Thursday, February 28, 2019

Santorum: Trump's decision to side with Kim on Otto Warmbier was 'reprehensible'


President Donald Trump's decision not to hold North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un responsible for Otto Warmbier's death was "reprehensible," former Republican Sen. Rick Santorum said Thursday.
"This is the conundrum of Donald Trump for many of us who like his policies and don't like a lot of the things he does and says," Santorum said of the decision to CNN's John Berman on "New Day."
"But, this is reprehensible, what he just did. He gave cover, as you said, to a leader who knew very well what was going on with Otto Warmbier," Santorum, who is a CNN political commentator, said. "And again, I don't understand why the President does this. I am disappointed, to say the least, that he did it."


The ‘America first’ president just gave Kim Jong Un cover for the murder of an American student

It’s amazing how far people can get with President Trump so long as they dangle in front of him the promise of prestige.
You can be a murderous third-world dictator and oversee the slow execution of an American citizen, and the president will defend you for it before the entire world just so long as he believes doing so will get him closer to boosting his own personal and professional capital.
This isn’t hyperbole either. The president did exactly this Thursday during a joint press conference in Hanoi, Vietnam, with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. Trump actually defended the potbellied tyrant king’s claim that he was in the dark in 2016 when his regime imprisoned and tortured a University of Virginia student from Ohio.
Otto Warmbier, who was beaten into a coma by North Korean prison guards during his 17-month imprisonment, died shortly after arriving back in the U.S. in June 2017.
"He felt badly about it. He felt very badly," Trump saidThursday after his second summit with Kim, adding they discussed Warmbier’s death privately. "He tells me that he didn't know about it and I will take him at his word."
The president added that it wouldn’t have been in Kim’s interest for Warmbier to be irreparably harmed, saying, "I don't think that the top leadership knew about it. I don't believe that [Kim] would have allowed that to happen."

Elijah Cummings' stunning closing remarks at Cohen hearing

Michael Cohen Testifies to Congress About Trump: A Closer Look

'After 5 years of drought we finally have a good year'


Uri Schor, spokesman for the Water Authority, welcomed the heavy rains Israel has experienced this week. "After five years of drought we have finally had a relatively good year, one that is even slightly above the average in terms of the water sources. If we take the Kinneret, for example, we see that it has risen six centimeters as a result of the rainfall from yesterday until this morning. We're exactly eight and a half centimeters above the lower red line."
"Since the beginning of the season we've seen a rise of 72.5 centimeters. This is a fantastic rise. The average winter rise of the Kinneret level is about 65 centimeters, so we are above average.
Schor told Arutz Sheva that the winter is not yet over and that a further rise in the Kinneret is expected. "The rain now in the north and also over the weekend will add many more centimeters to the Kinneret, which is good.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu indicted on bribery, fraud and breach of trust, pending hearing


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been indicted on corruption charges, the country's attorney general said Thursday, just weeks before the country goes to the polls.
Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit said the charges of one count of bribery and two counts of fraud and breach of trust relate to three different cases, and came after two years of investigation.

AG: Netanyahu to be indicted on bribery charges

Prime Minister will face criminal charges for bribery, fraud, and breach of trust, Attorney General announces.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will be charged with bribery, fraud, and breach of trust, Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit announced Thursday evening.
In his decision Thursday, Mandeblit found that there was sufficient evidence to charge the Prime Minister with bribery in the Case 4000 investigation, as well as with fraud and breach of trust in both the Case 1000 and Case 2000 investigations.
The bribery indictment against Netanyahu will be filed only after a hearing with the Prime Minister.
Netanyahu is expected to respond to the announcement at 8:00 p.m. Israel time.
Mandeblit’s decision comes following police recommendations for indictments in the three cases.
The Prime Minister has denied the allegations against him, and accused the media and Israeli Left of orchestrating a campaign to pressure Mandeblit to file charges.
Case 1000 revolves around claims Netanyahu received expensive gifts from a businessman in exchange for favors. In the Case 2000 investigation, Netanyahu has been accused of advancing a law to ban the Hebrew daily Yediot Ahronot’s chief competitor from being distributed freely – in exchange for favorable coverage.
Case 4000 involves allegations the Prime Minister pushed regulatory changes which would benefit the Bezeq telecommunications company, owned by Shaul Elovitch, in exchange for favorable coverage from a news site owned by Elovitch.
Following the announcement, the Likud party issued a statement condemning the decision, calling it “Political persecution” of the Prime Minister.
“This witch hunt against the Prime Minister started with the attempt to pin him with four cases involving bribery [charges]. Already now, before the [preindictment] hearing, three of [the bribery cases] have fallen apart. The remaining charges will also fall apart, like a house of cards, once the Prime Minister faces the state’s witnesses.”

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Michael Cohen: Takeaways from testimony of Trump's ex-lawyer


Mr Cohen suggests the president had advanced knowledge of his son's June 2016 Trump Tower meeting with Russians and that WikiLeaks was poised to release damaging information about Democrats.
He says the president personally signed cheques reimbursing him for a hush money payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels. He alleges that the president was fully aware of ongoing negotiations for a Trump Tower in Moscow well into the 2016 presidential campaign.

Trump's former fixer, who once said he would take a bullet for the president, is set to say he is ashamed of his "misplaced loyalty" to Trump.

In his testimony to the House Oversight Committee, he is also expected to include a series of bombshell allegations about the presidential campaign.
Here is the draft copy of Cohen's opening remarks:

Chairman Cummings, Ranking Member Jordan, and Members of the Committee, thank you for inviting me here today.

I have asked this Committee to ensure that my family be protected from Presidential threats, and that the Committee be sensitive to the questions pertaining to ongoing investigations. Thank you for your help and for your understanding.

I am here under oath to correct the record, to answer the Committee's questions truthfully, and to offer the American people what I know about President Trump.

I recognize that some of you may doubt and attack me on my credibility. It is for this reason that I have incorporated into this opening statement documents that are irrefutable, and demonstrate that the information you will hear is accurate and truthful.

