Monday, July 13, 2020

Analyst: Iran explosions are likely 'covert espionage campaign' - Tal Polon

by Tal Polon

Retired US General Jack Keane: Israel conducting successful strategy against Iranian nuclear program, "and they may not be finished yet."

Scene of the June 30th explosion near Tehran
Scene of the June 30th explosion near Tehran                                                         Reuters
Retired US Army General and Fox News strategic analyst Jack Keane said that the series of explosions that have taken place recently at locations around Iran are no accident, contrary to what Iran has claimed.

“In the past several months, there have been dozens of so-called ‘accidents’ the Iranians claim are taking place [...] That is no longer a credible claim, considering the sheer numbers of them,” Keane told Fox News.

In turn, he said, “There are two countries that have the capabilities to do this: the US and Israel.”

“This is a covert espionage campaign likely being conducted by the Israelis, and being assisted by informants inside Iran and others part of the resistance movement inside Iran,” Keane concluded. “I don’t think the Mossad could do this without assistance.”

Keane said he thought the alleged strikes were “a smart strategy” on the part of Israel.

“If you accept the objective that we don’t want Iran to have nuclear weapons with missiles that can deliver them, then the strategy the Israelis are doing, likely with at least the moral support of the US, is fairly savvy because it gives the Israelis deniability,” he explained.

“What we’re not dealing with is air strikes on the missile and nuclear sites,” he said, in which case “Obviously it would be known that the Israelis are delivering that. And that would force the Iranians to escalate up.”

“This gives them the capability of denying it and making them much more patient and less likely to have this cyber and kinetic espionage lead to war. The Iranians don’t want that, and the Israelis, I think, are executing a strategy which has already slowed down this program by a year or two, and they may not be finished yet.”

“I don’t believe the Iranians will respond very strongly, because they’re waiting for the November elections in the US to determine who they should negotiate with,” Keane added.

Asked how he thinks the Iranians would respond to a Biden presidency, Keane said he didn't know how Biden would behave were he elected but noted, “Biden was part of the team that construed the nuclear deal which brought us the debacle that we’re dealing with, which actually permits Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon, when you would think the purpose of the nuclear deal would be to prevent them from having one.”

“So he could be along those lines again - but hopefully not.”

Tal Polon


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Turkey's Hagia Sophia: "It's Like If Saint Peter's Had Been Turned Into a Mosque" - Giulio Meotti

by Giulio Meotti

For Erdogan and the Islamists, Hagia Sophia is the prime symbol of Christianity's subjugation to Islam.

  • "Would you have enjoyed it so much if a mosque at the center of Europe were converted into a church?" — Ertugrul Özkök, Hurriyet, March 8, 2014.
  • Turkey, however, also apparently wanted to inflict humiliation on the West. By turning Hagia Sophia into a mosque, Erdogan has been able to embarrass Washington, mock Brussels and defy Moscow.
  • For Erdogan and the Islamists, Hagia Sophia is the prime symbol of Christianity's subjugation to Islam.
  • "Hagia Sophia is the symbol of conquest. It belongs to us". — Yunus Genç, head of the Istanbul branch of the Anatolian Youth Association, Le Figaro, October 7, 2020.
  • When cartoons of Mohammed appeared in Danish and French newspapers in 2005, the Muslim world erupted in violence.... Now that Turkey is turning its formerly most important Christian monument into a mosque, there is no protest, only silence and mumbling, which are nothing but the soundtrack of the West's submission to Islam.

Last week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan issued an unprecedented decree converting the historic Hagia Sophia cathedral once again into a mosque. Pictured: Islamists celebrate Erdogan's decree outside Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, on July 10, 2020. (Photo by Burak Kara/Getty Images)

"The city that Constantine had protected for more than a thousand years... has now undergone, in this unfortunate year, the destruction by the Turks. I suffer at the thought that the temple of Saint Sophia, famous all over the world, has been destroyed or desecrated. This is a second death for Homer, a second passing for Plato". These words by the great humanist, Enea Silvio Piccolomini, who became Pope Pius II, were written five centuries ago, after the great Christian city of Constantinople fell to the Ottomans.

Last week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan issued an unprecedented decree converting Hagia Sophia once again into a mosque. Erdogan's decree is a gesture of immense symbolism and historic meaning. "A threat against Hagia Sophia," said the Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill, "is a threat for the whole of Christian civilization".

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated:
"We urge the Government of Turkey to continue to maintain the Hagia Sophia as a museum, as an exemplar of its commitment to respect the faith traditions and diverse history that contributed to the Republic of Turkey, and to ensure it remains accessible to all".
For 916 years, Hagia Sophia had been the "world's largest basilica" and the main seat of the Eastern Orthodox church where, for centuries, emperors were crowned.

On May 29, 1453, Sultan Mehmet II, riding a white horse, arrived at the Hagia Sophia, the cathedral of "Divine Wisdom" built a thousand years earlier by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian I. Sultan Mehmet II, after bringing an end to the great Christian Byzantine empire, prayed to Allah in the largest church of Eastern Christianity.

"It's like if Saint Peter's had been turned into a mosque," said Michael Talbot, a lecturer of history at the University of Greenwich. "It's the fact that the seat of that church is no longer operating as a church and is in the hands of a rival religion".

Under the Ottomans, the Hagia Sophia was converted into a mosque and remained so until 1934, when the secularist Turkish leader, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, turned it into a museum. It was to have been the emblem of a new Turkey, capable of blending the features of the East and the West.

