Correcting Misinformation

On March 25th, I posted an article about an upcoming documentary to be aired on the Public Broadcasting Corporation stations yesterday. The article contained information I had received in my email from The Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting and Analysis (CAMERA).

Today I received the following email from CAMERA:

On Friday March 26, PBS notified CAMERA senior staff that the network would be postponing its broadcast of ‘Til Kingdom Come to enable an independent review of the work. We welcome this important action. As reported last week, we had alerted PBS to the issue of a falsified presidential quote in the film, and the network corrected it.
 
Given the filmmakers’ flagrant doctoring of that quote to reverse the meaning of a proposal regarding Middle East peace and disposition of the West Bank – a manipulation evidently intended to promote an inflammatory message about Christian Zionist support for Israel – we had urged a thorough vetting of the entire documentary by the network.
 
We commend PBS for its commitment to editorial integrity in choosing to review the rest of the film and look forward to learning of the results of the analysis.
 
Thank you to all who contacted PBS to protest the broadcast. We will update you as we learn of any developments.

Obviously, I have no idea if or how the correction will be made, but I am posting this to show you that every person can make a difference. When a media outlet distorts information, your letters or emails matter. The news media in America is owned by five major corporations that are in business to make money. When they hear from news consumers and realize that their ratings are dropping, they will eventually take action. Notice that CNN is no longer in airports. I have no idea what their current viewership is, but I suspect it has dropped significantly. When cable contracts come up for renewal, viewing numbers matter. Even if it doesn’t seem like it, you have a voice. Your letters and emails matter.

A Misleading Documentary From The Public Broadcasting Corporation

A watchdog group that sends out alerts about false reporting on the Middle East sent me the following:

A documentary scheduled to air on PBS on Monday, March 29 distorts facts about and caricatures American Christian supporters of Israel – and includes a doctored quote.
 
The documentary, titled ‘Til Kingdom Come, was produced and directed by Israeli filmmaker Maya Zinshtein. It portrays American Evangelicals and Jews living in the West Bank as nefariously working together to convince the White House to hand the entire West Bank over to Israel.
 
To promote the false narrative, filmmakers spliced words President Trump said in the latter parts of a January 28, 2020 press conference announcing his Israeli-Palestinian peace plan into a statement made at the beginning of the same press conference.

This is the quote:

The doctored quote appears 68 minutes into the 76-minute movie. The film’s audio quotes the president as saying: “The United States will recognize Israeli sovereignty over the territory that my vision provides to be part of the State of Israel, including the West Bank described so vividly in the Bible.”
 
The president did not say this.
 
A publicly available YouTube video of the press conference in question, from the Washington Post, shows that he said this instead:
 
“The United States will recognize Israeli sovereignty over the territory that my vision provides to be part of the State of Israel.” (He said this soon after the 14-minute mark of the YouTube video.)
 
In the actual statement, there is nothing whatsoever about handing “the West Bank described so vividly in the Bible” over to Israel, although he did say some of these words  later in the press conference in a different context when he declared:

“There are many Muslims who never visited Al Aqsa [Mosque] and many Christians and Jews who never visited the holy sites in the West Bank described so vividly in the Bible. My vision will change that. Our majestic biblical heritage will be able to live breathe and flourish in modern times. All humanity should be able to enjoy the glories of the Holy Land.”
 
In neither one of these phrases did the former president use the word “including.” This word likely came from another section of the press conference (at about 12 minutes and 53 seconds into the YouTube video) where he did use this word.
 
That is, the quote heard in Zinshtein’s film includes snippets from three different parts of the press conference that are spliced together.
 
To obscure the alteration, the film shows the president saying the first part of the quote, then inserts a shot of the audience during the middle of his statement, and then returns to show Trump speaking the last section of the fabricated quote.

The alert concludes:

Altering a presidential statement to misrepresent the content of a key policy address is obviously a blatant violation of journalistic ethics. It appears the filmmakers felt the measured language of the actual quote was insufficient to reinforce their storyline, so they spliced together separate and different passages to create a more extreme – and false – message.
 
This is an egregious distortion of the historical record and must be corrected before it is aired on PBS.

How many people trust the Public Broadcasting Corporation as an accurate source of news? Obviously they shouldn’t.

 

Back To A Failed International Policy

On March 17th, The Times of Israel reported the following:

The Biden administration will reportedly push for a two-state solution based on the pre-1967 lines, with mutually agreed upon land swaps, reinstating US policy on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to more traditionally held positions than those of former president Donald Trump.

