Friday, December 5, 2014

UK: Britain's Terror Addiction - Samuel Westrop

by Samuel Westrop

Debates over the causes of radicalization and extremism in Britain invariably focus on how to tackle support for groups such as ISIS and Al Qaeda. But why is it that Hamas and PFLP are deemed moderate regardless of how many civilians they murder?
"God be praised for the martyrdom operation in Jerusalem and news of the state of the killed and injured." — Interpal partner Ahmed Brahimi, in response to the murder of Israeli Jews praying in a synagogue.

The response to the murder of four Israelis praying at a synagogue in Jerusalem on November 18 was, in some quarters, one of jubilation.

Although Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the murders, officials of his political party, Fatah, were careful to explain on Palestinian television that the terrorists were "blessed…soldiers of Allah" and that Abbas had only issued a condemnation for "diplomatic reasons... [he] is forced to speak this way to the world."

Other Palestinian groups were less oblique. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), which claimed responsibility for the murderous attack, described the terror operation as "heroic" and handed out sweets on the streets of Gaza.

Hamas praised the attack and described the murders as "a quality development... an appropriate and functional response to the crimes of the occupation."

In Britain, it is not the equivocal response of Fatah that draws sympathy from various political and religious groups, but the forthright violence of Hamas and the PFLP.

On September 28, a British Marxist group, the "Tricontinental Anti-Imperialist Platform," organized in central London an event entitled, "Gaza and the Palestinian Revolution," featuring, as its main speaker, Leila Khaled.

In 1969 and 1970, Leila Khaled, armed with several hand grenades, hijacked two planes. She was released by the British government as part of a hostage exchange deal. Today, Khaled is still a member of the PFLP's central committee.

In 2012, Khaled spoke at University College London, as part of the annual Marxism Festival, an event organized to celebrate "resistance" to "imperialism."

Not all support for the PFLP, however, is confined to the extremes. Christian Aid, one of the UK's largest charities, funds and supports Palestinian NGOs openly managed by PFLP operatives.

British groups and individuals who support Hamas are even more extreme. An official of the Project for Peace and Development in Palestine (PPDP), a group founded in Britain and a key partner of the British charity Interpal, recently rejoiced over the recent murders in Jerusalem. In response to the synagogue killings, Ahmed Brahimi wrote: "God is most great... God be praised for the martyrdom operation in Jerusalem and news of the state of the killed and injured... God is Most Great and God be praised."

Brahimi is an Algerian national who took part in the "Gaza Freedom Flotilla" in 2010 as a passenger aboard the Mavi Marmara, which was raided by Israeli forces. His organization, the PPDP, was officially established in Britain in 2007. It held its inaugural event at the British Library in London.

The event was organized by Interpal and a number of other British Islamic charities accused of belonging to the Union of Good -- a coalition of charities that works to obtain the financial support for Hamas's political and terrorist activities. The British Library event, however, did not mark the actual beginning of the PPDP. The group originally seems to have been a project managed by Interpal itself, which was in operation as early as 2004.

Interpal, a leading British Islamic charity, is designated as a terrorist organization under US law. Interpal's officials regularly meet with senior Hamas leaders. In 2006, a BBC documentary accused Interpal of funding Hamas front groups in the Palestinian territories. Notwithstanding the evidence, Interpal received £536,000 of taxpayers' money from the British government in 2012 through a tax relief scheme named Gift Aid.

Today, the PPDP, which operates out of Gaza, maintains an office and bank account in the UK through which it privately raises funds.

Directors listed on the PPDP's registered company in the UK include Interpal trustee Essam Yousef. Moreover, the PPDP does not attempt to hide its affiliations – it has its own weekly program on one of Hamas's television channels, Al-Quds TV.

While officially, the PPDP provides loans and grants to help "empower young people and help reduce unemployment through education," its main role is to finance and manage the Miles of Smiles initiative, a regular expedition of convoys established in 2007.

Miles of Smiles supplies the Hamas government's welfare programs in Gaza. The convoys are supported by the Union of Good, but are chiefly organized by the PPDP and senior Interpal trustees. Several times a year, Ahmed Brahimi and Interpal trustee Essam Yousef lead the convoys into Gaza, where they are welcomed by senior Hamas leaders.

The PPDP's Ahmed Brahimi (left) and Interpal's Essam Yousef (center) with Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Hanyieh (right).

Ahmed Brahimi with Ahmad Bahar, a senior Hamas official who has called for the killing of Jewish children across the world.
The PPDP's Ahmed Brahimi has previously expressed support for murdering Jews. On November 5, for instance, after the Palestinian terrorist Ibrahim Akari drove his car into a group of Israeli citizens – killing one and injuring twenty -- Brahimi exclaimed: "This hero, this lion, this son of Islam who took vengeance for Al-Aqsa with his spirit and with his blood... with the operation to kill pigs [Jews]."

In Britain, declarations of disgust for specific acts of terrorism often seem designed merely to shroud tolerance for pro-terror views. The Guardian, for example, condemned the synagogue murders in Israel and described Hamas's celebrations of the attacks as "depressing"; but a mere four days before the terror attack, the newspaper published an opinion piece by Hamas official Ahmed Yousef, which set out to defend the Hamas charter, a document that explicitly calls for the eradication of not only Israelis but Jews.

Meanwhile, Ahmed Brahimi's PPDP has entertained members of the House of Lords; Interpal enjoys the support of parliamentary motions signed by dozens of British MPs and is painted as a victim of Islamophobia by prominent newspaper journalists; and the PFLP, addressing crowds of supporters in London, is considered a heroic bulwark against Western "imperialism."

Debates between politicians and commentators over the causes of radicalization and extremism in Britain invariably focus on how to tackle support for groups such as ISIS and Al Qaeda. But why is it that Hamas and PFLP are deemed moderate, regardless of how many civilians they murder?

One enormous factor in the spread of Islamic extremism surely must be the networks of charities that seem to support Palestinian terrorist organizations – networks that include groups such as Interpal and the PPDP. Will these organizations ever be shut down?

