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A strategy for Israeli victory?

Professor Daniel Pipes, president of the Philadelphia-based Middle East Forum, is on a campaign to “let Israel win” the Palestinian-Israeli conflict; to create the conditions, particularly in Washington, for an “Israel victory approach.”

To this end, he initiated in April the establishment of a Congressional Israel Victory Caucus. Next week, a multi-party Knesset Israel Victory Caucus will be launched.

In the January issue of Commentary magazine, Pipes laid out his tough approach. He seeks to focus on the essence of the problem, which he says is Palestinian rejectionism. Pipes sees no possibility of a deal with current Palestinian leaders and no evidence of a Palestinian Peace Now movement developing. Instead, radical forces in Palestinian society are gaining strength, just as radical Islam is on the march across the region.

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June 30, 2017 | 0 Comments » | 821 views

Tillerson, Trump’s forgotten man, throws an epic hissy fit in front of Priebus and Kushner

The taciturn secretary of state has apparently reached a breaking point.

Josh Marshall, the editor and publisher of Talking Points Memo, has written frequently about the political phenomenon he has termed wraithing: the tendency of every adviser, aide, and ally within Donald Trump’s orbit to eventually be stripped of dignity by their allegiance to the president, ultimately left a ghostlike shadow of their former selves.

It is a sort of metaphysical corollary of the concept of enabling, which Vanity Fair special correspondent Sarah Ellison documents today. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, the once powerful ExxonMobil chief executive who stepped down to join the Trump administration, finds himself somewhere in between the two camps, neither wraith nor enabler, soldiering on mostly silently as he struggles to do his job in the shadow of Trump’s 36-year-old son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who has taken over many of the foreign-policy duties that would ordinarily be Tillerson’s. It was Kushner, not Tillerson, who flew to Israel last week to begin negotiating peace in the Middle East; Kushner, who has served as liaison for Mexico and Canada, and who was recently invited to visit China after coordinating President Xi Jinping’s trip to Mar-a-Lago in April.

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June 30, 2017 | 1 Comments » | 925 views

Netanyahu to AIPAC: It was either the Kotel or my government

Officials who have talked with Netanyahu about the issue in recent days say he is aware of the gravity of the decisions and the strain they have caused with American Jewry.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is telling leaders of US Jewry angered by Sunday’s government vote on the Western Wall prayer space and on the conversion issue that he faced a choice of either supporting the moves or losing his government, The Jerusalem Post has learned.

That was also the message he relayed on Thursday to a high-level delegation from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, whose members flew in for the day to discuss their concerns with Netanyahu and what they are hearing from their constituents.

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June 30, 2017 | 3 Comments » | 625 views

States rebel as Trump election-fraud panel seeks voters’ personal data

President Donald Trump’s commission on election integrity has asked all 50 states to provide voter rolls going back to 2006, and personal information including names, birth dates and partial Social Security numbers of all registered voters.

The request by Kris Korbach, Kansas’ secretary of state and the vice chairman of the commission, is already facing a backlash by states that say the request is unnecessary and unwarranted.

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June 30, 2017 | 1 Comments » | 503 views

COLUMN ONE: Who Cares About Jewish Unity?

People have every right to be angry about the government’s move. It just reneged on its agreement, and that isn’t right. Substantively, though, the government didn’t change the status quo.

There are four important aspects to the government’s decisions on Sunday relating to egalitarian prayer at the Western Wall and the conversion bill. The first is that by and large, the headlines of the stories distort rather than explain what the government decided.

The second is the nature of the American Jewish community’s response to the government’s moves.

The third important aspect of the story is what the government’s decisions tell us about how the government perceive Israel’s relations with the American Jewish community.

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June 30, 2017 | 44 Comments » | 1,031 views

The controversial Mohammed Dahlan

8/9/16

For years rumors of plots and counterplots have eddied around the controversial figure of Mohammed Dahlan, the charismatic Palestinian politician whom PA President Mahmoud Abbas regards as his greatest enemy, and who might very well eventually succeed him.

If anything the situation has grown worse in the past few weeks.  For example, Dahlan’s name is being associated with the recent attempted coup in Turkey against the regime of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan – an assumption, incidentally, that runs counter to the theory that the coup was actually orchestrated by Erdogan himself, as a devious method to justify purging his political opponents and acquiring the autocratic powers he seeks for the presidency.

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June 30, 2017 | 0 Comments » | 615 views

Iran has conquered Syria

Iran has emerged the victor in the Syrian civil war. And that bodes ill for the rest of us.