Never in a million years did I imagine, when I accepted a job in 2007 to work for Donald Trump, that he would one day run for President, launch a campaign on a platform of hate and intolerance, and actually win. I regret the day I said "yes" to Mr. Trump. I regret all the help and support I gave him along the way.

I am ashamed of my own failings, and I publicly accepted responsibility for them by pleading guilty in the Southern District of New York.

I am ashamed of my weakness and misplaced loyalty – of the things I did for Mr. Trump in an effort to protect and promote him.

I am ashamed that I chose to take part in concealing Mr. Trump's illicit acts rather than listening to my own conscience. I am ashamed because I know what Mr. Trump is.

He is a racist.

He is a conman.

He is a cheat.

He was a presidential candidate who knew that Roger Stone was talking with Julian Assange about a WikiLeaks drop of Democratic National Committee emails.

I will explain each in a few moments.

I am providing the Committee today with several documents.

These include:

A copy of a check Mr. Trump wrote from his personal bank account – after he became president - to reimburse me for the hush money payments I made to cover up his affair with an adult film star and prevent damage to his campaign;
Copies of financial statements for 2011 – 2013 that he gave to such institutions as Deutsche Bank;
A copy of an article with Mr. Trump's handwriting on it that reported on the auction of a portrait of himself – he arranged for the bidder ahead of time and then reimbursed the bidder from the account of his non-profit charitable foundation, with the picture now hanging in one of his country clubs; and
Copies of letters I wrote at Mr. Trump's direction that threatened his high school, colleges, and the College Board not to release his grades or SAT scores.
I hope my appearance here today, my guilty plea, and my work with law enforcement agencies are steps along a path of redemption that will restore faith in me and help this country understand our president better.


Before going further, I want to apologize to each of you and to Congress as a whole.

The last time I appeared before Congress, I came to protect Mr. Trump. Today, I'm here to tell the truth about Mr. Trump.

I lied to Congress about when Mr. Trump stopped negotiating the Moscow Tower project in Russia. I stated that we stopped negotiating in January 2016. That was false – our negotiations continued for months later during the campaign.

Mr. Trump did not directly tell me to lie to Congress. That's not how he operates.

In conversations we had during the campaign, at the same time I was actively negotiating in Russia for him, he would look me in the eye and tell me there's no business in Russia and then go out and lie to the American people by saying the same thing. In his way, he was telling me to lie.

There were at least a half-dozen times between the Iowa Caucus in January 2016 and the end of June when he would ask me "How's it going in Russia?" – referring to the Moscow Tower project.

You need to know that Mr. Trump's personal lawyers reviewed and edited my statement to Congress about the timing of the Moscow Tower negotiations before I gave it.

To be clear: Mr. Trump knew of and directed the Trump Moscow negotiations throughout the campaign and lied about it. He lied about it because he never expected to win the election. He also lied about it because he stood to make hundreds of millions of dollars on the Moscow real estate project.

And so I lied about it, too – because Mr. Trump had made clear to me, through his personal statements to me that we both knew were false and through his lies to the country, that he wanted me to lie. And he made it clear to me because his personal attorneys reviewed my statement before I gave it to Congress.


Over the past two years, I have been smeared as "a rat" by the President of the United States. The truth is much different, and let me take a brief moment to introduce myself.

My name is Michael Dean Cohen.

I am a blessed husband of 24 years and a father to an incredible daughter and son. When I married my wife, I promised her that I would love her, cherish her, and protect her. As my father said countless times throughout my childhood, "you my wife, and you my children, are the air that I breathe." To my Laura, my Sami, and my Jake, there is nothing I wouldn't do to protect you.

I have always tried to live a life of loyalty, friendship, generosity, and compassion – qualities my parents ingrained in my siblings and me since childhood. My father survived the Holocaust thanks to the compassion and selfless acts of others. He was helped by many who put themselves in harm's way to do what they knew was right.

That is why my first instinct has always been to help those in need. Mom and Dad…I am sorry that I let you down.

As many people that know me best would say, I am the person they would call at 3AM if they needed help. I proudly remember being the emergency contact for many of my children's friends when they were growing up because their parents knew that I would drop everything and care for them as if they were my own.

Yet, last fall I pled guilty in federal court to felonies for the benefit of, at the direction of, and in coordination with Individual #1.

For the record: Individual #1 is President Donald J. Trump.

It is painful to admit that I was motivated by ambition at times. It is even more painful to admit that many times I ignored my conscience and acted loyal to a man when I should not have. Sitting here today, it seems unbelievable that I was so mesmerized by Donald Trump that I was willing to do things for him that I knew were absolutely wrong.

For that reason, I have come here to apologize to my family, to the government, and to the American people.


Accordingly, let me now tell you about Mr. Trump.

I got to know him very well, working very closely with him for more than 10 years, as his Executive Vice President and Special Counsel and then personal attorney when he became President. When I first met Mr. Trump, he was a successful entrepreneur, a real estate giant, and an icon. Being around Mr. Trump was intoxicating. When you were in his presence, you felt like you were involved in something greater than yourself -- that you were somehow changing the world.

I wound up touting the Trump narrative for over a decade. That was my job. Always stay on message. Always defend. It monopolized my life. At first, I worked mostly on real estate developments and other business transactions. Shortly thereafter, Mr. Trump brought me into his personal life and private dealings. Over time, I saw his true character revealed.

Mr. Trump is an enigma. He is complicated, as am I. He has both good and bad, as do we all. But the bad far outweighs the good, and since taking office, he has become the worst version of himself. He is capable of behaving kindly, but he is not kind. He is capable of committing acts of generosity, but he is not generous. He is capable of being loyal, but he is fundamentally disloyal.

Donald Trump is a man who ran for office to make his brand great, not to make our country great. He had no desire or intention to lead this nation – only to market himself and to build his wealth and power. Mr. Trump would often say, this campaign was going to be the "greatest infomercial in political history."

He never expected to win the primary. He never expected to win the general election. The campaign – for him – was always a marketing opportunity.

I knew early on in my work for Mr. Trump that he would direct me to lie to further his business interests. I am ashamed to say, that when it was for a real estate mogul in the private sector, I considered it trivial. As the President, I consider it significant and dangerous.

