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Friday, March 27, 2015

German media: Germanwings co-pilot did it for Allah

German media is confirming that Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Gunter Lubitz had converted to Islam. Lubitz was the co-pilot of the Germanwings Airbus A-320 who deliberately flew the plane into a mountain in the French Alps on Tuesday killing all 150 people on board, after locking the pilot out of the cockpit cabin.
A German news website claims Andreas Lubitz was a Muslim convert.
Speisa.com reported:
According to Michael Mannheimer, a writer for German PI-News, Germany now has its own 9/11, thanks to the convert to Islam, Andreas Lubitz.
Translation from German:
All evidence indicates that the copilot of Airbus machine in his six-months break during his training as a pilot in Germanwings, converted to Islam and subsequently either by the order of “radical”, ie. devout Muslims , or received the order from the book of terror, the Quran, on his own accord decided to carry out this mass murder. As a radical mosque in Bremen is in the center of the investigation, in which the convert was staying often, it can be assumed that he – as Mohammed Atta, in the attack against New York – received his instructions directly from the immediate vicinity of the mosque.
Converts are the most important weapon of Islam. Because their resume do not suggests that they often are particularly violent Muslims. Thus Germany now has its own 9/11, but in a reduced form. And so it is clear that Islam is a terrorist organization that are in accordance with §129a of the Criminal Code to prohibit it and to investigate its followers. But nothing will happen. One can bet that the apologists (media, politics, “Islamic Scholars”) will agree to assign this an act of a “mentally unstable” man, and you can bet that now, once again the mantra of how supposedly peaceful Islam is will continue. And worse still, the attacks by the left against those who have always warned against Islam, will be angrier and merciless.
For now the German Islam supporters like never before have their backs against the wall.
Michael Mannheimer, 26.3.2015
Apparently from the comments at German PI – Andreas Lubitz was Muslim convert from his Facebook page.
Of course, in much of the West it remains politically incorrect to mention these facts. And  there is little hope that the airlines will screen their pilots for religious beliefs. Until they get hit with a huge lawsuit because they should have known something like this.

In the meantime, airlines in Europe are quickly aligning themselves with US practice and not allowing a single pilot to be alone in the cockpit.
Airlines are changing procedures to ensure two crew are in the cockpit at all times following the Germanwings tragedy that killed 150 people.
...
Now budget carrier EasyJet has announced the move will come into force tomorrow - and aviation insiders say there are moves to make it 'mandatory' across airlines.
The move comes after the Civil Aviation Authority urged airlines to review their policies to avoid the pilot or co-pilot being alone at the controls.
An easyJet spokeswoman said: 'easyJet can confirm that, with effect from Friday 27 March, it will change its procedure which will mean that two crew members will be in the cockpit at all times.
'This decision has been taken in consultation with the Civil Aviation Authority. The safety and security and of its passengers and crew is the airline's highest priority.'
EasyJet said a cabin crew member will temporarily enter the cockpit if the pilot or co-pilot needs the toilet. The airline will not have a third trained pilot on board.
And a spokesman for Virgin Atlantic said: 'We always ensure we have the highest safety standards and, while it is our common practise to have two members of our crew in the flight deck at all times, in light of recent events we are now in the process of formalising this to be policy.'
So now commercial air travel will be safe so long as both pilots are not Muslims... and so long as a flight attendant is willing and able to overpower a suicidal pilot.

What could go wrong?

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Gee, do you think this is relevant? Germanwings co-pilot reported to be a 'recent convert to Islam'

Many in the politically correct media are becoming annoyed with questions regarding the religious beliefs of Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Gunter Lubitz. Lubitz locked the pilot out of the cabin of an Airbus A-320 jet over the French Alps on Tuesday and crashed the plane into a mountain at 434 miles per hour, killing himself and murdering an additional 140 people.
Questions about the religious background of Andreas Lubitz, the Germanwings pilot who investigators said deliberately crashed a plane in the French Alps this week, killing all on board, have sparked outrage and debate about whether such information is relevant to the investigation. When a reporter asked French Prosecutor Brice Robin of Marseille, during a news conference Thursday, whether he knew Lubitz’s religion, Robin said he did not know and added, “I don’t think that’s where the answer to this lies.”
The question suggested that Lubitz’s religious background was relevant to the investigation behind the pilot’s alleged deliberate downing of Germanwings Flight 9525 on Tuesday. Robin said the crash did not show any signs of terrorism. Some were appalled by the reporter’s inquiry.
“This line of questioning makes no sense to me whatsoever,” said Elizabeth Shakman Hurd, an associate professor of political science with a courtesy appointment in religious studies at Northwestern University in Illinois. “I find it disturbing and depressing that at a time like this some people feel compelled to search desperately for explanations that presume religious causation.”
Really, Professor Hurd? NO SENSE? It's all just a coincidence?
In 1999, the pilot of a Boeing 767 intentionally plunged the fully loaded plane into the Atlantic Ocean 30 minutes after takeoff from New York City on a nonstop flight to Cairo. An investigation found the pilot, Gamal al-Batouti, had said several times in Arabic, “I rely on God,” as the plane's autopilot function was disconnected and Egypt Air 999 plunged. The phrase is often associated with the moments before death.
The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board concluded that no mechanical event could have caused the plane to dive. But Egyptian officials never accepted the conclusion that al-Batouti had intentionally crashed, and conspiracy theories spread.
And another one that this article does not mention: Malaysia Airlines 370.
Investigators are now telling the London Telegraph that Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 was taken on a suicide mission.

The team investigating the Boeing 777’s disappearance believe no malfunction or fire was capable of causing the aircraft’s unusual flight or the disabling of its communications system before it veered wildly off course on a seven-hour silent flight into the sea. An analysis of the flight’s routing, signalling and communications shows that it was flown “in a rational way”.
An official source told The Telegraph that investigators believe “this has been a deliberate act by someone on board who had to have had the detailed knowledge to do what was done ... Nothing is emerging that points to motive.”
Asked about the possibility of a plane malfunction or an on-board fire, the source said: “It just does not hinge together... [The investigators] have gone through processes you do to get the plane where it flew to for eight hours. They point to it being flown in a rational way.” 
...
The flight remains shrouded in mystery and misinformation. Malaysia Airlines revealed for the first time yesterday that Fariq Abdul Hamid, the 27-year-old co-pilot, was on his first flight aboard a Boeing 777 as a fully-approved pilot. Fariq joined the airline seven years ago and had flown 2,763 hours but was only on his sixth flight in the cockpit of a 777 – and his first without a check pilot overseeing him.

