Archive for March 17, 2019

The Beginning of Jexodus ? 

March 17, 2019

THE SPIN ROOM | Trump, following in the footsteps of Elizabeth Pipko, called for a Jewish exodus from years of voting for the Democrats. Is this a growing movement or just election fodder for Trump? The Forward’s Batya Ungar-Sargon and Breitbart’s Aaron Klein debate.


A fringe ‘Jexodus’ movement seeking to weaken US Jews’ support for the Democratic party got its second boost Friday from President Donald Trump, who said Republicans ‘are waiting with open arms’.

In an earlier tweet this week, Trump quoted the spokeswoman for ‘Jexodus,’ Elizabeth Pipko, who said that Democrats ‘don’t care about Israel or the Jewish people.’

The Jewish vote has long leaned solidly left but Trump puts major emphasis on his support for Israel’s right-wing prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and allies cast him as the most pro-Israeli US leader in history.

Trump’s latest gambit is to promote a tiny, newly-created group called ‘Jexodus,’ which wants to lure Jewish voters to the Republicans.

In a tweet supporting the bid to encourage ‘Jewish people to leave the Democrat Party,’ Trump touted his controversial decisions to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to the disputed city of Jerusalem and to withdraw from a carefully crafted deal over Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

Trump’s decision to give the fledgling group so much publicity comes as Republicans try and take advantage of turmoil in the Democratic Party over recent comments by a congresswoman, Ilhan Omar, that some saw as anti-Semitic.

But in the 2016 presidential elections, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton scored 71 percent of the Jewish vote to Trump’s 24 percent.

Even Pipko, who is reported to be a former Trump White House staffer, seemed to question whether ‘Jexodus’ will have much success.

Speaking on the “FOX & Friends” morning news show, a favorite of Trump’s, she said her Jewish friends ‘never changed their minds’ over supporting Democrats and ‘I don’t think they’re going to change’.

Others echoed her sentiment, criticizing the US president’s implications of homogeneity of Jewish-American political preferences.

Trump has touted his administration’s transfer of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in May 2018 as evidence of his undying commitment to the Jewish people.

Census data and exit polls from recent elections contradict Trump’s remarks, showing that most of the US’ remain members of the Democratic party, they hold diverse views on various issues including US support for the state of Israel.

According to exit polls, 71 percent of US Jews voted Democratic in the 2016 elections between Trump and former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton.

In 2018, Democrats won 79 percent of the Jewish vote.

The American Jewish Committee released an SSRS poll that showed slightly lower amounts of support for Democrats from Jewish voters but the same trend: 67 percent of Jews voted Democratic in 2016 and 74 percent in 2018.

Moreover, the timing of Trump’s latest foray into Jewish-American politics raised eyebrows.

His tweet calling for Jews to abandon the Democratic party came just after he tweeted an expression of sympathy for victims of mass shootings at two New Zealand mosques that killed 49 people.One of the alleged perpetrators posted a lengthy statement expressing deep hatred for Islam.

Pat Condell – The Great Palestinian Lie 

March 17, 2019



Katie Hopkins: “Israel is my natural home” (FULL SPEECH) 

March 17, 2019

Rebel Media Published on Jun 29, 2018 Katie Hopkins of gave this speech to over 300 fans in Tel Aviv, Israel. It was her first visit to the country she calls her “natural home.” MORE:

What Does Iran and Iraq Unity Mean for the United States? 

March 17, 2019



Armored Warrior: This is How the Israeli Army Will Use Its Deadly Tanks to Fight 

March 17, 2019

Source: Armored Warrior: This is How the Israeli Army Will Use Its Deadly Tanks to Fight | The National Interest

March 16, 2019  Topic: Security  Region: Israel  Blog Brand: The Buzz  Tags: HezbollahLebanonIranHamasAttack Tunnels
Armored Warrior: This is How the Israeli Army Will Use Its Deadly Tanks to Fight

Reporting from Israel, we have the inside scoop.

Stand atop Tel Saki on the Golan, and you can understand Israel’s strategic dilemma in a single sweeping glance.

In front of the hill, just a couple of miles away across a grassy strip studded with signs warning of minefields, stretches the border fence between Israel and Syria. Behind and to the left, just a few minutes away by tank, are the houses of an Israeli town.

And etched into the reddish dirt of Tel Saki itself are concrete-lined trenches. On October 6, 1973, 1,400 Syrian tanks surged across the border, an iron tide that flowed around the sixty Israeli soldiers surrounded on Tel Saki. Low on ammunition and with most of their number wounded, the Israelis held the hill until rescued.

But Lt. Col. Yoav Schneider, commander of the 82 nd Tank Battalion, isn’t worried about waves of Syrian tanks storming the Golan Heights.

