Gaza War Diary 1 Fri-Sun. Feb. 2-5, 2017 Day 1246-1249 1 2am
Dear Family & Friends
A gorgeous half moon tonight. Sunny & cold.
I thought I escaped from the New York Times naked bias against Israel when I made my final aliyah – after 127 trips to & from Israel. But, it is inserted deep into The Jerusalem Post &, as with the NYT I have to read it to learn what the Left is making up against the Right & the settlers & the PM, so I know what to write & fight against. So be it. Today the first Headline on the Left, was against the so-called Amona ‘Hooligans’ – who allegedly used brutality against the Police & Border Guards who were roughing them up. Come on, JPost, we can see the YouTubes to disprove your ‘fake news’. It will get rough out there, if you keep demeaning Israel’s brave pioneers!
All the very best, Gail/Geula/Savta/Savta Raba x 2/Mom
1.US should bury the Two-State Solution – out of an unsentimental dedication to its own national interests. By Daniel Winston 2.Amona & the Zionist ethos By Dr. Moshe Dann 3.Amona, Take Two by Meira Dolev 4.Arlene Kushner: From Israel: Outrage! Feb. 2/17 5.Big Agenda: President Trump’s Plan to Save America by David Horowitz 6.Build, but shut up about it, says Trump By Jack Engelhard
Two-State Solution & US national security
Daniel Winston – צילום: PR
“We have no eternal allies, and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual & those interests it is our duty to follow…” (Lord Palmerston, 1848)
The issue of the so-called Two-State Solution (TSS) should be reassessed in light of fundamental American interests. For more years than healthy logic should have allowed, successive US administrations have sought in vain to bestow a naive ‘Pax Americana’ upon an area fraught with religious, political & historical nuances that were never fully understood by the would-be peacemakers. The TSS is the latest iteration of such attempts. A sober look at this vague nostrum will be both illustrative of the reasons for the perpetual failure of US foreign policy in this region, as well as illuminating for a path forward that will more faithfully serve fundamental US national interests.
US security is extensively served by a strong & stable Israel. Not only is Israel a front-line floodwall against the rise & global spread of militant Islam, but her intelligence gathering & covert ops capability in the Middle East & around the world is of vital utility to the US & her allies in the global battle against Islamic terror. Should US forces need a landing pad for unplanned rapid-deployment, Israel provides a centralized location, superior technical support capabilities & political reliability. A sovereign ‘Palestine’ would both pose a serious threat to these Israeli capabilities as well as export terror globally.
Gaza’s bloody fall to Hamas in 2005, the intrinsic & growing weakness & corruption of the Palestinian Authority & the global rise of radical Islam are latent but visceral triggers to an Arab population long kept in poverty & rage by its leaders & the obsessively anti-Israel UN in order to serve in perpetuity as a blunt-weapon against Israel & the West.
‘Palestine’ in Judea & Samaria would quickly morph into Hamastan 2.0 & create a third radical Islamic front, joining Hamas’ existing Islamist regime to Israel’s south in Gaza & Hezb’Allah’s to Israel’s north in Lebanon.
The Judea & Samaria branch of this regional chain-of-fire would be far worse for Israel than Gaza & Lebanon combined, insofar as it would have mountaintop line-of-sight control over Israel’s entire strategic heartland, main population centers & Ben Gurion International Airport. The removal of Israeli forces from these mountains would also fatally cramp her ability to effectively mobilize IDF ground forces in the face of hostile Arab or Iranian movement from the east. This would degrade Israel’s strategic depth by forcing her into a perpetual rear-guard war of reactionary attrition mere miles from vital civilian & military centers.
This “depth” (just a few miles in places) is already absurdly shallow & its further shrinkage can only increase the likelihood of inviting potentially deadly attacks from ‘Palestine’ & other regional players. A country that has no strategic depth is a country that has no tolerance for error or brinksmanship. Such a country is always with a finger on a hair-trigger – a reality which can only serve to permanently destabilize a region which is of great importance to the US.
