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Benny Gantz cosmetically shifts center-right in attempt to ‘Trump Netanyahu’s Ace’

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Benny Gantz cosmetically shifts center-right in attempt to Trump Netanyahus Ace

In a transparent appeal for right-of-center votes, the left-of-center Blue & White party (B&W) of Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid is looking to go Right.

Anyone who reads the Israeli political map and does basic math can see that the Left has virtually no chance of forming the next coalition. If B&W gets 35 seats, as they did in the last election, and even if the Arab voting bloc is included, polls indicate the best result that a left-wing B&W coalition can attain is 55 seats in Israel’s 120 seat parliament, the Knesset.

Therefore, it’s clear to most objective observers that the way to defy the common wisdom is to appeal to the moderately right-of-center voters who normally vote for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud. Unlike the more right-wing/religious Zionist voters who are likely to vote for URP, or the Haredi voters, who will vote for UTJ or Shas, the Likud voters are considered susceptible to the tried and true left-of-center strategy: Roll out the Generals!

Dating back to Yitzhak Rabin’s successful campaign with Labor in 1992, the top left-of-center party has always highlighted its generals in order to minimize the focus on its land-surrender based policies. Successive former chiefs-of-staff or other top generals who became prime ministers have included Labor’s Ehud Barak, who fled Lebanon, thereby leaving it for Hezbollah, and who begged PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat to take all of Judea and Samaria, as well as the Temple Mount. Barak was followed by Kadima’s Ariel Sharon, who unilaterally expelled 10,000 Jews from Gaza and northern Shomron and destroyed thriving Jewish communities, which were promptly turned into missile-launching pads for Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists. All those leaders acquired their votes, not by their wise decision-making, and not by strong right-wing policies, but by their tough right-wing personas, enhanced by campaign photos of the political generals with military garb, helmets, binoculars, and tanks.

The latest reincarnation of this strategy is currently being rolled out by Gantz-Lapid and their Blue and White party. Watch soon for the campaign photos of their former generals turned politicians: Gantz, Gabi Ashkenazi, and Moshe “Bogie” Yaalon, all attired in black leather jackets visiting the troops.

Never mind that Gantz, as military chief, utterly failed in denying the threat from the Hamas tunnels and led Israel to an embarrassing draw with the Gaza terrorist organization in 2014. Never mind that the only new community approved by then-Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon was the new Arab city, Rawabi, which hovers threateningly over the embattled Israeli community of Ateret in Samaria (the northern part of the so-called West Bank).

Then, of course, there is Gabi Ashkenazi, who as chief-of-staff in 2010, joined then-Defense Minister Ehud Barak in strongly opposing Prime Minister Netanyahu, who was agitating for a significant military strike on Iran’s nuclear program.

No, generals are not necessarily right-wing and not necessarily tough. The ability to give commands and direct a battle doesn’t automatically translate into political courage and Zionist passion. When Israel is being threatened militarily, the leader of Israel must know how to play the diplomatic game, which often necessitates the ability to firmly refuse the cease-fire demands of friends and adversaries alike. In the age of President Donald Trump, who has been remarkably supportive of Israel’s historic rights and strategic needs, an Israeli leader requires the courage to seize the political moment, to assert the Jewish, historic rights in Judea, Samaria, and all of Jerusalem, as well as in the Galilee and the Negev.

Sadly, the Left has failed miserably in recent years in the vital national goals of re-settling the Land of Israel and defeating Israel’s enemies. For those who affirm that Netanyahu has also lacked consistency in those areas, well that’s just one more reason to look at parties to the right of Netanyahu’s Likud for an assertive, unapologetic stand on rebuilding the Land of Israel and defeating Israel’s enemies.

Unless, of course, one is overly impressed with helmets and binoculars.

David Rubin, former Mayor of Shiloh Israel, is the author of the new book, “Trump and the Jews”. Rubin is the founder and president of Shiloh Israel Children’s Fund, established after he and his then three-year-old son were wounded in a terror attack. He can be found at www.DavidRubinIsrael.com  or at www.ShilohIsraelChildren.org.

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Foreign Affairs

Russia threatens new crisis in Cuba as warship harbors in Havana

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Russia threatens new crisis in Cuba as warship harbors in Havana

Russia is revving up the engines of the new Cold War as it sends a state-of-the-art warship armed with cruise missiles to Havana, Cuba, around 90 miles from the shores of Florida. This latest provocation marks the closest Russia has come to garnering a response from the United States over its combative measures to counter America’s alleged ramping up of aggression in Europe.

Neither side believes they are being the aggressor. Neither side is willing to back down.

This is significant for two reasons. First, the presence of a ship capable of completely leveling a small city by the sea is more than just an exercise. It’s a clear statement to the Trump administration that they do not want troops and, most importantly, nuclear weapons in the Europe. Second, it’s a departure from standard operating procedure for Russian President Vladimir Putin who has been reluctant to participate in Cuba at all in recent years.

But Cuba’s strategic importance cannot be overstated. Russia invoking their ally that is closest to the United States is an unambiguous warning.

