Israel

Men at work, Hamas style

Featured image Over the weekend the IDF announced the second recent discovery and destruction of a terror tunnel penetrating Israel from Gaza, this one courtesy of Hamas (the first was a product of Islamic Jihad). I have embedded a tweet below with the IDF video regarding the tunnel. You can see to what use the Arabs of Gaza put the concrete and funds they import. Apart from advances in the techniques of »

Rallying cry of Jerusalem may have lost force in Arab world

Featured image That’s the headline of an article in the New York Times. To which I say, “ya think.” The point is so obvious that it took three Times reporters — Anne Barnard, Ben Hubbard, and Declan Walsh — to make it. They write: [A]s Arab and Muslim leaders raised their voices to condemn [Trump’s decision on Jerusalem], many across the Middle East wondered if so much had changed in recent years »

Baked in the cake

Featured image The tweet below finds the intersection of two of this week’s big stories. On the one hand, we have the oral argument in the Masterpiece Cake Shop case. (Professor Phillip Muñoz has published an illuminating essay on the deep issues baked into the case.) On the other hand, we have President Trump’s declaration that the United States now recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The infamous Linda Sarsour is »

Trump’s Jerusalem Speech Is a Step Forward

Featured image As expected, President Trump announced today that the United States is recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. He also said that he is directing the State Department to begin preparations to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Trump described his order as “the beginning of a new approach to conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.” The old approach, he said, hasn’t worked, and “[i]t would be »

Trump’s Views on Jerusalem Horrify the Press

Featured image Tomorrow, President Trump will speak publicly about the status of Jerusalem. During the campaign, he promised to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Israel’s capital, which is required by law unless the president issues a waiver on national security grounds–as every president has done since the law was passed. Apparently “U.S. officials” are telling reporters that Trump will say Jerusalem is Israel’s capital, a much more modest step »

Jared Kushner’s shopworn “wisdom” about the Middle East

Featured image John Roche, who served as an aide to President Johnson, once described Johnson’s reaction when a Democratic Senator on the Foreign Relations Committee (Roche withheld the name, and I won’t speculate) broke with LBJ on the war in Vietnam. According to Roche, Johnson said something close to this: It’s my own fault. Some years ago, the good people of ______, in their wisdom, elected the village idiot to the Senate. »

Israel strikes Iranian base in Syria

Featured image Several Arab media sources have reported that twelve Iranian military personnel were killed in an Israeli air strike on an Iranian base in Syria Friday night. The Jerusalem Post has confirmed the strikes but apparently not the death count. Israel fired the missiles at a base Iran has been building near the Syrian city of ​​al-Qiswa (also spelled al-Kiswah) about 50 kilometers from the Golan Heights. Reportedly, the strike destroyed »

Trump’s great call on UNESCO

Featured image I don’t think we have commented on President Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in protest of that outfit’s anti-Israel bias. My comment is: Great call. President Trump is following in the footsteps of President Reagan. He took the U.S. out of UNESCO in 1984 because it was too susceptible to Soviet influence and overly critical of Israel. There »

Rudy Boschwitz: A Gillibrand footnote

Featured image After his two terms representing Minnesota in the Senate from late 1978 to early 1991, Rudy Boschwitz served as the first President Bush’s Emissary to Ethiopia (1991) and then was appointed by the second President Bush to serve as the United States Ambassador to the UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva (2005). Thinking about New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s forthcoming appearance before supporters of the BDS movement against Israel (noted »

Gillibrand to deliver keynote speech at anti-Israel event

Featured image Rachel Frommer of the Washington Free Beacon reports that Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is scheduled to give the keynote address at an upcoming “social justice” conference funded by, and featuring high profile supporters of, the anti-Israel boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement (BDS). The conference, Frommer notes, is co-sponsored by the Open Society Foundations, founded and funded by prominent left-wing billionaire George Soros. One of that organization’s objectives is to erode Israel’s »

Netanyahu at the U.N.

Featured image Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said of President Trump’s speech at the U.N today, “In over 30 years in my experience with the UN, I never heard a bolder or more courageous speech.” Netanyahu’s speech to the U.N. wasn’t bad either. You can read it here. Netanyahu began by celebrating Israel’s vastly improved standing in the world: We’re in the midst of a great revolution, a revolution in Israel’s standing among »

Fake news about H.R. McMaster?

Featured image Yesterday, PJ Media published a disturbing report about H.R. McMaster, President Trump’s national security adviser. It said that at a meeting during the week of August 27 at the White House, McMaster brought with him Mustafa Javed Ali, NSC Senior Director on Counter-Terrorism. According to PJ Media’s report, Ali has been described by a senior administration source as being “opposed to Hezbollah’s designation as a terrorist organization.” The Israelis reportedly »

Report: Tillerson pushes for Israel to return millions in U.S. aid

Featured image Secretary of State Rex Tillerson reportedly has been pushing the Trump White House to demand that Israel give back to the United States millions of dollars in military aid. The Trump White House reportedly is pushing back on this demand. So are members of Congress, including our friend Sen. Tom Cotton. Here’s the back story, as I understand it. Last year, President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu signed a Memorandum »

Conan does Israel [with comment by Paul]

Featured image Conan O’Brien has been touring Israel over the past week for a Conan Without Borders episode of his late night show on TBS. In Israel he acted like a tourist. He hit the highlights. He approached Israelis in an ingenuous spirit of appreciation and the appreciation was mutual. If you’ve been to Israel, you know that Israelis are grateful to be seen in the same light as the rest of »

McMaster makes it clear to all that he can’t work with Bannon

Featured image National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster was asked three times today by Chuck Todd whether he can work with Steve Bannon, President Trump’s chief strategist. Three times McMaster refused to say that he can. Each answer was more embarrassing than the last — to McMaster, to Bannon, and ultimately to their boss. You can read the details here. It is the job of every member of a president’s staff to work »

McMaster’s supporters push back

Featured image National Security Adviser Gen. H.R. McMaster came in or criticism after he fired three staff members, all of whom are strongly pro-Israel and forceful opponents of the Iran nuclear deal. I gave voice to some of that criticism here. McMaster’s supporters are pushing back. Among them, at least for the time being, is President Trump. Hugh Hewitt characterizes McMaster’s critics as “a tiny slice” of “the alt right” and a »

McMaster purges pro-Israel, anti-Iran deal Trump loyalists

Featured image National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster has fired three staff members in recent weeks. The three are Ezra Cohen-Watnick, senior director for intelligence; Derek Harvey, the NSC’s top Middle East adviser; and Rich Higgins, director for strategic planning. All three were aligned with Steve Bannon. Michael Warren of the Weekly Standard discusses the purge here. Glenn Thrush and Peter Baker of the New York Times discuss it here. Neither the Standard »