Archive for April 4, 2017

A crazy fat kid and his nuclear toys

April 4, 2017

A crazy fat kid and his nuclear toys, Washington TimesWesley Pruden, April 3, 2017

(Kim Chi-un, I mean Kim Jong-un, is fat and his claimed craziness lets us laugh at him; at least until he unleashes an EMP attack on America. However, he is probably saner than some members of the U.S. Congress. Inscrutable? Unpredictable? Sure. Acting crazy has worked for him and his predecessors for years; he would be “crazy” to appear to be sane. Rationality would make him predictable and unpredictability is an asset in war. — DM)

Kim Jong-un may be “a crazy fat kid” with a goofy haircut, but he is doing what his father and his grandfather never could. With nuclear weapons to play with, he frightens the West enough to make it start thinking about doing something about the most dangerous crazy fat kid on earth.

By some reliable intelligence estimates North Korea now has eight nuclear weapons, but no way to deliver them farther than the Sea of Japan, but they’re working on it. They have to get the size of the bomb down to manageable weight and girth before an intercontinental missile could reach the California coast with it.

What seemed absurd only a few years ago is thought to be soon in the crazy fat kid’s box of toys. The failure of the early missiles was easy to mock, like the purple prose of the propaganda artists in Pyongyang. But Kim and his scientists, believed to be working with the help of Iran and the nuclear-weapons program saved by Barack Obama, are moving steadily to full membership in the club of nations with “the bomb.”

Kim has the family DNA and the brutal Marxist ambitions of his father and grandfather, but little of their appreciation of the rational. A recent defector from North Korea, Thae Young Ho, the deputy North Korean ambassador to London, says “Kim Jong-un is a man who will do anything beyond the normal imagination.” He ordered an uncle and his half-brother “terminated with extreme prejudice” — as in, dead — because he reckoned them threats to his own life. He knows that when the regime goes, he goes with it. That’s the way it works in a satrap like North Korea. Terror is the constant companion to the dictator who lives by the whip and the gun.

Kim lives a life of sumptuous ease in Pyongyang, surrounded by sycophants and the pleasures of the table, adding to his girth with a rich diet of imported groceries while millions of his countrymen live close to starvation. He is particularly vain for a fat man, and Sen. John McCain’s recent description of him as “a crazy fat kid” stirred him to rage.

Mr. McCain had told an interviewer at MSNBC, the cable-TV channel, that “the crazy fat kid running North Korea is far worse than some of history’s worst dictators. He’s not rational. We’re not dealing with someone like Joseph Stalin, who had a certain rationality to his barbarity.”

The Korean Central News Agency, the mouthpiece of the Kim regime, accused Mr. McCain of “hurting the dignity of the country and the supreme leadership of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea,” i.e., North Korea. When Sen. Ted Cruz joined other conservatives to file legislation to put North Korea on the list of state sponsors of terrorism again, he was denounced as a dignity-damager, too, and promised all manner of punishment.

The senators, said the news agency, “will have to bitterly experience the disastrous consequences to be entailed by their reckless tongue-lashing and then any regret for it will come too late. The revolutionary forces of [North Korea] with its nuclear force as its pivot will fulfill its sacred mission of devotedly defending its supreme leadership representing the destiny and life of its people by dealing with merciless sledgehammer blows at those daring to hurt the dignity of the supreme leadership.”

All that merciless work with a sledgehammer seems a little wasteful of resources to punish two mere senators, worthy as those gents may be (but the example of sledgehammer rhetoric might be instructive to the pundits in the West who have done their darnedest to take down Donald Trump and still haven’t managed to put their rhetoric in the killer shade of purple).

Nevertheless, a genuine threat lies beneath the entertaining bluster and braggadocio. Adm. Scott Swift, the commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, tells NBC News that American officials are particularly wary of Kim Jong-un’s latest threats to hit an American city with a nuclear bomb.

“They have the nuclear capability,” the admiral says. “They’ve demonstrated that. Where they’re going with the miniaturization of that, whether they can actually weaponize a missile, that’s what’s driving the current concern.”

