The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) issued a statement criticizing the White House Office of Management and Budget’s “Statement of Administration Policy” which threatened to veto the Senates $576 billion defense spending bill, among other reasons because the statement of policy “opposes the addition of $455 million above the FY 2017 Budget request for Israeli missile defense procurement and cooperative development programs.”
Last month, the Senate Appropriations Committee recommended $600 million in funding for 2017, which represents an increase of $455 million over the president’s original request.
The statement of administration policy released Tuesday by the Office of Management and Budget reads: “The bill is inconsistent with the [Bipartisan Budget Act], and the administration strongly objects to the inclusion of problematic ideological provisions that are beyond the scope of funding legislation. … If the president were presented with H.R. 5293, the President’s senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill.”
One of those “problematic ideological provisions” is the increased allocation for Israel’s missile defense research and development.
The White House used the same tactic against the House version of the National Defense Authorization Act, which the president also threatened to veto.
AIPAC said in a statement that it was “deeply disappointed” with the White House’s choosing to include the increase in defense spending on Israel’s missile programs in the components of the budget to which it objected. “On a bipartisan basis, Congress has increased funding above administration requests this year, as it has done for well over a decade,” AIPAC said. “These cooperative programs—including the Arrow, David’s Sling, and Iron Dome—are critical for Israel’s defense against a growing array of missile threats and make an important contribution to US missile defense programs. We applaud Congress for consistently supporting these key programs, and urge their full funding in both the FY 2017 National Defense Authorization and Appropriations Acts.”
Incidentally, on the same day the White House announced it would not increase the funding for Iron Dome, among other programs, DefenseNews reported that after five years of a stellar performance in which Iron Dome has been credited with more than 1,500 operational intercepts—a 90% success rate, and despite a reported widespread global interest, government and industry sources say Israel’s Iron Dome anti-rocket intercepting system, developed by state-owned Rafael Ltd., has not yet been sold to a single customer.
“Who else in the world is constantly threatened by rockets?” former head of Israel’s Missile Defense Organization Uzi Rubin asked DN, noting: “It’s essentially only us and perhaps sheikhdoms in the Persian Gulf, where for obvious reasons, we do not yet export.”
Rubin did not mention that in other, saner parts of the world, persistent rocket attacks from, say, Mexico, against, say, the US, would result in a one-time search and destroy response, rather than with a technological solution such as Iron Dome that contains those unceasing rocket attacks. You don’t have to be Donald Trump to figure that one out.
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.
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.
The far-left J-Street lobby, which calls itself a “pro-peace” and “pro-Israel” organization, received $576,500 dollars last year to push the Obama Administration’s Iran deal, via the Ploughshares Fund, according to an AP report.
The Ploughshares Fund, one of the main groups named by the Obama administration’s spin doctor Ben Rhodes, set its sights on other media organizations in its campaign too. Their goal, according to Rhodes was to set up an echo chamber of pro-Iran messages bouncing back and forth between different organizations and individuals.
For instance, utilizing the services of the GMMB.com ad agency, the Ploughshares Fund attempted to directly reach politically active US Jews via online advertising on Israeli and Jewish websites, with a budget in the tens of thousands of dollars.
I’m looking to run on local Jewish community sites in PA, NY, MD or run on Jewish sites that can geo-target to these states.
More information below –
Timing: Sept 5th – September 18th
Goal: Completed video views and traffic to landing page
Geo: PA, NY, MD
Budget: $5- $40k
Target: Jewish people (preferably politically active)
GMMB was particularly interested in advertising on JewishPress.com, which did not run their ads. They were even willing to prepay for their campaign.
Two other sites GMMB expressed interested in advertising on were the Times of Israel and the JPost.com.
Banner ads that ran in the various newspapers and websites appeared to be from different organizations, which then led to different pro-Iran Deal websites and YouTube channels.
“The Iran Deal Forum” promoting the Iran Deal with Peter Beinart videos.
The Associated Press explored the 2015 Annual Report of the Ploughshares Fund, a fund mentioned in the expose/profile of Rhodes published last week by The New York Times.
In that profile, Rhodes boasted about the main groups responsible for helping to create the “echo chamber” that promoted the Iran deal despite facts that contradicted the hype.
A fact sheet distributed this weekend by The Israel Project (TIP) managing director Omri Ceren noted The Ploughshares Fund is a donation hub that has distributed millions of dollars in recent years to groups pushing the Iran deal.
