Dan Miller is no more

Posted March 16, 2018 by josephwouk
Categories: Uncategorized

Dan pix
It is with deep sadness that I report to our readers that my good friend and fellow editor of this site, Dan Miller, has passed away.

Those of you who have been with the site over the last three years know  how important his contributions were.

He will be sorely missed by all of us.

May he truly rest in peace… – JW

I received the following from his wife: 


Dear Joe,
Dan asked me to communicate with you should he not make it through the latest of his health problems.  
He felt a deep connection with Isreal, with Warsclerotic, and with you, Joe.  
Please forgive my delay in communicating with you.  It, as you must know, has been a tremendously difficult time for me.  I needed some time to recover even the tinyest bit of perspective.
Please keep him in your prayers.
Best,  Jeanie
Here is what I wrote to our families:

Dan and I started our adventures together almost 26 years ago. Over the years, we’ve laughed, we’ve cried, we’ve won and we’ve lost. Always, our

​mutual ​

love and respect made it possible to overcome the inevitable obstacles that present themselves over a lifetime.

Dan died last Sunday afternoon. I will miss him forever. He has preceded me in this last and greatest adventure of all.

As was his wish, I will spread his ashes over the finca he loved so well.


Rest in peace

​ and
Namaste, My​Darling

Curriculum Vitae and subsequent life:

Herbert Daniel Miller was graduated from Yale University, cum laude, and the University of Virginia Law School where he was notes editor of Law Review and a member of The Order of the Coif. After he graduated, he joined the United States Army JAG Corp where he was Special Courts Marshall Judge for the Country of Korea. Upon returning to civilian life, he joined the law firm of Koteen and Naftalin in Washington, D.C. until he retired as a partner in 1996.

Thereupon, he and his wife cruised in the Eastern Caribbean as well as Trinidad, Venezuela and Colombia in their sailboat, Namaste. They achieved their Dive Master certificates in Bonaire, Netherlands Antilles. In 2002, they reached Panama, spending a month in the Kuna Yala Islands on their sailboat before settling in Western Panama.

He leaves behind his wife, Jean Fiester Miller, his son, Nicolas Miller, his daughter, Elizabeth Korchnak and his sister, Margaret Zilm, his nephews Andrew and Gregory Zilm, as well as three grandchildren.

Mum’s the word

Posted March 16, 2018 by josephwouk
Categories: Uncategorized

Source: Mum’s the word – Israel Hayom

Netanyahu’s new mandate to lead 

Posted March 16, 2018 by josephwouk
Categories: Uncategorized

Source: Netanyahu’s new mandate to lead – Opinion – Jerusalem Post

Two things happened this week.

 MARCH 15, 2018 22:25
Media screens from Israeli media show Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Media screens from Israeli media show Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Then of course, there was the rock-star welcome Netanyahu received at the AIPAC conference.

If Israelis were astounded by the royal treatment Netanyahu received during his visit to India last year, his visit to Washington made clear that what happened in India was no fluke. He is quite clearly one of the most well-regarded statesmen in the world.

Then again, most Israelis could be excused for having little idea either that Netanyahu was treated like a king in India or that he was treated like a second coming of Winston Churchill in the US.

The Israeli media barely covered his trip to India. As for his trip to the US, the media presented everything Netanyahu said and did in the context of the police’s obsessive-compulsive criminal probes of Netanyahu.

The political crisis over the haredi draft law, which this week brought the Knesset to the brink of dissolution and Israel to a new general election, was entirely the result of the joint efforts of police investigators and the media to delegitimize Netanyahu as a leader and criminalize him as a person.

Several ministers from parties in Netanyahu’s coalition, together with the media, presented Netanyahu’s handling of the crisis as self-serving.

Netanyahu, the media and his coalition partners alleged, was putting his personal interest above the national interest. Netanyahu, they insisted, was allowing a minor crisis (ostensibly about whether or not a bill would pass that sets out draft quotas for haredi youths before the annual budget bill went through the Knesset), to become a major crisis that would bring down the government. He was doing so, they said, because he wanted an early election to strengthen his position vis-a-vis the police investigators.

In other words they said, Netanyahu wanted to plunge Israel into political uncertainty for months on end, at the cost of billions of shekels, just to win another election.

