Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Termites, Bigots and GOATs: Rationalizing Complicity with Anti-Semitism - Alan M. Dershowitz


by Alan M. Dershowitz

Those women and men who marched in the Women's March under the leadership of Linda Sarsour and Tamika Mallory colluded with anti-Semitism.

  • Consider the front page story in the New York Times Sunday Review, which singled out the Palestinian issue as "one of the great moral challenges of our time" -- ignoring Syria, Ukraine, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Chechnya, Tibet, Cyprus and many far greater moral challenges, which are largely ignored by the hard left.
  • Recall that Hitler was not elected by anti-Semites or because of his anti-Semitism. He was elected as the result of his economic and other policies by people who gave him a pass for his anti-Semitism because they approved of his other policies.
  • People who support Louis Farrakhan because of the alleged good he does for the Black community and despite his overt anti-Semitism are complicit in bigotry, and those who march under the banner of such bigots are only one degree removed from such complicity.

(Image source: Fox News video screenshot)

Those women and men who marched in the Women's March under the leadership of Linda Sarsour and Tamika Mallory colluded with anti-Semitism. These two leaders of the Women's March worship the most influential anti-Semite in the United States today, Louis Farrakhan. They claim to disagree with his crass anti-Jewish (and anti-gay and anti-feminist) preaching -- although there is reason to doubt this, as it relates to Jews -- but they admire him for his impact on elements of the Black community. They must understand that this impact includes influencing hundreds of thousands of Blacks to consider Jews to be "termites" and destroyers of the world. But they do not care. They regard him as great — Mallory has called him "the GOAT" ("Greatest of All Time").

Marching with these supporters of an anti-Semite is the equivalent of marching under the banner of David Duke, who inspires white supremacists with the same sort of bigotry with which Farrakhan preaches Black supremacy. Hitler inspired pride in Aryans, Mussolini made the trains run on time, and Stalin spread the wealth. But would the women who marched with Farrakhan's admirers have marched with these bigots?

What is the difference? The painful difference is that anti-Semitism is more tolerated on the hard left than other forms of racism. Moreover, anti-Semitism can mask itself as anti-Zionism -- singling out only the nation state of the Jewish people for unique opprobrium, an act which is itself a form of bigotry, although one that is acceptable on the hard left. Consider the front page story in the New York Times Sunday Review, which singled out the Palestinian issue as "one of the great moral challenges of our time" -- ignoring Syria, Ukraine, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Chechnya, Tibet, Cyprus and many far greater moral challenges, which are largely ignored by the hard left. The Palestinian issue receives center stage on the hard left, not because of how the Palestinians have been treated -- they did, after all, reject offers of statehood and the end of the occupation on numerous occasions -- but because of who is allegedly oppressing them: namely the nation state of the Jewish people.

Back to the marchers and their complicity with anti-Semitism. Recall that Hitler was not elected by anti-Semites or because of his anti-Semitism. He was elected as the result of his economic and other policies by people who gave him a pass for his anti-Semitism because they approved of his other policies.

People who support Farrakhan because of the alleged good he does for the Black community and despite his overt anti-Semitism are complicit in bigotry, and those who march under the banner of such bigots are only one degree removed from such complicity.

There must be zero tolerance for anti-Semitism by the left and right alike, just as there must be zero tolerance for other forms of bigotry. Everyone must pass "the shoe on the other foot test." If you would not march with leaders who declared David Duke to be "the Greatest of All Time" so, too, you must not march with leaders who declare Farrakhan to be "the GOAT."

Farrakhan is far more dangerous than Duke precisely because his anti-Semitism is given a pass not only by the hard left, but also by several African American members of Congress and even two former presidents. Would President Clinton have remained at a memorial service if one of those on the stage had been David Duke? Of course not. He would have marched out in protest. Yet he remained on the stage at Aretha Franklin's memorial service, sitting only a couple of seats away from Farrakhan, a man who believes he can have a successful career founded on racism, slander and hate. Years earlier, former President Barack Obama posed with Farrakhan and participated in his Million Man March. Would he have done those things with white bigots?

So, shame on those women -- both Jews and non-Jews -- who displayed tolerance for anti-Semitism by marching under the banner of leaders who support the dangerous and influential anti-Semite, Louis Farrakhan. None of their rationalizations or excuses justify their complicity with the very racism they claim to reject.

Alan M. Dershowitz is the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law Emeritus at Harvard Law School and author of The Case against the Democratic House Impeaching Trump, Hot Books, January 2, 2019, and a Distinguished Senior Fellow of Gatestone Institute.

Source: https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/13593/womens-march-antisemitism

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Watson Video: It’s Ok to Smirk - Paul Joseph Watson


by Paul Joseph Watson


Especially while wearing a MAGA hat.




In this new video, Paul Joseph Watson discusses the fake news media reports about a “smirking” Catholic high school student who, among other students wearing MAGA hats, allegedly harassed a group of Native Americans in DC. The reality turns out to be something very different. 




Paul Joseph Watson

Source: https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/272625/watson-video-its-ok-smirk-paul-joseph-watson

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Danon: Iran building terror network in Judea and Samaria - Arutz Sheva Staff


by Arutz Sheva Staff

Israel's ambassador to the UN tells Security Council Iran spends $7 billion a year funding terror in the Middle East.


Danny Danon
Danny Danon                                                                                                        Reuters


On Tuesday, the United Nations Security Council held a special session on the Situation in the Middle East, focusing on Israel's actions in the region.

At the meeting, Israel's ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon, revealed to the Council members that Iran is trying to act against Israel from within Judea and Samaria, including its annual budget dedicated to operating a terrorist network throughout the Middle East.
Danon addressed the Iranian missile fired at the Golan Heights from Syria, stating "Iran is exploiting the regime to conduct military operations against Israel, but we will respond with force and remove any threat to our people."


