Archive for the ‘Jewish Lobby’ Category

Letters to the Editor, July 20 – Toronto Sun


Toronto Sun
Letters to the Editor, July 20
Toronto Sun
As for Jews, the truth is that major Jewish lobby groups (Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, Friends of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, and a former Canadian Jewish Congress spokesman) were in the forefront of those trying to arm-twist politicians and

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Letters to the Editor, July 20 – Toronto Sun

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July 20, 2017   Posted in: Jewish Lobby  Comments Closed

Radiohead’s Refusal to Back Down from Tel Aviv Gig Shows True Tolerance – PJ Media

The band Radiohead is apparently embroiled in a bit of controversy. It seems they have a gig scheduled in Tel Aviv, Israel.

I know, right? The horror! A band wanting to go and play a concert for people who like their music. What’s next? Beheading children?

Seriously, the issue stems simply from the fact that some people don’t like Israel or Israeli policy, and they’ve taken that dislike to rather insane levels. As David Harsanyinotes at The Federalist:

Then again, the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement in this kerfuffle, represented by odious former Pink Floyder Roger Watersisnt merely anti-Semitic because it is critical of the government of Israel, or even because it peddles a bunch of age-old anti-Jewish tropes. Its anti-Semitic because its ire and condemnation is reserved for the Jews (and their allies), and Jews alone. If Israel the idea itself is worthy of your ire but not the actions of Iran, Turkey, or, well, pick any illiberal regime in the region, there is almost surely a historic animosity driving your position.

And to be fair, Waters isnt exactly hiding it, playing in front of agiant evil pig with Jewish starand blaming the failure to recruit more artists to his cause on the Jewish lobby, which he says is extraordinarily powerful here and particularly in the industry that I work in, the music industry. Of course, he will explain that he abhors Zionism rather than Jews. Thats what they all say.

Now, I’m not a fan of calling criticism of Israel anti-Semitism just because it’s criticism of Israel. As a sovereignnation, they’re no more immune to criticism than anyone else…within reason. Harsanyi goes on to agree that it’s possibleto do just that as well.

Clearly, Roger Waters goes beyond that. He’s not criticizing a policy of Israel because he disagrees with it. He’s blasting the entire country because they merely exist. That’s all anti-Zionism is a refusal to believe that Israel has a right to exist in any way, shape, or form.

Harsanyi goes on to note that while Israel is supposedly a major bugaboo for leftists, these same people are remarkably silent regarding Iran. You know, the nation that wants to exterminate the Jews but claims the Holocaust didn’t really happen, executes gays, and severely restricts women’s rights yet seems to enjoy support from the left unlike anyone else?

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Radiohead’s Refusal to Back Down from Tel Aviv Gig Shows True Tolerance – PJ Media

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July 19, 2017   Posted in: Jewish Lobby  Comments Closed

Shakur, a member of the Black Liberation Army, a militant nationalist group composed largely of former members of … – Tablet Magazine

Chicagos Dyke March made headlines recently when it kicked out Jewish participants flying a Pride Flag adorned with the Star of David and then doubled down on the anti-Semitism by taking to social media and using a racial slur popularized by neo-Nazis. Not to be outdone, the Womens March, the pussy-hat-clad revolutionary guards of the #resistance to Donald Trump, showed just how woke it is by celebrating Assata Shakur, a terrorist who is currently hiding out in Cuba after murdering New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster.

Shakur, a member of the Black Liberation Army, a militant nationalist group composed largely of former members of the Black Panthers, was the mastermind behind the attack that claimed Foersters life on May of 1973. She was arrested after a massive manhunt, but managed to escape from prison, finding refuge with Fidel Castros homicidal regime.

Shakur is now a hero to the Black Lives Matter movement. Shes also a hero to Jew-haters online, who use her case to argue that you-know-who run America and keep its blacks oppressed. When Jewish-American government contractor Alan Gross was finally freed after being seized and detained by Cuban authorities, for example, Shakurs fans cried foul, suggesting that Gross was only permitted to return home to America, while their cop-killing hero was not, because of the undue influence of the Jewish lobby. The Jewish press have [sic] its own story to demonize Shakur, rhapsodized one Shakur fan before linking to a story in Vice magazine, which is owned by people who are neither Jewish nor particularly fond of Jews. Then theres assatashakur.org, a site devoted to the fugitive terrorist in which one can find such thoughtful opinions as the one about how it is in the interest of the JEW to keep poor whites and poor blacks fighting amongst themselves.

Another so-called social justice movement, another case of putting up with, if not outright promoting, hatred of Jews.

Liel Leibovitz is a senior writer for Tablet Magazine.

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Shakur, a member of the Black Liberation Army, a militant nationalist group composed largely of former members of … – Tablet Magazine

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July 18, 2017   Posted in: Jewish Lobby  Comments Closed

US should stay out of Palestinian-Israeli disputes – STLtoday.com

The United States should disengage from all negotiations ongoing, and any contemplated for the future, between the Palestinians and Israel.

Our past and current involvement in these negotiations has only resulted in bitter Muslim resentment toward our government and all Americans throughout the Middle East. This Muslin bitterness is caused by their fervent conviction that we have not been, and are not, fair and even-handed in our treatment of the two parties in this 65-year dispute. The Palestinians and the Arab world are convinced of this American bias because of the demanding influence of the American Jewish lobby.

It is impossible to imagine that an American Muslim would ever be considered, or appointed, as special envoy to attempt, for the umpteenth time, a resolution of the dispute. Yet, President Donald Trump has chosen his Jewish son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who is without any prior experience, to undertake this arduous task. In the meantime the Israelis just snicker and keep building homes and villages on land that was seized in the 1967 war.

I do not believe our continued attempts to broker a settlement are in the best interests of the United States. If we were to declare that we were to no longer be involved in the dispute, we would accrue significant advantage and prestige throughout the Arab world and would undoubtedly substantially reduce our exposure to the threat of terrorism.

The Israelis are capable of defending themselves, and we would continue to be a supporter of theirs in any future conflict. The American Jewish lobby would oppose such a move, but so be it.

Lee R. Pitzer OFallon, Ill.

Colonel (retired), U.S. Air Force

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US should stay out of Palestinian-Israeli disputes – STLtoday.com

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July 14, 2017   Posted in: Jewish Lobby  Comments Closed

Fourteen Flaws in Tom Friedman’s ‘Israel to American Jews’ New York Times Column – Algemeiner

Email a copy of “Fourteen Flaws in Tom Friedmans Israel to American Jews New York Times Column” to a friend

New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman. Photo: Charles Haynes via Wikimedia Commons.

The New York Times devotes three columns on the top half of its op-ed page to an article by Thomas Friedman that appears under the headline, Israel to American Jews: You Just Dont Matter.

By my count there are at least 14 different problems with the article, starting with the headline.

[Problem No. 1] Israel to American Jews: You Just Dont Matter mischaracterizes the message sent. Netanyahu to American Jews: You Just Dont Matter, or Israeli Prime Minister to American Jews: You Just Dont Matter, would be a more accurate headline for Friedmans column, because it quotes at least two Israelis, Michael Oren and Gidi Grinstein, who disagree with Prime Minister Netanyahus moves. Friedman could have also pointed out that Israels defense minister, Avigdor Lieberman, and the head of the Jewish Agency for Israel, Natan Sharansky, who are both Israeli, have also differed with the moves Friedman criticizes. Since Lieberman and Sharansky are both Israelis who came from the former Soviet Union, that underscores a second problem with the headline [Problem No. 2], which is that Israeli conversions, and the chief rabbinates control over them and marriages, actually have more effect on Israelis from the former Soviet Union than on American Jews. Not that many American Jews seek to get married in Israel, but many individuals from the former Soviet Union do.

July 13, 2017 2:25 pm

Characteristically, Friedman moves briskly from the flaps over conversions and over non-gender segregated prayer at the Western Wall to proceed to his more longstanding preoccupation, which is Israels treatment of the Palestinian Arabs. In the third paragraph of the article, Friedman writes that Israel, under Netanyahus leadership, is erasing the line between Israel and the Palestinians. This is from the same newspaper that is endlessly harping on Israeli checkpoints and the security wall that separates Israel from areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority. And in the same Friedman column that goes on to accuse Israel of heading toward apartheid. It seems to me [Problem No. 3] that these two lines of criticism are mutually contradictory. Israel can be erasing the line with the Palestinians or erecting barriers, but it doesnt make any sense to attack Israel simultaneously for doing both.

Friedman goes on for a while with this digression about the situation between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs. He writes, Bibi masterfully distracted Trump with a shiny object a video of extreme statements by Abbas (with no mention of extremist actions by Israeli settlers). This is [Problem No. 4] a false equivalency. Abbas is the elected president of the Palestinian Authority and chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization. Extremist settlers are a fringe element within a faction of the Israeli electorate.

Friedman goes on to quote a former Israeli politician, Ehud Barak, warning that Netanyahus policies will inevitably lead to the end of Israel as a Jewish democratic state. Yet [Problem No. 4] theres nothing inevitable about this whatsoever. Even if you add together the entire West Bank and all of Israel, 6.45 million Jews are more than 1.796 million Israeli Arabs and 2.9 million West Bank Palestinians. It isnt even close. With the Arab and Jewish birth rates now roughly even, theres no reason to believe that the situation will change anytime soon. Thats leaving aside the possibility of increased immigration to Israel by Jews from Europe or North America.

Finally, Friedman returns to his point about the Western Wall and conversions. He writes There are roughly six million Jews in Israel, six million in the U.S. and four million spread elsewhere. That [Problem No. 5] is a bogus statistic. He cites no evidence for it, provides no source, offers no hyperlink. A more accurate estimate would cite Israels Central Bureau of Statistics for the figure of 6.45 million Jews in Israel. The American Jewish population is somewhere between 5.6 million (Pew, 2010) and 7.28 million (Brandeis), with the difference being that the Brandeis high estimate uses a broader definition that includes some people who might not identify themselves as Jewish. Pew says the world Jewish population is 14 million, meaning Friedman just somehow miraculously discovered, or manufactured, an extra 2 million Jews with his erroneous 6 + 6 + 4 = 16 formulation.

