Archive | April 2018

Palestinian Nazi Flags And Hamas Talking Points



For several weeks now, Hamas, the U.S.-designated terror group that rules the Gaza Strip, has been sending terrorists–interspersed with unarmed civilians serving as human shields–to try and infiltrate the Israel-Gaza border in a propaganda push that they call the “March of Return.”
Hamas has been aided by a frequently uncritical press that, more often than not, serves the terrorist organization’s objectives, often by omitting crucial details.
No nation on earth would allow a terrorist group committed to its destruction to mass on its borders and violate its sovereignty. But no other country is held to the double standard that the Jewish state is. And no other nation is the victim of such pernicious–and unmistakable–media bias.
Take, for example, the swastika.
During the so-called “Great Return March,” Palestinians at the border have displayed flags embroidered with the Nazi symbol. Images, including video, of these flags have been published by The Times of Israel and were highlighted by the Israeli Defense Forces spokesperson in an April 6 tweet captioned: “No words needed.”
And indeed, major U.S. and international news outlets offered precisely that: no words.
The presence of that flag during the violent demonstrations went unmentioned in the dozens of reports filed by major U.S. news outlets, including The Washington Post, The New York Times, USA Today and others. Dozens of reporters, photographers and film crews have been present at the border, providing coverage.
The Washington Post alone has published no fewer than seven reports and one editorial on the “march.” Yet not one noted the Nazi flag, which offered a good indication of what many of those massed at Israel’s border want: the genocide of Jews, which Hamas’s Mein Kampf-quoting charter calls for.
Other seemingly hard-to-miss indicators have appeared. On April 20 (Hitler’s birthday), “Palestinians at the Gaza border flew a kite marked with a swastika and carrying a petrol bomb into Israel,” The Times of Israel reported. Once again, the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit distributed pictures and video of the kite. And yet again, major U.S. news outlets failed to report it.
Similarly, on March 30, Hamas-led crowds chanted “Remember Khaybar, O Jews. Muhammad’s army will return.” As Ofir Gendelman, the Arab media spokesperson for the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office, noted the next day: “This is an Islamist Jihadist genocidal call to annihilate the entire Jewish people.”
The Western press reported neither Gendelman’s comments nor the violent incitement. Ditto for Hamas leader Yehya Sinwar’s calls before the march to “eat the livers” of Israelis.
In fact, many in the press have whitewashed the violent nature of the demonstration. Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and other terrorist groups orchestrated the march, and their leaders have been clear on their ultimate objective: destroying the Jewish nation of Israel. And they’re counting on a compliant and gullible media.
Although many reporters have uncritically repeated Hamas’s false claim that the “Great Return March” is nonviolent, photographic and video evidence has shown several protesters carrying firearms, explosives, Molotov cocktails and other weapons. Indeed, more than half of the Palestinians who have been killed by the IDF have been linked to terrorist groups.
To camouflage their violent actions and score propaganda points against Israel, Hamas and its allies have been using Gazans as human shields, as well as burning tyres and using mirrors in an attempt to thwart the accuracy of IDF snipers seeking to target terrorists hiding among unarmed Palestinian civilians.
The Times of Israel, Haaretz and other newspapers have published pictures of Hamas using children as human shields, yet these images–and the double war crime they illustrate–go unmentioned by major U.S. press organizations.
Clear evidence of Palestinian violence exists, but many news outlets either ignore it or present it as merely an “Israeli claim.” By contrast, some in the media have had no problem regurgitating Hamas statements. For example, Brian Stelter, who hosts a CNN show called “Reliable Sources,” treated the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry as credible, repeating casualty figures supplied by that terrorist-controlled entity.
In an anti-Israel screed masquerading as a “World Views” analysis, The Washington Post’s Ishaan Tharoor presented dead Palestinian terrorists as nonviolent civilians indiscriminately slaughtered by the IDF–long after they were publicly identified as belonging to terror groups.
But many in the media already have their talking points.
As Bassam Tawil noted in an April 18 Gatestone Institute report, Hamas’s “press office” has issued guidelines for how journalists should be covering the demonstrations. According to Tawil, “the first order that Hamas requires the journalists to obey is to refrain from focusing on the actions of individuals participating in the demonstrations.”
The directives, issued by a group with a history of kidnapping and intimidating journalists, require that the march be presented as a “peaceful and nonviolent civilian uprising.” The participation of terrorists must go unmentioned.

Palestinian journalists–many of whom serve as producers, translators and “fixers” for international news organizations–are instructed to highlight “the various personal and social aspects” of those killed at the border.

The goal is to single out Israel for international opprobrium while securing greater aid relief for the Gaza Strip, despite the fact that Hamas has a long and documented history of pocketing aid money or using it to build “terror tunnels” to attack the Jewish state.
While many in the media have fixated on the “economic misery” of everyday Palestinians as a chief factor in the demonstrations, few have noted that a violent anti-Semitic terrorist group is clearly ill-suited to governing.
To do so would require discussing Palestinian Nazi flags, kite bombs and human shields. And that would mean departing from the Hamas-approved scripts.


Lies Of The “Occupation”



