He Really Said This

On Friday, The Daily Wire posted an article about some recent comments by former Vice-President Biden.

The article reports:

On Thursday, while speaking at an event organized by the rabidly anti-Israel group J Street, former Vice President Joe Biden snapped that President Donald Trump had “put Israel in danger” by withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal. He also insinuated that Trump has put American Jews in danger because he has “embraced” conspiracy theories.

Biden’s timing was hilarious considering that on Friday, Trump announced that Bahrain became the latest Arab country to normalize relations with Israel, following the United Arab Emirates having done so in August.

It is also a totally ridiculous statement considering how the Obama administration treated Israel.

The article notes some previous interactions between then Senator Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin:

Biden opposing Israeli settlements is no shock at all; in 1982 Biden reportedly banged on a desk and berated Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin that if Israel continued building settlements in Judea and Samaria, the U.S. would cut off financial aid. Begin fired back:

Don’t threaten us with cutting off your aid. It will not work. I am not a Jew with trembling knees. I am a proud Jew with 3,700 years of civilized history. Nobody came to our aid when we were dying in the gas chambers and ovens. Nobody came to our aid when we were striving to create our country. We paid for it. We fought for it. We died for it. We will stand by our principles. We will defend them. And, when necessary, we will die for them again, with or without your aid.

Begin added:

This desk is designed for writing, not for fists. Don’t threaten us with slashing aid. Do you think that because the U.S. lends us money it is entitled to impose on us what we must do? We are grateful for the assistance we have received, but we are not to be threatened. I am a proud Jew. Three thousand years of culture are behind me, and you will not frighten me with threats. Take note: we do not want a single soldier of yours to die for us.

If you have any doubts about how the Obama-Biden administration dealt with the Middle East, please see the article here about how the administration manipulated the media to get favorable press on the Iran deal.

Former Vice-President Biden’s statement about putting Israel in danger is pure garbage. The peace treaties recently put in effect in the Middle East would not have been possible had America remained in the Iran deal. These treaties have more to do with fear of Iran than they do with either America or Israel.

I Suspect Some People Are Very Upset About This

Just the News is reporting today that Christian Tybring-Gjedde, a member of the Norwegian Parliament and chairman of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, has nominated President Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize. Considering some of the recent recipients, that nomination may get Mr. Tybring-Gjedde thrown off the committee.

The article reports:

President Trump has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize following his efforts to broker a peace deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates.

Trump was nominated by Christian Tybring-Gjedde, a member of the Norwegian Parliament and chairman of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, according to Fox News.

He was also one of two Norwegian lawmakers to nominate Trump in 2018 for the peace prize for his efforts to bring together North and South Korea.   

The article concludes:

Tybring-Gjedde, in his letter to the committee, wrote that the Trump administration played a key role in establishing relations between the two countries.

“As it is expected other Middle Eastern countries will follow in the footsteps of the UAE, this agreement could be a game-changer that will turn the Middle East into a region of cooperation and prosperity,” he wrote, according to Fox.

Tybring-Gjedde, a member of the Norwegian Parliament’s far-right Progress Party, also told the cable TV news channel: “I think he has done more trying to create peace between nations than most other Peace Prize nominees.”

This nomination is deserved, but it will be interesting to see how the American media handles it.

Sometimes The Domino Effect Is A Good Thing

Yesterday Sara Carter reported the following:

After last week’s historic peace deal brokered between the United Arab Emirates and Israel, Sudan wants in. The Sudanese Foreign Ministry Spokesman reportedly told Sky News Arabia Tuesday that it could quite possibly make a similar deal in the near future and didn’t deny having talks with Israel.

“There is no reason for the continuation of hostility between Sudan and Israel,” the Sudan’s FM said. “We do not deny the existence of contacts between the two countries.”

The article notes:

Notably, Sudan was the location where Arab nation’s declared they wouldn’t normalize ties with Israel and had three ‘nos’: “No negotiations. No recognition. No peace.” Yoni Michanie first pointed to this on Twitter Tuesday.

The article includes the following tweet:

This is a milestone. Sudan (and the other Arab countries) have to make a choice–do they want to submit to Iran or make peace with Israel and remain as independent countries? The goal of Iran is to restore the caliphate (the former Ottoman Empire) with Iran as the head. This would involve bringing all the Arab countries in the region under the control of Iran. Not every Arab country wants to give up their sovereignty. The behind-the-scenes negotiations of the Trump administration have brought the possibility of peace to the Middle East.

We Are Truly In The Political Silly Season

President Trump brokered a peace deal between Israel and the UAE. That is amazing. He was able to do that because Israel trusts him and because the UAE is aware of the danger Iran poses to the region. As expected, Joe Biden is taking credit for the peace deal.

Yesterday The Daily Wire posted an article about the peace deal.

The article reports:

On Thursday, following the announcement of the historic peace deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden made the astonishing claim that the Obama administration was partially responsible for preparing the way for the deal.

Biden said that “the coming together of Israel and Arab states builds on the efforts of multiple administrations to foster a broader Arab-Israeli opening, including the efforts of the Obama-Biden administration to build on the Arab Peace Initiative,” adding, “I personally spent time with leaders of both Israel and the UAE during our administration building the case for cooperation and broader engagement and the benefits it could deliver to both nations, and I am gratified by today’s announcement. It is a timely reminder that enmities and differences — even long standing ones — are not set in stone, and of the role American diplomacy can play,” as Fox News reported.

The article explains why the claim from Joe Biden is false:

The Arab Peace Initiative that Biden cited was proposed by Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah at the 2002 Arab League Summit in Beirut, Lebanon, endorsed by that summit, and later endorsed at the 2007 summit in Riyadh. It called for full Israeli withdrawal from Golan Heights, which would leave Israel vulnerable to attacks from above it, withdrawal from the Biblical Judea and Samaria, where the ancient Jewish kings were crowned, and withdrawal from East Jerusalem, which includes the Temple Mount, the site of the Biblical temples, and for Jews, the holiest place on earth.

As it turned out, Israel never compromised on those issues, and yet the UAE has made peace, so Biden’s citation of the Arab Peace Initiative to buttress his claim that the Obama administration had anything to do with the deal is ludicrous.

