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December 3, 2016 / 3 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘George Bush’

V15 US Political Operative Marinated in Hate-Israel Activism

Friday, January 30th, 2015

Jeremy Bird, the Team Obama community organizing campaign wizard, has come far from his early midwestern roots. He is currently ensconced in a tiny office in Tel Aviv, working to defeat Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the upcoming March elections through the V15 campaign vehicle of the Peaceworks Network Foundation.

Bird was born in a small town in Missouri, and attended Wabash College in Indiana.

But small town boys can become big time operatives, particularly after spending time in that hothouse of hubris, Harvard University. Bird attended Harvard’s Divinity School from 2000 until 2002, where he encountered Big Ideas and learned he could do Big Things.

While in Cambridge, Bird came under the wing of Edmund Hanauer, a bilious defamer of Israel. In 1972, Hanauer founded Search for Justice and Equality in Palestine/Israel. Hanauer firmly believed that Israel was able to “disregard international law, human rights and democratic values” because of the amount of U.S. aid it received.

On Feb. 25, 2002, while Bird was working with him, Hanauer penned an op-ed which ran in the Milwaukee Sentinel, “The Double Standard Must End.”

The loathing for Israel is woven through his words, even as he used a tagline with an invaluable hecksher: “Edmund Hanauer, American Jewish political scientist.”

In that op-ed, which ran just days before Bird appeared with Hanauer at a Bash Israel event at Harvard – more on that in a moment – Bird expresses outrage that President Bush condemned Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat’s actions as “terrorism,” while failing to similarly demand that “Sharon stop Israeli state terrorism.” That is what Hanauer considered the evil American double standard. He called it “selectively” defining terrorism.

Bird’s mentor also excoriated Bush in that op-ed for “making it harder for Arafat to stop Palestinian extremists” and “curb violence.” And this is what Bird’s boss claimed was the basis of the “cycle of violence.”

The suggestions Hanauer offers in that Feb. 2002 op-ed range from using diplomatic and economic pressure on Israel to grant Palestinian rights (he was calling for U.S. government boycotts – way ahead of and more extreme than the current failing BDS revolution), allowing all Palestinian Arab “refugees” their “full rights” and an end to the “occupation” of Gaza, Judea and Samaria and East Jerusalem.

Oh, and Hanauer also cited as if fact, the vile Chris Hedges’ quote in Harper’s magazine that Hedges “visited many war zones, but only in Gaza has he found soldiers killing children for sport.”

The entire op-ed is rife with examples of how wrong, evil and anti-democratic Israel is, with a few crumbs of “balance” by admitting there are some Palestinian extremists. But Hanauer dilutes that balance by blaming the U.S.-funded Sharon for preventing Arafat from stopping those extremists due to Israel’s brutality and its history of “dispossession, systematic discrimination and a consistent assault on the basic rights” of Arafat’s people.

We know that Bird was thoroughly marinated in Hanauer’s mindset, because the same themes and message in that op-ed were what both Bird and Hanauer pressed at an event they put on for a Harvard audience the same week the op-ed was published, as revealed in a Harvard Crimson article about that event.

It is interesting that this twisted blame-only-Israel, pro-Arafat background was not revealed when Jeremy Bird played an instrumental role in U.S. President Barack Obama’s two campaigns for presidency, or his continuing role thereafter in Obama’s Organizing for America, for which Bird was deputy director.

But at least Bird’s blame-only-Israel background should be known now that he is playing a huge role in the V15 effort to overthrow Netanyahu. Or is it overthrow Israel?

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Attacking ISIS, Obama Will Only Repeat The Disasters Of His Predecessor

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

This article first appeared in Jewish Business News.

Far from being a fan of ISIS, who represent the very worst in Islamic culture, I nevertheless believe President Obama should leave them alone and not attempt to remove them from the face of the earth, as he has promised a few days ago.

ISIS serves a very important purpose, it is actually a source of stability in the region, and as such should be left to its own devices. Yes, the West must protect its assets in the region, and, yes, care must be taken to bolster innocent bystanders like the Kurds and the kingdom of Jordan against the onslaught of the Islamic ninjas. Other than that, to paraphrase a popular sentiment: don’t just do something, stand there.

