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June 30, 2016 / 24 Sivan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Barack Obama’

An Israeli Rabbi’s Response to Obama’s Speech on Radical Islam

Thursday, June 16th, 2016

If you don’t know who you are fighting, you can’t win the war.

Video of the Day

The Orlando Massacre

Wednesday, June 15th, 2016

President Obama has long rankled with his preposterous, mantra-like refusal to mention or allow anyone in his administration to mention Islam in the same breath as “terror” or “terrorism.”

He would not even allow the use of the phrase “radical Islam” which, to most, would only signify a possible hijacking of a faith to one’s own use. This, even though terrorist attacks for years have almost invariably been committed by marauders invoking Allah in the course of their murderous rampages.

Mr. Obama’s reason for this has been straightforward: Determined to reset the relationship between the United States and the Muslim world, he was fearful that even tangential linkage as a matter of American policy would thwart that goal by alienating many Muslims. And in that regard, Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton stood by him. But in the wake of the Orlando shooting on Sunday at the hands of an American-born Muslim who swore allegiance to Islamic State, that seems to have changed.

Donald Trump reacted to the Orlando shooting by doubling down on his uncompromising, hard-line, theoretical  linkage to terrorism of Muslims generally and some of the teachings of Islam, and by reiterating his call for  restricting their entry into the U.S.

Mrs. Clinton at first echoed President Obama’s paean to diversity and “our values.” She dismissed Mr. Trump’s overall approach and tried to downplay any connection between Islam and the Orlando terror. She reiterated the need for gun control, deplored Mr. Trump’s “inflammatory, anti-Muslim rhetoric,” and said the “murder of innocent people breaks our hearts, tears at our sense of security, and makes us furious.”

And she rhapsodized that “America is strongest when we all believe we have a stake in our country and our future…. Our open, diverse society is an asset in the struggle against terrorism, not a liability.”

But she didn’t even hint at the notion that Islamic terrorism or radical Islam played a role in the Orlando attack.

Mr. Trump responded with a call for President Obama to resign and for Mrs. Clinton to withdraw from the presidential race over their refusal to recognize the Islamic threat to Americans’ safety.

Mrs. Clinton then did a stunning about face, as reflected in her exchange with CNN’s Chris Cuomo:

 

Cuomo: “One of the criticisms in these situations is that President Obama won’t use the words ‘radical Islamic terror.’ That it seems to be either a fear or a protective instinct about blaming the religion. You are now coming under scrutiny about what you will call this, what this means to leadership. Do you believe that this is radical Islamism? Will you use those words, and if not, why?”

Clinton: “Well, first of all, from my perspective, it matters what we do more than what we say. And it mattered we got bin Laden, not what name we called him. And I have clearly said that we face terrorist enemies who use Islam to justify slaughtering innocent people. And, you know, whether you call it radical jihadism or radical Islamism, I think they mean the same thing; I’m happy to use either.”

 

While there is still a trace of diplomatic gobbledygook, it seems clear that, under pressure from Mr. Trump,  Mrs. Clinton has broken from President Obama on a singular theme of his administration. Time will tell whether she will be as vulnerable to future Trump verbal barrages respecting other controversial positions the leader of her party has espoused. If nothing else, she has signaled a recognition that events may force her hand.

 

The Sarona Attack

As soon as the dust settled on the Palestinian terrorist attack on Tel Aviv’s Sarona café last week in which four Israelis were killed and many more wounded, Israel announced several immediate countermeasures –which included refusing to send the bodies of the terrorists to their families, imposing travel restrictions on Palestinians, and deploying thousands of troops in the West Bank.

Editorial Board

I Stand By My critique of ADL’s Jonathan Greenblatt

Monday, May 30th, 2016

{Originally posted to the author’s website, Candidly Speaking from Jerusalem}

Jonathan Greenblatt’s response to my criticism of his embrace of J Street, alleging that I distorted his message, is disingenuous and reaffirms my assessment.