“This is not 1973,” he said as he stood on Tel Saki and pointed toward the Syrian border. “The enemy today can be two guys with an anti-tank missile.”

The National Interest spoke with Israeli commanders during exercises last month by the 188 th Barak (“Lightning”) Armored Brigade on the Golan Heights, which Israel captured from Syria after the 1967 Six-Day War. This particular exercise illustrated the wide spectrum of threats the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) must prepare for: the maneuvers included conventional mechanized operations, counter-guerrilla tactics against an irregular army like Hezbollah, and destroying tunnels.

The IDF would love nothing better than to fight an old-fashioned tank battle, at which it is famously proficient. But twenty-first-century warfare is more about guerrillas and tunnels, and these are the bane of high-tech, mechanized armies. The U.S. military has struggled with subterranean warfare from Iwo Jima to Vietnam, where the famous “Tunnel Rats” had the thankless task of crawling underground to dig out the Viet Cong. The IDF has had to cope with Hamas infiltration tunnels dug from Gaza into southern Israel. Last year, the Israelis discovered several Hezbollah tunnels between southern Lebanon and northern Israel, stoking fears of a surprise Hezbollah attack to seize the Galilee.

The problem is that tanks can’t get inside a tunnel, but a Hezbollah fighter with an anti-tank missile can pop out of one and destroy a $5 million Merkava tank. Haunting the Israeli Armored Corps is the debacle of the 2006 Israel-Lebanon War, when Hezbollah used a sprawling network of tunnels in southern Lebanon to ambush and knock out numerous Israeli armored vehicles.

The Israeli armor commanders that TNI spoke with seemed grimly determined to avoid a repeat of 2006.  “We understood there was a need for change,” Schneider said.

Standing near a firing range, with three wedge-shaped Merkava III tanks maneuvering in the background, Major Dori Saar, operations officer for the 188 th Armored Brigade, described how Israel will use tanks to defeat tunnels. “The tanks will provide fire support for the infantry and engineers,” he explained.

It’s a tactic that takes advantage of two strengths that modern tanks enjoy: long-range firepower and advanced sensors. Standing off at a safe distance from anti-tank ambushes, tanks can spot enemy troops and provide covering fire while the foot soldiers go in to destroy the tunnels. Tunnel-busting will be a combined-arms operation down to the company level, with two platoons of tanks working with a platoon of infantry and engineers apiece.

For an army with a legendary reputation for bold, fast-paced armored operations, this approach seems a throwback to World War I: the job of the first tanks was not to be the star of the show, but only to help the infantry overcome machine guns and barbed wire to reach their objective.  However, until there is a way for a twelve-foot-wide tank to fit inside a seven-foot-wide tunnel, these tactics at least make armor relevant for subterranean warfare.

If tunnels were the only threat faced by Israel, that would be challenging enough. But the IDF also has to prepare for a conflict with Hezbollah, a formidable practitioner of “hybrid warfare” that combines the well-trained soldiers and advanced weapons of a conventional army with the flexibility and elusiveness of guerrillas. Battling Hezbollah could encompass everything from stopping a surprise Hezbollah attack to seize Israeli towns, to crossing into well-fortified southern Lebanon to destroy Hezbollah rocket attacks.

An advance into Lebanon will not be the timid, clumsy offensive of 2006. Saar says that his brigade will maneuver “fast and deep,” operating across a battlespace 30 to 40 kilometers (17 to 25 miles) in depth. This will be a small-unit war, waged by platoons and companies instead of brigades and divisions. The sort of combat that puts a premium on quick-thinking junior officers, flexible tactics, and well-trained soldiers.

The threat of advanced anti-tank weapons, such as the deadly laser-guided Russian Kornet employed by Hezbollah in 2006, had led some critics to question whether tanks are still useful. Combat in the rough terrain that guerrillas will operate from, such as hills or the numerous villages that dot Lebanon and Syria, is challenging for armored vehicles. Yet Schneider argues that tanks are still vital: they have firepower and armor protection that a foot soldier can’t carry on his back, and the mobility to bring that firepower to where it is needed.

New technology is also making tanks less vulnerable. Active protection systems mounted on vehicles, such as Israel’s Trophy (which is being adopted by the U.S. Army), can shoot down incoming anti-tank rockets.

“But they can’t replace the skill of the tank crew,” Schneider warns.

And there yet still more challenges the IDF must train for. Missiles from Iran or rockets from Gaza and Lebanon. Conventional ground warfare against neighboring countries that are hostile or that could suddenly turn hostile (even Hezbollah now has American M-1 tanks captured in Iraq). Occupation duty in the West Bank (which critics believe saps Israeli military resources from threats like Iran). And the worst part is that the Israelis can never be sure which threat will emerge next. This array of threats would tax even a superpower, let alone a nation of fewer than nine million people.

