The National Security Council’s New Pro-Hamas Israel Advisor

The swamp strikes back against Israel and Trump

Front Page Magazine, by Daniel Greenfield, May 10, 2017:

Kris Bauman, the National Security Council’s new point man on Israel, believes that the “Israel Lobby” is a threat, that Israel should be pressured into making concessions to Islamic terrorists and that “the Obama Administration must find creative (but legal) ways to include Hamas in a solution.”

Yael Lempert, Bauman’s predecessor, had been one of the Obama holdovers that conservatives had fought to pry out of the swamp. Lempert had been described as “Obama’s point person in the White House orchestrating his war against Israel.”

Lee Smith wrote that, “Lempert, one former Clinton official told me, ‘is considered one of the harshest critics of Israel on the foreign policy far left. From her position on the Obama NSC, she helped manufacture crisis after crisis in a relentless effort to portray Israel negatively.’”

Lempert’s mother, Lesly Lempert, had been an anti-Israel activist with the misleadingly named American Israeli Civil Liberties Coalition. Yael had carried on her mother’s work. Her departure should have been a victory for conservatives. Instead the swamp was replaced with more swamp.

Kris Bauman had been part of the failed “peace” efforts in the Obama years working for Hillary ally, General Allen. His views on Israel, the PLO and Hamas were those of the Obama-Kerry team.  Bauman believes that Israel is at fault for the failure of previous peace efforts and that peace can only be achieved when the United States applies enough pressure on Israel.

It’s like Yael Lempert never left.

Once McMaster took over as National Security Adviser, the swamp was back. McMaster has warned Trump against talking about Islamic terrorism. He had tried to force out Ezra Cohen-Watnick, who played a crucial role in exposing the Obama eavesdropping, and replace him with Linda Weissgold, the director of the CIA’s Office of Terrorism Analysis, who had helped draft the Benghazi talking points which blamed the Islamic terror attack on “protests”.

President Trump overruled McMaster. Just as he had overruled Mattis’ plot to bring in Michele Flournoy, Hillary Clinton’s likely Secretary of Defense, and move Anne Patterson, the Muslim Brotherhood’s favorite State Department hack, in as undersecretary for policy at the Pentagon.

But not every tidal flow of the swamp can be stopped.

Kris Bauman is exactly whom the swamp and the Deep State want to be there “explaining” the wrong things to the right people. Bauman raised eyebrows when he appeared as the highest ranking administration official at a PA-PLO reception shortly after his appointment.

It won’t be hard to guess what Bauman’s views on the peace process are. He laid them out in great detail in “The Middle East Quartet of Mediators: Understanding Multiparty Mediation in the Middle East Peace Process”. In the hundreds of pages, Bauman makes occasional efforts to pretend that he’s delving into the narratives of both sides, but his conclusion makes it painfully clear whose side he’s on.

Kris Bauman is eager to whitewash the Muslim Brotherhood terrorists of Hamas. He insists that Hamas had “signaled moderation was a real possibility” and bemoans the “failure” of the Quartet,” to capitalize on this event by recognizing Hamas’s signals of willingness to moderate.”

Bauman complains that America’s failure to deal with Hamas played into Israeli hands.  “Once Hamas came to power, the US and the EU refused to deal with it. This strengthened Israel’s ‘no partner’ argument as more ‘facts were created on the ground’ daily in the settlements.”

He even defends Hamas against accusations that its takeover of Gaza was a coup.

Bauman accuses, “Israel and the Quartet refused to engage with Hamas and instead turned Gaza into an open-air prison.” This isn’t even an anti-Israel position. It’s Hamas propaganda.

Kris Bauman insists that “given the widespread popularity of Hamas… some kind of inclusion of Hamas is absolutely necessary if a peace agreement is event to be reached, much less implemented and sustained.” He whispers that, “the Obama Administration must find creative (but legal) ways to include Hamas in a solution” and “the Quartet must find a way to meaningfully engage Hamas”.

In Kris Bauman’s twisted mind, the obstacle to peace isn’t PLO and Hamas terrorism, but supporters of Israel in America. He favorably quotes Walt and Mearsheimer’s anti-Semitic tract, The Israel Lobby. Bauman urges overcoming the “Israel Lobby” which he claims “is a force that must be reckoned with, but it is a force that can be reckoned with.”

Progress in the peace process requires that the United States apply diplomatic and economic pressure on Israel. And indeed, Bauman’s recommendations mirrored the policy of Obama, Hillary and Kerry.