The world has accepted the fact that Russian forces have been in Syria for the past two years and that Russia controls the Syrian coastline, its seaports and its two airbases. It has become used to having Hezbollah, the Shiite Lebanese militia, involved in the fighting in Syria and giving Assad much-needed support. Other Shiite militias, commanded by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, are reported to have arrived from Iraq and Afghanistan. These forces sometimes endure losses on Syrian land, leaving the impression that Iran simply sent some Shiite gangs to fight Sunni gangs on Syrian soil.

The real situation is totally different, because the Iranian forces in Syria are not gangs anymore, nor are they militias. They are an army by every existing definition of one. The Iranian Revolutionary Guards are charged with building up Iranian forces in Syria, and they are a regular Iranian armed force, not a militia and certainly not a gang. An army. They have infantry, commando, tank, artillery, air force, intelligence and logistics units. This Iranian army’s presence has slowly evolved on Syrian soil over the last four years and it has done so under the radar of world media.

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June 30, 2017 | 6 Comments » | 892 views

INTO THE FRAY: Israel’s disloyal—and dishonest—opposition

It is time for representatives of the Israeli Left to come to terms with the existence of “The Other”, and the idea that people who think differently to them are just as legitimate as those who look different to them

We are undergoing a process of fascistization of Israeli politics. These are hard words but they are true. Artists, actors and playwrights are under threat, Supreme Court justices and judges generally are threatened, journalists are fired and are threatened, journalists and newspapers are under threat of being closed by the authorities, and now also academics are under threat and can say nothing.

– Head of Opposition, Isaac Herzog, Holon, June, 24, 2017

Over last weekend Israel’s most implacable enemies were handed a major bonanza, courtesy of the nominal head of the Opposition in Israel, Isaac Herzog.

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June 30, 2017 | 1 Comments » | 706 views

The Dahlan Plan for Gaza Without Hamas or Abbas

True, the plan leaves Hamas in control of security and doesn’t demilitarize it, but in Mohammed Dahlan Israel would have a partner in Gaza who supports reconciliation

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, left, flashes the V-sign as then-Fatah leader Mohammed Dahlan looks on in the West Bank town of Ramallah, in 2006.

PA President Mahmoud Abbas, left, with then-Fatah leader Mohammed Dahlan, during better times in 2006, in Ramallah. Kevin Frayer/AP

While Israel counts the meager hours of electricity allocated each day to Gaza’s 2 million people, a complex arrangement is being cooked up between the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Gaza and Jerusalem. The purpose is to make Mohammed Dahlan, a political rival of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, government chief in Gaza, lift most of the closure imposed on the Strip by Egypt and Israel, build a new power station in Egyptian Rafah funded by the UAE, and later build a port.

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June 29, 2017 | 4 Comments » | 970 views

Lawfare: Hindering President Trump from Investigating Obama

The defeated Democrats are colluding with the mainstream media to create an echo chamber of false accusations, fake news, and demands for groundless investigations and frivolous lawsuits to impede President Trump and sabotage his administration by preoccupying them in court. The Trump administration is under siege.

The Democratic Party is not your mother’s Democratic Party. Today the party is composed of radical left-wing liberals and anarchists fully committed to destroying American democracy and replacing it with socialism. The Democrats today have no interest in making America strong and great again – they have the opposite agenda and intend to pursue Obama’s goal of weakening America toward socialism in preparation for Obama’s globalist ambition of one-world government.

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June 29, 2017 | 1 Comments » | 1,033 views

Turkey, nexus of US incompetence

June 29, 2017 | 0 Comments » | 604 views

Liberman: Israel is coordinating settlement building with the US

In rare English-language appearance, defense minister pins Gazan humanitarian crisis on Hamas-PA row, denies Israeli responsibility

Israel is coordinating its settlement construction with the White House, including the approval for building the largest number of homes in the West Bank since 1992, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman told the crowd at a Times of Israel event in northern Tel Aviv on Thursday night.

Earlier this year, US President Donald Trump asked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to “hold back on settlements” at a press conference in the White House. But this no longer seems to be the American position, Liberman indicated.

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June 29, 2017 | 2 Comments » | 663 views

Why the European Union Is Failing

What will the future of the European Union be?  Bruce Thornton projects a solution to their future that lies in the EU showing greater respect for the diversity of cultures of its member states.  He states,

“The challenge facing Europe today is not just reforming its economies or crafting saner immigration policies. It is whether the EU leadership can allow a greater recognition of and respect for the member nations’ distinct identities and sovereignty….”

