 2017:

Fatah and Hamas, which control the West Bank and the Gaza Strip respectively, concluded an agreement to form a national unity government. The Palestinian Authority, which is the official body that rules the Palestinian-controlled areas, as per the Oslo Accords, will now begin the process of forming a new national council. The P.A. president is Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas.

Hamas and Fatah also announced they will hold elections that will include members of the Palestinian diaspora. Elections were last held in 2007.

“We have reached agreement under which, within 48 hours, we will call on [Palestinian Authority President] Mahmoud Abbas to launch consultations on the creation of a government,” Fatah spokesman Azzam al-Ahmad told media.

Here are ten reasons why Hamas is not fit to be part of any government.
Hamas Is A Designated Terrorist Organization

Hamas is a terrorist group and is designated as such by Israel (obviously) but also the United States, the EU, Canada and Japan so this one should come as no surprise.

Hamas Deliberately Targets Civilians

Most recently Hamas praised the string of violent attacks that hit Israel over the past year and half.

In the last Gaza war, Hamas fired thousands of rockets indiscriminately at Israeli civilian areas. “Deliberate targeting of civilians by Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups defies humanity and is morally and legally reprehensible” Israeli left-wing human rights organization B’Tselem said about the last Gaza war.

They Use Civilians As Human Shields

According to the Geneva Conventions, “The presence or movements of the civilian population or individual civilians shall not be used to render certain points or areas immune from military operations, in particular in attempts to shield military objectives from attacks or to shield, favour or impede military operations. The parties to the conflict shall not direct the movement of the civilian population or individual civilians in order to attempt to shield military objectives from attacks or to shield military operations.”

Hamas does precisely this. In the last Gaza war, in 2014, Hamas ordered civilians to remain in their homes if they were about to be bombed. All the more gallingly, Hamas deliberately manipulates the inevitable civilian casualties that result, using the blood of Palestinians to purchase international sympathy.

Hamas Steals Palestinian Aid For Military Purposes

Hamas receives a lot of aid from around the world for the Gaza strip, which is frequently the subject of international aid campaigns. Yet Hamas steals much of this aid for its own purposes. “From our own investigations we found that out of every 100 sacks of cement that come into the Gaza strip [from Israel], only five or six are transferred to civilians,” said Israeli Foreign Ministry Director-General Dore Gold. “A hundred sacks is what is necessary to rebuild a home, the rest are confiscated by Hamas and used for military purposes.”

Hamas uses the cement to construct multi-million dollar tunnels via which it hopes to carry out cross-border raids into Israel to murder Israeli civilians and attack Israeli soldiers.

In August 2016, Israel leveled charges against Mohammed el Halabi the head of World Vision in Gaza for allegedly funneling tens of millions of dollars earmarked for humanitarian purposes to Hamas for its terrorist activities.

Hamas Steals Money From Palestinians to Enrich Their Leaders

Hamas controls the lucrative smuggling tunnels that bring goods into Gaza from Egypt. They tax incoming products for revenue. “Most of the money that went into the pockets of people in the Gaza Strip was obtained through tunnel deals and the creation of a flourishing smuggling market, which it is believed has created several hundred millionaires in the Gaza Strip, although most of the people there don’t live like that,” Col. (res.) Moshe Elad, a lecturer at the Western Galilee Academic College who served in a variety of senior military positions told Globes. “The man pulling the strings from Egypt with the tunnels is none other than the number two man in the Muslim Brotherhood, Khairat el-Shater. His connection with Hamas was ostensibly for Islamic religious purposes, but they actually built a prosperous business, which earned phenomenal profits.”

Hamas also receives donations, both from wealthy Muslims in America and internationally, but also from state sponsors such as Saudi Arabia, Iran and Qatar.

This money has been appropriated by the Hamas leadership who enriched themselves at the expense of Palestinians. The inner circle of Hamas are millionaires.

Hamas Executes Dissenters and Stifles Critique

Hamas routinely carries out extrajudicial killings, abductions and torture of dissidents within the territory it controls. This includes supporters of rival Palestinian factions such as Fatah (with whom Hamas will now be forming a unity government) as well as those accused of collaborating with Israel.

Hamas is not believed to conduct fair trials.

In 2014 during the last Gaza war, Hamas carried out a campaign of targeted killings and abductions detailed in the Amnesty International Report entitled “‘Strangling Necks’ Abductions, Torture And Summary Killings Of Palestinians By Hamas Forces During The 2014 Gaza/Israel Conflict.”

“In the chaos of the conflict, the de facto Hamas administration granted its security forces free rein to carry out horrific abuses including against people in its custody,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty International, then Director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Amnesty International. These spine-chilling actions, some of which amount to war crimes, were designed to exact revenge and spread fear across the Gaza Strip.”

Nor did this stop after the war. “Palestinian governments in both Gaza and the West Bank are arresting and even physically abusing activists and journalists who express criticism on important public issues,” Human Rights Watch said as recently as August 2016.

Hamas Wants a Theocratic State and Murders LGBT People

Hamas is an affiliate of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is pledged to establish an Islamic State as a final goal. It terms itself “The Islamic Resistance Movement” and article one of its founding charter reads “The Movement’s programme is Islam.”

