Tuesday, June 19, 2018

The UN's Collusion With Terrorists - Joseph Klein

by Joseph Klein

One-sided condemnations of Israel give ammunition to Hamas.

At an emergency meeting held on June 13th, the United Nation General Assembly adopted another one-sided resolution against Israel. The resolution, proposed by Turkey and Algeria, deplored the use of allegedly excessive, disproportionate and indiscriminate force by Israeli forces against Palestinian civilians in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including the Gaza Strip, which the resolution pretends is still "occupied" by Israel. The anti-Israel resolution demanded that Israel refrain from such actions and fully abide by its legal obligations under the Fourth Geneva Convention relating to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949. It also requested the UN Secretary General to submit a report in no later than 60 days, outlining proposals on ways and means for ensuring the safety of Palestinian civilians, including on an international protection mechanism. The General Assembly resolution is virtually identical to Kuwait's draft UN Security Council resolution that was vetoed by the United States on June 1st.  

The General Assembly resolution, which was adopted by a vote of 120 in favor to 8 against with 45 abstentions, ignored Hamas’s acts of terrorism and provocations, including using children as human shields and its attempts to invade Israel during the protests at the Israeli-Gaza border in recent weeks demanding a so-called “right of return.” It ignored the fact that Hamas controls the Gaza Strip, which it uses as a base for its attacks against Israeli civilians, and that there have been no Israeli soldiers "occupying" Gaza since Israel's unilateral withdrawal in 2005. The closest that the resolution came to acknowledge what Israeli civilians have had to put up with for years was deploring in general terms the firing of rockets from the Gaza Strip into Israeli civilian areas.

Prior to the voting, the Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine to the UN, Riyadh Mansour, characterized the U.S. initiative as a "bad-faith attempt to insert an amendment that would radically unbalance the text and shift the Assembly's focus away from the core objective of protecting civilians and upholding international law."  The Palestinians' hypocrisy knows no bounds. Mansour has the audacity to lecture the General Assembly about "protecting civilians and upholding international law," while his cohorts preach hate and violence. The Palestinian Ambassador to Iraq Ahmed'Aql, for example, declared in an interview last month (as reported by MEMRI) that whoever "attacks Israel with missiles" will continue to win the support of the Palestinian people. Jews are "not a people," he added. As also reported by MEMRI, "Hamas political bureau member Saleh Bardawil said that, of the 62 people killed in clashes along the Gaza border on May 14, fifty were movement members. Hamas official Mahmoud Al-Zahhar said that calling the campaign 'peaceful resistance' was to 'deceive the public'".

U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley minced no words in her condemnation of the resolution before the vote:

“This resolution holds Hamas completely unaccountable for most of the recent unrest. It blames everything on Israel. But the facts tell a different story. It is Hamas and its allies that have fired over a hundred rockets into Israel in the past month, hoping to cause death to as many civilians and as much destruction as possible. It is Hamas that has used Palestinian civilians as human shields at the boundary fence, seeking to incite violence and overrun the border. It is Hamas that refuses to cooperate with the Palestinian Authority to unite in the pursuit of peace. It is Hamas that calls for the destruction of the state of Israel within any borders. And yet the resolution before us not only fails to blame Hamas for these actions, it fails to even mention Hamas.” 

The United States offered an amendment that would have provided some balance. It received a plurality in favor, but the amendment was then blocked by Algeria when it used a procedural maneuver to claim that a two thirds majority was needed. The amendment would have condemned Hamas for repeatedly firing rockets into Israel and inciting violence along the boundary fence between Gaza and Israel.  It also would have demanded that Hamas cease all violent activity and expressed grave concern over the destruction of the Kerem Shalom crossing by actors in Gaza.

Israel’s UN Ambassador Danny Danon, declaring that his country had the right to defend itself and asking other member states how they would react if 40,000 rioters attempted to flood their borders, condemned the supporters of the anti-Israel resolution. “By supporting this resolution, you are colluding with a terrorist organization and empowering Hamas,” Ambassador Danon said, adding that “you are the ammunition in Hamas’ gun; you are the warheads on Hamas’ missiles.” He referred to the “anti-Israel elements” who “deceitfully blocked the condemnation of Hamas, a murderous terrorist organization,” characterizing the result as “a badge of shame for the UN.”

After the General Assembly’s adoption of the anti-Israel resolution and rejection of the U.S-sponsored amendment, Ambassador Haley blasted the UN’s “morally bankrupt judgment that the recent Gaza violence is all Israel’s fault.” Nevertheless, she said there was some reason for hope that “the common practice of turning a blind eye to the UN’s anti-Israel bias is changing,” noting that “a plurality of 62 countries voted in favor of the U.S.-led effort to address Hamas’s responsibility for the disastrous conditions in Gaza.” 

The United Nations is institutionally biased against Israel. It has consistently and repeatedly turned a blind eye to aggression against Israel, accepting hook, line, and sinker the Palestinian victimhood narrative. Between the Organization of Islamic Cooperation-dominated UN Human Rights Council, the Division for Palestinian Rights, the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Human Rights Practices Affecting the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories, the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (“UNRWA”), more UN resources and time have been devoted to the advocacy of the Palestinian cause than to any other single issue. Terrorist organizations actively use UNRWA offices and schools to conduct their nefarious activities. 
Every November 29th, the United Nations publicly mourns the passage of its own original partition resolution that had recommended the peaceful creation of two separate Jewish and Arab states, spurned by all of the Arab countries back in 1947.

To her great credit, Ambassador Haley has made some strides in trying to whittle away at the UN’s anti-Israel bias. However, there is a long way to go before the UN can gain any legitimacy on anything to do with the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Joseph Klein is a Harvard-trained lawyer and the author of Global Deception: The UN’s Stealth Assault on America’s Freedom and Lethal Engagement: Barack Hussein Obama, the United Nations & Radical Islam.