Saar, who had trained with the U.S. Army at Fort Benning, joked about the differences between the U.S. and Israeli armies. The Americans are great when it comes to the planning and logistics of operations. “But the Americans get 96 hours to prepare. With us, just getting eight hours would be great.”

Michael Peck is a contributing writer for the National Interest. He can be found on Twitter and Facebook.

Image: Michael Peck.


Pakistan receives warning from Iran not to join Saudi proxy war 

March 17, 2019

Source: Pakistan receives warning from Iran not to join Saudi proxy war – Opinion – Jerusalem Post

The new tone from Tehran is a response to Pakistan’s recent tilt back toward Saudi Arabia since Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan assumed office six months ago.

 MARCH 16, 2019 22:30
A PAKISTAN ARMY vehicle carrying the long-range surface-to-surface Ghauri missile

Pakistan has received a stern warning from Iran’s Maj.-Gen. Qasem Soleimani, commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force and other seniors in the aftermath of the February 13, 2019 attack on their forces by Iranian Baluch militants in the country’s restive Sistan and Baluchistan province bordering Pakistan.

The new tone from Tehran is a response to Pakistan’s recent tilt back toward Saudi Arabia since Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan assumed office six months ago.

Tehran is the deeply concerned over its vulnerability to the threat posed by a Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates-sponsored proxy war conducted across Iran’s eastern border from Pakistan. Tehran’s messaging through the Guard Corps commanders’ remarks were intended to deter this development by putting Pakistan on notice that it would pay a severe cost for joining any Saudi-UAE effort against Iran.

Five days after the attack in Iranian Baluchistan conducted by Jaish al-Adl (“Army of Justice”), whom the Iranians claim is supported by Saudi Arabia, Prime Minister Imran Khan rolled out the red carpet for Saudi Prince Mohammad Bin Salman on the occasion of his historic two-day visit.

The timing of Imran Khan’s five-star treatment of MBS, as the crown prince is commonly known, was a telling sign for Iran – indicating a sharp break from the orientation set by Khan’s predecessor Nawaz Sharif.

During his third, non-consecutive tenure as Pakistan’s prime minister from 2013 to 2017, then-prime minister Nawaz Sharif attempted to tilt Pakistan’s foreign policy away from its dependence on Saudi Arabia and strike a more balanced position between Riyadh and Tehran.

Islamabad was able to sustain this shift because of a massive influx of Chinese investments in Pakistan starting in April 2015.

Initially $46 billion and now totaling $60 billion, China’s package of infrastructure investments aims to establish the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), extending from the Chinese-administered Gwadar port on Pakistan’s Indian Ocean coast to China’s westernmost city Kashgar (Kashi) in Xinjiang.

As part of this package, China agreed to construct most of Pakistan’s portion of the Iran-Pakistan (IP) natural gas pipeline. Financed by a $2 billion Chinese loan, covering 85% of the construction cost, Beijing signed an agreement with Islamabad to construct a pipeline from Pakistan’s Chinese-built Gwadar port to Nawabshah, where it can join Pakistan’s domestic gas distribution network.

A boon for energy-starved Pakistan, the IP pipeline would deliver enough gas from Iran’s massive South Pars field to generate 4,500 MW of electricity, covering Pakistan’s then total shortfall in power production.

Flushed with Chinese investments and expecting to receive desperately needed natural gas from Iran, the government of Nawaz Sharif repeatedly rejected Riyadh’s requests to send Pakistani troops to Yemen to assist in the prosecution of Saudi Arabia’s proxy war with Iran.

The stunning turnaround in policy came on the heels of greater counter-terrorism cooperation between the Sharif government and Tehran. In June 2014, Pakistan’s military launched the massive Operation Zarb-e Asb against the Taliban and the associated nexus of anti-Shia, Sunni extremist organizations – many of whom had longstanding links to Jaish al-Adl, the Islamist successor to Jundallah (“Army of God”), the Baluchi ethno-nationalist militant organization that launched an insurgency in southeastern Iran in 2000. In the same period as Operation Zarb-e Asb, Islamabad reportedly permitted Iranian forces to conduct raids on Pakistani soil, with Iranian helicopters and security vehicles frequently entering Pakistani territory in pursuit of Jaish al-Adl militants.

The three-year operation likewise represented a remarkable reversal as Nawaz Sharif had previously recognized the Taliban as the legitimate government of Afghanistan in 1997 during his second tenure as prime minister. The only other country that had recognized the Taliban was Saudi Arabia.

PAKISTAN’S RECALIBRATION toward Iran was short-lived. In July 2017, Nawaz Sharif was removed office due to allegations based on information revealed in the 2016 Panama Papers. Imran Khan succeeded Sharif as Pakistan’s elected prime minister, following Khan’s electoral victory Pakistan’s July 25, 2018, elections. Under Khan’s premiership, Pakistan has returned to the Saudi fold.

