Friday, December 8, 2017

Why Trump Is Right in Recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's Capital - Alan M. Dershowitz




by Alan M. Dershowitz

President Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital is a perfect response to President Obama's benighted decision to change American policy

President Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital is a perfect response to President Obama's benighted decision to change American policy by engineering the United Nations Security Council Resolution declaring Judaism's holiest places in Jerusalem to be occupied territory and a "flagrant violation under international law." It was President Obama who changed the status quo and made peace more difficult, by handing the Palestinians enormous leverage in future negotiations and disincentivizing them from making a compromised peace.

It had long been American foreign policy to veto any one-sided Security Council resolutions that declared Judaism's holiest places to be illegally occupied. Obama's decision to change that policy was not based on American interests or in the interests of peace. It was done out of personal revenge against Prime Minister Netanyahu and an act of pique by the outgoing president.

It was also designed improperly to tie the hands of President-elect Trump. President Trump is doing the right thing by telling the United Nations that the United States now rejects the one-sided U.N. Security Council Resolution.

So if there is any change to the status quo, let the blame lie where it should be: at the hands of President Obama for his cowardly decision to wait until he was a lame-duck president to get even with Prime Minister Netanyahu. President Trump deserves praise for restoring balance in negotiations with Israel and the Palestinians. It was President Obama who made peace more difficult. It was President Trump who made it more feasible again.

The outrageously one-sided Security Council Resolution declared that "any changes to the 4 June 1967 lines, including with regard to Jerusalem," have "no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law." This means, among other things, that Israel's decision to build a plaza for prayer at the Western Wall — Judaism's holiest site — constitutes a "flagrant violation of international law." This resolution was, therefore, not limited to settlements in the West Bank, as the Obama administration later claimed in a bait-and-switch. The resolution applied equally to the very heart of Israel.

Before June 4, 1967, Jews were forbidden from praying at the Western Wall. They were forbidden to attend classes at the Hebrew University at Mt. Scopus, which had been opened in 1925 and was supported by Albert Einstein. Jews could not seek medical care at the Hadassah Hospital on Mt. Scopus, which had treated Jews and Arabs alike since 1918. Jews could not live in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem, where their forebears had built homes and synagogues for thousands of years. These Judenrein prohibitions were enacted by Jordan, which had captured by military force these Jewish areas during Israel's War of Independence, in 1948, and had illegally occupied the entire West Bank, which the United Nations had set aside for an Arab state. When the Jordanian government occupied these historic Jewish sites, they destroyed all the remnants of Judaism, including synagogues, schools and cemeteries, whose headstones they used for urinals. Between 1948 and 1967, the United Nations did not offer a single resolution condemning this Jordanian occupation and cultural devastation.

When Israel retook these areas in a defensive war that Jordan started by shelling civilian homes in West Jerusalem, and opened them up as places where Jews could pray, study, receive medical treatment and live, the United States took the official position that it would not recognize Israel's legitimate claims to Jewish Jerusalem.

It stated that the status of Jerusalem, including these newly liberated areas, would be left open to final negotiations and that the status quo would remain in place. That is the official rationale for why the United States refused to recognize any part of Jerusalem, including West Jerusalem, as part of Israel. That is why the United States refused to allow an American citizen born in any part of Jerusalem to put the words "Jerusalem, Israel" on his or her passport as their place of birth.

But even that historic status quo was changed with President Obama's unjustified decision not to veto the Security Council Resolution from last December. The United Nations all of a sudden determined that, subject to any further negotiations and agreements, the Jewish areas of Jerusalem recaptured from Jordan in 1967 are not part of Israel. Instead, they were territories being illegally occupied by Israel, and any building in these areas — including places for prayer at the Western Wall, access roads to Mt. Scopus, and synagogues in the historic Jewish Quarter — "constitutes a flagrant violation under international law." If that indeed is the new status quo, then what incentives do the Palestinians have to enter negotiations? And if they were to do so, they could use these Jewish areas to extort unreasonable concessions from Israel, for which these now "illegally occupied" areas are sacred and nonnegotiable.

President Obama's refusal to veto this one-sided resolution was a deliberate ploy to tie the hands of his successors, the consequence of which was to make it far more difficult for his successors to encourage the Palestinians to accept Israel's offer to negotiate with no preconditions. No future president can undo this pernicious agreement, since a veto not cast can never be retroactively cast. And a resolution once enacted cannot be rescinded unless there is a majority vote against it, with no veto by any of its permanent members, which include Russia and China, who would be sure to veto any attempt to undo this resolution.

President Trump's decision to officially recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital helps to restore the appropriate balance. It demonstrates that the United States does not accept the Judenrein effects of this bigoted resolution on historic Jewish areas of Jerusalem, which were forbidden to Jews. The prior refusal of the United States to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital was based explicitly on the notion that nothing should be done to change the status quo of that city, holy to three religions. But the Security Council Resolution did exactly that: It changed the status quo by declaring Israel's de facto presence on these Jewish holy sites to be a "flagrant violation under international law" that "the U.N. will not recognize."


President Donald Trump displays the signed "Presidential Proclamation Recognizing Jerusalem as the Capital of the State of Israel and Relocating the United States Embassy to Israel to Jerusalem," on December 6, 2017, in Washington, D.C. (Image source: White House video screenshot)

Since virtually everyone in the international community acknowledges that any reasonable peace would recognize Israel's legitimate claims to these and other areas in Jerusalem, there is no reason for allowing the U.N. Resolution to make criminals out of every Jew or Israeli who sets foot on these historically Jewish areas. (Ironically, President Obama prayed at what he regarded as the illegally occupied Western Wall.)