Source: https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/270490/uns-collusion-terrorists-joseph-klein

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The Deep State and Tyranny - Bruce Thornton

by Bruce Thornton

The deeper dangers that the FBI IG report reflects

The Department of Justice Inspector General’s Report released last week didn’t tell us anything we didn’t know, but merely added more damning evidence for the corruption of the FBI and its investigations over the last few years. More worthy of comment, as Andy McCarthy writes, is its refusal to use common sense and note the obvious interconnections among the various bad actors, and the bond of political bias, seasoned with careerism and arrogance, that united them. 

But the problems we are confronting reflect deeper dangers than the professional corruption of some functionaries of corrupt executive agencies armed with the coercive power of the state. The true moral of the story is the dangers to freedom of centralized and concentrated power––the very dangers consensual governments, including our own, were created to minimize.

The issue of political bias, which the IG report scanted, has to be understood in the larger nature of the large-scale bureaucratic public institutions that comprise the Deep State. In other words, the structure and functioning of the institution itself creates a bias that selects progressive employees. The bias insidiously becomes a second nature of which they often are no more conscious than a fish is that it’s wet. 

Leftist ideology from Marxism to Progressivism is particularly useful for creating such self-serving agencies. American progressivism was founded on the conceit that “technopolitics,” the notion that modernity requires specialists and experts in the “human sciences” who can most efficiently manage the state. The old democratic and republican notion that virtue, practical experience, and common sense, none of which is dependent on university credentials, are adequate for citizens to govern no matter their wealth, lineage, or education.

This debate about whether men in general are capable of self-government runs throughout the whole history of political philosophy. The antidemocrats denied that the masses are capable of acquiring the knowledge required for participating in government. The champions of democracy, like the Greek philosopher Protagoras, countered that for social life itself to exist, all men must be capable of acquiring the skills of managing relationships with other people. That task always necessarily involves hierarchies of power, common sense borne of experience, and notions of fairness and justice that form the heart of politics.

Two thousand years later, James Madison in 1792 defined the nascent political parties, the Federalists and the Democrat-Republicans, in the same terms. The former, Madison argues, hide their aggrandizement of power to an elite behind the ancient charge “that mankind are incapable of governing themselves,” even as the elites use government to further their own interests. The latter believe people “are capable of governing themselves” and can recognize that the opposite view is “an insult to the reason and an outrage to the rights of man.” Thus they oppose any measure “that does not appeal to the understanding of the general interest of the community” or “is not strictly conformable to the principles, and conducive to the preservation of republican government.” All men are capable of thought, and recognize the principles of political equality and freedom, the “rights of man” that government is created to protect and preserve.

Progressives, of course, for all their talk of “equal rights” and “equality” and “democracy,” in fact have more in common with the antidemocratic tradition. Rejecting the permanence of human nature and its vulnerability to the temptations of power and its corrupting influence, they argued that the new technologies and economic institutions had created problems beyond the understanding of the average man, but also created new understandings of how to improve human nature. Now power must be centralized and concentrated, and the federal government expanded with new agencies and offices staffed with credentialed technocrats who understand the “new sciences” of human nature and society, and so can create policies and rules that better serve the citizens now shrunk into wards of government agencies.

Having pursued these aims for over a century, progressives have midwifed the bloated Leviathan that now encroaches into our lives, communities, and businesses. The costs to our freedom and autonomy, as well as the weakening of the Constitutional order, are obvious. But the bureaucratic structure of government agencies leaves them vulnerable to the long-documented pathologies of bureaucracies equally malign to the common good. 

The most critical danger is what the French call “professional deformation,” the way institutions filter and shape information, principles, and their actions to fit institutional orthodoxy, interests, and ideology. Professional knowledge and paradigms then become a stencil applied to reality, hiding information and facts that don’t fit the institution’s received wisdom, and leaving a neat pattern that is then taken for the whole of reality. This tendency is reinforced by the way careers and advancement are dependent on fealty to the professional paradigm rather than to principle or the greater good. The result is an institution closed on itself, impervious to those who “think outside the box,” devoted to the institutional received wisdom, and dedicated not to the function of its creation, but to the perpetuation of its own power and influence.

This danger exists in all large-scale bureaucracies, including private ones. But a bureaucratic corporation is in the end accountable to the market and its customers and shareholders. Government bureaucracies, however, are largely unaccountable to the sovereign people who give them power. Agency employees find that their careers and power are best nurtured by the party of big government that multiplies the regulations, laws, and rules that grow more and larger bureaucratic fiefdoms. That’s why the salaries and benefits of government workers are higher than in the private sector. And why they have both union and civil-service protections, which make firing them difficult. And why the Department of Justice charged with investigating Hillary Clinton’s various scandals gave 92% of its political donations in 2016 to Clinton. The lowest percentage of gifts to Democrats across all government agencies was 64%.

More important is the lack of accountability. The catalogue of Obama-era federal agency scandals reveals that the only accountability agency malefactors face is retirement on a fat government pension: The Office of Personnel Management, the Veterans Health Administration, the IRS, the ATF, the National Labor Relations Board, the General Services Administration, and just recently the FBI and DOJ, both of which have ongoing investigations that have already led to firings and resignations––all with pensions and, in the case of James Comey, hefty book contracts and speaking fees. That’s not accountability, but rather moral hazard, the removal of incentives to protect one’s actions against the risk of suffering their consequences.

This link between political ideology and the nature of large, unaccountable government agencies has been especially obvious the last two years.  The security and investigative agencies have used obstruction, stone-walling, ignoring subpoenas, evasion, using heavy-handed redactions and elastic definitions of “national security” to thwart the efforts of Congressional committees staffed with elected representatives of the people, and thus are the instruments of accountability to the people. But the citizens’ interests and the agencies’ Constitutional duty to observe the division of power among the three branches are not as important as the agencies’ own power and survival. And their survival and power, even if their workers don’t consciously recognize it, requires the survival and power of the Democrat Party’s program of increasing the size and scope of the federal government.