Full Israeli annexation of Judea & Samaria. This is the best scenario for US interests, as it eliminates the scenario of ‘Palestine’ becoming yet another base for radical Islam. As clearly shown by Ambassador Yoram Ettinger’s sober analysis of the demographic concern, this would bring no real threat to Israel’s democracy.
Partial Israeli annexation of Judea & Samaria. This would likely entail Israeli annexation of Area C which contains the vast majority of Israeli settlers but only some 80,000 Arabs. This option is less frightening to the demography alarmists but would nonetheless be less optimal for US national interests since it, too, would surely lead to a radical Islamic ‘State of Palestine’ within borders not accepted by the Arab world, or UN.
The resulting frustration would set the stage for further “liberation” by the PLO & other Islamic & Arab terrorist organizations who, we are told, are so connected to & driven by frustration.
Full Israeli withdrawal from Judea & Samaria, as was already offered by Israeli Prime Ministers Olmert & Barak.The world would celebrate “peace in our time”; Israel would face endless war; the region’s Arab states would be destabilized & likely radicalized; American domestic & foreign interests would suffer irreparable damage as radical Islam would be granted a UN-blessed terror-exporting base led by a smiling English-speaker wearing a suit & tie.
Contrary to the notion that a deal always can and should be made, it would be useful to recall Kissinger’s words from 1957: “It is a mistake to assume that diplomacy can always settle international disputes if there is ‘good faith’ & ‘willingness to come to an agreement’.” Decades of American efforts in the Middle East can be characterized by an extensive willingness to have an almost religious faith in the power of a good conversation & signatures on paper – patronizingly disregarding the Islamic saying of: “Kiss the hand of thy enemy, until you can cut it off.”
What is needed now is an even greater willingness to place fundamental American interests above all other considerations in a tiny neighborhood where the best of deals will almost certainly unravel & unleash horror. Rather than pursue a faulty prescription to its foregone & bloody conclusion, the US should bury the TSS – out of an unsentimental dedication to its own national interests.
The author is a Jerusalem-based writer & psychologist. Share
2.Amona & the Zionist ethos By Dr. Moshe Dann
Amona’s resistance was a call for a return to the ideals upon which the State of Israel was founded & a call for real democracy.
Arutz Sheva 02/02/17 18:47 Share
Amona synagogue following evacuation by Eliran Aharon
Tuesday morning, January 31, 2017, hundreds of soldiers & police stood in the cold rain, blocking the road to enforce evacuation notices that had been distributed throughout Amona. The road to the settlement was deserted. Unlike a month ago when hundreds of young people flocked there when the evacuation was first scheduled, now there were few non-residents in Amona.
When the expulsion was postponed, residents & government representatives worked out a deal to transfer half of the homes to an adjacent area. Politicians from the Likud and Jewish Home parties, including the leaders of both parties, promised to help save Amona and nine homes slated for destruction in Ofra.
Even some “left-of-centrists” questioned the wisdom of destroying Amona. The High Court agreed to wait 45 days. PM Netanyahu said that he needed to wait until Obama had left office and Trump was installed. Residents of Amona felt a sense of hope.
On Tuesday morning, however, that hope was quickly & harshly crushed when the IDF suddenly announced that the destruction would take place by evening, although there was an ongoing hearing in the High Court. The residents of Amona were stunned. The agreements they thought were valid turned out to be meaningless. There would be no alternative housing, despite agreements.
Nahum & Efrat Schwartz have a sheep farm that will be destroyed. A few years ago their large herd of goats was stolen one night by Arabs from Taibe, a town east of Amona. The Schwartz’s also raise berries. Other families planted vineyards, olive trees & fruit trees. Many built simple hothouses. It will all be destroyed. The IDF estimates that the expulsion & destruction will cost NIS 90 million. Looking out over the rocky hilltop, one wonders: Why? What purpose does this serve? The alienation is deep and bitter
“Private Palestinian land”? Well, actually, no. According to Yehuda Yifrah, legal expert at the Hebrew newspaper Makor Rishon, the Arab “owners” never existed, or could not be found.