Samuel Westrop


Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Barack Obama’s Turkish Fruitcake - Lee Smith

by Lee Smith

In Turkey, Washington’s great example of Muslim democracy, the ruling party alleges conspiracy to attack the opposition and crush dissent

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at Turkey’s Presidential Palace in Ankara, Turkey, December 2014. (Photo: Kayhan Ozer/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
It’s after Thanksgiving, and so it bears mentioning that Turkey, under the direction of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, formerly that country’s prime minister and now its president, has apparently lost its mind. Erdogan, a proudly demagogic Islamist, thinks Muslims discovered America, centuries before Columbus got there. Further, he’s built a presidential palace four times the size of Versailles and 30 times the size of the White House.
Erdogan’s wildly inflated sense of his own importance underscores both the extent and the source of America’s Turkey problem: The Obama Administration, as well as the Bush White House before it, has failed to cut him down to size. The effects of treating Erdogan like a reasonable actor when he is clearly crazy are not only being felt by the people of Turkey, who have seen their democracy curdle into authoritarian one-man rule and their economic miracle turn into an oligarchical prison-house built on enormous mountains of debt.

One familiar target of Erdogan’s public abuse is Israel. And as things head south in Turkey, it is not surprising that the Turkish leader has moved from words to actions. Last week, Israeli authorities rolled up a Hamas cell on the West Bank that was plotting several major operations, including an attack on Teddy Kollek Stadium in Jerusalem. The Hamas cell takes its orders from Hamas commander Saleh al-Arouri, who lives openly in Turkey under Erdogan’s apparent protection.

Israeli officials are furious with Ankara. They’re complaining to both the United States and NATO about Turkey’s hosting Arouri, who proudly claimed responsibility for the kidnapping and murder of the three Israeli students this summer that led to 40-day-long war with Hamas in Gaza.

Ankara has formally denied the Israeli allegations: “Turkey holds dialog with Hamas,” said one Turkish official, perhaps referring to Arouri’s open presence in Turkey’s capital, “but would not under any circumstances allow a terror group to operate from its territory.” But that’s not true, say U.S. officials, who are less concerned with Hamas than with foreign terrorist organizations fighting in Syria. The White House has accused the Turks of giving safe passage to terrorists from both the Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra. So, why not Hamas, too?

How did the United States get so involved with such a nutty and dangerous character? President Barack Obama once listed Erdogan as his closest friend among foreign leaders, but it’s not like anyone can claim to be surprised that the Turkish premier is a dangerous jerk. Erdogan has a strong anti-Israel, and perhaps anti-Semitic, bias and can’t keep himself from insulting domestic rivals and foreign actors, friend as well as foe. But U.S. officials have known from the very beginning of his first term as premier in 2003 that both Erdogan and the Justice and Development party he founded would likely constitute a big problem for U.S. interests.

As then-U.S. Ambassador to Ankara Eric Edelman wrote in a January 2004 cable: “Erdogan has traits which render him seriously vulnerable to miscalculating the political dynamic, especially in foreign affairs … [his] authoritarian loner streak … prevents growth of a circle of strong and skillful advisers, a broad flow of fresh information to him, or development of effective communications among the party headquarters, government, and parliamentary group.”

Nonetheless, the White House Edelman worked for often praised the Justice and Development government as a beacon of Islamist democracy. The Bush Administration even tapped Erdogan to mediate peace talks in 2008 between Syria and Israel. At the time, then-Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was reported to have offered to return the Golan Heights to Damascus, a decision that, in light of the Syrian civil war, might have proven catastrophic for Israel.

But Israel has no excuses either. Even before the 2010 Mavi Marmara episode, when a Turkish-flagged ship ferried terrorists to break Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza, it was clear that the AKP was trouble. The massive Ergenekon campaign that sent domestic opponents, especially journalists and senior army officers, to jail on ridiculous charges was all the evidence the United States and Israel needed that Turkey was going in the wrong direction.

The big question is, why haven’t U.S. policymakers, from the Bush through the Obama Administrations, been able to wrangle Erdogan and get him to behave according to minimal rules of the road that govern civilized nations—like not sponsoring terror attacks against your neighbors? After all, bigmouths are a dime a dozen in the Middle East. And Obama managed to outflank Israel’s opinionated Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Iran, which Jerusalem says is a vital, indeed an existential, interest. Administration officials recently boasted about deterring Bibi from striking Iranian nuclear facilities, and now, as one Obama staffer told The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg, it’s too late for the Israeli prime minister to do anything about it.

Obama has also sidelined traditional U.S. allies in the Persian Gulf, like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. At the same time, the administration has put the freeze on Egypt’s new President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi by holding on to parts of the annual aid package. Clearly, Erdogan would appear to be a likely candidate for some of the tough love that the White House enjoys dispensing to even its oldest and most trusted allies.

Yet, instead of trying to rein in Erdogan and turn him into a useful citizen, the Obama White House gave him too much rope and then crudely pushed him out of the nest. For instance, in 2010 the administration tasked Turkey, along with Brazil, to make a deal with Iran over its nuclear weapons program. The White House criticized the agreement Ankara brokered, largely because it allowed Iran to continue enriching uranium. It’s worth noting that four years later the Obama Administration has not only allowed Iran to continue enriching, but has acknowledged its right to do so.

Perhaps most significant, the White House handed its Syria policy to Erdogan when the 2011 uprising against Bashar al-Assad erupted. The problem was not only that Turkey proved incapable of projecting soft power that the Obama Administration had counted on, but also that Erdogan had neutered his own military through the Ergenekon campaign. As Erdogan proved incapable of stopping Assad’s killing machine, either through words or force, a refugee crisis swelled within Turkey’s borders, where terrorists from the Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra crossed paths with Assad forces who waged terrorist operations killing Turkish citizens.

So, why shouldn’t Ankara back Hamas? Nothing else Erdogan does is working, and it’s good public relations in a region where it’s always a crowd-pleaser to target the Jews. Besides, the White House has implicitly endorsed Hamas as a legitimate interlocutor. First, the administration signed off on the unity deal that brought Hamas into the Palestinian Authority. And then even after Hamas’ Turkish cell (directed by Arouri) on the West Bank crashed the unity government with the kidnappings and murders, the administration still never batted an eye.

