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Chaos Ensues Among Democrats as DNC Chair Fails to Publicly Delineate Plan for What’s Next after Biden Drops Out

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Jaime Harrison- AP

Elizabeth Weibel- Breitbart

As the Democratic Party was thrown into chaos after President Joe Biden revealed he would not be seeking reelection, Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairman Jaime Harrison failed to publicly issue a straightforward plan for the next steps.

In a statement on Sunday, after President Joe Biden announced that he would not be seeking another term as president, Harrison said that Americans would hear from the party about the “next steps and the path forward” regarding the nomination process for picking a presidential candidate.

Harrison’s statement comes as several Democrats have issued support for Vice President Kamala Harris to be the party’s nominee for president, while others have called for a “truncated process” to play out.

“The American people owe President Biden an enormous debt of gratitude for the unparalleled progress he has delivered over the last four years – and we will honor that legacy, and the decision that he has made today, through a firm commitment to nominating and electing a Democratic president this November who will carry that torch into the next four years,” Harrison wrote.

 

Harris continued to admit that the “work” the party “must do now” was clear, while also being unprecedented.

“In the coming days, the Party will undertake a transparent and orderly process to move forward as a united Democratic Party with a candidate who can defeat Donald Trump in November,” Harrison continued. “This process will be governed by established rules and procedures of the Party. Our delegates are prepared to take seriously their responsibility in swiftly delivering a candidate to the American people.”

After Biden revealed that he was dropping out of the presidential race, he issued a statement that he was endorsing Harris “to be the nominee” for the Democratic Party.

Harrison continued to note that “Democrats are prepared and united” in their “resolve to win in November,” and that their “values” had remained “the same.”

“In short order, the American people will hear from the Democratic Party on next steps and the path forward for the nomination process,” Harrison added.

Several Democrats such as former President Bill Clinton, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) issued statements of support for Harris to be the party’s nominee for president.

The implications and audiences of Netanyahu’s address to Congress

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Currently, Israel’s media is laser-focused on the prospect of “the deal” with Hamas. Will “the deal” come to fruition or will Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu scuttle it? Credit: AP

By Alex Traiman

(JNS) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is preparing to address, for the fourth time, a joint session of the U.S. Congress on Wednesday. There is a strong possibility this will be the last such address for Israel’s longest-serving prime minister.

The address comes amid one of the most challenging periods in the 76-year existence of the modern State of Israel, and for Netanyahu himself.

Netanyahu has been struggling to maintain his nation’s confidence as he guides Israel through a multifront war launched by Hamas in what is without question one of the worst security failings in Israel’s history. The Oct. 7 attack, in which over 1,200 were brutally murdered, many in their homes, with thousands more injured and over 260 taken hostage.

The massacre exposed Israel’s military and intelligence agencies, and the government for ignoring both long-term and immediate warning signs of a large-scale attack. It also exposed an inability to quickly combat the Hamas terrorist army once the border with Gaza was breached, and difficulty mobilizing hundreds of thousands of troops with sufficient up-to-date equipment and battle plans. The Hamas attack was not merely a terror incident, it was a declaration of war.

Following the surprise Hamas success and Israel’s stunning failure, and with roughly 250 kidnapped Israelis, there was no choice but to respond with overwhelming force. The Iron Swords military campaign was launched.

Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Houthis in Yemen, both Iranian terror proxies like Hamas, immediately joined in to attack Israel. Hezbollah has fired over 20,000 rockets, drones and anti-tank guided missiles at Israel. The rockets have killed Israeli servicemen and civilians and have caused significant property damage. Israel has evacuated over 80,000 residents living within five kilometers (three miles) of the Lebanese border.

Houthis have fired ballistic and cruise missiles, and explosive-laden drones from Yemen, including a drone attack that exploded close to the Tel Aviv branch office of the U.S. Embassy. The Iranian-made drone killed one Israeli and left several injured. Houthis have attacked commercial vessels traveling through the Red Sea with U.S. naval vessels patrolling the waters.

While the majority of Israel’s efforts have been focused on Hamas in Gaza, the IDF has been extremely active in attacking Hezbollah by air. And for the first time, this weekend, Israel attacked fuel storage depots and an oil refinery in Yemen, in response to the deadly Tel Aviv drone attack.

Back on April 13, Israel and a coalition of militaries, including the U.S., intercepted over 300 drones, cruise and ballistic missiles fired from Iran at Israel. Several ballistic missiles were intercepted over Israeli airspace, with as many as four missiles striking near a military airbase in the south. Israel responded with a symbolic strike within Iran, taking out Iranian missile defense systems, stopping short of escalating to a full-fledged war directly with Iran, the world’s leading state sponsor of terror.

The diplomatic battlefield

Since the war began, demonstrations against Israel have popped up in cities across the West, along with pro-Palestinian encampments on university campuses across North America. Antisemitic incidents have soared in the U.S. and Europe, while Jew-hatred has saturated social media.

While according to most polls, most Americans continue to support Israel, anti-Israel sentiment is clearly on the rise, particularly among the younger demographics. Bipartisan support for Israel continues to wane as progressive elements of the Democratic Party throw their support behind illiberal Palestinians as a liberal cause.

International bodies including the U.N. Security Council, the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court, continue to project that Israel is the primary source of evil in the Middle East, and possibly the world over.

As all this has been happening, and as Netanyahu leads a military and diplomatic effort to defeat Israel’s attacking enemies and maintain international support, he is maligned the world over, both at home and abroad.

Members of the longstanding Democratic establishment—including Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer and former Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Hilary Clinton—have openly called for Netanyahu to be removed by an election. And a continuous stream of “leaks” to the press from within the White House has also berated the prime minister.

Gifted statesman

Netanyahu has often taken advantage of international addresses, at Congress and at the U.N., where he previously served as ambassador, to make Israel’s case to the world. A gifted statesman and orator, Netanyahu has a reputation for brilliantly making his country’s case.

 

This time, Netanyahu’s trip to Washington comes amid significant chaos, not only in Israel and the greater Middle East; but also in the U.S., where current President Joe Biden has just announced that he is dropping out of the 2024 presidential race, while former president and Republican candidate Donald Trump just survived an assassination attempt and is soaring in recent polls.

A just war

Netanyahu will use his speech to Congress, and his tentative meetings with Biden, Trump and Vice President Kamala Harris, to emphasize that Israel is fighting a just war, that it did not start, and that the war is not just the latest round of an intractable Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but rather a larger conflict funded and launched by the Islamic Republic of Iran and its terror proxies.

Netanyahu will both insist and demonstrate that Israel has been conducting the war as carefully as possible, even sometimes to Israel’s detriment. Whether Israel’s critics want to believe it or not, the IDF has been setting a new military standard for reducing civilian casualties in an urban fighting environment.

Netanyahu understands that the entire world will be paying attention to this high-stakes address, even amid other global crises. Multiple audiences will be watching closely both live and on-demand. Netanyahu is likely writing his speech specifically with several different audiences in mind.

The media

Over the years, Netanyahu has been a master of getting the media to work for him to broadcast the highlights of his speeches far and wide. This is ironic because he is known to generally distrust the media, both at home and abroad, which tend to give him more negative press than positive.

 

But to get the world to pay attention, and particularly those who do not watch the speech live, Netanyahu will craft parts of his speech around the goal of creating a headline and a photo opportunity, using one-liners and visual devices.

Over the years, Netanyahu has brought maps of the Middle East and a picture of a road-runner/coyote bomb on which he drew a bright red line to signal Iranian progress on its nuclear program. When he presented to the public details of an Iranian nuclear archive, lifted by the Mossad from deep inside Iran, Netanyahu delivered a press conference in front of a replica of an archive.

Of course, creating headlines and photo opportunities is only a means to an end. Media stunts in this case will only travel as far as the messages behind them.

Netanyahu also knows that Israel’s enemies, some within Congress itself, will attempt to steal the spotlight, with protests, walkouts and signage. Netanyahu believes that his version of the story will beat that of his detractors.

The American people

A major reason that Netanyahu accepted an invitation to address a joint session of the U.S. Congress is to make Israel’s case to the American public. Reading the New York Times and other publications would lead one to believe that Israel is on the receiving end of billions in aid while offering nothing but trouble in return.

Netanyahu will reinforce the contention that Israel is among America’s best and strongest allies. Israel is among the top countries in which the overwhelming majority of its public holds America in high regard, possibly as high or even higher than many of America’s own citizens.

Israelis share these positive viewpoints even as American foreign policy in the region over the last two decades in particular has emboldened bad actors in the region. Israelis wholeheartedly believe they share common values with America. Israelis value the free market and a free press.

If wars were not forced upon it, Israelis would gladly choose peace. And if Israel had two large oceans for borders, and peaceful nations like Canada and Mexico to its north and south, Israel, like America would not be engaged in military adventures.