Nature abhors a vacuum. Back in the 7th century, as the Roman Empire was losing its oomph in the Middle East, the Arab hordes, led by Muhammad, rushed out of the Arabian peninsula and grabbed all that nice, free property, never to let go of most of it again. This is precisely what ISIS, the new Muslim hordes in the very same region, have been doing.

Thirteen years ago, Barbara Bush’s less gifted son decided to remove the only man in the region who was able, using cruelty, paranoia and a voracious appetite for power, to stop the Iranian Shiite empire from expanding and gaining a hegemony in the region. That wondrous man was Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, and when he fell, he left a vacuum that was quickly filled by Iran and its Shiite allies inside Iraq.

In essence, the United States spent trillions of dollars and countless lives, American and Arab, to give Iran the primacy it so desired in that part of the world. Yes, that was some idiotic move.

And as President Obama decided to cut America’s losses and pull out of the region en mass, he forced the Sunnis to get up and make a move before it was too late. So they did. Taking advantage of the vacuum left by Obama’s America, ISIS has been running through the region like knife through hot butter. And that’s a very good thing.

Because ISIS, despite their obvious religious fanaticism, are realists. They want money and land, which they’ve taken’ and they want a reliable and well equipped army, which they’ve also taken, from America’s Iraqi clients.

But they’ve been staying out of areas where they know they’d get a bloody nose. While attacking women and children wherever they could, ISIS soldiers have kept away from serious confrontations with the IDF and the Jordanian Legion. They’re not interested in fighting for the sake of fighting alone, they’re looking for rewards. So, like I said, that’s a good thing.

The big service ISIS is doing the West right now is checking Iranian power, just as the Sunni rebels inside Syria are keeping the Iranian agent Hezbollah in check, and just as the PLO is keeping Hamas in check, at least to some degree.

It’s a volatile region, where violent, crazed men will always make life terrible for their weaker, more productive, less sociopath neighbors. But now the crazies are balancing one another, like a circle of snakes, each keeping the tail of the next snake in its clenched jaws.

Israel and the West could do worse, by helping any of these brutes. Let them keep each other busy for decades, and let’s wish all of them much success in their bloody endeavors.

Oh, and if you’re a journalist looking to interview these guys – use Skype, for heaven’s sake.

Tibbi Singer

Bush Tells Jews, ‘I Don’t Trust Iran’

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

Former President George W. Bush told leaders of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations that he did not trust the Iranian regime to change its intentions toward Israel, according to several people in attendance.

“I will not believe in Iran’s peaceful intentions until they can irrevocably prove that it’s true,” Bush told the 1,200 guests at the gala event at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City. “The United States’ foreign policy must be clear eyed and understand that until the form of government changes in Iran, it is unlikely that their intentions toward Israel will change.”

The event, held Tuesday night, honored several past presidents of the umbrella organization and its longtime executive vice-chairman, Malcolm Hoenlein.

Bush’s appearance had not been publicized, and attendees were asked not to record or tape his comments.

The program also featured video testimonials from President Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as well as remarks from several Israeli and U.S. politicians, and Jewish notables.

JTA

Shutdown Post

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

Have you noticed that I have had almost nothing to say about the government shutdown? This is because I don’t care. I am aware that this makes me an Insensitive Git, in that some programs that benefit the poor and the disenfranchised have been suspended (together with some things that make the richies happy) but I can’t help it: I just don’t care.

And its not that big government doesn’t bother me. You oldsters in the audience will remember how I used to rail against big government George W. Bush and his usurpation of power. The difference, I think, is the big government Obama envisions is one that helps people stay healthy and live longer, while George Bush, mainly, seemed interested Keeping Us Safe by criminalizing ordinary activities and rolling back longstanding protections from government abuse. (To date, Obama, has not undone any of that. I can’t find the post, right now, but I did beat him up for this and I do officially hate him for letting us down in this regard.) I have the same questions any sane person has about ObamaCare, but I in the aggregate I think socialized medicine is good for America.

So why am I lukewarm about the shutdown? Because I also think arguing and fighting is good for America. The House has the power of the purse for a reason. They are supposed to dig in and refuse to pay for things they don’t like. What the House has done is legal, and constitutional, and legitimately an example of checks and balance. However, at the same time its an example of insane brinkmanship that would not have been possible had the recalcitrant. Members of the House run the risk of facing any real electoral consequences back home.