Friedmans math gets even worse in his next sentence: About 75 percent of the 10 million diaspora Jews are non-Orthodox, mostly followers of the Reform and Conservative streams of Judaism. As we just saw [Problem No. 5 repeated a second time], the 10 million diaspora Jews claim is a Friedman fantasy. But the real problem here [Problem No. 6] is that readers are left with the false impression that theres something like 7.5 million Reform and Orthodox Jews out there. In fact even the Reform movement itself claims merely that More than 1 million Americans and Canadians are affiliated with Reform congregations, with nearly 900 congregations in the U.S. and Canada, more than 1,200 congregations worldwide. The Conservative movement is smaller. In a 2011 financial report the Conservative movement claimed approximately 657 affiliated congregations representing approximately one and a half million members; by 2015 the number of affiliated congregations had declined to approximately 594, and the financial report stopped making any claims about how many members the movement had. The Pew research center looked at American Jews in 2013 and found 35% Reform and 18% Conservative.

The next problem [No. 7] comes in Friedmans claim that Netanyahu canceled a 2016 agreement to create a distinct egalitarian prayer space adjacent to the Western Wallwhere men and women of the non-Orthodox movements could pray together. That makes it sound, inaccurately, as if that prayer space was never created, or does not exist, or existed and was shut down. In fact, it does exist, and has since 2000. I attended a bar mitzvah there a few weeks ago and stood next to my wife. I have photos to prove it. There were several other bar mitzvahs going on at the same time, using Conservative-movement-issued prayer books. Theres an argument about how directly the gateway to this area should be connected to the rest of the Western Wall area, which if people want to argue about, great; a plan to resolve that argument has indeed been frozen. But, as the Times of Israel put it, There is already pluralistic prayer at the Western Wall.

Friedman is similarly shaky on the details when it comes to the conversion issue. He accuses Netanyahu of supporting a bill pulling government recognition for private conversions basically those done by non-Orthodox rabbis. That [Problem No. 8] mischaracterizes the issue. Reform and Conservative conversions in Israel have never been recognized; at issue here is Orthodox conversions in Israel outside the chief rabbinates bureaucratic framework.

The next Friedman falsehoods come rapid-fire, in a string of claims. America, he writes, is a steadfast supporter of Israel in the U.N., looks the other way on settlementsand just promised Israel $38 billion in security aid over 10 years. But the Obama administration abstained and allowed the passage of an anti-Israel UN resolution condemning Israels settlement activity, about which American administrations have consistently complained, albeit with varying degrees of vehemence. The American security aid, taking inflation into account, represents a reduction in previous aid levels, and adds a new requirement to spend the money on American defense contractors. Its basically a taxpayer subsidy to the US defense industry using Israel as a cut-out. And it was only enacted by the Obama administration as a kind of consolation gift to Israel after Obama granted Israels enemy, Iran, $150 billion in sanctions relief, some of which was flown into Iran in cash stacked on cargo pallets in unmarked planes. So on the UN [Problem No. 9], on settlements [Problem No. 10], and on security aid [Problem No. 11], its just inaccurate to portray America, as Friedman does, as lockstep, shoulder-to-shoulder with Israel.

Friedman like authors Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer, whose book was widely criticized for trafficking in antisemitic tropes attributes American support for Israel not to shared values or strategic interests but to the political power of the Jewish lobby. As Friedmans source puts it, this astonishing reality is the outcome of tireless work by hundreds of thousands of Jews Democrats and Republicans, most of them non-Orthodox. This [Problem No. 12] erroneously ascribes American support for Israel entirely to Jewish political activism. Not to take anything away from Jewish political activists, but plenty of other countries say, India, Jordan, Japan, Turkey, Micronesia have also seen fit to forge warm relations with Israel, even without large or politically influential Jewish populations. Their military and trade interests or values dictate it. American Christian support for Israel is also significant.

Friedman concludes by repeating the unproven accusation that we counted as Problem No. 3: Runaway Jewish nationalism threatens to meld Israel with the Palestinians in the West Bank. Again, the separation wall and the checkpoints dont fit with the meld accusation. Then Friedman makes a new false claim that is probably the biggest fabrication of the entire long article: Runaway Orthodox politics threatens to disconnect Israel from its most committed supporters. [Problem No. 13]

For Israels most committed supporters, working for the Jewish state is not transactional, not something done in exchange for a section at the Western Wall or a sensible policy on conversions. Israels most committed supporters know that theyve already gotten way more from Israel than they can ever give in return in political activism or money. Theyve gotten a state that is a refuge for Jews anywhere who need to flee oppression, a source of pride and spiritual energy and cultural renewal and national strength. To cut off Israel in retaliation for this would be like cutting off ones own right hand. It would be self-defeating.

There is one last problem [No. 14], which is Friedmans failure to take seriously the Orthodox objections to Reform involvement or control at the Western Wall. I myself am a member of a Conservative synagogue and support Conservative Jewish institutions, and have belonged to a Reform synagogue in the past, so I am inclined to be sympathetic. But at a certain point, when the Reform movement strays so far away from traditional Jewish law and practice as to have their rabbis officiate at marriages between Jews and Christians, or to serve shrimp in their synagogues, theres a certain naivete about turning around and then being surprised or offended or indignant when the Orthodox rabbis arent exactly waiting to roll out the red carpet for them to bring those practices to the Western Wall.

Friedmans column was headlined Israel to American Jews: You Just Dont Matter. For 14 reasons, a more accurate headline would have been Friedman to Facts: You Just Dont Matter.

More of Ira Stolls media critique, a regular Algemeiner feature, can be foundhere.

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Fourteen Flaws in Tom Friedman’s ‘Israel to American Jews’ New York Times Column – Algemeiner

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Modi’s Israel visit – Pakistan Observer

Mansoor Akbar Kundi

NARENDRA Modis recent visit to Israel, the first ever by any Prime Minister of India is a watershed development in the relationship of two countries since 1949. It reflects the timely, opportunist and professional diplomacy of India which unfortunately Pakistan has failed to achieve over the years. In international relations there are neither eternal friends nor enemies except national interests which come first and can be well promoted by good piece of diplomacy. Similarly, the phrase that an enemy of my enemy is my friend plays a pivotal role in the development and improvement of bilateral relationship despite geographical and ideological differences. India, unlike Pakistan, enjoyed partial relationship with it. India recognized Israel in September 1950. During the period the relationship were limited to Consulate level. India in 1949 had opened an immigration office in Israel to facilitate a large number of Indian Jews immigration to Israel. There are around 100000 Indian Jews today in India. Their parents and grandparents migrated to Israel between 1949 to 1953. The founding fathers of India, particularly Nehru was always reluctant to initiate any goodwill relations with Israel and showed Indian support for the right of Palestinians. Gandhi had been very critical of the creation of a Jewish state in the region by branding it a crime against humanity as he wrote in 1938. Similarly, Jawaharlal Nehru during his long 17 years of Prime Minister supported the Palestinian cause. It had voted against Israel in joining UN in1949. However, after his visit to United States in October 1949 at the invitation by the President Harry Truman, there appeared a change in his attitude towards Israel. It was few months after India decided to recognize Israel. It did not establish full-fledged diplomatic relations with Israel until 1992. Nevertheless, they were the days of bloc politics where the Indian diplomacy largely relied on neutrality and non-alignment without joining US led military alliances. India, however, enjoyed good relationship with the USSR and entered into a 20 year friendship treaty. Simultaneously, it carried good relationship with United States too a balanced foreign policy. What implications will the visit will have for Pakistan or in what perspective the visit can be analysed? However, Indian foreign policy towards Israel took a new turn at the eve of the disintegration of the Soviet Union. It accorded Israel a full-fledged diplomatic recognition and established its embassy in Tel Aviv in 1992 with strong signals of relationship in various fields. The relationship between started growing. Since 9/11 when US restructured its relationship with the Muslim World by embracing India as more closer ally, India and Israel have become ever more closer. Ignoring the realities in international system, we adhered to ideological and internal pressures by not recognizing or adopting partial relationship with Israel, no matter how dependent on US military, economic and political support. Had we recognized Israel, at least would have enjoyed a supportive role by Jewish lobby in core-periphery relationship. India and Israel are enjoying growing trade, military and economic relationship. Israel has been supplying military hardware to India for the last more than one decade. Few years ago, the leading military wares supplying company, Rafael under a contract provided $ 1 billion surface to air missile system. A number of other contracts it inked with New Delhi account for around $ 10 billion over a decade. They have been promoting tourism between the two. In 2012-13 around 40000 Indians entered Israel on tourist visa, the highest number of visitors from any Asian country. The both have been entering various agreements in the field of academic, scientific and even cultural fields. Pakistan shares more commonalities with Israel than India. There can be more cultural and spiritual similarities between the two as Islam and Judaism as religions are far more closer to one another than with Hinduism. In the end a question arises what implications the visit will have for Pakistan. There are a mixed answer to that. Indian relationship with Israel with Modis visit as a reflection and projection of viable bilateralism are to serve its national interests. Israel needs recognition and relationship with the outside world as more as possible, particularly with the Islamic World which in large has denied it recognition. Events in international system are like strings knitted to one another. Had bloc politics not over, events like of 9/11 could never take place. It weakened the relationship ties between US and Islamic World. The West versus Communism theatre was replaced with the West versus Islamic Fundamentalism which has gradually been drifting West versus Muslims. Indias relationship with America and Israel are beneficiary of the events like 9/11. They enjoy cordial relationship. America and Israel are more closer to India than before. The enmity factor between India and Pakistan and present juncture of CPEC and shift in Pakistans dependence reliance from America to China adds to friendship triangle. Narendra Modi is an aberrant. His policies towards Pakistan are Hindutva principles that helped him to rise to the office of Prime Minister in 2014. He is adhering to day-to-day strain policies with Pakistan under Hindutva without ignoring that Pakistan is a neighbour, nuclear power and member with it in many important regional forums. Indian policies in Indian held Kashmir are negation of democratic and humanitarian values which Pakistan has been condemning in international forums. Pakistan perceives a threat from the situation. It however needs to restructure and strengthen diplomatic fronts with professional diplomacy. The writer is Professor, Dept of Politics & International Relations, International Islamic University, Islamabad. Email: dera1955@gmail.com

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PML-N rejects minus-Nawaz formula – The News International

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) has made it clear that it will not accept the minus-Nawaz Sharif formula and will take on the opposition with stern answer on its malicious campaign against the government and the prime minister.

