ALL US soldiers fighting for our freedom around the world, Pray for those in our government to repent of their wicked corrupt ways.
Pray for SF – Severe illness with post op heart surgery complications - improving
Pray for RBH – cancer recurrence
Pray for JA – Complex Cardiac problem facing surgery
Pray for JEP – medical problem
Pray for CM – Passed out in car and had accident – health problems
Pray for DN – life situation problems
Pray for CB – Australian with severe mental destress
Pray for MD – Has chronic progressive lung problem.
Pray for MS – family problems – doing better
Pray for the wife of DF who passed away Saturday
Pray that The Holy One will lead you in Your preparations for handling the world problems. – Have YOU made any preparations?
Please NOTE: We have a new year coming and I have not had updates on a number of people. I would like to update this prayer list. If you asked for someone to be put on please let me know if they still need to be on or can be removed. rdb That is the only hope of this nation!
Plead for Grace and Mercy
2Samuel 17:1And Ahithophel said to Absalom, Please let me choose twelve thousand men, and I shall rise up and pursue David tonight. 2And I shall come on him, and he shall be weary and feeble handed. And I will make him tremble, and the people with him shall flee. And I shall strike the king by himself. 3And I shall bring all the people back to you when all return, except the man whom you are seeking. All the people shall be in peace. 4And the thing was pleasing in Absalom's eyes, and in the eyes of all the elders of Israel.
Israel on high alert as winter storm approaches
Rain, winds, thunder and hail predicted in the coming days; Tel Aviv piles up sandbanks as buffer for waves
By Stuart Winer Today, 7:05 pm
Israel on Thursday prepared to weather an approaching storm with police, rescue services, and local authorities dusting off their emergency equipment and advising residents to take extra precautions against the high winds, hail, rain and thunder expected to lash the country over the coming two days.
The stormy weather was expected to begin on Thursday evening with heavy rain and hail. By Friday the wind in some areas was predicted to reach 90 kilometers per hour (55 mph) along with thunderstorms. Flooding was expected in low-lying coastal areas and in wadis leading to the Dead Sea. By Saturday afternoon the storm was expected to ease off and Sunday was to bring warmer, calmer weather.
During the night, temperatures in Jerusalem were expected to drop to 7° C (44° F), in Tel Aviv to 12° C (54° F), in Ashdod in the south to 12° C, and in Haifa to 10° C (50° F.)
That’s significantly milder than some of the extreme weather being experienced in the US and some meteorologists said that reactions were exaggerated. Nevertheless, authorities were taking no chances.
In Tel Aviv, sand berms were built up along the beach as a precaution against predicted six meter (20 foot) waves washing on streets near the coast. The municipality has taken similar steps in recent years after a severe storm in 2010 brought waves that caused flooding.
Police said they were deploying extra units in particular on main arteries and at key junctions to assist in keeping traffic flowing. They planned to provide constant updates to media and navigation apps on traffic conditions.
Police warned they expect that many roads will become blocked, based on previous experience. The force warned drivers to avoid flooded roads, to maintain a safe difference from other vehicles and to reduce speed. Drivers were advised to check their vehicles to make sure the tires are correctly filled with air, that wipers work correctly, and that headlight lenses were clear.
The Jerusalem municipality issued a statement instructing residents to secure loose objects that might be blown off roofs and to check that home heating systems were operating correctly and are properly ventilated. The municipality also published a Hebrew-language instruction video, based on the meme “Winter is coming” from the hit television show “Game of Thrones.”
In Tiberias, the annual marathon, which was scheduled for Friday, was delayed until Sunday, Hadashot news reported. The Israeli Nature and Parks Authority also planned to close some hiking routes.
The Education Ministry announced that it had canceled all school trips for Friday.
Magen David Adom, Israel’s largest ambulance service, said in a statement it had prepared the four-wheel drive ambulances and jeeps it has in its fleet.
The airports authority said it was preparing for possible changes in timetables and that all flights to Eilat had been diverted to Ben Gurion International Airport.
Fire and Rescue services announced they had made preparations for the approaching storm including rubber dinghies, pumps, saws, generators, and other emergency equipment.
Snow began falling at the Mount Hermon ski site Thursday morning where temperatures have plummeted to freezing. Managers purchased some 70 tons of salt to keep approach roads open. The site, which already has some 25 centimeters of snow, was opened for visitors earlier this week. [This will bring joy to many since they will be able to go skiing there. – rdb]
Israel Railways cut back trees and branches that might fall on to lines and heating elements were prepared to prevent rails being damaged by the cold. Extra checks were also made on lines, the railways said. In Jerusalem and Beit Shemesh, the railway prepared salt to clear snow and heating units were put on platforms for the benefit of passengers.
The wild weather comes after what has been a relatively dry winter with limited rainfall. Last week Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel organized a mass prayer for rain at the Western Wall in Jerusalem that was attended by thousands of people. There was some rain on Sunday, which Ariel said at the time showed that sometimes prayer helps. https://www.timesofisrael.com/israel-on-high-alert-as-winter-storm-approaches/[Israel is in dire need of rain and snow. While the people aren’t always happy with the bad conditions and the winds it is essential that they get some relief from their drought. Rain in Israel is most always a blessing from God. – rdb] Netanyahu urging Americans not to cut funding for UNRWA — TV report
PM wants to support Trump, thinks Palestinians should pay for boycotting peace effort, but said to fear a 'disaster' in Gaza
By TOI staff Today, 9:27 pm
Concerned that a threatened cut in US funding for the UN’s Palestinian refugee agency UNRWA could lead to a humanitarian disaster in Gaza, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is privately urging the Trump Administration not to implement the threat, a TV report claimed Thursday.
“Behind the scenes, the prime minister is now in contact with the Americans in order to prevent the massive cut [in US funding for UNRWA] — to prevent it, you heard right,” the Hadashot news report claimed.
There was no comment from Foreign Ministry on the report. Netanyahu serves as his own foreign minister.
Netanyahu’s public position is to support the Trump administration’s threats to cut funds to UNRWA, and Jerusalem agrees that “real steps” must be taken so that UNRWA — the United Nations body that provides humanitarian aid to the Palestinians — solves the Palestinian refugee issue rather than perpetuating it, the TV report said. “This comes up often in cabinet meetings.”
Furthermore, the prime minister backs US President Donald Trump’s tweeted conviction that the Palestinians should be made to pay for refusing to come to the negotiating table. And he does not want to undermine the US president, the report said.
