Friday, March 8, 2019

Rank-and-file Dems revolt against Pelosi over resolution to condemn anti-Semitism - Gregg Re


by Gregg Re

-- while Omar remains on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Democrats say they have no plans to oust her.




House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is "taken aback" by the growing dissent and anger among rank-and-file Democrats over a possible resolution to formally condemn anti-Semitism, a Democratic source told Fox News on Wednesday -- highlighting Pelosi's tenuous grip on control over the House and underscoring the growing power of the party's nascent far-left progressive wing.
Pelosi even reportedly walked out of a meeting Wednesday with Democrat House members, setting down her microphone and telling attendees, “Well if you're not going to listen to me, I’m done talking."
The stalled resolution originated after freshman Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, for at least the second time in recent months, ignited an uproar for echoing tropes critics have deemed anti-Semitic. In February, she suggested on Twitter that supporters of Israel have been bought. The congresswoman then accused American supporters of Israel of pushing people to have “allegiance to a foreign country.”

Omar -- who also tweeted in 2012 that "Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel" -- refused to address questions on Wednesday about accusations that she’s anti-Semitic.

Meanwhile, debate over how to address her latest remarks has overtaken House Democrats in recent days.

A frustrated senior House Democratic aide told Fox News on Tuesday: "Here we are again, fighting with ourselves. I've spent another week dealing with this and not on policy."

A vote on the resolution, which was originally planned for earlier this week, did not appear on the House's official docket for Thursday.

President Trump, turning to Twitter on Wednesday, highlighted Democrats' troubles getting the resolution passed. He wrote that their failure to "take a stronger stand" against anti-Semitism was "shameful."
Fox News has been told that the Democratic caucus is trying to get the language of the proposed anti-Semitism language “right," and that there is concern about mentioning Omar by name -- a non-starter for many members of the Congressional Black Caucus.

Two knowledgable sources said such a scenario could increase security threats against Omar, who is a Muslim.

Republicans did not specifically name Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, in a bipartisan disapproval measure that followed comments that seemingly defended white nationalism earlier this year. But GOP leaders stripped King of his committee assignments as punishment -- while Omar remains on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Democrats say they have no plans to oust her.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., departs after talking with reporters during her weekly news conference on Capitol Hill on Feb. 7. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., departs after talking with reporters during her weekly news conference on Capitol Hill on Feb. 7. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) 
By the same token, Fox is told Democrats are also concerned about making “a martyr” out of Omar if they don’t address some of her controversial comments.

"I've spent another week dealing with this and not on policy."
— Frustrated House Democratic aide
Pelosi, for her part, was stunned by criticism among some Democratic members who complained they weren’t informed in detail about the resolution; freshman Rep. Jahana Hayes, D-Conn., for example, asserted the Democratic leadership team failed in its duty to inform members about the resolution's details.

But senior leadership sources scofffed at that assertion, saying Pelosi spoke with multiple lawmakers all weekend long about the measure.

Fox News was also told one senior House Democratic lawmaker expressed concern about the influence pro-Israel interest groups have over the Democratic caucus, prompting debate about a resolution to condemn anti-Semitism in the first place. Their complaints came in contrast to the push by a trio of Jewish lawmakers who have pushed hardest for the resolution: House Ethics Committee Chairman Ted Deutch, D-Fla., House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., and House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey, D-N.Y.

One senior House Democrat even suggested the rift in the caucus was emblematic of age-old tensions between Pelosi and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md.

“He’s more AIPAC,” said the Democrat. “She’s more J Street. The caucus is more J Street these days.” That’s a reference to two major, pro-Israel lobbying organizations in Washington.

FARRAKHAN TELLS 'SWEETHEART' OMAR NOT TO APOLOGIZE FOR SAYING JEWISH POLITICAL SUPPORT IS ALL ABOUT MONEY

The apparent tension comes as freshman Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib -- who herself has been accused of recent anti-Semitic comments -- also clashed with party leadership on Wednesday, after joining protesters to say she'd introduce a resolution this month urging the Judiciary Committee to move forward with impeachment proceedings against President Trump. Pelosi has consistently resisted calls to impeach Trump, saying such an effort would be premature.
A senior House Democratic leadership aide, however, disputed the divide between Pelosi and Hoyer.

Lawmakers are also buzzing about if they should even address the comments by Omar at all. There’s a concern about precedent.

“Should the House condemn [House Minority Leader] Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., for what he said about George Soros?” asked one lawmaker who requested to not be identified. In 2018, McCarthy tweeted: “We cannot allow Soros, Steyer and Bloomberg to BUY this election! Get out and vote Republican November 6th. #MAGA." (Soros, Steyer and Bloomberg all are of Jewish heritage.

Rep. Rashida Tlaib joined protesters with CREDO Action and By the People, a new advocacy group pushing for the impeachment of President Trump. Together they urged members of Congress to begin impeachment proceedings. (Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib)

Rep. Rashida Tlaib joined protesters with CREDO Action and By the People, a new advocacy group pushing for the impeachment of President Trump. Together they urged members of Congress to begin impeachment proceedings. (Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib) 
McCarthy has since deleted the tweet.

One source questioned if House Democrats ever attempted to rebuke former Rep. Cynthia McKinney, D-Ga., who was known for questioning if President George W. Bush knew of the 9/11 attacks ahead of time. She also questioned U.S. support for Israel and demanded a more balanced approach when dealing with the Palestinians.

The prolonged delay in passing an anti-Semitism resolution -- which threatens to become a public-relations headache for Democrats with each passing day -- spilled over into the 2020 presidential race as well on Wednesday, as White House contender Bernie Sanders, who is Jewish, defended Omar in a statement.

“Anti-Semitism is a hateful and dangerous ideology which must be vigorously opposed in the United States and around the world," Sanders wrote. "We must not, however, equate anti-Semitism with legitimate criticism of the right-wing, Netanyahu government in Israel. Rather, we must develop an even-handed Middle East policy which brings Israelis and Palestinians together for a lasting peace. What I fear is going on in the House now is an effort to target Congresswoman Omar as a way of stifling that debate. That's wrong.”

Added Elizabeth Warren: "Branding criticism of Israel as automatically anti-Semitic has had a chilling effect on our public discourse and makes it harder to achieve a peaceful solution between Israelis and Palestinians."

Fox News' Chad Pergram and Alex Pappas contributed to this report.


