Friday, November 6, 2015

Wake up and start connecting the dots - Dr. Mordechai Kedar

by Dr. Mordechai Kedar

This is not the time for an academic discussion of morality and ethics.

An acrimonious argument is going on in Israel over the explosive issue of whether the public is allowed to take the law into its own hands if confronted with a terrorist who has just stabbed a Jew. There is no argument over the permissibility of killing a terrorist before he has attacked anyone if that seems the only way to prevent him from carrying out his plans. The dilemma is over whether it is permissible to kill a terrorist after he has knifed someone. Here, too, there is no argument about killing him if he is capable of continuing on his rampage; in that case, everyone agrees that he must be eliminated forthwith.

The problem arises when a terrorist is neutralized, lying flat on the ground, possibly wounded or handcuffed and unable to rise and continue injuring more people. Can physically attacking him and even causing his death be condoned, or is he entitled, once neutralized, to protection against spontaneous vengeance, to medical care and a fair trial to determine his punishment?  

The answer to the question depends on the views held by the person to whom it is addressed. More tellingly, however, does the debate have to be based on deductions reached from the study of Israeli legal and moral systems, reflecting a country ruled by law where even a criminal is entitled to due process – or should the debate be based on the fact that the perpetrators are not part of Israeli normativity, do not accept Israel's moral standards and would like to destroy them along with the entire state, so that there is no logical reason for the system to protect them.

In other words, should the "lynch question" debate be guided by the legal principles that serve Israeli society, or should we look at the question from the point of view of the attacker, his society and the norms by which he lives. And don't forget that while this argument rages on, other, more immediate questions give Israelis no respite – how can the next attack be prevented and how can the next terrorist be deterred from stabbing even 80-year-old Jews in an attempt to murder them?   

Many left-leaning Israelis use legal and moral arguments that derive solely from modern, liberal and secular Israeli experience. This is the stand espoused in a Haaretz article (November 3, 2015) by Professor Moshe Negbi, Hebrew University lecturer and legal commentator for Voice of Israel radio.

A glance at the title of the article, The Lynch Culture of the Extremist Right, suffices to ascertain his feelings on the subject. According to his point of view (or that of the editor in charge of writing headlines), inflicting injury on terrorists is not an emotional reaction to an incident in which a terrorist has just stabbed a Jew, but part of a "cultural pattern", an indication of something genetic and ingrained in the makeup of rightist extremists, guiding their every step.  In his opinion, rightist extremists are people whose entire culture is one of lynching, people who spend their time looking for someone to lynch.

Negbi calls them "an uncontrolled mob", whose "criminal views" have infiltrated the halls of government and the security establishment, affording "unassailable proof of the increasing bestiality of Israel."

"Palestinian blood is not the only blood allowed to be spilled, so is the blood of anyone who attempts to stop Israel's degeneration from a law-abiding to a lawless lynch state," he claims. Professor Negbi goes on to quote justices and academics who have written scathing criticism of members of the IDF and security forces who acted against the law while carrying out their missions – and who received criminal punishments.

Similar views were expressed by Reshet Bet radio broadcaster Adi Meiri on her regular "It's all talk" program aired on November third. The problem of all these writers and radio broadcasters is that they analyze the stabbing terrorist issue through the rose colored glasses of liberal, modern Israeli culture. This is a culture that insists that every citizen and member of the security forces is obligated to exercise self-control, restraint and proportionality, even if this means protecting himself and others with his own body from a criminal who is intent on inflicting injury. They relate to the terrorist stabber and murderer as though he is a member of civilized society who has, unfortunately, strayed from the proper path, but is entitled to all the protection afforded by law to any criminal from the minute he ceases to be an immediate and palpable danger to others.

What motivates Negbi, Meiri and their friends is the moral ethos that claims that we Jewish Israelis are bound by an ethical code that prohibits our acting violently against someone who does not present a palpable and immediate danger, even if, less than a minute earlier, he stabbed us with intent to murder. This moralistic approach is to be found in Israeli law and in various court decisions. The principle behind it is that we do not act as our enemies do, we do not descend to their level – because we are better than they. Does this approach not smack of supercilious arrogance?

Another "minor" detail that bears noting is that our legal and moral dilemmas do not impress our enemies one bit; they simply take advantage of the fact that we allow them to wander freely and unchecked in our midst, enabling them to draw sharpened knives from their pockets at any given moment and butcher us.

According to our enemies' approach to the situation, Jews have absolutely no right to live in this land, not even in Tel Aviv, because they are conquerors of the Islamic state of Palestine that belongs to Muslims alone. We have no right to independence or sovereignty, because Jews are obligated to live under Sharia, Islamic law, as subservient dhimmis. If we protect ourselves, we are breaking the laws of Islamic protection and deserve to be butchered.

The average stabber knows that if caught, he will be put in prison where he can study for an academic degree, that within a few years he will be exchanged for an Israeli soldier or citizen kidnapped for the very purpose of freeing terrorist murderers, and that while he is imprisoned his family will receive generous sums of money from the Palestinian Authority (the source of which funding is the American taxpayer). This is in addition to the great honor that his family will enjoy, whether he is killed or not. If he is killed, he will have a school named for him, one in which children will study his "heritage", and possibly a street or even an organization that will spread the spirit of anti-Israel jihad in the world.

