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September 2, 2015 / 18 Elul, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘The New York Times’

One-Third of Americans in Israel Live in Judea and Samaria

Friday, August 28th, 2015

Approximately 60,000 Americans, one-third of those who have moved to Israel, live in Judea and Samaria, according to a new book whose conclusions were reported by Haaretz.

The Americans also comprise approximately 15% of all Judea and Samaria Jews, otherwise known as “settlers” by most of the world and “illegitimate” and “illegal” by President Barack Obama.

The conclusions of the book, “City on a Hilltop: Jewish-American Settlers in the Occupied Territories Since 1967″ by Oxford University Prof. Sara Yael Hirschhorn, are not surprising to anyone living in Israel but may come as a bit of a shock to the foreign policy “experts” at the U.S. State Dept.

They also might surprise some “expert” media stars, such as Thomas Friedman of The New York Times, who once wrote that settlers are Israel’s answer to Hezbollah.

As late as last December, in a rant during the Israel election campaign. Friedman wrote:

The Israel right….is dominated by West Bank settlers and scary religious-nationalist zealots.

Hirschhorn, in her book to be published later this year, wrote:

“Something like 10 percent of American settlers in the occupied territories hold PhDs; they’re upwardly mobile, they’re traditional but not necessarily Orthodox in their religious practice, and most importantly, they were politically active in the leftist socialist movements in the United States in the 1960s and 70s and voted for the Democratic Party prior to their immigration to Israel.

So much for the “Wild West zealots” in the West Bank.

Much to the surprise of Friedman and the State Dept., Hirschhorn also wrote:

They’re not only compelled by some biblical imperative to live in the Holy Land of Israel and hasten the coming of the messiah, but also deeply inspired by an American vision of pioneering and building new suburbanized utopian communities in the occupied territories. They draw on their American background and mobilize the language they were comfortable with, discourses about human rights and civil liberties that justify the kind of work that they’re doing.

Yes, Americans in Judea and Samaria – or the occupied territories, the West Bank, or over the Green Line – are inspired by the Bible, and, no, they are not wild-eyed cowboys waiting around every bend to kill Arabs.

Her study does not cover the other 85 percent of Israeli settlers, most of whom live in Judea and Samaria for the simple reason that housing is cheaper than in most other areas and that “settlements” have clean air and are a great place to raise a family.

And some Americans, like myself, also live in the West Bank for practical reasons. When we left a kibbutz 26 years ago with three toddlers, our community in the Southern Hebron Hills was the only place close to a hospital where my wife, a nurse, did not have to work every other Shabbat.

Cheap housing is less available today in Gush Etzion, where Americans compromise a huge proportion of the population and where housing prices have soared. It used to be said that Efrat is not totally American, but on one Shabbat, it was all-American because the Israeli family went away for Shabbat.

That is no longer true, but Americans still account for approximately 40 percent of the city’s residents.

The image of the American cowboy arises because a large percentage of the minuscule number of crazies who have attacked Arabs in the past are from the United States.

The article in Haaretz on the book did not mention if Hirschhorn’s book also refers to the extremely large number of Americans living in neighborhoods in Jerusalem that the United States government and the United Nations also consider “occupied.”

Obama: ‘Don’t Judge Me on Whether Deal Ends Iran’s Aggression’

Wednesday, July 15th, 2015

President Barack Obama told Thomas Freidman in an interview that he is confident Bibi will not be able to convince Congress to torpedo the agreement with Iran but also admitted that the deal has nothing to do with Iran’s aggression towards Israel.

Friedman, The New York Times columnist who is President Obama’s favorite spokesman, talked with the President for 45 minutes after the agreement was announced Tuesday.

The interview reveals inherent contradictions between President Obama’s understanding of foreign relations and his solutions for them. It shows that the President, like his predecessors, sees Israel’s security through its own eyes even though he believes he can put himself momentarily in the shoes of Iran.

He also likes to think he can pull strings that will determine how other countries will act, just like he encouraged the Arab Spring rebellion in Egypt to bring about democracy and respect for human rights, which still is waiting in the wings along with 72 virgins.

President Obama told Friedman that by helping Iran strengthen economically, perhaps – in his wishful thinking – the Iranian people will be able to influence the regime that “it’s not necessary for them to be great to denigrate Israel or threaten Israel or engage in Holocaust denial or anti-Semitic activity.”

Obama also thinks that once one of Iran’s neighboring countries is strong economically and militarily, it makes it more unlikely that Iran will attack it.

He was referring t Muslim countries. The Jewish State of Israel is a different matter.

President Obama said:

[Iran] has an authoritarian theocracy in charge that is anti-American, anti-Israeli, anti-Semitic [and] sponsors terrorism.

