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IDF attacks Hamas posts in Gaza

September 16, 2018

IDF aircraft and tank attack posts belonging to Hamas as violent riots continue.

Elad Benari, Canada, 14/09/18 20:06 | updated: 20:24

IDF aircraft and a tank on Friday attacked two positions belonging to the Hamas terrorist organization along the Gaza border, in response to a number of grenades and explosive devices that were hurled at IDF forces during violent disturbances along the security fence.

In addition, an IDF officer was slightly injured by shrapnel from a pipe bomb that was thrown at the soldiers. The officer was given medical treatment at the scene.

In a statement, the IDF said, “The Hamas terror organization is responsible for all events which take place in Gaza and from it.”

“The IDF will continue to thwart attempts to harm Israeli civilians and IDF troops in order to protect Israel’s borders and civilians.”

The weekly violent “March of the Return” riots continued on Friday, as they have every week since March 30.

On Friday morning, IDF troops neutralized an explosive device located near the Gaza border.

The device was discovered near the border fence separating southern Gaza from Israel. No injuries or damages were reported.

Overnight Thursday, a pipe bomb was thrown at IDF soldiers in the Rafah area in the southern Gaza Strip.

There were no injuries among the soldiers. Fire was opened towards three Palestinian Arab suspects who were identified as they crawled towards the security fence. It is unknown if they were injured by the gunfire.

The incident took place less than a day after IDF troops uncovered an explosive device placed by Gazan terrorists adjacent to the security fence in southern Gaza.

IDF troops disposed of the explosive device and thwarted the attempted attack against IDF soldiers.

No injuries were reported and no damage was caused.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)

Report: Israel Attacks Damascus International Airport [video]

September 16, 2018

Missile intercepted by Syrian aerial defense at Damascus International Airport-Photo Credit: SANA / screen capture

Israeli warplanes attacked Damascus International Airport late Saturday night, according to the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA). Syrian government anti-aircraft defense systems were activated, with a number of anti-aircraft missiles launched in response to the attack, according to SANA.

A spokesperson for the Israel Defense Forces said Israel does not comment on foreign reports.

“Our air defenses responded to an Israeli missile attack on Damascus International Airport and shot down a number of hostile missiles,” said a Syrian Arab Army source quoted by SANA. A statement by the Syrian Arab Army posted to Facebook stated, “We have reports of a large flaming mass being seen after it was shot down, but we cannot yet confirm whether a jet was shot down or not. The above video was taken of a live interception to one of the incoming targets and was provided by a visitor to the Damascus International Fair which is currently [being] held.”

According to international military analyst Eva J. Koulouriotis, there were two separate raids by the Israel Air Force on two Iranian sites near the airport.

“Preliminary information indicates that one of the sites targeted by Israeli warplanes is a warehouse of Iranian weapons that were transferred to Syria a few days ago…,” Koulouriotis wrote at the start of a series of tweets. “Information confirms that the second target is a military cargo plane belonging to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards inside Damascus International Airport which landed hours ago… A source confirmed that the shipment of sophisticated weapons targeted was intended to be transferred and handed over to the Hezbollah Lebanese terrorist militia inside Lebanon,” she tweeted.

Local sources reported the strike was aimed at Iranian military targets near the airport, and said at least four explosions were heard, adding there appeared to be an attack on an underground compound near the airport.

How a Herman Wouk novel shaped the debate over removing an unfit president

September 15, 2018

The 25th Amendment to the US Constitution got a little inspiration from a passionate Jewish lawyer in ‘The Caine Mutiny’

WASHINGTON (JTA) — It’s hard to follow the news these last weeks without running into a reference to the 25th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which provides for the removal from office of a president unfit to serve.

Questions about Donald Trump’s capacity to govern arise in “Fear,” Bob Woodward’s chronicle of the Trump presidency that was released last week. Also last week, an anonymous senior administration official writing in an op-ed in The New York Times described a mercurial and dangerous president and said that whispers of triggering the 25th Amendment suffuse the workings of the administration.

Vice President Mike Pence, who would become president were the amendment triggered, denied that it was under consideration.