But analysts said the co-pilot’s inexperience in a 777 cockpit would probably not have posed a risk.
Somewhat surprisingly, Malaysia Airlines said last night its “prayers go out to all the loved ones of the 226 passengers and of our 13 friends and colleagues” – even though the passenger manifest shows 227 passengers and 12 crew. The airline has not yet explained the discrepancy.
Would not have posed a risk, but would have made it much more likely that it took him a while to figure out what was going on. And most of the passengers probably never knew what happened.  Unless someone had a transponder (unlikely), most passengers on a flight like that would just go to sleep. The crew probably served dinner without realizing what their captain had done. From the families' perspective, they might take some solace in the fact that the passengers probably died peacefully - many of them in their sleep.

The captain - distraught over a divorce and over his political idol being jailed, and devout in his Muslim religion (that which must never be mentioned) - took them all down with him.
While French authorities are refusing to discuss Lubitz's religion,  Christian websites are reporting that Lubitz was a recent convert to Islam.
It was said that Lubitz had a Muslim girlfriend. It is unclear if she was still dating Lubitz at the time of the crash. It is unclear if he met the woman through his Muslims friends.

One said that Lubitz had broken off the relationship after he pledged to commit Jihad for Allah.

We do know that Lubitz trained at the Lufthansa Flight Training School in Bremen, Germany.

Bremen is home to the Mosque Masjidu-l-Furqan Mosque:

This Mosque was raided by the police in December 2014

BERLIN, Dec 5 (KUNA) — German authorities have closed a mosque in the northern city of Bremen, after it was accused of encouraging youth to join the extremist Islamic State group (known as ISIL), which is carrying out violent killings across Syria and Iraq.

In unprecedented circumstances, more than 100 German police personnel carried out a search of Masjidu-l-Furqan and its accompanying cultural office, which had both been under police radar since 2007.

The decision comes amid the fight against ISIL ideology, Bremen Interior Secretary Ulrich Maurer said, accusing the mosque’s management of promoting ISIL values and encouraging young Muslims in the city to travel to Syria and Iraq, and join the ranks of the group, along with Al-Nusra Front – another extremist group in Syria.

The centre have so far succeeded in inspiring a total eight men, seven women and 11 juveniles to travel to Syria and join ISIL, according to the official.
Lubitz did his time in Bremen when the Mosque was under surveillance.

...

Lubitz converted to Islam during his break.

Reason that pushed Lubitz over the edge? The raid on the Mosque in Breman  this past December?

The Police say they found a significant discovery in his home - not a suicide note:

Police investigating the Germanwings crash said they had made a 'significant discovery' at the home of co-pilot Andreas Lubitz, who deliberately ploughed the Airbus A320 into the French Alps. Officers refused to reveal details of the potential breakthrough but said it was not a suicide note. Speaking outside the flat on the outskirts of Dusseldorf, police said they had 'found something' that would now be taken for tests, adding it may be a 'clue' as to what happened to the doomed jet. Daily Mail Read More>>>
Is the significant discovery something Islamic? Something on his computer? A Koran? A Muslim prayer rug?
And for those of you who - like me - have the choice of flying Israeli, European or American airlines, here is a sobering thought:
The A320 is designed with safeguards to allow emergency entry if a pilot inside is unresponsive, but the override code known to the crew does not go into effect — and indeed goes into a lockdown — if the person inside the cockpit specifically denies entry, according to an Airbus training video and a pilot who has six years of experience with the jets.
Airlines in Europe are not required to have two people in the cockpit at all times, unlike the standard U.S. operating procedure after the 9/11 attacks changed to require a flight attendant to take the spot of a briefly departing pilot.
Sounds like the US procedure is a good idea. I don't know what the Israeli procedure is, but I would guess there is some kind of safeguard to keep a lone pilot from crashing a plane. 

What a sad commentary on our times that these things are necessary.

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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Yes, it was suicide

A French prosecutor has announced that the co-pilot of Germanwings flight 9525 locked the pilot out of the cockpit and deliberately crashed the flight into a mountain on Tuesday.
The co-pilot of the doomed Germanwings jet locked his captain out of the cockpit before deliberately crashing into a mountain to 'destroy the plane', it was sensationally revealed today.
French prosecutor Brice Robin gave further chilling details of the final ten minutes in the cockpit before the Airbus A320 plunged into the French Alps killing 150 people.
Revealing data extracted from the black box voice recorder, he said the co-pilot - 28-year-old German Andreas Lubitz - locked his captain out after the senior officer left the cockpit.
At that point, Lubitz used the flight managing system to put the plane into a descent, something that can only be done manually - and deliberately.
He said: 'The intention was to destroy the plane. Death was instant. The plane hit the mountain at 700kmh (430mph).
'I don't think that the passengers realised what was happening until the last moments because on the recording you only hear the screams in the final seconds'.
Earlier in the flight, Mr Robin said Lubitz's responses were initially courteous, but became 'curt' when the captain began the mid-flight briefing on the planned landing of the plane.
The captain - named by local media as German father-of-two Patrick Sonderheimer - then left the cockpit but found himself locked out when he tried to re-enter.
Mr Robin said: 'We hear the pilot asking the co-pilot to take over and we hear the sound of a chair being pushed back and a door closing so we assume that the captain went to the toilet or something.
'So the co-pilot is on his own, and it is while he's on his own that the co-pilot is in charge of the plane and uses the flight management system to start the descent of the plane.
'At this altitude, this can only be done voluntarily. We hear several shouts from the captain asking to get in, speaking through the intercom system, but there's no answer from the cockpit.'
Audio from the recording captures Mr Sonderheimer furiously pounding on the door to no avail.
Read the whole thing.

Still waiting to hear what his religion was.

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See The J Street Challenge - The Seductive Allure of Peace in Our Time now - limited time only

The J Street Challenge exposes the biggest 'pro-Israel' fraud ever perpetrated. It's available online for a limited time only.

Let's go to the videotape.



J Street is a fraud created by and for the Obama administration. This video shows why.

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Obama's revenge continues - exposes Israel's nuke program

Did you ever have a kid throw a tantrum and just start throwing things around your house? That's what Barack Hussein Obama is doing. He's having a tantrum and he's throwing around pieces of the US-Israel relationship.

The mainstream media has largely missed it, but early last month, the Obama administration exposed details about Israel's nuclear program. The details were part of a 1987 report on the nuclear capabilities of Israel and the NATO countries. But Israel - and only Israel - has been exposed.
[T]he Pentagon early last month quietly declassified a Department of Defense top-secret document detailing Israel's nuclear program, a highly covert topic that Israel has never formally announced to avoid a regional nuclear arms race, and which the US until now has respected by remaining silent.

