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Emet m'Tsiyon

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Benito Gantz Talks & Acts like a Dictator -- Israel's Democracy in Danger

Fraud is a common feature of politics, Who would deny it? A blatant contemporary example is the so-called Blue-White Party in Israel. Blue and white are the national colors of Israel, appearing on the flag. Hence, the Blue-White Party wants to be seen as patriotic. It pretends to be nationalist, often called "right-wing" in Israel although that term is often misleading. To further the ambition of Benny Gantz to dominate Israel's government, it was necessary for his party to pretend to be national or "right-wing." This is because  the "left-wing" Labor Party had led Israel into the disastrous Oslo Accords, which multiplied the number of Israelis being murdered in terrorist attacks. And was thus discredited. So "left-wing" became an ugly, threatening term to most Israelis. Therefore, a party had to seem non-"left" or "right-wing" or national in order to win enough votes to form a govt with other  parties in a coalition.

Staying with the Israel Labor Party, although one would think that a labor party would automatically be considered "leftist," the Israel Labor Party pretended to be "rightist" or national in the 1992 elections. In fact, some journalists complained in 1992 that the party was "Likud B." In other words, the party was too close to the Likud in its election rhetoric. It was imitating Likud. Yits'haq Rabin who was at the top of the party's list, and therefore would become prime minister if the party succeeded in forming a government, promised repeatedly that he and his party would not negotiate with the  PLO. We now know that the party, perhaps through Shimon Peres, was negotiating before the 1992 elections with Arab parties, such as Hadash, which was the Israel Communist party but with a chiefly Arab voting base and with Arab nationalist policies and rhetoric. After the election, Yossi Beilin was sent by foreign minister Peres to negotiate with the PLO and these ill-starred negotiations took place in Oslo, Norway, as part of the Norwegian contribution to world terrorism, which the Norwegian govt of the time would have called helping  the "peace process." Perhaps Rabin was sincere in his promise not to negotiate with the PLO. But Peres was able to work around him. It seems that Rabin did not not know about the secret Peres-Beilin-PLO talks in Oslo and was then presented with a fait accompli by Peres. Rabin had previously called Peres "a tireless subverter" [חתרן בלתי נלאה] and he had called Beilin "Peres' poodle." As prime minister, Rabin should have known better than to trust Peres.

This history of the Oslo Accords is very relevant for what is now going on in Israeli politics. Gantz and other party members of Blue-White claimed over and over that they would not try to form a minority govt supported from outside the government by the frankly anti-Israel group of parties in the Joint Arab List.
Just before last week’s election, Yair Lapid, the No. 2 in Benny Gantz’s Kahol Lavan, wrote on Facebook that his party could have formed a government after the previous election in September with the support of the Joint List of Arab parties. But it decided not to. “We won’t form a government with the Joint List. Period, exclamation mark. Whatever you choose.” [Anshel Pfeffer, Haaretz, 10 March 2020]
Gantz even went so far as to call prime minister Netanyahu a "liar" for forecasting that that is what he would do after the election. Now, after the election on 2 March, last week, it turns out that Netanyahu was right and that Gantz was unjustly calling him a "liar" for his accurate forecasting. Gantz is hardly one to heed the will of the people if just one week after the election he is already breaking an important promise to his voters. Gantz is not democratic and is a habitual liar himself. We will get to that later.

First, the Israeli system needs explanation. There are 120 members of the parliament, the Knesset. They are elected by proportional representation. That is, the total vote is counted and parties that get more than the necessary threshold of vote percentage [3.25%] will get seats divided up by the percentage of votes for each qualifying party or party list. If a party list gets approximately 10% of the votes, it will get10% of the seats, that is, 12 out of 120. Since a party never gets half or more of the seats [61], it has to form a coalition. In the last three elections, neither major party [neither Likud nor Blue-White] has gotten enough seats among the Jewish parties [most of which have some Arab or Druze voters] to form a govt even in coalition. The Arab parties (including the Communist Hadash), being anti-Israel and Arab nationalist in rhetoric and policies, have never been part of a coalition [alhough the Communist Party in 1948 signed the Israeli Declaration of Independence]. So there is good reason not to include them in a coalition --as opposed to individual Arab politicians considered loyal to the state who have been in the government.

As Benito Gantz has been speaking in favor of forming a minority government supported from outside the govt by the Joint Arab List to provide a 62 seat majority, two members of Blue-White, considered "right-wing," have spoken out publicly against the very idea. Gantz naturally became angry with them, although they were only insisting that the party hold to Gantz' own promises to the voters rejecting the very notion of a govt based on the Joint List [including Communists and Islamists]. What Gantz said to these two members of his own party elected on the Blue-White list to the Knesset is very interesting and instructive. He did not merely tell them why he thought they were wrong and he was right, he put it this way:
Gantz however issued a statement saying “In Blue and White there can be a variety of opinions, but there is only one position and one decision - that of the chairman of the party. Not that of senior officials or associates.” [Jerusalem Post, 10 March 2020]
Benny Gantz issued this statement. But it could just as well have been issued by another Ben, Benito Mussolini. Or Stalin, for that matter. The party leader is called by Gantz the "chairman" as in Communist countries where the top dictator was the chairman of the Communist Party. Is there any doubt that this Benito is a danger to Israel's democracy and a danger to the Jews?

Just to add a little extra sweetness to our portrait of Benito, let's look at what he said last Saturday night. Netanyahu gave a speech to members of Likud in which he severely criticized Gantz. Gantz responded with a speech of his own in which he threatened civil war. Of course, he charged Netanyahu with threatening or working towards a civil war due to Netanyahu's alleged "incitement." But the charge of incitement has been used all too often here in Israel in order to silence political opponents. In fact, Gantz and some of his Blue White comrades have been inciting against Netanyahu by gross lies [here]. Here are beauties from Gantz' speech on Saturday night:
"The Right in recent in weeks are [sic! should be "have"] left no room for no [sic!! This second no does not belong here] doubt, Netanyahu is threatening a civil war with his call of incitement. I stand here in front of you in the name of many people on the Right and Left and say: it's time to heal Israeli society from the plague of hatred," [i24news]
In fact, Gantz has been smearing Netanyahu since his first major political speech in February 2019 [here].
Gantz is far from being a true military hero. He was a mediocre general at best. In Yiddish we can call him Ah gantser gornisht [ א גאנצער גארנישט], a total nothing!! On the other hand, Netanyahu served in the elite Sayeret Matkal commando unit. He took part in various missions, such as rescuing the passengers on a Sabena [Belgian] airline who were hijacked to the Lod airport here in Israel by terrorists.
Now for the good news. It seems that Orly Levy Abecassis has served as the Queen Esther of our times --on Purim appropriately-- and rescued us from the nightmare of a minority government dependent on the hostile Arab parties who had already warned that they demand a high price be paid for supporting Gantz' would-be govt from outside. For instance, they ruled out any future major military action against the Hamas jihadi terrorists in the Gaza Strip.
Orly Levy, daughter of a Likud foreign minister, joined with Zvi Hauser and Yoaz Hendel in refusing to back Gantz in his endeavor to form a minority govt supported from outside by hostile Arab parties.
Whereas Hauser and Hendel belong to Blue-White and were elected on its list, Levy Abecassis was elected on a joint list of her party, Gesher, along with Labor and Meretz.


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Friday, January 17, 2020

Turkey Still Getting away with Murder -- The Next Iran?