Kris Bauman urges that the United States move further away from Israel and adopt “a new US policy on Middle East peace that is closer to the policies of the other members of the Quartet.” In Bauman’s formula that would include not only the UN, the EU, the US and Russia, but also the Arab League.

Kris Bauman not only equates Islamic terrorism and Israeli self-defense against terrorism, but at one point he actually equates Jews living in territory claimed by the terrorists with Islamic terrorism.

And he insists that the latter is worse than the former.  “It is true that one could make an analogous argument regarding Palestinian terrorism, but there is one major difference between the two. Israeli government control over settlement expansion is far greater than Palestinian Authority control over terrorism.”

This was the man who had played a key role in defining what security will look like for Israel. And who will likely be doing so once again.

It goes without saying that Bauman doesn’t like Israel and especially dislikes Israeli conservatives. He accuses Netanyahu of “inciting Palestinian violence” and winning because he “played on the public’s security fears”. He accuses Netanyahu of having “derailed the peace process almost completely”.

President Trump had promised to repair relations with Israel. The NSC’s Israel advisor shares Obama’s loathing for Netanyahu. And blames him, instead of the Islamic terrorists, for the violence.

Bauman blames the Second Intifada on Sharon’s visit to the holiest place in Judaism which had been occupied and colonized by Muslim settlers.  “Ariel Sharon’s September 28 visit to the Temple Mount / Haram alSharif was a spark on dry tinder,” he writes. “His visit set off a series of demonstrations, suicide bombings, and IDF reprisals that became the Second Intifada.”

Bauman’s statement is a lie. The Second Intifada had been planned by the PLO before Sharon’s visit. But Kris Bauman doubles down, “The Al-Aqsa Intifada spontaneously erupted in the fall of 2000 because of the anger and disillusionment among Palestinians after the failure of Oslo, their ongoing, daily affliction, and the visit of Ariel Sharon to the Haram al-Sharif / Temple Mount area.”

The Intifada was as “spontaneous” as Benghazi. But Bauman is too busy sympathizing with the “affliction” of the terrorists to tell the truth.

Kris Bauman consistently blames Israel for Islamic terror. He suggests that the Muslim violence following the opening of the Hasmonean Tunnel was a “needless provocation of the Palestinians.”

Even Arafat’s rejection of the 2000 Camp David offer under Barak and Clinton was Israel’s fault. “Permanent cantonization, permanent settlements, and essentially, permanent occupation,” he huffs. “Of course they rejected it.”

And of course Kris Bauman stands with the PLO’s rejectionism and makes excuses for it.

Every peace deal in the past, Bauman suggests, “overwhelmingly favored Israeli interests.” The terrorists couldn’t be blamed for rejecting every single peace deal. The United States must turn on Israel and threaten it with the loss of “diplomatic support”.

This should sound familiar. It’s what Obama did. And what Trump blasted him for doing.

But it’s just another day in the swamplands of foreign policy mired in the muck of the Deep State.

Kris Bauman extensively quotes Robert Malley, who was briefly fired by Obama when his Hamas contacts for Soros’ International Crisis Group came to light. Obama later brought Malley in and moved him all the way up. Bauman also quotes and praises the Soros organization’s attempts to push engagement with Hamas. And the swamp doesn’t get any deeper than George Soros and Hamas.

Bauman’s policy prescriptions are relics of the Obama era. He should have become history just like John Kerry, Yael Lempert and his former boss, General Allen who bellowed at the Democratic National Convention that, “Hillary Clinton will be exactly, exactly the kind of commander-in-chief America needs” and warned that Trump’s fight against Islamic terrorism would kill “innocent families”.

Trump had blasted Allen. Why is his former chief of staff now occupying a major position in the NSC?

Draining the swamp is hard work. Because the swamp is bigger than you are. It’s a powerful and influential establishment. And if you look away, the swamp will swiftly come flowing back.

Also see:

Why a Middle East peace deal is difficult

Middle East Peace Dove Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Washington Times , by Bridget Johnson, May 87 2017:

President Trump is intent on achieving the Middle East peace deal that President Obama sorely wanted as the linchpin of his legacy, and warmly welcomed Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to the White House with praise for his new peace partner.

But the realities that have prevented an agreement include roadblocks that even the best boardroom negotiator won’t be able to deal-make away.

