Friday, February 17, 2017

Canadian Vetting. Erickson and Trump's Press Conference. Democrats "Duke it out." Isis vs Hamas.

Dagny the gourmand.
Canadian vetting. (See 1 below.)
Erick Erickson on Trump's press conference. (See 2 below.)
Why Iran will go nuclear despite Trump. (See 3 below.)
Democrats 'duke it out' over Ellison and no one in the mass media, liberal Jews raise an eyebrow.
(See 4 below.)
ISIS and Hamas are at each other's throats in Gaza.  Arabs/Muslims, Sunnis, Shias, whatever,  just live to kill and hate.  (See 5 below.)

Caroline Glick and her comments regarding Netanyahu and Trump's relationship. (See 5a below.)

Canada's New Liberal Government
Robust Refugees Screening Process
Your First Name: _______________________________________________

Are you a Terrorist? : _________ Yes __________ No

Do you promise to vote Liberal for the rest of  your Life?    ___ Yes ____ No

Thank you and Welcome to Canada!

Please go to the other line and get your free stuff.
Difficult Truths, But Still Truths After Yesterday’s Trumpnami
By Erick Erickson
I have a lot of friends on the right who did not support Donald Trump for President. They thought he was a closet liberal who would go left the moment he was elected or the moment he hit rough water. He has actually stayed largely on course. Yesterday, almost to a person, those friends of mine who did not and still do not really care for Donald Trump loved him.
For more than an hour they cheered him on as he lashed out at an American media so many conservatives have perceived as biased and whose reporting is premised on left of center presuppositions.
When the media started complaining about the treatment, these Trump critics loved him all the more. “They’re squealing like a stuck pig,” a friend told me.
I had many friends in that room, some of whom were forced to stand up to the brunt of the Trumpnami. I have other friends in the media profession who, after it was over, were highly critical and insisted the spectacle was an affront to a free press.
While I understand their concerns, I just do not think they sufficiently understand the concerns of those who now cheer on every time Trump bludgeons them.
While Donald Trump was beating up the press, Baronelle Stutzman was losing a case before the Washington Supreme Court. She is a florist who has a large number of gay customers who she gladly serves. But when asked to provide flowers for a gay wedding, her Christian faith prevented her from agreeing.
The presuppositions of many of the reporters outraged by Donald Trump go against Baronelle Stutzman. From Buzzfeed to the New York Times, she is treated like a bigot. A florist in the United States of American can refuse to provide flowers to any wedding for any reason under the sun except one. If a Christian florist refuses to lie and says it is about her faith, the state will ruin her. The media will stack the deck against her in coverage.
The people who are outraged by this treatment are the ones cheering on Donald Trump. They cheer him on for daring to push back against left of center presuppositions and an arrogance that presumes the “free press” provision of the First Amendment only applies to those with a press badge.
While Donald Trump was speaking and the media spent the rest of the day reviewing his attack on them, multiple attacks in the Middle East killed more than 120 people. But the American news organizations were too busy navel gazing to notice.
And the people cheered on Donald Trump. He is a means to an end and that end is finally giving back to a group of people who behave as cultural elitists and insist people of good faith and conscience conform to values that do not reflect them instead of embracing a live and let live culture.
At the same time, this was not the behavior any of us should want in a President of the United States. Many of us on the right may have enjoyed the show, but we should be appalled that our President behaved in this way. This was neither normal nor sane.
I personally thought, even when he was combative, the President handled himself in a rather jovial, humorous way. But his statements gathered together as a whole should worry even his most ardent supporters.
While calling the reports of the leaks fake news, the President said the media reported what happened on his call with the Australian Prime Minister. Previously, the President told us the reports were wrong, but now he calls the news wrong, but said the press got the story right from the leaks.
The President said General Flynn was a great man and it was the media’s fault General Flynn resigned. But the President also said General Flynn misled Vice President Pence. Why was that not the reason for his resignation, instead of blaming it on the media?
Lastly, I could not help but leave with the impression that the President is still unwilling to be clear on the matter of Russia. I took it not as him trying to cover up the truth, but him recognizing it is a public relations problem he has no solutions for.
That the President could say with a straight face that the roll out of his immigration executive order went smoothly, that the White House is not going through a bit of a chaotic period, and again get the basic facts of his election wrong should bother us all.
Republicans impeached a President of the United States for lying and yesterday they cheered on a man who repeatedly lied in a press conference before the American public.
I admit, I enjoyed the spectacle. I admit, I thought it was nice to finally have a Republican President use his bully pulpit to defend himself and go on offense. I admit I loved the media complaining about it so much that they ignored major contradictions in the President’s statements.
But I also admit that this is not the behavior any of us should want in a President. This is not Presidential behavior. This is not behavior we should want our children to model and, like it or not, Presidents tend to be role models.
Many conservatives signed on with Donald Trump, ultimately, to beat the left. At this point, no one should underestimate Donald Trump. But I just have a nagging suspicion that the conservative movement and Christian evangelicals may have won the battle, but will lose the war in this way.
Donald Trump won the Presidency by winning a handful of states by less than 1% of the vote in each state. It will take very little to upset his apple cart. Tipping that cart over could damage conservatives’ ability to battle the left long term and cost them any moral standing with the American people.
The truth is that I still worry Donald Trump will do more long term damage to conservatives and the GOP than anyone expects. I hope that I am as wrong about that as I was about the Presidential election.
But the President’s behavior yesterday was not what we should want in a President or, frankly, in any sane leader.

