STEVEN PLAUT: A RISING STAR IN ISRAELI POLITICS Without a doubt, the most exciting political development in Israel in decades has been the sudden and unexpected brilliant success of the Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) party of Naftali Bennett. The shy and straight-talking Bennett, who built a highly-successful high-tech entrepreneurial career, started his political career by taking over the splinter that was left […]


Esther Duflo is one of those people who are taken seriously by the sort of people who eat up TED talks with a silver spoon. Her big number is how to help people in the Third World up from poverty, which is a surprisingly profitable branch of economics when you consider the sheer number of NGOs and billionaires interested in getting into the aid business.

But there’s one particular billionaire at Duflo’s back. Abdul Latif Jameel.

Esther Duflo is one of the co-founders of the Poverty Action Lab at MIT, more commonly known as J-PAL for the father of Abdul Latif Jameel aka Mohammed Abdul Latif Jameel, a Saudi billionaire with a net worth of approximately 5 billion dollars.

Mohammed Abdul Latif Jameel owns the world’s largest Toyota dealership and sits on the board of Coexist as well as a number of other organizations. And Jameel provided 3 major endowments for J-PAL. Around the same time the Abdul Latif Jameel Group sued the Wall Street Journal for reporting its presence on the list of accounts monitored for funding terrorism.

Mohammed’s brother was sued by victims of Al Qaeda on accusations that he helped fund its terrorist activities after his name was found on a list in the offices of Benevolence International Foundation, an Al Qaeda front group started by Bin Laden’s brother-in-law.

Now Obama has chosen Duflo to serve on the President’s Global Development Council which will shape American global development policy worldwide.

Fatah’s Facebook: Glorifying Terror, Inciting Hatred, and Erasing Israel…..Read and see it all****

Fatah’s heroes:
Saddam Hussein, Dalal Mughrabi and the rifle
by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik

January 1st is the date Fatah celebrates as the anniversary of its first terror attack, which it calls “Launch Day.” Palestinian Media Watch has examined how Fatah used its Facebook page to mark its 48th anniversary.

The page glorifies violence and terror as acts of heroism, and depicts a world without Israel. The Facebook page is filled with pictures of automatic rifles and slogans venerating arms. In some pictures, young children are shown carrying rifles.

Other pictures show maps of “Palestine” that include the PA areas as well as all of Israel. Fatah’s page glorifies Saddam Hussein and memorializes terrorist Dalal Mughrabi, who led the most lethal terror attack in Israel’s history: a bus hijacking attack that killed 37 civilians.

In addition to his position as PA Chairman, Mahmoud Abbas is also Chairman of Fatah.

As part of its celebrations, Fatah posted two pictures showing young children holding automatic rifles that are almost as large as the children. One picture has the words:
“The 48th anniversary of the Launch of the Palestinian revolution”
My mother gave birth to me to fight,
and Fatah gave me the gun.”
[, Dec. 20, 2012]

Another picture shows a young girl marching with a rifle, and Fatah’s Facebook administrator chose to caption it as follows:
“This is Fatah, spark of the Palestinian revolution, the revolution that turned refugees into fighters and turned fighters into an army to build the state. This picture shows columns of refugees who Yasser Arafat turned into fighters by virtue of his keffiyeh (i.e., headscarf) and his revolution.”

DANIEL GREENFIELD: CONSPIRACY OF BROTHERS To read and order Frank Gaffney’s pamphlet, The Muslim Brotherhood in the Obama Administration, click here. November was just about done and Chris Matthews, the MSNBC host voted most likely by his own staff to have a poster of Barack Obama over his bed, was cheerfully coming to the end of his sideshow list. […]


Is Hugo Chávez dead or alive? And if he is dead, won’t that make it difficult for him to take the oath of office on Thursday—when he is supposed to be sworn in as the Venezuela’s president for another six-year term?Inquiring Venezuelans want to know. It has been four weeks since Mr. Chávez left the country for cancer surgery in Havana, and he has yet to make a postoperative public appearance. The details of his illness and his prognosis have remained a state secret since June 2011, when he announced that he had cancer.

The government only will say now that he is suffering a severe respiratory infection that makes it difficult for him to breath. But as time goes by the speculation that he is not going to recover is increasing.

Even Cuba, which holds considerable sway over the Venezuelan military and the country’s intelligence apparatus, would have trouble pulling off a “Weekend at Bernie’s” inauguration. Which explains why the president of the Venezuelan national assembly, Diosdado Cabello, announced on Saturday that Mr. Chávez will remain the president after Thursday whether he shows up for the inauguration or not.