President Trump told London’s Financial Times on Monday that “something has to be done about North Korea.” Secretary of Defense James Mattis, once called “Mad Dog Mattis,” says North Korea “has got to be stopped.” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says a military response is “on the table.”

President Trump entertains Chinese President Xi Jinping this week at Mar-A-Lago, and he’ll have a lot to tell him. But if President Xi can’t make Kim behave, somebody else will have to do it, and soon. Scary to think about. It’s even scarier to think about not doing anything.

European Union Tells Hungary and Poland To Accept Mass Migration Or Leave

April 4, 2017

European Union Tells Hungary and Poland To Accept Mass Migration Or Leave, BreitbartVirginia Hale, April 4, 2017

(The European Union is like a Roach Hotel — easy to get in and very hard to leave, see BREXIT.  Will the EU kick Hungary and Poland out? That would probably be the EU’s most popular action ever in Hungary and Poland. It might also set a good precedent for other refugee-clogged EU countries.– DM)

ELLA IDE/AFP/Getty Images

Breitbart London reported that the European Union is to open asylum processing centres in west Africa and countries on the southern shore of the Mediterranean because the continent “needs six million migrants”, the European Commissioner for Migration Dimitris Avramopoulos said last month.

***********************

France and Germany, along with a host of up to 21 other countries, are set to demand Hungary and Poland either accept migrants under the quota system or leave the European Union (EU).

The two nations have ignored Brussels’ insistence that they take migrants presently residing in great numbers in Italy and Greece. Public opinion in Hungary and Poland is also strongly against being forced to accept thousands of migrants from non-European cultures.

Poland’s conservative Law and Justice Party (Prawo i Sprawiedliwość – PiS) swept to victory in 2015, partly due to voter anger over the previous government agreeing to take migrants under the quota system.

In Hungary, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has been a vocal opponent of the scheme from its conception, asserting that forcing member countries to take a compulsory quota of migrants is unlawful and will “spread terrorism around Europe”.

Later this year, the two countries will be given an ultimatum and have to decide whether they are willing to maintain an anti-mass migration stances if it puts their membership of the EU at threat, a senior diplomatic source from one of the bloc’s six founding member states told The Times.

The source said: “They will have to make a choice: are they in the European system or not? You cannot blackmail the EU, unity has a price.”

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) is expected to hold a hearing on the legality of migrant quotas in the coming weeks, with a judgement — widely expected to be in favour of the scheme — likely by the end of the year.

“We are confident that the ECJ will confirm validation,” the source said. “Then they must abide by the decision. If they don’t then they will face consequences, both financial and political. No more opt-outs. There is no more ‘one foot in and one foot out’. We are going to be very tough on this.”

Hungary challenged the court, insisting that it is culturally and constitutionally unreasonable to impose asylum seekers on unwilling member states.

In December, referring to policies of importing large numbers of people from the third world, Orbán stated that Hungary and other countries in Central Europe “have had the opportunity to learn from Western Europe’s mistakes”.

“Hungary is a stable island in the turbulent western world because the people were consulted on their opinions here, and we defended the country against illegal immigration.”

In 2015, when European Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans demanded Eastern and Central EU nations undergo similar demographic transitions as in Western Europe, Hungary was singled out for special mention.

“Any society, anywhere in the world, will be diverse in the future — that’s the future of the world,” Timmermans said. “So [Central European countries] will have to get used to that. They need political leaders who have the courage to explain that to their population instead of playing into the fears as I’ve seen Mr Orbán doing in the last couple of months.”

Breitbart London reported that the European Union is to open asylum processing centres in west Africa and countries on the southern shore of the Mediterranean because the continent “needs six million migrants”, the European Commissioner for Migration Dimitris Avramopoulos said last month.