A memo titled “The US Palestinian Reset and the Path Forward,” which was revealed Wednesday to the Abu Dhabi-based The National, also showed that the Biden administration is planning on announcing a $15 million aid package in coronavirus-related humanitarian assistance for the Palestinians as early as this month.

Is anyone going to be checking on the Palestinians to see how that money is spent? Will the Biden administration enforce the Taylor Force Act?

The article reports:

Amr (Deputy Assistant Secretary for Israeli and Palestinian Affairs Hady Amr) recommends in the memo that the White House back a two-state framework “based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed land swaps and agreements on security and refugees.”

While behind closed doors, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has participated in peace negotiations based on the 1967 lines, publicly the formula is not very popular in Israel, particularly among the right wing, which is expected to further expand in the Knesset after next week’s election.

The memo discusses “rolling back certain steps by the prior administration that bring into question our commitment or pose real barriers to a two-state solution, such as country of origin labeling.”

The memo was referring to a last-minute policy change announced by Trump’s secretary of state Mike Pompeo, which requires all US exports from the settlements to be labeled as having been “made in Israel.”

The 1967 lines were an armistice agreement–they were never meant to be permanent boundaries. History has shown that the 1967 lines were not conducive to peace because they rendered Israel indefensible. If those lines are reinstated, the more radical Arabs in the Middle East will immediately go to war against Israel. This is not a recipe for peace.

Forgetting Our Friends, Empowering Our Enemies

I suspect that at some point in the next six months sanctions on Iran will be dropped and we will enter into a flawed nuclear agreement with Iran. I know President Biden said he would not drop the sanctions, but I suspect that they will be dropped. This creates a problem in our relationship with Israel. Israel has been our most faithful ally in the Middle East and does not deserve to be treated like the red-headed-freckle-faced kid at the family reunion.

Yesterday One America News posted an article about the current situation.

The article reports:

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki denied criticism that claimed the Biden administration intentionally neglected Israel. In a press briefing Friday, Psaki blamed the administration’s brief time in office for the lack of communication between Joe Biden and his Israeli counterpart.

She also would not confirm if Biden plans to reach out to Israel in the near future. Psaki then attempted to assure reporters the lack of communication with Israel’s prime minister was not intentional.

The article concludes:

Meanwhile, an Israeli official took to Twitter earlier this week to urge Biden to contact the “closest ally of the U.S.” He noted Biden called several other ally nations since his time in office, adding now might be the time to communicate with Israel’s prime minister.

Somehow I suspect the Biden administration will treat Israel as badly as the Obama administration did–a lot of the same people are running the show.

Being Prepared

The Daily Wire reported yesterday that the U.S.S. Nimitz and its strike group have been ordered to the Persian Gulf in case there is an Iranian response to the killing of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, 59, the Head of Iran’s nuclear program.

The article reports:

“There were no specific threats that triggered the return of the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group,” Commander Rebecca Rebarich, spokeswoman for the U.S. Navy’s Bahrain-based Fifth Fleet, said in a statement. “This action ensures we have sufficient capability available to respond to any threat and to deter any adversary from acting against our troops during the force reduction.”

“The official said the move was decided before news came of the assassination of a prominent Iranian nuclear scientist. But the movement of the US forces is an increased deterrence message to Iran regardless the official noted,” CNN reported. “The movement puts increased American military firepower and thousands of personnel into the region through the end of the Trump Administration. It may be up to President-elect Joe Biden to decide when to withdraw them.”

The sending of this Carrier Strike Group is a way for America to say we are not leading from behind and we will protect our interests in the area. The fact that America has so strongly stood with Israel is one of many reasons that peace treaties are being made between Israel and Arab countries. President Trump’s foreign policy has beautifully illustrated the concept of peace through strength.

More Good News From The Middle East

Yesterday Don Surber posted an article on his blog about the killing of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, 59, the Head of Iran’s nuclear program.

The article reports:

“According to Iran Front Page News, Fakhrizadeh was killed by shooting, but before the shootout, his car has been stopped with an explosion at Mostafa Khomeini Blvd. Several others are also reportedly killed in the incident, but haven’t been identified yet.”

In the past, we could have credited Mossad with another fine job well done, but now I do not know about that this time.

Arab nations are normalizing relations with Israel after a decade or so of casual and unofficial cooperation among Israel and Saudi Arabia. Obama siding with Iran — giving the rogue state $170 billion to blow on building nukes and terrorizing Israel — sealed the deal.

Maybe Mossad had a little help.

Israel and its Arab nations share two things in common. They cannot allow Iran to beef up, and they cannot trust the United States to help them. President Donald John Trump may be the last friend they ever have in the White House.

They also know Red China is an ultimate threat.