Although Hamas is continually on a war-footing and has therefore been less focused on establishing a sharia-based system of governance than other Islamist groups, it still takes the time to implement sharia governance where it can.

In this vein Hamas has imprisoned women for sex outside marriage.

Hamas Persecutes the LGBT Community

In January 2016, Hamas executed one of its senior commanders after allegations of gay sex emerged. John Calvin (not his real name) is from one of Hamas’ most important families and fought for and gained asylum in the United States because if he returned to Nablus he would be murdered.

These are rarely mentioned by those in the “Queers for Palestine” movement.

Israel Withdrew From Gaza And Hamas Turned it Into A Terrorist State

In 2005 Israel completely withdrew from the Gaza Strip. In 2007 Hamas took over and turned the enclave into their own personal fiefdom.

Governmental errors in the Israeli withdrawal notwithstanding , Hamas demonstrated its lack of commitment to its own people and to the path of peace by choosing rejectionism and violence instead.

Hamas Perpetrates Child Abuse

Hamas trains young children in its military training camps to indoctrinate them with the group’s Islamist and jihadist ideology and train them for hatred and warfare.

This is backed up by Hamas media outlets which produce children’s programs that inculcate the next generation with the Hamas ideology.

Hollywood celeb donates ‘MasterChef’ winnings to terror supporting org

Adel Hana | AP Images

Adel Hana | AP Images

Conservative Review, by Jordan Schachtel, January 7, 2017:

On the surface, it appeared as if Kal Penn committed a noble deed.

This week, Penn won the “MasterChef Celebrity Countdown” contest in a Fox TV special, securing a $25,000 donation for a charity of his choice. The Hollywood celebrity decided to give the cash to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).

Penn, best known for playing Kumar in the “Harold & Kumar” stoner movie comedies, previously served in President Obama’s White House Office of Public Engagement. A committed leftist like the rest of Hollywood, Penn often articulates his political views on social media.

Though UNRWA postures itself as a simple relief agency for Palestinian refugees, its presence in the Middle East has actually worsened the Arab-Israeli conflict. Instead of solving the Palestinian territorial crisis, UNRWA has helped to move it into perpetuity.

Originally, the United Nations organization only recognized 750,000 Palestinians as “refugees.” But the U.N. has expanded the definition for Palestinian refugees to include original refugees’ children and grandchildren, which has expanded the total to above 5 million. This puts Palestinians in a refugee league of their own.

The U.N.’s other refugee agency, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), does not allow other refugees to pass down their status to their kids and grandkids. And also unlike UNHCR, UNRWA does not promote resettling their “refugees” into countries that might be willing to take them in. Instead, they keep Palestinians in an endless state of dependency, with an ever-growing roster.

Worse, the Relief and Works Agency has essentially embedded itself with the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip. UNRWA has employed actual terrorists and Nazi sympathizers, and uses its U.N.-funded schools to push false, exterminationist, anti-Semitic narratives about Jews and Israel.

The U.N. outfit has been caught several times stockpiling missiles for Hamas in children’s schools, and the agency’s construction materials sometimes end up in Hamas’ homemade tunnels, which are used to infiltrate Israel and commit terror attacks.

The United States remains the top contributor to UNRWA. In 2015, the U.S. taxpayers contributed $380 million toward the agency’s projects.

By all indications, Kal Penn, like UNRWA, is not a big fan of the state of Israel.

In 2014, as Israel was under bombardment from Hamas rockets, Penn vented his frustrations with U.S. policy. He disagreed with the rearming of Israel in its battle with Palestinian terrorism. Penn took to Twitter, writing: “Wow, guess we’re not serious about a ceasefire.”

Congress to Freeze State Department Funds Until U.S. Embassy Moves to Jerusalem

Orthodox Jewish people at the Western Wall, Jerusalem / AP

Orthodox Jewish people at the Western Wall, Jerusalem / AP

Washington Free Beacon, by Adam Kredo, January 3, 2017:

A delegation of Republican senators is moving forward with an effort to freeze some funding to the State Department until the U.S. embassy in Israel is formally moved to Jerusalem, according to new legislation.

The legislation comes as the Obama administration continues to face criticism over its behind-the-scenes effort to forward a United Nations resolution condemning Israel.

The Obama administration, like previous administrations, does not formally recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital city and has worked to stymie efforts to move the U.S. embassy there.

While Congress first approved legislation to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem in 1995, the new bill threatens to cut State Department funding until the relocation is complete.

The effort is being spearheaded by Sens. Ted Cruz (R., Texas), Marco Rubio (R., Fla.), and Dean Heller (R., Nev.), all of whom support efforts by the incoming Trump administration to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem after years of debate.

“Jerusalem is the eternal and undivided capital of Israel,” Cruz said in a statement. “Unfortunately, the Obama administration’s vendetta against the Jewish state has been so vicious that to even utter this simple truth—let alone the reality that Jerusalem is the appropriate venue for the American embassy in Israel—is shocking in some circles.”

“But it is finally time to cut through the double-speak and broken promises and do what Congress said we should do in 1995: formally move our embassy to the capital of our great ally Israel,” Cruz said.

The legislation orders the White House to identify Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, which the Obama administration has refused to do. The bill will freeze a significant portion of the State Department’s funding until it completes the relocation.