Invoking clichés “that there are steps Israel can take to ensure the viability of a two-state solution” are ill-becoming the head of a major Jewish organization whose contact with Israel has been minimal. It only serves to encourage U.S. President Barack Obama and the heads of other governments to intensify pressure against us. Greenblatt is surely aware that there is a consensus in Israel supporting immediate separation from the Palestinians, but also a recognition that further unilateral concessions in the absence of a genuine peace partner would endanger our security.

Greenblatt explicitly condemned Jews who deny the rights of “marginalized Palestinians” and fail to recognize the legitimacy of “the Palestinian narrative.” When he condemned “those who place blame on one side instead of putting forward solutions that acknowledge the role and responsibility of both sides”, he provided grist for the propaganda mills of those applying moral equivalence to Israelis and the Palestinians sanctifying terrorism and bent on our destruction. Greenblatt now reiterates (as I initially stated) that in his address to J Street, he also made remarks supporting Israel and condemning anti-Semitism. So what?

Jewish communists, the antecedents of J Street, also described themselves as “pro-peace” and defended Soviet anti-Semitism while portraying themselves as “pro-Jewish.” Likewise, J Street claims to be “pro-Israel” despite raising funds to support anti-Israeli congressional candidates, lobbying the Obama administration to exert further pressure on Israel, accepting generous funding from George Soros to support the government’s appeasement of Iran, and constantly condemning the security policies of the Israeli government.

Greenblatt cannot refute this. Does he really believe that Jews whose principal objective is to undermine and demonize Israel and encourage foreign intervention should still be considered members of the mainstream of the Jewish community and included in the big tent? Would the ADL seek to address and engage in dialogue with Jews promoting racism or homophobia?

The ADL national director goes further. He endorses the Black Lives Matter movement despite its open hostility to Israel. He also laments that the viciously anti-Israeli fringe group If Not Now is denied “safe space” for discourse and has informed them that the ADL “shares your commitment to change.”

Likewise, Greenblatt claims that the J Street group he addressed comprised “deeply thoughtful college students whose commitment to Israel is genuine and whose passion on the issue is impressive.” His objective is to maintain “a true sense of community and inclusion” with them.

Setting aside the legitimacy provided to J Street when endorsed by the head of a major Jewish body, one would have expected Greenblatt to spell out realities to these youngsters rather than praising them and engaging in kumbaya. He should surely have admonished them and explained why it is utterly immoral for Diaspora Jews to publicly campaign against security-related policies with life-and-death implications endorsed by the vast majority of Israelis.

Furthermore, as head of the organization whose principal mandate is to combat anti-Semitism, Greenblatt should have focused his address on emphasizing how despicable it was for students to demonize Israel while their Jewish student peers at many campuses were subjected to unprecedented waves of anti-Israeli incitement and anti-Semitism.

Instead, Greenblatt nonsensically justifies his position, stating that “disagreement and dissent are not Jewish ideas — they are Jewish ideals.” In other words, Jews who defame Israel and canvas foreign governments to intensify pressure on the Jewish state should be welcomed.

He goes one step further and says, “Whether Leibler likes it or not, these are the future leaders in our community and country.” Well, like any committed Jew, I certainly would not “like it.” And if Greenblatt endorses people sharing the views of J Street heading our community, the ADL Board would be well advised to have a serious chat with him.

With the current surge of violent global anti-Semitism which has already impacted on Jewish students at many American campuses, there is an urgent need for a powerful Jewish body dedicated to fighting anti-Semitism.

The ADL’s task is not to provide advice to Israel on security issues. Nor should it purport to speak on behalf of the Jewish community on broad social issues concerning which Jews share different opinions. It should concentrate more on Islamic terrorism rather than highlighting so-called Islamophobia, which poses far less of a problem than anti-Semitism. While it should broadly condemn all forms of discrimination, its principal role today must be to concentrate on its primary mandate, which is to combat anti-Semitism.