Last week, after Erdogan's new decree, Islamists, shouting "Allahu Akbar", converged on the former cathedral. The site will be reopen for Muslim prayers as a mosque on July 24. It is believed that during the Muslim prayers, Hagia Sophia's world famous Byzantine mosaics will be covered.

Turkey did not, strictly speaking, need another mosque: in recent years Erdogan has built 17,000 mosques in the country. According to Ertugrul Özkök, writing in the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet:
"A country where every day calls to prayer are recited from its 80,000 mosques, where prayers are performed five times a day, will now go and re-conquer one of the biggest symbols of the Orthodox world. Is that so?... Would you have enjoyed it so much if a mosque at the center of Europe were converted into a church?"
By appropriating the building, the defenders of political Islam seem to be trying to "erase Turkey's Christian past". A century ago, Christians made up 20% of Turkey's population, while now the figure is just 0.2%. According to Benny Morris and Dror Ze'evi, in their book, The Thirty-Year Genocide: Turkey's Destruction of Its Christian Minorities, 1894–1924:
"Turkey's Armenian, Greek and Assyrian (or Syriac) communities disappeared as a result of a staggered campaign of genocide beginning in 1894, perpetrated against them by their Muslim neighbors... By 1924, the Christian communities of Turkey and its adjacent territories had been destroyed".
Turkey has more Biblical sites in it than any other region in the Middle East except Israel. Turks in occupied northern Cyprus since 1974 have already wiped out its Christian past.

Inside Turkey, Erdogan has similarly escalated his war on the Syriac Church by seizing 50 churches, monasteries, and religious properties.

He also evidently wanted to inflict humiliation on the West. The day before his announcement, he expelled Christian missionaries. By turning Hagia Sophia into a mosque, Erdogan has been able to embarrass Washington, mock Brussels and defy Moscow.

For Erdogan and the Islamists, Hagia Sophia is the prime symbol of Christianity's subjugation to Islam. "Hagia Sophia is the symbol of conquest", said Yunus Genç, who heads the Istanbul branch of the Anatolian Youth Association. "It belongs to us".

Four popes have visited the former cathedral: St. Paul VI, St. John Paul II, Benedict XVI and Francis I. Yet, 24 hours after its conversion to a mosque, no major Christian leader or scholar has denounced Turkey's religious assault on the Hagia Sophia.

Its current change of identity appears part of a long, deliberate project of re-Islamization. In 2016, for the first time in 81 years, Hagia Sophia got its own imam. Earlier, in 2012, in Iznik, another Hagia Sophia was converted into a mosque. The location was significant: Iznik, the ancient Nicaea, is where bishops from all over the Roman Empire had gathered in 325 to craft the Christian creed. A year later, in Trabzon, another famous Hagia Sophia, a museum since 1961, was also turned into a mosque and its Byzantine mosaics "covered with curtains and carpets".

When Erdogan was campaigning to become the mayor of Istanbul in 1994, he was already talking about "the second conquest of Istanbul" and even then had set his sights on taking back Hagia Sophia.

"Celebrating a conquest that took place more than five centuries ago may seem anachronistic, I would even say absurd, to European leaders", wrote the Turkish novelist Nedim Gürsel. "For Erdogan, the capture of Constantinople is another pretext for challenging the West".

According to Tugba Tanyeri Erdemir, a research associate at the University of Pittsburgh, the transformation of Hagia Sophia might also "embolden extremists to intensify their campaign of forced conversion and destruction of minority heritage sites".

"To convert it back to a mosque," said Turkey's Nobel Laureate Orhan Pamuk, "is to say to the rest of the world unfortunately we are not secular anymore".

Political Islam is on the offensive on many fronts. Its advocates have been flooding Europe with mosques. The "largest mosque in Europe" will be a Turkish one in Strasbourg. In Germany, Turkey controls 900 mosques out of a total of 2,400. Extremists have also been imposing on Europe a new ideological crime, "Islamophobia", and have been financing and witnessing the "extinction" of all that remains of the splendor of Eastern Christianity that used to glorify these lands six centuries before Islam. Now, Islamists are converting Hagia Sophia into a mosque. They are not doing it only in their countries. In France, they have also asked for churches to be converted into mosques.

In Turkey, meanwhile, Erdogan keeps refusing to give permission to build any new churches. In fairness, in 2015, Turkey finally did approve a plan to build its first new church in 90 years.

Erdogan, according to a French scholar of religions, Jean-Francois Colosimo, expecting "a civilizational Munich" -- a reference to the 1938 pact in which France and Britain surrendered Czechoslovakia to Hitler. Erdogan could not have chosen a better moment. For weeks, politicians and elites in the West have been tearing down monuments -- either doing it themselves or silently watching the barbaric armies of Western self-hatred.

Double-standards now seem to be the norm as well. When cartoons of Mohammed appeared in Danish and French newspapers in 2005, the Muslim world erupted in violence. The same year, when Newsweek reported an alleged desecration of a Koran in Guantanamo Bay, the Muslim world, before the magazine quickly retracted the article, flew into a rage. 'When Pope Benedict XVI in Regensburg asked Islam to renounce fanaticism and intolerance in 2014, the Muslim world again erupted in violence. When Israel, in 2017, installed metal detectors in a compound to protect sites holy to Muslims and Jews, Erdogan accused Israel of destroying the Islamic character of Jerusalem. Now, however, that Turkey is turning its most important formerly Christian monument into a mosque, there is no protest, only silence and mumbling, which are nothing but the soundtrack of the West's submission to Islam.