Unlike the egotistical premier, the ministers and media said, Netanyahu’s coalition partners worked around the clock to solve the crisis without him and force him to accept the compromise they hammered out. Unlike Netanyahu, they sneered, they put the national interest first.

“We know the public doesn’t want an election.

And we’re serving the public,” they declared. The media delightedly agreed.

In truth, those denunciations of Netanyahu were little more than spin.

In reality, the public has an interest in renewing the government’s mandate. Working together, the police and the media have used the probes against Netanyahu to destabilize the government and delegitimize its power.

Like their borderline delusional coverage of Netanyahu’s trip to the US, the media present every move made by every government minister from every party in the coalition in the context of the police probes and the prospects for an early election.

In this framework, everything the government does is suspect. The fact that the police have demonstrated no credible proof of their claims that Netanyahu accepted bribes in any of their leaks or official statements regarding any of their multiple probes is of no consequence. As far as the major radio, television and print media are concerned, Netanyahu is a crook.

And since the media portray Netanyahu as a crook, everything he says and does and everything his ministers say and do is presented against the backdrop of that specious, unsupported and certainly unproven conclusion.

Under the circumstances, the need for a new mandate is self-evident. The public is the source of the government’s power. The police and media insist that the mandate the government received is no longer legitimate. So the public has to express its views on the government in one way or another.

In other words, to the extent Netanyahu wanted to disband the Knesset and announce an election this week, he was right to feel the way he did.

He wasn’t being egotistical. The public’s interest is harmed by the delegitimization of its government.

Broadly speaking there are three ways the public can make its position known.

First, its elected representatives can assert it.

Netanyahu’s coalition members could issue a declaration supporting him. The 67 members of Knesset and the ministers from the parties in the governing coalition can put out a declaration announcing that as they do in all of their endeavors, with everything related to the police probes of Netanyahu, they intend to respect the rule of law.

Since under Basic Law: The Government, a prime minister is only expected to resign from office if he receives a final judgment convicting him of committing crimes, the coalition members could assert that in conformance with the rule of law, they expect Netanyahu to serve out his term and will support him through the end of the term.

A statement along these lines from the ministers and lawmakers in the coalition would constitute a renewed mandate for Netanyahu and the government to govern. It would send the message that in Israel the public chooses its leader.

The police and even the attorney-general cannot replace the public.

For whatever reason, to date, no such declaration has been produced. Which left Netanyahu with two other options this week.

First, he could have brought down his government, disbanded the Knesset and called an election in June. Since the public has an interest in having a legitimate government and since the media and the police are calling the legitimacy of the government into question, going to an election would serve the public’s interest. Certainly, elections are the most direct way to find out if the public agrees with the police and the media commentators and thinks Netanyahu should go, or if the public wants him to stay on and continue leading the country.

While elections are the most direct way to get a mandate, the commentators and ministers are right that elections are an extreme step. They cost a lot of money. What’s more, war can break out at any moment with Hezbollah-controlled Lebanon. Israel would be worse off if an interim government was leading it in time of war.

And this brings us to the final way a government can renew its mandate. It’s what happened this week.

Two things happened this week.

First, news organizations had pollsters for the big news companies ask the public a few key questions.

The pollsters asked whether the public wanted an early election. Seventy percent said no. If the public thought the police and media were right, and that Netanyahu should be thrown out of office, the polls would have received opposite results. Everyone would have wanted an election.

The public was then asked whom it supported for prime minister. Netanyahu out-polled his closest rival – media and police favorite Yesh Atid Party leader Yair Lapid – 3 to 1. If the public agreed with the media and the police, which both support Lapid, the former television talk show host, then the results would have reflected that agreement.

Finally, the pollsters asked which party the public intended to vote for in the next election. The Likud under Netanyahu gained three Knesset seats. Yesh Atid lost two.

The implications, again, are self-evident. The public wants Netanyahu to keep leading the country.

But a poll taken on any given day isn’t a mandate.

Which brings us to the second thing that happened this week. Both the opposition parties and every coalition member other than the Likud made clear that they completely opposed an election.

This rare unanimity demonstrated clearly that the political world is certain the public supports Netanyahu and wants him to continue in office.