After the UN, at the urging of President Obama, made it a continuing international crime for there to be any Israeli presence in disputed areas of Jerusalem, including areas whose Jewish provenance is beyond dispute, President Trump was right to untie his own hands and to undo the damage wrought by his predecessor. Some have argued that the United States should not recognize Jerusalem because it will stimulate violence by Arab terrorists. No American decision should ever be influenced by the threat of violence. Terrorists should not have a veto over American policy. If the United States were to give in to threats of violence, it would only incentivize others to threaten violence in response to any peace plan.

So let's praise President Trump for doing the right thing by undoing the wrong thing President Obama did at the end of his presidency.

Reprinted from The Hill Copyright 2017 Capitol Hill Publishing Corp.

Alan M. Dershowitz is the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law, Emeritus, at Harvard Law School and author of "Trumped Up: How Criminalizing Politics is Dangerous to Democracy."

Source: https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/11509/trump-jerusalem-israel

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Trump to Abbas: Negotiate - Lev Tsitrin




by Lev Tsitrin

Finally, we have a president taking a different tack on the Palestinian issue from that of his failed predecessors.


Different observers see different motives for President Trump's U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital. 

European leaders such as the French president and the pope see in Mr. Trump a naïf desperately out of touch with sensibilities of the region, unwittingly adding fuel to raging Middle East conflicts. 

Muslim potentates like Erdoğan and Khamenei see an infidel stretching his greedy arms to a piece of holiness that by the natural order of things can only be in Islamic possession, under their sovereignty and control. 

Observers of the American political scene see a president chafing under a semi-annual obligation to sign a waiver on the congressional mandate to move the embassy to Jerusalem, which he sees as a loud public reminder of a broken election promise. Trump wants to get rid of this embarrassment, come what may.

To my eye, however, we see a highly intelligent move by a skilled negotiator who sees one of the parties to negotiations shirking the negotiation process.

For all the protestations by well meaning people that Palestinians merely seek a state with a capital in East Jerusalem, living in peace alongside Israel, such is not the Palestinian goal at all. The ultimate goal is making Israel disappear, by taking what they can while giving nothing back, thus simply making inroads and eroding Israel at opportune moments. For such policy to work, any change in territorial or political disposition – be it a result of violence or negotiations – should go in one direction: in Palestinians' favor. Under no circumstance whatsoever can there be a deal with Israel, because a deal means the end to any encroachment, to any advance at Israel's expense. It means failure of the Palestinian struggle; it means that Israel will stay. 

Needless to say, any negotiations endanger that goal, for they may result in an agreement – an unacceptable outcome, no matter what was agreed to. Hence, under no circumstances do Palestinians engage in meaningful negotiations. 

They will sure take bribes, like the nine-month freeze on settlement activity into which Obama strong-armed Israel at the start of his first term, or welcome the release, at the demand of John Kerry, of some seventy-five unrepentant terrorists who murdered Israelis. Kerry thought this would make Palestinians negotiate (not to mention, of course, hundreds of millions of dollars in aid going to Mr. Abbas, his loyalists, and Palestinian terrorists and their families).

None of this worked, making Mr. Obama sour on engaging in further peace-processing and passing the baton to the eager Mr. Kerry, who in turn failed miserably to bring Palestinians to the negotiating table. Their masses fed, clothed, and housed by the international community, and their leadership feted throughout the world, Palestinians are well positioned to exercise what Mr. Obama called (referring to his North Korea policy) "strategic patience."

Mr. Trump, with his almost year-long experience nudging Palestinians toward negotiations, undoubtedly learned that much: Palestinians will only take and will not give. They see negotiations as the gravest danger to their national aspirations of destroying Israel – for success of negotiations is the failure of their national dream. 

So what does Mr. Trump do? He tells the Palestinians in no uncertain terms: I mean business. You will either negotiate or be left behind. I will not be waiting for you. Make up your mind now.

How does he do it? By telling the Palestinians that their grand strategy of stalling on negotiations while grabbing what they can in the interim has been noticed and will not be allowed to proceed. Hence the moves in Congress to stop funding Palestinians unless they stop funding terrorists and their families. This did not produce the desired effect, hence Mr. Tillerson's putting Palestinians on notice that their D.C. office is in risk of getting closed. In response, Palestinians threatened to cut off contact with the U.S. negotiation team, hence, I think, President Trump's announcement of U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital. 

Half a year back, Mr. Trump signed the waver specifically to give himself the elbow room and test the waters, to see whether he can move negotiations along. Having seen whom he is dealing with, and perceiving that he will be duped like his predecessors if he keeps on their course, he turned to a different tack.

So if Mr. Abbas is able to learn, he will be well advised to heed the message in President Trump's speech, which I think can be reduced to a single word addressed to Mr. Abbas: "negotiate."

Lev Tsitrin

Source: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2017/12/trump_to_abbas_negotiate.html

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A Conyers Civil War in Detroit’s Dirty Dynasty - Daniel Greenfield




by Daniel Greenfield


John Conyers II is out. Long live John Conyers III.



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

After spending almost 60 years in Congress as a politician and a staffer, Rep. John Conyers II has to decide which of his many relatives to pass Michigan’s 13th congressional district to. It’s like King Lear, if Shakespeare’s fictional monarch had been forced to step down after groping a woman in church.

The 13th is a very nice district to inherit. Conyers has won it by 77%, 79% and 82%. Fidel Castro couldn’t ask for better elections. Whichever Conyers clan member gets it will be staying in Congress for 60 years.

And will inherit Rep. Conyers’ government Cadillac Escalade.

The Conyers fief stretches from Detroit to Highland Park to Garden City in Michigan’s lower peninsula. It’s majority African-American. A quarter of the population is unemployed. Median household income is $29K. Only 14% of the serfs on the Conyers political plantation even have a college degree.

It’s a typical Democrat plantation where only the politicians have a future.

One day, Rep. John Conyers took John Conyers III up a hill or toxic waste dump overlooking the parts of Detroit, the failed schools, murder hospitals and burned out buildings that are the legacy of the Conyers family and said, “Son, one day all this will be yours.”

