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Quick Takes: News You May Have Missed

   The U.S. extracted concessions from Israel in exchange for American opposition to the establishment of a United Nations commission to investigate Israel’s commando raid of a flotilla earlier this month that resulted in the deaths of nine violent activists, this column has learned.
 
   Separately, an official from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said the Obama administration pressed hard on Israel to ease its blockade on the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. Israel says the blockade is intended to stop the shipment of weapons into Gaza.
 
   Earlier this week, Netanyahu’s office released a statement that Israel’s security cabinet decided to ease the Gaza blockade. The White House yesterday called that decision “a step in the right direction.”
 
   In the place of a UN commission, which had been opposed by the U.S., Israel established its own commission of inquiry into the flotilla incident earlier this month. Israel had opposed a UN commission, believing such an investigative body would be partial.
 

   An Israeli government official told this column the Obama administration extracted concessions from the Netanyahu government in exchange for U.S. opposition to a UN investigation. The official said the concessions regard an extended freeze on Jewish construction in the strategic West Bank and eastern Jerusalem as well as a resumption of talks aimed at creating a Palestinian state.

 

How Moderate Is This Manhattan Imam?
 
   The imam behind a proposal to build a 13-story Islamic cultural center near the site of the 9-11 attacks has refused repeated requests to label Hamas a terrorist organization. Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, head of the Cordoba Initiative, which seeks to construct the massive center, also repeatedly refused to call the Muslim Brotherhood extremists.
 
   The Brotherhood openly seeks to spread Islam around the world while Hamas is committed to Israel’s destruction and is responsible for scores of suicide bombings, shootings and rocket attacks aimed at Jewish civilian population centers.
 
   Rauf was speaking in a live WABC Radio interview with this reporter, who asked Rauf whether the imam agrees with the State Department’s designation of Hamas as a terrorist organization.
 
   “I’m not a politician,” replied Rauf. “I try to avoid the issues. The issue of terrorism is a very complex question… I’m a bridge builder.”
 
   This reporter pointed out Hamas attacks have targeted civilians and asked Rauf again whether that qualifies to define Hamas as terrorists.
 
   Rauf stated: “The targeting of civilians is wrong. It is a sin in our religion. Whoever does it, targeting civilians is wrong. I am a supporter of the state of Israel…I will not allow anybody to put me in a position where I am seen by any party in the world as an adversary.”
 
   When this reporter persisted in asking about Hamas, Rauf charged, “you are accus[ing] me of things. You are killing the messenger.”
 
   “You are trying to bring down the person who is trying to build security between our country and our faith tradition,” said Rauf. “My urge to you. I have worked for the law enforcement agencies.”
 
   This reporter interrupted, stating, “And yet you refuse to tell me Hamas is a terror organization.”
 

   Rauf was then asked whether the Muslim Brotherhood is an extremist group.

   “I have nothing to do with the Muslim Brotherhood. My father was never a member of the Muslim Brotherhood,” retorted Rauf.
 
   This reporter, however, had not accused Rauf or his family of being involved with the Muslim Brotherhood.
 
   The imam was asked who he believes was responsible for the 9-11 attacks.
 
   “There’s no doubt,” stated Rauf. “The general perception all over the world has it was created by people who were sympathetic to Osama bin Laden. Whether they were part of the killer group or not, these are details that need to be left to the law enforcement experts.”
 

   Rauf has been on record several times as blaming U.S. policies for the 9-11 attacks. He has been quoted refusing to admit Muslims carried out the attacks.

 

More Revelations

From The Manchurian Candidate
 
   The recently published The Manchurian Candidate: Barack Obama’s Ties to Communists, Socialists and Other Anti-American Extremists uncovers untold aspects of President Obama’s mysterious college years, tying the politician to associates of Weather Underground founder William Ayers and to radical groups operating at the time.
 
   The new book by this reporter charges that Obama has deep ties to an anti-American extremist nexus that has been instrumental not only in building his political career but in crafting current White House policy.
 
   Obama’s 2008 campaign went to great lengths to conceal normally routine information about the candidate’s college years, including at Occidental and Columbia Universities.
 
   It was at Occidental that Obama first engaged in community activism, delivering what has been described as the first political speech of his career. On Feb. 18, 1981, Obama addressed students gathered outside Coons Hall administration building, exhorting Occidental’s trustees to divest from South Africa.
 
   The Manchurian Candidate found that speech was arranged by the Students for Economic Democracy, or SED, a national student advocacy group established by soon-to-be California State Representative Tom Hayden, now a professor at Occidental, and his former wife, actress Jane Fonda
 
   Hayden authored the first official political manifesto of the Students for a Democratic Society, or SDS – the radical 1960s protest movement from which Ayers’s Weathermen terrorist organization splintered.
 
   The book finds Obama’s political mentor at Occidental to be professor Gary Chapman, whose background includes “peace issues” with the New American Movement, a “splinter group” of Hayden’s and Ayers’ SDS.
 

   The Manchurian places Obama at Columbia with the Coalition for a Free South Africa and its spokesperson, Barbara Ransby. Later, Ransby appeared at a University of Illinois-Chicago forum and sat on the same panel – “Intellectuals in Times of Crisis: Experiences and applications of intellectual work in urgent situations” – with both Obama and Ayers.

 

   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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