Ilhan Omar, the Benjamins and Purim Today

To paraphrase the German Lutheran pastor Martin Niemöller (1892–1984),

“First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a communist.

“Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a trade unionist.

“Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for the deplorables, and I did not speak out —
Because I was not a deplorable. [JRL]

“Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

Anti-Semitism is intensifying in Europe, in Asia, and in the United States, adding to the historical anti-Jew attitude of many Arabs wherever they may live.

Lately (early 2019) anti-Semitism in this country has morphed into anti-WASP, anti-deplorable, anti-anything white, anti-anything patriotic, anti-anything sane.  For examples, see here, and here, and here, or add your favorites.

The Jewish festival of Purim is coming up next week, 21 March 2019.  Referring to the biblical Amalek,  “The Purim story’s warning of enemies who seek our destruction assumes such powerful relevance today,” as Rabbi Benjamin Blech wrote yesterday, taking off on  Ilhan Omar’s anti-semitic tweet that “It’s all about the Benjamin’s baby.”

Read his fascinating combination of three Benjamins: author Benjamin Blech as rabbi, Benjamin as  the head of the Jewish tribe, and Benjamin Franklin the father of our nation who graces our $100 bills.  What lessons we can learn!  Please “enjoy” the analogies.  Jerry

Ilhan Omar, the Benjamins and Purim Today

“George Elliott is credited with saying, “History repeats itself.” Mark Twain sharply improved on it with his observation that “history doesn’t repeat itself – but it does rhyme.” No matter how much things may change, one constant always remains: the Hamans of the world, the Jew haters who seek “to destroy, to murder and to bring to an end all Jews, from young to old”, are somehow forever with us.

“It was foretold in the Torah. In the first battle against Amalek, prototype of the anti-Semite throughout the ages, we are informed that although the Jews won the fight, Joshua only “weakened” our enemy. Amalek survived. He continues to plague us in many disguises – masks which have become part of Purim ritual to remind us that people often conceal their true intentions under the guise of noble goals even as they plot the genocide of our people.

“What happened in Shushan is the story of our people throughout the ages. It isn’t just ancient Persia, the persecutions and the pogroms of the Middle Ages or even the Holocaust of the 20 th century. Tragically it is the story once again of our own times. Not only Persia/Iran but sophisticated France, cultured England, educated Europe and the rest of the “civilized world” are again proving the truth of Elie Wiesel’s insight that “the only thing we have learned from history is that we do not learn anything from history.”

“As we recall the Purim story once again, its warning of enemies who seek our destruction assumes such powerful relevance even here in the United States today.

“Let me remind you a little bit about the Jews in Persia of old. When King Achashverosh celebrated his ascent to the throne he threw a huge party to which all were invited. Jews were welcome guests. The drinking was in accord with people’s different faiths. In retrospect, a bill decrying hatred against any and all minority groups would almost certainly have passed in the Persian Congress. Yet it only took a short while for Haman to turn his strategy of genocide into national policy.

“What was the key to Haman’s success? His speech is recorded in the Megillah:

“And Haman said to King Ahasuerus, “There is a certain people scattered and separate among the peoples throughout all the provinces of your kingdom, and their laws differ from [those of] every people, and they do not keep the king’s laws; it is [therefore] of no use for the king to let them be (Book of Esther 3:8).

“The Jews have dual loyalty!

“That is their crime. Ilhan Omar didn’t invent the brilliant lie. It’s always been Amalek’s secret weapon. Hitler knew it. Stalin knew it. Read the Torah on the way in which Pharaoh was able to turn the Egyptians against the Hebrews – the same Egyptians who had been saved by the wisdom of Joseph – and you will find the similar strategy:

“He said to his people, ‘Behold, the people of the children of Israel are more numerous and stronger than we are. Get ready, let us deal shrewdly with them, lest they increase, and a war befall us, and they join our enemies and wage war against us and depart from the land’” (Exodus 2:9 – 10).

“Winston Churchill famously said, “A lie gets halfway around the world before truth puts on its boots.” The lie of Jewish dual loyalty is perpetuated by the Hamans of history even as Jews wherever they reside prove the truth of the promise given by God to Abraham that “I will bless those who bless you.”

“Purim, happily, is not merely the story of anti-Semitism; it is the biblical record of a major victory over a nefarious anti-Semite. And perhaps the most ironic part of the story is a truth made famous these past few weeks by a contemporary Jew hater.