The stabber is motivated by the same concerns that encouraged Haj Amin al Husseini, Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, to take part in the destruction of European Jewry in the 1940's. A Muslim who sets out to stab Jews knows that a reward awaits him in Paradise whether he is killed before, during or after he does so. Our moral concerns do not interest him in the least, but if worst comes to worst, they will be the reason he will be protected from the anger of those surrounding him at the scene. He relies on Israeli law and Israel's police force to protect him from the crowd's vengeance, and is sure he will survive to stab more Jews after he is freed during a prisoner exchange.

That is how Israeli morality works against Israel and its citizens, paralyzing Israeli deterrence  and encouraging terrorists to stab Israelis. The stabbers are in a win-win situation since Israeli law and morals grant them immunity from immediate punishment by bystanders who were witness to their terrorist actions. It turns out that those who constantly spout lessons in morality actually behave immorally by encouraging terror and murder. It is fascinating to see a professor of law blatantly encouraging terror.

This is how Israel ties its own hands, making it more difficult to respond effectively to terror. Israel has lost its ability to deter terrorist murderers because they feel that they have immunity. It should be a given that any terrorist who takes up a knife to stab a Jew knows that he will not return home alive, that he will be killed either by security personnel or the people who witnessed his actions. Isn't the period when Muslims considered Jewish blood cheap a thing of the past? Israel has no choice, it must renew its ability to deter terrorists.

Both the left and right must remember that this is the Middle East. Peace in this region is not the lot of those who unwaveringly follow Western mores, laws and ethics. He who succeeds in convincing his enemies that he is invincible and that they had better leave him alone for their own good, has a chance of achieving peace.

Anyone who does not understand this or who does not want to understand it, is cut off from reality. I suggest that he wake up and connect the dots for his own good, before the butcher's knife separates his head from his body - and I am not engaging in mere fear mongering.

In case that scenario does occur, will his being a moral person be of any help?

Written for Arutz Sheva, translated from Hebrew by Rochel Sylvetsky, Op-ed and Judaism Editor

Dr. Mordechai Kedar


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

Showdown at the OK Corral - Caroline Glick

by Caroline Glick

Why Obama has no intention of letting bygones be bygones in his upcoming meeting with Netanyahu.

Originally published by the Jerusalem Post

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s meeting with US President Barack Obama next week is likely to look less like a rapprochement than a showdown at the OK Corral.
The flurry of spy stories spinning around in recent weeks makes clear that US-Israel relations remain in crisis.

Two weeks ago, The Wall Street Journal published a fairly detailed account of the US’s massive spying operations against Israel between 2010 and 2012.

Their purpose was to prevent Israel from attacking Iran’s nuclear installations. The Journal report, which was based on US sources, also detailed the evasion tactics the Obama administration employed to try to hide its covert nuclear talks with Iran from Israel. According to the report, the administration was infuriated that through its spy operations against Iran, Israel discovered the talks and the government asked the White House to tell it what was going on.

Over the past several days, the Israeli media have reported the Israeli side of the US spying story.

Friday Makor Rishon’s military commentator Amir Rapaport detailed how the US assiduously wooed IDF senior brass on the one hand and harassed more junior Israeli security officials on the other hand.

Former IDF chiefs of General Staff Lt.-Gens. Gabi Ashkenazi and Benny Gantz were given the red carpet treatment in a bid to convince them to oppose Israeli strikes on Iran’s nuclear installations. More junior officials, including officers posted officially to the US were denied visas and subjected to lengthy interrogations at US embassies and airports in a bid to convince them to divulge information about potential Israeli strikes against Iran.

Sunday, Channel 2 reported that the IDF’s Intelligence Directorate’s information security department just issued guidance to all IDF soldiers and officers warning them about efforts by the CIA to recruit them as US agents.

These stories have been interpreted in various ways. Regardless of how they are interpreted, what they show is that on the one hand, the Obama administration has used US intelligence agencies to weaken Israel’s capacity to harm Iran and to actively protect Iran from Israel. And on the other hand, Israel is wary of the administration’s efforts to weaken it while strengthening its greatest foe.

These stories form the backdrop of next week’s meeting between Netanyahu and Obama – the first they will have held in more than a year. They indicate that Obama remains committed to his policy of weakening Israel and downgrading America’s alliance with the Jewish state while advancing US ties with Iran. Israel, for its part, remains deeply distrustful of the American leader.

This Israeli distrust of Obama’s intentions extends far past Iran. Recent statements by Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry have convinced Israel that during his last 15 months in office, Obama intends to abandon US support for Israel at the UN Security Council, and to ratchet up pressure and coercive measures to force Israel to make irreversible concessions to the Palestinians.

From Netanyahu’s perspective, then, the main strategic question is how to prevent Obama from succeeding in his goal of weakening the country.

The implementation of Obama’s deal with Iran deal will form a central plank of whatever strategy the government adopts.

As far as Obama and his allies see things, the nuclear accord with Iran is a done deal. On October 21, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi hosted a reception for Democratic congressmen attended by White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough to celebrate its official adoption.

Unfortunately for Pelosi and her colleagues, Iran is a far more formidable obstacle to implementing the deal than congressional Republicans. As Yigal Carmon, president of the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), explained in a report published on his organization’s website last week, at no point has any Iranian governing body approved the nuclear deal. Iran’s parliament, the Majlis, and its Guardians’ Council have used their discussions of the agreement to highlight their refusal to implement it. More importantly, as Carmon explains, contrary to US media reports, in his October 21 letter to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Iran’s Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei did not give his conditional approval to the deal. He rejected it.