And why should the United States be upset? After all, its point-man on the peace process Martin Indyk had just cashed a $15 million check from Qatar, Hamas’ main financial backer. Sure, the check was written out to the Brookings Institution, but if the White House didn’t care that its own diplomats were taking money from the main sponsors of Hamas—mortal enemy of both Israel and the PA—why should Erdogan be worried about providing sanctuary to Hamas commanders? The Obama Administration’s treatment of Israel—especially its public flogging of Netanyahu—is all the evidence Erdogan needs that Obama will never exact a cost for hosting Hamas officials who plan terror attacks.

By allowing Erdogan to support terror plots against a U.S. ally and write a seemingly endless series of regional bad checks on America’s account, the administration didn’t simply decide to overlook Erdogan’s bad behavior—they endorsed it. Turkey’s mess is simply a reflection of the 20-year mess that is American Middle East policy.


Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Will Germany Abolish Itself and France Commit Suicide? - Peter Martino

by Peter Martino

Sarrazin wrote that Islamic immigrants threaten Germany's freedom and prosperity because they are unwilling to integrate and rely overwhelmingly on welfare benefits. The book hit a nerve with the German public. It sold over two million copies and became one of the most widely read books ever published in Germany.
Ziemmour's book argues that France is being destroyed by immigrants who refuse to assimilate; by political correctness that stifles all debate and by supranational organizations such as the EU, which are undermining the French nation state and the French economy. Its sales are breaking all records.

Four years ago, Thilo Sarrazin, a renowned German central banker, who was also a long-time member of the center-left Social Democratic Party (SPD), shocked the German establishment when he published a book in which he argued that Islamic immigration is undermining German society. In the book, Deutschland schafft sich ab [Germany Abolishes Itself], Sarrazin wrote that Islamic immigrants threaten Germany's freedom and prosperity because they are unwilling to integrate and rely overwhelmingly on welfare benefits.

Although Sarrazin's party, as well as the governing Christian-Democrats of Chancellor Angela Merkel, distanced themselves from the author -- and Islamic organizations tried to take him to court on charges of racial incitement -- the book hit a nerve with the German public. It sold over two million copies and became one of the most widely read books ever published in Germany.

Last October, Éric Zemmour, a French journalist, also published a book, which can be considered the French equivalent of Sarrazin's book. In Le Suicide français [The French Suicide], Zemmour argues that the policies of the French political elite are destroying the country. His arguments resemble Sarrazin's and the book has had the same impact. Its sales are breaking all the records. So far, in less than two months, over half a million copies have been sold, in spite of the fact that French Prime Minister Manuel Valls has declared that the book "does not deserve to be read."

Éric Zemmour, a 56-year old journalist at the conservative newspaper, Le Figaro, was born in France of Algerian Jewish parents who fled their native country in the 1950s during the Algerian War of Independence. Zemmour argues that France is being destroyed by immigrants who refuse to assimilate; by political correctness that stifles freedom of speech and by supranational organizations, such as the European Union (EU), which are undermining the French nation state and the French economy.

Despite its popular success, Zemmour's book is hardly leading to a serious intellectual debate. His critics have coined the term "zemmourisation of the mind" to describe the venting of ideas that are so preposterous that they do not deserve to be discussed. Others mock his ideas by calling his book "The Smurf Suicide" and referring to the author as "Gargazemmour" – a reference to Gargamel, the evil wizard in the fictional world of the Smurfs. Or they attack him as a racist. According to Senator Esther Benbassa, a Jewish politician for the Green Party, Zemmour is an anti-Semitic "Frankenstein of bad faith."

Zemmour has made it easy for his critics by devoting seven of the 540 pages of his book to the regime of the collaborator Philippe Pétain during the Second World War. In these pages, he claims the Pétain regime was able to save a number of Jews from the German gas chambers. Even though his view on Pétain is not the essence of the book, these seven pages have attracted the most attention from Zemmour's critics.

The book is also typically French in its criticism of both the United States, which is blamed for having imported politically correct thinking to France, and of free market liberalism. One of Zemmour's arguments against the EU is that it imposes "German economic thinking" on France. There is also a longing for the days of French imperial conquest, most notably the Napoleonic era. Bonaparte is apparently one of Zemmour's national heroes.

One of the few French journalists who openly defends Zemmour is Élisabeth Lévy, who, like Zemmour, is of Jewish Algerian descent. She criticizes Zemmour's "bonapartism," but has also called the behavior of Prime Minister Valls -- and others who attack the book without having read it -- "Stalinist and Orwellian." According to Élisabeth Lévy, ordinary French citizens long for the past – not, however, to the days of Napoleon, but rather the days when French suburbs had not become strongholds of radical Islam; when French society was still based on French values, and when people who felt insecure were taken seriously by politicians.

The enormous commercial success of Zemmour's book illustrates the deep dissatisfaction of many average French citizens with their political and cultural elite. Four years ago, Thilo Sarrazin's book showed that many ordinary Germans do not want the German political elite to abolish Germany. Today, Éric Zemmour's book illustrates that many ordinary French are not prepared to commit national suicide.

Has Germany abolished itself? Not yet. Has France committed suicide? Not yet. What the books do indicate, however, is that Europe seems ripe for political upheavals.

Peter Martino


Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

States Sue Obama Administration Over Executive Order on Immigration - Raven Clabough

by Raven Clabough

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, a Republican and the Texas governor-elect said the lawsuit is not asking for monetary damages but is seeking to have the order declared illegal.”

Seventeen states have decided to pursue a lawsuit against the Obama administration over President Obama’s issuance of an executive order that would ease the threat of deportation for millions of illegal immigrants. The lawsuit was filed on Wednesday and named the top immigration enforcement agencies as defendants.

Reuters reports, “The case being led by Texas and filed at the Federal Court in the Southern District of Texas said the executive order announced by Obama last month violated constitutional limits on presidential powers. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, a Republican and the Texas governor-elect said the lawsuit is not asking for monetary damages but is seeking to have the order declared illegal.”