Gregg Re

Source: https://www.foxnews.com/politics/rank-and-file-dems-revolt-against-pelosi-over-resolution-to-condemn-anti-semitism

Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter



Six reasons the DNC blacklisting of Fox News for presidential debates is a spectacular mistake - Thomas Lifson


by Thomas Lifson

Idiot damages Dems' media allies and hands a gigantic gift to Trump and the GOP.

Tom Perez, chair of the Democratic National Committee, has handed a gift to President Trump with his announcement that the party would not allow Fox News Channel to provide a forum for presidential debates among its contenders for the nomination.
In a statement Wednesday, DNC Chairman Tom Perez cited a story in the New Yorker magazine this week that detailed how Fox has promoted President Trump's agenda. The article, entitled "The Making of the Fox News White House," suggested that the news network had become a propaganda vehicle for Trump.
Here are six reasons why this is a gigantic blunder.

One:

This is a tacit admission that the party's presidential field is afraid of tough questioning, about, for instance, support for the Green New Deal or for tearing down existing segments of the border wall. Rick Santorum may have been the first to respond with the obvious question: "What are they afraid of?"

Other related questions easily follow, such as: "If they are afraid of Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum, how can they face Vladimir Putin or Kim Jong-Un?"

Two:

The voting public, other than committed Democrats, already understands that all the other TV networks are heavily biased against Republicans, as many polls have revealed for years now (the latest, from Columbia Journalism Review, confirms this). Refusing to face the one major national network that is remotely interested in challenging untruths or asking hard questions looks like cowardice.

Three:

Perez has inadvertently de-legitimized all of the debates that will occur on non-Fox outlets. The new blacklist only confirms that the DNC institutionally recognizes that its candidates need "safe spaces" where only journalists biased in their favor are allowed to question their candidates — people like Martha Raddatz of ABC News, a moderator of a 2016 debate, whom Trump mocked for weeping on air as election results came in showing that Trump was going to win the election.


YouTube screen grab.

There now will be increased interest in critiquing those debates for the questions that were not asked, or the follow-ups that were not explored. 

Four:

Perez has confirmed that Democrats have nothing to fear from the other networks, because (the obvious implication goes) they are friendly. He thus drives home the contention that they are fake news media.

Five:

A majority of the public doesn't trust the media. Aligning the Democrats with distrusted institutions is not good branding.

Six:

Perez has handed the initiative to President Trump, who immediately spotted it (or, as the MSM cliché goes, "pounced"):



Presidential debates inevitably favor the challengers. Trump can push them in that direction by agreeing to debates only if Fox News is included. That forces them to either accept FNC or have no debates at all. If they accept, that makes FNC the debate worth watching. The rest are discredited as Democrat "safe spaces," As Soopermexican of The Right Scoop puts it: "Hilarious. And really, who holds all the cards here? The no-name Democrats that most people have no idea about, or the president of the most powerful country on Earth?" He predicts that Democrats will cave, in order to protect their shot at challenging the incumbent face to face after their nominee is selected.

Thomas Lifson

Source: https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2019/03/six_reasons_the_dnc_blacklisting_of_fox_news_for_presidential_debates_is_a_spectacular_mistake.html

Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter



Blue and White bases platform on 'separation' from Palestinians - Reuters and Israel Hayom Staff


by Reuters and Israel Hayom Staff

New platform calls for "ensuring an uncompromising commitment to Israel's national security," but critics say party will lead to hasty territorial concessions and endanger Israel



Blue and White Chairman Benny Gantz  
Photo: KOKO 

The Blue and White party led by former Chief of General Staff Benny Gantz pledged a policy of separation from Palestinians on Wednesday, but stopped short of backing their goal of statehood.

Blue and White has refused for weeks to provide specifics on its ideological posture, as it gained ground in opinion polls ahead of the April 9 election.

In its inaugural platform, published on Wednesday, Blue and White said that once in power it would confer with Arab states "and intensify the process of separation from the Palestinians, while ensuring an uncompromising commitment to Israel's national security".

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and fellow rightists have cast Blue and White as a left-wing party rather than centrist, warning that it will pursue a policy of territorial concessions like the 2005 pullout from the Gaza Strip, which Netanyahu says paved the way for terrorist group Hamas' takeover of the enclave.

The policy blueprint envisages Israel retaining control of the Jordan Valley and blocs of Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria but remains hazy on what might be done with more isolated outposts.

U.S. President Donald Trump is widely expected to make public a peace plan after the Israeli election.

Opinion polls give Blue and White around 35 of parliament's 120 seats against 30 for Netanyahu's Likud party, but even if the projections are accurate, Netanyahu has a much better shot at forming a government and winning a confidence vote in the Knesset.

In 2009, Netanyahu's Likud party came in second to the centrist Kadima party but ultimately managed to form a government because of the overall strength of the right-wing and ultra-Orthodox parties.

According to analysts, the only viable scenario for Gantz to become prime minister, if there is a de facto tie between the Left and Right in the Knesset, is by relying on outside support from Arab parties, who would presumably vote with him in a confidence vote.

But Blue and White has insisted it would not pursue that option.


Reuters and Israel Hayom Staff

Source: http://www.israelhayom.com/2019/03/07/blue-and-whites-reveals-murky-platform-based-on-separation-from-palestinians/

Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter



Omar’s Jew-Hate Gone Wild - Joseph Klein


by Joseph Klein

While Dems bow in deference.





The Democrat freshman Representative Ilhan Omar (D-Minn) has proven again and again her anti-Semitic bent. She continues to caricature American citizens who support the Jewish state of Israel, including such supporters serving in Congress, of harboring dual loyalties and “allegiance to a foreign country.” While some Democrat leaders in Congress have called her out for her remarks, none appear willing to discipline her. Unlike the Republicans’ actions in stripping Representative Steve King (R-Iowa) of his House committee seats after he made remarks that appeared to defend white nationalism, Congresswoman Omar is still a member of the influential House Foreign Affairs Committee, with no current intention by Democrat House leaders to remove her. Democratic House leaders also appear to be caving in to demands from Omar’s supporters that a clear-cut House resolution against anti-Semitism, which would not have called out Omar by name even in its original version, be even further watered down by adding generic condemnations of hatred in all forms, including of so-called Islamophobia.

