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December 2014


Indyk’s insidious analysis

The disbanding of the Israeli government this week is breathing new life into dead arguments from the American Left about Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

One example worth noting is Christiane Amanpour’s “interview” with Brookings Institution foreign policy director Martin Indyk on Wednesday. The reason for the quotation marks is that the exchange between the two celebrities, who owe their careers to the promotion of a twisted view of the Middle East, was more like a victory volley than a question-and-answer session on a serious topic about which each is touted as an expert.

It is hard enough for Israeli voters to stomach the internal scramble for Knesset seats that will dominate the public sphere for the next three months without the added cacophony from abroad.

That the noise from overseas is going to play into the hands of the Israeli Left, which is as adept at twisting the truth about the Jewish state as its international counterparts — makes it even more unbearable.

But it, like Indyk’s take on the situation, has its advantages.

Indeed, if anyone can serve as a negative gauge by which to measure a political climate, it is he. Oh, yes, and the think tank that has served as his cash-cow fallback whenever his peace-brokering between Israel and the Palestinians ends in abject failure. (You know, the research institute which receives most of its funding from Qatar, where it has its “Overseas Center.”)

One neat trick Indyk employs is referring to the peace camp in Israel as the “center.” This is not only false; it is also a complete misreading of the electorate. Just as the Democratic party in the United States was dealt a heavy blow in the mid-term elections due to utter disillusionment on the part of the public with the Obama administration, so too in Israel has the bloc to the left of Netanyahu disappointed the voters who believed they were opting for some better alternative that turned out not to exist.

In both countries, the fantasy that socialist policies (cloaked as a viable marriage of the free market and a welfare state) would cure economic ills, and that peace overtures would make the West safer from radical Islam than military might, was killed by reality. This is not to say that average voters in the U.S. or Israel have all shifted their support to the Right. On the contrary, many of them blame their plight on their leaders’ not going far enough.

It is this mind-frame that Indyk and his ilk possess.

Landrieu’s Ugly Exit – Fighting Dirty, Peddling Lies and Racial Animosity. By John Fund

Senator Mary Landrieu comes from a political dynasty in Louisiana — her father was mayor of New Orleans, and her brother is the current mayor. But as she heads into Saturday’s runoff election as a clear underdog, she is tarnishing her political inheritance by fighting ugly. She is resorting to lies and distortion to accuse her GOP opponent of backing the impeachment of President Obama and endorsing a documentary that, as she describes it, says slavery was better for blacks than welfare.

“Landrieu has flailed, veering from one issue to another,” concluded a Washington Post article this Thursday. When it hasn’t been haphazard, her campaign has been, at best, factually challenged.

Take the following radio ad airing on African-American stations, approved by Landrieu and paid for by the Democratic State Committee of Louisiana:

I’m Mary Landrieu, candidate for Senate, and I approve this message.

Man: News flash — Bobby Jindal endorses Bill Cassidy 100 percent. That troubles me. Jindal, our absentee governor, and Doc Cassidy, a medical doctor, oppose affordable health care for working families. These millionaire Republicans are against equal pay for women and have opposed the Violence against Women Act. And can you believe, Doc Cassidy has endorsed a documentary that claims slavery was better for black folks than welfare.

Woman: Oh, no, he didn’t!

Man: Yeah, well he sure did, my friends. But worse than that, Cassidy and Jindal are trying to impeach our president. Back in the day, there was a TV cowboy named Hopalong Cassidy. I don’t know if they’re related, but why don’t you just hop along, Doctor Cassidy, to wherever your No, 1 supporter, Bobby Jindal, is headed this week, and let Senator Landrieu continue doing a great job for the people of Louisiana?

Cassidy/Jindal — bad for Louisiana, disastrous for black families.

Paid for by the Democratic State Central Committee of Louisiana.


The Rolling Stone story about a gang rape at the University of Virginia has, in the eyes of many in the media, gone from bombshell reporting to journalistic malpractice in the bat of an eye.

The piece achieves its punch with a difficult-to-read opening about the protagonist of the story, Jackie, arriving with a date at a fraternity party where a trap has been set by fraternity brothers to take turns brutally raping her for hours.