It has been decided that no heed would be paid to the demand made by the opposition for quitting of the prime minister and assemblies. No formula would even be considered where Nawaz Sharif is targeted. It was observed that an attempt was being made to bring a judicial 58-2(B).

The constitutional expertsand jurists appointed by the prime minister completed their study of the JIT report on the PanamaLeakes and told a high echelon consultative meeting here at the Prime Ministers House on Tuesday that the report is a pack of lies and fabrication of third order. The informal consultative marathon meeting held on the second consecutive day decided to fight for the battle on political and legal spheres with fair amount of courage. The federal ministers present in the capital attended the meeting and maintained that people of the country have full faith in the leadership of Nawaz Sharif.

Highly-placed sources told The News after the meeting that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif asked the ministers to gear up their contacts with the masses since the real battle would be fought at the people level in a couple of months once the polls are announced. Participants of the meeting castigated the demand made by some opposition groups for stepping down of the prime minister and rejected it contemptuously. What else the opponents could ask for? And it isnt new from them. They have been harping on the same tune for the last four years, a senior leader offered comments with a smile. He was of the view that such groups dont have any clue about the sentiments of the people. Were the opponents posing confidence in the prime minister during the last four years? he asked. The meeting decided to challenge the JIT report as soon the documents are ready in this regard without waiting for the resumption of hearing in the apex court, the sources said.

The prime minister castigated the revelation of his offshore company in the JIT report. He said that the country has yet another time been made a victim of conspiracies. Nawaz was confident that the conspirators are bound to bite the dust in their nefarious designs as the government would fulfil its commitments with the people for their uplifting. Nawaz said that the designs of the opposition were never accepted by the people and the governments agenda has their approval which would be completed.

The ministers reminded the premier that the people have unflinching confidence in his leadership since he has brought about a visible improvement in their life and rid the country of many evils. The meeting was also attended by Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif, who was of the view that the opposition has no ground to stand in the province as the people have realised that the detractors of the government have no plan for the welfare of the country. The meeting also chalked out the future strategy for catering immediate and long terms political planning.

Shahbaz, federal ministers and other party aides, including legal wizards of the prime minister who were part of the meeting, assured the prime minister that the development activities would continue at required pace disregarding the oppositions agitation. Maryam Nawaz was also in the attendance and she expressed satisfaction about the response by the PML-N workers and leaders across the country about the opponents moves and the fabricated report of the JIT. She said that the report wouldnt stand before the law as it has been manufactured to malign the government and create hurdles in the way of service to the country by the government under Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. She said that the demand made by the groups of the opposition has been made so many times in the last four years that the people have stopped giving heed to such frivolous demands.

APP adds: Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique reiterated that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif did not own any offshore company and it would be established in the court with evidence. The Panama issue is an engineered drama. It had been directed from abroad and performed by actors within the country, he said addressing a news conference.

The JIT was a one way traffic. It is biased and politically motivated and we will contest it with all evidence and arguments in the Supreme Court, he added.He explained that usually investigation was done through questions and the JIT was assigned to reveal the truth, but it acted with partiality.

It is strange that the JIT did that much work. It could have not done that much, even if all of its members could have worked round the clock during its tenure. It seems that it was not the JIT alone performing this job rather the work was started, may be a year or more before its constitution, he said.

Taking on political rivals, the minister said it was strange that Asif Ali Zardari talked of corruption, but his own tales of corruption were known to everyone. At least the PPP should think many times before charging others of corruption, he said.

As far as Imran Khan was concerned, he said, he embodied every immorality but clamoured for morality.To a query about accountability, he said there were accountability institutions in the country that could take effective action. When asked about conspiracy, he told the questioner, I am not pointing towards those about whom you are thinking.

Adviser to Prime Minister Barrister Zafarullah said the JIT failed to include statements made by persons in their defence during the probe.Talking to media persons, Barrister Zafarullah said many of the papers filed by the JIT were not based on facts. He said it seemed that many of questions were fed to the JIT by someone.

The JIT, he said, expanded its probe of the Sharif familys affairs to the year 1962 and went beyond its scope given by the Supreme Court.PML-N MNA Daniyal Aziz said the JIT had admitted its failure in submitting a complete inquiry report in the Panama Papers case.

He said the JIT had virtually trespassed its mandate by narrating a fairy-tale based on different contradictory statements and stories. He said the report could not be termed complete as the JIT itself had admitted the same that the 10th volume was ongoing. He said the report could have been submitted after 10 to 20 days. He said the 10th volume had been leaked deliberately despite the JITs request to the apex court not to make it public and the government was being held responsible for it instead of the JIT.

Daniyal said the JIT had consumed the first five volumes of report to nullify the Qatari princes letter without recording his statement. Why was PTI chief Imran Khan not being tried despite being declared an absconder? he said, and recalled that 52 fabricated cases had been framed against Nawaz Sharif in the past, but nothing was proved against him.

The PML-N lawmaker, Talal Chaudhry, said the PML-N would carry out post mortem of the Joint Investigation Teams (JIT) report and expose it before the Supreme Court.Talking to the media here outside the Supreme Court, he said, The JITs 256-page report has 265 mistakes. We will conduct its point-by-point post mortem before the Supreme Court and highlight its deficiencies.

We believe institutions can give justice and we will get justice from the Supreme Court, he remarked. He said the PML-N believed in the supremacy of law and respected the Supreme Court and all other national institutions. Talal said whether it was not contempt of court when Awami Muslim League leader Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed said, Either funeral of the PML-N or the JIT will be held, and Imran Khan said: The JIT members are servants of Nawaz Sharif.

He said the PML-N would not allow vested interests to incite confrontation among the institutions. He said the Pakistan Peoples Party leader Aitzaz Ahsan had said that the JIT was following a script. We are glad that the statements of all leaders and content of different programmes on news channels will be examined during the contempt of court hearing, he added.

Talal said the people of Pakistan had given a mandate to Nawaz Sharif to become the prime minister and resigning from the office would be an insult of that mandate.

When the JIT of 200 million people will ask the prime minister to step down, he will take no time to leave, he said, adding that before the submission of the JIT report, the PML-N expressed reservations on it and the objections were conveyed to the apex court. He said the people of Pakistan were the umpire for the PML-N.

PML-N leader Hanif Abbasi said Imran Khan is morally and financially corrupt and his corrupt practices would result in ban on his party.Talking to the media, he said money is weakness of Imran and he can grab money from anywhere, no matter it is any mafia or tax evaders or corrupt elements.

Can Imran reply how could he afford the expenses to study at Oxford University? He does not have money trail even for his Banigala residence, he said, adding that Imran even could not provide proof for foreign funding received by his party.

This nation wants your trial and seeks answer that from where you got money to pay for air travelling in private planes, he said. Abbasi said Imran is also not ready to produce record of his party funds before the Election Commission.

Does your lifestyle reflect that you just pay Rs150,000 annual income tax? He said there is nothing more in the JIT boxes than hypothesis as the JIT had failed to gather any concrete evidence against the prime minister or his family.

You are conspiring against democracy and the people of Pakistan and your conspiracy has links with the Jewish lobby and anti-Pakistan forces, he said.

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PML-N rejects minus-Nawaz formula – The News International

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Alt-Reich: North Korea and the Far-Right – The Diplomat

Adolf Hitlers face decorates the hall as Kim Jong-un, North Koreas eternal leader, sits ready to give a rousing speech. The audience looks on seemingly entranced. And suddenly, electronic drums thud over an apocalyptic string arrangement.

Welcome to The Daily Traditionalist, a video blog by Matthew Heimbach, an American white nationalist who advocates dividing the United States into ethnically and culturally homogenous states.

As long as [North Koreans] can maintain their blood, it will maintain their identity as a people, he says. Its pretty amazing if you actually look at what theyre trying to do [there].

For many on the far right, the Korean peninsulas secretive regime offers an inspiring vision of the future.

North Korea has much to be admired, said Matteo Salvini, head of Italys right-wing party Northern League, in 2014. They have a splendid sense of community. Children play on the streets and respect their elders things that no longer exist in Italy.

Yet North Koreas admirers rarely mention Pyongyangs penchant for torture, extensive gulag system, mass famines, or thriving narcotics and meth industries. These inconvenient details are either deliberately avoided, or they are blamed on the West.

As Heimbach tells The Diplomat, North Korea had the entire American empire not only invade them in the 1950s but are under horrific sanctions that really exacerbate problems when it comes to food and medicine.

An Island of Freedom

Unsurprisingly, white nationalists affections for North Korea stem in no small part from their mutual anti-Americanism. Indeed, the far rights admiration is an outgrowth of Pyongyangs opposition to Washington, a government whose promotion of international liberalism is anathema to radical nationalism and the isolationism many white nationalists espouse.

American imperialism and American militarism cannot abide a country [like North Korea] that wants to be sovereign and that rejects the radical globalist agenda, Heimbach tells The Diplomat, adding that North Korea has survived despite being a pretty universal punching bag among Western governments.

Even Russias Alexander Dugin, an ideologue for white nationalists, has praised Pyongyang as an island of freedom, arguing that Russia should provide it with weapons of mass destruction to protect its sovereignty.

If their weapons take flight, we [the Russian people] should cheer them on! he says. To not understand that North Korea is a seed of humanism and democracy in the face of an American occupation is to demonstrate complete and utter ignorance.

Anti-Semitism is another factor bonding white nationalists to Pyongyang. In an online blog post railing against global Zionism, former head of the Ku Klux Klan David Duke writes that as the Jewish Lobby dictates U.S. foreign policy, North Koreas hostility toward Israel has made it a target for aggression. Citing North Koreas refusal to recognize the state of Israel, Duke writes that the Jewish-supremacist media has long singled Pyongyang out for destruction.

