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I was fifteen the summer my folks took me to the airport and waved farewell, as their number one son set off on a journey halfway around the world. I had no traveling companions, there were no cell phones, but I had traveler’s checks, a suitcase packed to the packing list, and a clear set of written coordinating instructions from Tel Aviv to the hotel in the Arab sector of Jerusalem. I was the first of three siblings to take roughly the same journey on the same archaeological expedition over a bit more than a decade. Remarkably, my folks had no serious reservations about turning me loose on the world, in an era of hijackings and occasional Cold War flavor terrorism.
Jerusalem Post announces coalition to replace Netanyahu. Preview Open
In a sign of internal political stability, Israel has chosen its new President in the person of Isaac Herzog. Iran’s largest warship caught fire and sank in the Gulf of Oman. Update: And the Ishfahan Oil Refinery operated by the Tondgooyan Petrochemical Co. near Tehran is on fire. Yesterday was a very good day for lovers […]
How many times did the Obama Administration lie to us during Obama’s Presidency? Most of us have probably lost track. But did you realize that they lied at least 14 times about the JCPOA? President Trump removed us from this abomination of a deal and instituted sanctions on Iran for their duplicitous activities on the JCPOA; unfortunately, the Biden Administration has reversed his actions and even worse, are using most of Obama’s original team to complete the deal with Iran. These activities will not only jeopardize peace in the Middle East, but create an existential threat to Israel and most importantly, put our own national security at risk. The arrogance and naivete of Biden’s team is pathetic at best, and treacherous at worst. We are all in deep trouble.
The Biden Administration has decided that Iran is a better choice for leading the Middle East than the Saudis. They’ve demonstrated their intentions in a number of ways. Although Secretary of State Blinken has stated that the U.S. must “toe a harder line” in the JCPOA negotiations, our actions have confirmed the opposite. (This excellent article explains what is occurring in the “negotiations,” and the reasons.) A key player for the U.S. team is Robert Malley, who was on Obama’s team, and seems to be driving the Biden strategy. Biden’s people agree not only that Obama’s original agenda must be completed, but they have already agreed to a number of concessions in principle. Abbas Aragchi, Iran’s lead negotiator in Vienna, indicates the following:
The American negotiators, he claimed, had already agreed in principle to remove sanctions on Iran’s energy sector, automotive industry, financial services, banking industry, and ports—to eliminate, in other words, all of the most significant economic sanctions ever imposed on Iran. Recent statements from Biden administration officials give us no reason to disbelieve Araghchi, and the smart money is now on a full resurrection of the JCPOA in relatively short order.
As of this writing, the relationship between Israel and Palestine has taken perhaps its most dangerous turn since the Israelis made their controversial decision to leave Gaza in August 2005. To my mind, that agonizing decision was, at the time, the lesser of two evils. For Israel to govern Gaza, which had only around 8,500 Jewish settlers, the Israelis ran the risk of becoming a hostile occupying force with little or no local legitimacy. Using powerful force to respond to concerted attacks from Gaza after pulling out was the better alternative. Once Hamas took over Gaza in 2007, it quickly initiated military attacks on Israel in 2008, 2012, and 2014, with large losses of life on all sides.
In this instance, as in all others, it is inappropriate to posit moral and legal parity between the two sides. In all cases, Hamas was the aggressor. It is a moral blunder to equate Israel’s targeted self-defense with Hamas’s aggression. To be sure, in practice there are often complex ethics that challenge the imagination, but the key to understanding Gaza is to avoid the mistake of assuming that any balance in the number of deaths and casualties offers evidence of moral equivalence between Israel and Hamas. As Bret Stephens recently wrote in the New York Times, the moral imbalance between Israel and Hamas looms as a huge obstacle to any two-state solution in the Middle East.
So long as Hamas is active, the Israelis cannot afford to deploy the same strategy of calculated withdrawal on the West Bank that they used fitfully in Gaza. Gaza can be isolated by land and sea. The West Bank, however, borders Jordan, through which other Israeli enemies like Iran and Syria can easily set up hostile military positions close to both Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.
A week ago it looked like Israel might be on the cusp of electing a new, Bibi-free government that included an Arab party. This wasn’t going to be a cosmopolitan suck-up government; the parties involved were not exactly moderate, yet their only path to power was to cooperate with those who normally would be their […]
I wanted to like Noa Tishby. I was prepared to hear her out as a courageous voice in Hollywood and a potential cobelligerent against the new Red-Green alliance.* I value Scott Johnson’s opinions in the main, having followed PowerLine Blog since they eviscerated Dan Rather’s attempt to steal the 2004 election with a blatantly fraudulent story about George W. Bush’s Texas Air Guard service record. Scott recommended readers to “meet Noa Tishby.” So, I read Robert Sarner’s Times of Israel profile “Israeli actress Noa Tishby’s ‘Simple Guide’ to Israel shakes up US progressives.” So far so good. Then, I followed the link to Matt Lewis’s long-form web video interview of Noa Tisby on the new book she reportedly wrote entirely on her own, Israel: A Simple Guide to the Most Misunderstood Country on Earth. Sad.