"The Iranian regime’s obsession with Israel is not just well-known. It is expensive. Seven billion dollars annually are directed toward the never ending attempts to destroy Israel. Follow the bloody trail of money starting in Tehran and you will arrive at the terror tunnels in Lebanon and Gaza and the weapons warehouses in Syria. It is now trying to infiltrate Judea and Samaria," the ambassador told the Council members as he displayed a map showing the extent of Iran's financial terror network in the Middle East

Ambassador Danon revealed Iran's plan in Judea and Samaria, stating: "With the help of Saleh Al-Arouri, Hamas’s Deputy Political Chief, and Saeed Izadi, the head of the Palestinian branch of the Iranian Quds Force, Iran is trying to turn Judea and Samaria into a fourth military front against Israel. The world's silence allows Iran to continue with its operations and aggression to undermine stability in the Middle East."

Danon called on the Security Council to recognize Hamas and Hezbollah as terrorist organizations and impose sanctions on them, adding that "weakening these terrorist organizations is the first step to dismantling the epicenter of terrorism that sits in Tehran."


Arutz Sheva Staff

Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/257986

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The Left’s Smirking MAGA Kid Hoax - Matthew Vadum


by Matthew Vadum

Progressives, lies and videotape.





A video posted online over the weekend showing a teenaged Trump supporter’s awkward reaction to having his personal space aggressively invaded by a loud left-wing agitator sparked a leftist-led social media meltdown that will not soon be forgotten.

Nick Sandmann, a student from Covington Catholic High School in Kentucky, was at the Lincoln Memorial Friday after attending this year’s March for Life.

Sandmann, a white, male, heterosexual, pro-life, Catholic Trump supporter wearing a red pro-Trump “Make America Great Again” baseball cap was a perfect target for the nation’s howling outrage brigades.

Video showed an elderly Indian man named Nathan Phillips, who turns out to be a radical left-wing activist, getting too close for comfort to Sandmann who at times stared back at him or grinned. The videos of varying durations that surfaced of the encounter all show the same thing. Sandmann simply stood there and took the abuse, which consisted in part of having a drum pounded loudly in his face, from Phillips without responding. Phillips later lied to reporters about the incident and called the high school kids “beasts.” He also said, “It was racism. It was hatred. It was scary."

Of course, it was none of those things, but getting a leftist to abandon his narrative is generally an impossible task.

Black radicals also participated in the incident at one of America’s most sacred spaces, yelling abuse at Sandmann and his classmates who responded with pep cheers. Leftists claimed the schoolchildren chanted “build the wall” as some kind of a racist insult but it never happened according to video footage.

Sandmann’s pleasant demeanor was taken by some to be an affront to Phillips, who claims to have served in the U.S. military at some indefinite point in the past.

But because Sandmann is a living embodiment of everything today’s Left’s despises –whites, males, straights, Catholics, and especially Trump supporters— somehow the young man’s remarkably restrained, mature posture turned into a threat to the republic in the minds of leftists.

Many left-wingers urged violence, up to and including the murder of the Kentucky high schoolers.

Islamic terrorism apologist Reza Aslan set the tone for exhortations to violence. "Honest question[,]” he tweeted. “Have you ever seen a more punchable face than this kid's?"

CNN contributor Bakari Sellers tweeted the young man was “a deplorable” and therefore “can also be punched in the face."

“Saturday Night Live” writer Sarah Beattie offered oral sex to would-be attackers. “I will blow whoever manages to punch that maga kid in the face.”

Failed comedian Kathy Griffin demanded the Covington kids be lynched and doxxed.
“Name these kids[,]” she tweeted. “I want NAMES. Shame them. If you think these fuckers wouldn’t dox you in a heartbeat, think again.”

House Budget Committee Chairman John Yarmuth, a Kentucky Democrat, demanded a ban on teenagers wearing MAGA hats after he viewed some of the video footage.

“I am calling for a total and complete shutdown of teenagers wearing MAGA hats until we can figure out what is going on,” Yarmuth tweeted on Sunday. “They seem to be poisoning young minds.”

Conservative lawyers have offered their services for free to the Covington victims. Many lawsuits against left-wingers and media outlets are planned.

While conservatives didn’t scream for the young students’ blood, many online personalities blamed the kids even though video evidence showed pretty conclusively that they did nothing wrong.

From the sidelines virtue-signaling conservative media figures desperate to be loved –or at least respected— by the Left, promptly attacked the children, in many instances without bothering to watch the videos of the incident.

National Review deputy managing editor Nicholas Frankovich wrote an op-ed titled, “The Covington Students Might as Well Have Just Spit on the Cross,” in which he absurdly likened Phillips to Jesus Christ and the high schoolers to his Roman tormentors.

Left-leaning former RNC Chairman Michael Steele instinctively sided with the wrongdoers. “His name is #NathanPhilips, an elder of the Omaha Nation and a Vietnam veteran. I stand with him. Where do you stand on bigotry?” he tweeted.

Weekly Standard founder Bill Kristol went after the innocent kids with gusto on Twitter.
“If some kid wearing a McCain 2008 cap had been filmed behaving this way, John McCain would have already called Mr. Phillips to express regret. And he would have used the occasion to remind his supporters they should treat others with respect. Will Trump do anything like this?”

Laid off Weekly Standard dead-ender Jim Swift metaphorically shot the schoolchildren in the back. "If I were the Bishop of the Diocese of Covington, I would humbly ask Mr. Phillips be the commencement speaker at a certain high School."

The frequently underwhelming S.E. Cupp upbraided the kids. She falsely claimed teens in MAGA gear mocked a Native American Vietnam veteran. “Unfortunately, that’s wrong. Adults model this very behavior all the time—on social media and on the street. And it's awful.”

And then there was this know-nothing take from Shoshana Weissman of the R Street Institute:
1) Mocking the veteran was wrong. Pro-life youth ought to have respected the dignity of every life.
2) Don't care who started it. The video is clear.
3) Doxxing is wrong, and kids develop later, which is why many promote juvenile justice reform. But they should face repercussions[.]
First, the children didn’t mock Phillips and it’s not clear he actually is a U.S. military veteran, as many have pointed out (and even if he turns out to be a veteran that doesn’t excuse his bad behavior.) Second, the video is not “clear,” at least not in the way Weissman claims. Third, the students should not “face repercussions.” They did nothing wrong.

