Thursday, December 14, 2017

Arab outpost was built on privately owned Jewish land - Gary Willig

by Gary Willig

First petition against Arab construction on Jewish property since destruction of Amona scores important victory.

The illegal outpost
The illegal outpost
The State has agreed with petitioners that an illegal Arab outpost was built on privately owned Jewish land in Samaria.

The illegal outpost was built by the Ramadin tribe near the Jewish town of Alfei Menashe in western Samaria. The land in question belongs to the Himnuta organization, a subsidiary of the Jewish National Fund.

The Regavim organization filed a petition against the outpost several days after the destruction of the Jewish town of Amona in February. The Supreme Court had ordered the destruction of Amona after ruling that a number of buildings were constructed on privately owned Arab land. The Regavim petition is the first of its kind against illegal construction on Jewish-owned property in Judea and Samaria.

The State initially argued that since the land owned by Himnuta is managed by the Custodian of Government Property, it is not obligated to give priority to enforcement against illegal construction on these lands.

However, during the hearings, Himnuta responded to the Supreme Court through Attorney Dina Yahav that the land is private property and registered under the organization's name in the land registry.

According to the state's representative, attorney Meital Buchman Schindel, after examining Himnuta's position, it became clear that Himnuta had joint ownership of the land and that the state was mistaken in its original position.

The judges ordered the state to file an amended response to the petition within thirty days.
"We welcome the fact that the state has come to its senses and updated the court, because it is indeed a matter of building on private land, as we proved in the petition," said attorney Aryeh Arbus of the Regavim movement. "It is expected that the state set a precedent and act to destroy the illegal construction in the area, in accordance with the priorities set in the past, and will show that it applies the law equally in all cases, thereby saving the precious time of the Supreme Court."

Gary Willig


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Shabak foils kidnapping plot in Samaria - Ido Ben Porat

by Ido Ben Porat

Israeli security forces uncover Hamas terror cell planning to kidnap IDF soldier or Israeli civilian from Samaria bus stop.

Gun taken from one of the suspected plotters
Gun taken from one of the suspected plotters
Courtesy of the Shabak
The Israel Security Agency (Shabak) and Israel Police recently foiled an attempted kidnapping in Samaria, it was revealed Wednesday.

The kidnapping was planned by Hamas, and was scheduled for the Hanukkah holiday.
During October and November, Shabak discovered that members of a Hamas terror cell from Kafr Tal, near Shechem (Nablus) were planning a terror attack.

In the course of the investigation, it was discovered that the cell was planning to kidnap an IDF soldier or a Jewish civilian from a bus stop at one of the central junctions near Shechem in Samaria.

Mouad Ashtiya, 26, has been identified as the cell leader. Ashtiya planned the attack, acquired weapons, and enlisted Mahmad Ramadan and Ahmad Ramadan, both 19, to join the cell and aid the attack. The three gathered exact intelligence about the routes, bus stops and central junctions, and were planning to disguise themselves as Israeli civilians to cause the abductees to enter their vehicles.

Ashtiya inquired about various Shechem-area apartments which could serve as hiding places for the victims while Hamas held negotiations.

All three members were in contact with Hamas terrorist Oumar Atzeida, who serves as a Gaza commander and works to advance terror activities and move money from Gaza to Judea and Samaria.

The Hamas command center in Gaza provided funds and guidance, and the purpose of the planned kidnapping was to advance negotiations for the release of jailed Hamas terrorists.

During the Shabak interrogation, the terrorists provided information about the weapons which were intended for use in the attack. Among other things, Shabak confiscated a pistol, stun gun, and gas spray; the cell planned to acquire additional weapons before the attack.

The results of the investigation have been transferred to the IDF's Samaria Prosecutor's office, which will decide whether or not to indict the suspects.

Ido Ben Porat


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The very best stories of how Rex Tillerson is destroying the State Department - Ed Straker

by Ed Straker

Why Tillerson is the most loathed Trump Cabinet member among the mainstream media.

Rex Tillerson should be the darling of the liberal media. He supported sticking with the Iran deal, which basically allows Iran to develop nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles. He opposed stating the obvious: that Israel's capital is Jerusalem. And he supported the ridiculous Paris climate change treaty.

But the media have been harder on him than on any other Cabinet member. A week does not pass without the publication of explicit articles or opinion pieces calling on Tillerson to resign (such as here, here, here, and here).


Because Tillerson has been working assiduously to cut the staff of the State Department. He wants to cut the State Department staff by 8%. Liberals are horrified. They don't have the faintest idea how many people should be working at the State Department. All they know is that however many there are, there shouldn't be fewer. Even worse, Tillerson hasn't filled many senior political positions at the State Department, and he's been criticized for not consulting with the staff there – he makes them feel unimportant!

The media are full of stories of the "understaffed" State Department.

Vox says the understaffed State Department makes the situation with North Korea more dangerous.
The result is a North Korea crisis where America's typical tools for crisis management – high-level statements and consultation with allies – aren't functioning. And experts agree that the consequences are unpredictable, but potentially severe.

We need a fully staffed State Department to "make high-level statements." Or do we? But in the same article, Vox, incredibly, admits that perhaps the State Department just doesn't matter:
It's more than possible that all of this amounts to nothing – that we muddle through this latest North Korea provocation and future ones on the strength of America's long-term commitment to South Korean and Japanese security[.]

Here's another great quote from the WaPo where in one sentence it also says the understaffing will have a terrible effect – and no effect at all!
The lack of movement on filling ambassadorial posts is not likely to damage U.S. credibility or leverage abroad right away, diplomats and others said, but it threatens to undermine the work of a department that is understaffed and facing severe budget cuts.