Turkey in World War I carried out mass murder of Armenians who were numerous, even in the majority, in several areas of what is now the Turkish Republic. What is less known is that hundreds of thousands of ethnic Greeks and Assyrians --both Christian peoples-- were also slaughtered and driven from their homes during that war. After the war, when the new regime of Kemal Ataturk had taken over from the Ottoman Empire which --under the leadership of the so-called Young Turks, the Committtee for Unity and Progress -- had carried out genocide during the war, the new regime too carried out genocide and ethnic cleansing. For this service to Islam, so it was seen in Turkey at the time, Ataturk was given the title of Ghazi, glorious victor in jihad, in a holy war.* These post-war massacres and expulsions took place mainly in 1922, as from Smyrna. Before WW I, millions of non-Muslims who were not Turks lived in what was then called Asia Minor, or Anatolia or Turkey in Asia. By 1923, this large population was almost all gone. The Armenians were almost totally gone while some tens of thousands of ethnic Greeks still lived in Constantinople, known today under its Turkish name, Istanbul, and thousands of Assyrians kept on living in the southeast.

Turkey never had to pay for its crimes during WW I and the 1920s. It was believed to contain oil, petroleum, and for that reason or others, it was thought best not to bother or harass the Turks with accusations or punishments for their crimes. And when Ataturk imposed or tried to impose some secularizing reforms later in the 1920s, his position became firm in most Western public opinion. He was an admired figure in the West, including the USA. Turkey as such was admired too [a popular American song around 1950 featured the line: It's nobody's business but the Turks']. His successors in the late 1930s and in the 1940s were wise enough to keep out of WW II, although pro-German sentiment was strong. Hence, the new, supposedly secular Turkey was accepted into NATO in 1952 at the same time as Greece. Yet old habits die hard. In 1955, while both Turkey and Greece belonged to NATO, tens of thousands of ethnic Greeks were driven out of Istanbul and taken in by Greece.** Here we had a NATO member state performing ethnic cleansing on people who shared ethnicidentity with the people of another NATO member state. And NATO did nothing about it. Indeed, the Turks got away with murder both figuratively and literally.

With the rise to power of Rejep Tayyip Erdogan in late 2002, Islamist, jihadist inclinations were once again overt in the Turkish Republic. Ambitions of Ottoman imperial revival, called neo-Ottomanism, were revived and Erdogan's Turkey took a special interest in the Islamist, jihadist Hamas movement that took over the Gaza Strip in 2007. In 2010 he joined forces with Western partisans of Hamas and the Arab anti-Israel cause, including the American feminine outfit called Code Pink. They organized a so-called "Free Gaza" convoy of seven boats to supposedly bring needed goods to Gaza kept out by Israel's partial blockade of Hamas-ruled Gaza. This was a pretense for a  pro-Hamas undertaking. The supposedly needed goods in Gaza carried by the convoy included medications near to or past their expiration dates and assorted equipment, much of it what some Turkish businesses were willing to get rid of. The largest of the seven boats was a Turkish ferry that customarily crossed the Turkish straits.

As the convoy approached the coast of Gaza, Israel's navy warned it not to go further. Since the warning was not heeded, Israeli commandos landed from a helicopter on the ferry boat, the Mavi Marmara. But they were not prepared for the reception they got from the scores of jihadis on the craft, Turks and others. They were attacked with knives and clubs and a few guns. When more commandos got involved, the jihadis were overcome and ten Turkish jihadis were dead, one of them a dual Turkish-US citizen, Although the jihadis were violating a legitimate blockade, President Obama acted and spoke as it were Israel doing wrong. The story of the convoy and Obama's interference is a long, detailed one that will be skipped for now.

In following years, Turkey has claimed ownership of Greek territorial waters and successfully interfered in oil and gas exploration in those waters by Italian companies working with the Greeks. Likewise, Turkey has interfered in oil and gas exploration in Cypriot territorial waters, whereas it had already occupied northern Cyprus in 1974. About a month or so ago, Turkish warships chased away from Cypriot waters an Israeli scientific research ship working in cooperation with the Greek Cypriot Republic of Cyprus authorities.

Again, Turkey, falsely seen as a democratic Western country, has been getting away with murder. But  its offenses have gotten much less attention in the American press than they deserved. The commentator Yohanan Visser argues that Turkey is the next Iran. Here is part of his article bringing the story up to date:
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF), for the first time ever, added Turkey to the list of security threats in the annual national security assessment.
At the same time the IDF doesn’t see a confrontation with the Turkish army in 2020.
The addition of Turkey - a country that maintains diplomatic relations with Israel and once was an ally of the Jewish state - to the list of security threats is related to the bellicose actions by Turkish dictator Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the Middle East the IDF said in the assessment.
Erdogan routinely denounces Israel for its policies toward the Palestinian Arabs and uses to compare [
= often compares] the country to Nazi-Germany while also threatening Israel over a plan to build a pipeline in the Mediterranean Sea that would bring Israeli gas from the Leviathan gas field to Europe.
The Turkish leader last month signed a memorandum with Libya about the linking of their so-called economic zones in the Mediterranean Sea.
The deal that was clearly meant to prevent Israel, Greece and Cyprus from realizing their plan for the construction of the pipeline and to claim the expected gas reserves in these zones.
"Other international actors cannot conduct exploration activities in the areas marked in the Turkish-Libyan memorandum. Greek Cypriots, Egypt, Greece and Israel cannot establish a natural gas transmission line without Turkey's consent," Erdogan said after Israel signed the gas pipe deal with Greece and Cyprus.
The Turkish Foreign Ministry later summoned the Israeli ambassador in Ankara to tell him that the construction of the gas pipeline required Turkey’s approval and that there was no need for the pipe since there is already a similar pipe line from Azerbaijan to Turkey and from there to Europe. [Israel National News, 15 January 2020]
It may be needless to say, but if anyone is not aware, there is no legal substance to Turkey's claim to ownership of the maritime territory of the eastern Mediterranean or to hegemony over it. But apparently NATO is still letting Turkey, now under the Islamist tyrant Erdogan, get away with murder.

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References
For more info on the expulsions of 1922-23, see:
Ernest Hemingway, "On the Quai at Smyrna" and the epigraph to Chapter II, both in the collection In Our Time
George Horton, The Blight of Asia
Marjorie Housepian, The Smyrna Affair


** For info on the pogroms and expulsion of the ethnic Greeks from Istanbul [Constantinople] in 1955:
Called Eylul Olaylari in Turkish, these pogroms took place on 6-7 September 1955, and were staged by the government of Adnan Menderes.
Pappas Post [here]
wikipedia in English [here]
wikipedia in Hebrew [here]
Alfred de Zayas, the events according to international law [here]
Kathimerini [newspaper] [here]
youtube, still photos from the events [here]
Aykan Erdemir in Politico.eu [here]
Greek Reporter [here]
European Journal of Turkish Studies [here]
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* On Ataturk's victories as Islamic victories & on the title of Ghazi, see:
Albert Avakian, "Pouvoir et Islam en Turquie  de 1919 a` 1960," Revue d'Histoire de la deuxie`me Guerre Mondiale et des Conflits Contemporains (vol 35, no. 137; 1985), pp90-91
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Previous posts on Emet m'Tsiyon on modern Greek-Turkish events & the indulgent Western policy towards Turkey
http://ziontruth.blogspot.com/2011/02/more-on-us-pro-islam-pro-arab-policy.html

http://ziontruth.blogspot.com/2007/10/gem-of-absurdity-from-walt-mearsheimer.html
http://ziontruth.blogspot.com/2010/06/euro-hypocrites-forget-turkish-mass.html

http://ziontruth.blogspot.com/2018/01/mahmoud-abbas-tells-european-union-that.html
http://ziontruth.blogspot.com/2005/10/bolsheviks-for-jihad-genocide-stalins.html

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Friday, November 29, 2019

The BBC Favors Islam & Muslims, according to Sikh Leader

BBC favoritism for Arabs and Muslims goes far back, maybe as far back as its founding in 1927. Likewise, the BBC. either openly or by omission, has long been hostile to Jews. After all, if the BBC omits from its broadcasts during the Shoah the news that organized, systematic mass murder of Jews is going on in Nazi-occupied territory, then that is obvious Judeophobia. For several reasons, but let us consider just two: If people in the BBC's home country, that is the United Kingdom, do not know about the Shoah, then they will not demand that their government do anything about it. The British Jews too may remain in the dark. Of course, it is and was the duty of the BBC to inform British people about what is going on in the world, and during WW2 in particular, to inform them of what is happening in the Nazi-ruled countries. One would think that news about the Shoah would have increased the disgust of British people for the Nazi Germans. But this cannot happen if people do not know about the ongoing Shoah.