But more important than sentiments, Israel offers tangible assets back to America as part of a strategic alliance. Israel provides key intelligence to the U.S. and provides real-time feedback on military systems including aircraft and missile defense. And Israelis develop solutions to key problems including patents, technology, businesses that are often bought up by major American multinationals.

They not only hate Israel; they also hate America

Netanyahu will be sure to express how grateful Israelis are for America’s longstanding bipartisan friendship and support. The last thing Israelis want is for the Jewish State to be used as a political football. Israelis have enough politics back home.

Netanyahu will simultaneously attempt to further anchor the support of Christian conservatives who have remained steadfast in their backing for Israel, as well as moderate liberals who have long been strong allies of the Jewish State. Netanyahu will try to convince isolationist Republicans that Israel is an important strategic asset that keeps American boots off the ground in the Middle East.

And Netanyahu will likely try to isolate extreme progressives who see Israel primarily through the lens of intersectionality and critical race theory, in an attempt to keep moderate liberals from drifting further to the left.

 

He will try to convince liberals that Israel is the most liberal state in the Middle East and one of the most liberal in the world and that the enemies of Israel that many progressives have thrown their support behind, are illiberal and oppressive fanatics.

They not only hate Israel; they also hate America.

Netanyahu will try and anchor Congressional support for Israel’s defense, in a bid to ensure that weapons systems that have been held up by the Biden administration will quickly make their way to Israel, and that replenishments for missile defense systems and artillery will be ordered and fast-tracked.

President Joe Biden

The day before the Congressional address, the prime minister is tentatively scheduled to meet with a now lame-duck president, Joe Biden, who has just announced that he will no longer pursue re-election. The meeting may depend on Biden’s recovery from COVID.

Netanyahu has a four-decades-old relationship with Biden, who as recently as last week called himself a Zionist. If this is the last meeting between the two as sitting heads of state, Netanyahu will thank Biden for his years of support, including an important visit to Israel following Oct. 7.

It is clear that Joe Biden has not been personally guiding the intricate details of U.S. foreign policy in the region, leaving that portfolio to a cast of holdovers from the Obama administration, including Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, among others.

Yet, as the world watches, Biden will likely try to demonstrate that he remains in command. And for as long as Biden is still president, he retains the last word. He may try to show Netanyahu who is the senior partner and who is the junior in the relationship.

If Biden attempts to pressure Netanyahu in a one-on-one Oval Office meeting, Netanyahu will have the benefit of his address to Congress to respond or correct any misunderstandings.

Vice President Kamala Harris

Much maligned Vice President turned Democratic frontrunner Kamala Harris is also scheduled to meet Netanyahu.

Whether or not a meeting with Biden takes place, Harris will be allowed to shine on the world stage in a one-on-one with seasoned statesman and influential world leader Netanyahu. She may use the meeting to establish pro-Israel bona fides, while also showing that she can talk tough to other heads of state.

“President Donald Trump”

Arguably, no other pair of American president and Israeli prime minister did more to strengthen Israel and transform the Middle East than Donald Trump and Netanyahu. Trump, working together with former U.S. ambassador to Israel David Friedman, boldly recognized Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish state (to the exclusion of any other state), moved the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, and recognized Israeli sovereignty over the strategic Golan Heights, which is currently being pummeled by Hezbollah rockets.

Trump pulled out of the JCPOA Iran nuclear deal, withholding much-needed capital from the Islamic Republic, hampering its nuclear ambitions, and funding of terror proxies. Trump similarly defunded the Palestinian Authority, as well as the U.N. agencies that do its bidding.

Working with former secretary of state Mike Pompeo, the Trump administration recognized that Israeli settlements in the so-called “West Bank” are not illegal under international law, and do not present an obstacle to peace in the region.

(Meanwhile, members of the Biden administration refuse to visit these areas, and this week the International Court of Justice, which is simultaneously trying Israel genocide, offered an advisory ruling that settlements are illegal and must be dismantled as soon as possible.)

And perhaps most impressive of all, the Trump administration authored a complete paradigm shift in the trajectory of the Middle East and created the pathway to the end of a greater Arab-Israeli conflict by brokering the Abraham Accords agreements between Israel, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Morocco and Sudan. The accords likely would have grown to include other nations including Oman and Saudi Arabia had Trump remained in office.

And yet for all of the accomplishments made together by Trump and Netanyahu, the pair had a falling out. Trump has openly accused Netanyahu of refusing to participate in the targeted assassination of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani. He became sour when Netanyahu caved into immense international pressure to congratulate Biden on the election results, even as Trump had yet to concede defeat.

In both episodes, it is easy to understand why Netanyahu made the decisions he did. Certainly, Netanyahu hopes that a second Trump presidency could yield significant positive momentum for Israel, and help bring nearly a year of war in the region to a halt.

Recently, Netanyahu’s advisors have shown selections of immense praise for Trump in Netanyahu’s autobiography. A meeting between Israel’s prime minister and America’s Republican presidential nominee could go a long way to repairing the relationship.

Iran and its proxies

The formula for transforming the Middle East for good is simple to define but difficult to implement: Defeat the terrorists and their sponsors, and normalize relations with moderate actors. Israel is currently engaged in both.

Moderates and extremists alike will be watching Netanyahu’s trip to Washington and his speech to Congress closely. They will be looking for signals of strength or weakness from Netanyahu, and they will be looking to see how resolutely Biden, Harris and Trump stand with or against Netanyahu.

A surrender by Hamas, the release of hostages and an end to fighting in and beyond Gaza could hinge on the success or failure of Netanyahu’s visit.

Iran and its proxies are gauging their next moves based on Israel’s military might and will to win, and on who they believe might win the 2024 U.S. presidential election. If they perceive strong repercussions for their malign behavior, they may enter into a period of reevaluating their paramilitary adventures. If they perceive strong pressure on Israel free of consequences, they will continue to terrorize the region.

The Saudis

The Biden Administration threw a wrench in the momentum of the Abraham Accords. The normalization agreements flew in the face of longstanding State Department assessments that the Arab-Israeli conflict could not be solved from the outside-in, but only if the Israeli-Palestinian conflict were first to end with a two-state solution.

Further, the Biden Administration isolated and maligned the Saudis over the murder of Saudi political opponent and dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Even as Israel pressed the Biden administration to attempt to recover momentum, it became clear that the Saudis would not give Biden and company a major diplomatic accomplishment without paying an extraordinary price.

The Saudis will be waiting to see who wins the upcoming presidential election before deciding how to proceed.

Netanyahu’s 2015 speech

But it should be noted that Netanyahu’s last speech to a joint session of Congress was a foundational element in the signing of the historic normalization agreements. At the time, Netanyahu greatly angered then-president Barack Obama by coming to directly oppose America’s entry into the Iran nuclear deal.

While that speech soured Netanyahu’s relationship with Democrats loyal to Obama, it sent a shockwave across the Middle East. Here was an Israeli prime minister standing up to an American president to defend not only Israel’s existential interests, but the interests of the Saudis, the Emiratis and Bahrain.

Within moments of the speech, senior Israeli officials received calls from Middle Eastern leaders. And while it took some time, those calls led to the formation of the historic Abraham Accords.

And while Obama won a Nobel Peace Prize, with little to show for it in the years before or the years that followed, neither Trump, Netanyahu, nor the brave Arab leaders that entered into the agreements won Nobel prizes—simply because they were Trump and Netanyahu. Perhaps the pair will get another opportunity following Bibi’s 2024 speech to Congress.

Israel’s public

Perhaps Netanyahu has been maligned more at home than anywhere else. The opposition, which also includes most of Israel’s media, the Supreme Court and the upper echelons of the military and intelligence services all want Netanyahu out of office.

Anti-Netanyahu protests which gained steam during five consecutive election cycles over the past six years, and reached a crescendo during Netanyahu’s proposed judicial reforms have again taken to the streets of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, even as the reforms have been shelved. Now protestors have tried to link up with some of the families of hostages, who blame Netanyahu for their present fate, and desperately want him to cave into Hamas demands to set their loved ones free.

Many Israelis, including longtime supporters, now wonder whether it is finally time for Netanyahu to retire. Yet, while Netanyahu’s popularity dropped to historic lows following the Oct. 7 failures, he and his Likud Party have been steadily climbing in recent polls, as chief opponent Benny Gantz’s popularity has slid.

Gantz resigned weeks ago from a unity government he joined to help prosecute the war, and most Israelis no longer see him as a viable alternative. And as many Israelis are hoping for anyone but Netanyahu, a clear candidate the opposition can rally around has yet to emerge.

The embattled prime minister certainly aims to show that he is still the most capable Israeli leader. He hopes to gain the opportunity to see the successful conclusion to the current war, and potentially the signing of further normalization agreements to cement his legacy as one of Israel’s greatest prime ministers.