In the past, the Obama White House has been caught scrubbing captions on official photographs that labeled Jerusalem as part of Israel. The administration also was entangled in a Supreme Court case when it refused to permit an American family to list its child’s birthplace as “Jerusalem, Israel.”

Heller said the legislation could help repair America’s relationship with Israel, which has become strained under the Obama administration.

“For years, I’ve advocated for America’s need to reaffirm its support for one of our nation’s strongest allies by recognizing Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel,” Heller said in a statement. “It honors an important promise America made more than two decades ago but has yet to fulfill. While administrations come and go, the lasting strength of our partnership with one of our strongest allies in the Middle East continues to endure.”

Rubio also championed the bill in a statement, saying it will finally close loopholes that have permitted the Obama administration to ignore congressional calls to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s official capital.

“Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Jewish state of Israel, and that’s where America’s embassy belongs,” Rubio said. “It’s time for Congress and the president-elect to eliminate the loophole that has allowed presidents in both parties to ignore U.S. law and delay our embassy’s rightful relocation to Jerusalem for over two decades.”

The Way to Peace: Israeli Victory, Palestinian Defeat

by Daniel Pipes
Commentary
January 2017

This typical map in Arabic shows "Palestine My Bride" to the exclusion of Israel.

This typical map in Arabic shows “Palestine My Bride” to the exclusion of Israel.

Israeli-Palestinian diplomacy sadly fits the classic description of insanity: “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” The identical assumptions – land-for-peace and the two-state solution, with the burden primarily on Israel – stay permanently in place, no matter how often they fail. Decades of what insiders call “peace processing” has left matters worse than when they started, yet the great powers persist, sending diplomat after diplomat to Jerusalem and Ramallah, ever hoping that the next round of negotiations will lead to the elusive breakthrough.

The time is ripe for a new approach, a basic re-thinking of the problem. It draws on Israel’s successful strategy as carried out through its first 45 years. The failure of Israeli-Palestinian diplomacy since 1993 suggests this alternative approach – with a stress on Israeli toughness in pursuit of victory. This would, paradoxically perhaps, be of benefit to Palestinians and bolster American support.

I. The Near Impossibility of Compromise

Since the Balfour Declaration of 1917, Palestinians and Israelis have pursued static and opposite goals.

In the years before the establishment of the new state, the mufti of Jerusalem, Amin al-Husseini, articulated a policy of rejectionism, or eliminating every vestige of Jewish presence in what is now the territory of Israel.[1]It remains in place. Maps in Arabic which show a “Palestine” replacing Israel symbolize this continued aspiration. Rejectionism runs so deep that it drives not just Palestinian politics but much of Palestinian life. With consistency, energy, and perseverance, Palestinians have pursued rejectionism via three main approaches: demoralizing Zionists through political violence, damaging Israel’s economy through trade boycotts, and weakening Israel’s legitimacy by winning foreign support. Differences between Palestinian factions tend to be tactical: Talk to the Israelis to win concessions from them or not? Mahmoud Abbas represents the former outlook and Khaled Mashal the latter.

On the Israeli side, nearly everyone agrees on the need to win acceptance by Palestinians (and other Arabs and Muslims); differences are again tactical. David Ben-Gurion articulated one approach, that of showing Palestinians what they can gain from Zionism. Vladimir Jabotinsky developed the opposite vision, arguing that Zionists have no choice but to break the Palestinians’ intractable will. Their rival approaches remain the touchstones of Israel’s foreign-policy debate, with Isaac Herzog heir to Ben-Gurion and Binyamin Netanyahu to Jabotinsky.

These two pursuits – rejectionism and acceptance – have remained basically unchanged for a century; today’s Palestinian Authority, Hamas, Labor, and Likud are lineal descendants of Husseini, Ben-Gurion, and Jabotinsky. Varying ideologies, objectives, tactics, strategies, and actors mean that details have varied, even as the fundamentals remained remarkably in place. Wars and treaties came and went, leading to only minor shifts. The many rounds of fighting had surprisingly little impact on ultimate goals, while formal agreements (such as the Oslo Accords of 1993) only increase hostility to Israel’s existence and so were counterproductive.

Palestinian rejection or acceptance of Israel is binary: yes or no, without in-betweens. This renders compromise nearly impossible because resolution requires one side fully to abandon its goal. Either Palestinians give up their century-long rejection of the Jewish state or Zionists give up their 150-year quest for a sovereign homeland. Anything other than these two outcomes is an unstable settlement that merely serves as the premise for a future round of conflict.

The “Peace Process” That Failed

Deterrence, that is, convincing Palestinians and the Arab states to accept Israel’s existence by threatening painful retaliation, underlay Israel’s formidable record of strategic vision and tactical brilliance in the period 1948 to 1993. Over this time, deterrence worked to the extent that Israel’s Arab state enemies saw the country very differently by the end of that period; in 1948, invading Arab armies expected to throttle the Jewish state at birth, but by 1993, Arafat felt compelled to sign an agreement with Israel’s prime minister.

That said, deterrence did not finish the job; as Israelis built a modern, democratic, affluent, and powerful country, the fact that Palestinians, Arabs, Muslims, and (increasingly) the left still rejected it became a source of mounting frustration. Israel’s impatient, on-the-go populace grew weary with the unattractive qualities of deterrence, which by nature is passive, indirect, harsh, slow, boring, humiliating, reactive, and costly. It is also internationally unpopular.

