Outrageous FBI bias

I have always felt that the rumor of then-candidate Trump’s “collusion” with Russia during the election campaign is just that, a rumor, without any substance.  Yet, through the FBI and Democratic intervention this has become an ongoing investigation involving millions of man hours of interviews and collecting of papers.  So far there has been no evidence presented whatsoever of any such collusion, that seems so unlikely in any case.

To ensure an unbiased investigation, Robert Mueller was appointed as Special Counsel since he was acceptable to both sides and considered objective.  Mueller appointed an FBI investigator, Peter Strzok, to be in charge of the case.  Subsequently Mueller fired Strzok under mysterious circumstances.  Now the reasons for this have been revealed publicly with the release of thousands of e-mails sent by Strzok to his lawyer.  In these messages Strzok is virulently anti-Trump, calling him an “idiot” and “loathsome human” and many expletives swearing strongly against Trump.  Yet, this person was put in charge of this questionable campaign to investigate Trump.

Further, Strzok was also the FBI agent who advised former Attorney General Comey to drop the investigation of then-candidate Hillary Clinton over her use of a private e-mail server for State Dept. business and was the person who modified Comey’s characterization of her actions in his public statement exonerating her to read “extremely careless” instead of “grossly negligent”  So Strzok has a strong pro-Democratic bias.

But, Dep. AG Rod Rosenstein, who is Mueller’s boss, giving evidence before the House Judiciary Committee investigation of supposed Russian collusion, stated that all FBI agents are of course allowed to have private political views.  But, they must not interfere with their work.  However, the views of Strozok and another agent on the case were considered so extreme by Mueller that he fired them.  Did he not investigate their views prior to appointing them, were their views not well-known?   Members of the Committee gave Mueller himself the benefit of the doubt until further evidence is presented.

This revelation of extreme anti-Trump (and anti-Republican) bias at the highest levels of the FBI has very serious implications.  The direct FBI intervention in the two matters before the Dept. of Justice, the more serious case of Clinton’s server and the less serious case of Trump’s supposed Russian collusion, with opposite results, dropping the former case and investigating the latter, indicate a perversion of justice so severe as to merit criminal prosecutions.

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Claims to Jerusalem

The Jewish claim to Jerusalem really needs no explanation to anyone schooled in a Judeo-Christian heritage.  Jerusalem was the capital of King David’s Kingdom of Israel from around 1,000 bce.  After the destruction of the Kingdom of Israel by the Assyrians in 720 bce, Jerusalem remained the capital of the Kingdom of Judah until it too was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 bce.  Thereafter the Jews, who originate in Judah (or Judea as it was known by the Romans), considered Jerusalem as their capital.  There are over 800 references to Jerusalem in the Bible. Jerusalem was re-established as the capital when the Jews returned from exile led by the prophet Ezra around 458 bce.  Later, Jerusalem was captured by the Romans in 70 ce, and subsequently controlled by the Byzantines, the Arabs, and the Turks, until it was captured by the British in 1917 and was then re-established as the capital of Israel in 1948.

It is not generally known that the Jews constituted a majority in Jerusalem since statistics were collected, starting in 1896 by the British, until the present day (see Figure).

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In regard to Muslim claims on Jerusalem, it should be noted that Jerusalem is not mentioned in the Koran.  The one reference in the Koran that is considered to refer to Jerusalem actually refers to “the northernmost Mosque.” Mohammed is supposed to have taken his night ride there on his steed Burak.  But this is impossible, since Mohammed died in 632 ce and Jerusalem was not captured by Arab forces until 639 ce.  Further, a Mosque was not erected on the Temple Mount until nearly 100 years later.  In fact the Muslim claim to Jerusalem is a later fabrication, made to enhance their claim to the city.  Scholars of Islam themselves have affirmed that Jerusalem has no truly sacred significance to Muslims.

A group of leaders of the 57-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation met in Istanbul this week under the sponsorship of Pres. Erdogan of Turkey.  They affirmed their rejection of Pres. Trump’s declaration of recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.  They rejected the US as a neutral mediator for the Palestinians and proposed to recognize East Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian State. Unfortunately for them, no such state exists.  Further, if it did, it would be a failed state, much like the rest of the Muslim world, including Libya, Syria, Iraq, Somalia and Yemen.  Furthermore, there is competition between the Sunni States, lead by Turkey, and the Shia States, led by Iran, to out-do each other in their hateful statements about Israel and Jews.  But, also, much of the Arab world, including the so-called moderate Sunni States, such as Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt and the Gulf States, have kept a low profile on this subject.

Last inheritance

This story concerns my mother-in-law Millie Silverstein’s last inheritance.   She died last January at the age if 101, and since she lasted so long, money had of course to be found to pay for her stay in the nursing home in Netanya.  The monthly maintenance fee and the cost of the carer (metapelet) was several thousand dollars per month.  This was excluding the cost of food and the room that was paid from an escrow account from the money from selling her apartment.