Susan Rice, Obama’s Hatchet Woman, Proves Lord Acton Right Again

April 4, 2017

Susan Rice, Obama’s Hatchet Woman, Proves Lord Acton Right Again, PJ Media, Roger L Simon, April 3, 2017

Forget G. Gordon Liddy and the White House plumbers of Watergate days.  If you’re looking for a my-president-right-or-wrong apparatchik in the grand tradition of the Soviet Union, willing to do anything for her leader, look no further than former national security adviser Susan Elizabeth Rice.

Rice, who evidently exploited the world’s most technically advanced intelligence agency, the NSA, for similar purposes (spying on the opposition), has made Liddy et al seem like primitives.  Apparently, the former Obama adviser was the one who “requested to unmask the names of Trump transition officials caught up in surveillance.”  The final unmaskings took place in January, days before Trump’s inauguration. (Eli Lake at Bloomberg, Adam Housley and John Roberts at Fox, and Sara Carter and John Solomon at Circa have reported this story in only slightly varying ways.)

Failing some extraordinary  explanation (so far Rice isn’t talking), the onetime national security adviser exhibited an arrogance that once again proves Lord Acton’s famous apothegm: “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

Rice undoubtedly believed she was undertaking her sub rosa, possibly felonious, activities for a greater good, but in reality she has been undermining the very basis of our democratic republic in a manner calling forth another quote from the 19th century British lord: “End justifies the means. This is still the most widespread of all the opinions inimical to liberty.” That Rice was able to prevaricate so casually during a recent PBS interview, claiming she “knew nothing” about the unmaskings of Trump officials when she had instigated them,  proves Acton right yet again and exposes the “ends justify the means” mentality as Rice’s default position.

(Speaking of Acton, he also wrote: “Men cannot be made good by the state, but they can easily be made bad.”)

From her serial lies about the Benghazi terror attack being caused by a video to this latest surveilling — incidental or otherwise — of political enemies and its own attendant dishonesties, Rice seems to have been the “go to” person for Obama White House dirty work and cover-ups, Obama’s hatchet woman.  She did not and could not, however, have acted alone.  She was part of a culture.

The unmasked names, of people associated with Donald Trump, were then sent to all those at the National Security Council, some at the Defense Department, then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and then-CIA Director John Brennan – essentially, the officials at the top, including former Rice deputy [Iran deal fixer] Ben Rhodes.

The names were part of incidental electronic surveillance of candidate and President-elect Trump and people close to him, including family members, for up to a year before he took office.[bold mine]

Up to a year?  Is it possible it was even longer? When did it actually start?  It would be interesting to see how “incidental” this all was. Will the Senate Intelligence Committee be sufficiently bipartisan to really investigate that?  Or will they be mired in the supposedly nefarious Russian connection that Clapper himself found no evidence of, even after, as we now learn, having been privy to all this “incidental” information for months or years? You would have to assume this Trump-Russia collusion was remarkably subtle to have withstood such constant investigation by so many for so long.

No, the real story here is the Russification, more accurately the Sovietization, of the Obama administration.  They did believe, unlike Lord Acton, that “the ends justify the means.”  That phrase, incidentally, is sometimes incorrectly ascribed to Machiavelli, who wrote something far more sophisticated.  In reality, it was coined, or at least codified, by the 19th century Russian revolutionary Sergey Nechayev and used by Lenin and Stalin to justify their murderous acts.

I hasten to say there are no murders going on here that I know of.  But there is a massive subversion of the principles of our republic. The moment the party in power is permitted to exploit the extraordinary capabilities of our intelligence agencies to surveil in any way the party out of power is the moment that we are well on the road to high-tech totalitarianism. We may already be there.

Difficult as it would be, what is called for now is a full airing not of Russian espionage, which has been going on pretty much constantly since the 1920s, but of our own intelligence agencies and how they function and how they are interacting with current and past administrations. We must be certain that existing privacy laws have actually been observed and, if those laws have not been sufficient, that they be revised to protect the apparently already violated civil liberties of our citizens.

Meanwhile, when it comes to actual punishable law-breaking, the person most vulnerable is, of course, the leaker (or leakers).  Those who accidentally or purposefully  “unmask” identities unfortunately can skate away under current readings of the law.  But if I were to guess, in this instance, the unmasker and the leaker are quite possibly one and the same.  Ms. Rice has much to answer for — and she should do it under oath.