That impatience led to the diplomatic process that culminated with the handshake confirming the signing of the Oslo Accords on the White House lawn in September 1993. For a brief period, “The Handshake” (as it was then capitalized) between Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat and Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin served as the symbol of successful mediation that gave each side what it most wanted: dignity and autonomy for Palestinians, recognition and security for Israelis. Among many accolades, Arafat, Rabin, and Israel’s Foreign Minister Shimon Peres won the Nobel Peace Prize.

 

Arafat, Peres, and Rabin with their shared Nobel Prize, 1994.

The accords, however, quickly disappointed both sides. Indeed, while Israelis and Palestinians agree on little else, they concur with near-unanimity on Oslo having been a disaster.

When Palestinians still lived under direct Israeli control before Oslo, acceptance of Israel had increased over time even as political violence diminished. Residents of the West Bank and Gaza could travel locally without checkpoints and access work sites within Israel. They benefited from the rule of law and an economy that more than quadrupled without depending on foreign aid. Functioning schools and hospitals emerged, as did several universities.

Yasir Arafat promised to turn Gaza into “the Singapore of the Middle East,” but his despotism and aggression against Israel instead turned his fiefdom into a nightmare, resembling Congo more than Singapore. Unwilling to give up on the permanent revolution and to become the ordinary leader of an obscure state, he exploited the Oslo Accords to inflict economic dependence, tyranny, failed institutions, corruption, Islamism, and a death cult on Palestinians.

For Israelis, Oslo led not to the hoped-for end of conflict but inflamed Palestinian ambitions to eliminate the Jewish state. As Palestinian rage spiraled upward, more Israelis were murdered in the five years post-Oslo than in the fifteen years preceding it. Rabble-rousing speech and violent actions soared – and continue unabated 23 years later. Moreover, Palestinian delegitimization efforts cost Israel internationally as the left turned against it, spawning such anti-Zionist novelties as the UN World Conference against Racism in Durban and the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

 

The UN World Conference against Racism in Durban marked the coming out of leftist anti-Zionism.

From Israel’s perspective, seven years of Oslo appeasement, 1993-2000, undid 45 years of successful deterrence; then, six years of unilateral withdrawals, 2000-06, further buried deterrence. The decade since 2006 has witnessed no major changes.

The Oslo exercise showed the futility of Israeli concessions to Palestinians when the latter fail to live up to their obligations. By signaling Israeli weakness, Oslo made a bad situation worse. What is conventionally called the “peace process” would more accurately be dubbed the “war process.”

The False Hope of Finessing Victory

Why did things go so wrong in what seemed so promising an agreement?

Moral responsibility for the collapse of Oslo lies solely with Yasir Arafat, Mahmoud Abbas, and the rest of the Palestinian Authority leadership. They pretended to abandon rejectionism and accept Israel’s existence but, in fact, sought Israel’s elimination in new, more sophisticated ways, replacing force with delegitimization.

This said, the Israelis made a profound mistake, having entered the Oslo process with a false premise. Yitzhak Rabin often summed up this error in the phrase “You don’t make peace with friends. You make it with very unsavory enemies.”[2] In other words, he expected war to be concluded through goodwill, conciliation, mediation, flexibility, restraint, generosity, and compromise, topped off with signatures on official documents. In this spirit, his government and all its successors agreed to a wide array of concessions, even to the point of permitting a Palestinian militia, always hoping the Palestinians would reciprocate by accepting the Jewish state.

They never did. To the contrary, Israeli compromises aggravated Palestinian hostility. Each gesture further radicalized, exhilarated, and mobilized the Palestinian body politic. Israeli efforts to “make peace” were received as signs of demoralization and weakness. “Painful concessions” reduced the Palestinian awe of Israel, m­­ade the Jewish state appear vulnerable, and inspired irredentist dreams of annihilation.

In retrospect, this does not surprise. Contrary to Rabin’s slogan, one does not “make [peace] with very unsavory enemies” but rather with former very unsavory enemies. That is, enemies that have been defeated.

This brings us to the key concept of my approach, which is victory, or imposing one’s will on the enemy, compelling him through loss to give up his war ambitions. Wars end, the historical record shows, not through goodwill but through defeat. He who does not win loses. Wars usually end when failure causes one side to despair, when that side has abandoned its war aims and accepted defeat, and when that defeat has exhausted its will to fight. Conversely, so long as both combatants still hope to achieve their war objectives, fighting either goes on or it potentially will resume.

Thinkers and warriors through the ages concur on the importance of victory as the correct goal of warfare. For example, Aristotle wrote that “victory is the end of generalship” and Dwight D. Eisenhower stated that “In war, there is no substitute for victory.” Technological advancement has not altered this enduring human truth.

 

Aristotle (384-322 BCE)

Twentieth-century conflicts that ended decisively include World War II, China-India, Algeria-France, North Vietnam-United States, Great Britain-Argentina, Afghanistan-U.S.S.R., and the Cold War. Defeat can result either from a military thrashing or from an accretion of economic and political pressures; it does not require total military loss or economic destruction, much less the annihilation of a population. For example, the only defeat in U.S. history, in South Vietnam in 1975, occurred not because of economic collapse or running out of ammunition or battlefield failure (the American side was winning the ground war) but because Americans lost the will to soldier on.

