This week’s battlefield is, as ever, in Israel.
In that beleaguered country the Palestinians have determined to spark the most widespread violence in years, with a rash of shootings, stabbings, stonings and attempts to run people over with cars. Palestinians are, thanks to a program of incitement by Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas and his allies, going berserk in public and attempting to murder Israelis on the streets of Jerusalem and elsewhere. More than 30 are dead in the two weeks of attacks, most of them Palestinian attackers shot by Israeli police in the midst of the deed.
And Israeli gun shops have now become centers of commerce as that country’s public arms itself to deal with the threat of being stabbed at a bus stop, blown up by a suicide bomber or rammed by a crazed Arab driver.
It’s not hard to see where this is coming from. The current wave of terror was ushered in by a murder, and the perpetrators were Hamas terrorists. The murder was horrific; an Israeli couple, Eitam and Naama Henkin, were shot in their car as their four sons watched from the back seat. It took place along a road in the West Bank which had recently been opened to Palestinian drivers; that seems shocking to American eyes, that certain people wouldn’t be allowed to drive on a road, but the murder of the Henkins by a pair of villains who were using that road as a field of Jews to be harvested shows why it was closed.
Since then, a daily onslaught has ensued.
Hamas is an Iranian cat’s-paw, and this is Iran’s doing. It’s an attempt at intimidating Israel in retaliation for its opposition to the Iran deal and its involvement in Syria.
And with the full knowledge that the world’s media will soft-pedal the Palestinians’ feeble attempts at genocide.
What’s worse is the Obama administration’s kowtowing to Hamas and Iran and equivocation over our sole ally in the Middle East.
At a daily press briefing on Wednesday, U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby said Israel, which has set up roadblocks in East Jerusalem, where many of the Palestinian attackers resided, has a right and responsibility to protect its citizens.
He added: “Now, we have seen some – I wouldn’t call the checkpoints this – but we’ve certainly seen some reports of what many would consider excessive use of force.
“Obviously, we don’t like to see that, and we want to see restrictions that are elevated in this time of violence to be as temporary as possible if they have to be enacted,” Kirby said, without citing specific incidents.
Asked at a news conference for the foreign media in Jerusalem about those remarks, Netanyahu said:
“What do you think would happen in New York if you saw people rushing into crowds trying to murder people? What do you think they would do? Do you think they would do anything differently than we are doing?”
But on Thursday, Kirby insisted there had been no U.S. fingerpointing at Israel.
“I want to be very clear that we have never accused Israeli security forces of excessive force with respect to these terrorist attacks,” he said.
It’s becoming clear that the Israelis will never have peace until the Arabs are gone from their midst. Or, put a different way, there will be no peace on this side of an all-out war against Hamas. That a World War II-style offensive to make the Arab places within territory Israel claims uninhabitable, and to drive the Arabs out of that territory, is the only way for Israel to end the constant terrorism and provocation. Or alternately, to destroy the Palestinian culture which teaches its children to become murderers – because there is no debate that this is what Palestinian culture does.
Israel is ever prevented from doing this. When these provocations break out into war, Israel is always restrained by the United States amid a shower of condemnation by the European media and the do-gooder NGO’s embedded with, and solicitous of, the Muslim jihadists who hold power in Gaza and the West Bank.
And so the killing goes on, and it will never stop. Israel could stop it, but the world will not allow that. Instead, Israel must suffer at the hands of the barbarians in its midst.
It is disgusting that America is complicit in such moral depredation.
– On a lighter side, it appears the Saints are at least capable of playing spoiler to teams around the NFL. A couple of weeks ago they took down the Dallas Cowboys in a game which proved to Cowboys fans that their dreams of a breakthrough season this year were ill-fated (just like those dreams are every season), and last night they visited ignominy by knocking off undefeated Atlanta 31-21.
The Saints are still a disaster of a team, but not such a disaster, it seems, as to make them devoid of hope. Wins in the next two games – at 3-2 Indianapolis and home against the 3-2 New York Giants, both beset with injuries – could even this team’s record at 4-4 and make a second-half run at a playoff berth possible, if unlikely.
And you cannot count out a team with this going for it. WhoCat, baby.
– I cannot get this song out of my head. It has been a week, and it is driving me mad.
And the video is the worst. Ever.
It is increasingly difficult to see a path forward for Jeb – and more importantly, it’s increasingly difficult for his donors to see a path forward either. This means that Jeb will have to run the campaign of an insurgent rather than a front runner, which is something he’s dispositionally very ill-suited to do. He doesn’t inspire people on the stump, he doesn’t draw huge crowds with his personality, and he isn’t magnetic on television. His appeal (such that it is) is that he appears calm and confident and would be a competent caretaker of the office, which fits neither the mood of the GOP electorate nor the mold for a campaign that could even possibly come charging up from the rear of the pack to take the lead.
Jeb Bush can’t survive another quarter like the one he just had. If he isn’t able to turn this around soon (and it doesn’t look like he can), then his alleged money juggernaut will soon go the way of the Forbes 2000 campaign that came before it.
– CNBC attempted to exploit the Republican presidential debate in order to give its reporters maximum leverage over the candidates – by doing away with opening and closing statements – and boost its nonexistent night-time ratings by dragging it out into a three-hour affair.
It didn’t work, because Donald Trump and Ben Carson told the network they wouldn’t show up for such a farce. Rand Paul also threatened not to show up and Ted Cruz said he wasn’t sure he’d show under those rules.
Then it was Marco Rubio campaign manager Terry Sullivan’s turn. Rubio would be present at the debate — he’d be in Boulder “hell or high water,” regardless of the final decision, but he wanted the campaigns to speak with one voice and agreed with other campaigns on the need for opening and closing statements.
Peter Flaherty, an adviser to Jeb Bush, voiced his position — that the former Florida governor intended to participate in the debate no matter what, but that he’d like there to be opening and closing statements.
Trump and Ben Carson threatened to pull out if the debate went three hours. Without those two, this is a mostly a RINO snoozefest no one is going to watch. In fact, imagine if Trump and Carson followed through on this threat and agreed to go on CNN or Fox opposite this CNBC thing. Which gets better ratings? At the least, the Don and Ben show eats into the officially sanctioned event.
Twitter is filled with Team GOP types mocking Trump for not wanting to do 3 hours. He did fade in the last event so he probably does want to avoid being “low energy” again. But that’s not going to be the story. The story is going to be…Trump fights the liberal media and Trump beats the liberal media (and the GOP establishment).
So much fun!
Something this little episode shows? Trump’s right about something we all know, the GOP is filled with terrible negotiators.
– There is a big foofaraw going on in Baton Rouge because the Metro Council refused to authorize funds for a “misdemeanor jail,” in which police would come to your door and drag you off to prison for not paying a traffic ticket. The district attorney is screaming because he touts the motivational properties of clearing outstanding warrants by use of the stick.
This is one of the few cases in which Denise Marcelle is actually correct. The idea of rounding up Baton Rouge’s citizens and dragging them to jail in order to collect their tribute to the city for minor transgressions of the law is tyrannical, and while one respects that Hillar Moore has a job to do it’s the Metro Council’s proper role to rein in such an excess.
Rather than beating its citizens with sticks to secure compliance, a worthy city-parish government would be exploring ways to clear those warrants without the waste of time that court appearances entail. This is the 21st century, after all; why isn’t there an app for that?