Finally, this state of affairs is laying down the predicates of tyranny. When government agents swear an oath to uphold the Constitution, they are pledging fealty to its foundational principles, particularly the equality of all before the law. And when these agents are housed in multiplying bureaucracies intruding into our private lives and civil societies, they erode our autonomy at the same time they increase their own authority. They turn from servants of the people to their masters, and like most elites throughout history begin to see themselves as above the law, possessing an exalted status based on their perception that they are wiser and more virtuous than their fellow citizens, and so are exempt from the accountability that is the bedrock of constitutional government.

We have had now years of “investigations” into the various scandals of our government agencies and their appointed leaders. The worst occurred during the tenure of Hillary Clinton when she was Secretary of State, the highest office of foreign policy beside the president. Her crimes are obvious from the public record. Her lies and abuses of her office, all directed toward her own political advancement, were indifferent to the dangers she put the republic in when she willfully set up a non-secure, easily hacked server through which classified information was passed–– including from Barack Obama, who lied about his knowledge of this extra-legal arrangement. And still Hillary has not been held accountable, has not been made to suffer the consequences of her betrayal of her oath and indifference to the security of her fellow citizens.

She and others her like her may think that the “deplorables” who do not enjoy such exemption are not smart enough to see through her lies and the machinations of government agencies bent on protecting her and their own minions. But they do see, and they are angry at such a gross injustice, the lack of punishments for crimes for which they would have suffered swift justice. They see the hypocrisy of the Mueller investigation, the absurdity of the “collusion” charge, and the blatant attempts of agencies to undo the legal election of a U.S. president. And their anger is righteous, for it is responding to a violation of one of our most sacred foundational principles: the equality of all before the law.

The cry for justice from “we the people” needs to be heeded. The behavior we are witnessing is more characteristic of a tyranny rather than a democratic republic. Aristotle defined tyranny more than two-thousand years ago as “arbitrary power . . . which is responsible to no one, and governs all alike, whether equals or betters, with a view to its own advantage, not to that of its subjects, and therefore against their will. No freeman willingly endures such a government.”  Sound familiar?

But we need to stop enduring it. Enough with the endless investigations that lead nowhere and leave the guilty unpunished. Enough with absurdity of agencies investigating themselves in order to protect the institution they serve rather than the people. We need to see indictments and trials to restore the foundations of our political order. The president and his Attorney General need to give more support to the Congressional oversight committees trying to do their jobs of holding accountable the abusers of the public trust. As free men and women we can do no less than demand action.

Bruce Thornton is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, a Research Fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institution, and a Professor of Classics and Humanities at the California State University. He is the author of nine books and numerous essays on classical culture and its influence on Western Civilization. His most recent book, Democracy's Dangers and Discontents (Hoover Institution Press), is now available for purchase.

Source: https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/270488/deep-state-and-tyranny-bruce-thornton

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Gaza Media Coverage: Snipers and Lies - Ruthie Blum

by Ruthie Blum

"We will take down the border [with Israel] and we will tear their hearts from their bodies." — Yahya Sinwar, Hamas political leader.

  • "We will take down the border [with Israel] and we will tear their hearts from their bodies." — Yahya Sinwar, Hamas political leader.
  • "[W]hen we talk about 'peaceful resistance,' we are deceiving the public. This is a peaceful resistance bolstered by a military force and by security agencies, and enjoying tremendous popular support." — Mahmoud Al-Zahar, senior Hamas official, on Al Jazeera.
  • When a doctor in Gaza announced that a congenital heart defect was likely the cause of her death, the Gaza health ministry removed her name from the list of those killed in clashes with Israel, pending an autopsy.
  • "Hamas' goal is to have Israel kill as many Gazans as possible so that the headlines always begin, and often end, with the body count. Hamas deliberately sends women and children to the front line, while their own fighters hide behind these human shields." — Alan Dershowitz, Esq.
On May 14, as United States officials ceremoniously relocated the American Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, tens of thousands of Palestinians in Gaza -- many of them members of Hamas and Iran-linked Islamic Jihad, along with other residents paid to participate -- engaged in violent demonstrations along the Gaza-Israel border fence. Dubbed the "Great March of Return," these protests were launched on March 30 and timed to crescendo six weeks later, on the day of the U.S. Embassy move, which coincided with the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the state of Israel.

For weeks, rioters stormed the border, firing weapons and hurling Molotov cocktails and rocks at the Israeli soldiers who guard the area to prevent terrorist incursions into southern Israel.

The weeks of continuous rioting -- planned by Hamas as part of its admitted campaign to destroy Israel through terrorism and delegitimization -- has left dozens of Palestinians dead and hundreds wounded. The numbers were widely reported in the liberal media in Israel and abroad, and were accompanied by condemnations of Israel for its "excessive use of force" against "peaceful protesters."

Although Hamas official Salah Bardawil announced that of the 62 people "martyred," 50 were members of Hamas -- while Islamic Jihad claimed another three -- many journalists, opinion writers, international organizations and so-called human rights groups with a fixed idea about the Palestinian-Israeli conflict in general and the current unrest in Gaza in particular did not let such information permeate their articles or declarations. Those who did include the statistic downplayed the fact that Hamas was paying impoverished Gaza residents to descend on the border of a neighboring country with the purpose not only of killing or kidnapping its residents, but also to get killed or wounded by sniper fire. In so doing, Hamas would be able to accuse its neighbor of the very war crimes Hamas itself has been committing.

To this end, Hamas even sent buses to transport Gaza residents to the border they were ordered to breach, and jailed bus drivers who refused to comply. Yet there still seems to be an avoidance on the part of much of the media of seeing that the plight of the Palestinians killed and wounded in the riots is caused by Hamas itself.

As the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) has documented extensively, leftist fellow travelers in the media have been accepting and propagating Hamas propaganda that the "March of Return" was a plea for Palestinian human rights. They also bought into the terrorist organization's claim that the U.S. Embassy move was the catalyst for its latest assault, which has come to include a renewed wave of rocket and mortar fire from Gaza into Israel (launched by Islamic Jihad with the full support of Hamas); attempts to infiltrate the border to kill Israelis; and mass arson, through the use of helium balloons and flaming kites (some painted with swastikas) that have succeeded so far in burning down more than 6,000 acres of Israeli farmland and nature reserves, in a country roughly the size of New Jersey.