Something To Envy?

Still, given North Koreas Cold War origins, the admiration from white nationalists is a curious development. But in 2009, North Korean authorities removed all references to communism within its constitution, adding fuel to the argument that North Korea is a far-right regime.

After the [Korean Central News Agency] press release in 2014 likening Obama to a revolting monkey and poking fun at his indeterminate bloodline, I would have thought it would be hard to keep pretending this is a far-left state, says B.R. Myers, author of The Cleanest Race: How North Koreans See Themselves And Why It Matters a book that argues against the Stalinist tropes in the international communitys perception of the country.

According to Myers, North Korea is an ethno-nationalist regime with a deep-seated military industrial complex. Much like Nazi Germany, Pyongyangs entire command economy is geared toward its armed forces, not public services.

It is a far-right state, practicing the ideology it preaches, and doing very well by its own standards if not by our own materialist standards, Myers tells The Diplomat.

Myers suspects communistic mischaracterizations of North Korea to be politically motivated. The people who advocate that the United States should negotiate with Pyongyang regardless of its behavior would rather evoke memories of successful Cold War negotiations with communist states than of the unsuccessful appeasement of Nazism, he says.

Interestingly, Myers book and its argument that North Korea functions as a far-right state appears to have accelerated support from Western white nationalists. Heimbach, for instance, says an Asian nationalist friend gave the book to him, and that the read definitely opened my eyes regarding the Kim regime.

I have been told by various people that The Cleanest Race is a cult book among radical rightists, says Myers. I suppose some people, perhaps those opposed to globalization and diversity, can read my description of the country and find it an appealing place.

Nationalist International

Whereas other governments admired by white nationalists including Russia and Hungary are now friendly to such far-right figures, North Korea is more cautious.

It was not always this way. In 2003, an American neo-Nazi named Joshua Caleb Sutter said he was distributing Pyongyang propaganda at the behest of the North Korean regime.

Likewise, as journalist Nate Thayer detailed, an American white supremacist named John Paul Cupp, the son of a fundamentalist Christian preacher, said he received a note from Pyongyang extend[ing] militant greetings to you who extend warm support and solidarity to North Korea. With Pyongyangs apparent support, Cupp even rose to the fore of the U.S. Songun Politics Study Group, an organization dedicated to proselytizing North Korean policy.

The North as I see it is none too choosy about the foreigners it presents to its people as admirers of its leader, says Myers.

But North Korea has no interest in Heimbach so far.

I actually sent an email to the DPRK when the war drums were beating here [in the U.S.] just a few months ago, a message that not all Americans agree with our foreign policy, he says.

There was no response. Nevertheless, Heimbach remains enthralled and sees himself as a potential broker between Washington and Pyongyang.

Ive thought about going and giving a tour, or something like that, especially if the DPRK government wanted to be able to reach out to Americans, Heimbach adds. That would definitely be an invitation that I would be more than happy to accept.

Casey Michel is a writer in New York. He can be followed on Twitter at@cjcmichel

Bradley Jardine is a British journalist based in Moscow Russia. He can be followed on Twitter @Jardine_bradley

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Alt-Reich: North Korea and the Far-Right – The Diplomat

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Indian Prime Minister Makes Historic Visit to Jerusalem, Skips Ramallah – Middle East Forum

Slightly edited; originally published under the title “Modi Is Coming to Jerusalem.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu strolls with his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi, on a beach in Israel on July 6. Notably, Modi’s visit was not “balanced” by a visit to the Palestinian Authority.

Narendra Modi’s July 5-6 visit to Israel, the first-ever by an Indian prime minister, reflects the significant expansion in relations between the two countries that has taken place since the establishment of full diplomatic relations in 1992.

Since Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came to power in May 2014, his administration has shed its predecessors’ reservations about regular public discourse regarding India’s ties with Israel. It is worthy of note that Modi’s trip to Israel was not “balanced” with a visit to the Palestinian Authority, indicating that India has freed its relations with Israel from its historical commitment to the Palestinian issue. Indeed, India has modified its voting pattern at international organizations by refraining to join the automatic majority against Israel.

India and Israel display high levels of threat perception and share a common strategic agenda. Both have waged major conventional wars against their neighbors and have experienced lowintensity conflict and terror, as they are both involved in protracted conflicts characterized by complex ethnic and religious components not always well understood by outsiders. Both face weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in the hands of their rivals.

India has freed its relations with Israel from its historic commitment to the Palestinian issue.

The two nations share a common threat: radical offshoots of Islam in the greater Middle East. Israel regards parts of the Arab world Saudi Arabia in particular as hubs for Islamic extremism, while India views SaudiPakistani relations with suspicion. Moreover, India fears the Pakistani nuclear arsenal might ultimately fall into the hands of Islamic radicals.

For Israel, Islamic radicals in the Arab world and in the Islamic Republic of Iran constitute a constant security challenge. This challenge has become more acute as Iran’s nuclear potential has grown. The more recent ISIS phenomenon has ramifications beyond the battlefields of Iraq and Syria, as its offshoots threaten the stability of Egypt and Jordan Israel’s neighbors and are increasingly sources of concern in south and southeast Asia.

India has gradually overcome its inhibitions and engaged in security cooperation with Israel. In the wake of diplomatic normalization in 1992, then Indian Defense Minister Sharad Pawar admitted to having already cooperated with Israel on counterterrorism. This cooperation, which involves exchange of information on the finances, recruitment patterns, and training of terrorist groups, is conducted away from the public eye. The November 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks underscored the need for better counterterrorism preparations in India and elicited greater cooperation with Israeli agencies.

India has relied on Israeli companies to upgrade aging Soviet platforms, such as Mig21 fighter jets and T72 tanks.

Arms supply and technology transfer have become important components in the bilateral relationship. Initially, Russian failure to deliver promised weapons at expected prices and/or schedules led India to turn to Israeli companies to upgrade some of its aging Soviet platforms, such as its Mig21s and T72 tank fleet.

Difficulties in the development of weapons systems at home have led to the purchase of Israeli products and to partnership in developing advanced military technology. New Delhi purchased advanced radar and communications equipment from Israel, as well as portable battlefield radars, handheld thermals, night warfare vision equipment, and electronic fences to improve border monitoring. A long list of Israeli military items, such as ammunition, UAV parts, and even missiles (Spike antiarmor, the Python4 airtoair, naval Barak8 surfacetoair) are being produced in India.

Examples of high-end items include the airborne Phalcon radar Airborne Early Warning and Control Systems (AWACS) , which is mounted on the Russian IL76 transport aircraft, and the long-range Green Pine radar. The sale of the Phalcon by Israel to India required American approval, which was finally secured in May 2003. India signed a contract for the purchase of two additional Phalcon/IL76 AWACS valued at $1 billion during the November 2016 visit of Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin to India. Israel was the thirdlargest arms supplier to India in the three years ending March 2016.

India has purchased high-end defense equipment from Israel, including Phalcon radar Airborne Early Warning and Control Systems (left, mounted on a Russian transport aircraft) and the ground-based missile-defense Green Pine radar (right).

In April 2017, India signed a contract worth about $2 billion to procure antitank missiles and air defense systems from the Israel Aerospace Industry (IAI). This was the largest order in Israel’s history. One month later, the IAI secured another contract for $630 million to supply Barak8 missiles for the Indian Navy. Both deals involve technology transfer and production in India. These deals are part of PM Modi’s $250 billion plan to modernize the armed forces by 2025 amid tensions with neighbors China and Pakistan.

The IndianIsraeli nexus has various Indian Ocean implications, particularly in response to China’s growing presence. The Indian Ocean, where India is an important actor, has become an area of growing interest for Israel because of its apprehensions about Iran and Pakistan.

While India, a major player in the international system, has improved relations with Washington, New Delhi’s links with Jerusalem have the potential to smooth over some of the remaining difficulties in dealing with the US. Working with Israel fits into Modi’s plan to deepen relations with the US given the USIsrael friendship.

New Delhi believes improving relations with Israel has had a positive effect on the U.S. disposition toward India.

New Delhi believes its normalization of relations with Israel in 1992 had a positive effect on the American disposition toward India. The oftenexaggerated power of the Jewish lobby in America was appreciated in New Delhi. In the 1990s, the American Jewish organizations valued the importance of India for the US and for Israel, as well as the potential advantages of nurturing good relations with the Indian community in America, whose congressional power is on the rise. Many members of the Indian lobby, the USIndia Political Action Committee (USINPAC), which was formed in September 2002, expressed the desire to emulate American Jewish groups and showed interest in cooperation.

The Jewish and Indian lobbies worked together to gain the Bush administration’s approval for Israel’s sale of the Phalcon to India. Moreover, in July 2003, they were successful in adding an amendment to a bill giving aid to Pakistan that called on Islamabad to stop Islamic militants from crossing into India and to prevent the spread of WMD. In the fall of 2008, Jewish support was important in passing through the US Congress the USIndia nuclear deal, which allowed India access to nuclear technology for civilian use despite its not being a party to the NonProliferation Treaty (NPT).

The decline of the US and the rise of China have strengthened the strategic glue between India and Israel.

Two strategic developments of the 21st century are likely to strengthen the strategic glue between India and Israel: the decline of the US and the rise of China. In the Middle East, the Obama administration projected weakness and encouraged Iran’s quest for hegemony. US weakness is inevitably having ripple effects in other parts of the globe. Indeed, Asian states view the declining American role with concern. It is not clear whether new American president Donald Trump will adopt a more assertive foreign policy than that of his predecessor. Nor is it known how he will go about confronting China, as he displayed isolationist impulses during his election campaign.

India and Israel represent two ancient civilizations. They share a British colonial past and were the first to become independent (in 1947 and 1948, respectively) in the postWWII decolonization wave. Both were born as the result of messy partitions and have maintained democratic regimes under adverse conditions ever since. Nevertheless, it took over four decades to establish a fruitful bilateral relationship.

