Mistreating An Ally

On Sunday, The Gatestone Institute posted an article about the slow-walking of the weapons Congress promised to Israel. It seems that the Biden administration is working very hard to undermine Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and that withholding the weapons he needs to defeat Hamas is part of that problem.

The article reports:

    • It is with good reason that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu complains that the US is withholding, or “slow-walking,” military supplies. In Ukraine, for instance, badly needed arms are always “being delivered” but somehow never manage to arrive until long after they might actually have helped.
    • Although Israel’s leaders are well aware of the immense danger presented by Iran, the US and other Western allies evidently cannot be relied upon to prevent Iran from completing its nuclear weapons program. The US appears to like talking, and talking about talking, diplomacy backed up by talking, verbal “understandings” so long as they have no teeth, then paying what looks like bribe money for adversaries not to “make waves,” presumably at least not before the America’s upcoming November election.
    • The Biden administration, it seems, would rather deal with threatening situations via… worthless promises from Iran, Russia, China, the Taliban, the Palestinians or whoever else will offer appeasements.
    • The critical point is that Israel is fighting to safeguard not just its own nation, but the West and the Free World as well. The battle at the moment seems between preserving freedom or having it extinguished by the forces of barbarism, autocracies and theocrats, but most of all by the passivity of the West…. Silky, stealth aggressors include Qatar — the consigliere of all Islamic terror groups — which uses money and its media network Al-Jazeera, not military aggression, as its means of persuasion.
    • Sadly, the Biden administration appears to view Israel not as a sovereign nation but a US satrapy. It is hardly a secret that the US has been trying to oust Israel’s elected Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and replace him presumably with a subordinate. That US puppet would supposedly be delighted to have a terrorist Palestinian state next door administered by the terrorist godfather, Qatar, and be delighted to see Iran have as many nuclear weapons as it likes.
    • If Obama ostensibly conceived of this arrangement [the 2015 “nuclear deal”] to “balance the influence” of Saudi Arabia in the Middle East, the plan has failed colossally. Saudi Arabia, for all its faults, has not tried to enlarge its territory….

The battle against Hamas is America’s as well as Israel’s. However, there has been a strong infiltration into American government in recent years (on both sides of the aisle) of people who do not support Western civilization. President Obama was one of those people and is one of those people probably holding the reins in the Biden administration. We need to remember that if Hamas (actually Iran) can defeat Israel, America is their next target. The Biden administration is playing with fire.

This Did Not Go As Planned

On Friday, The Gatestone Institute posted an article about the impact of legalization of marijuana has had on California.

The article reports:

Six years after California legalized marijuana, the bodies keep piling up. Earlier this year, six men were murdered in the Mojave Desert. Four of the men had been burned after being shot with rifles. In 2020, seven people were killed at an illegal pot operation in Riverside County.

Violence like this was supposed to disappear after legalization. Legalization advocates argued that making the drug trade legal would end the grip of the cartels. Instead, the legal market has failed, and the cartels are taking over sizable parts of California and the rest of the country.

California’s legal drug revenues have fallen consistently, as have those in other legal drug states including Colorado, whose model helped sell the idea that drug money would fix everything.

Despite falling revenues, Colorado legislators brag about $282 million in drug revenue. That number may sound high, but it’s a drop in the bucket considering the money that the state and cities like Denver are spending on homelessness, drug overdoses and law enforcement.

While the legal drug business is also collapsing in California, the state is spending a fortune fighting marijuana even as it tries to tax it. Gov. Gavin Newsom paradoxically promised to close the budget deficit with $100 million in drug revenue, meant to be used to fund law enforcement and fight substance abuse. The state seized over $300 million in illegal pot this year and uses satellite imagery and heavily-armed raids to fight untaxed marijuana.

The article concludes:

Legalization advocates still argue that if the government lowered the high taxes on legal pot, the business model could turn around again, but even without a single penny in taxes, no amount of legal labor is going to be able to compete with illegal aliens smuggled across the border and forced to work for free by gunmen. Legal businesses can’t compete with organized crime.

Drug legalization increased homelessness and drug abuse. It boosted illegal migration and organized crime. It made life worse in every state and city where it’s been tried without delivering tangible benefits to anyone (including weed users who still get theirs the old-fashioned way) except for a few politicians who temporarily have a few million more to pass around to special interests, donors and lobbyists.

And all they had to do was hand over half the country to organized crime.

America does not need another legal, mind-altering drug. There is no evidence that legal marijuana improves the quality of life for anyone. For regular users, it simply numbs them to their responsibilities and makes them less likely to pursue worthwhile goals. That is not good for society as a whole or the people involved.

