Two-State delusion divides American and Israeli Jews

Ronald Lauder’s recent New York Times editorial, “Israel’s Self-Inflicted Wounds,” exposed a growing rift between American and Israeli Jews over the elusive two-state solution, which has been further exacerbated by the violence currently roiling Gaza.  Israelis from across the spectrum seem to recognize it as a chimera without historical foundation, whereas secular and progressive Jews in North America increasingly view it as doctrine to be imposed on others 5,700 miles away, regardless of the consequences.

Two-state advocates often demand that Israel make concessions despite the anti-Semitic rejectionism which permeates Palestinian society. But if forced on Israel, their solution would leave her with enemy sovereigns at her doorstep – as has been graphically demonstrated by the Gaza situation.

Americans who believe that most Palestinian Arabs accept the concept of “two states for two peoples” seem undeterred by surveys showing precisely the opposite or by the PA and Hamas Charters – though both deny Israel’s right to exist and one calls for genocide.  Foregoing critical analysis, many accept the dubious Palestinian narrative while overlooking anti-Israel rhetoric that is revisionist on its face and anti-Semitic at its core.  Whereas many proclaim they are saving Israel from herself, their seeming tolerance of Palestinian revisionism would suggest otherwise.

Though generally assumed to be liberal policy, the two-state paradigm is increasingly accepted by self-identified conservatives (e.g., Lauder, President of the World Jewish Congress) who are secular and/or affiliated with the non-Orthodox movements.

Unfortunately, the paradigm is compromised by conflicting narratives that are irreconcilable.  It presumes the authenticity of Palestinian national claims that lack provenance, but which Palestinians legitimize by denigrating the Jews’ ancient connection to and continuous presence in their homeland.  While Israel could agree to any resolutional framework for political reasons with an entity that accepts her existence, she cannot validate a myth that repudiates Jewish history and sovereignty.

In his New York Times piece, Lauder suggested that Israel risks becoming repressive absent a Palestinian state, writing: “If current trends continue, Israel will face a stark choice: Grant Palestinians full rights and cease being a Jewish state or rescind their rights and cease being a democracy. To avoid these unacceptable outcomes, the only path forward is the two-state solution.”

He also took issue with the orthodox establishment, suggesting its pervasive influence on Israeli society will alienate diaspora Jewry and lead to semi-theocracy.  Nobody can argue with his pro-Israel bona fides. But what is concerning when such claims come from conservatives is that they invoke presumptions often associated with progressives.

These presumptions, however, begin to crumble when parsed against the “March of Return” and subsequent violence orchestrated by Hamas in Gaza, which though clearly rejectionist and anti-Semitic have been regarded favorably by the western media.  Sympathetic bias was evident in news commentary that compared the Gaza protests to Martin Luther King’s 1965 march in Selma, Alabama, and thus analogized Hamas-inspired violence to American civil rights advocacy. Whereas Dr. King sought to unite people in the spirit of human dignity, however, Hamas aims to demonize Jews and encourage genocide.  Any comparison between Selma and Gaza bespeaks either ignorance or artifice.

Sympathy for the Gaza protestors has also been expressed by liberal groups like J Street, which issued a press release stating, among other things, the following:

“J Street is saddened and disturbed by renewed violence today at the Gaza-Israel border…

“While there are reports of a small number of Palestinians attempting to breach the fence or otherwise attack Israeli soldiers, the vast majority of those who have gathered appear to be exercising their legitimate and important right to engage in nonviolent protest…

[ . . . ]

“We call on Hamas to stop inciting violence within peaceful protests. We call on Palestinian leaders to resume efforts to negotiate a path to political reconciliation. And, echoing numerous Israeli peace organizations and political parties, we call on the Israeli government to ease the siege of Gaza, help alleviate the suffering of its people and actively pursue a two-state resolution to the underlying conflict…”

The implication that Hamas usurped the protests of a peaceful majority does not jibe with facts on the ground. There was nothing incidental about the involvement of Hamas, which planned the violence in Gaza, knowing mainstream journalists would whitewash its coordinated mayhem, mischaracterize its intentions, and criticize any Israeli response as disproportionate.  Apparently, Hamas could also count on western progressives to vouch for its supporters’ integrity and raise the false specter of Israeli culpability.

On-site reports described widespread violence, with participants burning tires, pelting IDF soldiers with rocks, hurling incendiary projectiles, and breaching the security fence at the border.  The unrest has been pervasive and not limited to extremist outliers; and notwithstanding fatuous reports of Israeli soldiers killing young and elderly Arab civilians, almost all casualties have been identified as terrorists or adults of fighting age, including members of Hamas’s “Nukhba” commando unit.  Moreover, the renewal of violence to coincide with the US embassy opening in Jerusalem has been described by non-Israeli military experts as a coordinated, tactical terrorist operation.

Despite Hamas’s admission that most of those killed were terrorists, liberal Jewish groups nonetheless have publicly mourned the deaths of “innocents.”  And news reports from Gaza continue to portray the violence as an understandable expression of frustration over “the occupation.” Although Israel’s complete disengagement in 2006 illustrates the absurdity of such claims, it is ignored by activist reporters who persist in characterizing Gaza as occupied despite the lack of any Israeli presence or rule

Dishonest reporting and claims of disproportionate Israeli reactions are intended to evoke false images of Jewish colonial repression – images that are reinforced by liberals who support the revisionist myth that Israel’s existence without a Palestinian state violates the intent of the original Mandate for Palestine.  Such arguments are nonsense, however, insofar as the San Remo Convention of 1920, the Transjordan Memorandum of 1922, and the Palestine Mandate of 1923 never advocated creating a state for “Palestinians,” who had no sovereign existence and whose national identity would not be invented for decades.  To the extent these enabling documents may have contemplated an Arab state alongside a Jewish one in the ancient Jewish homeland, that intent was fulfilled by the creation of Transjordan (Jordan) in 1921.

This history – not Palestinian mythology – should set the parameters for any resolutional framework.  It is well and good that Israel is a vibrant democracy that respects minorities and encourages free participation in the electoral process.  Israel’s primary existential purpose, however, is to provide national autonomy for Jews in their homeland. Her equal treatment of all citizens, whether Jewish or Arab, is a projection of her ancestral values and starkly contrasts with the ethnic and religious persecution and strife that characterize the rest of the Mideast.

And yet, progressives never condemn countries like Saudi Arabia for financing extremism, subjugating women, and suppressing speech, or Iran for persecuting non-Muslims, killing gay people, and exporting terrorism. They prefer instead to denounce Israel using an assortment of unsupportable straw arguments.

One of easiest calumnies is to accuse Israel of apartheid, because the mere use of the word inflames passions beyond reason, especially among those who are unaware that it is a crime with a specific definition.  The International Criminal Court’s Rome Statute of 2002 defines “apartheid” as consisting of acts “committed in the context of an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial group or groups and committed with the intention of maintaining that regime.”  This definition hardly fits Israel, however, where Arab citizens have the same legal rights as Jews, live where they want, and serve in government as Knesset members, cabinet ministers, and judges.

Another common subterfuge is the “demographic time-bomb” argument, which claims Arab population growth will displace Jews and result in the suspension of democracy to maintain Jewish supremacy.  But Israel’s population last year totaled approximately 8,680,000, broken down by percentage as 75% Jewish, 20% Arab, and 4.5% “other.” Moreover, Jewish birthrates are higher than those of Arabs, even among secular Jews, and they continue to rise as Arab birthrates decline, both in pre 1967 Israel and in Judea and Samaria.

Finally, those who believe two-statism is necessary to preserve Israel’s democracy also tend to represent orthodoxy as a threat to democratic freedom, though orthodox hegemony does not seem to bother average Israelis.  The anti-religious fervor of secular non-Israelis seems to ignore the fact that orthodox influence is maintained through Israel’s political process and is ultimately subject to domestic political pressures.  It seems, however, that what secular progressives really want is to remake Israel in their own image from afar.

Perhaps it is diaspora Jews who are alienating Israelis, and not vice versa.

Regardless of motivation, secular Americans often sound presumptuous in declaring what would be best for Israel – oblivious to how their partisan ideals might threaten her sovereign integrity.  If they are truly concerned about Israel’s survival, however, they would do well to learn her history, acknowledge the reality of Palestinian rejectionism, understand what is really happening in Gaza, and recognize that Israeli citizens are capable of determining their own national needs and priorities.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in Israel National News.  The featured image of a dead end sign is by jhwink.

Clapper Spills the Beans on ‘SPYGATE’ — It was all a set-up from the get-go!