Carmon explained that the nine conditions Khamenei placed on his acceptance of the nuclear deal render it null and void. Among other things, Khamenei insisted that all sanctions against Iran must be permanently canceled. Obama couldn’t abide by this condition even if he wanted to because he cannot cancel sanctions laws passed by Congress.

He can only suspend them.

Khamenei also placed new conditions on Iran’s agreement to disable its centrifuges and remove large quantities of enriched uranium from its stockpiles.

He rejected inspections of Iran’s military nuclear installations. He insisted that Iran’s Arak heavy water reactor must remain capable of producing heavy water in contravention of the deal. And he insisted that at the end of the 15-year lifetime of the deal Iran must have sufficient uranium enrichment capability to enable it to develop bombs at will.

As Carmon noted, the US and EU have announced that they will suspend their nuclear sanctions against Iran on December 15 provided that by that date, the UN’s International Atomic Energy Commission certifies that Iran has upheld its part of the bargain.

By that date, in conformance with their interpretation of the nuclear deal, the US and the EU expect for Iran to have reduced the number of centrifuges operating at the Natanz facility from 16,000 to 5,060 and lower enrichment levels to 3.67%; reduce the number of centrifuges at Fordow to a thousand; remove nearly all its advanced centrifuges from use; permit the IAEA to store and seal its dismantled centrifuges; reduce its stockpile of enriched uranium to 300kg.; remove the core from the Arak reactor and disable it; and submit to agreed monitoring mechanisms of its nuclear sites.

Carmon noted that Iran has taken no steps to fulfill any of these conditions.

With Khamenei’s rejection of the nuclear deal and Iran’s refusal to implement it, there are two possible ways the US and the EU can proceed.

First, as Carmon suggests, Obama and the EU may renew nuclear talks with Iran based on Khamenei’s new position. These talks can drag out past Obama’s departure from office. When they inevitably fail, Obama’s successor can be blamed.

The other possibility is that Iran will implement some component of the deal and so allow Obama and the EU to pretend that it is implementing the entire deal. Given the US media’s failure to report that Khamenei rejected the nuclear pact, it is a fair bet that Obama will be able to maintain the fiction that Iran is implementing the deal in good faith until the day he leaves office.

So what is Israel to do? And how can Netanyahu use his meeting with Obama next week to Israel’s advantage? Israel has two policy options going forward. First, it can highlight the fact that Iran is not implementing the deal, just as Israel took the lead in highlighting the dangers of the nuclear accord with Iran over the past year. This policy can potentially force Obama onto the defensive and so make it harder for him to go on the offensive against Israel at the UN and other venues in relation to the Palestinians.

But then, it is far from clear that Obama will be deterred from adopting anti-Israel positions at the UN even if Israel succeeds making an issue of Iranian noncompliance with the nuclear deal.

Moreover, if Netanyahu leads the discussion of the Iran’s bad faith, as he drove the discussion of the nuclear deal itself, he will reinforce the already prevalent false assessment in the US that a nuclear Iran threatens Israel but is not dangerous for the US.

This incorrect assessment has made a lot of Americans believe that by seeking to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, Israel is advancing is own interests at America’s expense.

The other policy option is the one that Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon indicated Israel is pursuing in his meeting last week with his counterpart Defense Secretary Ashton Carter. At the Pentagon Ya’alon declared, “The Iran deal is a given. Our disputes are over.”

The downside of this position is that it indicates that Israel accepts the legitimacy of a deal that Iran is not implementing and that would imperil Israel’s national security even if Iran were implementing it.

Its upside is that it takes Israel out of the US debate regarding the nuclear deal. To the extent that opponents of Obama’s Iran policy are willing to lead the fight against the deal themselves, Israel could do worse than to take a step back and plot its own course on Iran, independent of the US policy discussion.

It is hard to know which line of action makes more sense. But as the spy stories demonstrated, one thing is clear enough. Whatever he says before the cameras next week when he meets with Netanyahu, Obama has no intention of letting bygones be bygones.

Caroline Glick is the Director of the David Horowitz Freedom Center's Israel Security Project and the Senior Contributing Editor of The Jerusalem Post. For more information on Ms. Glick's work, visit


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New Report Details Iranian Commander's Involvement in Terrorist Activity and Regional Expansion - IPT News

by IPT News

Despite Iran's commitment to Syria, the Islamic Republic is actively establishing terrorist networks in the Golan Heights – using Hizballah, Druze, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) operatives - to target Israel.

The commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps' (IRGC) Quds Force– Qassem Soleimani – continues to remain actively involved in promoting the Islamic Republic's regional expansion and terrorist networks, according to an extensive report compiled by the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center.

Click here to see the full report.

As the head of the Quds Force – the most powerful security organization in Iran –Soleimani is directly tasked with maintaining the fundamentalist regime in power and is responsible for exploiting Arab World turmoil in recent years to advance Iran's regional hegemonic objectives. From September 2015, Iran increased its number of troops - mainly IRGC soldiers - in Syria from hundreds to thousands, to support Hizballah terrorists acting at Iran's behest in propping up the Bashaar Assad regime.

In October 2015, Soleimani reportedly landed in northwestern Syria to brief Hizballah operatives and command a Syrian military offensive, indicating that Iran is diverting more resources from its presence in Iraq to Syria.

Despite Iran's commitment to Syria, the Islamic Republic is actively establishing terrorist networks in the Golan Heights – using Hizballah, Druze, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) operatives - to target Israel.