The federal lawsuit involves the following states: Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory said his state joined the effort because “the president has exceeded the balance of power provisions clearly laid out in the U.S. Constitution.”

Obama’s plan, announced November 20, would apply to up to 4.7 million of the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in the country, including approximately 4.4 million who are parents of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents.

According to the White House, the executive order falls within his presidential powers, despite the fact that under the U.S. Constitution, only the Congress makes laws. “The Supreme Court and Congress have made clear that federal officials can set priorities in enforcing our immigration laws, and we are confident that the President’s executive actions are well within his legal authorities," a White House official told Fox News.

But Abbott contends, “The President is abdicating his responsibility to faithfully enforce laws that were duly enacted by Congress and attempting to rewrite immigration laws, which he has no authority to do.” During a news conference in Austin, Texas, Abbott declared that Obama’s actions “directly violate the fundamental promise to the American people” by ignoring the Constitution.

"The ability of the president to dispense with laws was specifically considered and unanimously rejected at the Constitutional Convention," Abbott added.

Outgoing Texas Governor Rick Perry (shown above) states that the president’s executive orders have been detrimental in enforcing immigration laws, pointing to Obama’s 2012 executive order that delayed the deportation of children brought illegally into the United States by their parents. Perry states that it led to an unprecedented wave of unaccompanied minors and families crossing into the United States. "In effect, his action placed a neon sign on our border, assuring people that they could ignore the law of the United States," said Perry, who has deployed up to 1,000 National Guard troops to the border.

The lawsuit raises three specific objections: Obama is violating the Constitution's “Take Care Clause,” which states that the president "shall take care that the laws are faithfully executed"; the executive branch is acting in violation of rulemaking procedures; and the executive order will “exacerbate the humanitarian crisis along the southern border.”

“This lawsuit is not about immigration. It is about the rule of law, presidential power and the structural limits of the U.S. Constitution,” the governors said in their 75-page complaint.
The lawsuit highlights a claim made by President Obama last week:

“In this case, the president admitted that he ‘took an action to change the law.’ The defendants could hardly contend otherwise because a deferred action program with an acceptance rate that rounds to 100 percent is a de facto entitlement — one that even the president and OLC previously admitted would require a change to the law,” the challengers said in their complaint.

As reported by Fox News, Wednesday’s announcement of the lawsuit marks the 31st time the Texas Attorney General has brought action against the federal government since 2009.

The lawsuit is just one approach that the states may undertake to derail the president's intent to rule by executive decree on immigration. Another approach would be for each state to enact and enforce its own immigration laws, and to nullify any unconstitutional federal overreach interfering with these laws.

On Capitol Hill, lawmakers are considering using a spending bill as leverage to defund the immigration initiatives. House Speaker John Boehner is hoping, however, to hold off on that until next year, when Republicans will control both chambers. But on December 1, when asked whether President Obama would veto a funding bill that did not provide funds for his executive action on immigration, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest responded in the affirmative.

Until 2015, the Washington Times reports that an omnibus bill will fund most of the government until the end of the year once current spending expires on December 11, and a separate short-term spending bill will keep the Department of Homeland Security open until next year. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has agreed to this approach.

In the meantime, the Republican House is prepared to vote Thursday on a bill by Rep. Ted S. Yoho, Florida Republican, that would declare the president’s action void, though the bill will not get a vote in the Democrat-run Senate. The vote is meant to be a strictly a symbolic gesture. The Department of Homeland Security has already begun preparing for Obama’s amnesty initiative by posting 1,000 job openings one day after the president’s announcement.

“USCIS is taking steps to open a new operational center in Crystal City, a neighborhood in Arlington, Virginia, to accommodate about 1,000 full-time, permanent federal and contract employees in a variety of positions and grade levels,” the agency said in an internal e-mail to employees on Monday. “The initial workload will include cases filed as a result of the executive actions on immigration announced on Nov. 20, 2014.”

The agency has announced it has space for hundreds of new employees at a new location in Arlington, Virginia, which for some indicates that the agency had already made these plans even before Obama’s announcement.

Ken Palinkas, head of the labor union representing USCIS employees, said that the large scale hiring and new office space suggests that these plans have been in place for months before Obama’s November 20 announcement.

“It’s so orchestrated it’s pathetic,” he said.

Sen. Jeff Sessions, an Alabama Republican who has been outspoken in his criticism of Obama’s immigration policy, said the new facility in Virginia is “a clear symbol of the president’s defiance of the American people, their laws and their constitution.”

“He is hiring federal employees to carry out a directive that violates the laws Congress has passed in order to foist on the nation laws Congress has repeatedly refused to pass,” Sessions opined.

Many of the job openings have already expired, indicating the positions have been filled. The agency said on Wednesday, “Increasing staffing will ensure that every case received by USCIS receives through review under our guidelines.”

And all this is at a significant cost to the taxpayers. The Washington Times writes, “Even though Mr. Obama said his policy is temporary, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is hiring the employees for permanent positions, at salaries of up to $157,000 a year, according to the job postings listed on the official federal jobs website.”

Raven Clabough


Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Uncovering Obama’s IRS Enemies List - Matthew Vadum

by Matthew Vadum

To Obama, the IRS is an instrument of political repression and taxpayer terror.

1207-obama-bush-tax-cuts_full_6001-600x350More proof has emerged that President Obama is using the IRS as a weapon against his perceived enemies as the administration abruptly canceled the release of 2,500 damning documents reportedly showing that the IRS illegally shared taxpayer files with the White House.

The existence of the documents is yet more proof that Obama maintains an extensive enemies’ list and that he treats the IRS as his personal plaything while he closely collaborates with senior IRS officials who have practically taken up residence with him in the White House. To Obama, the IRS is an instrument of political repression and taxpayer terror. Although it isn’t exactly breaking news that Obama is doing Machiavellian things with the IRS that the nearly-impeached President Nixon only fantasized about doing, hard documentary evidence of wrongdoing has been slow in coming.