Biting The Hand That Feeds You

On June 18th, The Gatestone Institute posted an article that illustrates the difference between the Israeli and Palestinian cultures. First of all, the Palestinians are simply another Arab tribe. They have never had a country, and if they want one, it would behoove the Arabs to give them one–they have no claim to Israel. The cultural differences between the Palestinians and the Israelis are significant.

The article reports:

    • Prior to the October 7 massacre, more than 170,000 Palestinians were working in Israel, constituting an important source of income for the Palestinian economy…. The Palestinians from the Gaza Strip who were permitted to work in Israel received many of the same rights as Israeli workers, including health insurance and pension plans.
    • “I will be able to earn about $120 dollars a day [in Israel], while I cannot even earn $250 dollars a month in Gaza. Due to the difficult political and economic conditions, the people of the Gaza Strip suffer greatly from poverty and are unable to build a future for their children like their parents.” — Mohammed Kamal, a 38-year-old father of four from the Gaza Strip, newarab.com, March 24, 2022.
    • It appears that the murderers and rapists from the Gaza Strip saw Israel’s goodwill gestures as an indication of Israel’s weakness. In addition, they apparently saw the controversy in Israel surrounding the Israeli government’s judicial reform plan as a sign that Israel had become extremely weak, especially when anti-government protesters threatened to boycott military reserve service.
    • The October 7 atrocities serve as a reminder that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not about improving the living conditions of the Palestinians or strengthening their economy. Instead, the conflict is about the desire of the majority of Palestinians to slaughter Jews and destroy Israel.
    • Pre-and post-October 7 public opinion polls have consistently demonstrated that the majority of Palestinians back Hamas and believe that the atrocities committed on that day were “correct.”
    • Now, Palestinians can blame Hamas not only for dragging them into a disastrous war with Israel, but also for having left tens of thousands of families jobless in the wake of their loss of permits to work in Israel.
    • Instead of brainwashing and indoctrinating their people against Israel and Jews, Palestinian leaders need to be required to focus on creating job opportunities and boosting the Palestinian economy, which the flow of international handouts have relieved them from doing.
    • The Palestinians would also greatly benefit if they would realize that there are actually dire repercussions when they “bite the hand that feeds them.”

The attack of October 7th illustrates the damage that propaganda can cause. The people in Gaza was so indoctrinated with hate for Israel that they did not fully consider the consequences of their actions. There was no consideration of how to support their families once they killed their employers and their families.

There was a post today on Twitter that suggested that all we need to do to bring peace to the Middle East is replace the government of Iran with a western-leaning republic. I think that makes sense.

Some Protestors Might Want To Consider This Information

One of the groups currently protesting Israel’s attack on Hamas is “Queers for Palestine.” The fact that this group exists illustrates how little some younger Americans know about Hamas, Islam, and the Middle East.

On June 3rd, The Gatestone Institute posted an article explaining what it is like to be ‘queer’ in Palestine.

The article notes:

    • Palestinian members of the LGBTQ community have never felt safe either in areas under the control of the Palestinian Authority (PA) in the West Bank or under the Iran-backed Hamas terrorist group in the Gaza Strip.
    • In 2016, when Hamas commander Mahmoud Ishitwi was accused of having sex with men, he was “suspended from a ceiling for hours on end, for days in a row… [h]e was whipped and guards coasted loud music into his cell, banishing sleep.” After enduring days of torture, he was shot to death.
    • “In many countries, including my parent’s former homes and theocratic Iran, homosexuality is still sometimes punished by public hangings…. The international community must not be silent. But it is.” — Hen Mazzig, self-described “queer Israeli Jew,” named among the top LGBTQ influencers, Jerusalem Post, October 23, 2022.
    • “It is alleged that ‘harassment of gays’ is ‘practically official policy’ in the PA. The victims are frequently called collaborators and accused as such. It is also reported that the PA police regularly inflicts appalling torture on homosexuals.” — Ilka Schröder, Member of European Parliament, 2003.
    • “When it comes to Queers for Palestine, what’s richly ironic is that many LGBTQ Palestinians seek asylum in Israel – the same country these stateside protesters are rallying against… At the heart of this contradiction is the tendency within social justice movements to pick a clear protagonist and antagonist, the oppressed and the oppressor, and to proceed from there in one-size-fits-all fashion. Some progressives decided long ago that Palestine is the former and Israel is the latter, which is the seed from which everything must grow. Palestine, then, stands not only for anti-colonialism but also LGBT rights and reproductive rights, despite that those rights, in any meaningful sense of the word, do not actually exist there. Queers for Palestine is about as convincing as minks for fur coats.” — Billy Binion, Reason, October 27, 2023.