While Netanyahu has steered relatively clear of public press appearances over the past several months as the war has progressed, the speech to Congress is another opportunity to try to convince Israelis, who will be closely monitoring the developments of his trip, that Bibi, for better or worse, remains Israel’s indispensable man.

Alex Traiman is CEO and Jerusalem Bureau Chief of Jewish News Syndicate.

Trump Criticizes Biden’s Withdrawal from 2024 Election, Calls for Immediate Resignation

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Finally, the idea, if true, that bystanders spotted a 20-year-old on a nearby roof with a gun, a mere 130 yards from Trump, and in vain warned police of his presence, is surreal. Photo Credit: AP

Trump Criticizes Biden’s Withdrawal from 2024 Election, Calls for Immediate Resignation

Edited by: Fern Sidman

In a dramatic turn of events, former President Donald Trump swiftly reacted to President Joe Biden’s unexpected withdrawal from the 2024 presidential race. Trump, never one to mince words, took to his social media platform, Truth Social, to lambast his former opponent’s decision, labeling Biden as “not fit to run” and questioning his capacity to serve as President.

Trump’s message on Truth Social was characteristically blunt. “Crooked Joe Biden was not fit to run for President, and is certainly not fit to serve – And never was!” he declared, according to an ABCNews.com report on Sunday. He continued by asserting that those close to Biden, including his medical team and the media, were aware of his alleged incapability to hold the highest office in the land. “All those around him, including his Doctor and the Media, knew that he wasn’t capable of being President, and he wasn’t,” Trump claimed, the ABCNews.com report said.

The former president seized the opportunity to reiterate his familiar campaign rhetoric, particularly focusing on his critique of Biden’s handling of the border situation. “We will suffer greatly because of his presidency, but we will remedy the damage he has done very quickly. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!” Trump promised his followers, as per the information provided in the ABCNews.com report.  He didn’t hold back on his assessment of Biden’s term, starting his statement with the assertion that Biden was “the Worst President, by far, in the History of our Nation.”

The announcement of Biden’s withdrawal also triggered an immediate response from Trump’s campaign, which launched a new fundraising initiative. The campaign’s message to supporters was clear and combative: “But RIGHT NOW, he just quit the race in COMPLETE DISGRACE!”

House Speaker Mike Johnson also reacted strongly to the news, posting on X (formerly Twitter). Johnson framed Biden’s withdrawal as a forced decision by the Democratic Party, occurring a mere 100 days before the election. “At this unprecedented juncture in American history, we must be clear about what just happened. The Democrat Party forced the Democrat nominee off the ballot, just over 100 days before the election,” Johnson wrote, as was noted in the ABCNews.com report.  He echoed Trump’s sentiment by calling for Biden’s immediate resignation. “If Joe Biden is not fit to run for President, he is not fit to serve as President. He must resign the office immediately. November 5 cannot arrive soon enough,” Johnson insisted.

Senator Josh Hawley joined the chorus of voices demanding Biden’s resignation, swiftly reacting to the announcement and emphasizing the urgency of Biden stepping down from his position.

House Majority Leader Steve Scalise echoed Johnson’s sentiments, accusing Democratic leaders of undermining their voters. “Democrat party bosses just proved that they have absolutely no respect for their own voters. After lecturing others about democracy, they just forced Joe Biden off the ticket—trashing the primary choice of 14 million of their own voters,” Scalise wrote on X, according to the ABCNews.com report.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell issued a detailed statement, highlighting what he described as the failures of Biden’s presidency. “For four years, the American people have faced historic inflation at home, chaos at the border, and weak leadership on the world stage. Our nation is less prosperous and less secure than it was in January, 2021. We cannot afford four more years of failure,” McConnell stated, as was affirmed in the ABCNews.com report. He accused the Democratic Party of trying to overturn the will of the voters and criticized their policies on various fronts. “Washington Democrats have not proven themselves any more capable than the President of delivering the secure borders, safe streets, and stable prices that working families deserve. They are selling open borders, higher prices, climate radicalism, and soft-on-crime policies, and the American people are not buying,” he concluded.

In a significant move, Biden threw his support behind Vice President Kamala Harris as the Democratic nominee for president. “My very first decision as the party nominee in 2020 was to pick Kamala Harris as my Vice President. And it’s been the best decision I’ve made,” Biden stated, as was reported by ABCNews.com. He further urged the Democratic Party to unite behind Harris, saying, “Today I want to offer my full support and endorsement for Kamala to be the nominee of our party this year. Democrats — it’s time to come together and beat Trump. Let’s do this.”

Biden also announced plans to address the nation later in the week to provide more details on his decision to withdraw from the race.

The Trump campaign, led by advisers Chris LaCivita and Susie Wiles, launched a scathing attack on Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. “Crooked Joe Biden is a complete fraud and a disgrace to our Country,” they declared in a joint statement, the ABC News report added. Their condemnation reflects the broader strategy of Trump’s campaign to position themselves as the antidote to what they depict as the failures of the Biden administration.

“And during this entire term, Kamala Harris – as well as every other Democrat in Washington, sat by and did NOTHING. They are all just as complicit as Biden is in the destruction of our once-great Nation, and they must all be thrown out of office,” they declared.

They also raised concerns about Biden remaining in office for the remainder of his term, given his decision to withdraw due to health concerns, as was indicated in the ABCNews.com report.  “The question then to Kamala Harris is simple: knowing that Joe Biden withdrew from the campaign because of his rapidly deteriorating condition, does Harris believe the people of America are safe and secure with Joe Biden in the White House for six more months?” they asked pointedly.

As Republican leaders united in their condemnation, Democratic leaders and Biden’s own team have been notably silent, leading to widespread speculation about the internal dynamics within the Democratic Party, as was observed on the ABCNews.com report.   The lack of immediate response from prominent Democrats has only fueled further intrigue and uncertainty.

As Biden prepares to address the nation and provide further details on his decision, the political landscape is poised for significant upheaval. The Democratic Party must quickly rally behind a new candidate, with Vice President Kamala Harris now in the spotlight. Meanwhile, Republican leaders are capitalizing on the moment to galvanize their base and critique the current administration.

The next few months will be crucial as both parties navigate this unprecedented situation, with the 2024 presidential election looming large on the horizon. The stakes have never been higher, and the nation waits with bated breath to see how this political drama will unfold.

 

 

 

She’s Running: Kamala Harris Confirms Shadow Campaign After Biden Ousted

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AP

Bradley Jaye (Breitbart)

Vice President Kamala Harris confirmed she will run for president hours after President Joe Biden announced he would end his reelection bid, subsequently endorsing Harris.

The process ahead for Democrats is murky, at best. But Harris must answer multiple questions regarding her complicity in allegedly covering up what many voters have suspected is Biden’s diminished capability as put on display during his June 27 debate with Donald Trump.

Harris called Biden’s decision to end his campaign a “selfless and patriotic act,” adding by doing so he was “putting the American people and our country above everything else.”

She did not specifically attribute his action to an acknowledgement that he could not beat Trump or an admission of his diminished condition.

Harris must also answer questions on her potential role in pushing Biden to the side. Elite liberal activists and donors – many who have already flocked to Harris’s campaign – pushed Biden aside despite him overwhelmingly securing the delegates necessary to be the nominee.

Her statement in its entirety reads:

On behalf of the American people, I thank Joe Biden for his extraordinary leadership as President of the United States and for his decades of service to our country. His remarkable legacy of accomplishment is unmatched in modern American history, surpassing the legacy of many Presidents who have served two terms in office.

It is a profound honor to serve as his Vice President, and I am deeply grateful to the President, Dr. [Jill] Biden, and the entire Biden family. I first came to know President Biden through his son Beau. We were friends from our days working together as Attorneys General of our home states. As we worked together, Beau would tell me stories about his dad. The kind of father–and the kind of man–he was. And the qualities Beau revered in his father are the same qualities, the same values, I have seen every single day in Joe’s leadership as President: His honesty and integrity. His big heart and commitment to his faith and his family. And his love of our country and the American people.

With this selfless and patriotic act, President Biden is doing what he has done throughout his life of service: putting the American people and our country above everything else.

I am honored to have the President’s endorsement and my intention is to earn and win this nomination. Over the past year, I have traveled across the country, talking with Americans about the clear choice in this momentous election. And that is what I will continue to do in the days and weeks ahead. I will do everything in my power to unite the Democratic Party—and unite our nation—to defeat Donald Trump and his extreme Project 2025 agenda.

We have 107 days until Election Day. Together, we will fight. And together, we will win.

Notably, Harris chose to attack Trump over Project 2025, an outside effort to prepare staff and other aid to the next Trump campaign that Trump repeatedly has denounced.

Bradley Jaye is a Capitol Hill Correspondent for Breitbart News. Follow him on X/Twitter at @BradleyAJaye.