The article notes the role the policies of the Obama administration played in this peace deal:

But in one sense, Biden is correct, albeit not for the reasons he cited. The Obama administration, by its support for the theocratic, despotic Iranian regime, the largest state sponsor of terrorism in the world, triggered Egypt, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia to link with Israel as all four countries were aware of the Iranian threat to all of them.

The Obama-Biden administration was probably the most hostile to Israel in American history. The administration repeatedly treated Israel as an obstacle to peace in the Middle East while praising Iran, a knows sponsor of terrorism.

It is the political silly season. We can expect much more of this before the election in November.

Wonderful News Brought To You By The Trump Administration

Sara Carter is reporting today that in a deal brokered by the Trump administration, Israel and the United Arab Emirates have normalized diplomatic ties.

The article reports:

“This historic diplomatic breakthrough will advance peace in the Middle East region and is a testament to the bold diplomacy and vision of the three leaders and the courage of the United Arab Emirates and Israel to chart a new path that will unlock the great potential in the region,” a joint statement released Thursday read.

“All three countries face many common challenges and will mutually benefit from today’s historic achievement.”

This is the statement:

Although the Trump administration brokered the deal, the real responsibility for making the deal possible falls on the increased militancy of Iran. Both Israel and the UAE realize the Iran is continuing to fund terrorist groups in the Middle East with the intention of ruling the region. Iran and Turkey would both like to reestablish the caliphate that was dissolved when the Ottoman Empire fell. Their only disagreement is who will rule the new caliphate. That is what this deal is really about. Nevertheless, it is a much needed step toward stability in the Middle East.

When The Fact Checkers Are Not Paying Attention

Generally speaking, The New York Times has been immune from the fact checkers. Somehow they are willing to overlook the misinformation and ‘leaked from anonymous sources’ misinformation that The New York Times routinely prints. The latest example of this is a claim by the times that “there had been a “longstanding American policy treating the settlements as illegal” prior to Secretary of State Pompeo’s 2019 reversal of that purported policy. (“Mixed Signals on Israeli Annexation Reflect Split Among Officials,” June 22, 2020, David Halbfinger and Michael Crowley.) That is simply not true.

CAMERA (Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting and Analysis) notes the following:

• Note that although President Carter took the position that settlements are illegal, this was quickly reversed by the Reagan administration, which held that settlements are “not illegal.” Subsequent administrations either reiterated Reagan’s view or refrained from taking a position on legality.

• Note that the New York Times itself repeatedly reported on Reagan’s view that settlements aren’t illegal, and in the past several years has twice published corrections after wrongly suggesting the U.S. had consistently viewed settlements as illegal.

• Just as those corrections were appropriate, so too is it necessary to correct last week’s piece by Halbfinger and Crowley.

• Note that memos by past legal advisors in the State Department archive are advisory, and do not set policy or bind subsequent U.S. presidents. While Carter administration legal advisor Herbert Hansell believed settlements were illegal, the Reagan administration rejected that view.

CAMERA further notes:

To be fair, the Times isn’t the first to make this mistake. In October 2016, the Washington Post corrected its claim that the U.S. regarded settlements as illegal. A month later, the Associated Press corrected the same claim. The following month, The Times (UK) corrected, as did ABC News and the Times of Israel. In 2018, the Times of Israel corrected again. The Financial Times corrected this same error in November 2019. And two days later the Economist ran a correction of its own.

Even the New York Times itself has, in the past, corrected this false claim. After a March 2017 editorial asserted that the U.S. “has consistently held that settlement building in the occupied territories is illegal,” a correction clarified, “An earlier version of this editorial incorrectly stated the United States’ position on settlement building in the occupied territories. It has been highly critical of the activity, but has not consistent [sic] held it to be illegal.”

From the news side, an August 8, 2013 correction in the NY Times likewise acknowledged that “the United States has taken no formal position in the last several years on whether [settlements] are legal or illegal.”

Unless those corrections were themselves in error, last week’s claim about a “longstanding” policy that settlements are illegal (and a similar claim last November by the same reporter, David Halbfinger) can’t be true.

This sort of reporting by The New York Times might help explain why much of the Jewish vote (generally readers of The New York Times) is misinformed on America’s policy toward Israel and the value of Israel in the world community.

The Satellite Tells The Real Story

Ed Morrissey posted an article at Hot Air today about a recent explosion in Iran. The Iranian government claimed that the explosion that rattled nearby Tehran on Friday took place in a civilian area of Parchin and not at their secret nuclear-weapons research or missile research facilities. They even supplied photos of a burnt industrial gas tank, photos which turned out to be not entirely convincing.

The article reports:

An explosion that rattled Iran’s capital came from an area in its eastern mountains that analysts believe hides an underground tunnel system and missile production sites, satellite photographs showed Saturday.

What exploded in the incident early Friday that sent a massive fireball into the sky near Tehran remains unclear, as does the cause of the blast.

The unusual response of the Iranian government in the aftermath of the explosion, however, underscores the sensitive nature of an area near where international inspectors believe the Islamic Republic conducted high-explosive tests two decades ago for nuclear weapon triggers.

…Western analysts viewing the European Commission satellite photos believe that the explosion took place in a missile-building or missile-assembly area underground. The Iranians have moved a substantial part of their missile program underground over the years to hide it from these same kinds of satellites, but intelligence agencies have a pretty good idea where those locations are and what the Iranians are doing with them.

Still, the missiles aren’t a secret themselves; the Iranians openly brag about their capabilities, even to the point of photoshopping to make them look even more impressive. Why not just tell the truth, if this was an industrial accident? Perhaps because it wasn’t an industrial accident. Iran’s militias in Syria have come under attack by air over the last 24 hours, with Israel being suspected of launching the strikes:

The article concludes:

This brings us back to Parchin and Iran’s missile production and development. Right now, Iran has the missile technology to target Israel, but not a nuclear warhead to put on one of them — we think, anyway. Israel might have decided to slow down their missile production with an act of sabotage at Parchin, perhaps in part just to demonstrate they can do it. Iran has spent the last few years creeping up on Israel via the civil war in Syria, and Israel might have just delivered a kidney punch in return.