For Israel, good relations with India reflect awareness of structural changes in the international system as the center of gravity moves to Asia and the Pacific Rim. India is an extremely important protagonist that requires Israel’s utmost attention.

Efraim Inbar, professor emeritus of political studies at Bar-Ilan University and former director of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies (1991-2016), is a Shillman-Ginsburg fellow at the Middle East Forum.

Related Topics: Israel & Zionism, South Asia | Efraim Inbar receive the latest by email: subscribe to the free mef mailing list

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Indian Prime Minister Makes Historic Visit to Jerusalem, Skips Ramallah – Middle East Forum

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Letters to the Editor, July 20 – Toronto Sun

Toronto Sun Letters to the Editor, July 20 Toronto Sun As for Jews, the truth is that major Jewish lobby groups (Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, Friends of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, and a former Canadian Jewish Congress spokesman) were in the forefront of those trying to arm-twist politicians and …

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Radiohead’s Refusal to Back Down from Tel Aviv Gig Shows True Tolerance – PJ Media

The band Radiohead is apparently embroiled in a bit of controversy. It seems they have a gig scheduled in Tel Aviv, Israel. I know, right? The horror! A band wanting to go and play a concert for people who like their music. What’s next? Beheading children? Seriously, the issue stems simply from the fact that some people don’t like Israel or Israeli policy, and they’ve taken that dislike to rather insane levels. As David Harsanyinotes at The Federalist: Then again, the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement in this kerfuffle, represented by odious former Pink Floyder Roger Watersisnt merely anti-Semitic because it is critical of the government of Israel, or even because it peddles a bunch of age-old anti-Jewish tropes. Its anti-Semitic because its ire and condemnation is reserved for the Jews (and their allies), and Jews alone. If Israel the idea itself is worthy of your ire but not the actions of Iran, Turkey, or, well, pick any illiberal regime in the region, there is almost surely a historic animosity driving your position. And to be fair, Waters isnt exactly hiding it, playing in front of agiant evil pig with Jewish starand blaming the failure to recruit more artists to his cause on the Jewish lobby, which he says is extraordinarily powerful here and particularly in the industry that I work in, the music industry. Of course, he will explain that he abhors Zionism rather than Jews. Thats what they all say. Now, I’m not a fan of calling criticism of Israel anti-Semitism just because it’s criticism of Israel. As a sovereignnation, they’re no more immune to criticism than anyone else…within reason. Harsanyi goes on to agree that it’s possibleto do just that as well. Clearly, Roger Waters goes beyond that. He’s not criticizing a policy of Israel because he disagrees with it. He’s blasting the entire country because they merely exist. That’s all anti-Zionism is a refusal to believe that Israel has a right to exist in any way, shape, or form. Harsanyi goes on to note that while Israel is supposedly a major bugaboo for leftists, these same people are remarkably silent regarding Iran. You know, the nation that wants to exterminate the Jews but claims the Holocaust didn’t really happen, executes gays, and severely restricts women’s rights yet seems to enjoy support from the left unlike anyone else?

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Shakur, a member of the Black Liberation Army, a militant nationalist group composed largely of former members of … – Tablet Magazine

Chicagos Dyke March made headlines recently when it kicked out Jewish participants flying a Pride Flag adorned with the Star of David and then doubled down on the anti-Semitism by taking to social media and using a racial slur popularized by neo-Nazis. Not to be outdone, the Womens March, the pussy-hat-clad revolutionary guards of the #resistance to Donald Trump, showed just how woke it is by celebrating Assata Shakur, a terrorist who is currently hiding out in Cuba after murdering New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster. Shakur, a member of the Black Liberation Army, a militant nationalist group composed largely of former members of the Black Panthers, was the mastermind behind the attack that claimed Foersters life on May of 1973. She was arrested after a massive manhunt, but managed to escape from prison, finding refuge with Fidel Castros homicidal regime. Shakur is now a hero to the Black Lives Matter movement. Shes also a hero to Jew-haters online, who use her case to argue that you-know-who run America and keep its blacks oppressed. When Jewish-American government contractor Alan Gross was finally freed after being seized and detained by Cuban authorities, for example, Shakurs fans cried foul, suggesting that Gross was only permitted to return home to America, while their cop-killing hero was not, because of the undue influence of the Jewish lobby. The Jewish press have [sic] its own story to demonize Shakur, rhapsodized one Shakur fan before linking to a story in Vice magazine, which is owned by people who are neither Jewish nor particularly fond of Jews. Then theres assatashakur.org, a site devoted to the fugitive terrorist in which one can find such thoughtful opinions as the one about how it is in the interest of the JEW to keep poor whites and poor blacks fighting amongst themselves. Another so-called social justice movement, another case of putting up with, if not outright promoting, hatred of Jews. Liel Leibovitz is a senior writer for Tablet Magazine.

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US should stay out of Palestinian-Israeli disputes – STLtoday.com

The United States should disengage from all negotiations ongoing, and any contemplated for the future, between the Palestinians and Israel. Our past and current involvement in these negotiations has only resulted in bitter Muslim resentment toward our government and all Americans throughout the Middle East. This Muslin bitterness is caused by their fervent conviction that we have not been, and are not, fair and even-handed in our treatment of the two parties in this 65-year dispute. The Palestinians and the Arab world are convinced of this American bias because of the demanding influence of the American Jewish lobby. It is impossible to imagine that an American Muslim would ever be considered, or appointed, as special envoy to attempt, for the umpteenth time, a resolution of the dispute. Yet, President Donald Trump has chosen his Jewish son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who is without any prior experience, to undertake this arduous task. In the meantime the Israelis just snicker and keep building homes and villages on land that was seized in the 1967 war. I do not believe our continued attempts to broker a settlement are in the best interests of the United States. If we were to declare that we were to no longer be involved in the dispute, we would accrue significant advantage and prestige throughout the Arab world and would undoubtedly substantially reduce our exposure to the threat of terrorism. The Israelis are capable of defending themselves, and we would continue to be a supporter of theirs in any future conflict. The American Jewish lobby would oppose such a move, but so be it. Lee R. Pitzer OFallon, Ill. Colonel (retired), U.S. Air Force

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Fourteen Flaws in Tom Friedman’s ‘Israel to American Jews’ New York Times Column – Algemeiner