After Congress failed to defeat the deal, Ploughshares President Joseph Cirincione published a video and letter boasting about how the echo chamber – over 85 groups and 200 people – was created with Ploughshares money: “groups and individuals were decisive in the battle for public opinion and as independent validators… they lacked a common platform – a network to exchange information and coordinate efforts.
“Ploughshares Fund provided that network… we built a network of over 85 organizations and 200 individuals… We credit this model of philanthropy – facilitating collective action through high-impact grantmaking – with creating the conditions necessary for supporters of the Iran agreement to beat the political odds” Cirincione said.
The Ploughshares Fund gave National Public Radio $100,000 last year towards the mission to report on the Iran deal, funding reports on related issues and NPR’s annual report. According to the mission statement of the NGO, its primary raison d’etre is to “build a safe, secure world by developing and investing in initiatives to reduce and ultimately eliminate the world’s nuclear stockpiles.”
But it was that NGO and others who were used by the White House to carry out what amounted to a deliberate propaganda campaign to mislead the American people.
In its probe of the 2015 Annual Report of the Ploughshares Fund, the Associated Press broke down into three kinds of groups, the network of 85 organizations and 200 individuals funded by the NGO:
— Journalists and media outlets:
Ploughshares has funded NPR‘s coverage of national security since 2005, the radio station said. Ploughshares reports show at least $700,000 in funding over that time. All grant descriptions since 2010 specifically mention Iran… Previous efforts… Ploughshares has set its sights on other media organizations, too. In a “Cultural Strategy Report” on its website, the group outlined a broader objective of “ensuring regular and accurate coverage of nuclear issues in reputable and strategic media outlets” such as The Guardian, Salon, the Huffington Post or Pro Publica. Previous efforts failed to generate enough coverage, it noted. These included “funding of reporters at The Nation and Mother Jones and a partnership with The Center for Public Integrity to create a national security desk.”
— Think tanks and nuclear-issues associations:
The 33-page document lists the groups that Ploughshares funded last year to advance its nonproliferation agenda. The Arms Control Association got $282,500; the Brookings Institution, $225,000; and the Atlantic Council, $182,500… Princeton University got $70,000 to support former Iranian ambassador and nuclear spokesman Seyed Hossein Mousavian’s “analysis, publications and policymaker engagement on the range of elements involved with the negotiated settlement of Iran’s nuclear program.”
Other groups, less directly defined by their independent nuclear expertise, also secured grants. J-Street, the liberal Jewish political action group, received $576,500 to advocate for the deal. More than $281,000 went to the National Iranian American Council.
The Senate on Tuesday approved by a voice vote the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act allowing families of Sept. 11 victims to sue the Saudi government—disregarding a veto threat by the White House. In his recent visit to the Kingdom, President Obama suffered unprecedented humiliation from Saudi officials, presumably hinting at what would come next should he expose them to a torrent of 9/11 litigation. The Saudis have also threatened to move billions of dollars out of the US economy, so there won’t be any assets to freeze when they lose in court.
Sponsored by Senators John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., the bill recognizes the right of victims’ families to sue in US court for the role that Saudi government personnel played in the 2001 attacks on New York, the Pentagon, and Pennsylvania. Cornyn said that the United States “will combat terrorism with every tool we have available, and that the victims of terrorist attacks in our country should have every means at their disposal to seek justice.”
The Obama administration is yet to declassify and release US intelligence on Saudi involvement in the attacks, despite repeated pleas from victims’ families.
Irish investigative journalists Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan were contacted by an unnamed counter-terrorism official in 2011 and told there are 80,000 9/11-related documents being kept secret by the FBI, which may not all concern the Saudi family, but many suspect that reclassifying them would expose the truth about the conspiracy, namely that it was driven by elements in the Saudi royal family.
Senate Democrats went against the wishes of the Obama administration, which warned the bill could expose Americans overseas to legal risks.
Schumer had no doubt the Senate had the 67 votes needed to override a presidential veto. “We don’t think their arguments stand up,” he told reporters at a news conference after the vote.
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., chairman of the Armed Services Committee, warned that the legislation, if passed, would alienate Saudi Arabia and undermine the US’ longstanding relationship with a critical ally in the Middle East. Of course, once said ally starts attacking your civilian population, you may need to re-think the relationship.