For his part, Sandmann tried to clear the air.

He released a statement that he described as a “factual account of what happened on Friday afternoon at the Lincoln Memorial to correct misinformation and outright lies being spread about my family and me.”

Before the confrontation with Phillips, Sandmann “noticed four African American protestors who were also on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. I am not sure what they were protesting, and I did not interact with them. I did hear them direct derogatory insults at our school group."

The protesters called Sandmann and his classmates, some of whom wore MAGA hats, "'racists,' 'bigots,' 'white crackers,' 'fa**ots,' and 'incest kids.'"

"They also taunted an African American student from my school by telling him that we would 'harvest his organs,'" Sandmann added. "I have no idea what that insult means, but it was startling to hear."

Sandmann and his classmates didn’t like the verbal abuse being thrown at them so they asked their chaperone if it would be okay to shout school spirit chants.

He writes: "At no time did I hear any student chant anything other than the school spirit chants. I did not witness or hear any students chant 'build that wall' or anything hateful or racist at any time. Assertions to the contrary are simply false. Our chants were loud because we wanted to drown out the hateful comments that were being shouted at us by the protestors."

The repercussions from this leftist hoax will be felt for a long time.

And buoyed by this “success,” the Left will generate plenty more of them.


Matthew Vadum, formerly senior vice president at the investigative think tank Capital Research Center, is an award-winning investigative reporter and author of the book, "Subversion Inc.: How Obama’s ACORN Red Shirts Are Still Terrorizing and Ripping Off American Taxpayers."

Source: https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/272636/lefts-smirking-maga-kid-hoax-matthew-vadum

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Prayer Rugs at the Mexican Border: How Important? - Todd Bensman


by Todd Bensman

This article was previously published by the Center for Immigration Studies under the title "Notes on Prayer Rugs".

A prayer space in a Muslim house includes a traditional prayer rug, the Qur'an and prayer beads.

Last week, another firefight broke out over migration from Islamic countries to the U.S. southern border. This one was over President Trump's rather casual Twitter observation that, sort of interestingly, a media report said prayer rugs were found on the Mexico-New Mexico border. He obviously saw this report as a small, handy reminder of his mantra that border security is also national security.

The president's opponents lost their minds. Many of them saw the thing about prayer rugs as "trace evidence" of an as-yet-unproven suspected phenomenon or presence, like when hunters find the tracks of prey they hadn't previously known inhabited the area.

This was a silly, needless discussion that proves only one thing: the extent to which the American people, the media, and elected leaders remain ignorant about migration from Islamic countries despite overwhelming, prevalent, documented evidence to the contrary that has been in the public realm for at least a dozen years.

But still, for reasons unknowable, it just won't permeate.

Eratosthenes or Orbiting Astronauts

The pundits who responded so energetically to the president's casual citation of a news article need prayer rugs to prove the presence of border migration from Islamic nations about as much as astronauts orbiting the planet need Eratosthenes's calculations to know the Earth is round.

Their fury went straight to Eratosthenes rather than to the orbiting astronauts on a question asked and answered a long time ago already.

Outlets penned whole articles dedicated to wrongly stating that such migration isn't happening or, as one in Vox stated, was happening "at vanishingly small rates". A Washington Post piece said of the prayer rug report, in raising the prospect that Islamic nation migrants were reaching the border, that it was "similar to the claims of a conspiracy theory that has long been popular with the far-right and anti-Muslim figures and publications." The Post writer even went to the research length of listing "prayer rug rumors, their debunking, and their reanimation during border security conversations over the years."

The overwhelming gist of all the blowback was "Trump Lied Again!" and that it's not true migrants from Muslim-majority countries cross the southern border or that it's a national security issue.

But as I pointed out in a posting here very recently, that perception runs into the brick wall of facts on the ground and President Barack Obama's DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson, who believed the threat of land border-crossing migration from Islamic countries had become so grave by 2016 that he ordered a massive, government-wide initiative to counter it.

The Facts Are in Evidence; Debate over Them Is Better than Denying Them

We have long known that thousands of migrants from places where prayer rugs are used make it to the U.S. Southwest border every year because we have physically and personally met them. We no longer need to cite tracks in the dust or prayer rugs and then have arguments about trace evidence.

Because reporters (like me) have found actual live migrants from those places and interviewed them. Because homeland security professionals conduct interviews with them every week in ICE detention facilities. Because immigration lawyers and judges deal with hundreds of such migrants all year, every year. And because the government often publishes the numbers and nationalities of migrants from Islamic countries that show they consistently number between 3,000 and 4,000 annually.

Debate the Terror Threat, not the Existence of Smuggling Bridges over which Terrorists Have Traveled

The extent to which this flow is a terror threat, as both Obama's Democratic DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson and as a GOP-controlled House Homeland Security Committee task force firmly believed, is definitely a worthy debate to have.

But certainly not about whether the migration is even happening.

As long ago as 2007, I documented this migration by interviewing Iraqis at the border and on their way for a series of stories called "Breaching America" that Sen. John Cornyn entered into the Congressional Record. In those dark days, all the American public had was pretty much prayer rugs and trace evidence.

America's pundits and reporters are stuck there even though just last month, the Center for Immigration Studies sent me to Panama, where I found, interviewed, videotaped, and photographed migrants from countries where prayer rugs are ubiquitous.

And while it may be true that only one border-crossing migrant from Somalia has committed a vehicle-ramming attack (in Canada) so far, too many suspected terrorists have been caught at the southern border since 9/11 and also en route to it, since all it takes is a few to cause upheaval. Crossings by dozens of suspected terrorists and those on watch lists are well-documented, too (see here and here). And while it's certainly fair game to argue over whether the connective smuggling bridges from there to here should be ignored as a non-terror threat, or deeply monitored and disrupted per the Democrat Secretary Johnson, and to what degree, there's no doubt the bridge exists and is in current use.