The details of this crime are practically unspeakable. The shock of it led many people to recoil in horror upon the article’s release and ask, “How could this have happened at such a respectable school?” Upon further reflection, and after a skeptical blog post by Worth Editor Richard Bradley, people began to ask, “Could this really have happened?”

First, there’s the scale of the crime. No one doubts the existence of sociopaths on campus, but nine of them conspiring together at one fraternity in an act so depraved it could be something out of a West African civil war?

Then, there are the details. If the gang rape was premeditated, why did the fraternity brothers leave a glass table in the room, which Jackie was smashed through in the initial attack, with the subsequent assaults taking place on the shards?

Would Jackie’s friends, seeing her bruised, cut and traumatized, really have stood around debating how it would affect their social status if she dared report the crime?

Perhaps all of this happened (life is full of evil and improbabilities), but it is impossible to know one way or another from reading the story, which marshals little evidence beyond Jackie’s own testimony. In fact, even the writer of the article doesn’t seem to know if the story is true.

Sabrina Rubin Erdely has said she found Jackie credible. But she didn’t talk to the accused students. She explained in a Slate podcast that she couldn’t get in touch with the alleged perpetrators “because [the fraternity’s] contact page was pretty outdated.” She wouldn’t tell the Washington Post whether she even knew their names, and retreated to the argument that the real point of the story wasn’t the violent incident itself, but the culture of UVA.

Of course, without the nightmarish account of what Jackie experienced, the piece would never have generated so much attention.

(I graduated from UVA, by the way, and while I love the school, I have no use for its administration and never belonged to a fraternity.)


China’s promises sound impressive — until you look at the fine print.

Every December since 1995, the United Nations has held a meeting of the countries that signed onto its 1992 Framework Convention on Climate Change. This year, the 20th “Conference of the Parties” (“COP-20”) is another iteration, with officials (and anyone who wants to influence them) spewing countless tons of carbon dioxide into the air to meet, posture, disagree, agree, and declare a breakthrough on global warming. This movie has played more times than A Christmas Story airs during the holidays. Ho, ho, ho!

Sometime during this year’s conference, various governments will breathlessly pronounce that 2014’s global temperatures will set an all-time record. Make that some temperatures, as not all the global records agree, and it’s also unclear what the previous record-warm year was. Some histories give it as 1998, while others say 2010. And make that “all-time” going back to the late 19th century. Before then, there was still a climate, and sometimes it was warmer.

So what’s with the cricket sounds emanating from Lima?

Climate hype is definitely on the down-low in Lima because the meeting is specifically designed to be a preparatory step for the great Paris climatefest of 2015, where leaders hope to (finally) ink a “legally binding” agreement to replace the failed and expired Kyoto Protocol on global warming.

That treaty never bound the U.S., because it was never ratified by a two-thirds vote of the Senate. The Constitution is clear that this needs to be done for a treaty to have the force of law. It’s therefore rather odd that the Obama administration floated a trial balloon last summer suggesting that the Paris agreement will not have to be ratified. Damn the Constitution! Full speed ahead!

As has been shown repeatedly, the president can, via the Environmental Protection Agency, command any reduction in carbon dioxide emissions that Tom Steyer desires, thanks to a 2007 5–4 Supreme Court decision, Massachusetts v. EPA.

Obama Says His Job Is Assuring Equal Protection Under the Law … Really? By Andrew C. McCarthy

Continuing to politicize tragedy, our community organizer-in-chief reacted to the grand jury’s refusal to indict a New York City police officer in the killing of Eric Garner by complaining that this decision and the one in Ferguson, Mo., “highlighted the frustrations that many African-Americans have harbored about a legal system that has a long history of discrimination against black people.” Obama is quoted by the New York Times proclaiming:

“When anybody in this country is not being treated equally under the law, that is a problem, and it’s my job as president to help solve it.”