That might be why Iran isn’t too keen on admitting that they have holes in their security, let alone have suffered a setback on military production. Theocratic tyrannies don’t last long when their subjects realize their incompetence, and this one’s already on thin ice after shooting down a Ukrainian passenger flight a few months ago. Or so we hope.

Israel (and a number of Arab countries in the Middle East) have a vested interest in preventing Iran from becoming a nuclear power with missiles and warheads. Iran has made known its ambitions to create a caliphate in the area. Missiles and warheads would probably make that possible. Israel will do all it can to prevent that.

A Little Help From Our Friends

Yesterday The Washington Examiner reported the following:

Israel’s leading drug producer announced Thursday it will donate 6 million doses of anti-malaria drugs to the United States in hopes that it could be helpful treating coronavirus symptoms.

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries says the drug could potentially treat people with the coronavirus and will ship the hydroxychloroquine tablets through wholesalers nationwide by the end of the month and will provide 10 million doses in total, according to Breitbart News.

“We are committed to helping to supply as many tablets as possible as demand for this treatment accelerates at no cost,” Teva Executive Vice President Brendan O’Grady said about the move.

President Trump has expressed support and optimism for potential treatments, including malaria drugs chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine.

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit reported on the testing of the drugs:

Dr. Oz harped on the wonderful news on the chloroquine treatment for coronavirus.

Dr. Oz: There was actually pretty big news today. There was a paper that came out yesterday that was being discussed but didn’t get the attention that I thought it would that a paper from France that the use of an old drug, the malaria drug together with the Z-Pac seemed to dramatically impact on this virus. And that could be the biggest game changer of all that can alter if we can ever become Italy… But I’ll give you the biggest fact of all. In this study they shortened the amount of time the patients excreted the virus down to six days. The norm is approaching 20 days. That completely changes the behavior of the virus. Which means it may be actually more like a flu virus in its impact on us. It’s still dangerous but now as contagious… If drug that has already been on the market for 65 years could be effective in treating a new virus, yes there are potential side effects, there are eye problems that potentially arise, we know that we use these drugs commonly. But I think it’s worth the chance. And we should be doing the study starting today! And we’ll know in six days. In the meantime the task force is going to liberalize use of these medications.

Stay tuned. If this treatment is successful and we manage to keep everyone home for a week or two, we may come through this in relatively good shape.

Misplaced Concern For Human Rights

CBN News is reporting today that the United Nations has released a list of companies that have businesses in areas Israel captured as a result of the 1967 Six-Day War.

The article reports:

The list was designed to punish more than a hundred companies doing business in east Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the Golan Heights. Israel froze ties with the council’s leader, accusing the office of serving the BDS (boycott, divestment, sanction) campaign.

Reaction came quickly after the report’s release and US Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) accused the council of persecuting Israel while protecting the world’s worst tyrants. He called on the body to “investigate the crimes of its own members instead of obsessing over the Jewish state.”

The UN has a history of actions against Israel. The United Nations Human Rights Council was created in 2006. Since then, it has issued 45 resolutions against Israel, about 45% of all country-specific resolutions issued. The United Nations Human Rights Council includes Afghanistan, Pakistan, Qatar, Venezuela, and Libya. None of these countries are stellar examples of human rights.

The article notes:

After the release of the database Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to boycott those who boycott Israel, calling the Human Rights Council a “biased body that is devoid of influence.” His political rival, Benny Gantz, also condemned the publication, calling it a “dark day” for human rights.

Jason Greenblatt, one of the architects of President Trump’s Middle East peace plan, told CBN News the public should be pro-active against the boycott movement.

“First of all, shame on them. You know, they were working on this, they held it back and now after a peace plan is launched they go ahead and do that, shame on the Human Rights Council. The UN is a terrible place for Israel. I would actually encourage all of your viewers to write letters to [UN Secretary-General António Guterres] and protest that,” said Greenblatt.

…Ironically, any resulting boycotts would likely hurt Palestinians the most. For example, CBN News has reported how international pressure forced the SodaStream company to leave Mishor Adumim and move to Israel costing many of the 500 Palestinian employees their jobs.

“The Palestinians certainly stand to suffer if these types of measures are put in place. It will harm companies that employ Palestinians; it will harm companies that provide goods and services to Palestinians,” NGO Monitor’s Yona Schiffmiller told CBN News.

He also said the majority of the list’s information came from BDS linked groups.

“I think it’s also important to note that the activities these companies are being targeted for are completely legitimate. There is no international standard that bars business activity in occupied territories or in settlements,” Schiffmiller explained.

“Many of the companies that we’re talking about are conducting activities that are outlined in the Oslo Accords. So, these are internationally recognized agreements between Israel and the Palestinians that the UN is now completely disregarding by putting out this list,” he concluded.

The article concludes with actions that anyone can take to fight this:

Just last year, 600 businessmen and women from more than 50 countries will come to Israel to connect with and invest in Israeli business leaders for the second-annual ARISE conference.

“We’re really tackling some of the greatest crises around the world. And so, we’ve invited them to connect with Israeli businesses and meet face to face and create those connections and transactions that will help bring Israeli innovation to the world,” ARISE Founder and President Adv. Calev Myers told CBN News.

Over the last few years, various states in the US have passed laws against boycotting Israel. Schiffmiller said the international community is within its rights to stop supporting a UN body that’s potentially harming these companies.

STOP THE BOYCOTT OF ISRAEL! 
Sign the Petition
Text “STOPBDS” to 41-444
VISIT: CBN.COM/STOPBDS

Please do.

Good News For The Middle East

The biggest threat to peace in the Middle East is Iran. Iran has been a major fund source for terrorism around the world. Iran funds both Hamas and Hezbollah. The sanctions President Trump has placed on Iran have diminished those funds, but they are still flowing. The goal of Iran is to recreate the Ottoman Empire, which was a caliphate that ended after World War I. One of the major obstacles to the establishment of that caliphate is Israel. Anyone who has paid attention for the past seventy years or so knows that the goal of many of the countries surrounding Israel is to eliminate Israel as a nation. Israel lives in a tough neighborhood and relies on its scientists to create state-of-the-art defensive weapons. Yesterday The Daily Wire reported on a new technology Israel has developed.