New Jersey resident Terry Strada, whose husband, Tom, died in the attacks, was in Washington with her daughter Caitlin to await the vote’s results. She told CNN, “We’ve waited long enough. We’ve waited 15 years. We shouldn’t have to wait any longer. It’s good policy to hold accountable any nation that aids in a terror attack on U.S. soil and that aids in the death of US citizens.”
Casino magnate and unabashed patron of Bibi Netanyahu Sheldon Adelson said he supports Donald Trump in his quest for the highest office in the land, on the same day, Thursday, when Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan said he does not endorse the presumptive Republican nominee. Adelson told reporters he had spoken to Trump recently, and he thinks that the candidate “will be good for Israel.”
Adelson, who invested at least $100 million in the 2012 election, starting ahead of the primaries (he backed Newt Gingrich), told the NY Times, “Yes, I’m a Republican, he’s a Republican. He’s our nominee. Whoever the nominee would turn out to be, any one of the 17 — he was one of the 17. He won fair and square.”
Speaker Ryan, the most powerful Republican in Congress, told CNN on Thursday, “I’m just not ready to do that at this point. I’m not there right now. And I hope to, and I want to, but I think what is required is that we unify this party.”
Ryan, who is thought by many to be positioning himself for a 2020 run for the White House, also told CNN, “For us to be a successful party, to climb that final hill and win the presidency, we will need a standard-bearer that can unify all Republicans, all conservatives, all wings of our party, and then go to the country with an appealing agenda that can be appealing to independents and disaffected Democrats. And we have work to do one this front, and I think our nominee has to lead in that effort.”
Apparently, as far as Ryan believes, Trump is not that proto-messianic figure.
For his part, Trump said he was “not ready” to support Ryan’s agenda in Congress, which could be a joke or a serious problem, depending on the candidate’s mood.
Both living Republican former presidents, George Bush and George W Bush, said they would not support Trump. There’s a lot of bad blood between the Bushes and Trump, who tortured son and brother Jeb Bush in debate after debate, calling him the “low energy guy.” Former Gov. Mitt Mr Romney and Senator John McCain, the two previous Republican presidential nominees, have stated they would stay away from the convention in Cleveland come July.
Sheldon Adelson’s effort to support Trump is intriguing in light of the fact that the Republican Jewish Coalition, which gets much of its funding from the Jewish billionaire, has announced that its mission this summer would be not so much supporting the top candidate but instead to save Republican hides in election races that could tip Democrat because of Trump’s negative coattails.
Once a year the entire nation of Israel commemorated the six million that were murdered by the Nazis and their collaborators. At exactly 10:00 am, sirens sound throughout the Jewish State and most of Israel’s citizens (Except the Arabs who deny the Holocaust and some radical Ultra Orthodox Jews who call themselves religious) stood in silence to remember and give respect to those who were murdered, burned, gassed and dehumanized by the Nazis and their collaborators.
Some keep their eyes shut in total silence remembering a family member who was murdered and some whisper a prayer in honor of the six million innocent Jewish souls that were violently ripped from this world.
Most years, I belong to the second group, but this year, I was lost in thought asking myself, why? Why remember?
What is it about that horrible time in Jewish and human history that is so important to remember? My grandmother (Z”L) who survived numerous camps and saved other Jews will never be forgotten by me, so why is it important to have a national memory of such a tragedy? What exactly am I remembering?
Is there someone who actually believes that our memory will prevent another Holocaust from happening? Look around!
Syria is murdering tens of thousands of people by gas and chemical weapons, Russia is conquering Ukraine and let’s not even get started with the amount of people who are being slaughtered throughout Africa!
Has the world learned anything?
My answer is an absolute NOT A THING!
Obama is a joke and has threatened Syria time and time again that if they dare use chemical weapons, the US will be forced to react. Hello? Does Obama watch the news?
Some say that the Holocaust should not be mixed up with politics, I say WRONG! Only when we remember just how low human nature can stoop will one have total political clarity.
It is very important to remember an American President who flew fighter jets over the train tracks that led millions to their death in Auschwitz but refused to bomb them because he didn’t want political “trouble, or the silence of the world as millions of Jews were burned, gassed and shot. These facts gives us total political clarity and reality, Israel will protect itself!