When you don’t teach children history, they engage in ignorant protests.

You Get More Of What You Subsidize And Less Of What You Don’t Fund

On Tuesday, The Gatestone Institute posted an article about the European funding of Hamas.

Here are some of the highlights of the article:

    • Israel had not even buried its dead from the horrifying jihadist pogrom that Hamas terrorists unleashed on Israeli civilians in south Israel — beheading babies, burning them alive, torturing, raping, kidnapping, murdering — before the European Union decided to reward the terrorists by tripling its assistance to Gaza.
    • “The Commission will immediately increase the current humanitarian aid envelope foreseen for Gaza by 50 million euros,” European Commission President Ursula van der Leyen said. “This will bring the total to over 75 million euros. We will continue our close cooperation with the UN and its agencies to ensure that this aid reaches those in need in the Gaza strip.”
    • Oh really? How? The terrorist group Hamas, a proxy of Iran, the “worst state sponsor of terrorism,” is wholly in control of Gaza and will take what shows up and dribble it out slowly to a chosen few, mainly in their military. The idea that any of it will reach the million displaced souls who were urged by the Israelis to flee to southern Gaza to save their lives is charming, but woefully starry-eyed. Food and water — if that is really what is in the uninspected trucks, rather than weapons — will go to the Hamas foot soldiers to make sure they stay fit and loyal.
    • “Hamas are trying to prevent people leaving northern Gaza. And that is the point… Of course we want to minimize Palestinian casualties. We want to minimize Israeli casualties. We want everybody to respect civilians. But the real clear distinction is Israel are trying to get civilians out of danger; Hamas are trying to put civilians into danger, and that is a fundamental difference between the two.” — UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly, October 15, 2023.
    • Sadly, massive injustices were done by the international media which, without checking, wrongly blamed Israel for firing at a hospital in Gaza, supposedly killing hundreds. Video evidence and a voice recording revealed that the real cause of the explosion at the hospital was a rocket, launched toward Israel by Palestinian Islamic Jihad, that landed in the hospital parking lot. The media, it seems, could not wait to stick it to the Jews.

The European Commission will be working with the UN to make sure that the aid reaches only those in need in the Gaza Strip. Really, how? When it was suggested that the aid be stopped because of the terrorist attack on Israel, the Commission claimed, “The suspension of the payments – punishing all the Palestinian people – would have damaged the EU interests in the region and would have only further emboldened terrorists.”

Common sense is obviously on vacation.

Is Our Intelligence Intelligent?

On Friday, Pete Hoekstra (Distinguished Senior Fellow at Gatestone Institute, former US Ambassador to the Netherlands during the Trump administration, served 18 years in the U.S. House of Representatives representing the Second District of Michigan and served as Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Intelligence Committee) posted an article at the Gatestone Institute about the recent failures of America’s intelligence community. As the intelligence community has become politicized, it has lost its effectiveness. I apologize for the length of this post, but what the Ambassador says is very important.

The article notes:

  • The failure of the U.S. intelligence community has three components: 1) It has become politically charged and lost focus on its mission protecting Americans, instead engaging in partisan politics. 2) It continues to focus on technological intelligence collection rather than the difficult and risky world of human intelligence collection. 3) It continues to suffer from a lack of creativity in anticipating and understanding the new threats being developed by our enemies.
  • There is little doubt that the Intelligence Community has become seriously politicized. In 2016-2017, its leaders and the FBI undermined the incoming President Donald Trump by raising the specter of Russian influence over Trump. The disproven Russia hoax would go on to shadow and undermine Trump’s entire time in office.
  • Despite warnings from the U.S. Intelligence Community, the Biden administration failed to anticipate or plan for the dramatic and quick collapse of Afghanistan’s government when U.S. troops were withdrawn.
  • A little more than a week prior to the Hamas attack, Biden’s National Security Advisor, Jake Sullivan, was talking-up successes in the Middle East… “the Middle East region is quieter today than it has been in two decades.”
  • He could not have been more wrong. Boiling just under the surface was a terrorist attack that would result in more than 1,400 Israelis killed, at least 31 Americans killed, atrocities against Israeli civilians that include beheaded babies and babies burned alive…
  • The Intelligence Community also shifted some of its focus from international threats to domestic threats — often spurious — while ignoring the real ticking time bomb of 5.6 million migrants flooding onto the United States through the southern border, in addition to at least 1.5 million known “gotaways” and an unknown number of unknown “gotaways.”
  • The biggest U.S. intelligence failure of all so far, unfortunately, has been strenuously pretending not to know that Iran, Qatar and Turkey are the kingpins behind the current attacks by Hamas on Israel. If Iran, Qatar and Turkey are to be discouraged from continuing their malign actions destabilizing the region, the price they pay needs to be steep. Hamas. Iran, Qatar and Turkey must not be let off the hook. In addition, the US must move its military assets from Al Udeid Airbase in Qatar to the United Arab Emirates as soon as it can.
  • To go just after Hamas is like targeting crime syndicate, but ignoring Al Capone. Hamas needs to be dealt with first – along with the realization that any humanitarian aid allowed into Gaza supplies Hamas, not the people for whom it was well-meaningly intended. As the journalist Caroline Glick points out, the trucks are not inspected. They might be bringing in food and water – or weapons. Sadly, even if the contents are food and water, Hamas keeps them, then sparingly doles them out to whomever they want.
  • Moving forward, we once again need to examine how we do intelligence across the West. Perhaps Congress or a special commission can be established to identify the exact strengths and weaknesses of our intelligence community… and to discard the biased and flawed analytical tradecraft standards that have led us to where we are today.