Millie was always an excellent saver and was very frugal, and she managed to save two UK accounts, one for each daughter. When her own funds in Israel ran out, these funds were used to pay for her expenses.  Luckily each daughter was a co-signator of her a/c, so it was easy to liquidate them and transfer them to Israel.  As her apotropus (legal guardian) in Israel I was well aware that the funds were running low, and when she died there was a bit over NIS 100,000 (ca. $30,000) in her a/c.  I had to inform the bank of her demise and give them a copy of her death certificate and then they immediately froze the a/c.  So I was not able to pay some of her final expenses from it, and I paid them myself.  Also, the bank would not release the money without a court order, so we had to probate her will.

Of course the court took many months and required further documents, and then further months.  Until a few weeks ago we received the court’s decision, her will is valid and they appointed Naomi (her oldest daughter) as the trustee, but since I am Naomi’s apotropus, I can be the trustee in her place.  I went to the branch of the bank in Beer Sheva where we now live and saw the manager, and he said it should be a straightforward case, but he cannot handle it, I will have to return to the branch in Netanya where the account is located.

It took two weeks for the original official letter from the court to be mailed from Netanya to Beersheva. I was informed by the manager of the branch of the bank in Beersheva that all I need is the court letter and the original of my legal appointment as Naomi’s guardian.  But, after travelling to Netanya (2 hrs each way) the Manageress of the branch there read the documents carefully and decided that she could not decide and release the funds and said she will let the bank’s legal department consider the case.  Very frustrating, but stay tuned.

PS. Because life intervenes I have not been as active posting blogs as usual.  I had medical tests and a trip to Netanya (as above).  More soon.

 

 

Reaction to Trump’s Recognition of Jerusalem

Following the announcement by Pres. Trump of US recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, there were the usual dire warnings of violence from the Arab enemies of Israel.  The Palestine Authority declared 3 days of rage.  The Turks threatened to break off diplomatic ties with Israel and Sheikh Nasrullah of Hizbollah declared a third intifada.

But, no-one is particularly taking notice.  Compared to the general level of violence in the Arab world, of Muslim against Muslim, usually Sunni vs. Shia, that is occurring in Syria, Iraq and Yemen, this violent reaction is barely a blip.  Furthermore, the Israeli armed forces and police are ready for these reactions in the West Bank with effective tactics.  Three missiles were shot from Gaza, but two of them fell within Gaza and one exploded on open ground.  The IAF and IDF artillery delivered a strong reaction to these provocations.

Many countries around the world criticized the US recognition, including the UK, France, Germany and the EU, as well as most Muslim countries,and especially Iran.  But, soon afterwards, the Czech Republic announced that it would recognize western Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and other countries that are likely to follow suit are the Philippines, Australia, Kenya, and eventually Canada, and other eastern European countries that have strong ties to Israel, including Poland and Lithuania (which was the first country during WWII to boast that they had murdered all their Jews).

In time, as PM Netanyahu stated, most countries in the world will recognize the reality.  In fact, the Presidents and Prime Ministers of most of the countries that have visited Israel over the past many years, have all been greeted in Jerusalem as the center of the Israeli Government, and none of them have protested.  So really nothing on the ground has changed, Jerusalem was, is and will be the capital of Israel, so let’s learn to accept the reality and get on with life.

US Recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital

Today Pres. Trump announced his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.  This will rectify an anomaly, since Israel was the only country in the world in which the US Embassy is not situated in its self-declared capital city.  Also, as Trump pointed out the US (and most other countries) recognized NO city as Israel’s capital until now, a truly ridiculous situation.

The only previous example that I can think of that resembles this denial of reality was the refusal of the US to recognize the People’s Republic of China, that took from 1949 until 1972, a mere 23 years.   Similarly, since the US Congress passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995, it has taken until 2017, 22 years before the US Government finally recognized the reality of the fact that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.   What is truly extraordinary is that it took so long, and that previous US Governments allowed themselves to be blackmailed into accepting this anomalous situation, under the usual threats of anti-American riots from the Palestinians and their supporters,

However, Trump is not explicitly extending US recognition to Israeli sovereignty over all of Jerusalem, including predominantly Arab East Jerusalem.  He leaves the decision regarding boundaries to the sides themselves in negotiations.  But, excuse me for laughing when people (including the Pope) say this decision will upset “the peace process”.. WHAT peace process?  As Trump enunciated, there has been no progress towards peace in the past 50 years, so it is time to stop repeating the same useless formulas and do something different.

The Arabs of course are threatening an outbreak of violence, as they usually do.  They too refuse to recognize the reality of the situation.  Some commentators have pointed out that by taking this step Trump is signalling to them that this kind of reaction won’t work and that they need to break out of their cocoon of make-believe and lies.  Israel is a democracy, in which all faiths practise their religions as they like (which is not true anywhere in the Muslim world) and it is absolutely not a so-called “apartheid state.”  Anyone who comes and spends even a day here can assure themselves of this.   So let us not be controlled by the propaganda and violent reactions of backward extremists, let us accept reality and do what is right.  This is what Pres. Trump has done.

Palestinian Unity?