On July 7, shortly after the U.S. War Department refused requests from Jewish leaders to bomb the railway lines leading to the camps, a force of 452 Fifteenth Air Force bombers flew along and across the five deportation railway lines on their way to bomb Blechhammer oil refineries nearby
To remember a British leader who met, shook hands and was actually on the brink of signing an agreement with Hitler because he didn’t believe Hitler was a real threat!
The Munich Agreement – “Peace In Our Time”
And let us not forget our Muslim neighbors who seek “peace” with the Jewish State and claim that all our problems started when the modern day State of Israel was born in 1948.
Taken in 1943! No State No Settlements Just Islamic Anti Semitism!
Brothers, sisters, mothers and fathers were burned, gassed and treated like animals and the world said NOTHING! Nothing from France, nothing from England, nothing from America, nothing from anyone!
What do I learn from the Holocaust? I learn that the State of Israel is the ONLY true safe haven for Jews and we cannot trust anyone with our safety, security, military or Jewish survival.
Barack Obama and John Kerry say they are our friends, but they have been pressuring Israel into handing over more parts of the Land of Israel to Muslim occupiers and have recently forced us to to agree to a ceasefire with a fanatic Islamic terrorists organization called HAMAS!
Instead of the US President and Vice president siding with the Jewish State that has the same basic values as the US, they have taken sides with the people who hold the same terrorist ideology that was responsible for the murder of over 3,000 people when they blew up the Twin Towers!
When Abu Mazen signs an agreement with the terrorist organization Hamas, John Kerry blames Israel and warns that if Israel doesn’t make peace (give in to their demands) soon, the Arabs will start killing Jews! Really? Does that sound like a friend to you? To me it sounds like blackmail!
This Is Hamas!
Then Kerry says it was Israel’s refusal to release terrorists as well as the building of houses and kindergartens in JERUSALEM that is to blame for the failed peace process. Of course the fact that Abu Mazen has completely refused to recognize a Jewish State has absolutely nothing to do with it, right John! I am not even going to get started with the Hamas missile fire that the White House said nothing about till Israel reacted!
When I say NEVER AGAIN! I mean it and the time is now! Unfortunately not only is the world ignoring the dangers Israel is facing, Israel’s leaders themselves are ignoring the imminent dangers and are dreaming of signing a “peace” deal with those who idea of peace is war.
Bibi, the Arabs have no right to this land! Can they live here in peace? Yes! The Druze do, The Christians do and yes, there are plenty of Muslim Arabs who just want to live, but the second they talk of a national country within the Land of Israel, it’s time to say it loud and clear, NO WAY!
The motto ‘NEVER AGAIN’ has nothing to do with the Nazis. They like the Romans, Greeks and the Mussolini’s are all gone.
Never again means we will never again be so naive to believe the world when they say they will do something about the powers of evil, especially when those powers threaten Israel or the Jews!
We now know that even our greatest allies and friends will fly right over our heads and ignore the flames that burn our flesh!
We know that their political standing is more important than morality and certainly more important than a couple of Jews burning or being blown up by Muslim terrorists.
What do I learn from the Holocaust? There is only God to rely on and he is given us back the Land Of Israel as well as the IDF so that NEVER AGAIN will this little boy march to his death with his hands up in the air!
State Dept. Spokesperson John Kirby’s daily press briefing on Thursday touched on the ominous possibility that the Obama Administration will wait until after the November election, so as not to steer Jewish votes away from the Democratic candidate, and then, in a final splash of power, just before going down from the world’s stage, blow up a landmine in Prime Minister Netanyahu’s face and support or fail to veto a UN Security Council resolution creating a Palestinian State and ordering the hasty removal of all Jewish presence on the “wrong” side of the 1967 border.
We redacted and edited the exchange to make it a tad more entertaining. But one can smell the danger hidden in the spokesman’s evasions. Barring divine intervention, the Obama gang is planning to install a Palestinian State and create facts on the ground so that the next Democrat in the White House will have to start from that point, rather than with today’s murky uncertainty.
We join the conversation that’s already in progress…
Reporter: On Security Council resolutions – will you consider either supporting or failing to veto a resolution on settlement activity in the West Bank?
Kirby: …We are very concerned about trends on the ground and we do have a sense of urgency about the two-state solution. We will consider all of our options for advancing our shared objective of lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians, but I’m not going to comment on a draft Security Council resolution. Okay?
Reporter: What does that mean, we do have a sense of urgency for a two-state solution?