And though Mr. Trump said he’ll “do whatever is necessary to facilitate the agreement” and declared a such a pact “maybe not as difficult as people have thought,” Israel should not be pressured to take the plunge if the security risks remain as they are now.

Yes, those risks are many despite Mr. Abbas‘ smooth talk at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., where he proclaimed “a new opportunity, a new horizon.” He publicly heaped praise on Mr. Trump for his “leadership,” “determination,” “courageous stewardship,” “wisdom” and “great negotiating ability,” and the “Art of the Deal” negotiator gobbled up the adulation.

At a press conference alongside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last month, Mr. Trump declared “the Israelis are going to have to show some flexibility” and asked the prime minister to “hold back on settlements for a little bit,” while the Palestinians “have to get rid of some of that hate.” With Mr. Abbas, Mr. Trump said, “Hopefully, there won’t be such hatred for very long.”

Here’s how that hate manifests, and why it’s not so easy to sing kumbaya. Just before the Trump-Abbas sit-down, Hamas released an ostensibly softer version of their principles document with the same jihadi fine print stressing their duty to seize all of Israel. “Hamas rejects any alternative to the full and complete liberation of Palestine, from the river to the sea,” the terror group said before suggesting openness to an initial 1967 borders agreement to pique the gullible giddiness of those who crave an agreement at any cost.

Hamas leader Khaled Mashal then appealed to Mr. Trump to seize the “historic opportunity to pressure Israel,” telling CNN that the president has a “greater threshold for boldness” than his predecessors.

Hamas, of course, controls Gaza and is a terrorist organization with nefarious ties and a mission to destroy Israel, regardless of the new PR campaign. If a peace deal is forged with only Mr. Abbas‘ Fatah party, then you’ve only dealt with the West Bank and Hamas will not abide by the security agreements. If you manage to bring Hamas in on the deal, then you’ve automatically created a state that is a state sponsor of terrorism. As difficult as people have thought, and more.

Not that Mr. Abbas exactly has his hands clean in the terror market: Can a peace deal be forged with a government paying monthly stipends to the families of terrorists? Can a territory hospitable to Hezbollah, al Qaeda and ISIS ever be a partner in providing the kind of security needed to ensure the safety of Israelis and the Jewish state’s existence? No wonder Mr. Abbas did enough of a song-and-dance that Mr. Trump praised him as being a faithful fellow foe of ISIS.

Israel says recognition of the Jewish state is a must-have in any peace deal.

The Palestinians have made clear this is a no-go. If Israel gives in on this demand over its very definition, then the Palestinian jihad wins a battle that will reverberate through and give empowerment to the global terrorist community. Even a limited victory will further empower those who insist all of Israel is theirs for the taking.

Learn from Gaza: If you give jihadism an inch, be prepared for terrorists to take a mile. No matter what good will leads up to any future partition, the rockets can start flying the day after the pullout. And a truly workable deal needs to be backed up with international support: with the United Nations still unabashedly anti-Israel, who would enforce Palestinian violations of a peace pact?

It’s also foolish to believe that jihad doctrines, kids’ shows or school textbooks in the territories will stop calling for the destruction of what’s left of the Jewish state if the Palestinians win 1967 borders. Thus, the painful round of facepalms when Mr. Abbas assured Trump that Palestinians “are raising our youth on a culture of peace.”

The time is not now until the Palestinian Authority has leaders who want peace instead of what their textbooks preach, who combat violence instead of rewarding terrorists, who are willing to change the culture of never-ending jihad and refuse to welcome terror groups who vow “al-Aqsa, we are coming.”

Mr. Abbas, whose Fatah party lauded the killer who stabbed to death 13-year-old Israeli-American citizen Hallel-Yaffa Ariel last year as she slept and whose government cuts a monthly check to the killer’s family, is not that leader.

Hopefully the president sees through his sweet talk before Khaled Mashal gets the next White House invitation between Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Rodrigo Duterte.

• Bridget Johnson is a senior fellow with the Haym Salomon Center and D.C. bureau chief for PJ Media.

***

Watch: Netanyahu Tosses New Hamas Charter into Trash

Dr. Sebastian Gorka to Astroturf Protesters: You Are ‘Victims of Fake News’

Alex Wong/Getty Images

Breitbart, by Adelle Nazarian and Edwin Mora, april 25, 2017:

GEORGETOWN, DC – An astroturf protest campaign targeted Donald Trump’s national security adviser Dr. Sebastian Gorka Monday, who appeared on a panel on cyber security at Georgetown University. Gorka branded the protesters “victims of fake news.”