Nonetheless, Netanyahu is anxious to avoid further destabilizing Gaza. He “wants to steer between the desire to publicly back Trump and to prevent a disaster in Gaza,” the TV report said. [Sorry Bibi but you are dead wrong here. Gaza is already a disaster and destabilized. They can’t agree with Fatah on much of anything and if there are sufficient riots they may be able to overturn Hamas and let the “less terroristic” Fatah take over. Laying siege which is what this will amount to is a most effect way to break the back of a group that is recalcitrant – rdb]
The Foreign Ministry, the report added, flatly opposes the idea of cutting UNRWA’s funding. “Professional sources in the Foreign Ministry are ‘determinedly opposed’ to ending aid to UNRWA,” it said, quoting these sources as arguing that a cut would “make matters worse” and could lead to a “humanitarian catastrophe, especially in Gaza.”
IDF sources, the report further said, “also think it will hurt, not help.”
The Trump administration is currently evaluating its financial backing of UNRWA, a US official said Wednesday, while noting that the US views UNRWA’s work as vital to stability in the region.
Those comments came a day after US envoy to the UN Nikki Haley warned US support for UNRWA could end if the Palestinians refused to engage in peace negotiations.
The US was the biggest donor to UNRWA in 2016, giving $368,429,712. It is also the largest overall supplier of financial support for the Palestinians. [Israel is an ally abut there is no need to be bleed for years by a terrorist group that still vows to kill the Jewish nation. – rdb]
Conditions in the Gaza Strip, controlled by terror group Hamas, are already dire, with electric power only available for a few hours a day and inadequate drinking water and sewage infrastructure. A recent spate of rocket and mortar attacks from Gaza aimed at southern Israeli communities near the Palestinian enclave has drawn Israeli responses in the form of air strikes on Hamas targets. Israel holds Hamas responsible for all fire that comes from its territory, even if it is carried out by other terror groups.
Tensions between the US and Palestinians reached a breaking point after Trump’s December 6 recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital, with the Palestinian leadership declaring that it would no longer accept Washington as a peace broker. MORE -https://www.timesofisrael.com/netanyahu-urging-americans-not-to-cut-funding-for-unrwa-tv-report/ White House ‘reviewing’ aid to Palestinians after threats to slash funds
Official says move in reaction to PA's 'recent conduct,' days after Trump warns he might shut spigot over Ramallah's refusal to enter peace talks
By Eric Cortellessa Today, 2:55 am
WASHINGTON — The White House is examining possible aid cuts to the Palestinian Authority, a senior administration official said Thursday, days after US President Donald Trump threatened to slash funding over Ramallah’s refusal to work with Washington on peace talks.
“We are reviewing our assistance to the Palestinians in light of their recent conduct, per the president’s recent message,” the official said.
The comments came after Trump tweeted late Tuesday that he wanted to cut funding to the Palestinians “because they are no longer willing to talk peace.”
However, the administration has sent mixed signals over whether it is looking to cut all funding to the Palestinians, or just that funneled through UN refugee agency UNRWA.
…peace treaty with Israel. We have taken Jerusalem, the toughest part of the negotiation, off the table, but Israel, for that, would have had to pay more. But with the Palestinians no longer willing to talk peace, why should we make any of these massive future payments to them?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 2, 2018
On Wednesday, a US official told the Times of Israel the administration was evaluating its financial backing of the UN Relief and Works Agency, while noting that the US views UNRWA’s work as vital to stability in the region. MORE -https://www.timesofisrael.com/white-house-reviewing-aid-to-palestinians-after-threats-to-slash-funds/
Settler leaders say they've been kept in the dark regarding specific plans to be advanced, but have high hopes the list will be extensive
By Jacob Magid Today, 5:43 pm
The Defense Ministry announced Thursday that its committee responsible for authorizing construction in the West Bank will convene next Wednesday to advance new housing plans for Israeli settlements. The specific housing plans set to be green-lighted by the Civil Administration’s High Planning Subcommittee have yet to be released, and the Defense Ministry declined to comment further.
Settler leaders, including the heads of West Bank regional and local councils as well as a senior official in the Yesha settlement umbrella council, told The Times of Israel they were unaware of the meeting’s agenda.
One regional council head with close ties to the Prime Minister’s Office acknowledged that the settler leaders were being kept in the dark, but said he had high hopes that the list would be extensive.
Separately on Thursday, the government approved 420 housing units in the city of Ariel for marketing. These homes have already received approval for construction, but the plan’s location in a larger settlement required it to receive an additional authorization from the Prime Minister’s Office. Ariel Mayor Eli Shaviro thanked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Liberman for their efforts in a video statement.
The Civil Administration High Planning Subcommittee last met in October, when it advanced 2,646 Israeli housing units, 1,323 earned final approval for construction.
A quarter of the houses that gained final approval belong to projects for evacuees of the illegally built outposts of Ulpana (in Beit El), Migron, and Amona, which were demolished — in June 2012, September 2012 and February 2017 respectively — after the High Court of Justice ruled they had been built on private Palestinian land. Also among the plans advanced were 30 temporary units for the evacuees of the Netiv Ha’avot outpost which is slated to be razed in March 2018 for the same reason.
The High Planning Subcommittee also dedicated over half of its October approvals to settlement homes located far beyond the large built-up areas along the pre-1967 Green Line.
This came after a September meeting with settler leaders where Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu boasted of having successfully convinced the Trump administration to drop its distinction between settlement blocs and so-called isolated settlements.
However, statistics from the Peace Now settlement watchdog show that despite the final approval granted to over 3,000 West Bank housing units for construction in 2017, just 46 have actually been built.
Under unofficial settlement guidelines coordinated with the White House when US President Donald Trump took office, Israel agreed that the Civil Administration committee would meet once every three months instead of once every month. In addition, Israel was told it could add an unlimited number of housing units to any settlement in the West Bank as long as it does not dramatically expand the community’s existing “footprint.” https://www.timesofisrael.com/israel-set-to-green-light-newest-batch-of-settlement-homes-next-week/[The Jewish population of Judea/Samaria, those who are often called ‘settlers’ is almost half a million. There have been restrictions on building in those areas for years particularly stringent during the Obamination years but also during the burning bush years. These folks are often religious Jews with a very ‘healthy’ birth rate and their children oftentimes want to stay in the area. When the restrictions are so bad that you can’t modify a patio or make any changes without a major rhubarb from international watchdogs it becomes a huge problem. Hopefully this will alleviate some of them. –rdb] Rabbinate stalls on recognizing Orthodox diaspora rabbis
More than a year has passed since the Chief Rabbinate pledged to delineate criteria for recognizing Orthodox rabbis in the diaspora, but a committee set up to tackle the matter has only ever met once; 'This is harming Israel-diaspora relations.'