Omarosa Manigault Newman, an adviser to Trump who was fired earlier this year and has written her own book about administration dysfunction, claims that other officials tag #TFA in texts to each other about Trump’s mental peregrinations.

What’s less known is that the amendment owes its existence in part to a riveting scene of Jewish angst in a popular novel, play and movie, “The Caine Mutiny.”

This May 15, 2000, file photo, shows author Herman Wouk in Palm Springs, California. (AP Photo/Douglas L. Benc Jr., File)

Spoiler alert for the three people in the universe who have not seen an iteration of the “Mutiny” on late night TV, at their high school theater or on “The Simpsons.” Herman Wouk’s 1951 novel is about a group of Navy officers who remove a volatile captain from his command of a minesweeper when he freezes up during a typhoon. The officers are tried for mutiny and acquitted. The Pulitzer Prize-winning book, the subsequent play and the 1954 movie made “Captain Queeg” a byword for erratic leadership.

Humphrey Bogart earned an Oscar nomination for his performance as Queeg, who nervously spins a pair of ball bearings in his hand and obsesses about missing strawberries before breaking down on the witness stand.

Jose Ferrer, left, portraying Lt. Barney Greenwald, Van Johnson, center, as Lt. Steve Maryk, and Humphrey Bogart, as Captain Philip Francis Queeg, appear in the 1955 Hollywood movie ‘The Caine Mutiny.’ (AP Photo)

Less well remembered is the twist at the end: At a celebration of the mutineering officers’ legal victory, Lt. Barney Greenwald, their defense lawyer, dresses them down for undermining Queeg before the typhoon. Greenwald insists that had the crew given Queeq the loyalty he deserved, he would have had the confidence to take control during the storm.

In the novel and the play, Greenwald’s Jewishness is made explicit.

“Greenwald’s Jewishness is at the moral heart of the piece, drama that rings true every moment,” a New York Times critic said in a positive review of the 1981 revival.

Men like Queeg, Greenwald tells the acquitted officers, protected the country from fascist invasion before the United States entered World War II, while the officers pursued lucrative careers until they were drafted.

The final scene of the film — Hollywood! — denudes Greenwald’s speech of its Jewish content but preserves the power of its message: The men who protected Americans from fascism deserved better consideration.

“The Germans aren’t kidding about the Jews, they’re cooking us down into soap over there,” Greenwald says in the novel. “I just can’t cotton to the idea of my mother melted down into a bar of soap … I owed [Queeg] a favor, don’t you see? He stopped Hermann Goering from washing his fat behind with my mother.”

David Schwimmer plays the role of Lieutenant Barney Greenwald, during a revival of Herman Wouk’s 1954 courtroom drama ‘The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial,’ April 13, 2006, at the Schoenfeld Theater in New York. (AP Photo/Stephen Chernin)

The 103-year-old Wouk, who is Jewish, based the novel on his World War II experiences in the Navy. He served aboard two minesweepers, including the USS Zane. In addition to “The Caine Mutiny,” he wrote “The Winds of War,” a popular 1970s novel that made the plight of Europe’s Jews central to its sweeping account of US involvement in World War II. He has also written a primer on Judaism, “This is My God.”

Greenwald’s agonized plea that commanders deserve fuller consideration of their ability to lead before they are removed informed the process that led to the passage of the amendment in 1967, as The Washington Post reported last week.

John Sutherland, a Harvard law professor asked to advise on the issue, told the US House Judiciary Committee in 1956 about how he stayed up all night reading ‘The Caine Mutiny.’”

“Did you finish it in one night?” asked Emmanuel Celler, D-N.Y., the chairman of the committee, who eventually drafted the 25th Amendment with Sen. Birch Bayh, D-Ind.

“I finished it about 2 o’clock in the morning,” Sutherland said. “It is a bully novel.”

Sutherland apologetically added that he did not mean to “depreciate the solemnity” of the hearings by comparing the deliberations of Congress to a popular novel, but Celler, who was Jewish, appreciated the mention of Wouk’s work.

