Alan Dershowitz: Obama’s Mid-East Legacy Is Tragic Failure
The Middle East is a more dangerous place after eight years of the Obama Presidency than it was before. The eight disastrous Obama years follow eight disastrous Bush years during which that part of the world became more dangerous as well. So have many other international hot spots. In sum, the past 16 years have seen major foreign policy blunders all over the world, and most especially in the area between Libya and Iran, that includes Israel, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Turkey and the Gulf.
With regard to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, the Obama policies have made the prospects for a compromise peace more difficult to achieve. When Israel felt that America had its back – under both President Clinton and Bush 43 – they offered generous proposals to end settlements and occupation in nearly all of the West Bank. Tragically the Palestinian leadership – first under Arafat and then under Abbas – did not accept either the Barak-Clinton offers in 2000-2001, nor the Olmert offer in 2008. Now they are ignoring Netanyahu’s open offer to negotiate with no pre-conditions.
In his brilliant book chronicling the American-Israeli relationship – “Doomed To Succeed” – Dennis Ross proves conclusively that whenever the Israeli government has confidence in America’s backing, it has been more willing to make generous compromise offers, than when it has reason to doubt American support. President Obama did not understand this crucial reality. Instead of having Israel’s back, he repeatedly stabbed Israel in the back, beginning with his one–sided Cairo speech near the beginning of his tenure, continuing through his failure to enforce the red-line on chemical weapon use by Syria, then allowing a sunset provision to be included in the Iran deal, and culminating in his refusal to veto the one-sided Security Council resolution, which placed the lion’s share of blame on the Israelis for the current stalemate.
These ill-advised actions – especially the Security Council resolution – have disincentivized the Palestinian leadership from accepting the Netanyahu offer to sit down and negotiate a compromise peace. They have been falsely led to believe that they can achieve statehood through the United Nations, or by other means that do not require compromise.
UNSC Res. 2334 is an act of political aggression against foundation of the Judeo-Christian civilization and should be treated as such. The Jewish nation has every right to consider this attack as an act of war against it.
President Obama sometimes seems to have an indifference to historical truth that often borders on antagonism. Obama has again tried to re-write history by claiming that Greece, with the help of the winners of World War I, was an aggressive and imperialistic state that cared only to re-build its Empire against the Turks.
The notion that ancient non-Muslim nations are occupiers in their own lands, is repeated in the UN Resolution 2334.
Historically, Muslim forces began invading Syria in 634, and ended by conquering Constantinople in 1453. They invaded not only all of Turkey — obliterating the great Christian empire of Byzantium — but then went on to conquer all of North Africa, Greece, southern Spain, parts of Portugal and eastern Europe.
President Obama apparently did not learn about the Trojan War in school; he apparently never read Homer to know that the inhabitants of the Bosporus and much of Asia Minor were Greeks — just as he apparently never read the Bible, or the Greek and Roman historic records of the Jewish people and their capital, Jerusalem.
Abbas here lied twice. First, it is a lie that he is prepared to return to the negotiating table with Israel. In the past few years, Abbas has repeatedly rejected Israeli offers to resume the stalled peace negotiations.
Abbas’s chief negotiator, Saeb Erekat, claimed this week that his boss was ready to resume the peace talks with Israel in Moscow….Indeed, Abbas had “earlier” voiced his readiness to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Moscow. But Abbas once again outlined his preconditions for such a summit… This means that Abbas has not abandoned his preconditions for resuming the peace talks with Israel. The timing of Erekat’s announcement in Moscow is clearly linked to the Paris peace conference. It is part of the Palestinian strategy to depict Israel as the party opposed to the resumption of the peace talks.
Abbas has in the past reluctantly condemned some of the terror attacks against Israel. But these statements were made under duress, after being pressured by the US or EU.
In fact, his “condemnations” are nothing but political pablum, a sop to the West.
The Palestinian terrorist who rammed his truck into a group of young Israeli soldiers last week was doing exactly what his president urged Palestinians to do.