Trump and Netanyahu may not like the Iran nuclear deal, they may not have made it, and they may enforce it more aggressively than the Obama administration, but attempts to “rip it up” are over.
Has everyone forgotten the complex challenges posed by Iran?
Most of the media attention from Wednesday’s landmark first meeting between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Donald Trump has been on Israeli-Palestinian issues.
The minimal coverage of the two leaders' comments on Iran has focused on their similar sounding tone and goals of preventing a nuclear Iran – with Trump saying that he will make sure that the Islamic Republic does not get a nuclear weapon “ever.”
Missed in all of this are some hugely important developments, including what didn’t happen.
One of Netanyahu’s primary goals over the last two years, which brought him to bruising, public fights with the Obama administration, has been blocking or repealing the Iran nuclear deal. He called the deal an historic mistake.

Trump the candidate ran unequivocally on a “rip it up” (the Iran deal) message, calling it the worst deal in history.

There were hints once Trump was elected and his nominees started to be asked about the Iran deal that change was afoot.

Change is now official: the deal is here to stay. It is now both Trump's and Netanyahu's policy.

They may not like the deal, they may not have made it, and they may enforce it more aggressively than the Obama administration, but attempts to “rip it up” are officially over.

Yet that is not the biggest development from Wednesday.

The biggest development was the absence of the two leaders announcing any concrete steps to change Iran’s behavior other than a strong-sounding but vague promise by Trump that he will never let Iran get a nuclear weapon.

Trump’s aggressive rhetoric and implied threats may be enough to make Iran observe the deal’s limits on its nuclear program in the coming years.

But the biggest worry has always been: what happens in January 2026 and 2031 when aspects of those limits start to expire?

The problem is that Trump can’t guarantee Iran will not legally “walk-out” to a nuclear weapon at that future date because he will not be president. Even if he is reelected, his second term would end in January 2025. It’s simple math.

If Israel and the US were really making Iran their top issue, they could have made some concrete announcements about joint efforts to define what they would do to respond to Iranian minor violations of the deal, defined Iranian major violations and detailed specific efforts to make limits on Iran’s nuclear program permanent.

At the very least, as a near-term measure, they could have suggested, as former IDF intelligence chief Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlin has suggested, some concrete moves at the UN to ban Iranian missile tests, after Iran carried out such tests on multiple occasions recently.

Currently, the Iran nuclear deal does not impact such tests and other UN resolutions only “call on” Iran to avoid such tests, but do not ban them.

Or they could have announced wider sanctions against Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, which is said to be under consideration, or moving new US military assets to the region as a show of strength.

There were no concrete new moves or rolling out of new processes announced.

To date, the Trump administration has not even announced whether and to what extent it is communicating directly with Iran as the Obama administration did – or just through the press.

Many hawks on the Iran issue are so thrilled with the stronger tone from Trump that he is already getting high marks.

But as is always the case with Iran, the devil is in the details, and Wednesday’s meeting surprisingly had none.

The endorsements for Congressman Keith Ellison, a leading candidate to take over the Democratic National Committee, continue to pour in.