Are the homes “illegal”? Although they didn’t get building permits from the IDF Civil Administration, the land on which Amona was built had never been used, or claimed. And since the construction was initiated two decades ago, it has received government assistance for roads, electricity and infrastructure. So, why not allow them to remain? Shouldn’t a Zionist government encourage such settlement activity?
At night, a loudspeaker announces evening lectures in the Bet Knesset. Scores of young people have slipped through the cordon of soldiers & police. Huddled against the cold, families invite them for hot meals, or whatever they can afford, a sandwich & tea, as they await their uncertain future, a future filled with broken promises.
Alerted to the impending evacuation, I arrived early Wednesday morning in nearby Ofra, but this time, despite my press credentials, I was not permitted to drive up to Amona. “Walk,” I was told. It took me half an hour. Shiny new “concertina” (barbed wire) lined the road. Groups of border police stopped me, but let me pass & I finally arrived at about 8:30. About a hundred young people had gathered on the edge of the hill as the IDF & police forces gathered below. They had made their way up through the rocky fields during the night & before dawn.
Rocks & wood blocked the road & each caravan had improvised some form of resistance, such as closing shutters & nailing doors & windows shut from inside. The assault began around 9:30 as thousands of IDF border police & police moved slowly up the hill. A few youngsters threw stones, but they withdrew as the forces moved up the hill. It was sunny, but very windy & cold. By 10:30, the army controlled the entire community & the house-by-house evacuation began.
I stayed at the Schwartz’s, with their extended family & friends, about 30 people. The youngest of their seven children were taken to their grandparents in Ofra. The doors & most windows were blocked by plywood, bookcases & closets. We were able to watch what was happening in the rest of Amona from a distance, but we were also able to see what was happening in real time via YNet, Walla, and other news teams. Throughout the day we watched the evacuations on the internet, which, for the most part, led by officers, seemed professional, although later on, cases of brutality were reported.
It was nothing like the violent assault on Amona in 2006. The live broadcasts showed determined resistance, with groups of young people sitting on the floor, linking arms, refusing to leave & dragged out to buses. The protesters resisted, but were not violent. Some homeowners, like the Nazris, gave short emotional speeches, recounting their two decades in Amona. We watched in tears and waited, knowing that our little fortress home would soon be attacked. By late afternoon, all the windows were boarded up. There was no way to leave or enter.
By nightfall, only the Bet Knesset was still unconquered. Around 11pm, the first assault against us began. The police tried to break in, but were not successful & left. An hour later, they returned with more forces & smashed through the doorways. Young people sat on the floor, linking arms, resisting passively, but one by one they were dragged out under the watchful eyes of officers who ordered the soldiers & police not to act violently. They should be commended for their professionalism.
Yossi Dagan, head of the Shomron Regional Council, MK Betzalel Smotrich & representatives from Ofra were there to prevent any police violence. There was a lot of crying & some harsh words, naturally, but by 1:00 am, the Schwartz’s home was broken & empty. It was over. Except for the Bet Knesset, Amona was no more.
Eventually the families will rebuild their lives & their homes, but the trauma will remain. The most precious thing has been shattered: trust — trust that the government cares about its citizens, trust that their elected representatives stand by their words, trust in local Yesha Council leaders.
The resistance in Amona was not only to save homes & the community, but to oppose a rigged IDF & High Court judicial system . It was to protest against broken promises. It was a resistance not against the “rule of law,” but for the rule of law that has sustained the Jewish people in Eretz Yisrael. It is a plea that decisions be made by the elected government by and for the people. The people of Amona will be moved, but their bravery and courage remain as an inspiration.