This is a violation of the constitution, which says he must take the oath on Jan. 10 before the National Assembly or the Supreme Court. But it is hardly a surprise. Dragging Mr. Chávez across the finish line is a high priority and the government began to lay the groundwork for this Plan B last week when the realization hit that he won’t make it under his own power.



“There are many, many reasons to fire Gen. McChrystal, as I first began noting back in September 2009, and they all begin with the criminally irresponsible rules of engagement (ROEs) that are predicated on a politically correct, see-no-Islam, hothouse-academic, socially-engineering vision of the world as it isn’t that has cost all too many of our men’s lives, limbs, and well- being, not to mention countless billions of dollars, and lost power and prestige that once safeguarded us against our enemies.Firing McChrystal without also “firing” the disastrous counterinsurgency (COIN) strategy as codified by the equally culpable Gen. Petraeus does nothing to help the country out of this unrelieved nightmare of pointlessly wasteful, harmful-to-our-interests, seemingly endless war. In other words, it just doesn’t matter if McChrystal’s fired for “insubordination,” or not. So long as COIN rules, someone just as bad will step in to fill his place. ”
The Model Modern General
Throughout his career, Stanley McChrytal was unshakably dedicated to his soldiers, to his wife, and, above all, to the Army and nation.

Modern generals’ memoirs are mostly ghostwritten these days and follow a familiar template: open with a battle scene to hook the reader, then flash back to the author’s youth, before bringing the story up to the present day, focusing most of the attention on the last and highest-profile assignment. “My Share of the Task” by Stanley McChrystal follows this general outline, but it is considerably more thoughtful and better crafted than most.

The difference is noticeable from the very first chapter, “Ghosts of Christmas Past,” where Gen. McChrystal describes a Christmas-time trip he made on a Black Hawk helicopter around Afghanistan in 2009 to spread holiday cheer to units under his command. In a few well-chosen phrases—perhaps provided by Sam Ayres, “a young Yale graduate” whom he credits for making the story “come alive”—he deftly evokes his life. “Soothed by the rhythmic vibrations of the rotors,” he writes, “my mind wandered to the more than half-century of Christmases I’d experienced.” It is an effective literary device, and Gen. McChrystal is able to make clear immediately his dedication to his brother soldiers, to his wife, Annie, and, above all, to the Army and the nation.

Inconvenient Truths About Al Jazeera :L. Gordon Crovitz

Al Gore’s due diligence must have missed the on-air party, with cake, for a deadly terrorist.

Al Gore and his co-investors just sold liberal cable channel Current TV to Al Jazeera, the network bankrolled by the emir of Qatar. How much in carbon offsets does Mr. Gore need to balance his estimated $100 million from the sale to an oil sheik?

But there’s a more serious issue here than hypocrisy. Current’s owners could have simply said they sold to the highest bidder, with the emir paying an estimated $500 million for a network with viewership of only 22,000. Instead they glorified Al Jazeera.

Writing for himself and Mr. Gore, co-founder Joel Hyatt, a lawyer and Democratic fundraiser, explained: “When considering the several suitors who were interested in acquiring Current, it became clear to us that Al Jazeera was founded with the same goals we had.” Among them: “to give voice to those whose voices are not typically heard; to speak truth to power; to provide independent and diverse points of view; and to tell the important stories that no one else is telling.”

Mr. Hyatt also asserted that “Al and I did significant due diligence.” He wrote that he spent a week at Al Jazeera’s headquarters in Qatar and was impressed by the “journalistic integrity” he saw there.


Every January, people around the world take stock of themselves and resolve to improve in the new year, vowing to break bad habits and form good ones. In 2013, CAMERA would like news media to do the same and we suggest the following 13 for ’13…

New Year’s Resolutions We’d Like the Media to Make:

1. Stop misreporting on Gaza.
Gaza is not occupied, not a “prison camp” and the people are allowed to fish. The Palestinians in Gaza rank above average in the Arab world by all indicators: health care, immunizations, education, nutrition, longevity, and low childhood mortality. Israel withdrew every last soldier, civilian and interred body from Gaza in 2005, the Israeli naval blockade of Gaza is legal and Israel does not control all of Gaza’s borders – Gaza has a border with Egypt which Egypt controls. Hamas rules the Gaza Strip and responsibility for any suffering on the part of its residents lies primarily with the terrorist organization.