The president of the Baltimore City Council endorsed him.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., backs him. Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., has endorsed the Muslim congressman.

The former member of the Louisiana House of Representatives and imperial wizard of the Ku Klux Klan tweeted his support for Ellison, saying, “I really like Keith … at least he knows.”
Duke’s comment was likely intended as a troll of both Ellison and the media, the latter of which delightedly smeared Donald Trump during the presidential campaign because of Duke’s unsolicited and disavowed endorsement of the GOP nominee.
But as the Washington Times noted, the reference to “he knows” is a cryptic allusion to Ellison’s associations with anti-Semitic groups such as the Nation of Islam.

Indeed, Ellison’s radical past goes well beyond casual connections with marginal figures. As WND recently reported, Ellison’s career was launched by dedicated Communist Party members and he was involved in explicitly communist movements.

Researcher Trevor Loudon, who profiled Ellison in his explosive documentary “The Enemies Within,” has shown Ellison’s long partnership with anti-American organizations dating back to when he was a student. As WND reported in December, a great deal of evidence indicates Ellison an operative for the Muslim Brotherhood.
Radio talk show host Larry Elder, author of “Dear Farther, Dear Son,” blasted Ellison’s extreme past.

“Ellison had close ties with the anti-Semitic, anti-white Nation of Islam, and those ties continued a lot longer than Ellison wants to admit,” he told WND.
As Elder observed, Ellison’s past support for an independent black ethnostate is indicative of his previous associations.

“That’s a core position of the Nation of Islam – that there should be a separate country for American blacks,” said Elder.
But it’s not just Ellison’s record before becoming an elected official that is causing the Democrats headaches. In 2010, Ellison blasted Israel’s “disproportionate influence” over American foreign policy.
He stated: “A region of 350 million all turns on a country of 7 million. Does that make sense? Is that logic?”
When criticized, Ellison claimed his remarks were “selectively edited.” But the resulting release of the full transcript showed no edits were made.

Elder said the media’s lack of outrage about Ellison’s statements and actions is a stark contrast to how they treat right-leaning figures such as Steve Bannon, President Trumps chief strategist.
“Even the left-leaning Anti-Defamation League has belatedly opposed Ellison’s DNC candidacy when it learned that Ellison here advanced the stereotype on how Jews and Israel have an undue influence on American politics,” Elder stated. “Steve Bannon is called anti-Semitic by critics. Where are the same detractors when it comes to Keith Ellison?”
Jesse Lee Peterson, a civil rights leader, founder of the organization BOND and the author of several books, including “The Antidote,” was incredulous about Ellison being taken seriously as a possible leader of one of America’s two major political parities

“Keith Ellison has a very radical past and he has a history of cozying up to and working with communists and hate groups,” he said. “Ellison is a fan of Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam. He has ties to and is in agreement with the anti-American, Jewish hating CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) – a front group for the Muslim Brotherhood. Ellison constantly attacks police and supports the anti-police Black Lives Matter movement.

“Ellison is a dangerous individual. He is not an acceptable candidate to be chair of the DNC. He is so far out of the mainstream that he shouldn’t be in Congress and should be charged and prosecuted for sedition.”
Ellison’s past support for the Nation of Islam and hostility to the Jewish state is leading to major divisions within the Democratic Party. Haim Saban, one of the Democrats’ top donors, flatly labeled Ellison an “anti-Semite,” leading to furious condemnations of Saban by many liberal commentators.

A Jewish state assemblyman in New York is also leading an effort to get Sen. Schumer to renounce his support for Ellison for DNC chairman.

Peterson suggests it is a time for choosing for Jews in the Democratic Party.
“There should be a mass exodus of Jewish Americans from the Democratic Party,” Peterson said. “The fact that Ellison is a frontrunner for the DNC chair position indicates that the Democratic Party is anti-Israel and anti-Jewish. Ellison is a black bigot who hates Jews. If Ellison becomes chair it means that Jews are no longer welcome in the Democratic Party. Any Jewish American who supports the DNC is funding their own demise.”
Colin Flaherty, who chronicled nationwide black mob violence against whites in his book “White Girl Bleed A Lot,” argues racial grievances are driving the modern Democratic Party.