Kobi Nachshoni|Published: 01.04.18 , 21:58
After more than a year since a promise was made by Israel’s highest religious institutions to delineate criteria for the country’s recognition of the credentials of rabbis in the diaspora, many Orthodox rabbis have expressed dismay with the fact that the Joint Committee of the Chief Rabbinate and the Rabbinical Courts that was established to clarify and regulate the issue has met on only one occasion since.
Last year, Ynet learned that the courts refused to recognize Rabbi Haskel Lookstein, the modern Orthodox rabbi who converted Ivanka Trump.
Pressured into taking action on the matter by threats that the issue would be taken to the High Court of Justice (HCJ), the Israeli rabbinate pledged in December 2016 that it would discuss the issue. However, the execution of the special committee’s raison d'être appears to have been brought to a complete stagnation since.
Israel’s chief rabbis David Lau and Yitzhak Yosef announced the creation of the ad hoc committee for evaluating the matter and even declared that it would convene for the first time within a number of days.
The Chief Rabbinate (Photo: Atta Awisat)
However, more than a year has elapsed since the pledge was made and the committee has only ever met once in February 2017, a fact which has been a source of anger for the ITIM organization, which says “it helps people navigate the religious authorities’ bureaucracy in Israel.”
Moreover, much to the organization’s chagrin, the committee refuses to publish the protocols and minutes of the sole meeting.
ITIM claims that the foot dragging by the rabbinate in formulating the criteria is deliberately intended to enable it to create an unofficial “blacklist” of senior rabbis with more liberal religious propensities that they do not recognize.
One of the rabbis that has not been recognized so far by the Israeli Rabbinate is Rabbi Adam Scheier, who leads the Orthodox congregation of Shaar Hashomayim in Montreal and has ties with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The synagogue which he leads is one of the largest in North America. Rabbi Scheier expressed his deep disappointment at the Rabbinate’s conduct, accusing it of “lack of action” and “causing a rift” between the State of Israel and diaspora Jewry.
He also warned that its actions “do not contribute” to the future relations of the two sides.
“We called on the Rabbinate to act with complete transparency to improve communications and relations with diaspora Jewry,” Scheier said, adding that the the Rabbinate’s ways have led the diaspora to the conclusion that “it either doesn’t have enough strength to deal with this serious problem or it simply simply doesn’t find it urgent or interesting to deal with important problems that are related to the diaspora Jewry.”
The director of ITIM, which threatened to appeal to the HCJ, Rabbi Dr. Seth Farber also lamented the committee’s failure to take action. “This contempt and condescension of the Rabbinate toward rabbis in the Jewish community outside Israel has been going on for a number of years and is deepening the deep rift between Jews in Israel and Jews around the world,” he argued.
“This is behavior that is contrary to the fundamental principles of the Torah, that obligates us be extra cautious not to harm converts.”
The Chief Rabbinate also issued a statement responding to the accusations, claiming that the matter was under discussion.
“After a number of meetings, discussions and advisory sessions and a discussion in the Chief Rabbinate Council, together with the members of the Supreme Rabbinical Court, to determine recognition in the courts outside Israel, the Israeli Rabbinate Council nominated a joint staff of the Chief Rabbinate Council and members of the Supreme Rabbinical Court to submit recommendations to the Chief Rabbinical Council in order to determine criteria for recognition in foreign courts,” the statement read.”
“The team held a meeting and in addition we convened an internal advisory meeting to determine the criteria, and as part of this, it even turned to the courts outside Israel to receive expert opinions. The team submitted its recommendations to the Israeli Chief Rabbinate Council that has held a number of meetings on the matter.” https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5066461,00.html[This is obstructionism, pure and simple and it simply a delaying ploy for a power play. This farce has been going on for many years and it is all related to holding on to power and control of everyone. The acceptance of a conversion is critical for anyone wanting to make Aliya to Israel. – rdb]
Yoram Cohen, the former director of the Shin Bet, says the agency recommended not to provide Yair and Avner Netanyahu with a permanent security detail; Netanyahu's office rejects claim, saying Cohen himself told the PM security for his children must be bolstered after Protective Edge.
Itamar Eichner|Published: 01.04.18 , 16:00
Former Shin Bet director Yoram Cohen said Thursday the agency's recommendation was not to provide Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's sons, Yair and Avner, with a permanent security detail, leading the PMO to cry foul.
"If I remember it correctly, during my tenure our opinion was that there was no real need to provide them with a permanent security detail, but it was rejected. There were quite a few decisions in which my recommendations weren't accepted," Cohen told Army Radio.
The Prime Minister's Office rejected Cohen's claims, saying he "alerted the prime minister, following Protective Edge and other security incidents, to the fact there was need to bolster the security arrangements for the prime minister's sons. Cohen even asked the prime minister to examine the possibility of having Yair transfer from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem to another university."
According to the PMO, websites affiliated with Iran's Revolutionary Guards "posted photos of the prime minister's sons seen in the crosshairs of a rifle as explicit targets for assassination."
The prime minister's children in the crosshairs
A public committee headed by former Foreign Ministry director-general Joseph Ciechanover is tasked with examining the security situation and existing threats and determining the extent of security given to public officials and to their family members.
The committee determined that as long as the prime minister's children live in the official residence on Balfour Street in Jerusalem, they will have a security detail.
A ministerial committee headed by Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz has to approve the decisions of the public committee.
This is the first time the Shin Bet, an agency entrusted with the security of state officials, reveals there were objections to the security detail provided to the prime minister's children.
It also contradicts the Netanyahu family's regular response to criticism over the security detail and personal driver the prime minister's sons have—insisting the decision on security arrangements is done by security officials, and the prime minister's sons have no say in it.
Before Netanyahu entered office, the Israeli prime minister's children did not receive a security detail, though they did not live in the official residence either. https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5066483,00.html Israeli Military Unveils Intelligence Fusion Unit
Established in 2014, Unit 3060 develops software and applications designed to streamline and improve the information flow between intelligence gathering and processing units and operational forces
Yoav Stoler 14:3604.01.18
In a Wednesday press briefing, a high ranking Israeli military intelligence officer unveiled an intelligence fusion unit established in 2014, called Unit 3060. According to the officer, the unit functions as the military’s "intelligence processor," developing operational data sharing tools for the military's field intelligence officers.