“Ilhan Omar is right; “It’s all about the Benjamins.”

“For Omar “the Benjamins” – a reference to American hundred- dollar bills – was her despicable insinuation that Jews, as the forged Protocols of the Elders of Zion long ago put it, control the world behind the scenes with their money.

“For the Book of Esther, “the Benjamin” was revealing to us at the outset that Mordechai was “Ish Yemini”, from the tribe of Benjamin. And why was that so significant? The rabbis explain that was the reason Mordechai was able to counter Haman’s libel and to demonstrate to us throughout the ages how best to overcome our enemies.

“While others bowed down to Haman, Mordechai refused. It was a trait he inherited genetically. The rabbis tell us that when Jacob met with his brother Esau he bowed down to him. According to some commentaries, it was a sin for which he would be held accountable. And 11 of Jacob’s sons bowed down as well. Only Benjamin, who was not yet born, did not bow. And so Mordechai, a direct descendent of Benjamin, maintained the tradition of his ancestor.

“The man who would not bow down to an enemy in humble submission is the one who encouraged Esther to similarly stand proudly and firmly, without embarrassment or fear, and speak up on behalf of our people. “Who knows,” he told her, “if not for a time such as this have you been placed in this position of rulership.”

“Mordechai and Esther are the heroes of the Purim story because they refused to cower before those who sought to destroy our people. They spoke out against their Haman with all of their strength. It’s all about the Benjamins and those who refuse to remain silent when enemies again plot “the final solution” for Israel and for our people.

“Maybe it isn’t a coincidence that all this is happening at the very time Jews around the world are celebrating Purim. History records not only the recurring story of anti-Semites and anti-Semitism. It also confirms the Divine intervention that has invariably assured our survival. And this miracle – in the one biblical book in which God’s name isn’t mentioned even once – is a miracle we desperately need today: The miracle of Jews, aware of the threat to their survival, who put aside their differences, united in the face of a common enemy, and collectively recognize that it must’ve been for “a time such as this” that we are given the opportunity to partner with God.

Posted in Culture, Government, Islam, Israel, Life | Leave a comment

Lowering the Bar on Politicians of Color

Ron Jager2/22/19 15:37 wrote:

Why do Tliab, Cortez and Omar get away with expressing hideous beliefs, lies and blatant anti-Semtism? [Are we acting as irresponsible parents observing tantrums and taking no disciplinary action?  Just because they have color? JRL]

“It is time to break the silence on the unprecedented expression of hatred against Western values and America’s economic prosperity.

“It is also time to break the silence on the unprecedented anti-Semitic rhetoric proudly and unashamedly expressed by the Democratic party’s trio of elected Congresswomen; Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, and Ilhan Omar.

“Underlying their rhetoric of hatred is a basic lack of identification with the nation that afforded them unparalleled opportunity. Instead, they act as if they were elected to the House of Looney-Tunes, in which Roger Rabbit is head of the Treasury and Alibaba is head of Homeland Security. The widespread reporting and largely positive exposure by the mainstream media for this Democratic dream team has given legitimacy to their anti-American, and anti-Semitic beliefs.

“The absence of moral indignation can only be explained by a morally corrupt and intellectually dishonest Democratic Party and mainstream media who operate under the belief that there it cannot be expected from Politicians of Color to embrace the idea of American exceptionalism or measure up to the high expectations of Western morality.

“When Cortez voices her beliefs against American economic prosperity, she does so exclusively through the Pavlovian looking glass of socialistic economic theories despite the widespread poverty in the undemocratic regimes that claim to be socialist.

“When Tlaib and Omar freely express their blatant anti-Semitic and anti-Israel beliefs, they blur the distinction between their hatred of Jews and their hatred of Israel – because these are two sides of the same coin. Why does this trio of Politicians of Color express so many hideous thoughts and beliefs about Jews without being driven from the public spotlight? Would they be as nonchalant if a politician not of color would express support for a commonly accepted practice in Sudan, the former homeland of congresswomen Omar, where 97% of the local woman are forced to undergo the primitive and savage procedure of female genital mutilation (FGM) usually at an early childhood age? I seriously doubt the Democratic Party nor the mainstream media would tolerate this even for a moment.

“This reluctance to expose and explicitly condemn this trio will only empower and perpetuate poverty, hatred of American society, and anti-Semitism.