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper spilled the beans on Tuesday in an exchange with Joy Behar on The View that will undoubtedly make its way into the history books.

The question was whether the FBI had ordered undercover agents to “spy” on the Trump campaign in the spring and summer of 2016, well before Donald Trump had won the Republican nomination for president.

Here is the transcript:

Behar: … So, I ask you, was the FBI spying on Trump’s campaign?

Clapper: No, they were not. They were spying on, a term I don’t particularly like, but on what the Russians were doing. Trying to understand were the Russians infiltrating, trying to gain access, trying to gain leverage and influence which is what they do.

Behar: Well, why doesn’t he like that? He should be happy.

Clapper: Well, he should be.

Clapper’s admission – for that’s what it was – was astonishing: the FBI had in fact infiltrated the Trump campaign and was spying on the candidate and his team.

That’s a first. And it’s on the record.

Remember all the indignation from the deep state when Trump claimed that the FBI had “wiretapped” Trump Tower? While Trump might not have used the term of art, he was right. He and his campaign were the targets of hostile U.S. government surveillance.

Clapper has tried to wrap himself in the flag, spinning his monumental admission as an effort to “protect” the Trump campaign from nefarious influence from bad Russian actors.

But such claims fall flat for one simple reason: whenever the FBI discovers through a counter-intelligence investigation that an American has been targeted by a foreign power, they almost always inform the American to warn them off.

I know. It has happened to me. (More on that below).

So when did the FBI warn the Trump campaign of the hostile Russian attempts to penetrate the campaign?

Certainly not in the spring of 2016, when the FBI detected the first effort to penetrate the Trump campaign by a suspected Russian agent, Joseph Mifsud.

How do we know this? Because in their cockamamie indictment of George Papadopolous, Robert Mueller’s legal team told us that a suspected Russian agent, code-named “the Professor,” twice approached Papadopolous in London with an offer to provide damaging information on Hillary Clinton obtained by the Russian government. Papadopolous then blabbed about the stolen emails at a bar with an Australian diplomat, an event the FBI claims “triggered” the investigation into the Trump campaign.

The next attempt to penetrate the Trump campaign came soon afterwards, when Stefan Halper, a long-time CIA asset, again dangled the Clinton emails to a Trump campaign volunteer, Carter Page. As we learned on Wednesday, Halper also met with top Trump advisor Sam Clovis, in a failed attempt to insinuate his way into the campaign.

But Halper wasn’t acting on behalf of the Russians. As we learned just recently, he was an FBI mole.

Clapper wants us to believe that the intelligence community was protecting the Trump campaign and that the President should thank them.

But the truth is just the opposite. Once the intelligence community detected some type of approach by Mifsud – possibly by a Russian agent, possibly not –- they took no steps to notify Donald Trump or anyone involved in his campaign in order to “protect” our political process. Instead, they launched a classic undercover operation in an attempt to entrap campaign workers, and hopefully the candidate himself, into accepting Russian offers to help them against candidate Clinton.

But this also failed, because there never was any Russian offer. The Russia-collusion spin, jinned up in January 2017 by Clapper, Comey and Brennan, was just a sham, a deception to take our eyes away from what had really been going on.

They wanted to hide the sting operation. And no wonder: it’s called treason, a series of overt and covert acts aimed at overthrowing the duly elected government of the United States.

Who was behind the plot against Trump?

Clearly Clapper was involved; he has admitted as much. Senior officials at the FBI and the DoJ also were involved, but according to their accounts, not until they filed the first wiretapping request with the FISA court in late July 2016.

So what other U.S. intelligence leader would have the power and the authority to engage covert assets operating overseas in an operation against an American political campaign? Only one: CIA director John Brennan.

Both Brennan and Comey have been furiously attacking Trump in recent weeks, as Congressional investigators and the Department of Justice Inspector General gets closer to revealing their illegal acts. I believe they both should be indicted for treason.

In 1996, I was reporting on the Gore-Chernomyrdin commission, which the U.S. and Russian governments established to exchange information on (then) alleged Russian assistance to Iran’s ballistic missile programs.

One of my sources at the time was a Russian diplomat, ostensibly a press officer, who offered hard information on the Russian companies helping Iran that he said had been presented by the Russian government to Vice President Al Gore.

I suspected my “source” was an intelligence officer. But I was able to corroborate his information and found it to be genuine—if embarrassing to Al Gore, who was trying to downplay Russia’s involvement in Iran.

I was not terribly surprised when I got a call from an FBI agent, who asked to meet me in a public park in Georgetown. He proceeded to tell me that the Russian was an intelligence officer the FBI was keeping tabs on, and that I should be careful about his efforts to cultivate me.

I thanked the agent, and promised to let him know if the Russian ever pumped me for information (he did not). The Russian was later targeted by the FBI in March 2001 for his alleged involvement in the Robert Hansen case and quietly left the United States before he could be expelled.

That’s how the FBI is supposed to work. Under Jim Comey and his merry band of partisan hacks, it went woefully astray.

RELATED ARTICLE: Sorry, But Obama White House, Not Dossier, Was Behind Trump Investigation

RELATED VIDEO: The latest edition of Inside Judicial Watch–with special guest Congressman Louie Gohmert (R-TX) to discuss Robert Mueller’s career working in law enforcement–from the U.S. Attorney’s office to the special counsel investigation into alleged Trump/Russia collusion.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in FrontPage Magazine.

Pompeo Unveils New Iran Strategy in Heritage Foundation Speech

UPDATE: Secretary of State Pompeo’s remarks at the Heritage Foundation:

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will present a “diplomatic road map” on Monday for pursuing a “new security architecture” for dealing with Tehran after the U.S. pullout from the multilateral Iran nuclear deal.

Pompeo will deliver remarks at The Heritage Foundation in Washington about the Trump administration’s strategy for countering not only Iran’s nuclear ambitions, but also its sponsorship of terrorism and its disruption in the Middle East.

“Our broad approach now that we’ve been emphasizing is that we need … a framework that’s going to address the totality of Iran’s threats,” Brian Hook, director of policy planning for the State Department, said on a conference call with reporters Friday.

“This involves a range of things around its nuclear program—missiles, proliferating missiles, and missile technology, its support for terrorists, and its aggressive and violent activities that fuel civil wars in Syria and Yemen,” Hook said. “And so we see an opportunity to counter and address Iran’s nuclear and proliferation threats, its destabilizing activity, and to create a better nonproliferation and deterrence architecture for Iran and the region.”

The 2015 Iran nuclear deal that was led by the Obama administration lifted sanctions in exchange for Iran’s delaying development of a nuclear arsenal for 10 years. On May 8, President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

“In the last three years or so, the JCPOA gave a lot of people a sort of false sense of security that by addressing Iran’s nuclear program, that we were somehow then addressing the totality of Iranian threats,” Hook said. “And it’s important that we change that dynamic.”

The other partners in the Iran deal were Britain, France, Germany, China, and Russia.

In advance of the speech Monday, Pompeo spoke with the foreign ministers of Germany, France, and Britain, Hook said.

“We agree on more than we disagree, and we, as I said, have been working with the Europeans over the last week or two, and just in consultations with them, and we want to continue the momentum from our work with our European allies,” Hook said.

“And we see this, the coming months, as an opportunity to expand our efforts and to work with a lot of countries who share the same concerns about nonproliferation, about terrorism, about stoking civil wars around the region.”

COMMENTARY BY

Portrait of Fred Lucas

Fred Lucas

Fred Lucas is the White House correspondent for The Daily Signal and co-host of “The Right Side of History” podcast. Send an email to Fred. Twitter: @FredLucasWH.

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Dear Readers:

With the recent conservative victories related to tax cuts, the Supreme Court, and other major issues, it is easy to become complacent.

However, the liberal Left is not backing down. They are rallying supporters to advance their agenda, moving this nation further from the vision of our founding fathers.

If we are to continue to bring this nation back to our founding principles of limited government and fiscal conservatism, we need to come together as a group of likeminded conservatives.

This is the mission of The Heritage Foundation. We want to continue to develop and present conservative solutions to the nation’s toughest problems. And we cannot do this alone.

We are looking for a select few conservatives to become a Heritage Foundation member. With your membership, you’ll qualify for all associated benefits and you’ll help keep our nation great for future generations.

ACTIVATE YOUR MEMBERSHIP TODAY

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaking at a State Department ceremony on May 2 as President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence look on. (Photo: Al Drago/SIPA/Newscom)

If Liberals Were Animals, it Would be an Improvement

If liberals were animals, if would be a marked improvement. For one thing, animals don’t lie.

