JERUSALEM, ISRAEL

From a letter to the Editor of the Wall Street Journal published December 30, 2017.

“If I forget you, O Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its skill. May my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth if I do not remember you, if I do not consider Jerusalem my highest joy.” These words in Psalm 137: 5-6 written long before the birth of Muhammad, attest to the reality that Jerusalem has been Israel’s capital for millennia. I did not vote for President Trump, but I applauded his willingness to put his money where past presidents have only put their mouths in relations to Jerusalem.

Signed, Linda K. Gragg

Kennewick, Washington

Below is an article from Mitchell Bard, written many years ago when Arafat and Sharon were still living.

Today, the Palestinians could be enjoying their 54th year of independence, or their 52nd, or their 19th, or their 3rd or the eve of their 2nd. That’s right, by my count they have had at least five opportunities to have a state beside Israel if that was their real objective, but they have chosen to hold out for a Palestinian state instead of Israel. Even today, under that “hardline, right-wing” Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, the opportunity for emancipation exists, but the Palestinians stubbornly cling to their dreams of a Palestinians state replacing Israel rather than accepting the offer to establish a state beside Israel.

The first chance for statehood was in 1947 when the UN actually created an Arab state in Palestine. It was not perfect, it was not what they wanted, but it was a state. The Zionists accepted partition even though it was a truly rotten deal for them too. Think about it. Like the Arabs, the Jews believed they were entitled to all of Palestine, and not just what was then called Palestine, but the 80% of what had been Palestine that the British lopped off and turned into Transjordan. True, the UN gave the Jews more land, but most of it was the Negev desert. The borders were indefensible, and Jerusalem was not only excluded from the Jewish state, it was to be internationalized and surrounded by the Arab state.

So why did the Jews accept such a lousy deal?

David Ben-Gurion and the other Zionist leaders recognized it was the best deal they would get. They also understood that the international community was offering legal recognition for the establishment of a Jewish state. And most important, they would now have an independent state that could be a haven to Jews from around the world, and they could build it into something greater.

Most Palestinian Arabs, on the other hand, believed Palestine really was just southern Syria. They were convinced by their Arab brethren that they had no need to compromise because the Jews would be driven into the sea and they would have the entire country. The whole refugee issue is proof that most Palestinian Arabs were not even prepared to fight for their independence; they chose to flee instead. And so their chance for statehood was squandered.

The Palestinians actually had 19 years to demand statehood during the Jordanian occupation from 1948-1967. Jordan annexed the West Bank in 1950 rather than grant the Palestinians independence. What is remarkable is that there were no Hanan Ashrawis demanding the end to Jordanian occupation and the creation of a Palestinian state for all those years. Ask a Palestinian today about that and you’ll hear a lot of hemming and hawing. They only discovered a passion for independence after Israel captured the territories in 1967.

The third opportunity for statehood was presented by yet another “fanatical, right-wing” Prime Minister, Menachem Begin. In fact, when the Palestinian state comes into being, as it inevitably will some day, Begin should be regarded as its true founder. Begin was the first one to offer the Palestinians control over their own affairs. Yes, the autonomy plan that came out of the Israeli-Egyptian peace negotiations was limited, and did not offer immediate statehood, but there is no question that once the Palestinians began to control their own affairs, it would be impossible for Israel to stop them from ultimately becoming totally free of Israeli control. From about 1983 on, it was no longer a question of if there would be a Palestinian state, but when. Had the Palestinians accepted Begin’s offer, however, they would have had their state long ago.

The Oslo agreements were specifically geared toward an Israeli withdrawal from the territories and the creation of a Palestinian state. According to the timetable, the last remaining issues should have been resolved by 1999, but the Palestinians never lived up to the commitments they made, starting with the recognition of Israel and renouncement of terrorism that Arafat declared in September 1993 that was the basis for the entire Oslo process. Had Arafat ended the violence and complied with his treaty commitments, the Palestinians would be completely under Arafat’s control today (as it is 98% of the Palestinian people are under his autocratic control).

Finally, the Palestinians were offered a state by Ehud Barak in the negotiations at Camp David and the White House in 2000. Today, they could be living in a Palestine comprised of 95% of the West Bank, 100% of the Gaza Strip, and most of Arab east Jerusalem. They would have greater control of the Temple Mount and an unimpeded highway between Gaza and the West Bank. Instead, most of their cities are under curfew and surrounded by Israeli forces because Arafat rejected Barak’s offer and waged a war of terror in hopes of achieving his dream of liberating all of “Palestine.”

The best chance for the Palestinians to achieve statehood in the short-run would be to tell Ariel Sharon they are now prepared to end the violence, replace Arafat, and negotiate. They should offer to accept whatever deal Sharon offers even if it means a Palestinian state the size of a postage stamp. Why? For the same reason the Zionists accepted a state that was little more than a postage stamp.