Emphasizing growing concern over Iranian terror bases on the Jewish state's borders, Israel allegedly conducted an airstrike targeting a convoy of Hizballah and Iranian operatives in January 2015, killing Jihad Mughniyeh – son of slain Hizballah leader Imad Mughinyeh – and a senior IRGC general in the Golan Heights.

In August 2015, PIJ terrorists, reportedly under Iran's direction, fired four rockets at Israeli territory, signalling the first missile attack striking the Upper Galilee from the Syrian Golan Heights since the 1973 Yom Kippur War. In fact, since the 1990s, the Quds Force has invested significant resources in supporting Palestinian terrorist organizations, smuggling weapons into the West Bank and Gaza, and ordering attacks against Israel.

Since the end of 2006 war in Lebanon, the Quds Force also played a vital role in rebuilding Hizballah's terrorist infrastructure, helping the terrorist organization amass an arsenal of over 100,000 rockets, including precision guided missiles that can strike any target in Israel. Iran's continued support to Hezbollah also includes sophisticated air defense systems and anti-ship missiles.

The Israeli report assumes that the Quds Force directly oversees the ongoing transfer of advanced weapons from Iran through Syria to Lebanon, despite the Islamic Republic's overwhelming commitment to ensure Assad's survival amid an intensifying civil war.

Iran has also attempted to infiltrate intelligence agents into Israel. In September 2013, Ali Mansouri – under direction from the Quds Force - was detained at Ben Gurion International Airport and found to be in possession of pictures of important sites in Israel, such as its international airport and the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv.

In the past, Soleimani's Quds Force was responsible for financing most of the Iraqi Shi'ite militias and providing them with weapons to specifically target American soldiers. With Hizballah's assistance, the Quds Force supplied terrorists with powerful explosive devices that killed numerous American and coalition troops in Iraq.

After Iran and the West signed the nuclear agreement, Soleimani and the Quds Force were featured on a list of Iranian personnel and institutions that may be relieved of previously imposed international sanctions. Despite initial denials, the U.S. administration confirmed that Soleimani's name would be removed from the list of UN Security Council sanctioned individuals, eight years following the nuclear deal's signing. Adding to the confusion, the U.S. Treasury Department insisted that Soleimani will remain sanctioned in light of his ongoing involvement in terrorist activity.

Nevertheless, the Iranian commander's recent trip to Russia to coordinate both countries efforts in Syria emphasizes the difficulty in enforcing personal sanctions.

Critics of the nuclear deal argue that ensuing sanctions relief will encourage Iran to enhance its regional expansion and global state sponsorship of terrorism.

IPT News


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Jordanian Cleric Who Banned Killing Jews Sets Record Straight: Jihad Against Brothers Of Apes And Pigs A Duty - MEMRI


In the new videos, Sheikh Al-Halabi referred to Jews as "the brothers of apes and pigs" and said that Jihad against them is a duty, but that the Muslims are not up for the task right now, and must prepare first.

In a video from February that has been circulating on social media platforms in recent days, Jordanian cleric Ali Hassan Al-Halabi said that killing Jews is not permissible, adding that the Jews "don't attack you if you don't attack them". On November 3, Sheikh Al-Halabi posted two lengthy videos in which he rebutted criticism by political rivals, especially from the Muslim Brotherhood. In the new videos, Sheikh Al-Halabi referred to Jews as "the brothers of apes and pigs" and said that Jihad against them is a duty, but that the Muslims are not up for the task right now, and must prepare first.

Click here to view this clip on MEMRI TV


Caller: "Dear Sheikh, a few days ago I read on the Internet that you had issued a fatwa, about which there has been a lot of confusion."
Al-Halabi: "Yes." 
Caller: "Could you please clarify your fatwa? My question is: When was the Israeli soldier ever not ready [for war]?"
Al-Halabi: "Right. Thank you. Thank you very much... Dear brothers, the Jews are occupiers and plunderers. They are people [prone to] betrayal, fraud, cunning, and deceit. They are the slayers of the prophets and the messengers.
"The conflict with the Jews cannot be won just by those defenseless [Palestinians].  No matter how hard they try, they will not succeed.

"We hope that our brothers and folk in the West Bank will have the ability and strength to uproot that treacherous enemy. The Jihad against the Jews is a mandatory Jihad, incumbent upon any Muslim country, as upon any Muslim who accepts Allah as the Lord and Islam as his religion. But it cannot be done through such an emotional thrust, and with such excitement that only serves to harm us. How can we think that this leads us to victory? The nation must prepare and unite in order to uproot this enemy.

"By Allah, if your brother, the son of your mother and father, were to attack you in your own home, and you have no way to fend him off other than killing him, then we say that he was the aggressor and you were the defender – all the more so when the aggressor is an evil Jew, from among the brothers of apes and pigs. 
"But what we should really do is save our strength, and protect our unity, our religion, our men and our youth for the right moment that is bound to come.

"A few days ago, a fatwa that I issued in a meeting began spreading like wildfire. That was two days ago, although the aforementioned meeting took place almost a year ago.  