Ever since President Trump characterized MS-13 gang members as “animals,” Democrats have been playing dumb (when they haven’t actually been dumb) for political gain. What started with some fake news outlets purposely misrepresenting Trump’s remarks and others sloppily parroting the deception, has degenerated into the comical: leftists trying to save face and gain votes by cynically claiming they’re offended that anyone would do violence to the principle of the dignity of all human persons. Why, Nancy Pelosi, a poo-bah of prenatal infanticide posing as a latter-day St. Thomas Aquinas, actually lectured us about how every person has a “divine spark.”

Question:

Does anyone really think Trump’s remarks were a theological statement about the nature of man or, even, about the worst among his number? Are we analyzing political comments or a seminary lecture?

Not to be outdone, CNN commentator Ana Navarro wasn’t deterred in her condemnation of the president by the fact that two years ago she herself had characterized Trump as an animal; she furthermore said that he “should drop out of the human race.” But, hey, children do tend to live in the here and now.

Speaking of which, a corollary of Democrats’ situational values is, obviously, situational interpretation: All of a sudden they’ve conveniently developed an inability to recognize, or to accept, figurative speech. Any conservative who doesn’t talk like Mr. Spock is to now be reviled.

We’ve seen this before. After the 2011 shooting of Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-Ariz.), Sarah Palin was condemned for using crosshairs imagery in a political ad. Yet nothing was said about how Barack Obama stated that he talked to certain people so he’d know “whose a** to kick”; he also advised in 2008, “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun.”

This is all figurative speech, of course. Yet Democrats, the first to condemn and mock fundamentalism, have done William Jennings Bryan one better: They insist on literalism when interpreting spoken words.

Ironic (and pathetic) here is that Democrats’ violent and vulgar tongues have led to actual crimes against traditionalists, such as the 2012 attack on the Family Research Council’s offices and the 2017 congressional baseball shooting.

The truth is that umbrage over the animals remark is posturing and delusion. Leftists will do anything to attain power, and this is another way to play the identity politics card. “Trump means all Hispanics!” is the narrative. (Now we just have to wait for the solidarity driven chant, “I am MS-13!”) Some liberals, though, have no doubt really convinced themselves that such talk is wrong; never forget that leftists live in the moment and in a world of rationalization.

In the former but not the latter, they are a bit like animals. But what beasts would they be? Would Ana Navarro be a weasel? Would Pelosi be a kookaburra (also known as a laughing jacka**)? Chris Cuomo a peacock? Hillary a Tasmanian devil and Bill a horny toad?

The final irony here is that liberals tend to embrace godless evolution and generally believe that people are nothing but animals. Yet as the brilliant G.K. Chesterton put it, “Man is an exception.” He “is always something worse or something better than an animal[.]” So true. And I think we know which free-will-abusing people are keeping MS-13 gangsters company in the worse category.

Contact Selwyn Duke, follow him on Twitter or log on to SelwynDuke.com

Club-K is Not For Dancing

Club-K is not for dancing. Club-K is the Russian container complex of missile weapons hidden in standard 20 foot and 40 foot sea containers. These weaponized containers are virtually indistinguishable from sea containers containing ordinary non-military items.

Housed inside each Club-K container are four missiles which can carry biological, chemical, conventional, Electro-Magnetic Pulse (EMP), or nuclear warheads. The extreme danger of the Club-K system is its ability to evade detection among the millions of shipping containers carried on ships, trains, and trucks all over the world, including inside the United States. The mobile Club-K missile systems are exposed when the Universal Launch Module (erector) tilts up to the vertical position.

Novator Design Bureau designed the missile system and is now part of Russia’s state-owned Almaz-Antey conglomerate. This means that the Russian government has a stealth mobile missile system that can be transported by ship to the United States and then moved anywhere around the country on trains or trucks. What does that have to do with national security and port security in particular? EVERYTHING – this is how it works.

Vertical integration is when a company controls the supply chain from manufacturing to end sales. In a political variation on vertical integration Barack Obama transformed America’s national security into a supply chain nuclear menace. America has many enemies and Obama embraced them all. Obama began by welcoming the mendacious Muslim Brotherhood (MB) into the United States and placing its operatives in every government agency including Homeland Security where Obama authorized the censoring of any mention of Islam and the ideology that motivates jihad terrorism.

Next, he kept his open-mic promise to Medvedev and facilitated Hillary Clinton’s collusion with Russia in the deceitful Uranium One deal that sold 20% of American uranium to our enemy and funneled millions into the Clinton coffers. Obama accomplished this by appointing his Muslim Brotherhood Pakistani buddy Aimen Nabi Mir to the top advisory position on the Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States (CIFUS).

CFIUS is an inter-agency committee authorized to review transactions that could result in control of a US business by a foreign person, in order to determine the effect of such transactions on the national security of the United States. Aimen Mir was the two-time president of the youth wing of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) – a Muslim Brotherhood offshoot that promotes the MB enmity toward the United States.

In one of the most deceitful speeches on record Aimen Mir addressed the Council on Foreign Relations 4.1.16 and assured the Council of CIFUS’ commitment to national security. It was Aimen Mir himself who played a key role in the Treasury Department’s refusal to investigate the United Arab Emirate (UAE) Gulftainer lease deal at Port Canaveral and who helped Vladimir Putin acquire American uranium!

So, Obama put a Muslim Brotherhood Pakistani in charge of CIFUS to approve foreign investments in the United States and appointed crooked Hillary to advance his anti-American agenda as Secretary of State. Highlights of Aimen Mir’s tenure (2009-2014) during Hillary’s term as Secretary of State (2009-2013) include:

  • approving the infamous Uranium One deal
  • awarding UAE Gulftainer the treacherous 35-year lease deal – code name Project Pelican – for the operation of our strategic Port Canaveral
  • introduction of the Club-K system

Project Pelican is Obama’s secret Port Canaveral Gulftainer deal that puts the UAE and the nefarious Iraqi Jafar family in close physical proximity to our nuclear ballistic submarine base, NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, and other Air Force facilities.

James A. Lyons, Jr. Admiral, USN (ret) has written a searing article exposing the danger and stupidity of the April 24, 2017 Delaware General Assembly approval of a $580 million 50-year lease that cedes control of the Port of Wilmington to the same UAE, Gulftainer, Jafar family triad. The Port of Wilmington is strategically located 100 miles from Washington DC and 128 miles from Manhattan.

Admiral Lyons explains in chilling detail that Dr. Jafar Dhia Jafar was the chief strategist of Saddam Hussein’s nuclear weapons program and the creator of the infamous Beach Ball, a miniaturized nuclear warhead that can fit on any warhead particularly the Russian Club-K container missile. Dr. Jafar’s brother, Hamid Jafar, is the founder of the Crescent Group, the parent company of Gulftainer.

Barack Hussein Obama, Hillary Clinton, and every one of the greedy corrupt politicians who facilitated these traitorous deals have conspired to create a vertical supply chain that threatens America with nuclear weapons. Whether their motives were ideological or strictly financial, the Obama/Clinton supply chain is a forward integration form of vertical integration that controls final distribution and is designed for America’s destruction:

  • •Weaken the military with Muslim Brotherhood political appointments who demand pro-Muslim policies and training manuals that scrub all mention of Islam, terrorism, and the Islamic ideology that motivates jihad
  • Uranium One deal – collusion with Russia to sell them 20% of America’s uranium
  • Project Pelican – cede control of our strategic port to our enemies
  • Port of Wilmington – cede control of our strategic port to our enemies
  • Club-K containers – Gulftainer can move its containers into strategic Ports Canaveral and Wilmington that they control and are in position to vaporize our strategic sites, paralyze Washington DC, and move on to other locations throughout the country
  • End game – America’s destruction

President Trump’s promise to drain the swamp is exposing the stunning treachery of the Obama/Clinton political cartel. As the water recedes the corrupt ecosystem of swamp life is manifest and its symbiotic nature revealed. POTUS is exposing the shocking complicity of FBI, CIA, DOJ, NSA, and Treasury staffed by politicized swamp creatures living under Republican and Democrat rocks to hide their treachery.

The 21st century enemies of America are many. The Leftists/Islamist/Globalist triad is attempting to destroy America from within and the Obama/Clinton political cartel is facilitating the process by weakening America’s defenses. The Center for Security Policy has released a threat assessment described as the Perfect Storm of Project Pelican’s Gulftainer, Russia’s Club-K, KGB’s Primakov, North Korea, and the Architects of the Islamic Bloc and the Iran Nuclear Deal.

Club-K is not for dancing. Club-K is for war against the United States of America. Barack Hussein Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton are enemies of the state.