The Germans and French should not believe Abbas when he says that he condemns truck terror attacks in their countries. The scenes of Palestinians celebrating carnage in Jerusalem should serve as a wake-up call to the international community. The message of the call? That the overall Palestinian strategy – like the jihad strategy – is built on lies. Both continue to feature terror as one their main pillars.
Caroline Glick: Obama’s transparent presidency
The consequences of Obama’s worldview and the policies he laid out in Cairo have been an unmitigated disaster for everyone. The Islamic world is in turmoil. The rising forces are those that Obama favored that day: The jihadists.
ISIS, which Obama allowed to develop and grow, has become the ideological guide not only of jihadists in the Middle East but of Muslims in the West as well. Consequently it has destabilized not only Iraq and Syria but Europe as well. As the victims of the Islamist massacres in San Bernardino, Boston, Ft. Hood, Orlando and beyond can attest, American citizens are also paying the price for Obama’s program.
Thanks to Obama, the Iranian regime survived the Green Revolution. Due to his policies, Iran is both the master of its nuclear fate and the rising regional hegemon.
Together with its Russian partners, whose return to regional power after a 30-year absence Obama enabled, Iran has overseen the ethnic cleansing and genocide of Sunnis in Syria and paved the way for the refugee crisis that threatens the future of the European Union.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s Islamist leader, was a principle beneficiary of Obama’s admiration of Islamism. Erdogan rode Obama’s wave to destroy the last vestiges of the secular Turkish Republic.
Now he is poised to leave NATO in favor of an alliance with Russia.
Obama and his followers see none of this. Faithful only to their ideology, Obama and his followers in the US and around the world refuse to see the connection between the policies borne of that ideology and their destructive consequences. They refuse to recognize that the hatred for Western civilization and in particular of the Jewish state Obama gave voice to in Cairo, and his parallel expression of admiration for radical Islamic enemies of the West, have had and will continue to have horrific consequences for the US and for the world as a whole.
Cairo is Obama’s legacy. His followers’ refusal to acknowledge this truth means that it falls to those Obama reviles to recognize the wages of the most transparent presidency in history. It is their responsibility to undo the ideological and concrete damage to humanity the program he first unveiled in that address and assiduously implemented ever since has wrought.
A German regional court’s affirmation of a lower court ruling that a July 2014 attempt by three Muslim men to burn down a Wuppertal synagogue constituted criticism of Israel, rather than antisemitism, was “disgusting and dangerous” and “legitimizes violent antisemitism,” an official with a leading US-based Jewish human rights organization said on Friday.
“It sets a legal cover to extremists and terrorists to ‘express’ their hatred the way that Hitler and company expressed their hatred of Jews,” Rabbi Abraham Cooper — associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles — warned. “Left unchallenged, this outrage could signal open season on German Jewry and their institutions by those who hate the Jewish state and everything it and the Jewish people stand for.”
According to a Jerusalem Post report, the lower court ruling that was affirmed found that the three German Palestinian perpetrators of the arson attempt wanted to “draw attention” to Operation Protective Edge — Israel’s 50-day military campaign against terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip — and were not motivated by hatred of Jews when they hurled Molotov cocktails at the synagogue, causing 800 euros worth of damage.
The men received suspended sentences.
Yisrael Medad: From Rome to Jerusalem
I have already highlighted my concerns that outgoing US Secretary of State John Kerry, in his meandering 73-minute tongue-lashing of Israel, among other things, raises the spectre not only of of division of the city but the establishment of a form of internationalization regime of the holy sites of the three monotheistic religions.
The relevant section is here:
Now, Jerusalem is the most sensitive issue for both sides, and the solution will have to meet the needs not only of the parties, but of all three monotheistic faiths. That is why the holy sites that are sacred to billions of people around the world must be protected and remain accessible and the established status quo maintained.
I now see that Pope Francis is to have a private audience with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas this Jan. 14.
Abbas will inaugurate the new Palestinian embassy to the Holy See, one year after the Vatican recognized the State of Palestine.