On October 23, 2018, Saudi Arabia formally gave Pakistan a $6 billion economic bailout package consisting of a direct transfer of $3 billion to the State Bank of Pakistan to support its balance of payments and another $3 billion in deferred payments on oil imports.

Two months later, the UAE followed suit and announced on December 21, 2018, that it would also transfer $3 billion to the State Bank of Pakistan to shore up Pakistan’s foreign currency reserves. The desperately needed financial infusions from Riyadh and Abu Dhabi were intended to prevent Pakistan’s currency from entering into free fall as Islamabad engaged in bailout talks with the International Monetary Fund.

Subsequently on January 12, 2019, Saudi Arabia announced that it would join CPEC by constructing a $10 billion oil refinery in at the Gwadar port. Being the first third-party country to join CPEC, Saudi Arabia deftly nullified any benefit Iran’s relations with Pakistan derived from CPEC, leaving the future of the IP pipeline in limbo. Riyadh’s current aid and investment package for Pakistan now totals $20 billion making Saudi Arabia, along with the UAE, indispensable to Pakistan’s economic survival.

In Baluchistan, this re-alignment seems to already be manifesting itself. A February 13 Baluchi terrorist attack, which claimed 40 Iranian Revolutionary Guard victims, has been pointed to by Iran as evidence of a nexus between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, with Pakistan potentially acceding to the use of its territory by Saudi Arabia and the UAE to support Baluch militants.

Speaking a week after the attack at a ceremony in northern Iran, Maj.-Gen. Soleimani rhetorically addressed the Pakistani government and asked, “Are you, who have atomic bombs, unable to destroy a terrorist group with several hundred members in the region?” After denouncing the alleged Saudi financing of the militants’ operations and decrying its harmful effects on Pakistan, Soleimani then continued by putting the Pakistanis on notice. “I warn you not to test Iran and anyone who has tested Iran has received a firm response,” Soleimani continued. “We are telling that country [Pakistan] not to allow their borders to become a source of insecurity for the neighboring countries.”

Speaking in Isfahan at the burial ceremony for the IRGC personnel killed in the attack, Maj.-Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari, commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, threatened Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in no uncertain terms. “The traitor governments of Saudi Arabia and the UAE should know that the Islamic Republic of Iran’s patience has run out and the Islamic Republic will not tolerate your secret supports for the Takfiri grouplets.”

Jafari added, “Pakistan should also know that it should pay the cost for the Pakistani intelligence organization’s support for Jaish al-Zolm from now on and this price will no doubt be very heavy for them.” Jaish al-Zolm (“Army of Oppression”) is the name Iranian officials use to refer to Jaish al-Adl.

With Pakistan more firmly tethered to Riyadh and Abu Dhabi, Jaish al-Adl’s February 13 attack raised alarm bells for Tehran. While Saudi Arabia and the UAE may insist on greater cooperation from Pakistan for the effort to defeat Iranian-sponsored Houthi forces in Yemen, it is quite likely that the anti-Iranian bloc will insist that Islamabad cease its counter-terrorism cooperation with Tehran.

Beyond this minimal demand, Pakistan may be called upon to take a role in coordinating support for Jaish al-Adl operations. Whether Pakistan becomes actively involved or merely accedes to the use of its territory, the status quo in Pakistan-Iran relations seems as if it is about to change.

The writer is a fellow at the Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace, Hebrew University and non-resident, affiliated scholar with the Center for Strategic Studies at Baskent University in Ankara, Turkey (Baskent-SAM). This article first appeared in South Asian Monitor.


Off Topic:  The Left Abandons American Zionism

March 17, 2019

Source: The Left Abandons American Zionism – American Greatness

By |March 16th, 2019

Just after midnight, on June 5, 1968, Jerusalem born-Palestinian Sirhan Sirhan murdered U.S. Senator Robert F. Kennedy in the kitchen pantry of the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. Kennedy had won the California Democratic Party presidential primary earlier that evening.

Like his brother, President John F. Kennedy, RFK repeatedly had expressed admiration and sympathy for the small Jewish state struggling against an Arab economic boycott, war, and terrorism, including in a recent prominent synagogue address.

Repeating “Kennedy Must Die,” Sirhan purposefully committed the first modern act of Arab terrorism on U.S. soil on the first anniversary of Israel’s miraculous victory in the Six Day War of 1967, when a sovereign Israel liberated Jerusalem for the first time in 2,000 years.

Remarkably, 50 years later, six of the seven U.S. Senators who are declared candidates for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination recently voted against the anti-Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions bill in the Senate, and remain mute about a rapidly rising tide of anti-Semitic rhetoric and anti-Israel views among progressives and radicals in their party.