President Trump has begun the long process of strengthening America by taking America out of the Paris Accord and the egregious Iran Deal. It would be wise for POTUS to follow Admiral Lyon’s advice and declare the Port Canaveral and Port of Wilmington deals null and void. America can never surrender control of its ports to enemies of the state whether foreign or domestic.

The Perfect Storm is Obama’s Trojan Horse and it is President Trump’s challenge to dismantle it.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the Goudsmit Pundicity.

New CIA Director, ‘One of the Most Accomplished Officers of Her Generation’

ast week, the Senate confirmed then-Director of the Central Intelligence Agency Mike Pompeo to be America’s 70th Secretary of State. Upon Secretary Pompeo’s swearing-in, CIA Deputy Director Gina Haspel assumed the role of Acting Director for the Agency. Haspel is President Donald J. Trump’s choice to succeed Mike Pompeo at the CIA’s helm on a permanent basis.

The President’s decision was an easy one. Like Secretary Pompeo, Haspel’s credentials as a public servant are far-reaching. She joined the CIA in the waning days of the Cold War and has spent many of the 33 years since in dangerous posts and foreign capitals on America’s behalf. That dedication has earned her multiple honors over her career, including the Intelligence Medal of Merit, a Presidential Rank Award, and the George H. W. Bush Award for Excellence in Counterterrorism.

Gina Haspel

Haspel’s first overseas assignment was as a case officer in Africa. Years later, with the fight against al Qaeda heating up, she requested a transfer to the CIA’s Counter Terrorism Center. Her first day on the job was September 11, 2001.

Service in the CIA is largely quiet, behind-the-scenes work to keep America safe. The names of these men and women are often unknown to the wider public, but their contributions to national security are indispensable. Haspel’s promotion from within the Agency is a testament to the crucial work of these public servants.

Her rise is also a milestone for women. She is the first woman in the CIA’s 70-year history to climb the ranks to become Deputy Director, as well as the first woman to be nominated for CIA Director. When Haspel first took over as a Chief of Station in a tumultuous capital abroad, the skepticism of some of her male colleagues was obvious. It didn’t take long for her to prove the doubters wrong.

As with Secretary Pompeo, a number of public officials have put country above party to support Haspel’s nomination. One example comes from a letter to the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence from more than 50 national security experts. “The U.S. Senate can help protect our country by swiftly confirming Gina Haspel,” they write. The signees include former Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger and George P. Schultz, as well as Democratic former Secretary of Defense and former CIA Director Leon Panetta.

Haspel draws this bipartisan admiration because of her reputation for providing objective, unbiased assessments to policymakers. She values the rule of law and Congressional oversight of the CIA, which aligns fittingly with President Trump’s accountability agenda for Washington.

The CIA workforce trusts Haspel to oversee these responsibilities. “She is one of the most accomplished officers of her generation,” former Director of the CIA Clandestine Service John Bennett says. “She has taken on some of the most demanding and least rewarding assignments in the War on Terror, not because she sought them out, but because she felt it was her duty.”

That sense of patriotism is precisely what Americans deserve in a CIA Director. The Senate has confirmed Haspel as the first woman Director of the CIA.

Arizona Border Ranchers Live in Fear as Illegal Immigration Crisis Worsens

More than half a million illegal immigrants of several dozen nationalities have been apprehended on John Ladd’s sprawling cattle ranch in southeastern Arizona. Ladd has also found 14 dead bodies on his 16,500-acre farm, which has been in his family for well over a century and sits between the Mexican border and historic State Route 92.

The property shares a 10 ½-mile border with Mexico, making it a popular route for human and drug smugglers evading a meager force of Border Patrol agents in the mountainous region. “As big as that number sounds, many more got away,” said National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd of the hundreds of thousands arrested on Ladd’s parcel. Judd spent a chunk of his decades-long career with the agency patrolling the area and he knows it well. “It’s gotten more violent. It’s gotten worse.”


As part of an ongoing investigation into the critical security issues created by the famously porous southern border, Judicial Watch visited frustrated ranchers and residents in Sierra Vista, a Cochise County town located 75 miles southeast of Tucson with a population of around 44,000.

The town sits in the picturesque Sonoran Desert and is surrounded by the scenic Huachuca Mountains. Illegal immigrants and drug smugglers are devastating the area and many longtime residents live in fear. Some are too scared to enjoy a simple pastime—horseback riding on their own land. “I can’t guarantee there’s not a dead body somewhere in my ranch right now,” said Ladd pointing to his property as he stood in front of the U.S. government’s border fence, an area known as the “shit ditch” because illegal immigrants use it as a toilet and trash can.

Sporting a thick gray mustache and a dapper cowboy hat, Ladd said 200 to 300 illegal aliens are caught daily passing through his property. “We don’t have any control of the border,” he said. “I see it every day.”

A 60-foot wide dirt road, known as a federal easement, separates Ladd’s ranch from Mexico. Some portions have an 18-foot iron fence along the border that Ladd says illegal immigrants “easily climb with a pack of dope.” Other sections have a laughable wire fence that has been repeatedly penetrated with vehicles speeding through from Mexico.

Some areas have been visibly patched where holes were carved out for passage. The fence is such a joke that the Border Patrol installed concrete barriers along a busy two-mile stretch across the 60-foot dirt road, right in front of the barb wire barrier on Ladd’s property line to stop smugglers. “Smugglers even put a hydraulic ramp, so a car or truck could blow through,” Ladd said.

He estimates that around 70% of the traffic that comes through his ranch is human smuggling and 30% is drug smuggling. In the last three years most of the illegal border crossers have been central American, Ladd said. The veteran rancher first became concerned with the unprotected border decades ago because sick Mexican cows threatened his herd.

The problem became more serious over the years. “First it was Mexican cows, then people, then dope,” Ladd said. “Now it’s really bad.” Ladd has traveled to the nation’s capital seven times to bring attention to the crisis in Sierra Vista, but Washington bureaucrats have failed to take any action.

Instead, the federal government has placed ineffective or faulty surveillance equipment in the region that smugglers easily evade. “The smugglers know the radio range and avoid it,” Judd said, adding that cameras are installed in the wrong spot and don’t have great resolution.

Judicial Watch staffers pictured with John Ladd

On a hill adjacent to Ladd’s ranch stands an imposing camera tower that could never capture illegal border crossers because its view is completely blocked by a sea of lush trees below. The government spent $1.3 million on the useless equipment and never bothered to study the terrain’s impact on the technology.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) simply installed the equipment based on a predetermined formula that separates the cameras by a fixed number of miles without considering the landscape, according to Judd. “They didn’t do any research on the topography,” he said. These kinds of failures frustrate local ranchers, who feel increasingly threatened by the barrage of illegal crossers rampaging through their property. With both thumbs resting on his thick, bronze belt buckle, Ladd looked up at the pointless camera tower smiling and quipped: “Now that’s a big boondoggle right there, a total waste of taxpayer dollars.”

Another troubled property owner, John Guerrero, took Judicial Watch on a nighttime tour of a nearby smuggling route that is inexplicably unprotected. The dirt road runs through the Coronado National Forest and Guerrero, a retired U.S. Army Ranger and intelligence officer who served in Iraq and Somalia, has felt the impact of the government’s failure to adequately guard it.

Five strands of barb wire serve as the physical boundary between the U.S. and Mexico in a remote portion of the park, which is closed to the public at night and is heavily transited by drug and human smugglers. Illegal immigration has had such a devastating impact on the area that Guerrero wrote a book offering detailed anecdotes of what he and his family endure because they live near the Mexican border. This includes drugs and illegal immigrants piling into vehicles on the road adjacent to his four-acre property and ultralight aircraft flying near his rooftop, just above the trees, en route to make a drug drop. “Local residents are increasingly fearful,” Guerrero said.

The event that has most impacted Guerrero occurred when smugglers burned down a beloved chapel, Our Lady of the Sierras, situated on a hill across the road from his home. A 75-foot Celtic cross outside the chapel remains lit through the night and serves as a navigational tool for smugglers and the grounds are regularly used to transfer drugs.

In 2011, illegal immigrant smugglers started the fire along the border to escape the Border Patrol during a pursuit. Besides the chapel, which has since been rebuilt, the fire destroyed nearly 30,000 acres and dozens of homes. Guerrero and his family were forced to evacuate. Widespread media coverage omitted that illegal immigrants were responsible for the fire, but a local news station finally reported that the Cochise County Sheriff confirmed the fire started 200 yards north of the Mexican border in an area known as Smuggler’s Gulch. “There was absolutely no mention by the federal government as to the true origin of the fire,” Guerrero said.