When John Conyers II announced his retirement on a Detroit radio show, he did say, "My legacy can’t be compromised or diminished in any way by what we’re going through now. This too shall pass. ... My legacy will continue through my children."

When your legacy is nepotism, it really can’t be diminished. But nepotism is a better legacy than propositioning your staffers in your underwear or groping them in church.

“I have great family here and especially my oldest boy, John Conyers III, who incidentally I endorse to replace me in my seat in Congress,” John Conyers II declared. “We're all working together to make this country a better one, to make equality and justice more available."

This is what a civil rights icon looks like.

What better way is there to get “equality” and “justice” than by treating political offices as an inheritance to be passed on to your oldest son?

But while Rep. Conyers deeded the seat to his son, John Conyers III, also known as Civil Rights Icon Jr, just like King Lear’s legacy, the political inheritance of the Conyers Seat is already being contested.

By a Conyers.

Senator Ian Conyers (of Michigan, not America) smelled blood a few days ago. Ian is the grandnephew of Congressman Conyers.

“If he resigns or retires, I will run for the seat,” Senator Ian Conyers announced. "The work of representing the working families must continue.”

The working families in question are all named Conyers.

You can’t just wait around a McDonald’s parking lot waiting to be handed envelopes of sewage cash. You have to work hard for it.

Monica Conyers, John’s wife and (presumably) the mother John Conyers III, went to prison for accepting envelopes of cash in a McDonald’s parking lot to sway a $1.2 billion Detroit wastewater contract. The company that got the contract was Synargo, the largest processor of sewage sludge in the country, outside the Detroit City Council where Monica once served as president pro tempore.

In Detroit Latin, president pro tempore means you serve until you get convicted of something.

The last president pro tempore was George Cushingberry Jr, an associate pastor and bankruptcy lawyer whose law license was suspended twice while in office, and was caught with booze and pot in his car. Cushingberry not only, allegedly, put his girlfriend on his payroll, but the other guy with him in the car. He also had bold ideas for making Detroit great again like breeding the animals in the Detroit Zoo for sale, “massive marijuana production” while using “hemp cloth to make alternative seating" for cars.

But enough about Detroit’s bright political future of getting high on car seats and breeding ligers.

It’s about who inherits Michigan’s 13th congressional district and the groping of its staffers. The only clan that might challenge the Conyers family would be Clan Kilpatrick. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick used to sit in the 13th, but the Kilpatrick dynasty fell from favor when her son, Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, a fine Irish name, was convicted of wire fraud and racketeering. This was actually a step up from his previous notoriety for the mysterious death of a stripper and using the N-word in the State of the City address.

Her husband, Bernard, who had once compared critics of their son to the Nazis, was also convicted in a Kwame scandal involving Synagro.

And so that just leaves the Conyers clan to squabble over the 13th.

On social media, Ian has been rallying support over John with the hashtag #DemocracyMatters.

That’s the one thing that doesn’t matter in Detroit.

Unlike John Conyers III, Ian Conyers has a little more political experience. He was Obama’s regional field director and a treasurer for the 13th. And he’s a “rising star” in Michigan Dem politics.

That means he hasn’t been convicted of anything yet.

John Conyers III’s greatest experience in politics came when his father had to reimburse the government for his son’s “misuse of his taxpayer-funded Cadillac Escalade.”

Now III will inherit his father’s seat and his taxpayer-funded civil rights Cadillac Escalade.
If Ian Conyers doesn’t get the seat, that will deal a real blow to his ability to introduce a nationwide version of his racially insensitive mascots bill that would fine schools for having offensive mascots.

Meanwhile Monica Conyers accused Ian of not even visiting Rep. Conyers during his hospitalization for sex scandal related trauma. But, maybe there were offensive mascots visiting the children that day.

Whichever Conyers wins, the people of Michigan’s 13th can be confident that they will be represented by a Conyers. And maybe this one will be able to keep his pants on for a few of the next 60 years.

In Congress, Rep. Conyers chose Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee to read his resignation statement. He chose well. Rep. Jackson Lee is famous for demanding African-American names for hurricanes.

Like Conyers, she is a civil rights icon.

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee called Conyers, the “Dean of the United States Congress.”  Then she read his letter.

“I’ve been a champion of justice for the oppressed and the disenfranchised,” Rep. Conyers said in his humble missive. The actual disenfranchised in Detroit are non-members of his family.

Conyers touted his support for slavery reparations and tried to prove that he really respects women because he had once hired Rosa Parks. That would explain why Parks tried to move to the front of the bus. Like so many of his staffers, she was trying to get away from her boss.

Then Conyers complained that he wasn’t being “afforded the right of due process”, but affirmed the “progressive vision” which he owes to “my loving wife Monica” (who was sentenced to jail for bribery) and his son, “John III” who offers “hope to this generation of leadership, is committed to being an advocate for fairness and justice for all, and who never leaves my side.”

What better “progressive vision” could there be than infinite generations of the Conyers clan representing poor and bankrupt communities while enjoying the good life?

The progressive vision has bankrupted Detroit, but it’s been good for the Conyers clan.  And if it comes to pass, then in 2144, civil rights icon John Conyers VIII will be groping staffers in Congress.

Fairness and justice for all.

But maybe the “progressive vision” can be met with a dream. Maybe someone in Detroit even has a dream in which, to quote an actual civil rights icon, “justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream” and washes the ruling families of Detroit and the blue kingdoms into the gutter.

And then, “all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, ‘Free at Last! Free at Last!!’”

Daniel Greenfield

Source: http://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/268636/conyers-civil-war-detroits-dirty-dynasty-daniel-greenfield

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The Real Palestinian Response to Trump's Jerusalem Speech - Bassam Tawil




by Bassam Tawil

Why are journalists allowing themselves to be duped by the Palestinian propaganda machine, which spews hatred and violence from morning until night?