The article reports:

Rafael Advanced Defense Systems announced on Thursday that it had conducted the first live demonstrations of its new Drone Dome-L counter-unmanned aircraft systems (CUAS) system which features an “integrated hard-kill high energy laser effector.”

“The system achieved 100% success in all test scenarios,” the company said in a statement. “Drone Dome is designed to address threats posed by hostile drones both in military and civilian sites, offering advanced solutions for maneuvering forces and military facilities, critical border protection, as well as civilian targets such as airports, public facilities, or any other sites that might be vulnerable to the increasing threat of both terror and criminal drones.”

The article includes the following video:

The better Israel is able to defend itself, the less likely its neighbors will attack her. That is a positive thing. It’s not as good as a peace treaty, but it does decrease the chances of war in the region.

 

A Move In The Right Direction

CNS News posted an article yesterday about President Trump’s proposal to bring peace to the Middle East. The proposed plan allows Jerusalem to remain the undivided capital of Israel and offers financial incentives to Hamas and Hezbollah to end their reign of terror.

The article reports:

“Palestinians have been trapped in a cycle of terrorism, poverty, and violence, exploited by those seeking to use them as pawns to advance terrorism and extremism,” Trump said, adding that he returned from his visit “determined to find a constructive path, and it’s got to be a very powerful path forward in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

“To further this effort, I also met with President Abbas at the White House. Forging peace between Israelis and Palestinians may be the most difficult challenge of all. All prior administrations from President Lyndon Johnson have tried and bitterly failed, but I was not elected to do small things or shy away big problems,” he said.

The president said he delivered his “vision for peace, prosperity, and a brighter future for Israelis and Palestinians” to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was on hand for the joint White House press conference.

The article concludes:

“As I have seen throughout my long career as a dealmaker, complex problems require nuanced, fact-based remedies. That is why our proposal provides precise, technical solutions to make Israelis, Palestinians, and the region safer and much more prosperous,” he said. “My vision presents a win-win opportunity for both sides, a realistic two state solution that resolves the risk of Palestinian statehood to Israel’s security.”

Netanyahu has agreed to “endorse the vision as the basis for direct negotiations,” Trump said, calling it a “giant step toward peace.“

“This is the first time Israel has authorized the release of a conceptual map illustrating the territorial compromises it is willing to make for the cause of peace, and they’ve gone a long way,” Trump added.

I am never optimistic about peace in the Middle East, but this is an interesting proposal.

Good News From Israel

On January 1, 2020, Interesting Engineering posted the following:

Israeli firm Alpha Tau Medical has developed a new cancer treatment that attacks tumors while sparing healthy tissue. The treatment is called Alpha DaRT (Diffusing Alpha-emitters Radiation Treatment), according to The Jerusalem Post.

Alpha DaRT uses, for the first time, alpha radiation for solid tumor treatment. But it does so in a way that the body can tolerate it.

Most cancer treatments out there are simply not tolerable. Our bodies were not made to be exposed to them.

Alpha particles have a high capacity to destroy cancer cells without causing side effects on healthy cells. However, they have extremely short path length in tissue, meaning that up to now they could not get across the entire volume of a tumor.

ALPHA DaRT technology uses the radioactive decay of an isotope called radium-224 to power the spread of alpha particles across entire tumors. This makes ALPHA DaRT technology a powerful cancer-killing agent with minimum side effects.

This limits collateral damage during cancer treatment. Studies done on the treatment are very promising showing a very high level of safety for patients.

The article concludes:

In one recent study, the treatment showed tumor shrinkage in 100% of cases and delivered total tumor destruction in over 78% of cases.

…And other cancer centers are also exploring Alpha DaRT. Trials are being undertaken in Israel, Canada, Japan, Russia, Italy and in the United States.

This is fantastic news for anyone or any family that has been touched by cancer.

Some Common Sense From The State Department

Yesterday Paul Mirengoff at Power Line Blog posted an article about a recent statement of policy by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

The article reports:

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared today that the U.S. does not regard Israeli settlements on the West Bank as illegal. He thus reversed the position taken by former Secretary of State John Kerry in the dying days of the Obama administration.

Pompeo explained that, after carefully studying the issue, he concluded that President Reagan got it right when he found that the settlements are not illegal. Reagan had reversed the position taken by the Carter administration.

Prime Minister Netanyahu and Benny Gantz both support this move.

The article also notes:

Caroline Glick views Pompeo’s statement as a diplomatic turning point. She writes:

Pompeo’s statement is first and foremost an extraordinary gesture of support for Israel and the rights of the Jewish people on the part of President Donald Trump and his administration. But from a U.S. perspective, it also represents a key advance in Trump’s realist foreign policy.

Since taking office, Trump has worked consistently to align U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East and beyond to the world as it is, rather than to the world as “experts” imagine it to be. In the Middle East, this realignment of U.S. policy has provided the nations of the region – including Israel and the Palestinians – with the first chance of reaching genuine peace they have ever had.

I doubt that the Palestinians have any desire for genuine peace, and therefore doubt that Pompeo’s statement will move the parties closer to such a peace. However, I agree with Glick that Pompeo’s realism (and President Trump’s) about West Bank settlements is a prerequisite for real progress in any meaningful peace process.

Another thing that needs to be considered is that the ‘settlements’ are not really settlements–they are thriving communities that include hospitals, schools, and infrastructure. We have learned from experience that when the so-called Palestinians are given territory they do not built infrastructure–they use whatever financial aid they are given to build terrorist tunnels and buy rockets and ammunition. Until that changes, I see no point in negotiating to give any territory to them.

 

This Is A Form Of Antisemitism

The Federalist posted an article today about a recent decision by the EU’s Court of Justice (ECJ), the highest court in the EU. The court ruled that Jewish products made in contested areas of Israel must bear consumer warning labels.

The article notes:

Prior to the ruling, U.S. lawmakers in Congress fired warning shots, cautioning the EU that such a move would prompt the enforcement of American anti-boycott laws, thus endangering the EU’s trade with the United States.

Now, according to reporting by Adam Kredo of the Washington Free Beacon, the Trump administration is ready to go to battle over the ruling. Currently, the United States is the EU’s largest trading partner.