Think about it. After agreeing to make peace with Israel, within a nanosecond of declaring statehood, the United States will recognize the new state. The rest of the world will follow suit. Within a few minutes, the Americans and Europeans will begin throwing so many dollar bills at the Palestinians that they’ll think that it’s a plague of locusts. If the Palestinians truly wish to live in peace, they can spend the next 50 years building their state, developing an economy, infrastructure, governmental institutions, and all the rest, and the world will cheer and do everything to help them. Israel will be first in line with assistance.

The great thing from the Palestinian perspective is that they don’t even have to give up their goal of destroying Israel. They just need to exercise some patience. As soon as they’re independent, they can have Karine-A’s docking nonstop at Gaza port bringing in tons of weapons. In 50 years, then, they may be strong enough to drive the Jews into the sea.

But Israel won’t allow this, you say. Even the far left in Israel has only been willing to allow the Palestinians a demilitarized state. This shows how naive they truly are. Once Palestine is independent, Israel cannot enforce this. Sure, Israel will do everything possible to prevent the large scale importation of weapons, and will interdict shipments of arms, and maybe have to conduct an Osirak type raid if necessary, but there will be a limit to what Israel can do. I still believe Israel can defend itself, because it will do whatever is necessary to insure its security, as will the Jordanians, by the way, who have just as much incentive as Israel to insure the Palestinian state is as small and weak as possible to insure the Palestinians don’t repeat their 1970 effort to take over their country.

President Bush has now offered the Palestinians a sixth opportunity for statehood. Will they finally abandon their dreams of liberating all of Palestine and choose the path of compromise rather than extremism? Will they devote their energy to building a state of their own rather than try to destroy the state of the Jews?

What do you think?

FROM TIP:Posted by Tip Staff – December 28, 2016

In a speech at the State Department on Wednesday, Secretary of State John Kerry cast the majority of the blame on the lack of Israeli-Palestinian peace on the Israelis, ignoring Israel’s history of repeatedly making risky overtures for peace with the Palestinians, only to receive terrorism in response.
Israelis voted in Labor’s Ehud Barak to the premiership in 1999 specifically because he promised to make peace with the Palestinians; in 2000, he met with then-PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat at Camp David and offered the Palestinians 92% of the West Bank, all of the Gaza Strip, and eastern Jerusalem as its capital. Israel even proposed that a maximum of 100,000 refugees would be allowed to return to Israel on the basis of humanitarian considerations or family reunification, and an international fund would be created to compensate the Palestinians. Arafat rejected the offer. Sweetening the deal, the Clinton administration suggested that the Palestinians control 97% of the West Bank and the entirety of the Gaza Strip, with a land-link between the two, as well as a capital in East Jerusalem. Barak endorsed the Clinton Parameters; again, Arafat rejected them. After having rejected Israeli peace offers at Camp David with no counter-offers of his own, Arafat chose to launch the murderous Second Intifada, killing more than 1,500 Israelis between 2000 and 2005.
In 2005, Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip, only for that territory to be taken over by Hamas in a Palestinian civil war in 2007. Ever since, Hamas has used the Strip as a base from which to launch attacks on Israelis, using rockets and underground tunnels, and Gazans live under the grip of Hamas’ authoritarian rule.
In 2008, then-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert offered Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas 93.7% of the West Bank; the remaining 6.3% would be made up with land swaps. He also offered to take in 5,000 refugees over five years; an international committee to oversee Jerusalem’s holy sites; and an international fund consisting of billions of dollars, administered by Norwegians, to compensate Palestinian refugees. In a May 2009 interview with The Washington Post, Abbas admitted that he had turned down the offer and said, “The gaps were wide.”
The government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agreed to an unprecedented 10-month freeze in settlement construction in November 2009 only for the Palestinians to say it was insufficient and then call for an extension when it expired. Netanyahu said he would do so if the Palestinian Authority recognized Israel as the Jewish state; the PA refused.
When the Obama administration proposed a framework for a peace agreement in 2013, the Netanyahu government accepted it, while the Palestinians turned it down. Even still, Israel was willing to talk with the Palestinian Authority, until Fatah and Hamas announced a unity government in April 2014. Hamas refuses to reject violence and terror against Israel and Israel refuses to negotiate with it. The Palestinians adopted a policy of trying to skirt direct negotiations and internationalizing the conflict via the United Nations and other international fora.

WANNA KNOW “Y” AMERICA IS TEED OFF

The pundits are running around in a dizzying haze, wondering why they lost their vision, that is if they had one in the first place. The primary season was to be a done deal, Hillary vs Bush, a replay of the Old Man and Slick Willie, but the voters saw it differently. Yes they did. We now enter the battle ground states of Palmetto and Sage Brush with all hell breaking loose.