“If black people want to support Ellison because he is the major black candidate, well, I suppose it is their privilege to support someone whose only claim to fame is that he hates America,” he said. “This guy is a disaster on every level. His prominence is a clarion call for people who reject racial preferences, big government and promotion of Islam. The fact that large numbers of people find him an acceptable candidate is just about as alarming as anything we can point to today.”
While Flaherty regards David Duke as a marginal figure and his endorsement of no importance, he does see similarities between Duke and Ellison.
“If someone wanted to make a moral equivalence between Duke and Ellison, that would be a great idea,” he said. “An obvious idea. Which makes it all the stranger that so few people draw the parallel.”
Flaherty also believes Jews are going to have to decide whether they can stay in a party that is growing increasingly anti-Israel and pro-Islam.
“It is a mystery to me why so many American Jews embrace the same party that trumpets the wacky but dangerous ideas of apologizing for Islam.”
Peterson believes Ellison’s prominence proves his contention the Democrats are a “far-left, hateful, separatist party.”
“They’re anti-family, anti-military, and most have no respect for the U.S. Constitution,” he charged. “The party is still as evil today as it was when it was run by pro-slavery Ku-Klux-Klan supporters and segregationists. The party today is more sophisticated and they’re stealthier in the way they operate and how they exploit blacks and women in order to maintain power, but they’re still evil.”
But for his part, Elder can’t help but endorse Ellison – though not for the reasons the Minnesota congressman would like.
“As a flame-throwing, race card-dealing, extreme leftist, Ellison is exactly the wrong person for the job,” Elder joked. “So I hope they hire him.”

With Israel mostly on the sidelines, Hamas-Islamic State conflict intensifies in Gaza