Todd Bensman is a Texas-based senior national security fellow for the Center for Immigration Studies. For nearly a decade, Bensman led counterterrorism-related intelligence efforts for the Texas Intelligence and Counterterrorism Division. Follow Todd Bensman on Twitter @BensmanTodd

Source: https://www.meforum.org/57613/notes-prayer-rugs?utm_source=Middle+East+Forum

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The Real Russian Agent - Lloyd Billingsley


by Lloyd Billingsley


What a special counsel report might look like.




In anticipation of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report, which the public may or may not get to see, leftist Democrats have escalated the conflict. The original charge was that candidate Donald Trump colluded with Russia to steal the 2016 election. That was later stepped up to “cooperation,” and now Donald Trump as a full-blown Russian agent under control of the Kremlin.

As Johnny Rivers might say, Trump is Russia’s secret agent man, allegedly proved by Trump meeting with Putin, pondering an exit from NATO, firing James Comey and such. As he dealt with this charge on the January 15 “Ingraham Angle” on Fox News, former U.S. Attorney Joseph DiGenova said “Barack Obama is the real Russian agent.”

The statement drew little response in the establishment media and internet, perhaps the Trump-phobe squads believe it unworthy of response. On the other hand, it invites the question of what a report from a Mueller-style inquiry, with all the resources of the FBI and the 16-member “Intelligence Community” might look like.

In the 1995 Dreams from My Father, the 44th president’s founding narrative, he devotes more than 2,000 words to a happy-drunk poet he identifies only as “Frank.” In public appearances that year, the author identified Frank as Frank Marshall Davis, who was more than a poet.

The African American Davis joined the Communist Party USA after the Stalin-Hitler Pact and spent most of his adult life supporting all-white Soviet dictatorships, particularly the one headed by Josef Stalin. He deployed a planned famine to murder millions of Ukrainians and during the Pact, Stalin handed over German-Jewish Communists to the Gestapo. Toward the end of his life, Stalin revived Russian anti-Semitism, dubbing Jews “rootless cosmopolitans.”

If Stalin ever said or did anything with which Frank Marshall Davis disagreed, the American Communist never let on. He was in fact a Soviet agent and would have been arrested immediately in time of war. As Paul Kengor detailed in The Communist: Frank Marshall Davis: The Untold Story of Barack Obama’s Mentor, Davis’ FBI file was massive.

A Mueller-style report on POTUS 44 would have access to everything, including those in charge of Davis’ file. It would be interesting to learn how the FBI, in charge of counterintelligence, responded when “Frank” showed up in the narrative of a political Rising Star, as David Garrow’s massive 2017 biography dubs the Dreams author. Garrow also notes Davis’ Communist background and his side job as a pornographer.

The FBI would know that the Dreams author, previously known as Barry Soetoro, set up shop in Chicago. That’s where Frank did most of his heavy lifting for Soviet Russia, before they sent him to Hawaii in the late 1940s to help fellow Soviet agent Harry Bridges with his strike. The FBI could easily pick out the Communist Party cadres, who get only first names in the Dreams narrative.

One of those was James Bowman, father of Valerie Jarrett, who became POTUS 44’s closest adviser. Valerie’s father-in-law Vernon Jarrett was also a Communist. “Obama’s narrator” David Axelrod revealed his parents’ Communist Party ties in his 2015 Believer. All Communist Party USA members served the interests of Soviet Russia first and foremost. Those interests were also a priority of the Dreams author, who seemed so downcast by the downfall of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, unlike the millions liberated from their captive states.

In his first year in office, the special council would note, the Dreams author quickly scrapped missile defense for U.S. allies Poland and the Czech Republic. This was exactly what Russia demanded, and the Dreams author asked nothing in return. The report might also note how Secretary of State Hillary Clinton contrived to transfer U.S. uranium to Russia.

In 2012, the President of the United States told Russian president Dimitry Medvedev that he would have “more flexibility” on the missile issue after the election. Since that got little play in the establishment media, the special council report could look into it. The Dreams author also looked the other way when Russia grabbed part of Ukraine, and his choice for CIA boss was also of interest.

In 1976, John Brennan voted for slobbering Stalinist Gus Hall, candidate of the Communist Party USA. The special counsel might inquire how this guy got any job at the CIA. After all, running CPUSA candidates in U.S. elections is one way Russia intervened in the American political process.

The special council could also note whether the FBI or CIA had made any effort to cover up the Dreams author’s Communist connections, and who might have been responsible for any coverup. And of course, the report could look into his role in clearing his designated successor Hillary Clinton of numerous criminal charges and framing candidate Donald Trump.

All told, there is a great deal of evidence for Joseph DiGenova’s charge that “Barack Obama is the real Russian agent.” A Mueller-style investigation and report, with all the resources of the FBI and the intelligence community, could be a riveting read.

Meanwhile, with the report of Mueller and his Democrat-Clinton donors still awaiting revelation, the charge comes that Donald Trump is a secret agent of the Kremlin. A ballpark figure for the evidence is zero.


Lloyd Billingsley is the author of Barack ‘em Up: A Literary Investigation, recently updated, and Hollywood Party: Stalinist Adventures in the American Movie IndustryBill of Writes: Dispatches from the Political Correctness Battlefield, is a collection of his journalism.

Source: https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/272613/real-russian-agent-lloyd-billingsley

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Big Data’s Alliance with Big Media is a Threat to Free Speech - Daniel Greenfield


by Daniel Greenfield

The convergence of internet monopolies and the media threaten democracy.




The media is dying. Read about it in the media.

Facebook is pumping $300 million into the media. And that’s after the Google News Initiative shoved $300 million into fighting “fake news” and helping struggling media outlets like the New York Times.

These aren’t investments. They’re charitable donations by Big Data to Big Brother.