Many at the State Department have nothing to do.
Some try to conduct policy meetings just to retain the muscle memory and focus, but, said another department employee, "in the last couple months, it's been a lot more sitting around and going home earlier than usual." Some wander around the streets of Foggy Bottom, going for long, aimless lunches. "I'm used to going to three or four interagency policy meetings a week," the employee added, referring to the meetings in which policy is developed in coordination with other government departments. "I've had exactly one of those meetings in the last five weeks." Even the torrent of inter-department email has slowed to a trickle. The State Department staffer told me that where she once used to get two hundred emails a day, it's down to two dozen now. "Not since I began at the department a decade ago has it been so quiet," she said. "Colleagues tell me it's the same for them."

Morale is down:
Nick Burns was an Under-Secretary of State in the Bush administration. He told The New Yorker that Tillerson's cuts "will decimate the Foreign Service."

"My fundamental concern is that [Tillerson] is so decimating the senior levels of the Foreign Service that there's no one to show up at meetings where the US needs to be represented," a retired diplomat told The New Yorker.

"Whether it's the oceans, the environment, science, human rights, broadband assignments, drugs and thugs, civil aviation – it's a huge range of issues on which there are countless treaties and agreements that all require management. And, if we are not there, things will start to fall apart."

Oh, one to represent us on the environment, human rights, or broadband assignments! Even worse:
"There's no one protecting the institution of the State Department," one foreign service officer told Foreign Policy. "They don't give a [s---] about what's happening to us."

The State Department has meanwhile been losing a lot of its two-, three-, and four-star generals. Yes, the State Department compares its senior diplomats to four-star generals.
The new AFSA data focuses on the top-ranking career officials – meaning people who have spent their lives in the State Department. This includes minister counselors (the equivalent of two-star generals), career ministers (the three-star equivalent), and career ambassadors (the four-star equivalent).

The number of people in each of those posts has declined dramatically since President Trump took office in January. The number of minister counselors in the State Department has gone down by 15 percent, career ministers by 42 percent, and career ambassadors by a whopping 60 percent.

But Secretary Tillerson keeps morale up by finding valuable work for the staff to do: processing Freedom of Information Act requests.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's assignment of as many as several hundred State Department officials to quickly clear a huge backlog of public records requests is being met with deep skepticism by rank-and-file employees.

Tillerson says his goal is transparency. But many State workers fear the real reason is political: expediting the public release of thousands of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's official emails.

The staffers also suspect the move – which will reassign many of them from far more substantive duties and has already sparked a union complaint – is meant to force many of them to resign out of frustration with what are essentially clerical positions.

I love this man.

By the way, nowhere in any of these articles is there any concrete mention of how the work of the State Department has actually suffered due to the lack of staffing. Nowhere does any of these articles talk about the failures of the "fully staffed" State Department, whether on the Iran deal or the dubious global warming treaty. In fact, reading any of these articles, you'd be hard pressed to find any serious discussion of the duties of the State Department. After all these gallons of virtual spilled ink, it's impossible to figure out exactly what it is that the State Department does.

That's why I think Rex Tillerson is one of the greatest secretaries of state ever. Intentionally or not, he is terrorizing and demoralizing the fat, bloated, and largely unnecessary Department of State. While he may have liberal views, it is obvious he has no influence with Trump, so he does no harm there. His legacy is cutting self-important "four-star generals" down to size by making them process FOIA requests and driving countless others off the public teat. I say he's a great man and the perfect choice to steer the State Department into the ground.

Ed Straker is the senior writer at


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Iran Looks to Seize Opportunity as Rivals Fall - Yaakov Lappin

by Yaakov Lappin

As the ISIS caliphate is erased from the map, another radical Islamist force is gaining strength, this one many times more powerful.

As it approaches victory in Syria with the help of Russian air power, Iran and its terrorist axis members are turning their attention to Israel, and trying to ignite fresh Palestinian violence.

Israel's Channel 10 News reported on Monday evening that Qassem Soleimani, the commander of Iran's elite Quds Force foreign operations unit, called the leaders Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad in Gaza, urging them to escalate attacks on Israel.

"There is huge Iranian pressure on the Palestinian factions to begin a maneuver," the Channel 10 report said. "And [Hizballah chief Hassan] Nasrallah is calling for a third intifada."

It is a clear sign that, as the ISIS caliphate is erased from the map, another radical Islamist force is gaining strength, this one many times more powerful. Radical Shi'ite forces backed by Iran are moving into the vacuum left behind by ISIS.

With confidence growing due to battlefield victories in Syria and Iraq, Iran and its radical proxies are seeking to take over the Palestinian arena as well, increasing terrorism against Israel.

In a speech delivered from Hizballah's south Beirut stronghold of Dahiya on Monday, Hassan Nasrallah said his organization – which has evolved into a hybrid guerilla-terrorist army - and its allies would renew their focus on the Palestinians, following "victories elsewhere in the region," Reuters reported.

Thousands of followers chanted "death to Israel," as Nasrallah promised assistance to armed Palestinian factions and called on them to keep up their conflict with Israel.

These developments are the latest signs of a regional shift, which has left the Iranian axis as the dominant radical Islamist force in the region.

Only a few years ago, the Middle East was the battleground involving four rival blocs:
1. The Iranian-Shi'ite axis
2. The Salafi-jihadist ISIS camp
3. The Muslim Brotherhood bloc, and
4. The pragmatic Sunni coalition.
Today, only the pragmatic Sunnis and the Iranian-Shi'ite axis remain as major regional forces.

