Monday, May 2, 2016

Using The Word Reservation Is PC Toxic. Boaz Ganor!Just Make It Free and Do Not Worry How It Gets Paid!




Will This Be America At Mid Century and  After 8 Years Of Obama?


Hillary Can No Longer Use The Word Making
" Reservations" when dining out.  The word offends
Native Americans. Ms PC Gets Stung?
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Why there are still so many Palestinian refugees?

Why Are There Still so many Palestinian Refugees? | PragerU

The unkindest cut of all is when your own attack you for supporting what they too should support but are too insecure to understand they are also attacking themselves. (See 1 below.)
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Boaz Ganor is a friend and from time to time I refer to him, his thoughts on combatting terrorism and is one of Israel's outstanding experts on counter terrorism ( Read : The Counter Terrorism Puzzle by Boaz Ganor.) 

Boaz is a quest lecturer at The FBI and has also workedwith the CIA etc. (See 2 below.)
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No end in sight to Europe's Migration Problem. (See 3 below.)
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Finally, Hillary and Bernie are actively engaged in seeing who can become president by out pandering each other
The both advocate providing  free college tuition, free health care, extended maternity leave and baby bonding time, and $15/hour minimum wages.

Neither explain how it will be paid for but then, as Hillarious once said, "what difference does it make? "

It is obvious liberals and progressives never know how anything gets paid for because they do not believe anything needs to be paid for.  They believe green grows on trees and that is why they are also against coal miners.
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Dick
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1)

When Jews Join the War on Israel



Not everyone taking part in the war on Israel shoots rockets, tries to stab random Jews on Israeli streets, or even openly promotes anti-Semitic propaganda. Some do it in the name of Judaism and Jewish values and what they claim are high moral purposes. By that I don’t refer to the Neturei Karta, a tiny sect of ultra-Orthodox Jews who have always lurked on the margin of Jewish life, showing up at demonstrations as token supporters of Palestinian terror groups and doing so in the name of a perverted vision of Orthodoxy rejected even by those on the most extreme end of the religious spectrum.
Rather, I write of a relatively new group of liberal millenials that have taken to organizing sit-ins at the headquarters of American Jewish organizations in cities throughout the country before Passover. Calling themselves “If Not Now,” they say their purpose is ending “the occupation” and their demands are simple: that all American Jewish groups disavow the government of Israel. Though it is small and has little influence, it is nevertheless significant because its activities are indicative of the way demographic changes are causing American Jews to abandon Israel just at the moment when the siege of the Jewish state is once again heating up. Rather than ignore it or foolishly seek dialogue with it, American Jews should regard If Not Now as the thin edge of the wedge of a new Jewish front in the war against Israel.
To those who follow the American Jewish debate on Israel the basic demand for the end of the occupation sounds fairly familiar. But If Not Now is not to be confused with J Street or Americans for Peace Now, groups that also believe that Israel should withdraw from the West Bank and think the Netanyahu government is not doing enough to make peace with the Palestinians or that it should be pressured into further territorial withdrawals by the Untied States. The growth of If Not Now represents an insidious shift in Jewish opinion that makes even those groups — whose views are at odds with the overwhelming consensus of Israeli opinion and serve to enable and encourage anti-Israel activism — look tame. Peace Now and J Street may advocate views that are rejected by most Israelis as well as by the mainstream organized Jewish world and constitute a damaging irritant, but they are still explicitly Zionist and, at least in principle, are supposedly opposed to the BDS — boycott, divest, sanction — movement that seeks to wage economic warfare on Israel. That is not the case with If Not Now. It proclaims neutrality about Zionism. It is equally non-committal about BDS.
But the tactics of the group make clear the meaning of such supposed neutrality. The entire point of If Not Now’s activism seems aimed at undermining the entire structure of American Jewry. Their demands are simple: all those who will not renounce support of Israel are subjected to sit-ins and demonstrations aimed at hampering their ability to carry on their work. This means their principle targets are groups that are themselves explicitly neutral about Israeli politics while being generally supportive of Israel as well as those whose activities are mainly focused on promoting Jewish life in the United States. Such targets include Jewish federations or groups monitoring anti-Semitism, such as the Anti-Defamation League.
According to an article by Haaretz’s Debra Nussbaum Cohen, when faced by sit-ins by highly organized demonstrators who sometimes chain themselves in place in order to maximize the disruption, leaders of Jewish groups have been flummoxed. Their natural reaction to such activity is to call for dialogue and to seek common ground. But If Not Now seeks no common ground with other Jews and refuses offers of meetings. They demand surrender to their call for breaking ties with Israel and will not so much as sit down with liberal Jews who are laboring under the delusion that their activities are merely over-enthusiastic demonstrations of their own concerns about the conflict in the Middle East.
One such person is Jeremy Burton, the executive director of Boston’s Jewish Community Relations Council, a group that is not exactly a stronghold of right-wing opinion or sympathy for Netanyahu.
“We want the same thing, an end to the occupation and a two-state solution,” Burton, told Haaretz. “If I’m wrong about that then it requires conversation to understand what they’re talking about. If I’m right then I don’t understand INN’s overall strategy and vision.” …
“I don’t see how just showing up outside buildings or a couple of people getting arrested without having a real conversation about the vision with the people they say are the target of that work will achieve anything,” Burton told Haaretz. “It’s not clear to me what their overall goal is in terms of the Jewish community here.” …
Unfortunately, it’s obvious what their goal is. The goal of a campaign of disruption that explicitly disavows support for Zionism while failing to oppose boycotts against Israel isn’t a two-state solution or anything else that leads to peace.
If Not Now poses as a defender of traditional Jewish ethics by taking its name from the famous saying from the Ethics of the Fathers by Rabbi Hillel the Elder: “If I am not for myself, who is for me? But if I am only for myself, who am I? And if not now, when?” It also says it opposes violence against “our community” though it is deliberately unclear about whether that sense of community extends to Israelis.
But the point of this group’s efforts isn’t about peace or even making the lives of Palestinians easier. It’s about lending the weight of liberal millenials to a campaign that will isolate the Jewish state while ignoring the realities of the Middle East conflict, the intentions of the Palestinians, and even the desire of Israelis and American Jews for peace. It’s about severing the ties of Jewish peoplehood and speciously doing so in the name of an allegedly prophetic vision that doesn’t seem to include rights for Jews or a Jewish state.
The self-righteous tone of If Not Now is reminiscent of J Street’s jeremiads against Netanyahu and their unfortunate cheerleading for Obama administration pressure on Israel. But the difference here is that, like the more explicitly anti-Zionist Jewish Voices for Peace (whose members reportedly are also involved in this new group), If Not Now no longer thinks it worthwhile to add to its platform a fig leaf of support for the idea that Jews have rights to a nation or self-defense. As such it must be considered the logical next step for left-wing activists whose animus for Netanyahu and the majority of the Israeli people who keep re-electing him isn’t merely a matter of support for U.S. pressure but has morphed into efforts to intimidate Jews into abandoning Israel to its fate. That one of the leaders of this group is Simone Zimmerman, the anti-Zionist activist who was fired from the Bernie Sanders campaign for her insults of Prime Minister Netanyahu is significant.
Let’s put aside the notion that this campaign has much to do with peace or ethics.
Nor is this about seeking to suppress criticism of Israel. Israelis debate these issues every day, but groups like If Not Now are doing something very different than just debating what Israel should do: they seek to delegitimize and isolate the Jewish state.
The obstacle to peace isn’t Israel’s presence in the West Bank or settlements. It’s the continued refusal of Palestinians to accept peace on any terms short of Israel’s destruction. Most Israelis would gladly divest themselves of the West Bank just as they did in 2005 when every soldier, settler, and settlement was pulled out of Gaza. But instead of becoming an incubator for peace, the strip became a bastion of terror. The independent Palestine in all but name that exists there now is a Hamas fiefdom used for launching thousands of rockets at Israeli cities and building terror tunnels whose purpose is to kidnap and murder Jews.
Three times Israel offered the Palestinian Authority peace and an independent state that would have included almost all of the West Bank, Gaza, and a share of Jerusalem. Three times the answer was no. In the last few years, even the Netanyahu government agreed to a two state solution and offered a West Bank withdrawal. Again the answer was no. And just as Yasir Arafat replied to the first such peace offer in 2000 with a terrorist war of attrition known as the Second Intifada, again today Palestinians have sunk U.S.-sponsored peace talks and launched a new “stabbing intifada” leading to the spilling of more blood and deaths rooted in religious incitement and blood-libel canards.
Why do they say no? They do so because not even the supposed moderates of the PA, like its leader Mahmoud Abbas, can bring themselves to recognize the legitimacy of a Jewish state no matter where its borders are drawn. Even to Abbas, all of Israel, including the land inside the pre-1967 borders has been “occupied” since 1948. Which brings us to If Not Now’s obsession with ending the “occupation.”
It is significant that it doesn’t say what “occupation” it opposes. Is it just the West Bank? Jerusalem? Or do they agree with Abbas and Hamas that those older “settlements” like Tel Aviv must also be liberated from Zionist rule? The ambiguity on that point, like their neutrality about economic warfare waged against Israel, is telling.
Such stands are consistent with the decline in a sense of Jewish peoplehood that was reflected in the 2013 Pew Survey of Jewish Americans. For too many people of Jewish origin, their liberal sensibilities and sympathy for the Palestinians are more important than any sense of obligation to stand in solidarity with Jews who are under attack.
Israelis — including the liberal opposition to Netanyahu in the Knesset — understand that there is currently no partner for peace and that replicating the Gaza experiment in the larger and more strategic West Bank would be suicide. But instead of urging Palestinians to make peace, these critics of Israel are only intent on ignoring the will of the Israeli people to survive and crushing the desire of the majority of American Jews to stand in solidarity with them.
Instead of trying to coddle these activists, the leaders of mainstream liberal groups such as the ADL should be condemning these demonstrations whose main point seems to be to put a Jewish face on anti-Zionist activism. Though it avoids the transparent anti-Semitism that is easily seen among most BDS activists, If Not Now’s activities are no less insidious. Those who call upon Israel to endanger itself while ignoring or tacitly justifying terror campaigns are not really neutral or seeking to promote peace. Those who seek to rupture ties between Israel and U.S. Jews in the name of a spurious notion of morality detached from reality are not promoting Jewish values. At best, they are useful idiots serving the cause of hate. At worst, they are an anti-Zionist fifth column assisting the war on the Jewish state that deserves to be vigorously opposed by all those who care about Israel and Jewish rights, whether on the right or the left.
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2)



