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Quick Takes: News You May Have Missed

   If Israel and the Palestinians fail to reach an agreement to create a Palestinian state, the Obama administration will look into imposing a solution on the parties, a senior Palestinian Authority negotiator told this column.
 
   The PA negotiator, speaking by telephone from Ramallah, said the Obama administration told the Palestinians that the U.S. will consider imposing a solution “that the Israelis won’t appreciate.”
 
   The PA negotiator also said that recent meetings between the Obama administration and the Palestinians revealed that the White House is not categorically opposed to the Palestinians unilaterally asking the United Nations to recognize a Palestinian state regardless of the results of negotiations with Israel.
 
   The PA negotiator said the U.S. prefers negotiations between the parties but would not veto a UN Security Council resolution to unilaterally create a Palestinian state if an agreement is not reached.
 
   Earlier this week, Obama urged PA chief Mahmoud Abbas in a telephone conversation to engage in direct talks with Israel, the White House announced.
 

   The negotiator said the PA agreed to resume direct talks with Israel only after the U.S. pledged to ensure that no Jewish construction takes place in eastern Jerusalem and the strategic West Bank.

 

Kagan’s ‘Judicial Hero’? Aharon Barak

 

   President Obama’s nominee for the Supreme Court, Elena Kagan, once called a judge universally regarded as one of the most extreme liberal activist high court justices in history “my judicial hero.”
 
   “He is the judge who has best advanced democracy, human rights, the rule of law and justice,” stated Kagan in September 2006 introductory remarks at a Harvard University award ceremony.
 

   Kagan was referring to Aharon Barak, the retired president of the Supreme Court of Israel, who at the time was receiving the Peter Gruber Foundation 2006 Justice Prize at Harvard.

   Richard Goldstone, a left-leaning South African judge who infamously penned a United Nations report accusing Israel of war crimes, termed Barak “unashamedly what, in U.S. terms, would be regarded as an ‘activist judge.’ “
 
   Amnon Rubinstein, a liberal Israeli law professor and former Knesset member, stated that “in many respects the Supreme Court under Barak has become an alternate government.”
 

   Continued Rubinstein: “Thus a situation has arisen whereby the Supreme Court may convene and decide on every conceivable issue. This was a total revolution in the judicial thinking which characterized the Supreme Court of previous generations, and this has given it the reputation of the most activist court in the world, causing both admiration and criticism.”

 

Kagan Opposed Suit Against Saudi Arabia

 

   President Obama’s nominee for the Supreme Court, Elena Kagan, helped shield Saudi Arabia from lawsuits filed by families of 9/11 victims seeking to target countries and leaders who helped finance al Qaeda.
 
   “I’m very concerned about her views on executive power and her views with respect to the separation of power,” Stephen A. Cozen, the lead attorney in the case for 9/11 victims, told this column.
 
   “I believe she must be asked questions about whether or not citizens who are attacked inside the U.S. have the right to file suits domestically against terrorism financiers,” said Cozen, the founder and chairman of Cozen O’Connor, a Philadelphia-based law firm with 24 offices throughout the country.
 
   Cozen met with Kagan in April 2009 to present the case for his clients – thousands of family members and others affected by the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks who sought damages from the Saudi kingdom, Saudi high commissioners and the country’s rulers.
 
   Cozen’s suit documented evidence that the Saudis funneled millions of dollars to al Qaeda prior to the 9/11 attacks and that the kingdom continued to finance terrorism afterwards as well.
 

   Kagan’s friend-of-the-court brief argued Cozen’s case would interfere with U.S. foreign policy. She urged the Supreme Court not to hear the case. 

 

Kagan: ‘The Dumbest Thing I Ever Read’

 

   Government should not grant funds to religious organizations seeking to prevent teen pregnancies since such groups may “inject” religious teaching, President Obama’s nominee for the Supreme Court, Elena Kagan, has argued.
 
   However, when questioned during Senate hearings earlier this year about her argument – made in a 1987 legal brief – Kagan reversed course and called her own memo “the dumbest thing I ever read.”
 
   “It would be difficult for any religious organization to participate in such projects without injecting some kind of religious teaching,” wrote Kagan in the brief.
 
   She continued: “The government is of course right that religious organizations are different and that these differences are sometimes relevant for the purposes of government funding. … But when the government funding is to be used for projects so close to the central concerns of religion, all religious organizations should be off limits.”
 
   Kagan authored the memo while clerking for Justice Thurgood Marshall. The case was filed in response to a Supreme Court decision that reversed a lower court ruling allowing religious groups that help prevent teen pregnancies to receive government funds through the Adolescent Family Life Act.
 
   However, when asked about her memo during the February 2009 Senate confirmation hearings for her nomination as solicitor general, she called her 1987 argument “the dumbest thing I ever read.”
 

   Continued Kagan in her Senate testimony: “I indeed believe that my 22-year old analysis, written for Justice Marshall, was deeply mistaken. It seems now utterly wrong to me to say that religious organizations generally should be precluded from receiving funds for providing the kinds of services contemplated by the Adolescent Family Life Act.”

 

   Aaron Klein is Jerusalem bureau chief and senior reporter for Internet giant WorldNetDaily.com. He is also host of an investigative radio program on New York’s 770-WABC Radio, the largest talk radio station in the U.S., every Sunday between 2-4 p.m.

About the Author: Aaron Klein is a New York Times bestselling author and senior reporter for WND.com. He is also host of an investigative radio program on New York's 970 AM Radio on Sundays from 7 to 9 p.m. Eastern. His website is KleinOnline.com.


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