Amona’s resistance is and was a call for a Zionist ethos, for a return to the ideals upon which the State of Israel was founded. It is a call for justice and for real democracy. It is a call that everyone who cares about Israel should hear. Their struggle is ours.
Dr. Moshe Dann is a writer & journalist with a Ph.d in history, who lives in Jerusalem.
Footnote:  Under Chief Justice Dorit Beinish’s aegis (she served from 2006-2012), the courts made the game-changing and unwarranted decision that land in Judea and Samaria that is not recorded officially as privately owned land or as state land, is to be considered a priori Arab land (ed.).
Meira Dolev is married to Yaakov, mother of 6 children, lives in Talmon and manager of the Communications department at the Binyamin Regional Council.Sun Feb.5,17
During my nighttime drive to Amona, there was a moment when I felt that I couldn’t take any more. The Pandora’s box in my head with the word “evacuation” on it flew open and images of an 11 year old me in Yamit were conjured up. The stench of the burning tires again filled my nostrils, the sight of people being dragged, tears, and broken hearts raced before my eyes…
These were mixed with images of Chomesh being destroyed, screaming, crying, injustice, hopelessness & horrified children being dragged out of their homes. Again, the bus taking us to an unknown destination & dropping us off in the middle of nowhere. The memories of what happened in Amona 11 years ago, the worst horror movie I have ever seen in real life, the beating & the cries & the batons crashing down & the masses of wounded people & the shock in the wide-open eyes of the young teenagers.
But after a moment, I took a deep breath & I knew that I would deal with this time, too. It would be awful but I wouldn’t let myself break. We wouldn’t be broken.
The cold in Amona was surreal. Layers of ice covered the cars, the wind pierced us mercilessly & the pain was deep & enveloping & bitter. Most of the homes in Amona are small & scattered, like a little, spread out village & its residents also have especially wide open hearts. Behind the illuminated windows, I imagine to myself, the homes are replete with memories & cozy corners & special experiences & family growth & scents & love. I don’t know if at such difficult & sensitive moments as these, right before it was all taken away so cruelly, I would have been able to open the door & let dozens of teenagers who I don’t know into my small home. Teenagers who went out into the cold & wind so that the residents wouldn’t be alone on this difficult day & so that this terrible act wouldn’t go over easily.
Photos: Hillel Meir/ TPS
I try to think to myself how it’s possible to stand the constantly increasing pressure, the question marks, the disintegration of your familiar reality, the sudden transition from having a home to being a homeless refugee. I don’t know how they withstood months of negotiating with a stone wall, believing that it was possible against all odds, pushing & clinging to their hope to change the situation. How does it feel to live in a pressure cooker that’s gradually closing above your head?
With every step I took in Amona, I felt the images of Amona 2006 hovering over me & surrounding me on all sides. When the police officers arrived with a fairly humane look in their eyes, I couldn’t believe it. Even when teenage boys hurled terrible words at them & teenage girls scratched & kicked, no batons that crushed & mangled skulls were brandished.
This type of struggle is a journey to clarify boundaries & values, to understand what’s okay & what is not, what is correct & what crosses the line, what is dangerous & what your heart & conscience dictate. How far are you willing to go to follow your beliefs & what is the right way to express your objection? How much are you willing to suffer & how dedicated are you? How far will you go with your behavior & how much will you cross the line? On the faces of the vast majority of the teenagers who came to Amona I saw the naivety of youth, the belief that if we only believe, they won’t be able to overcome us, that if something is wrong, we cannot stand by silently. If we truly love this land, we can’t stand & watch as it is forsaken. They sat crowded into homes, sometimes tied together, sometimes singing, holding on to each other strongly, some sitting in silence & some shouting & were dragged crying or screaming to the buses. Expressions of lost innocence on their faces is one I know too well.