2. Stop calling Mahmoud Abbas a “moderate”.
Since succeeding Yasser Arafat as Palestinian Authority president and leader of Fatah, Abbas almost invariably has been described as a “moderate.” This, despite the fact that Abbas, Arafat and a few colleagues founded Fatah in 1959 to “liberate” Israel, not the West Bank (then occupied by Jordan) or the Gaza Strip (then held by Egypt); that Abbas continues to incite his people against Israel; that he refuses to even negotiate with Israel; and that Abbas published his doctoral thesis as a book, “The Other Side: The Secret Relationship between Nazism and the Zionist Movement,” which denied the severity of the Holocaust and claimed “a secret relationship between Nazism and the Zionist movement.” His PA TV and other media outlets continue to praise terrorist killers as “heroes” and describe Israeli cities as part of “Palestine.” What is moderate about this?

3. Call terrorists “terrorists,” not “militants”.
Terrorism, defined by the U.S. Law Code, Title 22, Chapter 38, Paragraph 2656 f(d) and used in the State Department’s annual reports to Congress is “… premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against non-combatant targets by sub-national groups or clandestine agents….” The Department of Defense definition recognizes that terrorism is a crime: “The calculated use of unlawful violence or threat of unlawful violence to inculcate fear, intended to coerce or intimidate governments or societies in the pursuit of goals that are generally political, religious or ideological.” “Militant,” on the other hand, is undefined by American law and its consensus usage journalistically – militant unionist, militant environmentalist, militant vegetarian – is as an adjective. It suggests vehemence and persistence but not illegal violence. Farmers farm, lawyers practice law, and terrorists commit terrorism – they don’t advocate causes.

4. Report accurately on the security barrier.
The security fence is a nonviolent way to reduce terrorism and it has been extremely effective in saving lives – both Jewish and non-Jewish. It was constructed in response to the second “intifada” and has significantly reduced terror attacks originating from the West Bank. It does not “completely surround Bethlehem”, it is not “a wall” nor an “iron curtain.” Furthermore, there are security and separation barriers all over the world that get no criticism – or coverage – whatsoever.


Is it actually possible that, as you read this, the United States Navy has only one supercarrier battle group at sea? Read on – and be amazed.

Look no farther than these two news items, both from today’s Sunday Times of London, to see the effect of two decades of shrinkage in the size of the United States Navy and the retreat of the Royal Navy from the high seas:

For the first time in two centuries, British businessmen and others have formed a private navy to protect shipping off the pirate-ridden coast of Somali on the Horn of Africa. A millionaire businessman has formed a company called Typhoon to furnish escort and protection, including troops, along the shipping lanes which world navies have proved inadequate to police. The first convoy of ships is projected for March or April.

The re-emergence of what used to called “privateers” (Sir Francis Drake is the most famous example from history) is the latest sign of outsourcing or abandonment of traditional military functions by Western nations whose militaries have contracted to pinpoint-size in the wake of the growth of the modern welfare state. Private security and private armies — again, once known to history as “mercenaries,” are another aspect of this trend.

Meanwhile, news came that the Russian Navy has deployed ships, marines, combat vehicles and equipment just off the coast of Syria. Five landing ships are accompanied by military vessels.


How does a secretary of state decide whether and when to put the United States on record regarding what appears to be a coup — the decision of a sitting ruler to remain in place in contravention of the terms of the country’s constitution?

The Venezuelan Constitution is clear.

The oath of office has to be administered on 10 January before the National Assembly. If the president-elect “cannot be sworn in before the National Assembly [suggesting that the Assembly cannot meet, not that the President doesn’t show up], he shall take the oath of office before the Supreme Tribunal of Justice.” Article 231
If the president is temporarily unavailable, the executive vice president can serve as president for up to 90 days, extendable by the National Assembly for another 90. “If the temporarily unavailability continues for more than 90 consecutive days, the National Assembly shall have the power to decide … whether the unavailability to serve should be considered permanent.” Article 234
“Permanent physical or mental disability [must be] certified by a medical board designated by the Supreme Tribunal of Justice with the approval of the National Assembly[.]” Article 233
“When an elected President becomes permanently unavailable to serve prior to his inauguration, a new election … shall be held within 30 consecutive days,” during which time the president of the National Assembly will serve as president. Article 233

Nevertheless, Venezuelan Vice President Nicolas Maduro simply announced this past weekend that ailing and absent President Hugo Chávez can start his new term without being sworn in at all.