Take Jeff Bezos taking $250 million, a little more than the $215 million he makes a day, and using it to buy the Washington Post, not because it’s a good business opportunity, but a good political one.

The media isn’t worth investing in.

TV and cable news are the weakest holdings of the entertainment giants. That’s why AT&T is none too fond of the CNN white elephant it’s stuck with.

John Stankey, Time Warner’s new boss (and therefore also CNN’s new overlord) told CNN that the news network has a “special social responsibility”. That’s the same rhetoric about public service that has the emerging giant monopolies subsidizing media companies as a charitable cause, not a profitable venture.

Journalism is deader than disco. The shambling monster still squealing about the First Amendment while pressuring social media companies to censor its conservative opposition under the guise of a Russian conspiracy theory has as much to do with journalism as Nabisco’s ad agency or Biden’s spokesman do.

The media doesn’t report the news. It reposts tweets, recycles news stories from a handful of wire services and largely relies on outside interests to do its actual reporting for it. Sometimes that means outside hit pieces covertly embedded, like Fusion GPS’ Russian Trump conspiracy theory, other times it’s more openly financed, like NPR getting $100K from a pro-Iran deal group to report on the Iran deal.

Media once stood for the multiple mediums, print, radio and television, which required expensive infrastructure and allowed major corporations to reach a national audience with its mass media.

The internet 1.0 crushed the infrastructure advantage of the media and then internet 2.0 made the media dependent on a handful of social, search and commerce platforms for its traffic.

Staring death in the red digital eye, the media tossed journalism out the window as it went after two targets, President Trump and the social media giants that were starving it of ad revenue. The Russia conspiracy theory evolved to incorporate the entanglement between Facebook, Russia and Trump.

Soon, media outlets, desperately loathing and desiring Facebook, were filled with conspiracy theories explaining how Russian Facebook trolls had managed to swing the 2016 election. The conspiracy theories were nonsense. Actual analysis showed that the Russians had mostly targeted African-Americans on Facebook. But the media had dumped truth and the facts a thousand miles back.

The Trump-Russia conspiracy theories hatched by the Clinton campaign and distributed by the media were popular with the more hysterical breed of Democrat prone to marching around with pink hats and memorizing long Slavic names and their appearances at Trump hotels. They helped make the eyeball traffic of the New York Times, the Washington Post and CNN great again, albeit very temporarily.

But, for the media, the real target of the conspiracy theories was Silicon Valley.

Internet 1.0 had humbled the media. Internet 2.0 had crushed its business model. But where internet 1.0 had been a cheerful thriving anarchy, the web of the college campus, the wild realm in which anything was possible, internet 2.0 was a gated community owned by a handful of giant monopolies.

A fortune in capital had been flowing into Amazon, Google, Facebook and its ilk. Media outlets could only greedily lick their lips and report on the latest viral surfing gorilla video accident trending on some app whose value had gone from nothing to billions overnight.

The media’s growing thrust leftward wasn’t just ideological. It was also practical.

The old business model of serving consumers, while injecting bias into the stories and broadcasts, wasn’t working anymore. Why bother watching the news when you can scroll through your Facebook feed? The new media model would be loud advocacy. And it would be treated as a public service and financed by the very people making a fortune off viral surfing gorilla videos.

They just had to be talked into it.

Amazon had shown the way when its megalomaniacal boss, Jeff Bezos, bought the Washington Post. Soon, the formerly respected establishment paper, took on the tone and professionalism of a social justice blog, combined with blatant opposition research, hit pieces and election interference.

Silicon Valley had eaten the media’s business model. Now the goal was turning Big Data corps into the patrons of a media acting in the public interest. And public interest, meant the interests of the Left.


Like many welfare recipients, the media has made its case with a combination of truculence and victimhood. Its papers and magazines never go out of business because the public isn’t interested. They’re always “murdered” or “sacrificed” to corporate greed. If the media suffers a downturn, it’s a conspiracy. And social media giants must do the “right thing” and keep the media in business.

Or else.

The media is staying alive through the patronage of lefties convinced it will bring down Trump. But what happens when Trump is gone and there’s no Mueller or Russia conspiracy to pump for traffic?

The media is leveraging Trump conspiracy theories to win Silicon Valley patronage. But that’s just hooking one bad business model on another. When Facebook begins its deep dive, suddenly the hundreds of millions that it once casually threw about the way that Gilded Age tycoons lit cigars with hundred dollar bills will no longer be there for its media remoras. The media bet its future on Trump and FAANG stocks. It doesn’t have a Plan C. And that means that its future looks a lot like Myspace.

The media is becoming another Silicon Valley acquisition that will soon outlive its utility.

It’s out of touch with 99% of the country. But it’s in touch with the special interests, politicians and leaders who run the country. And so it can turn a silly conspiracy theory into the national agenda.

Content providers are snapping up content creators all around. But unlike cable providers buying their own studios, Facebook and Google don’t actually need the media. They make their money from user submitted content. The media’s business model has failed. It needs Silicon Valley sugar daddies. And in exchange the Silicon Valley sugar daddies buy into the national messaging arm of the Left.

Facebook and Google don’t need the media to reach ordinary people. Their own reach is as far beyond the paltry airport users glued to CNN or the EPA resistance members paging through the Washington Post on their iPhone X as the sun is to the moon. But what the media has and Silicon Valley needs is political access. The media’s eyeball range is laughable. But it’s a gateway to the political insiders.

Jeff Bezos bought the Washington Post because it sets the agenda in Washington D.C.
Facebook is pumping money into the media because when it doesn’t, the media runs Facebook hit pieces. It’s cheaper for Facebook to toss $300 million at the media than to fight each negative media hit piece. $300 million sounds like a lot, but Facebook’s summer stock market beating amounted to a $100 billion loss for the company and a nearly $16 billion loss for CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Silicon Valley isn’t trying to buy the media. Even the people who pour hundreds of millions into any social app used by at least a single millennial know that’s a terrible idea. They’re buying influence.