“Never demanding accountability from Cortez, Tlaib, or Omar is not an expression of a willingness to support free speech but simply a reluctance to expose and explicitly condemn the idiocy of Cortez’s Green New Deal or condemn the savagery so prevalent in Palestinian society and Islamic countries, so easily ignored and denied by Tlaib and Omar.

“This sugar coating by the Democratic Party and the mainstream media is nothing more than the racist bigotry of low expectations of Politicians of Color who are held to standards lower than other mainstream politicians. Despite Cortez, Tlaib, and Omar having no shame in expressing their hatred of Jews, this was the response of the Democratic leader Pelosi during a MSNBC town hall recently,“I’m not in the censorship business. I don’t like that language, I wouldn’t use that language, but I wouldn’t establish language standards for my colleagues.”

“This reluctance to expose and explicitly condemn this trio will only empower and perpetuate poverty, hatred of American society, and anti-Semitism. It was the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who declared at the Riverside Church in Manhattan in 1967. “We must speak with all the humility that is appropriate to our limited vision, but we must speak,” and added “A time comes when silence is betrayal”.

“Now is the time to end this deafening silence, a silence of betrayal, and begin the arduous task of exposing this trio for what they represent; a manifestation of low expectations all under the banner of political correctness run amok.

“To stand up and demand accountability from Politicians of Color we must begin by learning from the past. During the 20th century, masters of propaganda like Adolf Hitler and Joseph Goebbels made lying a cardinal backbone of everything that was expressed by their leadership. Goebbels’ technique was based on one assumption: “A lie told once remains a lie but a lie told a thousand times becomes the truth.” In other words: if you lie, lie big.

“For our trio, these politicians of color have become accustomed to lying and do so without even a flinch or murmur. Their support for discriminatory actions and boycotts of Israel despite Israel having one of the best records of upholding human rights while at the sometime supporting doing business with the worst human rights offenders in the world, is nothing less than empowering the big lie, and doing it over and over again.

“Out of the trio, the Democratic Party’s Tlaib especially stands out and known for her use of venomous language against America, President Trump, Jews, and Israel,even catching veteran broadcasters by surprise. Seeming to forget that she was elected to the House of Congress of the United States, she expresses total support and affinity for the Palestinian cause, even though Palestinian terrorists, acting in the name of “Palestine,” have killed numerous Americans, both Jews as well as Christians. Yet when American Jews support Israel, she is at the forefront of accusing American Jews of dual loyalty.

“It is both bigoted and hypocritical to apply a different standard to Jews who support Israel than to Muslims who support the Palestinian cause. Due to the bigotry of low expectations of Politicians of Color, Tlaib is never called to order by her Democratic bosses and the mainstream media always give her a free ride to exposure.

“This past week Rep Ilhan Omar had no problem with expressing blatant anti-Semitic accusations that referenced stereotypes about Jews and money and alluded to the America-Israel Public Affairs Committee allegedly paying off Republicans to support Israel. Omar’s accusations are totally detached from reality and only show how uninformed she really is resulting on calls to have her removed from the powerful Foreign Relations Committee. No one with her anti-Semitic views should be allowed to represent US foreign policy on that committee. Politicians of Color should be held accountable for their unacceptable behavior.

“Whether we discuss the suggested Green Deal of Cortez, based on an idiotic proposal to end air travel and to ban cow flatulence for starters or focus on the uninhibited anti-Semitic statements by Tlaib and Omar, they are only the symptom of the problem. As long as the Democratic Party and the mainstream media continue to say nothing and do nothing and essentially go along with these ideas that have nothing to do with environmentalism and human rights but everything to do with promoting socialism and authoritarian societies, Politicians of Color will continue with their crusade of destroying America from within the halls of Congress.

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Dear Dems – bitterness is no way to run a country

Is this what Trump Derangement Syndrome does to people?

Jack Engelhard, 08/02/19 08:07 | updated: 08:00

On the sunny side, there was that moment, during Trump’s State of the Union address, when the place erupted with a gusty/lusty HAPPY BIRTHDAY. This was to honor a man in the audience Trump saluted for valor in surviving first the Holocaust and then the Pittsburgh “Tree of Life” massacre – and now his 81st birthday.

There was nearly breakdancing and moonwalking in the balconies of Congress.

Decorum be damned. We are Americans. Freedom is our bequest. Frivolity is our nature. I saw the same gusto at the Navy base in Haifa; also for an impromptu birthday. They are Israelis. Their love of life and country runs so deep they can’t sit still and prefer to party, as it was that day in America – and where else?