“It is an excellent analogy,” Celler said.

Sutherland likened a vice president who assumes the presidency simply by declaring the president incapable to Napoleon, who crowned himself emperor.

In this file photo taken on June 20, 2018 US Vice President Mike Pence speaks as US President Donald Trump looks on before signing an executive order on immigration in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC. (AFP PHOTO / Mandel Ngan)

“Didn’t he seize the crown and put it on his own head?” he asked before adding that would not be acceptable to Americans.

John Feerick, a revered New York lawyer who helped draft the amendment, told the Post that the film was a “live depiction” of a constitutional crisis. The “Caine” analogy was not new to Feerick: He cited it in a 1965 book on presidential successions.

“A Vice-President would be on precarious ground in a case where a President had become insane, refused to declare himself disabled, or disagreed with the decision of the Vice-President,” he wrote at the time.

In those circumstances, Feerick wrote, a vice president might be “too reluctant to act or, if he did act, he might be labeled a usurper.”

The solution in the amendment is a complicated formula: A vice president must muster a majority of the Cabinet to declare to Congress that the president is no longer fit to govern, whereupon the vice president assumes the presidency. Should the president declare himself fit to govern, he reassumes the presidency, and the vice president and the Cabinet have four days to reassert to Congress that the president is indeed unfit. The vice president then reassumes the presidency for up to 23 days while Congress considers whether the president is fit to govern. Ousting the president requires a two-thirds majority in the Senate and the House of Representatives.

Three weeks and a two-thirds majority to consider whether a commander deserves the humiliation of ouster. Barney Greenwald would approve.

Trump administration adopts new definition of anti-Semitism in schools

September 13, 2018

By – on

President Trump is going to change the way the U.S education department investigates anti-Semitism, to include delegitimizing Israel or holding Israel to a double standard that would not be expected from any other democratic nation. This is fabulous news. Anti-Israel and pro-BDS activity is raging on campuses all over the United States. As a result, pro-Israel Jewish students are being terrorized on college campuses.

“Palestinian” and pro-BDS groups criticized the decision harshly, claiming that their free speech rights are being violated. They’re lying. It is the free speech rights of pro-Israel Jews (on college campuses) that have been violated by the supporters of the BDS movement and other radical left-wing groups.

Pro-“Palestinian” groups refuse to allow civilized debate on the Israel-“Palestinian” conflict, because they know they can’t win. Instead, they bully, marginalize, intimidate, humiliate, and assault pro-Israel Jewish students, making it next to impossible for pro-Israel Jews (and non-Jews) to exercise their freedom of speech rights. President Trump’s decision was not only a victory for pro-Israel Jewish students, but also for Americans who care about freedom of speech.

President Trump has quite simply been a godsend for Israel and the Jewish people. President Trump has done more for Israel in less than two years than AIPAC has done in 50. Significantly more. Sadly, President Trump can expect to receive only 25 percent of the Jewish vote in 2020, at best.

“Trump administration adopts new definition of anti-Semitism in schools,” by Michael Stratford, Politico, September 11, 2018:

The Trump administration is changing how the Education Department investigates allegations of discrimination against Jewish students, backing an approach that is favored by pro-Israel groups but that critics worry will stifle free speech and criticism of Israel on campus.

The policy change was outlined in a letter last month by Kenneth Marcus, who leads the department’s Office for Civil Rights, in which he re-opened a 2011 investigation into Rutgers University in connection with alleged discrimination against Jewish students. The letter was obtained by POLITICO.

Marcus wrote in the letter that the Education Department, in its investigations into discrimination, would use the “working definition” of anti-Semitism that is “widely used by governmental agencies” including the State Department.

That definition includes examples in which delegitimizing Israel, or holding it to a double standard not expected of other democratic nations, are deemed anti-Semitic.

That meant the Office for Civil Rights for the first time was using a definition of anti-Semitism that some Jewish activists have long sought as a tool to curb discrimination on campuses. But some civil liberties organizations and advocates for Palestinian rights believe that the definition is so broad that it would label criticism of Israel as anti-Semitic.