Omar, a Somali-American, has regularly demonized Israel and sought to delegitimize it, hallmarks in themselves of her anti-Semitism. In the past, she has accused Israel of “evil doings” and of hypnotizing the world.  Earlier this year, she compared Israel to the murderous, terrorist sponsoring Iranian regime and said she “almost chuckle[s]” when the Jewish state is described as a democracy. Omar criticized Israel for instituting laws that “recognize it as a Jewish state and does not recognize the other religions that are living in it.”

Israel, like the United States, is in fact a pluralistic democracy that honors freedom of worship and religious tolerance. That’s certainly much more than can be said for Omar’s native Somalia, where Islam is the official religion and Islamic sharia is the basic source for national legislation. Employing a double standard when falsely accusing Israel of intolerant behavior that her own native country and other Islamic countries display is yet another hallmark of Omar’s anti-Semitism.

In castigating the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and its supposed influence in swaying U.S politicians to favor Israel, Omar claims she is holding fast to her stated position on “the problematic role of lobbyists in politics, whether it be AIPAC, the [National Rifle Association] or the fossil fuel industry.” Somehow, however, she is not worried about the role of the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). CAIR representatives have regularly lobbied members of Congress and their staff, as well as having conducted closed door meetings with members of the Obama administration. Its agenda is not merely to protect American Muslims’ civil rights, as it claims. The group, like Omar, is stridently anti-Israel. It has accepted foreign donations from radical Muslim countries such as Qatar. CAIR co-founder Omar Ahmad proclaimed two decades ago that “Islam isn’t in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant. The Koran … should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on Earth.” 
Omar will be speaking at a fund-raising event for CAIR later this month, hosted by CAIR-LA, whose chief executive director, Hussam Ayloush, has compared Israel to the Islamic State. This same CAIR leader claimed after the 2015 San Bernardino, California terrorist attack, in which Islamist terrorists had murdered 14 people and wounded 31 others, that the United States itself was partly to blame for the attack. He said, “let’s not forget that some of our own foreign policy as Americans, as the West, have fueled that extremism.”

This is the company that Omar keeps – her kind of lobbyists. She is not only an anti-Semite, who deserves at minimum to be kicked off the House Foreign Affairs Committee immediately and censured if she continues accusing her fellow representatives and others who support Israel of dual loyalties. Like the Islamist group she will be fund-raising for, Omar is an apologist for Islamic terrorism.

Shortly after four armed members of al-Shabab, the Somalian jihadist terrorist group, stormed the Westgate mall in Nairobi, Kenya in 2013, resulting in nearly 70 people dead and 200 wounded, Omar said that terrorist acts were the “byproducts of the actions of our involvement in other people’s affairs.” Is that how she justifies the slaughter by al Qaeda of thousands of innocent people who were going about their own business on 9/11? 

In 2016, when Omar was serving as a Minnesota state representative, she pleaded for “compassion” in a letter she sent to a judge considering the sentences for a group of Minnesota men accused of trying to join the Islamic State. She blamed their attraction to the Islamic State and preparations to fight for the Islamist terrorists on the flimsy excuse of “systematic alienation.”  Lets just show these would-be murders some “distributive justice,” she said, instead of the harsh prison sentences they deserve.

Finally, when it comes to complaining about “dual loyalties” and “foreign allegiances,” Representative Omar would do well to speak with her colleague, Palestinian-American Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich). Tlaib said that much of her “strength comes from being Palestinian.” To show where her real allegiance lies, she wore a Palestinian gown, said to be a symbol of Palestinian nationalism, at her swearing-in ceremony. She explained, “Throughout my career in public service, the residents I have had the privilege of fighting for have embraced who I am, especially my Palestinian roots.”

A double standard once again. And today's Democrat Party is all in, bowing to its radical progressive base. 


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

Source: https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/273076/omars-jew-hate-gone-wild-joseph-klein

Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter



Transgender Madness - Sally Zelikovsky


by Sally Zelikovsky

While we all go about our daily lives, transgender advocacy organizations have pushed changes in the military, sports, our schools, even the pageantry world.

Has anyone rationally analyzed the direction we are heading along the gender fluid turnpike? If we don’t set some guidelines soon, we’ll be cruising headlong into a nasty multi-car pile up. It might already be too late.

To wit, Josh Rogin’s October 2018 article in the Washington Post “Giselle Donnelly can Finally be Herself” came and went with barely a whimper in the conservative world, even though it recounts the transition of AEI’s national security expert Thomas Donnelly to transwoman Giselle Donnelly. 

Formerly a married man who fathered two children, this conservative scholar led a clandestine life as a woman-wannabee. After his divorce and five years of gender probing, Donnelly found his peace sharing “national security, wine, gender fluidity, and BDSM” with his new wife, Elizabeth Taylor, a former naval nuclear instructor turned trans beauty consultant. 

A few years ago this would have been fodder for a skit on SNL. Today, it’s serious stuff.

Rogin seems downright giddy about the transition and rebukes conservatives writ large, except for AEI chieftains Arthur Brooks and Danielle Pletka, who supported Donnelly and seamlessly facilitated changes to the site as if nothing monumental happened: his picture was quietly replaced with hers; we were expected to accept this as so normal that only one line at the website gave it away: “Thomas Donnelly transitioned in October 2018. Please go to Giselle Donnelly’s current bio page for more recent work.” While articles are still attributed to Thomas Donnelly, only Giselle is listed as a scholar. His bio is now hers and now states: “Formerly Thomas Donnelly, Giselle Donnelly’s previous work can be found here.” In time, evidence that Thomas Donnelly walked this Earth (except for his children), will go down the Memory Hole and be wiped from history. 

I understand there is a human being here who has been in emotional pain and decided this is how to fix it. While this might have been an exciting journey of gender exploration for Donnelly, Rogin indicates it has been a struggle for his family. Giselle can tell her children that Dad in a dress and wig is the same rock-guitar-playing-conservative-national-security-expert he was in a suit, but my guess is even grown children see clearly that the emperor is stark-raving naked. 

While we all go about our daily lives, transgender advocacy organizations have pushed changes in the military, sports, our schools, even the pageantry world. As a society, we haven’t been accorded the opportunity to have an honest, comprehensive national conversation about transgender issues and whether individuals should be free to transition absent scientific proof. Debate has been carefully stifled by the proponents of all things transgender, issues are not presented as questions but foregone conclusions, and any credible opposition is “transphobia” and “hate” punishable by public humiliation—people lose their jobs, credibility, memberships in organizations; they’re excommunicated from social media, harassed, labelled, and doxxed if they dare question the trans-orthodoxy of the Democrat-Media Complex and LGBTQ Mafia. 

