Saturday, July 13, 2024
Saturday, July 13, 2024
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Kamala Harris Is Stuck:  Jeffrey Frank, NY Times, July 25, 2022“Vice President Kamala Harris, who was a first-term senator from California before entering the White House, hasn’t been given the sort of immersive experiences or sustained, high-profile tasks that would deepen and broaden her expertise in ways Americans could see and appreciate. … [But] over the past 18 months, her on-the-job training in governing has largely involved intractable issues like migration and voting rights where she has not shown demonstrable growth in leadership and hit-or-miss trips overseas like the troubled foray in Central America a year ago and the more successful delegation to meet with the United Arab Emirates’ new president, leading a team that included Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.

If other presidents have formed substantive partnerships in office with their V.P.s and made efforts to deepen their experience, President Biden and Ms. Harris have beenunable to do so or uninterested in bringing about a similar transformation. …  is hampered by Mr. Biden’s unpopularity, to be sure, but she has also not become the successful public face on any major issue. Recently she has energetically undertaken a “How Dare They” tour, as a Politico  headline described her trips attacking Republicans on abortion rights after the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade — but this work only underscores the narrowness of her political role. It’s meant to whip up the Democratic base, a basic job of vice presidents. It’s not something that shows she is capable of assuming the presidency or gives Americans reasons to view her as a viable leader for a country in dire need of leadership….

Her absence from the executive branch, as a crisis manager and a shaper of policy, leaves her as a fairly weak heir apparent. Democrats, if not other Americans, would benefit if she could bring a compelling and varied set of experiences and ideas from her time in the White House to a competitive Democratic presidential primary race, giving more solid choices to voters and adding substantively to the debate.”  [Ms. Harris was given many high-profile opportunities to distinguish herself, whether it was the border issue, Ukraine, and others, as the writer acknowledges.  As the first female Black Vice President, she also had much goodwill on her side.  If she did not distinguish herself well in her job as VP, it is not for lack of opportunities or training but in her inability to grasp and communicate issues properly, which was unexpected given her background as a public prosecutor. – Ed.]

                    WEEKLY QUOTES

“Israel should have no illusions about Russia, which has become a country unfriendly to Jews.  It is enough to recall Lavrov’s antisemitic statements.” — Leonid Nevzlin — an energy executive and philanthropist who fled Russia for Israel in 2005.  He cited last week’s announcement from the Russian ministry of justice that it is seeking to shutter the Jewish Agency’s operations in the country.  In the quote, he referred to the outrage triggered in May by comments from Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accusing Israel of backing “neo-Nazis” in Ukraine and opining that Nazi leader Adolf Hitler may have had “Jewish blood.” “The Jews must flee from Russia as soon as possible. And Israel should stop doubting and send weapons to Ukraine. Protecting democracy is our common cause,” he said. (Algemeiner, July 25, 2022)
“All land and sea targets of Israel are in the range of Hezbollah missiles,” Lebanese terror leader Nasrallah said. He also said that Hezbollah has created “active deterrence” against Israel. (Nasrallah also boasted about a recent drone operation Hezbollah carried out targeting Israel’s Karish gas field. Israel downed the drones but Nasrallah told Al-Mayadeen media that Hezbollah has used drones over Israel many times in the past years.) – political columnist Seth Frantzman.  (Jerusalem Post, July 25, 2022)
“People think that it was a bunch of economically distressed people from the middle of the country who had been losing their jobs because of globalization with China and so they reacted by voting for Trump.  Nobody there was voting for Trump because of his economic policy, nobody knows what his economic policy was [but because he’s] a giant pulsating middle finger to a bunch of cultural elite who believe they have a better way to live [that] involves them looking down their nose at people who attend church regularly and at people who believe in traditional marriage and people who are pro-life on abortion issues, American exceptionalism and who tend to like the flag.”  – Conservative commentator Ben Shapiro in an interview with World Israel News.  (WIN, July 22, 2022)
“The worst line I ever wrote as a pundit — yes, I know, it’s a crowded field — was the first line I ever wrote about the man who would become the 45th president: “If by now you don’t find Donald Trump appalling, you’re appalling. This opening salvo, from August 2015, was the first in what would become dozens of columns denouncing Trump as a unique threat to American life, democratic ideals and the world itself. I regret almost nothing of what I said about the man and his close minions. But the broad swipe at his voters caricatured them and blinkered me. It also probably did more to help than hinder Trump’s candidacy. Telling voters they are moral ignoramuses is a bad way of getting them to change their minds.” – Conservative columnist Brett Stephen’s mea culpa moment wherein he clearly lays out his motivation is admitting his mistake, to get Trump voters “to change their minds.”  (NY Times, July 21, 2022)
“I believe that his son is corrupt.” –Rep. James Comer (Kentucky), ranking member of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, vowing that he will investigate President Biden’s son Hunter if Republicans take control of the House in the Nov. 2022 elections—Tom Howell Jr. and Jeff Mordock.  (The Washington Times, July 21, 2022)
“What starts out in [the U.S.] as a mass movement ends up as a racket, a cult, or a corporation.” — the late “longshoreman-philosopher” Eric Hoffer, quoted by Andy Kessler.  He debunks the “effective altruism” and “rational” techie charitable strategies movement led by progressive, 30-year-old “crypto-king” billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried. (WSJ, July 24, 2022)
“The message is the Chinese military in the air and at sea, have become significantly more and noticeably more aggressive in this particular region.” –U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley, speaking in Indonesia on his way to meeting with Indo-Pacific defense chiefs in Australia last week. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austen echoed Milley’s remarks, noting an “alarming increase” in the number of “unsafe” air and sea interactions with the People’s Liberation Army.  (New York Post, July 25, 2022)
“Mr. Miller and Gen Milley met with the President at the White House at 5:30 p.m. The primary topic they discussed was unrelated to the scheduled rally. GEN Milley told us that at the end of the meeting, the President told Mr. Miller that there would be a large number of protestors on January 6, 2021, and Mr. Miller should ensure sufficient National Guard or Soldiers would be there to make sure it was a safe event. Gen Milley told us that Mr. Miller responded, ‘We’ve got a plan and we’ve got it covered.” — Pentagon inspector general in a memo that chronicled the assistance the Defense Department offered Congress both ahead of and during the riot.  This memo and a Capitol police timeline show that the Trump Pentagon first offered National Guard troops to the Capitol Police on Jan. 2, 2021, four full days before the event. This information undercuts the Jan. 6 committee’s primary assertion that former President Trump wanted to incite violence on that day.  (Just the News, July 22, 2022)