But in the mix, lying for Mr. Trump was normalized, and no one around him questioned it. In fairness, no one around him today questions it, either.

A lot of people have asked me about whether Mr. Trump knew about the release of the hacked Democratic National Committee emails ahead of time. The answer is yes.

As I earlier stated, Mr. Trump knew from Roger Stone in advance about the WikiLeaks drop of emails.

In July 2016, days before the Democratic convention, I was in Mr. Trump's office when his secretary announced that Roger Stone was on the phone. Mr. Trump put Mr. Stone on the speakerphone. Mr. Stone told Mr. Trump that he had just gotten off the phone with Julian Assange and that Mr. Assange told Mr. Stone that, within a couple of days, there would be a massive dump of emails that would damage Hillary Clinton's campaign.

Mr. Trump responded by stating to the effect of "wouldn't that be great."

Mr. Trump is a racist
The country has seen Mr. Trump court white supremacists and bigots. You have heard him call poorer countries "shitholes."

In private, he is even worse. He once asked me if I could name a country run by a black person that wasn't a "shithole." This was when Barack Obama was President of the United States.

While we were once driving through a struggling neighborhood in Chicago, he commented that only black people could live that way.

And, he told me that black people would never vote for him because they were too stupid.

And yet I continued to work for him.

Mr. Trump is a cheat.

As previously stated, I'm giving the Committee today three years of President Trump's financial statements, from 2011-2013, which he gave to Deutsche Bank to inquire about a loan to buy the Buffalo Bills and to Forbes. These are Exhibits 1a, 1b, and 1c to my testimony.

It was my experience that Mr. Trump inflated his total assets when it served his purposes, such as trying to be listed among the wealthiest people in Forbes, and deflated his assets to reduce his real estate taxes.

I am sharing with you two newspaper articles, side by side, that are examples of Mr. Trump inflating and deflating his assets, as I said, to suit his financial interests. These are Exhibit 2 to my testimony.

As I noted, I'm giving the Committee today an article he wrote on, and sent me, that reported on an auction of a portrait of Mr. Trump. This is Exhibit 3A to my testimony.

Mr. Trump directed me to find a straw bidder to purchase a portrait of him that was being auctioned at an Art Hamptons Event. The objective was to ensure that his portrait, which was going to be auctioned last, would go for the highest price of any portrait that afternoon. The portrait was purchased by the fake bidder for $60,000. Mr. Trump directed the Trump Foundation, which is supposed to be a charitable organization, to repay the fake bidder, despite keeping the art for himself. Please see Exhibit 3B to my testimony.

And it should come as no surprise that one of my more common responsibilities was that Mr. Trump directed me to call business owners, many of whom were small businesses, that were owed money for their services and told them no payment or a reduced payment would be coming. When I advised Mr. Trump of my success, he actually reveled in it.

And yet, I continued to work for him.

Mr. Trump is a conman.

He asked me to pay off an adult film star with whom he had an affair, and to lie to his wife about it, which I did. Lying to the First Lady is one of my biggest regrets. She is a kind, good person. I respect her greatly – and she did not deserve that.

I am giving the Committee today a copy of the $130,000 wire transfer from me to Ms. Clifford's attorney during the closing days of the presidential campaign that was demanded by Ms. Clifford to maintain her silence about her affair with Mr. Trump. This is Exhibit 4 to my testimony.

Mr. Trump directed me to use my own personal funds from a Home Equity Line of Credit to avoid any money being traced back to him that could negatively impact his campaign. I did that, too – without bothering to consider whether that was improper, much less whether it was the right thing to do or how it would impact me, my family, or the public.

I am going to jail in part because of my decision to help Mr. Trump hide that payment from the American people before they voted a few days later.

As Exhibit 5 to my testimony shows, I am providing a copy of a $35,000 check that President Trump personally signed from his personal bank account on August 1, 2017 – when he was President of the United States – pursuant to the cover-up, which was the basis of my guilty plea, to reimburse me – the word used by Mr. Trump's TV lawyer -- for the illegal hush money I paid on his behalf. This $35,000 check was one of 11 check installments that was paid throughout the year – while he was President.

The President of the United States thus wrote a personal check for the payment of hush money as part of a criminal scheme to violate campaign finance laws. You can find the details of that scheme, directed by Mr. Trump, in the pleadings in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

So picture this scene – in February 2017, one month into his presidency, I'm visiting President Trump in the Oval Office for the first time. It's truly awe-inspiring, he's showing me around and pointing to different paintings, and he says to me something to the effect of…Don't worry, Michael, your January and February reimbursement checks are coming. They were FedExed from New York and it takes a while for that to get through the White House system. As he promised, I received the first check for the reimbursement of $70,000 not long thereafter.

When I say conman, I'm talking about a man who declares himself brilliant but directed me to threaten his high school, his colleges, and the College Board to never release his grades or SAT scores.

As I mentioned, I'm giving the Committee today copies of a letter I sent at Mr. Trump's direction threatening these schools with civil and criminal actions if Mr. Trump's grades or SAT scores were ever disclosed without his permission. These are Exhibit 6.

The irony wasn't lost on me at the time that Mr. Trump in 2011 had strongly criticized President Obama for not releasing his grades. As you can see in Exhibit 7, Mr. Trump declared "Let him show his records" after calling President Obama "a terrible student."

The sad fact is that I never heard Mr. Trump say anything in private that led me to believe he loved our nation or wanted to make it better. In fact, he did the opposite.

When telling me in 2008 that he was cutting employees' salaries in half – including mine – he showed me what he claimed was a $10 million IRS tax refund, and he said that he could not believe how stupid the government was for giving "someone like him" that much money back.

During the campaign, Mr. Trump said he did not consider Vietnam Veteran, and Prisoner of War, Senator John McCain to be "a hero" because he likes people who weren't captured. At the same time, Mr. Trump tasked me to handle the negative press surrounding his medical deferment from the Vietnam draft.