But by publishing the declassified document from 1987, the US reportedly breached the silent agreement to keep quiet on Israel's nuclear powers for the first time ever, detailing the nuclear program in great depth.
The timing of the revelation is highly suspect, given that it came as tensions spiraled out of control between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and US President Barack Obama ahead of Netanyahu's March 3 address in Congress, in which he warned against the dangers of Iran's nuclear program and how the deal being formed on that program leaves the Islamic regime with nuclear breakout capabilities.
Another highly suspicious aspect of the document is that while the Pentagon saw fit to declassify sections on Israel's sensitive nuclear program, it kept sections on Italy, France, West Germany and other NATO countries classified, with those sections blocked out in the document.
The 386-page report entitled "Critical Technological Assessment in Israel and NATO Nations" gives a detailed description of how Israel advanced its military technology and developed its nuclear infrastructure and research in the 1970s and 1980s.
Israel is "developing the kind of codes which will enable them to make hydrogen bombs. That is, codes which detail fission and fusion processes on a microscopic and macroscopic level," reveals the report, stating that in the 1980s Israelis were reaching the ability to create bombs considered a thousand times more powerful than atom bombs.
The revelation marks a first in which the US published in a document a description of how Israel attained hydrogen bombs.
The report also notes research laboratories in Israel "are equivalent to our Los Alamos, Lawrence Livermore and Oak Ridge National Laboratories," the key labs in developing America's nuclear arsenal.
Israel's nuclear infrastructure is "an almost exact parallel of the capability currently existing at our National Laboratories," it adds.
"As far as nuclear technology is concerned the Israelis are roughly where the U.S. was in the fission weapon field in about 1955 to 1960," the report reveals, noting a time frame just after America tested its first hydrogen bomb.
Institute for Defense Analysis, a federally funded agency operating under the Pentagon, penned the report back in 1987.
 Obama's term cannot come to an end soon enough. What a despicable piece of dirt.

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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Oh my... Two Iranians on Germanwings 9525

Russia Today has published a list of the nationalities of the passengers and crew of Germanwings 9525, which crashed on Wednesday in the French Alps. The list is not just Spaniards and Germans. It includes two Iranians, two Venezuelans, an Israeli and two Americans.
12:47 GMT:
AFP reports that these are the nationalities of the A320 victims, which have been confirmed by either Germanwings or the country’s governments:
72 Germans
35 Spaniards; Spain says there may be up to 39
3 British, confirmed by the government, which says there may be more.
3 Kazakhs
2 Americans
2 Argentines
2 Australians
2 Colombians
2 Iranians
2 Japanese
2 Venezuelans
1 Belgian
1 Dane
1 Dutch
1 Israeli
1 Mexican
1 Moroccan
1 Turk
Obviously, the nationalities could be totally innocent and I would not suspect that, for example, the Israeli and the Americans were involved in any foul play. Or the nationalities could be less than innocent. 

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Is Germanwings hiding something?

Here's a report from the Guardian's website on the ongoing search and rescue operations for Germanwings flight 9525, which crashed on Tuesday in the French Alps.

Let's go to the videotape. More after the video



The White House ruled out terrorism, but not everyone agrees. From the first link.
In Washington, the White House said the crash did not appear to have been caused by a terrorist attack. Lufthansa said it was working on the assumption that the tragedy had been an accident, adding that any other theory would be speculation. French president Francois Hollande will visit the area on Wednesday along with German chancellor Angela Merkel and Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy.
Germanwings said the plane started descending one minute after reaching its cruising height and continued losing altitude for eight minutes.
“The aircraft’s contact with French radar, French air traffic controllers, ended at 10.53 am at an altitude of about 6,000 feet. The plane then crashed,” Germanwings’ Managing Director Thomas Winkelmann told a news conference.
Winkelmann later said some Germanwings crew members had declared themselves unfit to fly, leading to some cancellations. “We understand that on a day like today, they wouldn’t feel able to fly,” he told German broadcaster ZDF.
Experts said that while the Airbus had descended rapidly, it did not seem to have simply fallen out of the sky.
A Lufthansa flight from Bilbao to Munich on Nov. 5 lost altitude after sensors iced over and the onboard computer, fearing the plane was about to stall, put the nose down. As a result, the European Aviation Safety Agency ordered a change in procedure for all A320 jets.
Asked whether something similar could have occurred on Tuesday, Winkelmann said, “At this time this evening, we are ruling out a possible cause in this area.”
Second link
France’s interior minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, has told RTL radio all options must be looked into to explain why the Airbus A320 ploughed into an Alpine mountainside on Tuesday but a terrorist attack is not the most likely scenario.
And there were some strange goings on at a news conference yesterday (Hat Tip: MFS - The Other News).
A journalist, speaking with a Spanish accent, asked during a press conference: “Germanwings this morning explained something about this flight, what do you think of that?”
It’s not clear to what she was referring but the Lufthansa representative seemed to understand.
Heike Birlenbach, Lufthansa vice-president for Europe initially blocked the question with a fairly standard ‘No Comment’ but then turned to her advisors and added in German.
“That was what he was not supposed to say.”
What was the question and why was it (apparently) not to be brought up at the press conference? Let's look at the press conference first.

Let's go to the videotape. 



I watched the press conferences given by Germanwings' CEO and by the Deputy Interior Minister of France, and I didn't find anything suspicious. Hmmm.

For now, I'm sticking with what I posted last night.

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Time for Democrats to face reality on Obama's pressure on Israel

Jonathan Tobin does a great job of summing up President Hussein Obama's relations with Israel.
From January 2009 to the present, the conflict between Israel and the United States has never been connected to any real chance of peace or ending the conflict in a manner that is consistent with American pledges about ensuring the Jewish state’s security. At this point, it is time for even those that have rationalized and apologized for Obama’s penchant for attacking Israel to face up to the fact that his behavior requires a better explanation than an alleged desire to save it from itself. Nor is the argument about Iran enough to justify what we are witnessing. Nothing about the current argument can be traced to U.S. security needs. Rather, its motive seems more about personal anger and vague ideological assumptions about Israel and the Palestinians that have no connection to reality.
That is a sobering thought that should motivate even those Democrats who are no fans of Netanyahu to begin speaking up against an administration policy that seems rooted in spite, not strategy.
Or maybe not so vague
Where does Israel fit into this? It seems that Victor Davis Hanson got it partly right when he wrote:
Does Team Obama really believe that a murderous autocratic cabal like Hamas is merely different from a democratic constitutional republic like Israel? At best we have naiveté at the helm (Obama thinks he can mesmerize misunderstood killers), at worst, a genuine feeling that Israel is an aggressive, Western imperialist power exploiting indigenous people of color who simply wish to be free--in other words, the Rev. Wright-Bill Ayers-Rashid Khalidi view of the Middle East.
If D'Souza is correct (and what he writes is certainly plausible), it should be clear that Obama views Israel - like the United States - as a post-colonial country that is "an aggressive, Western imperialist power exploiting indigenous people of color who simply wish to be free." But Hanson got one detail wrong. Obama doesn't look at us that way because of Wright, Ayers and Khalidi. They just reinforced the view of Israel that Obama already had in his blood from his Kenyan father.
I've been telling you all for eight years that the company a politician keeps matters. We could all have figured this out eight years ago (I did). What could go wrong?