The new unit is dubbed the “Purple Unit,” representing its position between the Israeli forces, marked in blue in Israeli military maps, and enemy forces, marked in red. The unit numbers some 400 soldiers and officers, according to the officer.
Armies today rely on an ever-expanding variety of information sources. These include visual data like aerial imagery collected by drones and satellites, data maps depicting enemy movement, photographs and videos taken in the field, audio recordings and text-based data like reports.
One challenge brought-on by this wealth of data is processing and transferring information between intelligence gathering and processing units and the army’s operational units.
Unit 3060 develops software and applications designed to streamline and improve the information flow. Among other technological solutions, the unit developed and operates an artificial intelligence-based software called ‘Albert,’ which translates information to a simple graphic interface, similar to a smartphone app, and transmits it to operational forces on the ground.
To ensure its technological superiority the unit nurtures relationships with the Israeli tech community and academia, the officer said. Kira Radinsky, eBay Israel chief scientist and director of data, is one of the industry leaders collaborating with Unit 3060. Ms. Radinsky advises the unit’s data science laboratory. MORE -https://www.calcalistech.com/ctech/articles/0,7340,L-3728895,00.html
Guatemala offers to help countries move their embassies to Jerusalem
'We want to make sure that it gets done, and that it gets done right and at the proper time,' says FM Sandra Jovel
By Raphael Ahren Today, 2:23 pm
Guatemala hopes other countries will move their embassies to Jerusalem, the country’s foreign minister said this week, indicating her government’s readiness to help in this matter.
“I believe that it’s a sovereign decision that each country needs to make for itself based on its position. Nevertheless, we as a country are willing to support other countries who want to follow Guatemala’s example,” Sandra Jovel told The Times of Israel in a telephone interview.
“Hopefully, some of the countries that have wanted to do it will be able to follow Guatemala’s example and the decision we’ve taken.”
On December 24, the Central American nation became the first country after the United States to announce its intention to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Other countries, including its neighbor Honduras, have been rumored to be intending to follow suit, even though El Salvador this week said it would not relocate its Israel embassy.
Jovel, who has been Guatemala’s foreign minister since August 2017, said that planning for the move to Jerusalem has started but that it would take some time before the actual relocation can get underway.
“We’re not rushing into it, but we’re also not taking it slowly,” she said, speaking in Spanish. “We’re proceeding calmly, looking into the administrative, political and logistic aspects of moving the embassy. We want to make sure that it gets done, and that it gets done right and at the proper time.” MORE -https://www.timesofisrael.com/guatemala-offers-to-help-countries-move-their-embassies-to-jerusalem/ Hamas said ready to hand over its weapons for reconciliation
After months of stalled talks with rival Fatah, terror group reportedly agrees to place its forces under PLO in exchange for membership in the group
By TOI staff Today, 2:14 pm
Hamas has reportedly tentatively agreed to close down its armed wing and hand over its weapons to the Fatah-led Palestine Liberation Organization, according to a report in the Al-Hayat newspaper Friday.
The London-based Arabic newspaper reported that a senior Hamas official in Ramallah said that the terror group will agree to disarm if it can gain representation on the Palestinian legislative council.
A Hamas official denied the new approach, which Al-Hayat said was a result of US President Donald Trump’s December 6 recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, a move that set the stage for what the organization may view as a new bid to become part of the internationally recognized Palestinian political system.
Only a month ago Hamas’s Gaza chief Yahya Sinwar said that the Palestinian reconciliation process was failing over a dispute about the future of the terror group’s armed forces. MORE -https://www.timesofisrael.com/hamas-said-about-to-hand-its-weapons-over-to-pa/[This will be an amazement if it really happens. – rdb] Islamic State in Sinai declares war on Hamas in gruesome execution video
IS member accused of smuggling weapons to Gaza rulers is shot in back of head as tensions between rival terror groups erupt; Hamas dismisses clip as 'Zionist production'
By Dov Lieber Today, 6:17 pm
The Islamic State branch in the Sinai Peninsula on Wednesday called on its supporters to attack Hamas in a gruesome execution video as long-simmering tensions between the rival Islamic terror groups erupted into the open.
The 22-minute long video culminated with the execution of one of its members, shot in the back of the head for allegedly smuggling weapons to Hamas.
“[Hamas] uses its smuggled weapons to empower that which was not revealed by God. It also fights supporters of the Islamic State in Gaza and the Sinai and prevents the migration of these supporters from Gaza to the Sinai,” said a speaker in the video, who is referred to as Abu Kazem al-Maqdisi, an Islamic State preacher in the Sinai, originally from Gaza.
Maqdisi calls on viewers to attack the security headquarters and courthouses of Hamas in Gaza, as these are “the pillars of tyranny.”
At the end of the video, the narrator declares that a man, named as Musa Abu Zamat, who was once among the ranks of Islamic State, was sentenced to death for “smuggling weapons to the apostates of the Izz a-Din al-Qassam Brigades,” referring to Hamas’s military wing.
The accused is then shot in the back of the head.
Screenshot from a video produced by the Islamic State’s Sinai Peninsula branch in which the terror group declares war on Hamas and executes one of its own members for smuggling weapons to the Palestinian group. The video was released January 3, 2017. (Screenshot)
The shooter was identified in news reports as Muhammad al-Dajani, a former member of Hamas’s military branch in Gaza.
Dajani’s family released a statement to the press decrying his actions in the video.
Hamas, a terror group sworn to Israel’s destruction, has run Gaza for a decade but have been regularly criticized by more radical jihadist groups in the Strip.
Hamas has arrested dozens of Salafi militants, which continues to a be a source of tension between the two sides.
The Palestinian terror group that rules Gaza has long been accused by the government in neighboring Egypt of aiding the Islamic State’s insurgency in Egypt’s restive North Sinai region.
In recent months, Hamas has beefed up security along Gaza’s southern border with Egypt seeking to assure Cairo that it is fighting IS sympathizers. The Hamas crackdown on the Egyptian militants was a key part of restoring ties between Hamas and Cairo, which has since played a key role in Palestinian reconciliation agreements.