The New York Times described the incident as “A brazen killing takes place in a drive-by attack.”

The article notes The New York Times comments:

“The killing is bound to provoke sharp reaction in Iran.

“Mr. Fakhrizadeh’s killing, whoever was responsible, could have broad implications for the incoming Biden administration. It is bound to set off a sharp reaction in Iran, as did the American attack on Jan. 3 that killed Qassim Suleimani, the Iranian major general who ran the elite Quds force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.

“The killing of Mr. Fakhrizadeh could complicate the effort by President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. to revive the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal, as he has pledged to do, if the Iranians agree to return to the limits detailed in the accord.

“Israel has long opposed the deal, and if its agents were responsible for the killing of a man considered a national hero — in Iran, they will almost certainly be accused of being behind it — there could be political pressure in Iran to move forward with its current effort to gradually rebuild the stockpile of nuclear fuel that it gave up in 2015.

“American officials would not comment on the assassination on Friday morning, saying they were seeking information.”

The article at Don Surber’s blog concludes:

If the Supreme Court allows Democrats to steal the election, the new administration will quickly throw away President Trump’s gift of peace in the Middle East and side with Iran once again.

Follow the money. Red China owns Democrats now, and Red China supports Iran.

Israel and her Arab neighbors are on their own. Pray that they are strong enough to withstand the maelstrom Chairman Xi and his marionettes in Washington want to unleash.

Today, the allies showed they may be able to. They do not seem to have a choice.

Stay tuned.

Israel Has Every Right To Defend Itself

The Jerusalem Post is reporting today that Israel attacked Iranian and Syrian targets in Syria in response to explosive devices found on the Israeli border.

The article reports:

“IDF warplanes attacked military targets belonging to the Iranian Quds Force and the Syrian army tonight in Syria. The attack damaged warehouses, command posts and military complexes, and batteries of surface-to-air missiles,” the IDF said in a statement.

The strikes hit eight targets from the Golan Heights to Damascus including an Iranian military complex near Damascus International Airport, a secret military barracks which acts as a housing complex for senior Iranian officials as well as visiting delegations, a command post for Division 7 of the Syrian army which cooperates with the Quds force and mobile surface-to-air missile trucks which fired towards Israeli jets during the strikes.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the strikes were part of a policy that he has been “pursuing for years” and that Israel would not allow for Iran to entrench itself in Syria nor would it allow for any attempted attack from Syrian territory.

“Whoever tries to attack us, whoever attacks us -will bleed from his head,” Netanyahu warned.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz responded to the strikes on Wednesday morning saying “I repeat to our enemies – Israel will not tolerate violations of sovereignty on any border, and will not allow dangerous escalations at any border. The Syrian regime is responsible for everything that is done in its territory.”

Israel has no choice but to respond to attacks on its borders. Israel is also aware that if Joe Biden becomes President, the friendship between Israel and America will end. Joe Biden will renew the Iran Nuclear Deal that will give Iran a green light on developing atomic weapons which they will use on Israel. Israel will have no choice but to do everything in its power to stop that development. If Joe Biden becomes President, peace in the Middle East will become a distant memory.

The True Definition Of Chutzpah

Jihad Watch posted an article today about three Palestinian NGOS who are suing Great Britain for the Balfour Declaration. This is not a joke. I guess the Palestinians are upset about being left out of the peace deals that are currently being brokered in the Middle East.

The article reports:

Actually the Balfour Declaration is the “historic precursor” to the Palestine Mandate (1922), which in turn is the real precursor of the Jewish state, setting out its territorial boundaries, and detailing the duties of Great Britain, as the holder of the Mandate, to further the establishment, through “encouraging Jewish immigration” and “close settlement by Jews on the land,” of the Jewish National Home.

In this document – the Mandate for Palestine — the League of Nations recognized the “historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine” and the “grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country.” Thus was acknowledged the 3500-year Jewish connection to this land, where Judaism, and the Jewish people, were both formed. This historic claim thus became a legal one, for the League of Nations’ system of mandates became part of international law.

If you look at the original boundaries for Israel laid forth in the Balfour Declaration, you see that Israel was intended to be much larger than it currently is. The original boundaries of Israel included Jordan, which was later separated from Israel to become a Palestinian state for the Arabs.

The article continues:

In 1917 there were no “Palestinians.” Or rather, the word “Palestinian” was used to describe the Jews, not the Arabs, then in “Palestine.” In that land, at the time of the Balfour Declaration, there were fewer than 600,000 Arabs, none of whom were considered in 1917, or in 1937, or in 1957, to constitute a separate “Palestinian people.” They were indistinguishable in religion, language, dress, cuisine, and customs, from Arabs in neighboring lands; in fact, many of the Arabs in “Palestine” in the first half of the 20th century had recently come from Syria, Egypt, and Iraq, attracted by the economic development that the arrival of the Zionist pioneers fostered.