The abortive document dump comes as former IRS mandarin Lois Lerner remains at liberty. Instead of becoming a long-term guest of the Bureau of Prisons, the unrepentant left-wing Democratic activist continues to live a life of luxury in Bethesda, Md., a fancy suburb of Washington, D.C. Despite the severity of her crimes, she doesn’t even have to wear a monitoring anklet. She hasn’t even been charged with breaking the law, an oversight that may be corrected by the incoming Republican-dominated Congress.

With Lerner taking the lead, Obama’s IRS targeted conservative “social welfare” nonprofits seeking tax-exempt status under section 501c4 of the Internal Revenue Code. Evidence establishes that hundreds of groups affiliated with the Tea Party movement were bullied and intimidated from engaging in constitutionally protected political activism. The IRS also subjected conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status to heightened scrutiny, harassment, and extended processing delays that may have hindered their activities during previous election cycles.

But now the Obama administration, which barely acknowledges the historic electoral whooping it received last month, has placed the 2,500 documents that are apparently not related to Lerner’s escapades in limbo as it hides behind privacy laws that are supposed to protect taxpayers, as opposed to corrupt government officials.

The inspector general’s office for the U.S. Department of the Treasury is making the novel claim that privacy laws prevent the promised document release from taking place.

“All of the 2,043 pages of documents we have determined to be responsive were collected by the Secretary of the Treasury with respect to the determination of possible liability under Title 26 of the United States Code. These pages consist of return information protected by 26 U.S.C. § 6103 and may not be disclosed absent an express statutory exception,” the office indicated in a Dec. 1 letter.

The Treasury Department, which oversees the IRS, apparently hasn’t yet decided what to do with another 466 documents.

Dan Epstein, executive director of Cause of Action, was highly skeptical. Treasury is  using “sophisticated” lawyering to worm out of producing the documents.

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew acknowledges he is examining “potential liability” that his underlings violated the law by providing taxpayer information to the White House. Treasury is either “stonewalling” Cause of Action, or Lew “is incompetent” for only now getting around to investigating possible lawbreaking on a two-year-old case.

Asked about the case Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest claimed he didn’t know about it. He said, apparently with a straight face, that the administration “very closely” follows rules shielding the IRS from political interference.

“I can tell you that, as a rule, that the Obama administration has been very rigorous in following all of the rules and regulations that govern proper communication between Treasury officials and White House officials and the Internal Revenue Service,” Earnest said.

Epstein says Earnest isn’t telling the truth. “We know for a fact that the IRS broke the law,” he said. “If there is any evidence that the White House requested (unauthorized taxpayer information), then people in the White House are going to be implicated,” he said.

The Treasury Department’s decision to stonewall just so happens to coincide with publication this week of a four-part series by the Washington Examiner about the benefits and pitfalls of the federal inspectors-general system. The series details several occasions in which inspector generals “provided cover for agency managers seeking to avoid more rigorous evaluations.”

It goes without saying that Obama has been using the IRS improperly since he was sworn in as president. That’s the Chicago way.

Ask Catherine Engelbrecht, leader of the Houston-based good government group True the Vote. Since getting involved in the fight for ballot box integrity she has been subjected to a slew of audits, surprise inspections, and all manner of bureaucratic harassment. Ask supporters of the Manassas, Va.-based Patrick Henry Center for Individual Liberty, whose tax-exempt charitable status was yanked by the IRS because it disseminated criticism of Democrats Hillary Clinton and John Kerry a decade ago.

Ask officials of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM). Obama’s IRS has admitted it illegally provided the group’s confidential donor information to its left-wing arch-enemy, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), which favors same-sex marriage. The IRS later agreed to settle a lawsuit by paying $50,000 in damages to NOM. The release of the tax filing, known as an IRS Form 990 was not the issue as such; in fact federal law requires 990s to be publicly disclosed.

But the IRS claimed one of its employees innocently neglected to redact the names and addresses of NOM’s donors before releasing the group’s amended 2008 Form 990 to an individual. The law requires groups like NOM to list top donors on Schedule B to the form. The information on Schedule B is supposed to be held in strictest confidence by the IRS. Unauthorized disclosure of confidential tax information is a felony that can lead to a five-year term of imprisonment, but Eric Holder’s Justice Department never got around to filing criminal charges in the case.

The egregious IRS leak allowed the HRC in February 2012 to post online NOM’s 2008 tax return and the names and contact information of NOM’s major donors, including Mitt Romney who became the Republican presidential nominee later that year. Making that normally confidential information public allowed progressive activists to harass and intimidate NOM’s donors, just as they had done in the wake of California’s Proposition 8 that affirmed traditional marriage in 2008. The most prominent victim of leftist venom was former Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich, who was forced out of his post because he dared to donate $1,000 to the “pro” traditional marriage side in the Prop 8 battle.

Left-wing activists call this kind of in-your-face harassment “accountability,” an Orwellian euphemism to be sure. Accountability actions focus on harassing and intimidating political enemies, disrupting their activities, and forcing them to waste resources dealing with activists’ provocations. It is a tactic of radical community organizers, open borders fanatics, and union goons. Taking a cue from Marxist theorist Herbert Marcuse, they want to shut down, humiliate, and silence those who fail to genuflect before their policy agenda.

Obama’s IRS is all about accountability, but not in the way that normal, patriotic Americans use the term.

Matthew Vadum is an award-winning investigative reporter and the author of the book, Subversion Inc.: How Obama’s ACORN Red Shirts Are Still Terrorizing and Ripping Off American Taxpayers.


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Increasing numbers of Jewish Democrats disillusioned with Obama - Isi Leibler

by Isi Leibler

Aside from Dershowitz, a number of other prominent Jews who could by no stretch of the imagination be described as “right-wing” or extremist, have displayed their exasperation with Obama. For example, Michael Steinhardt, the mega-philanthropist and co-founder of Taglit-Birthright Israel, who had actually chaired the Democratic Leadership Council that propelled Bill Clinton to the presidency, hosted Cruz at his investment firm’s office.

