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Senior West Wing Official Says McMaster Called Israel ‘Illegitimate’ ‘Occupying Power’

By  Hank

National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster has taken it upon himself to eliminate the pro-Israel voices at the National Security Council, according to three West Wing and defense officials who spoke to Conservative Review (CR).

On Wednesday, Israeli journalist Caroline Glick, a staunch defender of Israel, born in America, detailed explosive allegations vis-à-vis McMaster and Israel:

Many of you will remember that a few days before Trump’s visit to Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his advisers were blindsided when the Americans suddenly told them that no Israeli official was allowed to accompany Trump to the Western Wall. What hasn’t been reported is that it was McMaster who pressured Trump to agree not to let Netanyahu accompany him to the Western Wall. At the time, I and other reporters were led to believe that this was the decision of rogue anti-Israel officers at the US consulate in Jerusalem. But it wasn’t. It was McMaster.

And even that, it works out, wasn’t sufficient for McMaster. He pressured Trump to cancel his visit to the Wall and only visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial — a la the Islamists who insist that the only reason Israel exists is European guilt over the Holocaust.

Since McMaster took over the NSC, seven members who were staunchly pro-Israel have been purged: Steve Bannon, K.T. McFarland, Ezra Cohen-Watnick, Derek Harvey, Rich Higgins, Adam Lovinger, and Tera Dahl.

One senior West Wing official told CR, “McMaster constantly refers to the existence of a Palestinian state before 1947,” and that McMaster describes Israel as an “illegitimate,” “occupying power.”

There was never a Palestinian state; the name “Palestine” comes from the Hebrew word “peleshet” that was used to refer to the ancient enemies of the Jews, the Philistines, an Aegean people closely related to the Greeks and with no connection ethnically, linguistically or historically with Arabia. In the second century A.D., the Romans defeated the Jews, and named the land Palaestina in an attempt to minimize Jewish identification with the land of Israel. Until 1948, when people used the term “Palestinian,” it referred to Jews in the land.

McMaster shut down a joint U.S.-Israel project to fight Hezbollah’s efforts to help Iran; it had been led by now-former NSC Middle East director Derek Harvey.

After Palestinian terrorists armed with rifles left the al-Aqsa mosque compound and assassinated two Israeli police officers, Israel installed metal detectors; McMaster called the move “just another excuse by the Israelis to repress the Arabs,” according to a senior defense official.

A senior West Wing official said, “In advance of the president’s trip to Israel, there was a lot of desire from within the Trump administration for [Israeli PM Benjamin] Netanyahu to join the president at the Western Wall. McMaster didn’t even want [Trump] to go to the Western Wall. He only wanted the president to visit the Holocaust Museum.”

In May, McMaster refused to recognize that the Western Wall was part of Israel.

On Wednesday, McMaster fired Cohen-Watnick, the senior director for intelligence at the NSC.

Daniel Horowitz of CR told Frank Gaffney of the Center for Security Policy:

From his time at CENTCOMM, (U.S. Central Command) McMaster has developed the full-Arabist world-view, that Israel’s an enemy; he’s as anti-Israel as anyone in the Obama Administration; he’s pro-Iran deal; he wants to get all of our troops involved in every Islamic civil war to the detriment of our country. Literally, if you would check the boxes on the of Trump’s campaign promises, he’s on the opposite side of every one of them, and now he’s purging all of Trump’s own loyalists on the national Security Council and it’s not like he’s keeping some of the establishment Republicans; there are Democrats there.

As Fred Fleitz, former Chief of Staff for Ambassador John Bolton, wrote roughly two weeks ago, McMaster isn’t going hard-line on Iran, whose burgeoning nuclear program poses an existential threat to Israel:

According to McMaster, Iran has been “walking up to violating the letter” of the JCPOA. This is false. I asked McMaster how the Trump administration could do this in light of clear evidence that Iran is violating the JCPOA. I mentioned recent op-eds that Ambassador John Bolton and I wrote on these violations in The Hill and NRO. I said that this is a very troubling decision that amounts to looking the other way on Iran’s violations, legitimizing the dangerous concessions the Obama administration made to get this deal and goes against the president’s statements during the presidential campaign. I added that this policy to stick with the JCPOA is little different than what Hillary Clinton would have done if she had won the 2016 election.

McMaster refused to answer my question. He refused to address the issue of Iranian violations at all until another questioner pushed him on this which led McMaster to give the misleading answer above on Iran being in default of the spirit of this agreement.

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