Email a copy of “Fourteen Flaws in Tom Friedmans Israel to American Jews New York Times Column” to a friend New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman. Photo: Charles Haynes via Wikimedia Commons. The New York Times devotes three columns on the top half of its op-ed page to an article by Thomas Friedman that appears under the headline, Israel to American Jews: You Just Dont Matter. By my count there are at least 14 different problems with the article, starting with the headline. [Problem No. 1] Israel to American Jews: You Just Dont Matter mischaracterizes the message sent. Netanyahu to American Jews: You Just Dont Matter, or Israeli Prime Minister to American Jews: You Just Dont Matter, would be a more accurate headline for Friedmans column, because it quotes at least two Israelis, Michael Oren and Gidi Grinstein, who disagree with Prime Minister Netanyahus moves. Friedman could have also pointed out that Israels defense minister, Avigdor Lieberman, and the head of the Jewish Agency for Israel, Natan Sharansky, who are both Israeli, have also differed with the moves Friedman criticizes. Since Lieberman and Sharansky are both Israelis who came from the former Soviet Union, that underscores a second problem with the headline [Problem No. 2], which is that Israeli conversions, and the chief rabbinates control over them and marriages, actually have more effect on Israelis from the former Soviet Union than on American Jews. Not that many American Jews seek to get married in Israel, but many individuals from the former Soviet Union do. July 13, 2017 2:25 pm Characteristically, Friedman moves briskly from the flaps over conversions and over non-gender segregated prayer at the Western Wall to proceed to his more longstanding preoccupation, which is Israels treatment of the Palestinian Arabs. In the third paragraph of the article, Friedman writes that Israel, under Netanyahus leadership, is erasing the line between Israel and the Palestinians. This is from the same newspaper that is endlessly harping on Israeli checkpoints and the security wall that separates Israel from areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority. And in the same Friedman column that goes on to accuse Israel of heading toward apartheid. It seems to me [Problem No. 3] that these two lines of criticism are mutually contradictory. Israel can be erasing the line with the Palestinians or erecting barriers, but it doesnt make any sense to attack Israel simultaneously for doing both. Friedman goes on for a while with this digression about the situation between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs. He writes, Bibi masterfully distracted Trump with a shiny object a video of extreme statements by Abbas (with no mention of extremist actions by Israeli settlers). This is [Problem No. 4] a false equivalency. Abbas is the elected president of the Palestinian Authority and chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization. Extremist settlers are a fringe element within a faction of the Israeli electorate. Friedman goes on to quote a former Israeli politician, Ehud Barak, warning that Netanyahus policies will inevitably lead to the end of Israel as a Jewish democratic state. Yet [Problem No. 4] theres nothing inevitable about this whatsoever. Even if you add together the entire West Bank and all of Israel, 6.45 million Jews are more than 1.796 million Israeli Arabs and 2.9 million West Bank Palestinians. It isnt even close. With the Arab and Jewish birth rates now roughly even, theres no reason to believe that the situation will change anytime soon. Thats leaving aside the possibility of increased immigration to Israel by Jews from Europe or North America. Finally, Friedman returns to his point about the Western Wall and conversions. He writes There are roughly six million Jews in Israel, six million in the U.S. and four million spread elsewhere. That [Problem No. 5] is a bogus statistic. He cites no evidence for it, provides no source, offers no hyperlink. A more accurate estimate would cite Israels Central Bureau of Statistics for the figure of 6.45 million Jews in Israel. The American Jewish population is somewhere between 5.6 million (Pew, 2010) and 7.28 million (Brandeis), with the difference being that the Brandeis high estimate uses a broader definition that includes some people who might not identify themselves as Jewish. Pew says the world Jewish population is 14 million, meaning Friedman just somehow miraculously discovered, or manufactured, an extra 2 million Jews with his erroneous 6 + 6 + 4 = 16 formulation. Friedmans math gets even worse in his next sentence: About 75 percent of the 10 million diaspora Jews are non-Orthodox, mostly followers of the Reform and Conservative streams of Judaism. As we just saw [Problem No. 5 repeated a second time], the 10 million diaspora Jews claim is a Friedman fantasy. But the real problem here [Problem No. 6] is that readers are left with the false impression that theres something like 7.5 million Reform and Orthodox Jews out there. In fact even the Reform movement itself claims merely that More than 1 million Americans and Canadians are affiliated with Reform congregations, with nearly 900 congregations in the U.S. and Canada, more than 1,200 congregations worldwide. The Conservative movement is smaller. In a 2011 financial report the Conservative movement claimed approximately 657 affiliated congregations representing approximately one and a half million members; by 2015 the number of affiliated congregations had declined to approximately 594, and the financial report stopped making any claims about how many members the movement had. The Pew research center looked at American Jews in 2013 and found 35% Reform and 18% Conservative. The next problem [No. 7] comes in Friedmans claim that Netanyahu canceled a 2016 agreement to create a distinct egalitarian prayer space adjacent to the Western Wallwhere men and women of the non-Orthodox movements could pray together. That makes it sound, inaccurately, as if that prayer space was never created, or does not exist, or existed and was shut down. In fact, it does exist, and has since 2000. I attended a bar mitzvah there a few weeks ago and stood next to my wife. I have photos to prove it. There were several other bar mitzvahs going on at the same time, using Conservative-movement-issued prayer books. Theres an argument about how directly the gateway to this area should be connected to the rest of the Western Wall area, which if people want to argue about, great; a plan to resolve that argument has indeed been frozen. But, as the Times of Israel put it, There is already pluralistic prayer at the Western Wall. Friedman is similarly shaky on the details when it comes to the conversion issue. He accuses Netanyahu of supporting a bill pulling government recognition for private conversions basically those done by non-Orthodox rabbis. That [Problem No. 8] mischaracterizes the issue. Reform and Conservative conversions in Israel have never been recognized; at issue here is Orthodox conversions in Israel outside the chief rabbinates bureaucratic framework. The next Friedman falsehoods come rapid-fire, in a string of claims. America, he writes, is a steadfast supporter of Israel in the U.N., looks the other way on settlementsand just promised Israel $38 billion in security aid over 10 years. But the Obama administration abstained and allowed the passage of an anti-Israel UN resolution condemning Israels settlement activity, about which American administrations have consistently complained, albeit with varying degrees of vehemence. The American security aid, taking inflation into account, represents a reduction in previous aid levels, and adds a new requirement to spend the money on American defense contractors. Its basically a taxpayer subsidy to the US defense industry using Israel as a cut-out. And it was only enacted by the Obama administration as a kind of consolation gift to Israel after Obama granted Israels enemy, Iran, $150 billion in sanctions relief, some of which was flown into Iran in cash stacked on cargo pallets in unmarked planes. So on the UN [Problem No. 9], on settlements [Problem No. 10], and on security aid [Problem No. 11], its just inaccurate to portray America, as Friedman does, as lockstep, shoulder-to-shoulder with Israel. Friedman like authors Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer, whose book was widely criticized for trafficking in antisemitic tropes attributes American support for Israel not to shared values or strategic interests but to the political power of the Jewish lobby. As Friedmans source puts it, this astonishing reality is the outcome of tireless work by hundreds of thousands of Jews Democrats and Republicans, most of them non-Orthodox. This [Problem No. 12] erroneously ascribes American support for Israel entirely to Jewish political activism. Not to take anything away from Jewish political activists, but plenty of other countries say, India, Jordan, Japan, Turkey, Micronesia have also seen fit to forge warm relations with Israel, even without large or politically influential Jewish populations. Their military and trade interests or values dictate it. American Christian support for Israel is also significant. Friedman concludes by repeating the unproven accusation that we counted as Problem No. 3: Runaway Jewish nationalism threatens to meld Israel with the Palestinians in the West Bank. Again, the separation wall and the checkpoints dont fit with the meld accusation. Then Friedman makes a new false claim that is probably the biggest fabrication of the entire long article: Runaway Orthodox politics threatens to disconnect Israel from its most committed supporters. [Problem No. 13] For Israels most committed supporters, working for the Jewish state is not transactional, not something done in exchange for a section at the Western Wall or a sensible policy on conversions. Israels most committed supporters know that theyve already gotten way more from Israel than they can ever give in return in political activism or money. Theyve gotten a state that is a refuge for Jews anywhere who need to flee oppression, a source of pride and spiritual energy and cultural renewal and national strength. To cut off Israel in retaliation for this would be like cutting off ones own right hand. It would be self-defeating. There is one last problem [No. 14], which is Friedmans failure to take seriously the Orthodox objections to Reform involvement or control at the Western Wall. I myself am a member of a Conservative synagogue and support Conservative Jewish institutions, and have belonged to a Reform synagogue in the past, so I am inclined to be sympathetic. But at a certain point, when the Reform movement strays so far away from traditional Jewish law and practice as to have their rabbis officiate at marriages between Jews and Christians, or to serve shrimp in their synagogues, theres a certain naivete about turning around and then being surprised or offended or indignant when the Orthodox rabbis arent exactly waiting to roll out the red carpet for them to bring those practices to the Western Wall. Friedmans column was headlined Israel to American Jews: You Just Dont Matter. For 14 reasons, a more accurate headline would have been Friedman to Facts: You Just Dont Matter. More of Ira Stolls media critique, a regular Algemeiner feature, can be foundhere.

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Modi’s Israel visit – Pakistan Observer

Mansoor Akbar Kundi NARENDRA Modis recent visit to Israel, the first ever by any Prime Minister of India is a watershed development in the relationship of two countries since 1949. It reflects the timely, opportunist and professional diplomacy of India which unfortunately Pakistan has failed to achieve over the years. In international relations there are neither eternal friends nor enemies except national interests which come first and can be well promoted by good piece of diplomacy. Similarly, the phrase that an enemy of my enemy is my friend plays a pivotal role in the development and improvement of bilateral relationship despite geographical and ideological differences. India, unlike Pakistan, enjoyed partial relationship with it. India recognized Israel in September 1950. During the period the relationship were limited to Consulate level. India in 1949 had opened an immigration office in Israel to facilitate a large number of Indian Jews immigration to Israel. There are around 100000 Indian Jews today in India. Their parents and grandparents migrated to Israel between 1949 to 1953. The founding fathers of India, particularly Nehru was always reluctant to initiate any goodwill relations with Israel and showed Indian support for the right of Palestinians. Gandhi had been very critical of the creation of a Jewish state in the region by branding it a crime against humanity as he wrote in 1938. Similarly, Jawaharlal Nehru during his long 17 years of Prime Minister supported the Palestinian cause. It had voted against Israel in joining UN in1949. However, after his visit to United States in October 1949 at the invitation by the President Harry Truman, there appeared a change in his attitude towards Israel. It was few months after India decided to recognize Israel. It did not establish full-fledged diplomatic relations with Israel until 1992. Nevertheless, they were the days of bloc politics where the Indian diplomacy largely relied on neutrality and non-alignment without joining US led military alliances. India, however, enjoyed good relationship with the USSR and entered into a 20 year friendship treaty. Simultaneously, it carried good relationship with United States too a balanced foreign policy. What implications will the visit will have for Pakistan or in what perspective the visit can be analysed? However, Indian foreign policy towards Israel took a new turn at the eve of the disintegration of the Soviet Union. It accorded Israel a full-fledged diplomatic recognition and established its embassy in Tel Aviv in 1992 with strong signals of relationship in various fields. The relationship between started growing. Since 9/11 when US restructured its relationship with the Muslim World by embracing India as more closer ally, India and Israel have become ever more closer. Ignoring the realities in international system, we adhered to ideological and internal pressures by not recognizing or adopting partial relationship with Israel, no matter how dependent on US military, economic and political support. Had we recognized Israel, at least would have enjoyed a supportive role by Jewish lobby in core-periphery relationship. India and Israel are enjoying growing trade, military and economic relationship. Israel has been supplying military hardware to India for the last more than one decade. Few years ago, the leading military wares supplying company, Rafael under a contract provided $ 1 billion surface to air missile system. A number of other contracts it inked with New Delhi account for around $ 10 billion over a decade. They have been promoting tourism between the two. In 2012-13 around 40000 Indians entered Israel on tourist visa, the highest number of visitors from any Asian country. The both have been entering various agreements in the field of academic, scientific and even cultural fields. Pakistan shares more commonalities with Israel than India. There can be more cultural and spiritual similarities between the two as Islam and Judaism as religions are far more closer to one another than with Hinduism. In the end a question arises what implications the visit will have for Pakistan. There are a mixed answer to that. Indian relationship with Israel with Modis visit as a reflection and projection of viable bilateralism are to serve its national interests. Israel needs recognition and relationship with the outside world as more as possible, particularly with the Islamic World which in large has denied it recognition. Events in international system are like strings knitted to one another. Had bloc politics not over, events like of 9/11 could never take place. It weakened the relationship ties between US and Islamic World. The West versus Communism theatre was replaced with the West versus Islamic Fundamentalism which has gradually been drifting West versus Muslims. Indias relationship with America and Israel are beneficiary of the events like 9/11. They enjoy cordial relationship. America and Israel are more closer to India than before. The enmity factor between India and Pakistan and present juncture of CPEC and shift in Pakistans dependence reliance from America to China adds to friendship triangle. Narendra Modi is an aberrant. His policies towards Pakistan are Hindutva principles that helped him to rise to the office of Prime Minister in 2014. He is adhering to day-to-day strain policies with Pakistan under Hindutva without ignoring that Pakistan is a neighbour, nuclear power and member with it in many important regional forums. Indian policies in Indian held Kashmir are negation of democratic and humanitarian values which Pakistan has been condemning in international forums. Pakistan perceives a threat from the situation. It however needs to restructure and strengthen diplomatic fronts with professional diplomacy. The writer is Professor, Dept of Politics & International Relations, International Islamic University, Islamabad. Email: dera1955@gmail.com

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July 12, 2017   Posted in: Jewish Lobby  Comments Closed