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Obama says there won't be a 'peace agreement,' blames Netanyahu, will try to force creation of a 'Palestinian state'

Barack Hussein Obama has acknowledged the 'reality' that there won't be a 'peace agreement' during his term in office, and has decided instead to attempt to force the creation of a 'Palestinian state' through the United Nations. For all of this he blames Binyamin Netanyahu.
In a stark assessment of U.S.-Israel relations, Mr. Obama, speaking at a news conference, put a firm end to one of the top foreign-policy goals of his second term: a Middle East peace deal that includes the creation a Palestinian state.
“What we can’t do is pretend that there’s a possibility for something that’s not there,” Mr. Obama said. “And we can’t continue to premise our public diplomacy based on something that everybody knows is not going to happen at least in the next several years.”
He added, “For the sake of our own credibility I think we have to be able to be honest about that.”
...
Messrs. Obama and Netanyahu are deeply divided over nuclear talks with Iran, an issue likely to resurface as the next deadline in negotiations arrives next week. The two leaders have long disliked each other, but Mr. Obama played down the notion that personal discord was motivating his policy decisions.
“The issue is not a matter of relations between leaders. The issue is a very clear substantive challenge: We believe that two states is the best path forward for Israel’s security, for Palestinian aspirations, and for regional stability,” Mr. Obama said. “And Prime Minister Netanyahu has a different approach.”
The president said the U.S. is considering alternatives to Israeli-Palestinian talks, including taking action at the United Nations that would afford Palestinians statehood.
Most pro-Israel administration evah? Really? Is this what we can expect next? Now that the US has left Iraq to Islamic State and Afghanistan to the Taliban, they have the troops available. 

What could go wrong?


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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Egypt Air 990, Malaysia Air 370 and... Germanwings 9525?

Am I the only one with the sickening feeling that the unexplained loss of Germanwings 9525 may be yet another pilot suicide? (I know I'm not because someone already emailed me with the same suspicion).
French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said a black box had been found, but did not say whether it was a data recorder or a cockpit voice recorder.
“A black box was found and will be delivered to investigators,” Cazeneuve told reporters.
The crew of the Germanwings flight did not send a distress signal, civil aviation authorities told AFP.
“The crew did not send a Mayday. It was air traffic control that decided to declare the plane was in distress because there was no contact with the crew of the plane,” the source said.
France’s junior transport minister said there were no survivors from the crash.
Photos of crash site from the La Provence newspaper showed scattered black flecks across a mountain and several larger airplane body sections with windows, five in one chunk and four in another. French officials said a helicopter crew that landed briefly in the area saw no signs of life.
“Everything is pulverized. The largest pieces of debris are the size of a small car. No one can access the site from the ground,” Gilbert Sauvan, president of the general council, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, told The Associated Press.
Germanwings said Flight 9525 carried 144 passengers, including two babies, and six crew members. Officials believe 67 German nationals were on board, including 16 high school students on an exchange program from the German town of Haltern. Dutch officials said one citizen was killed.
And apparently one Israeli according to the article linked above. His name, like the pilot's, has not yet been released. 

For those who have forgotten....
At 0147:55, the relief first officer stated, "Look, here's the new first officer's pen. Give it to him please. God spare you,"9 and, at 0147:58, someone responded, "yeah." At 0148:03, the command captain stated, "Excuse me, [nickname for relief first officer], while I take a quick trip to the toilet...before it gets crowded. While they are eating, and I'll be back to you." While the command captain was speaking, the relief first officer responded, "Go ahead please," and the CVR recorded the sound of an electric seat motor as the captain maneuvered to leave his seat and the cockpit. At 0148:18.55, the CVR recorded a sound similar to the cockpit door operating. At 0148:30, about 11 seconds after the captain left the cockpit, the CVR recorded an unintelligible comment.10 Ten seconds later (about 0148:40), the relief first officer stated quietly, "I rely on God."11 There were no sounds or events recorded by the flight recorders that would indicate that an airplane anomaly or other unusual circumstance preceded the relief first officer's statement, "I rely on God."
At 0149:18, the CVR recorded the sound of an electric seat motor. FDR data indicated that, at 0149:45 (27 seconds later), the autopilot was disconnected.12 Aside from the very slight movement of both elevators (the left elevator moved from about a 0.7° to about a 0.5° nose-up deflection, and the right elevator moved from about a 0.35° nose-up to about a 0.3° nose-down deflection)13 and the airplane's corresponding slight nose-down pitch change, which were recorded within the first second after autopilot disconnect, and a very slow (0.5° per second) left roll rate, the airplane remained essentially in level flight about FL 330 for about 8 seconds after the autopilot was disconnected. At 0149:48, the relief first officer again stated quietly, "I rely on God." At 0149:53, the throttle levers were moved from their cruise power setting to idle, and, at 0149:54, the FDR recorded an abrupt nose-down elevator movement and a very slight movement of the inboard ailerons. Subsequently, the airplane began to rapidly pitch nose down and descend.
Between 0149:57 and 0150:05, the relief first officer quietly repeated, "I rely on God," seven additional times.14 During this time, as a result of the nose-down elevator movement, the airplane's load factor15 decreased from about 1 to about 0.2 G.16 Between 0150:04 and 0150:05 (about 10 to 11 seconds after the initial nose-down movement of the elevators), the FDR recorded additional, slightly larger inboard aileron movements, and the elevators started moving further in the nose-down direction. Immediately after the FDR recorded the increased nose-down elevator movement, the CVR recorded the sounds of the captain asking loudly (beginning at 0150:06), "What's happening? What's happening?," as he returned to the cockpit.
The airplane's load factor decreased further as a result of the increased nose-down elevator deflection, reaching negative G loads (about -0.2 G) between 0150:06 and 0150:07. During this time (and while the captain was still speaking [at 0150:07]), the relief first officer stated for the tenth time, "I rely on God." Additionally, the CVR transcript indicated that beginning at 0150:07, the CVR recorded the "sound of numerous thumps and clinks," which continued for about 15 seconds.
According to the CVR and FDR data, at 0150:08, as the airplane exceeded its maximum operating airspeed (0.86 Mach), a master warning alarm began to sound. (The warning continued until the FDR and CVR stopped recording at 0150:36.64 and 0150:38.47, respectively.)17 Also at 0150:08, the relief first officer stated quietly for the eleventh and final time, "I rely on God," and the captain repeated his question, "What's happening?" At 0150:15, the captain again asked, "What's happening, [relief first officer's first name]? What's happening?" At this time, as the airplane was descending through about 27,300 feet msl, the FDR recorded both elevator surfaces beginning to move in the nose-up direction. Shortly thereafter, the airplane's rate of descent began to decrease.18 At 0150:21, about 6 seconds after the airplane's rate of descent began to decrease, the left and right elevator surfaces began to move in opposite directions; the left surface continued to move in the nose-up direction, and the right surface reversed its motion and moved in the nose-down direction.
The FDR data indicated that the engine start lever switches for both engines moved from the run to the cutoff position between 0150:21 and 0150:23.19 Between 0150:24 and 0150:27, the throttle levers moved from their idle position to full throttle, the speedbrake handle moved to its fully deployed position, and the left elevator surface moved from a 3º nose-up to a 1º nose-up position, then back to a 3º nose-up position.20 During this time, the CVR recorded the captain asking, "What is this? What is this? Did you shut the engine(s)?" Also, at 0150:26.55, the captain stated, "Get away in the engines,"21 and, at 0150:28.85, the captain stated, "shut the engines." At 0150:29.66, the relief first officer stated, "It's shut."
Between 0150:31 and 0150:37, the captain repeatedly stated, "Pull with me." However, the FDR data indicated that the elevator surfaces remained in a split condition (with the left surface commanding nose up and the right surface commanding nose down) until the FDR and CVR stopped recording at 0150:36.64 and 0150:38.47, respectively. (The last transponder [secondary radar] return from the accident airplane was received at the radar site at Nantucket, Massachusetts, at 0150:34.)22 [Footnote links may not work. CiJ]
As some of you may recall, after the NTSB investigation, the Egyptians continued to deny that the co-pilot had committed suicide and would not accept the NTSB report.
Malaysian Air 370:
As the video reports, the pilots apparently turned the jet at the perfect spot - at the point where the jet was handed off from Malaysian to Vietnamese controllers. But if the Malaysian authorities found anything in their homes, they're not saying.