Judd, who heads the union that represents some 16,000 Border Patrol agents nationwide, says the border can be secured. “There has to be political will to secure the border,” he said. The frontline agency had tremendous faith that the Trump administration would finally get the job done, but the stats tell a different story.

Shortly after Trump became president there was a dip in the number of illegal immigrants entering the U.S. through Mexico, Judd said. However, “by April 2018 we were back to the Obama high of illegal border crossers,” Judd confirmed. Sierra Vista residents like Ladd and Guerrero continue to suffer the consequences of anemic border control and worry about the crime that has infested their once-idyllic town.

The problem is so rampant that Ladd often sees smuggling spotters from his property on the nearby mountains in the Mexican side. “They’re right there every day,” he said. “They live in camps and have solar generators. Their job is to look out.” Residents in Sierra Vista feel no one is looking out for them.

RELATED ARTICLE: Meet the ‘Never Trump’ Republicans Trying to Force a DACA Amnesty for Illegal Aliens

Who Are America’s Friends?

Have you ever been out to a large family dinner at a restaurant? Typically someone picks up the check for the entire party, such as a rich uncle. During the meal, he is kidded and listened to, but he is always expected to pick up the bill, with tip. It gets interesting when, one day, the family sits down at the table and the waiter asks who will be taking care of the bill at the end of the meal. The family is aghast when the uncle speaks up and says, “Separate checks.” Suddenly, the uncle isn’t quite so funny anymore, nor do people listen to him during the meal; in fact, he is ostracized and accused of being cheap. This pretty much describes America’s relationship with other countries.

On May 8th, President Trump announced the United States was withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal. This sent shock waves through our European allies as they had hoped we would stay in it, believing the Iranians would keep their end of the bargain and not develop nuclear weapons down the road. Mr. Trump didn’t read it the same way and saw it as producing long-term problems. It must be remembered this agreement was never ratified as a treaty by the Senate as the Obama administration didn’t want to see the Congress upset one of his landmark achievements.

Following America’s withdrawal, protests were formed in Iran, American flags were burned, and “Death to America,” was chanted by protesters and members of the Iranian parliament. Then again, this was also done when the agreement was first signed, so nothing has really changed; the Iranians never did like us, and probably never will.

This is another example of Mr. Trump’s “Big Stick” foreign policy where we no longer cajole countries into trying to see things our way. Whereas other presidents hoped to entice countries into working together, Mr. Trump is more results oriented, likely because of his business background. Time and again he has been using his “America First” mantra as an intricate part of his foreign policy.

We have used the “carrot and stick” approach for many years, but what did we get in return, loyalty? Hardly. For example, in December 2017, the United Nations held a resolution disapproving of America’s recent decision to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, something many past presidents had promised to do, yet failed to deliver. The vote passed 128-9 with 35 countries abstaining. Among those countries voting against the United States included our “friends,” the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Japan, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Ireland, and the Netherlands.

Others also voted against the United States, including many receiving generous foreign aid from America, including:

(From FY2017) –

Afghanistan – $977M
Bangladesh – $179M
Brazil – $25M
Congo – $395M
Cuba – $7.3M
Egypt – $143M
Ethiopia – $939M
Ghana – $167M
Iraq – $529M
Jordan – $813M
Lebanon – $116M
Libya – $64M
Nepal – $181M
Nigeria – $684M
Pakistan – $485M
Somalia – $416M
South Africa – $360M
Sudan – $151M
Viet Nam – $81M
West Bank/Gaza (Palestine Auth) – $285M
Yemen – $573M
Zimbabwe – $154M

SOURCE: USAID

In all, $21B was spent on foreign aid last year, which is used for such things as disasters, poverty relief, technical cooperation on global issues, including the environment, U.S. bilateral interests, and socioeconomic development. However, this does not include military aid which would probably double the figures shown. Yet, all of these countries voted against the United States, thereby creating an embarrassing moment for us.

If you study the individual donations listed here, which is only a partial list, one can only wonder if there is a better way of spending this money, particularly in our own country instead of giving it to our “friends.” Don’t we still have a national debt?

In refuting the resolution, UN Ambassador Nikki Haley said,

“The United States will remember this day in which it was singled out for attack in the General Assembly for the very act of exercising our right as a sovereign nation. We will remember it when we are called upon to once again make the world’s largest contribution to the United Nations. And we will remember it when so many countries come calling on us, as they so often do, to pay even more and to use our influence for their benefit.”

The Palestinian Authority has declared it will not with work the Trump administration in peace talks because of the Jerusalem decision, and will negotiate with other parties instead. Fine. I’m sure they will not need the $285 million they are currently receiving from our country.

Countries ask their rich “Uncle Sam” for money for a variety of reasons, such as to cooperate with American military policy, payola, and because they desperately need it. Whatever the reason, they have to learn to play ball with the administration. A vote against the United States, such as what happened at the United Nations, should be felt in the pocket book.

We would like to believe the European countries are our friends, particularly the United Kingdom. The truth is, it is a myth. Even Australia, Canada, Mexico, and the Philippines, long considered friendly to the United States, opted to abstain as opposed to rejecting the UN resolution outright. We should know by now, the other countries only want deals favoring their countries, and not our own. This is what Mr. Trump has been warning us about since he began to run for president. There is nothing wrong in helping others in time of need, but it should come with the stipulation they will support us in return. Otherwise, it is a Win-Lose proposition and as our president can tell you, the only good business relationship is when both parties prosper.

Keep the Faith!

P.S., Be sure to see my video, “The PRIDE Renewal Tour,” on YouTube.

RELATED ARTICLE: Hamas Turmoil in Gaza is a Reflection of a Deeper Development in the Arab World

EDITORS NOTE: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies. The featured image is of Iranians holding anti-Israel and anti-U.S. placards during a protest in Tehran. (AFP/Getty Images)

Religious Liberty: Believe Local, Act Global

The world’s worst actors got away with an awful lot when Barack Obama was president. When tyrants across Syria, Iraq, Nigeria, and other countries started sensing the White House’s indifference toward religious persecution, they exploited it. Little by little, they let their deep hatred for certain faiths turn violent. As time passed, and they grew more confident that the United States government wouldn’t intervene, their attacks became bolder, more ferocious. Innocent men, women, and children were gunned down, beheaded, raped, tortured, or chased from their homes simply because of who they were and what they believed. It was like a disease that America’s silence left to fester.

It’s going to take time for President Trump to undo the damage done by the Obama administration’s indifference. In the vacuum of American leadership, persecution exploded through some of the darkest corners on earth. Thousands of people paid for our indifference with their lives. Fortunately, this White House is in the process of making sure that never happens again.

Both Secretary Mike Pompeo and Ambassador at Large for Religious Freedom Sam Brownback hit the ground running, transforming the culture of the State Department almost overnight. Now, seemingly minor crises to the Obama administration are getting the U.S. government’s full attention. Just yesterday, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert called China on the carpet for cracking down on a memorial service for earthquake victims from 2008. “The police took away dozens of people who arrived for the planned service on Saturday morning, and they used trucks to remove publications belonging to the church, indicating that a broader move was underway against the congregation,” the New York Times reported. Pastors were arrested; others were hauled in for questioning.

“We call on China to uphold its international commitments to promote respect for religious freedom for all persons,” Nauert said forcefully. Earlier in the week, Pompeo’s agency fired another warning shot — this time to Yemen, whose radicals have vowed, “We will butcher every Baha’i,” a cry echoed by a large number of the country’s armed extremists. In that case, too, the State Department let the world know it was watching. “We call on the Houthis to end their unacceptable treatment of Baha’is and call on them to allow the Baha’i community to practice their religion without fear of intimidation or reprisals.”

To the relief of so many persecuted people of different faiths around the globe, America is regaining its voice on international religious liberty. FRC couldn’t be happier to see the Trump administration place a greater priority on this issue than most administrations. And this week, we’re proud to announce that I’ll be taking an active role in that effort. On Monday, thanks to the president and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), I was officially appointed to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). The Commission, which came about as part of the 1998 International Religious Freedom Act, is tasked with tracking religious freedom violations and making policy recommendations to the president, secretary of state, and Congress. Most people are familiar with USCIRF because of the annual “watch list” it puts together on countries that pose a particular threat to people of faith.

For FRC, this appointment is a recognition of the significant work we’ve done on religious liberty nationally and internationally. From testifying before Congress to fighting for the release of Afghan Christian Abdul Rahman and Sudan’s Meriam Ibrahim, it has been our honor to bring worldwide attention to the plight of the persecuted. My term at USCIRF will last two years, and I’ll continue to serve as FRC’s president during that time.