A Pennsylvania high school teacher, who says he was deprived as a teenager, is now taking it out on his students–by lying to them about Israel.
Sam Schindler, co-founder and history teacher at the Stone Independent School, a private school in Lancaster, Pa., explains in The Forward this week how the “truth” about Israel was hidden from him.
His teachers only taught him about the positive side Israel, he complains. “What was kept from me then were images of the occupation, of pulverized houses, of bloody civilians and of terrified children. … The occupation or lives of Palestinians never appeared.”
So now, Schindler is getting his revenge. He’s been teaching his students at Stone Independent all about “the occupation and oppression.”
And–big surprise–at the end of last semester’s course, Schindler is proud to laud their findings. He notes that “the class collectively reached a universal conclusion about Israel and Palestine: The oppression of Palestinians is not sustainable, nor is it justifiable.”
Dear Stone students, I’m sorry to tell you that Mr. Schindler has been lying to you. Israel’s occupation of the Palestinians ended 23 years ago.
Here’s what Mr. Schindler didn’t tell you. When Yitzhak Rabin was elected prime minister of Israel in 1992, he faced a dilemma. On the one hand, he recognized that allowing the creation of a Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria (the “West Bank”), and in the Gaza Strip, would pose a grave threat to Israel’s existence. Israel would be just nine miles wide in its middle, living next to a state run by terrorists and fascist dictators.
But on the other hand, Rabin didn’t want Israel to continue ruling over the Palestinian Arabs who reside in those territories. So he and his aides devised the Oslo Accords, which ended Israel’s occupation of the Palestinians and gave them something close to statehood, but without endangering Israel.
In 1995, Prime Minister Rabin withdrew Israel’s forces from the cities in Judea-Samaria where 98 percent of the Palestinians reside. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon later withdrew from all of Gaza. The Israeli occupation of the Palestinians came to an end.
The only “occupation” of the Palestinians currently in force is the 23-year occupation by the Palestinian Authority, led by Mahmoud Abbas, and the occupation of Gaza by Hamas, which is now entering its 11th year.
If any of you ever has the opportunity to visit the “occupied” Palestinians, you’ll be surprised to discover that the Israeli “occupiers” whom Mr. Schindler taught you about are nowhere to be found. There’s no Israeli military governor. The Israeli military administration that once ruled the Palestinian-inhabited areas was dismantled long ago.
The Palestinians’ schools are run by Palestinian principals and teachers. The courts have Palestinian judges. The streets are policed by the Palestinian police and security forces.
When elections are held, the candidates and the voters are all Palestinians. Pretty much the only thing that the P.A. can’t do is import tanks, planes, Iranian “volunteers” or North Korean missiles.
The only time Israeli troops enter Palestinian-inhabited areas is when they are chasing down a terrorist. Going into some Palestinian town for an hour or two to catch a bomb-thrower or a sniper hardly constitutes an “occupation” of the Palestinians.
Yes, Israel has checkpoints set up along its border with the P.A., and it’s a shame if that inconveniences some Palestinian travelers. Just like it’s a shame that every one of us is inconvenienced every time we have to go through a security checkpoint at an American airport. But checkpoints are set up in Israel and in U.S. airports for the same good reason: to keep terrorists from blowing us up. That’s not an “occupation.” That’s called self-defense.

The current situation in the territories is not a perfect solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict. But we live in an imperfect world. The current arrangements in the territories allow nearly all of the Palestinians to live under their own government.

They live in an entity that is close to statehood in every respect except for the few aspects that would most endanger Israel’s existence.
Sam Schindler’s notions about Israel and the Palestinians seem to have been frozen in his adolescence. He’s so angry about having been “deprived” by his own teachers that he hasn’t noticed how much the Middle East has changed in the meantime.
It’s a whole new world for Israel and the Palestinians, Mr. Schindler. It’s time you started telling your students the truth about it.


Let Turkish Scholars Speak: See What Islamism Is About



The word ulama in its Arabic context denotes scholars of almost all disciplines. In the context of Sunni Islam, however, ulama are regarded as “the guardians, transmitters and interpreters of religious knowledge.”
With the rise of Islamism as the dominant, state-sponsored ideology, the Turkish ulama have gained prominence: talk shows, books, newspaper columns, sermons and fatwas come in abundance.
Devout Turks take them seriously. Secular Turks often mock them. Yet the Turkish ulama provide a rich context for those who want to understand Islamic piety as interpreted by religious scholars.
Now, according to the Global Gender Gap Report published by the World Economic Forum, Turkey ranks 130th among 144 countries measured. This embarrassing score does not go without good reason.
Ironically, women’s rights marchers in Ankara were met with tear gas and arrests as they gathered for a protest ahead of International Women’s Day.
After the marchers ignored calls to disperse, Turkish riot police fired tear gas and detained about 15 women. That was how Turkish women “celebrated” Women’s Day.
Child abuse is also increasingly visible in Muslim Turkey. According to the Turkish Statistical Institute, the number of child sexual abuse cases– just those actually reported to law enforcement — rose from over 11,000 in 2014 to nearly 17,000 in 2016. Experts say of course that many more cases are not reported.
Against that backdrop, Turkish Islamic scholars remain largely mute but preach on matters that do not quite look sane to secular observers.
One such celebrity scholar is Nureddin Yıldız, author of 35 books on Islamic practices. Yıldız is the darling of Islamist media and has literally millions of followers.
In his student years, he was a member of the National Turkish Students’ Union, the hardline Islamist student group which also had among its members Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
In a 2012 sermon on television Yıldız said:
“Jews are the greatest enemies of Muslims. Some say some of the Jews can be innocent. I cannot believe that. I believe in the Quran. It is not possible to know the devil without knowing the Jew. Jews are traitors. They kill children.”
Racism aside, the fatwas [opinions] of Turkey’s ulama are often jaw-dropping. In a 2016 fatwa, the Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet), Turkey’s highest religious authority, ruled that it was not forbidden (haram) in Islam if a father felt lust for his own daughter “on condition that the daughter is older than nine”.
Enter Yıldız, again: In 2016 the prominent theologian ruled that girls who are older than five should not be present in front of male visitors at their homes.
In 2017 Yıldız said that it was permissible in Islam to marry a six-year-old girl, sparking a public controversy. Journalist Mustafa Hoş called Yıldız “pedophilic,” and Yıldız sued Hoş for insulting him.
At the second hearing of the case at an Istanbul court, Yıldız’s lawyer called journalists “enemies of Islam.” In this pervert’s thinking, one has to be an enemy of Islam if he thinks that marrying a six-year-old girl would be pedophilic.
More recently Yıldız advised fellow Muslims that a man and a woman should not share the same elevator alone; otherwise, “they might sin.” “If a man takes the elevator alone the woman should wait,” he ruled.
Yıldız’s sermon on “what would the ummah [community] lose if women work” is a must-read piece to understand the typical Islamist thinking on gender equality, family and tribal ambitions to grow still more numerous:
“Each working woman means a [sexually] unsatisfied man. Her husband will then [sexually] abuse other women, paving the way to prostitution. If women work, they will give no or fewer births. It will be murderous if the population of ummah declines. If women work, chastity and moral values will fade away.”

According to Turkish celebrity Islamist scholar Nureddin Yıldız, Allah allows men to beat their wives not to torture them or hurt them but only to relax.

A few years ago Yıldız made headlines when he described how good Muslim men should beat their wives. The Islamic jurisprudence, he said, allows men to beat their wives. But, he cautioned, women should not be punched on the face, on the chest or on the belly.
When beating their wives men should not use sticks longer than a ruler. Allah, Yıldız said, allows men to beat their wives not to torture them or hurt them but only to relax.
These days Yıldız is on the headlines again, with his “elevator” and other fatwas. Some Turks shrug him off, saying he is just another devout clown. Perhaps he is.
But his teachings, embraced by millions, show exactly why Turkey, not yet a shariah state, is at the bottom of international rankings on gender equality.