The Malaysian government had been looking for a reason to search the home of the pilot and the co-pilot for several days. But it was only in the last 24 to 36 hours, when radar and satellite data came to light, that authorities believed they had sufficient reason to go through the residences, according to the U.S. official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
"The Malaysians don't do this lightly," the official said. It's not clear whether the Malaysian government believes one or both the men could be responsible for what happened when the Boeing 777-200 ER disappeared March 8 en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
The officials emphasize that they don't know yet what really happened to the plane. But here's the best theory. To those of you who have been following it should sound familiar. It's the southern corridor theory.
Flight 370 took off from Kuala Lumpur at 12:41 a.m. on March 8. The last satellite communication from the plane occurred at 8:11 a.m., Najib said, well past the scheduled arrival time in Beijing.
That last communication, Najib said, was in one of two possible traffic corridors shown on a map released to the press. A northern arc stretches from the border of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to northern Thailand, and a southern arc spans from Indonesia to the southern Indian Ocean.
"Due to the type of satellite data, we are unable to confirm the precise location of the plane when it last made contact with the satellite," Najib said.
Because the northern parts of the traffic corridor include some tightly guarded airspace over India, Pakistan, and even some U.S. installations in Afghanistan, U.S. authorities believe it more likely the aircraft crashed into waters outside of the reach of radar south of India, a U.S. official told CNN. If it had flown farther north, it's likely it would have been detected by radar.
Nonetheless for the last 36 hours, the U.S. military and intelligence community has been reviewing all satellite imagery and electronic data it collects from the region for any sign of an explosion or crash, according to another U.S. official directly familiar with that effort.
Najib said authorities were ending search operations in the South China Sea and reassessing the deployment of assets.
"This new satellite information has a significant impact on the nature and scope of the search operation," he said.
Investigators, he said, have confirmed by looking at the raw satellite data that the plane in question was the Malaysia Airlines jet.
The same conclusion was reached by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board, the British Air Accidents Investigation Branch and the Malaysian authorities, all of whom were working separately with the same data, he said.
Well, if it didn't crash it landed on some abandoned island somewhere in the middle of the Indian Ocean and we'll hear a ransom demand sometime soon. That appears unlikely. Given the level of satellite information available today, it seems really unlikely that there would be an airstrip in the middle of nowhere that could land a 777 that hasn't shown up on the satellite data.

If you're wondering how they flew out of the corridor undetected, this might have had something to do with it.
Hours before Najib's announcement, U.S. officials told CNN the flight had made drastic changes in altitude and direction after disappearing from civilian radar.
Malaysian military radar showed the plane climbing to 45,000 feet -- which is above its approved altitude limit -- soon after disappearing from civilian radar screens and then dropping to 23,000 feet before climbing again, a U.S. official familiar with the investigation said.
The jetliner was flying "a strange path," the official said on condition of anonymity. The details of the radar readings were first reported by The New York Times on Friday.
What's unsaid in all this is that Malaysia is - you guessed it - a Muslim country.  As is Egypt.
Here's betting that the pilot is not Amish, Baptist, Catholic, Jewish.... Hmmm.

PS My travel agent talked me out of that flight a few months ago. She hates double connections.

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That racist Likud

There are no black MK's in the Labor party.

There are no black MK's in Meretz.

But there is one in the Likud.


Racist?

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J Street Jan Schakowsky attacks former rival Joel Pollak for being 'Orthodox' Jew

Representative Jan Schakowsky (D-Il) thanked J Street for backing her Congressional campaign in 2010, and took the opportunity to attack her long-gone rival Joel Pollak for being 'Orthodox.' Pollak has moved to California and become an editor at Breitbart.com (Hat Tip: Mike P).
Schakowsky begins by thanking J Street for its backing of her positions when it comes to Israel.
“I’d like to begin with just a great thank you for J Street. I have to tell you that the courage to take positions that I’ve been able to take are [sic] really because of the space that, in a very short time, J Street had opened for members of Congress to expand political discussion about the State of Israel and our relationship to it.”
In the video—which was provided by Paul Miller, who served as a senior policy adviser for Pollak’s campaign and is now the executive director of the Salomon Center—the Democratic Rep. from Illinois rips into the Breitbart editor.
“In 2010, I had an election… an election within our community. That is, I ran against a Jewish-Orthodox, Tea Party Republican who made it very clear that actually Jan Schakowsky was anti-Israel because of the positions that she took,” the Congresswoman said of Pollak.
“J Street came to my rescue,” she added. “Not just with money, but with the kind of moral support that was able to assure a substantial victory in that election.”
Schakowsky represents a heavily Jewish district in the Chicago area. I hope that any Orthodox Jewish constituents will  respond to her. She's disgusting.