  • By misrepresenting the poster burning "ceremony" as a reflection of widespread Palestinian rage concerning Trump's policy on Jerusalem, the international media is once again complicit in promoting the propaganda of Palestinian spin doctors. The journalists, including photographers and camera crews, have been handed detailed schedules of events that will take place in different parts of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
  • When we sit in our living rooms and watch the news coming out of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, let us ask ourselves: How many of these "events" are, in fact, media burlesques? Why are journalists allowing themselves to be duped by the Palestinian propaganda machine, which spews hatred and violence from morning until night?
  • It is high time for some self-reflection on the part of the media: Do they really wish to continue serving as a mouthpiece for those Arabs and Muslims who intimidate and terrorize the West?
  • The "rivers of blood" we are being promised are flowing as we speak. Yet, it is the knife that Arabs and Muslims take to one another's throats that is the source of this crimson current, not some statement made by a US president. Perhaps that could finally be an event worth covering by the roving reporters of the region?
A short three hours after US President Donald Trump phoned Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas to inform him of his intention to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a number of Palestinian photojournalists received a phone call from Bethlehem.

The callers were Palestinian "activists," who invited the photographers to come to the city to document an "important event." When the photographers arrived, they discovered that the "important event" was a handful of Palestinian "activists" who wanted to burn posters of Trump in front of the cameras.

The "activists" waited patiently as the photojournalists and cameramen set up their equipment to get the "important event" on film. Shortly thereafter, the media was abuzz with reports about "angry Palestinian protesters taking to the streets to protest" Trump's intention to move the embassy to Jerusalem and his recognition of the city as the capital of Israel. The handful of Palestinians who were filmed burning the Trump pictures were made to look as if they were part of a mass protest sweeping Palestinian communities.


The handful of Palestinians in Bethlehem who were filmed burning pictures of U.S. President Donald Trump on December 6 were made by the media to look as if they were part of a mass protest sweeping Palestinian communities. (Image source: CBS News video screenshot)

The incident represents yet another example of the collusion between the Palestinians and the media, whose representatives are always more than happy to serve as mouthpieces for the Palestinian propaganda machine and provide an open platform for broadcasting Palestinian threats against Israel and the US.

Had the photographers and cameramen not shown up to the erstwhile "spontaneous" poster-burning event, the Palestinian activists would have been forced to quietly slink back to one of Bethlehem's fine coffee shops.

Yet, there was no worry on that score: the Palestinian activists are well aware that local and foreign reporters are starving for sensationalism -- and what better fits the bill than posters of Trump going up in flames in the middle of the birthplace of Jesus, on the eve of Christmas and as thousands of Christian pilgrims and tourists are converging on the city?

By misrepresenting the poster burning "ceremony" as a reflection of widespread Palestinian rage concerning Trump's policy on Jerusalem, the international media is once again complicit in promoting the propaganda of Palestinian spin doctors. Palestinian leaders and spokesmen strive to create the impression that Trump's policy regarding Jerusalem will bring the region down in flames. They also seek to send a message to the American people that their president's policies endanger their lives. In effect, the media has volunteered to serve the Palestinian campaign of intimidation. And the media convergence on the poster-burning farce in Bethlehem is just the beginning.

Now that the Palestinians have managed, with the help of the media, to burn these images into the minds of millions of Americans, they are planning more staged protests. The goal: to terrify the American public and force Trump to rescind his decision regarding the status of Jerusalem. This tactic of intimidation through the media is not new. In fact, it is something that has been happening for decades, largely thanks to the buy-in of the mainstream media in the West.

Now, Palestinian and Western journalists have been invited to cover a series of protests planned by the Palestinians in the coming days and weeks in response to Trump's policies. The journalists, including photographers and camera crews, have been handed detailed schedules of events that will take place in different parts of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The journalists have been promised more scenes of burning photos of Trump and US flags. Some of the journalists have even received tips as to the locations where "clashes" are supposed to take place between Palestinian rioters and Israel Defense Forces soldiers. In other words, the journalists have been told precisely where they need to be in order to document Palestinians throwing stones at the soldiers -- and the predicted the IDF response.

Here is the funny part. If, for whatever reason, the cameras are a no-show, the "activists" are likely to be as well. In the Palestinian world, it is all about manipulating the media and recruiting it in favor of the cause. And the cause is always bashing Israel -- with bashing Trump not far behind.

Yes, the Palestinians will protest in the coming days against Trump. Yes, they will take to the streets and throw stones at IDF soldiers. Yes, they will burn pictures of Trump and US flags. And yes, they will try to carry out terror attacks against Israelis.

But when we sit in our living rooms and watch the news coming out of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, let us ask ourselves: How many of these "events" are, in fact, media burlesques? Why are journalists allowing themselves to be duped by the Palestinian propaganda machine, which spews hatred and violence from morning until night? And, why are the journalists exaggerating and compounding the Palestinian threats for violence and anarchy?

First, many of the journalists want to appease their readers and editors by offering them stories that reflect negatively on Israel. Second, some of the journalists believe that writing anti-Israel stories paves the way for them to win awards from assorted professed "virtue-signaling" organizations. Third, many journalists believe that writing anti-Israel reports give them access to so-called "liberals" and a supposedly "enlightened" coterie who romanticize being "on the right side of history." They do not want to see that 21 Muslim states have been trying for many decades to destroy one Jewish state; instead, they appear to think that if journalists are "liberal" and "open-minded," they need to support the "underdog," who they believe are "the Palestinians." Fourth, many of the journalists see the conflict as being between bad guys (supposedly the Israelis) and good guys (supposedly the Palestinians) and that it is their duty to stand with the "good guys," even if the "good guys" are engaged in violence and terrorism.