On the other hand, during WW2 people in occupied countries often depended on BBC radio broadcasts to inform them. That included many Jews. If the Jews do not know about the ongoing Shoah, then they are not likely to take steps to save themselves or to fight the Wehrmacht and SS or the local armed forces that collaborated with the Germans, such as the SS Handschar Division which was made up of Bosnian Muslims and had been recruited  for the Germans by Haj Amin el-Husseini, the top leader of the Palestinian Arabs at the time. This SS division plus the Skanderbeg SS division, recruited among ethnic Albanian Muslims in Kossovo, were guilty for mass slaughter of Serbs, Jews and Gypsies in that order [this applies more to the Handschar, as far as I know].

At the same time, it has been BBC policy to whitewash wrongs done by Muslims, whether Arabs or Pakistanis, etc. This policy caused a minor storm lately when a leader of the Sikh religion in the UK, Lord Indarjit Singh [he is a British peer] quit his long time  participation on a  radio show focused on religion, called Thought for a Day on BBC Radio Four. Here is a summary of highlights of Lord Singh's complaints:
Celebrated interfaith activist Lord Indarjit Singh has sensationally quit BBC Radio 4 after accusing it of behaving like the "thought police". He alleges that the corporation tried to prevent him discussing a historical Sikh religious figure who stood up to Muslim oppression -- in case it caused offence to Muslims, despite a lack of complaints.
The Sikh peer, who has been a contributor on Radio Four's Thought For The Day programme for more than three decades, is also accusing Radio Four bosses of "prejudice and intolerance" and over-sensitivity in relation to its coverage of Islam, after he says he was "blocked" from discussing the forced conversion of Hindus to Islam, under the Mughal emperors in 17th century India.
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The segment, originally aired on November 28, 2018 -- and in spite of Singh's script containing no criticism of Islam -- is the latest in a long line of suspect BBC decisions enforced by seemingly over-zealous producers. [Gatestone Institute]
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Subsequently, Lord Singh told the London Times:
 Another time "when I wanted to include the words 'the one God of us all' [central to Sikh teachings], I was told I could not mention this 'because it might offend Muslims.'" . . . . 
Of course, overlapping with the BBC's pro-Muslim favoritism is its anti-Israel hostility. See at link:
here.

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Wednesday, October 30, 2019

The Rights of the President: Joe Biden, Trump and the Ukraine

The Rights of the President by Leon Kozak

Mr Trump, as President, has the Constitutional duty to enforce the laws of the land and to lead the way in the conduct of US foreign affairs. Thus, he is entitled to investigate acts that could be illegal under US law including the Foreign  Corrupt Practices Act which addresses certain acts of US persons taking place in foreign countries. Moreover,  a treaty with the Ukraine specifies that the US may ask the Ukraine to assist the US in investigating  potential criminal behavior of US persons under US law and the Ukraine is required to comply.

The President has significant discretion under the Constitution  in his use of foreign aid as a means of conducting foreign affairs and may withhold, delay or make it s release conditional in many circumstances.

In my view, the above Presidential powers are applicable even  if the target of the investigation is a potential political opponent of the President as long as there is at least some colorable claim that illegal activity under US law involving a foreign country or foreign officials  may have taken place. The threat to withhold US aid is a perfectly legitimate means of using these Presidential powers in the international context. Although  President Trump  is adamant that there was in fact no”quid pro quo” (ie, “quid”-investigate Biden in order to “quo”- get military aid from the US), it would not matter if there were  in fact a quid pro quo.


Was there at least a colorable claim that some illegal activity took place involving VP Biden? Here are some facts which make it clear that the colorable claim test has easily been met.

—Mr Shokin was the chief prosecutor in the Ukraine during some of the years of the Obama administration. His office had commenced an investigation of Burisma Holdings a Ukraine-based energy group. The investigation raised questions as to whether Burisma had violated the criminal corruption laws of the Ukraine and other countries. Officials of Burisma were reported to be concerned about the investigation.


—Mr Shokin has indicated in a signed affidavit  and in other documents that he was told to exercise caution in  proceeding with this investigation because of the connection of Burisma to powerful interests in the US government. Mr Shokin has also stated that he believes he was dismissed as prosecutor at the insistence of US government officials because of his office's investigation into Burisma. 

—Hunter Biden (son  of former VP Joe Biden) was given a Board position by Burisma during the years of the Obama administration. He was paid at least $50,000.00 per month as compensation for  serving in this position and much more for undisclosed activities. Prior to taking on this position, Hunter Biden had no experience in the energy sector, in corporate governance or in Eastern Europe. Hunter Biden admitted in a television interview that he likely would not have obtained the position but for his family connection to VP Joe Biden.

—-VP Joe Biden was given primary responsibility for dealing with Ukraine matters by Pres Obama.

—-VP Joe  Biden knew about Hunter s involvement with some company in Ukraine and told him to make sure he knew what he was doing. 

—-The staff of VP Joe Biden was informed by the staff of Pres Obama and by certain State Department officials that Hunter Biden's Ukraine activities represented at least a perception of a conflict of interest (and could be an actual conflict of interest) when considering VP Joe Biden's responsibilities with respect to the Ukraine.

—-At some point, VP Joe Biden flew to the Ukraine on official business. (The VP flew on Air Force #2. Hunter Biden joined him on the flight.) VP Joe Biden informed the government  of the Ukraine that the government needed to dismiss Mr  Shokin immediately. VP Joe Biden later admitted in a public conference (shown on television numerous times) that in the course of that visit to the Ukraine he informed the Ukrainian government officials that if Mr Shokin were not dismissed before VP Biden headed back home (six hours hence), the US would withhold $1 billion in foreign aid intended for the Ukraine.

—-Mr Shokin was dismissed on that day before VP Joe Biden left the country

[Thanks to Leon Kozak, Esq, for allowing circulation of this well-reasoned essay]
[Mr Kozak is an attorney living in northern New Jersey]
See two previous posts on Emet m'Tsiyon [here] and [here] and [here]

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Sunday, October 20, 2019

The Real Joe Biden; two videos to show his reality

Here are two prize videos showing the real Joe Biden:

1) Biden boasts before an audience at the prestigious Council on Foreign Relations that he had made the two top Ukrainian officials, of several years ago, Pres. Poroshenko and Prime Minister Yatseniuk, bend to his demand to fire an investigating prosecutor. The prosecutor was investigating corruption at the Burisma energy company, on the board of directors of which his son Hunter sat. To be sure, Biden claims that he himself was fighting corruption in Ukraine and that the dismissed prosecutor had not been "solid." Steve Hilton of Foxnews reported that Biden did various favors for Burisma, such as getting a law passed with some of his Democratic friends in the Senate that facilitated the import into the USA of natural gas from Burisma.
The part of the discussion on the Ukraine comes at about 50:30 on the video, if the video does not open up at the desired point. See video here.

2) Joe Biden's hoof in mouth video. It is very short but telling [here]

Also see our two previous posts on Biden exerting improper pressure on Ukraine
1--  Biden pressured Ukraine to vote against Israel. See post here.