Hezbollah has tens of thousands of missiles that are pointed toward Israel. They are becoming more sophisticated. The interdiction of those weapon flows has not been as successful as it needs to be…

Iran is acting in an unconstructive way, in a dangerous way in these circumstances. What I’ve simply said is that we have to keep our eye on the ball here, which is that Iran with a nuclear weapon will do more damage, and we will be in a much worse position to prevent it.

That is going to be one of Obama’s loudest arguments when defending the agreement in Congress, but if he lived in Israel, he would not be so blasé about the ability of the Iranian-backed Hezbollah army to bring Israel to its knees with a massive missile attack.

The agreement may or may not stop Iran from getting its hands on a nuclear weapon, but by all accounts, it will pump $150 billion into Iran’s coffers. Not much of that money is going to be used to implement equality for women or for opening up an embassy in Israel.

By fueling terrorism, Obama is allowing himself, or his successor, to force Israel to beg for American help to prevent a threat it created, so Prime Minister Netanyahu better think twice when he tried to fight against the bill in Congress.

Obama stated:

Perhaps he thinks he can further influence the congressional debate, and I’m confident we’re going to be able to uphold this deal and implement it without Congress preventing that.

But after that’s done…we then ask some very practical questions: How do we prevent Hezbollah from acquiring more sophisticated weapons? How do we build on the success of Iron Dome, which the United States worked with Israel to develop and has saved Israeli lives?

First, he creates a greater threat to Israel be fueling Iranian-backed terror and then he wants to ask Israel how “we” can solve it.

Do you want money for an Iron Dome? Be nice. Maybe freeze settlements.

Obama Officials Tout J Street Polls for Jewish Support on Iran Deal

Wednesday, July 8th, 2015

The Obama administration is leaning on Jewish leftists to pressure Jewish Congressmen to support an Iran deal by touting a J Street poll claiming that nearly two-thirds of American Jews support an agreement.

The Washington Free Beacon reported Matt Nosanchuk, the White House’s liaison to the Jewish community, advised dozens of “progressive” groups Monday to use the poll to convinced Jews in Congress to back a deal.

Nosanchuk reportedly talked with more than 100 Jewish officials in a meeting organized by the Ploughshares Fund, which the Beacon wrote “has spent millions of dollars to slant Iran-related coverage and protect the Obama administration’s diplomatic efforts.”

The report comes two days after TheJewishPress.com wrote here that a recent meeting between senior White House officials and the anti-IDF Breaking the Silence group furthers President Barack Obama’s attempt to make the Jewish left, led by J Street, appear to represent the mainstream American Jewish community.

The J Street website last year ran a headline in capital letters, “Tell your senators: Don’t undermine Iran negotiations with new sanctions.”

It followed with the results of its own poll and an incredulous claim that implies that J Street speaks for most American Jews and that anyone who thinks differently is “underling” President Obama. The website wrote:

While 62% of American Jews support the way President Obama is handling Iran’s nuclear program, organizations that claim to represent the American Jewish community are undermining his approach by pushing for new and harsher penalties against Iran.

TELL YOUR SENATORS:

Though some American Jewish organizations are pushing new sanctions that will undoubtedly undermine negotiations, the vast majority of the American Jewish community supports President Obama’s diplomatic approach to Iran’s nuclear program.

That was last November, when a final agreement was to be reached by November 30.

Last month, J Street published another poll:

American Jews express strong support for a final agreement with Iran that increases inspections in exchange for economic sanctions relief. Fifty-nine percent say they would support such a deal, compared to 53 percent of American adults in an April CNN poll that asked the same question….

‘When it comes to the best way to keep Iran from getting a nuclear bomb, these results make clear that American Jews overwhelmingly support the president’s diplomatic efforts,’ said J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami. ‘The numbers just go to show—once again— that pundits and presumed communal representatives are flat-out wrong in assuming American Jews are hawkish on Iran or US policy in the Middle East in general.’

The problem with the poll is that the respondents assume that a deal will deliver the goods.

An NBC/Wall Street Journal Poll covered that point with the significant notation “that a plurality of Americans – 46 percent – say they don’t know enough to have an opinion.”

If the J Street poll had asked, “Do you know enough about the pending deal to express an opinion,” the results undoubtedly would be close to the NBC/Journal poll.

The “Jewish support” claimed by the J Street poll is, in the Beacon’s words, for “a hypothetical deal that does not actually exist.”

President Obama’s love for J Street serves both him and the left-wing organization. J Street, like The New York Times, acts as a puppet for the President who in return makes it feel important by supplying the string.

J Street acts as if it is the spokesman for the entire Jewish community and effectively leaves the predominantly conservative Orthodox camp out of the playing field, much to President Obama’s joy.

His strategy is to show Congress that if the Jews back a deal with Iran, obviously it must be good for Israel because they know better than Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu what is best for the Jewish state.

