Friday, June 23, 2017

Three Concerns. Why Is It Israel Always Asked To Take Certain Risks For Uncertain Peace?

PragerU Live: Sidney Powell 


Click above or here to watch this video
Limbaugh pumps for Horowitz's book. (See 1 below.)
Once again, Israel is being urged to take risks for peace.

Why are the Palestinians/Abbas not being told it is their time to take risks?

I have mixed feelings about Abe Foxman,  and what concerns me about Trump's effort to consummate the "big deal" are three things:

a) Trump likes to make deals and I am concerned his zeal to do so could wind up being at Israel's expense even though he has no animus towards Israel as did Obama.

b)  Because Trump and his State Department are treating Israel as a trusted and close democratic ally  this does not mean Trump has a right to expect anything above and beyond from Israel that is not in their legitimate self- interest.

Asking Israel to take a real/true risk for an uncertain peace does not pass the quid pro quo test.

c) In view of Iran and Russia's desire to control the region what role does Israel play and weakening it to reach a wrong headed ephemeral peace agreement is unwise, because of our own self- interests. (See 2, 2a and 2b  below.)
When Trump raises the issue of Mueller's extremely close and long relationship with Comey he is on firm ground.  Will  it result in Mueller recusing himself? I doubt it.

Mueller understands were he to be fired it would create a firestorm because , even though it may not be true, everyone would believe Trump was guilty of  collusion with Russia.  So Mueller is in the cat bird seat.

Th question boils down to whether Mueller is interested in a witch hunt or a fair investigation  and will he be willing to restrain those he selected to work on his staff and insist they conduct themselves in a fair manner?
1)Limbaugh: Obama’s Protégé Holder Mulls Run Against Trump

Top talker Rush Limbaugh is warning that Obama’s #1 protégé and former Attorney General, Eric Holder, is seriously considering a run against President Trump in 2020.
“Oh, have you ever heard that Eric Holder is thinking of running for president in
2020?” Rush asked his audience this week.

Limbaugh shared the surprising report with his listeners:
“Former Attorney General Eric Holder spoke in Los Angeles on Monday to promote a bill that some observers say would make California a ‘sanctuary state,’ an appearance that he says is the start of a new phase of his career in which he plans to re-enter the world of politics.”

Limbaugh added: “And it’s all leading up to running for the presidency in 2020.”

Obama’s Effort to Stop Trump
News that Obama actually has a candidate in Holder to oppose Trump is no surprise to best selling author David Horowitz.

In his new book “Big Agenda: President Trump’s Plan to Save America,” Horowitz predicted that Obama would create a “government-in-exile” to stop Trump’s agenda and even try to oust him for office.

It was Horowitz’s “Big Agenda” that first warned of Obama’s “deep state” — officials the former president promoted and backed in the federal government who would do everything they could to stop President Trump and his program.

“Big Agenda” reveals 21 major predictions about the Trump presidency.
Amazingly, so far 13 have come true.

David says 8 more predictions will soon happen. He calls them “big shoes” and says they will drop soon.

When they do, Trump will again shock Washington and the big media!
When his book was published the week of Donald Trump’s inauguration, David was scoffed at by the big media, the liberal establishment, and even by some Republicans!

They said “Trump will never really do this” — he will never actually push through a true Reaganite agenda.

So they banned David and “Big Agenda” from the airwaves. David has been told “no interviews” from CNN, NBC, CBS, you name them.

But the public has been voting with their feet — and finding out the REAL truth about the Trump presidency.

In fact, “Big Agenda” is the #1 bestselling pro-Trump book of the year — and has been 11 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list.

Imagine that — totally banned by CNN and MSNBC but a runaway New York Times bestseller!

But others are speaking out.

Limbaugh has said “Big Agenda” offers the real, “winning agenda” for Donald Trump.
Ann Coulter has urged every conservative to “arm yourself” with “Big Agenda.”
And Lou Dobbs has encouraged his viewers to get “Big Agenda.”
Trump has strong allies, but Horowitz warns that “powerful forces” want to stop President Trump.

It was “Big Agenda” that first warned of the “deep state” that is seeking to destroy Trump and his plans.