2-- This post shows how Biden was used by Obama to force Ukraine to change its vote on UN SC res 2334 in December 2016, after the last presidential election. The resoluton in question was very anti-Israel. Ukraine wanted to abstain but Obama wanted it to vote in favor eventhough the USA was going to abstain itself. I explain why: Obama wanted to protect the sacred anti-Israel narrative [here]

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Sunday, September 29, 2019

Biden Pressured the Ukraine on Another Matter -- to Vote against Israel

New Material added 10-12-2019
When Biden pressured Ukraine 
to vote against Israel after the 
2016 presidential election [here]

Senator Joe Biden --a Democrat-- is at the center of an energetic effort by his party's members of the House of Representatives to impeach President Trump. The impeachment effort focuses on a phone call between Trump and Volodymyr Zelensky, the new president of the Ukraine. Without reviewing the Democrats' charges against Trump, we point out that President Trump and his supporters such as Rudy Giuliani, former US Attorney in New York City and former mayor of New York, have accused Biden of pressuring the previous Ukrainian leadership --before Zelensky's election-- to dismiss a prosecutor who was investigating a Ukrainian company, Burisma, an energy company, in which Biden's son, Hunter Biden, sat on the board of directors. Now just how and why it came to be that Biden Junior was appointed to the Board of a Ukrainian energy concern when he had little or no expertise in the energy field [oil and gas, etc] nor did he know the Ukrainian or Russian languages, is a matter of great and relevant curiosity. Maybe somebody at the company, Burisma, thought that having the younger Biden on the Board would give the company or maybe the government of Ukraine, a certain influence in Washington on policy making in the energy field or in regard to Burisma in particular or in favor of the Ukrainian government of that time, approximately 2014-2016. Young Biden was supposed to be paid $50,000 per month by Burisma for his services on the Board.

An interesting question. And did Joe Biden pressure the Ukrainian govt to dismiss a prosecutor investigating Burisma? Biden did boast about successfully pressuring or intimidating or blackmailing the Ukrainian leadership of the time in a public speech which was delivered, as far as I know, before the Council on Foreign Relations, an influential and prestigious US organization. A video on the internet shows Biden boasting of his successful extortion of the Ukrainian govt: I gave them six hours [to dismiss the offending prosecutor or US loan guarantees in the amount of $1.5 billion would be withheld].

Interesting questions but be they as they may, I intend now to show that Biden applying pressure on the Ukraine was his practice in his capacity as President Obama's designated liaison between his administration and the Ukrainian govt. Hence Biden was in a good position to apply pressure on the Ukraine and indeed he was responsible for dealing with the Ukraine under Obama and thus his relations with the country had a certain official status.

In fact, in the last month of Obama's presidency in 2016 late in December, Biden served his boss, Obama, in threatening the Ukraine on another matter, the UN Security Council res. 2334, which was a very anti-Israel resolution, essentially saying that Jews/Israelis had no right to live across the 1949 Green Line, even in Jerusalem in places, neighborhoods, where Jews had lived before 1947. This episode seems to support the Trump-Giuliani version of events.

My post on Biden and Obama's role in pressuring the Ukraine on UN SC res. 2334 is here.

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What a Ukrainian member of parliament & former Ukrainian security chief, Valentyn Nalyvaichenko, said in the WSJ about the Biden-Trump Affair
Serious allegations have been made in the U.S. and Ukraine, including that Ukrainian government officials and organizations assisted Hillary Clinton’s campaign in 2016 and that Burisma, a major Ukrainian gas company, hired Hunter Biden, Joe Biden’s son, for cynical purposes. Regardless of the implications of these charges within American politics, Ukraine has a responsibility to investigate them completely and transparently.
First, as I have insisted for more than two years, we must resolve the allegation that Ukrainian officials interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. If we find that Ukrainian laws were broken, the perpetrators here must be prosecuted swiftly, to the fullest extent of the law.
Second, Ukraine must resolve the allegations regarding Burisma. As the former head of the Security Service of Ukraine, our version of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, I know there are many accusations of corruption against this company.
It isn’t clear whether Ukrainian officials meddled in the American election, but Parliament must find out. We also do not know if Hunter Biden was complicit in Burisma’s alleged corruption, or why he was appointed to the board of a Ukrainian company. The allegation that Burisma arranged its relationship to the younger Mr. Biden by donating to a U.S. think tank is merely a small part of the larger question about its activities.
[Valentyn Nalyvaichenko, Wall Street JournalOct. 10, 2019]

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Monday, May 20, 2019

The Truth against Rashida Tlaib's Lies

New congresswoman Rashida Tlaib is very devoted to her Arab heritage and to Arab historical grievances, which are sometimes true or partly true or often false and often totally hyperbolic. It is curious that both Tlaib and her comrade, Ilhan Omar, have made strange accusations against Jews. Omar is notorious for claiming --albeit in 2012-- that "Israel hypnotized the world. May Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel."  And she more recently accused American Jews of being more loyal to Israel than the USA, also  accusing American Jews of forcing congressmen and senators of the USA to declare allegiance to a foreign power, meaning Israel, whereas both Tlaib and Omar champion Muslim interests abroad. Of course they both seem to say provocative things once a week or once every other week. So it's hard to keep up and get it all straight in one's mind.

Now, Tlaib's latest provocation was a rant, a rather short one, in which she turned modern Middle Eastern history upside down. She claimed that the Palestinian Arabs had helped Jews obtain a safe haven:
“ … when I think of the Holocaust, and the tragedy of the Holocaust, and the fact that it was my ancestors—Palestinians—who lost their land and some lost their lives, their livelihood, their human dignity, their existence in many ways, have been wiped out, and some people’s passports … just all of it was in the name of trying to create a safe haven for Jews, post-the Holocaust, post-the tragedy and the horrific persecution of Jews across the world at that time. And I love the fact that it was my ancestors that provided that, right, in many ways, but they did it in a way that took their human dignity away and it was forced on them.” [here]

One of the things that we can derive from Tlaib's remarks is that the Palestinian Arabs were victims of the Holocaust or Shoah as we call it in Hebrew. Rather than being victims of it, however, Palestinian Arabs were perpetrators. The top leadership of the Palestinian Arabs, Haj Amin al-Husayni [el-Husseini] were pro-Nazi and in fact Husayni spent most of the war years in the Nazi-fascist domain in Europe. Husayni regularly broadcast pro-Nazi genocidal propaganda towards Jews in Arabic over Radio Berlin in Arabic. In one of his broadcasts he called on the Arabs to: Kill Jews wherever you find them. . . . He and his entourage operated out of a headquarters in Berlin that the Germans put at his disposal and worked from there to persuade Muslims in Europe, especially Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union, to collaborate with the Nazis. He was successful in helping the Germans recruit an SS division [the Handschar] among the Bosnian Muslims, which is one of the reasons for the bitterness of the Bosnian Serbs against the Bosnian Muslims in the Yugoslav civil war of the 1990s. This SS division helped the Nazis slaughter Serbs, Jews and Gypsies. For that reason, the post-war Yugoslav government put Husayni's name on a UN list of war criminals that they wanted tried by the UN or the Allies. Husayni also worked his influence on the Germans to get them to prevent Jews --including Jewish children-- from leaving the Nazi-fascist domain. Among other things, he and other Arab leaders urged the Germans to extend their persecution of Jews to Jews living in Arab-ruled countries. And so on.