Indeed, 1945 marks a dividing line. Before then, overwhelming military superiority crushed the enemy’s will to fight; since then, grand battlefield successes have rarely occurred. Battlefield superiority no longer translates as it once did into breaking the enemy’s resolve to fight. In Clausewitz’ terms, morale and will are now the center of gravity, not tanks and ships. Although the French outmanned and out-gunned their foes in Algeria, as did the Americans in Vietnam and the Soviets in Afghanistan, all these powers lost their wars. Conversely, battlefield losses suffered by the Arab states in 1948-82, by North Korea in 1950-53, and by Iraq in 1991 and 2003 did not translate into surrender and defeat.

When a losing side preserves its war goals, the resumption of warfare remains possible, and even likely. Germans retained their goal of ruling Europe after their defeat in World War I and looked to Hitler for another try, prompting the Allies to aim for total victory to ensure against the Germans trying a third time. The Korean War ended in 1953, but North and South have both held on to their war goals, meaning that the conflict might resume at any time, as could wars between India and Pakistan. The Arabs lost each round of warfare with Israel (1948-49, 1956, 1967, 1973, and 1982) but long saw their defeats as merely transient and spoiled for another try.

II. The Hard Work of Winning

How might Israel induce the Palestinians to drop rejectionism?

For starters, a colorful array of (mutually exclusive) plans to end the conflict favorably to Israel have appeared through the decades.[3] Going from softest to toughest, these include:

Trouble is, none of these plans addresses the need to break the Palestinian will to fight. They all manage the conflict without resolving it. They all seek to finesse victory with a gimmick. Just as the Oslo negotiations failed, so too will every other scheme that sidesteps the hard work of winning.

This historical pattern implies that Israel has just one option to win Palestinian acceptance: a return to its old policy of deterrence, punishing Palestinians when they aggress. Deterrence amounts to more than tough tactics, which every Israeli government pursues; it requires systemic policies that encourage Palestinians to accept Israel and discourage rejectionism. It requires a long-term strategy that promotes a change of heart.

Inducing a change of heart is not a pretty or pleasant process but is based on a policy of commensurate and graduated response. If Palestinians transgress moderately, they should pay moderately; and so on. Responses depend on specific circumstances, so the following are but general suggestions as examples for Washington to propose, going from mildest to most severe:

When Palestinian “martyrs” cause material damage, pay for repairs out of the roughly $300 million in tax obligations the government of Israel transfers to the Palestinian Authority (PA) each year. Respond to activities designed to isolate and weaken Israel internationally by limiting access to the West Bank. When a Palestinian attacker is killed, bury the body quietly and anonymously in a potter’s field. When the PA leadership incites to violence, prevent officials from returning to the PA from abroad. Respond to the murder of Israelis by expanding Jewish towns on the West Bank. When official PA guns are turned against Israelis, seize these and prohibit new ones, and if this happens repeatedly, dismantle the PA’s security infrastructure. Should violence continue, reduce and then shut off the water and electricity that Israel supplies. In the case of gunfire, mortar shelling, and rockets, occupy and control the areas from which these originate.

Of course, these steps run exactly counter to the consensus view in Israel today, which seeks above all to keep Palestinians quiescent. But this myopic viewpoint formed under unremitting pressure from the outside world, and the U.S. government especially, to accommodate the PA. The removal of such pressure will undoubtedly encourage Israelis to adopt the more assertive tactics outlined here.

True peacemaking means finding ways to coerce Palestinians to undergo a change of heart, giving up rejectionism, accepting Jews, Zionism, and Israel. When enough Palestinians abandon the dream of eliminating Israel, they will make concessions needed to end the conflict. To end the conflict, Israel must convince 50 percent and more of the Palestinians that they have lost.

The goal here is not Palestinian love of Zion, but closing down the apparatus of war: shuttering suicide factories, removing the demonization of Jews and Israel, recognizing Jewish ties to Jerusalem, and “normalizing” relations with Israelis. Palestinian acceptance of Israel will be achieved when, over a protracted period and with complete consistency, the violence ends, replaced by sharply worded démarches and letters to the editor. Symbolically, the conflict will be over when Jews living in Hebron (in the West Bank) have no more need for security than Palestinians living in Nazareth (in Israel).

 

Israeli border police guard a group of Israeli tourists visiting Hebron in April 2014.

To those who hold Palestinians too fanatical to be defeated, I reply: if Germans and Japanese, no less fanatical and far more powerful, could be defeated in World War II and then turned into normal citizens, why not the Palestinians now? Moreover, Muslims have repeatedly given in to infidels through history when faced with a determined superior force, from Spain to the Balkans to Lebanon.

Israel enjoys two pieces of good fortune. First, its effort does not begin at null; polls and other indicators suggest that 20 percent of Palestinians and other Arabs consistently accept the Jewish state. Second, it need deter only the Palestinians, a very weak actor, and not the whole Arab or Muslim population. However feeble in objective terms (economics, military power), Palestinians spearhead the war against Israel; so, when they abandon rejectionism, others (like Moroccans, Iranians, Malaysians, et al.) take their cues from Palestinians and, over time, will likely follow their lead.