Ironically, there is no deference to science on these issues unless radical academics can contort the science to fit the cause. 

It’s almost as if Rogin wants us to take a deep breath and relax now that Thomas is Giselle, but it’s not that straightforward. He is a dude who became a chick in a relationship with a dude who became a chick. Is he gay or lesbian? Are they pansexual? Are they both non-binary and can switch as they choose? The array of possibilities here is dizzying. 

Silly backwards heterosexuals! It’s a spectrum, a gold mine of sexualities to be prospected! It doesn’t matter what Giselle and Liz are; only what they want to be in that moment! Antiquated scientific realties cum social constructs of “male” and “female” must not impinge on or limit their desires! 

Now, some might call this hedonism, confusion, dysphoria, or mental illness. But you publicly articulate that at your own risk. Even with conclusive scientific evidence and ironclad statistics, you will be thought-lynched in the public square.

While young people seem unfazed, refuse to assign their offspring a gender, and themselves navigate the Chinese menu of gender choices, such upheavals in society are not healthy when they have been thrust upon us by powerful political forces backed by big donors with transformative agendas. 

Those of us who aren’t convinced, pretend it doesn’t matter, but it does. At my gym, there is a man transitioning to a woman. The heterosexuals struggle not to gawk, are courteous and respectful yet, there is an undeniable tension: the men hope “she” won’t change and shower in the men’s locker room while the women hope she will. 

Heterosexuals aren’t the only ones concerned. Many gay couples with transitioning children struggle. Lesbian tennis icon, Martina Navratilova, spoke out against transgenders competing in sports, did some research after being attacked, and now opposes it even more vigorously.

Here’s the rub. Just because you want to be a girl, doesn’t mean society should permit you to be injected with hormones, mutilate your genitals, undergo numerous surgeries, use the girl’s locker room, compete on a women’s sports team, and be accorded advantages in your education and career based on being a woman. Would it be acceptable if white people, who always felt black inside or identified with black culture and history, chemically darkened their skin?

The fact is, our society has not been allowed to draw any lines with regard to transgenders—be it in sports, bathrooms, single-sex schools, the military, or the workplace. Here’s a suggestion based on science and reason: If you undergo testing and your chromosomal gender does not match up with your secondary sex characteristics, if you have ambiguous genitalia and the “wrong” gender was selected at birth, if you are a hermaphrodite, then I doubt anyone would have any issues with corrective surgery. What you then become—male or female—will be who you are and you will be treated just like anyone born of that gender. 

These conditions are referred to as “intersex” and they are not common. In “How Common is Intersex” Dr. Leonard Sax, MD, PhD, defines intersex as “those conditions in which (a) the phenotype is not classifiable as either male or female, or (b) chromosomal sex is inconsistent with phenotypic sex.” Simply put: if your chromosomal sex matches your genitalia you are NOT intersex. 

He directly refutes Brown University Professor Anne Fausto-Sterling’s claim [hereinafter “Fausto”] that 1.7% of births are intersex, representing five million individuals in the US. Cited extensively in schools and by the media, Fausto’s work is “a counterpoint to the view that the role division between men and women is largely predetermined by human evolutionary history…. [H]uman sexual development is not always dichotomous and…gender differences fall on a continuum, not into two separate buckets.”

Dr. Sax explains in painstaking scientific detail how Fausto inflated her numbers by including non-intersex conditions, i.e., 88% of the patients included in the 1.7% have Late-Onset Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia, where “[t]he genitalia of these babies are normal at birth, and consonant with their chromosomes.” It develops later in life, sometimes not at all, with the most common symptoms being baldness for men and “oligomenorrhea, hirsutism, infertility, or acne” for women, with rare cases of mild clitoral enlargement. Dr. Sax clarifies that the actual rate of US intersex births is 0.018% or about 50,000 intersexuals! That’s a significant difference.

It is transitions like Tom Donnelly’s or the more visible Bruce Jenner’s that appear problematic. Unless they can scientifically prove otherwise, they are biological males, with functioning secondary male sex characteristics, who successfully reproduced in long-term heterosexual marriages. They look like men, sound like men, and have the plumbing and genetic make-up of men. If it is not anatomical or genetic, then it must be mental, emotional or psychological and should be treated differently. Drastic sex reassignment surgery and hormone therapy should only be used for limited intersex conditions and not for intersex children until the technology advances. 

Decent non-haters are tired of being told gender is fluid, heteronormism is a chimera, and we must accept scientific truths about global warming but dismiss scientific truths about gender. 

We should not indulge brown-shirts silencing doctors and scientists who speak out, like Dr. Paul McHugh, the noted John Hopkins psychiatrist who closed the gender identity clinic in 1979 because it was ineffective in treating gender dysphoria and who continues to be a punching bag of progressive activists and media; or Dr. Kenneth Zucker who for decades managed Toronto’s Child Youth and Family Gender Identity Clinic and was eventually pushed out because of the cautious approach he took with children. We are all held at gunpoint to applaud the emperor parading around in ladies’ garb.

The line should be simple: If an individual wants a sex change with surgery and hormone therapy, the threshold should be genetic testing to determine if they are truly intersexual. If they are and successfully transition, they should be treated as the man or woman they become, entitled to legally change their birth certificate, check male or female whenever relevant, use the appropriate bathroom or locker room, compete in sports and the military as per their gender, and be addressed with the appropriate pronouns and titles. 

If they do not pass that threshold, they should be free to undergo sex reassignment surgery and hormone therapy as they wish — this is, after all, America -- but not on the taxpayer’s dime or through private insurance, driving up the cost of insurance. They also should not be able to sue to compel admittance to opposite gender bathrooms, locker rooms, sports, certain jobs, or the military.

Strong voices on the side of science must speak out, especially as technology advances. Activists and scientists with agendas like Dr. Fausto-Sterling, will continue to push the notion that gender is fluid. It won’t be long before perfections in CRSPR technology allow us to manipulate genes in utero, even in adults, to select and change anything, including our gender; nanobots could be programmed to de-feminize or de-masculinize; as with ears, genitalia could be lab-cultivated or 3D-printed; and the technology that allowed same gender mice to procreate could be applied to humans. With these astounding technological achievements close by, a brave new culture will be thrust upon us before we have had the chance to examine if that is really the best course for our society, in particular, and humanity, in general.

