Joel B. Pollak

Joel B. Pollak

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Gaza Flotilla (Israel Defense Forces / Screenshot / YouTube)

With Iran Ship, Obama Reaps What He Sowed in Gaza Flotilla

The international diplomatic and military crisis sparked by Iran’s decision to send an “aid” vessel directly to Yemen–along with an escort of warships–rather than to the international coordinating point in Djibouti was the latest escalation in Iran’s attempt to assert its new dominance as a regional power. Notably, Iran’s tactics mirror those used by Palestinian activists, backed by Turkey, in the 2010 Mavi Marmara incident, when an Islamist “aid” ship challenged the Israeli navy off Gaza.

Steve Glazer (Steve Glazer / Flickr / CC)

CA Unions Lose Big in East Bay Special Election

California’s powerful unions lost a key special election this week in an all-Democrat race for State Senate in the East Bay that pitted a reformist candidate, Orinda Mayor Steve Glazer, against a reliable Big Labor vote, Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla. The race took place on what was nominally Republican turf, after State Sen. Mark DeSaulnier resigned. Heavy spending by independent groups on both sides–and the state’s new “jungle” primary–helped Glazer win 55%-45%.

George W. Bush

5 Reasons the Iraq War Was Not a Mistake

The media have finally extracted from Hillary Clinton the question they have pressing her Republican rivals to answer for several weeks now: knowing what we now know about Iraq–that it did not have the weapons of mass destruction (WMD) it was thought to have–should we still have invaded Iraq? The answer journalists wish to hear is “no,” because it is a way of excusing President Barack Obama for the predictable (and predicted) mess that transpired when he withdrew from Iraq.

UCBERK

University of California At Center of Antisemitism Fight

The University of California has produced some of the most blatant cases of campus antisemitism in recent months, with Jewish students singled out for their faith–often by anti-Israel activists. That prompted 57 rabbis and 107 members of the UC faculty to write to the administration Monday, the Los Angeles Times reports, to ask that it adopt the State Department definition of antisemitism, which includes demonizing Israel, delegitimizing Israel, or holding double standards for Israel.

Spencer Platt/Getty Images/AFP

Democrats Have a Demographic Problem in 2016

A report by Daniel J. McGraw in this weekend’s Politico brings rigorous data analysis–i.e. “quick back-of-the-napkin math”–to bear on the GOP’s demographic “problem”: namely, that Republican voters tend to be old, so more of them are dying. (If you are a Democrat, this is not a problem, as death has historically posed no real impediment to voting.) Yet the real demographic problem in 2016 is not the age of Republican voters: rather, it is the age of the Democratic candidates.

Pat Brown and Jerry Brown (Associated Press)

Man-Made: NYT Blames Jerry Brown’s Dad for CA Drought

CORONADO — When Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina called California’s drought “man-made” earlier this year, blaming mismanagement by the state’s liberal politicians, Democrats mocked her. The Washington Post’s fact-checker even gave her two “Pinocchios” for the claim. However, on Sunday the New York Times appeared to agree that the drought is man-made, at least in its impacts–and blamed former Gov. Pat Brown, father of current Gov. Jerry Brown.

Luis Gutierrez, Loretta Sanchez

Once out, Now in: Sanchez Declares for U.S. Senate

Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) has formally announced that she will run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by a retiring Barbara Boxer (D-CA) in 2016. She will challenge California Attorney General Kamala Harris, who was the first to declare her candidacy earlier this year, and had already begun raising millions of dollars in the hopes of clearing the field of rivals.

Obama at Press Dinner - NPR Photo

Obama’s Iran Deal Lie Collapses: Russia Says No ‘Snap-Back’ Sanctions

President Barack Obama has defended the impending nuclear deal with Iran by promising Americans that there will be automatic “snap-back” provisions to restore sanctions automatically if Iran cheats on its obligations: “If Iran violates the deal, sanctions can be snapped back into place,” he said in April. On Wednesday, Russian UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin told Bloomberg News that there would be no such provisions: “There can be no automaticity, none whatsoever,” he said.

Human Rights Council

Video: Iran, North Korea, Cuba Slam U.S. at UN Human Rights Council

Following the Obama administration’s craven presentation of America’s–largely imaginary–human rights shortcomings to the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) Monday, the member states took their turns to add to the criticism. In many cases, the countries piling on were dictatorships that murder and persecute their own citizens with absolute impunity.

John-Kerry-HaftSeen-1-HR-640x480

The NSC: ‘Radical Wing’ of Obama White House

The National Security Council (NSC) is meant to serve as “the President’s principal forum for considering national security and foreign policy matters with his senior national security advisors and cabinet officials. Increasingly, it is a repository for radicals whose ideas are too extreme for public scrutiny, and who would never pass congressional muster. The latest case is the NSC’s hosting last month of a Palestinian-American teenager, Tariq Khdeir, who was beaten by Israeli police in 2014.

Barack Obama

A Free Trader’s Case for Skepticism on Obama’s Trade Deal

I believe in free trade. I think the evidence is compelling that the free flow of goods and services makes Americans better off and is a fundamental national interest. It also reduces global poverty and increases the potential for liberty worldwide. The costs to jobs in some industries can be partly addressed by job growth in others. So I am on board, in theory, for the Trans-Pacific Partnership and other deals, including with the EU. But I don’t think Obama has earned the trust for “fast-track.”

Zarif at Human Rights Counctil (Denis Balbouse / Reuters)

Obama Complains to UN About America’s ‘Human Rights’ Violations

The Obama administration has, once again, complained to the United Nations about alleged American human rights violations–and boasted about liberal policies like Obamacare as the solution. The State Department report, released Monday as part of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) at the UN Human Rights Council, reads less like an accounting of human rights issues and more like the platform of the Democratic Party–and invites the world to judge America harshly.

President Barack Obama gestures as he speaks at Lehman College in the Bronx borough of New York, Monday, May 4, 2015. Obama announced the creation of an independent nonprofit organization that is a spin off his "My Brother's Keeper" program, which works to give young men of color more opportunities through mentoring and business partnerships.

Obama’s Pathetic Hypocrisy on Trade

By now, it is beyond cliché to point out the many ways in which President Barack Obama abandons his former positions when they become politically inconvenient. His reversal on free trade, however, stands out because it is the one reversal that faces significant opposition from within his own party, and specifically from Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). Recently Obama said that “Elizabeth is a politician just like everybody else.” That would, presumably, include Obama himself.

Netanyahu (Reuters)

Netanyahu in Trouble as Right-wing Foreign Minister Quits

JERUSALEM, Israel — “Only in Israel can you win an election and lose it the next day,” intoned the announced on Israel’s Army Radio on Tuesday morning, over audio of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s victory speech from the elections in March. On Monday, Netanyahu’s fragile coalition-building effort suffered a dangerous setback with the sudden departure of Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, which leaves Netanyahu with a slim and unstable 61-59 majority in the Knesset.

OurCrowd (Joel Pollak / Breitbart News)

Israel’s OurCrowd Revolutionizes Investing, Startup Funding

JERUSALEM, Israel — The future of tech investing is housed–barely–in a stone spice warehouse on the Hebron Road in Jerusalem. There are, I am told, bullet holes in the walls, from the days when the building faced the boundary with Jordan. On the day I visit, it sounds like a war zone–a battle of drills and hammers, fire alarms and telephones, as the company expands into neighboring space. Only two years old, OurCrowd is revolutionizing startup funding–and growing rapidly.

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