Taken together, the polls and the wall-to-wall opposition to an election among coalition and opposition parties alike provided Netanyahu and the government with a renewed mandate to govern.

This then brings us back to the investigations that triggered the coalition crisis and fomented Netanyahu’s need for a new mandate. From the police leaks over the past couple of weeks it is fairly clear that investigators have hit the wall.

They recommended that Netanyahu be indicted for accepting bribes in Cases 1000 and 2000 and the public yawned and rolled its eyes. The attorney-general sent them back to get real evidence.

Case 3000 is so weak the police can’t even figure out how to begin investigating Netanyahu for anything.

As for Case 4000, the latest leaks suggest the police have nothing whatsoever to accuse Netanyahu of having done. The notion that he would give preferential treatment to telecommunications giant Bezeq because Bezeq’s owner Shaul Elovitch had Walla website reporters write a couple of nice articles about him and his wife is absurd on its face. And this week the police leaked their new smoking gun: Netanyahu allegedly tried to convince his billionaire friends to start an Israeli version of Fox News.

To which his voters reply: Good for him! That latest leak indicates two things. First, again, the police have no proof that Netanyahu committed any wrongdoing. And second, the police is completely cut off from the public. Netanyahu has run for prime minister four times and won every race by running against the media. If the public didn’t share his conviction that the media are impossibly biased, he would either have lost the elections or run on a different platform. The fact that the police think that the public will turn against Netanyahu because he tried to get fair media coverage is ridiculous.

But who knows? Maybe the police will pull a rabbit out a hat and prove something truly terrible.

In the meantime, Netanyahu received a new mandate to lead the country from the public this week. So whatever happens with the investigations, he and his ministers can credibly and comfortably lead the country until November 2019.

Trump Admin Defends Bid to Give Terror-Tied Qatar $200M in Military Tech

Posted March 15, 2018 by joopklepzeiker
Categories: Uncategorized

Sale comes as Congress calls for investigation into Qatar’s Al Jazeera network

Donald Trump and Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani

Donald Trump and Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani / Getty Images



Trump administration officials are defending new plans to provide Qatar with nearly $200 million in advanced military equipment amid efforts by Congress to investigate the country’s ties to terror groups and backing for a recent stealth spy operation on American citizens, U.S. officials told the Washington Free Beacon.

The administration has come under fire in recent days from conservative allies for signing off on a $197 million military sale to Qatar, the source of much regional controversy due to its ongoing financing of terror groups and efforts to spy on American citizens via its propaganda network Al Jazeera.

The military sale has come under criticism from some White House allies who told the Free Beacon that Qatar’s behavior continues to undermine the United States, particularly its efforts via Al Jazeera to spy on the U.S. Jewish community.

Asked if the sale is being reviewed in light of Qatar’s terror financing and efforts to undermine the United States in the region, a State Department official defended the $197 million sale.

“Qatar is an important partner in the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS and we share the common goal of working collectively to establish a stable, secure, and prosperous Middle East,” the official, speaking on background, told the Free Beacon.

The U.S. administration continues to honor a memorandum of understanding, or MOU, reached between America and Qatar in July. This includes increased information sharing on regional terror groups, the administration official said.

“As a result of the MOU the [former] secretary signed with the Qatari foreign minister in July, the United States and Qatar have increased information sharing on terrorists and terrorist financiers, participated in counterterrorism technical trainings, and rolled out programs to improve aviation security and passenger screening measures,” the official explained.

“We continue to work with Qatar to crack down on terrorists and their financiers through the implementation of an improved terrorist designation program,” according to the administration.

Qatar has promised the United States that it will review funding efforts identified as benefiting terror groups, the administration official maintained.

“Qatar is also reviewing their charitable and financial sectors to identify and eliminate the vulnerabilities exploited by terrorist financiers,” the official disclosed.

“All of our Gulf partners do important work to fight the terrorist threat, and all must do more to combat terrorism and terrorism finance.”

Despite criticism of the latest military sale, the United States remains committed to ensuring that “Qatar is able to safely and effectively coordinate their military air operations, and be interoperable with the United States,” the official said.

Information provided by the Trump administration has not assuaged fears that the military sale will moderate Qatar’s terror financing activities, according to multiple sources who spoke to the Free Beacon.