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Israeli official: 'No Palestinian state in our generation'

Confirming reports that the Obama administration had been part of a concerted effort to oust Prime Minister Netanyahu, a 'senior Jerusalem official' has told the Times of Israel that there will be 'no Palestinian state in our generation,' and that everyone knows it.
The Jerusalem official took Netanyahu’s disavowal of Palestinian statehood further, claiming that a two state-solution would be out of reach “in our generation,” due to Palestinian rejections of Israeli proposals and US-led agreements.
“[Obama] continuously warns of a deteriorating state of chaos in the [Palestinian] territories, when he knows that the only place that truly manages to maintain stability in the Middle East right now is [Israel],” the official said. “Netanyahu said there will no agreement [with the Palestinians] during his term in office.”
A Palestinian state “won’t even happen in our generation,” the official added.” Everyone knows it.”
“They come and accuse us of torpedoing negotiations even though they know that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas himself said no [to a deal], twice — once to then-secretary of state Hillary Clinton in 2011, and once to Secretary of State John Kerry last year.”
The official went on to refer to two “framework documents, designed to jump-start the process” that were accepted by Israel and rejected by the Palestinians, and accused the administration of devoting too much energy to the Palestinian issue, to the detriment of other, more pertinent regional challenges.
“Look at what we did about settlement construction. We took upon ourselves all the restrictions laid forth during the Sharon-Bush era, which allowed for building to accommodate natural population growth, but not for building new settlements,” the official continued, referring to an arrangement in the last decade between then-prime minister Ariel Sharon and president George Bush. “But the [current] administration does not recognize the Sharon-Bush understandings. They’re working according to a ‘no-brick’ policy and it doesn’t make any sense.”
Obama rejected the Bush letter in June of 2009. It was about a week before Netanyahu's Bar Ilan speech. Netanyahu's second government (the first of the Obama administration) was formed on March 31, 2009. Anyone not think Obama had it in for Israel from Day One.

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That's the way they operate

Does anyone else think it odd that the Obama administration would leak a story about Israel spying on the US to the Wall Street Journal rather than calling in the Israeli ambassador and making a formal complaint?
Odd? Not really. This is standard operating procedure for Obama.

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White House Chief of Staff calls Israel's existence 'occupation'

On Monday, White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, who was representing his boss, told the J Street convention that Israel must end 'more than 50 years of occupation (Hat Tip: Eliyahu P).'
McDonough then described the alternate to a two-state agreement: a one-state solution based on unilateral annexation and abandonment of democratic rights for Palestinians that, he warned, “would only contribute to Israel’s further isolation.” In other words, he said, more divestment, boycotts and efforts to delegitimize Israel in the international community.
“An occupation that has lasted more than 50 years must end,” McDonough said, one of several times he brought the crowd to its feet.
While I have occasionally heard American officials refer to an Israeli 'occupation,' this is the first time I have ever heard an American official refer to an 'occupation' starting before 1967 (2015 - 50 = 1965). 

Is the Obama administration now asserting - as Fatah and Hamas do - that Israel's very creation constitutes an 'occupation' of Arab land? 

If yes, that's not likely to bring about a whole lot of trust for the Obama administration. And that's the least of the problems.

As to 'pro-Israel' J Street, no one should be surprised to see them applauding that assertion. 

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Israel accused of spying on Iran nuke talks

If this story is true, Prime Minister Netanyahu has proven once again that he does not trust the Obama administration, and that he is willing to do whatever must be done to protect Israel, even at the cost of offending King Hussein. The Wall Street Journal reports this morning that Israel 'spied' on the nuclear talks with Iran (Hat Tip: Memeorandum). I'm going to post a lot of this article, because it's not freely available online and I got it by email from another source.
The spying operation was part of a broader campaign by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government to penetrate the negotiations and then help build a case against the emerging terms of the deal, current and former U.S. officials said. In addition to eavesdropping, Israel acquired information from confidential U.S. briefings, informants and diplomatic contacts in Europe, the officials said.
The espionage didn’t upset the White House as much as Israel’s sharing of inside information with U.S. lawmakers and others to drain support from a high-stakes deal intended to limit Iran’s nuclear program, current and former officials said.
“It is one thing for the U.S. and Israel to spy on each other. It is another thing for Israel to steal U.S. secrets and play them back to U.S. legislators to undermine U.S. diplomacy,” said a senior U.S. official briefed on the matter.
The U.S. and Israel, longtime allies who routinely swap information on security threats, sometimes operate behind the scenes like spy-versus-spy rivals. The White House has largely tolerated Israeli snooping on U.S. policy makers—a posture Israel takes when the tables are turned.
The White House discovered the operation, in fact, when U.S. intelligence agencies spying on Israel intercepted communications among Israeli officials that carried details the U.S. believed could have come only from access to the confidential talks, officials briefed on the matter said.
Israeli officials denied spying directly on U.S. negotiators and said they received their information through other means, including close surveillance of Iranian leaders receiving the latest U.S. and European offers. European officials, particularly the French, also have been more transparent with Israel about the closed-door discussions than the Americans, Israeli and U.S. officials said.
Using levers of political influence unique to Israel, Messrs. Netanyahu and Dermer calculated that a lobbying campaign in Congress before an announcement was made would improve the chances of killing or reshaping any deal. They knew the intervention would damage relations with the White House, Israeli officials said, but decided that was an acceptable cost.
The campaign may not have worked as well as hoped, Israeli officials now say, because it ended up alienating many congressional Democrats whose support Israel was counting on to block a deal.
Obama administration officials, departing from their usual description of the unbreakable bond between the U.S. and Israel, have voiced sharp criticism of Messrs. Netanyahu and Dermer to describe how the relationship has changed.
“People feel personally sold out,” a senior administration official said. “That’s where the Israelis really better be careful because a lot of these people will not only be around for this administration but possibly the next one as well.”
THEY feel sold out? Well, BOO HOO. The Obama administration has done everything in its power over the last six years to weaken relations between the United States and Israel. They expect us to trust them? I'm thrilled that Netanyahu is capable of seeing and admitting that this administration is no friend of Israel, and last week's election results prove that most Israelis can see that there is a difference between our relations with the United States and the American people and our relations with this administration. Most Israelis didn't fall for the simplistic argument advanced by the Left that Netanyahu was ruining our relations with the United States.

As to the last sentence, that's yet another incentive for Israelis to work for a Republican candidate for President in 2016. Ted Cruz, who announced yesterday, would be excellent.