Tellingly absent from most reportage from liberal news outlets on this "kite jihad" has been outrage on the part of environmentalists who are normally so eloquent. This blanket inaccuracy may be why U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman went on the offensive against the false coverage of the riots. During a "Press and Policy" breakfast in Jerusalem on June 4, hosted by the American news agency The Media Line, Friedman said:
"It would seem to me that in a journalistic environment where nine out of ten articles that are written about the Gaza conflict are critical of Israel, you'd think that some journalists would take the time and go and meet with experts and try to understand what could have been done differently or better before they criticize. And I just haven't seen it."
Friedman went even further, telling reporters:
"...keep your mouths shut until you figure it out. Because otherwise, all you're doing is creating impressions that have no basis in fact. They fit a narrative. They fit an opinion. They fit an agenda. But it's not reporting, because it's not based on hard, factual analysis."
Three stories that were highlighted in the media as evidence of Israeli brutality in the face of the "peaceful" demonstrations in Gaza illustrate what Friedman was talking about.

One of these incidents occurred on April 6, when 30-year-old Palestinian photojournalist Yaser Murtaja was shot in the stomach during the second weekend of the protests, and died of his wounds the next morning. Details of Murtaja's death circulated widely, with photos of his "Press" jacket prominently displayed. The Washington Post portrayed him as a "young journalist [who] shot drone images and video for Ain Media, a small Gaza-based news agency he started five years ago," and published his last Facebook post, which read, "I wish that the day would come to take this shot when I'm in the air and not on the ground... I'm 30 years old. I live in Gaza City. I've never traveled!"

The IDF promptly launched an investigation, which revealed that Israeli soldiers had not targeted Murtaja; but he had, in fact, been a long-time Hamas activist, who -- according to reports -- had attempted in 2015 to use a drone to help the terrorist organization gather intelligence across the border with Israel. So much for his having been a bona fide member of the media merely trying objectively to cover the conflict.

As soon as the truth about Murtaja was exposed, the story of his death was no longer of interest to Western journalists, certainly not those who identified with him as an actual reporter. In any event, within a few weeks, another death upstaged that of Murtaja, giving the media an even greater opportunity to paint Israel, not Hamas, as the true victimizer of the Palestinians in Gaza.

On May 15, Layla Ghandour -- an 8-month-old girl described in the New York Times as having "sparkling green eyes" -- died in her grandmother's arms in a Gaza hospital, allegedly from "tear-gas inhalation," after being taken by her teenage uncle to the border fence to join her mother at the site of the protests. The infant instantly became a "symbol of Gaza." Reports of her death and funeral -- at which her tiny body, wrapped in a Palestinian flag, was paraded around Gaza City -- spread far and wide on the internet. One such report quoted the baby's aunt saying: "They [the Israelis] did not have mercy on a girl; they threw gas bombs at her; they killed her with tear gas... What is she guilty of to die like this?"

Two days later, however, the spokesman of the Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza -- who initially claimed in a post on Facebook that baby Layla had died of tear-gas inhalation -- acknowledged that the cause of her death had yet to be determined. When a doctor in Gaza announced that a congenital heart defect was likely the culprit, the Gaza health ministry removed her name from the list of those killed in clashes with Israel, pending an autopsy. It has failed, so far, to release the findings of her autopsy.

The question is: Why did the baby's family take her to a violent riot in the first place?

Most likely, her tragic end is part of what the eminent lawyer Alan Dershowitz has called Hamas's "dead baby strategy":
"Hamas' goal is to have Israel kill as many Gazans as possible so that the headlines always begin, and often end, with the body count. Hamas deliberately sends women and children to the front line, while their own fighters hide behind these human shields."
This brings us to the third Gaza story that went viral not only before all the facts had emerged, but afterwards, as well: the death of Razan al-Najjar, a 21-year-old female Palestinian paramedic referred to by Hamas as an "angel of mercy."

Here again, the IDF announced that it had not targeted the young woman -- who was in the field clad in a white paramedics' coat -- and immediately opened an investigation into the circumstances of her death. This probe revealed that al-Najjar had boasted about her mission to serve as a "human shield" for wounded Palestinians. In other words, as an IDF video shared on social media pointed out, "This medic was incited by Hamas to give up her life for their goals."

Razan al-Najjar, a 21-year-old Palestinian paramedic who was killed during a violent riot along the Gaza-Israel border, declared during a television interview at the scene of the riot that she was there to "act as a human shield" for the rioters. (Image source: IDF video screenshot)

What these goals are was spelled out clearly in April by Hamas political leader Yahya Sinwar. "We will take down the border [with Israel] and we will tear their hearts from their bodies," he said.

On May 13, the eve of the six-week "March of Return," a different senior Hamas official, Mahmoud Al-Zahar, told Al Jazeera: "[W]hen we talk about 'peaceful resistance,' we are deceiving the public. This is a peaceful resistance bolstered by a military force and by security agencies, and enjoying tremendous popular support."

Much of the media appears to be allowing itself to be deceived by a terrorist organization that uses the people over whom it rules as disposable cannon fodder.

As Dershowitz writes, "Many in the media are complicit in these [Palestinian] deaths, because their one-sided reporting encourages Hamas to send innocent women and children to the front line."

At this point, members of the media actually seem willing to be duped, which makes them accessories after the fact to the terrorist mission of a jihadist group.

Ruthie Blum is a journalist and author of "To Hell in a Handbasket: Carter, Obama, and the 'Arab Spring.'"

Source: https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/12516/gaza-media-israel

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Is Trump Pivoting East in Europe? - Alex Alexiev

by Alex Alexiev

The White House is putting together a robust strategy in Europe that was missing until now.

As Trump haters are having yet another field day on account of his ostensible faux pas at the G-7 meeting in Canada, and leftist pundits fall over each other screaming that Trump has no strategic vision, as others just as self-assuredly accuse him of planning to “break the West,” which, on the face of it, requires plenty of strategic vision. While this silliness continues to rapidly declining effect, there are now signs that the White House is putting together a robust strategy in Europe that was missing until now.

