Column One: Obama’s bread and circuses

by Caroline Glick, JPOST

Over the past week, President Barack Obama and his senior advisers have told us that the US is poised to go to war against Syria. In the next few days, the US intends to use its airpower and guided missiles to attack Syria in response to the regime’s use of chemical weapons in the outskirts of Damascus last week.

The questions that ought to have been answered before any statements were made by the likes of Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel have barely been raised in the public arena. The most important of those questions are: What US interests are at stake in Syria? How should the US go about advancing them? What does Syria’s use of chemical weapons means for the US’s position in the region? How would the planned US military action in Syria impact US deterrent strength, national interests and credibility regionally and worldwide? Syria is not an easy case. Thirty months into the war there, it is clear that the good guys, such as they are, are not in a position to win.

August 31, 2013 | 48 Comments » | 11 views

Into The Fray: David Harris’s ‘stunning shortsightedness’

It is becoming increasingly difficult to respond with any degree of courteous civility to the advocates of the so-called “two-state-solution” (TSS).

By Martin Sherman, JPOST

Minister Naftali Bennett’s remarks, rejecting outright the vision of two states for two peoples, are stunningly shortsighted 
– David Harris, American Jewish Committee executive director, June 17, 2013

Since we cannot defeat Israel in war, we do this in stages. We take any and every territory that we can of Palestine, and establish a sovereignty there, and we use it as a springboard to take more. When the time comes, we can get the Arab nations to join us for the final blow against Israel 
– Yasser Arafat, Jordanian TV, September 13, 1993 (the day he signed the Oslo Accords on the White House Lawn)

The idea of a two-state solution should be dead, today, because unfortunately a Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria would bring about Israel’s demise 
– Yuval Steinitz, The Jerusalem Post, September 14, 2008

It is becoming increasingly difficult to respond with any degree of courteous civility to the advocates of the socalled “two-state-solution” (TSS). Maintaining the shabby pretense is simply proving too perilous. The time has come to dispense with the false façade of social decorum and to call a spade, a spade, to deem the moronic, “moronic” and the myopic, “myopic.”

August 31, 2013 | 10 Comments » | 8 views

Sarah Palin on Obama and Syria

A few months ago, Sarah Palin advised Obama to “Let Allah sort it out”. She was speaking of course about Syria.

Thursday she said: “Mr. President, please give America justification before you spend blood and treasure to intervene. Start with: who are you rooting for in this?” A pertinent demand and even more pertinent question.

And now this:

“So we’re bombing Syria because Syria is bombing Syria? And I’m the idiot?”

August 31, 2013 | 29 Comments » | 8 views

Obama’s Bluff

Stratfor Geopolitical Weekly
August 27, 2013

      “Obama now faces the second time in his presidency when war was an option. The first was Libya. The tyrant is now dead, and what followed is not pretty. And Libya was easy compared to Syria. Now, the president must intervene to maintain his credibility. But there is no political support in the United States for intervention. He must take military action, but not one that would cause the United States to appear brutish. He must depose al Assad, but not replace him with his opponents. He never thought al Assad would be so reckless. Despite whether al Assad actually was, the consensus is that he was. That’s the hand the president has to play, so it’s hard to see how he avoids military action and retains credibility. It is also hard to see how he takes military action without a political revolt against him if it goes wrong, which it usually does.”

     

    Images of multiple dead bodies emerged from Syria last week. It was asserted that poison gas killed the victims, who according to some numbered in the hundreds. Others claimed the photos were faked while others said the rebels were at fault. The dominant view, however, maintains that the al Assad regime carried out the attack.

    Read more …

    August 31, 2013 | 5 Comments » | 6 views

    Palestinian schools switch to Israeli curriculum in Jerusalem

    MAAN NEWS

    JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — The director of education in Jerusalem has urged
    families with schoolchildren in Jerusalem to be aware that at least five
    Palestinian schools are switching to Israeli education materials.