Image credit


Sally Zelikovsky

Source: https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2019/03/transgender_madness.html

Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter



Ex-IAF chief: Future conflicts will bring 'widespread missile fire' - Yaakov Lappin, JNS and Israel Hayom Staf


by Yaakov Lappin, JNS and Israel Hayom Staff

Even if the IDF conducts a highly successful offensive strategy, this may not be enough to suitably protect the homefront, Maj. Gen. (ret.) Eitan Ben-Eliyahu assesses

All of Israel's future conflicts will see major enemy fire on the civilian homefront, meaning that air defense is more crucial than ever, a former Israel Air Force chief has told JNS following the start of an Israeli-American joint exercise.

In recent days, the Israel Defense Forces and the U.S. military's European Command (EUCOM) announced that for the first time, the United States has brought over its Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system to Israel.

The unprecedented move is part of a joint missile defense drill.

The exercise could be seen as a signal to Iran and its proxies of Washington's commitment to help Israel defend its air space in the event of a future war.

According to foreign media reports, Iran has hundreds of ballistic missiles in its arsenal, while its proxy, Hezbollah, has an estimated 130,000 projectiles, including long-range rockets and missiles that can strike any point in Israel.

Maj. Gen. (ret.) Eitan Ben-Eliyahu, who commanded the IAF from 1996 to 2000, told JNS that "from here on out, in any combat scenario, whether it is local or regional, there will be widespread use of rockets and missiles [by the enemy].

Even if the IDF conducts a highly successful offensive strategy, this may not be sufficient to suitably protect the fighting forces, and it especially will not suitably protect the homefront. Hence, there is no choice but to combine between offense and active defense at the same time."

Ben-Eliyahu assessed that future significant wars would involve "the formation of coalitions between countries," and that this required their militaries to practice working together on air defenses.

Mounting a joint defense requires close coordination and an ability to integrate several defensive systems, he explained.

"Therefore, it is not enough to hold joint drills as we have seen in the past, in which the coordination is limited to cooperation between planes in the air," said Ben-Eliyahu.

Ben-Eliyahu said that in light of the Trump administration's recent policy of withdrawing armed forces from the Middle East, "it is comfortable for it to fill the vacuum by exhibiting a defensive, rather than offensive presence."

Head of the International Media Branch at the IDF Spokesperson's Unit  Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus told reporters this week that the purpose of the exercise is to drill America's "rapid deployment across the globe and to enhance cooperation between the IAF and U.S. air-defense systems."

He added that "the deployment emphasizes the U.S.'s commitment to the defense of Israel."

Last month, the IDF and U.S. military's EUCOM held the joint Juniper Falcon exercise, testing their ability to work together.

"We are working in cooperation with our U.S. counterparts to strengthen our ability to defend Israeli air space," confirmed Conricus.

The latest drill is "an opportunity to practice the integration of advanced American air-defense systems into the IAF Air Defense Array. Needless to say, we are grateful for this exercise. The IDF stands ready to protect the air space against threats near and far," he stated.

Conricus stressed that the exercise is defensive and was planned in advance. The United States flew in personnel and equipment from Texas and Italy to Israel, including more than 200 soldiers and officers.

Last year, the IDF and U.S. held the biannual Juniper Cobra ballistic-missile defense exercise, which simulated threats, but did not see the arrival of THAAD.

Conricus said past exercises did not include the kind of actual tactical cooperation between soldiers, airmen and marines that is currently taking place, affirming that "we are going to … ensure our readiness for the future."

This article is reprinted from JNS.org.


Yaakov Lappin, JNS and Israel Hayom Staff

Source: http://www.israelhayom.com/2019/03/07/future-conflicts-will-bring-widespread-missile-fire-cautions-ex-iaf-chief/

Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter



Rand's most ill advised stand yet - Gavin Wax


by Gavin Wax

The stubborn libertarian streak within Rand Paul is causing him to lose political clout and stall a massive victory for the president.

Sen. Rand Paul loves the Constitution so much that he is willing to put it in jeopardy by opposing President Trump's emergency measures declaration. Paul's libertarian streak has emerged yet again -- at a fortuitous time for Democrats hoping to import more voters and a calamitous time for conservatives desperate for a big victory on immigration.

“I can’t vote to give the president the power to spend money that hasn’t been appropriated by Congress. We may want more money for border security, but Congress didn’t authorize it. If we take away those checks and balances, it’s a dangerous thing," Paul said while addressing a Southern Kentucky Lincoln Day Dinner.

The above quote illustrates the problem with Paul's constitutionalist line of thinking. While Paul is concerned about proper procedure, his liberal enemies are advancing toward their next goal. While Paul is willing to surrender authority because of concerns over technicalities, the Democrats rush headlong into the next extra-constitutional power grab that pushes the U.S. Republic closer and closer to dissolution. Paul's 'Mr. Smith Goes to Washington' shtick is getting old, and his principles are not usually worth defending.


The principles of libertarians and Beltway ‘conservatives’ always seem to very conveniently align with those of big business and corporate capital. This is because of a well-financed network of intellectual think tanks, activist training, lobbying programs, and university infiltration that quietly peddles influence to enforce neoliberal globalist norms amongst the right. The Koch brothers, for example, are libertarians who use their vast resources to prevent popular trade and immigration reforms from being supported by Republicans in Congress.

This is the real emergency in Congress that is threatening our democracy. It is not Trump's emergency declaration, anything involving the Russians, or whatever is the left's latest concocted outrage of the moment. The most pressing emergency is corporate special interests controlling both political parties to enrich their coffers. Paul, in making his supposedly principled stand, enables the swamp unwittingly by blocking Trump from securing the border. It is no coincidence that moderate GOP Sens. Susan Collins (Maine), Thom Tillis (N.C.) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) are standing with Rand to stop Trump's emergency measures.

Paul was a trailblazer of the vanguard movement that was a precursor to modern right-wing populism, the Tea Party Movement. Tea Party activists certainly cried out about the national debt, deficit spending, constitutional infringements, high taxes, central bank inflation and so forth. The awareness they raised on those issues makes the movement historically significant, but other than that, it did not really accomplish much in tangible terms. This is because when it comes time to deliver, ideologues like Paul will devise excuses and rationalizations not to act.

