Israel

Report that NSA spying on Israel reached Congress raises abuse of power questions

Featured image Last night, I wrote about a Wall Street Journal report that the NSA spied on Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and members of his government, and that the spying included intercepting communications with members of Congress. I included in the post the Journal’s brief discussion of the rules that apply to U.S. surveillance that reaches such members. According to the Journal: A 2011 NSA directive said direct communications between foreign intelligence »

Report: Obama’s NSA spied on Israel, Congress, and Jewish Organizations

Featured image President Obama announced two years ago that he would stop eavesdropping on leaders of U.S. allies, after the world learned the reach of long-secret U.S. surveillance programs. According to The Wall Street Journal, this meant an end to spying on French President François Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and other North Atlantic Treaty Organization leaders. However, Israel apparently failed to make Obama’s list of true allies. The Journal reports that »

“A security concern due to divided loyalties”

Featured image In a special Wall Street Journal column (accessible via Google here), Bret Stephens reports on the case of Dr. Gershon Pincus. Having pursued a successful general practice in New York City for some 35 years, Dr. Pincus sought to offer his services to the military. He applied for part-time work at an off-base Naval clinic in Saratoga Springs, New York and got the job last year, commuting from his home »

Obama’s disgraceful Hanukkah party [Updated]

Featured image If this account of the White House Hanukkah party is accurate, then President Obama’s politicization of everything has reached a new low. According to Daniel Greenfield: Obama’s own remarks were boilerplate inoffensive stuff. Israel’s President Rivlin, a political hack who desperately sucks up to the media, was equally insipid. But the White House chose Susan Talve to light the Menorah. Talve is a member of the anti-Israel group T’ruah which »

A dream deferred

Featured image I’d never heard of Adam Greenberg before I went to see him speak last night at Temple of Aaron in St. Paul. He spoke as a guest of the Jewish National Fund. If you ever planted a tree in Israel, the JNF was probably in the picture. I learned last night that it is now also supporting settlement of the Negev among several other worthy projects in Israel. From an »

Allah isn’t fixing this [With Comment by John]

Featured image Today’s New York Daily News cover (left, via Twitter) mocks the prayers of thee Republican presidential candidates and House Speaker Paul Ryan for the victims of yesterday’s massacre in San Bernardino. “God isn’t fixing this,” the cover blares. Subhead: “As latest batch of innocent Americans are left lying in pools of blood, cowards who could truly end gun scourge continue to hide behind meaningless platitudes.” The Daily News cover perfectly »

Should a Jew rent from Avis?

Featured image In the early 1960s, less than 20 years after the end of World War II, a hot topic in the Jewish community was: should a Jew buy a Volkswagen? I never discussed the matter with my parents, but their answer must have been in the affirmative because my mother ended up driving one, and I don’t think she stole it. In light of this story in the Observer, the question »

More “Legitimate” Terror?

Featured image In Israel today, five people were murdered and more wounded in two separate terrorist attacks. In southern Tel Aviv, an Arab terrorist murdered two Jews at prayer and wounded a third. In Gush Etzion region, just south of Jerusalem, terrorists shot three people fatally and wounded seven more. Several of the victims, including one of the dead, are reported to be Americans. This is, of course, the same Islamic terrorism »

Paris close to home

Featured image One of the targets of Friday’s Paris attack was a popular Cambodian restaurant called Le Petit Cambodge. At least 13 people were killed there. My younger daughter, who lived in Paris for a year, has eaten at Le Petit Cambodge. It’s a favorite restaurant of one of her cousins who lives nearby. As soon as she heard about the attacks, my daughter contacted her cousin to see if he was »

Bibi brings it (2)

Featured image Following Prime Minister Netanyahu’s meeting with President Obama in the White House on Monday, AEI hosted its 2015 annual dinner at the National Building Museum in Washington, DC. AEI presented its 2015 Irving Kristol Award to Netanyahu. In lieu of a speech Prime Minister Netanyahu responded to questions put to him by AEI’s Danielle Pletka. The video is below. The Israeli Foreign Ministry has posted excerpts of Netanyahu’s remarks here. »

Bibi Brings It

Featured image Last night Power Line’s roving correspondents (that would be me and Scott—you can see how handsome we are nearby) turned up for the AEI dinner honoring Prime Minister Netanyahu with AEI’s Irving Kristol Award. And he did not disappoint. Rather than a formal speech, the Prime Minister had a conversation with AEI’s Dany Pletka. I was especially struck by his forthright embrace of the dilemmas of the responsible statesmen: “Most »

Halting Halbertal

Featured image Minnesota United States Attorney Andrew Luger took to the pages of the Star Tribune to denounce the “Islamophobia” allegedly rampant in “the news.” The column appeared under the heading “Minnesotans must face Islamophobia head-on.” Luger condemns a “current wave of Islamophobia.” There are several problems with Luger’s column. I want to note two. “Islamophobia” is a term of art invented by fanatics to stigmatize their opponents. Speaking as “Minnesota’s chief »

Inside the fraying US-Israel ties

Featured image On October 23 the Wall Street Journal published the page-one story by Adam Entous on the United States’ intelligence activities directed against Israel. Given the headline “Spy vs. spy: Inside the fraying U.S.-Israel ties” (accessible here via Google), the story was full of revelations including measures taken by the United States to deter Israeli military action against Iran. Entous works the national security beat at the Journal, and his story »

Rabin’s legacy

Featured image The assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin 20 years ago has been the occasion of observances and retrospectives that honor his role in the Oslo Accords. Over the weekend, for example, Bill Clinton was in Jerusalem telling Israelis they must “finish the last chapter” of Rabin’s legacy. Among knowledgeable observers, Peter Berkowitz, Jeff Jacoby, and Caroline Glick have written columns worthy of note on the subject. Oslo of course »

Netanyahu vs. the Mufti: Why the Controversy?

Featured image Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stirred up a hornet’s nest when he told the World Zionist Congress yesterday that Hitler’s “final solution” was originally the Grand Mufti’s idea: Netanyahu’s comments have been just about universally denounced. Yad Vashem’s chief historian, Professor Dina Porat, told Ynet that Netanyahu’s statements were factually incorrect. “You cannot say that it was the mufti who gave Hitler the idea to kill or burn Jews,” she said. »

Netanyahu to Kerry: No concessions

Featured image The spate of stabbings by Palestinians of Israeli Jews has caused John Kerry to spring into action, defined as it always is for Kerry as attempting to wring concessions from Israel. Kerry plans to meet with PA president Mahmoud Abbas and Jordan’s King Abdullah II in the Middle East next weekend. In advance of these meetings, Kerry will meet with Israeli prime minister Benjamim Netanyahu on Thursday, assuming events allow »

Spontaneous Combustion on the West Bank

Featured image In Israel and the West Bank, violence is always “breaking out,” “erupting,” “flaring,” “raging,” becoming a “wave” or a “cycle,” and so on. These locutions are generally intended to obscure who is committing violence against whom. This morning, in an act of historical vandalism reminiscent of the Taliban or ISIS, Palestinians set fire to Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus, a Jewish historic and religious site: CNN tweeted about the arson with »