"Unfortunately, tens of thousands of Palestinians work with the Jews, and accept money from the Jews. They need the Jews. Sadly, this is the reality of an occupied people.  I am not saying this, as some people mistakenly understood it, as praise for the Jews, who deserve nothing but more and more curses. I am talking about the reality. What will be the outcome of such an asymmetric war, if not, sadly, total defeat? 
"Yes, we are happy when the Jews are humiliated and defeated, when they fall, but there is a way of doing things. In the words of the poet, a boat cannot sail on dry land.
"By God, a Muslim's fingernail is worth more to us than the heads of a thousand Jews.
"Jihad against the Jews, fighting them, and liberating the land from them is a binding and mandatory duty, incumbent upon the Islamic countries and upon the Muslim individuals, but it depends on capabilities, because everybody knows that America has Israel's back. Are today's fragmented Muslims up for the task? Let's be honest. Let's not fool ourselves."
View The Clip



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Iranian losses in Syria 'triggering mutiny' - Ari Soffer

by Ari Soffer

Source close to Revolutionary Guards tells Arab paper some Iranian officers refusing orders, as casualty count keeps rising.

The steadily-rising casualty count among Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) troops sent to prop up beleaguered dictator Bashar al-Assad in Syria is leading to "mutiny" among officers serving there, according to reports.

The Arabic Asharq al-Awsat claims a source close to the Guards told them some senior officers were refusing orders. Other more junior officers have already been court marshaled on charges of "mutiny and treason," the sources added.

Some 30 IRGC fighters have been killed in combat over the past several weeks, including four senior officers killed last month alone.

The most recently-confirmed casualty was Colonel Ezzatollah Soleimani, who state media said died during an "advisory mission" near the northern Syrian city of Aleppo, where battles are raging between regime forces, rebels and ISIS.

Earlier that month Iran received its harshest blow since intervening on behalf of Assad in Syria, with the death of top-ranking IRGC commander General Hossein Hamedani, who was also killed near Aleppo.

The same source also revealed some of the ethnic fault lines within the Guards, claiming that senior officers from the ethnically-Arab Ahvaz province in Iran had in recent months suddenly "chosen retirement and pursuing business activities" to avoid deployment in Syria alongside their comrades from the Persian majority, where they would be fighting against fellow Arabs.

Tehran has reportedly opened an investigation into many of them for retiring at such a "critical time."

The source further claimed the Revolutionary Guards had resorted to a hasty recruitment drive among other Iranian minority populations - including Sunni Muslims, and ethic Kurds and Balochs - "offering the equivalent of 830 dollars for six weeks’ service in Syria following training," to augment the Assad regime's own flagging manpower.

Iran is Damascus's staunchest backer, having provided weapons, training, funds and other extensive aid to regime forces, as well as military "advisers," many of whom - despite Iran's denials - have been involved in front line battles.

Ari Soffer


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Hizbullah's Al-Manar TV Report On 'Former And Incumbent MPs, As Well As Party Leaders And Cultural Figures From Europe' Meeting With Hizbullah Deputy Sec.-Gen. Naim Qassem - MEMRI


On November 2, 2015, Hizbullah's Al-Manar TV aired a report about a meeting in Lebanon between "former and incumbent MPs as well as party leaders and cultural figures from Europe" and Hizbullah Deputy Secretary-General Sheikh Naim Qassem, in what the channel termed a "show of solidarity with the resistance in its fight against terrorism." In the report, an interpreter translates statements to reporters by former Belgian MP Laurent Louis as follows: "The Western leaders' collaboration with terrorism has been exposed, despite their false claims that they are protecting democracy and human rights."

According to other sources, the group, which was also to visit Damascus,[1] met with former Lebanese president Emile Lahoud,[2] as well as with Gen. Mustafa Hamdan.[3]

Over the past decade, MEMRI TV has released numerous clips of Hizbullah Deputy Secretary-General Qassem; some of these are listed below.

View the clip on MEMRI TV here. 


The following is the transcript of the clip

Narrator: "Former and incumbent MPs, as well as party leaders and cultural figures from Europe, met with Hizbullah Deputy Secretary-General Sheikh Naim Qassem, in a show of solidarity with the resistance in its fight against terrorism."


Former Belgian MP Laurent Louis, via interpreter: "Your fight against terrorism constitutes a comprehensive defense of humanity and of interfaith coexistence. The Western leaders' collaboration with terrorism has been exposed, despite their false claims that they are protecting democracy and human rights."

From The MEMRI TV Archives: Sheikh Naim Qasim

The following are some MEMRI TV clips of Sheikh Naim Qassem from the MEMRI TV archives:

Al-Alam TV (Iran) - August 14, 2015 - 01:31

Al-Manar TV (Lebanon) - June 6, 2015 - 02:42

Al-Manar TV (Lebanon) - December 19, 2008 - 03:17

Al-Manar TV (Lebanon) - June 4, 2007 - 02:16

Al-Kawthar TV (Iran) - April 16, 2007 - 06:09

Al-Manar TV (Lebanon) - December 10, 2006 - 02:08 

Al-Manar TV (Lebanon) - October 20, 2006 - 01:35

Al-Kawthar TV (Iran) - October 17, 2006 - 03:13

Al-Manar TV (Lebanon) - August 15, 2006 - 06:39

[1], November 3, 2015.
[2],, November 3, 2015.
[3], November 3, 2015.


Source: www.

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Georgetown's John Esposito Shills for Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood - Cinnamon Stillwell

by Cinnamon Stillwell

Esposito -- and other Middle East studies academics were instrumental in whitewashing the Muslim Brotherhood, downplaying its Islamist agenda, and encouraging—with great success—U.S. government cooperation.