Approximately 20 protesters gathered inside the hall where the event was held with signs falsely accusing Gorka of being a Nazi, a war criminal, and a fascist.

At the prestigious foreign policy event, Gorka discussed a variety of topics relevant to foreign policy and national security scholars. His remarks focused primarily on personal experiences in dealing with fake news and the manipulation of facts by the mainstream media:

“Eight out of ten times, I can read something written in the daily paper about an event that occurred the night before, and it is literally 180 degrees incorrect,” said Gorka in his remarks to the crowded room. “It is totally contrary to what happened inside the building 80 percent of the time. That’s something that has opened my eyes to the lack of true investigative journalism.”

He labeled “the idea that a 22-year-old with access to Google is a journalist” as “problematic” and noted his view that the days of classic investigative journalism, which required in-depth research, “are behind us.”

Gorka discussed his parents’ experiences fleeing both Nazis and Communists in his native Hungary and how biased journalists have manipulated the facts of his early life to create the impression that Gorka himself is a member of the Nazi and Communist organizations he fled.

Gorka is not a member of a Nazi organization and has never pledged loyalty to any such organization.

The media accusations claim a pin Gorka wears to remind him of his parents’ struggle against communists and fascists ties him to these illicit groups. When he was eight years old, Gorka’s father was awarded a medal that is associated with a military order, the ‘Hungarian Order of Heroes, Vitezi Rend,’ created after the First World War. An anti-Communist organization gave it to him, recognizing him for his resistance to fascists and Communist dictatorship.

On Monday, he explained once again the story behind the pin he wears:

My parents died 14 years ago, and in their memory, for what they suffered under the Nazis and the Communists — my father tortured in the basement of Andrássy út 60 (the secret police headquarters of the fascists first and then the Communists)–I wear that medal to remember their suffering and their resistance. And today, because I work for somebody named Donald J. Trump, that fact is used as part of a fake news propaganda campaign that brought those people in the back of the room, sadly, to a point where they are the victims of fake news.

Gorka also confronted the leftist protesters about their signs calling him an antisemite and fascist. Two of the female students wore hijabs, and one man wore garments traditionally worn by observant Jews. He tied the Jewish prayer shawl (known as Talis) over his shoulders like it was a fashionable scarf:

Every single person holding a placard to protest my parents and myself, I challenge you now: Go away and look at everything I have said an written the last 46 years of my life and find one sentence that is antisemitic or that is anti-Israeli. Because you won’t find it. You’ll find the opposite. My book Defeating Jihad, everything I’ve said on the conference circuit–in Tel Aviv, in Jerusalem–tells you why I’m in this administration. Because this is one of the most pro-Israeli administrations in U.S. history. I’m sorry for you. You are the victims of fake news. But I’ll leave with this: I do what I do because I’ve learned that there is a connective tissue between Nazis, Communists, and Jihadists; they are all the same because they are all totalitarians. And if you perpetuate fake news, you are helping the bad guys.

Gorka cited a case study from the end of the Cold War by National Defense University’s Active Members Working Group as a model on how to identify and combat fake news during the Soviet era:

He explained how this group had “as its mandate, from the highest levels in the Reagan administration, the mission to identify Soviet propaganda, illuminate its sources, and destroy it from the inside to show just how much the message was a lie.” He suggested this group’s case study could be used to similarly combat fake news propagated over social media through mediums like Telegram and Twitter.

In conclusion, Gorka said:

What we are witnessing today–whether it’s RT, whether its ISIS tweets, Telegram–none of it is new. The platforms may be new, but the concepts of propaganda, dezinformatsiyaMaskirovka, none of these are true. They are just being packaged in new and far more effective ways. And this administration, with our allies and partners, including Israel, intends to take it very, very seriously. Thank you.

None of the few demonstrators congregated would talk to Breitbart News when Edwin Mora asked them to share their position on camera. Mora worked with Gorka during the latter’s tenure as Breitbart News’s National Security editor. Instead, the protesters shared a document accusing Breitbart News of perpetrating fake news.

No protesters responded to Gorka’s request to verbally defend their protest before the panel.

Follow Adelle and Edwin on Twitter @AdelleNaz and @EdwinMora83

Also see:

The One Lesson of the Holocaust

By Daniel Greenfield, April 24, 2017:

Yom HaShoah comes and goes. A day for looking back at what has happened and a day for looking away from what will happen.