 

Isi Leibler

Beware the Echo Chamber, Fear the Media Savvy Left, Stick to the Truth

Sunday, May 22nd, 2016

I’m not sure which is more worrisome: the ease with which the media, politicians and public opinion were manipulated by the White House and by Ben Rhodes and his associates, or the fact that Ben Rhodes and his associates not only do not care care that their methods have been exposed, they are openly proud of how they did it and are apparently just waiting for the next opportunity and client, so they can do it again.

The Ploughshares Fund was one of the most egregious abusers of the public’s right to receive good, unbiased information, when, during the critical period leading up to the Senate vote on the Iran nuclear deal, suddenly new organizations and experts began popping up out of nowhere, filling up the internet and social media with their distorted information.

Ploughshares used their money to network and amplify the voices of 86 organizations and 200 individuals during the Iran Debate, creating, what Ben Rhodes described as an “echo chamber” effect, where it looked and sounded like the voices on their side of the public debate were the overwhelming majority, always making a point to be there to oppose any conflicting opinion.

But this isn’t the first time we’ve seen this technique being used.

Remember V15 in Israel? A previously unknown group which popped out of nowhere during the 2015 elections and tried to oust PM Netanyahu, claiming to be a “grassroots” organization, yet flush with suspiciously copious funds, enough to make a lot of noise. Now we know V15 was connected to OneVoice, which had received a $233,500 grant from the US State Department in 2013, according to NGO-Monitor, and, by their own admission, other money from overseas Jews, including S. Daniel Abraham (Founder of Center for Middle East Peace) and Daniel Lubetzky (Founder of PeaceWorks, which created OneVoice Movement). They also hired Jeremy Bird, President Obama’s 2012 campaign director, to help in their anti-Bibi campaign.

Then there’s that multi-headed hydra, The New Israel Fund, with the multiple NGOs they fund.

The Left’s war for the public’s votes and opinions isn’t being fought based on issues or values. Its operation is based on confusing the message and tricking the public, overwhelming them with variations of the same message over and over, simultaneously hitting them from different sources from every direction, having them think that support for one side of the debate is overwhelming larger than it is, trying to give credibility to radical ideas simply through constant repetition — when in fact those who support it may be minuscule in numbers and in some cases dangerously on the fringe.

I expect that the reporters who thought they were actually in tight with President Obama and then discovered they were being proactively manipulated will let it happen to them again, despite whatever anger and embarrassment they feel right now. And who in the public is going to remember Ploughshares, V15 and NIF’s manipulations come the next event or policy they want to manipulate?

The question is, how do we fight it?

Do we immitate them and duplicate their media manipulations — fighting fire with fire, to the point where no one has credibility any more, and it comes down to who can slam you harder and more often with his message?

Or do we stick to the truth and hope that by pointing out how easily they were fooled last time, this time they won’t let it happen — praying that even that message doesn’t get overwhelmed by the next Ben Rhodes’ “hammer and ploughshare” campaign?

I don’t have the answer. I don’t believe that those on our side of the political spectrum even comprehend the scale and deviousness of the media and public opinion manipulations of the Left.

But if we don’t learn, if we don’t try and if the financial backers on our side ignore these lessons, whatever the solution, then our message, our truth, our way of life will simply be drowned in the Left-generated echo chambers of social media and lies.

JoeSettler

Netanyahu Was Right On Iran Deal

Wednesday, May 11th, 2016

It wasn’t all that long ago that our nation was transfixed by President Obama’s full court press to close a nuclear arms deal with Iran. It will be recalled that the administration spared no effort in this regard, beginning with its miscasting of the deal as an agreement rather than a treaty requiring Senate approval. And when an irate Congress, enacted legislation requiring a period for a measure of Congressional review, the president engaged in blatant procedural legerdemain to neutralize that legal mandate.

All of this took place in the context of overwhelming popular opposition to the deal. Further, virtually every member of Congress who ultimately signed on to the agreement did so with reservations, saying there was no real choice and that any deal was better than none.