Mr. Trump claimed it was because of a bone spur, but when I asked for medical records, he gave me none and said there was no surgery. He told me not to answer the specific questions by reporters but rather offer simply the fact that he received a medical deferment.

He finished the conversation with the following comment. "You think I'm stupid, I wasn't going to Vietnam."

I find it ironic, President Trump, that you are in Vietnam right now.

And yet, I continued to work for him.


Questions have been raised about whether I know of direct evidence that Mr. Trump or his campaign colluded with Russia. I do not. I want to be clear. But, I have my suspicions.

Sometime in the summer of 2017, I read all over the media that there had been a meeting in Trump Tower in June 2016 involving Don Jr. and others from the campaign with Russians, including a representative of the Russian government, and an email setting up the meeting with the subject line, "Dirt on Hillary Clinton." Something clicked in my mind. I remember being in the room with Mr. Trump, probably in early June 2016, when something peculiar happened. Don Jr. came into the room and walked behind his father's desk – which in itself was unusual. People didn't just walk behind Mr. Trump's desk to talk to him. I recalled Don Jr. leaning over to his father and speaking in a low voice, which I could clearly hear, and saying: "The meeting is all set." I remember Mr. Trump saying, "Ok good…let me know."

What struck me as I looked back and thought about that exchange between Don Jr. and his father was, first, that Mr. Trump had frequently told me and others that his son Don Jr. had the worst judgment of anyone in the world. And also, that Don Jr. would never set up any meeting of any significance alone – and certainly not without checking with his father.

I also knew that nothing went on in Trump world, especially the campaign, without Mr. Trump's knowledge and approval. So, I concluded that Don Jr. was referring to that June 2016 Trump Tower meeting about dirt on Hillary with the Russian representative when he walked behind his dad's desk that day -- and that Mr. Trump knew that was the meeting Don Jr. was talking about when he said, "That's good…let me know."


Over the past year or so, I have done some real soul searching. I see now that my ambition and the intoxication of Trump power had much to do with the bad decisions I made.

To you, Chairman Cummings, Ranking Member Jordan, the other members of this Committee, and the other members of the House and Senate, I am sorry for my lies and for lying to Congress.

To our nation, I am sorry for actively working to hide from you the truth about Mr. Trump when you needed it most.

For those who question my motives for being here today, I understand. I have lied, but I am not a liar. I have done bad things, but I am not a bad man. I have fixed things, but I am no longer your "fixer," Mr. Trump.

I am going to prison and have shattered the safety and security that I tried so hard to provide for my family. My testimony certainly does not diminish the pain I caused my family and friends – nothing can do that. And I have never asked for, nor would I accept, a pardon from President Trump.

And, by coming today, I have caused my family to be the target of personal, scurrilous attacks by the President and his lawyer – trying to intimidate me from appearing before this panel. Mr. Trump called me a "rat" for choosing to tell the truth – much like a mobster would do when one of his men decides to cooperate with the government.

As Exhibit 8 shows, I have provided the Committee with copies of Tweets that Mr. Trump posted, attacking me and my family – only someone burying his head in the sand would not recognize them for what they are: encouragement to someone to do harm to me and my family.

I never imagined that he would engage in vicious, false attacks on my family – and unleash his TV-lawyer to do the same. I hope this committee and all members of Congress on both sides of the aisle will make it clear: As a nation, we should not tolerate attempts to intimidate witnesses before congress and attacks on family are out of bounds and not acceptable.

I wish to especially thank Speaker Pelosi for her statements in Exhibit 9 to protect this institution and me, and the Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Adam Schiff and Chairman Cummings for likewise defending this institution and my family against the attacks by Mr. Trump, and also the many Republicans who have admonished the President as well.

I am not a perfect man. I have done things I am not proud of, and I will live with the consequences of my actions for the rest of my life.

But today, I get to decide the example I set for my children and how I attempt to change how history will remember me. I may not be able to change the past, but I can do right by the American people here today.

Thank you for your attention. I am happy to answer the Committee's questions.

George Pell's lawyer says child abuse was 'plain vanilla' sex as cardinal heads to jail

.the guardian

Cardinal George Pell, the most senior Catholic cleric ever convicted of child sexual abuse, has been taken in custody following a sentencing hearing in which his lawyer described one of Pell’s offences as a “plain vanilla sexual penetration case where the child is not actively participating”.
After the hearing, with Pell’s lawyer, Robert Richter, having withdrawn his application for bail, the chief judge said: “Take him away, please.” Pell was taken to a maximum security facility where he will be kept in protective custody and remain alone for up to 23 hours a day.
He will be sentenced on 13 March after his conviction for sexually assaulting two 13-year-old boys.
The Vatican on Wednesday also said its doctrinal department will open its own investigation into Pell. “After the guilty verdict in the first instance concerning Cardinal Pell, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) will now handle the case following the procedure and within the time established by canonical norm,” Vatican spokesman Alessandro Gisotti told reporters. A former US cardinal, Theodore McCarrick, was this month dismissed from the priesthood following a CDF investigation.

הילד התוקף שהטיל אימה בעיר החרדית נלכד

הגאון רבי עמרם פריד, מגדולי מורי ההוראה בבני ברק ודיין בבתי דינם של גדולי הדיינים, אשר רבים משחרים לפתחו, שמע על פרטי החשדות מ'בחדרי חרדים'. בשיחה עמנו הוא פסק כי על הורי הילדים מוטלת חובה להגיש תלונה במשטרה. "מדובר באדם שמזיק לציבור וחייבים למגר את הנזק", הבהיר הגר"ע פריד.