Israel At 70: A Prophecy Fulfilled



In 1867, a young man named Samuel Langhorne Clemens set sail from New York, bound for Europe, Africa, and the Middle East.
Clemens is better known by his pen name — Mark Twain (although in 1867, he was still an obscure journalist who had somehow convinced a California newspaper to fund this spectacular trip abroad, in exchange for regular updates from different stops on his journey).
Twain’s two most famous books, about Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, were still many years away — and much rested on the success of his travelogue. As it turned out, the five-month cruise was a gamechanger, and the resulting book, The Innocents Abroad (1869), sold 70,000 copies in its first year, and was Twain’s best-selling book during his lifetime.
Twain carefully constructed his reports to reflect the reactions of an average layperson visiting exotic lands far away from home, and specifically a person who would not allow preconceptions and mythology to overwhelm the reality of what he saw. The result was refreshing, and highly unusual for the 19th century.
Lake Como in Italy was nice, Twain said, but Lake Tahoe back home in the United States, was nicer. Mount Vesuvius was unimpressive when compared to the Kilauea volcano in Hawaii.
Although Twain was enthralled by the grandeur of Milan, Venice, Florence, and Rome, he was disgusted by the vast economic gap between rich and poor in Italy, particularly as it was evident that all available resources had been invested in architecture and edifices, instead of the impoverished population.
The most important leg of the journey for Twain and his fellow passengers was their visit to the Holy Land, then known as Palestine — at the time a minor outpost within the Syrian province of the Ottoman Empire. Most of the tourists on Twain’s trip were devout Christians on their first pilgrimage to the land of the Bible.
Twain, who was brought up Presbyterian, was undoubtedly swept up by the excitement and anticipation of reaching the Promised Land, spurred on by his distaste for almost everywhere else he had visited along the way.
But just about every myth and expectation was dashed by the reality that Twain confronted when he arrived. “The word Palestine always brought to my mind a vague suggestion of a country as large as the United States,” he began, “I do not know why, but such was the case. I suppose it was because I could not conceive of a small country having so large a history.”
Unlike the grandiose palaces and churches that Twain had encountered in Europe, along with the teeming cities and towns of Turkey and Syria, the land of the Bible was not just a jarring contrast — it was inconceivable in light of the rich history with which it was associated.
Western civilization owed itself to countless centuries of events that had occurred in this exact geographic location, and yet it was a veritable wasteland, whose inhabitants — of all faiths and cultures — were primitive and unsophisticated.
“Palestine sits in sackcloth and ashes,” he wrote. “Over it broods the spell of a curse that has withered its fields and fettered its energies.”
Twain described in vivid, unfiltered detail, the squalor and desolation that he witnessed in every place he visited across the country, and his description of Jerusalem, once the crown of Judea, is particularly disturbing: “Renowned Jerusalem itself, the stateliest name in history, has lost all its ancient grandeur, and has become a pauper village; the riches of Solomon are no longer there to compel the admiration of visiting Oriental queens; the wonderful temple which was the pride and the glory of Israel, is gone.”
The state of Jerusalem’s inhabitants only underscored just how much this once glorious city had sunk into decline. “It seems to me that all the races and colors and tongues of the earth must be represented among the fourteen thousand souls that dwell in Jerusalem. Rags, wretchedness, poverty and dirt … abound.”

Twain was particularly struck by how barren the country was, and how few people there were. As he traveled through the Jezreel Valley, he noted that “there is not a solitary village throughout its whole extent — not for thirty miles in either direction … [and] one may ride ten miles hereabouts and not see ten human beings.”

With hindsight, this was hardly surprising. The population of Palestine in the 1860s was 350,000; compare that to today’s 8.5 million.
Twain’s conclusion was that the Land of Israel was a bitter disappointment. It is “desolate and unlovely,” he wrote, although “why should it be otherwise? Can the curse of the Deity beautify a land? Palestine is no more of this work-day world. It is sacred only to poetry and tradition; it is dream-land.”
Twain’s final analysis was that the Holy Land was a fantasy for religious dreamers looking for ghosts in a cemetery that was trapped in eternal damnation. But how wrong he was.
Approximately 2,600 years ago, the prophet Ezekiel prophesized (Ez. 36:8): “But you, mountains of Israel, will produce branches and fruit for my people Israel, for they will soon come home.” According to the Talmud (Sanhedrin 98a) “there is no greater sign of the redemption than the fulfillment of this verse.”
The Holocaust martyr, Rabbi Yissachar Shlomo Teichtal, in his seminal work Eim Habanim Semeicha, wrote that the desolation of the Land of Israel, as witnessed by Twain, is an essential component of that prophecy, a precursor to the flourishing renewal of the land in Messianic times.
Seventy years after the creation of the State of Israel, we have all personally observed the fulfillment of that prophecy. And as we contrast the highly-developed, prosperous country with the dreadful place described by Mark Twain, and even with the struggling Israel that marked most of its formative years, let us all be acutely aware that the fulfillment of Ezekiel’s prophecy was highlighted by the Talmud as the greatest sign of imminent Messianic redemption.


Israel stands with Hungary’s nationalist government

by Caroline Glick
Notably, the first foreign leader who called Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban to congratulate him for his decisive victory in Hungary’s parliamentary elections Sunday was Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Netanyahu called Orban and invited him to visit Israel. Netanyahu thanked Orban for “Hungary’s support for Israel in international forums.”

Orban’s Fidesz party won a landslide victory in the parliamentary elections, giving Orban a third consecutive term as Hungary’s prime minister and providing him with the two-thirds parliamentary majority to amend Hungary’s constitution.

His campaign rested on his pledge to block foreign-funded non-governmental organizations (NGOs) from undermining Hungarian sovereignty, including its ability to enforce its restrictions on immigration.


The main bogeyman in his campaign was U.S.-based billionaire and former Hungarian George Soros. Soros has underwritten pro-open borders, pro-immigration NGOs in Hungary, which Orban accused of working to subvert the Hungarian government’s ability to prevent unwanted immigrants from entering the country.