The sole individual who is actually making progress toward solving any these problems is President Donald Trump. While not a natural conservative by any stretch of the imagination, Trump's pragmatic solution-focused approach to leadership is getting astounding results and unifying the GOP in a way that nobody could have conceived. Trump is showing Republicans that while it may be nice to have esoteric principles, it is the achievements that matter and which will ultimately save America. Ideas are fine, but only bold action will set them forth in society.

Paul, particularly in terms of foreign policy, has worked with Trump in a more effective manner than anyone. He should understand by now that it is best to trust the President's judgment, but old habits die hard. The stubborn libertarian streak within Paul is causing him to lose political clout and stall a massive victory for the President. This ill-advised stand, which will not prevent Democrats from abusing power in the future, will only sabotage Paul's ability to preach liberty to Trump's populist base. He would be wise to put country first, over any misplaced fidelity to pro-corporate principles, and change his position to support Trump's emergency measures. 

Gavin Wax

Source: https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2019/03/rands_most_illadvised_stand_yet.html

Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter



Poster-Graduate Studies at UCLA - Lloyd Billingsley


by Lloyd Billingsley


Pushing back against Jerry Kang’s campaign of enmity, duplicity and exclusion.





FrontPageMag Editor’s Note: The Frontpage four-part series on UCLA drew widespread attention from embattled students, professors and alumni alike. With new information available, Frontpage thought it worthwhile to review the record and draw some lessons for the American public at large. [Start at Part I: HERE].
 
Diversity dictator targets “outside provocateur” David Horowitz

Fifty years ago at UCLA, the black nationalist US organization battled it out with the Black Panther Party for control of the black studies program. In those days, New Left leader David Horowitz made common cause with the Panthers. He raised money for their school in Oakland and recommended his friend Betty Van Patter as a bookkeeper. The Panthers murdered Van Patter, and Horowitz began his departure from the Left.

Campus protests continued in the following decades, but no group showed up at UCLA to promote the destruction of Uruguay, Japan or Kuwait. No group called Students for Justice in England called for the destruction of that nation, and any group like that might expect to face opposition from UCLA officials, particularly if the nation was a democratic U.S. ally.

In recent times, Students for Justice in Palestine, an anti-Israel hate group, promoted the destruction of the only Jewish state, a democratic U.S. ally and the only nation in the Middle East to protect women’s rights and gay rights. The Discover the Networks profile notes SJP support for terrorist groups such as Hamas, Hezbollah, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades. And some SJP chapters hold annual commemorations for the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood. UCLA bosses had no problem with SJP and went out of their way to recognize radical Muslims.

In March of 2012, the UCLA feted Khaled Abou El Fadl, an apologist for radical Islam and defender of Sharia (Islamic) law. Fadl was hailed as a hero in the “struggle against Islamophobia in America.” On the other hand, UCLA seemed to have a problem with Jewish students seeking office.

In 2015, sophomore Rachel Beyda applied to become a judicial board member of UCLA’s Undergraduate Students Associate Council. Questions to Beyda included this, from the USAC’s (Undergraduate Students Association Council) Fabienne Roth:  “given that you are a Jewish student and very active in the Jewish community, how do you see yourself being able to maintain an unbiased view?” The council voted against admitting Beyda and UCLA Chancellor Gene Block called it a “teaching moment.”

By 2015, former leftist David Horowitz had become a conservative leader with a record of successful activism against the axis of anti-American leftist radicals and Islamic hate groups. True to form, Horowitz became the first to challenge to SJP on college campuses. 

He tapped students to place posters on the UCLA campus reading “Students for Justice in Palestine” and “#Jew Haters.” And Horowitz called on UCLA to remove campus privileges and funding of SJP because they are a hate group and as such violated UCLA’s “Statement of Principles Against Intolerance.” Campus radicals ripped down the posters with no protest from UCLA officials, especially Jerry Kang UCLA’s newly minted Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, with a salary of nearly half a million dollars and a budget of $4 million.

Kang, who earned physics and law degrees at Harvard, describes himself as a leading scholar on “implicit bias,” a longtime supporter of “racial equity,” and a “person of color” with “skin in the game.” Kang was uncritical of Students for Justice in Palestine but eager to fire off a letter to the entire UCLA community attacking “hostile posters” he said accused the Muslim Student Association (MSA) and Students for Justice in Palestine of being “murderers and terrorists.”

These were posted by “an outside provocateur named David Horowitz” who in a poster titled “Stop the Jew Hatred on Campus” listed supporters of the Boycott Divest and Sanctions (BDS) movement among students and faculty. According to the UCLA’s Vice Chancellor, this amounted to “thuggish intimidation,” and “demagoguery” that “isn’t our style.”  Horowitz had not mentioned the Muslim Students Association, and he called nobody murderers or terrorists, so Kang was guilty of two lies. And as he noted, “BDS has been denounced by figures as liberal as Alan Dershowitz and Larry Summers as anti-Semitic.”

In a November 25, 2015 letter to UCLA’s “Crosscheck,” Kang repeated the falsehood that posters had mentioned the MSA, and charged that “members of our Bruin family felt threatened, politically chilled, disrupted from their daily practices.” For Kang it was also “personal” and the Vice Chancellor claimed to be “particularly sensitive to political opportunists scapegoating an unpopular outgroup under the cloak of national security.” His example was the Japanese internment, a strange example for an American of Korean background.

Kang quoted Sam Cooke to imply that his critics “don’t know much about history,” and responded to a tweet that “you should have said no, bruh,” when he took the job. “I believe in rejecting caricature, simplification, threats,” Kang wrote, “Bruh, that’s why I took this job.”

The Ivy League elitist with his $440,000 salary thought he was just another brother on the block. His vaunted implicit bias theory is leftist quackery charging people of no color with racism.

By declaiming against “outside provocateurs” Kang sounded like some redneck Mississippi sheriff warding off the freedom riders. Kang’s professed concern for “members of the Bruin family” for their discomfort over a poster stands in stark contrast to the campaign against a UCLA professor whose Bruin family connections were stronger than most.