Combating terror in Israel: A look at what's being done, and what needs to be done

By Boaz Ganor

HOW SHOULD we cope with the current wave of terror in Israel?

A child pays homage at the site in Jerusalem’s Old City where Rabbi Nehemia Lavi and Aharon Banita were stabbed to death on October 3. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
Many titles and nicknames have been given to the wave of terrorist attacks that Israel has faced since October 2015: third intifada, knife intifada, children’s intifada, al-Aksa intifada, popular terrorism, knife terrorism, lone-wolf attacks and more. Journalists, commentators and terrorism pundits are all willing to swear that their definition is the one that correctly reflects the phenomenon.
Defining the phenomenon is not only a theoretical question of terminology.
Answering the following questions will not only help to correctly define the phenomenon, but will also enable the identification of the parameters required to deal with it effectively.
Are we dealing with an intifada or a wave of terror? Are the terrorists independent lone wolves or is it an organized phenomenon? Is the background for the attacks related to events at al-Aksa Mosque or are they the result of popular protests stemming from despair over the economic or national situation? In Israel, there has been a tendency for many years to describe terrorist attacks in escalating and frightening terms.
This trend is reflected in the media coverage of terrorist attacks and often gets a boost from the opposition, which uses terrorism as a comfortable cushion from which to attack the government (regardless of which party is in power).
In addition, every now and then, we are exposed to the media’s determination that a terrorist attack or a wave of terror constitutes an “escalation.” We have experienced so many escalations in recent decades that we seem to have already reached the summit of Mount Olympus. In any event, when the next wave of terror strikes, we will again be told that it is an escalation.

TERRORISM IS a dynamic phenomenon.
Both sides – terrorists and security officials – are constantly in a learning competition, processing and internalizing the enemy’s methods of operation.
They try to pinpoint the enemy’s “underbelly” and match it with effective methods. Therefore, not every change in terrorism’s modus operandi constitutes an escalation. The fervor surrounding the wave of terror only serves the interests of the terrorists, who want to maximize the resonance of their attacks and increase anxiety.
The wave of terror that Israel has been facing in recent months is not, and has never been, an “intifada.” An intifada is a popular uprising. The first intifada, which began at the end of 1987, included demonstrations and violent incidents in which tens of thousands of Palestinians participated throughout the territories. The second intifada, which began in 2000, was also a mass uprising, but unlike the first one, it was armed with firearms, and Palestinian terrorist organizations joined the masses in carrying out a series of major terrorist attacks.
The phenomenon that Israel is currently facing is a severe wave of terrorist attacks, a wave with clear characteristics that differ from previous waves of terror that mainly consists of cold-weapon attacks – stabbings, vehicular attacks and, recently, even small-arms fire. The number of people taking part is small compared with the number of Palestinians who took part in the previous intifadas.
Fewer than 300 terrorists have taken part in the current wave of terror, not thousands or tens of thousands. This is not to downplay the severity of the current wave or the challenge it presents to security agencies and Israeli society, but we should not ascribe to it apocalyptic dimensions.
With all of the deep grief and pain felt for the victims of the current wave, their number is very small compared to previous waves of terror, such as the suicide attacks during 1992-1994 (which, incidentally, were not called an intifada).
The total number of victims from the past six months is lower than the number of victims from one or two suicide attacks in the 1990s or 2000s.(It is important to reemphasize that these arguments do not indicate a disregard for the severity of the current wave of terror or a willingness to tolerate it. On the contrary. However, if we do not succeed in correctly defining and distinguishing the characteristics and dimensions of the current phenomenon, we will not know how to cope with it effectively.) From the moment that we defined the terrorist attacks of the past six months as a wave of terror, several important questions derived from this definition have required answers:
• Is this wave initiated by terrorist organizations or is it an authentic phenomenon without the operative involvement of terrorist organizations?
• Are these terrorist attacks the result of a top-down or bottom-up approach?
• Is the background to the eruption and continuation of this wave religious tension surrounding al-Aksa Mosque; despair stemming from an economic, social or generational crisis in Palestinian society; a lack of governability; or personal circumstances that are channeled into violence and terror?
• Are these terrorist attacks the result of a rational decision by the terrorists or an uncontrollable emotional outburst?
• To what extent is it an authentic process unique to Palestinian society, or are the events in Israel related to the global wave of lone-wolf terrorist attacks influenced by the “Arab Spring” and Islamic State? Israel’s security agencies and decision makers must provide an answer to these questions and determine accordingly the most effective means of prevention as well as the operational steps necessary to deal with the phenomenon.
IN GENERAL, one must distinguish between two types of terrorist attacks – “self-initiated” or “locally initiated” attacks, and “organized” attacks. This distinction concerns the involvement of terrorist organizations in the initiation, planning, preparation and execution of the attacks.
An organized attack is an attack that is operationally organized by a terrorist organization. The results of these attacks are usually more severe and fatal than terrorist attacks carried out without organizational operational involvement.
A self-initiated attack is carried out by a lone wolf. The initiative and planning begin and end in the mind of a single person who underwent a process of radicalization and decided to carry out an attack independently and alone. A locally initiated attack is carried out by a small group (two or three) of terrorists.
The groups can be made up of siblings, couples, relatives or friends who agree that they want to carry out an attack together.
The number of casualties in self-initiated or locally initiated attacks is usually smaller than in organized attacks. The level of planning is low. Most are carried out using cold or improvised weapons, and the number of victims is limited.
Self-initiated attacks are likely to be inspired or incited by a terrorist organization but the organization is not operationally involved in their execution.
In certain cases, the terrorists might see themselves as agents of the terrorist organization with which they identify (such as Hamas or Islamic State), but they are not members. They did not undergo basic training and they did not receive assistance from the organization in carrying out the attack.
Sometimes, lone wolves who carry out self-initiated attacks openly, and sometimes defiantly, distinguish themselves from terrorist organizations and stress their independence. For instance, Baha Alyan, who carried out a terrorist attack in Jerusalem in October 2015, wrote on his Facebook page: “I call on organizations not to claim responsibility for my martyrdom. My death is for the homeland, not for you.”
In the current wave of terror, we are dealing with self-initiated and locally initiated attacks. The term “lone wolf” is too narrow to include the characteristics of the phenomenon, as is the term “attacks of the individuals.” “Knife intifada” and “popular terror” are too wide and broaden the scope of the phenomenon.
There are those who try to point to a direct or indirect connection between the terrorists in the current wave of terror and terrorist organizations led by Hamas. They link the attacks to the targeted incitement of organizations that mainly call on Palestinian youth to carry out attacks.