The article goes on to state that Israel might have spied because the Obama administration launched these talks in 2012 without telling us, and didn't tell us about them until September 2013 (gee, talk about creating mistrust). The article also says that Netanyahu's office denies that we spied on the US (we routinely spy on Iran, but the US knows that because they helped set up our system for doing so!).
Israeli officials, who said they had already learned about the talks through their own channels, told their U.S. counterparts they were upset about being excluded. “ ‘Did the administration really believe we wouldn’t find out?’ ” Israeli officials said, according to a former U.S. official.
The episode cemented Mr. Netanyahu’s concern that Mr. Obama was bent on clinching a deal with Iran whether or not it served Israel’s best interests, Israeli officials said. Obama administration officials said the president was committed to preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons.
Mr. Dermer started lobbying U.S. lawmakers just before the U.S. and other powers signed an interim agreement with Iran in November 2013. Mr. Netanyahu and Mr. Dermer went to Congress after seeing they had little influence on the White House.
Before the interim deal was made public, Mr. Dermer gave lawmakers Israel’s analysis: The U.S. offer would dramatically undermine economic sanctions on Iran, according to congressional officials who took part.
After learning about the briefings, the White House dispatched senior officials to counter Mr. Dermer. The officials told lawmakers that Israel’s analysis exaggerated the sanctions relief by as much as 10 times, meeting participants said.
When the next round of negotiations with Iran started in Switzerland last year, U.S. counterintelligence agents told members of the U.S. negotiating team that Israel would likely try to penetrate their communications, a senior Obama administration official said.
The U.S. routinely shares information with its European counterparts and others to coordinate negotiating positions. While U.S. intelligence officials believe secured U.S. communications are relatively safe from the Israelis, they say European communications are vulnerable.
So maybe we didn't spy on the US. Maybe we spied on the Europeans. Or maybe the Europeans - or at least France - decided to tell us about it. Hey Obama - you keep saying that you're our ally and that you have our back and your party chaircritter keeps saying that she wears her support to Israel to work on her sleeve every day.  So how can you keep something like this from us for a year? How can you do this behind our backs? It's our existence at stake - not yours! What do you expect us to do in response?

Or maybe we spied on Iran.
Current and former Israeli officials said their intelligence agencies can get much of the information they seek by targeting Iranians and others in the region who are communicating with countries in the talks.
In November, the Israelis learned the contents of a proposed deal offered by the U.S. but ultimately rejected by Iran, U.S. and Israeli officials said. Israeli officials told their U.S. counterparts the terms offered insufficient protections.
And this story is apparently how Netanyahu's address to a joint session of Congress came about too.
In January, Mr. Netanyahu told the White House his government intended to oppose the Iran deal but didn’t explain how, U.S. and Israeli officials said.
On Jan. 21, House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) announced Mr. Netanyahu would address a joint meeting of Congress. That same day, Mr. Dermer and other Israeli officials visited Capitol Hill to brief lawmakers and aides, seeking a bipartisan coalition large enough to block or amend any deal.

...
Mr. Dermer and other Israeli officials over the following weeks gave lawmakers and their aides information the White House was trying to keep secret, including how the emerging deal could allow Iran to operate around 6,500 centrifuges, devices used to process nuclear material, said congressional officials who attended the briefings.
For the record, those 6,500 centrifuges (now apparently 6,000) aren't enough for any civilian nuclear use, but they are enough for nuclear weapons.
The Israeli officials told lawmakers that Iran would also be permitted to deploy advanced IR-4 centrifuges that could process fuel on a larger scale, meeting participants and administration officials said. Israeli officials said such fuel, which under the emerging deal would be intended for energy plants, could be used to one day build nuclear bombs.
...
When asked in February during one briefing where Israel got its inside information, the Israeli officials said their sources included the French and British governments, as well as their own intelligence, according to people there.
“Ambassador Dermer never shared confidential intelligence information with members of Congress,” Mr. Sagui said. “His briefings did not include specific details from the negotiations, including the length of the agreement or the number of centrifuges Iran would be able to keep.”
'Current and former US officials' claim that Dermer did tell Congress those details.

All of this has come at a cost, and Israel is seeking new ways to defeat a deal with Iran.
Congressional aides and Israeli officials now say Israel’s coalition in Congress is short the votes needed to pass legislation that could overcome a presidential veto, although that could change. In response, Israeli officials said, Mr. Netanyahu was pursuing other ways to pressure the White House.
This week, Mr. Netanyahu sent a delegation to France, which has been more closely aligned with Israel on the nuclear talks and which could throw obstacles in Mr. Obama’s way before a deal is signed. The Obama administration, meanwhile, is stepping up its outreach to Paris to blunt the Israeli push.
France has not been a better friend to Israel than the United States since the Eisenhower administration. Obama has 'succeeded' in turning back the clock.

One final comment. Obama is lucky this story didn't come out last Sunday or Monday. If it had, the Likud might have won 80 seats in last Tuesday's elections. This story doesn't make Obama into a victim (although I am sure that was the administration's intent in leaking it). This story makes Obama look petty, vindictive, and more than willing to abandon an ally that just happens to be the only democracy in a part of the world that is of critical interest to the United States.

Obama has won the title. He will go down in history as the worst President the United States has ever had. 

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Monday, March 23, 2015

Obama State Department: Netanyahu apology 'insincere'

'Israeli Arabs' may accept it,  but State Department spokescritter Marie Harf says that the State Department has decided that Prime Minister Netanyahu's apology isn't 'sincere.'
"When he says one thing one day and another thing another it's impossible to tell if he's sincere," State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf told reporters on Monday. "We can't read his mind."
But don't worry - the 'Israeli Arabs' aren't accepting it either. 
Joint (Arab) List head Ayman Odeh called Netanyahu's statement unacceptable and said a sincere apology should come in the form of passing laws intended to make state funding allocations in Israel more equal. He noted that after the meeting with the Arab leaders, Netanyahu met with Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett and spoke to him about advancing nationalist legislation.

"This is just another zigzag by a man known for his zigzags," Odeh said. "He should return the mandates he received for his incitement. We are waiting for a real apology, which means real equality."
Netanyahu needs to be consistent like Ayatollah Ali Khameni, who consistently says that Israel must be destroyed. Oh... wait.... They don't believe Khameni either. 

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Pro-Israel, pro-peace?

Well, here's one person who has 'seen the light' through J Street.
Waiting for @JeremyBenAmi to tell us that @lizaveta9 misunderstood.... 

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But of course, it won't be enough for Obama

Given that the most pro-Likud town in the country was also an Arab town, maybe next time Netanyahu should be more precise and say that people are being brought en masse to vote for the Arab parties.