Where else but in America and Israel would a solemn occasion turn spontaneously to rock and roll?

Try that in the parliaments of other countries while the leader speaks, and see who comes out alive.

Instead, we insist on joy. We celebrate our freedoms through acts of whimsy. Long ago we traded in their Richard Wagner for our Elvis Presley.

We love fun. Why not? Fun is a virtue that sees us through the worst of times…and it is a virtue that is unique to us. As we have it in this iconic novel, “Talk to a Russian or German about fun.”

So, what’s up with the Democrats?

You saw them. I saw them as Trump spoke…and have you ever seen a more miserable group of people in your life? Is this what Trump Derangement Syndrome does to people?

It has affected their personalities, certainly their faces – so gloomy. Can you go through life wearing a scowl?

Most of my readers referred to Chuck Schumer’s expression as “smirking.” Good word. I saw the same thing.

But there must be a perfect word to describe all of them. I’ve already said “miserable.” Okay…but not the perfect description.

Nancy Pelosi…for her I’ve got “grumpy.” For all of them in fact…grumpy and crestfallen.

Remember, these sourpusses have much power, so we should not be joking, but like I said, it is the virtue of fun that sees us through the darkest times.

Take note; these are indeed dark times as they lead us toward Socialism and into the killing of newborns.

Plus, these cannot be the best of times for President Trump, with people like Rep. Adam Schiff, the Democrat who hungers to entrap the President from one investigation to another.

Yes, Schiff, when the network cameras swung to him – his expression I’d describe as “hungry,” and for Cory Booker, for him, “angry.” Always angry…perpetually offended.

That goes for all of them, it’s on their faces all the time since Trump was elected. Did I already say “grumpy?” Good one.

But the best one, the perfect one, comes from Yiddish — and drumroll as we announce – UNGEBLUZEN. Yiddish often says it best.

Roughly translated it means “a habitually bad tempered or sullen person.” Multiply that to an entire political party and this needs no translation – oy vey. Better yet – Gevalt!

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Apropos: If I Were the Devil

Apparently he took Paul Harvey’s suggestion. Jerry

If I were  the Devil

Paul Harvey, 1965

“If I were the devil … If I were the Prince of Darkness, I’d want to engulf the whole world in darkness. And I’d have a third of it’s real estate, and four-fifths of its population, but I wouldn’t be happy until I had seized the ripest apple on the tree — Thee. So I’d set about however necessary to take over the United States. I’d subvert the churches first — I’d begin with a campaign of whispers. With the wisdom of a serpent, I would whisper to you as I whispered to Eve: ‘Do as you please.’

“To the young, I would whisper that ‘The Bible is a myth.’ I would convince them that man created God instead of the other way around. I would confide that what’s bad is good, and what’s good is ‘square.’ And the old, I would teach to pray, after me, ‘Our Father, which art in Washington…’

“And then I’d get organized. I’d educate authors in how to make lurid literature exciting, so that anything else would appear dull and uninteresting. I’d threaten TV with dirtier movies and vice versa. I’d pedal narcotics to whom I could. I’d sell alcohol to ladies and gentlemen of distinction. I’d tranquilize the rest with pills.

“If I were the devil I’d soon have families that war with themselves, churches at war with themselves, and nations at war with themselves; until each in its turn was consumed. And with promises of higher ratings I’d have mesmerizing media fanning the flames. If I were the devil I would encourage schools to refine young intellects, but neglect to discipline emotions — just let those run wild, until before you knew it, you’d have to have drug sniffing dogs and metal detectors at every schoolhouse door.

“Within a decade I’d have prisons overflowing, I’d have judges promoting pornography — soon I could evict God from the courthouse, then from the schoolhouse, and then from the houses of Congress. And in His own churches I would substitute psychology for religion, and deify science. I would lure priests and pastors into misusing boys and girls, and church money. If I were the devil I’d make the symbols of Easter an egg and the symbol of Christmas a bottle.

“If I were the devil I’d take from those who have, and give to those who wanted until I had killed the incentive of the ambitious. And what do you bet? I couldn’t get whole states to promote gambling as thee way to get rich? I would caution against extremes and hard work, in Patriotism, in moral conduct. I would convince the young that marriage is old-fashioned, that swinging is more fun, that what you see on TV is the way to be. And thus I could undress you in public, and I could lure you into bed with diseases for which there is no cure. In other words, if I were the devil I’d just keep right on doing on what he’s doing. Paul Harvey, good day.”