In the meantime, I’m grateful to Majority Leader McConnell for appointing me to such a prestigious position, and I look forward to doing all I can to ensure that our government is the single biggest defender of religious freedom internationally. One immediate step we can take in this regard is to make sure that the Frank R. Wolf International Religious Freedom Act is fully and properly implemented.

I also look forward to working with willing partners among those nations on USCIRF’s list of “Countries of Particular Concern” to substantively address religious freedom concerns — even at the grassroots level — and assist them in taking the actions necessary to be removed from the list. It’s my hope that through the work of USCIRF, the world will become one step closer to recognizing the vital role religious freedom and the defense of religious minorities play in peace, security, and human flourishing.

For more on the announcement and what I’ll be doing, check out these stories in CBNthe Daily Caller, and Religion News Service.


Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC Action senior writers.

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Muslims defraud U.S. taxpayers of over $100 million, use it to fund terrorist group al-Shabaab

Non-Muslims paying for the upkeep of Muslims is a Qur’anic dictate:

“Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued” (Qur’an 9:29).

The caliph Umar said the jizya payments from the dhimmis were the source of the Muslims’ livelihood:

“Narrated Juwairiya bin Qudama at-Tamimi: We said to `Umar bin Al-Khattab, ‘O Chief of the believers! Advise us.’ He said, ‘I advise you to fulfill Allah’s Convention (made with the Dhimmis) as it is the convention of your Prophet and the source of the livelihood of your dependents (i.e. the taxes from the Dhimmis.)’” (Bukhari 4.53.388)

UK jihad preacher Anjem Choudary said in February 2013:

“We are on Jihad Seekers Allowance, We take the Jizya (protection money paid to Muslims by non-Muslims) which is ours anyway. The normal situation is to take money from the Kafir (non-Muslim), isn’t it? So this is normal situation. They give us the money. You work, give us the money. Allah Akbar, we take the money. Hopefully there is no one from the DSS (Department of Social Security) listening. Ah, but you see people will say you are not working. But the normal situation is for you to take money from the Kuffar (non-Muslim) So we take Jihad Seeker’s Allowance.”

“Millions of dollars in suitcases fly out of MSP, but why?,” by Jeff Baillon, KMSP, May 13, 2018 (thanks to Ken):

MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) – For five months, Fox 9 has been investigating what appears to be rampant fraud in a massive state program.

This fraud is suspected of costing Minnesota taxpayers as much as $100 million a year.

The Fox 9 Investigators reporting is based on public records and nearly a dozen government sources who have direct knowledge of what is happening.

These sources have a deep fear, and there is evidence to support their concerns, that some of that public money is ending up in the hands of terrorists.

SUITCASES FILLED WITH MONEY

This story begins at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, where mysterious suitcases filled with cash have become a common carry-on.

On the morning of March 15, Fox 9 chased a tip about a man who was leaving the country. Sources said he took a carry-on bag through security that was packed with $1 million in cash. Travelers can do that, as long as they fill out the proper government forms.

Fox 9 learned that these cloak-and-dagger scenarios now happen almost weekly at MSP. The money is usually headed to the Middle East, Dubai and points beyond. Sources said last year alone, more than $100 million in cash left MSP in carry-on luggage.

The national, go-to expert on what is behind these mysterious money transfers is Glen Kerns.

“What we were interested in is where it was going,” Kerns said.

He is a former Seattle police detective who spent 15 years on the FBI’s joint terrorism task force, until his retirement.

“It’s an outright crime, it’s unbelievable,” he said.

Kerns tracked millions of dollars in cash that was leaving on flights from Seattle.

It was coming from Hawalas, businesses used to courier money to countries that have no official banking system.

Some immigrant communities rely on Hawalas to send funds to help impoverished relatives back home.

Kerns discovered some of the money was being funneled to a Hawala in the region of Somalia that is controlled by the al Shabaab terrorist group.

“I talked to a couple of sources who had lived in that region and I said, ‘If money is going to this Hawala do you think it is going to al Shabaab?’” said Kerns. “And he said, ‘Oh definitely, that area is controlled by al Shabaab, and they control the Hawala there.’”

He said when the money arrives, whether it was intended for legitimate purposes or not, al Shabaab or other groups demand a cut.

As Kerns dug deeper, he found that some of the individuals who were sending out tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of remittance payments happened to be on government assistance in this country.

How could they possibly come up with such big bucks to transfer back home?

“We had sources that told us, ‘It’s welfare fraud, it’s all about the daycare,’” said Kerns.

FOX 9 REPORTED ON THE FRAUD FIVE YEARS AGO

To better understand the connection between daycare fraud and the surge in carry-on cash, you have to look at the history of this crime.

Five years ago the Fox 9 Investigators were first to report that daycare fraud was on the rise in Minnesota, exposing how some businesses were gaming the system to steal millions in government subsidies meant to help low-income families with their childcare expenses.

“It’s a great way to make some money,” Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said.

In order for the scheme to work, the daycare centers need to sign up low income families that qualify for child care assistance funding.

Surveillance videos from a case prosecuted by Hennepin County show parents checking their kids into a center, only to leave with them a few minutes later. Sometimes, no children would show up.

Either way, the center would bill the state for a full day of childcare….

RELATED ARTICLE: Corruption and bribery alleged in UN refugee office in Sudan

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on Jihad Watch.

Blame Hamas, Not Ivanka Trump

Perhaps because they never were on board with President Donald Trump’s promise to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, some have unfairly targeted Ivanka Trump in the aftermath of the embassy opening.

There has been an outrageous effort to both implicitly and explicitly connect Ivanka’s presence in Jerusalem at the embassy opening to the violent Hamas protests and riots along the border.

The most egregious example is the cover of the New York Daily News, featuring a picture of a smiling Ivanka Trump by the headline “Daddy’s Little Ghoul.”

But the New York Daily News was far from the only critic. “The juxtaposition of images of dead and wounded Palestinians and Ivanka Trump smiling in Jerusalem like a Zionist Marie Antoinette tell us a lot about America’s relationship to Israel right now,” wrote New York Times columnist Michelle Goldberg.

MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough said, “For the rest of the world you actually saw an administration, a White House, and—we’ll say it since Ivanka Trump was there—a family completely out of touch with the realities of the region that they’re dealing with.”

Even comedian Stephen Colbert joined in, referring to Ivanka as “Peace Treaty Barbie.”

Let’s be real: targeting Ivanka is lazy.

Her presence at the opening was extremely appropriate considering she represents the Trump administration and is Jewish. And the appearance of her husband, Jared Kushner, was also appropriate: He’s been tasked with working on Middle Eastern affairs and is the grandson of Holocaust survivors.

Nor was Ivanka wrong to show excitement over the opening of the embassy. Let’s remember: An eventual embassy move to Jerusalem was already ingrained in U.S. foreign policy before Donald Trump’s election. Congress passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 with a bipartisan majority under President Bill Clinton.

That legislation required the U.S. Embassy to move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem by 1999, unless a president delayed it on grounds of national security.

At the end of the day, Trump followed through on a long-held promise—and there was nothing wrong with Ivanka Trump revealing her appreciation of the day finally arriving.

And it’s frankly outrageous to hold Ivanka responsible for Hamas’ actions. As The Heritage Foundation’s Jim Phillips, an expert in Middle Eastern affairs, noted on The Daily Signal podcast Monday when discussing the Palestinian protests, Israel “has to defend its borders, and I would blame all of this on Hamas, which is organizing these demonstrations. Hamas is considered a terrorist organization not only by the U.S. and Israel but by the [European Union].”

Or as United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley pointed out Tuesday: “The Hamas terrorist organization has been inciting violence for years, long before the United States to move our embassy.”

But the media’s behavior shouldn’t be surprising. It has been common practice during this administration’s tenure to avoid inconvenient truths.

The media resists acknowledging any of the president’s successes—and he has had a “winning” past few weeks, especially in the foreign policy sphere.

From ending the Iran deal to getting back hostages from North Korea, and capturing top ISIS leaders, the president racked up some major victories the past two weeks.

Hamas is an opportunistic aggravator and terrorist organization.

Our media should be careful to not play into its propaganda, and this includes unfairly targeting Ivanka Trump.

Such behavior doesn’t hurt the right, and it doesn’t just hurt Ivanka—it hurts all Americans, because it gives Hamas the media attention it wants and further divides our country.

COMMENTARY BY

Portrait of Ginny Montalbano

Ginny Montalbano is a contributor to The Daily Signal. Send an email to Ginny. Twitter: .