Perhaps the president could start with Dinesh D’Souza. He should be able to get up to speed on it quickly since, unlike the state cases he is bloviating about, the D’Souza case was prosecuted by Obama’s own Justice Department. Even though his offense involved a comparatively trifling among of money ($15,000), D’Souza, unlike the overwhelming majority of people who violate the campaign finance laws, was not permitted to settle his case by paying an administrative fine. Instead, Obama’s Justice Department not only prosecuted him for a campaign finance felony, but gratuitously threw in an additional felony false-statements charge that turned Congress’s two-year maximum into a seven-year potential sentence.

By comparison, the Obama 2008 campaign, which committed over $2 million in campaign finance infractions, was permitted to pay a fine — indeed, a fine that was substantially less than the $500,000 bond D’Souza was forced to post just to get out on bail. Fortunately, a federal judge declined the Obama Justice Department’s push to send D’Souza to jail for 16 months. But he is absurdly being forced to spend six months in a halfway house — which is supposed to be the transition stage back into the community after a long prison sentence.

D’Souza is a conservative writer and film producer who has portrayed the president in an unflattering light.


Remember when she was inevitable? Ladbroke’s still rates Hillary Clinton a heavy favorite in 2016, paying 4 to 9 on a bet that she’ll take the Democratic nomination and 11 to 8—slightly more than even money—that she’ll be elected president. But if it were our intention to place a bet on Mrs. Clinton, we’d wait a while. Our suspicion is that the odds are about to lengthen.

“There’s plenty of bad news for [Mrs.] Clinton in last month’s Quinnipiac poll, the first national survey conducted since the November election,” observes the Washington Examiner’s Michael Barone. “Clinton runs 1 point behind Mitt Romney, 1 point ahead of Chris Christie, 4 points ahead of Paul Ryan and 5 points ahead of Jeb Bush, Rand Paul and Mike Huckabee. None of this can be blamed on low off-year turnout; the poll is of registered voters.” For what it’s worth, the Ladbroke’s Mrs. Clinton is having difficulties with retailing as well. Yesterday she spoke at Georgetown University, her husband’s alma mater. The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank notes that when she “spoke in the same place a year ago, the room was reportedly packed”—so packed, apparently, that Milbank couldn’t get in. She was there again in October, and the hall “again ‘was filled to capacity,’ the campus newspaper reported; some students lined up overnight and others were turned away.” (How Georgetown can afford all these pricey speeches we’ll never know.)

Yesterday, according to Milbank, “half of the 700 seats in the place were empty.” An optimist would say they were half-full, but we live in pessimistic times. “Roughly half a dozen people rose to applaud, and for a terrifying moment it appeared they might be the only ones standing. But slowly, lazily, most of the others struggled to their feet.” Really, “terrifying”? Ambassador Chris Stevens could not be reached for comment.

Abu Dhabi Suspect in Ibolya Ryan Killing Didn’t Act Alone – Targeted Other Americans


The suspect accused of stabbing an American teacher to death at an Abu Dhabi shopping mall was not working alone, Abu Dhabi police told ABC News.

The suspect was identified as Dalal al Hashemi, a 38 year-old UAE citizen of Yemeni origin, police said. She was arrested today in connection with the teacher’s murder and is also accused of planting a bomb in front of an Egyptian-American doctor’s home.

Police said they do not believe Hashemi, 38, was a so-called “lone wolf”. Authorities told ABC News that other people were arrested at Hashemi’s house, but their connection to the attack was not yet known.

Her home was described as a “base of operations,” but it was not clear what groups – if any – she may have been connected to.

The suspect accused of stabbing an American teacher to death at an Abu Dhabi shopping mall was not working alone, Abu Dhabi police told ABC News.

The suspect was identified as Dalal al Hashemi, a 38 year-old UAE citizen of Yemeni origin, police said. She was arrested today in connection with the teacher’s murder and is also accused of planting a bomb in front of an Egyptian-American doctor’s home.

Ibolya Ryan, a kindergarten teacher who was the mother of 11-year-old twins, was stabbed to death by someone wearing a black abayah, which covered the suspect from head to toe, including the stabber’s face.


PA Mufti demands bodies of synagogue murderers

Two weeks ago terrorists Ghassan and Uday Abu Jamal entered a synagogue in

West Jerusalem and attacked worshippers with guns, knives and axes. They murdered five and injured seven people, three of them seriously. The terrorists were killed in an exchange of fire with Israeli police that arrived on the scene.