    Sameer Jibril said the Ebin Rushd and Abdulla bin Hussain schools were using
    Israeli education materials in the seventh and eighth grades. The Sour Baher
    school is using them for fourth, fifth and sixth grades, and the Ibin
    Khaldoun school uses it for seventh graders.

    An education official told Ma’an that a meeting took place on Thursday in
    Herzliya near Tel Aviv for Palestinian and Israeli principals and teachers
    to discuss switching from Palestinian Authority to Israeli curricula.

    August 31, 2013 | 7 Comments » | 12 views

    Government Assessment of the Syrian Government’s Use of Chemical Weapons

    [This detailed press release means that the US will attack but with what goal.]

    WHITEHOUSE PRESS RELEASE

    The United States Government assesses with high confidence that the Syrian
    government carried out a chemical weapons attack in the Damascus suburbs on
    August 21, 2013. We further assess that the regime used a nerve agent in the
    attack. These all-source assessments are based on human, signals, and
    geospatial intelligence as well as a significant body of open source reporting. Our classified assessments have been shared with the U.S. Congress
    and key international partners. To protect sources and methods, we cannot
    publicly release all available intelligence – but what follows is an
    unclassified summary of the U.S. Intelligence Community’s analysis of what
    took place.

    August 31, 2013 | 1 Comments » | 7 views

    Countdown on for US strike on Syria.

    REUTERS REPORTS:

      President Barack Obama said on Friday the chemical weapons attack in Syria threatened US allies Israel, Turkey and Jordan and that while “nobody ends up being more war weary than me” he is considering a narrow, limited US response.

    NYT

      Officials tell New York Times White House believes it has enough evidence to carry out limited strike that would deter Assad regime from using chemical weapons again

    Erdogan: Syrian Strike Should Topple Assad
    Limited strikes in Syria are not enough, declares Erdogan.

    Kerry: Assad’s chemicals killed 1,429 Syrians, 426 children

    DEBKA SPECIAL REPORT

    Friday, Aug. 30, at a news conference in Washington, US Secretary of State John Kerry delivered a ringing statement accusing Bashar Assad of responsibility for the lethal poison gas attack on Damascus suburbs on Aug. 21. His words signaled the start of the countdown for the US military strike on Syria, which DEBKAfile’s military sources estimate could be launched from Friday night until US Labor Day on Sept. 2.

    Kerry laid out the evidence put before congressional leaders that the Syrian government had that day fired chemical weapons at 11 separate sites in and around Damascus, launching them from regime-held areas against rebel-controlled neighborhoods. At least 1,429 Syrians died in the attack, 426 children among them. US intelligence had records of orders being given to chemical weapons teams to launch the attack three days earlier and shown making preparations wearing gas masks.

    August 31, 2013 | 0 Comments » | 6 views

    Kissinger’s good option

    Most see nothing but bad choices in Syria; Kissinger sees the way out

    By Lawrence Solomon, Financial Post

    “There are no good options but to do nothing is the worst,” lamented a Financial Times of London editorial this week that wrestled with how the West should respond to Syria’s use of chemical weapons. Doing nothing would be best, counters a New York Times oped, which concludes the U.S. will lose, however the Syrian civil war plays out. “Bombing Syria may be a futile gesture. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do it,” argued an editorial writer for the London Telegraph. But neither does it mean we should do it, stated a Canadian Press article entitled “No good options for Syria.”

    The West is right to worry about making the wrong decision in the Syrian civil war –it doesn’t want to become embroiled in another failed Middle East war, the intelligence is murky on whether the Assad regime was responsible for the chemical attack, and yet, if the West doesn’t punish Syria then Iran, Syria’s backer, will be emboldened in pursuing nuclear weapons.

    August 30, 2013 | 16 Comments » | 7 views

    Israel a Top Target for U.S. Spying, Leaked Documents Reveal

    http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/171434#.UiB9QUr9WqE

    The Obama administration apparently views Israel as one of the top spying threats facing its intelligence services, according to leaked documents which were exposed Thursday.

    A secret budget request obtained by The Washington Post from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden lumps Israel alongside U.S. foes Iran and Cuba as “key targets” for U.S. counterintelligence efforts.