Millions of dollars have been spent building memorials to the victims of the Holocaust, even as Iran is spending its millions on building another kind of memorial to the Holocaust, in the form of nuclear technology that will be used to finish that piece of history that the Islamic terror state claims never took place.

Millions more are spent, by some of the same groups that claim an interest in Holocaust education, on bringing Muslim migrants to America and Europe to carry out the promise of an Islamic apocalypse in which, as the Hadith states, “The last hour would not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews and the Muslims would kill them until the Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or a tree and a stone or a tree would say: Muslim, or the servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him.” That is what the Islamic Holocaust looks like. And it’s underway.

A Jew is murdered in France. Another in Jerusalem. And another and another.

The Final Solution, with its immediate extermination of the Jews, has been replaced by the Two State Solution, an intermediate process in which the land on which Jews can live in security is partitioned into smaller and smaller pieces.

The Lebensraum of Islam demands ever more breathing room. And fewer breathing Jews. Israel is carved up into smaller indefensible ghettos. The number of places where the world decides that Jews can be allowed to live, shrink. The rest become “settlers” who must be evicted for the sake of peace. Even if the place they’re “settling” is Jerusalem. The oldest Jewish city on earth.

And this Two State Solution, this intermediate process, has the almost universal backing of the major Jewish organizations who are so very deeply concerned about the Holocaust. It has the backing of the diplomats and politicians who put out canned statements urging that we learn the lessons of the Holocaust. The only lesson they have learned though is that another Holocaust needs better marketing.

It is comparatively easy to build a memorial. You hire the architect, raise the money, buy the land and then cut the ribbon. It is a much harder thing to do something about the need for those memorials in the first place. That is what learning the lessons of the Holocaust is about.

It is easier to build another memorial than to look into your heart and ask why two generations later, the majority of the American Jewish community was still too cowardly to stand up to a liberal icon in the White House… when the lives of millions of Jews were on the line.

From FDR to Obama, American Jewish leaders had two opportunities to stand up to a liberal icon and save Jewish lives. No amount of memorials can disguise the fact that they learned nothing.

The reassurances from American Jewish leaders that Obama meant well, that he will not sell out Israel and that he cares sounded familiar. The American Jewish leaders of the 30’s and 40’s echoed the same sentiments. Even as the St. Louis was turned back and its passengers were sent to the gas chambers, even as every effort made to aid or save Jews from the Holocaust was frustrated and shut down with the active complicity of the liberal American Jewish leadership who were loyal to FDR.

The same people who let millions die went on to light candles and issue their hypocritical sanctimonious statements of mourning for the dead.  More candles have been lit. More memorials have been built. But the lessons of the Holocaust continue to go unlearned.

Regardless of which administration is in office, the Two State Solution and any support for the Islamic terrorists seeking to exterminate the Jews, as they have already exterminated many of the Christians in the region, must be fought. When we fail to do this, then whatever our politics are, we abandon our obligations to the dead and to the living.

The most important lesson of the Holocaust is that the details of how it happened don’t really matter. Had Hitler not come to power, had Germany not turned National Socialist, the Holocaust would have happened anyway. Stalin had one planned too before his death. Had it not been Hitler or Stalin, it would have been someone else. It still might be.

The Holocaust did not happen because of intolerance or fascism, as most liberals would like you to believe. It happened for the same overriding reason that any person or group of people is murdered. Because the Jews lacked the means of defending themselves against it.

There have been two Jewish responses to the Holocaust, on the one hand promoting tolerance and assimilation and on the other hand the State of Israel. Tolerance has done nothing to prevent the hatred and murder of Jews. In many cases it has actually served to promote it.

Every Muslim attack in Europe and America can be laid at the door of tolerance. When a Jewish woman is thrown out of a window in Paris or a Rabbi is beaten in Brussels, the true perpetrator is “tolerance”.

The State of Israel stands as the only meaningful response to the Holocaust. Rather than building stone memorials and going back to business as usual, the State of Israel is not only a living future for the Jewish people, it is a response to the fundamental lesson of the Holocaust. The Holocaust happened because it could happen to a people who couldn’t defend themselves. The State of Israel with its armies and borders was the best physical defense against it happening again.