The origins of the legal dispute stretch back several years to when the EU issued a mandate in 2015 declaring that products produced in the West Bank and Golan Heights be labeled as coming from an Israeli settlement, facially for the purpose of promoting “consumer protection,” although it’s unclear if that is actually achieved here. In late 2016, France became the first EU member state to attempt to enforce the mandate, resulting in the Israeli winery Psagot filing a lawsuit claiming that such a mandate violated the EU’s anti-discrimination laws.

Under the new rule, goods produced by Jews will be labeled as having been produced in an Israeli settlement, while goods produced by Muslims may be labeled as made in “Palestine,” indicating blatant discriminatory treatment. Unsurprisingly, Israel’s presence in the West Bank and the Golan Heights are the only contested areas in the world to be the focus of the labeling ire of the EU.

The article notes that Israel is the only country singled out for this treatment:

“No other territory, occupied, disputed, or otherwise is subject to such requirements,” noted Eugene Kontorovich, director of the Center for International Law in the Middle East at George Mason University. Kontorovich emphasized the peculiarity of the ruling. “In no other case does any ‘origin labeling’ require any kind of statement about the political circumstances in the area. This is a special Yellow Star for Jewish products only.”

Indeed, there are a multitude of contested areas throughout the world that produce goods for which the EU has deemed politicized labeling requirements unnecessary. Despite Russia’s occupation of parts of Georgia or Morocco’s occupation of Western Sahara, nothing in EU law or greater international law requires labeling goods produced by Russia in occupied parts of Georgia as “Made in Georgia” or goods produced by Morocco in Western Sahara as “Made in Western Sahara.”

Just a side note about the concept of contested territories. If you look at a map of the land originally given to form a Jewish state, it not only includes the ‘contested territories,’ it includes Jordan. The country of Jordan was originally intended to be the Palestinian state (as there had never been a Palestinian state), but was turned over to the Hashemites. For pictures illustrating the history of Israeli territory, go here.

Does This Lady Not Know History?

Elizabeth Warren wants to revive ‘land for peace’ (because it has worked so well in the past). Let’s back up a little and see previous results.

On September 14, 2005, Boston.com reported:

NEVE DEKALIM, Gaza Strip — Palestinians looted dozens of greenhouses yesterday, walking off with irrigation hoses, water pumps, and plastic sheeting in a blow to fledgling efforts to reconstruct the Gaza Strip.

American Jewish donors had bought more than 3,000 greenhouses from Israeli settlers in Gaza for $14 million last month and transferred them to the Palestinian Authority. Former World Bank President James Wolfensohn, who brokered the deal, put up $500,000 of his own money.

Palestinian police watched yesterday as looters carried materials from greenhouses in several settlements, and commanders complained they did not have enough manpower to protect the buildings. In some instances, there was no security and in others, police joined the looters, witnesses said.

”We need at least another 70 soldiers. This is just a joke,” said Taysir Haddad, one of 22 security guards assigned to Neve Dekalim, formerly the largest Jewish settlement in Gaza. ”We’ve tried to stop as many people as we can, but they’re like locusts.”

The failure of the security forces to prevent scavenging and looting in the settlements after Israel’s withdrawal Monday raised new concerns about Gaza’s future.

Israel gave up the Gaza Strip to the Palestinians in the name of peace. They left the greenhouses there so that the Palestinians would have a source of income. Evidently the Palestinians would rather destroy their only hope of economic prosperity than accept that gift. Meanwhile, the Gaza Strip has become prime real estate for launching rockets into civilian populations in Israel. That is how successful ‘land for peace’ has been in the past. There is no reason to believe it will be any more successful in the future.

Yesterday The Washington Examiner reported:

Elizabeth Warren issued a warning to Israel if it continues building settlements in the West Bank.

The Massachusetts senator was asked after a town hall in Iowa whether she was open to making U.S. aid conditional on an agreement with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to halt construction in a territory Israel won in a defensive war in 1967, which is home to about 3 million Palestinians and roughly 400,000 Jews.

“Right now, Netanyahu says that he is going to take Israel in a direction of increasing settlements. That does not move us toward a two-state solution. It is the official policy of the United States of America to support a two-state solution. And if Israel is moving in the opposite direction, everything’s on the table,” she told reporters at Simpson College in Indianola on Sunday.

That is not a recipe for peace, that is a recipe for war and the killing of innocent civilians. Ms. Warren evidently does not know her history.

What Defense Looks Like

This is a video (posted on YouTube) of Israel’s Iron Dome in action. Israel is subject to almost daily rocket attacks from Hamas (Iran-funded and at least partially paid for by the Iran deal signed by President Obama). This is how Israel defends itself. These continuing attacks are one of many reasons why a two-state solution to peace in the Middle East is impossible–only one side wants peace.

This is what ‘star wars’ technology was about.

The Spoiled Children Are Acting Up Again

Yesterday Breitbart reported that senior Democratic members of Congress are said to have launched discussions to formally censure the U.S. Ambassador to Israel and Jerusalem’s envoy in Washington over Israel’s decision to bar entry to congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar. Keep in mind that Rashida Tlaib was later given permission to visit her grandmother in Israel on the condition that she not promote BDS (Boycott, Divest, Sanction) while she was there. Representative Tlaib changed her mind and that point and decided not to visit her grandmother.

The article reports:

Around a dozen lawmakers, several of whom are Jewish, have begun talks to communicate a “deep lack of confidence and trust” in Israel’s ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer and U.S. envoy to Israel David Friedman, the McClatchy news service reported, citing congressional sources.

According to the report, the Democrats are considering releasing a statement of no confidence in Dermer and opening an inspector-general investigation into Friedman.

Among the twelve are House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel and House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey, two Jewish lawmakers from New York.

“We are reviewing all of our options,” McClatchy quoted a source as saying. “With Dermer, the issue is that there already was a severe lack of trust. But now there is a severe lack of confidence. It is completely unclear that he represents his government given he has made promises that he has not kept and wasn’t clear if he ever had any chance of keeping.”

Last month, Dermer assured lawmakers that Omar and Tlaib — open supporters of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel — would be allowed into Israel “out of respect for Congress.”