Hillary is feeling the Bern, this time for real, the voters are doing to her what the FBI and Loretta Lynch has failed to do, torch her. This time Clinton has flown to close to the sun, not tinged mind you, but she has suffered first degree burns. And Bush, Jeb Bush, the 100 million dollar man, has run out of cash they say. America has found out that Bush the Younger needed Mommy to stump for him. He brings out Barbara in a wheel chair and shouts to the top of his lungs, “don’t pick on my family.”

Personalities aside, we are talking about issues here, leadership, decisions, respect for the American people, Constitution; politics is a blood sport. If you can’t take the heat get the hell out of the kitchen.

Latest polls out do not bode well for Clinton and the rest of the Republican upsetters. We look for Trump to hold his own, capturing a solid 35% of the vote. Clinton on the other hand is about to suffer a humiliating defeat even if she scores a 1% win.

By the way, Iowa still has not come clean. Cigar smoked room stuff that has angered the voters this year. They are fed up due to the lack of transparency and double dealing among the intelligentsia. Double Dealing is Hillary Clinton’s middle name. But let’s refrain from calling people names, the American public has had it with the status quo. That is why Sanders and Trump are on the threshold of the big payoff. 

BARE KNUCKLES

The Republican Debate was all bare knuckles, no pulled punches, but Trump hit  Jeb Bush in the jaw. Jeb said, “stop attacking my family.”  The audience was stuffed with Bush supporters as the video portrays. The pundits say Trump had a bad night, but listen to the content rather than the one liners. But according to recent polls Trump is front by a large margin. Cruz and Rubio went at like cats spitting in each others face. The people in America know that Donald Trump means business; he is the only Republican who can win the Presidency by pulling Democrat voters to vote for him.

By Anthony Salvanto, Fred Backus, Jennifer De Pinto, Sarah Dutton

The CBS News Battleground Tracker poll shows that Donald Trump keeps a large lead in South Carolina, bolstered by support from conservatives and also from evangelical voters, who make up a large share of the electorate here.

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Ted Cruz is in second place, but well behind Trump. Cruz has the support of those who consider themselves very conservative, but trails Trump among all conservatives as well as moderates.

John Kasich has gotten a little bounce out of his surprisingly strong showing in New Hampshire, but he may be limited here by the fact that evangelical voters are not as strongly in support of him as non-evangelicals.

For Trump voters, who have been relatively steadfast in their support over the last few months, the percentage who say they’ve firmly decided on Trump has increased. Trump’s lead among evangelicals is up from January, and he has widened his lead among conservatives, too.

In a contest marked by divisions among so-called “insiders” and “outsiders,” South Carolina Republicans show a strong preference for campaigns running as the latter, and this poll helps illustrate why. By four to one, South Carolina Republicans describe the “establishment” as a bad thing, and few describe it as a group that knows how to get things done.

On the metric of being “prepared” to be president, Trump and Cruz do well, and Jeb Bush and John Kasich do relatively well, but Marco Rubio trails in this regard, suggesting that last week’s debate in New Hampshire may have had an impact.

Hillary Clinton keeps her large lead in South Carolina, which has narrowed only slightly from last month, and she is bolstered by strong support from the African American voters who comprise most of the Democratic electorate here.

 

Hillary thinks she is doing good; well folks for a 100% shoe-in six moths ago with 59% support that is not doing good, it is pathetic. horseracedemsc-1.jpg

We knew it, now confirmed, audience stacking.

GREENVILLE, South Carolina — The chairman of the local Republican Party here confirmed to local television that 2016 frontrunner billionaire Donald Trump’s concerns—and those of his closest competitor Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)—with the Republican National Committee (RNC) allocation of debate audience tickets are well-placed.

Vox even admits that Trump’s claim on stage that the odd—and unrepresentative of the party’s voting base—audience was made up of “Jeb’s special interests and lobbyists” was really not “that far-fetched.”

“Prior to the debate, the Republican Party decided not to use a lottery system to decide who should be in the audience,” Lopez wrote. “Instead, most tickets went to elected Republican officials, donors, and other workers for the party picked by local, state, and national party officials. The result, it seems, is the room was packed with Republican voters who overwhelmingly dislike Trump.”

Click here for the story.

DELUSIONS OF GRANDEUR

Two Republicans did the honorable thing by dropping out of the race for president. We commend them for their effort; they did the right thing. However, others still have delusions of grandeur. They are the ones with no chance of winning, but do a disservice to those who have the money and support to continue on. Why do Bobby Jindal, Chris Christie, Rick Santorum, Lindsey Graham, Rand Paul, George Pataki and John Kasich, continue on? What do they have to gain?

Right now there are really only five viable candidates if you count Jeb Bush who basically has no support. Those with a chance are Trump, Carson, Cruz, Fioriana (slight chance) and Rubio. The legitimate question is why do the others continue on? BIG HEAD. 

The head of the RNC, Reince Priebus needs to send them a message, “drop out” now, you are running interference with the those who have a legitimate chance of winning.