It has been reported that American Jews still voted overwhelmingly for the Democratic Party in the recent midterm congressional elections. At the same time, there is mounting evidence that increasing numbers of American Jews at the grassroots level have become disillusioned and in many cases outraged by the shabby manner in which the Obama administration has treated Israel over the past six months. This, despite the fact that the American Jewish leadership establishment, including the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, had failed to criticize the biased and frequently hostile remarks against Israel personally expressed repeatedly by President Barack Obama.

Yet in contrast to the establishment, the Zionist Organization of America has emerged over the last year as the front-runner of American Jewish organizations, which consistently condemned the administration with respect to its Israel policies.

This has resulted in many rank-and-file American Jews, disappointed by the embarrassing silence of their leaders, no longer considering the ZOA to be a marginal or extremist group.

The credit for much of this lies with the organization’s indefatigable leader, Mort Klein, who succeeded in transforming what had become an almost bankrupt organization into a dynamic political machine. Klein was always nonplussed at being dismissed as an extremist and radical right-winger.

Today, his followers are comparing him to Hillel Kook and the Bergson Group, who in the 1940s orchestrated a public campaign to pressure the U.S. government to adopt action to save Jews being murdered during the Holocaust. Initially, he too was condemned by the Jewish establishment as an extremist. In what is now regarded as a permanent blemish on the reputation of the American Jewish leadership, Rabbi Stephen Wise, then head of the Jewish community, warned against antagonizing the Roosevelt administration and introduced the most extreme measures to try to muzzle Kook -- even seeking to deport him.

The recent ZOA dinner, attended by over 1,100 people, reflects the growing influence of the organization. The keynote speakers included potential Republican presidential candidate Senator Ted Cruz, who had recently made an enormous impact on the Jewish community. In a widely reported address to a Christian group, despite prior knowledge that the audience contained hundreds of Hezbollah supporters, Cruz insisted that Israel was the only state in the Middle East that safeguarded its Christian population. When the audience heckled him, the senator responded, “If you will not stand with Israel, I will not stand with you,” and demonstrably stormed out of the meeting.

In his ZOA address, Cruz praised Klein, who suffers from Tourette syndrome, describing him as a man with “the heart of the lion and the voice of Moses.” He bitterly condemned the Obama administration’s policy toward Israel and pledged “not only to reimpose sanctions on Iran, but strengthen them” and insisted that unless Iran dismantled all 19,000 centrifuges and ceased being a promoter of terrorism, “we do not have a deal.”

An additional keynote address was provided by Pastor John Hagee, founder of Christians United for Israel, the most consistent enthusiastic evangelical supporter of Israel. Hagee ridiculed Obama for continually describing U.S.-Israel relations as unbreakable. ”He knows it is unbreakable because he’s been trying to break it the last five years,” Hagee said. He also described Obama as “the most anti-Semitic president ever.” Hagee’s controversial statements were strongly condemned by other Jewish groups, with Abe Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League describing his remarks as “offensive and misplaced.”

As in previous years, the dinner was attended by major Jewish philanthropists Sheldon and Miriam Adelson, Home Depot founder Bernard Marcus, Las Vegas Sands President Michael Leven and many others.

What provided significant political overtones to this dinner was the inclusion of Professor Alan Dershowitz as a keynote speaker. Dershowitz indisputably represents one of Israel’s staunchest and most articulate public supporters. Yet, he is a fully committed Democrat and until recently, supported the president, insisting that he was a committed supporter of Israel.

In recent months Dershowitz appears to have become increasingly exasperated with Obama’s Israel policies. It would have been difficult a year or so ago to visualize him sharing a platform with Pastor Hagee or even the right-wing Republican Senator Cruz. Yet, in his remarks, Dershowitz referred to Cruz as his former student at Harvard Law School and a friend. He stated: “Israel must always remain a bipartisan issue. … And we must explicitly express appreciation and admiration for those who stand up for the state of the Jewish people, even if we disagree with their other political, theological or social views.”

Dershowitz then stressed that “to be anti-Israeli is to be anti-American” and bitterly condemned “the moral equivalence which the president and Obama administration officials made between innocent Israeli victims of Hamas and Hamas terrorists killed in Israeli military strikes.”

Aside from Dershowitz, a number of other prominent Jews who could by no stretch of the imagination be described as “right-wing” or extremist, have displayed their exasperation with Obama. For example, Michael Steinhardt, the mega-philanthropist and co-founder of Taglit-Birthright Israel, who had actually chaired the Democratic Leadership Council that propelled Bill Clinton to the presidency, hosted Cruz at his investment firm’s office.

Ken Bialkin and Richard Stone, both former heads of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, participated in the ZOA dinner. James Tisch, another former chairman of the Presidents Conference, hosted Cruz at a lunch preceding the ZOA dinner at which Mort Zuckerman, the owner of the New York Daily News and a strong Democratic backer, was also present.

Taken together, these elements suggest that there are major rumblings against the Obama administration within the Jewish community.

In this context, the ZOA can no longer be dismissed as a fringe or extremist group and is emerging as a genuine and vigorous component of the Jewish political mainstream. Indeed, due to the apparent paralysis and unwillingness of the Jewish establishment to speak up, the ZOA today represents the principal organization speaking out on behalf of committed Jews and pro-Israeli forces.

Klein says, “We are frequently called right-wing” but “the ZOA is not right-wing. We are simply right.”

The reality is that he reflects the right-wing nationalist sentiment of Israeli policy. His views tend to parallel the hard-line right-wing elements of Likud and of Naftali Bennett’s Habayit Hayehudi.

But this is somewhat irrelevant because the primary contribution of the ZOA is to project to Americans the case for Israel and condemn and expose the inappropriate policies adopted by the Obama administration, which seeks to whitewash the PA and condemn Israel.

The remarkable growth in liberal support for the ZOA over the past 12 months, combined with the public identification of some of the most prominent Jewish philanthropic and intellectual adherents to the Democratic Party, unquestionably suggests that many American Jews traditionally supporting the Democratic Party, at this late stage, are reacting against the Obama administration’s shabby treatment of Israel and concerned with the lack of response of the official leadership.