As the scandal evolves, will the finger point even higher? In fact, it already has.  Unbeknownst to almost all of the American public, back in 2011 Barack Obama eased the rules on the unmasking of American citizens in NSA surveillances, putatively to counter foreign espionage threats.  Six years letter and the tables have been turned on us.  Was that always the intention? Or was it simply absolute power corrupting absolutely?

CNN’s Cuomo: Susan Rice Allegations Are ‘Fake Scandal’ Peddled by ‘Right-Wing Media’

April 4, 2017

CNN’s Cuomo: Susan Rice Allegations Are ‘Fake Scandal’ Peddled by ‘Right-Wing Media’, Washington Free Beacon, , April 4, 2017

CNN “New Day” host Chris Cuomo on Tuesday dismissed recent reporting that Obama administration official Susan Rice requested the “unmasking” of members of President Trump’s transition team and campaign as nothing more than right-wing propaganda.

“President Trump [and] right-wing media types [are] peddling a fake scandal,” Cuomo reported, when opening an interview with Rep. Jim Hines (D., Conn.).

“This suggestion that former Obama national security adviser Susan Rice improperly unmasked the identity of Trump associates is part of what the president calls a crooked scheme,” Cuomo said. “An associate of Rice says it’s just plain false.”

Cuomo’s comments came after CNN’s Jim Sciutto dismissed the story as “largely ginned up, partly as a distraction from this larger [Russia] investigation,” also citing assurances from a friend of Rice. Before joining CNN, Sciutto served as chief of staff to Obama’s China Ambassador Gary Locke.

Bloomberg reported Monday that the Trump administration had discovered Rice’s involvement during a National Security Council review of the “government’s policy on ‘unmasking’ the identities of individuals in the U.S. who are not targets of electronic eavesdropping, but whose communications are collected incidentally.” The Wall Street Journal and Circa reported the same.

Typically, when U.S. citizens get caught up in incidental surveillance of foreign actors, their names are redacted. “Unmasking” private U.S. citizens to make their names appear on intelligence reports is not illegal when tied to a legitimate investigation, but civil libertarians warn the process could be used to skirt regulations that prevent the federal government from spying on Americans.

When asked on “PBS NewsHour” about claims that the Obama White House had “unmasked” Trump team officials, Rice denied all knowledge.

“I know nothing about this,” she said. “I was surprised to see reports from [House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes] on that count today.”

Canadian PM Wants Balance of Public Safety, Freedom for Terror Supporters

April 4, 2017

Canadian PM Wants Balance of Public Safety, Freedom for Terror Supporters, Clarion ProjectMeira Svirsky, April 4, 2017

(If Obama had a son . . . . DM)

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (Photo: video screenshot)

“Trudeau is becoming a parody of an apologetic leftist who believes terrorism is our fault and zealous Islamists and jihadists are simply misunderstood.”

*****************************

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has come under fire for his response to the revelation that some workers at a major Canadian airport support Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL).

An investigation showed ISIS propaganda videos were shared and promoted from workers’ social media accounts. One radicalized employee had direct access to runways at Montreal Pierre Elliot Trudeau International Airport (named for the prime minister’s father, who served as prime minister).

He has since been transferred to a different job at the airport where he has no access to runways.

Responding to a question asked by a reporter if people with extremist views should be allowed to continue working at the nation’s airports, Trudeau said:

“I think that’s part of the kind of conversations we have to have as a society. Keeping people safe is paramount important, but defending our rights and freedoms is as well, and making sure we do that in the right way.”

In the words of Toronto Sun columnist Candice Malcolm:

“You can’t make this stuff up. Trudeau wants to have a national conversation about whether terrorist sympathizers and ISIS supporters should be able to work in strategic locations at our national airports. He wants us to consider the rights and freedoms of terrorist sympathizers and ISIS supporters in order to strike the right balance between our safety and their freedom to do what? Support jihad?”