So the Palestinian Arabs were hardly opposed, as a group, to the German Nazi extermination project against the Jews. The problem was not only Husayni. His entourage in Germany was made up of scions of leading Palestinian Arab families. Now before we get into more tedious detail, which you can find at the linked articles and blog posts, we may ask did they feel regret after the war. Tlaib asserts "it was my ancestors—Palestinians—who lost their land and some lost their lives, their livelihood, their human dignity, their existence in many ways, have been wiped out . . . . all of it was in the name of trying to create a safe haven for Jews, post-the Holocaust, post-the tragedy . . . . I love the fact that it was my ancestors that provided that . . . . in many ways"

The truth be told, after the war the Palestinian Arabs as a group did not feel regret or remorse for the mass murder of the Jews. After all, their top leader Husayni had been applauding it and urging Arabs to murder Jews "wherever you find them." So the Arabs did not provide a safe haven for Jews or work to that end. They tried to prevent the establishment of a Jewish state in the ancient Jewish homeland. With the encouragement of the British government, under the Labour Party at that time, and the encouragement of most of the US State Department and CIA, and parts of the French government of the time. And most notably for the issue of Tlaib's claims, they applauded perpetrators of the mass murder of Jews.
Take the case of one Tscherim Soobzokov, a Circassian Muslim and Soviet citizen before WW2. When the Germans came to the northern Caucasus, Soobzokov joined the Einsatzgruppen, mobile mass murder squads that slaughtered Jews in towns and cities of the occupied USSR, mainly in Belarus and Ukraine of today. He had been recruited into the SS under the rule of Heinrich Himmler. It is curious that during WW One and the Armenian genocide, Circassian mass murder units had worked under the Ottoman Empire to slaughter Armenians
After WW2 Soobzokov desperately wanted to escape Soviet punishment for treason/Nazi collaboration/. He made his way to Egypt with Egyptian government aid and was sent by the Egyptians to Jordan, then Transjordan. 
Now, how was this mass murderer received by Palestinian Arabs in Jordan? 

"Soobzokov's arrival in Jordan coincided with the first Arab-Israeli war and . . . . Soobzokov made another practical alliance; the  Palestine refugee organizations could be a promising connection for an ingenious man.  Mahamet Perchich in his statement . . . wrote: 'During my stay in Jordan, it was 1949, I was witness of a conversation between Tscherim Soobzokov and the head of the Palestinian Arabs refugee camp, when Mr Soobzokov told the Arabs about his activities during World War II. As part of his story Mr Tscherim Soobzokov told the Arabs that if all those Jews he liquidated during World War II were now in Palestine, all the Arabs in the camp would not be enough to drink the blood of all those Jews. The same day the head of the camp gave an evening of festivities in honor of Mr Tscherim Soobzokov.' 
"And Danil Gussov . . . . wrote: 'While in Jordan Mr Soobzokov used to show Palestine refugee Arab leaders [sic] his documents with photos certifying his membership in Nazi execution commandos and that he was a killer of Jews in World War II, for which Mr Soobzokov received material help from Arab leaders . . .'" [These testimonies come from the book by Howard Blum, Wanted: The Search for Nazis in America (New York: Quadrangle 1977), see pp 60-61, 67. Quadrangle publishers was owned at the time by the New York Times].
It is clear that Palestinian Arabs knew at the time about the Shoah massacres which were reported  in the European press at the time. Or, in the unlikely possbility that they did not know about the Shoah, when they were informed about it, as Soobzokov recounted his role in it, they did learn about it. And in this case they approved of it and even celebrated it. The story of Soobzokov in Howard Blum's book  makes this clear. So Tlaib is either grossly ignorant of how Palestinian Arabs felt at the time --just a few years after the ovens of Treblinka were shut down-- or she is a gross liar. She may be both. One does not rule out the other.
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For additional info on Haj Amin al-Husayni [usually spelled el-Husseini], see posts on the Emet m'Tsiyon blog for lists of other books and articles.

Rashida Tlaib is trying to rob Jews of their history [here] - Yisrael Medad

Fake History: Rashida Tlaib's Grotesque Distortion. . . [here] - Lahav Harkov

The Myth that Palestinian Arabs Helped Jews in WW2 [here]

CNN Anchor Corrects Tlaib: Palestinian Arab Leaders of the WW2 Period Sided with Hitler [here]

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Tuesday, April 30, 2019

What Does the New York Times Have in Common with the Pittsburgh & San Diego Murderers?

The offensive cartoon by Antonio Moreira Antunes that the New York Times published last week in its international edition [not in the US edition. I wonder why.] showed a blind President Trump wearing a Jewish skull cap being led around by Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, depicted as a guide dog for the blind. The dog wears a collar with a magen David [shield of David] on it. The meaning here is that Netanyahu and/or the State of Israel control American policy.

The Pittsburgh and San Diego murderers, Robert Bowers and John Earnest respectively, both believe or claim that Israel/Jews control the US through Trump. The same message as the cartoon in the NYTimes.

The claim of Jewish control of the US government has long been a theme of neo-Nazis in the United States. They commonly used the abbreviation ZOG, standing for "Zionist occupied government." A similar theme was also found in the notorious forgery and plagiarism produced by the Russian tsarist secret police, the Okhrana, called The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. The Protocols argue that a secret Jewish conspiracy dominates the world, incites wars and all sorts of grave social ills and mass suffering. Considering that most presidents have been hostile to Israel or worked to thwart Israeli policy, such as Obama, this argument is ridiculous. By the way, in the usual practice of politicians to make promises that they cannot or have no intention of keeping, some of the presidents have spoken warmly about Israel. Were they sincere or not, we cannot say since nobody has a sincerometer to measure sincerity. But the ZOG argument is ridiculous. Also consider that President Franklin D Roosevelt --a hero to American Liberals and progressives to this day-- tried hard not to rescue Jews from Hitler's genocide or save Jews or destroy the gas chambers with air power, which was possible by 1943 when American forces were already in Sicily and were bombing areas in Poland near Auschwitz (Oswiecim) -- but not bombing the Auschwitz death camp or the railroad tracks leading up to it.

The theme of Jewish control --or Israeli control in the up to date version-- of the world also popped out of the typing hands of US Congresswoman, Ilhan Omar, in her effort on  Twitter several years ago: Israel has hypnotized the world. In Omar's case she was injecting alleged Jewish magic into the discussion. After all, hypnotizing the world could only be done through magic, and hypnotism is perceived as a form of magic. Her claim that American support for Israel is purchased by Benjamins [$100 dollar bills with a picture of Benjamin Franklin] is an insult to both Jews and US congressmen and women. It is saying that Jews control the US Congress and presidents through payments of money, as if there are no good arguments for Americans and their congressmen to support Israel. It says too that the congressmen and presidents can simply be bought by money. Lastly, it endorses the ZOG claim that Jews and/or Israel control US policy. If money could buy everybody in Congress or the White House, then the US would have been supporting the Arab cause since long ago. After all, the money stored up by Qatar [a slave state] and other oil-rich Arab sheikdoms and kingdoms --money probably exceeding Jewish wealth-- would have been able to buy Congress and presidents with ease. Of course, Arab states have been able to hire various US politicians and former State Department and CIA officials. Saudi Arabia, for instance, hired several who had retired from State or the CIA. And the two Bush administrations were noted for their concern with the needs of the Saudis and the palestinian Arabs and Kuwait and so on. But that did not mean Arab control of Washington. So the ZOG claim is ridiculous whether it comes from neo-Nazis, Alt-Right bigots or  Rep. Ilhan Omar.

Now this belief or insinuation or claim that Jews control the world or only the USA also turned up in the rants of the Pittsburgh and San Diego murderers who attacked synagogues, shooting congregants at prayer services. Seth Frantzman has conveniently brought together the rants of Robert Bowers and John Earnest in an article for the Jerusalem Post [JPost 28 April 2019].

Frantzman wrote:
The antisemitic links between the two attacks are clear. Both expressed hatred of Jews, who they accused of destroying or invading the United States. Bowers accused Jews and Jewish groups, such as the non-partisan refugee protection organization HIAS, of being behind “migrant caravans” whom he calls “invaders.” The Poway attacker asked: “Is it worth it for me to live a comfortable life at the cost of international Jewry sealing the doom of my race?”