Palestinian salafists demonstrate in the southern Gaza Strip in September 2012. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)
Hundreds of Egyptian soldiers, police officers and civilians have been killed in fighting the bitter Islamic insurgency in the Sinai. But recently they have also turned their attention to Hamas.
In August, a member of the Islamic State group carried out the first suicide bombing against Hamas forces in Gaza, killing a border guard.
In the 22-minute long video, Islamic State also blamed Hamas for failing to prevent US President Donald Trump’s decision in December to declare Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The video began with a clip of that announcement from the White House.
Islamic State also slammed Hamas for failing to fight Jews for the right reasons.
The video showed clips of Hamas leaders saying the terror group only fights Jews for occupying Palestinian land, and that the group has no quarrel with the Jewish religion. [What a bunch of garbage that is. If you have seen the news ISIS has targeted Jews outside of Israel with some frequency. – rdb]
The narrator in the video criticized Hamas for not fighting Jews for their “false creed.”
Islamic State, in the video, also criticized Hamas for accepting democratic values by participating in elections with rival Palestinian factions and for being agents of Iran. Hamas has said Iran is currently its biggest military supporter.
On Thursday, Hamas spokesperson Salah Bardawil dismissed the Islamic State video as a “Zionist production.”
The video is “a Zionist production in which Arab tools participate to distort the resistance…This is what the Zionist intelligence agency and its lackeys have been striving for,” he wrote in a statement on Twitter.
Bardawil argued Hamas’s conflict with Salafis is not ideological, but rather an issue of security. https://www.timesofisrael.com/islamic-state-in-sinai-declares-war-on-hamas-in-gruesome-execution-video/ US sanctions Iranian missile firms, says protesters will not be forgotten
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says Iran should spend more on improving economic conditions, less on banned weapons
By AFP 4 January 2018, 11:14 pm
WASHINGTON — The United States imposed sanctions Thursday on five Iranian companies it alleges are working on part of the Islamic republic’s illegal ballistic missile program while the State Department vowed that Iranian protesters “will not be forgotten.”
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin linked the measure to recent anti-government protests, arguing that Iran ought to spend more on public welfare rather than banned weapons.
“These sanctions target key entities involved in Iran’s ballistic missile program, which the Iranian regime prioritizes over the economic well-being of the Iranian people,” Mnuchin said.
“As the Iranian people suffer, their government and the IRGC [Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps] fund foreign militants, terrorist groups, and human rights abuses,” he added.
“The United States will continue to decisively counter the Iranian regime’s malign activity, including additional sanctions targeting human rights abuses.” “We will not hesitate to call out the regime’s economic mismanagement, and diversion of significant resources to fund threatening missile systems at the expense of its citizenry,” Mnuchin said.
The five designated companies are all subsidiaries of Iran’s Shahid Bakeri Industrial Group (SBIG).
Under the sanctions, any assets that the firms hold in places under US jurisdiction will be frozen and US citizens are forbidden from doing business with them. And, perhaps more importantly, foreign institutions who work with the companies could be locked out of the US financial system — a risk that European banks, for example, would be loathe to take.
Earlier, the US State Department had warned that Iranian officials involved in the arrest or killing of protesters would be held to account.
“We condemn in the strongest possible terms the deaths to date and the arrests of at least one thousand Iranians,” spokeswoman Heather Nauert said. “We have ample authorities to hold accountable those who commit violence against protesters, contribute to censorship, or steal from the people of Iran,” she said.
“To the regime’s victims, we say: ‘You will not be forgotten.'”
Popular unrest flared in Iran last month and at least 21 people are known to have died in clashes between demonstrators and the Islamic republic’s security forces.
Washington, a long-standing foe of Tehran, has stood up for the protesters’ right to be heard, and Nauert has now gone further in endorsing what she said were their demands.
“We support these legitimate aspirations of the Iranian people, and call on the government to allow the free exchange of ideas and information,” she said.
“All of us should be able to enjoy the same basic economic and political freedoms, including the right to peaceful demonstration.”
Iranian officials now claim to have the crisis under control and state television is carrying footage of pro-government counter demonstrations in several cities. https://www.timesofisrael.com/us-sanctions-iranian-missile-firms-says-protesters-will-not-be-forgotten/
Iran blames Israel-backed CIA plot for week of protests
Amid uncertainty over whether demonstrations are fading, Tehran alleges US operative sparked unrest with intelligence support from Israel, Saudi financing
By Agencies Today, 12:48 am
TEHRAN, Iran — Iran on Thursday directly blamed a CIA official and Israeli Mossad backing for a week of protests calling for the overthrow of the Islamic Republic, as the strength of the demonstrations was uncertain with fewer reports of rallies.
It wasn’t immediately clear if the drop in reports of new demonstrations challenging Iran’s theocratic government meant the protests were subsiding or that the authorities’ blocking of social media apps has managed to stop protesters from offering new images of rallies.
The demonstrations, which began December 28 over the country’s struggling economy, have been the largest in Iran since the disputed 2009 presidential election. At least 21 people have been killed and hundreds arrested.
The CIA accusation came from Iran’s prosecutor general, Mohammad Jafar Montazeri, in a story by the state-run IRNA news agency. Montazeri alleged the official headed an operation that received intelligence support from Israel and financing from Saudi Arabia — Iran’s two biggest regional adversaries. He made a similar claim earlier in the week, without providing details.
Montazeri said the CIA official sought help from exiled Iranian groups and prepared for various scenarios that included protesting the high cost of living and financial demands on the elderly.
The plot focused on fomenting dissent from the countryside to shake Tehran, Montazeri said. He alleged the CIA planned to turn the protest into an “armed” insurrection by mid-February, the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
The Associated Press is not publishing identifying details about the CIA official because the official may be an agent of its clandestine service.
A senior Trump administration official on Wednesday disputed the notion that the US played any role in the protests, saying it had not expected them to occur. “The protests were entirely spontaneously generated,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has offered vocal backing to the protesters but dismissed claims of Israeli involvement as “laughable,” earlier this week. MORE -https://www.timesofisrael.com/iran-blames-israel-backed-cia-plot-for-week-of-protests/
UN Security Council to discuss Iran unrest Friday
Unclear what shape meeting will take, with US and Russia divided over support for protests that have rocked Islamic Republic
By Agencies Today, 1:44 am
The UN Security Council will hold an emergency meeting about Iran at the request of the US which asked for the session to show support for anti-government protests.
The council has scheduled a Friday afternoon meeting on the Middle East. Alma Konurbayeva, a spokeswoman for council president Kazakhstan, confirms the session will be about Iran.