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No, the US was not supposed to participate in the 'human rights council' hearing

In an earlier post, I quoted a Reuters report that claimed that the United States had abandoned Israel to the tender loving care of the United Nations 'human rights council.'

As you can see from the statement above, that report was not quite correct. The US, as a matter of principle, boycotts Item 7 on every 'human rights council' meeting agenda, because that is the permanent items for excoriating Israel. If  you can't read the image above, you can find the statement here.

The Europeans, on the other hand, according to my sources, violated an agreement with Israel by commenting on Item 7. The Europeans have a deal with Israel that if Israel submits to the Universal Periodic Review, the Europeans will boycott Item 7.

Of course, a much more principled stance for both the US and Europe would be to leave the 'human rights council' altogether. But that will have to await new elections in the US.

Hmmm.

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Obama's dirty tricks backfire

One reason President Hussein Obama is so enraged at Prime Minister Netanyahu might be that Netanyahu managed to defeat one of the nastiest sets of dirty tricks ever thrown at or by a politician this side of Donald Segretti. David Bernstein has sorted it all out.

So here’s the dynamic: Netanyahu, while talking tough publicly about terms for an Israeli-Palestinian deal, was much more accommodating privately during actual negotiations. Just before Israeli elections, the U.S. government likely leaks evidence of his flexibility to harm Netanyahu. As a result, Netanyahu starts to lose right-wing voters to smaller parties, and the left-leaning major opposition party takes a lead in the polls, putting Netanyahu’s leadership in question, just as the U.S. wanted.
Netanyahu responds by using increasingly right-wing rhetoric (including denying that he ever agreed to the framework in question), to win back the voters from smaller parties that the leak cost him. He wins, and almost immediately announces that his campaign rhetoric was misunderstood, and that he still supports a two-state solution when conditions allow. The Obama Administration then announces it nevertheless has to reassess relations with Israel, allegedly because Netanayahu is no longer committed to the two-state solution.
So you get it? The Obama Administration, or someone with similar motivations, leaks a document showing that in practice, Netanyahu was surprisingly flexible in negotiations sponsored by the U.S. Netanyahu then tries to compensate by sounding tough in the closing days of his campaign. The administration then pretends that this is much more meaningful than its actual experience with Netanyahu, as indicated by the document it likely leaked, because it was out to punish Israel for electing Netanyahu regardless.
Indeed, recent reports show that the administration was planning to retaliate against Israel diplomatically if it reelected Netanyahu months ago, not only before his controversial election remarks, but before his Iran speech to Congress was even planned. (In fact, it wouldn’t be surprising if Israeli intelligence had gotten wind of this, and thus Netanyahu thought he had little to lose by irritating Obama further with his speech).
So which of Obama's goals did he accomplish?

Get rid of Bibi? Nope. Not only did Netanyahu win the election, but it looks like we're headed for a more Right wing coalition than the last one.

Get a 'Palestinian state' or get the negotiations for one on track? Nope. Netanyahu is not the one who blew up the negotiations, and having been the target of Obama's cheap shot for being flexible, I would bet on Netanyahu being a lot less flexible when and if (ever) those negotiations resume.

Get Netanyahu to stop telling people how lousy Obama's Iran deal is? Nope. In fact, Obama himself may have been the precipitater of Netanyahu seeking and accepting that invitation to address a joint session of Congress.

And you thought Obama messed up the rest of the Middle East? Oh Bummer....

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Netanyahu quotes Kerry, Obama goes ballistic

In April 2013, US Secretary of State John Kerry told a Congressional hearing:
"Mr Kerry, the US secretary of state, told the US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday that the 'window' for a two state solution was 'shutting'.
'I think we have some period of time, a year, a year-and-a-half, or two years and it's over,' he said."
I never quite thought of it in these terms, but Lev Tsitrin argues that almost precisely two years later, Binyamin Netanyahu made Kerry into a prophet. Except that Obama is, for some strange reason, unhappy about his Secretary of State being proven right.
But why "evaluate" "other options" regarding Mr. Netanyahu, who, after all, merely confirmed what Mr. Kerry stated two years prior? Shouldn't Mr. Obama rather "evaluate" Mr. Kerry? And for that matter, given that Mr. Kerry acted as a mouthpiece of the Obama administration when making his prophetic statement, shouldn't Mr. Obama "evaluate" Mr. Obama – giving himself a high mark for being right on what he said, and for embracing Mr. Netanyahu for so precisely confirming Mr. Obama's, and Mr. Kerry's, prediction? Shouldn't Netanyahu's statement be a moment of pride for Mr. Obama? Why isn't Mr. Obama happy?
Heh. 

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Wow: Jewish Home MK disses Obama

For the Hebrew impaired, the tweet above is from a Knesset Channel (like CSpan in the US) interview with MK Ayelet Shaked, number 2 on the Jewish Home party list and a likely minister in the next Netanyahu government. She says "Just like I don't decide who Obama's ministers are, he shouldn't decide for us. And they also should not be interfering in construction in Judea and Samaria."

She's obviously trying to tell Obama that Israel is a democracy, that the people have spoken, and that it's not his place to interfere.

Somehow, I don't think that message is going to be treated fondly on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington.

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Labor party says it's going to opposition, Netanyahu may already have a coalition

More tweets from Israel Radio's Chico Menashe.
Translation: Former Labor party leader (and Israel Radio broadcaster) Shelly Yacimovich says that the people have spoken, that they want Netanyahu to be the leader, and that her party will be going to the opposition.

A similar announcement came this morning from Yair Lapid regarding his Yesh Atid party.

In the meantime, Prime Minister Netanyahu may already have enough MK's for a coalition.
Of course, he'd still have to get them all to agree on ministries....

In any event, it sounds like President Rivlin's push for a national unity government is already a failure. And that's good news for Israel.

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My how we've grown

The current occupant of the White House notwithstanding, Israel has grown dramatically over the last 30 years. The table above was posted here. For the Hebrew impaired, here is a translation of the table (originally prepared by journalist Sever Plotzker).
                                   1984                                                   2014

1. Population                4.1 million                                            8.2 million
2. Annual Inflation        447%                                                   1.5%
3. Bank Interest (p.a.)  771%                                                   5%
4. Government Debt
    (% of GNP)             17%                                                     2.5%
5. Defense Spending
    (% of GNP)             20%                                                     5.5%
6. Foreign Currency
    Reserves                  $3.3 billion                                           $90 billion
7. Exports                    $10 billion                                            $90 billion
8. Information
    Technology
    Exports                    $0                                                       $28 billion
9. Female Employment 30%                                                    53%
10. Exported Goods
      and Services           $30 billion                                           $320 billion
11. Per Capita GNP     $7,000                                                $39,000

Don't let anyone tell you we're not an economic miracle!

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