Sunday, January 1, 2017

Hal Lindsey: UN Resolution 'Shameful', 'Invented People', Wash Post Publishes More Fake News

The Hal Lindsey Report: 'Shameful'

The Drudge Report headline read, “OBAMA BACKSTABS ISRAEL.”

The New York Post titled their editorial on the subject, “Obama’s appalling UN betrayal.”

It happened on the Friday afternoon before a Sunday Christmas.  The United States allowed passage of a UN Security Council resolution that condemned Israel’s settlements and, in effect, proclaimed that every bit of land beyond the 1967 borders already belongs to the Palestinians.  That includes East Jerusalem with the Temple Mount and the Wailing Wall.

The original resolution had been sponsored by Egypt and scheduled for a vote on Thursday the 22nd.  But a phone call from President-elect Trump to Egyptian President el Sisi convinced Egypt to withdraw the resolution from consideration.  Trump persuaded Sisi that the new U.S. Administration should be given the opportunity to work on the problem without such a constraint.

Then on Friday the 23rd, New Zealand, Malaysia, Venezuela and Senegal jointly sponsored the same resolution.  Any of the permanent members of the Security Council — Russia, the UK, France, China, or the US — could have vetoed it.  The Council voted 14-0 in favor of the resolution.  The United States chose abstention.

The best chance for peace clearly lies with the next U.S. Administration.  After all, this one only has three weeks left in office.  Egypt recognized this, and decided not to harm the incoming Administration’s efforts toward peace.  But President Obama and his team seem intent on undermining the Trump team’s ability to get the job done.

Think about this.  They say they want peace.  They know it will not come during their time in office.  But instead of supporting the next Administration’s efforts, they throw a bomb in the mix.

It gets worse.  Israeli officials blame President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry for behind-the-scenes maneuvers to bring the resolution before the Council in the first place.  When Egypt wisely decided to pull back, the U.S. made sure other sponsors took up the cause.  Israeli officials say they have “ironclad information” proving the U.S. government’s involvement.  They say they will present their proof to the new Administration, and let it decide whether to make that data available to the public.

Prime Minister Netanyahu said, “The Obama administration not only failed to protect Israel against this gang-up at the UN, it colluded with it behind the scenes.”

One Israeli official said, “President Obama and Secretary Kerry are behind this shameful move against Israel at the UN.  The U.S administration secretly cooked up with the Palestinians an extreme anti-Israeli resolution behind Israel’s back which would be a tail wind for terror and boycotts and effectively make the Western Wall occupied Palestinian territory.”

Ron Dermer, Israeli ambassador to the United States told CNN’s Jake Tapper, “The Palestinians want… to wage a diplomatic and legal war against Israel.  They don’t want to negotiate peace.  You know why?  Because when you’re negotiating a peace there’s give and take.  What they want is take and take.  And the way that you do that is to try to internationalize the conflict, to put more and more pressure on Israel, to call for boycotts and sanctions, to take our soldiers to the international court, something they’re already calling for.”

It’s important to understand that, unlike many UN resolutions, this one carries real world consequences.  It puts peace even further out of reach. Ambassador Dermer said, “The one negotiating chip that we have at the peace table is that territory.  If the UN Security Council says that that territory actually belongs to the Palestinians — which it does not and which we reject — that’s going to make actually achieving peace much harder.”

Washington usually lines up according to party.  But not this time.  Both Republicans and Democrats are condemning the Administration’s actions.  For instance, Senate Democratic leader, Chuck Schumer, tweeted, “Extremely frustrating, disappointing & confounding that the Administration has failed to veto the UN resolution.”

Bob Casey, Democratic senator from Pennsylvania, tweeted, “Resolutions like the one offered at the UN Security Council this week have the potential to move peace further from our reach.”

Republicans used stronger words in condemning the Democratic Administration.  House Speaker Paul Ryan said, “This is absolutely shameful.”  Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman, John McCain, called it an “outrageous attack” on Israel.

Senator Lindsey Graham said the abstention “empowers evil.”  Graham, who chairs the Senate Appropriations subcommittee, which deals with foreign aid, threatened to reduce U.S. contributions to the UN and to any country that voted for the resolution.  But even with that kind of leverage, getting the Security Council to back down from this awful resolution would take a miracle.

The worst may be yet to come.  Washington, New York, and Jerusalem are rife with rumors that the Obama Administration is planning an even more devastating Security Council resolution before Donald Trump’s inauguration.  The rumors say that, with the next resolution, the Council will impose sanctions.

 Remember, that in Genesis 12:3, God promised to Abraham, “I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse.” (NASB)

President Obama is causing America to tread on very thin ice.

As Newt Gingrich said in 2011, “The Palestinians are an invented people.”
In 1964, the Palestine Liberation Organization was formed to liberate Palestine through armed struggle. But it took years for the notion of a Palestinian people to crystalize.  In 1967, they were not recognized as such, nor were they considered a party to the conflict.  Security Council Resolution 242 passed after the ’67 war, made no mention of them.

The US as a matter of policy, promoted the PLO as the representative of the Palestinian people and forced Israel to accept them in peace discussions at the Madrid Conference in 1991.
In 1993, Israel signed along with them the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements  (Oslo I)  and in 1995 the Interim Agreement on the West Bank (Oslo II)  but these Accords made no mention of giving them a state.

Surprisingly, President George W. Bush gave it the first official nod for the first time in his vision speech of 2002. This speech came about in response to enormous pressure from Saudi Arabia which was demanding the creation of such a state. Even so, it was conditioned on the Palestinians fighting terror, not aiding it or abetting it. In fact, there were many other pre-conditions to the creation of the state.  But the US and the world quickly forgot about the preconditions and went forward with the idea that the Palestinians were entitled to a state.

Then in 2004, Bush gave a very important letter of assurances to PM Sharon in order to support his plans for disengagement.

“The United States will do its utmost to prevent any attempt by anyone to impose any other plan. Under the roadmap, Palestinians must undertake an immediate cessation of armed activity and all acts of violence against Israelis anywhere, and all official Palestinian institutions must end incitement against Israel. The Palestinian leadership must act decisively against terror, including sustained, targeted, and effective operations to stop terrorism and dismantle terrorist capabilities and infrastructure. Palestinians must undertake a comprehensive and fundamental political reform that includes a strong parliamentary democracy and an empowered prime minister.
“Second, there will be no security for Israelis or Palestinians until they and all states, in the region and beyond, join together to fight terrorism and dismantle terrorist organizations. The United States reiterates its steadfast commitment to Israel's security, including secure, defensible borders, and to preserve and strengthen Israel's capability to deter and defend itself, by itself, against any threat or possible combination of threats.[..]
“As part of a final peace settlement, Israel must have secure and recognized borders, which should emerge from negotiations between the parties in accordance with UNSC Resolutions 242 and 338.”

In this letter, which amounted to a contract, Bush committed the US to prevent any other plan being imposed.  He also committed the US to Israel’s security and reiterated Israel’s right to defensible borders. By affirming Res 242, he was affirming that Israel need not vacate 100% of the land.

Obama then forced Netanyahu to recognize a Palestinian right to a state in his Bar Ilan Speech in June 2009 in which Netanyahu said:

“In my vision of peace, in this small land of ours, two peoples live freely, side-by-side, in amity and mutual respect. Each will have its own flag, its own national anthem, its own government. Neither will threaten the security or survival of the other.”

He went on to stipulate two demands or preconditions: namely the new state must be demilitarized and must recognize Israel as the State of the Jewish people. This was the first time Netanyahu or his party embraced the two state solution. Obama was satisfied even with all the pre-conditions and stipulations. He got what he wanted. He would ignore the stipulations. And this resolution does just that.

Then he demanded a complete building freeze, even in Jerusalem. Even so he could not get any concessions from either the Arab League or from the PA as compensation. Having no other choice, he backed the PA’s demand that, as the price of the PA entering negotiations, Israel should release over 100 Arab prisoners with blood on their hands. Israel agreed, though no one had any expectations that the PA would compromise. This prisoner release was in effect another freebie for them.

After strenuous efforts to achieve an agreement, Obama backed off but demanded that there be a continued freeze and nothing be done to make untenable the two-state solution.
But he hadn’t given up. By engineering the passage of Security Council Resolution 2334 declaring “the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity” and demanding 100% withdrawal, he, in effect, was getting the Security Council to back his parameters for a peace agreement, namely ’67 lines plus swaps, with a divided Jerusalem.

This resolution completely overturned Res 242, which was passed 50 years ago and which was the cornerstone of all subsequent initiatives like the Oslo Accords, the Roadmap and the Bush letter of ’04. Throughout this entire period, all US presidents stressed the need for direct negotiations to settle all disputes. Any concessions that Israel made along the way were conditioned on the basis of direct negotiations to come.
This resolution removed from such negotiations, the ultimate borders, the fate of the settlements, the requirement that the borders be defensible and whether to create a state.
Prior to signing these Accords, Israel insisted that the PLO accept Res 242 as binding. This was important to Israel because it stipulated that Israel need only withdraw to “recognized and secure” borders. This new resolution negates all Israeli safeguards but not the concessions made by Israel. To do so is unconscionable.

On the one hand, the UN continually accuses Israel of violating international law and declares the settlements illegal by international law; yet, on the other hand, it ignores salient facts and binding contracts. The resolution thus violates the international legal order itself. The UN should be governed by law not by caprice.

To use the vernacular, Israel is being railroaded into creating a Palestinian state on all the territories captured 50 years ago, contrary to law, the facts, and existing agreements. Everything is twisted to label Israel a violator of law, when in fact it is the UN that is the violator. All this on behalf of an invented people who didn’t exist 50 years ago.

The Washington Post published a story on Friday claiming that Russia had hacked a Vermont electric company's computers. The repoirt caused an explosion on social media and dozens of articles quoting the Post were published as a result.
But a statement issued by the Burlington Electric Department said that the company's computers had not been hacked, but that a personal laptop belonging to an employee had been penetrated.

How did the Post get the story so wrong? The reporters violated a cardinal rule of journalism; they failed to confirm the story with the company.

The Vermont Public Service Commissioner Christopher Recchia told The Burlington Free Press, “The grid is not in danger.”
However, this false Washington Post story about a Russian intrusion into the American electrical grid has caused panic among journalists.
Politico cybersecurity reporter Eric Geller said about the Post story, “Pretty amazing how badly the Post appears to have mangled this one. You didn’t call the Vermont utility regulator before publishing?”
The Post has since updated the story. The headline changed to “Russian operation hacked a Vermont utility, showing risk to U.S. electrical grid security, officials say.” The updated story said the “code entered the Vermont utility’s computers,” but the utility spokesman’s statement stated the code was found on one laptop.

Note that the Post couldn't even get the correction right.
How ironic is it that the Post has been extensively covering the "fake news" issue and is now found to be guilty of creating it.Certainly, the Post has little credibility with the general public, but this incident only further demonstrates that, in addition to partisan bias, there is reportorial and editorial incompetence that needs to be addressed by the Washington Post company. 

Readers of the Washington Post received some alarming news yesterday when the paper published a story alleging that those pesky "Russian hackers" were up to their no good tricks again and had managed to "penetrate the U.S. electricity grid through a utility in Vermont."  The full headline read as follows:


The opening paragraph of WaPo's story directly linked the "hack" of the Vermont utility to the same "Russian hacking operation dubbed Grizzly Steppe" that the Obama administration has blamed for the DNC and John Podesta email hacks.  Vermont's Governor, Peter Shumlin, told WaPo that "Americans should be both alarmed and outraged" by these actions perpetrated by "one of the world’s leading thugs, Vladimir Putin," before seemingly calling for further retaliatory actions from the Obama administration.

Moreover, Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy took the rhetoric to a whole new level by asserting a diabolical Russian plot to shut down the U.S. electrical grid in the middle of winter...a move that would most certainly kill off half the state's population in an instant.

Of course, it didn't take long for the New York Times and ABC to latch on to the story since it fits their "2016 election hacking" narrative so perfectly.

NEW: "One of the world's leading thugs, [Putin] has been attempting to hack our electric grid," says VT Gov. Shumlin

Alas, there was just one minor problem, namely that the entire article was completely fabricated.  Apparently the esteemed "journalists" of the Washington Post didn't even bother to contact the Burlington Electric Department to confirm their bogus story...and why should fit the "Russian hacking" narrative so perfectly therefore it must be true, right?
Well, apparently not.  The quick spread of WaPo's "fake news" story forced the Burlington Electric Department to issue a clarifying statement assuring worried residents that, indeed, their electricity grid had not been hacked, but rather a single "laptop not connected" to the grid had been found to have a malware virus.

Which forced the embarrassed Washington Post to quickly tone down their provocative headline...
...and supplement their original article with the following "Editor's Note" admitting the entire premise of their original story was nothing more than "fake news."
Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly said that Russian hackers had penetrated the U.S. electric grid. Authorities say there is no indication of that so far. The computer at Burlington Electric that was hacked was not attached to the grid.
Which drew quick reactions from twitter...

1) Not an infiltration of the power grid.
2) "Russian" malware can be purchased online by anyone.
3) See 1 & 2. 

Pretty amazing how badly the Post appears to have mangled this one. You didn't call the Vermont utility regulator before publishing?

...and Glenn Greenwald of The Intercept, who blasted WaPo for their "irresponsible and sensationalist tabloid behavior."

THIS MATTERS not only because one of the nation’s major newspaper once again published a wildly misleading, fear-mongering story about Russia. It matters even more because it reflects the deeply irrational and ever-spiraling fever that is being cultivated in U.S. political discourse and culture about the threat posed by Moscow.

The Post has many excellent reporters and smart editors. They have produced many great stories this year. But this kind of blatantly irresponsible and sensationalist tabloid behavior – which tracks what they did when promoting that grotesque PropOrNot blacklist of U.S. news outlets accused of being Kremlin tools – is a by-product of the Anything Goes mentality that now shapes mainstream discussion of Russia, Putin and the Grave Threat to All Things Decent in America that they pose.

Ironically, a few weeks ago we noted that The Washington Post was all too happy to promote an anonymous website that described Zerohedge as "'dark gray' propaganda, systematically deceiving its civilian audiences for foreign political gain" (see "Washington Post Names Drudge, Zero Hedge, & Ron Paul As Anti-Clinton 'Sophisticated Russian Propaganda Tools'"), all while presenting exactly zero evidence to support their preposterous claim.  Perhaps it's time for WaPo to dedicate a bit more of its time to self-reflection.

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