And now we know that while the president was using every procedural trick in the book to prevent Congress from killing the deal, an even more insidious effort was being mounted under the radar.

You really can’t make this kind of thing up. A major piece by veteran journalist David Samuels in Sunday’s New York Times Magazine focuses on Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes, the person President Obama relied upon most to “sell” the Iran nuclear deal as critical to U.S. national interests. Mr. Rhodes came to the job with a background as a writer of fiction, a talent in the use of modern communication technology, and absolutely no foreign policy experience.

The article was built around an interview Mr. Samuels conducted with Mr. Rhodes and clearly shows how the public and Congress were purposefully misled.

Thus, the Obama administration successfully pitched the Iran deal as designed to take quick advantage of the election of a so-called moderate president, Hassan Rouhani, which presented an opportunity for a breakthrough in U.S.-Iran relations. And many members of Congress have said this argument weighed heavily on their minds when they voted to approve the deal even though they had serious misgivings about the specific terms of the agreement.

In truth, however, it now appears the negotiations were begun two years before Mr. Rouhani’s election when the notorious Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was still the president of Iran. Indeed, Mr. Rhodes acknowledged that President Obama planned an outreach to Iran soon after he took office in 2009 and the contrary spin was simply his –Mr. Rhodes’s – fabrication.

In other words, the notion that the Iran deal was the choice of peace over war did not arise out of any facts on the ground but was manufactured out of whole cloth by the imaginative Mr. Rhodes. And thanks to the administration’s fanciful narrative, legislators came to believe the proposed nuclear deal with Iran represented the only way to avoid war with Iran.

How did this all come about? Here is how Mr. Samuels put it:

Rhodes is a storyteller who uses a writer’s tools to advance an agenda that is packaged as politics but is often quite personal. He is adept at constructing overarching plotlines with heroes and villains, their conflicts and motivations supported by flurries of carefully chosen adjectives, quotations and leaks from named and unnamed senior officials. He is the master shaper and retailer of Obama’s foreign-policy narratives, at a time when the killer wave of social media has washed away the sand castles of the traditional press.

Mr. Samuels quoted Mr. Rhodes to this effect:

All these newspapers used to have foreign bureaus. Now they don’t. They call us to explain to them what’s happening in Moscow and Cairo. Most of the outlets are reporting on world events from Washington. The average reporter we talk to is 27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns. That’s a sea change. They literally know nothing.

Mr. Samuels continued:

In the spring of last year, legions of arms-control experts began popping up at think tanks and on social media, and then became key source for hundreds of often clueless reporters. “We created an echo chamber,” [Rhodes] admitted, when I asked him to explain the onslaught of freshly minted experts cheerleading for the deal. “They were saying things that validated what we had given them to say.”

When Mr. Samuels suggested that all of this manipulation seemed out of place in an America that reveres the principle of rational debate as the bedrock of democracy, Mr. Rhodes countered with, “I mean I’d prefer a sober, reasoned public debate, after which members of Congress reflect and take a vote. But that’s impossible.”

Editorial Board

PM Netanyahu Listed Among Top 10 ‘Most Admired Men in America’

Sunday, May 8th, 2016

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made the list of the ten most admired men in the United States.

The poll was carried out by the British-based “YouGov” survey company. It showed that Netanyahu’s standing in the U.S. is higher than that of former President Bill Clinton.

Netanyahu came in just behind the Dalai Lama.

The most popular American Jew was Democratic presidential contender Bernie Sanders, who ranked at Number 6.

President Barack Obama topped the list.

Hana Levi Julian

Malia Obama to Attend Harvard U in 2017

Monday, May 2nd, 2016

The 17-year-old daughter of President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama has decided to attend Harvard University in 2017, the White House announced Sunday.

She will take a year off after graduating from the Sidwell Friends School in District of Columbia in June this year, and celebrate her 18th birthday on the fourth of July.

Malia Obama visited a number of colleges this year before choosing Harvard.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/malia-obama-to-attend-harvard-u-in-2017/2016/05/02/

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