Alan Dershowitz Gets It Right

On Wednesday, Alan Dershowitz posted an article at The Gatestone Institute website titled, “Justice Requires Fair Procedures.” As you read the highlights of this article, keep in mind that Alan Dershowitz is a life-long Democrat.

The article notes:

  • Justice, justice you shall pursue,” the Bible commands (Deuteronomy 16:20); and that, in doing justice, one must not “recognize faces.”
  • The late US Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter once observed that the history of liberty is largely a history of procedural fairness. Our constitution embodies that history by reading “the due process of law.”
  • Lately, however, many so-called progressives have been willing to ignore procedural safeguards and due process in their campaign to get former President Donald Trump — to misuse the law in an effort to prevent the leading Republican candidate from running against the incumbent candidate for president. In doing so, they are violating the second principle of justice: “Do not recognize faces.” That commandment is the basis for the blindfolded statute of justice.
  • Some progressives who would ignore procedural safeguards to get Trump acknowledge that this is because they regard him as especially dangerous and therefore undeserving of due process. Special injustice for an unjust man!
  • Injustice, once practiced against an unjust person, will serve as precedent for deploying it against just persons.

This is one of the major points in the article:

Some progressives who would ignore procedural safeguards to get Trump acknowledge that this is because they regard him as especially dangerous and therefore undeserving of due process. Special injustice for an unjust man!

But in our system of law, which is based on precedent, there is no such thing as special injustice. Injustice, once practiced against an unjust person, will serve as precedent for deploying it against just persons. As H.L. Menken once observed:

“The trouble about fighting for human freedom is that you have to spend so much of your life defending sons of bitches; for oppressive laws are always aimed at them originally, and oppression must be stopped in the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.”

So, whatever one thinks of Trump, everyone who cares about liberty for all must oppose the weaponization of laws and procedures that are aimed at him, lest the weapons be turned on us.

Please follow the link to read the entire article. Attorney Dershowitz makes some very important points about what is being done to the principles of justice in America right now.

Hungary Steps Up To The Plate

The Gatestone Institute posted an article today about Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. Prime Minister Viktor Orbán is the only European leader who is willing to protect the persecuted Christians fleeing the Muslim onslaught in the Middle East. Please follow the link above to read the entire article. It gives detailed information about what is currently happening to Christians in the Middle East.

The article reports:

  • “Those we are helping now can give us the greatest help in saving Europe. We are giving persecuted Christians what they need: homes, hospitals, and schools, and we receive in return what Europe needs most: a Christian faith, love and perseverance”. — Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, Daily News Hungary, November 28, 2019.
  • “Our estimation is that more than 90 percent of Christian have already left Iraq and almost 50 percent of Christians in Syria have left the country”. — Ignatius Aphrem II, Patriarch of the Syrian Orthodox Church.
  • European leaders, rather than being embarrassed, should make the condition of Christians under Islam the starting point of their conversations with Muslims.
  • “The fate of Eastern Christians and other minorities is the prelude to our own fate.” — Former French Prime Minister François Fillon, Valeurs Actuelles, December 12, 2019.

The article notes that western countries are not reacting to the plight of Christians in the Middle East.