Indeed, in many cases, terrorist organizations do try to “ride the tiger” and ascribe these attacks to themselves.
They use the media outlets at their disposal to publish instructions on how to prepare and carry out an effective attack (what type of weapon to choose, how to turn it into a more deadly weapon, what modus operandi to adopt, etc.). However, this alone does not turn self-initiated or locally initiated attacks into organizational attacks. Similarly, expressions of support or sympathy by the terrorist for a particular terrorist organization is not enough to support the assumption that the terrorist is operating as an emissary of that organization.
WHAT ARE the motives behind the execution of these attacks, and are they the result of a rational decision by the terrorists or an uncontrollable emotional outburst? Despite the diversity among the terrorists in the current wave – men, women and children who come from different areas and use different methods of attack (mostly stabbings) – it is still possible to isolate the characteristics unique to the current wave that distinguish it from previous waves.
The first characteristic is, as previously stated, the nature of the attacks as self-initiated or locally initiated, and not organizational. Another characteristic is the young age of the terrorists, including many children. Also, a significant number of the terrorists express their desire and intention to carry out an attack via social media.
In some cases, the decision to carry out an attack stems from a traumatic personal or familial event, for example a relative who was killed in an attack or a family feud. Sometimes the attack is carried out to show solidarity with a role model (a previous terrorist) or in revenge for a humiliation suffered – disrespect shown to the terrorist himself or to a relative or acquaintance – or comes against the backdrop of events that were perceived as national or religious degradation (for instance, an offense against al-Aksa Mosque).
The explosive material at the base of these triggers is composed of a deep hatred of Israel; personal and social frustration; despair over the national and economic situation; or a generational crisis (a blow to parental authority in general, or to the father’s authority in particular).
All of these are channeled at a particular moment and under the influence of deliberate and prolonged incitement into an act considered by the terrorists themselves and many members of Palestinian, Arab and Muslim society to be an admirable expression of altruism, patriotism and religious devotion.
In most cases, it is not a momentary whim or crazy emotional outburst, but rather an informed personal or group decision to carry out an attack that crystallizes over time. In many cases, the decision is the result of subjective cost-benefit considerations. In other cases, it is a response to an urge for adventure wrapped in an attractive cloak of altruism and patriotism.
The terrorists are not necessarily different from young Muslims in the West who undergo a process of radicalization and decide to join a group of foreign fighters in conflict zones or carry out self-initiated or locally initiated terrorist attacks in their own country (such as the couple Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik, who carried out the terrorist attack in San Bernardino, California, in 2015).
This phenomenon, which is referred to as “homegrown terrorism” in Europe and Western countries, is essentially a combination of self-initiated and locally initiated attacks inspired by ISIS. It is a growing wave that currently threatens the entire world. The wave of terrorist attacks in Israel does not fundamentally differ from the global trend, though its intensity is greater and it is motivated by, among other things, Palestinian nationalism.
HOW SHOULD we cope with the current wave of terror in Israel? Doing so requires preventive measures to drain the murky swamp from which extremism, violence and terrorism grow; thwarting measures, which are aimed at foiling terrorist attacks before they are carried out; and operative measures designed to bring terrorist attacks to an end quickly and minimize their damage.
• Preventive measures – The current wave of terror is the spoiled fruit of continuous incitement by Palestinian terrorist organizations, Palestinian Authority officials and parties external to the Palestinian arena. The political stagnation is a comfortable cushion for the increased national, social and economic despair among Palestinian society, as well as a sense of lack of origin. All of this gets channeled into the release of feelings of hate and revenge through terrorist attacks.
Israel’s policies have the ability to influence these processes by creating a political horizon and hope, undertaking economic reforms and building frameworks of cooperation with various elements in Palestinian society and the Palestinian Authority. Israel cannot actually stop Palestinian incitement by terrorist organizations or by the PA itself; it needs Palestinian partners who will operate within Palestinian society out of desire and conviction rather than coercion.
Once the wave of terror turns into an intifada, which “infects” new terrorists via social networks, it will no longer be possible to stop it through the prevention of institutionalized incitement. It will require intensive counteraction by opinion shapers in the Palestinian arena to undermine incitement to terrorism – a type of deliberate and planned counter incitement.
Given the murky relationship that exists between the Israeli and Palestinian leadership, we cannot expect that this process will actually take place. The Israeli government is not sympathetic to the preventive steps needed to dry the swamp of Palestinian terrorism, and Israeli society cannot agree to economic reforms or policies toward the Palestinians when there are terrorist attacks on a daily basis. From the Palestinian perspective, PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s leadership crisis, as well as the absence of heirs or alternative, moderate leaders with political power and public legitimacy, also make it difficult to implement the necessary steps to prevent the current wave of terror.
Even if Palestinian decision-makers understand that these attacks carry no benefit, and that the damage they cause to Palestinian society and the Palestinian national interest is greater than their worth, they will not risk taking this message to their people.
• Thwarting measures – In the absence of preventive measures, Israel has no choice but to rely on thwarting measures.
However, while Israeli security agencies, led by the Shin Bet, have already proved their strong effectiveness in thwarting organized terrorist attacks, this ability is cast in doubt when it comes to facing the current wave of terror.
Accurate and timely intelligence has always been a central component of Israel’s ability to thwart terrorist attacks.
Security agencies have managed to thwart terrorist attacks through the intelligence penetration of terrorist organizations by using HUMINT (human intelligence) or COMINT (communications intelligence). In self-initiated or locally initiated terrorist attacks, these intelligence capabilities become less relevant. When there are no confidants in the planning or execution of the attack, the ability of intelligence agencies to warn of an intended attack is very low.
Nevertheless, an analysis of the characteristics defining the current wave of attacks reveals that HUMINT and COMINT can be replaced by OSINT (opensource intelligence) or SOCMINT (social media intelligence).
A significant number of young terrorists express their intention to carry out an attack on social networks hours or days before the attack itself. For instance, Fadi Alloun, who carried out a stabbing attack in Jerusalem in October 2015, wrote on Facebook: “In the name of Allah, I have decided today to carry out martyrdom and victory for Allah….” Shorouq Dwayyat, the 18-year-old who carried out an attack in Jerusalem in the same month, wrote to her mother: “Don’t cry about me when I become a martyr.”
The development of advanced technology for data processing based on big data, combined with the development of a new military doctrine that will enable the rapid use of open-source intelligence to arrest suspects before they carry out their plans, could meet this need.
Israel’s thwarting efforts are focused on deterrence (demolishing homes, expelling families, denying work permits, etc.). In certain cases, these steps can be effective in achieving the desired goal, but in other cases they might only serve to strengthen the terrorists’ support base.
Israel might improve its thwarting efforts if it can find a way to enlist the help of a potential terrorist’s inner circle – parents, relatives and even friends – to locate him early and neutralize him. The way to achieve this goal would likely require the use of carrots, not only sticks.
• Operational measures – Israel has already taken numerous operative measures to treat and reduce the damage caused by terrorist attacks, including easing licensing for weapons: increasing deployment of police officers in areas prone to calamity: imposing restrictions on Palestinian movement and employment in Israel: and enforcing stricter penalties on employers of illegal workers.
It seems that these measures have met with limited success, but they have not brought the wave of terror to an end or even reduced it. Israel can take additional operative measures. One is to relaunch the Civil Guard in the format of the late 1970s as a means of counter terrorism. In this framework, many civilians would be recruited to the ranks to carry out armed patrols in their neighborhoods in a type of district policing that uses volunteers who undergo training designed for this mission.
These volunteers would multiply the police force and be deployed throughout the country.
It is reasonable to assume that this step would not bring an end to the current wave of terror, but it could be very effective in dealing with self-initiated and locally initiated terrorist attacks.
The new civil guard would strengthen the deterrence effect, enable rapid and professional intervention in the event of an attack, and, most importantly, increase the public’s sense of security and reduce its anxiety.
Prof. Boaz Ganor is dean and the Ronald Lauder Chair in Counter-Terrorism at the Lauder School of Government, Diplomacy and Strategy, and founder and executive director of the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT) at the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC), Herzliya.
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By Judith Bergman