Kirby: It means exactly what it says and what I’ve been saying from the podium here for months and months and months.
Reporter: So you see a sense of urgency to get to a two-state solution?
Kirby: Sure we do. We very much would like to see a two-state solution realized, yes.
Reporter: I don’t understand.
Kirby: I don’t know what’s not to understand about “we have a sense of urgency.”
Reporter: Well, because there’s only, like, eight months left of the Administration. … You had a sense of urgency back in 2009; you had a sense of urgency when Secretary Kerry took over in 2012.
Kirby: So as time gets shorter, we shouldn’t have a sense of urgency?
Reporter: But if you had a real sense of urgency, you would’ve done something already, right?
Kirby: We have consistently had a sense of urgency.
Reporter: Does that mean, when you say you have a sense or urgency about this, that you’re going to try to cram something in that results in a two-state solution by the end of this Administration?
Kirby: I’m not going to hypothesize on future actions, whatever we continue to do or continue to consider, I don’t know that I would say it’s about cramming. It is about trying to move forward in a productive way towards a two-state solution. And as I’ve said before, we also look to the sides to enact the right kind of leadership to get us there, because ultimately it has to be done by them.
Reporter: But you’re not automatically opposed to a UN Security Council resolution that would call for a two-state solution?
Kirby: We’re not going to comment on this informal draft resolution.
Reporter: I’m not asking you to comment on this informal one. I’m saying that if a resolution presented itself that was evenhanded, in your view – not one-sided or biased against Israel – that called for an end of settlements, called for an end of incitement, and also called for the creation of two states, would you automatically oppose?
Kirby: Well, without getting into those provisions that you listed out there and making a judgment about that, I’d go back to what I said before, and that’s we will consider all of our options for advancing a shared objective, a two-state solution.
Reporter: And that would include a resolution?
Kirby: We’ll consider all options to advance a two-state solution.
Reporter: When you spoke of urgency, did you mean that the urgency comes from the possibility that the two states [solution will go] beyond reach?
Kirby: A sense of urgency about the importance of getting to a two-state solution, which has been a consistent point that we’ve made.
Reporter: But there’s a difference between consistency and urgency.
Kirby: What’s the difference?
Reporter: Well, if it’s always urgent, then it’s never more urgent than before.
Kirby: Well, I don’t know that I’d agree with that. Sometimes something can be always urgent and consistently urgent —
Reporter: You sound like a Foreigner song. (Laughter.) … There’s a song called Urgent. Maybe you’re too young to remember —
Kirby: No, I remember that. (Laughter). I know – I remember the song. I didn’t like it.
For the record, here’s the refrain from Foreigner’s memorable ending to Urgent:
“It gets so urgent / So urgent / You know it’s urgent / I wanna tell you it’s the same for me / So oh oh urgent / Just you wait and see / How urgent our love can be / It’s urgent.
“You say it’s urgent / Make it fast, make it urgent / Do it quick, do it urgent / Gotta rush, make it urgent / Want it quick / Urgent, urgent, emergency / Urgent, urgent, emergency / Urgent, urgent, emergency / Urgent, urgent, emergency / So urgent, emergency / Emer… emer… emer… / It’s urgent.”
Reporter: There are those within the President’s party, certainly the former Secretary of State, that say that simply the venue itself is not the place to impose a solution from without. I just want to be clear that you think that, because you’re considering all of your options, you may consider the UN Security Council to be the venue to impose —
Kirby: I don’t – I’m not going to elaborate on my answer to you. I think I’d point you back to what I said before.
Reporter: Let me just follow up on this just for a second, okay? I mean, seeing how time after time you call on the Israelis to refrain from settlement activities, to cease settlement activities, you call them illegal and so on, but in fact they don’t really listen much to what you have to say. So in that case, in that situation, why not have a forum in the United Nations where the world can collectively come up with some sort of a resolution that they all agree on, which is the cessation of settlement activities? Why would you be opposed to that? Why can’t you say that you would support this at the United Nations?
Kirby: Again, I’m going to point you back to my original answer, which made it clear we’re not going to comment on a draft resolution that’s only been informally presented in New York, and that, as I said, we’ll consider all of our options to try to get to a two-state solution. So I think I’m just not going to go any further than that, Said. I know that’s not satisfying for you, but that’s really where we are right now.
(The conversation we refer to starts around min. 43:50)