Recently, more than 300 Muslim worshipers were massacred by Muslim terrorists while praying in a mosque in Sinai, Egypt. That tragedy was probably covered by fewer journalists than the orchestrated Trump-poster episode in Bethlehem. Where was the outcry in the Arab and Islamic world? Now, Arabs and Muslims are talking about "days of rage" in protest against Trump. Why were there no "days of rage" in the Arab and Islamic countries when more than 300 worshipers, many of them children, were massacred during Friday prayers?

It is high time for some self-reflection on the part of the media: Do they really wish to continue serving as a mouthpiece for those Arabs and Muslims who intimidate and terrorize the West?

Journalists are actively colluding with the Palestinian Authority and Hamas to create the false impression that World War III will erupt if the US embassy is moved to Jerusalem. Hundreds of thousands of Muslims and Christians have been massacred since the beginning of the "Arab Spring" more than six years ago. They were killed by Muslim terrorists and other Arabs. The bloodshed continues to this day in Yemen, Libya, Syria, Iraq and Egypt.

So, make no mistake about it: the "rivers of blood" we are being promised are flowing as we speak. Yet, it is the knife that Arabs and Muslims take to one another's throats that is the source of this crimson current, not some statement made by a US president. Perhaps that could finally be an event worth covering by the roving reporters of the region?

Bassam Tawil is a Muslim based in the Middle East.

Source: https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/11508/trump-jerusalem-speech-palestinians

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San Francisco Show Trial Sequel - Lloyd Billingsley




by Lloyd Billingsley


“Great Left Hope” lawyer for Kate Steinle’s killer now wants gun possession charge tossed.




Last week, a San Francisco jury acquitted seven-time felon Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, a repeatedly deported Mexican national, of all murder and manslaughter charges in the July 1, 2015, fatal shooting of Kate Steinle as she walked with her father and a friend on Pier 14. The jury found the confessed shooter guilty only of felony gun possession. Many observers decried the verdict as a travesty of justice, but they were mistaken if they thought it could not get any worse.

San Francisco public defender Matt Gonzalez now seeks to have Zarate’s gun possession charge dismissed. Gonzalez is contending the jury should have been told that “momentary” possession of a gun is not necessarily a crime. “If you possess it just to dispose of it or abandon it, it wouldn’t be a crime,” Gonzalez told reporters. The Steinle family and relatives of murder victims have new cause for outrage, but this gambit is consistent with Gonzalez and the San Francisco show-trial in which he co-starred.

Gonzalez hails from McAllen, Texas, and attended Columbia University on a scholarship. As he explained, “I think I was a product of affirmative action,” and ethnic preferences doubtless played a role in admission to Stanford Law School. In San Francisco, Gonzalez became known as “The Great Left Hope,” and a hero to Bay Area radicals. The La Raza Lawyers Association named Gonzalez Lawyer of the Year, and the Mexican American Political Association, a group with roots in the Communist Party, gave him the Bert Corona award, after one of the CPUSA’s most high-profile Stalinists.

In 2,000, after a decade as a public defender, Gonzalez gained election to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. In 2003, as board president, he commissioned a graffiti artist to spray SMASH THE STATE on his office wall, in “traffic cone orange.” As Gonzalez explained, “This is a sentiment I think all of us have had. You have to rally and find ways of opposing what you don’t like.”

In 2003 Gonzalez ran for mayor of San Francisco but lost to Gavin Newsom. In 2008 Green Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader tapped Gonzalez for vice president. “He has a great, steadfast commitment to justice,” Nader told reporters. On that score, the Steinle family and other relatives of murder victims have room for reasonable doubt.

In jury selection, Gonzalez and the prosecutor, assistant district attorney Diana Garcia, included three “immigrants,” quite possibly false-documented illegals. True to form, judge Samuel Feng sealed the identities of the jurors. So observers have grounds to believe that Garcia and Gonzalez both got the jury they wanted.

Garcia told the court Zarate was playing his own “secret version of Russian roulette,” and thus parroted the defense’s contention that the shooting was all a matter of chance. As it happens, in Russian roulette a shooter loads one bullet into a six-shot revolver, spins the cylinder, then puts the gun to his own head and pulls the trigger.

In a central fact of the case, Zarate did not aim the gun at himself but fired in the direction of Kate Steinle. In another established fact, the bullet struck her in the lower back and tore through her abdominal aorta. This happened in broad daylight, but as in In the Heat of the Night, they had the body which was dead.

Garcia Zarate confessed to firing the shot and had gunpowder residue on his hands. After firing, he tossed the gun in the water. He said he had found the stolen weapon wrapped in a cloth and that it discharged by itself, both utterly unbelievable claims. Even so, the politically correct jury found the career criminal not guilty of murder and manslaughter.

Any observer could be forgiven for believing that prosecution and defense both got the outcome they wanted. Unlike Stalin’s trials of the old Bolsheviks, and Fidel Castro’ trial of General Arnaldo Ochoa, this show trial aimed to establish innocence for the guilty, and the dynamics of the left were on full display.

Denunciations of “gun violence” were nowhere in evidence and expressions of sympathy for the Steinle family proved pathetically weak. As Arthur Koestler said, on the left the truth is spoken with loathing and falsehood with love. On the left, as Orwell had it in Animal Farm, rats are comrades, and criminals are victims of capitalist society.

In the view of Gonzalez, society is progressing toward a social justice paradise ruled by a wise elite that knows what’s best for all. In this inexorable progress, determined by history, some people are going to have to die. As Bertolt Brecht told Sidney Hook about Stalin’s victims, “the more innocent they are, the more they deserve to be shot.”

Out for a summer-day walk with her father and a friend, Kate Steinle was a completely innocent victim, gunned down by a career criminal who was not even supposed to be in the country but found special protection in the sanctuary city of San Francisco, part of the sanctuary state of California. As defense attorney Francisco Ugarte said, the verdict was a “vindication for the rights of immigrants.”