– Paul Harvey 1965

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Dabo Swinney Quote

The only disability in life is a bad attitude.  Dabo Swinney

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Over the years I have come to realize that maybe 15% of people are reliable and reputable.  Some say that percentage is high.  One of my tasks in life is to ferret out those 15% and deal with them, avoiding the balance.  Proverbs 10:9.

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Any person . . .

Any person

can say anything,

about anyone,

on any subject,

in any venue,

with any veracity.

Jerry R Lambert

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A million hands murdered Ari Fuld

Ari Fuld, obm, hy”d, left his Efrat home for a routine shopping trip, but was knifed to death 16 September 2018 by a Muslim terrorist youth in the parking lot of the supermarket where my wife and I have bought wine and other foodstuffs when visiting the Efrat area, as late as May this year.

Aftermath of Murder of Ari Fuld

The attacker was neutralized, but not killed, by bullets from the mortally wounded Ari and another civilian.

Jack Englehard wrote in Arutz Sheva two days later:

“A lone assailant, we are told, stabbed to death American-born Israeli hero Ari Fuld. But the story is far deeper than the cold fact.

“The cold fact is plain enough. Fuld, 45, father of four, warrior for Israel, was murdered near his home in Gush Etzion while shopping on Sunday.

“The cold fact is plain enough. Fuld, 45, father of four, warrior for Israel, was murdered near his home in Gush Etzion while shopping on Sunday.
The murderer has been identified as a 17-year-old Arab terrorist, who saw a Jew and stabbed him in the back.

“Fuld was stabbed in the back by more than one terrorist. More than a million hands gave the knife to this Arab. All are complicit. All are guilty.

“Guilty are the politicians who signed the Oslo Accords, which placed a confederacy of low-life gangsters, the PLO, on equal footing with Israel, a nation founded through Divine promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. This nation led by Moses, conquered by Joshua, were commanded, by Moses, to “never break down before the enemy.” (Deuteronomy)

“But break down they did, these politicians, in 1993, when a piece of paper sold out Jewish sovereignty throughout the land in favor of a “peace process” that gave “the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination.” To the “Palestinian people” (who exist nowhere in the history books) this was a sign of weakness and a call for jihad.

“Oslo stabbed Ari Fuld in the back.

“Guilty are the politicians who rejuvenated a defeated Yasser Arafat by bringing him back from Tunis to wage one terror campaign after another.

“They did not know that when he said peace he really meant war? Could they really be that gullible and stupid?

“Jewish stupidity stabbed Ari Fuld in the back.

“Guilty are the politicians and leftist Hebrew newspapers who thought giving up Gaza would be a wonderful idea.

“The eviction of Israelis from Gush Katif stabbed Ari Fuld in the back.

“Continued land swaps and “painful concessions” and lopsided prisoner exchanges convinced the enemy that the Israelis can be played.

“Painful concessions stabbed Ari Fuld in the back.

“Persistent talk of a “two-state-solution” proved to the Palestinian Arabs that the Israelis can be fooled, tricked and broken down.

“A two-state solution stabbed Ari Fuld in the back.

“Guilty are the members of the United Nations and the European Union who consistently cheer for the Arabs and jeer for the Jews…and greet every visit from PLO/Fatah Islamic terrorist Mahmoud Abbas with a standing ovation, coupled with shouts of Encore…Encore when he inflames and incites against Jews and the Jewish State.

“The nations stabbed Ari Fuld in the back.

“So did Obama when, through abstaining, he let pass UN Security Council Resolution 2334, which denied Jewish rights to practically everywhere.

“Obama stabbed Ari Fuld in the back.

“Meantime, the murderer (whom Ari Fuld wounded during the unprovoked attack) is recovering and “resting comfortably” in an Israeli hospital.

“Some would call it typical Jewish decency and compassion. Others might call it a persistent pattern of breaking down before the enemy.


For a list of the several news articles relating to the murder of Ari, please see


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The Donald Trump Negotiations Academy

Caroline B. Glick wrote June 15, 2018 09:27Kim-Trump

Originally published in Jerusalem Post

Trump’s playbook involves doing essentially the opposite of what American and Israeli negotiators have been doing for the past 30 years.