Israel Saved Obama’s Neck on Assad’s Chemical Weapons

Thursday, June 18th, 2015

Israel let President Barack Obama off the hook on which he hanged himself by saying he would bomb Syria because of Bashar Assad’s’ use of chemical weapons, former Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren wrote in his new book.

The man behind the covert plan was none other than Yuval Steinitz, who at the time was Minister of Intelligence. He also is one of the loudest hawks when it comes to warning that President Obama and the other P5+1 powers are in the midst of making a terrible if not lethal mistake by dealing with Iran over its nuclear weapons program.

Assad’s use of chemical weapons, a war crime – as if he were not guilty of others – was discovered in 2013.

President Obama had done everything possible to avoid getting directly involved in the war in Syria, where any result would be a bad result.

However, the use of chemical weapons was a red line President Obama could not ignore.

Obama threatened several times to bomb Syria, and after a month he suddenly changed course 180 degrees.

Oren said it was due to Steinitz, who with the approval of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu came up a plan for Assad to turn over his chemical weapons stockpile to Russia, Assad’s ally.

Bloomberg News reported that Oren wrote in his new book “Ally: My Journey Across the American-Israeli Divide,” to be launched next week but not yet released to the public, that Israel was not against an American aerial attack but was willing to help the president avoid it.

Steinitz was the source of the idea even if it was not a plan so much as an off-the-cuff remark that set off a domino chain reaction.

According to Oren, Steinitz mentioned the idea to the Russians, and then to the State Dept., which did not take him too seriously. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov took it very seriously, and the plan quickly moved forward in the United States and United Nations, with Prime Minister Netanyahu’s blessing.

Oren wrote:

The idea originated with an Israeli minister, Yuval Steinitz, who first pitched it to the Russians, who were eager to avoid an American intercession that they could not stop. Netanyahu next brought it to Obama and received a green light.

Before Obama changed course, he had gone so far as to ask the pro-Israel AIPAC lobby to lobby for a war resolution, Oren writes.

Obama never credited Israel, which Steinitz and Netanyahu agreed would not be a good idea,

Steinitz told The New York Times that that he and Prime Minister Netanyahu kept their mouths shut about their role in helping Obama so that no one would say “it’s an Israeli strike [or] Israeli conspiracy, [and] maybe it’s a reason to stop it.”

He told the newspaper:

They never asked if they can give us credit, and we never asked them to give us credit,” he added. “Until today, it was a secret.”

Israel didn’t want credit, giving both Russia and Obama the opportunity to boast.

Oren wrote:

In subsequent interviews, Obama rarely missed the chance to cite the neutralization of Syria’s chemical capabilities as an historic diplomatic achievement.

Russian president Vladimir Putin also took credit for the initiative and praised this ‘vivid example of how the international community can solve the most complex disarmament and non- proliferation tasks.’

Israel’s role remained unmentioned, but its citizens were relieved not to have to sign up for more gas masks.

Granted that President Obama may not think that Israel should bow down to him for not bombing Syria instead of risking retaliation against Israel and the horrendous scene of Israelis walking around with gas masks on their faces because of a chemical attack.

And granted that Obama should not let Israel dictate policy on key issues just because Israel helped him in another area.

But it is one thing not to thank Israel, at least not in public so the the Arabs won’t get upset, and it is another matter to create an image of hate of the leader of an ally that, intentionally or not, may have saved President Obama from one of the worst of the many disasters of his foreign policy.

No one is asking him to say, “Thank you,” but it is reasonable to expect a bit of civility. Obama simply can’t get over his control trip complex.

The president’s obsession with the non-existent “peace process” and with a deal with Iran, no matter what, has blinded him into treating Netanyahu like a voodoo doll in which he has to stick pins.

Hillary’s Foundation Gave $100K to NYT Fund in ’08, Paper Endorsed Her

Monday, June 8th, 2015

Would you be surprised to learn that one of Hillary Clinton’s private foundations donated a huge sum of money – more than it gave to any other charity – to a New York Times charity in 2008?

That was the year Hillary was seeking the Democratic nomination to run for president. It was also the same year that the New York Times endorsed Hillary Clinton over Barack Obama.

Maybe that doesn’t surprise you, but would it change how you thought about that donation if you were to learn that since that one big donation in 2008, Hillary’s foundation never again donated to the NYT’s Neediest Cases fund?

The paper’s Neediest Cases fund was started in 1911 by then-owner of the New York Times, Adolph S. Ochs, in order to provide financial assistance to needy New Yorkers by publicizing their plights. The fund has distributed more than $275 million since it was established.

Alana Goodman did some investigative work in the Clinton Family Foundation’s tax records and wrote in the Washington Free Beacon about the oddly sized and timed 2008 donation to the New York Times charitable fund.