UCLA targets a champion of free speech

Keith Fink won three national debating championships as a UCLA student and returned to his alma mater as a professor. For nine years Fink taught “Communication Studies 167: Sex, Politics, and Race: Free Speech on Campus,” which teaches “how the First Amendment, case law, state statutes, and federal statutes affect students’ and teachers’ ability to express themselves both on and off campuses.” The course was popular with students in many disciplines, especially law and medicine.

 “The way he speaks, the way he teaches, the way he debates, everything,” pre-med student Shahab Naimi told Ha’Am, UCLA’s Jewish magazine. “He’s one of the best teachers at UCLA.”

Student interest remained strong after the poster incident, and Fink made Kang’s heavy-handed response part of the course.

“Kang was the villain here when all is laid bare,” Fink told Frontpage. “His actions toward David in this issue in support of SJP not only ignored the facts but contravened the First Amendment, distorted case law, threatened students with draconian ramifications should they be involved  in speech protest activities he thought was harassing.”

Fink’s classes had once numbered nearly 300 but new communications department chair Kerri Johnson capped the class at 200. When the number of enrolled students dropped to 196, Fink encouraged Shahab Naimi and Negeen Arasteh to take the spots but Johnson refused to allow it.

Teaching assistant Andrew Litt charged that by not enrolling Arasteh and Naimi, “Johnson is vindictively enforcing an unwritten rule to use students as a means of passive-aggressively targeting Fink.” Ha’Am reached out to Johnson, but “she said she could not legally or ethically comment about any specific academic personnel matter.” Johnson also refused to recuse herself from Keith Fink’s performance review.

Professor Fink found her not only biased against him but unqualified to assess his class performance. The same was true of non-attorney Greg Bryant, department vice chair and co-author of “Fathers’ infant‐directed speech in a small‐scale society.” As Bryant told the Chronicle of Higher Education, it was all done “by the book.”  The faculty committee deadlocked 3-3, so the tiebreaker would go to Social Sciences dean Laura Gomez, co-director of  UCLA’s Critical Race Studies program.

“Good grief keep Keith,” and “Free speech is under attack,” read the posters of protesting UCLA students. A curious UCLA alum asked why more students didn’t join in, and students pointed to five police cars near the demonstration. The UCLA veteran took it as a sign of increasing intimidation on the campus.  The protest had no effect on Gomez and after UCLA cut Fink loose, his supporters came under fire.

Department manager Jane Bitar told Fink supporter Justin Gelzhiser he was the subject of a sexual harassment complaint. The department “wanted to get rid of me,” Gelzhiser told the Daily Bruin, because they had just got rid of Fink. “They threatened me,” Gelzhiser said. “If you don’t leave the department, this could destroy your career.”

In similar style, Fink told Frontpage, UCLA even brought accusations against his former debate coach, Thomas Miller, for discriminating against students. “He didn’t do anything,” said Fink.

Not a single UCLA faculty member or administrator stood up for Keith Fink, who got no help from University of California president Janet Napolitano. And nobody involved in Fink’s dismissal suffered any penalty. Jane Bitar opted to retire and UCLA sweetened the deal with the Chancellor’s Excellence in Service Award and $4,000, presented by Jerry Kang his own self.

Any observer could be forgiven for believing that, as Fink told The College Fix in 2017, UCLA now deploys “more exclusion for people who have conservative views or perhaps Jewish views.”

In practice, Kang’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion means Enmity, Duplicity and Exclusion. He comforts those who support Jew hate, and attacks those who criticize the haters, even with a simple poster. The Vice Chancellor may be the most powerful man on campus, but he can’t avoid the pushback.

Poster-Graduate Studies 

“There isn’t a diversity bully that I would cower from,” Fink told Frontpage.  “Any student or teacher whose rights are trampled on by Kang and his army can come to me for legal help.” Students should exercise their free-speech rights, Fink says, and teachers and staff should follow the example of Justin Gelzhiser.  

He now works as a research scientist in Nanjing and Cambridge. So despite threats, the Kang regime did not destroy his career, and Gelzhiser filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education. That federal agency controls a lot of money and is now under the control of President Trump. Embattled campus conservatives should consider going that route. Fink also says the people of California have to get involved, and the law is on their side.

The 1996 California Civil Rights Initiative, Proposition 209, forbids racial and ethnic preferences in state education but like other public campuses UCLA bulked up on diversity bureaucrats. There is no justification for any Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and his huge salary.

Californians need to make that case with the UC Regents, and since UCLA has become unaccountable, Fink says, “donors have to stop giving money,” and they are stopping. A UCLA alum tells Frontpage that a major donor is “not giving one more dime to that indoctrination lab of a university.” But there’s more to it. 

“If this happened to me it could happen to anybody,” Fink told Frontpage. “This is basic freedom, not a partisan issue. It’s worth fighting for.” And the fight continues.

At the time of the poster campaign, Palestine Legal staff attorney Liz Jackson applauded Kang for “condemning this attack and defending SJP and the Muslim Students Association.” SJP parroted Kang’s lies and continued to target David Horowitz.

Last year, Palestine Legal senior attorney Radhika Sainath blasted the Los Angeles Review of Books for a letter to the editor citing “far right” Horowitz, who “engages in Islamophobic campaigns.” As Sainath contended, “Students with SJP care deeply about human rights, and often connect the struggle for freedom in Palestine with other social movements, including the liberation of black, brown, LGBTQ+, immigrant, and Native American communities here.”

Editor's note: Below are several of the posters used by protesting UCLA students on behalf of Keith Fink and free speech on campus:









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/272927/poster-graduate-studies-ucla-lloyd-billingsley

Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter



Palestinians: Arresting, Torturing Journalists - Khaled Abu Toameh


by Khaled Abu Toameh

What is hard to understand are the continued closed mouths of the international community and media towards this ongoing assault on the freedom of the media in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

  • The Palestinian Journalists Syndicate, a body dominated by Fatah loyalists, condemned the arrest of Hazem Nasser and called for his immediate release. The syndicate pointed out that Nasser had been summoned for interrogation by the Palestinian Authority (PA) security forces several times in the past few weeks despite the fact that he did not commit any crime.
  • In the world of the PA and Hamas, the only "good" journalists are those who report negatively about Israel. Independent journalists therefore find themselves forced to seek work in non-Palestinian media organizations, including some in Israel. Even then, these journalists, especially those who live under the PA and Hamas, engage in massive self-censorship.
  • What is hard to understand are the continued closed mouths of the international community and media towards this ongoing assault on the freedom of the media in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Had Nasser and Abu Arafeh been arrested by the Israeli authorities, their "plight" would have been splashed over headlines across the globe.