Although at a recent Catholic-Jewish joint meeting, the Holy See backed a final document that implicitly criticized a UNESCO resolution that failed to call by their Hebrew names some of the most sacred places of Jerusalem, like Temple Mount, and called on world leaders to rescind UNESCO’s vote to deny the connection between the Jewish people and their holy sites in Jerusalem, it would be naïve to presume that Abbas would not put out feelers for Kerry’s initiative.
Abbas had already proven his ability to yield on the issue of the Temple Mount when he signed the agreement with Jordan’s King in March 2013 acknowledging his role as “custodian” over Jerusalem’s holy sites for Muslims and Christians. All this will be coordinated through the Palestinian Authority’s Higher Presidential Committee of Churches Affairs.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas warned Saturday that peace could suffer if the incoming Trump administration goes ahead with plans to move the US embassy to Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Abbas made the comments as he inaugurated the Palestinian embassy to the Holy See following an audience with Pope Francis.
Speaking through an Italian translator, Abbas said he had only heard of the proposal by US President-elect Donald Trump to move the embassy to Jerusalem, and couldn’t comment officially unless and until it happens.
But he added: “If this is the decision, to transfer the embassy to Jerusalem, it will not help peace and we hope it doesn’t happen.”
The Palestinians strongly oppose the move, saying it would kill any hopes for negotiating an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement and rile the region by undercutting Muslim and Christian claims to the holy city.
Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas has asked Russian President Vladimir Putin to intervene in order to stop the United States from moving its embassy to Jerusalem.
Top PA official Saeb Erekat told AFP on Friday he had passed on the message from Abbas to Putin during a visit to Moscow during which he met Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
“The letter asks President Putin to do what he can about the information we have that President-elect Donald Trump will move the embassy to Jerusalem, which for us is a red line and dangerous,” Erekat said, according to the news agency.
PA officials have in recent days continuously warned against moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a campaign pledge of President-elect Donald Trump.
Abbas last week wrote Trump a letter in which he warned the President-elect against moving the American embassy, saying that such a move would be crossing a “red line” and could jeopardize peace prospects.
The first step toward correcting a problem is admitting you have one. The left isn’t there yet.
Take, for example, Kenneth Roth, the president of the advocacy group Human Rights Watch. On Thursday, he gave the left a headline over which it could not resist salivating: “Human Rights Group Portrays the U.S. as Major Threat, Citing Trump,” the New York Times blared. Dig into the article, however, and the basis upon which Roth has determined the U.S. represents a “threat” to global human rights is entirely speculative.
Citing Trump’s “misogynistic, xenophobic, and racist rhetoric,” Roth sees a grim future. “This is a more fundamental threat to human rights than George W. Bush after 9/11,” he said. “I see Trump treating human rights as a constraint on the will of the majority in a way that Bush never did.”
Roth fancies himself a soothsayer. He pores over the entrails and—omens, auguries, and portents dire—prophesizes dark days ahead. Roth’s prediction must be a bit speculative, of course, because Donald Trump hasn’t taken office yet. Nothing has happened. This minor point cannot get in the way of pique and melodrama. We’ve got a persecution complex to nurse!
HRW’s dire warnings are exposed as entirely hollow partisanship once one takes the time to read the complaint. There, Roth’s group cites the potential repeal of the Affordable Care Act and Trump’s pledge to appoint “pro-life” Supreme Court justices as evidence of the incoming president’s antipathy toward basic human rights. If those are violations of basic human dignity, than it isn’t Trump who represents a threat to human rights in HRW’s estimation but conservatism.
Yolande Knell displays her ‘half a story’ cred. Fisking Can Paris summit save fading two-state solution?
For many, the holy city of Jerusalem is meant to be a shared capital for Israel and the Palestinians – two peoples in two nations, living peacefully, side-by-side. At least that is the dream of the so-called “two-state solution” to end a decades-old conflict.