It’s not yet clear how the discussion will take shape. Members are divided in their views of the protests.
The United States had requested that there be an open meeting on Iran at the council chamber and that a UN official from the political affairs department present a briefing on the violence.
US Ambassador Nikki Haley has praised the demonstrators, saying “the UN must speak out” to support them. MORE -https://www.timesofisrael.com/un-security-council-to-discuss-iran-unrest-friday/
But governors claim they are 'contributing members of society'
Published: 12 hours ago Bob Unruh
Meet the “pardoned” illegal aliens who had been scheduled for deportation: a couple of felons guilty of weapons charges and affiliation with gangs, a 57-year-old transgender convicted of criminal facilitation, a 35-year-old convicted of larceny and a 53-year-old man who reportedly sold drugs.
Those are among the dozen or so illegal aliens saved from deportation at the last minute by pardons from their governors.
The move appears to be the latest attempt to undermine President Trump’s crackdown on illegal aliens in the United States.
Some of the details about the holiday moves by California Gov. Jerry Brown and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo were revealed by Judicial Watch. Brown pardoned two men “on the verge of being deported,” and Cuomo pardoned “18 immigrants convicted of serious crimes so they could remain in the country,” the report said.
“The foreigners had obtained legal immigration status in the United States but committed such abhorrent crimes that they faced removal after the completion of their criminal sentence,” Judicial Watch said, even though a statement referred to those pardoned as “contributing members of society.”
Cuomo claimed the criminals were rehabilitated, but it was the “stigma” of their crimes that “prevented them from gaining legal status or fully reentering society.” “While the federal government continues to target immigrants and threatens to tear families apart with deportation, these actions take a critical step toward a more just, more fair and more compassionate New York,” Cuomo said.
His statement also included endorsements from a number of groups that advocate essentially for open borders. For example, the head of the Vera Institution of Justice said, “Too many immigrants with prior criminal convictions are subjected to the gratuitous punishment of deportation, despite being longstanding contributing members of our community.”
But Judicial Watch reported that the two saved by Brown were Cambodians Mony Neth of Modesto, California, and Rottanak Kong of Davis, California. They had been arrested in a sweep of allegedly criminal activity a few months ago. They were among a large group of Cambodians that are subject to deportation from the U.S., a group in which more than half have criminal convictions.
“The New York pardons include a 57-year-old Mexican transgender woman convicted of criminal facilitation, a 35-year-old man from Estonia convicted of larceny and a 53-year-old Dominican man convicted of criminal sale of a controlled substance. The Mexican national, Lorena Borjas, deserves to stay in the U.S. because she is a strong advocate for transgender and immigrant communities and runs HIV testing programs for transgender sex workers and a syringe exchange for transwomen taking hormone injections. The Estonian, Alexander Shilov, became a nurse and frequently gives talks on overcoming addiction. The Dominican, Freddy Perez, works as an electrician and takes care of his autistic younger brother. For these reasons, they deserve to remain in the U.S. despite their criminal histories, according to Cuomo,” Judicial Watch said.
The evidence that it’s part of a larger strategy to “protect criminal immigrations from deportation” is becoming obvious, Judicial Watch said. MORE -http://www.wnd.com/2018/01/meet-pardoned-illegal-aliens-felons-thieves-druggies/?cat_orig=us[The DOJ needs to file criminal charges against any governor that perpetrates these actions for obstruction of justice and treason against the government. They need to be jail and held without bond and tried. That might give the idiots from the blue states an idea that there are certain issues outside their jurisdiction that are constitutionally relegated to the Fed and that is the way the cow eats the cabbage. They will comply or be jailed. The same goes for the judges that try to adjudicate against the fed for carrying out their duties to protect the people of the nation. Pull them off the bench and ‘defrock them’. – rdb]
Security flaws put virtually all phones, computers at risk
By Douglas Busvine and Stephen Nellis Reuters•January 3, 2018
FRANKFURT/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Security researchers on Wednesday disclosed a set of security flaws that they said could let hackers steal sensitive information from nearly every modern computing device containing chips from Intel Corp , Advanced Micro Devices Inc and ARM Holdings.
One of the bugs is specific to Intel but another affects laptops, desktop computers, smartphones, tablets and internet servers alike. Intel and ARM insisted that the issue was not a design flaw, but it will require users to download a patch and update their operating system to fix.
“Phones, PCs, everything are going to have some impact, but it’ll vary from product to product,” Intel CEO Brian Krzanich said in an interview with CNBC Wednesday afternoon.
Researchers with Alphabet Inc's Google Project Zero, in conjunction with academic and industry researchers from several countries, discovered two flaws. MORE -https://www.yahoo.com/news/design-flaw-found-intel-chips-fix-causes-them-152935477--finance.html [
Justice Department looking into Hillary emails again
Review comes as GOP lawmakers call for Sessions to be replaced
Published: 27 mins ago Days after marked-classified information turned up in the release of State Department emails found on the laptop of Anthony Weiner, the Justice Department once again is looking into Hillary Clinton’s mishandling of government secrets while she served as secretary of state, according to a report.
The Daily Beast cited an ally of Attorney General Jeff Sessions who said officials are looking into “how much classified information was sent over Clinton’s server; who put that information into an unclassified environment, and how; and which investigators knew about these matters and when.”
The Sessions ally, according to the Daily Beast, also said officials have questions about immunity agreements that Clinton aides, presumably including longtime top aide Huma Abedin and counsel Cheryl Mills, may have made.
WND reported last Friday documents belonging to Abedin that were discovered on the personal computer of her estranged husband, Weiner, during an FBI investigation were released by the State Department, including at least four that were marked classified.
FBI Director James Comey cited the emails recovered on Weiner’s laptop as the reason he reopened the investigation of Clinton’s mishandling of classified information 11 days before the November election.
Comey testified in a May Senate hearing that Abedin forwarded “hundreds of thousands” of messages to her husband so he could print them out, including some that contained classified information. MORE -http://www.wnd.com/2018/01/justice-department-looking-into-hillary-emails-again/[The emails that just won’t go away. For Hilary who likes to make everyone think she is someone who is smart this was the dumbest thing anyone could do. – rdb] Planned Parenthood enters transgender-hormone market as abortions decline, clinics close
By Valerie Richardson - The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 3, 2018
As dozens of its clinics closed amid a dwindling U.S. abortion rate, Planned Parenthood has moved to diversify its business model by getting into transgender hormone therapy.