OBITUARY: RABBI DOW MARMUR, 87, LED TORONTO’S HOLY BLOSSOM TEMPLE—AND DESCRIBED HIMSELF AS HAVING LIVED SIX LIVES (Jerusalem) — Rabbi Dow Marmur, a respected scholar and activist who served for 17 years as spiritual leader of Toronto’s Holy Blossom Temple, Canada’s largest Reform congregation, died in Jerusalem on July 17. He was 87. Rabbi Marmur was a prodigious writer, teacher and advocate who lived his Reform Jewish principles by implementing initiatives at his temple despite early resistance. Among the six books, he authored was 2004’s Six Lives, a memoir reviewed as “a testament to one Holocaust survivor’s indomitable spirit and deep need to serve the Jewish people.” (Canadian Jewish News, July 19, 2022)
CLOSURE OF JEWISH AGENCY BY RUSSIA WOULD STRAIN DIPLOMATIC TIES, ISRAEL SAYS (Jerusalem) – A diplomatic delegation of Israeli officials will be sent to Moscow, as Russian legal authorities are set to discuss the closure of the Jewish Agency’s activities there next week. The decision comes after the Russian Ministry of Justice filed a request to outlaw the Jewish Agency from the state register of legal entities, claiming the organization violated Russian law by allegedly maintaining a database of Russian Jews planning to emigrate to Israel.  PM Yair Lapid cautioned that the closure of the Jewish Agency’s operations in Russia would be a “serious event” straining diplomatic relations between Jerusalem and Moscow.  (Algemeiner, July 24, 2022)
ISRAELI NAVY SINKS PALESTINIAN VESSEL ‘SMUGGLING ARMS’ TO TERRORISTS (Jerusalem) — The Israeli Navy on Saturday night sank a Palestinian vessel sailing towards Gaza from Egypt. The vessel had entered a restricted sea area off the southern Gaza Strip, in violation of security restrictions, according to the IDF. The supplies in question were arms destined for Hamas in Gaza. (United With Israel, July 25, 2022)
WEST BANK SHOOTOUT — ISRAELIS KILL PAIR HOLDED UP IN HOUSE (Nablus)–Two terrorists affiliated with the Fatah Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, wanted for a series of shootings, were killed and six others wounded, in a clash with Israeli troops in Nablus.  No Israeli troops were wounded. (New York Post, July 25, 2022)
NASRALLAH THREATENS WAR OVER GAS FIELDS AS SOON AS SEPTEMBER (Beirut) — Hezbollah head Hassan Nasrallah threatened Israel again over the development of its offshore natural gas fields. In an interview on Lebanese TV the terror chief stated, “All of Israel’s gas fields are under threat from our missiles – not just Karish. The ships that extract the gas are Israeli, even if under a Greek banner.” Greek energy exploration and production company Energean bought the rights to both the Karish and Tanin offshore fields and recently sent a floating rig to start extracting gas from the Karish field. Its first gas delivery to an Israeli power plant is set for the third quarter of this year. (WIN, July 26, 2022)
CHABAD IN ISRAEL SUING RUSSIA FOR POSSESSION OF FAMED SCHNEERSON COLLECTION (Jerusalem) — For the first time in Israel, the Association of Chabad in the U.S. has appealed to Israel’s Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara demanding a freeze in the procedures for the transfer of ownership of the Alexander Nevsky Church in Jerusalem to the Russian government until it agrees to release the historical “Schneerson Collection” library. Chabad says the collection is being illegally held in Russia. (United With Israel, July 26, 2022)
IRAN WILL KEEP IAEA CAMERAS TURNED OFF UNTIL NUCLEAR DEAL IS RESTORED (Tehran) — Iran will keep the U.N. nuclear watchdog’s cameras turned off until a 2015 nuclear deal is restored, the head of the country’s Atomic Energy Organization said. Nor will it agree to address alleged unexplained uranium traces as demanded by the IAEA, adding that the 2015 nuclear deal had cleared Iran of so-called PMD (possible military dimensions) allegations, according to nuclear chief Mohammad Eslami (Reuters, July 25, 2022)
MOSSAD SHEDS NEW LIGHT ON ARGENTINA TERRORIST ATTACKS IN 1990S (Buenos Aires) — Two terrorist attacks on Israeli and Jewish targets in Buenos Aires in the 1990s that killed scores of people were carried out by a secret Hezbollah unit whose operatives, contrary to widespread claims, were not abetted knowingly by Argentine citizens or aided by Iran on the ground, according to an investigation by the Mossad, Israel’s secret service. While Mossad stresses that Israeli intelligence still believes that Iran, a supporter of Hezbollah, approved and funded the attacks and supplied training and equipment, the findings counter longstanding assertions by Israel, Argentina, and the United States that Tehran had an operational role on the ground. (NY Times, July 22, 2022)