Palestinians Benefit from Their Defeat

However much Israelis gain from ending their residual Palestinian problem, they live in a successful modern country that has absorbed the violence and delegitimization imposed on them.[4] Surveys, for example, show Israelis to be among the happiest people anywhere, and the country’s burgeoning birth rate confirms these impressions.

In contrast, Palestinians are mired in misery and constitute the most radicalized population in the world. Opinion surveys consistently show them choosing nihilism. Which other parents celebrate their children becoming suicide bombers? Which other people gives higher priority to harming its neighbor than improving its own lot? Hamas and the Palestinian Authority both run authoritarian regimes that repress their subjects and pursue destructive goals. The economy in the West Bank and Gaza depends, more than anywhere else, on free money from abroad, creating both dependence and resentment. Palestinian mores are backward and becoming more medieval all the time. A skilled and ambitious people is locked into political repression, failed institutions, and a culture celebrating delusion, extremism, and self-destruction.

An Israel victory liberates Palestinians. Defeat compels them to come to terms with their irredentist fantasies and the empty rhetoric of revolution. Defeat also frees them to improve their own lives. Unleashed from a genocidal obsession against Israel, Palestinians can become a normal people and develop their polity, economy, society, and culture. Negotiations could finally begin in earnest. In all, given their far lower starting point, Palestinians would, ironically, gain even more from their defeat than the Israelis from their victory.

That said, this change won’t be easy or quick: Palestinians will have to pass through the bitter crucible of defeat, with all its deprivation, destruction, and despair as they repudiate the filthy legacy of Amin al-Husseini and acknowledge their century-long error. But there is no shortcut.

The Need for American Support

Palestinians deploy a unique global support team consisting of the United Nations and vast numbers of journalists, activists, educators, artists, Islamists, and leftists. No obscure African liberation front they, but the world’s favored revolutionary cause. This makes Israel’s task long, difficult, and dependent on stalwart allies, foremost the U.S. government.

For Washington to be helpful means not dragging the parties back again to more negotiations but robustly supporting Israel’s path to victory. That translates into not just backing episodic Israeli shows of force but a sustained and systematic international effort of working with Israel, select Arab states, and others to convince the Palestinians of the futility of their rejectionism: Israel is there, it’s permanent, and it enjoys wide backing.

That means supporting Israel taking the tough steps outlined above, from burying murderers’ bodies anonymously to shuttering the Palestinian Authority. It means diplomatic support for Israel, such as undoing the “Palestine refugee” farce and rejecting the claim of Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital. It also entails ending benefits to the Palestinians unless they work toward the full and permanent acceptance of Israel: no diplomacy, no recognition as a state, no financial aid, and certainly no weapons, much less militia training.

Israeli-Palestinian diplomacy is premature until Palestinians accept the Jewish state. The central issues of the Oslo Accords (borders, water, armaments, sanctities, Jewish communities in the West Bank, “Palestine refugees”) cannot be usefully discussed so long as one party still rejects the other. But negotiations can re-open and take up anew the Oslo issues upon the joyful moment that Palestinians accept the Jewish state. That prospect, however, lies in the distant future. For now, Israel needs to win.

Mr. Pipes (DanielPipes.org, @DanielPipes) is president of the Middle East Forum. © 2016 by Daniel Pipes. All rights reserved. The title refers to Deut. 16:20.


[1] I analyzed this topic for Commentary in December 1997 at “On Arab Rejectionism.”

[2] Which, curiously, paraphrased the statement of a PLO leader, Said Hammami, of 15 years earlier.

[3] I reviewed these proposals in detail for Commentary in February 2003 at “Does Israel Need a Plan?

[4] Injuries and deaths from traffic accidents in Israel in the period 2000-05, for example, came to 30,000 while terrorism-related injuries amounted to 2,000.

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UN Ambassador Invokes Reagan While Failing to Protect Israel with Veto

Members of the United Nations Security council vote Dec. 23, 2016, in favor of condemning Israel for West Bank and east Jerusalem settlements. (Manuel Elias/The United Nations via AP)

Members of the United Nations Security council vote Dec. 23, 2016, in favor of condemning Israel for West Bank and east Jerusalem settlements. (Manuel Elias/The United Nations via AP)

PJ Media, by Bridget Johnson, December 23, 2016:

WASHINGTON — The United States turned its back on Israel during a United Nations Security Council vote on settlements in what Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called a “shameful” vote.

“The Obama administration not only failed to protect Israel against the UN’s obsession with Israel, it collaborated with the UN behind Israel’s back,” the statement continued.

The vote on the resolution drafted by Egypt, which demands Israel “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the ‘occupied’ Palestinian territory, including east Jerusalem,” was 14 in favor and the U.S. abstention.

Netanyahu immediately began taking countermeasures, canceling foreign aid to Senegal as well as nixing a planned visit to the Security Council member. He also recalled Israeli ambassadors from Senegal and New Zealand for consultations.

During the Friday meeting, U.S. Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power quoted President Reagan from 1982 saying settlements were “in no way necessary for the security of Israel”; she added that “a routine vote for the U.S. to allow the passage of a resolution with the elements in this one” would be consistent with “familiar, well-articulated components of U.S. policy.”