Today the two responses to the Holocaust are battling out to the death, Tolerance and Assimilation vs the State of Israel. And the State of Israel is getting the worst of it. The teachers of tolerance blame Israel for the failure of their own ideology, manifest in the rising hatred of Jews around the world. If Israel wouldn’t exist, somehow Jews wouldn’t be hated, their thesis goes. As if Anti-semitism had been discovered lying around in a dustbin sometime after 1948.

But it is tolerance meanwhile that is killing Israel. The left has pushed Israel to the wall, because it represents the inversion of their ideology, it represents the reality that the best hope of the persecuted is not in multiculturalism or in tolerance classes, but in taking responsibility for their own safety and survival.

Also see:

Hezbollah is Lebanon is Hezbollah

The Times of Israel, by Naftali Bennett, April 2, 2017:

In July 2006 mortars and rockets were fired from Lebanon at Israel’s cities and infrastructure. At the same time, Lebanese militants crossed the border and attacked Israeli soldiers – killing three and abducting the bodies of two others to the Lebanese town of Ayta a-Shab. More Israelis were killed as they chased the attackers into Lebanese territory. Despite this, Israel did not retaliate against Lebanon.

Following a request by the US, Israel distinguished between Sovereign Lebanon and Hezbollah. As a result, I – and thousands of other Israeli soldiers – found myself trying to stop an Iranian paramilitary organization using only tweezers. After weeks behind enemy lines, I can tell you: it is impossible to fight like that.

Lebanese President Michel Aoun’s recent comments on Egyptian television make it clear he sees no distinction between Hezbollah and the Lebanese government. Hezbollah’s weapons “are essential, in that they complement the actions of the army and do not contradict them,” he said, and noted: “They are a major part of Lebanon’s defense.”

Now that Lebanon has made it clear it is Hezbollah and Hezbollah is Lebanon, it is time for Israel and the world to let the Lebanese public know: if a rocket or mortar is fired from Lebanon at Israel it will be considered an act of war conducted by the Lebanese government; if Lebanon allows and enables terrorists to stage attacks from its sovereign territory, Israel will hold it accountable.

Unlike last time, if we defend ourselves against a future Lebanese attack we will not use tweezers to search for a needle in a haystack: we will neutralize the haystack.

In the decade since 2006 Iran strengthened Hezbollah as its well-trained and well-equipped proxy. Its arsenal now contains more than one-hundred-thousand rockets, and many of its members have gained combat experience fighting for Syria’s Bashar al-Assad in the civil war. Moreover, even as it lost hundreds of fighters helping Assad butcher other Syrians, Hezbollah readied itself for a potential war with Israel, stocking itself with advanced weaponry and fortifying its positions and command centers throughout Lebanon.

But Hezbollah is not only an Iranian-trained army stationed in Lebanon. It is part and parcel of the Lebanese government, boasting 12 seats in Parliament and two ministers in Cabinet. In fact, Aoun made it clear he no longer views the group as an alternative but as part of his government and strategy: “It is no longer an urgent matter to discuss the need to strip Hezbollah of its weapons,” he said in Cairo, hinting that Hezbollah is part of his army’s strategic planning.

This leads to a simple conclusion: if Hezbollah attacks Israel, it is tantamount to a Lebanese declaration of war against Israel.

If we are forced to fight – and to be clear, we have no desire to go to war – we will view all Lebanese governmental institutions as potential targets: any place used as a launch site for rockets at Israel a military post; any village hosting munition storages or command centers a military base; any Lebanese building or infrastructure used to attack Israel would become a valid military target for us to strike.

The results would be tragic for the Lebanese people.

However, the Lebanese people are the only ones who can make sure this scenario never becomes reality.

By removing Hezbollah’s rocket launchers from their backyards, hundreds of Lebanese families can save their homes. By stopping Hezbollah from using their schools as command centers, principals can protect their pupils. So long as Hezbollah is a welcome guest, the hosts are responsible for its actions.

Hezbollah’s power stems from its being embedded in Lebanon, and from Lebanon not being held accountable for Hezbollah’s acts of terror. Aoun made it clear this separation was artificial and irrelevant. As a result, Israel must let the world, and especially the Lebanese people, know Hezbollah is Lebanon.

Naftali Bennett, a Major in the IDF (reserves), is Israel’s Minister of Education and a member of the Inner Security Cabinet.