  • According to France's Defense Minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, 800,000 migrants are currently in Libyan territory waiting to cross the Mediterranean.
  • The multitude of very costly social problems that Muslim migration into Europe has caused thus far, do not exist in this whitewashed European Union report, where the “research” indicates that migrants are always a boon. Similarly, any mention of the very real security costs necessitated by the Islamization occurring in Europe, and the need for monitoring of potential jihadists, simply goes unmentioned.
  • Several European states have a less optimistic picture of the prospect of another three million migrants arriving on Europe's borders than either the Pope or the European Commission do.
Pope Francis, on his recent visit to the Greek island of Lesbos, said that Europe must respond to the migrant crisis with solutions that are “worthy of humanity.” He also decried “that dense pall of indifference that clouds hearts and minds.” The Pope then proceeded to demonstrate what he believes is a response “worthy of humanity” by bringing 12 Syrian Muslims with him on his plane to Italy. “It's a drop of water in the sea. But after this drop, the sea will never be the same,” the Pope mused.
The Pope's speech did not contain a single reference to the harsh consequences of Muslim migration into the European continent for Europeans. Instead, the speech was laced with reflections such as “…barriers create divisions instead of promoting the true progress of peoples, and divisions sooner or later lead to confrontations” and “…our willingness to continue to cooperate so that the challenges we face today will not lead to conflict, but rather to the growth of the civilization of love.”
The Pope went back to his practically migrant-free Vatican City — those 12 Syrian Muslims will be hosted by Italy, not the Vatican, although the Holy See will be supporting them — leaving it to ordinary Europeans to cope with the consequences of “the growth of the civilization of love.”
There is nothing quite as free in this world as not practicing what you preach, and what the Pope is preaching is the acceptance of more migration into Europe, and more migration — much more — is indeed what is in the cards for Europe.
At the UN's Geneva conference on Syrian refugees on March 30, Italy's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Paolo Gentiloni, put the total number of asylum seekers into Italy in the first three months of 2016 at 18,234. This is already 80% higher than in the same period in 2015.
According to Paolo Serra, military adviser to Martin Kobler, the UN's Libya envoy, migrants currently in Libya will head for Italy in large numbers if the country is not stabilized. “If we do not intervene, there could be 250,000 arrivals [in Italy] by the end of 2016,” he said. According to France's Defense Minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, the number is much higher: 800,000 migrants are currently in Libyan territory waiting to cross the Mediterranean.
Already in November 2015, the European Union estimated — in its Autumn 2015 European Economic Forecast, authored by the European Commission — that by the end of 2016, another three million migrants will have made it into the European Union.
Nevertheless, the European Commission optimistically noted that, “while unevenly distributed among countries, the estimated additional public expenditure related to the arrival of asylum seekers is limited for most EU member states.” It even concluded that the migrant crisis could have a small, positive impact on European economies within a few years citing that “Research indicates that non-EU migrants typically receive less in individual benefits than they contribute in taxes and social contribution.”
This is the classic, politically correct denial of facts on the ground. The multitude of very costly social problems that Muslim migration into Europe has caused thus far do not exist in this whitewashed report, where the “research” indicates that migrants are always a boon. Similarly, any mention of the very real security costs necessitated by the Islamization that is occurring in Europe and the consequent need for monitoring of potential jihadists, simply goes unmentioned. One wonders whether the EU bureaucrats, who authored this report, ever descend from their ivory towers and move about in the real Europe.
Several European states have a less optimistic picture of the prospect of another three million migrants arriving on Europe's borders than either the Pope or the European Commission do. In February, Austria announced that it would introduce border controls at border crossings along frontiers with Italy, Slovenia and Hungary. On April 12, Austria began preparations for introducing border controls on its side of the Brenner Pass, the main Alpine crossing into Italy, by starting work on a wall between the two countries.
The Austrian decision to close the Brenner pass has received harsh criticism from the EU. European Commission spokeswoman Natasha Bertaud criticized the measure as unwarranted, claiming that “there is indeed no evidence that flows of irregular migrants are shifting from Greece to Italy”. Is Bertaud deliberately misrepresenting the issue? The issue is not whether the migrants are shifting from Greece to Italy after the EU's unsavory deal with Turkey (they probably will) but the up to 800,000 migrants are already waiting to cross into Italy from Libya.
EU Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos joined in the criticism of Austria, saying, “What is happening at the border between Italy and Austria is not the right solution.” He had criticized Austria already in February, when Vienna announced that it would cap asylum claims at 80 per day. At the time, Avramopoulos said,
“It is true that Austria is under huge pressure… It is true they are overwhelmed. But, on the other hand, there are some principles and laws that all countries must respect and apply… The Austrians are obliged to accept asylum applications without putting a cap.”
In response, Austria's Chancellor Werner Faymann told the EU that Austria could not just let the influx of migrants continue unchecked — nearly 100,000 have applied for asylum in Austria — and he called for the EU to act. The EU has not yet acted.
The EU should hardly be surprised that a sovereign state decides to take matters into its own hands in the face of the EU's failure to heed that call, and as it anticipates a repeat of last year's migration chaos — which, given the predicted estimates, is bound to occur this year with even greater force.
Predictably, Italy has also criticized the decision, with Italian Interior Minister Angelino Alfano saying that Austria's decision to erect the barrier is “unexplainable and unjustifiable.” Italy, however, only has itself to blame for Austria's restrictions at the Brenner Pass. In 2014 and the first half of 2015, around 300,000 migrants arrived in Italy, mainly from Libya. Despite EU rules that require Italy to register those migrants, Italy simply let most of them pass through the country and continue into Austria. From there, most went further into Germany and Northern Europe. Clearly, Austria does not expect the Italians to change their practices.