“It is because this resolution reflects the facts on the ground – and is consistent with U.S. policy across Republican and Democratic administration throughout the history of the State of Israel – that the United States did not veto it,” Power said, even though the administration used its veto power in 2011 to kill a similarly worded resolution.

“The United States has consistently said we would block any resolution that we thought would undermine Israel’s security or seek to impose a resolution to the conflict,” she said. “We would not have let this resolution pass had it not also addressed counterproductive actions by the Palestinians such as terrorism and incitement to violence, which we’ve repeatedly condemned and repeatedly raised with the Palestinian leadership, and which, of course, must be stopped.”

Power added that despite refusing to veto the resolution “Obama and this administration have shown an unprecedented commitment to Israel’s security because that is what we believe in.”

Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes told reporters on a conference call today that the administration decided to take the course it did because “one of our grave concerns is that the continued pace of settlement activity, which has accelerated in recent years.”

“We therefore thought that we could not in good conscience veto a resolution that expressed concerns about the very trends that are eroding the foundation for a two-state solution,” Rhodes said. “…For us, the question here has always been about what is the best way to pursue the security that the Israeli people deserve.  And we cannot simply have a two-state solution be a slogan while the trend lines on the ground are such that a two-state solution is becoming less and less viable.”

“…But, in fact, I’d take umbrage at language that suggests that this was our preferred course of action and that we initiated it.  The fact of the matter is, we’d been warning — President Obama and Secretary Kerry publicly and privately for years — that the trend line of settlement construction and settlement activity was just increasing Israel’s international isolation.”

The administration’s action drew scorn from the soon-to-be highest-ranking Democrat in Congress. “Extremely frustrating, disappointing & confounding that the Administration has failed to veto the UN resolution,” tweeted Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.).

Schumer was on the phone as recently as this morning trying to persuade the White House to use America’s veto power.

“Since the days of ‘Zionism is racism,’ the UN has long shown its anti-Israel bias, and the U.S. government — both Democrats and Republicans — have admirably kept the UN out when it comes to negotiations. That tradition should continue,” Schumer said before the vote. “…An abstention is not good enough.”

Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), who has been at odds with the administration on Iran and Cuba policy, said he was “disappointed but not surprised that the administration chose to go along with this maneuver, walking away from longstanding principles and practices that advance the goal of peace and stability.”

“The United States must use its influence and posture at the United Nations to promote our values and support our allies,” Menendez said. “It has long been a bipartisan sensible policy of the United States to support direct bilateral negotiations between the parties to find an agreement. We have long stood beside Israel in the face of these kind of politicized resolutions whose only goal is to undermine confidence in a negotiated peace process.”

House Foreign Affairs Committee Ranking Member Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) noted that “Israel can’t get a fair shake at the UN, and that is why Israel has relied on the United States to protect it from the anti-Israel tendencies of some UN Security Council members.”

“This abstention represents a clear departure from convention, and I consider this a break in the Obama administration’s word that they would veto biased or one-sided anti-Israel resolutions,” Engel said.

Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations said this morning that the Jewish State knew the resolution condemning settlement construction was coming because the Palestinians “want to take advantage of the transition period” in the United States.

“Instead of negotiating with us, it’s easier for them to come to New York, to come to the Security Council,” Ambassador Danny Danon told MSNBC a day after an expected vote on the resolution was tabled.

Secretary of State John Kerry issued a statement calling himself “a lifelong friend of Israel” and said the U.S. “acted with one primary objective in mind: to preserve the possibility of the two state solution, which every U.S. administration for decades has agreed is the only way to achieve a just and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians.”

“That future is now in jeopardy, with terrorism, violence and incitement continuing and unprecedented steps to expand settlements being advanced by avowed opponents of the two state solution,” Kerry said. “That is why we cannot in good conscience stand in the way of a resolution at the United Nations that makes clear that both sides must act now to preserve the possibility of peace.”

StandWithUs CEO Roz Rothstein said that “while both sides in this conflict are subject to criticism, placing most of the blame on Israel while shielding Palestinian leaders from accountability is not a path to peace or justice for either side.”

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee called it “particularly regrettable, in his last month in office, that the president has taken an action at odds with the bipartisan consensus in Congress and America’s long history of standing with Israel at the United Nations.”

“Unfortunately, the UNSC today irresponsibly adopted a ruinous resolution that can only make the goal of peace even more elusive,” the AIPAC statement added.

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Also see:

Obama’s Secret Muslim List

unnamed-57Front Page Magazine, by Daniel Greenfield, November 2, 2016

Like a warped Islamic version of Santa Claus, Obama had a secret Muslim list. And his people checked it at least twice. The list was of Muslims who were prospects for important jobs and appointments.

It included a Muslim who had described Israel as an “Apartheid State,” Iran’s “go-to guy in New York financial circles” and a number of figures linked to the Muslim Brotherhood.

It was the ultimate religious test from an administration that had vocally rejected them.

Obama had claimed that having religious tests for migration was “shameful” and “not American.”

“When I hear folks say that, well maybe we should just admit the Christians but not the Muslims,” he huffed from Turkey. His Muslim host country was run by a bigoted sponsor of Islamic terror.