The article further states:

The prime minister said that Tlaib was welcome to apply to visit on humanitarian grounds to see her family, with the caveat that she not engage in promoting boycotts of Israel while in the country. Tlaib acquiesced, and quickly received permission to visit. However, she changed her mind hours later, saying that coming to Israel on its terms would be “humiliating” and she would not “bow down to their oppressive & racist policies.”

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, who recently led a large Democratic delegation to Israel, issued a statement Thursday censuring Israel over the decision and said it contradicted what he and others had been told by Dermer.

McClatchy quoted the source as saying, “Dermer is saying privately that he expects this to go away within a day — it’s a real lack of understanding on the consequences of this.”

In the discussions Friday, the lawmakers raised an incident in 1975 in which Henry Waxman, a longtime Democratic congressman from California, was initially banned from Saudi Arabia for his Jewish roots. He was eventually granted entry following pressure from the State Department.

Friedman’s endorsement of Israel’s decision to bar Omar and Tlaib’s entry into the country broke with that precedent, they argued, and as a result called for an investigation “into the role the ambassador played in barring them from entering the country,” the report quoted another congressional source as saying.

I guess my question is whether or not we would welcome a dignitary from another country into America who wanted to visit Texas while waving a Mexican flag and claiming that it was Mexico. As usual, the Democrats are acting like the spoiled brats they have become. I guess there is no longer a place for moderate Democrats who do not hate Israel in today’s Democrat party.

A Troubling Trend

On Thursday, Breitbart posted an article about some recent comments made by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy while he was visiting Israel with a bipartisan group of lawmakers.

The article reports:

The California Republican was also asked about the absence of any members of “The Squad” on the trip, which is the foursome of freshman Democrat members led by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), which have embraced the so-called Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel.

“If you look at it, they did not come on the trip with their colleagues,” McCarthy said. “Secondly, if you look at the antisemitism that has been growing around the world, we haven’t seen something like this since the 1930s, and the actions that they have taken in Congress itself, whereas the Senate passed S-1. It’s the anti-BDS. It’s the stopping of the boycott, divestiture, and sanctions against Israel. That bill passed the Senate overwhelmingly. Chuck Schumer not only voted it, he cosponsored it.”

“But when it came to the House, they couldn’t pass the bill,” he continued. “They moved a resolution, and much of that was to do about this new movement of this new socialist democrat. And look at what Bernie Sanders, look at Kamala Harris, wouldn’t even go to the AIPAC meeting this year inside Washington, unheard of in the process that’s been going forward. There’s a number of Democrats that still stand with Israel, but this new socialist democrat group has a much different belief.”

Antisemitism is becoming acceptable in America because it is being taught on our college campuses. This is nothing new. In 2012, I attended a presentation about antisemitism on our college campuses (article here). After the presentation, which was attended by a small group of people, mostly Jewish, a person who I knew casually came up to me and said that her daughter (she was Jewish) was attending a well-known American university and had encountered antisemitism. The women who spoke to me made the comment that she would have been better off sending her daughter to a Christian college that supported Israel and the Jewish people. That is a truly sad comment.

Some Perspective On A Recent Event

The mainstream media has been quick to condemn Israel for denying Reps. Rashida Talib (D-MI) and Ilhan Omar (D-MN) entry into Israel. Somehow the mainstream media has overlooked some of their actions and statements regarding Israel.

Townhall posted an article today highlighting why the two Representatives were barred from visiting:

Dana Loesch tweeted the following:

The article also includes the following tweet:

The article states:

Netanyahu defended the decision to deny entry to the two congresswomen, saying the move is in line with a new law that would prevent any supporter of the Boycott, Divest and Sanction movement against Israel from visiting the country.

“The two-member congressional visitation plan shows that their intent is to hurt Israel and increase its unrest against it,” Netanyahu said in a statement.

Both congresswomen voted against a nonbinding resolution last month condemning the so-called BDS movement.

The article concludes:

Oh, and Omar compared BDS to the Boston Tea Party. Tlaib equated the BDS movement’s activities against Israel as akin to a boycott on the Nazi Party. Omar has given the House Democratic leadership serial heartburn for peddling anti-Jewish remarks. She invoked the dual loyalty smear against those who support Israel. Oh, and these women reportedly didn’t even refer to Israel on their itinerary. They called it “Palestine.” So not only are they historically illiterate, they’re making up countries as well. Palestine does not exist.  And yes, the Left will foam at the mouth over this. Let them.

Sometimes you just have to bar the door to keep out the troublemakers.

Painting A Picture That Is Totally False

Sara Carter posted an article today about the media’s misreporting on the recent destruction of buildings in Israel. The media has totally misrepresented the events.

The article explains a few facts the media ignored:

– The land on which the buildings stood is not under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority, but, as explicitly provided by the Oslo Accords, under the jurisdiction, for security purposes, of the Government of Israel
– Instead it was included inside Israel’s security barrier at the request of the very Arabs who are now complaining;
– The Arab complainants had the benefit of years of due process, which they flaunted by continuously disobeying orders of the Israeli courts that required both the Army and the Arabs to maintain the status quo until the courts could assess the legal merits of the Arabs’ claims;
– The Arabs chose to build right up against Israel’s security barrier even though they had clear notice that such construction was illegal because it impeded the Israeli army’s ability to defend Israel’s citizenry from Arab terrorist attacks.
The fact that these realities are completely ignored by all of the outraged international “authorities” is a disgrace.

The article continues:

Israel follows the rule of law. Seven years ago it passed a law which, for security reasons, prohibits the building of a structure within 250 meters (820 feet) of the Security Barrier

The Barrier was built starting in the early 2000s after the second Palestinian Arab Intifada (“Uprising”). Hundreds of suicide bombings and other terrorist attacks murdered and maimed more thousands of Israeli civilians during that Uprising. Those acts of terrorism were committed by Arabs sneaking into Israeli cities and towns and blowing up buses, cafes, pizzerias, and ice cream stands. Once Israel commenced building and patrolling the Barrier, terrorism dropped dramatically, ultimately leading to a 90 percent decrease in terrorism within Israel.