Frantzman's deduction is based on:
The alleged manifesto of the shooter behind the attack on the Chabad of Poway synagogue includes condemnation of US President Donald Trump. The letter, or manifesto, was posted on the popular US-based image board website 8chan. “That Zionist, Jew-loving, anti-White, traitorous [expletive],” John Earnest wrote in a version quoted online.
Similarly, Pittsburgh synagogue shooter Robert Bowers wrote on the mainly far-right website Gab that he opposed Trump, who he claimed was surrounded by Jews. “Trump is a globalist, not a nationalist.” He claimed that Jews, who he used an expletive to describe, were an “infestation” in the White House.
And he quotes more:
Bowers talked about a “Jewish international oligarchy” while Earnest wrote about “international Jewry.”
Here is Frantzman's conclusion:
there is a link between antisemitism on the far Right and anti-Trump views, a link that is also clear on the far Left. It tends to unite around hatred not only of Jews, but also of Israel and of beliefs that the US is controlled by Jews, who in turn are accused of controlling banks or the media
 Note that the two murderers also hate President Trump and believe or claim that he is controlled by Jews. Well, just what was the meaning of the offensive cartoon published by the NYTimes in its international edition? Was it not, among other things, that Trump is controlled by Jews? So here we have a convergence of the San Diego and Pittsburgh murderers with a cartoon published [later removed after widespread condemnation] by the NYT and with Rep. Ilhan Omar, a Muslim whose early education was in Somalia, a fanatic Muslim country which cannot live at peace with itself.

We can conclude that conventional notions of "Right" and "Left" and of a Left-Right spectrum fail to consider or understand or explain the significant convergence of Left and Right and Islamic Judeophobia. The New York Times is running with the rabid dogs infected with Judeophobic notions already standing out in the notorious Protocols, produced around 1900, and can certainly have helped to inspire the San Diego and Pittsburgh murders.
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See other Seth Frantzman articles on the NYT cartoon and the San Diego & Pittsburgh murders listed at this link: here.

Aryeh Stav  has studied Arab anti-Jewish and anti-Israel cartoons in a book and a pamphlet. The book was published in Hebrew with a subsequent English translation, plus a pamphlet in English.
(אריה סתיו, השלום - קריקטורה ערבית (תל אביב: זמורה ביטן  1996
Arieh Stav, Peace, The Arabian Caricature of Antisemitic Imagery (Jerusalem: Gefen Pubs. 1999)

Aryeh Stav, "Arab Antisemiism - After Peace" (Tel Aviv: The Center for Policy Research), Policy Paper 1. This pamphlet is an extensive summary of the book on caricatures listed above. Note that Stav's first name is spelled differently in different places.

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Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Ancient Inscription Found Calling the Land of Israel IVDAEA [Judea]

The Roman and Greek name for the Land of Israel as a whole in the heyday of the Roman Empire was Judea, spelled in Latin IVDAEA.
[as a caution bear in mind that Latin has case endings for nouns so in cases other than the nominative case the name may be spelled other than IVDAEA. Also the V was pronounced like a U while I was pronounced like Y]. This Latin name for the Land of Israel was pronounced more like Yudaya. The word Judea apparently comes from the Aramaic word Yehudaya, meaning The Jews. Since Greek and Latin do not have a soft H sound, it was dropped when they uttered the Aramaic YeHudaya [יהודאיא] and the sound came out Yudaya, IVDAEA.

I have already shown here on Emet m'Tsion that the name Judea is found on inscriptions as well as on Roman coins, military diplomas [see one here], books, etc.

Here is an inscription found in 1961 at Caesarea  [also  Caesarea Maritima] on the coast of Israel, in ancient times Judea. The Roman name for Israel is Judea, IVDAEA, shows up on the stone inscription. Also appearing is the name Pontius Pilatus, who was the Roman governor of Judea [called a PRAEFECTVS in this inscription]. Pilatus appears in the New Testament story of Jesus, thus also confirming that part of the New Testament account.

TIBERIEVM

 [PO]NTIVS PILATVS

  [PRAEF]ECTVS IVDA[EAE]

In reading the inscription on the rock in the photo below, note that the Romans ran the words together, so that on the third line we see: ECTUSIVDA. Today of course we separate words. Thus we should read the inscription as [PRAEF]ECTUS IVDA[EAE].
The second and third line translate as Pontius Pilatus, Prefect of Judea. Hence, we have confirmation of two facts: 1) the Roman/Latin name of the country was Judea; 2) the governor was Pontius Pilatus at a certain period.  The word Tiberieum refers to a building devoted to worship of the Emperor Tiberius [reigning 14-37]. So this large rock could have been part of or set up near to a temple devoted to the worship of Tiberius.


L’iscrizione di Pilato da Cesarea Marittima

The photo is found here.

See more on this general subject here and here.

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Monday, April 15, 2019

Blue-White against Itself in 2014

As most people likely know, former commander-in-chief, Gabi Ashkenazi, is part of the four-headed leadership of  the Blue-White Party, the second largest in Israel's parliament, the Knesset, and Ehud Barak, is a former commander-in-chief and defense minister. Barak worked to encourage formation of the Blue-White Party while not being formally part of it. So now they are in the same camp, on the same team. Yet, just several years ago, Barak complained to the Police that Ashkenazi threatened him. "You are going to war against me." These are two of the men behind Benny Gantz and his Blue-White Party that is basically a fake party.
See article below in Hebrew and translation to English.
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The Ashkenazi Affair: The Ex-Defense Minister Told that He Had Sought to Appoint a Replacement for the Ex-C-in-C -- And Then the Battle between Them Became Overt

The ex-defense minister, Ehud Barak, testified about two weeks ago in the Police in the setting of an investigation of the Harpaz Affair. Barak sat facing the police investigators for about ten hours and described how, according to him, the ex-c-in-c, Gabi Ashkenazi and his men, had "undermined" him and the political echelon.

It should be stressed that Barak gave "open testimony" and was not interrogated under suspicion. On Channel 2 it was publicized last night that the ex-defense minister told the interrogators about a meeting between him and Ashkenazi, in which he informed the ex-c-in-c of his intention to appoint a replacement for him, a year before the end of his term in office. According to him, in reaction, Ashkenazi threatened him and said to him "You are going to war," and left the room angrily.

It will be recalled that in August 2013, Barak presented a declaration to the district court of the Center [of the country] in Lod in which he claimed that the ex-c-in-c, Ashkenazi, headed "a group of senior officers, a number of civilians and reserve officers that acted improperly in order to prevent a legal process of appointing a c-in-c for "the IDF and against the political echelon [the government, the cabinet] while using apparently criminal means and behavior" [Israel Today 29 April 2014; translated by Eliyahu]

פרשת אשכנזי: שר הביטחון לשעבר סיפר כי ביקש למנות לרמטכ"ל לשעבר מחליף - ואז הקרב ביניהם הפך לגלוי


שר הביטחון לשעבר אהוד ברק העיד לפני כשבועיים במשטרה במסגרת חקירת פרשת הרפז. ברק ישב מול חוקרי המשטרה במשך כעשר שעות ותיאר כיצד לטענתו הרמטכ"ל לשעבר גבי אשכנזי ואנשיו "חתרו" נגדו ונגד הדרג המדיני.