Austrian police prepare to hold the line at the Brenner Pass border crossing with Italy, as a crowd tries to break through during a violent protest on April 3, 2016, against Austria's introduction of border controls to stem the flow of migrants. (Image source: RT video screenshot)
While the bureaucrats of the EU bicker with their member states over those states' unwillingness to follow EU regulations — evidently not made to cope with a migration crisis of these huge proportions — Turkey's President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan is threatening to drop his obligations under a recent EU-Turkey migration deal. Those obligations include taking back all new “irregular migrants” crossing from Turkey into Greek islands, as well as taking any necessary measures to prevent the opening of new sea or land routes for migration from Turkey to the EU. “There are precise conditions. If the European Union does not take the necessary steps, then Turkey will not implement the agreement,” Erdogan warned recently in a speech in Ankara.
Erdogan knows that in the current European reality, his words have the effect he intends: When he threatens to flood Europe with migrants unless it does what he wants — in other words, blackmail — EU leaders will do what he says. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, one of the driving forces behind the EU-Turkey deal, also recently bowed to Erdogan's demands that Germany prosecute the satirist Jan Böhmermann, after he mocked and insulted the Turkish president in a poem. The German criminal code prohibits insults against foreign leaders, but leaves it to the government to decide whether to authorize prosecutors to pursue such cases. Angela Merkel gave her authorization, a decision widely criticized. Her own ministers — Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, and Justice Minister Heiko Maas — said they did not believe that the authorization should have been granted.
Another indication that Erdogan has no reason to fear any misbehavior on the part of the European Union regarding the EU-Turkey deal is that the European Parliament just voted in favor of making Turkish an official European Union language. Ostensibly, the vote came about in order to back an initiative by the president of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades, who asked the Dutch EU Presidency to add Turkish to the bloc's 24 official languages in order to boost attempts to reach a reunification agreement for Cyprus.
In his letter to the EU presidency, Anastasiades noted that Cyprus had already filed a similar request during its EU entry talks in 2002, but, at that time, it “was advised by the [EU] institutions not to insist, taking into account the limited practical purpose of such a development … as well as the considerable cost”. Turkey's occupation of northern Cyprus, which Turkey invaded in 1974, is one of the issues blocking Turkey's accession negotiations with the EU.
Making Turkish an official language is seen by Turkey, according to a senior Turkish official, as “a very important, very positive gesture” for the Cyprus peace talks and for EU-Turkish ties more broadly. “If the blockage is lifted because of Cyprus being solved, then we can proceed very quickly,” the Turkish official said.
All of the other official and working languages of the European Union are tied to states which are full members of the EU. Although the vote has to be approved by the European Commission before the decision can come into effect, it speaks volumes about the EU's deference to Erdogan.
In light of these developments, the granting of visa-free travel to European Union states for 80 million Turks looks as if it is a done deal, despite the 72 conditions, which Turkey, at least on paper, is expected to live up to. These include increasing the use of biometric passports and other technical requirements. So far, Turkey has only met half of these conditions. Perhaps that is why European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker recently felt the need to mention that, “Turkey must fulfill all remaining conditions so that the Commission can adopt its proposal in the coming months. The criteria will not be watered down.” The question is whether Juncker himself even believes his own words.
With the provisions on visa-free travel for 80 million Turks, the EU may just have gone from the frying pan into the fire. The visa-free admission of Turks into Europe would give Erdogan completely free rein to control the influx of migrants into Europe. Moreover, anyone believing that Erdogan would not take great advantage of this opportunity would have to be dangerously naïve. The European Union may yet conclude that the migrant crisis, in all its enormity, is the far lesser evil.
Judith Bergman is a writer, columnist, lawyer and political analyst.
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Obama Ignored Israel, Distanced Himself From GW and Has Made a Mess of Virtually Everything He Tried in The Middle East. Butch O'Hare! Saudi and Opec Miscalculations!


This from the New York Times!
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/24/us/cash-flowed-to-clinton-foundation-as-russians-pressed-for-control-of-uranium-company.html?_r=0
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Israel warned Obama the break up of Syria and attempts to get rid of Assad would cause great upheaval and be a huge mistake.  Why?  Because, bad as Assad was,  his word had proven dependable. Obama basically ignored this advice and now we have the potential for more tragedy as if what has already occurred is not enough.

Obama has bent over backwards to prove he is not GW and yet, his  strategy of gradualism is proving his approach is worse and far less effective. (See 1 below.)
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Worth re-posting.

The destruction of a society's culture occurs in a myriad of places and mostly starts with impressionable youth. The university campus is one of the more important venues and that is now the case in America. Tolerance, by liberal educators, of the spread of radical ideology, knows no borders. Eventually it spills out into society in general as graduates transport their viral message of hate, discord and anarchy. (See 2 below.)
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No wonder the Saudis want to sell part of the family energy company to the public.  Their oil  position going forward is growing increasingly untenable.

The Opec Geni has been badly mauled and is not likely to recover its former influence.  (See 3 below.)
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Sent to me by  fellow memo reader and a dear friend.  (See 4 below.)
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Now for some humor:

 https://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=-5Z-jJ2Z4bU
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Two old men are drinking in a bar. One says, "Did you know that Lions have sex 10 to 15 times a day?"
 
"Aww, darn!" says his friend, "and I just joined Rotary!"
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Dick
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1)


Analysis: Syria - a war waiting to spill over
By YAAKOV LAPPIN

Israel and pragmatic Sunni states preparing for the day radical sub-state groups target them.

Last Wednesday, during the middle of the tranquil Passover vacation, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot headed north. The military had imposed a temporary closure on the West Bank, and all was quiet on the Gazan and Lebanese fronts. Eisenkot took the opportunity to visit the 91st Division, which secures the Galilee, and toured Mount Dov (Shaba Farms), which looks out over Lebanon and Syria.

Of all the sectors the IDF monitors carefully, it is Syria that is the most unpredictable and explosive, and which carries the biggest potential for a sudden escalation. Additionally, due to Hezbollah’s attempts to traffic weapons from Syria to Lebanon, and its ongoing fight against anti-Assad rebel groups, events in Syria have a direct impact on the Lebanese front.

Just over the Israeli border, in southern Syria, a myriad of heavily armed radical Sunni and Shi’ite factions continue to battle it out, in a zerosum game of kill or be killed.

Al-Qaida wages war on other Sunni jihadists in ISIS, and both are engaged in a fight to the death against the Alawite regime in Damascus and its Shi’ite backers – Hezbollah and Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps. Above them, fighter jets belonging to international coalitions carry out air strikes in crowded skies, and Israel, according to foreign reports, periodically targets weapons-smuggling runs seeking to bring strategic arms to Hezbollah’s depots in Lebanon.

The sectarian warfare that has torn Syria to pieces is unlikely to recede any time soon, and international efforts toward a cease-fire – however well intentioned – appear tragically ill-fated.