The media, as we used to know it, no longer exists. Journalism is a joke. Local news coverage occasionally functions, but the national news means millennials fresh out of J-school writing up trending topics that exist only to be shared on social media and forgotten 5 seconds later, or older reporters writing up hit pieces on behalf of shadowy special interests operating behind the scenes.

Real journalists don’t work for the media. They’re employed in the shadowy netherworld where information warfare is cooked up by organizations like Fusion GPS, which hatched the Russia conspiracy theory that has hijacked our entire political discourse. The media is where the informational bombs are detonated by reporters who are too dumb and lazy to be any more than cutouts for the real players.

The media circa 2018 is just the messaging arm for the Left. And occasionally anyone influential enough.

This isn’t a business model. It’s the death throes of a dying industry making a compelling case why it can’t and won’t function as a business, and has no alternative except existing as a corrupt charity case trading political influence for cash from the monopolies destroying the last vestiges of freedom.

The continuing power of the media reveals how little say Americans have in running their own country.

The media is monetizing its political access to Silicon Valley. The media will spew lefty talking points and Big Data will subsidize its efforts to take out President Trump and anyone else it doesn’t like. Social and search will give the media a financial lifeline and an illegal competitive advantage by censoring conservative media on its platforms under the guise of fighting ‘fake news’.

That will mean that the big internet monopolies will have even more of a monopoly over the public marketplace than ever.

And that makes the very idea of free speech into the punch line of a tragic joke with its own IP address.

The internet monopolies were a huge threat to freedom before they became entangled with the media. Now they may be the biggest threat to our political freedoms in the entire history of the United States.

Facebook, Google, Amazon and the other internet monopolies are financing the media and censoring opposition media. That provides them with an unprecedented stranglehold on the marketplace of ideas.

If the elected officials don’t meet this unprecedented threat, elections will cease to mean anything.


Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism.

Source: https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/272571/big-datas-alliance-big-media-threat-free-speech-daniel-greenfield

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Israel, US report successful test of Arrow 3 missile defense system - Lilach Shoval


by Lilach Shoval

Defense Ministry says trial, conducted early Tuesday morning in central Israel, marks an "important milestone in Israel's operational capabilities when it comes to countering future and current threats" • System tested as tensions with Iran run high.



The Defense Ministry conducted an Arrow-3 interceptor test 
launch on Tuesday|
Photo: Defense Ministry Spokesperson 

Israel and the U.S. successfully tested the Arrow 3 long-range missile interceptor system early Tuesday morning.

During the test, the Arrow 3's radar successfully identified a target. The data was then relayed to the command center, which launched the interceptor, which engaged the target.

Arrow 3 is designed to intercept ballistic missiles outside the atmosphere.

Arrow 3 comprises part of Israel's multitiered air defenses, which include Iron Dome, which is designed to intercept and destroy short-range rockets and artillery shells; David's Sling, which counters medium- to long-range rockets and missiles; and the Arrow 2 short- and medium-range ballistic missile interceptor.

The test was carried out at 6:44 a.m. at an IDF base in central Israel. Representatives from the Defense Ministry's Homa Directorate, which oversees the development of Israel's missile defenses; Israel Aerospace Industries, the Israeli Air Force and the U.S. Missile Defense Agency were present.

"The successful test marks an important milestone in Israel's development of operational capabilities to counter future and current threats," the Defense Ministry said.

Although the test had been scheduled in advance, it coincided with heightened tensions in the north.

On Sunday, after Israeli aircraft hit Iranian assets in Damascus, Iran fired a missile toward Israeli territory. The missile, which targeted the Golan Heights, was intercepted by Iron Dome.

Several hours later, Israel announced that it had attacked additional Iranian targets in Syria in retaliation for the missile attack.


Lilach Shoval

Source: http://www.israelhayom.com/2019/01/22/israel-us-report-successful-test-of-arrow-3-missile-defense-system/

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Politicians sign pact to maintain common decency in campaigns - Hanan Greenwood and Danielle Roth-Avneri


by Hanan Greenwood and Danielle Roth-Avneri 

America take note! Signatories vow to "avoid humiliating and distorting attacks," keep clear of "baseless accusations."

Lawmakers from both sides of the political divide signed a pact on Monday to avoid nasty campaign tactics.

The Election Integrity Pact was drafted by Tzohar, an organization of Israeli national-religious rabbis who want to modernize Jewish traditions and find common ground between secular and religious Israelis.

The pact stipulates that the election campaign will be "run in a fair and nonviolent manner in pursuit of the general good, in accordance with the political outlook of each party."

The agreement stresses that "the other side's viewpoints, however wrong they may be, shall not be distorted."

The signatories also pledged to "avoid humiliating and distorting statements against parties and political figures, as well as avoid baseless accusations."

The pact also makes candidates' relatives off-limits, unless the candidates themselves feature relatives in their campaigns. The signatories also pledged to make promises that "they assess to be implementable."

Lawmakers who have promised to uphold campaign decency include coalition chairman MK David Amsalem (Likud), Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (the New Right), MK Orly Levy-Abekasis (Gesher), Labor Party Chairman Avi Gabbay and Israel Resilience Party Chairman Benny Gantz.

"Engaging in a respectful discourse is paramount," Tzohar said in a statement.

"Making libelous statements is always wrong, but during election campaigns the dam often bursts, and we must be extra careful. After the election we should build a robust Israeli society rather than divide it. We are glad that many prominent lawmakers have heeded our call and signed the pact," Tzohar said.