"An apathy reminiscent of the absence of solidarity when the Byzantine Christian civilization sank with the fall of Constantinople in May 1453", Ivan Rioufol wrote in Le Figaro. "Neither Venice, France, nor England has come to the aid of this resplendent part of their culture. The story repeats itself".

Giulio Meotti, Cultural Editor for Il Foglio, is an Italian journalist and author.


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Hagia Sophia: An Islamic gauntlet has been thrown down - Mike Konrad

by Mike Konrad

Turkey's decision to convert this architectural and spiritual masterpiece into a mosque puts it on a collision course with Christendom.

Thanks to the machinations of Turkey’s Islamist president, Recep Erodgan, Turkey will be reconverting the Hagia Sophia into a mosque. There was no need for this, except to assert an Islamic supremacism to his voter base.

The construction of the Hagia Sophia – the name means Holy Wisdom - started in 360 A.D. A fire destroyed it in the sixth century, but a re-construction soon started, which was completed in 537 A.D. For the next nine centuries, the Hagia Sofia was a church, arguably the greatest in the world.

It shifted hands between Catholics and Orthodox – and in the 8th century, icons were destroyed by iconclasts - but it always remained in Christian hands.

In 1453, with the fall of Constantinople, the Hagia Sofia fell into the hands of Muslims. For over nine centuries (not counting the first church which was burnt down) it had been a central point of Christian worship. But the Muslims set about turning it into a mosque. Still, even to this day, the Hagia Sofia had been a place of Christian worship for twice as long as it had been a mosque.

After the First World War, the Ottoman Empire was defeated. Kemel Attaturk took over Turkey, and tried to reform it, to produce a kinder, gentler, secular Islam. In 1935, the Hagia was de-Islamicized and turned into a secular museum. One of the greatest museums in the world. 

Click here to see PBS documentary.

The Hagia Sofia is truly a World Heritage Site, in every sense of the word.

But to an Islamist, like Erdogan, the Hagia Sofia had to re-Islamified. On July 10th, after the approval of a Turkish Court, Erdogan signed a decree reinstating the Hagia Sofia as a mosque. He promises that Islamic services will begin on July 24.

What a monstrous decision this is, but it is all too typical of Islam. Islam loves to steal the religious sites of others. I am not of a Greek Orthodox background, and have some differences with their theology, but the outrage still festers. Islam never surrenders what it has stolen.

To get an idea of what was lost – and giving a hat tip to The American Conservative for finding this video – click to hear what Christian chanting in the Hagia must have sounded like – thanks to computer simulation.

Or check out this video (Click here). Such glorious echoes would not be possible in Western, angular church structures. The Reformation rightly re-invigorated hymnistry, with its emphasis on worship in song in the local languages, but I doubt the Reformation has come near the Orthodox emphasis on structural acoustics, especially given the Reformation’s preference for simplicity in buildings, order of worship, theology, and its disdain for tradition. Oh, well! To each its own.

In India, in the 16th century, the Ayodhya religious site was taken over by Muslims to construct the Babri Mosque. In 1992, Indian Hindus liberated the mosque, but only recently, in 2019, has the Indian Supreme Court allowed the Indians to continue with construction of a Hindu temple.

According to The Guardian
[The Indian supreme court] ruled that a mosque that had stood on the site since the 16th century, and was the basis of the Muslim claim to Ayodhya, was “not built on vacant land” and that the Hindu belief could not be disputed.
The judges declared that a separate “prominent” five-acre piece of land would be allocated to the Muslim community to build a mosque near the contested site.
By allocating five acres to the Muslims, India was more generous than I suspect Islam would have been to the Hindus.

Wikipedia has a list of non-Islamic buildings converted to mosques. (Click here). Much of these structures were forcibly converted.

Many have remained under Muslim control, some sporting the name of Great Mosque or Grand Mosque. What should be obvious is that many of the now-so-called mosques shown to tourists were not Islamic to begin with. Many were cathedrals – which should disabuse some of the claims of Islamic genius in architecture.

The list would be even longer, except that some buildings were liberated back from the Muslims. (such as in Spain, Hungary, and Greece).

Of course, the greatest theft is the Islamic occupation of the Temple Mount. Any competent historian can show that its origins were Jewish.

The only good thing to come out of this Hagia Sophia mosquification is that the Orthodox Christian world is furious, and Turkey may get a lot of diplomatic blowback, even from some of its so-called friends. Greece and Russia, both Orthodox Christian nations, are furious over this. Much of Eastern Europe will be outraged as well.
What the West should do is inform Turkey that since a precedent has been set, the West will not complain if the Jews retake their patrimony. If Islam can re-Islamify the Hagia, let the Jews re-Judaize the Temple Mount.

There is a critical difference though. Islam is re-taking a structure that was never theirs to begin with, but the Jews – unlike the Muslims – would be re-taking what was theirs all along.

Now is the time for the West to take advantage of Eastern Orthodox anger to put an end to Islamic predations in Israel. We can use this window of opportunity to allow the Jews to act, and this time we might have a lot of support from nations who have hitherto been neutral. A message should be sent to Islam.

Image credit: Pexels public domain, processed with FotoSketcher

Mike Konrad


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Jews against Themselves - Eileen F. Toplansky

by Eileen F. Toplansky

While Jews think they are engaging in a Martin Luther King march for civil rights, they are in complete denial about the true nature of BLM.

