[guest post by Dana]
First news item
Last night, President Biden made his case for support and funding to Ukraine and Israel. Here are a few excerpts from his speech tonight. I’m posting a generous portion:
The terrorist group Hamas unleashed pure unadulterated evil in the world, but sadly, the Jewish people know, perhaps better than anyone, that there is no limit to the depravity of people when they want to inflict pain on others.
The President also recognized the Palestinian people’s right to live free of Hamas:
I also spoke with President Abbas, the Palestinian Authority, and reiterated that the United States remains committed to the Palestinian people’s right to dignity and to self-determination. The actions of Hamas terrorists don’t take that right away.
Like so many others, I’m heartbroken by the tragic loss of Palestinian life, including the explosion at the hospital in Gaza, which was not done by the Israelis. We mourn every innocent life lost. We can’t ignore the humanity of innocent Palestinians who only want to live in peace and have an opportunity.
The President also tied Israel and Ukraine together. Effectively so, I think:
Hamas and Putin represent different threats, but they share this in common. They both want to completely annihilate a neighboring democracy — completely annihilate it. Hamas’ stated purpose for existing is the destruction of the state of Israel and the murder of Jewish people. Hamas does not represent the Palestinian people. Hamas uses Palestinian civilians as human shields, and innocent Palestinian families are suffering greatly because of them.
Meanwhile, Putin denies Ukraine has, or ever had, real statehood. He claims the Soviet Union created Ukraine. And just two weeks ago, he told the world that if the United States and our allies withdraw — and if the United States withdraws, our allies will as well — military support for Ukraine would have, quote, a week left to live.
But we’re not withdrawing.
On why it’s vital that Putin not succeed in his quest to destroy Ukraine:
Why does this matter to America? So let me share with you why making sure Israel and Ukraine succeed is vital for America’s national security.
You know, history has taught us that when terrorists don’t pay a price for their terror, when dictators don’t pay a price for their aggression, they cause more chaos and death and more destruction. They keep going. And the cost and the threats to America and the world keep rising.
So if we don’t stop Putin’s appetite for power and control in Ukraine, he won’t limit himself just to Ukraine. He’s — Putin’s already threatened to remind, quote, remind Poland that their western land was a gift from Russia. One of his top advisers, a former president of Russia, has called Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania Russia’s Baltic provinces.
These are all NATO allies. For 75 years, NATO has kept peace in Europe. And has been the cornerstone of American security. And if Putin attacks a NATO ally, we will defend every inch of NATO, which a treaty requires and calls for.
We’ll have something that we do not seek. Make it clear — we do not seek — we do not seek to have American troops fighting in Russia or fighting against Russia.
Beyond Europe, we know that our allies, and maybe most importantly our adversaries and competitors, are watching. They’re watching our response in Ukraine as well. And if we walk away and let Putin erase Ukraine’s independence, would-be aggressors around the world would be emboldened to try the same.
In Israel, we must make sure that they have what they need to protect their people today and always. The security package I’m sending to Congress and asking Congress to do is an unprecedented commitment to Israel’s security that will sharpen Israel’s qualitative military edge, which we’ve committed to: the qualitative military edge. We’re going make sure Iron Dome continues to guard the skies over Israel. We’re going to make sure other hostile actors in the region know that Israel’s stronger than ever and prevent this conflict from spreading.
On Ukraine, I’m asking Congress to make sure we can continue to send Ukraine the weapons they need to defend themselves and their country without interruption, so Ukraine can stop Putin’s brutality in Ukraine.
What I did not hear from Biden was a commitment to victory in this fight. Hamas, Iran, and Russia cannot merely be contained. This is no time to hedge, or to meet evil halfway. We have draws in chess, but this is not chess. This is a fight for our way of life and it must be won.
— Garry Kasparov (@Kasparov63) October 20, 2023
Second news item
Always courageous, feminist Phyllis Chessler pulls no punches:
I have pioneered women’s rights for more than 50 years.
Sadly, I must conclude that what was once a diverse and independent-minded movement has become hijacked by a “woke” death cult.
Those American feminists left standing, including the icons among us, primarily favor gender over sex identity; are pro-trans rather than pro-biological-womankind; and are more obsessed with the alleged occupation of a country that has never existed (Palestine, Gaza) than they are with the occupation of female bodies in Gaza — where girls and women are forced into child and polygamous marriages, made to veil and, together with male homosexuals, “honor” killed by their families.
At this horrifying moment in history, when Hamas, an ISIS-like, Taliban-like terrorist group, has savagely and sadistically murdered, tortured, mutilated, raped and burned Israeli civilians alive, including babies, young women and grandmothers, I note a terrible silence, a moral failure, among those women, including women activists, who live in freedom in America.