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Moving Embassy to Jerusalem Shows the US Is Unique. Just Like Israel.

Dear Readers:

With the recent conservative victories related to tax cuts, the Supreme Court, and other major issues, it is easy to become complacent.

However, the liberal Left is not backing down. They are rallying supporters to advance their agenda, moving this nation further from the vision of our founding fathers.

If we are to continue to bring this nation back to our founding principles of limited government and fiscal conservatism, we need to come together as a group of likeminded conservatives.

This is the mission of The Heritage Foundation. We want to continue to develop and present conservative solutions to the nation’s toughest problems. And we cannot do this alone.

We are looking for a select few conservatives to become a Heritage Foundation member. With your membership, you’ll qualify for all associated benefits and you’ll help keep our nation great for future generations.

ACTIVATE YOUR MEMBERSHIP TODAY

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image of Ivanka Trump in Jerusalem, Israel, on May 13 for the new embassy opening is by Amir Cohen/Reuters/Newscom)

PODCAST: Analyzing the Embassy Move to Jerusalem, Palestinian Protests

The Heritage Foundation’s Jim Phillips spoke to The Daily Signal’s Daniel Davis and Katrina Trinko for an interview for “The Daily Signal” podcast Monday.

Below is a lightly edited transcript of their conversation about the move of the embassy to Jerusalem, and rising tensions in the Middle East. 

Daniel Davis: Here to explain this opening of the new embassy and what it means for Israel and the region is Jim Phillips back on the show. He’s a Middle East analyst here at The Heritage Foundation. Jim, thank you for joining us again.

Jim Phillips: Well, thanks for inviting me.

Davis: So, Jim, there’s obviously a lot of implications for this in the region. We’re already seeing a backlash from some neighbors of Israel. But I wanted to ask you first—can you put this in historical perspective for us? Why is this moving of the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem so important for Israel as a nation?

Phillips: Well, I think it corrects a historic injustice in the sense that Israel is the only nation in the world that was barred from declaring where its own capital was. That lead to a historic anomaly where the U.S. had a diplomatic consulate in East Jerusalem for talking to Palestinians but it had no diplomatic facility elsewhere in Jerusalem for talking to Israelis. All of the diplomatic contact came out of the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv.

In 1995, the U.S. Congress, by a huge bipartisan majority, approved the Jerusalem Act, which called for moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem by 1999. But there was a waiver within the act, which allowed presidents to postpone moving the embassy if they could cite national security reasons, and every president up until President [Donald] Trump did just that. In part because there was the Oslo peace negotiations early on, and the Clinton and Bush administrations didn’t want to disrupt those.

But in recent years, the Palestinians have refused to engage with the Israelis so I think that’s one thing that led the Trump administration to go ahead and move the embassy. Also, that was one of candidate Trump’s promises that he would do as president.

Katrina Trinko: So obviously Israel is thrilled about this move of the embassy to Jerusalem. At the same time, we’re seeing reports that, I believe, tens of thousands of Palestinians are protesting. It seems like the Middle East is heating up once again, and you in a piece last year noted that this could be an outcome. Does this show that it was maybe a mistake to move the embassy? Do you think it complicated the Middle Eastern situation in ways that we’re going to deal with for years to come?

Phillips: Well, there’s no doubt that it did entail added risk to move the embassy, but I would maintain that much of those risks are from terrorists who would plan to attack the U.S. regardless. They might use the movement of the embassy as a pretext to justify their latest terrorist attack. But to me that was not a reason to hold back.

I was more concerned about the impact on the negotiations, but in recent years, the negotiations have gone nowhere anyway. So that risk was greatly reduced. I think even the most recent Palestinian wave of protest was going to happen anyway because today is the 70th anniversary of Israel’s birth, which Palestinians call … the disaster, and they were going to riot and do demonstrations regardless of what the U.S. decided about the embassy.

Davis: So, Jim, a lot of folks might think it’s just moving the embassy. It’s just symbolic gesture. It doesn’t seem like a threat to neighbors. Can you put this into context for us? Why do Palestinians and some neighbors see this as a threat? Do they see this as one step toward Israelis taking over the whole city of Jerusalem or some kind of moving the ball in a larger context? Can you fill that in for us?

Phillips: Well, Mahmoud Abbas, the leader of the Palestinian Authority, has said that the recognition of Jerusalem and the movement of the embassy discredits the U.S. and made it a pro-Israeli partisan rather than a neutral broker.

But I really don’t buy that argument. I think it shows that the Palestinians are still locked in the zero-some thinking that reveals them to be not really focused on peace, but they see everything that’s a plus to Israel to be a negative for them. As long as that thinking goes on and as long as their efforts to delegitimize Israel by even doubting that Jerusalem should be the capital of Israel, then I think that policy should be resistant.

U.S. officials were careful to say that the movement of the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem did not mean that the Palestinians couldn’t eventually have their own capital in Jerusalem, but they choose to interpret this as an either/or situation.

Trinko: Do you think there’s anything differently Israel should be doing toward Palestine right now? I mean, obviously, the 52 died—and Palestine is saying Israel is overreacting on the border thing. Israel is saying this is our border, “we need to keep it secure.” Then you mentioned Palestine isn’t even really engaging with Israel right now. Is there anything different Israel should be doing?

Phillips: I think it has to defend its borders, and I would blame all of this on Hamas, which is organizing these demonstrations. Hamas is considered a terrorist organization not only by the U.S. and Israel but by the [European Union].

Hamas is a revolutionary Islamic extremist organization that not only is opposed to a peace treaty with Israel, [but] is opposed to Israel’s very existence. So as long as Hamas has a strangle hold on Gaza, I have long argued there can be no peace because even if Israel signed a perfect peace treaty with the Palestinian Authority tomorrow, Hamas would be in a position to explode with another round of rocket terrorism.

When Israel pulled out of Gaza in 2005, Hamas staged a military coup against the authority, and turned Gaza into a base for terrorism. So as long as Hamas survives, then there can be no peace.

Davis: Well, you mentioned the rocket terrorism and last week we just saw rocket, uranium-backed rockets launched from Syria at Israel. Is Israel’s confrontation with Iran in any way connected to these developments in Jerusalem? How is Iran responding to the new embassy opening?

Phillips: Well, Iran not only supports Hezbollah and many other Shiite militias that are mobilized and deployed to Syria, but it also finances and arms Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, two of the terrorist organizations in Gaza that are firing increasingly sophisticated missiles against Israel. Hezbollah has more than 150,000 rockets and missiles in the north, along the Lebanon border, and Hamas has an unknown number inside Gaza that are smuggled through tunnels by smugglers that are being paid by Iran.

So Iran is very much involved in attacking Israel from both directions, and really all three directions, from Lebanon, from Syria, and from Gaza.

Trinko: So last question, it’s a simple one. How do we get to peace in the Middle East?

Phillips:  I would say that if you want peace now, you’re never going to get it because the other side will use that as a bargaining chip. If you show you want peace more than the other side, then I think that actually puts peace farther off.

I think peace can only come when totalitarian, Islamic ideologies are defeated and discredited because as long as Hamas and Hezbollah and Islamic extremists organizations like that rule out any peace with Israel, as long as they are in the driver’s seat, then unfortunately, there’s no chance for peace with more moderate Palestinians.

COMMENTARY BY

Portrait of Daniel Davis

Daniel Davis

Daniel Davis is the commentary editor of The Daily Signal and co-host of The Daily Signal podcastSend an email to Daniel. Twitter: @JDaniel_Davis.

Portrait of Katrina Trinko

Katrina Trinko

Katrina Trinko is managing editor of The Daily Signal and co-host of The Daily Signal podcast. She is also a member of USA Today’s Board of Contributors. Send an email to Katrina. Twitter: @KatrinaTrinko.

Portrait of James Phillips

James Phillips

James Phillips is the senior research fellow for Middle Eastern affairs at the Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation. He has written extensively on Middle Eastern issues and international terrorism since 1978. Read his research.

Dear Readers:

With the recent conservative victories related to tax cuts, the Supreme Court, and other major issues, it is easy to become complacent.

However, the liberal Left is not backing down. They are rallying supporters to advance their agenda, moving this nation further from the vision of our founding fathers.

If we are to continue to bring this nation back to our founding principles of limited government and fiscal conservatism, we need to come together as a group of likeminded conservatives.

This is the mission of The Heritage Foundation. We want to continue to develop and present conservative solutions to the nation’s toughest problems. And we cannot do this alone.

We are looking for a select few conservatives to become a Heritage Foundation member. With your membership, you’ll qualify for all associated benefits and you’ll help keep our nation great for future generations.