Isi Leibler’s website can be viewed at He may be contacted at


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Shilling for Islamic Terrorists - Deborah Weiss

by Deborah Weiss

Rashidi also complained of activities that “chill speech.”  Ironically, she cited as support for her claim, the arrest of eleven students at UC Irvine, who shouted down Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren, preventing him from speaking. The students, warned in advance of the consequences, were arrested for disrupting a public event.  To Rashidi, removing the silencers of speech constitutes the “chilling of speech”.

A Hamas supporter carries a mock Qassam rocket during a demonstration against Israel at al-Yarmouk CampIn the immediate aftermath of the bloodbath perpetrated by Palestinian terrorists, the Institute for Palestine Studies showcased a star-studded cast of Palestinian terrorist sympathizers posing as scholars.  Without the slightest acknowledgement of the murder of Jewish innocents that hung in the shadow of the event, the panel lamented the “criminalization” of pro-Palestinian activism.

Prior to the seminar, a pleasant older woman initiated a conversation with me.  She is from “Palestine” and is in the U.S. visiting her children.  One of her sons moved to Lebanon years ago to join the PLO.  He’s been “missing” since the Lebanese civil war in 1976.  However, she and all her children are “very active” in the Palestinian cause.  Her “geography” and “religion” require it.

In an audience packed with pro-Palestinian activists, held at SEIU headquarters in Washington, DC, a panel on the “Legal Assault on Palestinian Rights Activism” began.  It was moderated by Khalid Rashidi, an activist of Palestinian descent, whose views are so skewed that the ADL accused him of manipulating history and distorting reality to the point where it is “unrecognizable.”  His views on Palestine go well beyond mere support for “oppressed” Palestinians.  In past talks, he identified with the PLO so strongly that he repeatedly included himself by stating “we” when discussing the PLO’s agenda.  But that didn’t stop Columbia University from making him the head of its Middle East studies division and giving him a professorship teaching classes to unwitting students.  Not surprisingly, Rashidi is also good friends with President Barack Obama.

Rashidi started the two hour seminar by asserting that “those who oppose Palestinian rights have a hard time when the story gets out. No one wants to be an advocate of colonization, unequal rights and oppression.”  The pro-Palestinian view is exploding in churches, unions, and most of all, on college campuses.  According to Rashidi, it is only “ignorance”, “disinformation and misinformation” that leads Americans to hold a “Zionist viewpoint.”

Andrew Dalack, with the Palestine Subcommittee of the National Lawyer’s Guild, provides legal support for pro-Palestinian activists.  His most notorious client was Rasmea Odeh, who currently sits in jail awaiting sentencing on her conviction for immigration fraud.  Twice, she lied on her application for citizenship to the U.S., falsely claiming she had no criminal record.  In fact, she had been imprisoned in Israel on a terrorist conviction for blowing up a grocery store, killing numerous innocent civilians.  She also was active with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, though according to her attorney, she joined prior to its designation as a terrorist organization.  Dalack, a young, articulate attorney, had an excuse for every aspect of Odeh’s situation.  She misunderstood the application’s question, she really wasn’t guilty of the charge despite her conviction, she said the IDF personnel raped and tortured her, and the U.S. judge on her case was a “Zionist”.

When DHS arrested her at her home, she became the “face” of a national movement.  Dalak explained that “if you come after one Palestinian, you come after all of us.” To him, the real reason Odeh was indicted was her pro-Palestinian “activism”.  “Now”, he stated, “we are all under the government’s magnifying glass.” And, in a theme that would weave itself throughout the seminar, he insisted that prosecutions were “selective” due to political views and intended to intimidate.

Dima Rashidi, (Khalid Rashidi’s daughter) is an attorney who started an organization called “Palestine Solidarity Legal Support” (PSLS).  It works closely with the far-left Center for Constitutional Rights, largely funded by George Soros.  Her organization provides legal assistance, advocacy, and interventionism for pro-Palestinian activists, especially on college campuses. Their activities, sparked by Cast Lead’s “assault on Gaza” and the growth of the BDS movement, should all be protected by the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment she explained.  Her presentation expressed two themes.  First, was that it’s the government’s intent to “silence, crush and criminalize” pro-Palestinian activity.  Second, “Zionist groups” pressure the U.S. government to repress activism and “the government follows suit.”  She claimed that the NSA and the NYPD visited “coffee shops, barbershops and everywhere a Muslim can be found” in order to collect information.  Pro-Palestinian activists are treated “disparately” from others, receiving “selective prosecutions.”  She insisted that the government “targets” Palestinians simply for fundraising.  She cited the freezing of Islamic charities like the Holy Land Foundation and the prosecution of Sami al-Arian, who sits in jail on a terrorism-related conviction.  Rashidi completely omitted that these charities funnel money to Hamas, a State-designated terrorist organization.

Rashidi also complained of activities that “chill speech.”  Ironically, she cited as support for her claim, the arrest of eleven students at UC Irvine, who shouted down Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren, preventing him from speaking. The students, warned in advance of the consequences, were arrested for disrupting a public event.  To Rashidi, removing the silencers of speech constitutes the “chilling of speech”.

Additionally, she asserted that allegations by “Zionist organizations” that Palestinian groups are funneling money to Hamas are “inciting law enforcement investigations”.  Apparently, it’s irrelevant whether or not the allegations are true.  She is “heartened” to see how many people are “willing to stick their necks out and not be silenced.”

Yaman Salahi, an attorney who focuses on free speech issues, whined about the flood of civil rights complaints filed against pro-Palestinian activists on campuses, for creating a hostile environment for Jewish students.  For example, there were complaints at UC Berkeley when the Muslim Students Association and Students for Justice in Palestine made mock military checkpoints.  They held fake rifles to the students’ heads and demanded to know their religion before allowing them to pass.  Pretending that the IDF aims assault weapons at every Palestinian passing through, Salahi proclaimed that student civil rights charges are “exaggerated”.  “We’re not talking about bona-fide anti-Jewish hate speech.  It’s legitimate activism.”  What the IDF does to Palestinians in real life is “worse”.