Jews are now commemorating what is known as the Three Weeks. It is when Jews express grief for the destruction of the Holy Temple in ancient Israel. The Temple was breached by the Romans in 69 C.E. The mourning period concludes with a fast to remember when both Holy Temples were set aflame. Thus, Tisha B'Av (Ninth of Av) is the saddest day of the Jewish calendar.

These calamitous events, among others, came from outside the Jewish world but have impacted it for centuries. What is happening today in America and abroad is that Jews are deliberately working against themselves. Why are so many Jews joining forces with a known anti-Semitic group such as the Black Lives Matter?

In his 2015 book titled Jews Against Themselves, Edward Alexander examines the various strains of thought that many Jews have adopted. The ultimate aim of each strain is the hollowing out of Judaism and the obliteration of Israel. These approaches pit Jewish particularism against Jewish universalism, the latter which results in undermining Jewish interests and lives. In essence, it is "Jewish suicidalism [sic]."

For example "Judith Butler who urges progressive people to fight anti-Semitism ... maintains that it is 'wildly improbable that somebody examining the divestment petitions signed by herself and her co-conspirators might take them (as hundreds on her own campus already had) as condoning anti-Semitism.'" In short, Butler dismisses actions such as BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) and cannot comprehend that they are overtly anti-Semitic. She is wearing blinders while maintaining the alleged moral high ground.

Thus, while Jews have faced variations of anti-Semitism throughout the centuries, the latest manifestation occurs when the "new anti-Jewish Jew embraces his Jewishness [sic] by attacking Israel" either directly or indirectly. Consequently, "he claims to be more authentically Jewish than those ... fellow Jews who somehow fail to follow him in his tireless efforts to delegitimize and thus destroy the only Jewish state."

These Jews are "great moralizers," using Jewish concepts in a perverse way to delegitimize Israel and other Jews who will not join the chorus of support for groups who are publicly anti-Semitic. For example, Jews for Racial & Economic Justice "claims it is inspired by Jewish tradition to dismantle racism and economic exploitation [and] on its website, the organization highlights its work with Black Lives Matter and its efforts to fight Islamophobia and dismantle ICE." In fact, this group is letting anti-Semites be its guide.

Thus, we see more than 400 Jewish organizations and synagogues signing on to a letter that asserts "unequivocally: Black Lives Matter." Do these folks know that Black Lives Matter was "founded by Marxist revolutionaries in 2013, [and] Black Lives Matter (BLM) is a movement that depicts the United States as a nation awash in racism, sexism, and homophobia"?
Demonstrators at BLM events have been known to smear white police as trigger-happy bigots who are intent upon killing innocent, unarmed black males; taunt, and direct obscenities at, uniformed police officers who are on duty; throw rocks at police and threaten to kill them; and celebrate in the streets when a police officer is killed."
  • At a BLM march in August 2015, protesters chanted : 'Pigs in a blanket, fry 'em like bacon.' ('Pigs' was a reference to police officers, and 'blanket' was a reference to body bags.)
  • On a BLM-affiliated radio program ... the hosts laughed at the ... assassination of a white Texas deputy; boasted that blacks were like lions who could prevail in a 'race war' against whites; happily predicted that 'we will witness more executions and killing of white people and cops than we ever have before'; and declared that 'It's open season on killing white people and crackas.' ...
BLM was established as an online platform in 2013 by Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza, and Opal Tometi. In a July 2015 speech at the annual Netroots Nation convention in Phoenix, Cullors exhorted fellow blacks to 'rise the fuck up,' 'shut this shit down,' and 'burn everything down!' In 2015 as well, Cullors openly acknowledged BLM's revolutionary Marxist objectives, proclaiming on video: 'We actually do have an ideological frame. Myself and Alicia [Garza] in particular, we're trained organizers. We are trained Marxists.
In fact, they applaud "Eric Mann, a communist revolutionary and a domestic terrorist who in the 1960s and '70s was a member of the Students for a Democratic Society and the Weather Underground, whose shared objective was to launch a race war against the 'white' United States on behalf of the nonwhite Third World. Mann trained Cullors in Marxist-Leninist ideology and the tactics of political organizing."

In short, the murder of white people of all ages is the BLM approach to ending racism! For those Jews who are so concerned with slavery, please note that some corporations that are pouring in money to support Black Lives Matter "are using modern day slave labor." Tikun olam, anyone?[1]

Zoe Strimpel explains how Black Lives Matter, which claims to be an anti-racist movement "often fosters anti-Semitism. This is because the most committed anti-racists see Jews [as] part of an imperialist racist Zionist conspiracy, represented by Israel." Consequently, Strimpel "was dismayed, but far from surprised to see, that the Black Lives Matter protests have gone on producing potent outbreaks of anti-Semitism."
A few weeks ago, rioting in Los Angeles following the murder of George Floyd saw a number of Jewish shops destroyed, synagogues vandalised with 'Free Palestine' graffiti, and a statue of Raoul Wallenberg, the Swedish diplomat who saved thousands of Hungarian Jews from being murdered by the Nazis, daubed in anti-Semitic slogans.
Back in America, Ice Cube, the rapper, chose to advance the cause of George Floyd by posting a caricature of Jewish figures with the caption: 'All we have to do is stand up [against them] and their little game is over.' The image was nearly identical to one used by Nazis in the 1930s to incite hatred and violence against Jews. Ice Cube also praised Nation of Islam founder Louis Farrakhan, one of the world's most rabid anti-Semites. All in the name of racial justice, naturally.
Alex Winston explains how "Black Lives Matter UK called several times for parliamentarians and governments to implement 'sanctions, effective measures and an end to Israel's impunity.'" Thus, a "major UK Jewish watchdog has called out the UK chapter of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement for anti-Semitism after a series of anti-Israel tweets[.]"
The Campaign Against Anti-Semitism (CAA) responded to the tweet, writing that 'Black Lives Matter movement should embrace solidarity from Jews. There have been calls for violence against [Jews] from prominent BLM supporters with no official condemnation. Now from the official UK BLM account, we hear ... that fighting anti-Semitism has 'gagged' legitimate debate.
CAA "wrote on its website. 'BLM is treading a well-worn path walked by many extremists and abhorred by real civil rights leaders like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who once told a student in Boston who had made a comment attacking 'Zionists': 'When people criticize 'Zionists' they mean 'Jews' You're talking anti-Semitism!'"