Malcolm added, “Trudeau is becoming a parody of an apologetic leftist who believes terrorism is our fault and zealous Islamists and jihadists are simply misunderstood.”

She cited previous comments by Trudeau who, in 2011, spoke out against the previous government’s use of the term “barbaric” in a guide to Canadian citizenship.

The guide stated:

“Canada’s openness and generosity do not extend to barbaric cultural practices that tolerate spousal abuse, ‘honour killings’, female genital mutilation, forced marriage or other gender-based violence.”

At the time, Trudeau objected to the language saying it was “too harsh” and told the government to make an “attempt at responsible neutrality.”

After tremendous criticism, he apologized and recanted his statement.

Malcolm also noted that after the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, Trudeau said in an interview on CBC, “There is no question that this happened because there is someone who feels completely excluded. And our approach has to be, okay, where do those tensions come from?”

Erdoğan’s Cleric Calls For Turkish Nuclear Weapons

April 4, 2017

Erdoğan’s Cleric Calls For Turkish Nuclear Weapons, MEMRI, April 4, 2017

(Please see also, NATO Ally Turkey Working with U.S. Muslim Brotherhood. — DM)

“First, with the Christian fanaticism; then when the West started using religion as an accessory and the main motives became monetary – for international and local benefits – the West planned to either destroy the Islamic East, or to alter it to be used to service it [the West] by dominating it, [and] has implemented policies to achieve it and continues to do so.

“Today, a mix of religion, national egoism, profit, racism, xenophobia, and a supposed threat/fear of Islam (Islamophobia) is affecting the Western public, and contemporary Western values such as human rights and democracy are being used as excuses, propagating the idea that these values have been violated [but] with the main reasons/motives [for this] being hidden; operations against Turkey are being accelerated.

***********************************

In his March 16, 2017 column in the Turkish pro-AKP government daily Yeni Safak, Hayrettin Karaman, suggests, under the title “What To Do,” that Turkey should develop its nuclear weapons capability as a counterbalance to the West. Karaman, a well-known professor of Islamic law in Turkey who is known for his closeness to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, is often referred to as Erdoğan’s “fatwa-issuing imam” or Erdoğan’s cleric.

This column was the first of two articles in as many weeks in Yeni Safak by commentators calling for Turkey to acquire weapons of mass destruction. On March 27, the daily’s editor-in-chief Ibrahim Karagul called on Turkey to cease fighting the enemies of the West, presumably the Islamic State (ISIS), and to acquire all sorts of weapons, including nuclear ones (see MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 6845, Sensationalist Pro-Erdogan Turkish Daily Calls For Nuclear Weapons, A Stop To Fighting ISIS, March 27, 2017).

Following is the translation of Karaman’s March 16 column:

“What To Do”

“First, with the Christian fanaticism; then when the West started using religion as an accessory and the main motives became monetary – for international and local benefits the West planned to either destroy the Islamic East, or to alter it to be used to service it [the West] by dominating it, [and] has implemented policies to achieve it and continues to do so.

“Today, a mix of religion, national egoism, profit, racism, xenophobia, and a supposed threat/fear of Islam (Islamophobia) is affecting the Western public, and contemporary Western values such as human rights and democracy are being used as excuses, propagating the idea that these values have been violated [but] with the main reasons/motives [for this] being hidden; operations against Turkey are being accelerated.

“Everyone knows, and sees, the ugly double standards that the West applies, without shame or consideration for anyone else, when it comes to values such as human rights, morality, manners, and justice. The fortune that the West (including the United States) has today has been obtained by usurpation and theft (colonialism) from the East. It is not even possible to fathom the material and spiritual destruction and the blood spilled in the East for the damned monetary gains of the West.

“People say ‘These were in the old times, the West is civilized now, there is a human rights-based democracy there, there must be legitimate reasons for the things they are doing today.’

“It is plainly clear that that the main reason for the actions of Europeans (to oppose Islam and for monetary gain), nationally and internationally, are being hidden and modern values are being exploited to mislead the public. Failure to see this is caused by blindness of the mind and the heart, which is more harmful than blindness of the eyes.”