“We don’t have religious tests,” he insisted.

Except we did and we do. Obama also had religious tests. His religious tests excluded Christians and favored Muslims. That is why his Syrian refugees were between 98% and 99% Muslim with only 68 Christians and 24 Yazidis, even though both groups are real victims of the Muslim religious war.

Syria is 10% Christian and hundreds of thousands have been displaced. Yet only 68 have made it past Obama’s iron curtain. That’s either an Islamic religious test or the world’s greatest coincidence.

But would the man who piously lectured us on the evils of religious tests really have a religious test?

Of course he would.

The hacked emails include a list of “Muslim American candidates for top Administration jobs, sub-cabinet jobs, and outside boards/agencies/policy committees.”

The list was sent to John Podesta who headed the Obama-Biden Transition Project. It had been put together by a woman who had sat on the Commission on International Religious Freedom, but boasted that she had, “Excluded those with some Arab American background but who are not Muslim (e.g., George Mitchell). Many Lebanese Americans, for example, are Christian.”

How “shameful.” How “not American” of Barack Hussein Obama.

“Most who are listed appear to be Muslim-American, except that a handful (where noted) may be Arab American but of uncertain religion (esp. Christian),” she assured Podesta.

Religious tests are only out of line when they exclude Muslims. Not when they exclude Christians.

That’s the pattern which emerged from the Obama-Biden Transition Project and Obama’s refugee policy. There has been a clear pattern of administration bias against Christians and Jews. And in favor of Muslims. That bias has been obvious in a foreign policy which backed Islamic supremacist groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood over more moderate governments at the expense of non-Muslim populations.

This policy led to the displacement and death of countless Christians, and the persecution of entire communities, by an administration which then denied safe harbor to the victims of its own policies.

Administration bias replicated that same bigoted policy at home when it favored Islamic candidates.

Obama appointed Farooq Kathwari, the first name on the “Muslim list” sent to Podesta, to the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

The “Muslim list” email had warned that, “Kathwari’s then 19-year-old American-educated son Irfan (aka Imran), was killed in 1992 fighting Jihad against the Russians in Afghanistan.” The actions of his son, who may have been with the Mujahedeen but was also apparently outraged over India’s defense of Kashmir, is of less relevance than Kathwari’s appearance at an ISNA conference and another conference co-sponsored by the Muslim Students Association. Both groups are linked to the Muslim Brotherhood.

He co-chaired the American Muslim Task Force whose members included Salam Al-Marayati, Director of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, which has defended Hamas and Hezbollah, Yahya Basha, president of the American Muslim Council and a former board member of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, and assorted other Islamists.  Its report complained that Muslims were inhibited from donating to “charities” run by Islamic terrorist groups such as Hezbollah. Yahya Basha also appeared on Obama’s Muslim list.

Also listed was MPAC’s Aslam Abdullah who had claimed that “Zionists,” Christians and Hindus were behind the War on Terror. He had described Israel as an “apartheid state” and a “racist state.”

The second Muslim on the list, Cyrus Amir-Mokri, was named assistant treasury secretary. He became the first Iranian to be named to such a high position and defended the Iran nuclear sellout. Mokri attended a meeting with members of the Iran Lobby at the White House. He also reportedly advised Obama on Iranian sanctions.

Obama had famously told NASA boss Bolden that one of his three tasks at the space agency was Muslim self-esteem. But Bolden almost didn’t make it in. The Muslim list included two alternative candidates for NASA administrator. One of them, Dr. Charles Elachi of JPL was dismissed as “possibly Christian.” Indeed Elachi, who grew up admiring John Wayne and believes that American success is possible because it isn’t “held back by the long-standing, ingrained systems and beliefs found in the Middle East” would have been a rather poor fit. But it is deeply shameful and un-American that his potential NASA appointment questioned his religion. That is an inappropriate religious test that Obama must apologize for.

The other name on the list however is Firouz Naderi, an Iranian board member of the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans which advocated in support of the Iran nuke sellout.

Eboo Patel, whose name would frequently appear on lists of Islamists in the Obama administration, first made an appearance on the Muslim List. Despite his Islamist ties, he got the posting at the Advisory Council on Faith-Based Neighborhood Partnerships. Also listed were Keith Ellison, Andre Carson and Larry Shaw. Shaw sits on the board of CAIR.

Dilawar Syed, the first name to appear on the list of possible appointments, was named to Obama’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Syed is a co-founder and chair of the Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Victory Fund which has come out for Hillary Clinton. The secret Muslim list describes him as “animated by policy issues relating to the Muslim world.” A similar description is appended to the bio for Kashif Zafar who served as a Co-Chair of the South Asian American Leadership Council at the DNC.

Also on the list was Hamid Biglari. Bloomberg described Biglari as “Iran’s Man in New York” and as the Iranian president’s “go-to guy in New York financial circles.” Biglari was a key Iran Lobby figure.

The recently revealed secret Muslim list is deeply troubling. There should be no religious test for political appointments. Yet Obama had one. And his people sought to screen out Christians and favor Muslims.

This represents behavior that is in Obama’s own words, “shameful” and “not American.” One can’t help but conclude that, based on his own principles, Obama is shameful and not American.