יודגש כי ברק מסר "עדות פתוחה" ולא נחקר כחשוד. בערוץ 2 פורסם אמש כי שר הביטחון לשעבר סיפר לחוקרים על פגישה בינו לבין אשכנזי, שבה הודיע לרמטכ"ל לשעבר על כוונתו למנות לו מחליף, חצי שנה לפני סוף כהונתו. לדבריו, בתגובה אשכנזי איים עליו ואמר לו "אתה יוצא למלחמה", ועזב את החדר בזעם.
כזכור, באוגוסט 2013 הגיש ברק תצהיר לבית המשפט המחוזי מרכז בלוד, שבו טען כי הרמטכ"ל לשעבר אשכנזי עמד בראש "קבוצה של קצינים בכירים, מספר אזרחים וקציני מילואים, אשר פעלה באופן פסול כדי למנוע תהליך חוקי של מינוי רמטכ"ל לצה"ל וכנגד הדרג המדיני, תוך כדי שימוש בכלים ובהתנהגות עבריינית לכאורה". 
[ישראל היום 29 אפריל 2014] [Israel Today 29 April 2014] [Also see, Israel Post, 29 April 2014; Hebrew]

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Tuesday, April 09, 2019

Gantz Was a Mediocre General

After orchestrating the hasty, dishonorable and endangering Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon in the early summer of 2000, under the orders of Ehud Barak, a retreat that endangered the population of northern Israel, Gantz was awarded another command by Barak. This was the command of the Judea-Samaria Division which gave Gantz not only command of his troops but much authority over the civilian population, Jewish and Arab, in that area [in particular Area C]. He took over the division in September 2000, just a few weeks before the planned "Second Intifada" broke out. One memorable incident from that period was the death of an Israeli Druze officer, Madhat Yusuf, at Joseph's Tomb outside the town of Nablus [Sh'khem]. The Tomb was an enclave within Palestinian Authority territory that was guarded by Israeli army forces because it is a Jewish holy site, also revered by other religions. Madhat Yusuf was wounded when the Tomb was attacked by an armed Arab mob, organized by Arafat's minions. The wounds could have been treated but under Gantz' orders, Israeli army medical personnel could not get to him, possibly because the PA [= arafat] had refused to allow the peaceful arrival of medics. But other Israeli troops were nearby and could have acted to force open the way for medics. But Gantz gave the order to act only after hours of waiting. A few soldiers were killed in the first, clumsy attempt to get through to the Tomb. As to Madhat Yusuf, he bled to death after hours of not being treated.

Barak left the prime minister's office in March 2001 after widespread dissatisfaction with his general conduct as prime minister and especially with his response to the terrorist insurrection, the Second Intifada, that he dealt with leniently. For instance, Barak allowed Arab snipers to shoot at cars passing on Route One in northern Jerusalem by the Arab Shu`afat neighborhood for about two or three months. One of the victims was a teenaged Arab girl who insisted that Jews had shot at the family van she was in, because Arabs would never shoot at an Arab family, she claimed.

Be that as it may, this sniping was suppressed or in any case ended shortly after Ariel Sharon took over as prime minister. Several months later, in July 2001, Gantz was removed from command of the Judea-Samaria Division. This was curious because commanders of the Division had usually served in the role for two or three years. And here Gantz was replaced after only about nine months. Furthermore, it is unusual to remove a commander while combat is going on.  Akiva Bigman of Yisrael HaYom [3-15-2019] spoke with a senior official close to PM Sharon who explained that Sharon was not satisfied with the army's conduct in general and with Gantz in particular.

Under Gantz the Division was afraid to attack centers/foci of terrorism and soldiers were not allowed to enter Area A under full PA control according to previous accords, even if terrorists had departed from those zones in order to commit a terrorist act or shot at the troops from Arab villages in Area A.
"The IDF's hands were tied," an officer told Bigman. On the occasion of the murder of Rabbi Benyamin Herling, who was hiking on Mount Eibal, the assailants were not pursued although an army unit ready to pursue, was told not to interfere. Nevertheless, the tragic circumstances of the needless death of Madhat Yusuf made his death emblematic of the period.

One of those who spoke to Bigman was General Chico Tamir, He explained that the new commander of the Judea-Samaria Division, Yits'haq Goshen, told his subordinate commanders that they were in a new war situation. And he allowed pursuit into Area A.

Gantz became commander-in-chief against Netanyahu's wishes. Netanyahu and even Ehud Barak, defense minister around 2010, wanted Yoav Gallant as the new c-in-c. But Gallant was torpedoed by embarassing, if minor, charges against him that appeared in certain press organs. So Netanyahu and Israel were stuck with Gantz who was definitely the default choice.

In the 2014 war against Hamas in Gaza, neither Gantz nor his partner in the Blue-White Party, Ya`alon, then defense minister, wanted to do anything about the 30-odd attack tunnels that Hamas had dug under the 1949 armistice line with the Gaza Strip into pre-1967 Israel. They did not take the tunnels seriously. Yet one soldier,, Gilad Shalit, had been abducted from his base on the Israeli side of the line in 2006, so the top brass should have known and understood the threat. But it seems that Gantz and Ya`alon did not want to deal with the threat of the tunnels through which Hamas could move terrorist squads to attack kibbutzim and farming communities around the perimeter of Gaza. In another cruel event, soldiers were sent into battle in old armored cars [APCs] that could not withstand the anti-tank rockets in Hamas' possession. These soldiers were killed. Why were such outmoded APCs provided for Israeli soldiers in 2014? Did someone or someones want soldiers to get killed?

In any event, Gantz's conduct of the war was mediocre if not incompetent. Neither he nor Ya`alon, his partner in Blue-White should ever be in a senior political or military position.

Much of the info in this article, but far from all, comes from Bigman's article. When Bigman asked the Blue-White Party for a response to his findings, he was told that the question was not "relevant."

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Sunday, April 07, 2019

Shall Israel Elect a Gross Liar and Fraudulent Party to Mislead the People?

Have people noticed that in many ways the new Blue-White party of Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid has been trying to persuade people that it is much like Likud, but more "honest"? Moreover, Gantz, Lapid  and their strategists wanted to  be seen as patriotic, whereas patriotism is often seen as "rightist." That is why they called their party Blue-White, the colors of Israel's flag although the colors have little ideological content and do not disclose what their policies would be if elected.

In fact, Lapid himself stated on TV that Blue-White was much like Likud, "like Likud used to be" is how I think he put it. Gantz stated in a speech that the distinctions between "Right" and "Left" are not what they used to be. That is often true and I myself believe that the notion of a right-left political and ideological spectrum is very unhelpful for understanding politics today, if it ever was helpful, perhaps at the time of the revolutionary Assembly in France after the 1789 revolution. In those years, the seating in the Assembly was arranged in a semi-circle and parties that were more moderate or conservative were seated on the right and those more radical to the left. However, politics is three-dimensional rather than two-dimensional as on a spectrum.
That brings us back to Israel.
In the 1992 election campaign, the Labor Party pretended to be very similar to Likud but without "corruption" while they accused Likud of being corrupt [מושחתים נמאסתם]. Indeed, this was apparently the design of Haim Ramon who was, as I recall, running the Labor campaign. Enemies of Labor accused the party of trying to be Likud B. Well, what happened was that Labor came out ahead in the elections, partly because several national camp parties did not make it over the percentage threshold of votes, although the national and religious camp did obtain more votes than the so-called Left. And then, after forming a coalition government with the anti-national Meretz party and the ultra-orthodox Shas, Shimon Peres and his poodle, Yossi Beilin [according to Rabin], made the horrendous Oslo accords with the PLO, whereas PM Rabin had promised during the election campaign that he would not deal with the PLO, yet was presented with the fait accompli of the Oslo negotiations by Peres who had started negotiating with the PLO behind Rabin's back. The Oslo accords did not bring peace nor even a lessening of terrorist murders but in fact a sharp increase in terrorist murders. Oslo was a disaster, a death pact, not only for Israel but for people the world over as Oslo quietly encouraged mass murderous terrorism not only against Israel but in many countries, from the USA to France to India to Kenya and Nigeria, etc etc. The Oslo accords set a bad example for the world because they legitimized a band of mass murderous terrorists, they  legitimized mass murder and murder in general. And the relations between Jews and Arabs within the country, within Israel, have worsened. The Oslo Peace was no peace at all.