“We didn’t learn this week whether North Korea will give up its nuclear weapons. Only time will tell.

“But we did learn that US President Donald Trump knows how to negotiate.

“All of the negotiations experts insist the opposite is true. “How could they agree to a presidential summit without first guaranteeing its end product?” they sigh, knowingly.

““Trump’s showmanship is dangerous and counterproductive,” they sneer.

““At the end of the day, for this to work, Trump will have to copy Barack Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran,” they insist.

“Dennis Ross, who mediated the negotiations between Israel and the PLO that led directly to the largest Palestinian terrorism campaign against Israel in history, and Wendy Sherman, who negotiated Bill Clinton’s horrible nuclear deal with North Korea in 1994 and Obama’s disastrous nuclear deal with Iran in 2015, as well as all their esteemed colleagues have taken up their pens and stood before the cameras and clucked about how Trump’s Singapore Show is amateur hour.

“But what we saw in Singapore, for the first time since Ronald Reagan went to Reykjavik, was a US president who actually knew how to negotiate with America’s enemies.

“Indeed, Singapore was the first time a Western leader from any nation has gotten the better of his opponent at the negotiating table.

“There are three dangers inherent to the process of negotiating with enemies. And to understand how Trump succeeded where everyone since Reagan has failed, it is important to keep them in mind.

“First, you have no guarantee that the other side will agree to a deal.

“Trump can make the case for denuclearization to Kim. But he can’t make Kim agree to denuclearize.

“Since the US has not defeated North Korea militarily, only Kim can decide whether to go along with Trump or not.

“The first inherent danger of negotiating then, is that the other side walks away and – as PLO chief Yasser Arafat did in 2000 – chooses to make war instead of peace. Negotiations give credibility to the other side and may, as a consequence, make war a more attractive option for your opponent after a period of negotiations than it was when the talks began.

“The last two dangers inherent to negotiations have to do with the actions of Western negotiators and leaders.

“Democratically elected leaders have a greater tendency than dictators to become convinced that their political survival is dependent on their ability to deliver a deal. Once that happens, once a leader believes that the risk of failure is too great to accept, he becomes a hostage of the other side.

“In 2000, then-prime minister Ehud Barak believed that his only chance of political survival was to convince Arafat to accept a peace deal with Israel. As a consequence, Barak stayed in the negotiations even after Arafat rejected his offer and tanked the Camp David summit in July. He remained in talks with Arafat and his deputies even after they launched the most murderous terror war Israel had ever seen.

“The third danger inherent to negotiating with your enemy is related to the second danger. If a leader believes his future depends on getting a deal, the likelihood that he will accept a terrible deal skyrockets.

“Obama made reaching a nuclear deal with Iran the chief aim of his second term. To achieve this goal, Obama abandoned every redline he set for himself.

“He let Iran continue enriching uranium. He made no demand that Tehran curtail its ballistic missile development. He agreed to gut the inspections regime to the point of meaninglessness. And so on down the line.

“Obama was so averse to coming home empty-handed that he agreed to a deal that far from blocking Iran’s path to a nuclear arsenal, paved Iran’s path to a nuclear arsenal. And he threw in $150 billion in sanctions relief to pay for Iran’s efforts to achieve regional hegemony as a sweetener.

“With these risks in mind, we turn to the Singapore Summit. Trump’s playbook involves doing essentially the opposite of what American and Israeli negotiators have been doing for the past 30 years.

“Five lessons stand out.

“1. Don’t make light of your counterpart’s failings, play them up.

“For decades, Israeli negotiators praised Arafat as a man of courage and his successor Mahmoud Abbas as a moderate. Obama and his team praised Iranian President Hassan Rouhani as a moderate. By praising their opponents, the Israelis and Americans justified making concessions to their counterparts, without requiring them to reciprocate. In other words, Israeli and US negotiators put the burden to prove good intentions on themselves, rather than their opponents, who actually had no credibility at all.

“Trump took the opposite approach. After North Korea tested an intercontinental ballistic missile last July, Trump called Kim “Little Rocket Man” and a “madman.”

“By polarizing Kim and blaming him for the growing danger to US national security, Trump made the case that Kim had to prove his good intentions to Trump, not the other way around, as a precondition for negotiations. Kim was required to release three American hostages and blow up his nuclear test site.

“He was the one who needed to prove his credibility. Not Trump.

“2. Intimidate, don’t woo, your opponent’s friends.