    According to The Hill, the document leaked by Snowden suggests that Israel does not believe U.S. assurances that its interests are aligned with Israel’s on crucial issues such as Iran and peace talks with the Palestinian Authority.

    August 30, 2013 | 6 Comments » | 7 views

    Israel’s future keeps looking better

    NATURAL GAS
    Israel’s recent discovery of mega gas fields titled Tamar and Leviathan are located off the Israeli coast from Haifa. These massive discoveries will soon transform Israel as they will adequately look after Israel’s domestic needs forever and thereafter to supply foreign markets. A number of countries are pursuing involvement in these finds. Among them are Russia, China, Europe and South Korea. Putin was in Israel two months ago pursuing a contractual relationship with Israel on its gas development projects. Nothing has been signed yet.

    Tamar is due to come online sometime in 2013 and Leviathan to follow in early 2014. Additional target areas are being explored all the way down the Mediterranean coast of Israel.

    The likelihood is that a pipeline from the gas discovery area will be built to Cyprus and on to Greece. This will help Greece with some of its financial troubles. It is expected there will be a plant built to liquefy the gas at the Greek end of the underwater pipeline.

    August 30, 2013 | 1 Comments » | 7 views

    Sri Lankan-Born Student Wins HR Award Defending Israel

    SIMON PLOSKER, Honest Reporting

    Timon Dias

    Timon Dias

    The winner of this year’s $2000 Blankfeld Award for Media Critique has been chosen and comes from a most unlikely source. Sri Lankan-born Timon Dias was adopted in the Netherlands at the age of three months and is a Clinical Psychology Masters degree student at Leiden University.

    His winning articles were all published in the Jerusalem Post and impressed the staff of HonestReporting above all of the other candidates.

    In “The lack of Western disgust for Hamas,” Timon sought to explain why many Western college students and mainstream opinion makers tend not to loathe or despise Hamas in the way it deserves.

    August 30, 2013 | 3 Comments » | 7 views

    Very good news Israel

    by Michael Ordman

    We will shortly bid farewell to the old Jewish Year 5773 and welcome in New Year 5774.  It is a good time to look both forwards and backwards at some of the latest innovations and discoveries that are making an historic impact on our lives.

    The Hebrew University of Jerusalem was established many years ago, but its new BioDesign program is a revolutionary production line for medical innovation. Student teams take clinical problems from Israeli and American hospitals, evaluate the commercial potential and design a solution that can be marketed almost immediately.  In its first year, BioDesign has generated:
      – The GuideIN Tube robotic device to fix an air tube safely for enabling patients to breathe.
      – The Sagiv device for inserting intravenous tubes into small veins.
      – A tool to take measurements for dentures, replacing a 100-year-old long-winded method.

    August 29, 2013 | 1 Comments » | 8 views

    Court Dismisses Antisemitism Complaints against UC Berkley

    By: JTA Published: August 29th, 2013

    Federal complaints accusing the University of California campuses in Berkeley and Santa Cruz of failing to curb hostile environments for Jewish students were dismissed. A complaint filed last year with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights against the Berkeley campus by two recent graduates referred specifically to the annual February Apartheid Week demonstration. It charged that the demonstration violated Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which bars the recipients of federal funds from discriminating on the basis of race, color or national origin.

    In 2010, the U.S. Department of Education extended Title VI to include the protection of Jewish students from anti-Semitism on campuses. The Office of Civil Rights investigation, which included interviews with students and observations of the demonstrations, concluded this week that events described in the complaint did not constitute harassment but rather “expression on matters of public concern directed to the university community.” “In the university environment, exposure to such robust and discordant expressions, even when personally offensive and hurtful, is a circumstance that a reasonable student in higher education may experience,” the probe concluded.

    August 29, 2013 | 6 Comments » | 8 views

    The implications of Obama’s failure in Egypt

    By Isi Leibler

    To date, US President Barack Obama’s efforts to appease or engage Islamists have either failed or backfired. US influence in the Mideast is at an all-time low and Islamic fundamentalism continues to gain strength at an alarming pace.