Russia knows the Trump administration is juggling balls on multiple fronts right now. They are pushing their aggression towards him in hopes of subverting his presidency and sowing grievances already seeded in America.

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Mexico prevents illegal immigrants from entering U.S.

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Mexico prevents illegal immigrants from entering US

Most leftist media outlets have ridiculed the President’s deal with Mexico, saying there was nothing new that would happen as a result of the agreement to cooperate on stopping the flow of migrants through Mexico across our southern border. But as One America News reported, the evidence of efficacy is very clear.

OAN Reporting:

Mexican officials are ramping up their crackdown on illegal immigration to the United States. Meanwhile, Democrats in Congress continue to oppose President Trump’s immigration agenda. One America News looked to President Trump for an update.

“Do you consider Mexico an ally or an adversary, a friend or a foe?” the President was asked.

“Well, this week I consider them a friend,” President Trump replied. “They’ve been doing a great job.”

The Mexican National Guards is preventing Central American migrants from entering the U.S., according to AFP Mexico. A group of migrants tried to cross into El Paso Texas over the weekend, but they were detained by Mexican security personnel. This comes as Mexican officials say they’ve completed the deployment of 6,000 national guards along popular migrants routes as part of the recent agreements with the U.S.

Mexico’s National Guard says their mission is to crack down on the human smuggling caravans traveling from Central America into the U.S.

AFP reports Mexican soldiers started patrolling the U.S. border last week as the clock is ticking on the 45-day observation period for Mexico to tackle mass migration. Mainstream media in the U.S. have claimed Mexico’s efforts would not block migrants from crossing into the US, but most recent developments suggest otherwise.

“Mexico is removing those people and they’re bringing them back to Honduras and different places, Guatemala, El Salvador – they bringing them back and so far they’ve been doing great,” the President complimented.

Presidents Trump is pressuring congressional Democrats to come together and change the immigration laws to discourage the influx of illegal arrivals. Additionally, DHS is bracing for sweeping roundups of illegal aliens in the country.

This unprecedented joint effort by Mexico and the U.U. is targeting transnational crime syndicates and their main sources of revenue.

Mexican officials say they could either deport the detained migrants to their countries of origin or help them remain in Mexico permanently. President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador says he will fully cooperate with President Trump on immigration as his main objective is to maintain good relations with the U.S.

Still, congressional Democrats continue to oppose border security and enforcement of immigration law, demanding that all illegal aliens be released into the U.S.

If no deal on immigration is reached in Congress over the coming days, the DHS is expected to ramp up the roundups and deportations with help from Mexico.

Final Thoughts

Mexico has stepped up in ways that, frankly, I didn’t expect. This is a testament to the President’s deal-making abilities. In the 2016 campaign, he said Mexico would pay for the wall. In a way, they’re becoming the wall. This is a win for America.

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Second loss in Istanbul marks the beginning of the end for Erdogan, if he will allow it

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Second loss in Istanbul marks the beginning of the end for Erdogan if he will allow it

We will soon see the true colors of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. His party lost the election for Mayor of Istanbul for the second time and by a much larger margin than the original “contested” election that was voided over “irregularities.” Now, there is no ambiguity about the will of the people, sending a message to the authoritarian leader who once said, “whoever wins Istanbul, wins Turkey”.

According to the BBC:

President Erdogan – the most powerful leader Turkey has seen in modern times – has just been dealt the biggest blow of his career.

This result shows that he made an incredible miscalculation by calling for the election to be re-run.

It will likely hasten splits in his ruling AK party and amplify talk of the post-Erdogan era. He will stress that he’s in power for the foreseeable future – elections are not scheduled until 2023 – but many will expect them earlier.

The result in Istanbul feels like it could be a precursor to them.

Opinion

All things being equal, I don’t think Erdogan is going to accept this defeat. He’s not going to subvert the will of the people again by calling for a third election, but we should expect turmoil of some sort. Scandals may pop up surrounding mayor-elect Ekrem Imamoglu. Threats will be made behind the scenes. If there’s one thing we’ve learned about Erdogan, it’s that nobody is allowed to oppose him without repercussions.

It will be harder to quell opposition now that the people have dealt him such a blow. He would have been much better off accepting the narrow loss initially instead of turning this into a mandate against him and his party. He faces an uphill challenge saving face and keeping his iron grip on control of the nation indefinitely, as he plans.

Just a year ago, Turkey was breaking away from western influence and starting the process of reviving the Ottoman Empire. Now, we’ll see if Democracy will be allowed to change things or if Erdogan will find some way to retain power indefinitely.

Quote

“In reality, he’ll still be president, his coalition will still control parliament – although many will perceive his defeat as the beginning of the end for him.” – Murat Yetkin

Final Thoughts

Turkey’s future may no longer include Erdogan, a prospect that hasn’t been seen as possible by many in the west for some time. If he can survive until the 2023 elections, we’ll get to see if he can hold on to power or if he’ll let it go willingly.

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