Democrat leadership in the Congress has now failed to condemn Represenative Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) by name, or to remove her from the House Foreign Affairs Committee, after she invoked anti-Semitic tropes about Jewish money in politics and the dual loyalty of pro-Israel American legislators. One might ask why Speaker Pelosi put a freshman with a long history of anti-Israel hostility on this committee in the first place.

Pew public opinion polls documented by the Middle East Forum have shown for a generation a growing disparity in the affinity of American citizens towards Israel and the U.S.-Israel relationship, with Republicans and conservatives far more supportive than Democrats and liberals of moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem or standing by Israel’s defensible borders or counter-terrorism policies vis à vis Hezbollah and Hamas.

The decline in bipartisan support for Israel has been building over time.  It is now fair to say the political left has rejected the centuries-long history of American Zionism.

On Thanksgiving Day in 1799, American Reverend Abiel Abbot sermonized:

It has been often remarked that the people of the United States come nearer to a parallel with Ancient Israel than any other nation upon the globe. Hence, our American Israel is a term frequently used, and common consent allows it apt and proper.

What are the roots of this remarkable sentiment?

Long before the 1948 re-birth of Jewish sovereignty in the modern state of Israel, the Holy Land was a matter of deep religious affinity, with early Americans believing they were establishing God’s New Israel. These feelings built a tremendous kinship between the American people and the Biblical land of Israel.

The earliest colonial pilgrims modeled their arrival to the new world after the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt. William Bradford led the first settlers to Massachusetts on the Mayflower, in 1620, declaring: “Come let us proclaim the word of the Zion in the new Promised Land.”

A decade later followed the Puritans, led by John Winthrop, who sermonized aboard the Arbella: “We shall find that the God of Israel is among us . . . For we must consider that we shall be as a city upon a hill.”

Early Americans used Biblical names for their children and their new towns. Future President James Madison, father of the U.S. Constitution, studied Hebrew and the scriptures at the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University) in 1771.

American founders Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson proposed in 1776 that the original Great Seal of the United States of America reference Moses leading the Israelites crossing the Red Sea, or wandering in the desert wilderness, from bondage to the Promised Land.

Our nation’s first President, George Washington, offered special blessings to the Jewish communities of Newport, Rhode Island and Savannah, Georgia, suggesting that your God is our God. Presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams both expressed hope for the return of the Jews to Judea “as an Independent Nation.”

Nineteenth-century Christian Zionists promoted restorationism, praying for the safe return of the Jewish people to their ancient homeland. They cited Genesis 12:3, God’s commandment to cherish his covenanted nation: “I will bless those that bless you, and curse those that curse you, and through you all the nations of the world shall be blessed.”

American Christians rejected the philosophy of Supersessionism, or the “replacement theology” of some Christians that promoted the suffering of European Jews for having rejected or killed Jesus Christ. Instead, American Zionists believed they were “grafted” onto the Jewish tree of life, and expressed sincere gratitude to their older Jewish brothers for bringing their messiah.

The prominent biblical scholar George Bush, a Christian Hebraist and Bible scholar at NYU, in his widely popular Valley of the Vision, (1844), advocated the return of the Jews to “their paternal soil,” “the land of their fathers.” Bush’s brother was an ancestor of two future American presidents.

President Abraham Lincoln, expressed to many the “noble dream” of the restoration of the Jews to Palestine, and was reported by several scholars to have expressed to his wife his last words before assassination, on April 14, 1865: “We will visit the Holy Land and see those places hallowed by the footsteps of the Savior. There is no place I so much desire to see as Jerusalem.”

In 1891, concerned at the pogroms of Czar Alexander III against the Jewish population of Russia, 413 prominent Americans, including the speaker of the House and the chief justice of the United States, petitioned President Benjamin Harrison to organize the first international conference “to consider the Israelite claim to Palestine as their ancient home.”

In the early 20th century, President Woodrow Wilson endorsed the British Balfour Declaration, in 1917, stating: “I did it, because to think that the son of Presbyterian ministers would have the honor of restoring the Jews to their holy land.”

A Joint Resolution of Congress, in 1922, unanimously endorsed the Balfour Declaration, and legislatures in 33 states, representing roughly 85 percent of the U.S. population, also adopted resolutions supporting creation of a Jewish state. Governors of 37 states, 54 U.S. senators, and 250 congressmen signed petitions to the president.

In the 1940s, Benzion Netanyahu, the scholar and father of the future Israeli prime minister, came to the United States to lobby for American support for Israeli statehood. His efforts were successful, and both political parties established pro-Israel planks in their party convention platforms.

Every modern day president has endorsed what American-born former Israeli Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren has described as spiritual connection, shared democratic values, military to military strategic alliance, and growing commercial and trade ties.

This legacy of bipartisan political support for Israel does not deny important moments of disagreement between friends. Several presidents have piqued the pro-Israel community.