It’s hard to see how that can be reasonable interpretation of the leaked summary of this conference or the preceding UNSC resolution 2334, which specifically deny Israel any rights in those parts of Jerusalem recaptured in 1967. For 19 years the eastern part of Jerusalem was annexed by Jordan with no international call, whatsoever for sharing.
A summit taking place in Paris on Sunday is expected to try to signal to Israel and the next US president that establishing a Palestinian state is the only path to peace.
Some signal. I would suggest ‘demand’ is a more appropriate verb. What does it signal to the Palestinians? Victory?
The insistence on this, long after it is clear, that pushing Israel to this end is like standing on the bridge of the Titanic and directing the captain to steer towards that white fuzzy thing on the horizon, has meant that for decades no other approach could possibly even be discussed.
It is ironic that the last Paris Peace Conference 1919 (AKA Treaty of Versailles) was almost a century ago. As with this one many nations ganged up on one who had no part in the discussions and would be presented with a fait accompli that would reduce it in size. Lest we forget Versailles led to World War II. Still We’ll always have Paris
Israel’s UN ambassador on Friday raised concern over what he said were moves at the Security Council to adopt a new measure to build on the Paris Middle East conference.
Sweden’s Ambassador Olof Skoog, who holds this month’s presidency of the Security Council, said however that there were no immediate plans for council action.
“We are witnessing an attempt to promote a last-minute initiative before the new US administration takes office,” Israeli Ambassador Danny Danon said in a statement.
“Supporters of the Palestinians are looking for further anti-Israel measures at the Security Council.”
The council is planning to meet on Tuesday to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, its first meeting since the adoption of a resolution demanding an end to the construction of settlements on territory the Palestinians claim for a future state.
Two months ago, after receiving a complaint about anti-Semitism, the editors of the student newspaper at McGill University clarified their policy on Israel with an unusually forthright announcement:
“The McGill Daily maintains an editorial line of not publishing pieces which promote a Zionist world view, or any other ideology which we consider to be oppressive.” In other words, McGill student journalists can comment on Israeli affairs only if what they write is negative.
An American commentator remarked that “This blunt statement is a reminder that hatred of the Jewish state is rapidly becoming the default position on many college campuses.” The BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) movement hasn’t managed to cripple the Israeli economy, despite years of effort, but it continues to spread poisonous propaganda through the universities of North America and Europe, enhancing the belief of many that the state of Israel lacks legitimate standing. Students interested in political activism choose this organization above all others. Apparently it’s the only foreign policy that engages them, the moral failures of other countries being of no interest.
This is part of a gathering storm surrounding Israel in the opinion centres of the West. Prominent MPs in the Labour Party of the U.K. are often found among Israel’s harsh critics. The NDP in Canada toys with anti-Israel opinion. Across Europe, and especially France, similar opinions multiply. And all of these forces have been encouraged by the recently passed United Nations resolution 2334.
Algeria claims to have uncovered an international spy network operating for Israel, Arab media outlets reported on Friday.
The reports, according to the website of the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper, said the network was made up of 10 members and was based in southern Algeria. The members allegedly included operatives from Libya, Mali, Ethiopia, Liberia, Nigeria and Kenya.
Algerian security forces also seized sophisticated radios used to transmit information by the spies, according to the Arab media reports.
Those spies arrested are being held in temporary detention under a court order that accuses them of espionage, creating anarchy in the country and harming national security.
Last month, Tunisia accused the Israeli Mossad of being behind the death of engineer Mohamed Zaouari, who was a member of the Hamas terrorist group.
Where’s the coverage?
Despite such evidence, many Western news media outlets often omit the incitement to anti-Jewish violence that precedes and frequently follows Palestinian terrorist attacks.
For example, The Washington Post’s report on the January 8 attack, while noting Hamas’ praise, nonetheless failed to report Fatah’s encouragement of vehicular homicides (“Palestinian rams truck into Israeli troops, kills 4,” Jan. 9, 2017). Similarly, the large-scale Palestinian street celebrations were also not mentioned.
USA Today managed to do even worse. In a noticeable omission, the paper—in contrast to its reporting of Islamist vehicular attacks in France and Germany—failed to offer any print coverage of the attack.