Now the Palestinian Authority Mufti, Sheikh Muhammad Hussein, demands that Israel transfer the bodies of the dead murderers, who he calls Martyrs (Shahids), a term of the highest honor in Islam. He explained: “It is the Martyrs’ right for us to pray for them” and also so their relatives “may hold the funeral rites required by Muslim Shari’ah”:

“At a press conference at the mourners’ tent in Jabal Mukkaber on Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014, [PA] Mufti of Jerusalem Sheikh Muhammad Hussein called on the occupation authorities to return the bodies of the Martyrs (Shahids) to their relatives and the members of their village quickly, so that they may hold the funeral rites required by Muslim Shari’ah. Hussein continued: ‘It is the Martyrs’ right for us to pray for them, and this is a right according to Shari’ah. Their relatives, friends and loved ones also have the right to see them one last time, and no one gains anything from keeping the Martyrs’ bodies.’”

[The Capital City, distributed with Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Dec. 2, 2014]The attorney of the murderers’ families blamed Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu for the deaths of the “Martyrs” and said “an indictment must be submitted” against him:

Attorney Raed Bashir: “Given that the occupation forces are responsible for the deaths of eight people in the operation (i.e., the Jerusalem synagogue terror attack) – six settlers and the Martyrs Ghassan and Uday Abu Jamal – an indictment must be submitted against Prime Minister of the occupation Netanyahu, as he is responsible for the events in Jerusalem.”


The ashes of John Henry Patterson, a Christian Zionist whom Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu termed the godfather of Israel’s army, were interred along with those of his wife in an official ceremony Thursday at Moshav Avichail.

Lt.-Col. Patterson commanded the Jewish Legion which served with distinction in the Gallipoli and Palestine campaigns during World War I.

Patterson was also a friend of Netanyahu’s father, Ben-Zion Netanyahu, and the godfather of his brother Yonatan, who was named for the Irish-born Patterson.

Zeev Jabotinsky wrote about Patterson that ‘never in Jewish history has there been in our midst a Christian friend of his understanding and devotion.'”

Netanyahu initiated the move to bury the ashes of Patterson and his wife in Israel, near the men he commanded. According to his grandson, Alan, who attended the ceremony on Thursday, one of Patterson’s final wishes was to be buried in Israel close to his men.

HungerGames at the UN Climate Summit

“If we truly care about the poor (and we do), we need to educate people to the tragedy a UN climate treaty would be for developing nations.Poor countries need freedom, energy, prosperity and the rule of law just as much as wealthy nations do. That message needs to get out.That’s why we’re in Peru.” Craig Rucker Executive Director CFACT

In 2012, Typhoon Bopha struck the Philippines while CFACT was at COP 18, the UN climate conference in Doha, Qatar. Filipino negotiator Yeb Sano made a tear-filled speech pleading for a global warming treaty.

Last year Typhoon Haiyan dealt the Philippines a devastating blow around the time CFACT was working at COP 19 in Warsaw. Sano responded with a hunger strike that stole the show.
A young global warming campaigner named Adam Greenberg fasted along “in solidarity” with Yeb for 13 days during that Warsaw event. Now today in Lima, Martin Kopp, “climate justice advocate” for the Lutheran World Federation, Mohamed Adow of Christian Aid, and Laura Vargas of the Inter-Religious Council of Peru joined Adam to announce a project called, “Fast for the Climate” at a press conference at the Pentagonito. Sano joined in via a pre-recorded video.
“People are living and dying and suffering,” Greenberg said. “During COP 19 the Philippines were slammed by a typhoon. The price we’re paying is in human lives.”
Phillipines typhoon chart

It’s a tear-jerking narrative, yet the problem is that the scientific data shows that Typhoons Haiyan and Bopha were natural weather events with no meaningful connection to global warming. The IPCC was unable to state a serious short-term link between typhoons and climate. Similarly, Typhoon Hagupit, which is headed for the Philippines this weekend, is a product of natural weather variability.

Severe storms often form in Southeast Asia this time of year. They did so before the industrial revolution and will continue to do so whether you drive a car and air condition your home, or not.