“Military Strength… Consists Of Effective Weapons… Nuclear Being The Most Relevant… We Need To Start Not Buying But Inventing These Weapons”

“While the West does whatever it wants to do with the East, and especially with Turkey, a potential leader, it does not rely on the power of rights, laws, justice, or modern values, but on monetary and military strength.

“If the East wants to stop being oppressed, it is not enough for its religion to be true and its cause to be just; in an era dominated by the strong and not the just, it must be stronger than its enemy.

“The first condition for this is for the victimized and oppressed East to unite and cooperate. After entering the path of unity and cooperation, collaboration with lesser evils to cross barriers is feasible, if it is a must.

“Once upon a time, military strength consisted of arrows and horses. But now it consists of effective weapons invented using our era’s knowledge and technology – nuclear being the most relevant – and tools that allow for the use of such weapons.

“Without wasting any time, or turning a deaf ear to the West’s complaints and obstacles, we need to start not buying but inventing these weapons. Let us invent and balance these weapons out. Let us not use weapons of mass destruction unless it is necessary – and the path to not using them is to have more powerful versions of them than the enemy’s.

“If the Lord allows, I will talk about the 100 plans that the West implemented to crumble the Ottoman Empire and exterminate Islam, in Sunday’s article.”

Mainstream Media Distorts Reality on Israeli Settlements

April 4, 2017

Mainstream Media Distorts Reality on Israeli Settlements, Front Page MagazineGideon Israel, April 4, 2017

Reprinted from en.mida.org.il.

Yesterday, Israel’s government approved construction of a new settlement in Judea and Samaria (aka West Bank).  Media outlets CNN, BBC and the NY Times wasted no time publishing stories that distort the truth, if not outright lie.  These mistakes range from offering a false impression of reality to actually getting facts wrong. Such elementary mistakes expose the disconnect between mainstream media outlets and basic truths of the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

For example, CNN wrote that this is Israel’s ‘first new settlement in Palestinian territory in more than 20 years’. The first part of the sentence is misleading and the second part is false.  Israel has not built new communities in Judea and Samaria because it has given numerous chances for the Palestinian leadership to come to the table and reach an agreement. However, the Palestinians continually refused.  Instead, the article leads the reader to believe that this is a new policy meant to stifle any chance for a peace agreement.

The second part of the statement asserts that Israel is building in Palestinian territory. This is because CNN incorrectly believes that Israel has no legal rights to the West Bank. Israel’s legal rights to controlling the West Bank and building communities there under international law have been affirmed  time and again by respected authorities on the subject, including: Professor Eugene Rostow, Professor Julius Stone , Professor Eugene Kontorovich, Professor Avi Bell and more.

BBC wrote that this new settlement is being built after ‘the largest settlement, Amona, was evacuated by police last month.’  Amona, far from being the largest settlement, was probably one of the smallest settlements existing in the West Bank, approximately 40 families. Yet, this gives the impression that even the largest settlement in the West Bank was evacuated, and thus why not evacuate the entire West Bank.

And the New York Times topped it off by cherry picking statements to make it look as if Israel was disrespecting the Trump Administration.  Author of the article, Isabel Kershner, who has been accused of anti-Israel bias in the past, writes that Israel is building settlements despite President Trump’s request ‘to hold off on settlement activity’. Then she writes that ‘the United States has long considered the settlements an obstacle to peace.’ Those two statements are mixing apples with oranges.

The Trump Administration, while suggesting that Israel hold off on settlements for a little bit, explicitly said in a press release that they ‘don’t believe the existence of settlements is an impediment to peace’. This was a clear departure from past US policy, especially under the Obama Administration, yet Kershner ignores that, and prefers to think that Barack Obama is still president.

Kershner also ponders whether Netanyahu’s announcement was potentially a ‘provocative move to scuttle any prospect of a revival of peace talks’. She blatantly disregards the past eight years where Mahmoud Abbas refused to negotiate with the Israelis, and the past 25 years where Palestinian leaders have continually refused all peace deals offered to them. Even more, Kershner ignores the fact that building a new settlement was promised to the residents of Amona before the settlement was evacuated. She should know this, she lives in Israel.