 

Documents reveal evolution of Hamas from guerillas to real army; promising ‘paradise’ for brutalizing women, children

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Members of the Hamas and the Islamic Jihad release Israeli hostages to the Red Cross, in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, November 28, 2023. (Flash90)

By Vered Weiss, World Israel News

Tens of thousands of documents retrieved by the IDF after nearly ten months of fighting in Gaza have revealed how Hamas transformed itself from a group of terrorists to a military force to be reckoned with, Walla reports.

According to the documents, the terror group developed organizational structures, secured weapons from foreign sources, and created detailed training manuals for commanders and recruits.

Hamas built its extensive network of tunnels through which it transported weapons from Iran and Russia through the Egyptian border into Gaza.

Once the weapons reached Gaza, they were concealed in homes, hospitals, and schools.

 

The documents also included extensive training manuals with instructions to photographers on what to focus on and on terrorists concerning how to behave if captured and interrogated.

There were also photographs and maps of army posts and kibbutzim.

The training manuals also instructed Hamas terrorists to strike fear in the hearts of the enemy and to commit acts of torture and mutilation that ordinarily might be forbidden by the Koran.

The manuals said perpetrating brutal acts on even women and children would earn them a special reward in paradise.

The instruction manuals also proved the link between UNRWA and Hamas and showed that UNRWA was ready to shelter Hamas terrorists and store their weapons at their facilities.

The Hamas manual concentrated heavily on Jewish enemies, but it also detailed horrific torture methods against LGBTQ prisoners.

Although the destruction of Israel is written into Hamas’s charter, it was clear from the manual that they didn’t intend to stop there.

After they finished the destruction of the Jewish State, Hamas’s documents indicated they would keep on fighting their enemies, demanding nothing less than a total defeat of the Palestinian Authority, Egypt, Jordan, Europe, and the United States.

The Ousting of Joe Biden: The New Rules of the Game

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President Joe Biden slammed America’s conduct during the Second World War in a conversation with Israel’s war cabinet, arguing that the Allied bombings of Nazi Germany led to the “United Nations and all these rules”. Credit: AP

The Ousting of Joe Biden: The New Rules of the Game

In 1776 revolution was brewing in the Thirteen Colonies; sentiments against the British burned with lust for freedom and liberty. Americans, though divided by geography, and economic considerations, nevertheless united on taking down the British Empire, to achieve self-determination. The divides the colonies had between their economies and slave policy became irrelevant in the face of the threat of tyranny as stated by American Revolutionary leader Patrick Henry, “Give me liberty or give me death!” The original colonists came to America for a better life and more opportunities; they established religious tolerance, freedom of expression, and a democratic framework to elect representatives who voted on policy. While America officially became a constitutional republic, the ideas of democracy formed the basis of the system of governance.

The original colonies which eventually would unite completely as the United States, had their differences; still, their belief in democratic governance and a government “of and by the people” was crucial to forming all governments in the United States. Despite the system of electing senators, and nominees shifting away from state legislatures choosing senators to the people voting for their next senator, the ideals of representative leadership survived only because the people consented to such a system. When the people don’t consent, that isn’t called representative governance, it’s called an oligarchy– when powerful people, go behind closed doors and select their nation’s leaders. If such a political leaders existed in a country, objective voters seeking the truth would immediately call out such dangers to the system that protects their rights, unless they valued something else– victory at all costs; “a coup against an elected leader is fine as long as an unelected puppet supports me”, this voter assures themselves, that is, until the new rules of their game backfire on them.

In April 2019, Joseph Robinette Biden announced that he was running for President of the USA to restore the “soul of the nation” after four years of President Trump. The primary was divisive, but eventually, the party rallied around Joe. The election happened, and Joe became president on January 20th, 2021. Since his inauguration, Joe Biden and his administration have allowed millions of illegal aliens, including ISIS-affiliated terrorists, into the country, they have also shut down American-built gas pipelines in the name of “climate change” while relying on countries like Russia for oil, they have also raised taxes on Americans through inflationary policies, they have reduced the US’s national security to a joke, and have been responsible for starting two wars in the world.

Four years of a Biden administration have produced horrors and last year, despite his disastrous record, Joe Biden asked the country to give him four more years. 87% of the Democratic electorate re-elected Joe as their nominee; he debated Donald Trump in a general election debate and was campaigning as the Democrat nominee for a year, but for the Democrat leadership, that had to be stopped. You see, the June 27th debate between Trump and Biden was a disaster for Joe, as his mental state was finally exposed to the American electorate which started a movement to dump the elected nominee off the ticket. Weeks went by, but Joe remained defiant to stay in the race until the pressure got too much to bear where on July 21st, he dropped out of the race for reelection.

If one reflects on the past few weeks, what actually occurred that led to this outcome? Was it a sincere introspection of the president’s mental deteriorated state that led to this conclusion? If that was so, then Joe would have resigned the presidency! Was it that Joe simply had enough with politics after a 50-year career? If that was so, then he wouldn’t have ran for reelection in the first place! It could only be something else! The Democrat party wants you to believe that this election is about saving democracy from the orange bad man and his minions, but is it really about saving democracy? When Trump was president four years ago, did democracy end? What does the Democrat party mean that Trump will end democracy? One is forced to conclude that the Democrats are so concerned with the sustainability of the democratic system in the United States, that they accuse their opponents of being threats to it, thus they must wholeheartedly support democracy! Or do they?!

Dumping a nominee who received 14 million votes throughout the Democrat primary doesn’t seem very democratic, however. Isn’t it odd that the “democracy is going to die” crowd has been quiet since Joe dropped out? If one had such a negative view about their political opponent that they could end democracy, what other lengths that are in the short-term anti-democratic, would Democrats go to? I mean, stuffing ballots couldn’t possibly be happening as we were lectured by media outlets for years!

So the coronation of Kamala Harris as the next nominee of the Democrat party is going to get a pass from the “democracy crusaders”. People who put their partisan inclinations aside would realize the absurdity of the Democrat party, but the value system of their politicians is not about good governance, it’s about power. The politicians in their party who serve in government, are not elected  because they are qualified people, I mean, for goodness sake, Kamala Harris is the Vice President, but rather they are people that top Democrats and their sycophants can easily control. There’s a reason that on every major vote in Congress, almost 100% of the time, Democrat politicians will vote completely in line, no matter whether they call themselves moderates or progressives, they all believe in the same party mantra– winning!

For years, the Democrat party has thrown away democratic norms for the sake of their short-term political gain, whether that was destroying the filibuster for judicial nominees, or using “non-partisan” organizations like the FBI, CIA, and the DOJ to persecute their opponents or their political lawfare prosecutions against their main political opponents, each one of these fundamental attacks to norms to the foundation of our democracy has been destroyed time and time again. At the same time, however, each of these stunts has backfired tremendously; when Democrats got rid of a requirement for judicial nominees to receive a bipartisan vote of 60 senators a decade ago, Republicans warned them that when they get back in power, they would play the new rules of this game.

As a result, we now have Conservative Justices Kavanaugh, Barrett, and Gorsuch directly as a result of the new game. Democrats in the past year, have tried to prosecute cases against the leading candidate for the presidency of the USA, which means now that Republicans can also start putting their political opponents in jail. These new rules of the game are fun! And now, Democrats undermining the will of their own voters by forcing Joe Biden out destroys whatever remaining credibility their “democracy” argument they had against Donald Trump.

Politics is a dirty game no matter which party is in power, but it’s only a recent fad to destroy norms and institutions for the sake of political power, and that is the actual threat to representative democracy.

The colonists who bravely came to the United States in the late 1700s came in the face of uncertainty and fear, but they persisted in their creation of the world’s first stable democracy. Countries throughout the world in modern days, that call themselves democracies, use the model that the United States founded in 1776. The value system of the Founding Fathers and their citizens was a government with the consent “of the governed”. When the government goes outside those boundaries, such a nation reverts to the medieval era of an oligarchy and a tyranny. When one’s political calculations shift from winning with the rules that are in place, to changing the rules of the game, the threat to the system is immense. Donald Trump in 2016, was not some random aberration that came from nowhere, he was a direct response to the people ruining and threatening democracy for political gain. How then, can these same criminals now question their political opponents for playing by the same rules they created?!

Biden drops out of 2024 race after disastrous debate inflamed age concerns. VP Harris gets his nod

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President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. Photo Credit: Patrick Semansky/AP

(AP) — President Joe Biden dropped out of the 2024 race for the White House on Sunday, ending his bid for reelection after a disastrous debate with Donald Trump that raised doubts about the incumbent’s fitness for office. The unprecedented announcement, delivered less than four months before the election, immediately upended a campaign that both political parties view as the most consequential in generations.