Since 2015, when German Chancellor Angela Merkel permitted hundreds of thousands of predominantly Muslim migrants to enter Europe from the Middle East, Orban has been one of the most outspoken opponents of her open borders policies, which he claims threaten Hungary’s national identity and its economy.

Last summer, Orban’s party submitted a bill that would levy a 25 percent tax on foreign donations to Hungarian-registered NGOs. The bill also required NGOs to reveal their funding sources and register as foreign agents if they received significant funding from foreign sources. The United Nations, the European Union, the Obama administration, and the liberal media in Europe and America all condemned the bill. Orban has also been condemned and censured by the EU for refusing to accept migrants from the Middle East in 2015 and 2016. He built a wall along Hungary’s southern border with Serbia to prevent the migrants from entering Hungary. He later built a border wall along Hungary’s border with Croatia for the same purpose.

In February, members of Orban’s party submitted an even tougher anti-NGO bill that includes provisions for barring foreigners who support illegal migration from entering the country, and compelling NGOs to receive licenses to operate from Hungary’s security services. With Fidesz’a two-thirds parliamentary majority, Orban is empowered to pass the bill into law.

Soros’s defenders argue that some of the Hungarian attacks against the pro-unfettered migration philanthropist, who is Jewish, have antisemitic undertones. A campaign backed by Orban included billboards with the statement, “Let’s not allow Soros to have the last laugh,” over a picture of Soros. Jewish groups claimed that the message inspires anti-Semitism.

According to Reuters, many anti-Soros posters were defaced with explicitly antisemitic graffiti along the lines of “stinking Jew.”

Last summer, Israel’s ambassador to Hungary issued a statement denouncing the anti-Soros campaign, claiming it “evokes sad memories but also sows hatred and fear,” in an apparent reference to the mass murder of most of Hungary’s 800,000 Jews during the Holocaust.

It is true that the anti-Soros campaign has included some anti-Jewish rhetoric. It is also true that Soros has underwritten a pro-immigration campaign that the vast majority of Hungarians oppose. They oppose it not because they hate Jews, but because they view unfettered immigration as devastating to their national interests — including their national identity, sovereignty, economy and national security.

Moreover, Soros has run similar campaigns against Israel by massively funding anti-Israel NGOs in Israel and throughout the Western world. According to NGO Monitor, an Israeli organization dedicated to researching the role NGOs play in delegitimizing Israel, through his Open Society Institute, Soros spends tens of millions of dollars annually underwriting anti-Israel NGOs.

J Street, the Jewish anti-Israel lobby formed in the U.S. in 2008, is a beneficiary of Soros’s philanthropy. The group was envisioned by Soros in a 2007 article he published in the New York Review of Books.

Another one of Soros’s beneficiaries is the viciously anti-Israel Human Rights Watch (HRW). HRW spearheaded the campaign in Hungary, alleging that the Orban-supported campaign against Soros was antisemitic. As NGO Monitor notes, Soros bailed out HRW after major donors abandoned the group amid allegations of profound anti-Israel bias and animus.

Netanyahu has accused Soros of funding the anti-Israel NGOs in Israel, the U.S., and Europe that have been running a massive campaign to prevent Israel from deporting illegal migrants from Africa.

Due to the central role that Soros plays in the political war being waged against Israel by the international left in Israel and throughout the West, Israel’s Foreign Ministry released a statement supporting the Orban-supported anti-Soros campaign in Hungary shortly after Israel’s ambassador in Hungary condemned the anti-Soros campaign.

In a “clarification” of the ambassador’s statement, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon stated, “In no way was the statement [by the ambassador] meant to delegitimize criticism of George Soros, who continuously undermines Israel’s democratically elected governments.”

Nahshon added that Soros funds organizations “that defame the Jewish state and seek to deny it the right to defend itself.”

A week after the statement and clarification were issued, Netanyahu visited Orban in Budapest. Orban vociferously condemned antisemitism and expressed profound regret for Hungary’s collaboration with the Nazis in annihilating Hungarian Jewry.

Orban said, “It is the duty of every Hungarian government to defend its citizens whatever their heritage. During World War Two Hungary did not honor this moral and political obligation. That was a crime, because we chose collaboration with the Nazis over the defense of the Jewish community. That can never happen again. The Hungarian government will defend all its citizens in the future.”

For his part, Netanyahu thanked Orban for his “important words” and praised him for his government’s opposition to what is commonly referred to as “the new antisemitism,” hatred of Israel.

Netanyahu said, “There is a new antisemitism expressed in anti-Zionism. That is delegitimizing the one and only Jewish state. In many ways, Hungary is at the forefront of the states that are opposed to this anti-Jewish policy and I welcome it and express the appreciation of my government.”

On Thursday Israel will mark Yom Hashoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day, and mourn the genocide of a third of the Jewish people during the Holocaust. It is notable that as the day approaches, Netanyahu made a point of being the first foreign leader to congratulate Orban.

After the Holocaust, world Jewry coined the phrase “Never Again” to express its commitment to preventing all future attempts to destroy the Jewish people. That phrase, however, is often limited to combatting Nazi-type anti-Semitism.

Although Jew-hatred on the far right remains a significant threat, in Israel and in Europe many of the threats and attacks against Israel are carried out by Muslims. Leftist antisemitism is more prevalent in many states in Western Europe than right-wing antisemitism. And Israel’s strongest supporters in Europe, almost without fail, make their home on the political right.

In standing with Orban, Netanyahu demonstrated that for Israel, “Never Again” means standing against all forms of antisemitism with equal force.

And in standing with Orban, Netanyahu made clear that Israel bases its alliances on the actions of its allies. It supports those who support the Jewish state, and it opposes those who oppose it, regardless of ideological and partisan identities.