Author:  Yaakov Lappin  
Islamic State-affiliated armed organizations are challenging the Hamas terror group’s rule in the Gaza Strip and are seeking to topple the Islamist regime, which they accuse of being un-Islamic and lacking in jihadist spirit. 
A rocket attack by a small Islamic State-affiliated group in Gaza earlier this month, and subsequent multiple Israeli airstrikes on Hamas targets, illustrate the fragility of the truce, in place since a two-month conflict between Hamas and Israel ended in August 2014. 
Although Hamas was not behind the recent rocket attack, the Israeli Air Force targeted a number of the terror group’s assets in the airstrikes, and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) hinted that the airstrikes came in response to dangerous Hamas activities that had taken place in recent weeks. 
This explosive and complex situation reflects the fact that Hamas prefers to exploit the current absence of a full-scale conflict with Israel to build up its military wing, fill up its rocket depots and dig tunnels for future cross-border attacks. Yet at same time, the Islamic State-affiliated smaller groups, known as Salafi jihadists, insist on armed conflict with Israel right now. 
The division is not merely tactical. At its ideological core, Islamic State considers Hamas to be a counterfeit movement, due to its willingness to embrace Palestinian nationalism and blend it with an Islamic identity. In Islamic State’s worldview, all forms of nationalism are to be discarded in favor of a single global Islamic identity.
Prof. Boaz Ganor, founder and executive director of the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism in the central Israeli city of Herzliya, told that Hamas's challenges in dealing with the Salafi jihadists are similar to the issues Fatah and the Palestinian Authority had—and continue to have—with Hamas itself.
“One of the central mistakes made by Yasser Arafat in the 1990s after he returned to the [Gaza] Strip and to the West Bank in the context of the Oslo Accords was that, when Fatah could have, they chose not to harm Hamas's infrastructure. They never fought Hamas, and actually chose to safeguard the organization's capabilities,” Ganor said. 
“It was convenient for Arafat to paint Fatah as the moderate side, working for an arrangement [with Israel], while the alternatives are the radical Hamas members. He tried to ride on the Hamas tiger. But in 2007, the tiger devoured Fatah in Gaza, and in the future, perhaps it will do the same in the West Bank,” he said. “Now, Hamas is making exactly the same mistake.”
If Hamas were to choose to crush the Salafi jihadists in Gaza and end their presence, it could so “without difficulties,” Ganor argued. “But they don't want to do this. It is comfortable for them to have a more extreme element than them in the Palestinian arena. This portrays Hamas as a rational and stabilizing force in the arena,” he said.
The strategy appears to be working, according to Ganor, at least on the surface. Israel refrained from destroying Hamas during the two-month Gaza conflict in the summer of 2014, out of a deep concern that such a result would create a vacuum filled by the Salafi jihadists. 
Now, amid Hamas’s new approach, Ganor said the Gaza-ruling group’s fate “will be the same as Fatah. If they do not deal with the Salafis now, the tiger could easily devour them in the future.” 
The Islamic State-affiliated armed groups in Gaza pose a present and future threat to Hamas's rule, since they can create a sudden security escalation that will drag Hamas into a large-scale conflict with Israel, even if neither Hamas nor Israel desire one when the Salafis strike. 
The situation has gotten even more complex with the resent ascension to power in Gaza of Yayha Sinwar, a hard-liner even by Hamas's brutal standards.
Sinwar, who is a prominent figure in Hamas's military wing, has promoted cooperation with Islamic State in the neighboring Sinai Peninsula in Egypt. As a result, Hamas found itself cooperating closely with Islamic State in the Sinai, while being in a state of alternating conflict with the same forces in its home turf of Gaza. 
The “Sinai Province” Islamic State franchise is sympathetic to the conflict waged by its Islamic State-affiliated brethren in Gaza against Hamas, yet it also enjoys weapons deals with Hamas, and profits by selling access to its tunnels linking Sinai to Gaza for the purpose of smuggling arms. 
Sinwar promoted these ties and ignored objections from Hamas's political wing. That, however, is no guarantee that Sinwar will continue to promote ties with Islamic State in the Sinai, according to Shlomo Brom, who heads the Israeli-Palestinian Relations Program at the Tel Aviv-based Institute for National Security Studies. 
Brom told that despite the many reports claiming to forecast Sinwar's conduct, “I have no idea how he will behave. All that has been written on this subject so far is based on the incorrect assumption that if someone behaved in a certain way in an organization until now, that person will behave in the same way in the future.”
Brom said that once he takes up leadership of the political bureau in Gaza, Sinwar will have a different view than he did in the military wing.
“I can't get into his mind and know how he will act,” he said. 
Hamas has needed Islamic State in the Sinai to smuggle weapons through tunnels that survived the Egyptian army's program to destroy them, but it also has other considerations, Brom said. 
Brom, who served as the head of the IDF's Strategic Planning Division in the General Staff Planning Branch, believes the main goal of the Salafi jihadists at this time is to delegitimize Hamas's regime. 
“I don't think the Salafi jihadists can pose a significant challenge to the Hamas regime at this stage. But they are a problem for Hamas. They outflank them on the jihadist map, as seen through rocket attacks, and statements. They aim to tell the Palestinian public that there is no difference between Hamas and Fatah. Just like Fatah is seen as an ineffective collaborator of Israel, Hamas is portrayed by the Salafis as the same,” Brom said. 
Salafi rocket attacks could entangle Hamas in a major problem with Israel in the future, Brom warned, which is why these groups launch them. They seek to use the Israeli Air Force to expose Hamas to Israeli retaliation, he added. 
Hamas, seeking to avoid an escalation at this time, does not respond to Israel's retaliatory strikes, and this further reinforces the Salafi message that Hamas has turned into “Fatah two,” Brom added. “They are not seen as sufficiently Islamic,” he said. 
Yet Hamas may be able to counteract this challenge by improving relations with Egypt, which has been the goal of a series of recent high-level meetings in Cairo. 
Hamas sent both military wing and political wing delegations to Egypt in recent weeks, as part of a bid to improve ties with the powerful regime of President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi. Relations with Egypt have, until now, been openly hostile, with Cairo identifying Hamas as a core partner of its domestic Islamist enemies and an active supporter of the Islamic State insurgency in the Sinai.
Hamas could try to play a double game, Brom said, by improving ties with Egypt and maintaining links with Sinai Province, though this approach could blow up in Hamas's face, he warned.  
Throughout all of this, Hamas will continue to face its own domestic jihadist challengers, who could—at any time—throw a wild card into the situation and set a wider security escalation into motion.
5a)Comment: The Trump-Netanyahu alliance

The two-state model is widely viewed as the formula for Middle East peace. But the fact of the matter is that it makes peace impossible to achieve, by holding normal relations between Israel and its Arab neighbors hostage to grandiose peace deals.