The president — intent on serving out the remainder of his term in office — quickly endorsed Vice President Kamala Harris to take on Trump and encouraged his party to unite behind her, making her the party’s instant favorite for the nomination at its August convention in Chicago.

The announcement is the latest jolt to a tumultuous campaign for the White House, coming a week after the attempted assassination of Trump at a Pennsylvania rally.

A party’s presumptive presidential nominee has never stepped out of the race so close to the election. President Lyndon Johnson, besieged by the Vietnam War, announced in March 1968 that he would not seek another term after just a single state’s primary. Biden’s July decision comes after more than 14 million Democrats cast votes supporting him through the primary process.

Harris, in a statement, praised Biden’s “selfless and patriotic act” and said she intends to “earn and win” her party’s nomination.

“I will do everything in my power to unite the Democratic Party — and unite our nation — to defeat Donald Trump and his extreme Project 2025 agenda,” she said.

Biden’s decision to bow out came after escalating pressure from his Democratic allies to step aside following the June 27 debate, in which the 81-year-old president trailed off, often gave nonsensical answers and failed to call out the former president’s many falsehoods.

“It has been the greatest honor of my life to serve as your President. And while it has been my intention to seek reelection, I believe it is in the best interest of my party and the country for me to stand down and to focus solely on fulfilling my duties as President for the remainder of my term,” Biden wrote in a letter posted Sunday to his X account.

Nearly 30 minutes after he delivered the news that he was folding his campaign, Biden threw his support behind Harris.

“Today I want to offer my full support and endorsement for Kamala to be the nominee of our party this year,” he said in another post on X. “Democrats — it’s time to come together and beat Trump.”

Harris faces a staggering political to-do list in the coming days: securing the votes of delegates to claim her party’s nomination, picking a running mate, and pivoting a massive political operation that had been built to reelect Biden to boost her candidacy instead.

There were early signs that the party was moving to coalesce around Harris, who scored the endorsements of the Congressional Black Caucus and former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton even before she had commented on Biden’s decision to quit the race. But notably, former President Barack Obama held off, pledging support behind the eventual party nominee.

What to know:

 

But Obama, who had privately shared doubts about Biden’s reelection chances, stopped short of endorsing Harris even as he praised Biden for his decision to leave the race.

“I have extraordinary confidence that the leaders of our party will be able to create a process from which an outstanding nominee emerges,” he said in a statement.

Biden’s decision came as he has been isolating at his Delaware beach house after being diagnosed with COVID-19 last week, huddling with a shrinking circle of close confidants and family members about his political future. Biden said he would address the nation later this week to provide “detail” about his decision.

Harris found out about Biden’s plans on Sunday morning and senior campaign and White House staff were notified just minutes before the letter went out, according to people familiar with the matter who commented on the private discussions on condition of anonymity. Biden had been reflecting on his future for the past couple days and the decision was closely held.

Now, Democrats have to urgently try to bring coherence to the nominating process in a matter of weeks and convince voters in a stunningly short amount of time that their nominee can handle the job and beat Trump. And for his part, Trump must shift his focus to a new opponent after years of training his attention on Biden.

The decision marks a swift and stunning end to Biden’s 52 years in electoral politics, as donors, lawmakers and even aides expressed to him their doubts that he could convince voters that he could plausibly handle the job for another four years.

Biden won the vast majority of delegates and every nominating contest but one, which would have made his nomination a formality. Now that he has dropped out, those delegates will be free to support another candidate.

Harris, 59, appeared to be the natural successor, in large part because she is the only candidate who can directly tap into the Biden campaign’s war chest, according to federal campaign finance rules.

Biden’s campaign formally changed its name to Harris for President, reflecting that she is inheriting his political operation — a sign of the advantage she has in the race for the Democratic nomination. Democratic groups, including the Democratic National Committee, also filed paperwork changing the names of their joint fundraising committees to reflect Harris’ candidacy.

The Democratic National Convention is scheduled to be held Aug. 19-22 in Chicago, but the party had announced it would hold a virtual roll call to formally nominate Biden before in-person proceedings begin.

It remained to be seen whether other candidates would challenge Harris for the nomination. The Democratic National Committee’s chair, Jaime Harrison, said in a statement that the party would “undertake a transparent and orderly process” to select “a candidate who can defeat Donald Trump in November.”

West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, who left the Democratic Party earlier this year to become an independent, is considering re-registering as a Democrat to vie for the nomination against the vice president, according to Jonathan Kott, a longtime adviser to Manchin.

Harris was spending Sunday afternoon calling Democratic elected officials and delegates as she works to lock up the nomination.

Harris received her first delegates for the Democratic presidential nomination on Sunday. The Tennessee Democratic Party posted on X that its delegation voted during a meeting Sunday to back Harris after Biden’s departure from the campaign.

Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro and North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper — each from a swing state and mentioned as a possible running mate for Harris — also endorsed Harris Sunday evening.

Trump reacted to the news in a post on his Truth Social site, in which he said Biden “was not fit to run for President, and is certainly not fit to serve.”

“We will suffer greatly because of his presidency, but we will remedy the damage he has done very quickly,” he added. “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”

While Trump and his team had made their preference for facing Biden clear, his campaign had nonetheless ramped up its attacks on Harris as pressure on Biden to step down intensified.

Democratic officials, including many who were behind the effort to push Biden from the race, quickly released statements praising Biden’s decision.

“His decision of course was not easy, but he once again put his country, his party, and our future first,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. “Joe, today shows you are a true patriot and great American.”

House Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries of New York praised Biden as “one of the most accomplished and consequential leaders in American history.”

Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson said Biden should immediately resign if he is not fit enough to run for office. In a statement, Johnson said, “November 5 cannot arrive soon enough.”

In addition to his planned address to the country, Biden still intends to host Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House this week, according to a person familiar with the president’s schedule who was not authorized to comment publicly.

The exact timing of the meeting is still not set in stone as Biden continues to recover from COVID. Netanyahu is scheduled Wednesday to deliver an address to Congress and he is also expected to meet with Harris while in Washington.

In 2020, Biden pitched himself as a transitional figure who wanted to be a bridge to a new generation of leaders. But once he secured the job he spent decades struggling to attain, he was reluctant to part with it.

Biden was once asked whether any other Democrats could beat Trump.

“Probably 50 of them,” Biden replied. “No, I’m not the only one who can defeat him, but I will defeat him.”

Biden is already the country’s oldest president and had insisted repeatedly that he was up for the challenge of another campaign and another term, telling voters all they had to was “watch me.”

And watch him they did. His poor debate performance prompted a cascade of anxiety from Democrats and donors who said publicly what some had said privately for months, that they did not think he was up to the job for four more years.

Concerns over Biden’s age have dogged him since he announced he was running for reelection, though Trump is just three years younger at 78. Most Americans view the president as too old for a second term, according to an August 2023 poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. A majority also doubt his mental capability to be president, though that is also a weakness for Trump.

Biden often remarked that he was not as young as he used to be, doesn’t walk as easily or speak as smoothly, but that he had wisdom and decades of experience, which were worth a whole lot.

“I give you my word as a Biden. I would not be running again if I didn’t believe with all my heart and soul I can do this job,” he told supporters at a rally in North Carolina a day after the debate. “Because, quite frankly, the stakes are too high.”

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But voters had other problems with him, too — he has been deeply unpopular as a leader even as his administration steered the nation through recovery from a global pandemic, presided over a booming economy and passed major pieces of bipartisan legislation that will impact the nation for years to come. A majority of Americans disapprove of the way he’s handling his job, and he’s faced persistently low approval ratings on key issues including the economy and immigration.

Biden’s motivation for running was deeply intertwined with Trump. He had retired from public service following eight years serving as vice president under Obama and the death of his son Beau but decided to run after Trump’s comments following a “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017, when white supremacists descended on the city to protest the removal of its Confederate memorials.

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Trump said: “You had some very bad people in the group, but you also had people that were very fine people on both sides. On both sides.”

Biden’s wife, first lady Jill Biden, responded to the president’s announcement by reposting Biden’s letter announcing his decision and adding red heart emojis.

Granddaughter Naomi Biden Neal said on social media, “I’m nothing but proud of my Pop.” She said he has served the country “with every bit of his soul and with unmatched distinction” and “our world is better today in so many ways thanks to him.”

Tadej Pogacar and the Historic Riviera Finish of the Tour de France

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Tadej Pogacar (AP)

Tadej Pogacar and the Historic Riviera Finish of the Tour de France

Edited by: TJVNews.com

Tadej Pogacar knows every twist and turn of the Col d’Eze intimately. This winding road, which ascends from behind the port of Nice to the hills above Monaco, is not just a training ground for the two-time Tour de France champion—it’s practically his backyard, according to a report that appeared on Thursday in the Wall Street Journal.  Pogacar often embarks on coffee rides here, effortlessly outpacing amateur cyclists and honing his skills to secure victories in the world’s most prestigious cycling race.