Zionist-Nazi Collaboration - Letters to the Editor


Letters to the Editor Zionist-Nazi Collaboration Dear Editor: Tony Greenstein’s article, ‘Zionist-Nazi Collaboration and the Holocaust: A Historical Aberration? Lenni Brenner Revisited’, 

Holy Land Studies: A Multidisciplinary Journal, Vol.3, No.2 (2014) gave the readers a distorted picture of my 1983 book, Zionism in the Age of the Dictators, and I must rebut his critique, point by point. According to Greenstein, the book has ‘major shortcomings’. Among them, he criticises my ‘failure to analyse the Holocaust in depth’ (p.187), without telling us what an in depth analysis would entail. This is known as critiquing a book the author has not written, instead of exposing errors in the book he actually wrote. My preface explained that: Unless this book were to become an encyclopaedia, the material had necessarily to be selected, with all due care, so that a rounded picture might come forth. The book’s focus was exactly expressed in its title: Zionism in The Age Of The Dictators. Its documentation of sundry Zionist factions’ relationships with Nazism got favourable reviews from London’s Times, Moscow’s Izvestia, the official organ of the Soviet Union, and numerous other journals. No reviewer, pro or con, lamented about how it didn’t analyze the Holocaust. Greenstein complained about my ‘treating Yad Vashem as a dispassionate, neutral academic institution dedicated to Holocaust research, rather than a propaganda institute’. (p.187). But I did not discuss Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust memorial museum. I only quoted Yisrael Gutman, one of its scholars, regarding the misleadership of some of Holocaust Poland’s Zionist leaders (Brenner, pp.204, 209). I have challenged Greenstein, ‘Do you have a problem with those quotes?’ ( 2015/01/zionist-nazi-collaboration-revisited.html) He never answered that question. Greenstein frets that I ‘failed to analyse the role of the Judenräte within the process of the extermination of the Jews. Instead he focussed on the character of their individual members’ (p.193). In fact I wrote that ‘not all leaders or members of the Jewish Councils collaborated, but the moral atmosphere within them was extremely corrupting’ (Brenner, p.205). I dealt, in detail, with ‘individual members’ because they were Zionists. Greenstein arraigns my ‘belief that Europe’s Jews could be saved through bribery, Weissmandel’s Europa Plan in particular. Brenner uncritically adopted the politics of the Jewish Orthodoxy’ (p.188). Rabbi Weissmandel thought it possible to bribe some Nazis to slow the extermination. But I added that he ‘was thinking beyond just bribery. He realized immediately that with money it was possible to mobilize the Slovak partisans’ (p.236). There is not a word in the book endorsing Orthodoxy’s bribery strategy. Greenstein claims I ‘uncritically accepted the argument that Adolf Eichmann’s ‘Blood for Trucks’ offer could have saved Hungarian Jewry’ (p.188). That is also false. I cited what 236 Journal of Holy Land and Palestine Studies Zionist Joel Brand thought might come of Eichmann’s proposal to let some Jews live in exchange for London and Washington giving Hitler trucks to use against Stalin: ‘Brand hoped that it would be possible to negotiate for more realistic arrangements or, at least, to decoy the Nazis into thinking that a deal could be made’ (Brenner, p.254). Greenstein has me ‘personally blaming Rudolf Kasztner, the leader of Hungarian Zionism and the Jewish Agency’s ‘Rescue Committee’ (Va’ada) in Budapest, for the rapid extermination of Hungarian Jewry whilst ignoring the role of the Jewish Agency’ (p.188). Again, that is untrue. My Hungarian chapter details the role of Moshe Shertok, the head of the World Zionist Organisation’s Jewish Agency’s Political Department. It ends with the exact opposite of blaming the disaster personally on Kasztner: That one Zionist betrayed the Jews would not be of any moment: no movement is responsible for its renegades. However, Kasztner was never regarded as a traitor by the Labour Zionists. On the contrary, they insisted, that if he was guilty, so were they. . . . by far the most important aspect of the Kasztner-Gruenwald affair was its full exposure of the working philosophy of the World Zionist Organisation (WZO) throughout the entire Nazi era: the sanctification of the betrayal of the many in the interest of a selected immigration to Palestine’. (pp.263–264) Greenstein deplores ‘A failure to mention Rudolph Vrba and Alfred Wetzler, who escaped from Auschwitz on 10 April 1944, or the Auschwitz Protocols’ (p.187). On my page 255 I told how: Weissmandel had sent detailed diagrams of Auschwitz and maps of the railway lines through Slovakia to Silesia to the Jewish organizations in Switzerland demanding ‘absolutely, and in the strongest terms’, that they call upon the Allies to bomb the death camp and the railways. I wrote about WZO President Chaim Weizmann taking the info to ‘the British Foreign Secretary. . . in an extremely hesitant manner. . . . A memorandum by Moshe Shertok to the British Foreign Office, written four days later, conveys the same hangdog scepticism’. Suppose I had written ‘Weissmandel had sent detailed diagrams of Auschwitz and maps of the railway lines through Slovakia to Silesia’. which he got from Vrba and Wetzler, two escapees from the camp. That would not have added anything important re documenting the WZO leaders sheepish pleas to bomb Auschwitz. Likewise, my readers didn’t have to know that the Protocols were the source of Weissmandel’s alert to Kasztner. They learned that Kasztner didn’t tell Hungary’s Jews to resist being sent to Auschwitz, which he knew was a death camp. Greenstein condemns my ‘failure to ask what the implications for the future were of Zionist collaboration with the Nazis. With particular reference to Argentina. The Zionist movement argues that the Holocaust was a product of having no state and Jewish weakness but the Israeli state’s attitude to anti-Semitism is no different from Zionism historically’ (p.188). That is also unfair critique. Adding Israel’s Argentine dealings ‘between 1976 and 1983’ (p.190) would not have provided the book’s readers with any information regarding Hitler-era Zionism. My chapter 8, ‘Palestine: The Arabs, Zionists, British and Nazis’, took on the role of the Mufti of Jerusalem, Amin al-Husayni, during World War Two: ‘[H]is Jew-hatred and his anti-Communism persuaded him to go to Berlin and to oppose any release of Jews from the camps for fear that they would end up in Palestine. He eventually organised Muslim SS troops against the Soviets and the Yugoslav partisans’ (Brenner, p.102). Greenstein did not dare write anything about my chapter 8, but he told us that ‘Yad Vashem has a special wall Letters to the Editor 237 devoted to the Mufti of Jerusalem, Muhammad Amin al-Husayni, a minor war criminal’ (p.190). This is very unhelpful. Mussolini met the Mufti on 27 October 1941. Hitler had a wellpublicised conference with him on 28 November 1941. The Mufti asked for a declaration of support for Arab struggles for independence from Britain and France. Hitler rejected this. Supporting Arab liberation would have created problems with Vichy France. But he assured the Mufti that, after defeating the Soviets in the Caucasus, his army would then support Arab liberation and wipe out the Jews in the British Middle East, i.e. in Palestine. Hitler set him up in Berlin. He made radio broadcasts to the Arab world and recruited Bosnians and Soviet Muslim POWs into Muslim SS units. The Nazis paid him 50,000 marks a month when German field marshals only earned 25,000 marks a year. Did Hitler pay that fortune to a ‘minor’ war criminal? His Bosnians ultimately rebelled against the Nazis because of Germany’s simultaneous alliance with Serbian nationalists who murdered Muslims. He did not order their rebellion, and continued recruiting into the SS. Germany organised SS units composed of Muslim Soviet POWs. At a 14 