A terrorist commits a mass casualty terror attack in Israel—and “thousands” in Palestinian society celebrate his deed. Where’s the coverage?
Prosecutors in Germany investigating the arrest of two men for possession of 155kg of explosives have said the pair used contacts within the right-wing scene.
The two men, aged 18 and 24, were detained in October last year for possession of explosives and were being questioned over possible links to the Neo-Nazi terrorist group Oldschool Society (OSS).
According to the report the teenager had confessed to a meeting with the OSS in the summer last year in a hut in Rhineland-Palatinate.
The report, seen by Die Spiegel, quoted the 18-year-old as saying a participant at the meeting had said: “One has to do something in Germany” and asked if anyone could produce 250kg of explosives for him.
It is the first time the depraved jihadi, believed to be the sole surviving member of the cell that killed 130 people in the November 2015 terror attacks, has spoken since his arrest last March.
The letter, which was destined for an unknown address Côte-d’Or, in northeast France, was handed over to counter-terror officials on October 11 – some 24 hours before the reclusive jihadist’s lawyers announced that they would “no longer defend him”.
Abdeslam has repeatedly exercised his right to remain silent and refused to talk during questioning.In the letter, the failed suicide bomber – who is being held in isolation and who is said to have become even more radicalised in prison – opened up about his warped religious beliefs, according to the French daily Libération.
He wrote: “I do not know where to start. I would not be able to tell you whether your letters bring me joy or pain. But what I do know is that they are my only link to the outside world.
“I am not afraid to speak out, because I am not ashamed of myself. People say horrible things about me, everything has already been said.
However, the main problem with Gaal’s article is the egregious closing paragraphs:
While the students and organizers alike benefited from both excursions, some students were unable to participate due to travel restrictions imposed by the Israeli occupation of Palestine. Students from Gaza were not granted permission to travel to the meetings, which prevented one student from attending the school, and also prevented two scientists from giving their talks at PCMTMP-V. All three individuals are from the Islamic University of Gaza and requested they not be identified.
“Access to higher education is a human right, and it is deeply regrettable that this right is not respected by the ongoing Israeli occupation,” stated [David] Marsh [of Cambridge University, England, one of the international organizers of the school] in an email. A statement by Scientists for Palestine, released at the end of July 2016, asserted the organization’s position is to ensure equality of human rights despite the restrictions.
Despite the hardships caused by the occupation, science in Palestine continues to grow and strengthen its international connections. Scientists for Palestine will be proud to continue to support this development,” the statement said. To overcome the imposed travel restrictions, Scientists for Palestine broadcast the school’s program to the Islamic University in Gaza.
When contacted, the Israeli government refused to comment on the matter.
Refuting APS’ anti-Israel propaganda
CAMERA has received well founded complaints from APS members concerning this material. It’s disappointing that a prestigious organization such as APS would provide a platform for propaganda disparaging the Jewish state. First, it’s virtually impossible to confirm the legitimacy of the victimization narrative since the three alleged victims are unnamed and the information source cited by Gaal for this material is an unreliable group named “Scientists for Palestine” which seemingly sprang into existence, ex nihilo, in 2016 in connection with the two West Bank meetings. The dubious origin of the group is revealed in a search of the Nexis journalism research data base and online Internet googling. And Gaal’s claim, “When contacted, the Israeli government refused to comment on the matter,” is ambiguous. What Israeli government office? What Israeli official(s)? When was the contact made?
Moreover, it’s false, as charged here, that Israel simply intentionally obstructs the higher education of Gaza Strip Palestinians through use of travel restrictions. It’s not simply a matter of visa or informal arrangement between countries at peace with one another (such as between United States and Canada) – what’s involved is the entrance into Israel of members of a hostile population which has selected fanatical leaders, the Hamas (Islamic Resistance Movement) terrorist organization, committed by its founding charter to the destruction of Israel. Indeed, Hamas repeatedly orchestrates the firing of rockets on Israeli towns and creates terrorism tunnels into Israel in an effort to hurt and kill civilians. So, Israeli authorities regularly require travelers from the Gaza Strip to submit to security questioning before allowing them to enter. Did the three individuals in question refuse to submit to such questioning? It’s worth noting that the Hamas rulers, according to the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR), impose severe external travel restrictions on the people of the Gaza Strip. None of this is touched on by the writer.