Pogacar’s frequent presence on the Col d’Eze has turned the 6-mile mountain pass into a local legend. Cyclists in the nearby cafés exchange Pogacar sightings with the same enthusiasm that hotel bar patrons might discuss celebrity appearances. As indicated in the WSJ report, this weekend, the familiar climbs of the Côte d’Azur, including the Col d’Eze, will play a pivotal role in determining the outcome of the Tour de France.

For the first time in its 121-year history, the Tour de France will forgo its traditional finish in Paris. Instead, the race will culminate in the Côte d’Azur with a pair of grueling stages on Friday and Saturday, followed by a Sunday time trial ending in Nice. This alteration is due to Paris preparing for the Summer Olympics, which begin on July 26. The WSJ report explained that the logistical challenges of securing major roads and ensuring safety for the peloton on the Champs-Elysées proved too great, prompting organizers to choose familiar terrain on the Riviera.

This unprecedented change is both a nod to logistical necessity and a testament to the region’s enduring appeal to cyclists. Thierry Gouvenou, the mastermind behind the Tour de France course, acknowledged that Nice was the obvious solution due to its familiarity and variety. “We know it so well and it just gives us so much variety,” Gouvenou told the WSJ.

Pogacar, who resides in Monaco, is uniquely positioned to benefit from this year’s route. “Afterward,” he remarked, “I can just get on my bike, ride home, and go to sleep,” as was reported by the WSJ. This proximity offers a significant psychological and physical advantage, allowing Pogacar to maintain a sense of normalcy even as he competes in the final, decisive stages of the race.

The Riviera is not just a playground for Pogacar. It is one of the world’s premier locations for professional cyclists, alongside art dealers, oligarchs, and tax exiles. The WSJ report affirmed that once the Tour de France concludes, many riders will return to their homes along the coast between Nice and Monaco, enjoying the comfort of their own beds for the first time in over a month.

Traditionally, the Tour de France finishes in Paris, a tradition upheld since the race’s inception in 1903. However, the impending Summer Olympics necessitated a change. The report noted that organizers decided to leverage the familiarity and logistical advantages of the Côte d’Azur, a region regularly featured in the Tour’s sister race, Paris-Nice, every March.

This historic alteration has significant implications for the race. The Riviera stages, known for their challenging climbs and scenic beauty, promise to deliver a dramatic conclusion to the Tour. Riders will face the demanding terrain with the added twist of a final time trial, ensuring that the battle for the yellow jersey remains fiercely contested until the very end.

The allure of the Riviera for professional cyclists is multifaceted. Over the past two decades, riders have been drawn to the region by its ideal training conditions, abundant sunshine, and, for some, the tax advantages of residing in Monaco. The trend began in the 1990s when notable cyclists like Lance Armstrong moved to Nice, setting off a wave of migration among their peers. “One person goes there, then another follows, and that’s how it starts,” explained Greg LeMond, a three-time Tour de France winner, as was mentioned in the WSJ report. The trend was further fueled by the increasing earnings of professional cyclists, making the luxurious lifestyle of the Riviera more accessible.

The final three days of this year’s Tour de France promise to be among the most grueling in the race’s history. The riders will face six of the most challenging climbs, including a mountaintop finish at the Isola 2000 ski resort and a perilous descent off the Col de Turini. The grand finale will take place along the picturesque pebble beaches of the Promenade des Anglais, providing a striking contrast to the typical Parisian conclusion, as per the information contained in the WSJ report. These stages are not just about the beauty of the landscape but also the sheer difficulty of the terrain, testing the cyclists’ endurance and skill after three exhausting weeks of racing.

While the Côte d’Azur is known for its idyllic summer scenery, it also presents formidable challenges for the cyclists. “It’s going to be super-hot and humid,” noted Tadej Pogacar, who is intimately familiar with the region’s summer climate, the WSJ report said. “I know the conditions of July and August well and I think they’re terrible.” The heat and humidity can significantly impact performance, making hydration and stamina crucial factors in these final stages.

In a bold departure from tradition, the organizers of the Tour de France have scheduled a grueling time-trial for the final day of the race, replacing the usual ceremonial ride onto the Champs-Elysées. This decision aims to infuse the 2023 Tour with late-stage drama, reminiscent of the electrifying climax of the 1989 Tour. The WSJ reported that that year, American Greg LeMond narrowly edged out France’s Laurent Fignon by a mere 8 seconds in a Stage-21 time-trial into Paris, marking the closest overall margin of victory in the race’s 121-year history.

The idea behind the final time-trial is to keep the competition alive until the very last moment. “They’re really smart to have it,” said Greg LeMond, reflecting on the strategy to maintain suspense, as was reported by the WSJ. “Because it does bring it to the very end.” This change is designed to offer a stark contrast to the traditional Paris stage, which typically sees sprint specialists competing for stage victory while the general classification remains largely uncontested.

However, Tadej Pogacar has somewhat thwarted the organizers’ hopes for a nail-biting finish by building a significant lead of more than 3 minutes over defending champion Jonas Vingegaard. As per the information in the WSJ report, Pogacar’s dominance throughout the race has been such that the final time-trial, while still crucial, may not provide the nail-biting conclusion envisaged.

 

Despite Pogacar’s lead, Vingegaard and his Visma-Lease a Bike team are not giving up. They are expected to mount a major effort on Friday in a bid to close the gap and bring Pogacar back within striking distance for Sunday’s decisive time-trial, the report added.  If they succeed, the final day could still see an exciting battle for the yellow jersey. If they fail, Pogacar will secure his third Tour de France victory, achieving what would be the closest thing to a home victory for a Slovenian rider in this iconic race.

Pogacar’s familiarity with the Côte d’Azur gives him a unique advantage in this year’s concluding stages. “I sometimes go for an easy ride to Nice and back and you could see they already had a Tour atmosphere, even 5 months ago,” Pogacar shared with the WSJ. “You feel lucky to be there.” This local knowledge and the supportive atmosphere of the Riviera could bolster his confidence and performance as he aims for yet another Tour de France title.

The Côte d’Azur is known for its stunning landscapes but also its demanding riding conditions. The final stages will feature six of the Tour’s hardest climbs, including a mountaintop finish at the Isola 2000 ski resort and a harrowing descent off the Col de Turini, the WSJ report pointed out. The final time-trial along the Promenade des Anglais will not only test the riders’ endurance but also their ability to handle the intense summer heat and humidity of the Mediterranean.

 

Editorial – U.S. Sanctions on Elor Azaria: A Misguided Policy Decision

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aeli soldier Elor Azaria is embraced by his mother at the start of his sentencing hearing in Tel Aviv, Israel, Feb. 21, 2017.

Editorial – U.S. Sanctions on Elor Azaria: A Misguided Policy Decision

What’s wrong with United States foreign policy these days? Recent actions by the Biden Administration suggest that something might be amiss, as it imposes sanctions on another Israeli figure while simultaneously reissuing a sanctions waiver that allows Iran access to over $10 billion in frozen funds. These priorities reflect a policy framework that seems increasingly out of touch with the evolving geopolitical landscape.

In July 2023, President Biden unfroze $10 billion in Iraqi energy payments for Iran’s use, extending the sanctions waiver in November and again in March. The administration consistently claims that these funds are limited to humanitarian purposes, ignoring the reality that money is fungible. Every dollar freed for humanitarian use frees another for less benign purposes, including funding terrorism. Iran, the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism, now has billions more to support its destabilizing activities.

One wonders what exactly this appeasement achieved for the United States. Biden officials once suggested that the funds would buy a pause in Iran’s nuclear activities. The reality has been the opposite. Iran has increased its stockpile of highly enriched uranium and obstructed international inspectors. A recent Axios report revealed that the Biden Administration had to send a letter expressing “serious concerns” about Iran beginning work on weaponization—an ominous development predicted months ago.

This approach to diplomacy—sending strongly worded letters while continuing to fund the adversary—is not the robust strategy needed to counter a regime like Iran. The administration’s reluctance to cut off financial flows to Tehran is not only ineffective but dangerous, as it fails to curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

Another flawed assumption was that freeing up funds for Iran would promote regional calm. Instead, we have seen an escalation of violence. Hamas, a well-known Iranian proxy, launched a brutal assault that resulted in the murder of 1,200 Israelis, including dozens of Americans, and continues to hold many Americans hostage. Iran’s other proxies have also ramped up attacks on U.S. forces, and Iran itself fired 120 ballistic missiles at Israel in April. The US response has been abysmal. President Biden advised Israel to refrain from retaliating.

Hezbollah’s continuous barrage of fire on Israel now threatens to spark a broader conflict. Iran, feeling little pressure from the U.S., has no incentive to rein in its proxies. The Biden Administration’s lenient stance only emboldens Tehran, ensuring the “good times” continue for Iran while the region teeters on the brink of a wider war.