Hanan Greenwood and Danielle Roth-Avneri

Source: http://www.israelhayom.com/2019/01/22/politicians-sign-pact-to-maintain-common-decency-in-campaigns/

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Spain: Catalonia's Continuing Jihad Problem - Soeren Kern


by Soeren Kern

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  • Police said that the jihadis were known to have committed at least 369 robberies and thefts in and around Barcelona. In addition to theft, the cell members sustained themselves through drug trafficking and document fraud.
  • "There is little doubt that the autonomous region of Catalonia has become a prime base of operations for terrorist activity. Spanish authorities tell us they fear the threat from these atomized immigrant communities prone to radicalism, but they have very little intelligence on or ability to penetrate these groups." — American diplomatic cable, October 2, 2007.
  • "The Salafist religious centers detected in Catalonia are opposed to any reading of the Qur'an that is not the most rigorous... and at the same time are demanding a 'purification' of Muslim believers from foreign influences.... This religious interference results in the... prohibition, especially for female teenagers, of attending schools with male students. This supposes a deep break with the values ​​of individual freedom that are guaranteed by the laws of Europe." — Intelligence report leaked to the Catalan newspaper La Vanguardia.

Police in the Spanish region of Catalonia recently arrested 18 members of a jihadi cell plotting an attack in Barcelona, drawing renewed attention to the continuing problem of radical Islam in Catalonia. Pictured: Police and medics tend to wounded survivors of a terrorist attack by Younes Abouyaaqoub in Barcelona, on August 17, 2017. Abouyaaqoub murdered 15 people and wounded 130 others. (Photo by Nicolas Carvalho Ochoa/Getty Images)

Police in the northeastern Spanish region of Catalonia arrested 18 members of a jihadi cell plotting an attack in Barcelona — and then released all but three.

The arrests have drawn renewed attention to the continuing problem of radical Islam in Catalonia, which has one of the largest per capita Muslim populations in Europe.

The cell — comprised of individuals from Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya and Morocco — was broken up on January 15, when more than a hundred police officers raided five properties in Barcelona and the Catalan town of Igualada.

The arrests were part of a year-long counter-terrorism investigation called "Operation Alexandra," launched in May 2017 after police received a tip that local jihadis were preparing an attack.

Catalan police, known as the Mossos d'Esquadra, said that the cell included five ringleaders who were in an "advanced process of radicalization with the aim to attack." The cell adhered to the "doctrinal principles" of the Islamic State and were "significant consumers" of jihadi propaganda.

The newspaper El Mundo reported that the cell was divided into two parts: The first part consisted of a dozen members dedicated to robbery and theft, the proceeds of which financed the second part: namely the five ringleaders, who were committed to carrying out an attack.

Police said that the jihadis were known to have committed at least 369 robberies and thefts in and around Barcelona. In addition to theft, the cell members sustained themselves through drug trafficking and document fraud.

According to El Mundo, cell members were dedicated to stealing passports and other identity documents from tourists in Barcelona, Spain's second-largest city and one of Europe's most popular holiday destinations. The stolen documents were introduced into black market counterfeiting networks and then used by jihadis to travel throughout Europe.

On January 18, the Audiencia Nacional (National Court), a high court specialized in terrorism offenses, revealed that a Spanish citizen of Libyan origin nicknamed "Rabeh," who was serving a sentence in the Catalan prison of Brians I for crimes relating to terrorism, had made contact with the cell, with the intention of carrying out an attack upon his release.

Seventy-two hours after their arrest, however, only three of the of the 18 jihadis remained in custody. Catalan media, citing police sources, reported that although all 18 cell members are radicalized, the 13 dedicated to theft and document fraud were released without even having appeared in court because it was not possible to prove beyond a reasonable doubt their intention to participate in an actual attack. They presumably have returned to their illicit livelihoods of pickpocketing, drug trafficking and document fraud. Two others were released on the condition that they promise not to leave Spain.

Barcelona has been on high alert since August 2017, when 22-year-old Younes Abouyaaqoub, a member of a 11-person jihadi cell based in Catalonia, drove a van into pedestrians on Las Ramblas, the city's main tourist thoroughfare. He killed 15 people and wounded 130 others. A few hours later, five members the same cell drove their vehicle into pedestrians in the nearby coastal town of Cambrils. In that attack, a Spanish woman was killed, and several other people wounded.

On December 23, 2018, the U.S. State Department warned of the risk of a jihadi attack in Barcelona during the Christmas and New Year's holidays. The security alert advised U.S. citizens to "exercise heightened caution around areas of vehicle movement, including buses, in the Las Ramblas area of Barcelona.... Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, and other public areas."