Since Donald Trump mentioned the case, former vice-presidential candidate Matt Gonzalez had to establish the complete innocence of the shooter. That explains the effort of “The Great Left Hope” to have his client’s felony gun possession conviction tossed. Any observer of the case could believe it probably will be.

Lloyd Billingsley is the author of Barack ‘em Up: A Literary Investigation, and Bill of Writes: Dispatches from the Political Correctness Battlefield.

Source: http://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/268637/san-francisco-show-trial-sequel-lloyd-billingsley

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Jewish students slam UC Berkeley lecturer's anti-Semitic tweets - JTA




by JTA

Jewish groups call on university to take action against lecturer who accused Jews of rape, murder, and organ theft.

JTA - In a letter to the university administration, the groups said Berkeley had not gone far enough in addressing the tweets by Hatem Bazian, a lecturer in the Department of Asian American and Asian Diaspora studies.

“While we fully support academic freedom and free speech, we believe Bazian’s record is severe enough to warrant more than just condemnation,” said the letter. “We also know that there is a precedent for the removal of non-tenured faculty who promote hate on social media and elsewhere.”

The letter was signed by several groups, including Chabad Jewish Student Group at UC Berkeley, Bears for Israel, Berkeley Hillel and Tikvah: Students for Israel, Fox News reported.

Bazian has come under fire for a number of tweets targeting Jews. One tweet that Bazian shared on the social media platform had a picture of a man with sidelocks and a black hat with the message: “Mom, look! I is chosen! I can now kill, rape, smuggle organs and steal the land of Palestinians ‘Yay’ #Ashke-Nazi.”

Another showed an image of North Korea’s leader wearing a yarmulke with the words “God chose me,” and the message: “I just converted all of North Korea to Judaism. Donald Tlump (sic): Now my nukes are legal and I can annex South Korea and you need to start paying me 34 billion a year in welfare.”

Bazian apologized for the tweets in a Facebook message, saying “the image is offensive and does not represent my views or the anti-racist work that I do including fighting anti-Semitism in partnership with progressive Jewish groups that express solidarity with Palestine’s rights to self-determination and have a strong track record on countering Islamophobia.”

The university also condemned Bazian, saying the tweet represented “unacceptable anti-Semitism” that “clearly crossed the line.”

But Jewish students believe the university should go further.

“While I believe that the university condemning Bazian’s actions is a great first step in combatting this issue, I don’t think enough was done to make sure it does not happen again,” Adah Forer, co-president of Tikvah: Students for Israel, told Fox News.

In an op-ed Tuesday in the Berkeley student newspaper, Forer and two other Tikvah leaders called for further action against Bazian.

“If universities want to define the lines between hate speech and politics, they need to hold their instructors accountable when they cross the lines,” the students wrote. “Do not sweep this incident up along with all the others. We cannot reward Bazian for this behavior. Bazian must go.”


JTA

Source: https://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/239024

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Global Islamophobia Follows Trump’s Embassy Move - Robert Spencer




by Robert Spencer


Why would anyone think Muslims would react violently?




President Trump displayed more courage and integrity Wednesday than Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama ever did when he ended twenty-two years of waivers postponing the U.S. Embassy to Israel’s move to Jerusalem, declared that the U.S. recognized that Jerusalem was Israel’s capital, and announced that preparations for the embassy move would begin forthwith. And the world reacted with…Islamophobia.

“Today,” Trump said, “we finally acknowledge the obvious. That Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. This is nothing more or less than a recognition of reality. It is also the right thing to do. It’s something that has to be done.” He added: “This decision is not intended in any way to reflect a departure from our strong commitment to facilitate a lasting peace agreement. We want an agreement that is a great deal for the Israelis and a great deal for the Palestinians….The United States remains deeply committed to helping facilitate a peace agreement that is acceptable to both sides. I intend to do everything in my power to help forge such an agreement.”

Nonetheless, the reaction was predictable. Pope Francis obliquely denounced the move, saying: “I appeal strongly for all to respect the city’s status quo, in accordance with the relevant UN resolutions.” A spokesman for German Chancellor Angela Merkel said: “We do not support President Trump.” French President Emmanuel Macron said that Trump’s move was “regrettable.” British Prime Minister Theresa May called the move “unhelpful for peace prospects.”

Why were all these leaders, and many more, lining up against the move? Because Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas “warned of the dangerous consequences such a decision would have to the peace process and to the peace, security and stability of the region and of the world.” And Jordan’s King Abdullah said the move would “undermine efforts to resume the peace process.”

Egypt’s President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi urged Trump “not to complicate the situation in the region.” Saudi Arabia’s King Salman got to the heart of the matter when he said that the move “would constitute a flagrant provocation of Muslims, all over the world.” Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag warned on Twitter: “Declaring Jerusalem a capital is disregarding history and the truths in the region, it is a big injustice/cruelty, shortsightedness, foolishness/madness, it is plunging the region and the world into a fire with no end in sight.”

Those threats and others made the likes of Merkel, Macron, May and Pope Francis quail. They’re afraid that now that Trump has declared Jerusalem to be Israel’s capital, Muslims around the world will respond by rioting and killing innocent people. That is, after all, what Abbas means by “dangerous consequences,” and Bozdag by “a fire with no end in sight.”

But – the Islamophobia! Are Merkel, Macron, May and the Pope actually suggesting that we must tiptoe and walk on eggshells around Muslims, lest they react violently to the slightest “provocation” and innocent people get killed? All four of them would vie with one another to be the first in line to insist that Islam is a religion of peace and tolerance. So how can they be thinking that Muslims will react in any other way to Trump’s announcement than with calm, equanimity, and a renewed determination to return to the negotiating table?

If any other people had assumed that Muslims would riot and kill over this announcement or any other, May, Merkel, Macron and the Mad Pontiff would be the first to denounce them for “Islamophobia.” But since they are the guilty parties in this case, I will have to do the job: I hereby point the finger and utter the J’accuse to all four of them, and any other non-Muslim leader, who is warning today of the imminent danger caused by this “provocation”: you are revealing your “Islamophobia,” and contravening your own stated principles.