The recent U.S. decision to sanction Elor Azaria, a former Israeli soldier who was convicted in 2016 for shooting a neutralized terrorist, represents a troubling and misguided approach to foreign policy. This move, which extends a visa ban to Azaria and his family, has sparked significant criticism within Israel, including from opposition leader Benny Gantz. It raises serious questions about the Biden Administration’s respect for the sovereignty and judicial processes of its allies.

Elor Azaria’s case was a deeply divisive issue in Israel. He was tried, convicted, and served his sentence according to Israeli law. This chapter, which concluded six years ago, should remain closed. The U.S. decision to impose sanctions now is not only unnecessary but also disrespectful to Israel’s judicial system. It suggests a lack of confidence in the legal decisions of a democratic ally and sets a concerning precedent for international relations.

The sanctions against Azaria appear to be an attempt to score political points rather than a measure grounded in justice or strategic necessity. It is puzzling why President Biden would choose to sanction an Israeli citizen, especially one who has already been held accountable by his own country. This action undermines the principles of mutual respect and cooperation that should underpin U.S.-Israeli relations.

The Biden Administration’s approach to the Middle East has been criticized as ineffective and outdated. The events of October 7 and their aftermath have dramatically altered the regional landscape, yet the administration seems slow to adapt. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan’s assertion, published just before October 7, that “the region is quieter than it has been for decades,” now seems tragically ironic. The reality has been starkly different, with increased Iranian-backed aggression and instability.

On Iran, the administration has failed to achieve its stated goals of deterrence and diplomacy. Instead of curbing aggression, the policy has emboldened Iran, leading to increased attacks on U.S. forces and allies, as well as disruptions in commercial shipping. The notion that unfrozen funds and relaxed sanctions could moderate Iran’s behavior has proven to be a dangerous miscalculation.

The situation demands a reassessment of strategy. The Biden Administration must acknowledge that its current approach is not working. Continuing down this path not only jeopardizes regional stability but also undermines U.S. credibility. What is needed is a firm and decisive policy that holds Iran accountable for its actions and supports allies facing direct threats.

The U.S. sanctions on Elor Azaria are a misguided decision that highlights broader issues within the Biden Administration’s Middle East policy. Rather than addressing the real threats posed by Iran and its proxies, the administration is alienating a key ally and undermining its own credibility. It is time for a decisive shift in policy—one that respects the sovereignty of allies, holds adversaries accountable, and effectively addresses the complexities of the Middle East. Only through such a realignment can the U.S. hope to restore stability and maintain its strategic interests in the region.

It is imperative that the Biden Administration reevaluates its Middle East policy. This includes recognizing the failures of the current strategy and adopting a more assertive stance against Iranian aggression. The U.S. must support its allies unequivocally, rather than penalizing them through misguided sanctions. Respecting the sovereignty and judicial decisions of allies like Israel is not just a matter of principle but also of strategic importance.

France: Neo-Nazi sent to prison for targeting Paris Olympics

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istock

(A7) The Paris public prosecutor’s office said in a statement that the 19-year-old man was convicted after a swift trial overnight Friday on charges of sharing bomb-making instructions on social media, posts inciting hate and death threats as well as posts with personal information that put people at risk.

The man, who had been detained on Wednesday morning at his home in the Alsace region of eastern France, ran a group called “French Aryan division” on the social media channel Telegram, the statement said, according to AP.

The prosecutor’s office said his alleged comments that triggered the probe by its unit, dedicated to fighting online hate, didn’t specifically target the Paris Olympics, which kick off with a high-security opening ceremony on Friday.

The Paris chief of police said last month that Islamist terrorism is the main security worry ahead of the Olympics, and did not mention threats by neo-Nazis.

In April, French anti-terrorism authorities arrested a 16-year-old youth who said on social media that he wanted to die “a martyr” at the Olympic Games.

France, which has been on high alert in the wake of terrorist attacks in recent years, raised its terror alert warning to its highest level in March, following an attack in Moscow which was claimed by ISIS.

France was hit by a series of Islamist attacks, including the January 2015 attacks on the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo and the Jewish Hyper Cacher supermarket in Paris.

In November of that year, 130 people were killed in a series of jihadist attacks in Paris claimed by ISIS.

The French capital’s security operation ahead of the Olympic Games involves up to 45,000 police and gendarmes, plus a 10,000-strong military force that is patrolling streets and sites in the Paris region and carrying out other security missions.

Whistleblower Says Security Detail at Trump Rally Comprised of ‘Unprepared and Inexperienced’ Officers

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Donald Trump just before being escorted off the stage in Butler, Pennsylvania

Blake Mauro(Free Beacon)

Most of the security personnel working Donald Trump’s event last Saturday, when the former president was nearly assassinated, were not Secret Service agents but, instead, were “unprepared and inexperienced” department agents who were “unfamiliar with standard protocols,” whistleblowers told Sen. Josh Hawley (R., Mo.).

 

“Whistleblower allegations suggest the majority of DHS officials were not in fact USSS agents but instead drawn from the department’s Homeland Security Investigations,” Hawley wrote in a letter Friday to Homeland Security secretary Alejandro Mayorkas demanding answers to the allegations.

The USSS has faced increased scrutiny since the former president was shot on stage by 20-year-old Thomas Matthew Crooks, who was positioned about 400 feet from Trump’s podium on a rooftop with a direct line of sight to the candidate. Rally-goers saw Crooks, armed, on the roof before he took the shot and warned authorities of his presence. Three snipers were in the building he was atop. After Trump was hit, his security detail jumped to cover him, and counter-snipers fatally shot Crooks.

Whistleblowers told Hawley “the July 13 rally was considered to be a ‘loose’ security event,” citing that “detection canines were not used … in the usual manner,” unauthorized individuals were able to gain backstage access, and “department personnel did not appropriately police the security buffer around the podium.”

The Missouri senator fired off seven questions to Mayorkas concerning the protocols and procedures leading up to and during Saturday’s Pennsylvania rally. Hawley noted that DHS has acted “contrary to the public’s interest in transparency,” as the department “abruptly end[ed] the only call with USSS before most senators could even ask one question. ”

During a White House press briefing this week, Mayorkas said he has “100 percent confidence” in the Secret Service and its director, Kimberly Cheatle. Many Republican party leaders, including House speaker Mike Johnson (R., La.) and House majority leader Steve Scalise (R., La.), have called on Cheatle to step down since the former president’s life was almost taken.

The House Oversight Committee subpoenaed Cheatle on Thursday, demanding her to testify about the “security lapses” that led to Saturday’s near-miss.

“The assassination attempt of the former president and current Republican nominee for president represents a total failure of the agency’s core mission and demands congressional oversight,” Rep. James Comer (R., Ky.), chair of the House Oversight Committee, wrote in the subpoena.

The House Judiciary Committee, after speaking privately with USSS whistleblowers, sent a letter Thursday to FBI director Christopher Wray demanding answers to several questions related to the security failings that led to the assassination attempt. The House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on the matter on Wednesday.

Former U.S. Army sniper and Florida Rep. Cory Mills (R.) said the building Crooks shot from was an “obvious threat,” calling the position a “sniper’s paradise.”

Embattled Ivy League School Hiring ‘Crisis Communications’ Assistant Amid Fallout Over Anti-Semitism Scandal

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Top Columbia University officials conceded in private that their rules for managing student protests “don’t work,” according to new text messages released this week by the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, raising questions about the school’s commitment to keeping order on campus.

Andrew Stiles

Liberal institutions these days are in desperate need of crisis communications help.

The Democratic Party, Columbia University, and many others. Columbia recently announced it was hiring an assistant director of media relations, presumably to help manage the ongoing fallout over its disastrous response to anti-Semitism on campus.

The Ivy League school’s public affairs team is looking for an experienced professional to “increase understanding of Columbia’s impact as one of the world’s leading universities” through “the delivery of world-class crisis communications preparedness and execution,” according to a job listing on the university website.

Columbia reassigned three deans earlier this month after they were caught exchanging dismissive and bigoted texts during a panel discussion about anti-Jewish hate on campus. The panelists had been invited to discuss the university’s incompetent response to violent student-led protests in support of Hamas following the terrorists group’s deadly Oct. 7 attack on Israel.

One of the deans, Matthew Patashnick, had accused one of the Jewish panelists of “tak[ing] full advantage” of the Jew hatred on display at Columbia in order to maximize the “fundraising potential.” Patashnick and the other deans he was observed texting with during the panel, Susan Chang-Kim and Cristen Kromm, have been placed on leave pending the results of an investigation, after which they will be reassigned to new roles.