The supposed agreement by Hamas to give up control of Gaza to the PA has run into a serious problem.  When Hamas took over the Strip in 2007 and ousted Fatah, they not only murdered hundreds of Fatah activists by throwing them off roofs, but they also replaced the civil servants, ca. 40,000 of them.  Now the 40,000 Hamas civil servants will not give their jobs back to the Fatah appointees.  They are striking and preventing the process of unification from proceeding.  What will Hamas do?  If they try to force their own supporters to give up, they will lose all credibility, but if they don’t resist, the unity agreement will flounder.

Meanwhile the reunification process has been delayed by a week, to see if Egypt can help to mediate the problem.  But, Egypt has its own problems.  After the attack in Sinai last week that took ca. 350 lives, Egypt declared a state of emergency in Sinai and postponed opening the Rafah crossing to Gaza that is had scheduled.  This left many Palestinians stranded on both sides of the border.  Although Israel is usually blamed for all problems in Gaza, it is not usually realized that the only crossing with Egypt at Rafah is usually completely closed to all traffic, people and supplies.  The only source of supplies for Gaza comes form the Israeli crossings, and in fact up to 800 trucks a day are allowed to bring food, medicine and other supplies.

Israel also supplies electricity and water to Gaza, but the PA has recently stopped paying Israel for these.  As a consequence, Gazans have been getting only ca. 3 hrs of electricity a day.  Much of Gaza is in darkness and the people are growing tired of this way of life.  Also, most of the material allowed into Gaza for rebuilding the damage of the last war has been diverted by Hamas to make attack tunnels and other fortifications, instead of repairing homes.  Basically Hamas do not care about the people of Gaza or their fate, as long as they can keep making war on Israel, or at least the pretense of making war.  That is why it is necessary that Gaza go back to being governed by the PA. .

Role Reversal

November 29 is the date of the adoption of Resolution 181, the UN Partition Plan for Palestine in 1947.  Until 1948 and the Six-Day War of 1967, the Jews living in what was called Palestine by the British, were the underdogs. In fact, until 1948 and the establishment of the Jewish State of Israel, the Jews were called “Palestinians,” and the Arabs were called, well “Arabs”.  That is what they were, they had no concept of themselves as a separate entity from the greater Arab world, until in fact 1964 when the Palestine Liberation Organization was founded.  At that point a role reversal took place.

When the British allowed Jewish immigration into Palestine under the conditions of the Mandate granted to them by the League of Nations in 1922, the Arabs were hostile to the British.  Long before the so-called “occupation” by Israel of the “Gaza Strip” and “West Bank” the Arabs were violently attacking Jewish civilians and their settlements.  In 1919, 1922 and in 1929, in the massacre in Hebron when 70 Jews were murdered, the Arabs carried out a systematic insurrection against the Jews.  This came to a head in 1936 when a full-scale Arab revolt took place in Palestine and the British quelled it with military force.

However, in 1939 the British Govt. completely reversed its position and published its so-called White Paper on Palestine.  It bowed to Arab pressure and greatly restricted Jewish immigration to Palestine, just as Hitler was beginning to take actions that would lead to the murder of 6 million Jews trapped in Europe.  Then WWII took place and the irony is that while the Jews supported Britain, the Arabs were uniformly pro-German, and indeed the leader of the Palestinian Arabs, Haj Amin el Husseini, the Mufti of Jerusalem, went to Germany and met with Hitler and planned the extermination of all Palestinian Jews.  In Egypt and Iraq, there were Arab uprisings against the British, in Iraq there was an anti-Jewish pogrom called the Farhud, that murdered ca. 1,000 Jews.

After the War, with the defeat of Germany, the role reversal accelerated.  The Arabs now welcomed the British change of policy, a true double-cross of the Jews, and from 1945 until 1948, when the British quit Palestine and the State of Israel was declared, the Arabs were the supporters of the British colonial power in Palestine.  It was only the incredible defeat by the tiny population of the nascent Jewish State of not only the Palestinian Arab forces, but also the armies of Trans-Jordan (the British Arab Legion), Egypt under Pres. Nasser and Syria, as well as armies from Iraq and Saudi Arabia, that Israel was able to survive.  Up to that point the British and the Arabs were the colonialists and the Jews were the oppressed minority of indigenous people.

How did the situation change so much that now Israel is seen as the “colonial” power and the Palestinian Arabs as the poor oppressed minority?  Only because Israel was successful, and managed to stave off invasions of Arab armies in 1956, 1967, 1973 and 1982, as well as Palestinian terrorist waves.  [As an example of its obscene organizational bias, the UN General Assembly this week voted absurdly 157 to 6 to deny any Israeli ties to Jerusalem, when there are ca. 500,000 Israelis living in Jerusalem, apart from the well-known ancient and modern historical connections.]  The liberals who had supported Israel until its success, switched sides too and supported the “poor, suffering” Palestinian Arabs.  This only shows that liberals have a short historical memory, that they are fickle and that success has its own disadvantages.  Nevertheless, given the choices, all Jews would prefer that Israel be successful and victorious, even if that results in being maligned and vilified by the liberal-left and their Muslim extremist allies.