Israel

Israel arrests 50 former Hamas prisoners freed in swap

Featured image Supporters of President Obama’s decision to swap five top Taliban commanders for Bowe Bergdahl like to point out that Israel swapped more than a thousand Palestinian terrorists in exchange for Gilad Schalit. It’s a fair argument to make, but hardly a debate stopper. For one thing, Israel’s willingness to make one-sided deals doesn’t establish that such deals are good policy. For another, unlike Bergdahl, Schalit was not a deserter. Finally, »

Obama seeks to leverage his Iraq debacle into rapprochement with Iran

Featured image In the post immediately below this one, I argue that President Obama now “owns” Iraq because his unwillingness seriously to negotiate a status of forces agreement led directly to Iraq’s current chaos. Obama, of course, doesn’t see it this way, but he is belatedly looking for ways to prevent the complete disintegration of Iraq. That’s the good news. The bad news is that, according to The Wall Street Journal, Obama’s »

The PA celebrates a kidnapping

Featured image This past Thursday night, three Jewish teenagers — one of whom is a dual American/Israeli citizen — were abducted on the West Bank. The Israelis are certain that Hamas is responsible. The Israelis have taken 80 suspects into custody as part of the investigation. Reuters reports the story here. One can only fear the outcome and the consequences. For the moment, we can also observe the reaction of the Palestinian »

Israel to expand settlement construction, as Obama’s Middle East policy collapses

Featured image Israel has announced that it will move ahead with the construction of approximately 1,500 housing units in settlements in the West Bank and Jerusalem. In addition, it will proceed with the planning of 1,800 more units. All of the construction will take place in areas Israel insists it will retain in any future deal with the Palestinians. In addition, as I understand it, the latest construction bids would have been »

Meanwhile in Arafatistan

Featured image Mahmoud Abbas serves in the ninth year of his four-year term as president of the Palestinian Authority. Having engineered the formation of a unity government that enlists the support of Hamas, he now brings to an apparent end the seven-year civil war that severed Gaza from his jurisdiction and placed it under the control of Hamas. Here is the beauty part: no members of Hamas itself participates in the newly »

IRS fails to evade discovery in targeting of pro-Israel group litigation

Featured image A federal judge ruled last week that discovery in a lawsuit challenging the IRS’s scrutiny of the pro-Israel group Z Street may proceed. The judge in question is Ketanji Brown Jackson, an Obama appointee. Judge Brown Jackson is, from all I can tell, a down-the-line liberal. But she rejected in no uncertain terms the government’s attempts to short-circuit this lawsuit against the IRS. Z Street alleges that the IRS gave »

The Hamas-Fatah unity government is fine in principle with Obama

Featured image On Monday, it becomes official: Fatah and Hamas will announce the formation of a Palestinian unity government. Fatah is Israel’s alleged “peace partner.” Hamas is openly dedicated to the destruction of Israel. Where does this leave the “peace process”? Israel has been clear on the subject. It will not negotiate with a Palestinian government backed by Hamas. What about the Obama administration? It too is clear in its own way. »

The Enemy of My Enemy. . .

Featured image When Hitler invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941, the life-long bitter foe of Communism Winston Churchill got on the phone right away to Joseph Stalin, and, while never forgetting what Stalin was, offered Britain’s help in staving off Germany.  A few days later Churchill said that he “would unsay none of his criticisms” of Communism, but that if Hitler invaded Hell, he would at least make a favorable reference »

Paul Pillar, CIA Terrorism Expert, Descends to Anti-Israel Smear Merchant

Featured image Scott wrote this morning about Paul Pillar, the now-retired senior CIA official who was a friend of mine, and a roommate of Paul’s, in college. At the CIA, Pillar was one of the bureaucrats who carried on a six-year war against the Bush administration and thereby became something of a hero on the Left. In The National Interest, Pillar writes on a topic unrelated to his government service. Called “The »

Abrams analyzes

Featured image In “Kristol connects” I wrote about Bill Kristol’s presentation to the Minnesota chapter of the Republican Jewish Coalition this past Monday. I noted that Bill connected Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech at the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Jerusalem the day before with columns by former IDF chief of intelligence Amos Yadlin and former Netanyahu national security adviser Yaacov Amidror. Bill had had the benefit of an advance look at the then »

Report: Foiled Pakistani terror plot targeted Israeli and U.S. consulates

Featured image The Times of India reports that Pakistani intelligence services were planning a terrorist attack against the Israeli mission in Bengaluru (also known as Bangalore) and the American consulate in Chennai (both are cities in Southern India). The reported plot was thwarted when Indian security officials interrogated a Sri Lankan national who allegedly was hired by a Pakistani agent to conduct reconnaissance of the two diplomatic missions. The Sri Lankan, Sakir »

Criminalizing Speech in the UK?

Featured image In my post over the weekend about the arrest of Paul Weston over in the UK for reading Churchill’s infamous passage about Islam from The River War, I wondered whether Weston might have been arrested for violating some kind of hateful “hate speech” law or perhaps on the narrower charge of violating the UK equivalent of a “time, place, and manner” restriction.  It ominously appears it was the former, as »

Kristol connects

Featured image Bill Kristol spoke to an overflow crowd of our small local chapter of the Republican Jewish Coalition in Minneapolis on Monday night. Under the leadership of chapter president Mark Miller, our chapter has grown from the 38 members at the time of our first event (former Senator Rudy Boschwitz was the speaker) to some 700 today. I would like to think that the growth of the chapter is a straw »

Is John Kerry Out of the Mainstream?

Featured image On Friday, John Kerry suggested in a speech to the Trilateral Commission that Israel risks becoming an “apartheid state,” a comment that sparked an immediate backlash. The disgusting claim that Israel practices apartheid is a staple on the left and should be repudiated by everyone. But the more important point, I think, is that while Kerry’s statement was badly phrased–he has sort-of-apologized for using what Paul calls the “A” word–he »

John Kerry escalates his anti-Israel rhetoric

Featured image First, John Kerry invoked the “B” word against Israel. He warned the Jewish State of dire economic consequences from a boycott if it didn’t reach an accord with the Palestinians. Now, Kerry has invoked the “A” word. He claims that Israel risks becoming “an apartheid state” in the absence of a peace deal, Both comments, of course, drew sharp criticism. And in both cases Secretary Foghorn’s response was the same: »

Netanyahu at Yad Vashem

Featured image Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke yesterday evening at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum in Jerusalem. The occasion was Holocaust Remembrance Day. In his free weekly newsletter (sign up for it here), Bill Kristol puts it this way: “[B]y contrast with the delusional Kerry and the feckless Obama, here’s a world leader who understands the gravity of the moment…It’s well worth reading.” Netanyahu gave the speech in Hebrew, so I’m foregoing »

Fatah-Hamas reconciliation could put Obama in a bind

Featured image Last week, as was widely reported, rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah announced that they had agreed to reconcile and will begin discussing the formation of a unity government. The announcement caused Israel to pull out “peace” negotiations, to the relief, no doubt, of all concerned except for John Kerry and a few stray Obama administration members. The Hamas-Fatah reconciliation has potential implications beyond the demise of “peace talks” that »