PML-N rejects minus-Nawaz formula – The News International

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) has made it clear that it will not accept the minus-Nawaz Sharif formula and will take on the opposition with stern answer on its malicious campaign against the government and the prime minister. It has been decided that no heed would be paid to the demand made by the opposition for quitting of the prime minister and assemblies. No formula would even be considered where Nawaz Sharif is targeted. It was observed that an attempt was being made to bring a judicial 58-2(B). The constitutional expertsand jurists appointed by the prime minister completed their study of the JIT report on the PanamaLeakes and told a high echelon consultative meeting here at the Prime Ministers House on Tuesday that the report is a pack of lies and fabrication of third order. The informal consultative marathon meeting held on the second consecutive day decided to fight for the battle on political and legal spheres with fair amount of courage. The federal ministers present in the capital attended the meeting and maintained that people of the country have full faith in the leadership of Nawaz Sharif. Highly-placed sources told The News after the meeting that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif asked the ministers to gear up their contacts with the masses since the real battle would be fought at the people level in a couple of months once the polls are announced. Participants of the meeting castigated the demand made by some opposition groups for stepping down of the prime minister and rejected it contemptuously. What else the opponents could ask for? And it isnt new from them. They have been harping on the same tune for the last four years, a senior leader offered comments with a smile. He was of the view that such groups dont have any clue about the sentiments of the people. Were the opponents posing confidence in the prime minister during the last four years? he asked. The meeting decided to challenge the JIT report as soon the documents are ready in this regard without waiting for the resumption of hearing in the apex court, the sources said. The prime minister castigated the revelation of his offshore company in the JIT report. He said that the country has yet another time been made a victim of conspiracies. Nawaz was confident that the conspirators are bound to bite the dust in their nefarious designs as the government would fulfil its commitments with the people for their uplifting. Nawaz said that the designs of the opposition were never accepted by the people and the governments agenda has their approval which would be completed. The ministers reminded the premier that the people have unflinching confidence in his leadership since he has brought about a visible improvement in their life and rid the country of many evils. The meeting was also attended by Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif, who was of the view that the opposition has no ground to stand in the province as the people have realised that the detractors of the government have no plan for the welfare of the country. The meeting also chalked out the future strategy for catering immediate and long terms political planning. Shahbaz, federal ministers and other party aides, including legal wizards of the prime minister who were part of the meeting, assured the prime minister that the development activities would continue at required pace disregarding the oppositions agitation. Maryam Nawaz was also in the attendance and she expressed satisfaction about the response by the PML-N workers and leaders across the country about the opponents moves and the fabricated report of the JIT. She said that the report wouldnt stand before the law as it has been manufactured to malign the government and create hurdles in the way of service to the country by the government under Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. She said that the demand made by the groups of the opposition has been made so many times in the last four years that the people have stopped giving heed to such frivolous demands. APP adds: Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique reiterated that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif did not own any offshore company and it would be established in the court with evidence. The Panama issue is an engineered drama. It had been directed from abroad and performed by actors within the country, he said addressing a news conference. The JIT was a one way traffic. It is biased and politically motivated and we will contest it with all evidence and arguments in the Supreme Court, he added.He explained that usually investigation was done through questions and the JIT was assigned to reveal the truth, but it acted with partiality. It is strange that the JIT did that much work. It could have not done that much, even if all of its members could have worked round the clock during its tenure. It seems that it was not the JIT alone performing this job rather the work was started, may be a year or more before its constitution, he said. Taking on political rivals, the minister said it was strange that Asif Ali Zardari talked of corruption, but his own tales of corruption were known to everyone. At least the PPP should think many times before charging others of corruption, he said. As far as Imran Khan was concerned, he said, he embodied every immorality but clamoured for morality.To a query about accountability, he said there were accountability institutions in the country that could take effective action. When asked about conspiracy, he told the questioner, I am not pointing towards those about whom you are thinking. Adviser to Prime Minister Barrister Zafarullah said the JIT failed to include statements made by persons in their defence during the probe.Talking to media persons, Barrister Zafarullah said many of the papers filed by the JIT were not based on facts. He said it seemed that many of questions were fed to the JIT by someone. The JIT, he said, expanded its probe of the Sharif familys affairs to the year 1962 and went beyond its scope given by the Supreme Court.PML-N MNA Daniyal Aziz said the JIT had admitted its failure in submitting a complete inquiry report in the Panama Papers case. He said the JIT had virtually trespassed its mandate by narrating a fairy-tale based on different contradictory statements and stories. He said the report could not be termed complete as the JIT itself had admitted the same that the 10th volume was ongoing. He said the report could have been submitted after 10 to 20 days. He said the 10th volume had been leaked deliberately despite the JITs request to the apex court not to make it public and the government was being held responsible for it instead of the JIT. Daniyal said the JIT had consumed the first five volumes of report to nullify the Qatari princes letter without recording his statement. Why was PTI chief Imran Khan not being tried despite being declared an absconder? he said, and recalled that 52 fabricated cases had been framed against Nawaz Sharif in the past, but nothing was proved against him. The PML-N lawmaker, Talal Chaudhry, said the PML-N would carry out post mortem of the Joint Investigation Teams (JIT) report and expose it before the Supreme Court.Talking to the media here outside the Supreme Court, he said, The JITs 256-page report has 265 mistakes. We will conduct its point-by-point post mortem before the Supreme Court and highlight its deficiencies. We believe institutions can give justice and we will get justice from the Supreme Court, he remarked. He said the PML-N believed in the supremacy of law and respected the Supreme Court and all other national institutions. Talal said whether it was not contempt of court when Awami Muslim League leader Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed said, Either funeral of the PML-N or the JIT will be held, and Imran Khan said: The JIT members are servants of Nawaz Sharif. He said the PML-N would not allow vested interests to incite confrontation among the institutions. He said the Pakistan Peoples Party leader Aitzaz Ahsan had said that the JIT was following a script. We are glad that the statements of all leaders and content of different programmes on news channels will be examined during the contempt of court hearing, he added. Talal said the people of Pakistan had given a mandate to Nawaz Sharif to become the prime minister and resigning from the office would be an insult of that mandate. When the JIT of 200 million people will ask the prime minister to step down, he will take no time to leave, he said, adding that before the submission of the JIT report, the PML-N expressed reservations on it and the objections were conveyed to the apex court. He said the people of Pakistan were the umpire for the PML-N. PML-N leader Hanif Abbasi said Imran Khan is morally and financially corrupt and his corrupt practices would result in ban on his party.Talking to the media, he said money is weakness of Imran and he can grab money from anywhere, no matter it is any mafia or tax evaders or corrupt elements. Can Imran reply how could he afford the expenses to study at Oxford University? He does not have money trail even for his Banigala residence, he said, adding that Imran even could not provide proof for foreign funding received by his party. This nation wants your trial and seeks answer that from where you got money to pay for air travelling in private planes, he said. Abbasi said Imran is also not ready to produce record of his party funds before the Election Commission. Does your lifestyle reflect that you just pay Rs150,000 annual income tax? He said there is nothing more in the JIT boxes than hypothesis as the JIT had failed to gather any concrete evidence against the prime minister or his family. You are conspiring against democracy and the people of Pakistan and your conspiracy has links with the Jewish lobby and anti-Pakistan forces, he said.

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July 12, 2017   Posted in: Jewish Lobby  Comments Closed

Alt-Reich: North Korea and the Far-Right – The Diplomat

Adolf Hitlers face decorates the hall as Kim Jong-un, North Koreas eternal leader, sits ready to give a rousing speech. The audience looks on seemingly entranced. And suddenly, electronic drums thud over an apocalyptic string arrangement. Welcome to The Daily Traditionalist, a video blog by Matthew Heimbach, an American white nationalist who advocates dividing the United States into ethnically and culturally homogenous states. As long as [North Koreans] can maintain their blood, it will maintain their identity as a people, he says. Its pretty amazing if you actually look at what theyre trying to do [there]. For many on the far right, the Korean peninsulas secretive regime offers an inspiring vision of the future. North Korea has much to be admired, said Matteo Salvini, head of Italys right-wing party Northern League, in 2014. They have a splendid sense of community. Children play on the streets and respect their elders things that no longer exist in Italy. Yet North Koreas admirers rarely mention Pyongyangs penchant for torture, extensive gulag system, mass famines, or thriving narcotics and meth industries. These inconvenient details are either deliberately avoided, or they are blamed on the West. As Heimbach tells The Diplomat, North Korea had the entire American empire not only invade them in the 1950s but are under horrific sanctions that really exacerbate problems when it comes to food and medicine. An Island of Freedom Unsurprisingly, white nationalists affections for North Korea stem in no small part from their mutual anti-Americanism. Indeed, the far rights admiration is an outgrowth of Pyongyangs opposition to Washington, a government whose promotion of international liberalism is anathema to radical nationalism and the isolationism many white nationalists espouse. American imperialism and American militarism cannot abide a country [like North Korea] that wants to be sovereign and that rejects the radical globalist agenda, Heimbach tells The Diplomat, adding that North Korea has survived despite being a pretty universal punching bag among Western governments. Even Russias Alexander Dugin, an ideologue for white nationalists, has praised Pyongyang as an island of freedom, arguing that Russia should provide it with weapons of mass destruction to protect its sovereignty. If their weapons take flight, we [the Russian people] should cheer them on! he says. To not understand that North Korea is a seed of humanism and democracy in the face of an American occupation is to demonstrate complete and utter ignorance. Anti-Semitism is another factor bonding white nationalists to Pyongyang. In an online blog post railing against global Zionism, former head of the Ku Klux Klan David Duke writes that as the Jewish Lobby dictates U.S. foreign policy, North Koreas hostility toward Israel has made it a target for aggression. Citing North Koreas refusal to recognize the state of Israel, Duke writes that the Jewish-supremacist media has long singled Pyongyang out for destruction. Something To Envy? Still, given North Koreas Cold War origins, the admiration from white nationalists is a curious development. But in 2009, North Korean authorities removed all references to communism within its constitution, adding fuel to the argument that North Korea is a far-right regime. After the [Korean Central News Agency] press release in 2014 likening Obama to a revolting monkey and poking fun at his indeterminate bloodline, I would have thought it would be hard to keep pretending this is a far-left state, says B.R. Myers, author of The Cleanest Race: How North Koreans See Themselves And Why It Matters a book that argues against the Stalinist tropes in the international communitys perception of the country. According to Myers, North Korea is an ethno-nationalist regime with a deep-seated military industrial complex. Much like Nazi Germany, Pyongyangs entire command economy is geared toward its armed forces, not public services. It is a far-right state, practicing the ideology it preaches, and doing very well by its own standards if not by our own materialist standards, Myers tells The Diplomat. Myers suspects communistic mischaracterizations of North Korea to be politically motivated. The people who advocate that the United States should negotiate with Pyongyang regardless of its behavior would rather evoke memories of successful Cold War negotiations with communist states than of the unsuccessful appeasement of Nazism, he says. Interestingly, Myers book and its argument that North Korea functions as a far-right state appears to have accelerated support from Western white nationalists. Heimbach, for instance, says an Asian nationalist friend gave the book to him, and that the read definitely opened my eyes regarding the Kim regime. I have been told by various people that The Cleanest Race is a cult book among radical rightists, says Myers. I suppose some people, perhaps those opposed to globalization and diversity, can read my description of the country and find it an appealing place. Nationalist International Whereas other governments admired by white nationalists including Russia and Hungary are now friendly to such far-right figures, North Korea is more cautious. It was not always this way. In 2003, an American neo-Nazi named Joshua Caleb Sutter said he was distributing Pyongyang propaganda at the behest of the North Korean regime. Likewise, as journalist Nate Thayer detailed, an American white supremacist named John Paul Cupp, the son of a fundamentalist Christian preacher, said he received a note from Pyongyang extend[ing] militant greetings to you who extend warm support and solidarity to North Korea. With Pyongyangs apparent support, Cupp even rose to the fore of the U.S. Songun Politics Study Group, an organization dedicated to proselytizing North Korean policy. The North as I see it is none too choosy about the foreigners it presents to its people as admirers of its leader, says Myers. But North Korea has no interest in Heimbach so far. I actually sent an email to the DPRK when the war drums were beating here [in the U.S.] just a few months ago, a message that not all Americans agree with our foreign policy, he says. There was no response. Nevertheless, Heimbach remains enthralled and sees himself as a potential broker between Washington and Pyongyang. Ive thought about going and giving a tour, or something like that, especially if the DPRK government wanted to be able to reach out to Americans, Heimbach adds. That would definitely be an invitation that I would be more than happy to accept. Casey Michel is a writer in New York. He can be followed on Twitter at@cjcmichel Bradley Jardine is a British journalist based in Moscow Russia. He can be followed on Twitter @Jardine_bradley