It comes in the shape of A. Wess Mitchell, who was just appointed the point man at the State Department for Europe and Eurasia. The significance of this appointment, which was missed in the cacophony of anti-Trump perorations, was much on display at the very first programmatic speech he gave last week at the Heritage Foundation. Before delving into the speech, a couple of words about his background, which is [an] important part of his appointment. Mitchell is a bona fide expert on Eastern Europe with three books to his credit and, more importantly, the long-term leader of CEPA (Center for European Policy Analysis), the only Washington think tank dedicated to the study of Eastern Europe.

Mitchell started his speech with a ringing endorsement of the Western alliance and the civilization undergirding it, which guaranteed “democracy, individual liberty and the rule of law.” But he also noted that the West collectively is “under-prepared” for its defense. There are a number of reasons for that, including the dismal legacy the Trump administration inherited from President Obama with its failed reset of relations with Russia, conflict in Ukraine, policy failure in Syria, and the largest ever Muslim migration to Europe.

But, more importantly, Mitchell underscored, preserving the West cannot happen without a strong and free Europe, which is a vital interest of the United States. And here he did not diplomatically avoid naming names and identifying problems. It is Russia and China who “want to break the West,” he said and EU allies (read Western Europe) who are showing insufficient willingness to “defend their own continent.” He further singled out specific European policies that the U.S. consider counterproductive -- the Nord Stream 2 pipeline and the Iran agreement. The first one is clearly directed against the interests of Eastern Europe and will benefit Russia’s monopolistic gas hegemony and make NATO’s eastern flank more vulnerable. Though Mitchell did not say it, Germany is the clear culprit here, as the above well-documented CEPA study proves. The Iran agreement, which is still supported by the EU even after the U.S. pulled out of it, allowed the expansion of Teheran’s influence to the borders of Israel, the largest such expansion since antiquity, Mitchell noted, and represents a clear danger for the West in Washington’s view.

Mitchell did not dwell on the current background of the alliance’s politics, but there is no doubt that it was a motivating factor for this groundbreaking policy statement. And that background includes the flat-out refusal by Germany to commit to spending 2% of GDP on defense, except in the very distant future, which makes the largest economy in Europe a consumer, rather than a contributor to collective security. Compare this attitude to the enthusiastic support for NATO’s role by nine Eastern European countries (known as the Bucharest 9) which met in Warsaw, as Mitchell was speaking, and endorsed a greater role for the alliance in the East. It is this clear and widening fault line that has prompted numerous pundits to speculate that Trump may be pivoting to the East in Europe, while others have interpreted it as a declaration of war on Russia.

There are other pregnant developments on the old continent that cannot but affect the cohesion of the Atlantic alliance -- from Italy’s new Eurosceptic government closing its harbors to migrant vessels to a fundamental and widening conflict over immigration by the two ruling parties, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), and the Christian Social Union (CSU) in Germany. The CSU, which is Bavaria-based, wants to turn back migrants at the border, while Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is to blame for the migrant debacle, is doing everything possible to avoid that and thus admit that she was wrong all along. It may be a long shot, but a turn to the right in Germany, may be the best news for Trump and NATO yet.

Alex Alexiev is chairman of the Center for Balkan Black Sea Studies (cbbss.org). He could be reached at alexievalex4@gmail.com.

Source: https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2018/06/is_trump_pivoting_east_in_europe.html

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Palestinians: Victims of Arab Apartheid - Khaled Abu Toameh

by Khaled Abu Toameh

No one cares when an Arab country mistreats and discriminates and kills Palestinians. But when something happens in the West Bank or Gaza Strip, the international media and community suddenly wake up. Why?

  • Tens of thousands of Palestinians are now living in a Lebanese ghetto called Ain Al-Hilweh, and the world seems to be fine with that.
  • No one cares when an Arab country mistreats and discriminates and kills Palestinians. But when something happens in the West Bank or Gaza Strip, the international media and community suddenly wake up. Why? Because they do not want to miss an opportunity to condemn Israel. One can only imagine the uproar in the world were Israel to pass a law denying Arabs jobs or the right to inherit property.
  • There are no protests on the streets of London or Paris. The UN Security Council has not -- and will not -- hold an emergency session to condemn Lebanon. Of course, the mainstream media in the West is not going to report about Arab apartheid and repressive measures against Palestinians. As for the leaders of the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, they do not have time to address the problems of the camp residents. The Palestinian Authority and Hamas are too busy fighting each other, and the last thing they have on their minds are the interests and well-being of their people.
Lebanon is one of several Arab countries where Palestinians are subjected to discriminatory and apartheid laws and measures. The plight of Palestinians in Arab countries, however, is apparently of no interest to the international community, and pro-Palestinian activists and groups around the world.

Recently, the Lebanese authorities placed electronic screening gates at all entrances to Ain Al-Hilweh, the largest Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon. The move has sparked a wave of protests in Ain Al-Hilweh and among Palestinians living in other refugee camps in Lebanon, who are describing the installation of the electronic gates as collective punishment.

Until a few years ago, Ain Al-Hilweh had a population of 75,000. However, with the influx of refugees from Syria, which began in 2011, the camp's population is now estimated at more than 160,000.

About two years ago, the Lebanese army began building a security fence around Ain Al-Hilweh as part of an effort to combat jihadi terror groups that were reported to have infiltrated the camp. With the completion of the fence, the Lebanese authorities, in a move that has surprised the Palestinians, decided to install electronic gates to screen all those entering and leaving the camp. The Lebanese authorities say the gates are critical to discovering explosives and other types of weapons.

A July 2015 street celebration in Lebanon's Ain al-Hilweh camp. (Image source: Geneva Call/Flickr)

The installation of the electronic gates came during the holy month of Ramadan -- a move that has further exacerbated tensions inside Ain Al-Hilweh and drawn strong condemnations from the camp residents and other Palestinians.