He, and others on the panel repeatedly held up Jewish Voice for Peace, (another Soros-funded organization,) to support the notion that even some Jews agree with their anti-Israel sentiment.  He dismissed the argument that their activities disrupt campus life, because, he explained, that is the whole point of campus activism.  He also omitted the fact that Saudi Arabia and the Gulf countries largely fund U.S. Middle East Studies programs, giving them a pro-Arab bias. He wailed about calls to Congress demanding professors to provide “balanced” perspectives.  Though unequal funding of viewpoints is prohibited by Title VI of the Higher Education Act, the process has been “abused.”  Salahi failed to mention that the purpose of Title VI is to provide education that would best serve the national security interests of the U.S.  Despite this, almost all of UCLAS’s Middle East professors are pro-Palestinian, as are they are at most universities.

Steven Salaita is a former English professor at Virginia Tech, who claims he was recently “fired” from a tenured position at the University of Illinois for tweets he made in his private capacity.  He marveled at the “sophistication” and “intelligence” of pro-Palestinian activism on campuses, but lamented its “criminalization.”  According to Salaita, schools want their students to be “automatans” and “unthinking subjects”.  When “Zionist activists” are unable to make progress, they rely on punitive modes to prevent the conversation from showing both sides.  He claimed that “Zionists” cannot make the case to support Israel.  Instead, they merely oppose BDS efforts.  He criticized those who point out that Israel is singled out disproportionately in the UN, (where it suffers more resolutions for its human rights violations than all other countries combined).  It’s “annoying” and “stupid”, he stated.  “Israel singled itself out” when it said that “it’s a light unto the world” and has a “higher standard of morality”.  With venom in his voice he declared, “[N]othing makes a Zionist more compassionate than human rights violations in China.  That really tugs at their heartstrings.”

Omitting the fact that Hamas uses hospitals, schools and mosques as human shields, Salaita asserted that Israel admits it bombs children, but “blames Hamas” to avoid taking responsibility.

He also suggested that the issue should not be framed as pro-Palestinian activism, but as “another mode of American oppression”.  These “Zionist tactics” are part of a pattern around the country, demonstrating American imperialization, oppression, and criminalization. That’s why the pro-Palestinian groups are joining forces with labor unions and other “oppressed” groups.

In fact, Salaita was never made a firm offer for the job at the University of Illinois.  He went through the interviews but his name was withheld from the appointment process when the content of his tweets came to light.  During the seminar, he conveniently omitted the comments, but here are a few examples: “Zionism: transforming ‘anti-Semitism’ from something horrible to something honorable since 1948”,  “Zionists take responsibility: if your dream of an ethnocratic  Israel is worth the murder of children, just fucking own it already”, “Will you condemn Hamas? No.  Why not?  Because Hamas isn’t the one incinerating your children you disingenuous prick.” “If Netenyahu appeared on TV with a necklace made from the teeth from Palestinian children, would anybody be surprised?” “You may be too refined to say it, but I’m not:  I hope all the fucking West Bank settlers would go missing!”

Yet, now, Salaita presents himself as the champion of “free speech” and “academic freedom”.  Rather than the hate-filled, anti-Semite that he is, he has become a hero of the pro-Palestinian movement and claims that he is being penalized for nothing more than presenting an unpopular political point of view.

The First Amendment only applies to Congress, which is prohibited from making a law that abridges freedom of speech.  Salaita and his pals are free to say whatever they want, but they don’t have the “right” to any particular job.  The University of Illinois stated that it was concerned he wouldn’t show respect for students of different viewpoints. His tweets prove their point.  His claim of “viewpoint discrimination” belies the fact that college campuses abound with pro-Palestinian professors and yet, it is only he who was singled out.

The actions that the panelists are defending under the pretext of “free speech” often constitute, in legal terms, harassment, intimidation and even battery.  Yet, the lawyers on this panel thought that campuses should be disrupted, and students should be upset, and that indeed, the college isn’t doing its job if the students “leave with the same viewpoints they came in with.” Not one of them made a distinction between actual intellectual viewpoint diversity provided in college classrooms and intimidation on college campuses, engaged in by “activists” who often include people not connected to the university. They made no distinction between spewing forth hatred and intellectual enlightenment.  They omitted at least half the story by failing to acknowledge terrorism coming from Hamas and other Palestinians, when criticizing Israel’s violent actions.  Panelists argued that Israel is not defending herself, but is an “apartheid” state, committing genocide on an oppressed people.

It was clear that every single panelist supports Hamas and does not consider it a terrorist organization.  The actions of Hamas and others like it constitute “pro-Palestinian activism.”  Every time a “charity” is frozen or a Palestinian is convicted on terrorism charges after trial, it is because the Judge or the prosecutor is a “Zionist”.  The word Zionist was thrown around as a broad term for anything and everything they disliked.  In some cases, like with Salaita, it was clearly code for “Jew” which of course is always evil.  If Palestinians commit crimes in the U.S., it is not really a crime, but is the fault of U.S. collaboration with Israel, “Zionist” groups “enciting” government action, or America’s Zionist government itself.  Anything short of contemplating that Palestinian sympathizers funding State-designated terrorist organizations, harassing students, shouting derogatory epithets or tweeting anti-“Zionist” hatred is less than virtuous was totally absent from this seminar.

The purpose of Title VI was to ensure that students would learn languages with which they were unfamiliar as well about various regions of the world, in order to secure American national security interests.  It has clearly gone awry.  This presentation was a skewed, hate-filled and one-sided seminar.  But it was only one seminar.  What is really frightening is that each panelist represents and works with numerous organizations that preach the same hatred.  Under the guise of free speech and human rights these “scholars” and pro-Palestinian lawyers” work to violate both.

Deborah Weiss, Esq. is a regular contributor to FrontPage Magazine and the Washington Times. She is a contributing author to “Saudi Arabia and the Global Islamic Terrorist Network” and the primary writer and researcher for “Council on American Islamic Relations: Its Use of Lawfare and Intimidation.” You can find more of her articles on


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