ISIS is reverting back to a decentralized terror network, while the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt is decimated.

Saudi Arabia leads the moderate Sunni coalition of states, which are allies of the United States. This bloc views Israel as an ally too, out of a recognition that Iran is its real enemy, not the Jewish State.

Today, the Shi'ite axis is on the move. Iran is the mother ship, and its most prominent agent is Hizballah, which has more firepower at its disposal than most NATO members. The axis has tens of thousands of Shi'ite militia members active across Iraq and Syria. And it is preparing to expand.

In recent days, a powerful Iranian-backed Iraqi militia member visited southern Lebanon, where Hizballah provided him with a tour of the Israeli border. The visit signals Iran's intention to direct its regional assets against Israel.

Missiles, a nuclear program, and a growing terrorist influence

The core of the Shi'ite axis is the Islamic Republic of Iran itself, whose regime is guided by Shi'ite Islamist doctrine.

"The Islamic regime in Iran wants to fully implement the Islamic Shari'a. It will be the instrument that triumphs over the enemies of Islam," Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamanei said last month.

Iran's military industries are flush with cash, and they are mass producing powerful weapons. These arms don't just stay in Iran – many are exported to Iran's dangerous clients across the Middle East. . These are the forces moving into the vacuum left by Islamic State's demise.

"I welcome the recent and great victories of the Islamic Revolution front against the front of lies and the destruction of the accursed regime of ISIS," IRGC commander Mohammed Al Jafari said recently.

Iran wants to establish a continuous land corridor linking it to Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon. Such a corridor would enable Iran to move fighters and weapons from its border all the way to the Mediterranean coast. It would run parallel to the air corridor used by Iran to traffic weapons and fighters from Iran to Syria and Lebanon.

The Shi'ite axis monopolizes political and military power in Lebanon, via Hizballah, and uses its proxy forces to heavily influence Syria and Iraq.

In addition, it wields heavy influence in Yemen, where the IRGC supports the Ansar Allah radical Houthi group, which recently said it fired a cruise missile at a nuclear reactor in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. The repeated use of surface-to-surface firepower by the Houthis against civilian targets in Saudi Arabia mimics tactics used by Hamas and Hizballah against Israel.

Terrorism under an Iranian nuclear umbrella?

The idea that the threat posed by the Iranian axis can be limited to the Middle East was recently disproven by Iran itself.

After European criticism of Iran's ballistic missile program, officials threatened to increase Tehran's ballistic missile ranges in order to reach Europe.

Israel, for its part, has vowed to stop the Iranian axis from taking over next-door Syria. A recent surge, according to media reports, of Israeli strikes on Iranian axis targets in Syria would seem to be evidence of Israel's determination to challenge Iranian plans. Earlier this month, the strikes reportedly targeted an Iranian military base under construction south of Damascus, and the CERS weapons development and production site on the outskirts of the Syrian capital.

Yet the Islamic Republic's nuclear program, dormant for now, remains the elephant in the room.

A powerful Shi'ite axis operating under an Iranian nuclear umbrella would pose a new level of threat to global security. Iranian-run terrorist networks and armed forces could operate with impunity if the Iranians reactivate their nuclear sites in the future, which they intend to do.

The threat to international security posed by Iran far outweighs the one ever posed by ISIS.

Yaakov Lappin


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Erdogan's Threat to Jerusalem - Joseph Puder

by Joseph Puder

And what Israel and the U.S. must do in response.

In an unprecedented move, President Donald Trump announced on Wednesday, December 6, 2017, that the U.S. recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s official capital.  In an almost 20-minute speech, President Trump said, “I have determined that it is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.” Trump added, “For more than two decades previous presidents have signed a waiver to delay moving the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, but we are no closer to a lasting peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, and while previous presidents have made this a major campaign promise, they failed to deliver, today, I am delivering.”

Turkey’s dictator, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is at it again, threatening Israel with cutting off diplomatic relations should the Trump administration recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.  In a meeting with a parliamentary group of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), Erdogan stated that, “This (referring to U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital) could go as far as cutting our diplomatic relations with Israel.  You cannot take such a step.”  He furthermore warned the Trump administration that recognizing Jerusalem would be a “red line” for Muslims.  He suggested that Turkey will take measures in the event of a possible U.S. move, including the convening of the 57 nation Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Istanbul.

Erdogan’s bluster regarding President Trump’s announcement on Jerusalem included such a far-fetched statement as, “Such a move would not only be a violation of international law, but also a big blow the conscience of humanity.”  The dictator who arrested thousands of alleged plotters against him, and who mercilessly bombed Kurdish civilians in southeastern Turkey, should be the last to speak of the “conscience of humanity.” Moreover, Israel has the right, by any law, international or otherwise, to choose its capital.

Israeli officialdom reacted to Erdogan’s threats with clear outrage. Emmanuel Nahshon, Israel’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson, reacting to Erdogan’s statements said that Jerusalem has been Israel’s capital for 70 years whether Erdogan recognizes it or not.  Israel Katz, Israel’s Minister of Intelligence and Transport, reiterated Israel’s position.  He said on Twitter “We don’t take orders or accept threats from the president of Turkey.  There would be no more righteous or proper historical move now than recognizing Jerusalem, the Jewish people’s capital for the past 3,000 years, as the capital of Israel.”