“Trump’s three predecessors all begged the Chinese to rein in the North Koreans. In doing so, Clinton, George W. Bush and Obama handed all the leverage to Beijing. To curb North Korea even temporarily, the Chinese demanded continuous US concessions, and they received them.

“Trump on the other hand, threatened China. He linked US-China trade deals to Chinese assistance in curtailing North Korean threats and aggression and agreeing to a US goal of denuclearizing China’s client state.

“To prove his seriousness, Trump managed to lob 58 missiles at Syrian targets in retaliation for Bashar Assad’s use of chemical weapons while he was eating dinner with Chinese President Xi Jinping at his golf club in Florida.

“Trump’s linkage of US-China trade to North Korean denuclearization has paid off. Xi cut off North Korean coal exports to China and limited fuel shipments from China to North Korea. A month later, Kim announced he wanted to meet with his South Korean counterpart.

“3. Make it easy for your side to walk away from the table and hard for the other side to jump ship.

“Trump accomplished this goal through a series of moves. First, he and Defense Secretary James Mattis threatened to destroy North Korea. Second, Trump coupled the threats with the largest increase in defense spending in memory. Third, Trump has repeated, endlessly, that he has no idea whether talks with Kim will lead to an agreement, but he figures it’s worth a shot. Finally, after Kim insulted National Security Adviser John Bolton, Trump canceled the summit.

“Not only did Trump’s polling numbers not suffer from canceling the summit, they improved. As for Kim, Trump’s nixing the summit taught him two lessons. First, he learned the price of failure.

“Second, Kim learned that unlike his predecessors, Trump doesn’t fear walking away. Indeed, he’ll walk away over something that none of his counterparts would ever dream of jumping ship for. If Kim wants to negotiate with Trump, he will respect Trump’s choices.

“4. Appoint hard-line negotiators.

“Kim’s attack on Bolton was reasonable from his perspective. Ever since Clinton signed his failed nuclear deal with Kim’s father in 1994, Bolton has been the most outspoken critic of nuclear diplomacy with North Korea in Washington. Bolton opposed – rightly – every diplomatic initiative and agreement every administration adopted with Pyongyang. There is literally no one in Washington more skeptical of the chances that an agreement with North Korea will succeed than Bolton.

“And there he was on Tuesday, sitting at the negotiating table in Singapore.

“For the past generation, American and Israeli leaders engaging in negotiations with their enemies have given their opponents a say – indeed, they have routinely given them veto power – over the members of their negotiating teams. US and Israeli leaders used their team roster as yet another tool to appease the other side. This, while ignoring the concerns of their domestic constituencies.

“Trump took the opposite approach. After setting up the talks in a manner that minimizes the cost of walking away from the table for him and maximizes the cost for Kim, he chose negotiators that would both minimize the chance of reaching a bad deal and assuage and encourage his constituents that he can be trusted. Both Trump’s supporters and detractors know that so long as Bolton is at the table, the chance of the US agreeing to a bad deal is fairly close to zero. Trump’s rising poll numbers and the fact that the majority of Americans support his negotiations with Kim show that his efforts have paid off politically.

“5. Take control of the clock.

“Reporters in Singapore were shocked when Trump informed them Tuesday afternoon that he and Kim were about to sign an “agreement.” But sure enough, shortly thereafter, they were shepherded into a grand hall for a formal signing ceremony.

“A quick look at the “agreement” showed that there was really nothing there beyond platitudes.

“Trump’s many critics were quick to take him to task for his “deal” because it was purely aspirational.

“But they missed the point. The point wasn’t to reach a serious agreement. The point was to sign a piece of paper that said “Agreement” on it.

“By signing the piece of paper, Trump took all time pressure off of himself and his team. They have their deal. He signed it. In a ceremony with a fancy fountain pen. They have all the time they need now to do what it takes to get Kim to cough up all of his nukes.

“On the other hand, time is working against Kim.

“US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday that the economic sanctions on North Korea will remain in place until after North Korea has denuclearized in a verifiable manner. In other words, assuming Kim cares about his economy and is in this for the money, Kim will want to reach a deal and implement it as quickly as possible.

“Trump’s critics in the US ratcheted up their attacks against his summitry with Kim on Wednesday and Thursday. But everything they say just discredits them. Trump is only dealing with a nuclear armed North Korea because all of his predecessors enabled Pyongyang’s nuclear armament through feckless diplomacy. He’s only there to try a new approach because their old approach gave Kim the theoretical ability to nuke New York.

