Friday, January 20, 2017

Trump's inaugural speech on uniting the civilized world against radical Islamic terrorism


“We will reinforce old alliances and form new ones and unite the civilized world against radical Islamic terrorism, which we will eradicate from the face of the Earth.

I hope he will not be neutral to Palestinian radical Islamic terrorism as he proclaimed he would be when he was a candidate.  Perhaps Rudy Giuliani explained the inconsistency to him after I asked Giuliani about Trump’s stance during Giuliani's visit to Beer Sheva last March. 

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Good riddance! Obama to leave office today.

Well, if anybody had any remaining doubts what he stood for, this final act clarifies it. But what Obama has done on the world stage is just horrific.  To paraphrase Churchill, never in modern history have the lives of so many people put in jeopardy by so few.  

The sunset clause of the Iran Deal enables Iran to become a nuclear power in 13 years even if it sticks to the terms of the agreement. How under Obama’s leadership could the P5+1 powers    sign such a dangerous deal will be up to historians to clarify. I would say it is a combination of ignorance about Islam, especially Shi’a eschatology,  on the one hand and political correctness as euphemism for political cowardice on the other.  The political elites know that something is not right, but in contrast to Churchill they do not know what their enemy believes in.  Those who do, skip over the truth like Boris Johnson did in his book The Churchill Factor – a perfect example of political cowardice.  But in the end it all boils down to ignorance.

Reversing the Iran Deal must be priority number one for the new President and Congress.  Of all the disasters Obama foreign policy has created, and there are so many, from supporting the Muslim Brotherhood  in Egypt to not enforcing his red line in Syria,  the Iran Deal stands out as the most significant and dangerous error the west has committed in modern history. Not since the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 have we put ourselves in such peril. 

In 2009 I wrote an article in the American Thinker How will Israel survive Obama's naïveté on Iran?

In two hours we will have made it.  The Obama nightmare is finally ending 

Phew!  We did it. Israel survived Obama! 

Mayor of Jerusalem Nir Barkat  welcomes Trump

The Obama nightmare will end on January 20, 2017, 12:00 NOON EST (GMT-5) i.e. 07:00 p.m. Israel Time (GMT +02:00).

Saturday, January 7, 2017

U.S. ambassadors appointed by Obama must quit by Inauguration Day

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's transition team has issued a blanket mandate for politically appointed ambassadors installed by President Barack Obama to leave their posts by Inauguration Day, the U.S. ambassador to New Zealand said on Friday.

"I will be departing on January 20th," Ambassador Mark Gilbert said in a Twitter message to Reuters.

The mandate was issued "without exceptions" through an order sent in a State Department cable on Dec. 23, Gilbert said.

He was confirming a report in the New York Times, which quoted diplomatic sources as saying previous U.S. administrations, from both major political parties, have traditionally granted extensions to allow a few such ambassadors, particularly those with school-age children, to remain in place for weeks or months.

State Department spokesman John Kirby said it was "common" procedure for all politically-appointed ambassadors to step down as a new U.S. administration comes in on Jan. 20.

"All political appointees for the Obama administration were directed to submit their resignation and the due date was Dec. 7, and the resignations are to take effect on Jan. 20," Kirby told reporters. "That is common, typical practise ... that's the way it works."

Kirby said, as expected, no career diplomats serving as ambassadors had been asked to resign by the transition team.

He acknowledged, however, that in the past there had been exceptions made for a small number of political appointees to stay on for a short time for personal reasons. "But that is totally in the prerogative of the incoming administration," he added.

The order could leave the United States without Senate-confirmed envoys for months in critical nations like Germany, Canada and Britain, the New York Times reported.

A senior Trump transition official told the newspaper there was no ill will in the move, describing it as a simple matter of ensuring Obama's overseas envoys leave the government on schedule, just as thousands of political aides at the White House and in federal agencies must do.

Trump has taken a strict stance against leaving any of Obama's political appointees in place as he prepares to take office on Jan. 20, aiming to break up many of his predecessor's signature foreign and domestic policy achievements, the newspaper said.

Diplomats told the New York Times that the order has thrown their personal lives into a tailspin, leaving them scrambling to secure living arrangements and acquire visas allowing them to stay in their countries so their children can remain in school.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Reductio ad absurdum of UNSC Resolution 2334

Melanie Philllips explains the reason for the unprecedented rebuke to the Obama administration over the Israel-bashing speech by US Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday  this way:

“So why the screeching U-turn? Almost certainly it was because of the ferocious pushback from both Israel and US President-elect Donald Trump which presumably made Mrs May realise she had created a diplomatic crisis between the UK and its two ostensible allies.

Melanie Phillips is right, but there is an additional reason, explained by Charles Krauthammer in his column:

 “It’s the third category of “settlement” that is the most contentious and that Security Council Resolution 2334 explicitly condemns: East Jerusalem. This is not just scandalous; it’s absurd. America acquiesces to a declaration that, as a matter of international law, the Jewish state has no claim on the Western Wall, the Temple Mount, indeed the entire Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem. They belong to Palestine.