You are also admitting, inadvertently, that you know the truth: that the numerous incitements to violence and hatred in the Qur’an and Sunnah do tend to lead to Muslims behaving violently at the drop of a hat, or the move of an embassy. If this be “Islamophobia” to point out and oppose, then every sane person should be an “Islamophobe.” This is the case I make in my new book Confessions of an Islamophobe, the book that demonstrates that everyone who cares for human rights and free societies should be an “Islamophobe.” Get your copy here.
 

Robert Spencerr is the director of Jihad Watch and author of the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book is Confessions of an Islamophobe. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.

Source: http://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/268652/global-islamophobia-follows-trumps-embassy-move-robert-spencer

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Utah 'Monument' Was a Reward to a Clinton Donor - Daniel John Sobieski




by Daniel John Sobieski

Trump's executive order on Utah lands corrects yet another error by a Democratic president, this time Bill Clinton.

The shrinking in size of two national monuments in Utah by President Trump through executive order was a long overdue rebuke to federal land grabs that have enabled federal control of vast swaths of American land, particularly in the West. As the New York Times noted in 2016:
The United States government owns 47 percent of all land in the West. In some states, including Oregon, Utah and Nevada, the majority of land is owned by the federal government. Of course, it used to own nearly all of it….
East of the Mississippi… the federal government owns only 4 percent of land.
Part of that discrepancy is due to the vagaries of the Western expansion into the sparely populated frontier. Part of it is due to the desires of environmentalists to turn America into a save-the-earth postcard -- take pictures and don’t touch. President Trump, who has unlocked much of America’s resources that were formerly held hostage by greenies and others, has decided to return to the people of Utah control of and decision-making power over the land of Utah, so you no longer need permission from a Beltway bureaucrat to pick up a rock and move it one foot to the left:
President Trump signed two proclamations Monday that shrink federally protected lands in Utah by about 2 million acres -- the largest rollback of national monument designations in history.
The Bears Ears National Monument will shrink 85% to 201,876 acres, and the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument will be cut by 39% to 1 million acres…
Trump said previous presidents overstepped their authority in declaring vast tracts of western lands off-limits, abusing the "purpose, spirit and intent" of a 1906 law known as the Antiquities Act. That law requires presidents to limit the monument designation to "the smallest area compatible with proper care and management of the objects to be protected."
"These abuses of the Antiquities Act give enormous power to faraway bureaucrats at the expense of the people who actually live here, work here, and make this place their home," Trump said in Salt Lake City Monday.
One of those presidents was one William Jefferson Clinton. Although the Trump orders only refer to lifting restrictions on motorized vehicles and grazing rights, much of the land involved is energy-rich and was put off limits by President Clinton to deprive Americans access to those resources and to reward a political donor.

A large part of America’s energy dependence on foreign sources can be traced back to September 18, 1996, when Hillary's co-president hubby Bill Clinton stood on the edge of the Grand Canyon on the Arizona side and signed an executive proclamation making 1.7 million acres of Utah a new national monument, the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument:
President Clinton officially set aside 1.7 million acres of Utah canyon lands Wednesday as a national monument, with some concessions to Utah authorities who complained the move would stunt the local economy and block a job-generating coal mine.
Standing against the sweeping backdrop of the Grand Canyon, Clinton declared that in creating the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument "we are keeping faith with the future... On this remarkable site, God's handiwork is everywhere."
But officials trod carefully around the issue of the planned coal mine, which was to be dug by Andalex Resources, a Dutch company, on a leased site on the Kaiparowits Plateau, considered one of the new monument's most remote and valuable sites. Under current plans, 50% of the coal mined from the plateau would be exported from the Port of Los Angeles.
In his remarks, Clinton implied that he intended to block the mine, which some have said could produce high quality coal with a value of $1 trillion.
So why would he dedicate a Utah monument while standing in Arizona? Well, this federal land grab was done without any consultation with the governor of Utah or any member of the Utah congressional delegation or any elected official in the state. The state already had six national monuments, two national recreation areas, and all or part of five national forests. Three-quarters of Utah was in already in federal hands.

It was sold as a move to protect the environment. At the time the Clintons were worried that Ralph Nader’s presence on the ballot in a few Western states would draw green votes from Clinton in a race that promised to be close after the GOP retook Congress two years earlier.
Bill Clinton's unilateral land grab in Utah declaring 1.7 million acres a national monument and placing off-limits to an energy starved United States up to 62 billion tons of environmentally safe low sulfur coal worth $1.2 trillion that could have been mined with minimal surface impact was in fact a political payoff to the family of James Riady.

James Riady was the son of Lippo Group owner Mochtar Riady. Young James was found guilty of and paid a multi-million dollar fine for funneling more than $1 million in illegal political contributions through Lippo Bank into various American political campaigns, including Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential run. Connect the dots. Riady’s relationship between the Clintons, would be long and corrupt, even extending to donations to the Clinton Foundation.

Clinton took off the world market the largest known deposit of clean-burning coal. Who owned and controlled the second-largest deposit in the world? The Indonesian Lippo Group of James Riady. It is found and strip-mined on the Indonesian island of Kalamantan.
The Utah reserve contains the kind of low-sulfur, low-ash, and therefore low-polluting coal the likes of which can be found in only a couple of places in the world. It burns so cleanly that it meets the requirements of the Clean Air Act without additional technology.
“The mother of all land grabs,” Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said at the time. Hatch has called what was designated as the Grande Staircase of the Escalante National Monument the “Saudi Arabia of coal.”

When Clinton signed the proclamation, he promised to exchange other federal lands for the land that was taken. Hatch said a fair exchange was impossible, since no other land in Utah had a trillion dollars worth of clean coal.