Syria, along with Libya, Yemen and Iraq, represents the breakdown of the 20th-century Middle East order. This chain reaction of implosions looks permanent, bringing along with it a high possibility of affecting additional countries over time.

The Assad regime’s murderous bombing raids on Aleppo, which have killed over 220 people since April 22, testify to the trajectory in which failed states are moving.

As civil wars rage, vacuums of power are filled by the rise of radical Sunni organizations, while the displacement of millions of Syrians continues. The developments are accompanied by the breakdown of any semblance of a national identity, in favor of competing sectarian groups.

The concept of the Arab nationstate has never appeared weaker, placing significant strain on the Arab countries in the area that have remained intact.

In the new Middle East, it is apparent that sub-state jihadist organizations, not state armies, are the most immediate threat to Israeli security. The old borders have lost meaning. ISIS and al-Qaida in Syria and Sinai, Hezbollah in Syria and Lebanon, and Hamas in Gaza all qualify as modern exemplars of transnational foes.

Israel, like the pragmatic Sunni states that have so far weathered the Arab winter, is preparing for the day that terrorists combating one another in Syria direct their guns and missiles toward new targets.



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2) Caroline Glick rings the alarm bell...again. But as bad as it is from her perspective, in actuality it is far worse. What's being spawned in most of our universities is a cult-like mass movement replete with its own newspeak ("safe space," "trigger word," "micro aggression," etc.), all candy-coated in anti-Semitic ideology to make it go down easy. When these brainwashed cadres graduate into the mainstream, the effects of their re-education will pollute our culture and weaken our society well beyond the ivory towers. Best to take Caroline’s advice and rise against it on all fronts starting now.

By CAROLINE B. GLICK
Activists from US coast to coast robotically parrot the same lies, employ the same tactics of bullying, intimidating and silencing pro-Israel activists and speakers on campus after campus.
To defeat the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel, it is first necessary to understand it.
The BDS campaign is an extraordinary phenomenon.
Activists from US coast to coast robotically parrot the same lies, employ the same tactics of bullying, intimidating and silencing pro-Israel activists and speakers on campus after campus.
Their goals are uniform. They seek to silence pro-Israel voices in US academia as a means to destroy general public support for Israel in America.
And they seek to make Jew-hatred socially acceptable in elite circles in America for the first time since the Holocaust.
This month it was leftist MK Tzipi Livni’s turn to fall victim to BDS bigotry and defamation. During a public appearance at Harvard Law School, one of the heads of BDS movement at the school, Husam el-Qoulaq, asked her why she is “smelly.”
Qoulaq is the head of Students for Justice in Palestine at Harvard Law School.
SJP is the central engine of the BDS movement.
Its members are the ones who organize the “divest from Israel” resolutions routinely passed by ignorant or intimidated student representatives on college councils.
SJP members are the ones who regularly harass pro-Israel students and riot or otherwise disrupt pro-Israel events on campuses.
They are the ones who willingly and purposely engage in rank anti-Semitic demonization of Jews and Israel to normalize Jew-hatred in America.
Given SJP’s lead role in the campaign against Israel and American Jewry on college campuses, students and Jewish groups trying to combat the racist movement focus their attention on SJP.
But it works out that SJP doesn’t formally exist.
There is no nonprofit group called Students for Justice in Palestine. SJP doesn’t file tax forms. It doesn’t have a paper trail. In other words, SJP is a ghost organization, an illusion.
To bring it down you need to find its controllers.
The Canary Mission (canarymission.org) is a website managed by students and activists. It was formed “to document people and groups that are promoting hatred of the USA, Israel and the Jewish people, particularly on college campuses in North America.”
According to the website, SJP was founded in 2001 by UC Berkeley Prof. Hatem Bazian. Bazian’s organizational pedigree reads like the who’s who of Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood front organizations in America.
Bazian fund-raised for a Hamas front group called KindHearts. In 2008, like a number of other Islamic groups that were found guilty of providing material support for terrorism in the framework of the Holy Land Foundation trial, KindHearts was forced to disband. KindHearts was found to have raised money for Hamas.
Another of Bazian’s former employers, the Islamic Association for Palestine, also disbanded after it was found guilty of funding Hamas.
According to the Canary Mission’s findings, Bazian founded SJP to distance the BDS movement from its Islamic masters. His idea was to brand it as a radical group that could easily collaborate with other radical groups on campus and so turn the radical establishment into an engine for anti-Israel activism.
Although Bazian went to great lengths to brand SJP as a non-Islamic movement, he had no intention of ceding control of the BDS movement to non-Islamic forces. To ensure control over SJP, and through it, the BDS movement as a whole, according to the Canary Mission, Bazian formed American Muslims for Palestine.
On April 19, during a hearing before the US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Trade and the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, American Muslims for Palestine’s nature became clear.
Jonathan Schanzer served as a terrorism finance analyst for the Department of the Treasury from 2004 to 2007. He currently works as the vice president for research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies in Washington. In testimony before the subcommittee, Schanzer revealed that the heads of AMP are alumni of three Islamist groups that were banned following their convictions for terrorism financing during the course of the Holy Land Foundation trial that ended in 2008.
AMP’s leadership held key positions at the Holy Land Foundation, KindHearts and the Islamic Association for Palestine. These groups and their employees transferred millions of dollars to al-Qaida, Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
Although Schanzer could find no indication that AMP is continuing its predecessors’ practice of sending funds to foreign terrorist groups, he demonstrated how the heir of Hamas-USA now direct the BDS movement. Through AMP, they control SJP.
In his words, “AMP is a Chicago-based organization that is a leading driver of the BDS campaign.
AMP is arguably the most important sponsor and organizer for Students for Justice in Palestine, which is the most visible arm of the BDS campaign on campuses in the United States. AMP provides speakers, training, printed materials, a so-called ‘Apartheid Wall,’ and grants to SJP activists.”
Schanzer added, “AMP even has a campus coordinator on staff whose job is to work directly with SJP and other pro-BDS campus groups across the country.”
The reason that SJP activists utilize the same tactics and rhetoric from sea to shining sea is because officials from the heir to disbanded terrorism funding groups tells them what to say and do. Everything from their “Apartheid Walls” and Die-Ins to their posters and slogans and tactic of shutting down pro-Israel events is dictated to them by AMP.
Whereas SJP doesn’t exist at all on paper, AMP’s existence is eyebrow-raising from a legal perspective.
AMP is not registered as a nonprofit so it is impossible to know its funding sources or the size of its donations, because it is not required to publicize them. As Schanzer explained, funds for AMP are raised through yet another organization called Americans for Justice in Palestine Education Foundation, or AJP, whose nature and behavior are also strange.
AJP’s chairman is Bazian. AJP and AMP share the same office in the Chicago suburb of Palos Hill.
Unlike AMP, AJP is a registered nonprofit. In its 2014 990 tax form, attached to Schanzer’s testimony, it reports raising in excess of $3.2 million between 2010 and 2014. But, in apparent breach of the law, AJP did not report how it spent the money or where it received the funds from.
Like AMP, AJP members worked in the past for the Holy Land Foundation, the Islamic Association for Palestine and KindHearts. Indeed, most of them are the same people.
Not only do AMP-AFP fail to divulge their financing sources or outlays, they revel in their practice of operating at the edges of the law. At AMP’s 2014 annual conference in Chicago, participants were invited to “come and navigate the fine line between legal activism and material support for terrorism.”
Given SJP’s raging success, it isn’t a surprise that Bazian isn’t the only one claiming to have founded it. For instance, Senan Shaqdeh claims that he founded SJP. As Schanzer testified, Shaqdeh, who also lives in Chicago, is listed as a terrorist from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine by the PLO’s Ministry of Expatriate Affairs’ website.
Shaqdeh is also the coordinator of the Chicago- based US Coalition to Boycott Israel. In 2014, Shaqdeh traveled to Ramallah where he met with Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah.
The chairman of the US Coalition to Boycott Israel is Ghassan Barakat. According to Schanzer, Barakat is a PLO consular official in Chicago.
Like SJP, the Coalition is not a legal entity. It is not registered with state or local tax authorities. But given Barakat’s and Shaqdeh’s associations with the PLO and the PA, it is likely that it is funded by the US-funded PA.
Perhaps money from the PLO to SJP and other BDS outlets is transferred through an opaque New York state registered nonprofit called Wespac. Currently, a delegation of Palestinian students, organized by Bir Zeit University, paid for by Wespac and managed by SJP is traveling through the US lobbying students to boycott Israel.
Schanzer’s testimony should lead anti-BDS efforts in three directions. Two of them are legal, and one is political.
On the legal front, AMP and AJP’s commingling is curious, to say the least. Their failure to report the sources of their funding or how the funds are used appear, at a minimum, to be a breach of reporting requirements. These irregularities, along with the fact that officers of these organizations were in the past officers of organizations disbanded due to their provision of material support for terrorism, warrant criminal investigations by both tax authorities and counterterrorism investigators.
Unfortunately, shortly after he entered office in 2009, President Barack Obama’s then-attorney- general Eric Holder ordered the Department of Justice to stop investigating Islamist nonprofit groups. Accordingly, it is highly unlikely that any investigation will be conducted by federal agencies in the near future.
This leaves state, local and congressional authorities.
Since AMP and AJP are registered in Palos Hills, both Illinois tax authorities and law enforcement and Palos Hills authorities can open investigations into their operations. Moreover, Congress, which exposed the fact that both groups appear to be a natural continuation of banned terrorism-supporting organizations, is fully empowered to conduct congressional investigations of their operations, replete with the power to subpoena witnesses.
As for the operations of PLO officials in Chicago, their work is arguably in breach of the laws stipulating the permitted conduct of PLO officials in the US. Congress can investigate their behavior as well, and determine whether or not it constitutes a material breach of the PLO’s permitted actions in America, and so requires the US to cut off its relations with the terrorist group. Certainly the involvement of PA/PLO officials in an anti-Semitic hate campaign is grounds for a cut off of US aid to the PA.
On the political front, it is vital that Israel fight BDS as the most widespread form of anti-Semitism in North America. Unlike the situation in Europe, where BDS is largely an economic warfare campaign, in the US its goal is political. Its leaders are not interested in harming the Israeli economy per se. They are interested in cultivating anti-Semitism and hatred of Israel to pave the way for economic warfare and actual war against Israel.
Government ministers involved with the fight against BDS need to provide anti-BDS activists with information about SJP’s links to Hamas and with the PA. American Jewish organizations and activists need to call out college administrators when they say since they refuse to carry out divestment resolutions that they oppose BDS, even as they allow SJP to operate on their campuses and even fund the Hamas front group directly.
Schanzer’s testimony makes clear that the BDS movement is part and parcel of the jihadist war against Israel whose goal is its annihilation.
Both legally and politically, it needs to be fought accordingly.
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3)