President Franklin Roosevelt was deeply ambivalent to Jewish rescue and relief from Nazi atrocities during the war. The War Refugee Board serially blocked Jewish immigration, and FDR turned away the German S.S. St. Louis refugee ship from the port of Miami—908 Jewish passengers returned to various countries in Europe, 254 of whom were murdered in the Holocaust. When Roosevelt met with King Ibn Saud in 1945, aboard the USS Quincy, in order to secure oil resources, the president reaffirmed his commitment not to move forward in support of a Jewish state.

Fortunately, after World War II, the Truman Administration lobbied for the land partition resolution, the U.N. compromise accepted by the Jews and rejected by all the Arab states. When Israel declared its independence on May 14, 1948 the United States was the first nation to recognize the new Jewish state—11 minutes after the proclamation.

“I had faith in Israel before it was established, I have faith in it now,” President Harry Truman said on May 26, 1952. “I believe it has a glorious future before it—not just as another sovereign nation, but as an embodiment of the great ideals of our civilization.”

President Dwight D. Eisenhower, as the Commander of Allied Forces in World War II that defeated Nazi Germany, helped to rescue the remnant European Jewry that survived the Holocaust and carefully documented Jewish suffering for fear that as time passed history would forget. But Eisenhower did side with Egypt’s Nasser during the 1956 Suez Crisis when Britain, France, and Israel sought to keep open the canal. He came to regret his threat of sanctions to force Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion to withdraw from the Sinai Peninsula, later acknowledging this had encouraged Arab radicalism.

President Richard Nixon was known to be hostile to many American Jews in the media, but is gratefully remembered for his decision to rush desperately needed military supplies to Israel during the 1973 war.

President Carter saw himself as a neutral peacemaker between Arabs and Jews, but tilted heavily against Israel. His U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Andrew Young, controversially met with the Palestine Liberation Organization terror group.  Carter expressed hostile views about Israeli land settlement policies in his book Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, met with Hamas terrorist leader Khaled Meshaal in Syria, and evoked early Christian anti-Jewish sentiments in his Sunday sermons.

President Reagan’s $8.5 billion sale of the Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) to the Saudis in 1981 was controversial, but not injurious to Israel. Reagan’s longtime friendship with the Jewish community in Hollywood and his affinity for Israel as a “strategic ally” against the Soviet Union was profound. His Strategic Defense Initiative laid the  foundations for the Iron Dome, David’s Sling, and Arrow Missile Defense systems, which protect Israelis today from mortar, rocket and missile attack. Reagan and his Secretary of State George Shultz were also forceful advocates of the emigration to Israel of Russian Jews, resulting in a lasting impact on the growth and success of the modern Israeli nation.

President George H. W. Bush’s 1991 public questioning of pro-Israel American citizen lobbyists on Capitol Hill was harsh, but his efforts to assist in the rescue of Ethiopian Jewry via Sudan, in Operation Moses and Operation Sheba, grant him a favorable legacy in Israel.

Perhaps most consistently heartfelt was the expression of friendship by President George W. Bush, who spoke in the Israeli Knesset to warm appreciation from his hosts and maintained a consistently positive approach to the “special alliance.”

President Obama’s many disagreements with and slights against Prime Minister Netanyahu, his advocacy of the controversial Iran nuclear deal, and his rare opposition to Israel at the United Nations stand out as a particularly rough period for U.S.-Israel relations. Obama’s gifts to the Islamic Republic of Iran produced virtually unanimous disapproval in Israel and broad skepticism in the United States.

Finally, President Trump has castigated Iranian calls for the destruction of Israel, sponsorship of regional terrorism and hegemonic ambitions in Yemen, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, and cooperation with Palestinian Sunni enemies of Israel. He has re-imposed sanctions on the Iranian Mullahs, confronted Palestinian glorification of mass murder of innocent Israelis and Americans, and moved the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, causing many Israelis to consider him a modern day Cyrus, revered for standing by the Jews.

In his book The Israel Test, scholar George Gilder measures the character of political actors by their views toward Israeli democracy and its dynamic economy, which produces advanced agriculture, bio-medical technology, communications systems, cyber security and missile defense capabilities, and efficient energy production, among many modern human achievements.

One who met this test was civil rights leader, Martin Luther King, Jr.  At a private dinner in Cambridge, on October 27, 1967, MLK strongly rejected criticism of Jewish national rights by a black Harvard University student: “When people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews. You’re talking anti-Semitism!”

Famed Soviet dissident and Jewish leader Natan Sharansky has explained that singling out for delegitimization only Israel, among all the nations enjoying independence and self-determination, is a form of anti-Semitism.