ACTIVATE YOUR MEMBERSHIP TODAY

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of Senior White House adviser Ivanka Trump and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin standing next to the dedication plaque at the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem. (Photo: Ronen Zvulun/Reuters/Newscom)

Moving Day! U.S. Celebrates New Jerusalem Embassy

It’s been a whirlwind few weeks for Israel — first with a jubilant 70th anniversary of independence party and now, with the official opening of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem. For our allies, today has been a long time coming. American presidents have been promising to take this step for more than 20 years. Now, after decades of waiting, we finally have a White House that means it.

While crowds of dignitaries looked on, a delegation from the United States that included the president’s daughter, Ivanka, and son-in-law, Jared, helped make history for two nations that have believed in this cause from the beginning. “My friends,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu began, “this is a great day for Israel. It’s a great day for America. It’s a great day for our fantastic partnership… but I believe it’s also a great day for peace.” Truth and peace, he explained, “are interconnected. A peace that is based on lies will only crash on the rocks of Middle Eastern realities. And the truth will always be that Jerusalem has always been, will always be, the capital of the Jewish state.”

For Donald Trump, today’s ceremony marks another major milestone on the growing list of White House accomplishments. As Jared Kushner reminded everyone, “Presidents before him have backed down from their pledge to move the American Embassy once they were in office. This president delivered. Because when President Trump makes a promise, he keeps it.” As far back as the campaign, this president vowed to bring America’s physical presence in Israel in line with our stated policy: that Jerusalem is the eternal undivided capital of the Jewish people.

The decision is a bold one, since it signals that America won’t be held hostage to a fractious peace process that’s frightened other administrations away from doing what this White House is. While other presidents let the threat of violence dictate American policy, Donald Trump refuses to make decisions based on what other groups think. As he’s done from the beginning, this president is sending a strong message that America is not going to be bullied or pushed around. The United States will stand with Israel in hopes that there can someday be managed peace.

From a biblical standpoint, the magnitude of this day isn’t lost on evangelicals. This moment further solidifies Israel as a sovereign nation — the only country to return and occupy their land, speaking their native tongue after a diasporic 1900 years. But as important as this day is to Christians, it’s also important to Israelis, who’ve waited patiently for their greatest ally to acknowledge in action what it did in spirit.

To the world, it signals a new chapter in America’s foreign policy. Under Barack Obama, our country was babysitting the status quo, terrified that a show of strength like this would heighten tensions. And yes, it is a volatile area — but there are new dynamics in the region with Egypt, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia that are positive. As Gregg Roman, the director of the Middle East Forum, pointed out back when the move was announced, this policy of timidity has gotten us nowhere. “Years of concessions, of work to build the Palestinian Authority into something capable of handling the levers of power that a state must wield, have brought us no closer to peace. Shaming Israel politically for defending its own people hasn’t worked either.”

President Trump is re-establishing a constitutional order that the world hasn’t witnessed in years. He won’t be cowed by the media or intimidated by other leaders. And his approval ratings continue to climb with his most important base because he’s willing to fight on these things. Trump’s strategy in Israel, on North Korea, and Iran, are all perfect examples of Ronald Reagan’s motto, “Peace through strength.” Together with millions of Americans and Israelis, we thank him — not only for having the will to act, but the necessary courage.

As the president told all of those on hand by satellite, “The U.S. will always be a great friend of Israel and a partner in the cause of freedom and peace,” President Trump told the crowd. “We extend a hand in friendship to Israel, the Palestinians, and to all of their neighbors. May there be peace. May God bless this embassy. May God bless all who serve here, and may God bless the United States of America.”


Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.


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The Obama Legacy Deserves to Be Destroyed

It’s strange that a president who had such a transformative effect on our national discourse will leave such a negligible policy legacy.

But Barack Obama, whose imperial term changed the way Americans interact and in some ways paved the way for the Trump presidency, is now watching his much-celebrated and mythologized two-term legacy be systematically demolished. This, in many ways, tells us that American governance still works.

When President Donald Trump announced that the United States would withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal, he was able to do so without much difficulty because the agreement hinged on presidential fiat rather than national consensus. Obama’s appeasement of Iran was only one in a string of unilateral norm-busting projects that deserve to be dismantled.

You’ll remember the panic-stricken coverage we endured when the United States withdrew from the faux international Paris climate agreement last year. It’s true that the deal was oversold as a matter of policy (by both parties for political reasons), but it was symbolic of how the Obama administration concerned itself more with international consensus than domestic compromise.

We know this because the president would never have won ratification for a deal remotely similar to the one he entered—nor did he attempt to. Obama, despite the hagiographic framing of his scandal-ridden presidency, had about as much interest in genuine concession as his political adversaries did.

Obama allies at home incessantly pointed to poll numbers as a justification for his executive abuse, mostly because the only polls that really mattered, congressional elections, continued to soundly reject his agenda.

The defense rested on the idea that the Republican-led Congress had failed to “do its job” and act on issues Democrats had deemed vital. But Congress, of course, “acted” all the time by checking the president’s ambitions. This was not only well within its purview but also in many ways the reason the electorate handed the GOP Congress in the first place.

Even if you substantively supported Obama’s actions—as I do on legalizing the children of immigrants who are in the country illegally, for instance—the reasoning that girded these supposedly temporary executive decisions was soon revealed to be abusive.

In 2012, Obama told the nation that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which by any standard was a stand-in for legislation, was merely a “temporary stopgap measure.” By the time Trump overturned it, the measure represented “who we are as a people.” That’s because by “temporary,” Obama always meant “until Democrats can make it permanent through the courts or electoral victories.”

Even when implementing laws Congress could pass, Obama and his allies relied on coercing participation through mandates. But when it became inconvenient, they began arbitrarily implementing parts of laws. Administrative discretion became administrative abuse. When the president decided Obamacare’s employer mandate was politically inconvenient, for example, he simply skipped it for expediency.

The Constitution doesn’t say, “No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law unless liberals tell us it’s super important.” Yet shortly after the passage of the Affordable Care Act, the Obama administration realized it would need more subsidies and asked for an appropriation from Congress.

When Congress, then teeming with politicians elected on the promise of overturning Obamacare, refused, then-Treasury Secretary Jack Lew ordered the administration to begin making “cost-sharing reduction” payments anyway, without any public legal justification.

Obama created a $7 billion per year appropriation for insurance companies participating in the supposedly self-sufficient and competitive state health care exchanges. Not a single liberal pundit that I know of concerned himself with this norm-breaking.

One federal court found the Obamacare subsidy unconstitutional, and the case was working its way toward the Supreme Court. But then again, no administration in memory was stopped more often by courts, often by unanimous Supreme Court decisions. Whether it was ignoring the Senate in making appointments or claiming to rewrite employment law, Obama tried to function without constitutional restraints.

None of this even breaches the unprecedented regulatory regime Obama built to circumvent the legislative branch. Even The New York Times characterized his governing as “bureaucratic bulldozing, rather than legislative transparency.”

Fortunately, it is also unsustainable. As we now see, this kind of governance not only corrodes constitutional order but also undermines stability, as new presidents busy themselves overturning the executive actions and international agreements enacted by the previous.

While most Americans aren’t sticklers for process, it seems they are content with destroying legacies built on the rickety foundation of unilateralism for political reasons.

That’s fine, too. It means that if Trump engages in similar legislative efforts through the executive office, his agenda will also be dismantled one day. That’s as it should be.

COMMENTARY BY

Portrait of David Harsanyi

David Harsanyi is a senior editor at The Federalist and the author of the forthcoming “First Freedom: A Ride through America’s Enduring History With the Gun, From the Revolution to Today.” Twitter: .

Dear Readers:

With the recent conservative victories related to tax cuts, the Supreme Court, and other major issues, it is easy to become complacent.

However, the liberal Left is not backing down. They are rallying supporters to advance their agenda, moving this nation further from the vision of our founding fathers.

If we are to continue to bring this nation back to our founding principles of limited government and fiscal conservatism, we need to come together as a group of likeminded conservatives.

This is the mission of The Heritage Foundation. We want to continue to develop and present conservative solutions to the nation’s toughest problems. And we cannot do this alone.

We are looking for a select few conservatives to become a Heritage Foundation member. With your membership, you’ll qualify for all associated benefits and you’ll help keep our nation great for future generations.

ACTIVATE YOUR MEMBERSHIP TODAY

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of former President Barack Obama, who is now watching his much-celebrated and mythologized two-term legacy be systematically demolished. (Photo: Leigh Vogel/ZUMA Press/Newscom)