When they met on Wednesday, US President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin were both walking wounded.
Netanyahu arrived in Washington the center of a criminal investigation the chief characteristic of which is that selected details of the probe are regularly leaked to the media by anonymous sources who cannot be challenged or held to account.
These anonymous sources, from inside the police and state prosecution, use hand-picked reporters who all share a visceral hatred of Netanyahu, to present a version of the probe to the public that besmirches Netanyahu and his family.
The prospect that Netanyahu may face indictment weakens his position in his party. Likud ministers, unsure of the future, but certain that they cannot challenge the credibility of unnamed sources without risking their own reputations and political futures, refuse to stand with Netanyahu and defend him. And so, with each additional anonymously sourced, incriminating story, the prime minister finds his political power diminished.
As for Trump, he met with Netanyahu two days after his loyal national security adviser, Lt.-Gen. (ret.) Michael Flynn, was forced to resign.
Flynn’s resignation was the culmination of a continuous campaign of defamation waged against him that began even before Trump was elected.
Flynn rose to national prominence in 2014 after then-president Barack Obama, who promoted him and appointed him to head the Defense Intelligence Agency, summarily fired him. Obama fired Flynn because the general opposed his nuclear deal with Iran, and opposed his supportive view of the Muslim Brotherhood, among other things. Since he was forced into early retirement, Flynn became an outspoken critic of the politicization of US intelligence agencies under the Obama administration.
The campaign against Flynn was based on highly classified information regarding conversations Flynn held with Russia’s ambassador to the US during the transition process in December. Under US law, intelligence agencies are prohibited from divulging the identity of US citizens whose conversations with foreign intelligence targets are intercepted.
The law is in place for good reason. As Eli Lake wrote in Bloomberg on Tuesday, “Selectively disclosing details of private conversations monitored by the FBI or NSA gives the permanent state the power to destroy reputations from the cloak of anonymity. This is what police states do.”
In the event, an FBI investigation of the conversations after they were leaked concluded that Flynn did nothing illegal in his dealings with the Russian ambassador. But criminalizing Flynn was never the object of the leaks – making him politically toxic was the aim. And it was accomplished on Monday when he resigned.
It appears likely that Trump became convinced that by sacrificing Flynn, he would end the insurrection US intelligence operatives are waging against his presidency. But as The New York Times made clear on Wednesday, the opposite is true.
Following Flynn’s resignation, the same intelligence sources that caused his downfall told sympathetic reporters that they have the top secret transcripts of conversations that other Trump staffers held with Russian regime officials. The fact that the transcripts indicate no wrongdoing on the part of any of Trump’s staffers is neither here nor there. The drumbeat of defamation will continue.
Flynn was the first target. But he will not be the last.
Selective leaks are not the only way that the permanent state intends to hamstring Trump. On Wednesday, The Wall Street Journal reported that US intelligence agencies are hiding intelligence from the White House.
On Thursday, without provocation or legal requirement, the FBI released records from a 45-year-old civil rights investigation of the Trump family’s real estate firm.
And of course, the decision by radical courts to block implementation of Trump’s executive order on immigration to the US from seven terrorism-stricken states shows that empowered political foes in the legal establishment intend to prevent him from governing.
To a certain degree, Trump’s first month in office bears a striking similarly to Netanyahu’s first term in office 20 years ago. When Netanyahu was first elected prime minister in 1996, he was an inexperienced politician. Before winning the election, Netanyahu had never held a cabinet level appointment.
Netanyahu, who opposed the phony peace process with the PLO, was viewed as the root of all evil by Israel’s security and legal establishment whose members had adopted the two-state formula as their catechism. After he was elected they joined forces to subvert his authority.
In 1997, the legal fraternity, in alliance with the media, alleged that Netanyahu’s decision to appoint Likud attorney Ronnie Bar-On attorney-general was the product of a criminal deal he cooked up with then-interior minister Arye Deri. In the fullness of time, the allegations were exposed as utterly groundless. But at the time, they sufficed to torpedo Bar- On’s appointment. More important, the fake Bar-On scandal gave the legal fraternity the opportunity to turn the relationship between the attorney-general and the government on its head. Following the affair, the legal fraternity coerced a weakened Netanyahu to transfer the authority to select the attorney-general to the legal fraternity. Moreover, Netanyahu agreed to subordinate the government to the attorney-general’s legal decisions.