Notwithstanding Dr. King’s sentiment, and the virtually universal reciprocal support for minority civil rights expressed by American Jewry, black leaders from Rev. Louis Farrakhan to Pastor Jeremiah Wright to Rep. Omar’s predecessor Keith Ellison, have expressed consistent antipathy to Israel.

The foreign-policy Left, which is hostile to American exceptionalism and strength, (the “Blame America First” constituency scolded by former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Jeane Kirkpatrick) also castigates Israel as, variously, America’s little brother, regional super-power, white colonizer, human rights violator, theocracy, and successful capitalist nation-state. Quite the multi-count indictment from voices which remain silent about the actual suffering of millions under Arab tyranny and Islamic barbarism.

Recent growth of Jewish radical groups, and the political rise of some Muslim communities, the Christian Left, and campus anti-Israelism have all changed the dynamic within Democratic party politics vis à vis the U.S.-Israel “special alliance.”

By the time of the 2012 Democratic National Convention, the political world witnessed a rare, unscripted, chaotic, and revealing moment when at least half of the Democrat delegates in the hall loudly booed when ex-Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa unilaterally asserted, after three failed resolution voice votes, that the ayes had achieved a two-thirds majority to reinstate language in the party platform asserting that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital.

With the arrival of #TheResistance and the new women’s movement, led by the intense anti-Israel agitator Linda Sarsour, and with the 2018 election to Congress of aggressive “progressives,” prominent Democrats can no longer deny that hostility to Israel is a major feature of Democratic party politics, mimicking rising anti-Jewish leftism in Europe, and ending the long tradition of bipartisan pro-Israelism throughout American history.

Photo Credit: Getty Images


Massive manhunt underway for West Bank gunman who killed 1, wounded 2

March 17, 2019

Source: Massive manhunt underway for West Bank gunman who killed 1, wounded 2

Israel deploys large numbers of troops, including special forces, to site of attack, begin searching cars heading for center of country, fearing attacker will try to reach populated area

The Israel Defense Forces launched a massive manhunt for a gunman who shot dead one person and wounded two others – one seriously and one critically – in a Sunday morning attack close to the West Bank settlement of Ariel.

“We are in the midst of pursuing these terrorists,” said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting. “I am sure they will be captured and brought to justice, just as others who committed similar attacks.”

Security forces at the scene of the attack (Photo: Yariv Katz)

Security forces at the scene of the attack (Photo: Yariv Katz)

According to security sources, the attacker, who was apparently Palestinian, stabbed an IDF soldier and seized his gun at Ariel Junction. He then shot the soldier and opened fire at passing cars, hitting a driver, before stealing another car to escape.

IDF troops searching for the gunman (Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Office)

IDF troops searching for the gunman (Photo: IDF Spokesperson’s Office)

The gunman continued driving towards the Gitai Junction on Route 5, some 2.5 km from Ariel Junction, where he shot another soldier.

“I saw the terrorist,” the driver of the stolen car told Ynet. “He opened fire at my vehicle and I fled while the engine was still running. The terrorist then stole the car, and I saw him keep driving in direction of Tel Aviv.”

The car stolen and abandoned by the gunman (Photo: AFP)

The car stolen and abandoned by the gunman (Photo: AFP)

The attacker abandoned the stolen vehicle near the Palestinian village of Bruchin. Palestinians in the area were reportedly encouraged to take down security cameras in order to make the hunt for the gunman more difficult.

Security forces then began checks of every vehicle driving on the road, fearing that the gunman would try to reach central Israel in another vehicle.

IDF troops searching for the gunman (Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Office)

IDF troops searching for the gunman (Photo: IDF Spokesperson’s Office)

Israel deployed a large number of security forces to the area in the wake of the attack, including Border Police special forces. The IDF also placed heavy machinery at the entrance to Burchin, including bulldozers.

The two surviving victims were taken for treatment to the Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikva. “I was passing the Ariel Junction in a car when I heard gunfire and saw soldiers running,” said Magen David Adom paramedic Hanannel Hass. “When the gunfire stopped, I got out of the car and saw a young man lying unconscious with gunshot wounds to his upper body.”


Jews express solidarity with New Zealand mosque shooting victims

March 17, 2019

Source: Jews express solidarity with New Zealand mosque shooting victims – Israel Hayom

New Zealand Jewish Council: “Sickened and devastated” by attacks • American Jewish Committee CEO David Harris: The answer is “unity, solidarity, and linked arms against evil” • PM Netanyahu: Israel “mourns the wanton murder of innocent worshippers.”

JNS and Israel Hayom Staff // published on 17/03/2019
A police officer stands guard in front of Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, Sunday 

The Jewish world stands in solidarity with the people of New Zealand after 50 people were killed and at least 50 injured, including children, in mass shootings at two mosques in the town of Christchurch on Friday in what the country’s prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, said marked “one of New Zealand’s darkest days.”