Leaders of several Palestinian factions in Lebanon who held an emergency meeting earlier this week to discuss the installation of the electronic gates called on the Lebanese government to ease security restrictions on the camp residents. Some of the leaders claimed that the new gates were part of a US-led "conspiracy" targeting Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon. "We fear that the recent Lebanese measures are in compliance with US pressure on the Lebanese government to impose punitive measures against the Palestinian camps [in Lebanon]," said a Palestinian official who attended the emergency meeting. He claimed that most of the terrorists wanted by the Lebanese authorities had left Ain Al-Hilweh in spite of the tough security measures surrounding the camp, and as such there was no justification for the electronic gates.

According to residents of Ain Al-Hilweh, the electronic gates have turned their lives into misery, resulting in long lines and delays as Lebanese soldiers conduct thorough searches on Palestinians leaving and entering the camp. They claim that the gates were placed at all the entrances to the camp, although only after the security situation inside the camp had relatively improved and recently been calm. "Such security measures are unjustified and serve to only increase anger and frustration," argued Yasser Ali, an official with a group that represents Palestinian refugees in Lebanon. "Why are they dealing with Ain Al-Hilweh as if it were an island full of diseases?"

In the past few days, residents of the camp have staged a number of protests against the electronic gates, and demanded an end to the Lebanese authorities' harsh measures against Palestinians in Ain Al-Hilweh in particular and Lebanon in general. "We prefer to die than to be humiliated," and "The people in the camp challenge the gates," the protesters chanted.

A Palestinian human rights organization condemned the Lebanese army's decision to place electronic gates at the entrances to the camp. He said the measure turns all the residents of Ain Al-Hilweh into suspected terrorists. "This measure is an insult and humiliation to the camp residents and an assault on their dignity," the organization said in a statement.
"Such electronic gates are used at airports and international borders, and it is hard to understand why they are being used to screen residents of a camp. Clearly, this is collective punishment that affects tens of thousands of people. The security measures, including the electronic gates and the concrete fence have turned the camp into a real prison. The residents have become prisoners who are permitted to enter and leave only with the permission of the military, which is standing at the entrances."
Some Palestinians have called out Lebanon's leaders for their hypocrisy. "In whose interest is it to humiliate the Palestinians in Lebanon?" asked Palestinian political commentator Ahmed Al-Haj Ali. "How can Lebanese officials experience schizophrenia when they talk about liberating Palestine while they are imposing strict measures against the Palestinians?"

On June 13, a delegation representing Palestinian factions met with Bahia Hariri, a Lebanese parliament member who happens to be the aunt of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, and appealed to her to intervene to have the gates removed from the entrances to Ain Al-Hilweh. The delegation complained to her that the gates have had a negative impact on the lives of the camp residents and urged her to use her influence with the Lebanese authorities to ease restrictions imposed on Palestinians in Lebanon.

Here it is worth noting that the 450,000 Palestinians in Lebanon have long been suffering from a policy of systematic discrimination and marginalization by the Lebanese authorities in all aspects.

Until 2005, Palestinians were barred from 70 different categories of qualified professions, such as medicine, law and engineering. Although the Lebanese Minister of Labor issued a memorandum in 2005 permitting Palestinians to work legally in manual and clerical jobs, the ban on Palestinians seeking professional employment has remained in place. In 2001, the Lebanese parliament passed a law that prevents Palestinians from owning and inheriting property. In addition, Palestinian refugees have no access to Lebanese government hospitals. As one Palestinian pointed out:
"The Palestinians in Lebanon and other Arab countries are treated as if they are not human beings. The Arabs hold us in ghettoes and deny us basic human rights. In Lebanon, Palestinian refugee camps are like a zoo or a prison. This is shameful that Arabs are capable of treating their fellow Arabs in such a manner. Even more shameful is the silence of the international community and the UN."
As if that were not enough, in 2007 the Lebanese army launched a large military operation against another refugee camp, Nahr Al-Bared, killing hundreds of people and destroying most of the houses there. Most of the 32,000 camp residents were forced to flee their homes. According to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA), "the effects of this displacement have compounded the already severe socioeconomic conditions facing these refugees and constitute a chronic humanitarian crisis."

The residents of Ain Al-Hilweh now fear that the tough security measures around their camp, including the placement of the electronic gates, mean that they could meet the same fate.

That is why they are planning to step up their protests in the coming days and weeks. However, the Palestinians in Lebanon would be mistaken to pin high hopes on the international community or Palestinian leaders.

The international community pays attention to the Palestinians only when it is possible to blame Israel. The only Palestinians who seem to win the attention of the international community and media are those living in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and who are in direct conflict with Israel. Palestinians living in ghettos in the Arab world and who are being killed and displaced by Arab armies do not attract any attention from the international community or mainstream media.

No one cares when an Arab country mistreats and discriminates and kills Palestinians. But when something happens in the West Bank or Gaza Strip, the international media and community suddenly wake up. Why? Because they do not want to miss an opportunity to condemn Israel.

The residents of Ain Al-Hilweh would have been fortunate had Israel placed the electronic gates at the entrances to their camp. Then, dozens of foreign journalists and human rights activists would have converged on the camp to document an Israeli "violation of Palestinian human rights." One can only imagine the uproar in the world were Israel to pass a law denying Arabs jobs or the right to inherit property.

Tens of thousands of Palestinians are now living in a ghetto called Ain Al-Hilweh, and the world seems to be fine with that. In fact, most Palestinians in Lebanon have long been living in ghettos surrounded by the Lebanese army.

There are no protests on the streets of London or Paris. The UN Security Council has not -- and will not -- hold an emergency session to condemn Lebanon. Of course, the mainstream media in the West is not going to report about Arab apartheid and repressive measures against Palestinians. As for the leaders of the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, they do not have time to address the problems of the camp residents. The Palestinian Authority and Hamas are too busy fighting each other and the last thing they have on their minds are the interests and well-being of their people.

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Khaled Abu Toameh, a journalist based in Jerusalem, is a Distinguished Senior Fellow at Gatestone Institute.

Source: https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/12521/palestinians-apartheid-victims

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Netanyahu's water tech offer draws wave of Iranian support - Ariel Kahana

by Ariel Kahana

Iranian internet users hail Israel: "We wish them death, they bless us with life."