Education Department spokeswoman Liz Hill denied that the administration had made a change. “The Department has not adopted a definition of anti-Semitism,” Hill said in an email.

“Secretary DeVos has made clear that OCR will look at the specific facts of each case and make determinations accordingly,” she added. “The facts in the Rutgers case, many of which were disregarded by the previous administration, are troubling.”

Ps: emphasis by PH

I Admit , yes really !

September 11, 2018

The weirdo in me let me do this .

Thanks to yo

To be plugged in or not to be plugged in !

September 10, 2018

US Says Assad Has Approved Gas Attack In Idlib, Setting Stage For Major Military Conflict

September 10, 2018

At this point there’s not even so much as feigning surprise or suspense in the now sadly all-too-familiar Syria script out of Washington.

The Wall Street Journal has just published a bombshell on Sunday evening as Russian and Syrian warplanes continue bombing raids over al-Qaeda held Idlib, citing unnamed US officials who claim President Bashar al-Assad of Syria has approved the use of chlorine gas in an offensive against the country’s last major rebel stronghold.”

And perhaps more alarming is that the report details that Trump is undecided over whether new retaliatory strikes could entail expanding the attack to hit Assad allies Russia and Iran this time around.

That’s right, unnamed US officials are now claiming to be in possession of intelligence which they say shows Assad has already given the order in an absolutely unprecedented level of “pre-crime” telegraphing of events on the battlefield.

And supposedly these officials have even identified the type of chemical weapon to be used: chlorine gas.

The anonymous officials told the WSJ of “new U.S. intelligence” in what appears an eerily familiar repeat of precisely how the 2003 invasion of Iraq was sold to the American public (namely, “anonymous officials” and vague assurances of unseen intelligence)  albeit posturing over Idlib is now unfolding at an intensely more rapid pace:

Fears of a massacre have been fueled by new U.S. intelligence indicating Mr. Assad has cleared the way for the military to use chlorine gas in any offensive, U.S. officials said. It wasn’t clear from the latest intelligence if Mr. Assad also had given the military permission to use sarin gas, the deadly nerve agent used several times in previous regime attacks on rebel-held areas. It is banned under international law.

It appears Washington is now saying an American attack on Syrian government forces and locations is all but inevitable.

And according to the report, President Trump may actually give the order to attack even if there’s no claim of a chemical attack, per the WSJ:

In a recent discussion about Syria, people familiar with the exchange said, President Trump threatened to conduct a massive attack against Mr. Assad if he carries out a massacre in Idlib, the northwestern province that has become the last refuge for more than three million people and as many as 70,000 opposition fighters that the regime considers to be terrorists.

And further:

The Pentagon is crafting military options, but Mr. Trump hasn’t decided what exactly would trigger a military response or whether the U.S. would target Russian or Iranian military forces aiding Mr. Assad in Syria, U.S. officials said.

Crucially, this is the first such indication of the possibility that White House and defense officials are mulling over hitting “Russian or Iranian military forces” in what would be a monumental escalation that would take the world to the brink of World War 3.

The WSJ report cites White House discussions of a third strike — in reference to US attacks on Syria during the last two Aprils after chemical allegations were made against Damascus —  while indicating it would “likely would be more expansive than the first two” and could include targeting Russia and Iran.

The incredibly alarming report continues:

During the debate this year over how to respond to the second attack, Mr. Trump’s national-security team weighed the idea of hitting Russian or Iranian targets in Syria, people familiar with the discussions said. But the Pentagon pushed for a more measured response, U.S. officials said, and the idea was eventually rejected as too risky.

A third U.S. strike likely would be more expansive than the first two, and Mr. Trump would again have to consider whether or not to hit targets like Russian air defenses in an effort to deliver a more punishing blow to Mr. Assad’s military.

Last week the French ambassador, whose country also vowed to strike Syria if what it deems credible chemical allegations emerge, said during a U.N. Security Council meeting on Idlib: “Syria is once again at the edge of an abyss.”

With Russia and Iran now in the West’s cross hairs over Idlib, indeed the entire world is again at the edge of the abyss.