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August 27, 2017 8:04 pm

Name-Calling Critics Fail to Refute ZOA’s Concerns About McMaster

avatar by Morton A. Klein, Elizabeth Berney and Daniel Mandel

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National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster with President Donald Trump. Photo: Twitter.

The Zionist Organization of America’s August 2017 report detailed US National Security Chief General H.R. McMaster’s troubling record regarding Iran, Israel and radical Islamist terrorism. McMaster’s statements and actions appear to be diametrically opposed to President Donald Trump’s support for Israel, opposition to the Iran nuclear deal and determination to name and combat radical Islamist terrorism.

Critics of ZOA’s report have failed to show that ZOA’s report was wrong in any substantive respect. The criticisms have amounted to name-calling against ZOA, and McMaster’s friends vouching for his character — which is irrelevant to the vital policy issues addressed in ZOA’s report.

McMaster reportedly wrongly refers to the existence of a Palestinian state before 1947 — when no Palestinian state ever existed, and maligns Israel as an “illegitimate,” “occupying power.” In fact, Israel’s re-establishment in 1948 and her self-defensive capture of Judea/Samaria (West Bank) in 1967 were both legal under binding international law, and deprived no country of its sovereign territory.

McMaster wrongly claimed that President Trump would recognize “Palestinian self determination” during his visit to Israel; reportedly opposed President Trump’s visit to Jerusalem’s Western Wall, refused to state that the Western Wall is in Israel, and insisted that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu could not accompany President Trump to the Western Wall.

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And alarmingly, when Israel installed metal detectors at Jerusalem’s Temple Mount after Palestinian terrorists smuggled in firearms and murdered two Israeli policemen, McMaster, according to a senior defense official, described this as “just another excuse by the Israelis to repress the Arabs.”

In his short tenure at the National Security Council (NSC), General McMaster has fired or removed from the NSC six staunchly pro-Israel/anti-Iran officials: Steve Bannon; K.T. McFarland; Adam Lovinger; Rich Higgins, Derek Harvey and Ezra Cohen-Watnick.

McMaster quickly removed Bannon, architect of much of President Trump’s pro-Israel, anti-Islamist terrorism agenda, from the Principals Committee of the NSC. McMaster also promptly removed K.T. McFarland, a key member of the team of Iran deal opponents originally assembled by President Trump, and a veteran pro-Israel national security professional in the Nixon, Ford and Reagan administrations.  She was shunted off to be ambassador to Singapore. Lovinger, a pro-Israel national security strategist from the Pentagon, was returned to the Pentagon with his security clearance revoked.

McMaster also sacked Iran “hawk” Rich Higgins, the NSC’s director of strategic planning, after Higgins wrote a memo about personnel opposed to President Trump’s foreign policy agenda.  McMaster removed Derek Harvey, senior director for the Middle East, who has been described by former Army Vice Chief of Staff General Jack Keane as “hands down the very best intelligence analyst that the United States government has on Iraq,” after Harvey prepared a list of NSC Obama-era holdovers. McMaster should have removed the personnel on Harvey’s list — but instead fired Harvey. And McMaster also fired Cohen-Watnick, a staunch opponent of the Iran deal, who sought to intensify efforts to counter Iran in in the Middle East and rein in officials opposed to the president’s policies.

McMaster’s replacements and appointees are on the wrong side of the issues of concern. McMaster appointed Colonel Kris Bauman, who has blamed Israel for Palestinian terror and urged Israel to negotiate with Hamas, to work on the Israel-Palestinian desk. Bauman is working to revive General Jim Allen’s defective and dangerous Obama-era plan for Palestinian statehood. McMaster also replaced K.T. McFarland with Dina Habib-Powell — a defender of Huma Abedin and friend of pro-Iran-deal Obama era figures such as Valerie Jarett.

As PJ Media New York editor David Steinberg wrote: “One is hard-pressed to identify a member of the NSC brought in by McMaster with a history of aligning with President Trump on Iran or with his Mideast policy in general.”

A White House official estimated that well over fifty percent of the NSC staff are Obama holdovers.

McMaster has also promoted certifying that Iran is in compliance with the Iran deal — even though Iran: banned International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors from its Parchin nuclear facility; refused to allow IAEA investigators to interview Iran’s nuclear scientists; and has repeatedly tested intercontinental ballistic missiles in violation of UN Security Council resolutions; and despite German intelligence reports that Iran is cheating on the deal.

And when pressed about Iran’s violations, McMaster inaccurately and misleadingly stated that Iran is merely violating the Iran deal’s “spirit.” This flies the face of President Trump’s promise to tear up or rigorously enforce the Iran deal and punish violations.

Mirroring the Obama administration’s practices, McMaster opposes using the term “radical Islamic terrorism” or other indicia of terrorists’ jihadist ideology.

It’s notable that those who have castigated ZOA’s detailed critique of McMaster have failed to refute a single ZOA concern. They merely condemned ZOA as wrong and scurrilous. The most that any of ZOA’s critics could offer was the “opinion” of anonymous Israeli officials that McMaster is a “friend” and that there is “no need to agree with every position McMaster has taken.”

Another issue that’s been ignored is why has a bevy of anti-Trump, anti-Israel activists and groups — including CNN’s Van Jones, Media Matters, and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) — leapt to Trump appointee McMaster’s defense. Yet they never leapt to defend the pro-Israel David Friedman’s appointment as ambassador to Israel when he was criticized. Meanwhile, many strong supporters of Israel have supported ZOA’s critique of McMaster’s actions.