Please follow the link to read the entire article. It clearly illustrates the bias in the media concerning Israel. Israel lives in a bad neighborhood. The actions it has taken in preventing construction in certain areas and building walls have allowed the country to survive in that neighborhood.

A Vote That Will Illustrate The Lack Of Unity Among The Democrats

Yesterday The Hill reported that the House of Representatives will vote today to oppose the global boycott movement against Israel [known as the Boycott, Divest, Sanction (BDS) Movement].

The article reports:

Most Democrats in the House oppose the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement, an international campaign meant to exert pressure on Israel over treatment of the Palestinians. Critics say it would isolate and harm Israel, which retains strong support in Congress from both parties.

But the BDS movement has support in Congress from some progressives, including Omar, who has offered her own resolution affirming the rights of Americans to participate in boycotts meant to promote human rights either in the United States or other countries.

Omar has cited boycotts of Nazi Germany and Apartheid-era South Africa in making the case for her resolution — comparisons that have drawn the ire of Israel’s supporters.

Rep. Lee Zeldin, a New York Republican who has frequently gone after Omar, criticized the Minnesotan’s resolution in a tweet last week for having the “nerve to claim moral equivalency between boycotting Nazi Germany and boycotting Israel.”

“Disgraceful,” Zeldin wrote.

The battle over the BDS movement on the House floor also comes as Omar has seen extraordinary attacks from President Trump, who in the last eight days has called her anti-American and anti-Israel, and tweeted that she and three of her congressional allies should “go back” to where they came from. Three of the congresswomen targeted by the tweet were born in the United States, while Omar was born in Somalia.

The article continues:

The resolution to formally oppose it has nearly 350 co-sponsors and is expected to pass easily with widespread bipartisan support. About three-quarters of House Democrats have co-sponsored the resolution authored by Rep. Brad Schneider (D-Ill.), while close to 90 percent of Republicans have signed on. 

Democratic leaders, conscious of the intraparty debate, are bringing the anti-BDS resolution to the floor under a fast-track process, known as suspension of the rules, that requires a two-thirds supermajority for passage with only 40 minutes of debate — a briefer period that will cut down on the theatrics of a divided party.

Omar isn’t alone in opposing the resolution.

Another Israel critic, Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), co-sponsored Omar’s resolution. Tlaib and Omar are the first two Muslim women to serve in Congress.

Tlaib, who is Palestinian American, earlier this month called the resolution opposing BDS “unconstitutional,” saying it seeks to “silence opposition of Israel’s blatantly racist policies that demonize both Palestinians & Ethiopians.”

Civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) is a co-sponsor of Omar’s resolution affirming the right to participate in boycotts, which doesn’t mention the BDS movement, but is also co-sponsoring the measure opposing BDS.  

It is not a coincidence that the two Muslim women in Congress are sponsoring a resolution that is anti-Israel. The fact that these women were elected to Congress from their districts should cause us to reevaluate how well we are assimilating the refugees we take in. Refugees who assimilate are a wonderful addition to our country. Refugees who do not assimilate who form political blocs that are inconsistent with the history and beliefs of our country often create problem areas.

Antisemitism In Ireland

CBN News is reporting today that the “Control of Economic Activity (in) Occupied Territories” bill is making its way through the Irish government.

The article reports:

The proposed law would make it illegal for Irish citizens to buy goods and services from Israeli citizens in what they define as the occupied territories. That would make it illegal to buy an ice cream, a postcard or a bottle of water in the old city of Jerusalem.

…The bill is called the “Control of Economic Activity (in) Occupied Territories”.  If convicted under the bill, an Irish citizen could be fined more than a quarter of a million dollars and spend up to five years in jail.   

…Prof. Kontorovich says Irish leaders may be hesitant to pass the bill.

“One of the only reasons the law has not been passed yet is because the Irish government is properly worried about the consequences it’s going to have for Irish companies doing business in America and many of the large American companies doing business in Ireland like Apple. Because America has strict laws against boycotting Israel,” he explained.

This is simply BDS (Boycott, Divest, and Sanction) on steroids. First of all, there are no ‘occupied territories.’ That is a term invented by Arabs who still want to drive the Jews into the sea. Second of all, this is antisemitism pure and simple. America has laws against boycotting Israel because these boycotts are not morally justified. Israel is the only country in the Middle East that has freedom of religion–Jews, Muslims, and Christians are all free to worship in Israel. Also, a boycott of goods in these areas hurts the Arabs who work there more than it hurts the Israelis. Arabs commute from the Arab territories that have no commerce into Israel where commerce flourishes. When companies in the border areas of Israel close because of boycotts, the Arabs suffer.

The Geo-Political Impact Of America’s Energy Independence

In January of this year, Forbes Magazine reported:

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) recently published their 2019 Annual Energy Outlook. Whenever your optimism on the prospects for U.S. energy infrastructure waivers, this will restore your confidence. The outlook for domestic energy production is bullish, and in many cases more so than a year ago.

For example, in their 2018 report, the EIA’s Reference Case projected that the U.S. would eventually become a net energy exporter. Now, thanks to stronger crude and liquids production, they expect that milestone to be reached next year.

We have reached that milestone. So what is the impact? Fist of all, we are free of the threat of an oil boycott by OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries). The oil embargo placed on the United States by OPEC in the early 1970’s rapidly increased gasoline prices and caused shortages at the gas pumps. We don’t want to do that again. Aside from the impact on average Americans, we need gas to fuel our military. However, being energy independent does not entirely free us from having to be nice to Arab countries that don’t like us. Because of an agreement made between Richard Nixon and Saudi Arabia, oil is traded in American dollars. This is one of the reasons American dollars still have value despite our large national debt. The Saudis have been responsible for seeing that oil continues to be traded in American dollars, so it is in our best interest to be nice to them. The Saudis are also moving toward a friendlier relationship to Israel because of fear of Iran. Being energy independent allows us to support the nation of Israel without fearing another oil embargo.

American energy independence also has a potential impact on our relations with Russia and Europe.

In July 2018, The Washington Post posted an article about Europe’s dependence on Russian oil.

The article notes:

Putin has proved through his actions that he views everything as a potential tool to gain an advantage economically, politically and militarily. One of his most powerful tools is Russia’s energy resources, and he has used Europe’s reliance on these resources to strengthen his position. Some European leaders have been all too willing to take the bait.