See, thanks to gerrymandering, no one in the House of Representatives ever has to answer to anyone who might disagree with him. Nowadays, most  everyone in the House represents a district that was created specifically to keep him (or her) in office. As a result, these morons can go to Washington and say and do anything they like –no matter how crazy — without suffering any electoral consequences.

Its great that the Representatives are keeping Obama on his toes, but a tragedy that no one back home is issuing the Representatives similar challenges. Their recalcitrance keeps Obama honest, but who keep them honest?

DovBear

Lapid Unintentionally Helps Right with Bid for ‘Interim PA Pact’

Monday, May 20th, 2013

Yair Lapid, Israel’s Finance Minister and head of Israel’s second largest political party, has unraveled U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s efforts to reincarnate the “peace process” before Kerry even packed his bags for another trip to Israel at the end of the week.

He told the Yediot Acharonot newspaper Sunday what everyone except Kerry and the European Union’s Catherine Ashton know – it is unrealistic even to think about a final stage peace agreement for the establishment of the Palestinian Authority as an independent country.

It is questionable if even Kerry’s boss, President Barack Obama, actually thinks an agreement is in the cards.

Maybe, just maybe, Obama has learned what Ronald Regan, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush never seemed to grasp – the Palestinian Authority will make peace with Israel only when it is sure that the Jewish state’s future is doomed.

That is why PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas refuses to budge on the Arab world’s dream to import several million Arabs to Israel, based on their claim that Israel is their home because their parents, grandparents, great-great parents and their dogs lived here.

The Oslo Accords, Clinton’s time bomb that fulfilled his promise to create a new Middle East, although not exactly the way he envisioned, provided for interim borders for a Palestinian Authority state, with final borders to be negotiated.

Bush’s Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, in one of her many less enlightened moments, agreed that maybe it was best to simply skip over that little clause and go for broke.

And the “peace process’ since then indeed went broke.

Correctly perceiving that there was no need to concede anything except uncertainty, Abbas re-defined the word “negotiations” to mean “you give and I take,” with the only undecided issue being the date that Israel will supposedly sign its own death certificate.

The term “interim agreement” is no where in his lexicon. It is buried deep, deep under the “peace process,” and here comes Lapid, the last hope for the center-left to keep those pesky national religious Jews from getting too uppity, to the rescue of the right wing nationalists.

He also displayed remarkable honesty and lack of tact at the same by stating that Abbas “is still not psychologically ready for an agreement with Israel, either partial or full.”

That is the kind of statement that sounds like it is right out of the mouth of Avigdor Lieberman, who was foreign minister before he was indicted six months ago for breach of public trust.

It did not take long for Abbas, through an aide,  to react to Lapid’s statements, which reflect either amazing naïveté for a former journalist or just plain stupidity.

“We have heard this idea before and rejected it simply because we know the intention of Israel is to continue building on Jerusalem and other parts of the West Bank,” stated Nimr Hamad, one of Abbas’ sages in Ramallah. Just in case Lapid does not understand, Hamad added that final borders are “the most important thing for us.”

With the United Nations General Assembly already having adopted a resolution recognizing the borders of a Palestinian Authority state exactly as Abbas wants them, talk of an interim agreement can only convince Abbas that Lapid is a nationalist is in disguise.

Lapid is part of an overwhelming majority of Israeli Jews who are not willing to hand over such areas as the Old City on Jerusalem to Abbas.

Abbas could save himself from virtually isolation by the Obama administration if he accepts the idea of interim borders, but to do so would be political suicide, if not a sign of a real-life death wish.

He has dug himself into a hole by promising and promising and promising the PA “street” that he will get everything he wants, lock, stock and barrel.

The joker in the cards is Lapid’s statement Sunday that President Obama could set a three-year time limit for defining final borders while carrying out Bush’s written promise to Israel that such as areas as Gush Etzion and Maaleh Adumim would remain part of Israel.

He also wants to put aside the issues of Jerusalem and the Arab demand for importing millions of foreign Arabs into Israel. Abbas has rejected that idea time and time again.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Yale Elects First-Ever Israeli Student Union President

Thursday, April 18th, 2013

Yale University students have Jerusalem-born native Daniel Avraham as the first Israeli president of the Student Union.

Avraham, a 24-year-old sophomore, learned at the Gymnasia Herzliya high school and is a former IDF intelligence officer. He is studying in the university’s ethics and economics program.