I embed, you go watch and decide, then come back to check my opinion. Or read on and then go check my assessment against the tape. By way of warning, this was not safe for younger children’s ears. This is so for all too many web-exclusive videos. She asks the profanity question, common these days as a “mind if I smoke” question used to be. Once the cursing/smoking light is on, the filter comes off, especially late in the interview when she talks about being a woman in Hollywood with “Weinstein” being the daily norm for decades.
Join Jim and Greg as give President Biden credit for correctly labeling the Ottoman slaughter of Armenians last century as a genocide, They also rip John Kerry for reportedly telling Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Zarif that Israel was responsible for more than 200 attacks against Iranian interests inside Syria. And they shake their heads as Vice President Harris seems unmotivated to solve the border crisis yet copies of her kids book are showing up at a migrant facility in California.
Abby Martin is suing Georgia. Courtesy Telesur: Preview Open
Join Jim and Greg as they update the “incident” at the Natanz nuclear site and enjoy learning how it was much more devastating than first reported. Then they feel very weird agreeing with former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid but believe he right to warn the Democrats against court packing. They discuss the significance of the FDA and CDC calling for a pause in administering the Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine. And they discuss the inexplicable error of a Minnesota police officer in a recent shooting death there but also hammer Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib for suggesting this case is further proof that we need to abolish police and incarceration.
Join Jim and Greg as they welcome news of a “blackout: at the Natanz nuclear facility in Iran, and whether Israel is behind it or not, they’re glad to see it. They also unload on President Biden who is unconcerned about inflation following his massive spending binge because someone else will likely be in office when it gets really bad. They also call out Vice President Harris for apparently doing nothing about the border crisis since she was put in charge of it and the media who refuse to demand answers. Finally, they offer their well wishes to Texas Rep. Dan Crenshaw in the wake of concerning medical news.
Join Jim and Greg as they wrap up the week with three big stories. First, they recoil at the radical anti-Israel statement from Georgia Democrat Raphael Warnock. They also fire back at the Democrat in Texas who wants to limit when you can defend your life and property. And they react to a Los Angeles Times editor urging Sen. Dianne Feinstein to resign so Gov. Gavin Newsom can appoint both black and Latino senators.
When President Trump pulled us out of the Iranian deal, also known as the JCPOA, it was one of the most sensible and appropriate actions of his Presidency. The deal, which was supposed to “slow” the Iranian development of a nuclear weapon, was a sham from the start: they refused to adhere to certain inspection guidelines from the beginning, then violated others as time passed; the IAEA figuratively and repeatedly threw up its hands in frustration. When we pulled out, the Iranians used our lack of support as a further excuse to continue to ignore the limitations of the agreement.
Now with the opportunity to manipulate the latest version of an Obama administration (also to be known as the Biden administration), the Iranians know that Biden has stated he will sign on again to the agreement. Biden’s goal is not only foolish but meaningless, since the Iranians have significantly progressed in their nuclear bomb development. What in the world will our re-engaging provide? Here are some of Biden’s ideas about re-joining the JCPOA:
In an op-ed in September, Biden said as president he would ‘make an unshakable commitment to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.’ He argued the best way to achieve that was for the U.S. to re-enter the deal.
For some months now, I have been following what I am convinced is the legal witch-hunt against Benjamin Netanyahu. My sources are largely conservative and/or philosemitic/Israel-friendly online press outlets in English, German and Dutch. With the developments this week, Gantz now threatening to break the coalition and trigger new elections, I am going to ask […]
Join Jim and Greg as they welcome disputed reports that the leaders of Saudi Arabia and Israel met in recent days in hopes that the thaw in Middle East tensions is spreading even farther. As the CEO of Qantas Airlines announces all passengers on international flights will eventually need to be vaccinated against COVID to be allowed on board, Jim and Greg discuss why that’s a difficult policy to enforce and whether people will shut out from society if they refuse. And they discuss the Trump legal team parting ways with Sidney Powell just days after their much-discussed press conference.
Join Jim and Greg as they welcome growing evidence that coronavirus transmission rates are very low in the schools. Jim explains why the Trump campaign’s accusations of massive election fraud don’t seem to hold water. And they shake their heads as Barack Obama reveals why his Middle East peace efforts went nowhere.
“Bahrain, for its part continues to astonish Israelis with its enthusiasm over its the newly opened peaceful ties with Israel. Last weekend, Sheikh Khaled bin Khalifa al Khalifa, a member of Bahrain’s royal family who serves as the Chairman of the King Hamad Global Center for Co-Existence and Peace signed an agreement in Washington with Elan Carr, the US anti-Semitism monitor where both sides committed to work together to fight anti-Semitism. The Bahraini center adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of anti-Semitism. The IHRA definition defines anti-Zionism as a form of anti-Semitism.” —Caroline Glick
Although the outcome of the Abraham Accords in August was shocking and difficult to imagine, this next step is also deeply satisfying.
The United Arab Emirates and Bahrain have joined Israel in the Accords, and I’m sure it took a great deal of effort to bring it to fruition. Also, Sudan has been removed from the terrorist list and is working on normalizing relations with Israel, as are at least four other Arab countries.