Catalan police later said that they were searching for a 30-year-old Moroccan bus driver named Brahim Lmidi who allegedly was plotting to travel to Barcelona and "run over" people with a "bus or something similar." Lmidi, who remains at large, is believed to be linked to a Salafist mosque in Vilanova i la Geltrú, a seaside town south of Barcelona.
  • On December 22, a 33-year-old Moroccan jihadi, identified only by his initials M.E.M., was arrested in Mataró (Barcelona) on suspicion of belonging to the Islamic State. The detainee had left Morocco in May 2014 to join the Islamic State in Syria. Police said he entered Spain in June 2018, after having returned from Syria through Turkey, Germany and Ukraine, among other countries. M.E.M. circulated in Europe without any documentation, following the usual practice of destroying passports and identity cards to avoid being identified by security forces. He was living as a squatter in Barcelona to avoid detection.
  • On December 18, Khalid Makran, a 29-year-old Dutch jihadi was arrested at a service station along the A7 motorway near Tarragona, south of Barcelona. Police were alerted after Makran covered the walls of his hotel room in nearby Vilaseca with jihadi propaganda.
  • On August 20, Abdelouahab Taib, a 29-year-old Algerian with Spanish residency, was shot dead by police after he entered a police station in Cornellà de Llobregat (Barcelona) carrying a knife and shouting "Allahu Akbar!" ("Allah is the greatest!").
  • On August 1, two Moroccan jihadis living in Mataró (Barcelona) were arrested for allegedly recruiting fighters to join the ranks of the Islamic State. Police said that one of the men, Mostafa Bechri Boulben, 46, used up to 10 mobile phones to communicate with combatants in Iraq and Syria.
  • On June 8, Spanish police called for the deportation of Mohamed Attaouil, president of the Imam Malik Islamic Cultural Center in Salt (Girona), because his continued presence in Spain posed "a significant and concrete risk to public safety." Attaouil was said to be "a benchmark" of the Catalan Muslim community and the "leader of the Salafi movement" in the region.
  • On May 11, Tarik Aazane and Rachid el Founti, two Moroccan jihadis living in the Catalan towns of Roda de Ter and Torello, were each sentenced to eight years in prison for the crime of terrorist indoctrination. The National Court (Audiencia Nacional) heard how the two men disseminated more than 600 videos, comments and images on social networks to promote the Islamic State. The men also indoctrinated two Spanish women in an effort integrate them into the jihadist movement. One of the women declared that she was "ready to die for Allah." The other woman, a former neo-Nazi skinhead, "underwent a process of aesthetic change, wearing clothes typical of the Muslim culture." Police said that she was "easier to convert to Islam because of her anti-Jewish sentiment."
  • On April 10, ten members of an Islamic State jihadi cell were sentenced to combined prison terms of nearly 100 years for a plot to bomb landmarks and behead infidels in Barcelona. The cell, composed of five Moroccans, four Spaniards and a Brazilian, was separate from the jihadi group that killed 16 people in Barcelona and nearby Cambrils in August 2017.
    The court heard how the jihadi cell — called "Islamic Fraternity, Group for Preaching Jihad" — was created at a mosque in Terrassa, a city located 30 kilometers from Barcelona, with the goal of creating a global Islamic Caliphate.
    Prosecutors said the cell's "sole purpose and motive was to fulfill and serve the objectives of the Islamic State and to carry out, at any time, an attack on institutions such as the police, banks or Jewish interests."
    The cell's leaders — Antonio Sáez Martínez (a Spanish convert to Islam also known as "Ali the Hairdresser") and Lahcen Zamzami and Rida Hazem, both of Moroccan nationality — reportedly believed they could reach paradise "by attacking institutions, entities, organizations and symbols of Western culture."
Independence-minded Catalonia has 7.5 million inhabitants, including an estimated 520,000 Muslims, who account for around 7% of the total Catalan population. By comparison, the Muslim population of Catalonia is higher — as a percentage of the total population — than the Muslim population of Austria (6.9%), Britain (6.3%), Germany (6.1%), Italy (4.8%) and Switzerland (6.1%), according to estimates by the Pew Research Center.

In some Catalan municipalities — Castelló d'Empúries (48%), Salt (40.5%) y Sant Pere Pescador (39%) — immigrants, mostly from Morocco, comprise nearly half the population, according to official Catalan statistics.

A five-page American diplomatic cable, dated October 2, 2007, described the link between mass immigration to Catalonia and the rise of radical Islam in the region:
"Heavy immigration — both legal and illegal — from North Africa (Morocco, Tunisia, and Algeria) and Southeast Asia (Pakistan and Bangladesh) has made Catalonia a magnet for terrorist recruiters. ... The Spanish National Police estimates that there may be upwards of 60,000 Pakistanis living in Barcelona and the surrounding area; the vast majority are male, unmarried or unaccompanied, and without legal documentation. There are even more such immigrants from North Africa. ... They live on the edges of Spanish society, they do not speak the language, they are often unemployed, and they have very few places to practice their religion with dignity. ... Individually, these circumstances would provide fertile ground for terrorist recruitment; taken together, the threat is clear....
"There is little doubt that the autonomous region of Catalonia has become a prime base of operations for terrorist activity. Spanish authorities tell us they fear the threat from these atomized immigrant communities prone to radicalism, but they have very little intelligence on or ability to penetrate these groups."
In his book Jihadism: The Radical Islamic Threat to Catalonia, Catalan terrorism analyst Jofre Montoto estimated that at least 10% of the Muslims in Catalonia are "hardcore believers in the doctrine of jihadism."

Many of Catalonia's problems with radical Islam are self-inflicted. In an effort to promote Catalan nationalism and the Catalan language, Catalonian pro-independence parties have for decades promoted immigration from Arabic-speaking Muslim countries, in the belief that these immigrants (unlike those from Latin America) would learn the Catalan language rather than speak Spanish.

An intelligence report leaked to the Catalan newspaper La Vanguardia revealed that half of the 98 Salafist mosques in Spain are located in Catalonia. The report showed that Catalan municipalities of Reus and Torredembarra (Tarragona), Vilanova i la Geltrú (Barcelona) and Salt (Girona) are centers for Salafism, a fundamentalist ideology that openly calls for replacing Western democracy with an Islamic government based on Sharia law. The report states:
"Salafist doctrine calls for a return to the origins of Islam with repeated messages that could be considered strongly contrary to a harmonious cultural integration with respect to equal rights between men and women....
"The Salafist religious centers detected in Catalonia are opposed to any reading of the Qur'an that is not the most rigorous... and at the same time are demanding a 'purification' of Muslim believers from foreign influences.
"This religious interference results in the demand for women to dress more conservatively and for the prohibition, especially for teenagers, of attending schools with male students. This supposes a deep break with the values ​​of individual freedom that are guaranteed by the laws of Europe. For men, as well as for women, the Salafist ideology could influence a radicalization and, in the end, become a problem of coexistence."
Pierre Conesa, a former senior French Defense Ministry official and author of a half-dozen books about radical Islam, said that Catalonia and Salafism are now inseparable:
"Barcelona is a city that has long sheltered a form of radicalization. For a time, the city embraced the Muslim Brotherhood, then Tablighi Jamaat [a Sunni Islamic missionary movement advocating a rigorous and literal interpretation of Islam] and now the Salafists.
"There is a kind of radical immersion in Catalonia. If London has long been the home of Londonistan [an epicenter of Islamism], Barcelona is a Salafist city, where a nucleus of Salafist radicalization has been formed over time in the image of Molenbeek in Belgium, or Trappes in France."

Soeren Kern is a Senior Fellow at the New York-based Gatestone Institute.

Source: https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/13579/spain-catalonia-jihadists

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