The article reports:

In Europe, however, there is a solitary defender of persecuted Christians: Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, whom the mainstream media love to peck at and attack. No other European government has invested so much money, public diplomacy and time on this topic. Writing in Foreign Policy, Peter Feaver and Will Inboden explain that aid to Christians come from “a few international relief organizations like the Knights of Columbus and Aid to the Church in Need, and the Hungarian government”. The Knights of Columbus alone raised $2 million to rebuild the Christian Iraqi town of Karamlesh.

“Those we are helping now can give us the greatest help in saving Europe,” Orbán recently said at an international conference, On Christian Persecution 2019, that he organized in Budapest. “We are giving persecuted Christians what they need: homes, hospitals, and schools, and we receive in return what Europe needs most: a Christian faith, love and perseverance”. “Europe is quiet,” Orbán went on. “A mysterious force shuts the mouths of European politicians and cripples their arms.” He said the issue of Christian persecution could only be considered a human rights issue in Europe. He insisted that “Christians are not allowed to be mentioned on their own, only together with other groups that are being persecuted for their faiths.” The persecution of Christians “is therefore folded into the diverse family of persecuted religious groups”.

According to Tristan Azbej, Hungary’s State Secretary for the Aid to Persecuted Christians, Orbán’s is the first European government to have a special State Secretariat “which has only one duty: To look after and monitor the destiny and the situation of the Christian communities all over the world, and if there is a need, we help.”

All western nations need to take part in saving the Christians that are being killed or marginalized in the Middle East. Some of the world’s most ancient Christian communities have been destroyed in the past few years. Western countries need to give these endangered minorities priority status in their refugee programs.

The Positive Impact Of President Trump’s Foreign Policy

The Gatestone Institute posted an article today about the impact of President Trump’s foreign policy on Iran. The article reminds us that because of the Trump administration’s decision not to extend its waiver for Iran’s eight biggest oil buyers; China, India, Greece, Italy, Taiwan, Japan, Turkey and South Korea, the economy of Iran is shrinking rapidly. Because of this, Iran is not able to fund terrorist groups at previous levels.

The article reports:

Before the US Department of Treasury leveled secondary sanctions against Iran’s oil and gas sectors, Tehran was exporting over two million barrel a day of oil. Currently, Tehran’s oil export has gone down to less than 200,000 barrel a day, which represents a decline of roughly 90% in Iran’s oil exports.

Iran has the second-largest natural gas reserves and the fourth-largest proven crude oil reserves in the world, and the sale of these resources account for more than 80 percent of its export revenues. The Islamic Republic therefore historically depends heavily on oil revenues to fund its military adventurism in the region and sponsor militias and terror groups. Iran’s presented budget in 2019 was nearly $41 billion, while the regime was expecting to generate approximately $21 billion of it from oil revenues. This means that approximately half of Iran’s government revenue comes from exporting oil to other nations.

Even though Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, boasts about the country’s self-sufficient economy, several of Iran’s leaders recently admitted the dire economic situation that the government is facing. Speaking in the city of Kerman on November 12, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani acknowledged for the first time that “Iran is experiencing one of its hardest years since the 1979 Islamic revolution” and that “the country’s situation is not normal.”

The result of this is protests and demonstrations against the government.

The article reports:

Iran’s national currency, the rial, also continues to lose value: it dropped to historic lows. One US dollar, which equaled approximately 35,000 rials in November 2017, now buys you nearly 110,000 rials.

In addition, the Islamic Republic appears to be scrambling to compensate for the loss of revenues it is encountering. A few days ago, for example, Iran’s leaders tripled the price of gasoline. It appears a sign of desperation to generate revenues in order to fund their military adventurism in the region and support their proxies and terror groups.

This increase immediately led people to rise up against the government. In the last few days, several Iranian cities have become the scenes of widespread protests and demonstrations. The protests first erupted in Ahvaz and then spread to many other cities in the Khuzestan province as well as in the capital Tehran, and Kermanshah, Isfahan, Tabriz, Karadj, Shiraz, Yazd, Boushehr, Sari, Khorramshahr, Andimeshk, Dezful, Behbahan and Mahshahr.

Tehran’s diminishing resources have also caused Iranian leaders to cut funds to the Palestinian terror group Hamas and the Lebanese militant group, Hezbollah. Hamas was forced to introduce “austerity plans” while Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Iran’s proxy, Hezbollah, has also called on his group’s fundraising arm “to provide the opportunity for jihad with money and also to help with this ongoing battle.”

The economic weapon being wielded by President Trump appears to be the safest way to deal with Iran. War would not be a good option, but economic war has at least a possibility of being successful.