1. Obama happy to congratulate Russian, Chinese, Iranian despots for their rigged elections
2. Indian PM congratulates Bibi in Hebrew; leaders of other democracies send goodwill messages (but not Obama)
3. Netanyahu’s choices for Israel’s next coalition
4. Netanyahu and Israel’s Arab population
5. “White House: It is wrong to encourage non-Arab Israelis to vote to offset foreign bankrolled encouragement of Arab-Israelis to vote”
6. Haaretz’s bitter post-election coverage
7. “Obama loses his bid to defeat a U.S. ally” (Wall St Journal, March 18, 2015)
8. “The role of the Palestinian Authority in Israel’s election results” (By Alan Dershowitz, Gatestone Institute, March 18, 2015)
9. “Why the media always get Israeli elections wrong” (By Jonathan Schanzer, Politico, March 18, 2015)
10. “Israel chose Bibi over Barack” (By Eli Lake, Bloomberg, March 18, 2015)
Initially I was going to start with the line, “It is stunning to think,” but then I remembered I was opining about the Obama Administration, of which I have come to expect the unexpected, especially when it comes to nefarious doings meant to advance his agenda. To be certain, all of the actions (and inactions) taken (and not taken) by this administration – without exception – have been executed to advance his ideological agenda, chief among them the handling of the IRS’s targeting of the administration’s political adversaries.
TheHill.com reports that Ronald Machen, the US attorney for the District of Columbia –an Obama appointee – has not acted on a Contempt of Congress charge for former IRS official Lois Lerner even though the contempt citation has been in his hands since May of 2014. Manchen is set to step down next month.
Search the mainstream media headlines and you find this item far down the list if, in fact, you find it at all. Yet the issue is no less important than that of the Constitution’s First Amendment guaranteed rights themselves; to both “peaceably assemble” and to “petition the government for a redress of grievances.”
Abbas has chosen to align himself with Hamas and Islamic Jihad, thus facilitating these two organizations’ dreams of taking over the West Bank. These two radical groups seek to destroy Israel and are opposed to any peace process in the Middle East.
These threats are primarily aimed at getting the international community into providing the Palestinian Authority with more financial and political support.
This alliance could also result in renewed terrorist attacks against Israel, because Hamas and Islamic Jihad will interpret Abbas’s anti-Israel moves and rhetoric as a green light for such actions.
Abbas’s rapprochement with Hamas and Islamic Jihad will only confirm the fears of many Israelis that the West Bank will fall onto the hands of Islamists once Israel withdraws from that area.
The two-state solution started the day Hamas kicked Abbas out of the Gaza Strip and turned it into an Islamist emirate. In the end, the Palestinians got two states that are even at war with each other.
Guess who is the number one violator of women’s rights in the world today? Israel. Violating the rights of Palestinian women.
At least that is the view of the UN’s top women’s rights body, the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). CSW ends its annual meeting on Friday, March 20 by condemning only one of the 193 UN member states for violating women’s rights – Israel.
Not Syria. Where government forces routinely employ rape and other sexual violence and torture against women as a tactic of war. Where in 2014 the Assad regime starved, tortured and killed at least 24,000 civilians, and three million people – mostly women and children – are refugees.
Not Saudi Arabia. Where women are physically punished if not wearing compulsory clothing, are almost entirely excluded from political life, cannot drive, cannot travel without a male relative, receive half the inheritance of their brothers, and where their testimony counts for half that of a man’s.
It is the morning after in Israel, and there are a few developments worth noting. As Bill Kristol joked on Twitter:
”BREAKING: British PM Cameron, in close re-election contest, has called WH to ask that Obama intervene against him.”
David Cameron might be the first in a string of elected international leaders calling for help for their opponents given U.S. President Barack Obama’s track record since he took office.
For if there is one consistent political story that has emerged about Obama, it is his unique ability to destroy his political allies. After his landslide victory in the presidential contest following the financial collapse in 2008, the Democratic Party held 60 Senate seats (after one party switch) and 258 House seats. Today, after two disastrous midterm routs, the Democrats have fallen into the minority with 46 Senate seats and 188 House seats. The House total is the lowest for the party in nearly a century.
Following the horrendous terrorist attack in Tunis, it is inevitable that I am reminded of my week-long Chronicles assignment to Tunisia in September 2012. In view of the carnage that left 20 Western tourists dead on March 18, it is worth revisiting my notes posted in the immediate aftermath of that trip.
“I covered some 2,000 miles by rental car, bus, SUV, and a powered hang glider, The tour has confirmed that of faraway places we often assume to know more than we do. The first country affected by a wave of popular discontent known as the Arab Spring was full of surprises.