So while Jews think they are engaging in a Martin Luther King march for civil rights, they are in complete denial about the true nature of BLM.

And it should never be forgotten that the Marxist BLM and the radical Islamic forces are allies.
This is not the first case where what may be a jihadist attack took place amidst a larger anti-police Black Lives Matter narrative being pushed by the radical left. Following protests in Ferguson, MO in response to the death of Michael Brown, Islamist groups played a public role in organizing and spreading propaganda. Multiple incidents targeting police involved individuals with Islamist links, like Zale Thompson, Jaleel Abdul-Jabbar, and Ismaaiyl Brinsley.
As the goals of the left and the radical Islamists are similar, it is no surprise that they have joined forces. Jews, wake up!

Why have so many Jews forgotten the words of Emma Lazarus, who said, "A study of Jewish history is all that is necessary to make a patriot of an intelligent Jew"? How have Jews become so naïve that they do not see that they are the pawns of a group that will use them and then discard them as useful idiots?

Some Jews are beginning to be roused. According to Yair Rosenberg, "... an alliance of groups affiliated with the Black Lives Matter movement unveiled their first official platform. The 40,000-word manifesto contained many recommendations, including concrete policy proposals, for rectifying the wrongs perpetrated against America's African-American citizens in the past and present. Unfortunately, the platform also contained a vicious bigoted slur against the Jewish state, which the document's foreign policy section accused of perpetrating 'genocide' against Palestinians. (The platform also labeled Israel an 'apartheid state' and joined with the BDS movement in calling for the total academic, cultural, and economic boycott of the country — a demand made for no other state.)[2] This did not go over well with Jewish groups — including some of Black Lives Matters' hitherto staunch progressive allies."

In 1988, Aharon Appelfeld wrote that "[t]he Jewish ability to internalize any critical and condemnatory remark and castigate themselves is one of the marvels of human nature." Appeasement by any nation leads to its demise. That Jews in this day and age abandon their own self-interest and give anti-Semitism a pass is breathtaking. That these Jews under the mantle of self-righteousness would permit the defamation, abandonment, and harm of their own people whether here or abroad means they need to better heed the prophet who wrote, "Awake, awake, Put on thy strength, O Zion" (Isaiah 52:1).

[1] The term "mipnei tikkun ha-olam" (perhaps best translated as 'in the interest of public policy').
[2] For the record, apartheid is quite apparent in the Middle East, except it is not Israel where it occurs. 

Eileen F. Toplansky can be reached at


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Weinstein, Epstein, and the Democrats - Grant Baker

by Grant Baker

Pay-to-play hummed along until Trump’s election saw these political underwriters go bust, exposing well-connected criminals to legal and reputational vulnerability.

Just like any mob organization, political parties create protection rackets that cover for the misdeeds of miscreants who are useful to the party. Donors, organizers, friendly corporate elites, industry gatekeepers, and other party contributors are not mere ideologues; they pay their dues and expect something in return. Parties leverage political pull to ensure that cases are never made against their clientele. Pay-to-play hummed along until Trump’s election saw these political underwriters go bust, exposing well-connected criminals to legal and reputational vulnerability.

After Republicans swept the 2016 election, the media and entertainment industries went into hysterics, having paid steep dues to an organization that could no longer protect them. New York and Los Angeles launched an offensive in the form of the Women’s Marches, events which claimed that Trump’s election had normalized sexual assault. Of course, there would be no surge in sexual assaults during the Trump administration, but there was an avalanche of revelations that such crimes were commonplace -- in the media and entertainment industries.

The case of Harvey Weinstein is infamous, but few know the full context. As a powerful movie producer and Hollywood gatekeeper, Weinstein was extraordinarily successful in collecting donations for the Democratic party from Hollywood elites. Knowing that his friends in high places would protect him, he would put naïve young starlets in compromising situations and sexually assault them. Weinstein’s assaults were an open secret in Hollywood and were the subject of inside jokes, including one made openly five years earlier at the Oscars. The New York Times had been aware of Weinstein’s crimes since 2004 and buried the story until they saw the dam bursting, printing it in October 2017. Soon afterward, an audio recording was released of Weinstein admitting his sexual assault on Italian model Ambra Gutierrez, the actress wearing a wire at the request of NYPD one day after Weinstein had seized her breast. Weinstein’s confession and additional threatening behavior would have made a solid case in most districts but was doomed to fail in Manhattan. District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. squashed the investigation, unwilling to launch a legal attack on such a powerful contributor to the Democratic party.