Since the mainstream media continues its anti-Israel bias, here are some important facts to know about the settlements.

  • Jordan illegally occupied the West Bank in 1948, a move strongly condemned by both the Russian and US Ambassadors to the U.N at the time.  Besides for Great Britain and India, no other country recognized Jordan’s rights to the territory.  Thus, when Israel conquered the West Bank in 1967 after Jordan decided to attack Israel at the behest of other Arab leaders, Israel was merely reclaiming the territory that had been granted to them under the British Mandate prior to 1948.
  • Under the Mandate for Palestine, Article 25, it is clear that the eastern border of the future Jewish state would be the Jordan river, many years prior to the imaginary ‘green line’ which has no legal status.
  • The majority of the communities in the West Bank were built on government property, and in the few cases where a mistake was made and a settlement was established on private property, the Israeli government worked to ameliorate the situation by either offering compensation to the owner of the land, or in the extreme case of Amona, the settlement was dismantled.
  • According to statistics from January, 2017, there are approximately 421,000 Israelis living in Judea and Samaria. While many envision the makeup of the population as religious extremists, in reality, the population is made up of 1/3 religious Zionists, 1/3 secular Israelis, 1/3 ultra orthodox Jews.
  • Israel has approximately 150 ‘settlements’ in the West Bank ranging from 100 people to around 70,000 people.  The term ‘settlements’ actually distorts reality as one imagines three tents on a hilltop. In reality, similar to any other country in the world,  Israeli citizens residing in Judea and Samaria live in areas that could be defined as villages, towns, boroughs and cities. For example, Maale Adumim, called a ‘settlement’ by the media and Arab countries, has a population of approximately 42,000 people, comparable to the populations of Atlantic City and Fort Lee located in NJ, and both would not be mistaken for a settlement.  Modiin Illit, with a population exceeding 65,000, is comparable to the population of Palo Alto, California.  Givaat Zeev, with a population exceeding 25,000, is slightly less than the population of Monterey, California, which would never be mistaken for a ‘settlement’ or an ‘outpost’.
  • The reasons for living in Judea and Samaria are varied. Some live there because of ideological reasons, others live there for the countryside atmosphere it provides, and some live there because housing is inexpensive and in close proximity to major cities such as Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. For example, more than 150,000 residents living in Judea are within a 15 minute drive of Jerusalem.  Just as some people choose to live in Hoboken, NJ, so they can be close to NY without paying Manhattan prices, the same applies for Israelis to living in Judea and Samaria.
  • Judea and Samaria is home to one of Israel’s eight universities – Ariel University. There are approximately 15,000 students (Jewish and Arab) that attend the University, comparable to the size of Duke University in North Carolina.
  • There are approximately 11,000 Arabs who work in over 800 factories spanning 14 industrial parks in industry and agriculture throughout Israeli controlled parts of the West Bank.  Salaries of Arabs working in these factories are more than double the average salary of Palestinians working in the Palestinian controlled areas, and according to a ruling by Israel’s Supreme Court, they are entitled to pension benefits just like Israelis.
  • The Palestinians have benefited tremendously since Israel took over the West Bank in 1967.  From 1967 until the signing of the Oslo Accords, Palestinian life expectancy increased from 56 to 68 years and infant mortality dropped from 13 to 5 deaths for every 1000 infants. Israel’s presence in the West Bank led to a massive overhaul of the infrastructure bringing electricity, sewage and increased amounts of water to Arab towns.
  • Israeli companies with factories in the West Bank have been targeted by the BDS movement, however the Arab workers are the ones who suffer most from these boycotts.  Sodastream was targeted by the BDS because of their West Bank factory, and eventually it moved its factory outside the West Bank.  As a result, almost 600 Palestinian workers were laid off.
  • Judea and Samaria has about one million visitors each year, and more than 80% of the events in the bible happened in the area of Judea and Samaria.