We are at a critical point. You need to get your copy of “Big Agenda” today.
It’s available at book stores everywhere — and Amazon.

Kushner and Greenblatt’s Embrace Will Encourage Israel to ‘Take Risks for Peace,’ Says Former ADL Chief

avatar by Ben Cohen

The new push launched this week by Trump administration emissaries Jason Greenblatt and Jared Kushner to revive Israeli-Palestinian negotiations has received a positive welcome from a prominent American Jewish leader with intimate knowledge of both the players and the pitfalls of peacemaking in the Middle East.
“They say that Jason is a good listener. What he and Jared and their team are doing is studying all the possibilities,” Abraham Foxman — who spent three decades at the helm of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and now serves as the Jewish organization’s national director emeritus — told The Algemeiner on Wednesday.
Though the White House has remained tight-lipped on the content of Kushner and Greenblatt’s discussions with leaders on both sides, an advisory issued earlier this week cautioned that “forging a historic peace agreement will take time” and added that “there are likely to be many visits by both Mr. Kushner and Mr. Greenblatt, sometimes together and sometimes separately, to the region.”

But for Foxman, what is significant is not so much the issues that are holding up a resumption of direct negotiations, but the transformation of the atmosphere between the US and Israel.

“Until quite recently, the Americans would hesitate on a terrorist attack in Israel,” Foxman said. “We’d wonder, would the State Department say something? Would it be ‘evenhanded?'”

“Jason Greenblatt goes from the plane to the Kotel (Western Wall) in Jerusalem and then to a shiva call for a victim of terrorism — and so does Jared,” Foxman continued, referring to the participation of both men in the official mourning period for Hadas Malka, the 23 year-old Israeli border policewoman murdered by Palestinian terrorists in Jerusalem last Friday.

Such gestures count, Foxman said, because Israel will take risks for peace only if it has the robust support of the US.

“The US is publicly embracing Israel — that goes a long way when it comes to getting Israel to take risks,” he asserted. “[President Donald] Trump isn’t reliable, but he has a greater chance of getting Israel to take risks for peace because of his embrace and support.”

By his own admission, Foxman is an “optimist.”

“If you look at the issues, they are the same — borders, Jerusalem, the refugees, settlements,” he said. “But the constellation in the neighborhood is now different, because of the tension between Saudi Arabia and Iran, between Sunni and Shia Islam.” This shifting balance of forces, he added, would not be enough to effect change without the essential element of close US-Israel ties that was missing from the previous Obama administration.
Foxman said he was encouraged that Trump administration officials “who are engaged” with the Israeli-Palestinian issue “realize that it’s not a slam dunk. The only progress one can make is through interim arrangements.”

By way of illustration, Foxman recalled a visit to the Saudi capital, Riyadh, with a high-level ADL delegation. At the end of the visit, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, then the Saudi ambassador to the US, offered the delegation his plane to take them to their next destination.

“I said to Bandar, ‘Let’s have the first flight between Riyadh and Ben-Gurion Airport in Israel,’ and he replied, ‘Not yet, not yet,’ and we flew to Amman in Jordan instead,” Foxman recalled. “So we’re not going to have a dramatic outcome where suddenly Israelis are flying to Riyadh and embassies are opening everywhere. What you need first is permission for Israeli planes to overfly Saudi Arabia. It’s those little things that count, and some of them are already happening behind the scenes.”

Foxman also praised the current administration for its uncompromising attitude regarding Palestinian incitement. “Incitement is a serious issue that was never handled very seriously,” he said. “Now it’s being handled more seriously than before.”

On the vexed issue of PA payments to the families of Palestinian terrorists imprisoned by Israel, Foxman said that “there’s an understanding you can’t make peace with those who glorify and reward those who are against peace.”

“I think they will make progress on this,” Foxman said of Kushner and Greenblatt’s ongoing diplomatic efforts, to which the “egregious” policy of the payments has posed a consistent challenge.

More broadly, Foxman is pleased by what he regards as a “new consciousness” not just in the US and the Middle East, but in Europe as well. In that regard, he cited recent decisions by the Norwegian and Dutch governments among others to end funding for Palestinian NGOs involved in incitement against Israel.
That problem of hate, Foxman said, is what will make the difference between a “cold peace and a warm peace.” Because of that, “peace is not going to be happen overnight,” he noted.