This was the point President Trump was making at a NATO summit this month. He caused a stir for speaking undiplomatically in a room of diplomats. He was also pointing out what everyone in the room already knew: Europe’s reliance on Russian natural gas undermines its security.

Trump also understands, as he demonstrated this week in his talks with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, that the United States can and should help solve this problem. By supplying our own natural gas reserves to Europe, the United States can loosen Putin’s economic grip on the region.

The article concludes:

By increasing exports of American natural gas, the United States can help our NATO allies escape Russian strong-arming. America is the world’s leading producer of clean, versatile natural gas. There are two export facilities in the United States. able to ship natural gas overseas — one in Maryland and one in Louisiana. Three more are due to be operational by the end of this year, and at least 20 additional projects are awaiting federal permits. We must speed up these approvals to give our allies alternatives to Russian gas.

We have plenty of natural gas to meet Americans’ needs and increase our exports. Independent studies have found that prices will remain low even with significant gas exports. Now we just need to clear away the regulatory hurdles and show our European allies that U.S. natural gas is a wiser option than Russia’s.

When Putin looks at natural gas, he thinks of politics, he thinks of money and he thinks of power. It is in America’s national security interests to help our allies reduce their dependence on Russian energy. We need to make clear how important it is for their own security, as well.

Our NATO alliance is strong. Ending Europe’s dependence on Russian energy will make it even stronger.

An energy-independent America is good for America, good for Europe, and good for Israel.

It’s All A Matter Of Perspective

Yesterday Newsbusters posted an article about a recent ABC News panel that was absolutely hilarious (not intentionally of course).

The article reports:

With nearly the entire Democratic 2020 field sprinting to be the closest to socialism without using the label, folks in the liberal media were busy trying to spin their radical policy positions as something palatable. A great example of this occurred during ABC’s This Week on Sunday, when two panelists tried to suggest that it was Republicans who were the radical ones with Democrats supposedly as the centrists.

During the “powerhouse roundtable” discussion late in the show, Republican strategist Alice Stewart noted that the candidates could “run away from the socialism label” all they wanted “but you can’t deny the fact that the Democratic Party is moving very, very far to the left.”

“We’re talking about a lot of policies that are extremely left. The Cortezs of Washington and the younger generation of Democrats are really causing a divide in the Democratic Party,” she added before triggered faux-Republican Matthew Dowd couldn’t hold back anymore.

Talking over Stewart, Dowd emphatically insisted it was the Republicans who were the ones who were out of touch with Americans: “The Democratic Party — if you look at all the issues and where the public stands, the Democratic Party is actually closer to the center than the Republican Party is. The Democratic Party is much closer to the center.”

Meanwhile ideas such as socialism, free education, free healthcare, and generally free money are gaining acceptance in the Democrat Party.

Wow. So let’s look at some of the other issues.

President Trump supports strong borders (and a wall). In January a Rasmussen poll showed that 48 percent of Americans felt that the government was doing too little to stop illegal immigration. On March 13th, Rasmussen reported that 56% of Likely U.S. Voters say Democrats should allow Fox News, the most-watched cable news network, to host at least one of their intraparty debates. Just 28% disagree, while 15% are undecided. On January 18th, Real Clear Politics reported that more Americans may identify as pro-choice than pro-life, but more than six in 10 of those who say they are pro-choice (61 percent) join the three-quarters of all Americans in wanting abortion restricted to – again, at most – the first trimester. So do about six in 10 Democrats (59 percent), eight in 10 independents (78 percent) and nine in 10 Republicans (92 percent).

In January 2018, the Pew Research Center reported the following:

The latest national survey by Pew Research Center, conducted Jan. 10-15 among 1,503 adults, finds that 42% say Donald Trump is “striking the right balance” in the situation in the Middle East, while 30% say he favors Israel too much (just 3% say Trump sides too much with the Palestinians; 25% do not offer an opinion).

At a similar point in Barack Obama’s presidency, 47% of Americans said he had struck a proper balance in dealing with the Middle East; 21% said he sided too much with the Palestinians, while 7% said he favored Israel too much.

I’m not sure it’s the Republicans who are out of touch with the American people. They are probably out of touch with the people in New York, California, and Washington, D.C., but I am not sure how out of touch they are with most Americans.

Israel Is Going To The Moon

CBS News reported yesterday that on Thursday night Israel launched a SpaceX Falcon 9 from Cape Canaveral. The rocket launched an Indonesian communications satellite into orbit and carried a small Israeli spaceship that is scheduled to land on the moon in April. The mission is privately-funded.

The article reports:

If successful, the $100 million mission will put Israel in an exclusive club, joining the United States, the Soviet Union/Russia and China as only the fourth nation in space history to pull off a powered landing on the moon.

“This is going to be the first private interplanetary mission that’s going to go to the moon. This is a big milestone,” said Yonatan Winetraub, co-founder of SpaceIL, the non-profit that is promoting the mission to boost STEM education initiatives across Israel.

“This is going to be the first time that it’s not going to be a superpower that’s going to go to the moon. This is a huge step for Israel.”

The article describes the Israeli spaceship and its mission:

Landing on the moon’s Mare Serenitatis is targeted for April 11. During the final descent to the surface, a magnetometer will measure the local magnetic field before the main engine shuts down at an altitude of about 16 feet. From there, the spacecraft will free fall to the surface.

Beresheet is equipped with a high-resolution camera to capture panoramic views of the landing site to help scientists better understand the area. The spacecraft also carries a small “time capsule” loaded with cultural artifacts, including a copy of the Bible engraved on a coin-size disk.

“We have a vision to show off Israel’s best qualities to the entire world,” said Sylvan Adams, a Canadian-Israeli businessman and philanthropist who contributed to the SpaceIL project and is an enthusiastic, if unofficial, “ambassador.”

Payloads aside, the Falcon 9 launching was of vital importance to NASA, helping clear the way for the March 2 launch of a SpaceX Crew Dragon astronaut ferry ship on an unpiloted test flight to the International Space Station. NASA plans to hold a flight readiness review Friday.

Space exploration is moving to the private sector.