Trump Admin to Host Convicted Palestinian Terrorist Despite Outrage

Fatah official Jibril Rajoub / Getty Images

Washington Free Beacon, March 30, 2017:

The Trump administration says it will permit a Palestinian official known for endorsing terrorism and murder to enter the United States next week for a series of high-level meetings on the Israel-Palestinian peace process, a move likely to prompt outrage in the pro-Israel community.

The State Department confirmed to the Washington Free Beacon late Thursday that it intends to permit Jibril Rajoub, secretary of the Fatah Central Committee, to participate in meetings with U.S. officials next week, despite his repeated calls for terrorism against Israel and a 15-year stint in Israeli prison for committing terror acts.

A State Department official who spoke to the Free Beacon acknowledged Rajoub’s radical rhetoric, but maintained he can serve a positive role in peace talks set to take place between Trump administration officials and a Palestinian delegation including Mahmoud Abbas.

Pro-Israel organizations and victims of Palestinian terror attacks already have called on Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to bar Rajoub from entering the United States due to his calls for terrorism.

Legal experts claim that Rajoub’s endorsement of terrorism should prevent him from obtaining a U.S. visa under current laws. U.S. law bars entrance to individuals who “endorse or espouse terrorist activity.”

The Trump administration has no plans to acquiesce to this call, according to a State Department spokesman.

“The U.S. government does not endorse every statement Mr. Rajoub has made, but he has long been involved in Middle East peace efforts, and has publicly supported a peaceful, non-violent solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” the official told the Free Beacon“We continue to press Fatah officials, including Rajoub himself, to refrain from any statements or actions that could be viewed as inciting or legitimizing others use of violence.” 

Rajoub can play a key role in advancing peace talks, according to the official, who maintained the Trump administration is “committed to reaching a comprehensive Middle East peace agreement.”

“As part of that effort,” the official said, “administration officials have been meeting with a range of both Israeli and Palestinian officials, including Rajoub.”

Pro-Israel advocates have long denounced Rajoub for his repeated endorsement of Palestinian terror acts and efforts to glorify those who commit them.

Rajoub was sentenced in 1970 to life in prison for throwing a grenade at an Israeli Army truck. He served 15 years in prison, but was released in a 1985 prisoner exchange.

Rajoub praised Palestinian terrorists who targeted Israeli civilians in the most recent wave of violence.

“We in the Fatah movement bless and encourage them,” Rajoub said, according to Palestinian Media Watch, or PMW, a group that monitors Palestinian rhetoric. “We consider them heroes and a crown on the head of every Palestinian.”

At least four Americans were victimized by terror attacks following Rajoub’s statements, according to PMW.

When terrorism against Israelis spiked in 2015, Rajoub appeared on official Palestinian television to endorse the crimes.

“These are individual acts of bravery, and I am proud of them,” Rajoub said on television in October 2015. “I congratulate everyone who carried them out. I say to you, we are proud of you … Whoever confronts, fights, dies as a Martyr, is arrested or injured—his identity is known. What I mean is that the fighter, the prisoner, or the Martyr, they are assets to the entire Palestinian people.”

Rajoub repeated this statement in a separate interview in January 2016.

“I say that whoever carried out individual acts of heroism, we in the Fatah movement bless and encourage them. We consider them heroes and a crown on the head of every Palestinian,” he was quoted as saying.

Rajoub also has come out in favor of Hamas’ kidnapping Israeli soldiers.

“If Hamas wants to kidnap soldiers, let them kidnap soldiers,” he said in a 2014 interview.

U.S. law appears to bar entry for individuals who engage in this type of rhetoric. Anyone who “endorses or espouses terrorist activity or persuades others to endorse or espouse terrorist activity or support a terrorist organization” should not be permitted to enter the country, according to current law.

Those opposing Rahoub’s entry into the country have already established a website publicizing his statements and calling on Trump to intervene.

Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, president of the Israel Law Center, said in a statement that Rajoub should not be heralded as a partner for peace.”Rajoub is an unrepentant terrorist who has never abandoned his dreams of murdering Israelis,” Darshan-Leitner said. “At every opportunity Rajoub publicly vows that he will eventually destroy the State of Israel. Allowing this recidivist criminal, who has served numerous jail terms, to enter the U.S. would create a threat to the public safety of all Americans.” 

“Secretary Tillerson is urged to bar the entry of this dangerous thug and to send a message to the PLO and all other terror groups that under this new administration the U.S. will no longer be a safe-haven for violent extremists who have declared war against the West,” she said.

Also see:

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.

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