?“To start with, the country is safe for foreign visitors. There have been no attacks on tourists, either at the time of the  ‘Jasmine Revolution] or during the periodic eruptions of street protests since then… Even in dusty provincial towns, where no foreigners venture, gas station attendants and cold drinks vendors invariably greeted me with a smile and a polite “ bonjour, Monsieur, ça va?” This is in contrast to the barely concealed hostility I have encountered on my recent trips to the West Bank, or – over a decade ago – in Libya.
Finding Out I Was a Communist and How I Escaped — on The Glazov Gang
Ex-leftist Ari David shares how he found himself imprisoned within the political faith — and how he found his way out.
In 1897, twenty-three-year-old Winston Churchill waged war against the Islamists of that day on the North-West Frontier of India. Churchill used his mother’s political influence to take leave from his regiment, the Fourth Hussars, and get attached to the Malakand Field Force as a war correspondent. This assignment resulted in a series of articles for the Daily Telegraph and his first book, The Story of the Malakand Field Force. Churchill’s observations about the nature of the enemy and the half-measures taken by the British government of the time to deal with the enemy have an eerie resemblance to the West’s contemporary struggle against the Islamists.
The Malakand Field Force, led by General Sir Bindon Blood, was dispatched to relieve the Malakand Pass and Fort Chakdara, which guarded the important road to Chitral on India’s North-West Frontier. Churchill, although a war correspondent, served at the front and saw action with British and Indian forces fighting the uprising by Muslim tribesmen. Though some non-religious leaders were involved in the uprising, the tribesmen were largely inspired by Muslim holy men, one of whom Churchill called the “Mad Mullah.” Churchill described him as “[a] wild enthusiast, convinced alike of his Divine mission and miraculous powers [who] preached a crusade, or jihad, against the infidel.”
I see Hillary Clinton has just been inducted into the “Irish America Hall of Fame”. I’m not sure I’d ever heard of that until today, but as an authentic son of Erin I strongly object to the Hall of Fame helping Hillary put the sham in shamrock. She has English, Welsh and Scottish blood coursing icily through her veins, but not a drop of Irish. Perhaps that’s why her blarney is so clunky and heavy-handed. At any rate, it’s 15 years since Mrs Clinton’s first political campaign – when a sitting First Lady decided to run for the Senate in a state she’d never lived in. In that time, she’s gone from presidential spouse to senator to president-presumptive to Obama roadkill to State Department airmiles queen to deleter extraordinaire and and president-presumptive 2.0. But, with hindsight, a lot of her subsequent presidential campaign style was visible in this St Patrick’s Day column from 2000:
As my favourite 1970s McDonald’s jingle put it:
Hey, come on down
The weather’s getting better
Have a big thick shamrock shake
We’ll welcome in the spring together…
As the head of the Department, Clinton should have been obligated to ensure proper records were kept. Did Hillary Clinton’s State Department exit follow the Department’s standard records-keeping protocol? Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki on Tuesday answered a pressing question I posed here about Clinton’s use of a private e-mail server to conduct official business. Responding to questions from AP reporter Matt Lee, she reported that the State Department had “no record” that Mrs. Clinton signed a “separation statement” (Form OF-109) certifying the completeness of the records that she left with the Department upon her resignation. When pressed on whether Mrs. Clinton actually signed the document, Ms. Psaki left herself some wiggle room, stating that she was “fairly certain” the former secretary of state had not. Ms. Psaki, acting more like an extension of Hillary 2016 than a State Department spokesperson, then went into full spin mode, disclosing that neither of Mrs. Clinton’s two Bush-administration predecessors signed a Separation Statement. She further stated that Mrs. Clinton broke no rules in failing to sign the statement.
But Ms. Psaki’s spin misstates applicable State Department rules and leaves many questions unanswered. First, the governing rules. The State Department Foreign Affairs Manual and Foreign Affairs Handbooks, which set forth the Department’s internal operating procedures and guidelines for the day-to-day operations of the Department, plainly require that all departing employees sign a separation statement. Department management is responsible under those procedures for “reminding all employees who are about to leave the Department . . . of the laws and regulations pertaining to the disposition of personal papers and official records” and for “ensuring that . . . [the] Separation Statement [is] executed for each departing employee.” Elsewhere, the same department rulebook, addressing termination of an employee, provides that a “separation statement will be completed whenever an employee is terminating employment.” Ms. Psaki’s suggestion that the rules were not broken therefore can’t bear scrutiny when actually reading those rules.