“And now that he’s actually negotiating, it is clear that what they really fear is not that he will fail like they did. They fear that he will succeed, like only he – a loudmouthed real estate mogul and reality show star from Queens who couldn’t care less what they think of him and happened to write a book called The Art of the Deal – can do.

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School Shootings and Israel

“When terrorists attacked a school in Maalot in 1974, Israel did not declare every school a gun-free zone. It passed a law mandating armed security in schools, provided weapons training to teachers and today runs frequent active shooter drills. There have been only two school shootings since then, and both have ended with teachers killing the terrorists.

Israel proves the NRA’s arguments

Arutz Sheva, Tzvi Lev, 15/02/18 20:49

Wednesday’s horrific shooting in Florida has reignited the gun rights debate in the United States over the Second Amendment to the US Constitution, adopted in 1791, which states:: “… the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

In the past, proponents of limiting civilian access to firearms have extolled Israel as having the proper approach to limiting mass shootings, pointing to the numerous legal hoops Israelis must jump through in order to be granted a gun license.

“In Israel, gun ownership is a privilege rather than a right,” wrote Public Radio International in November. “There is no such thing as a right to bear arms in Israel,” the Huffington Post preached after the 2016 shooting in an Orlando nightclub that left 50 dead.

Newsweek praised Israel for obligating its citizens to “show genuine cause to carry a firearm, such as self-defense or hunting”. The message is clear: Israel has the right approach in curtailing access to firearms, and the United States would be well advised to tread the same path.

In reality, Israel’s gun policy is living proof of the arguments the American gun lobby has been making for years.

Gun rights advocates contend that the way to stop mass shootings is by ensuring that there are always well-armed citizens present who can neutralize the shooter. As NRA chairman Wayne Lapierre always says, “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun”. A bedrock of the NRA’s philosophy is that criminals will always acquire guns illegally, and draconian gun laws only render law-abiding citizens defenseless.

When the knife intifada erupted in September 2015, the Israeli government’s response was to ease the process for the civilian populace to obtain weapons.
Enter Israel: When the knife intifada erupted in September 2015, the Israeli government’s response was to ease the process for the civilian populace to obtain weapons. After a particularly bloody Jerusalem shooting attack that killed four, then-Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan drastically changed the gun laws in order to significantly raise the number of armed civilians on the streets. Instantly, graduates of Special Forces units and IDF officers with the rank of Lieutenant and above were permitted to purchase guns at their will, security guards were allowed to bring their guns home after work, and the minimum age for a license was reduced from 21 to 18.

Erdan explained that “civilians well trained in the use of weapons provide reinforcement in the struggle against terrorism”, while Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat called for every resident to carry a gun, and was even photographed traveling the city carrying a Glock 23.

In addition, the overwhelming majority of terror attacks in Israel are stopped by armed civilians, not law enforcement. For example, the terrorists in the 2016 Sarona market attack were stopped by armed passersby. A pistol-carrying tour guide put an end to the 2017 ramming attack in Arnona that left four soldiers dead.

In Israeli eyes, guns are a valuable deterrent against terrorism. In fact, terrorists have told the Shin Bet internal security service that they often target haredi Jews due to the high likelihood that they are unarmed.

Gun control supporters would answer that the mandatory military service that every Israeli undergoes justifies the trust Israel has of its citizens. However, this argument doesn’t hold water. The vast majority of IDF soldiers aren’t combat soldiers and are certified as 02 riflemen. To be 02 requires one to shoot between 40 and 70 bullets. The pistol course needed to obtain a license takes less than four hours. It is a far cry from the highly trained population that the Left imagines.

Gun control has been proven to be a dismal failure in Israel. The Israeli Arab communities are rife with illegal weapons, with some police estimates putting the number of unlicensed weapons in the Arab sector as high as 500,000. Think about that for a second: The most heavily guarded borders in the world and a highly professional Shin Bet are still not enough to prevent criminals from obtaining illegal firearms.

When terrorists attacked a school in Maalot in 1974, Israel did not declare every school a gun-free zone. It passed a law mandating armed security in schools, provided weapons training to teachers and today runs frequent active shooter drills. There have been only two school shootings since then, and both have ended with teachers killing the terrorists.

It is an approach that the Americans should take to end the constant slaughter of innocents.

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