John Esposito fetes the Muslim Brotherhood, Georgetown, 2012.
John Esposito, founding director of the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding (ACMCU) at Georgetown University, has signed an open letter to British Prime Minister David Cameron opposing his invitation to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to Britain this week for talks. The letter stipulates that:
While not necessarily supporting deposed President [Mohamed] Morsi or the policies of his Freedom and Justice party, we note that he was democratically elected, and that his removal from office was effected by means of a military coup led by Sisi.
However, in 2012, Esposito happily appeared alongside members of the Peace and Justice Party, the political wing of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, for an ACMCU-hosted panel discussion at Georgetown. At the time, he and other Middle East studies academics were instrumental in whitewashing the Muslim Brotherhood, downplaying its Islamist agenda, and encouraging—with great success—U.S. government cooperation.

This renders Esposito's objections to al-Sisi's visit suspect, much like his sudden antipathy towards "repressive and authoritarian" regimes, given that ACMCU has been bankrolled to the tune of $20 million by a member of the Saudi Royal Family, who rank among the most oppressive rulers on earth.

Esposito had the audacity to complain about "philanthropic support for Islamophobic authors and websites" in a recent interview with OnIslam (read Robert Spencer's response here). He directs the Bridge Initiative, an ACMCU project that, like its UC Berkeley predecessor, the Islamophobia Research & Documentation Project, is dedicated to promulgating the myth of a shadowy "Islamophobic network" fueling the "anti-Islam and anti-Muslim bigotry" that it claims has "increased exponentially in the United States and Europe." Esposito labels his work at the Bridge "protecting pluralism" from the "forces of evil," but, in reality, such apologias serve only to protect the evils of Islamism from legitimate criticism.

Is it any wonder then that Esposito and his ilk condemn al-Sisi, who, while remaining a strongman, has been one of the few Middle Eastern leaders to call for reform within Islam, to reach out to his country's Christian minority, and to fight Islamic terrorism? By Esposito's reckoning, that makes him a certified "Islamophobe."

Cinnamon Stillwell is the West Coast representative for Campus Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum. She can be reached at

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How Peres trashed Rabin's vision - David Singer

by David Singer

Yitzchak Rabin: "We would like this to be an entity which is less than a state, and which will independently run the lives of the Palestinians under its authority."

Former Israeli President Shimon Peres pre-empted the memorial rally held last Saturday evening to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the assassination on 4 November 1995 of Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin - by writing – quite misleadingly - of Rabin’s vision in the Israeli newspapers.

Former US president Bill Clinton, Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin and Yitzchak Rabin’s daughter - former deputy defence minister Dalia Rabin - participated in the rally – but did not set the record straight.

Peres claimed that Rabin’s Government – in which Peres was Foreign Minister:

“sought peace at the price of a historic compromise: two states for two peoples. For, if there shall not be two countries, there shall be one continues [sic] tragedy for both peoples.”

Rabin never offered any such two-state compromise.

Peres repeated this disingenuous message again:

“We laid down the foundations for a two-state solution and began building our peace with Jordan.”
Rabin made his vision very clear in his last speech to the Knesset on 5 October 1995 when presenting the 300 page “Israeli - Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip” (Oslo Accords) for approval:

“Members of Knesset,
"We are striving for a permanent solution to the unending bloody conflict between us and the Palestinians and the Arab states.

"In the framework of the permanent solution, we aspire to reach, first and foremost, the State of Israel as a Jewish state, at least 80% of whose citizens will be, and are, Jews.

"At the same time, we also promise that the non-Jewish citizens of Israel -- Muslim, Christian, Druze and others -- will enjoy full personal, religious and civil rights, like those of any Israeli citizen. Judaism and racism are diametrically opposed.

"We view the permanent solution in the framework of State of Israel which will include most of the area of the Land of Israel as it was under the rule of the British Mandate, and alongside it a Palestinian entity which will be a home to most of the Palestinian residents living in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

"We would like this to be an entity which is less than a state, and which will independently run the lives of the Palestinians under its authority. The borders of the State of Israel, during the permanent solution, will be beyond the lines which existed before the Six Day War. We will not return to the 4 June 1967 lines.

"And these are the main changes, not all of them, which we envision and want in the permanent solution:

A. First and foremost, united Jerusalem, which will include both Ma'ale Adumim and Givat Ze'ev -- as the capital of Israel, under Israeli sovereignty, while preserving the rights of the members of the other faiths, Christianity and Islam, to freedom of access and freedom of worship in their holy places, according to the customs of their faiths.

B. The security border of the State of Israel will be located in the Jordan Valley, in the broadest meaning of that term.

C. Changes which will include the addition of Gush Etzion, Efrat, Beitar and other communities, most of which are in the area east of what was the "Green Line," prior to the Six Day War.

D. The establishment of blocs of settlements in Judea and Samaria, like the one in Gush Katif.”

The two-state solution was never entertained by Rabin.

Two separate countries - favoured by Peres - is irretrievably dead and buried.  Rabin’s legacy should not be coupled with that failed diplomatic initiative.

Rabin’s vision should be faithfully preserved – not trashed.

David Singer


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Turkey: Where Ice Cream Can Be More Dangerous than Bombs - Burak Bekdil

by Burak Bekdil

  • Turkey has detained more people for tweeting against the government than for being members of the Islamic State. — Sezgin Tanrikulu, a Kurd, and a leading opposition member of parliament.
  • "Why did you all go to eat ice cream after prayers?" — Police interrogator in Usak, Turkey.

Sometimes one small incident best tells how countries can go insane. The pro-government Islamist psyche in Turkey has no limits in defying logic and humanity.

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu's native province, Konya, in central Anatolia, has traditionally been an Islamist stronghold -- before and after Turkey's ruling Islamist party, the Justice and Development Party (AKP), was founded in 2001. In parliamentary elections on June 7, AKP won 65% of the vote in Konya, compared to 40.7% it won on a national scale.