Senior Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Zahar: If Israel attacks Gaza, we’ll attack the settlements inside Israel.
Senior Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Zahar on Sunday warned the IDF against operating in Gaza in response to the “March of the Return”, in which Gazans are marching en masse toward the border with Israel.
In an interview with the Hamas-affiliated newspaper Felesteen, Zahar said that “Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman wants to send a message of intimidation, but he knows that we are not afraid.”
Asked about the possibility of an Israeli attack in Gaza, Zahar replied, “The message is clear, an eye for an eye. If it attacks inside Gaza, we will attack the settlements that are deep inside Israel.”
“The Palestinian people are the guide today, because the Palestinian people are stronger than any organization and the roots of the people are stronger than the 1967 borders and stronger than the 1948 borders,” Zahar continued.
“Among the Palestinian, Arab and Israeli leadership there are those who believe that the (Palestinian) people have forgotten their land. The Palestinian people today emphasize that they have not forgotten a single inch of Palestine and will not give up any holy place in it, and we will not stop the resistance until we realize this goal,” he threatened.
Tensions along the Israel-Gaza border have worsened in recent weeks, following the beginning of six weeks of violent demonstrations and attempted infiltrations into Israel along the Gaza security fence.
On March 30, rioters kicked off the “March of the Return” demonstrations, which drew tens of thousands in clashes with IDF forces along the border.
According to Gaza health officials, 29 rioters have been killed during the clashes with the IDF, with close to 3,000 more wounded.
The IDF has reported that at least 12 of the rioters killed in the disturbances are terrorists with known ties to the Hamas organization, while others approached the security fence and attempted to cross into Israel, despite warnings by the IDF prior to the riots.
On Sunday, several terrorists from Gaza infiltrated Israel through the security fence near northern Gaza, resulting in the IDF launching an artillery barrage on terrorist positions in the region.

Israel Today Staff
Israel’s military forces have been put on high alert after Iran threatened to retaliate over the bombing early Monday of an air base in central Syria.
The T-4 Air Base had reportedly been a headquarters for Iranian drones being used in support of the Syrian regime. Israel viewed that and all other Iranian military forces in Syria as an unacceptable threat to the security fo the Jewish state.
While Israel maintained its policy of ambiguity regarding the T-4 base bombing, Russia, Syria, Iran and the United States all said that Israeli aircraft had been responsible.
“The crimes will not remain unanswered,” insisted Ali Akbar Velayati, a top adviser to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
While still not explicitly admitting to the T-4 base strike, Israel Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said the Jewish state would not back down in confronting creeping Iranian hegemony.
“Israel will not allow Iranian entrenchment in Syria. Whatever the cost,” Liberman told reporters. “Accepting Iranian entrenchment in Syria would be to accept Iranians putting a chokehold on us. We cannot allow that.”

Palestinians Defy US Taylor Force Act With $355 Million For ‘Pay-for-Slay’



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The Palestinian Authority’s budget for 2018 will include a $355 million financial reward for convicted terrorists and their families, in open defiance of recently-passed US legislation that conditions future American aid to the Palestinians on a verifiable end to a policy dubbed by critics as “pay-for-slay.”
Nearly 8 percent of the PA’s $5 billion budget will be spent on the payments. In 2017, these funds were distributed across 21,500 so-called “martyrs families” using a sliding scale that provides the greatest compensation for the most severe acts of terror.


Many beneficiaries receive upwards of $2,000 per month in a territory where the average monthly salary is less than $600. According to World Bank calculations, the average Palestinian family in the West Bank faces monthly expenditures of $1,000.
An examination of the PA’s 2018 budget conducted by Palestinian Media Watch — an Israeli research and advocacy organization — noted on Tuesday that almost half of the PA’s anticipated foreign aid budget of $775 million is being spent on the terror payments.
“In open defiance of the US, other donor countries, and Israel, the PA’s new budget shows it is continuing to reward terror,” the report argued.
The report highlighted that “for the first time since 2014, the PA has stopped attempting to hide that it is the PA that pays salaries to all the terrorist prisoners.”
In 2014, the report said, “the PA closed its Ministry of Prisoners’ Affairs and lied to the international community, saying a new PLO Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs was paying the salaries from non-PA sources.” The fact that the PA has directly resumed these payments means “that the PA, by Israeli criteria, is a terrorist organization,” the report observed.

Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO) — who introduced the Taylor Force Act, which targets the PA’s policy, in the US House of Representatives — declared in response to the PA’s budget, “It seems like the Palestinian Authority did not receive the message we tried to send by passing this law, so now we have to ensure that the US will slash its funding to it.”
The legislation — named in memory of a former US army officer who was stabbed to death by a Palestinian terrorist in Tel Aviv in March 2016 — was passed by the Senate as part of its omnibus appropriations bill last week and subsequently signed by President Donald Trump..
“The Taylor Force Act was built precisely to put an end to this policy,” Lamborn said.
Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon asserted on Tuesday that the PA’s budget demonstrated that President Mahmoud Abbas had “revealed his true intentions as he directly funds hundreds of millions of dollars to terrorists with blood on their hands.”
“Once again, the Palestinians have responded to American initiatives aimed at reconciliation with support for terror and violence,” Danon said. “We call on the international community, and the United Nations, to join the US in their pledge to put an end to the funding of Palestinian terror.”
The PA has fiercely criticized the new US legislation, condemning what its representative to the UN called “arm-twisting, blackmailing” methods that would “not break the will of the Palestinian people.”
“We look at that act as being a hostile act to withdraw the economic assistance to the Palestinian people,” said Riyad Mansour, the PA’s representative to the UN, following the passage of the bill.

NATO Braces For Putin’s Next Military Move In Eastern Europe

By Nolan Peterson/Daily Signal


KYIV, Ukraine—Since 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s military aggression in Ukraine has rearranged the national defense chessboards of countries across Eastern Europe.

In turn, the NATO military alliance has deployed weapons and troops eastward, to “make clear that an attack on one Ally would be considered an attack on the whole Alliance,” said NATO’s website. And the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump has approved delivery of American anti-tank weapons to Ukraine.

Yet, U.S. and NATO military leaders may have it wrong when it comes to anticipating Russia’s next military move in the region, a U.S. think tank says.

“The Russian military is well-positioned to launch a short-notice conventional war in Ukraine and a hybrid war in the Baltic states, the opposite of what Western leaders seem to expect in each theater,” Catherine Harris and Frederick Kagan wrote in a March report for the Institute for the Study of War.

That assessment challenges U.S. and NATO military orthodoxy about what Russia’s next military offensive might look like.

“U.S. leaders and their European allies are unprepared for the ways in which Putin is poised to wage war in Ukraine and the Baltics,” Harris and Kagan wrote.

Yet, one thing seems certain—the Russian military threat to both the Baltics and Ukraine is not likely to taper off anytime soon. Putin’s rubber-stamp election victory March 18 guarantees at least another six years with the ex-KGB lieutenant colonel at the helm of Russian foreign policy.