The incoming media relations assistant will have a lot on their plate. Earlier this week, for example, billionaire philanthropist Mort Zuckerman canceled his $200 million pledged donation to Columbia, citing concerns about the school’s failure to address the rise of anti-Semitism on campus. “The recent decisions and actions taken by Columbia have been antithetical to the University’s mission and it is simply not the same institution it was when Mr. Zuckerman made the pledge,” a spokeswoman for Zuckerman told the Washington Free Beacon.

The gig comes with a salary of between $75,000 and $85,000, which is considerably less than the $164,500 salary Harvard University was willing to pay for a “crisis communications” professional experienced in the art of “reputational risk” mitigation. Harvard also suffered an anti-Semitism scandal in late 2023 after its former president, Claudine Gay, suggested in a congressional hearing that calling for the genocide of Jews would not violate university policy. Gay was subsequently revealed to have plagiarized a significant portion of her academic work, and was forced to resign in January.

Neo-Nazi ‘Santa Claus’ planned mass murder of Jewish children in NY

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An Orthodox Jewish family in Brooklyn. (Shutterstock)

By World Israel News Staff

The leader of a neo-Nazi organization, described by prosecutors as a “murder cult,” was charged in a four-count indictment this week, for allegedly plotting to poison Jewish school children and orchestrate suicide bombings against various minority groups.

On Tuesday, a federal grand jury in Brooklyn, New York charged 21-year-old Michail Chkhikvishvili, an immigrant from the Republic of Georgia, with soliciting hate crimes and acts of mass violence.

According to a statement released Tuesday by the U.S. Department of Justice, prosecutors identified Chkhikvishvili as the leader of the Maniac Murder Cult, also known as Maniacs Murder Cult and “MKY”, an international neo-Nazi organization.

“MKY adheres to a neo-Nazi accelerationist ideology and promotes violence and violent acts against racial minorities, the Jewish community and other groups it deems ‘undesirable,’ The Department of Justice said.

“MKY members share a common goal of challenging social order and governments via terrorism and violent acts that promote fear and chaos.”

Under Chkhikvishvili’s guidance, the organization had planned to carry out mass casualty attacks in New York City.

During the preparations for the attacks, members of the organization revealed their intentions to an undercover law enforcement officer posing as a potential recruit to the MKY.

In 2021, Chkhikvishvili authored a manifesto entitled the Hater’s Handbook, claiming that he has already “murdered for the white race” and encouraging fellow MKY members to carry out additional acts of mass violence.

Specifically, the handbook encourages its readers to commit school shootings and to use children to perpetrate suicide bombings and other mass killings targeting racial minorities.

According to the indictment, Chkhikvishvili reached out to an undercover agent posing as a possible recruit for the organization, whom Chkhikvishvili hoped he could enlist in carrying out a series of attacks on Jews and other minority groups in New York City.

The planned attacks included arson, bombings, and mass poisoning of children.

One such plot envisioned a mass poisoning of racial minorities and Jewish school children in Brooklyn, to be carried out on December 31st, 2023.

The plan involved the would-be murderer dressing up as Santa Clause and distributing candy, laced with ricin and other deadly poisons, to children outside of Jewish schools and other venues in Brooklyn.

For the terror plots, Chkhikvishvili relied in part on materials linked to ISIS and other Islamic terror groups.

Biden delays abandoning race to avoid giving ‘satisfaction’ to Netanyahu – report

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The longstanding relationship between President Joe Biden of the United States and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has faced its most severe test yet amidst escalating tensions over the Gaza war. Credit: AP

By Vered Weiss, World Israel News

As calls increase within US President Joe Biden’s own party urging him to abandon his re-election bid, Biden is reportedly delaying dropping out until after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to avoid giving him “the satisfaction,” as reported by The New York Times.

Given the increasing tensions between the US and Israel over the Gaza War, Biden prefers to save face during Netanyahu’s visit and may postpone the announcement that he will leave the race until after the Israeli premier leaves.

According to an Axios report, Biden, although angered by calls for him to drop the race, was beginning to accept he would have to step back and was considering bowing out over the weekend.

However, advisors recommended that Biden delay dropping out until after Netanyahu’s visit to avoid giving him “the satisfaction” given their conflicts over the war.

 

The meeting at the White House scheduled between Trump and Biden, which would be the first since 2022, depends on Biden’s recovery from COVID.

Last week, Biden announced he had tested positive for COVID and was isolating in his residence in Maryland.

Republican representatives invited Netanyahu to address Congress on the subject of the war in Gaza, and many Progressives have threatened to boycott the speech to protest Israel’s conduct during the war.

Although Biden was supportive of Israel in the early days of the war and even became the first US President to visit Israel during a war, in recent months, conflict between the two leaders has increased.

President Biden has criticized Israel over the reported and unverified number of casualties in Gaza, the distribution of humanitarian aid, and the Rafah operation, which led the Biden Administration to withhold bomb shipments to Israel temporarily.

Following Biden’s poor debate performance on June 27th, his many gaffes, and additional signs of decreased mental acuity and severe speech problems, an increasing number of Democrats, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and House Democratic leader Hakim Jeffries, have asked Biden to step out of the race.

Trump’s doctor says it was a ‘miracle’ he survived assassination attempt

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Donald Trump is a controversial figure in American politics, but he brings issues to the surface that were ignored by the political mainstream. Credit: AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

By Vered Weiss, World Israel News

Former White House doctor and congressional representative from Texas Dr. Ronny Jackson examined former President Donald Trump and declared his surviving the assassination attempt a miracle.

Dr. Jackson examined his wound and said it was healing properly.

In a letter he wrote: “I have been with President Trump since that time, and I have evaluated and treated his wound daily. He is doing well.”

“As reported and witnessed by the entire world, he sustained a gunshot wound to the right ear from a high-powered rifle used by the would-be assassin,” Dr. Jackson added,

“In summary, former President Trump is doing well, and he is recovering as expected from the gunshot wound sustained last Saturday afternoon,” Jackson added.

“I am extremely thankful his life was spared. It is an absolute miracle he wasn’t killed,” he concluded.

Last Saturday, at a rally in Pennsylvania, Thomas Matthew Crooks (20) shot a rifle into the crowd, killing a fireman, Corey Comperatore (50), and wounding two others in the crowd.

A bullet skimmed Trump’s ear, missing a potentially fatal wound to the head by just an inch.

Secret Service shot and killed the assailant.

Dr. Jackson saw the shooting on television and was one of the first people Trump talked to on the phone following the attack.

He told the New York Times that Trump picked up the phone to talk to him.

“He picked the phone up and says, ‘I’m not taking a lot of calls, but this is my doctor. I’m taking this one,’” Mr. Jackson recalled.

Dr. Jackson told Trump he was proud of his triumphant reaction when he realized he had survived the assassination attempt.

“I said, when they raised him up and he had blood all over his head and he raised his fist up kind of in defiance and was saying ‘Fight,’ I was like, ‘Man.’ I was like — for me, that was just the warrior in him coming out,” Dr. Jackson said.

“And I thought it was an incredible power move, and I couldn’t have been prouder of him,” he concluded.

UN ‘concerned’ over ‘escalatory’ IDF strike on Yemen

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Houthi assets burn in Yemen after an IAF airstrike (Screenshot/X)

By World Israel News Staff

The head of the United Nations appeared to blame Israel for increasing regional tensions because of a retaliatory strike on Houthi assets in Yemen, following months of attempts by the terror group to attack Israeli civilian and military assets.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres “is deeply concerned about the reports of airstrikes earlier today in and around the port of Hodeida in Yemen,” he said in a statement on Saturday.

“Israel has claimed responsibility for the strikes, noting that this is in response to previous Houthi attacks on Israel,” the statement read.

“Initial reports indicate a number of fatalities and over 80 people injured in this attack and that there has been considerable damage to civilian infrastructure. The secretary-general calls on all concerned to avoid attacks that could harm civilians and damage civilian infrastructure.”

 

Guterres added that he “remains deeply concerned about the risk of further escalation in the region and continues to urge all to exercise utmost restraint.”

Notably, Guerres and the UN were silent for months after the Iran-backed Houthis launched some 200 drones and missiles at Israel, failing to condemn the terror group for its unprovoked attacks against the Jewish State.

According to an IDF spokesman, virtually all of those projectiles were intercepted.

After a Houthi drone exploded in Tel Aviv and killed a 50-year-old Israeli civilian on Friday, Guterres released a statement about the incident which fell short of condemning the terror group.

Guterres expressed his concerns over “the risk such dangerous acts pose for further escalation in the region,” rather than explicitly criticizing the Houthis for the unprovoked attack.

“I have a message for Israel’s enemies – don’t be mistaken about us,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a televised statement after Israel announced it had struck Yemen in retaliation for the deadly attack on Tel Aviv.

“We will protect ourselves in every way, on every front. Anyone who harms us will pay a very heavy price for his aggression.”