Saudi Arabia may go broke before the US oil industry buckles



King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud  CREDIT: AFP/GETTY
If the oil futures market is correct, Saudi Arabia will start running into trouble within two years. It will be in existential crisis by the end of the decade.
The contract price of US crude oil for delivery in December 2020 is currently $62.05, implying a drastic change in the economic landscape for the Middle East and the petro-rentier states.
The Saudis took a huge gamble last November when they stopped supporting prices and opted instead to flood the market and drive out rivals, boosting their own output to 10.6m barrels a day (b/d) into the teeth of the downturn.
Bank of America says OPEC is now "effectively dissolved". The cartel might as well shut down its offices in Vienna to save money.


Crude oil price chart
If the aim was to choke the US shale industry, the Saudis have misjudged badly, just as they misjudged the growing shale threat at every stage for eight years. "It is becoming apparent that non-OPEC producers are not as responsive to low oil prices as had been thought, at least in the short-run," said the Saudi central bank in its latest stability report.
"The main impact has been to cut back on developmental drilling of new oil wells, rather than slowing the flow of oil from existing wells. This requires more patience," it said.
One Saudi expert was blunter. "The policy hasn't worked and it will never work," he said.
By causing the oil price to crash, the Saudis and their Gulf allies have certainly killed off prospects for a raft of high-cost ventures in the Russian Arctic, the Gulf of Mexico, the deep waters of the mid-Atlantic, and the Canadian tar sands.
Consultants Wood Mackenzie say the major oil and gas companies have shelved 46 large projects, deferring $200bn of investments.
The problem for the Saudis is that US shale frackers are not high-cost. They are mostly mid-cost, and as I reported from the CERAWeek energy forum in Houston, experts at IHS think shale companies may be able to shave those costs by 45pc this year - and not only by switching tactically to high-yielding wells.
Advanced pad drilling techniques allow frackers to launch five or ten wells in different directions from the same site. Smart drill-bits with computer chips can seek out cracks in the rock. New dissolvable plugs promise to save $300,000 a well. "We've driven down drilling costs by 50pc, and we can see another 30pc ahead," said John Hess, head of the Hess Corporation.
It was the same story from Scott Sheffield, head of Pioneer Natural Resources. "We have just drilled an 18,000 ft well in 16 days in the Permian Basin. Last year it took 30 days," he said.
The North American rig-count has dropped to 664 from 1,608 in October but output still rose to a 43-year high of 9.6m b/d June. It has only just begun to roll over. "The freight train of North American tight oil has kept on coming," said Rex Tillerson, head of Exxon Mobil.


Oil production chart
He said the resilience of the sister industry of shale gas should be a cautionary warning to those reading too much into the rig-count. Gas prices have collapsed from $8 to $2.78 since 2009, and the number of gas rigs has dropped 1,200 to 209. Yet output has risen by 30pc over that period.
Until now, shale drillers have been cushioned by hedging contracts. The stress test will come over coming months as these expire. But even if scores of over-leveraged wild-catters go bankrupt as funding dries up, it will not do OPEC any good.
The wells will still be there. The technology and infrastructure will still be there. Stronger companies will mop up on the cheap, taking over the operations. Once oil climbs back to $60 or even $55 - since the threshold keeps falling - they will crank up production almost instantly.
OPEC now faces a permanent headwind. Each rise in price will be capped by a surge in US output. The only constraint is the scale of US reserves that can be extracted at mid-cost, and these may be bigger than originally supposed, not to mention the parallel possibilities in Argentina and Australia, or the possibility for "clean fracking" in China as plasma pulse technology cuts water needs.
Mr Sheffield said the Permian Basin in Texas could alone produce 5-6m b/d in the long-term, more than Saudi Arabia's giant Ghawar field, the biggest in the world.
Saudi Arabia is effectively beached. It relies on oil for 90pc of its budget revenues. There is no other industry to speak of, a full fifty years after the oil bonanza began.