In short, there needs to be a better balance between the EU continental/globalist aspirations and the national identities and aspirations of the member states.

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June 29, 2017 | 0 Comments » | 668 views

The Harm in Trying

Among Israelis and Palestin­ians, there’s little optimism about renewed American efforts to negotiate a comprehensive Israeli-Palestinian peace deal. In Ramallah and Jerusalem, officials, journalists, and policy analysts have watched as industrious U.S. activity in the Clinton, Bush, and Obama administrations came to naught—and they expect the same outcome for the Trump administration.

There is a lot more optimism in the Trump White House, and of course it starts at the top. The president said this in a February press conference with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu:

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June 29, 2017 | 2 Comments » | 643 views

French government covering up slaying of Sarah Halimi’

French Jews blast government failure to investigate Jewish woman murdered by her Muslim neighbor. ‘Why this denial of anti-Semitism?’

The umbrella group of French Jewish communities escalated its criticism of authorities’ handling of the slaying of a Jewish woman by her Muslim neighbor, calling it a cover-up.

CRIF made the accusation in a short and poignant statement Wednesday containing four loaded questions concerning the April 4 killing of Sarah Halimi in Paris.

“The murder of Sarah Halimi was 85 days ago already and the investigation is not advancing. Why this silence? Why this omerta?” read the statement, which contained the Italian-language mafia term for a cover-up among accomplices. “What is being hidden? Why this denial of anti-Semitism?”

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June 29, 2017 | 0 Comments » | 491 views

“Muslim extremists” drive anti-Semitic violence in Europe

Individuals of Muslim background stand out among perpetrators of anti-Semitic violence in Western Europe, according to a new report by the University of Oslo Center for Research on Extremism. The next highest offending group was found to be left wing extremists.

This report speaks of Western Europe, but this phenomenon likely goes far beyond this area. On November 23, 1937, Saudi Arabia’s King Ibn Saud summed up the history of the Jew-hatred of “Muslim extremists” when he told British Colonel H.R.P. Dickson:

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June 28, 2017 | 5 Comments » | 914 views

60% of illegal Palestinian homes in Area C still standing, IDF says

Until 2010, only 10% to 15% of such structures were taken down and over the last seven years only about 30 or 35% have been demolished.

Sixty percent of illegal Palestinian structures in Area C of the West Bank have not been destroyed since 2010, the head of the area’s enforcement division Marco Ben-Shabat told a Knesset committee on Tuesday.

Until 2010, only 10% to 15% of such structures were taken down and over the last seven years only about 30 or 35% have been demolished, which means that about 60% are still standing, Ben-Shabat told the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee during a hearing on the matter.

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June 28, 2017 | 3 Comments » | 594 views

‘Vast majority’ of Jewish students are connected to Israel, insists Brandeis prof

15 years of comprehensive study leads Prof. Len Saxe to laugh off ‘devastating’ allegations that millennials are losing support for Jewish state

Participants in a Taglit Birthright program celebrate at an event held at the International Conference Center in Jerusalem on January 14, 2015. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)\

The truth is of the utmost importance to Brandeis University Prof. Len Saxe, an American social psychologist whose early work often dealt with the veracity of lie detector tests. Which is why he was “triggered” last week when he saw research that he found unreliable.

Saxe stopped by the offices of The Times of Israel this week during a brief Israel trip to address what he saw as unfounded statements in an article last week about Brand Israel, an initiative of marketing and public relations experts, which alleged a “devastating” loss of Israel support among Jewish college students in the United States. Over the past 15 years of Birthright-Taglit trips to Israel, he has collected data for comprehensive research on the state of mind of young Jewish adults.

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June 28, 2017 | 4 Comments » | 619 views

Putin is drowning in Syria

Putin and Lavrov entered the Syrian quagmire without planning their getaway. And now, there is none. Analysis.

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s Syrian gambit was a fatal mistake that may soon destroy Russia and Putin himself. Putin’s strategy in Syria makes the Titanic look watertight.

It’s gotten so bad for Putin in the Syrian quicksand that a Russian analyst, Leonid Issaev, who actually lives in Russia, just published an article in al-Jazeera entitled, “Russia is at a dead-end in Syria, Russia is struggling and failing to find a way out of the Syrian quagmire.” Mr. Issaev’s thesis is that “the Kremlin’s gamble to use the conflict in Syria to normalize relations with the West after the disaster in Ukraine is not paying off. Moscow is appearing to be stuck in Syria, entangled in Damascus’ and Tehran’s desperate plots.”

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June 28, 2017 | 4 Comments » | 1,056 views