Former Yale Student Union presidents include former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, her successor John Kerry, and former U.S. presidents George, both father and son, and Bill Clinton.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Are We Better Off With Iraq in Turmoil?

Thursday, December 29th, 2011

With the U.S. troops gone, the power struggle in Iraq is reaching new levels. Various sources are reporting that the Shi’ite-led government in Iraq has issued an arrest warrant for the Sunni vice president, Tariq al-Hashemi.

If you need a reminder, the Shia are aligned with Iran.

For the record, the Iraq war was the right war at the right time. I know,  these days it’s fashionable to think of it as a waste, so let’s briefly review why it was imperative that Saddam Hussein was removed from power in the aftermath of 9/11.

9/11 was the final attack in a series of escalating attacks on U.S. interests around the world by al-Qaeda. It put an end to the illusion that the U.S. homeland was safe from major destructive attacks. It had the potential of creating a worldwide economic and security crisis. Great leadership in New York City by mayor Rudy Giuliani prevented the city from falling apart at the seams (compare that to what happened last year with when a blizzard hit New York City with Bloomberg at the helm). And, swift reaction by President Bush in Afghanistan was the first step in showing the world that people who intend to do the U.S. harm and who harbor them had no safe haven.

A lot of people, mostly Democrat politicians and members of the liberal media, wanted to turn the reaction into a simple police investigation to track down Osama bin Laden. That would have been a risky enterprise, fraught with the danger of making the U.S. look impotent. The longer it took for the U.S. to capture bin Laden, the stronger would be his reputation. If I close my eyes, I can almost hear people say Osama is a great leader. Look, the U.S. with all its might cannot capture him. He would have attained the status of legend. Instead, he had to run and hide. His eventual capture revealed how much he had been marginalized in the intervening years.

After the victory in Afghanistan, it was important to send a credible message to various tyrannical regimes in the world that they were personally in danger if they gave safe haven to, organized or sponsored any organizations that intended the U.S. harm. Surely, there was no shortage of people who’d been oppressing and torturing their people while thumbing their noses at the U.S. for decades. There was, however, one dictator, who had credibly built a reputation for having weapons of mass destruction andwho had been flaunting U.N. resolution after U.N. resolution that he had to allow inspectors free access to suspected sites.

Once the vulnerability of the U.S. homeland was exposed, it would have been suicidal to allow Saddam to keep his status as a tyrant who had access to corrupt financial networks and diplomatic channels which could have been used to organize further attacks. Regime change in Iraq, which had been the stated goal of U.S. policy during the Clinton Administration, had to be realized. Eliminating Saddam would have sent (and did send) a clear signal to all other tyrannical regimes that they were going to be personally targeted if they threatened the U.S.

Such tyrants do not waste a second thinking about the well-being of anyone but themselves. Years of suffering of Iraqi people could not convince Saddam Hussein to comply with U.N. sanctions. In fact, the sanctions themselves had provided further avenues for his personal enrichment. Changing the regime in Iraq was essential to removing a major threat against the U.S. and stability in the Middle East.

Operation Iraqi Freedom was successful in achieving this goal.

Major errors, stemming sometimes from good intentions, were made in handling the aftermath. Anyone familiar with the Middle East would have appreciated the value of the immediate establishment of martial law across the country and strict enforcement of curfews. Instead, a period of confusion reigned for a while following the fall of Baghdad.

Things got worse when the U.S. media and Democrat politicians started undermining the administration. By declaring the war lost, they signaled to Iran and Syria and anyone else who cared to listen that the U.S. could not handle a tough struggle and that they would back away from a fight. To his credit, President Bush refused to cut and run, and went ahead with the surge. Tellingly, the current president was one of the people who stood firmly against the surge. Liberal organizations published ads and stories intended to undermine the administration’s war effort.

Finally, at a time the U.S. needed to signal continued resolve, a chicken was elected president.

People will point out that Osama bin Laden was killed under President Obama, proving that he is strong. But the real and present danger of the day is not posed by Osama bin Laden. It is posed by Iran, whose rulers, just like Saddam Hussein did, seek to possess weapons of mass destruction to project power well beyond the actual strength of their regime. They needed to see a United States of America with resolve, the kind of resolve that kept Western Europe safe from the Soviet Union since 1946—make no mistake, the spirit of the USSR is still alive and well even if the name is not.

A. Sinan Unur

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/are-we-better-off-with-iraq-in-turmoil/2011/12/29/

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