I see that same thing happening again here in Israel as in 1992. A party that wants to give away parts of the Land of Israel, as Gantz has strongly hinted [unilateral withdrawals in order to "separate" from the Judea-Samaria Arabs], is at the same time pretending to be like the Likud but cleaner, straighter more honest. Yet Gantz is hardly honest. The state controller recently released a report that showed that a now bankrupt company formerly headed by Gantz had obtained a contract with the Israel Police without a proper tender for offers, being issued. The state controller also reported that Gantz' firm had misrepresented important information to the Police. This happened while Gantz was head of the company. The suspicion is of improper collusion between Gantz and the Police Commissioner, ash-Sheikh.

Gantz is also loose with the truth when it comes to smearing Netanyahu. Near the start of the election campaign, about two months ago, Gantz in a speech accused Netanyahu of being an army shirker. Gantz claimed that Netanyahu as a young man had left Israel to go to the United States, specifically to Boston, where he spent much time going to fancy cocktail parties. This is a filthy smear. In fact, BB's father, Professor Netanyahu, had gone to the USA to teach on a university level, and took his children with him. Benyamin Netanyahu lived just outside Philadelphia [not Boston] in Cheltenham Township. And he attended middle school there and later went on to be a student at Cheltenham High School. After graduating high school he came to Israel to join the army, whereas he could have stayed in the USA [although his father would likely have objected]. He followed in the footsteps of his brother Yonatan, Yoni, who was the commander of the Israeli operation to rescue hostages from Entebbe Airport in Uganda. Yoni, z'l was shot and died in the operation, the only soldier to die in it. BB too served in an elite commando unit as an officer. He was hardly a shirker of army service.

And another thing, Gantz also insinuated that BB was not an authentic Israeli, that he was too American. For those unacquainted with Israel and with the anti-national camp, called the Left, that is a fairly common insult for "leftists" to make and I myself have suffered the insult -- and from a "leftist," a member of the anti-national Meretz Party. But it is an ugly prejudice and where is it most common? I already said that.

More personal lies about Netanyahu are detailed by Ruthie Blum in her column in the Jerusalem Post:
Blue and White Party chairman Benny Gantz crossed a rhetorical redline this week that made every other malicious maneuver of the current campaign, on both sides of the political spectrum, seem like child’s play. . . .  Gantz likened Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Yes, the leading contender in the race for the premiership actually compared the incumbent leader of the only democracy in the region . . . to a radical Islamist autocrat, who imprisons anyone he deems a dissident. . . .
[Ruth Blum pointed out that Erdogan has conductedStalin-like purges and [has] absolute control of every sector of Turkish society. . . . Unlike Turks subjected to Erdogan’s repressive rule, after all, Israeli citizens enjoy human and civil rights.
. . . . 
The future of Israel, he reiterated to the Times of Israel, “is at stake. As a democracy, it is at stake. I’m not saying the problem is coming here tomorrow, but the trend is very, very, very dangerous.”

There’s irony for you.

The so-called “dangerous trend” to which he was referring is actually a positive progression in a system based on the will of the people, not the whim of despots like Erdogan.

Israelis enjoy free speech, for instance, but do not wish to spend their tax shekels on “art” that portrays them as murderous thugs. Hence, Culture Minister Miri Regev’s policy of being discerning when it comes to funding projects has been welcomed by the public.
Nor do Israelis appreciate the degree to which the courts have become interventionist in political matters. This is why, to give another example, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked’s moves to clip the wings of the judiciary have been widely popular. . . . .
Meanwhile, Netanyahu – whose “attacks on everyone, including the media” are a cause of such great concern to Gantz – is the one under constant assault. He is investigated by the police, hindered by the courts and eviscerated by the press. Whether it is wise of him to lash out verbally in return is arguable.

WHAT IS NOT a matter of debate, however, is that the situation in Turkey is just the opposite. Erdogan has incarcerated thousands of judges, policemen, professors, politicians and members of the media. In fact, Turkey today is reportedly the world’s largest jailer of journalists. 

Given Gantz’s impressive display of ignorance throughout the interview – including admitting to the two journalists gently grilling him, “Listen, you are more experienced than me” – it’s no wonder that he has spent the bulk of his newfound political career looking pretty and keeping his mouth shut. . . . 
Gantz made a final fool of himself by saying that at times, he has been forced to stoop to Netanyahu’s “low” level of campaign discourse – “but in principle, I think that Israel deserves something more respectful, more statesmanlike, more serious. So I try to maintain the high ground as far as possible.”

Really?

Equating Netanyahu with Erdogan is not just the antithesis of “respectful, statesmanlike and serious.” Nor is it simply a form of hitting a political rival below the belt. It is utterly immoral, and should be viewed with the horror it deserves.
- - - - - - - - - - - - Ruthie Blum, Jerusalem Post, 6 April 2019 - - - [also see]- - - - - - - -

Do you get the picture? Various interests in Israel and abroad want to get rid of Netanyahu because he is too successful a leader. Because he is too good for Israel. So they found a former commander-in-chief of the Israeli army, a mediocre general at best, and gave him backing in the form of money and campaign strategists, to go after Netanyahu, supposedly surpassing Netanyahu in the areas that Netanyahu's base is supposedly concerned with, security, defense [in one early video, Gantz boasted of how many Arabs he had killed], good government, and democracy, and for good measure they got two more former commanders-in-chief [Ya`alon & Ashkenazi] to join his ticket plus the former journalist, Yair Lapid, who already had a party organization and had served in Netanyahu's previous govt, 2013-2015, as an incompetent treasury minister. Does it exculpate or incriminate Gantz that his smears of BB were likely proposed to him by his so-called strategic advisors provided by his moneyed backers? The lie about Netanyahu being an army shirker probably was unfavorably received by the public since it has not been repeated. Too many people know about Netanyahu as an officer in the elite commando unit, Sayeret Matkal, which among other things rescued hostages on a Sabena Airlines plane hijacked to the main Israeli airport by terrorists. BB was wounded in that action and in at least one other combat encounter.
Lapid in 2013, like Gantz now, got a lot of favorable media attention during the  election campaign. As for Lapid's military service, unlike Netanyahu, he served in a rather cushy unit, you might call him a chocolate soldier. He worked on the staff of a weekly magazine published by the army, BaMahhaneh במחנה, which was freely sold throughout the country. Lapid's father was a prominent journalist which probably explains how he got assigned to a desk job. Gantz's disdain for army shirkers does not seem to apply to Lapid, or maybe politics makes strange bedfellows. 
Just one last thing about Lapid. When ex-US prez Obama visited Israel in 2013, there was a receiving line for him at the airport, and most ministers were in the line. Going down the line, Obama stopped for a minute or more in front of Lapid, longer than with anybody else. They looked each other in the eye. And as I recall, Obama told Lapid that he expected to be working together with him in the future. Together with him, with Lapid specifically. What does that tell us about possible connections between Lapid and Obama that have not been reported in the press?
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MORE ON GANTZ
BBC timeline of Gantz' military career and criticism of him by the state comptroller [here]
BBC bio sketches of various contenders in the 2019 Israeli election, see the section on Gantz in particular [here].  See part of the bio sketch on Gantz below:
"Mr Gantz's election ads have trumpeted his military record, featuring a body count of Palestinian militants and scenes of destruction from the war in Gaza that he oversaw in 2014. [emphasis added]
"Seeking to draw right-leaning voters away from Mr Netanyahu, Mr Gantz has talked tough on Iran and echoed the prime minister's positions on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. He has avoided mention of a two-state solution and ruled out unilateral withdrawals in the occupied West Bank, pledging to bolster large Israeli settlement blocs there and maintain the IDF's freedom of action throughout the territory. Settlements are seen as illegal under international law, although Israel disagrees." [BBC here]
The BBC clearly shows that Gantz is echoing Netanyahu's positions in order to draw Netanyahu's voters. But his dishonesty is obvious. Echoing BB's positions is a demagogic ploy. He cannot be trusted.
In another post, I will present some info about Gantz's incompetent or mediocre army career filled with contemptible actions and decisions. 
[this blog post was slightly revised on 9 April 2019]


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