Weinstein had been safe during the Obama administration and would have been safe under a Hillary Clinton administration, being one of Clinton’s largest campaign bundlers, but the unexpected Trump victory meant he was out in the cold. Julian Assange aptly summarized the dynamic on social media:
Would Sarkozy and Weinstein have fallen if Hillary Clinton had been elected president? Was the prospect of her taking power previously protective? Are there other figures who have had their protective matrix weakened who were once thought to be untouchable? If so, who?
Who indeed? A long list of Hollywood, media, and tech executives fiercely critical of Trump’s presidential campaign.

The outpouring of sexual assault accusations prompted women to share their own stories on social media. The Democratic party moved quickly to fashion this burgeoning #MeToo movement into a feminist, anti-Trump weapon, with a moderate degree of success. Feminists had long held that ‘rape-culture’ was widespread and it seemed the day of reckoning was nigh. The business world braced for a wave of legal woes by clamping down on after-hours fraternization and changing corporate culture in a way that ended up freezing women out of traditional networking opportunities. The #MeToo movement soured among women,the anti-male corporate witch-hunts having damaged their careers. The reckoning never came, at least for the business world, as ‘rape-culture’ seemed to be a Hollywood and journalism phenomenon.

Hollywood would not go down without a fight, attempting to get ahead of the #MeToo movement by creating Time’s Up, an artificial copycat movement with the support of Hollywood infrastructure, most notably the Creative Artists Agency. Celebrities headlined Time’s Up and #MeToo events, claiming that sexual assaults were everywhere in society, but the film industry would soon be the exception. This defensive posturing was met with skepticism from the public as motives became transparent. Photographs surfaced of Weinstein present at the early 2017 Women’s March. Legendary actor Kevin Spacey was accused of sexually assaulting young boys. Actress Asis Argento, who gave a rousing speech at the Cannes Film Festival claiming “even tonight, sitting among you, there are those who still have to be held accountable for their conduct,” was outed as a predator herself. Even the powerful Creative Artists Agency was accused of pimping young women to predators like Weinstein. Hollywood’s once-illustrious reputation was in ruins.

Hollywood’s protection of predators and pedophiles who made them money was an excellent lesson on privilege, but Americans were soon treated to a far greater one in the form of Jeffrey Epstein. Even before Epstein’s downfall, it had been widely known that he was a sex trafficker of women and children, using his “Lolita Express” to service (and blackmail) Hollywood, media, and Democrat party elite, with the help of his madame Ghislaine Maxwell.

Epstein suffered a minor setback in 2008 when local police from Palm Beach, Florida caught him abusing a 14 year-old girl at a massage parlor. The FBI swooped in for the rescue, offering Epstein a sweetheart plea deal which allowed him to serve less than 13 months without ratting out his clientele and with substantial work-release. Epstein continued his trafficking ring for years to come until President Trump managed to confirm William Barr, a seasoned prosecutor willing to attack privileged criminals, as attorney general. Barr arrested Epstein after declaring Epstein’s FBI deal to be illegal. Seeing the writing on the wall, politicians, journalists, and celebrities implicated in the trafficking ring denounced Epstein and denied knowledge, having held their tongue for over a decade.

The public wondered what truths Epstein would spill but were soon disappointed. After prison guards found Epstein unconscious with strangulation marks on his neck, he was placed on suicide watch, only to be quietly removed from suicide watch, placed in an isolated cell, and strangled to death while the guards missed a mandatory checkup. Video footage from both strangulations had been destroyed and Epstein’s death was passed off as a suicide. Legacy media organizations mocked the disbelieving public as conspiracy theorists until undercover footage from Project Veritas revealed that even journalists knew Epstein had been murdered. Furthermore, an ABC News story featuring proof that Prince Andrew, Bill Clinton, and other elites had been Epstein’s clientele had been killed after the royal palace had “threatened us a million different ways.” The story of Epstein and Prince Andrew, entrusted to ABC by a victim of child trafficking who had spent 12 years in hiding, had been traded for an interview with Prince William and Kate Middleton and additional interviews guaranteed to ABC for years to come.

Why Epstein’s case took so long to get made, why he was rescued by the FBI, and why he was permitted to continue operating is no secret. He was useful, but who for? Was he a blackmailer working for the Democratic party, an FBI asset, or both? The collusion between American intelligence agencies, political elites, and foreign royalty to rape American children should remind every American that privilege exists in being useful to entrenched powers, not in identity politics. With the recent arrest of Epstein’s madame Ghislaine Maxwell, the case has received renewed attention. Will Attorney General Barr seize evidence from ABC News, subpoena former presidents and princes, and conduct a scorched-earth campaign to bring justice to the world’s most privileged, or will Maxwell die of asphyxiation in a lonely prison cell?

Let justice prevail though the heavens fall.

Grant Baker


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Blitz: Trump's War on the Left is Just Getting Started - Daniel Greenfield

by Daniel Greenfield

David Horowitz's new book takes us behind the scenes of the real war.

[David Horowitz's new book, Blitz: Trump Will Smash the Left and Win, has made the NY Times Bestseller List. Order it: Here.]

As the country seems to be spinning into chaos with cities burning and businesses shutting down, one question is on the minds of the media, the establishment, and the nearly 36 million Americans whose votes made history in the 2016 election.

Can President Donald J. Trump pull off a win one more time — in 2020?

That’s the question of the year that bestselling author David Horowitz tackles in his latest book, "Blitz: Trump Will Smash the Left and Win." In his previous book, "Big Agenda: President Trump's Plan to Save America," Horowitz had laid out the strategy and the stakes for the struggle consuming the last three years. Now, in "Blitz," he tackles the climactic battles for the next four years — and the future of America.