The 2016-17 Planned Parenthood annual report showed the nation’s largest abortion provider struggling to keep its doors open as fewer women undergo abortions and patients seek health care services elsewhere.
In response, “We’re expanding access to care — from pioneering research on self-injectable birth control to offering new services for our transgender patients,” Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards said in the report’s introductory message.
“Planned Parenthood has focused on expanding services to people who are too often overlooked by the larger medical community — including trans patients,” says the report, released Sunday. “17 states now have Planned Parenthood health centers that provide hormone therapy.” MORE -https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/jan/3/planned-parenthood-enters-transgender-market/ [Keep in mind folks it that PP is funded greatly by YOUR tax dollars and since this isn’t an abortion (which is supposedly blocked – but I doubt it) this will be paid for by you. Time to close their doors. With the Obamination’s Care act everyone is supposed to have access and shouldn’t need this. – rdb]
Anti-invasion group hits Twitter with civil-rights complaint
Immigration PAC blocked for issuing statement about DACA legislation
Published: 2 hours ago Alicia Powe
WASHINGTON – Top conservatives repeatedly have documented their censorship by Twitter, Facebook and Google over their conservative views.
Now Americans for Legal Immigration PAC, a leading non-profit group that opposes amnesty for illegal immigrants, is filing a complaint with the United States Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division.
The complaint was prompted by Twitter’s suspension of the organization’s account for seven days over Christmas.
Twitter suspended ALIPAC’s account after the group posted a note celebrating Congress’ inability to pass the DREAM Act, or any comparable legislation, to protect Dreamers from deportation, before going into recess for the holidays.
The social-media organization claimed it was “hateful content” for ALIPAC to state its political position. MORE -http://www.wnd.com/2018/01/twitter-being-hit-with-civil-rights-complaint/[While I still have twitter and facebook accounts I don’t use them except on the rarest of occasions. I will not enable these mind control people to continue to censor and direct my actions. I use DuckDuckGo for searches because Google likewise is a though control agent. – rdb]
U.S. Muslim population expanding 'rapidly'
Pew study: Community growing by 100,000 per year thanks to migration, high birthrates
Published: 3 hours ago. Updated: 01/04/2018 at 7:36 PM Leo Hohmann
Pew Research Center came out this week with an updated estimate of the American Muslim population, which is sure to cause a stir on all sides of the issue.
The new numbers come in at 3.45 million Muslims living legally in the U.S. in 2017. That represents only 1.1 percent of the U.S. population but it’s up, by Pew’s estimates, from 3.31 million in 2016.
The U.S. Muslim population grows by about 100,000 every year, according to the Pew study.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, says Pew’s estimates are way off, and that the true number is roughly double, in the 6 to 8 million range – and that was more than two years ago.
“Muslim advocacy groups such as the Council on American Islamic Relations routinely cite a span of 6 million to 8 million people in describing the size of Islam in America. That would be between 2 percent and 3 percent of the U.S. population and make Muslims greater in number than Mormons or Jews,” CAIR stated on its website in March 2015.”
If CAIR, an offshoot of the extremist Muslim Brotherhood, is correct and there are at least 6 million Muslims living in the U.S., that would represent 2.4 percent of the total population and exceed the number of Jewish Americans by about a million.
The facts bear out that the higher a nation’s Muslim population, the more anti-Semitic attacks occur in that nation. France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and the U.K. have all seen increasing numbers of hate crimes against Jews and Jewish properties since they began importing mass numbers of Muslim migrants. It has gotten so bad in France and Germany that many Jews have been quietly migrating out of those countries in recent years.
Both Pew and CAIR note that they are watching closely for the day when Islam surpasses Judaism as the second most populous religious group in America. CAIR, as stated above, thinks that has already happened, while Pew forecasts it will not happen for another 22 years.
Pew estimates that 5.3 million Jews live in the U.S., but unlike the Muslim population, Judaism is not growing in America, due largely to low birthrates.
Pew says the Muslim population will continue to increase and should surpass Judaism as the nation’s second most common religious faith by 2040.
The main drivers of Muslim population are high fertility rates of Muslim women, compared to Christian and Jewish women, along with continued migration of Muslims into the U.S. from abroad.
Pew itself admits that that estimated Muslim population growth is difficult because there is no official count — the U.S. Census does not ask Americans their religious affiliation. So Pew is offering what amounts to its best guess based on its own surveys, outside sources and previous research.
The true size of the U.S. Muslim population is likely somewhere in the middle of the Pew estimate and the CAIR estimate, probably around 5 million. MORE -http://www.wnd.com/2018/01/u-s-muslim-population-expanding-rapidly/ [The nitwits running the immigration service AND the judiciary need to be taken to the woodshed and threshed soundly and told to wake up or their heads will be the first of the heads to roll of the kefir. – rdb]
Former White House strategist’s longtime benefactors, billionaires Robert Mercer and his daughter Rebekah, are distancing themselves from him
By Julie Bykowicz, Janet Hook and Rebecca Ballhaus Updated Jan. 4, 2018 4:54 p.m. ET
President Donald Trump’s growing feud with Steve Bannon is threatening the former White House strategist’s leadership of the conservative Breitbart News website and upending Mr. Bannon’s plans to wage “war” on party incumbents he deemed insufficiently loyal to the White House agenda.
Mr. Trump said Mr. Bannon has “lost his mind” and that he has “nothing to do with me or my presidency,” a response to Mr. Bannon’s numerous incendiary comments—including insults about the president’s family—in a new book about the first year of the Trump administration.
Mr. Bannon’s longtime benefactors, billionaires Robert Mercer and his daughter Rebekah Mercer, are actively distancing from him even before the expected release of Michael Wolff’s book “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” according to two people close to the Mercers.
They and other Breitbart News Network LLC board members on Thursday were debating whether to oust Mr. Bannon as chairman, with many supportive of the move, according to a person familiar with the exchanges. Among the considerations are Breitbart’s contractual relationships with other entities, including Sirius XM radio, that involve Mr. Bannon.