Jonathan Schanzer, a former U.S. terrorism finance analyst, said the United States is continuing to look the other way when it comes to Qatar’s support for regional terror groups, which include Hamas.

“It’s understandable that Qatar needs weapons,” said Schanzer, senior vice president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. “They are under a blockade by their Gulf Arab neighbors and therefore feel threatened. But Washington continues to ignore the fact that Qatar’s support for a range of terrorist groups—from Hamas to the Taliban to al-Qaeda—makes them an entirely unreliable ally. It sends the wrong message, indeed a dangerous one, when we throw our weight behind them without holding them to account.”

Another source with knowledge of the matter said the latest military sale is part of a rogue policy pursued by recently fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. The Free Beacon first reported earlier this week that Tillerson’s efforts to balk White House policy, particularly regarding Iran, led to his dismissal from the administration.

“This isn’t exactly why the president replaced Tillerson with [Mike] Pompeo, but it’s also not unrelated,” said the source, a veteran foreign policy adviser who works closely with Congress on Middle East issues.

“The State Department under Tillerson tried to lock in many of Obama’s worst Middle East policies, including turning a blind eye to Qatar’s support of terrorist groups and anti-American groups including the Muslim Brotherhood,” added the source. “It may take years for Pompeo to unwind all of this, but at least he’ll be pursuing the right policies instead of making up excuses for the wrong ones.”

Other sources pointed to Al Jazeera’s recent spy operation on American Jews as a reason to revaluate the sale.

“Qatar still finances Hamas and allows its state propaganda outlet, Al Jazeera, to spy on Americans on U.S. soil,” said the source, who has been working on efforts to see Al Jazeera designated as a foreign agent under U.S. law.

“We’ve seen that Congress has taken the lead in standing up to the Qataris and Al Jazeera in a strong, bipartisan way,” the source said. “I’m surprised that the Trump administration is taking a back seat on fighting terror. This seems more like a Tillerson move than a Trump move. Someone should check with him.”

IDF tanks pound Gaza after bomb explodes along border

Posted March 15, 2018 by joopklepzeiker
Categories: Uncategorized

March 15, 2018

The IDF launched one of the largest strikes against targets in the Gaza Strip since Operation Protective Edge in response to the latest aggression.


An IDF tank in action. (IDF spokesman)


Several improvised explosive devices (IED) were detonated adjacent to the Israel-Gaza border fence Thursday morning. No ןnjuries were reported, and IDF tanks returned fire at Hamas targets inside the Strip, including at least one Hamas lookout point.

The incident was the latest in a series of incidents along the border fence in recent weeks. Last month, four IDF soldiers were injured, including two seriously, when an IED exploded as sappers checked for suspicious devices.  Two days before that attack, hundreds of Palestinians rioted on the Gaza side of the border fence; IDF officials believe the events served as cover to place the explosives that seriously injured the soldiers.

In response to that incident, the IDF launched one of the largest strikes against targets in the Gaza Strip since the 2014 Operation Protective Edge, including a Hamas attack tunnel running from the Zeitoun neighborhood of Gaza City toward Israeli territory, and Hamas military compounds in the Netzarim and Khan Younes regions.


Gallup poll finds Americans’ favorable views of Israel at 17-year high

Posted March 15, 2018 by josephwouk
Categories: Uncategorized

Source: Gallup poll finds Americans’ favorable views of Israel at 17-year high – Israel Hayom

( God bless the American people… –  JW )

Putin is no anti-Semite

Posted March 15, 2018 by josephwouk
Categories: Uncategorized

Source: Putin is no anti-Semite – Israel Hayom

Issi Leibler

A very significant portion of my life has been devoted to personally combating Russian anti-Semitism. I experienced firsthand the extent of hatred against Jews that was ingrained in most Soviet leaders and bureaucrats. I will never forget the day when a leading KGB officer proudly told me it would be the happiest day in his life to see Jews being strung up from the lamp posts in Moscow’s streets.

Russian anti-Semitism dates back centuries. It was encouraged by the Russian Orthodox Church and the czars perpetrated pogroms to divert attention from social issues. While the Communists initially condemned anti-Semitism, in practice they maintained it as a state policy.