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu offers to share Israeli 
water technology with Iranians
Photo: GPO

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's video offering to share Israeli water technology with the Iranians racked up 5 million views in the first five days it was online, 1.6 million of which were on Netanyahu's own social media channels.

Perhaps more significantly, nearly 100,000 Iranians joined the Israeli government's Farsi-language Telegram account within 24 hours of the video going live.

All in all, this was the second-most watched Netanyahu video, after a presentation in April in which Netanyahu unveiled an Iranian nuclear archive smuggled out of Iran by Israeli agents.

In the video, posted a week ago, Netanyahu addresses the Iranian people directly, offering to teach Iran how to manage its water resources.

In the video, Netanyahu pours himself a glass of water and says, "I want to help save countless Iranian lives. Here's how: Iran's meteorological organization says that nearly 96% of Iran suffers from some levels of drought."

"Israel has the know-how to prevent environmental catastrophe in Iran. I want to share this information with the people of Iran. Sadly, Iran bans Israelis from visiting," Netanyahu says in the video.

Netanyahu also said that Israel would be setting up a Farsi website that would teach the Iranian people how to recycle water.

The video received wide media coverage in Iran, including on the state news agency IRNA and the website of Radio Farda (the most popular station in the country) and Radio Zaman.

However, news agencies affiliated with the Iranian regime were, unsurprisingly, critical of Netanyahu's video. The ISNA agency claimed that "while the residents of Gaza are suffering because the Zionist regime took away their water, the leader of the Zionist regime announces that he wants to help the Iranians overcome the drought."

The coverage of the video was so widespread that even the regime itself was forced to discuss it. Iranian Energy Minister Reza Ardakanian told reporters on Wednesday that Iran was not in need of any external help to solve its water crisis, adding that "the prime minister of this regime [Israel] or anyone else who claims to have the ability to manage water resources is aware that Iran is a country that has a proven record going back thousands of years in the field."

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Barham Qassemi attacked Netanyahu, saying that Tehran had no need for a "trickster" to solve its water shortage problem.

While the Tehran regime rejected Israel's offer, Iranian Internet users welcomed the idea and leveled criticism at their own government.

One user commented, "We wish them [Israelis] death and they bless us with life. I am ashamed to be Iranian."

Another posted: "God will bless Israel and Netanyahu. I'm sure that Iran and Israel will once again be allies."

Ariel Kahana

Source: http://www.israelhayom.com/2018/06/18/netanyahus-water-tech-offer-draws-wave-of-iranian-support/

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'White Mythologies' on a Campus Near You - Jack Kerwick

by Jack Kerwick

More leftist racial hate in academia

FrontPageMag Editor's note: The graphic for this article was produced from the cover of David Horowitz's book, Hating Whitey and Other Progressive Causes, which unveils the Left's attack on "whiteness" -- as part of its war on American democracy. 

Traditionally, a classical liberal arts education had as its point and purpose the disinterested pursuit of truth and knowledge.

Yet most of today’s academics scoff at this mission as a “white mythology.”
The most recent example of this phenomenon comes from Hobart and William Smith Colleges, which offer the course, “White Mythologies: Objectivity, Meritocracy, and Other Social Constructions.”

The course is co-taught by a sociology professor, Kendralin Freeman, and anthropology professor, Jason Rodriguez.  According to its description, the course “explores the history and ongoing manifestations of ‘white mythologies,’” which it characterizes as “long-standing, often implicit views about the place of White, male, Euro-American subjects as the norm.”

In fulfilling its objective, “White Mythologies” will also examine “how systematic logics that position ‘the West’ and ‘whiteness’ as the ideal manifest through such social constructions as objectivity, meritocracy, and race.”

According to the watchdog organization, Campus Reform, Freeman and Rodriguez co-authored an article that featured in the journal, Whiteness and Education.  In their essay, the two argue that “discourses” over the topics of “‘diversity’ and ‘intersectionality’ can undermine efforts to address racism [.]”  Such “discourses” can also “protect white privilege” and “marginalize people of color.”

According to the abstract for their essay, Freeman and Rodriguez seek to substantiate their thesis by supplying “an ethnographic account of student, staff, and faculty efforts to infuse campus cultures at a small liberal arts college with an anti-racist pedagogy in response to a string of racist events on campus.” Yet these “intentions” aside, “some community members put forward intersectional arguments and calls for ‘diversity’ in ways that re-centered whiteness and situated discussions about race as exclusionary dialogues that victimized white subjects.”

Moreover, these “discourses” on “intersectionality” and “diversity” “subsumed the experience of racism into a generalized and ostensibly universal experience of marginalization.”

The authors contend that this pattern “reflects the growing dominance of understanding racism as something that white subjects experience as much as people of color, which has emerged alongside a discourse of ‘diversity’ that compels a focus on individualized difference rather than structural inequity.”

Since the average reader, blessed as he is to have dodged the ideological indoctrination that has superseded education in academia, is likely to have a challenging time deciphering this post-modern gnostic Newspeak, we should attempt a translation:

Diversity talk is bad because it tends to imply that individuals—including white individuals—can be harmed by racism.  But, since racism is fundamentally a structural or institutional thing that systematically benefits whites while harming people of color, diversity “discourses,” by obscuring this fact, perpetuates these systemic iniquities. 

Objectivity and meritocracy are fictions that serve to facilitate and augment a system of “White Privilege” and “minority underrepresentation.”  As Freeman and Rodriguez see it, because “diversity measures are…framed as either avenues for addressing historical injustices or issues of simple representation,” focus on diversity are not “tactics for addressing the unfair, systematic advantages that white subjects experience [.]”

This means that “the ongoing structural relations that produce minority underrepresentation and white privilege…is particularly easy to co-opt into the ideology of [a] ‘culture of poverty’ or to denounce in the name of meritocracy.”

This same institution offers the upper-level philosophy course, “Feminism: Ethics and Knowledge.”  The second half of the course will attempt to address the following questions: “Historically, how has science contributed to the subordination of women?  Are social and political considerations relevant to science? Is it possible for science to be ‘objective’? What can be done to make science less biased?”