"Blitz" refers to both the war waged against President Trump by foreign and domestic adversaries, from Communist China to Marxist mobs in the streets, as well as his relentless defense of the Republic.

This is the year our commander in chief was emergent as a "wartime president," defending not just the moral integrity of the White House, but its very physical structure against radicals determined to burn it to the ground.

As the threat to this nation has reached unprecedented levels, so has Trump’s defense of it.

From Obamagate to impeachment to leftists bringing fire and fear to within sight of the White House, the material attacks on the Trump presidency have escalated from surveillance to lawfare to violence.

Meanwhile the moral attacks, the character assassinations and 24/7 defamation, have been used to license this unprecedented campaign to bring down our nation's 45th president by any means.

What the left fears is no secret.

The media has spoken the dreaded word again and again — Populism.

The forces that have run this country into the ground are terrified of a man who fights for the people, instead of implementing the radical agenda of leftist think tanks, activists, and their media mouthpieces.

As Horowitz writes in "Blitz," "Trump was not only not one of them, he was their worst nightmare — disrespectful toward everything they stood for — politically incorrect."

The information war waged by the media seeks to convince the public that President Trump is politically incorrect because he’s a bad man.

The truth is that the media sees him as an evil man because he is politically incorrect.

"Blitz" delves into the media’s determination to destroy President Trump by spinning and smearing his efforts to reach out to African-Americans, to heal the wounds of a divided nation, because it feared that a new revolutionary Republican leader might succeed in undermining Democratic racial divisiveness.

"As soon as Trump became the Republican nominee, he showed that his candidacy posed an existential threat to the Democrats' inner-city monopolies," Horowitz writes.

As one of the visionaries who had advocated for just this kind of Republican outreach to inner cities, the former leftist understands exactly what is at stake in the struggle for the soul of the inner-city constituencies on the Democratic plantation.

Trump’s unexpected maneuver panicked Democrats who responded by calling Trump a racist. This was not an offense, but a defense against any effort to liberate voters trapped in failed Democratic systems.

"That is the dirty secret that Democrat campaigns and slanders are designed to protect. If Democrats were to lose their control of these cities," Horowitz notes, "they could not win another election."

Both in and out of office, Trump expertly zeroes in on the weaknesses and vulnerabilities of his political opponents. He knows the Achilles heels of Democratic Party ruling elites and moves quickly to exploit them. That is the quality that has infuriated and frightened those elites into launching the "resistance."

As Horowitz sums up in one title in his book, "the impeachable offense is Trump himself."

Trump’s tactics are not unprecedented. As Horowitz understands better than anyone else, these are the tactics of the left. A refusal to take prisoners, a keen eye for vulnerabilities, and a determination to win at all costs by taking the fight to the enemy have been the qualities that are the hallmarks of the left.

They are what we are seeing on the streets, not just in 2020, but in the generations of national decline.

Leftists have fought ruthlessly and been opposed fecklessly by a Republican opposition that all too often fought only to secure a short-term compromise instead of a long-term victory. President Trump frightened the radicals because, for the first time in a very long time, Republicans were playing their way.

The rush of judicial nominations and executive orders were not unprecedented.

They were how the Obama administration had done business on everything from nuking the filibuster to Obamacare. But the Democrats had assumed that no future Republican occupant of the White House would start playing the game by their rules.

But that is President Trump’s strength. He doesn’t pull his punches either, as Horowitz details, on Twitter, or when it comes to the bare-knuckled brawls of policymaking:
"Trump will not ignore the left’s war on America," Horowitz boldly concludes. "By his actions over the course of his first White House term, Donald Trump has shown Americans that in the war the Democrats have declared on him—and through him, on their country —he can lead them to victory and secure a better future for all."

Reflecting the vigor of the man who is its subject, Horowitz’s book is both a stirring call to action and a ringing defense of President Trump’s quest to both Make America Great Again and to keep it that way.

As our nation approaches the pivotal crisis of a national election, the radical forces that turned federal law enforcement into their own private Watergate spy system sending mobs into the streets last time around, are pulling out all the stops in a campaign to bring Trump and America to their knees.

But, as "Blitz" documents, Donald J. Trump has not given up and is not about to abandon the fight.

2020 is a year of promise and peril, of fear and hope, of aspiration and violence —nationally.

"Blitz: Trump Will Smash the Left and Win," more than successfully captures that promise and peril as our nation's 45th president and the nearly 63 million men and women, of all races and creeds, who stood by him, face the fury of the storm.

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


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Ilhan Omar Should Be Expelled from House for Threatening to ‘Tear Down’ Our Political System, But Won’t Be - Robert Spencer

by Robert Spencer


Ilhan Omar Should Be Expelled from House for Threatening to ‘Tear Down’ Our Political System, But Won’t Be
My latest in PJ Media:
It’s a fine thing to be a member of not one, not two, but three protected victim classes: that most ardent of patriots, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Jihad), has now directly violated the oath of office she took when she became a member of the House of Representatives, but because she is so multiply victimized, nothing will be done.

It all happened Tuesday, when the Left’s brightest young star said that her colleagues’ latest treasonous cause, defunding the police, would not be enough: “We can’t stop at criminal justice reform or policing reform for that matter. We are not merely fighting to tear down the systems of oppression in the criminal justice system, we are fighting to tear down systems of oppression that exist in housing, in education, in health care, in employment, in the air we breathe.”