During struggles like these, we assess ourselves deeply. What’s going on here in this country? Why do these problems strike us again & again? What’s this supposed to teach us? What do we need to do? I have my own interpretation, probably one of a thousand different interpretations. I’ve been feeling for years that just like in a person’s private life, when we aren’t doing our job on a national level, we’re sent some sort of “push” from above to get it done. We’re posed with a challenge or issue or crisis that forces us to advance. These pushes are sometimes very painful. But they’re so precise. They are what motivate us & make us grow & recharge us with energy. They kick us toward the work that we’ve neglected – the work that apparently is our mission in life.
I’m sure everyone has their own explanation. Each person sees the messages they want to see. Perhaps all of the answers are correct, as long as we try to truly understand & keep our intentions pure.
Photo credit: Hodaya Saadya
Late at night, I descended from Amona’s peak, freezing & shivering, not knowing how terrible the confrontation in the synagogue would be the next morning, but feeling intensely that although it is so painful & bitter now, new insights will be gained from this experience. New initiatives will be started & strengths that are hidden from our sight at the moment will slowly begin to emerge & take action.
Jewish farmer from Samaria wounded by Arab assailants, is taken into custody for drawing gun to fend off attackers.
By David Rosenberg, Arutz Sheva 05/02/17 20:34 Share
Arab stone-thrower – Flash90
A resident of a Jewish community in Samaria was attacked by stone-throwers on Sunday, and subsequently detained for questioning by police.
The assault occurred when the victim of the attack, a farmer from the town of Shilo, approached a suspicious car which had driven up to the town’s edge.
The farmer, seeking to ascertain the intentions of the four Arabs inside the car, suddenly found himself under attack, as the occupants of the car exited the vehicle and began hurling stones at him and beating him with sticks.
After he was injured in the unprovoked attack, the resident of Shilo drew his personal sidearm and successfully warded off his assailants, who fled the scene.
When security forces arrived, they located the attackers and took the four into custody, but also detained the victim of the attack.
Police questioned the man over his drawing of the weapon, even though he was clearly endangered by the four attackers and had not even fired his weapon.
Nati Rom, an attorney for the Honenu organization, which provides legal aid to Jewish police detainees, slammed the police response to the incident.
“A farmer was attacked by terrorists [throwing] stones and [beating him] with sticks, and instead of giving him medical treatment, he found himself detained along with his attackers. This is absurd. Why should a man who was saved from a lynch find himself under investigation when he acted according to the law?”
IsraPundit by Ted Belman February 5, 2017
A call by construction Minister Yoav Galant to “concentrate” Israeli Negev Beduin into “permitted areas” is raising fears among Arab leaders of further demolition operations to follow the January 18 police action in Umm al-Hiran that destroyed 10 houses & left a policeman & Beduin teacher dead in disputed circumstances.
“What is needed is to concentrate the Beduin settlement into permitted areas where there will be building for height and quality of life,” Galant said Tuesday while on a tour of the South. “But this must be accompanied by vacating other territories. What is happening is that they receive territory, move into it but don’t leave the area they must vacate. This has to end.”
MK Yousef Jabareen (Joint List) criticized Galant’s remarks saying, “They are a source of worry.”
“He is construction minister but he speaks of construction only for Jews,” Jabareen said. “For Arab Beduin he speaks of the need to concentrate them in specific areas, which means to demolish homes and houses in areas the government is not willing to recognize.”
Galant’s remarks come two weeks after a court-sanctioned demolition operation was carried out under cover of darkness by 480 police in Umm al-Hiran. That action aimed to force the approximately 400 Beduin there to relocate to the nearby township of Hura, under state terms, so a new town can be built in place of the unrecognized village.
It is the second time the families are being displaced. In 1956 they were forcibly moved from the Wadi Zbala area of the Negev to their present location.
Galant backed up the Umm al-Hiran operation, which has evoked calls on the Left for an independent commission of inquiry into government and police actions.