We have come to the point where world animosity towards Israel has morphed into UN resolutions that have become so absurd that this absurdity is the very proof that they are wrong.

 From Wikipedia

In logic, reductio ad absurdum (Latin for "reduction to absurdity"; or argumentum ad absurdum, "argument to absurdity") is a form of argument which attempts either to disprove a statement by showing it inevitably leads to a ridiculous, absurd, or impractical conclusion, or to prove one by showing that if it were not true, the result would be absurd or impossible

Almost everybody in the West gets carried away by attacking Israel.  It has become a Pavlovian reflex.  However, logical thinking is still an important component of western thought and when mathematical absurdity stares you in the face even the dumbest take notice. 

Reductio ad absurdum works in math (Here is a link to why the square root of 2 is irrational) . It works in politics too. 

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Krauthammer: Obama’s final, most shameful, legacy moment

“When the chips are down, I have Israel’s back.”
 Barack Obama, AIPAC
conference, March 4, 2012

The audience — overwhelmingly Jewish, passionately pro-Israel and supremely gullible — applauded wildly. Four years later — his last election behind him, with a month to go in office and with no need to fool Jew or gentile again — Obama took the measure of Israel’s back and slid a knife into it.

People don’t quite understand the damage done to Israel by the U.S. abstention that permitted passage of a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning Israel over settlements. The administration pretends this is nothing but a restatement of long-standing U.S. opposition to settlements.

Nonsense. For the past 35 years, every administration, including a reelection-seeking Obama himself in 2011, has protected Israel with the U.S. veto because such a Security Council resolution gives immense legal ammunition to every boycotter, anti-Semite and zealous European prosecutor to penalize and punish Israelis.

An ordinary Israeli who lives or works in the Old City of Jerusalem becomes an international pariah, a potential outlaw. To say nothing of the soldiers of Israel’s citizen army. “Every pilot and every officer and every soldier,” said a confidant of Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, “we are waiting for him at The Hague,” i.e. the International Criminal Court.

Moreover, the resolution undermines the very foundation of a half-century of American Middle East policy. What becomes of “land for peace” if the territories that Israel was to have traded for peace are, in advance, declared to be Palestinian land to which Israel has no claim?

The peace parameters enunciated so ostentatiously by Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday are nearly identical to the Clinton parameters that Yasser Arafat was offered and rejected in 2000 and that Abbas was offered by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in 2008. Abbas, too, walked away.

Kerry mentioned none of this because it undermines his blame-Israel narrative. Yet Palestinian rejectionism works. The Security Council just declared the territories legally Palestinian — without the Palestinians having to concede anything, let alone peace. What incentive do the Palestinians have to negotiate when they can get the terms — and territory — they seek handed to them for free if they hold out long enough?

The administration claims a kind of passive innocence on the text of the resolution, as if it had come upon it at the last moment. We are to believe that the ostensible sponsors — New Zealand, Senegal, Malaysia and a Venezuela that cannot provide its own people with toilet paper, let alone food — had for months been sweating the details of Jewish housing in East Jerusalem.

Nothing new here, protests deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes: “When we see the facts on the ground, again, deep into the West Bank beyond the separation barrier, we feel compelled to speak up against those actions.”

This is a deception. Everyone knows that remote outposts are not the issue. Under any peace, they will be swept away. Even right-wing Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who lives in one of these West Bank settlements, has stated publicly that “I even agree to vacate my settlement if there really will be a two-state solution.” Where’s the obstacle to peace?

A second category of settlement is the close-in blocs that border 1967 Israel. Here, too, we know in advance how these will be disposed of: They’ll become Israeli territory and, in exchange, Israel will swap over some of its land to a Palestinian state. Where’s the obstacle to peace here?

It’s the third category of “settlement” that is the most contentious and that Security Council Resolution 2334 explicitly condemns: East Jerusalem. This is not just scandalous; it’s absurd. America acquiesces to a declaration that, as a matter of international law, the Jewish state has no claim on the Western Wall, the Temple Mount, indeed the entire Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem. They belong to Palestine.

The Temple Mount is the most sacred site in all of Judaism. That it should be declared foreign to the Jewish people is as if the Security Council declared Mecca and Medina to be territory to which Islam has no claim. Such is the Orwellian universe Israel inhabits.

At the very least, Obama should have insisted that any reference to East Jerusalem be dropped from the resolution or face a U.S. veto. Why did he not? It’s incomprehensible — except as a parting shot of personal revenge on Benjamin Netanyahu. Or perhaps as a revelation of a deep-seated antipathy to Israel that simply awaited a safe political interval for public expression.

Another legacy moment for Barack Obama. And his most shameful.

What a difference 8 years make! Obama in 2008 and now

2008: Presidential candidate Barack Obama at the Western Wall
2016: UN calls the Western Wall "occupied Palestinian territory"