“That’s not because the region’s leaders don’t see strategic and economic value in peace,” Foxman concluded. “It’s because for years, all they’ve taught is hatred. Not just the Palestinians and Iran, but Egypt and Jordan also.”


1. Associated Press account of Tuesday's Greenblatt-Abbas meeting:

Israel has also demanded that the Palestinians stop making welfare payments to families of militants who are either imprisoned or were killed while committing attacks on Israelis. Israel says the so-called "Martyrs' Fund" provides an incentive for Palestinian violence.

A senior Palestinian official said that a preparatory meeting with Greenblatt on Tuesday had not gone well and became tense over the Martyrs' Fund. He said the Americans "are buying" Netanyahu's complaints about Palestinian incitement, and that Greenblatt was insisting on an end to the welfare payments.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was discussing a closed diplomatic meeting, said the Palestinians had rebuffed Greenblatt's pressure and demanded an Israeli settlement freeze. He said a Palestinian delegation would head to Washington next month for further talks.

2. The PA appears to be digging in against any change to its terrorist payment program, which Abbas is now characterizing as "social aid to political prisoners." Speech delivered today on Abbas's behalf at the Herzliya Conference:

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday defended payments to Palestinian prisoners, including convicted terrorists, as a “social responsibility,” and said Israel was using the issue as a pretext to avoid peace talks.

The comments were made in a speech that was read on Abbas’s behalf by his foreign affairs adviser Nabil Shaath at the Herzliya Conference, an annual regional security meeting.

“When the international community has an opportunity to move forward with a final status agreement between Israel and Palestine, the governments of Mr. Netanyahu find an excuse to avoid discussing the key issues,” Abbas said.

“The most recent pretexts include incitement and social aid provided to the families of Palestinian political prisoners,” he added.




The Islamic Republic's Ayatollah Ali Khamenei makes remarks day before Iran marks then anti-Israel 'Al Quds day.'

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has lashed out at Israel in a deluge of rhetoric against the Jewish state ahead of the Iranian-initiated 'Al Quds day,' which protests Israel's existence. 

"There is no doubt that we will witness the demise of the Zionist entity [Israel]," read a post on his Twitter account Thursday.
Speaking at a meeting of academic and scientists in Tehran on Wednesday, the hardline Iranian leader stated that defending the Palestinians was tantamount to "defending the truth."

“Today, fighting against the Zionist regime [of Israel] is fighting the hegemonic, arrogant system,” Khamenei said
Iran and anti-Israeli proponents around the world will mark Al Quds day on Friday. The event is held every year on the last Friday of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Iran's Foreign Ministry has urged the global Muslim community to take part in the various international anti-Israel rallies on Friday. 

In a communique on the matter, the regime in Tehran accused Israel of "tyranny, oppression and persecution" and blamed Israel for being "the main cause" behind the current crises in the Middle East. 

Iran also charged Israel as being an "anti-human, child-killing and criminal Zionist regime, which, during the nearly 70 years of its disgraceful life has committed a large number of crimes against humanity."

Iran's own human rights record has been scrutinized by rights groups for issues including its treatment of women, homosexuals and minorities along with its policies on corporal punishment, political freedom and free speech. 

In past years, Iranian demonstrators gas chanted "Death to Israel" and "Death to America" and torched flags of both nations as they commemorated Al Quds day. 

On Sunday, several hundred people in London took part in the controversial Al Quds Day march held annually in the British capital. 

A smaller counter-protest was held by Israeli supporters, mostly members of the local Jewish and Israeli community.

Pro-Israel advocates had called on London Mayor Sadiq Khan to cancel the rally due to concerns that the march allows for displays of support for antisemitism and terrorism. More than 15,000 people signed a petition to ban the march, however is was held as scheduled and police managed to keep the sides separated to prevent clashes.

2b) The great Muslim civil war — and us

The U.S. shoots down a Syrian fighter-bomber. Iran launches missiles into eastern Syria. Russia threatens to attack coalition aircraft west of the Euphrates. What is going on?