Police say that policeman Erez Levy was killed in a terrorist ramming attack by Beduin teacher Yacoub Abu al-Kaeean, but eyewitnesses say the latter’s car came under fire before it accelerated and video footage backs up this conclusion. Witness testimonies and video footage also raise suspicion that a policeman may have shot Abu al-Kaeean after he was immobilized.
“Above all else, Israel is a country of law and we will not allow anyone to raise a hand against the security forces,” Galant said.
“The law must be enforced. We have a very difficult problem of illegal takeover [by Beduin] in the Negev. We must strengthen Jewish settlement in the Negev. We are in a democratic country with equal rights, but this is a Jewish state.”
Jabareen accused Galant of making “racist” statements.
“When he speaks of the need to take care of and develop Jewish settlements, he is basically stating that he prefers Jewish settlement and needs at the expense of the housing and land rights of the Beduin Arab community in the south,” Jabareen said.
“He’s referring to Beduin in a negative way, reinforcing prejudices about them, while advocating for the advancement of the Jewish community. If you take this same statement and replace the word ‘Arabs’ with ‘Jews’ in France or Europe or the US, it would rightly be characterized as an anti-Semitic statement.”
IsraPundit by Ted Belman February 5, 2017
Eight armies are fighting for dominance in Yemen, a country of 25 million inhabitants: The Iranian-backed Houthi insurgents, together with a breakaway force, are battling the army loyal to President Abdulrabbuh Mansur Hadi, which is supported by Saudi, Egyptian and UAE military forces and their hired legion of Colombian mercenaries.
Iranian Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) elements, most acting as advisers to the Houthi rebels, intervene actively from time to time. Last October, they conducted missile attacks on US vessels on the Red Sea from shore batteries. In response, the US Navy on October 9 and 12 knocked out those batteries and the radar stations that were manned by IRGC teams.
Tehran countered by deploying to Yemen long-range Shahed 129 drones carrying Sadid-1 rockets and sowing sea mines around the international Bab Al-Mandeb Straits.
US President Donald Trump’s sharp warning on Friday, Feb. 3, after just two weeks in office, that Iran was “playing with fire” and the fresh round of sanctions he clamped down were galvanized by Iranian aggression in Yemen and the Red Sea as much as by its ballistic missile test.
And indeed, the deployment of the USS Cole destroyer to the strategic Red Sea Straits of Bab Al-Mandeb on the same day turned the compass needle toward the potential arena, should the escalating tension between the US and Yemen explode into a military encounter, such as a US special operations force going into Yemen to strike IRGC targets.
DEBKAfile’s sources report that the Trump administration would find this battleground expedient out of six considerations:
1. It would enable the US to keep the confrontation within controlled limits, by claiming it was acting against the Houthi insurgents in Yemen – not a directly attack Iran.
2. If Iranian Revolutionary Guards “happened” to be caught in the fire, Washington would ask what they were doing in Yemen, when Tehran denied its intervention in the Yemeni civil war.
3. Iran would not necessarily be compelled to hit back directly so long as the US avoids direct attacks on its soil.
4. It would provide serious support for the Saudi and UAE armies, whose armies’ entanglement in the Yemen conflict is deepening without their making real headway against the Houthis. President Trump would show Riyadh, Abu Dhabi and Cairo, that he is on their side in the fight against Iran.
5. Iran is capable of coping with the regional armies ranged against the Houthi rebels, but any substantial US military intervention might force Iran to reconsider its support for the Yemeni insurgency.
6. The Russians are not involved in Yemen and any US intervention can be kept quite separate from the Trump administration’s evolving political and military partnership with Moscow in Syria.
By the same token, Washington is keeping its hands off Libya, where last week, the Russians began sending military advisers to assist the American-Libyan Gen. Khalifa Haftar, who controls large parts of the eastern oil-rich region. The planes which fly the advises in are carrying Hafter’s wounded men out to hospitals I Russia.