“We are painfully aware that if there is a medium-intensity conflict and we are going to be part of it, it is going to be against Russia,” Maj. Ivo Zelinka, deputy commander of the Czech Republic army’s 43rd Airborne Battalion, told The Daily Signal.

“In addition,” Zelinka said, “Russia did learn a few new tricks since the Soviet times, but surely did not forget any.”

Consequently, when it comes to military spending, Eastern Europe will be the fastest-growing region in the world in 2018, according to the annual Jane’s Defence Budgets Report.

“Growth has been particularly spectacular among the three Baltic states,” the report said, adding that by the end of 2018, defense spending among NATO’s Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania will have more than doubled in real terms compared to 2014 levels.

Similarly, since 2014, Ukraine has rebuilt its armed forces into the second-largest standing army in Europe, behind only Russia.

Russia’s defense budget has declined since its 2015 peak. Yet, Moscow appears to have repostured its military forces within its Western Military District, which borders on Ukrainian and NATO territory.

Harris and Kagan wrote for this month’s Institute for the Study of War report:

The ground forces deployments around the periphery of Ukraine give an indication of what preparations for a short-notice mechanized invasion might look like—pairs of regiments co-located under distinct headquarters along separate but converging lines of advance with well-secured rear-areas, all within 50 miles of the border. This disposition looks nothing like the ad hockery that would be required for a mechanized invasion of the Baltic states.

No Easy Task

Russia invaded and seized Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in March 2014. The following April, Moscow launched a proxy war in eastern Ukraine’s Donbas region.

Four years later, about 60,000 Ukrainian troops remain deployed along a 250-mile-long, entrenched front line in the Donbas opposite a force of about 35,000 pro-Russian separatists, foreign mercenaries, and Russian regulars. (Ukraine and NATO say about 3,000 Russian soldiers are operating in Ukraine, mainly in command and control roles.)

Europe’s only ongoing conflict has so far killed about 11,000 Ukrainians and displaced more than 1.7 million people. Stuck in an endless cycle of waxing and waning violence, it’s a static, trench conflict, comprising episodic artillery and rocket barrages as well as small arms gun battles. Despite punitive Western sanctions, Russia still feeds the conflict with weapons, cash, and its own troops.

Ukraine’s national security doctrine officially refers to Russia as the “aggressor nation.” Consequently, Ukraine has rebuilt and repositioned its armed forces specifically to defend against a Russian invasion.

Ukraine’s military has increased in size and capability since 2014.

Since 2014, Ukraine’s military center of gravity has shifted from its Soviet-legacy western bulwarks (meant to repel a NATO invasion) to the eastern border with Russia.

Also, Ukraine has increased its active force structure from 15 to 22 brigades, comprising more than 250,000 active troops, up from about 100,000 in 2014.

The country now fields “an entire new generation of combat-hardened commanders who know Russian weaknesses and how to exploit them,” wrote Phillip Karber, president of The Potomac Foundation, and Wesley Clark, NATO’s former supreme allied commander in Europe and a retired U.S. Army four-star general, in a report for the Potomac Foundation, a Washington think tank.

Ukraine’s military is still hobbled by a lack of arms, equipment shortfalls, and a need to modernize. Moreover, it remains outmatched in terms of troops, materiel, and technology by Russian forces in the region.

However, Ukraine’s army is “ready and trained” and “larger and stronger” than it was four years ago, Clark and Karber wrote, adding that a Russian attack on Ukraine is “not as easy as it looks.”

Détente No More

Relations between Russia and the West are worse than they have ever been in the post-Cold War era, many security experts say. And the Baltics are the tectonic boundary of those rising tensions, where the spectre of war looms most ominously.

“President Putin clearly appears to distrust NATO and harbor resentments toward it,” wrote RAND Corp., a U.S. defense think tank, in a 2016 report detailing the Russian military threat to NATO’s Baltic countries.

“[Putin’s] rhetoric suggests that he sees the Alliance’s presence on Russia’s borders as something approaching a clear and present danger to his nation’s security,” the RAND report added.

That report, titled “Reinforcing Deterrence on NATO’s Eastern Flank,” found, after multiple war games, that invading Russia forces could be at the gates of Estonia’s capital city of Tallinn and Latvia’s capital of Riga within 60 hours.

U.S. Air Force A-10s participate in an exercise in Estonia in 2017.

To reverse Moscow’s advantage, the report advocated a buildup of NATO air and land power in the region, to include seven NATO brigades permanently based in the Baltics, with three heavy armored brigades, supported by airpower, artillery, and other forces.

“A successful defense of the Baltics will call for a degree of air-ground synergy whose intimacy and sophistication recalls the U.S. Army-U.S. Air Force ‘AirLand Battle’ doctrine of the 1980s,” the RAND report stated.

Rattled, in part, by the RAND report’s findings, the alliance announced a plan during the 2016 NATO summit in Warsaw to build up its military forces in the Baltics by rotating four battalion-size, combat-ready battlegroups throughout the region—including 800 U.S. troops stationed in Poland.

NATO officials said the move constitutes the “biggest reinforcement of Alliance collective defense in a generation.”

Those rotating forces are now in place, supported by other temporary deployments of NATO airpower.

NATO also continues to run an air policing mission over the Baltics, which dates back to 2004. The 24/7 operation to defend Baltic airspace was run out of only one base in Lithuania until 2014, when it was expanded to include operations from Estonia’s Ämari Air Base.

Wrong Toolkit?

NATO’s military buildup in the Baltics may not be the right tool for the kind of threat Russian forces pose to the region, some experts say.

Russia has three motorized rifle brigades, one motorized regiment, and three airborne regiments based within close proximity to the Baltic states, according to open source reporting. Those forces are distributed within mainland Russia as well as Russia’s Kaliningrad exclave.

The special operations-heavy makeup of Russian forces within striking range of the Baltics telegraphs a readiness for the type of hybrid warfare assaults Russia conducted in Crimea and eastern Ukraine, the Institute for the Study of War report said.

“Russian military leadership, practice, and ad hoc deployment along the Baltic borders all suggest Putin is much more likely to pursue a hybrid approach in the Baltic over a conventional mechanized invasion,” Harris and Kagan wrote.

In Ukraine, Russia is officially named the “aggressor nation.”

Thus, to launch a conventional invasion of the Baltics, Russian commanders would have to shift mechanized forces from other locations in Russia toward the region, and expose Kaliningrad to a NATO counterattack.