From Goodman we learn that the Times’ Neediest Cases Fund is run by members of the New York Times Company’s board of directors and senior executives. We also learn that early in 2008 there were reports that “the Times board had leaned toward endorsing Obama, but was overruled by then-chairman and publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr., whose family controlled the paper. Sulzberger’s cousins and Times Company directors, Lynn Dolnick and Michael Golden, chaired the New York Times Neediest Cases Fund in 2008.”

All of this may be simply coincidence, of course.

Two other facts, however, push the incredulity factor.

First, the Clinton Family Foundation’s $100,000 donation to the NYT charity was much larger than the size it gave to other charities, which ranged between $2,000 and $25,000 that same year. The CFF does make much larger donations, but they go to the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation, according to Goodman.

And the second factor is that since the 2008 donation, the CFF has not made another donation to the NYT charity fund.

State Dept. ‘Perplexed’ by Negative NY Times Report on Iran

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2015

he U.S. State Dept. is “perplexed” over a report in The New York Times Tuesday that Iran’s stockpile of nuclear fuel has increased 20 percent since the Joint Plan of Action (JPOA) that was supposed to limit its nuclear fuel.

There are two news items in one: The report raises questions whether any deal with Iran can be other than “bad,” but no less significant is that it was published in the newspaper that is considered close to being the Obama administration’s unofficial public relations office.

The New York Times reported:

With only one month left before a deadline to complete a nuclear deal with Iran, international inspectors have reported that Tehran’s stockpile of nuclear fuel increased about 20 percent over the last 18 months of negotiations, partially undercutting the Obama administration’s contention that the Iranian program had been ‘frozen’ during that period.

But Western officials and experts cannot quite figure out why.

The authors of the article speculated that technical problems may have prevented the conversion of enriched uranium into fuel roads for reactors, making it worthless for a nuclear weapon. A second possibility is that Iran simply is playing games and increasing its stockpile to use as a bargaining chip in negotiations for a final deal by June 30, the deadline President Barack Obama has imposed for an agreement.

State Dept. spokeswoman Marie Harf told reported Tuesday:

Our team read that story this morning and was quite frankly perplexed because the main contentions of it are totally inaccurate.

First, the notion in the story that western officials or U.S. officials involved were unaware of this issue or not understanding of what this entails is just absurdץ. Under the JPOA, Iran can fluctuate its numbers in terms of their stockpile. They can go up and down as long as at the end of fixed date they are back down below a number.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said in March:

We’ve actually succeeded in not just halting Iran’s progress as it relates to their nuclear program but actually rolling it back in several key areas, including reducing and eliminating their stockpile of highly enriched uranium.

Harf expressed the Obama administration’s belief that everything will be fine and dandy because Iran promised to live up to its agreements.

She said:

What matters is that they have committed already.

The Institute for Science and International Security’s David Albright and Serene Kelleher-Vergantini have stated:

Iran has fallen behind in its pledge to convert its newly produced LEU hexafluoride into oxide form. There are legitimate questions about whether Iran can produce all the requisite LEU oxide ….  Iran has clearly fallen —–behind in its pledge under the JPA.

But not to worry. Iran is committed to its word.

Yale Chaplain Quits In Wake of Letter Blaming Israel for Rising Anti-Semitism

Monday, September 8th, 2014

The Rev. Bruce Shipman, an Episcopal chaplain at Yale University, resigned in the wake of his letter to The New York Times that blamed rising anti-Semitism in Europe on Israel.

The Episcopal Church at Yale issued a statement on Sept. 4 announcing that Shipman, “on his own initiative, had resigned as Priest-in-Charge of the Episcopal Church at Yale, effective immediately.”

The statement does not reference the letter to the Times, saying instead, “It is our belief that the dynamics between the Board of Governors and the Priest-in-Charge occasioned the resignation of the Rev. Shipman.”

“The Episcopal Church at Yale, its Board of Governors, the Bishops of the Episcopal Church in Connecticut, and the Rev. Bruce Shipman are all committed to a civil dialogue on difficult issues that divide peoples of this world and pledge ourselves to the prayerful and humble work of reconciliation and peace in our hurting and divided world,” the statement concludes.

Shipman’s Aug. 25 letter to the Times was in response to an Aug. 20 Op-Ed by Deborah Lipstadt, an author and Jewish history professor at Emory University, detailing the rise in European anti-Semitic incidents.

His letter said the trend “parallels the carnage in Gaza over the last five years, not to mention the perpetually stalled peace talks and the continuing occupation of the West Bank.” It also said that “the best antidote to anti-Semitism would be for Israel’s patrons abroad to press the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for final-status resolution to the Palestinian question.”

Shipman later apologized to Yale students in a letter to the editor of the Yale Daily.

“Nothing done in Israel or Palestine justifies the disturbing rise in anti-Semitism in Europe or elsewhere,” he wrote.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/yale-chaplain-quits-in-wake-of-letter-blaming-israel-for-rising-anti-semitism/2014/09/08/

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