IsraPundit by Ted Belman February 5, 2017
10.Top Cruz Aide Tapped for Senior Role on Trump National Security Team By Adam Kredo, New Beacon
A senior adviser to Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) who played a critical role in crafting his national security agenda—including efforts to stop the Iran nuclear deal and designate the Muslim Brotherhood organization as a terrorist entity—has been tapped by the Trump National Security Council to serve as senior director for strategic assessments, a role that encompasses the fight against terrorist forces, the Washington Free Beacon can exclusively reveal.
Victoria Coates, a top Cruz aide and his longtime confidante, has departed the senator’s office to serve as senior director for strategic assessments in the new White House NSC, a role that will see Coates managing long-term threats to the United States.
Coates worked for former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry before joining the Cruz office in 2013. She also is an art historian who recently published a book on the history of democracy.
Coates’ experience with Cruz, who was a leading critic of President Donald Trump during the 2016 primary, sets her apart from the rest of the newly installed NSC, which is comprised of retired Gen. Michael Flynn and many of his former military colleagues, according to those familiar with the appointment.
Multiple sources who spoke to the Free Beacon about the matter said the selection of Coates represents a strong effort by the Trump administration to counter Iran, reverse the contested nuclear deal, and place a central focus on countering the threat of Islamic terrorism.
Coates was instrumental in Cruz’s effort to counter the Obama administration’s diplomacy with Iran that resulted in the nuclear agreement. She also led behind-the-scenes efforts to investigate the former administration’s secret diplomacy with Iran that resulted in the payment of billions of dollars to Tehran.
Coates’ precise role in the White House was misreported earlier this week by both the Wall Street Journal and Washington Post. The Journal said she would oversee “strategic initiatives,” while the Post said only that was joining the “strategic initiatives group.”
Trump’s latest executive order to halt immigration closely resembles a legislative effort by Cruz to pause immigration to the United States by any individual originating in a high-risk area, such as countries where al Qaeda, ISIS, and other terror groups hold significant territory.
Cruz told the Free Beacon that Coates would help Trump’s national security team craft an aggressive response to the rise of Islamic terrorism and its threat against the American homeland.
“Dr. Coates brings together brilliance, judgment, and a deep understanding of the perils facing America in this increasingly dangerous world,” Cruz said. “For the last four years she has played a central role in the Senate helping formulate our response to a feckless administration that was willfully blind to the threat of radical Islamic terrorism.”
“Although we will miss her greatly in our office, I’m thrilled that Dr. Coates will now play a leading role at President Trump’s NSC, helping plan for an uncertain future, strengthen our alliances, and defeat our enemies,” Cruz said.
Rumsfeld, who served as secretary of defense under the Gerald R. Ford and George W. Bush administrations, told the Free Beacon the selection of Coates shows that the Trump administration is serious about combatting the global forces that threaten America.
“Dr. Victoria Coates was a valuable member of my staff,” said Rumsfeld, who worked with Coates while writing his 2011 memoir. “Her wide ranging intellect, deep understanding of history, and appreciation for strategic thought brings a perspective that is invaluable in Washington, D.C.”
Coates “understands well the significance of the long-range challenges to our country and our allies and how all instruments of national power can best work together,” Rumsfeld said. “Reacting day-to-day to events around the world in a compartmentalized fashion, department by department, is not good enough in the 21st century.”
“As senior director for strategic assessment on the National Security Council staff, Dr. Coates will bring valuable experience and perspective. President Trump and General Flynn have chosen well,” the former Pentagon chief added.
One veteran Middle East foreign policy hand who worked closely with Coates when she was in Cruz’s office told the Free Beacon that Coates brings a sophisticated political understanding to the White House.
“Victoria understands foreign policy as well as anybody in Washington, D.C., but she adds to that a grasp of politics and media that most policy officials don’t bring to the table,” said the source, who was not authorized to speak on record. “She’ll be a critical asset to the Trump administration as it begins to shift American foreign policy, which will require getting buy-in from beyond the walls of the White House.”
Coates declined to comment on record when asked by the Free Beacon.