    Egypt, which until a year ago was regarded by the US as an ally, is perhaps the most dramatic example of Obama’s complete failure to understand the nature of the region and the steps that must be taken to stabilize it. The current horrors and barbarism in Syria should not divert attention from events in Egypt, the outcome of which is likely to have a major impact on the entire region.

    Obama’s first blunder in Egypt was the antagonism he displayed toward President Hosni Mubarak. Immediately following his first election, Obama insisted on inviting members of the outlawed Moslem Brotherhood to his Cairo address. As a result, Mubarak boycotted the event.

    August 29, 2013 | 20 Comments » | 10 views

    America’s Impending Defeat in Syria

    By Barry Rubin

    It’s really pretty simple. The American people understandably don’t want to go to war with Syria — not to mention with Syria’s patron, Iran — and especially not for the goal of putting the Muslim Brotherhood and murderous Islamists into power there. Going to war is a serious matter, to say the least. There’s no assurance how long it will take, how many lives it will cost, and what turns it may take. And the Middle East has just had several examples of these wars.

    Iraq and Afghanistan cost a lot of money and lives as they extended for a much longer time than had been expected. In addition, they derailed the Bush administration’s electoral fortunes and domestic programs. With the main emphasis of the Obama administration being a fundamental transformation of America, such distractions are not desired.

    August 29, 2013 | 21 Comments » | 6 views

    Hotovely laments Likud ‘schizophrenia’ on two states

    By LAHAV HARKOV, JPOST

    Existence of Jordan is a compromise, deputy minister says, speaking out against conceding land. Deputy Transportation Minister Tzipi Hotovely talks tough.

    A long-standing rift within the Likud party on the subject of a two-state solution was readily apparent Wednesday evening, as Deputy Transportation Minister Tzipi Hotovely and Likud activist Eli Hazan debated the subject as part of an event for young party members.

    “There’s schizophrenia in our movement, with people pulling us this way and that,” Hotovely said. “Political reporters love to write that we lack vision, and no party can allow itself that luxury.”

    August 29, 2013 | 0 Comments » | 4 views

    And now the climb down

    Cameron backs down on urgent Syria strikes

    Obama: No decision yet on launching Syria military strike

    President Barack Obama made the case on Wednesday for a limited military strike against Syria to deter the future use of chemical weapons, but added he had not made a decision yet on whether to take action.

    Obama’s administration has spent the past week discussing how to respond to an attack in the suburbs of Damascus that killed hundreds of people, an attack that the president said could only have been made by the Syrian government.

    August 29, 2013 | 15 Comments » | 9 views

    Heads of Israeli Judicial System Demand Suppression of Freedom of Speech

    By Steven Plaut

    1.  The Israeli judicial system has always been fundamentally anti-democratic.  It operates at a dual level, with one set of rules for leftists and the other for everyone else.  It is notoriously weak in protecting fundamental civil liberties and especially freedom of speech.  The courts, including the Supreme Court, are crawling with anti-democratic “judicial activists,” who adhere to the doctrine of judicial tyranny that holds that unelected judges have the right to veto the will of the democratically elected representatives of the people and that judges should be able just to make up laws and rights out of thin air as they go along. 

    August 28, 2013 | 3 Comments » | 24 views

    Arguing against “Limited” Strikes on the Assad Regime

    by Daniel Pipes, August 28,

    Warfare is a very serious business whose first imperative is to deploy force to win – rather than to punish, make a statement, establish a symbolic point, or preen about one’s morality.

    Yet, these latter are precisely what several Western states will accomplish if they respond to the Syrian government’s apparent use of chemical weapons against civilians with “limited” strikes lasting one or two days against fewer than fifty sites. Briefly lobbing American, British, and other missiles against the regime without a concomitant readiness to deploy ground troops will neither overthrow the government nor change the course of the war. It will, however, allow Westerners to feel good about themselves.

    August 28, 2013 | 4 Comments » | 10 views