As Prime Minister of Turkey on July 19, 2014, Erdogan said the following at a rally in the Black Sea city of Ordu, “Israelis have no conscience, no honor, and no pride…Those who condemn Hitler – day and night – have surpassed Hitler’s barbarism.”  The day before at the city of Bursa on the coastline of the Marmara Sea, Erdogan said “World leaders are making weird statements. They say Israel is using its right of self-defense.  What kind of self-defense is it that it is only the Palestinians to die? It is all a game, we face a new Crusader alliance.”

Erdogan’s anti-Semitic tirade was just that. Factually he did not have a foot to stand on.  Israel was attacked by Hamas rockets, which targeted Israeli civilians, and the leaders of the free world recognized that Israel had the right of self-defense.  Moreover, no army was more humane than the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) in avoiding harm to innocent civilians, as testified by the Commander of British forces in Afghanistan, Col. Richard Kemp.

Earlier, in March, 2013, during a speech at the UN assembly in Vienna, Austria, Erdogan described Zionism as “a crime against humanity.”  He went on to say that, “It is necessary that we must consider – just like Zionism, or anti-Semitism, or fascism - Islamophobia.”

Erdogan’s “holier than thou” approach to the issue of Palestinians and Jerusalem has to do with Turkey’s role - holding the current presidency of the OIC.  Back in March, 2015, Fuat Ozgur Calapkulu, a leader in Erdogan's Justice and Development Party (AKP) in the eastern province of Siirt, twitted that Erdogan may yet be Caliph.  He made his remark to reinforce the notion that his leader (Erdogan) has always achieved beyond people’s expectations.  Indeed, Erdogan seems to speak on behalf of Islam and the Muslim world which has made him, perhaps in his own mind, the most qualified leader in the Islamic world, or simply put, the Caliph of Islam (a successor to the Prophet Mohammad). 

Erdogan began his political career in an Islamist political party. In the 1970’s and 1980’s, Erdogan was active in Islamist circles, and became a member of the Necmettin Erbakan Islamist Welfare Party.  From 1994-1998, Erdogan served as Mayor of Istanbul.  A military takeover banned the Welfare party and temporarily ended Erdogan’s career.

The idea of an Islamic caliphate is deeply intertwined with Turkish history. The Ottoman Empire claimed the caliphate from the 14th century to the early 20th century. As the Ottoman Empire collapsed, the first president of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, undertook reforms and abolished the caliphate, effectively leaving the political lineage of the prophet Muhammad unclaimed. Since that point, secularism has long been an important, though divisive, feature of Turkish political life.

To curry favor with the Islamic states of the OIC, and appear as its champion, Erdogan is habitually attacking the U.S. and the West.  Erdogan’s lieutenants parrot the same.  Speaking on behalf of Erdogan at a NATO meeting in Brussels, Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told CNBC-TV that “This (U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital) can go as far as severing Turkey’s ties with Israel.  I am warning the U.S. not to take such a step which will deepen the problems in the region.” He added, “We have to warn the U.S. that such a decision will be against the UN resolutions and international law and international agreements.”

Erdogan’s regime threats to Israel are not new.  In September, following the Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq non-binding referendum on independence, which Israel supported, Erdogan threatened to halt steps being taken toward normalization with Israel.  He said, as reported in the Turkish Daily Sabah that, “If Israel does not reconsider its support for Kurdish independence, Turkey will not be able to take many steps we would have with Israel too.”

In June, 2016, Israel and Turkey resumed full diplomatic relations.  The relationship was strained following the 2010 Gaza Flotilla incident in which nine Turkish citizens were killed when the Islamist Turkish group heading the flotilla sought to break Israel’s blockade of the Hamas terrorist Gaza enclave. One reason for the rapprochement with Israel has to do with Turkey’s need for the newly discovered Israeli gas and oil.  Turkey also wants Israeli tourism that once contributed richly to its economy.  Turkish businessmen and investors, not Erdogan, seek better relations with Israel.

Erdogan has replaced Iran’s former President Ahmadinejad as the on-duty anti-Semite.  Erdogan’s targeting Israel for abuse stems from his self-appointed role as the protector of the Palestinians. In particular, the Hamas terrorist organization, whose Muslim Brotherhood ideology Erdogan shares. The latest threat to cut off relations with Israel over the U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is yet another effort on his part to intimidate Israel, and show his contempt for America to his fellow Muslims.  Neither Israel nor the Trump administration must yield to Erdogan’s threats.

Joseph Puder


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Democrats’ IT Man Imran Awan Abuses Women - Lloyd Billingsley

by Lloyd Billingsley

What is Awan hiding and why are Democrats protecting him?

In Congress (Al Franken, John Conyers), entertainment (Harvey Weinstein, Ben Affleck) and the establishment media (Matt Lauer, Charlie Rose), women are stepping up with charges of sexual harassment, and in some cases powerful men are stepping down. As this unfolds, one key abuser has managed to avoid both the outcry and the scrutiny he deserves. 

Imran Awan, the IT man employed by Debbie Wasserman Schultz and other prominent Democrats, remains at the center of financial and security scandals. As Luke Rosiak of the Daily Caller reported, “multiple women” in relationships with Imran have “called Virginia law enforcement and alleged being abused by him.”

Police found one of the women “bloodied” and another said she felt like a “slave.” A third woman, Awan’s stepmother Samina Silani, is on record that Awan invoked his authority as a congressional employee to intimidate immigrant women, warning them of his power to have people kidnapped.

Imran Awan performed work for Democratic representatives Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Yvette Clarke, Diana DeGette, Jackie Speier, Marcia Fudge, Frederica Wilson, Karen Bass, Joyce Birdson Beatty, Lois Frankel, Julia Brownley, Michelle Lujan Grisham, Kyrsten Sinema, Robin Kelly, Catherine Clark, Jacky Rosen, Stephanie Murphy, and Lisa Blunt Rochester.

Frederica Wilson’s office told the Daily Caller she “does not condone violence against anyone, particularly women. Imran was immediately fired when the allegations were disclosed but our office will not comment on an ongoing investigation.” According to Kyrsten Sinema, “our office contracted with this individual in February 2013 after he was recommended to us by several colleagues and former members. We terminated his contract with our office in February of 2015 for incompetence.”

All the other Democrat women declined to comment on police reports about Imran Awan, but abuse of women is hardly his only problem. When Awan attempted to flee the country in July he was arrested for bank fraud. The Muslim IT man also made thousands of unauthorized logins on congressional servers.

As Frank Miniter noted in Forbes, Imran Awan was born in Pakistan and got a green card through the immigration lottery system, similar to Sayfullo Saipov, the Uzbeki terrorist who killed eight people in New York in October. Awan became a U.S. citizen in 2004 and earned an IT degree from Johns Hopkins. He did not work for any of the six officially vetted IT firms that do work for congressional offices. Even so, Debbie Wasserman Schultz not only brought Awan aboard but hired his wife Hina Alvi and other family members, though none had degrees in information technology.

Imran Awan and his associates should have been cleared through a background check but Miniter found “no public proof that the Awans and the others were even vetted by Capitol Police.” Awan had access to information from members the House Intelligence and Foreign Affairs committees, but as Andrew McCarthy noted, Awan could not possibly have qualified for a security clearance.  Luke Rosiak found evidence that Imran Awan was spending three months or more in Pakistan every year, and told Rep. Louis Gohmert that Awan “was doing his job remotely from Pakistan.”

Awan accessed a server controlled by Rep. Xavier Becerra, once on Hillary Clinton’s short list as a running mate and now attorney general of California. When the Capitol police sought to obtain the data, Awan served up a fake image of the server. Awan was then banned from the congressional computer system but Debbie Wasserman Schultz duly kept the IT man on her payroll for more than six months.

Miniter wonders if Awan has something on DWS and notes that court filings reveal his threats to women. Awan was also “working in Rep. Wasserman Schultz’s office while she was head of the DNC—and when she lost the post after emails leaked or were hacked from the DNC.”

Wasserman Schultz has charged that Awan was “put under scrutiny because of his religious faith,” and that “the right-wing media circus fringe” was jumping to conclusions. Awan’s attorney Chris Gown, a former aide to Bill and Hillary Clinton, said Awan’s arrest for bank fraud was “clearly a right-wing media-driven prosecution by a United States Attorney’s Office that wants to prosecute people for working while Muslim.”

As the Buffalo Springfield said, there’s something happening here. What does Imran Awan have on Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and why won’t Democrats speak out against the abuser? What did Awan do with all the sensitive data? What does Xavier Becerra know, and when did he know it? If FBI bosses know the answers they aren’t talking, but some realities are clear.

The United States had no need for Imran Awan or taxi driver Sayfullo Saipov. Likewise, there was no need for any member of Congress to hire Imran Awan, who did not work for properly vetted IT firms, did not pass a background check, and accessed sensitive data without a security clearance.

Democrats had even less reason to hire Awan’s unqualified wife and family members, who show the negative effects of chain migration. The immigration lottery system may be a winner for terrorists and an abusive Muslim grifter and his family. On the other hand, it’s an outright loser for the United States.

Lloyd Billingsley is the author of the new crime book, Lethal Injections: Elizabeth Tracy Mae Wettlaufer, Canada’s Serial Killer Nurse, and the recently updated Barack ‘em Up: A Literary Investigation.


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Does Mueller need blood? - James Lewis

by James Lewis

The media mob desperately wants to see somebody hanged to make up for Hillary losing the last election.

How is this revenge movie going to end?

Every legal trial is also an emotional revenge drama. The legal system tries to impose whatever dignity, fairness, and honesty it can on the bloodthirsty aspects of accusations and punishments. But the more emotionally involved people become, the more easily we can turn into a primitive mob.

Well, we now have the most bloodthirsty “media” in American history.

The media mob desperately wants to see somebody hanged to make up for Hillary losing the last election. A just system of laws and procedures is designed to prevent that, but in the case of the so-called “Special Counsel” there are no safeguards. We must have faith on the integrity of the individuals running the show, and today they have lost that faith.

Which the why this whole bizarre DC vendetta is so corrupt and anti-constitutional.

The goal of the U.S. Constitution is to impose order and balance on primitive mob impulses and on power-mad freaks, but today the Constitution and the spirit of fairness it embodies have been beaten down by decades of media attacks, where justice and fairness come last, if ever. The media mob -- don’t doubt for a minute that they are a mob -- attacked Kenneth Starr to cover up Bill Clinton’s many violations of law, which went far beyond that stained blue dress. In Watergate, the raging mob turned the other way, and President Nixon had to hang, one way or another.

Mobs have no principles; they just run after the smell of blood.

This time Donald Trump is the chosen target, but his only known crime was to win the election. Trump has shown strength and determination against his tormentors, and a willingness to strike back. That has put some fear into their hearts, but not enough to control all that murderous rage, and their fear for their own hides if the Hillary-Obama years come under objective examination.

The coming “sexual harassment” attack will target Trump’s whole life in an attempt to stop an open examination of Clinton-Obama-Clinton corruption.

Special Prosecutors have been known to hang the nearest innocent victim, when they couldn’t nail a President of the United States. Scooter Libby was one such sacrificial lamb.There have been others.

So-called “Special Prosecutors” are granted utterly unconstitutional powers to inflict pressure, shame, and financial penalties on their targets, with no need to prove their cases in open court. If they have no case at all, Mueller and his kind can force an out-of-court settlement to save their face.

“Special Prosecutors” are therefore nothing but an ugly cancer on the Constitution.

The witch hunters have apparently never wondered what could happen if the worm turned. They feel immune from ordinary consequences, even for extreme, publicly known misfeasance and malfeasance.

That’s the key: Their sense of untrammeled power. That is also why the office of the “Special Prosecutor” is a poisoned sword aimed at the heart of constitutional government.

But if Republicans keep the House and Senate next year they will have a full deck: POTUS, the Congress, and increasingly, the courts, including SCOTUS.

Does the left really want to risk turning America into a revenge mobocracy? In the 1950s France was such a revenge mobocracy, until Charles de Gaulle was able to establish a stabilizing constitution.

Robert Mueller and his bloodhounds have wasted a year trying to nail down a pure prosecutorial delusion, and millions of Americans know it. We also know how the whole witch-hunting “dossier” was forged, and we know who was responsible for corrupting the FISA Court to expose all of us to potential invasions of privacy.

Americans wonder whether this charade was created to protect Hillary and her coconspirators, including Obama officials, who may be guilty of crimes far worse than talking to Russians.

Mueller accepted the job, which came to him corruptly through the machinations his good friend James Comey, along with James Clapper, John Brennan, and scores of Deep Staters and media whores pointing their fingers at Trump without a shred of evidence. They convinced millions of ignorant liberals that there must be fire with all that smoke.

My question is whether Mueller could even bring this charade to an end without crucifying some scapegoat. For Mueller to resign with no indictments would be honest, but it would also mean a big loss of face. Disappointed liberals and Swamp critters might turn against him.

Mueller’s career has been based on sniffing out the prevailing political winds, but now, with every passing day, he is losing credibility.

If Mueller manages to indict a minnow he will look ridiculous. If his victim-of-choice can actually mount a vigorous defense in court, chances are good that Mueller will lose in court, if the deck isn’t stacked. That should finally outrage enough Americans to abolish the Office of Liberal Witch Hunter.

So -- is there any way Mueller can end this fraud without a bloodied victim? Or does he have to spend another year and ten million dollars pursuing a ghost?

If Mueller has any personal honor, he should resign immediately, along with his yapping hyenas.

“Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely” said Lord Action. We are now seeing that truth enacted again in Washington, DC.

There may be no way to stop it, but the damage to public faith in the system will be immense.

James Lewis


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Ancient Jewish town from Hasmonean period unearthed - Mordechai Sones

by Mordechai Sones

2,100-year-old Jewish community found in Judea, dating back to Hasmonean period, 600 years earlier than previous finds at the site.

Coins discovered at site
Coins discovered at site
Department of Land of Israel Studies at Herzog College
Coins, pottery, and ritual baths recently uncovered revealed a Hasmonean-era Jewish town at the Susya in Mount Hevron.

The findings are surprising in light of historical reports about Hasmonean activity to convert the Edomites who lived in the region, in year 112 BCE. The discovery a settlement site from the time of the Hasmonean Kingdom may shed light on this issue.

To date, the heritage site in Susya has been known to visitors as a 1,500-year-old Jewish Talmudic town that was inhabited from the Roman to the Muslim periods. The new findings predate the town's known establishment by 600 years.

The findings were uncovered during an excavation conducted by the Civil Administration's Archaeological Staff Officer in Judea and Samaria, under the supervision of archaeologist Achia Cohen Tavor and with the assistance of the management of the Susiya site and the Hevron Hills Development Company.

The site's diggers, students of the Department of Land of Israel Studies at Herzog College, were led by Dr. Itzhak Meitlis, an archaeologist and lecturer at the college.

The new findings will be presented for the first time by senior lecturers at the professional conference The Book and the Desert which will take place this Thursday at the Susya Tour and Study Center.

Hevron Archaeology site
Photo: Ariel University spokesperson

Mordechai Sones


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Syria’s Sunni Arabs and Israel: The War’s Silver Lining? - Rauf Baker

by Rauf Baker

Israel’s good neighbor policy was intended to encourage the striking of a “gentlemen’s agreement” to maintain security in the north.

BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 683, December 13, 2017

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The war in Syria has resulted in many changes to its society, including a perceptible shift in the Sunni Arab majority’s attitude towards Israel. However, that shift remains very limited in scope. Much still needs to be done on both sides of the border to root out the Syrian culture of anti-Semitism.

When Syrian opposition figure Farid Ghadry appeared before Israel’s Knesset in 2007, he provoked the ire of many of his compatriots. The move sparked controversy perhaps no less acrimonious than that witnessed when Bassam al-Adel escaped with his MiG-23 fighter jet and landed in Israel in 1989. However, when Syrian opposition figure Kamal Labwani visited Israel three years ago, his action did not cause a similar stir.

It may not be coincidence that all three belong to Syria’s Sunni Arab majority and were born either in the governorate of Idlib (in the north) or the countryside of Damascus (in the south). Both were opposition strongholds to the ruling Alawite family of al-Assad. After more than six years of war, a period that has resulted in the killing and displacement of at least one-third of Syria’s Sunni Arabs, the question arises: Does the major component of Syrian society still adhere to the regime’s teachings, which dictate that Israel is their number one enemy?

Sunnis refuse to be called a sect, viewing themselves as the genuine representatives of Islam. As the majority, they never formed a united single bloc, so it was easy to penetrate them politically. The war has made their divisions more entrenched than ever.

Sunni Arabs in northern and eastern Syria were ruled by fundamentalist factions that applied religious rulings. These regions include the governorates of Raqqa, Deir ez-Zor, Idlib, and large portions of rural Aleppo. Terrorist militias such as ISIS, the al-Nusra Front, and even armed factions that adopted fundamentalism left a deep ideological impact on these Sunni Arab communities that will last for generations to come. Millions of Sunnis lived under the laws of these groups for nearly three years, dealt with them on a daily basis, and engaged with their governing structures. This constant contact resulted in somewhat normalized relations, a point that should not be overlooked.

It is hard to believe the claim that the terrorist militias – only a small proportion of whose members were foreign – did not find support from a considerable segment of the society. A new generation of what can be described as “phoenix jihadists” has formed in these regions – youth who gradually adopted an Islamic fundamentalist dogma. They cannot be expected to hold positive feelings towards the State of Israel and the Jewish people.

Sunni Arabs who live in al-Assad-controlled areas – ” regime Sunnis” – maintain the regime’s traditional anti-Israel approach and consider themselves its legitimate bearers. Moreover, the war has boosted their national chauvinistic spirit. This is a new development as they – particularly Sunnis from Damascus and Aleppo – had little sectarian awareness in the first place. This chauvinism causes them to regard Iran’s and Hezbollah’s activities in Syria as a positive. They are willing to support Shiite forces whom they see as attempting to restore Syrian national dignity.

In the central governorates of Homs and Hama, as well as Sunni Arab pockets in the western coastal region, the regime’s suppression prompted a sectarian reaction. Many residents reverted to fundamentalism as a haven from the regime’s sectarian tactics, especially after its militia targeted Sunnis in the rural regions of Homs and Hama. Those areas abut the former Alawite state and are currently dominated by extremists. Homs governorate, the largest of Syria’s 14 governorates, was emptied completely, but the religiously conservative city of Hama agreed to a truce to avoid destruction. Sunni Arabs in the coastal region are thus scattered in isolated pockets. There is little to suggest that they can be an effective part of any attempt to change the overall perception of Israel in Syria.

Still, Sunni Arabs in the south are more likely than others to abandon their hostility towards Israel thanks to their experience of the past few years, when Israel provided relief and even military assistance and hospitalized thousands of wounded civilians and opposition militants. Those Syrians who are in the most contact with Israel are the most willing to revise their position on it. And as Sunni Arab communities in southern Syria are characterized by tribalism, one might estimate that every wounded person treated by Israel has 10 to 15 close relatives to whom he can convey his positive impressions.

Israel’s good neighbor policy was intended to encourage the striking of a “gentlemen’s agreement” to maintain security in the north. In the process, it affected the hearts and minds of Sunni Arabs in Syria’s south who no longer see Israel as the devil. But Israel must recognize that its wartime aid strategy will not be enough on its own.

It is very much in Israel’s interest that the population of southern Syria not be forced to choose between Assad and the extremists, and also that its animosity towards Iran and Hezbollah be kept alive. Israel needs the support of the Sunni Arabs in southern Syria to turn their territories into a de facto “South Syria Security Belt.” Such a belt is necessary in the face of Iran’s attempts to establish a foothold near the border and to prevent efforts by Sunni terrorist groups to carry out attacks against Israel.

Syrian migrants in Europe and neighboring countries, who are mostly Sunni Arabs, are also divided in their views based on the region they come from and their living conditions and level of integration into their new countries. Those in Turkey mostly come from northern and central Syria, while their peers in Lebanon and Jordan are primarily from Syria’s central and southern regions. They fled areas controlled either by the regime, by the opposition, or by extremists, and therefore don’t share a collective view on Israel. But many of those who live in Jordan and Lebanon have managed to evade Arab nationalist sentiments because of their living conditions in those two countries. As for those who sought asylum in Europe, quite a few either coexisted or fought alongside extremists, or are willing to adopt their ideology in the future. Considering the failure of integration policies in EU states, these sentiments are likely to lead to a relapse into religious identity. However, a small number will display a tendency to explore “the unknown Israel” and liberate themselves from the taboos dictated to them during their upbringing.

It should be noted that any shift in the attitudes of Syria’s anti-regime Sunni Arabs towards the Palestinians and Hezbollah is most likely due to the fact that the Lebanese militia and Palestinian militant groups backed the regime. The shift can still be beneficial to Israel, however, as many Sunni Arab Syrians might be willing to understand Israel’s position towards Palestinians from a nationalist pan-Arab point of view and towards Hezbollah from a religious-sectarian perspective.

A change has occurred in the attitude of Syria’s Sunni Arabs towards Israel, but it is limited rather than comprehensive and largely incomplete. A change is required in a mentality that has prevailed for decades and perhaps centuries. Eradicating anti-Semitic culture will be a long and complex process, one that will require Israeli patience – and a strategy that should not be limited to sending diapers or even a few bullets. As for the other side, Syria’s Sunni Arabs cannot befriend Israel solely by taking a stand against Israel’s enemies.

BESA Center Perspectives Papers are published through the generosity of the Greg Rosshandler Family

Rauf Baker is a journalist and researcher with expertise on Europe and the Middle East.


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Who Really Lost in Alabama - Daniel Greenfield

by Daniel Greenfield

Learning the wrong lessons

The Alabama Senate election was about everything except Alabama. And in the end, Alabamans stayed home and let the inevitable turnout tide of passion politics take its course. Minority voters rallied to Obama. Republicans stayed home. And the GOP is now holding on to a bare one-seat Senate majority.

The Democrats had abandoned Alabama, along with much of the South. They weren't interested in Doug Jones until they smelled weakness. And they still aren’t interested in representing Alabamans now. They just want another Senate seat to bring them closer to blocking and impeaching President Trump.

Alabama isn’t a place to them. It’s another chess piece in a Washington D.C. game that they can use to block judicial nominations, shut down the government and reverse the results of the previous election. They have Alabama now, but history suggests that unless they learn the lessons that cost them their former strongholds in the South, they won’t hold on to the seat that they paid a very pretty penny for.

The Alabama River follows a long and meandering course. But not nearly as long and meandering as the dark river of money that poured into the Alabama Senate race.

The tide of cash swirled, eddied and drifted along the secret rivers that flowed from Washington D.C. and San Francisco, from Las Vegas and New York City, and decided an election. Timed spending meant that they could avoid revealing their donors. And the biggest spender in the race had no money.

Some of these rivers had strange names.

There was Highway 31.The real Highway 31 links Alabama to Michigan. But the Highway 31 SuperPAC was a money route worth over $4 million leading back to Washington D.C. and New York City. Behind the local name were Senate Schumer's Senate Majority PAC and the Obama/Hillary Priorities USA Action which was best known for a slimy ad accusing Mitt Romney of killing a steelworker’s wife.

Soros money may have poured down Highway 31 as the secretive shell group became the biggest outside spender in the race. Even though officially its bank account was empty. Instead consulting firms run by Obama staffers did the work on credit for Highway 31. That meant Highway 31 didn’t have to reveal its donors until after the election. Meanwhile Highway 31 ran an ad warning Alabama voters that their votes in the election were a matter of “public record” and that their “community will know.”

Coming up behind Highway 31 was Stand Up Republic. Like Highway 31, Stand Up Republic is a folksy false front. Behind the name that could easily belong to a jeans company or a chain of comedy club is Evan McMullin, a former CIA agent, Wall Streeter and independent 2016 presidential candidate.

Stand Up Republic claims to be fighting for “democratic norms”. McMullin claims to be a Never Trumper conservative. Neither claim holds up very well considering that the only known donor to SUR is Persian billionaire Pierre Omidyar who provided $250,000 to McMullin’s group. The Franco-Persian tycoon is best known for funding The Intercept, a radical left-wing site that specializes in undermining national security and which will be forever linked to the Snowden spy case.

McMullin has claimed that, “Donald Trump is not a loyal American and we should prepare for the next four years accordingly.” His own loyalties appear to be rather complicated. Omidyar’s SUR grant is listed alongside grants like Veterans Against Islamaphophia and Strategies for American Muslim Communities.

Out of these murky waters came $500K in ads.

David Brock’s American Bridge 21st Century got into the game by urging Alabamans to write in the names of popular football coaches. And there was the voter diversion to Highway 31’s voter suppression. The goal on both ends was to depress and dilute the Republican vote. And it happened.

Do David Brock or Evan McMullin really care about Alabama? No more than the slick agency hired to cut ads that would appeal to Alabamans while achieving the political goals of their masters.

This isn’t about Jones or Moore. It’s about Trump. Both men were interchangeable names thrust suddenly into a national game. Staggering amounts of money and power are being leveraged to take Trump down. Alabama was only one of the places marked by the roaring fury of their passage.

The nearly $12 million that poured into Jones’ war chest and the added millions in outside spending were meant to buy a Senate seat for #resistance. No one expects Jones to lead it. But when impeachment comes up, they expect him to vote the right way. And he will.

That’s the way that the game is played.

In the past races were nationalized, now they’re Trumpized. States and districts don’t matter in and of themselves. They’re just chess pieces in a game. And the endgame is checkmate. The game may appear to be played in Alabama or Georgia, but the players are actually in Washington D.C. The strategy failed quite a few times before it finally worked in Alabama. But political consultants can lose a thousand times. They only have to win once. And the win in Alabama will mean big bucks.

And it will mean that the Dems will try to crack conservative states by ‘Mooring’ Republicans. Alabama offers a new strategy for winning by depressing the Republican turnout while relying on Obama to boost the minority vote. That’s where the likes of Evan McMullin come in. Splitting the GOP vote is crucial to this strategy. Hillary Clinton tried it against Trump. And it didn’t work. But it did work in Alabama.

It probably won’t work again. But that doesn’t mean that it won’t be tried over and over again. And what that means is that the political culture of the next few years is about to get even uglier.

But the trouble with political strategies is that they overlook the people who actually vote in elections. Money can occasionally buy elections, but without structural leverage, like massive voter fraud or identity politics bloc voters, it won’t allow the Democrats to reclaim their lost territories for long.

The Alabama victory has Obama’s fingerprints all over it. Not necessarily the man, but the campaign and its strategy of achieving short term victories at the cost of long term defeats by using tactics that are inherently self-defeating. Clever plans that reduce people to numbers that can be nudged in the right direction work, until they suddenly don’t. Because people do have minds of their own.

The Democrats haven’t relearned how to win in places like Alabama by connecting with the concerns and needs of the majority. And without that, any victories that they win are bound to be dependent on temporary cunning stratagems that carry the seeds of their own destruction. Trump Derangement Syndrome will convince the Democrats that they can replicate Alabama nationally when they go after Trump once more. And so Alabama may be the seed of their 2020 electoral defeat.

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam.


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