Staffers at Breitbart, which Mr. Bannon has called his “killing machine,” described a “chaotic” day at the company, with writers—many personally recruited by Mr. Bannon—wondering whether he would last the day. MORE -https://www.wsj.com/articles/breitbart-owners-debate-ousting-bannon-amid-trump-feud-1515100110 A listing of economic links. – Doesn’t look like The Donald is doing a bad job no matter what the nitwits on the left and the MSM say. It is called renewed confidence in the US economy because of a change of leadership and direction. – rdb] DOW 25,000! +250K JOBS... LAYOFFS LOWEST SINCE '90... BUFFETT: YEARS OF GROWTH LIE AHEAD... APPLE to repatriate $200 BILLION foreign cash? POLL: TRUMP HITS 6 MONTH HIGH... Commentaries:
The Lawyers' War on Trump
Posted by Daniel Greenfield Wednesday, January 03, 2018
The original civil war was fought by farmhands and factory workers, freed slaves and young boys turned soldiers; the new civil war is being fought by lawyers in blue or gray suits not with bullets, but with bullet points.
From the Mueller investigation to Federal judges declaring that President Trump doesn’t have the right to control immigration policy or command the military, from political sabotage at the DOJ by Obama appointees like Sally Yates to Patagonia’s lawsuit over national monuments, the cold civil war set off by the left’s rejection of the 2016 election results has been a paper war largely waged by lawyers.
“The biggest threat to New Yorkers right now is the federal government,” Attorney General Eric Schneiderman of New York recently declared. The radical leftist pol who had once vowed to do everything possible to elect Hillary Clinton was explaining his hundred lawsuits against the government on everything from net neutrality to the travel ban meant to keep out the Islamic terrorists running over tourists near Ground Zero and bombing commuters in the tunnels off Times Square.
Islamic terrorists have killed thousands of people in New York City in the last two decades. Net neutrality’s current death toll hovers around zero. The Federal government is far less of a threat to New Yorkers than their own government which insists that Islamic terrorists should be able to kill them. But it is a great threat to a class of political lawyers whose ranks include AG Schneiderman, Hawaii’s Judge Derrick Watson, Mueller’s team, Sally Yates, the ACLU and countless other #resistance combatants.
The blatant secessionism of the AG’s premise is no longer extraordinary. Not when California’s Jerry Brown tours the world signing independent environmental treaties. Schneiderman is one of a number of blue state attorney generals who have decided that their primary focus shouldn’t be enforcing the law, but resisting the Federal government. But Scheiderman is also articulating the central tenet of the new #resistance which, despite Antifa’s antics, is more dedicated to legal sabotage than actual violence.
It’s still a paper civil war. For now.
The loss of the two elected branches of government has forced the left to default to the unelected third. Like AG Schneiderman, the left’s legal civil war appears to reject the authority of the Federal government. But despite the posturing, blue staters aren’t serious about seceding. Nor have they become newfound converts to the rights of states to go their own way when they disagree with D.C.
New York and California’s #resistance apparatchiks aren’t rejecting the authority of Federal judges. They’re turning to them and relying on them. Instead they’re rejecting the authority of elected Federal officials. Their secession isn’t Federal, it’s democratic. They want a strong central government. They just aren’t willing to allow the American people to decide who gets to run it.
That’s what the civil war is about.
Will the American people govern themselves? Or will Mueller, Schneiderman, Watson, Yates and ten thousand other elites with law degrees be allowed to turn elections into a meaningless farce?
Federal judges have seized previously unimaginable amounts of power by not only blocking orders that had always been considered an essential part of presidential authority on flimsy premises that when dissected amount to a critique of President Trump’s character (not to mention the sovereign entitlement of the University of Hawaii to set national immigration policy for the entire country based on its urgent need for Syrian grad students), but by demanding that agencies under the control of the President of the United States enact their orders, such as accepting transgender military recruits.
The absurd outcomes of these rulings, that the University of Hawaii can set national immigration policy, but not the President of the United States, and that fitness to serve in the military can be determined by a Federal judge, but not by the military or the commander in chief, are only an irrational side effect of a conflict between the elected branches of government and an unelected class of political lawyers.
The Mueller investigation has to be seen in the context of a battle between the democratic powers of the people to choose their own representatives and the lawyers who actually run the government. Elections are being replaced by investigations and litigation as the engines of government. You don’t need to win an election to investigate elected officials. You don’t need public support to sue either.
Government by litigation and investigation shifts power away from voters to lawyers. What was meant to be a last resort for redressing serious violations instead becomes the primary test for holding political office. When investigation and litigation become more powerful tools than en election, then a politician must court the political legal class ahead of the country’s voters and put his obligations to them first.
That intended outcome is also the cause of the conflict.
President Trump refused to put the political class ahead of the voters. The legal civil war is being fought to reaffirm the centrality of the establishment over the voters. The civil war is a conflict between the political class and the people. It’s a struggle over the tools of government being waged with those tools.
Populism isn’t always a threat to the establishment. Obama’s populism didn’t threaten the establishment because its purpose was to reaffirm its power. Hope and Change just meant building a coalition that would vote for more government power in exchange for political goodies. But Trump’s populism challenges the existence of the establishment and its ability to distribute those goodies.
Politicians often run against the political machine. But most just want to pull the levers. Trump has challenged its power and its existence. And that is what set off the civil war.
Legal conflict is the last stage before physical conflict. The lawyers’ war is a last ditch effort by the establishment to wrest physical control of the government from President Trump. Unable to give the orders as the representatives of the people, the left is asserting every possible valid and invalid legal stratagem to run the government anyway. And to run President Trump out of town.
If its legal gambit fails, the left will default fully to mass protests, street violence and terrorism.
But the beauty of the legal gambit is that it allows the left to make common cause with establishment non-radicals like Mueller or the FBI’s Strzok who disprove of President Trump without sharing the left’s larger political agenda. A civil war fought by lawyers is cleaner and less ugly than one fought with bombs and bullets. If President Trump can survive the lawyers’ war, his opposition will be split between radicals who support violence and an establishment that wants to keep things running.
That is the Mueller test.
If the Democrats can’t sweep into office on the investigation’s coattails, the whole thing dies with a whimper. As Trump reshapes the judiciary, the judicial activism will matter less. The lawyers’ war will either end with the next election. Or it will begin in earnest. And only voter turnout will decide that.
Meanwhile the civil war continues. It’s a civil war fought with paperwork. But its outcome will determine whether the “government of the people, by the people, for the people” that President Lincoln invoked in the Gettysburg Address will thrive or “perish from the earth.”
Governments are run by bullets and paper, by force and process. Today’s civil war is still a paper war. But if the paper civil war fails, the rest of it may be fought the same way as the original civil war. http://sultanknish.blogspot.com/2018/01/the-lawyers-war-on-trump.html