The article notes:

The Jews, right up to the War of Independence in 1948, paid for every dunam of private land they settled on in Mandatory Palestine. The Mandate’s explicit provisions gave Jews the right to settle on “state and waste lands,” which they also did. After the 1948 war, in which the armies of five Arab countries tried to snuff out the young life of the nascent Jewish state, Jews did settle on land that had been abandoned by their Arab owners, rather than let it remain unused. Great Britain had nothing to do with that.

As for Mahmoud Abbas’ claim about the U.K. “signing away the Palestinians’ homeland,” the “Palestinians” came into existence as a separate — if entirely factitious — people only in the late 1960s, created for propaganda purposes, to turn inside-out the Arab gang-up on Israel, which could now be presented as the struggle of a tiny people — the “Palestinians” — against the mighty Israelis.

The article concludes:

It’s not the Palestinian Arabs who have a case to bring against Great Britain. It is, rather, the Jews whom the British repeatedly betrayed, both in Mandatory Palestine and in Europe, from where so many might have escaped the Holocaust and made it to Palestine, had the British not directly violated Article 6 of the Mandate, according to which the Mandatory “shall facilitate Jewish immigration” to Palestine. Were the U.K. government to pay any attention to this ludicrous lawsuit in Nablus, it should use the occasion to tell the world all they ways His Majesty’s Government betrayed the Jews of Palestine. The opening is there — provided by those Palestinian lawyers themselves — for those home truths to be told. It’s the perfect time to tell them.

Please follow the link to read the entire article. It is a history lesson most of us never got in school.

An Organization That Has Not Stayed True To Its Purpose

The Jerusalem Post is reporting the following today:

Some 138 United Nations countries approved a draft resolution that spoke of the Temple Mount solely as an Islamic holy site, by referencing it only by its Muslim name of al-Haram al-Sharif.

It was one of seven pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel resolutions that the UN General Assembly’s Fourth Committee in New York passed on Wednesday.

It is amazing that as more countries are settling their differences with Israel, the UN is drafting resolutions that will only work against peace in the Middle East.

The article reports:

The resolution was titled, “Israeli practices affecting the human rights of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including east Jerusalem.”

The text did affirm the connection between Jerusalem and three monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Still the reference in the text to the Temple Mount, the location of the ancient Jewish Temple and the most holy site in Judaism, solely by its Muslim name is viewed as an attempt by UN member states to delegitimize and erase that well known history.

Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan called the passage of the text “a disgrace.” He added, “No resolution passed here will change the eternal connection between the Jewish people and the holiest site of our faith – Har HaBayit, the Temple Mount,” Erdan said.

“For years, the Palestinians have promoted language that includes only the Muslim term of “Haram al-Sharif” and purposely excludes the Jewish name – Temple Mount,” he said.

Nine countries, including Israel, voted against the resolution. These were: Australia, Canada, Guatemala, Hungary, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru and the United States.

I realize that everyone who reads this blog may not believe in the Bible, but the Bible clearly tells Israel “I will bless those who bless you, But I will curse those who curse you.
And through you I will bless all the nations.” Genesis 12:3. Look to history to see this principle at work.

 

Peace Comes To More Of The Middle East

Just the News is reporting that President Trump has brokered a deal that will normalize relations between Israel and Sudan. As part of the deal, the United States will remove Sudan from a list of countries it considers to be state sponsors of terrorism. Formerly, Sudan’s inclusion on that list has prevented the struggling country from receiving certain forms of international aid.

The article reports:

President Trump tweeted early this week that he would remove Sudan from the state sponsors of terror list as soon as its government deposits $335 million in compensation for victims of two bombings at the American embassies in Tanzania and Kenya, which occurred in 1998 and 2000 respectively. On Thursday, Sudan’s Minister of Information said the money had been deposited into an escrow account.

The historic arrangement between Sudan and Israel illustrates a complete revision of the African nation’s former attitude toward peace with the small Middle Eastern nation. In 1967, following the Arab-Israeli war, Sudan hosted the Arab League summit in Khartoum, where the eight participating nations agreed to the concept of the “Three Nos”: No peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, and no negotiations with Israel.

President Trump has mastered the art of using the economic clout of the United States rather than the military clout to get things done. I am totally impressed at what he has accomplished in the Middle East. The breakthroughs he has made have previously been considered impossible.

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.