December 1943 gathering, he became their ‘spiritual leader’. They murdered thousands during the 1944 Polish revolt. Greenstein is confronted by the fact that the most prominent Nazi era Palestinian leader collaborated. He can’t deny this so, after telling us about my book’s ‘major shortcomings’. he reduces the Mufti into ‘a minor war criminal’. A photo, the Mufti with Hitler, is at wiki/Haj Amin al-Husseini. The readers of Journal of Holy Land and Palestine Studies will recognise a major collaborator and simultaneously doubt Greenstein re my book. But that is not enough. They should read it and spread the word regarding Zionist collaboration with Mussolini and Hitler. Lenni Brenner Hamden, Connecticut, USA Dear Editor, Zionism in the Age of the Dictators broke new ground, in documenting Zionist behaviour during the Nazi era. Nonetheless it had serious flaws which are, in part, responsible for why it has had relatively little impact. Zionism in the Age of the Dictators was restricted by its narrow focus. What it omitted left its analysis seriously skewed. My article attempted a radical rethink of Zionism in the Age of the Dictators from an anti-Zionist perspective. Brenner would have us treat it as though it were the tablets of stone. The foundational Zionist myth of the Holocaust, in which non-Jewish victims are excluded, has become a major propaganda instrument in Zionism’s war against the Palestinians. Contradictory elements such as the role of the Jewish Councils (Judenrate) and the Jewish Resistance have to be reconciled. As Professor Israel Shahak, a childhood survivor of the Warsaw ghetto and Bergen-Belsen concentration camp wrote, the Israeli education system instilled ‘not an awareness of the Holocaust but rather the myth of the Holocaust or even a falsification of the Holocaust (in the sense that ‘a half-truth is worse than a lie’)’ (Kol Hair, Jerusalem, 12 May 1989). Brenner does not even appear to recognise that Yad Vashem is not a neutral academic research institution but a propaganda organisation. Its work is a form of historical revisionism. When I wrote of the ‘failure to analyse the Holocaust in depth’ I meant that there is little evidence that Brenner understands or appreciates the motivation and processes that led to the final solution. Brenner treats the Europa proposals of Rabbi Weissmandel 238 Journal of Holy Land and Palestine Studies to bribe the Nazis with $2m to stop the exterminations sympathetically. He utters not one word of criticism yet the Nazis made far greater sacrifices in order to complete the final solution. Extermination was prioritised in preference to military transportation to the Eastern Front. Himmler was quite explicit: ‘The argument of war production, which nowadays in Germany is the favorite reason for opposing anything at all, I do not recognize in the first place’. Is it really likely that $2m would have halted the extermination of European Jewry? Brenner describes how Rudolf Kasztner and Joel Brand met with Wisliceny on 29 March 1944 and agreed to pay the $2m, how a deposit was subsequently paid but still the Jews were ghettoised and deported (252). Raul Hilberg’s argument that most of the preparatory work up to the deportations had been carried out by the Judenrate and that their behaviour was responsible for the efficiency of the extermination process caused an outcry amongst Zionist holocaust historians. At Yad Vashem’s 1977 Conference on ‘Patterns of Jewish Leadership in Nazi Europe 1933–1945’, Raul Hilberg was attacked by Gideon Hausner, the Prosecutor in the Eichmann Trial. Hausner asked what options did the Judenrat have and why did Hilberg not credit those Judenrat which tried to do better? Hilberg’s response was that the process of destruction could not be understood unless one also took account of Jewish behaviour and that despite their welfare activities ‘The Councils served the Nazis with their ‘good’ qualities as well as the “bad”’ (Hilberg (1979: 32). The Judenrate inevitably collaborated unless they took a conscious decision to support and join the Resistance. Hilberg argued that if one wished to prevent a reoccurrence of the Holocaust then one had to study what had transpired. Brenner describes how scholars had shown that not all the Judenrat’s members had collaborated and how the atmosphere within them was ‘extremely corrupting’. But this was irrelevant. What mattered was their role in the extermination process. Corruption was inevitable in this context. Brenner claims that ‘There is not a word in the book endorsing Orthodoxy’s bribery strategy’. He also wrote that Weissmandel ‘became one of the outstanding Jewish figures during the holocaust’ and described his post-war book, Min Hamaitzer as ‘one of the most powerful indictments of Zionism and the Jewish establishment explaining that ‘it helps put Gruenbaum’s unwillingness to send money into occupied Europe into the proper perspective’ (235–6). Brenner cites Weissmandel as saying that ‘the money is needed here – by us and not by them’, that Weissmandel was thinking beyond bribery and that he believed it would make possible the mobilisation of the Slovakian partisans. This was wishful thinking. Brenner describes, uncritically, how ‘the key question’ for Weissmandel was whether the senior ranks of the SS or Nazi regime could be bribed. This was the problem. Weissmandel’s strategy of negotiating with the SS rather than resistance was also the Zionist strategy. If he had used his religious contacts in Hungary to distribute the Auschwitz Protocols of Rudolph Vrba and Alfred Wetzler, who escaped from Auschwitz on 7 April and which contained maps and details of Auschwitz and described the gas chambers, then thousands could have been saved. If the Jews had had access to them they wouldn’t have willingly gone to the brickyards and could have escaped over the borders or gone into hiding. This is what George