The Palestinian Authority (PA) in the West Bank is continuing its unremitting security crackdown on Palestinian journalists, particularly on those who are not affiliated with Mahmoud Abbas's ruling Fatah faction. Journalist Hazem Nasser was recently arrested by the PA security forces, and told his lawyer that he was physically tortured during his interrogation in the Central Prison in Jericho. (Image source: iStock. Image is illustrative and does not represent any person in the article.)

The Palestinian Authority (PA) in the West Bank is continuing its unremitting security crackdown on Palestinian journalists, particularly on those who are not affiliated with Mahmoud Abbas's ruling Fatah faction. Scores of journalists have been arrested or summoned by the PA in the West Bank on a regular basis in the past few years. In the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, Palestinian journalists are facing a similar campaign of intimidation and harassment.

In the past few days, another two journalists, Hazem Nasser and Amer Abu Arafeh, were arrested by the PA security forces -- and not for the first time. Nasser, who is from the city of Tulkarem, and Abu Arafeh, who is from Hebron, have, in fact, become "frequent visitors" of PA detention centers and interrogation rooms.

The incarceration of Nasser and Abu Arafeh brings to 16 the number of Palestinian journalists who have been arrested or summoned for interrogation by the PA security forces in the West Bank and Hamas in the Gaza Strip just since the beginning of this year.

The Palestinian Committee for Supporting Journalists (PCSJ) has condemned the continued harsh treatment of its colleagues. The journalists were targeted because of their profession and political views, the committee said. It accused the PA and Hamas of waging a campaign of intimidation and harassment against Palestinian journalists by arresting them, summoning them for interrogation, raiding their homes and confiscating their computers and mobile phones.

"The campaign targeting journalists aims at restricting freedoms and rights," the PCSJ added. It also called on the PA and Hamas to refrain from engaging journalists in the power struggle between the two rival parties (the PA and Hamas).

According to still other Palestinian journalists, Nasser and Abu Arafeh have been regularly and systematically targeted by the Palestinian Authority security forces on the pretext that they are affiliated with Hamas.

Hamas, for its part, has been taking similar measures against Palestinian journalists in the Gaza Strip who are suspected of being affiliated with Abbas's Fatah faction. Since the beginning of this year, Hamas has arrested and interrogated four journalists: Huda Baroud, Salah Abu Salah, Tawfiq Abu Jarrad and Luay al-Ghul.

Back to the two most recent victims: Hazem Nasser, a photojournalist who was arrested earlier this week by the PA's General Intelligence Force, has been transferred to the Palestinians' notorious Central Prison in the West Bank city of Jericho. His lawyer said that he has been charged with "illegal possession of and trade in weapons." This charge, which is most likely false, seems designed to make the journalist appear as if he is an ordinary criminal whose arrest has nothing to do with his work or views.

Nasser told his lawyer that he had been physically tortured during his interrogation in the Central Prison in Jericho. He also told the lawyer that he has decided to go on hunger strike in protest against his incarceration and torture.

The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) said that Nasser has denied the charges. The group noted that Nasser was questioned about his involvement in a demonstration that took place in Tulkarem in December 2018 -- a charge that he had previously denied when summoned for interrogation.

"MADA expresses its concern over the extensive increase of arrests and detention," the group said in a statement. It also conveyed its concern over the repeated torture and abuse of many journalists in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, "as is the case with Tawfiq Abu Jarrad, who was subjected to abuse and torture during his arrest by the Internal Security Forces in Gaza recently, as he was forced to stand for hours with his face against the wall while in detention."

The Palestinian Journalists Syndicate (PJS), a body dominated by Fatah loyalists, also condemned the arrest of Hazem Nasser and called for his immediate release. The syndicate pointed out that Nasser had been summoned for interrogation by the PA security forces several times in the past few weeks despite the fact that he did not commit any crime. "The [PA] security forces are continuing to apply pressure on some journalists from time to time," PJS complained. "We reject these unacceptable violations."

The fact that the Fatah-controlled syndicate has endorsed the case of Nasser is an indication that he is not affiliated with Hamas. The PJS usually does not complain when Hamas-affiliated journalists are arrested or harassed by the PA security agencies in the West Bank.

The second journalist, Amer Abu Arafeh, was arrested this week by the PA's Preventive Security Force in the West Bank city of Hebron. Abu Arafeh, who works for the Hamas-affiliated Shehab news agency, is no stranger to Palestinian Authority detention centers. In the past few years, he has been arrested and interrogated at least five times and has had his computer and mobile phone confiscated. At this stage, it remains unclear why Abu Arafeh was taken into custody. What is clear, however, is that he is not a journalist who is affiliated with the PA and its president, Abbas. This fact alone can land in prison any Palestinian journalist in the West Bank and Gaza Strip who does not "toe the line."

Under both the PA and Hamas, Palestinian journalists are expected to serve as faithful soldiers and mouthpieces for both their leaders and their people. In the world of the Palestinians, a journalist who dares to criticize his leaders is typically denounced as a "traitor" or "Zionist agent." That is undoubtedly the reason Palestinian journalists living under the PA and Hamas are afraid to report anything that would reflect negatively on Palestinian leaders.

In the world of the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, the only "good" journalists are those who report negatively about Israel. Independent journalists therefore find themselves forced to seek work in non-Palestinian media organizations, including some in Israel. Even then, these journalists, especially those who live under the PA and Hamas, engage in massive self-censorship.

The PA and Hamas crackdown on journalists is not a new practice and does not come as a surprise. On the contrary, the surprise would be the day we see a Palestinian journalist living in Ramallah open his or her mouth concerning Abbas or any of his top officials.

What is hard to understand are the continued closed mouths of the international community and media towards this ongoing assault on the freedom of the media in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Had Nasser and Abu Arafeh been arrested by the Israeli authorities, their "plight" would have been splashed over headlines across the globe.
  • Follow Khaled Abu Toameh on Twitter

Khaled Abu Toameh, an award-winning journalist based in Jerusalem, is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at Gatestone Institute.

Source: https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/13842/palestinians-arrest-torture-journalists

Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter