Tag Archives: Israel

Don’t like reality? Just make up a new one!

Read this post now on The Daily Caller!

http://dailycaller.com/2017/07/24/dont-like-reality-just-make-up-a-new-one/

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When OJ Simpson was granted parole in Nevada last week, I was reminded that reality is a malleable construct in politics. Whether OJ really killed his wife and her companion in L.A. back in 1994 didn’t concern people fed up with a justice system sticking it to black America. Back then, protesters celebrated his acquittal. Many really believed he was innocent.

A result of strained race relations in Los Angeles? To be sure. An anomaly for the professional protester class? Hardly.

Consider the debunked cases of rape by the Duke lacrosse team in 2006 and then the University of Virginia Phi Kappa Psi fraternity in 2014. Proponents of the campus rape “epidemic” had no trouble presuming the guilt of the accused, marching in the streets and venting their rage across social media. It fit neatly into their narrative of white men abusing their privileged status.

Now the latest example of pre-fabricated protected class outrage comes courtesy of Islamist agitators and their apologists in the “international community”.

Last week the Israeli government, reacting to the July 14 murder of two police officers keeping the peace over the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, installed metal detectors to screen entrants to the holy site.

A reasonable measure to keep weapons out of a sensitive place of worship? Not according to a Palestinian leadership which incites, emboldens, and rewards acts of terror. On Sunday Palestinian Authority President Abbas reiterated his objections:

“We will not allow the electronic gates to continue [to be placed] there,” he told a convention in Ramallah. “Sovereignty is our full right, and we need to supervise Al-Aksa and stand guard at its gates.”

Violent protests have begun, and international condemnation is sure to follow.

To Abbas, the scandal is not that his constituents gunned down police officers in cold blood. It’s not that the Palestinian Authority continues to use U.S. tax dollars to compensate the families of jailed or slain Palestinian attackers. It’s not that Palestinian media and educational curricula proselytize Jew-hatred in every corner of Palestinian society.

No, the injustice of the magnometers is the challenge to Islamic supremacy. Seizing on an ordinary and customary security device, Arab and Muslim leaders have found another convenient hook to hang their anti-Israel propaganda. It makes no difference that such devices are used at the Vatican, during the Hajj in Mecca, and of course, for entrance to the Western Wall plaza below the Temple Mount. (I’ve been screened every time I’ve entered Judaism’s holiest site.)

Why can’t the Arab world be fair-minded and rational about the whole affair? If people can endure metal detectors at airports and shopping malls, why not at a holy site? I’m afraid it has little to do with sensible policy, and everything to with political power.

Rationalizations for violence, abdication of due process, and moral double-standards obscure a wholesale lack of self-criticism. It’s easier for the Arabs to blame Israel than it is to assess their own political and cultural shortcomings. Likewise, progressive activists blame law enforcement, firearms, the religious right, and “patriarchal society” for the ills of American society. Few acknowledge fault in the decline of marriage, lack of accountability in the welfare state, or the glorification of violence in popular culture.

Across the battle lines for taxpayer dollars, regulatory control, and levers of multilateral institutions, the means always seem to justify the ends, facts be damned. It’s always been about power, not truth.

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Filed under Justice, Middle East, Terrorism

No apologies for economic liberty

http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/No-apologies-for-economic-liberty-394986

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Filed under Economic Policy, Electoral Politics

The powerful impact of theater

http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/The-powerful-impact-of-theater-393777

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Filed under Electoral Politics

Obama can’t be trusted on Iran

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Leaders in Washington are grappling with what is arguably the most important foreign policy challenge of our time — how to stop Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

Why are the stakes so high?  For one, Iran is a troublemaker.  As a geopolitical strategy to spread its brand of theocratic domination, it is actively destabilizing countries and sponsoring terror.  Its forces and proxies have caused havoc across the Middle East and murdered civilians on every continent.  Its weapons have killed our soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.  In 2011 Iranian agents even tried to commit violence in our nation’s capital.  Lacking a nuclear capacity today, the Islamic Republic largely goes unchecked.  With a bomb to back it up, the rogue behavior would only get worse.

To be sure, Israel has got a problem with this picture.  Not only does Iran funnel arms and resources to Hezbollah and Hamas, but its leadership threatens the Jewish state directly with annihilation (on Twitter no less).  What’s even scarier is the likely reaction of the Arab world to Iranian nuclearization.  To counter Iran, Sunni rivals from North Africa to the Persian Gulf would quickly embark on weapons programs of their own.  Proliferation would explode in the world’s most volatile region, raising the likelihood of nuclear warfare.

Negotiations are underway to reverse course.  Every sensible American hopes that diplomacy can succeed and obviate the need for military action to combat the threat.  Critics may be skeptical of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s motivations, but few could argue he prefers a military solution.  Israel is on the front lines. Whether or not it were to lead a military strike, Israel would surely bear the brunt of an Iranian response.  For the same reasons, Israel has more skin in the game.  It has the most to lose in this poker match.  It can only support a negotiated agreement that genuinely reduces the risk of a nuclear Iran.

Herein lies the source of the political drama playing out in Washington this week.  Because Israel does not have a seat at the table, it is relying on the so-called “P5+1” to negotiate a “good deal.”   Netanyahu ruffled White House feathers by accepting the Republican-led invitation to speak to a joint session of Congress.  He spoke passionately to a receptive audience because neither he nor the majority of our lawmakers trust the administration to get it right.  Pundits have mistakenly focused on the personal tensions between Obama and Netanyahu, with many blaming the prime minister for inserting partisanship into the alliance.  In reality, relations would not be so strained had this administration not lost the confidence of our allies around the globe.  Israel is struggling to work with this president because this president’s word does not count when it matters most.

Obama and his defenders protest that it is Netanyahu who has lost credibility.  They cite the prime minister’s resistance to the interim “Joint Plan of Action,” without which there would be no brakes on Iranian enrichment activities.  They bristle at Netanyahu’s criticisms because they think he has offered no viable alternative to military action.  They hasten to remind everyone how much the administration has provided security assistance and defense of Israel against biased U.N. resolutions.

These objections might hold some water if we could believe the administration knew what it was doing, would stand firm when the going got tough, and would not substitute wishful thinking for sound strategic assessment.

But on all these counts Obama fails to deliver.  I’ve written before how the White House is flailing in matters of national security.  Obama sees the world as he wishes it would be rather than how it is.  His commitments he subordinates to his political calculations and his aspirations for a legacy as the president who ended wars and avoided new conflicts.

On Monday night, National Security Advisor Susan Rice addressed 16,000 delegates at the annual AIPAC Policy Conference in Washington.  “We have Israel’s back,” she declared, “come hell or high water.”  About Iran she added, “a bad deal is worse than no deal.  And if that is the choice then there will be no deal.”  These are comforting sentiments, but it’s far from clear that anyone with a sober understanding of Iranian aggression and deception would share the administration’s view of a good deal.  And, while Ambassador Rice speaks with sincerity, it’s hard to trust that her boss won’t yet again hang her out to dry.  You only have to consider her comments about the attacks on our consulate in Benghazi and the “honor and distinction” of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl to realize how little we can trust her representations.

On Friday Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker (R-TN), together with eleven bipartisan co-sponsors, introduced the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015, which asserts Congressional prerogatives to review any prospective agreement with Iran over its nuclear program.  President Obama objects.  Apparently, even he doesn’t trust his capacity to deliver.  His threat to veto the bill tells you everything you need to know about the value of this deal.

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Filed under Foreign Policy