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July 7, 2017   Posted in: Jewish Lobby  Comments Closed

Indian Prime Minister Makes Historic Visit to Jerusalem, Skips Ramallah – Middle East Forum

Slightly edited; originally published under the title “Modi Is Coming to Jerusalem.” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu strolls with his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi, on a beach in Israel on July 6. Notably, Modi’s visit was not “balanced” by a visit to the Palestinian Authority. Narendra Modi’s July 5-6 visit to Israel, the first-ever by an Indian prime minister, reflects the significant expansion in relations between the two countries that has taken place since the establishment of full diplomatic relations in 1992. Since Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came to power in May 2014, his administration has shed its predecessors’ reservations about regular public discourse regarding India’s ties with Israel. It is worthy of note that Modi’s trip to Israel was not “balanced” with a visit to the Palestinian Authority, indicating that India has freed its relations with Israel from its historical commitment to the Palestinian issue. Indeed, India has modified its voting pattern at international organizations by refraining to join the automatic majority against Israel. India and Israel display high levels of threat perception and share a common strategic agenda. Both have waged major conventional wars against their neighbors and have experienced lowintensity conflict and terror, as they are both involved in protracted conflicts characterized by complex ethnic and religious components not always well understood by outsiders. Both face weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in the hands of their rivals. India has freed its relations with Israel from its historic commitment to the Palestinian issue. The two nations share a common threat: radical offshoots of Islam in the greater Middle East. Israel regards parts of the Arab world Saudi Arabia in particular as hubs for Islamic extremism, while India views SaudiPakistani relations with suspicion. Moreover, India fears the Pakistani nuclear arsenal might ultimately fall into the hands of Islamic radicals. For Israel, Islamic radicals in the Arab world and in the Islamic Republic of Iran constitute a constant security challenge. This challenge has become more acute as Iran’s nuclear potential has grown. The more recent ISIS phenomenon has ramifications beyond the battlefields of Iraq and Syria, as its offshoots threaten the stability of Egypt and Jordan Israel’s neighbors and are increasingly sources of concern in south and southeast Asia. India has gradually overcome its inhibitions and engaged in security cooperation with Israel. In the wake of diplomatic normalization in 1992, then Indian Defense Minister Sharad Pawar admitted to having already cooperated with Israel on counterterrorism. This cooperation, which involves exchange of information on the finances, recruitment patterns, and training of terrorist groups, is conducted away from the public eye. The November 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks underscored the need for better counterterrorism preparations in India and elicited greater cooperation with Israeli agencies. India has relied on Israeli companies to upgrade aging Soviet platforms, such as Mig21 fighter jets and T72 tanks. Arms supply and technology transfer have become important components in the bilateral relationship. Initially, Russian failure to deliver promised weapons at expected prices and/or schedules led India to turn to Israeli companies to upgrade some of its aging Soviet platforms, such as its Mig21s and T72 tank fleet. Difficulties in the development of weapons systems at home have led to the purchase of Israeli products and to partnership in developing advanced military technology. New Delhi purchased advanced radar and communications equipment from Israel, as well as portable battlefield radars, handheld thermals, night warfare vision equipment, and electronic fences to improve border monitoring. A long list of Israeli military items, such as ammunition, UAV parts, and even missiles (Spike antiarmor, the Python4 airtoair, naval Barak8 surfacetoair) are being produced in India. Examples of high-end items include the airborne Phalcon radar Airborne Early Warning and Control Systems (AWACS) , which is mounted on the Russian IL76 transport aircraft, and the long-range Green Pine radar. The sale of the Phalcon by Israel to India required American approval, which was finally secured in May 2003. India signed a contract for the purchase of two additional Phalcon/IL76 AWACS valued at $1 billion during the November 2016 visit of Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin to India. Israel was the thirdlargest arms supplier to India in the three years ending March 2016. India has purchased high-end defense equipment from Israel, including Phalcon radar Airborne Early Warning and Control Systems (left, mounted on a Russian transport aircraft) and the ground-based missile-defense Green Pine radar (right). In April 2017, India signed a contract worth about $2 billion to procure antitank missiles and air defense systems from the Israel Aerospace Industry (IAI). This was the largest order in Israel’s history. One month later, the IAI secured another contract for $630 million to supply Barak8 missiles for the Indian Navy. Both deals involve technology transfer and production in India. These deals are part of PM Modi’s $250 billion plan to modernize the armed forces by 2025 amid tensions with neighbors China and Pakistan. The IndianIsraeli nexus has various Indian Ocean implications, particularly in response to China’s growing presence. The Indian Ocean, where India is an important actor, has become an area of growing interest for Israel because of its apprehensions about Iran and Pakistan. While India, a major player in the international system, has improved relations with Washington, New Delhi’s links with Jerusalem have the potential to smooth over some of the remaining difficulties in dealing with the US. Working with Israel fits into Modi’s plan to deepen relations with the US given the USIsrael friendship. New Delhi believes improving relations with Israel has had a positive effect on the U.S. disposition toward India. New Delhi believes its normalization of relations with Israel in 1992 had a positive effect on the American disposition toward India. The oftenexaggerated power of the Jewish lobby in America was appreciated in New Delhi. In the 1990s, the American Jewish organizations valued the importance of India for the US and for Israel, as well as the potential advantages of nurturing good relations with the Indian community in America, whose congressional power is on the rise. Many members of the Indian lobby, the USIndia Political Action Committee (USINPAC), which was formed in September 2002, expressed the desire to emulate American Jewish groups and showed interest in cooperation. The Jewish and Indian lobbies worked together to gain the Bush administration’s approval for Israel’s sale of the Phalcon to India. Moreover, in July 2003, they were successful in adding an amendment to a bill giving aid to Pakistan that called on Islamabad to stop Islamic militants from crossing into India and to prevent the spread of WMD. In the fall of 2008, Jewish support was important in passing through the US Congress the USIndia nuclear deal, which allowed India access to nuclear technology for civilian use despite its not being a party to the NonProliferation Treaty (NPT). The decline of the US and the rise of China have strengthened the strategic glue between India and Israel. Two strategic developments of the 21st century are likely to strengthen the strategic glue between India and Israel: the decline of the US and the rise of China. In the Middle East, the Obama administration projected weakness and encouraged Iran’s quest for hegemony. US weakness is inevitably having ripple effects in other parts of the globe. Indeed, Asian states view the declining American role with concern. It is not clear whether new American president Donald Trump will adopt a more assertive foreign policy than that of his predecessor. Nor is it known how he will go about confronting China, as he displayed isolationist impulses during his election campaign. India and Israel represent two ancient civilizations. They share a British colonial past and were the first to become independent (in 1947 and 1948, respectively) in the postWWII decolonization wave. Both were born as the result of messy partitions and have maintained democratic regimes under adverse conditions ever since. Nevertheless, it took over four decades to establish a fruitful bilateral relationship. For Israel, good relations with India reflect awareness of structural changes in the international system as the center of gravity moves to Asia and the Pacific Rim. India is an extremely important protagonist that requires Israel’s utmost attention. Efraim Inbar, professor emeritus of political studies at Bar-Ilan University and former director of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies (1991-2016), is a Shillman-Ginsburg fellow at the Middle East Forum. Related Topics: Israel & Zionism, South Asia | Efraim Inbar receive the latest by email: subscribe to the free mef mailing list

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July 7, 2017   Posted in: Jewish Lobby  Comments Closed


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