With its constellation of spy satellites and other reconnaissance assets, NATO would notice Russia internally reinforcing its military forces on a scale required to mount a successful land invasion of the Baltics, thereby betraying the element of surprise.

In contrast, with three mechanized divisions along the Ukrainian border, and the concurrent headquarters already established to command those forces, Russia has the pieces in position to launch a land invasion of Ukraine on short order both from the north and from the east.

“Russia has strengthened its military presence on the border with Ukraine as several mechanized divisions are fully prepared for intervention,” Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said in a speech to Ukrainian troops last week.

In 2015, Russia re-established its 1st Guards Tank Army, which comprises about 700 tanks and which the Kremlin claimed could reach Kyiv in 48 hours.

In 2016, the Kremlin shifted its 20th Guards Army—with 400 tanks—from Moscow to the vicinity of Voronezh, which is about 400 kilometers, or 250 miles, closer to the Ukrainian border.

And in 2017, Russia re-established and began forward-deploying its 8th Guards Army—with about 900 tanks—near the Ukrainian border. Elements of the 8th Guards Army are deployed near Ukraine’s Donbas border to support Russian proxy forces within the breakaway region.

“There are three mechanized divisions near the Ukrainian border compared to just one airborne division near the Baltic, which would not be optimal for large-scale mechanized offensives,” Harris and Kagan wrote.

Learn by Example

So far in 2018, Russia’s proxy war in eastern Ukraine has quieted—the average number of cease-fire violations is at its lowest level in more than two years, international monitors say.

Yet, cease-fire violations are not the only measure of Russia’s ongoing aggression against Ukraine. Russian forces are waging a larger hybrid conflict that extends beyond the front lines in the Donbas, comprising weaponized propaganda, cyberwarfare, assassinations, and sabotage.

Russia also has used economic pressure as a weapon, such as cutting off natural gas supplies to Ukraine earlier this month amid a late-season cold snap, sparking an immediate countrywide heating crisis.

Similarly, Russia’s post-2014 brinkmanship against the West spans the gamut—aggressive warplane flybys of NATO aircraft and ships, global cyberattacks and disinformation campaigns, as well as meddling in European and American elections.

Russian relations with the West recently hit a new post-Cold War nadir following the attempted nerve gas murder of a former Russian spy and his daughter on British soil.

“The West would be foolish to over-focus on any one form of possible future war with Russia,” Harris and Kagan wrote in their report for the Institute for the Study of War, adding that the deployment of NATO armor and airpower to build a defensive bulwark against a Russian land invasion of the Baltics may not be an effective deterrent.

A U.S. Air Force F-16 deployed to Poland in summer 2017 as part of an operation to deter Russian aggression in Eastern Europe.

Many Western military analysts say that Russia’s war in Ukraine is a case study in Moscow’s contemporary “hybrid warfare” doctrine. Therefore, along that line of thinking, Western military leaders would be wise to study Russian tactics in Ukraine to anticipate how a hypothetical Russian hybrid assault on a Baltic country would play out.

Echoing that sentiment, last week Poroshenko told reporters, “NATO nations could learn from Ukraine how to resist Russia.”

When he was U.S. president, Barack Obama levied punitive economic sanctions against Moscow for its military aggression in Ukraine. Obama also kick-started the U.S. military’s pivot to Eastern Europe.

Yet, despite years of appeals from Kyiv, Obama never approved sending Ukraine lethal weapons. Reportedly, the Obama White House feared such a move would escalate the conflict and spark a tit-for-tat arms race between Russia and the U.S. over Ukraine.

The Trump administration, however, has taken a tougher stance against Russia in both Ukraine and across Eastern Europe. Notably, it has approved the delivery of American anti-tank weapons to Ukraine and upped the budget for U.S. military operations in Eastern Europe to deter Russia.

The formidable U.S. Javelin anti-tank missiles—set for delivery to Ukraine this year—won’t be enough to tip the balance of power in Ukraine’s favor should Russia invade. Yet, the Javelins will increase the cost in blood and treasure that Russia would suffer in such a war.

More importantly, Trump’s decision to supply Kyiv with lethal weapons underscores both a commitment to Ukraine’s security as well as a commitment to deter Russia in Eastern Europe more broadly.

That’s a message, many believe, that Moscow is sure to consider when plotting its next move.

“Ukraine’s struggle against Russian revanchism is NATO’s,” Clark and Karber wrote. “It’s time the West recognize that.”


Given the current state of the Russian economy I think it might be a good idea for the Western powers to prepare for a Russian charge south into the oil and gas fields of the Middle East. Their obvious ambition to rebuild empire can’t be realised without control of that region.

The hook in its jaw is definitely pulling the bear in that direction!

Bolton’s appointment is a brilliant move

by Caroline Glick


President Donald Trump’s decision to appoint former UN Ambassador John Bolton to serve as his National Security Advisor is arguably the most significant single step he has taken to date toward implementing his America First foreign policy.

The news hit America’s enemies and competitors — from Pyongyang to Teheran to Moscow to Beijing — like a wall of bricks Thursday night.

Early criticisms on the political right of Bolton’s appointment have centered on two points. First, it is argued that Bolton, who has been involved in U.S. foreign policymaking since the Reagan administration, is a creature of the Washington foreign policy swamp.

While it is true that Bolton is from Washington – or Baltimore, to be precise – and although it is true that he held senior foreign policy positions in both Bush administrations, he has always been a thorn in the side of the establishment rather than a member of that establishment.

For the better part of three decades, Bolton has bravely held positions that fly in the face of the establishment’s innate preference for appeasement. He was a vocal critic, for example, of then-President Bill Clinton’s disastrous nuclear diplomacy with North Korea.

The 1994 “Agreed Framework” that Clinton concluded with Pyongyang was touted as a peaceful resolution of the nuclear crisis with North Korea. In exchange for shuttering – but not destroying — its nuclear installations, North Korea received light water reactors from the U.S. and massive economic relief. As Bolton warned it would, North Korea pocketed the concessions and gifts and continued to develop its nuclear weapons. In other words, far from preventing North Korea from developing nuclear weapons, the Agreed Framework preserved the North Korean nuclear program and enabled the regime to develop it effectively with U.S. assistance.

For his warnings, Bolton has been reviled as a “warmonger” and a “superhawk” by the foreign policy elite, which has gone out if its way to undercut him.