Legal Insurrection: YouTube has removed Legal Insurrection’s Channel (UPDATE: Restored)
UPDATE: As of approximately 7:30 p.m. on January 13, 2017, our YouTube Channel was restored, though there are still legal battles to come over the videos.
YouTube took down Legal Insurrection’s Channel without any prior notice based on “multiple third-party claims of copyright infringement,” but we never received any claims of infringement.
We have lost hundreds of videos, including a lot of original content on important news subjects. You now will see disabled videos in hundreds of our posts.
I have no idea what the supposedly offending videos are. We are pretty careful when it comes to copyright, so I’m suspecting that someone about whom we posted a video made the claims.
We’ve filed the appeal forms, but if anyone has a contact at YouTube, I’d appreciate the help. Please email me.
Unidentified perpetrators spray painted the words “kill Jews” and a white supremacist slogan on headstones at a cemetery in Cape Cod.
Several headstones were knocked over at Oak Neck, a 5.5-acre graveyard that is the only active cemetery in the village of Hyannis, 70 miles southeast of Boston, Fox25 reported last week. Oak Neck is not a Jewish cemetery.
Police in Barnstable are treating the investigation as a hate crime, Fox25 reported.
Some headstones were knocked off their bases, while spray paint was used to scrawl slogans on others. About a dozen or more tombstones were either kicked over or otherwise vandalized. Some of the graffiti was directed at police officers.
One headstone was defaced with the number 666, a number association with Satanic groups. Another featured the numbers “4.20,” ostensibly a reference to Adolf Hitler’s birthday.
Four haredi Orthodox Jews from London, including a mother and her 13 year-old son, were pelted with gas canisters by at least one man who yelled “Heil Hitler” at them from a moving car.
Police apprehended a suspect, 19-year-old Patrick Delaney, who admitted to participating in the attack last week in Tottenham in northern London, the London Economic reported Thursday. But charges were dropped against two individuals who were with Delaney in the car, including his brother.
Delaney acknowledged involvement in the attack, in which small canisters containing laughing gas were thrown at Cheya Stern, her son, her brother Simon Lemberger and a passerby, Abraham Law. According to reports, the men in the vehicle also shouted “Hitler is on the way to you, Heil Hitler, Heil Hitler, Heil Hitler,” according to The Jewish Chronicle.
Shulem Stern, from the Jewish defense group Shomrim, said: “They were just going about their daily life but they were scared about what would happen next. Jewish people have to face this anti-Semitism on a daily basis and visibly Jewish people are often targeted.”
Delaney admitted to racially aggravated harassment and will be sentenced at Wood Green Crown Court next month, The Chronicle reported.
Israeli software is being used by agricultural giant Monsanto and others to identify the plant traits that produce higher-yielding crops, Bloomberg News reported Thursday.
NRGene, an Israeli firm that developed the genomic big-data technology, is working with Monsanto and Syngenta, a Swiss seeds and pesticides group, to identify traits that can lead to more sustainable food production with less dependence on pesticides and more efficient water usage. It is also working Illumina, a genetics firm, to improve the breeding of cattle.
NRGene’s cloud-based platform was designed by computer scientists who served in Israeli military intelligence units and “never saw a DNA database in their life,” according CEO Gil Ronen.
The World Food Programme estimates that 795 million people do not have access to sufficient nutrition, a problem complicated by environmental degradation, climate change, and growing populations.
“Everyone knows that in 2050 every piece of land will have to produce twice as much, so breeding new varieties is a crucial part of that effort,” Ronen said. “If we speed up this process, we prevent hunger in the long term.”
We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.