All of ZOA’s critics have two things in common. They use ugly, nonsensical, vacuous name-calling ​to​ defend McMaster and they ​fail to ​refute a single issue of concern ZOA raised. The critics’​ inability to address ZOA’s​ numerous concerns only strengthens ZOA’s​ case about McMaster’s hostility to Israel and ​failure to take strong action against Iran and radical Islami​st​ terrorism.

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  • Hard Little Machine

    So what’s going on over there?

  • Efram Paul

    If Trump IS sincere in his desire to rid the world of Islamic terrorism, and protect the US’s only real friend in the middle east, Israel, then McMaster and Tillerson need to be history, the fired NSC members should be returned to office, and the swamp of Obama antisemitic cronies needs to be totally drained.

    • Barbara Grancell-Frank

      Amen!

    • steelraptor from Saturn

      Trump was never sincere. Trump is an idiot, and he conned a lot of people. Welcome to Obama’s third term.

  • Michael

    There is no doubt a subtle shift is ongoing at the White House.The conservative voices are being pushed out and replaced by more moderate traditional Republicans. Nothing happens without President Trump’s rubber stamp of approval. The recognition by the president that to accomplish anything legislatively will require all Republican Congressman to be on board. Just the opposite is happening and Republican congressmen are jumping overboard like rats deserting a sinking ship. Sadly President Trump needs to swim in the swamp to survive his presidency. Also of note I believe will be President Trump’s version of Michael Jackson’s moonwalk as he puts pressure on Israel for major concessions to the demands of the Palestinians.
    The president need look no further for the chaos in the White House and his administration then his bathroom mirror.

  • desert sage

    Shalom, is the “swamp” draining Trump? Or… is Trump secretly compliant? With a “silver spoon” start, and a great education, I think most of us could do as well? He seems to be ruled by his nefarious Military advisers, rather than honoring his campaign promises, and making his own decisions. I voted for him, and am not pleased… so far. Would Jared Kushner be in the picture if he were not a son in law? What credentials and experience does he have for his appointed position? “Silver spoon” start and a rich father. Spot on article.

    Blessings ~ desert sage

  • Victor Hafichuk

    I’ll be glad to be corrected on anything I’ve said in my post already entered. Please feel free to do so. I don’t want to be wrong here.

  • Victor Hafichuk

    Who is the President of the US? Is it Donald J. Trump or is it H. R. McMaster, a Leftist, anti-Zionist, anti-Israel, anti-Semitic, anti-Jew, and yes, apparently anti-Trump while reflecting pro-Muslim, pro- Palestinian, pro-Obama, policies and philosophy on Israel and the Middle East?
    Or has Mr. Donald Trump not been honest with America from the get go? I doubt this is so, but something is not ringing true here? Is it President Donald J. Trump’s negotiating tactics or is this a super sad day for America after all? We certainly will see, won’t we?

  • enufizenuf

    Only once Trump rids his administration of this nasty, bigoted and undereducated bastard will his administration really begin to succeed. But information about McMaster’s dastardly behind the scenes firings and machinations are being kept from the President, just as they kept Joe Arpaio’s faux conviction from him.

  • Victoria poupko

    McMaster is of course Trump’s opponent. Same as Mattis and Kelly. Its a great pity b/c these retired generals may bring more substantial harm to Trump that opposition to his Middle East policies. ALL Jewish people should stand behind Trump and support him as much as possible. He is the only hope for Israel

    • steelraptor from Saturn

      You people can’t face facts. No the Jews are the hope of Israel, not some lying conman. McMaster is a Trump appointee as is his fellow Jew-hater Tillerson. The buck stops with Trump. McMaster is not Trump’s opponent, he was appointed by Trump. Trump hasn’t fired him, even as he has fired so many others. Trump has called McMaster ‘pro-Israel’. Get a clue.

  • Keith James

    imagine, an American military general putting their interests over the Likud…..

    • johntyd

      I suppose America’s interests are aligned with the backward, medieval, obscurantist, terrorist block the same way De Gaulle followed the money and aligned France with that same block. So tell me, who do you know that wants to live in France today? How has France benefited from its anti-Semitism? No country in the history of the world has benefited from anti-Semitism and America will not be the first to do so. Losers like you and McMaster think America can remain a world power without Israel. Obama oversaw nothing but American decline. Trump will oversee the same with ignorant liars like McMaster in office.

      You squealing, lying anti-Semitic hypocrites will sing a different tune when it is your daughters that are being raped and your place of domicile that is being bombed every day. That is coming. And guess what? Your tune won’t change. Blame the Jews. HA!

      And just what is the benefit of American alignment with araby? Selling them the weapons with which to return ever more American body bags? Maybe its all the stuff America depends upon that exists with the ‘made in Syria, Egypt, Lebanon, Iran or Saudi Arabia’ labels on them?

      Like Mcmaster you’re a degenerate.

    • Danny_Albany

      Imagine, another high-ranking American official coddling and defending Iran and its race to Middle East hegemony, producing nuclear weapons and making good on its promise of death to Israel and death to America.

  • Reb_Yaakov

    The ZOA must support its contentions and not rely on reports that quote anonymous sources.

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