Oil price chart
Citizens pay no tax on income, interest, or stock dividends. Subsidized petrol costs twelve cents a litre at the pump. Electricity is given away for 1.3 cents a kilowatt-hour. Spending on patronage exploded after the Arab Spring as the kingdom sought to smother dissent.
The International Monetary Fund estimates that the budget deficit will reach 20pc of GDP this year, or roughly $140bn. The 'fiscal break-even price' is $106.
Far from retrenching, King Salman is spraying money around, giving away $32bn in a coronation bonus for all workers and pensioners.
He has launched a costly war against the Houthis in Yemen and is engaged in a massive military build-up - entirely reliant on imported weapons - that will propel Saudi Arabia to fifth place in the world defence ranking.
The Saudi royal family is leading the Sunni cause against a resurgent Iran, battling for dominance in a bitter struggle between Sunni and Shia across the Middle East. "Right now, the Saudis have only one thing on their mind and that is the Iranians. They have a very serious problem. Iranian proxies are running Yemen, Syria, Iraq, and Lebanon," said Jim Woolsey, the former head of the US Central Intelligence Agency.


Spending chart
Money began to leak out of Saudi Arabia after the Arab Spring, with net capital outflows reaching 8pc of GDP annually even before the oil price crash. The country has since been burning through its foreign reserves at a vertiginous pace.
The reserves peaked at $737bn in August of 2014. They dropped to $672 in May. At current prices they are falling by at least $12bn a month.


Net capital chart
Khalid Alsweilem, a former official at the Saudi central bank and now at Harvard University, said the fiscal deficit must be covered almost dollar for dollar by drawing down reserves.
The Saudi buffer is not particularly large given the country's fixed exchange system. Kuwait, Qatar, and Abu Dhabi all have three times greater reserves per capita. "We are much more vulnerable. That is why we are the fourth rated sovereign in the Gulf at AA-. We cannot afford to lose our cushion over the next two years," he said.
Standard & Poor's lowered its outlook to "negative" in February. "We view Saudi Arabia's economy as undiversified and vulnerable to a steep and sustained decline in oil prices," it said.
Mr Alsweilem wrote in a Harvard report that Saudi Arabia would have an extra trillion of assets by now if it had adopted the Norwegian model of a sovereign wealth fund to recyle the money instead of treating it as a piggy bank for the finance ministry. The report has caused storm in Riyadh.
"We were lucky before because the oil price recovered in time. But we can't count on that again," he said.
OPEC have left matters too late, though perhaps there is little they could have done to combat the advances of American technology.
In hindsight, it was a strategic error to hold prices so high, for so long, allowing shale frackers - and the solar industry - to come of age. The genie cannot be put back in the bottle.
The Saudis are now trapped. Even if they could do a deal with Russia and orchestrate a cut in output to boost prices - far from clear - they might merely gain a few more years of high income at the cost of bringing forward more shale production later on.
Yet on the current course their reserves may be down to $200bn by the end of 2018. The markets will react long before this, seeing the writing on the wall. Capital flight will accelerate.
The government can slash investment spending for a while - as it did in the mid-1980s - but in the end it must face draconian austerity. It cannot afford to prop up Egypt and maintain an exorbitant political patronage machine across the Sunni world.
Social spending is the glue that holds together a medieval Wahhabi regime at a time of fermenting unrest among the Shia minority of the Eastern Province, pin-prick terrorist attacks from ISIS, and blowback from the invasion of Yemen.
Diplomatic spending is what underpins the Saudi sphere of influence in a Middle East suffering its own version of Europe's Thirty Year War, and still reeling from the after-shocks of a crushed democratic revolt.
We may yet find that the US oil industry has greater staying power than the rickety political edifice behind OPEC.
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4) STORY NUMBER ONE
Many Years ago, Al Capone virtually owned Chicago. Capone wasn't famous for anything heroic. He was notorious for enmeshing the windy city in everything from bootlegged booze and prostitution to murder.
Capone had a lawyer nicknamed "Easy Eddie." He was Capone's lawyer for a good reason. Eddie was very good! In fact, Eddie's skill at legal maneuvering kept Big Al out of jail for a long time.
To show his appreciation, Capone paid him very well.. Not only was the money big, but Eddie got special dividends, as well. For instance, he and his family occupied a fenced-in mansion with live-in help and all of the conveniences of the day. The estate was so large that it filled an entire Chicago City block.
Eddie lived the high life of the Chicago mob and gave little consideration to the atrocity that went on around him.
Eddie did have one soft spot, however. He had a son that he loved dearly. Eddie saw to it that his young son had clothes, cars, and a good education. Nothing was withheld. Price was no object.
And, despite his involvement with organized crime, Eddie even tried to teach him right from wrong. Eddie wanted his son to be a better man than he was.
Yet, with all his wealth and influence, there were two things he couldn't give his son; he couldn't pass on a good name or a good example.
One day, Easy Eddie reached a difficult decision. Easy Eddie wanted to rectify wrongs he had done.
He decided he would go to the authorities and tell the truth about Al "Scarface" Capone, clean up his tarnished name, and offer his son some resemblance of integrity. To do this, he would have to testify against The Mob, and he knew that the cost would be great. So, he testified.
Within the year, Easy Eddie's life ended in a blaze of gunfire on a lonely Chicago Street. But in his eyes, he had given his son the greatest gift he had to offer, at the greatest price he could ever pay.. Police removed from his pockets a rosary, a crucifix, a religious medallion, and a poem clipped from a magazine.
The poem read:
"The clock of life is wound but once, and no man has the power to tell just when the hands will stop, at late or early hour. Now is the only time you own. Live, love, toil with a will. Place no faith in time.
For the clock may soon be still."

STORY NUMBER TWO
World War II produced many heroes. One such man was Lieutenant Commander Butch O'Hare.
He was a fighter pilot assigned to the aircraft carrier Lexington in the South Pacific.
One day his entire squadron was sent on a mission. After he was airborne, he looked at his fuel gauge and realized that someone had forgotten to top off his fuel tank.
He would not have enough fuel to complete his mission and get back to his ship.
His flight leader told him to return to the carrier. Reluctantly, he dropped out of formation and headed back to the fleet.
As he was returning to the mother ship, he saw something that turned his blood cold; a squadron of Japanese aircraft was speeding its way toward the American-fleet 
The American fighters were gone on a sortie, and the fleet was all but defenseless. He couldn't reach his squadron and bring them back in time to save the fleet. Nor could he warn the fleet of the approaching danger. There was only one thing to do. He must somehow divert them from the fleet.
Laying aside all thoughts of personal safety, he dove into the formation of Japanese planes. Wing-mounted 50 caliber's blazed as he charged in, attacking one surprised enemy plane and then another.
Butch wove in and out of the now broken formation and fired at as many planes as possible until all his ammunition was finally spent.
Undaunted, he continued the assault. He dove at the planes, trying to clip a wing or tail in hopes of damaging as many enemy planes as possible, rendering them unfit to fly.
Finally, the exasperated Japanese squadron took off in another direction.
Deeply relieved, Butch O'Hare and his tattered fighter limped back to the carrier..
Upon arrival, he reported in and related the event surrounding his return.. The film from the gun-camera mounted on his plane told the tale. It showed the extent of Butch's daring attempt to protect his fleet. He had, in fact, destroyed five enemy aircraft. This took place on February 20, 1942, and for that action Butch became the Navy's first Ace of W.W.II, and the first Naval Aviator to win the Medal of Honor.
A Year later Butch was killed in aerial combat at the age of 29. His hometown would not allow the memory of this WW II hero to fade, and today, O'Hare airport in Chicago is named in tribute to the courage of this great man.
So, the next time you find yourself at O'Hare International, give some thought to visiting Butch's memorial displaying his statue and his Medal of Honor. It's located between Terminals 1 and 2.
SO WHAT DO THESE TWO STORIES HAVE TO DO WITH EACH OTHER?
Butch O'Hare was "Easy Eddie's" son. 
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