It might appear a mindless mess, but the outlines are clear. The great Muslim civil war, centered in Syria, is approaching its post-Islamic State phase. It’s the end of the beginning. The parties are maneuvering to shape what comes next.

It’s Europe, 1945, when the war was still raging against Nazi Germany, but everyone already knew the outcome. The maneuvering was largely between the approaching victors — the Soviet Union and the Western democracies — to determine postwar boundaries and spheres of influence.

So it is today in Syria. Everyone knows that the Islamic State is finished. Not that it will disappear as an ideology, insurgency and source of continuing terrorism both in the region and the West. But it will disappear as an independent, organized, territorial entity in the heart of the Middle East.

It is being squeezed out of existence. Its hold on Mosul, its last major redoubt in Iraq, is nearly gone. Raqqa, its stronghold in Syria and de facto capital, is next. When it falls — it is already surrounded on three sides — the caliphate dies.

Much of the fighting today is about who inherits. Take the Syrian jet the U.S. shot down. It had been attacking a pro-Western Kurdish and Arab force (the Syrian Democratic Forces) not far from Islamic State territory.
Why? Because the Bashar Assad regime, backed by Iran, Hezbollah and Russia, having gained the upper hand on the non-jihadist rebels in the Syrian heartland (most notably in Aleppo), feels secure enough to set its sights on eastern Syria. If it hopes to restore its authority over the whole country, it will need to control Raqqa and surrounding Islamic State areas. But the forces near Raqqa are pro-Western and anti-regime. Hence the Syrian fighter-bomber attack.

Hence the U.S. shoot-down. We are protecting our friends. Hence the Russian threats to now target U.S. planes. The Russians are protecting their friends.

On the same day as the shoot-down, Iran launched six surface-to-surface missiles into Syrian territory controlled by the Islamic State. Why? Ostensibly to punish the jihadists for terrorist attacks two weeks ago inside Iran.
Perhaps. But one obvious objective was to demonstrate to Saudi Arabia and the other Sunni Arabs the considerable reach of both Iran’s arms and territorial ambitions.

For Iran, Syria is the key, the central theater of a Shiite-Sunni war for regional hegemony. Iran (which is non-Arab) leads the Shiite side, attended by its Arab auxiliaries — Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Shiite militias in Iraq and the highly penetrated government of Iraq, and Assad’s Alawite regime. (Alawites being a non-Sunni sect, often associated with Shiism.)

Taken together, they comprise a vast arc — the Shiite Crescent — stretching from Iran through Iraq, Syria and Lebanon to the Mediterranean. If consolidated, it gives the Persians a Mediterranean reach they have not had in 2,300 years.

This alliance operates under the patronage and protection of Russia, which supplies the Iranian-allied side with cash, weapons and, since 2015, air cover from its new bases in Syria.

Arrayed on the other side of the great Muslim civil war are the Sunnis, moderate and Western-allied, led by Saudi Arabia, the Gulf states, Egypt and Jordan — with their Great Power patron, the United States, now (post-Obama) back in action.

At stake is consolidation of the Shiite Crescent. It’s already underway. As the Islamic State is driven out of Mosul, Iranian-controlled militias are taking over crucial roads and other strategic assets in western Iraq. Next target: eastern Syria (Raqqa and environs).

Imagine the scenario: a unified Syria under Assad, the ever more pliant client of Iran and Russia; Hezbollah, tip of the Iranian spear, dominant in Lebanon; Iran, the regional arbiter; and Russia, with its Syrian bases, the outside hegemon.

Our preferred outcome is radically different: a loosely federated Syria, partitioned and cantonized, in which Assad might be left in charge of an Alawite rump.

The Iranian-Russian strategy is a nightmare for the entire Sunni Middle East. And for us, too. The Pentagon seems bent on preventing it. Hence the Tomahawk attack for crossing the chemical red line. Hence the recent fighter-bomber shoot-down.

A reasonable U.S. strategy, given the alternatives. But not without risk. Which is why we need a national debate before we commit too deeply. Perhaps we might squeeze one in amid the national obsession with every James Comey memo-to-self?

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