Tsoros, Elie Wiesel and others confirm. Brenner does not even mention the letter which Weissmandel wrote to Rabbi Freudiger urging that negotiations should be undertaken with Wisliceny, who could be trusted. Braham describes this as the ‘fatal advice of the Slovak Jewish leaders’. He sees the whole focus of Jewish resistance to the Nazis in terms of Weissmandel and Brand: ‘The Jews of occupied Europe, through Weissmandel and Brand, were imploring immediate action’ (256). Not for nothing was Weissmandel described by Vrba as a ‘tragic-comic Letters to the Editor 239 clown’ and his Europa plan as ‘truly hair-brained’. He rejects my claim that he uncritically accepted the argument that Adolf Eichmann’s ‘Blood for Trucks’ offer could have saved Hungarian Jewry’. Brenner devotes three pages to the Blood for Trucks deal. He describes the allegedly hostile reaction of Zionist leaders Shertok and Weizmann. He states that Brand ‘never had any illusions that Eichmann’s proposals would be accepted by the Western Allies’. But this is not true. In the Kasztner trial Brand testified that ‘the inevitable result of his failure to return to Hungary’ had been the renewed extermination of Hungarian Jews (which had never stopped). In May 1964, while testifying at the trial of Krumey and Hunsche, Brand confessed to a ‘terrible mistake’ in passing Eichmann’s offer to the British. He now realised that ‘Himmler sought to sow suspicion among the Allies as a preparation for his much-desired Nazi-Western coalition against Moscow’ (New York Times, 21 May 1964). Brenner rejects the suggestion that he placed the blame for the rapid extermination of Hungarian Jewry on Rudolf Kasztner personally rather than the Jewish Agency. This is a matter of interpretation. Nearly the whole of the chapter on Hungary focuses on Kasztner. There is no attempt to examine the role of the Jewish Agency and the denial by Eliyahu Dobkin that the Jewish Agency did not give Kasztner permission to testify on behalf of Nazi war criminals at Nuremberg. The impression of anyone reading Brenner’s account of the betrayal of Hungarian Jewry was that it was all because of an ‘ice cold lawyer and fanatical Zionist’ (258). Brenner says mentioning Vrba and Wetzler would have added nothing to his description of how Weissmandel had sent detailed diagrams of Auschwitz to Orthodox Jewish organisations in Switzerland ‘demanding absolutely, and in the strongest terms’ that they call upon the Allies to bomb the death camp and the railways’. This is another example of a failure to analyse the Holocaust in depth. Why should Weissmandel’s call for bombing Auschwitz and the railway lines be seen as the epicentre of efforts to prevent the extermination of Hungarian Jewry? It was never likely that the Allies would divert military resources to save Europe’s Jews or that it would have saved a large number of Jews. Because the Auschwitz Protocols were translated into a number of languages and widely distributed to the Vatican, religious and political leaders, diplomats and others, the Swiss press publicised them at the end of June as did the BBC. On 26 June 1944 Roosevelt warned Horthy to stop the deportations. The American Administration understood that the weak point in the deportations lay in Hungary not Slovakia or Poland. On 2 August 1944 a particularly heavy bombing raid of Budapest coupled with messages from Pius XII, King Gustav of Sweden, the ICRC and others, led to Horthy stopping the deportations on 7 July 1944. It was the Auschwitz Protocols not Weissmandel, which had saved the Jews of Budapest. Brenner’s decision to ignore them is inexplicable. Yisrael Gutman of Yad Vashem admitted that Kasztner ‘had already made a decision, together with other Jewish leaders, choosing not to disseminate the report in order not to harm the negotiations with the Nazis’. The Mufti of Jerusalem, Amin al-Husayni, knew of the final solution from Himmler by the summer of 1943 yet he lobbied the Nazis into preventing the escape of Jews from Europe, lest they go to Palestine. He made pro-Nazi broadcasts to the Middle East and helped recruit three Muslim SS Divisions in Bosnia and Albania (which didn’t take part in the deportation of Jews) before being dispatched to France where they rebelled and ended up joining the Partisans. As Brenner himself wrote, the Mufti was ‘an incompetent reactionary who was driven into his anti-Semitism by the Zionists’ (p.102). Peter Novick wrote that of the Mufti that ‘post-war claims that he played any significant part in the Holocaust have never been sustained’. 240 Journal of Holy Land and Palestine Studies Brenner entirely misses the point. The Zionists made the Mufti into a major war criminal, with the second longest entry in the Holocaust Encyclopedia, as well as his own wall in Yad Vashem because, as Tom Segev noted: ‘The visitor is left to conclude that there is much in common between the Nazis’ plan to destroy the Jews and the Arabs enmity to Israel’. Was he even on the same level as Walter Rauf, the inventor of the mobile gas chamber and an Israeli agent whom Israel helped escape to South America? Rauff had the blood of 100,000 on his hands. Idith Zertal, in Israel’s Holocaust and the Politics of Nationhood (p.100) wrote how the Zionist movement was responsible for ‘the transference of the Holocaust situation on to the Middle East reality . . . immensely distorted the image of the Holocaust, dwarfing the magnitude of the atrocities committed by the Nazis, trivializing the unique agony of the victims and the survivors and utterly demonizing the Arabs and their leaders’. This was done through systematic references . . . to the Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin El-Husseini ‘who was depicted as a prominent designer of the Final solution and a major Nazi criminal’. Tony Greenstein Independent Researcher Brighton, UK DOI: 10.3366/hlps.2015.0123

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Malka Leifer accused of sexual harassment in Israel before moving to Australia

Two new allegation of sexual misconduct that took place in an Israeli school decades ago have surfaced against former principal Malka Leifer, who is facing extradition back to Australia over multiple charges of sex abuse at a Jewish girls school there.
The accusations, which occurred in the Tel Aviv suburb of Bnei Brak some 20 years ago, could indicate that ultra-Orthodox leaders, some of whom have allegedly continued to protect Leifer, sent her to Australia rather than report her to authorities, which activists claim is a common practice in the insular community.

Netanyahu calls for action after violent assault on Argentina chief rabbi

Times of Israel

At 2 a.m. Monday morning, unknown assailants broke into the Buenos Aires home of Rabbi Gabriel Davidovich and beat him severely. The intruders, who also stole valuables and money from the home, shouted: “We know you are the rabbi of the Jewish community” during the attack, according to local reports.
Davidovich’s wife was reportedly restrained and the assailants took money and belongings from the home before fleeing.

Best REACTIONS To Jussie Smollett's Hoax

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Fox News' Shep Smith shuts down Sean Hannity's lies and propaganda

Fox Anchor STUNNED When She Suddenly Realizes The GOP Lies For Greed

Police suspect Litzman met with top psychiatrist to sway him on Leifer case


Police suspect Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman met with Jerusalem’s district psychiatrist to pressure him into issuing a false assessment for an accused sex offender, thus preventing her extradition to Australia, a legal official told The Times of Israel Saturday.
The official confirmed a report by the Kan public broadcaster, which pointed out that the mere existence of a meeting between the de facto head of the Health Ministry and a key witness in the case against Malka Leifer during legal proceedings could constitute obstruction of justice on Litzman’s part.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Obama Refuses To Say Radicals Islamic Terrorism

Cuomo and Lemon rip Trump: He won't say this unless it helps him


The former head of the Republican National Committee blasted President Donald Trump on Friday, speculating in a cable news appearance that Trump may have tempered his remarks about a self-identified white nationalist and domestic terrorist because “those are his people.”
“Why are we acting like this is a space that Donald Trump is going to go in and behave of the American ideal?,” said Michael Steele, who is also a former lieutenant governor of Maryland, in an appearance on MSNBC. “No, he is not. These are his people. And he’s not going to thank law enforcement because he’s probably not happy about what law enforcement did.”
Steele, who served as the chair of the Republican National Committee from 2009 to 2011, delivered some of his harshest criticism of the Trump administration to date during the appearance. The remarks came while discussing reports that Trump failed to adequately condemn Christopher Paul Hasson, a U.S. Coast Guard lieutenant whom FBI officials accuse of concocting a plot to assassinate Democratic officials and journalists. Hasson, arrested Feb. 15,  allegedly had a cache of weapons in his home and a hit list that investigators say includedprominent politicians, including freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and former congressman and MSNBC commentator Joe Scarborough.
Trump characterized the Hasson allegations as a “shame” in a meeting with White House reporters, though critics have said he should have gone further to condemn Hasson in light of a flurry of statements Trump has previously made accusing reporters being the “enemy of the people.”
“I think it’s a shame,” Trump said while speaking to reporters in the Oval Office on Friday. “I think it’s a very sad thing when a thing like that happens. I’ve expressed that.” He rebuffed accusations that his harsh language could have played a part in Hasson’s plot, saying he thinks his “language is very nice.”

Friday, February 22, 2019

Jussie Smollett: Judge calls alleged hate hoax 'despicable'


 A Chicago judge has said charges that US actor Jussie Smollett staged a hoax hate crime against himself are "utterly outrageous" and "despicable" if true.
The 36-year-old African-American actor is accused of filing a fake police report claiming he was the victim of a homophobic and racist assault.
Judge John Fitzgerald Lyke, who is also black, said the "most vile" part of the incident was the use of a noose.
Police say he staged the attack because he was "dissatisfied with his salary".
The star's lawyers issued a strongly-worded statement after the hearing, calling it an "organised law enforcement spectacle" and describing Mr Smollett as "a young man of impeccable character"


Stephen Colbert Slams Trump’s ‘Silence’ on Coast Guard Terrorist Christopher Hasson

no comment from trump about the fine people in his base!

“The defendant is a domestic terrorist bent on committing acts dangerous to human life."
That was the first sentence in the case of United States of America v. Christopher Paul Hasson, a U.S. Coast Guard lieutenant accused of being inspired by Norwegian far-right Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik and "bent on committing acts dangerous to human life that are intended to affect government conduct."
The U.S. Coast Guard lieutenant was silently serving a darker cause as a "domestic terrorist" for telegraphing biological attacks against the homeland and keeping a hit list featuring notable Democratic politicians and media figures, court documents show.
Christopher Hasson was posted as an Acquisitions Officer for at the U.S. Coast Guard's Headquarters in Washington D.C. On Feb. 15, he was taken into custody at his Silver Spring, Maryland home by agents from the FBI's Baltimore Field Office and the Coast Guard Investigative Service, a U.S. Attorney's Office in the District of Maryland confirmed to Newsweek.
Hasson faces possessing opioid drugs and weapons charges.
The seeds of his extremist beliefs were spelled out in a draft email dated on June 2, 2017, floating in an almost feverish dream a plan to carry out "biological attacks" to eradicate civilization. 
"I am dreaming of a way to kill almost every last person on earth," the email reads, according to a motion for detention pending trial. "I think a plague would be the most successful but how do I acquire the needed / Spanish [sic] flu, botulism, anthrax; [sic] not sure yet but will find something."
Apparently, some of the doomsday notions he was espousing were fueled by partaking from his supply of “at least 100 pills” of the opioid Tramadol or TDL. 
"Need to come off TDL [Tramadol], to clear my head," he wrote in the letter. 
Agents also found a bag containing “suspected Tramadol" that Hasson carried at the moment when he was placed under arrest.
Aside from the drugs, Hasson’s home allegedly featured a cache of weapons, including 15 firearms and more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition.
A locked case filled with 30 bottles of Human Growth Hormone or HGH, was found and after it was pried open, the agents inventoried the stash as evidence by federal agents, according to the documents. 
Months later, and the documents say that in Sept. 2017, Hasson revisited his warpath and allegedly penned another letter. The feds say he sent it to a "known" American Neo-Nazi (he also purportedly mailed a copy to himself "roughly seven weeks after the Charlottesville" rally).