Then there was the security establishment. From the beginning the military establishment set out to block efforts by Netanyahu to diminish the centrality of the peace process with the PLO in Israel’s strategic planning. The fact that the security establishment was not faithfully serving Netanyahu and his government was exposed for all to see in September 1996, when the PLO-led Palestinian Authority launched a terrorist campaign against Israel following Netanyahu’s decision to order the opening of a subterranean tunnel spanning the walls of the Temple Mount.
Rather than taking responsibility for failing to either foresee or quell the terrorist offensive, Israel’s security brass blamed Netanyahu for the PLO’s murder spree.
Instead of standing up to the rebellious bureaucracies, Netanyahu caved in. Consequently, he lost his base, and in 1999 he lost his office.
In a way, Netanyahu had no choice. He had no allies with the power to help him. The Clinton administration was implacably opposed to him and worked openly with the Israeli deep state to unseat him. The media hated him even more than they hate him today.
Trump’s decision to allow Flynn to resign was a dangerous sign that he is beginning to follow the same pattern of behavior that led to the failure of Netanyahu’s first term.
But his press conference with Netanyahu on Wednesday signaled that Trump may yet turn things around and gain control over the rebellious bureaucracy by leaning on an ally that wants him to succeed and needs him to succeed in order to survive himself.
From the statements they made at the joint press conference, it is clear that Trump and Netanyahu have decided to build an alliance. Its purpose is twofold. First, by working together, they can defeat the common foes of their countries. And second, the success of their joint efforts will bring about the defeat of their bureaucratic enemies.
The most significant development to come out of the Trump-Netanyahu press conference was their refusal to endorse the two-state policy doctrine. This was a necessary move.
The only way to build a working alliance between the US and Israel – as opposed to the declarative alliance that exists at public ceremonies – is for both leaders to abandon the two-state paradigm for policy- making.
The two-state formula has been the foundation of US Middle East policy for a generation. It has also been the foundation of the tribal identity of the Israeli Left – led by the military and legal fraternities and the media.
The two-state model is widely viewed as the formula for Middle East peace. But the fact of the matter is that it makes peace impossible to achieve, by holding normal relations between Israel and its Arab neighbors hostage to grandiose peace deals.
Even worse, the two-state model is based on an anti-Israel and anti-US assumption that makes it impossible for either to advance their strategic interests vis-à-vis the Islamic world.
The basic idea behind the two-state paradigm is that the establishment of a PLO state is a precondition for winning the war against Islamic terrorism.
So long as Israel refuses to cede sufficient territory to appease the PLO, victory will be impossible, because the absence of a PLO state so angers Muslims that they will continue killing their enemies.
The defeatist notion that “there is no military solution” to terrorism that dominates the American and Israeli strategic discourses is based on the two-state model.
Given that at the heart of the two-state model is the conviction that Israel is to blame for the presence of Islamic terrorism and extremism, and that the only way to proceed is to establish a terrorism- supporting PLO state, it naturally follows that the policy’s adherents in the US cannot see any real purpose for the US alliance with Israel. It is also natural that they fail to see any potential for a regional alliance led by the US and joined by Israel and the Sunni states based on the common goals of defeating Iran and radical Islamic terrorist enclaves.
In other words, the two-state formula dooms its adherents to strategic myopia and defeatism while holding their strategic and national interests hostage to the PLO.
The insanity at the heart of the two-state formula, and the US and Israeli public’s desire to make a clear break with the strategic defeats of the past generation, makes its abandonment a clear choice for both Trump and Netanyahu. Abandoning it wins them support and credibility from their political bases when they need their supporters to rally to their side. And to the extent they are able to implement more constructive policies to defeat the forces of radical Islam, they will weaken the establishments that are working to undermine them.
By leaning on Netanyahu to help him to secure victories against the forces of radical Islam, and so putting paid to the bureaucracy’s most beloved policy paradigm, Trump can both secure his base and weaken his opponents.
So, too, by developing a substantive alliance with the Trump administration and increasing Trump’s chance of political survival and success, Netanyahu gains a formidable partner and makes it more difficult for the legal fraternity and its media flacks to bring about his indictment and fall.
Amazingly then, to a significant degree, the survival of both leaders is tied up with their success in keeping their promises to their voters and defeating their foes – domestic and foreign.

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