Given all I have witnessed and battled against during the campaign to free Soviet Jewry, it would be bizarre for anyone to accuse me of being soft on Russian anti-Semitism.

But I believe the hysterical attacks on Russian President Vladimir Putin following his recent misplaced comments about interference in the U.S. elections are outrageous and could lead to dire consequences.

In a rambling interview with NBC’s Megyn Kelly, who was pressing him to respond to allegations of Russian interference in the U.S. elections, Putin facetiously referred to the possibility of Russian Jews being involved.

This was catapulted to front-page headlines, many of which accused Putin of outright anti-Semitism and of resurrecting Judeophobia, including the notorious “Protocols of the Elders of Zion.” These hysterical denunciations were echoed by the Anti-Defamation League, which called on U.S. President Donald Trump to condemn Putin as an anti-Semite for attacking Jews and other minorities. Even the normally restrained American Jewish Committee joined in the fray. A Jerusalem Post editorial urged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to denounce Putin.

All these condemnations were based on taking Putin’s comments out of context and totally distorting them.

What did he actually say? In the course of an interview insinuating that he had interfered in the U.S. elections, Putin, in exasperation, turned on the interviewer and in Russian snapped, “Maybe they are not even Russians. Maybe they were Ukrainians, Tatars, Jews, just with Russian citizenship. Even that needs to be checked. Maybe they had dual citizenship. Or maybe a green card. Maybe it was the Americans who paid them for this work. How do you know? I don’t know.”

Anyone with a semblance of intelligence would appreciate that this gibberish was simply a tactic to end the interview.

The Jews were mentioned in passing, as a Russian nationality. Had he mentioned Jews alone and sought to blame them, that would be another matter. But that was not the case.

I am not entering into the issue of whether Putin, a former KGB agent, interfered in the U.S. elections.

But he certainly did not engage in anti-Semitism. There is an element of madness in the air.

The indoctrinated hatred of Jews among Russians over the past centuries cannot disappear overnight, and plenty of anti-Semitic paranoia remains among the masses.

Even if one opposes Putin’s autocratic behavior and foreign policy, he must be recognized as one of the most positive forces in Russia combating Jew-hatred and supporting the local Jewish community.

There are various explanations for Putin’s apparent philo-Semitism. Some say he was influenced as a youngster in St. Petersburg, where he was looked after by a Jewish couple and deeply affected by a German-Jewish teacher, Mina Yuditskaya, who later moved to Israel. He met her on a visit to Israel in 2005 and purchased an apartment for her in Tel Aviv, where she lived until she passed away recently.

Putin has encouraged the Jewish renaissance in Russia, developed a warm relationship with Chabad Rabbi Berel Lazare, and has many Jewish friends. He has made a distinct effort to attend Jewish functions such as the opening of the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center in Moscow, to which he contributed $50 million of state funds and even symbolically personally donated a month’s salary. He attends Hanukkah celebrations and conveys goodwill for Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year – something utterly unprecedented from a Russian nationalist leader.

Despite his strategic involvement with the Syrians, Putin has determinedly kept the channels to Israel open. He has personally visited Israel on several occasions, making it the first country to visit after his election in 2012. He speaks warmly of the Jewish state, expressing pride that it contains the largest diaspora of Russian Jews. At the Western Wall, he donned a kippah – undoubtedly making his Bolshevik predecessors turn in their graves and enraging his Arab allies.

Putin holds regular meetings with Netanyahu, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman and other Jewish leaders, who all testify to his deep respect for Israel, especially its military and intelligence capabilities.

This is not to say that we should be party to idealistic delusions and could necessarily rely on Putin if he were forced to choose between supporting Israel and abandoning his control of Syria. For the time being, we will continue the balancing act and hope we can sustain the relationship.

But to accuse this man of anti-Semitism and link him with the dark forces of Russian Jew-baiting because of an ad lib comment taken out of context is utter madness. If such hysteria is not halted, it could inflict enormous harm on the Jewish people and Israel.

We have enough enemies and do not need to abuse those who display genuine friendship toward us.

Isi Leibler’s website can be viewed at http://www.wordfromjerusalem.com. Email: ileibler@leibler.com.