“The New Zealand Jewish Council has no adequate words to describe how sickened and devastated we are by the coordinated attacks on Christchurch mosques today,” Stephen Goodman, the president of the New Zealand Jewish Council told the Jewish Chronicle.

“Racist individuals imbued with pure hatred of Muslims have attacked normally peaceful New Zealand,” said American Jewish Committee CEO David Harris.

“Our hearts go out to the families of the victims of today’s unspeakable crime of mass murder.”

Harris added that “we in the United States have witnessed horrific attacks on houses of worship, including churches, mosques and synagogues. No one is fully protected from violent hatemongers. We are truly saddened that this same hatred has emerged so violently in New Zealand. The answer must be unity, solidarity and linked arms against evil.”

“I would like to express my horror and revulsion at the terrorist attacks which have targeted people attending two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand today during Friday prayers,” said World Jewish Congress president Ronald S. Lauder.

“I extend my deepest condolences to the family and loved ones of the victims, and to the people of New Zealand. We must redouble efforts to combat hatred and division in our societies, from wherever it emanates.”

Zionist Organization of America National President Morton A. Klein and Chairman Mark Levenson wrote that they “condemn with all our hearts the horrific murder of 49 innocent Muslims while at prayer,” and sent their “heartfelt condolences to their families and friends.”

Police said that four people were taken into custody. One man, who is reported to be in his late 20s and from Australia, has been charged with murder and will appear in court in Christchurch on Saturday. The gunman reportedly posted a white-nationalist manifesto on social media prior to the attack.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Twitter that Israel “mourns the wanton murder of innocent worshippers in Christchurch and condemns the brazen act of terror in New Zealand.”


Turkey’s Erdoğan renews verbal attack against Israel 

March 17, 2019

Source: Turkey’s Erdoğan renews verbal attack against Israel – Israel Hayom

Turkish President Erdoğan rebukes PM’s son for suggesting Istanbul, formerly Constantinople, is occupied by Turkey • “If the world is looking for a country that oppresses, it’s Israel. If they are searching for a terror state, that too is Israel.”

Neta Bar, Associated Press and Israel Hayom Staff // published on 17/03/2019
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan‎ 

The war of words between Turkey and Israel continued Friday when Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan rebuked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s son for suggesting Istanbul — formerly Constantinople — was under Turkish occupation.

The Turkish and Israeli leaders have been trading barbs this week, with Netanyahu calling Erdoğan a “dictator” and criticizing the imprisonment of scores of journalists in Turkey. Erdoğan brandished the Israeli leader a “thief” and a “tyrant” in reference to corruption allegations and Israeli policies toward Palestinians.

Netanyahu fired back on Twitter, describing the Turkish president as a “dictator who sends tens of thousands of political opponents to prison, commits genocide against the Kurds, and occupies Northern Cyprus.”

Erdoğan, Netanyahu said, was preaching to him, “to Israel, and to the Israel Defense Forces about democracy and the ethics of war. A joke.”

“It’s best that he doesn’t get involved with Jerusalem, our capital for 3,000 years,” Netanyahu quipped. “Erdoğan can only learn from us how to respect every religion and protect human rights.”

Netanyahu’s son, Yair Netanyahu, jumped into the fray, tweeting this week that: “I would also remind him [Erdoğan] of the genocides Turkey committed against the Greeks, the Assyrians, and the Armenians. They carried out ethnic cleansing against all the Christians in Asia Minor.”

Istanbul, he tweeted, “is actually a city called Constantinople! The capital of the Byzantine empire and center of orthodox Christianity for more than a thousand years before Turkish occupation!”

Erdoğan hit back at Yair Netanyahu, calling him “immoral” at an election rally.

“You occupied the whole of Palestine!” he said. “If the world is looking for a country that oppresses, it’s Israel. If they are searching for a terror state, that too is Israel.”

At a campaign rally in Turkey, Saturday, Erdoğan said, “Netanyahu, you need to take your son by the ear for calling Istanbul Constantinople.”

He said that if Yair continued to use such “shameful epithets,” Turkey would know how to teach Israel a lesson.

“We will not withdraw our support for the Palestinians. We will continue to be a model for justice, peace and security in the Muslim world.”

Israel and Turkey were once close allies, but diplomatic relations between the two have soured in the last decade. Under Erdoğan, Turkey has become a vocal critic of Israel, sparking frequent verbal feuds with Netanyahu.

Interviewed on Turkey’s Habertürk television on Thursday, Erdoğan said Netanyahu was “walking around with this stain” of corruption. Erdoğan also accused Israel of jailing 10,000 Palestinian women and children and of disrespecting holy sites in Jerusalem.

The latest exchange of words started Tuesday when Erdoğan’s spokesman called Netanyahu a racist for saying Israel was the nation-state of the Jewish people only.