Science is an instrument of misogynist oppression that white men wield behind the veneer of objectivity.

This view that objectivity, meritocracy, impartiality, and neutrality are “white mythologies” is ubiquitous throughout the academic world.

Victor Ray is a sociology professor at the University of Tennessee. Writing for Inside Higher Ed, Ray charges its conservative proponents with invoking “diversity of thought and free speech” for the nefarious purpose of legitimizing their “racist and misogynist ideas [.]” Conservatives are guilty of appropriating the rhetoric of “diversity of thought as a political tactic to exert power over higher educational institutions.”

Ray continues at length with one bad argument after the other. He concludes thus:

“Conservative ideas are hegemonic. The (empty) call for so-called diversity of thought is a Trojan horse for white identity politics.”

As proof for his thesis Ray offers the following:

Most of the staunchest advocates of free speech are white men.

“It is no coincidence that the majority of people advocating for this position are white men who feel slighted by an imagined diminution of their power. They remain stubbornly at the top of the organizational hierarchy across the landscape of higher education, and their calls for so-called diversity thought are attempts to extend this lead.”

Parents beware: The odds are that your children, for whose four years at college you will wind up spending thousands and thousands of dollars, will spend their time hearing their professor debunk “white mythologies.”   

Jack Kerwick

Source: https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/270451/white-mythologies-campus-near-you-jack-kerwick

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Palestinian Authority leader under pressure to 'end Trump boycott' - Daniel Siryoti and Israel Hayom Staff

by Daniel Siryoti and Israel Hayom Staff 

PA official: Direction in which Abbas is leading PA is diplomatic suicide.

U.S. President Donald Trump and Palestinian Authority President ‎
Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah in 2017
Photo: Reuters

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is reportedly facing ‎substantial pressure to meet with U.S. President Donald Trump's ‎top Middle East advisers this week, despite the rift between ‎Washington and Ramallah.‎

Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner and U.S. ‎Special Representative for International Negotiations Jason ‎Greenblatt will visit Israel, Egypt and Jordan to discuss the ‎upcoming U.S. peace plan for the region. ‎

Abbas has rejected the ‎U.S. as a peace broker in the wake of ‎Trump's Dec. 6 recognition of ‎Jerusalem as Israel's capital, saying ‎the move proved the U.S. was ‎‎"grossly biased" toward Israel.‎

Abbas spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh told Palestinian media ‎Sunday that Kushner and Greenblatt's visit is "a waste of time" ‎and that the U.S. peace plan is "doomed to fail."‎

He claimed the White House is trying to "separate the ‎Gaza Strip from the West Bank," and repeated that "without the ‎agreement of the Palestinian people and as long as an attempt to ‎circumvent the legitimate Palestinian institutions continues, the ‎meetings are destined to fail."‎

Despite this, Palestinian officials told Israel Hayom Sunday that officials in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab ‎Emirates, Egypt and Jordan, as well as top officials in the ‎Palestinian Authority itself, are pressuring Abbas to meet with the ‎American envoys. ‎

‎"Discussing the U.S. peace proposal does not obligate the PA to ‎anything, but it would be wise to hear the details before rejecting it ‎outright," one Palestinian official said. ‎

Abbas has conditioned any meeting with U.S. officials on ‎Washington rescinding its recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli ‎capital and canceling its embassy move there. ‎

Arab diplomats said the Palestinian leader is likely to ‎compromise and discuss the new ‎American peace plan, ‎albeit under protest.

‎"The statements by Abu Mazen [Abbas] and his associates in the ‎Arab and Palestinian media against the Trump administration plan ‎are intended for the Palestinian public's ears," a senior PA ‎official told Israel Hayom. ‎

‎"Abu Mazen doesn't have many options. Eventually, he will have to ‎climb down the tree, compromise, and accept the American plan. ‎This is just a proposal and all the parties have told him that he can't ‎automatically reject it before studying it," he said.‎

Another Palestinian official told Israel that the Palestinian Authority is wary of potential punitive action the U.S. may take against ‎Ramallah, especially given Trump's unwavering stance against ‎Iran and North Korea on nuclear weapons, and against the European Union and ‎other U.S. allies on issues such as trade tariffs.‎

‎"The Palestinian leadership is preoccupied with a power struggle ‎that is being waged behind the scenes over the post-Abbas era," ‎he said, referring to the ailing 82-year-old leader's ‎refusal to name a successor.‎

‎"Officials in the moderate Arab states and in Washington have ‎made it clear to Abbas that rejecting the U.S. peace plan and the ‎continued boycotting of Trump's envoys will come back to bite ‎them, and that this is a strategic mistake given President Trump's ‎hardline policies and the support he has among the moderate Arab ‎states."‎

A third PA official confirmed that senior Saudi and UAE officials have made it clear to Abbas that they support the ‎American peace plan and are willing to offer the Palestinians ‎diplomatic and financial guarantees to ensure they return to the ‎negotiating table.‎

‎"Abu Mazen has held quite a few conversations with senior officials ‎in Riyadh, Abu Dhabi, Cairo and Amman and he was told, in no ‎uncertain terms, that he has to at least listen to what the American ‎plan includes. He was also assured that he would receive their [the ‎moderate Arab states'] backing for any reservations he might have ‎about the plan," the official said. ‎

‎"The main message was that the Palestinian Authority had to listen ‎to the American proposal because Abu Mazen is in no position to ‎dictate terms like who he will or won't speak with. He will receive ‎the Arab nations' support as long as his decisions are rational and ‎strategic. ‎

‎"The direction in which Abu Mazen is leading the PA is diplomatic ‎suicide that the Palestinians are likely to regret for generations to ‎come. We have already seen that Trump is not ‎‎[previous President Barack] Obama. It's high time Abu Mazen understood that as ‎well."‎

Daniel Siryoti and Israel Hayom Staff

Source: http://www.israelhayom.com/2018/06/18/palestinian-authority-leader-under-pressure-to-end-trump-boycott/

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