ROGER WATERS BASHES ISRAEL IN SUPPORT OF PRO-PALESTINIAN STUDENTS AT MCGILL UNIVERSITY (Montreal) —  On July 14, singer-songwriter Roger Waters performed in Montreal and spoke at an anti-Israel event called: “Standing Up For Student Solidarity With Palestine,” which was an online event co-sponsored by the suspended McGill University student group, Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights McGill, (SPHR) and which was endorsed by Samidoun, a Canadian not-for-profit organization with alleged ties to the PFLP terror group. Roger Waters, formerly of the rock group Pink Floyd, is an outspoken anti-Israel activist and BDS supporter who has been accused of antisemitism previously. He took centre stage in this online event by uttering baseless and hateful allegations against Israel and the Jewish people. (Honest Reporting Canada, July 21, 2022)
US OPENS PROBE INTO ABUSE, BULLYING OF JEWISH STUDENTS AT USC (California) — The US Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights is investigating the circumstances of a Jewish student leader’s resignation in 2020 in the face of harassment she faced over her Jewish identity and support for Israel. Rose Ritch, was vice president of the university’s Undergraduate Student Government, but quit after facing harassment and bullying. The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) investigation was launched after the Louis Brandeis Center filed a complaint with the Department of Education on Ritch’s behalf. (United With Israel, July 26, 2022)
RUSSIAN GAS FLOWING THROUGH NORD STREAM I PIPELINE AGAIN (Moscow)—Russian pipeline gas started flowing to Germany and Western Europe after a 10-day “maintenance” break, which EU countries feared might be permanent.  (It had already been reduced to only 40% of its capacity, with Moscow blaming Canada for holding up maintenance of pumping equipment b because of sanctions.) (The Washington Times, July 25, 2022)
RUSSIA ATTACKS ODESSA PORT A DAY AFTER SIGNING GRAIN DEAL, UKRAINE SAYS (Kyiv) — Russian missiles hit the Black Sea port of Odessa imperiling a deal Moscow and Kyiv reached a day earlier to allow shipment of millions of tons of trapped grain and ease a global food crisis. The strike threatens an agreement that diplomats had hailed less than 24 hours earlier as a breakthrough after months of negotiations. Friday’s deal, brokered by the United Nations and Turkey, would help lift a Black Sea blockade that exacerbated global hunger, especially in Africa and the Middle East. (Washington Post, July 23, 2022)
REPORT OF A DRONE SENT TO RUSSIA POINTS TO HOLES IN OTTAWA’S EXPORT BAN (Ottawa) — U.S.- made containers with drones, or drone components, were intercepted by Italian authorities at the southern port of Gioia Tauro. They were officially bound for Qatar but investigators suspect their final destination would have been Russia, which is desperate to get its hands on superior American drone guidance and control systems for its war in Ukraine. The containers reportedly came from Canada.  (National Post, July 21, 2022)
CANADA TURBINE CAPITULATION COULD SPELL SLOWING OF WESTERN SUPPORT FOR UKRAINE: HILLIER (Ottawa) — Canada’s decision to sidestep its own sanctions and return a Russian natural gas turbine could spark the beginning of the end of the west’s united front against the Putin regime, said Canada’s former chief of defence staff retired Canadian Forces General Rick Hillier. “Russia is going to see this as a sign of encouragement, that there will be decisions made that will benefit them as we go along the road.” (National Post, July 19, 2022)


Ex-Israeli Ambassador To US: Biden Policy Driving Israel to Act Alone to Stop Nuclear-Armed Iran Just the News, July 19, 2022  Former Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer on Monday said the Biden administration’s policies toward Iran increase the likelihood that Israel will need to act alone to stop Tehran’s nuclear program.

WATCH:  Biden’s Hostile Visit to the Middle East: Caroline, July 15, 2022 In his July 9 Washington Post op-ed, which served as a curtain raiser for his trip to Israel and Saudi Arabia, US President Joe Biden laid positions that were contemptuous of both countries and their security concerns.

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