Rep. James Hansen (R-UT) pointed out that a large portion of the coal-rich Kaiparowits plateau within the monument belonged to the schoolchildren of Utah. When Utah became a state in 1896, about 220,000 acres were set aside to benefit the schools of Utah. Upon the state's founding, a trust fund was created to collect and hold directly for the benefit of the state schools all the revenues generated from developing this land.

Margaret Bird, trust officer for the fund, said that because the land will not be developed, the schoolchildren of Utah stood to lose as much as $1 billion over the next 50 years. Phyllis Sorensen, head of the Utah chapter of the National Education Association, called Clinton's action "felonious assault," charging that "they are stealing from the schoolchildren of Utah." Stealing from children to reward Indonesian billionaire donors is a move typical of the Clintons.

Before there was the pay-for-play Clinton Foundation, and the putting up of American national security for sale in the Uranium One deal with Russia, there was Bill Clinton creating the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, a monument to Bill and Hillary’s monumental corruption. 



Daniel John Sobieski is a freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in Investor’s Business Daily
Human Events, Reason Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.


Source: http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2017/12/utah_monument_was_a_reward_to_a_clinton_donor.html

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Homeless Swedes Out in the Cold - Bruce Bawer




by Bruce Bawer

Marinated from birth in multiculturalism, millions of Scandinavian citizens dare not demand what they have coming to them -- what they have paid for, what they deserve -- lest they be viewed by others, and even by themselves, as bigots

  • One reason there are so many immigrants in Sweden, both legal and illegal, is that the country's welfare system is a bonanza for foreigners. Far from not being covered by the system, immigrants often enjoy preferential treatment
  • These Swedes should not be sleeping on the streets. The Scandinavian welfare states were founded on a compact between the citizens and their government: the people would pay outrageously high taxes, and in return their government would guarantee them a magnificent safety net should they get sick or get fired. But ever since these countries chose to open their doors to mass Muslim immigration, that compact has been broken.
  • A state-employed paper-pusher who gives citizens something for which they have already paid can hardly feel particularly virtuous, whereas handing out free stuff to aliens who have done absolutely nothing to deserve it can make that same government paper-pusher feel like a world-class Good Samaritan.
  • Even more shattering is that millions of those Scandinavian citizens accept it. Marinated from birth in multiculturalism, millions of them dare not demand what they have coming to them -- what they have paid for, what they deserve -- lest they be viewed by others, and even by themselves, as bigots.
The other day, I reported about the Church of Sweden's strenuous efforts to appease Islam. Now comes the news that from December 15 to March 15, churches in the diocese of Gothenburg will be used at night as shelters for the homeless. Lovely idea. But there is a catch. The only homeless people who will be allowed in are foreigners -- either immigrants from elsewhere in the EU, who are by definition legal, or illegal immigrants from outside the EU. In other words, native Swedes need not apply, even though the initiative is being paid for by taxpayer money.


A man begs on the street in Lund, Sweden, July 23, 2013. (Image source: Sigfrid Lundberg/Flickr)

The argument for this policy -- which represents an expansion and formalization of a practice that began two winters ago -- is that it is designed to help people who are not covered by the Swedish welfare system. But this argument does not hold up. One reason there are so many immigrants in Sweden, both legal and illegal, is that the country's welfare system is a bonanza for foreigners. Far from not being covered by the system, immigrants often enjoy preferential treatment. Last fall, for example, it was reported that several Swedish municipalities were passing over hardworking citizens who had waited several years to rent government-owned housing, and were giving the homes instead -- for free -- to unemployed, newly-arrived immigrants. Some Swedes actually stirred from their torpor and angrily criticized this policy, but the protest was to no avail: the Swedish Parliament had passed a law compelling local governments to put foreigners at the top of their waiting lists.

That the Swedish Parliament could pass such a law is, of course, a scathing indictment of its welfare system's priorities. So is the fact that there are, as it happens, a great many ethnic Swedes living and begging on the streets of its cities, and -- in the winter -- huddling in the doorways of stores and offices, wrapped in layers of blankets at night, in hope of keeping alive in the subfreezing cold. The same disgraceful situation can be observed in the major cities of Norway and Denmark.

These Swedes should not be on the streets. The Scandinavian welfare states were founded on a compact between the citizens and their government: the people would pay outrageously high taxes, and in return their government would guarantee them a magnificent safety net should they get sick or get fired. But ever since these countries chose to open their doors to mass Muslim immigration, that compact has been broken.

Yes, the citizens are still being forced to pay for the welfare system -- but that system no longer has their backs. The people in authority, from the highest-ranking national leaders down to the lowest local bureaucrats, would seem to have forgotten for whom they work. In a way, it makes sense: After all, a state-employed paper-pusher who gives citizens something for which they have already paid can hardly feel particularly virtuous, whereas handing out free stuff to aliens who have done absolutely nothing to deserve it can make that same government paper-pusher feel like a world-class Good Samaritan.

What is even more shattering than this state of affairs is that millions of those Scandinavian citizens accept it. Marinated from birth in multiculturalism, millions of them dare not demand what they have coming to them -- what they have paid for, what they deserve -- lest they be viewed by others, and even by themselves, as bigots.

Fortunately, not all Scandinavians fit this description. When the alternative news website Samnytt reported that the churches in Gothenburg would be turning away homeless people who belong to that church in order to accommodate members of a religion that views Christianity as an abomination, dozens of readers reacted with outrage. "The road to hell is paved with good intentions," wrote one. "The hatred toward ethnic Swedes knows no bounds," wrote another. A third suggested that the churches of Gothenburg will soon, in any case, be converted into mosques -- minarets and all.

At present, alas, that seems like the safe bet.


Bruce Bawer is the author of the new novel The Alhambra (Swamp Fox Editions). His book While Europe Slept (2006) was a New York Times bestseller and National Book Critics Circle Award finalist.

Source: https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/11503/sweden-homeless

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