President George W. Bush appointed Bolton to serve as UN ambassador in 2005 in a recess appointment. Three moderate Republicans on the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, Lincoln Chafee (RI), Chuck Hagel (ND), and George Voinovich (OH), signaledthat they would oppose Bolton’s confirmation, blocking it.

At the time, rumors surfaced that then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had quietly undercut Bolton’s confirmation in private conversations with senators. Those rumors were denied, and Rice publicly supported Bolton’s confirmation. But in 2016, Rice, along with her mentor, former secretary of state James Baker, and her deputy and successor as National Security Advisor, Stephen Hadley, openly opposed President Trump’s intention to appoint Bolton Deputy Secretary of State. At the same time, all three lobbied Trump to appoint outgoing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

Bolton was a vocal opponent of Rice’s nuclear diplomacy with North Korea, undertaken after Pyongyang conducted its first nuclear test in 2006. He also opposed Rice’s pursuit of diplomatic ties with Iran through negotiations in Iraq. In both cases, as events showed, Bolton’s criticisms were all in place.

Rice’s nuclear diplomacy with North Korea emboldened the regime, and enabled its continued testing of nuclear weapons and development of ballistic missiles.

In Iran’s case, Rice’s negotiations with the Iranians in 2007 and 2008 set the stage for president Barack Obama’s nuclear talks with Tehran, which led to the 2015 nuclear deal. That deal, like the 1994 Agreed Framework with North Korea, preserves, rather than dismantles, Iran’s nuclear program while providing Iran with the financial means to expand its regional power through its terrorist proxies.

On the other hand, Bolton’s actions while in office brought extraordinary benefit to US national security. For instance, as Bush’s undersecretary of state for arms control and international security, in 2003 Bolton conceptualized and launched the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI). The purpose of the PSI was to empower nations to interdict ships suspected of carrying weapons of mass destruction, delivery systems, and related materials from states and non-state actors of proliferation concern. Originally launched with 11 state members, today the PSI has 105 state members. Its members have interdicted multiple ships suspected of transferring illicit weapons systems to other states and to non-state actors.

Like Trump, Bolton is an opponent of international treaties that bind the U.S. in a manner that may be antithetical to its national interests, and prefers bilateral agreements that are tailor-made to defend America’s national interests. Bolton was a firm opponent of the Rome Treaty, which established the International Criminal Court. He worked avidly to vacate America’s signature from the treaty. Due largely to his cogent opposition, the Bush administration decided not to submit the treaty to the Senate for ratification. Bolton concluded 100 bilateral treaties with nations committing them never to present complaints against U.S. military personnel before the tribunal.

Bolton’s nationalist convictions, and his refusal to join the foreign policy elite in its adoration of diplomacy, whatever the substance, over a firm, fact-based pursuit of America’s national interests lies at the heart of the foreign policy establishment’s opposition to him.

Indeed, the level of hostility the foreign policy establishment has directed towards Bolton over the years has been so ferocious, it is a testament to his diplomatic skills, and success, that he has managed to persevere in Washington, in and out of office for forty years.

As to the second charge by conservative critics, that Bolton is a neoconservative interventionist, the fact is that he is neither a neoconservative nor is he a knee jerk interventionist. Rather, Bolton supports the judicious use of American power in the world to advance U.S. national security and economic interests when the use of force is the best way to achieve those interests.

It is true that Bolton supported the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003. But it is also true that he opposed the nation-building strategy that stood at the root of America’s failure to achieve its aims there.

It is also true that like many of the neoconservatives, Bolton is a firm supporter of Israel. However, Bolton is actually far more supportive of Israel than the neoconservatives are. As a nationalist, he supports U.S. allies because he understands that the stronger America’s allies are, the better able they are to defend their interests. Since American allies – particularly Israel – share America’s interests, the more powerful they are, the more secure America’s interests are, and the less the U.S. needs to assert its power abroad. Bolton supported — indeed, urged — Israel to destroy Iran’s nuclear installations during the Obama presidency. Rather than treating Israel as what Rice referred to patronizingly as America’s “special friend,” Bolton views Israel as America’s most powerful ally in the Middle East. He opposes Palestinian statehood and an Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank.

The neoconservative movement asserts that America’s values of liberal democracy are universal, and that as a consequence, when given the opportunity to choose their leaders in open elections, everyone everywhere will choose leaders that are liberal democrats.

This view, for instance, stood at the root of Rice’s demand that the Hamas terrorist group participate in the Palestinian elections in 2006. It was also the root of her decision to pressure then-Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak to permit the Muslim Brotherhood to participate in parliamentary elections in Egypt in 2005.

Since the neoconservatives asserted that all people believe in American values, they assessed that at the end of the day, even Hamas would govern responsibly. Bush famously raised what became known as the “pothole theory” of the moderating power of elected office.

Bush said, “I like the idea of people running for office. There’s a positive effect when you run for office. Maybe some will run for office and say, vote for me, I look forward to blowing up America. I don’t know, I don’t know if that will be their platform or not. But I don’t think so. I think people who generally run for office say, vote for me, I’m looking forward to fixing your potholes, or making sure you got bread on the table.”

Rice heartily concurred.

Bolton, in contrast, rejected the notion that American values are universally applicable, and argued that nation building and humanitarian intervention are both antithetical to American national security interests. In other words, while he agreed with certain policies that neoconservatives also supported, he opposed the basic assumptions of the neoconservative outlook.

Bolton’s opposition to nation-building and humanitarian interventionism was all borne out by events. As the so-called Arab Spring showed — and indeed, as Turkey’s democratic transformation into an Islamic theocracy also demonstrates — American values are not universal values at all. Supporting democratic processes with no concern about the values and culture those processes empower is unwise and irresponsible, and as the rise of Islamist regimes in Gaza, Egypt, Turkey, and beyond make clear, it is also antithetical to American national security interests.

Bolton’s healthy skepticism for international agreements; his support for a foreign policy that prioritizes the advancement of American national interests over multilateral diplomacy; and his belief that Obama’s signature diplomatic achievement, the nuclear deal with Iran, is a disaster, all make him the senior diplomat most aligned with President Trump’s America First agenda in Washington.

The combination of Trump and Bolton no doubt puts fear in the hearts of America’s enemies, and heartens America’s allies. Given the hatred Bolton inspires in the Washington swamp, it took great courage for Trump to appoint him. America and its allies will be the primary beneficiaries of this bold move.