On October 13, three days after a twin suicide bomb attack in Turkey's capital, Ankara, killed more than 100 Kurds and pro-Kurdish, leftist and secular Turks, Konya hosted a Euro 2016 football qualifier between Turkey and Iceland. Before the kick-off, both teams stood in silence for one minute to protest the bomb attack -- a typical gesture to respect the victims. Sadly, the moment of silence was marred by whistles and jeers: apparently the football fans of Konya were protesting the victims, not their jihadist killers. This response was perfectly in line with what the government has been doing since the attack took place.

The police found that the perpetrators belonged to a Turkish jihadist group linked to the Islamic State (IS, ISIS or ISIL). But Davutoglu insists that the bombing was an act of "cocktail terror" bringing together two hostile groups: jihadists and Kurdish militants who fight against each other in Syria. The prime minister cannot admit that jihadists could bring carnage to the heart of Ankara. His government quickly instituted a gag order on the bombing, and told journalists to shut up. "Is it so hard to say it was an ISIL attack," prominent columnist Murat Yetkin asked in his column. It is. Because: a) It would be just too embarrassing for an Islamist government to be hit by jihadists whom it had so generously supported in the past, and b) it would be risky to say publicly that Islamist Turks killed their own people just weeks before a critical election and in a country where Islamist sentiments are strong -- as observed at the kick-off ceremony in Konya.

A little bit of investigative journalism unveiled the Turkish reluctance in confronting IS, although Ankara said it already joined the allied campaign against jihadists in Syria. Tolga Tanis, a Washington-based Turkish journalist for the daily Hurriyet, wrote in his column on Oct. 19:
"And while Turkey was not targeting ISIL, and focusing on other things, names related to ISIL conducted the biggest bombing attack in the history of the Turkish republic ... I talked to two different sources at the Pentagon. The first official said, 'In the beginning they [the Turks] joined the operation, but then for a long time they did not [participate in it].' In other words, during the month of September, while Turkey earmarked its resources to the fight with the [the Kurdish] PKK, it did not even try to hit ISIL. But the first initial trials became unsuccessful. The second official pointed to the political dimension of the issue and said, 'The priority for Turks is the PKK ...' In other words, Turkey on the one hand used in the wrong way its resources by not focusing on ISIL and on the other, was unsuccessful in hitting ISIL targets."
It was not surprising that Turkey has joined half-hearted only three US-led airstrikes against IS.

At the hands of power-greedy Islamists, Turkey continues to be a bad joke, the ridiculous cradle of black humor. Sezgin Tanrikulu, a leading opposition member of parliament (and a Kurd himself) said that Turkey has detained more people for tweeting against the government than for being members of the Islamic State. He forcefully reminded everyone that Turkey did not categorize IS as a terrorist organization until a court order to that effect on July 15. "Without [government] protection this massacre [in Ankara] would not have happened," he said.

In the same way the news of whistles and jeers for the terror victims sounded surreal, the news on a police operation targeting "dangerous terrorists" looked amusing if not utterly ridiculous. The police, who failed to prevent the bombing attack in Ankara, detained 25 businessmen in the western province of Usak on suspicion of terrorism. During their interrogation, the police asked them questions including: "Why did you go to prayers together?," "Why did you all go to eat ice cream after prayers?" and "Why did you go abroad 20 years ago?"

Welcome to Turkey, where ice cream can be more dangerous than bombs.

Burak Bekdil, based in Ankara, is a Turkish columnist for the Hürriyet Daily and a Fellow at the Middle East Forum.


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NGOs, the EU, and Product Labeling: A First Step in BDS against Israel - NGO Monitor

by NGO Monitor

The influence of NGOs on EU policy in this regard is revealing in light of the harm to Palestinian workers in settlements who will be expected to lose their jobs if they close. It has been reported that a top EU official stated that “we are sorry about that, but we must look at the broader picture”.