Those “systems of oppression” that need to be torn down, in her sage view, include “our economy and political system.” Omar continued: “We must recognize that these systems of oppression are linked. As long as our economy and political system prioritize profit without considering who is profiting, who is being shut out, we will perpetuate this inequality. So we cannot stop at criminal justice, we must begin the work of dismantling the whole system of oppression wherever we find it.”

The “whole system of oppression.” All right. But that is not exactly what Rep. Omar promised to be about when she became an officer of the United States government. Here is the oath Ilhan Omar took when she became a member of the U.S. House of Representatives: “I, Ilhan Omar, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion, and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.”

This is a quite clear-cut case. Calling for the “dismantling” of the “political system” is the direct opposite of supporting and defending the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic. In a sane Congress, she would be expelled. The Constitution says: “Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly Behaviour, and, with the Concurrence of two thirds, expel a Member” (Art. I section 5)…..

There is much more. Read the rest here.

Robert Spencer


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Turkey's Demographics Defy Erdoğan's Designs - Burak Bekdil

by Burak Bekdil


Newborn babies at an Ankara hospital wear face shields to protect from coronavirus on April 22, 2020. Despite a government baby boom campaign, fertility rates in Turkey are declining. (Anadolu)
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has not lost a single election, including municipal elections and referenda, since his AKP (Justice and Development) party came to power in November 2002. This is ostensibly a flawless performance for a politician. But Erdoğan wants more than just to win one election after another. In 2012 he declared his political mission to be "raising devout generations." That is a far more ambitious mission than just winning at the ballot box.
Credible recent surveys indicate that Erdoğan's 18-year reign has failed to achieve his broader political mission.

Optimar, a Turkish pollster, found that in 2017, 99% of Turks identified as Muslim, but in 2019, that figure had slid to 89.5%. Konda, another pollster, found in 2019 that Turkish youths were less likely than the wider population to call themselves "religious conservative." They were also less likely to fast, pray regularly, or, if female, cover their hair.

Turkish youths are less likely than the wider population to be religiously conservative.
Another survey, part of OECD's Programme for International Student Assessment, revealed that 54% of imam school students do not feel they belong at their school, compared to 27.5%-29.1% of students at non-religious schools. Most embarrassing for Islamists, perhaps, were the findings of a survey by Ipsos, an international pollster. Ipsos found that only 12% of Turks trust Islamic clerics, the worst score after politicians (who are trusted by 11%).

A more recent survey found that even conservative, pro-Erdoğan youths have no faith in either their own country or other Islamic countries. SODEV, a Turkish foundation, asked young people between the ages of 15 and 25 whether they would live abroad if given the chance. Almost half (47.3%) of those youths who said they supported Erdoğan's AKP said they preferred to live abroad. "That means half of Erdoğan's youth have no faith in Turkey's future," wrote Akif Beki, a former spokesman for Erdoğan and a columnist.

Almost half of those youths who support Erdoğan's AKP say they would prefer to live abroad.
SODEV's "Youth Research" was not encouraging for Erdoğan and ideologues who advocate authoritarian, top-down social engineering aimed at producing Islamist youth. SODEV asked pro-Erdoğan (pro-AKP) young people whether they would rather live in Switzerland on $5,000 per month or in Saudi Arabia on $10,000 per month. As many as 60.5% of them said they would prefer Switzerland.

Why would fiercely nationalist, religiously conservative, pro-Erdoğan young Turks prefer to live in a Christian European country? Haven't they been listening to Erdoğan's aggressive anti-Western rhetoric for the past 18 years? SODEV's survey provides an answer to that question too. According to the study, 70.3% of respondents think a talented young Turk would never be able to promote him- or herself professionally in Turkey without [political/bureaucratic] "connections"—that is, without the help of nepotism. And only 30% of them think they can freely express their opinions on social media.

When asked to name the most significant idea in life, 49.8% cited "national values" and 45.7% cited "religious values." But 68.3% cited "freedom to express one's opinion." Apparently, Turkey's lack of freedom, equal opportunity, and social mobility tells young Turks that they would be better off in a Christian country. "That's because young Turks, including [those who are] pro-Erdoğan, know they could fearlessly express their opinions in Switzerland...that they could have a [successful] professional career without resorting to nepotism and that they would not face police interrogation just because they expressed their opinions," commented columnist Elif Çakır.

Another of Erdoğan's social engineering failures is the greying of Turkey. Since 2008, the Islamist-populist leader has repeatedly urged Turkish families to have at least three children—"four or five if possible." Without naming names, Erdoğan justified this quest as a defense against "those [foreign plotters who] want to annihilate our nation."

Turkey is reproducing below the 2.1 fertility rate required to maintain its population size.
Despite Erdoğan's baby boom campaign, the number of healthy births in Turkey dropped by 3.6% to 1.248 million in 2018 versus 1.295 million in 2017. The overall fertility rate fell to 1.99 from 2.07, meaning Turkey is now reproducing below the 2.1 rate required to maintain the population at current levels.

Turkey's demographic evolution defies the dictates of Erdoğan's Islamist social engineering despite his unchallenged popularity, power, and authoritarian rule. Turkish families ignore his instruction to have at least three children, and his younger supporters are ready to pack up and move to a Christian country.

This is not the demographic picture Erdoğan dreamed of, but it is the natural outcome of his democratic shortcomings. As I have suggested before, "Perhaps Erdoğan's best service to his country is to show young Turks what it actually means to live under an Islamist regime."

Burak Bekdil is an Ankara-based political analyst and a fellow at the Middle East Forum.


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