The bottom line:
We cannot believe feminists’ almost absolute silence after Hamas launched its terrorist attack against Jews this month — which included raping young women next to their dead friends and then parading them, bloodied between their legs, through Gaza streets.
Rape in a war zone is considered a crime — as long as the victims are not Jews.
Third news item
Tearful mourners on Monday gathered in prayer at a mosque and placed white and yellow roses at the gravesite of a 6-year-old Muslim boy stabbed to death by a man who police say targeted him and his mother because they were Palestinian Americans.
Police said the 6-year-old and his mother Hanaan Shahin, 32, were attacked by their landlord on Saturday in Plainfield Township, about 40 miles (64 km) southwest of Chicago. The boy was stabbed 26 times while his mother suffered multiple wounds. She was expected to survive.
The assailant attempted to choke the mother and said “You Muslims must die,” CAIR said, citing text messages that Shahin sent to the boy’s father from the hospital. The man then stabbed the woman and child repeatedly with what police described as long, military-style knife with a serrated edge.
From one of the mourners:
“It’s heartbreaking. This child did not deserve to die from what happened overseas,” Juhie Faheem, one of the mourners and neighbor of the family in Plainfield Township.
“What happened in Plainfield is going to make people understand that this hits closer to home and this child was murdered for being Muslim, but he easily could have been any race, any ethnicity.”
The brutal killing of the little boy took place a week after the Hamas terror attack on Israel.
Fourth news item
Sidney ‘Release the Kraken’ Powell pleads guilty:
Sidney Powell, who advised Trump during the final frantic weeks of his bid to remain in power despite losing the election, pleaded guilty Thursday to six misdemeanor counts of conspiracy to commit intentional interference with performance of election duties…Powell’s guilty plea, which she entered in a court hearing in Atlanta, makes her the first member of Trump’s close advisers to admit to crimes related to the 2020 electio…Powell was sentenced to six years probation and will be left without a criminal record if she complies with all aspects of the agreement, Judge Scott McAfee indicated. She also must write an apology letter to Georgia citizens.
Powell also agreed to “testify truthfully” against her co-defendants, which could be very bad news for Trump.
Fifth news item
Term limits on Supreme Court?. Playing politics:
A group of Democratic senators introduced a bill Thursday that would radically change the makeup of the Supreme Court, amid ongoing concerns over court ethics and its increasingly conservative makeup.
The legislation would appoint a new Supreme Court justice every two years, with that justice hearing every case for 18 years before stepping back from the bench and only hearing a “small number of constitutionally required cases.”
Only the nine most recently appointed justices would hear appellate cases, which make up a bulk of the court’s work. All living justices would participate in a smaller subset of cases under the court’s “original jurisdiction,” such as disputes between states or with foreign officials.
Sixth news item
A solid analysis of the massive media failure this past week and a half:
Other media outlets didn’t exercise the same patience. Instead of waiting for more information, nearly all of them ran with the accusations from the terrorist group as if they were facts. That’s how eager they were to create a moral equivalency between Israel and Hamas.
The result of their careless journalism was actively misinforming millions about a serious situation and triggering a chain of deadly consequences. Even as the story developed and more information came out, the outlets were slow to react, much less issue corrections. By Wednesday there was overwhelming evidence that Israel was right and almost everything these outlets had originally reported was straight-up wrong. There is even clear evidence the casualty count was not remotely accurate, as confirmed by multiple intelligence agencies from other countries.
Seventh news item
Over at The Bulwark, Jonathan V. Last points to the reasons why he believes President Biden has done a stellar job with Israel:
Given Israel moral, rhetorical, and concrete support.
Rallied Europe to Israel’s cause.
Pulled the main body of the Democratic party even further away from its radical, anti-Israel fringe.
And pushed Israel to be more attentive to humanitarian concerns in its campaign against Hamas.
Eighth news item
I thank @POTUS Joe Biden for his powerful address. Together, we will not allow hatred destroy freedom, and we will not let terrorists destroy democracy.
Ukraine is grateful for all the U.S. support and its unfaltering belief that humanism, freedom, independence, and rules-based…
— Volodymyr Zelenskyy / Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) October 20, 2023
Ninth news item
If you haven’t yet heard NYC Mayor Adams’ speech on Israel, do so:
Gotta give credit to NYC Mayor Eric Adams for this phenomenal speech on Israel. It’s a few minutes that everyone should watch. pic.twitter.com/SBbJDNmQA1
— Eli Klein (@TheEliKlein) October 13, 2023
Have a good weekend.