  • On November 2, 2015, a number of news sites reported that, on November 11, the EU will issue rules for the labeling of products exported from Israeli communities built over the 1967 ceasefire line (the “Green Line”). Politicized NGOs have been advocating for this move for several years as part of their BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) campaigns.
  • This EU/NGO policy is a blatant example of double standards made under the facade of human rights and international law. Other areas where the claim of "occupation" is made, such as in Cyprus, Western Sahara, and elsewhere, are not stigmatized by NGO campaigns, nor are they subject to EU labeling requirements.
  • NGOs that claim to promote human rights cynically exploit the language of universal human rights to further their anti-Israel political agendas, and the product labeling issue is not exception. Accordingly, the rhetoric of “consumer choice” and “consistent policy” regarding settlement products serves to divert the debate from the real objective of BDS groups, which seek to dismantle Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people.
  • BDS NGOs and activists push product labeling as a first step toward more punitive measures that go far beyond settlement goods (including wholly legal commercial activity that could be linked, no matter how trivially, to settlements). Their ultimate goal is a comprehensive boycott of Israel:
    • In October 2012, 22 European funded NGOs released “Trading Away Peace: How Europe Helps Sustain Illegal Israeli Settlements,” a report repeating the BDS agenda and calling on the EU and national to impose various forms of economic sanctions on Israel. The publication’s “Recommended measures (for national governments and the EU as appropriate)” begin with “correct consumer labelling of all settlement products as a minimum measure” (emphasis added) and increase in severity to “ban imports of settlement products,” “exclude settlement products and companies from public procurement tenders,” and “prevent financial transactions to settlements and related activities.”
    • FIDH and one of its Palestinian members, Al Haq, have been working together towards the goal of “Ensuring EU does not stop at labeling products from the settlements: obtain ban.”
    • FIDH and other groups authored a “legal analysis” of EU policy regarding settlement products. The analysis concludes that labelling is “not sufficient to meet the international obligation of non-assistance” and that “the products made in settlements should be prohibited for sale.” 
    • In many cases calls for sanctions are initiated by former European politicians. For instance, in July 2015, the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) a think tank established in 2007 by Martti Ahtisaari (Finland) and Joschka Fischer (Germany), published “EU Differentiation and Israeli settlements,” which calls for sanctions against Israeli entities (and certain individuals) that have activities in or apparent financial contacts with Israeli settlements. The report argues that the EU should extend this policy to the business and sports sectors. They argue that these forms of “differentiation” reflect EU policy, whereas, in reality, the issue was specifically negotiated between Israeli and European senior officials (after the release of the EU’s “Guidelines” in 2013) and was rejected.
  • The influence of NGOs on EU policy in this regard is revealing in light of the harm to Palestinian workers in settlements who will be expected to lose their jobs if they close. It has been reported that a top EU official stated that “we are sorry about that, but we must look at the broader picture”. Similarly, a campaign led by Oxfam (an NGO funded by the British government) and other groups, led to the relocation of Soda Streams plant from Mishor Adumim (over the Green Line) to Lehavim junction (in the Negev), leading to the firing of most of the Palestinian employees.

Copyright 2014 The Amuta for NGO Responsibility - R.A. 58-0465508. All rights reserved.

NGO Monitor


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Poking the Russian Bear - Russ Vaughn

by Russ Vaughn

Whoever blew up that plane is going to regret it.

With increasing forensic evidence pointing to an in-air explosion as the cause of the crash of the Russian airliner over the Sinai, the taunting claim from ISIS that it is responsible for the disaster is becoming ever more convincing.  Coming just weeks after the major Russian escalation of its military role in support of the Assad regime in Syria, it is not difficult to understand the motivation for the terrorist event.  But it is a different matter when trying to fathom the wisdom of attacking Russian sun-seekers, vacationers returning to their northern motherland from a tropical vacation, innocent citizens far separated from their nation's geopolitical activities.  It is a bloody provocation the instigators well may come to regret. 

In the few years that ISIS has been extant, there have been many occasions when its members' behaviors have been brutally bizarre and unnecessarily provocative – symbolic pokes in the eye of Western sensibilities – but they have thus far refrained from such a terrorist attack on American citizens.  Whether or not such an attack would bring any sort of meaningful response from the clueless and neutered puppy in our White House, there should be little doubt that poking the Russian bear in such brutal fashion will draw a disproportionate response that will result in the deaths of far more ISIS followers than the number of Russian civilians blown to dust over the Sinai.  And it is quite easy to predict that the Russian response will not be limited in any way as a bow to humane Western sensibilities.

It is glaringly obvious to the world, except perhaps to the wildly unpredictable ISIS leadership, that Vladimir Putin is no Barack Obama.  It is not a matter of whether but rather when the Russian leader will take his revenge upon ISIS for those innocent vacationers.  It is not difficult to assume that the Russian response will be sufficiently disproportionate so as to provide a memorable lesson, not just to ISIS, but to the myriad terrorist organizations that might consider testing Russian mettle.

If I may be so bold as to offer a suggestion to Colonel Putin, why not bring in Russian strategic bombers and carpet-bomb the entire ISIS operational area until nothing remains except smoking sand, a strategy I have long been urging our own ineptly commanded military to pursue?  Such a response might make future terrorist planners consider options other than killing innocent Russian civilians.  Let them learn the wisdom of neither poking the Bear nor killing her cubs.

Russ Vaughn


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Thursday, November 5, 2015

Obama's Secret Destruction of Our Immigration System - Arnold Ahlert

by Arnold Ahlert

Hastening the "fundamental transformation" of our nation while there's still time.

A newly-leaked memo from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) reveals the Obama administration is seeking to sidestep a federal court injunction that suspended portions of the president’s amnesty-based initiatives known as Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). In short, Obama is determined to impose his transformational agenda on the nation by any means necessary.
According to the Hill, the document outlining the administration’s attempt to thumb its nose at the rule of law was prepared at a DHS “Regulations Retreat” last June, four months after a preliminary injunction was initially imposed by Texas Judge Andrew Hanen and subsequently left in place by a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. The Fifth Circuit's final ruling on that injunction, either confirming or reversing it, is expected to occur in a matter of days.
Apparently the Obama administration couldn’t care less. The retreat was convened to discuss options regarding work permits for illegals, statutorily known as Employment Authorization Documents (EADs). The memo recording those discussions reveals the administration had no intention of waiting while the court determined the constitutionality of Obama’s effort to nullify immigration law. Rather, they have been preparing to roll out one or more of four separate plans aimed at providing EADs to millions of illegal aliens. 
The memo states that Option 1 would grants EADs to “all individuals living in the United States,” a group that includes illegal aliens, visa-overstayers, and H-1B guest-workers. Option 4 provides EADs to individuals on certain unexpired non-immigrant visas, the Hill reports. Both options directly violate the Immigration and Nationality Act that ostensibly protects American wages and job security from excessive immigration, and completely subverts the nation’s current visa system.
The number of individuals benefiting from these initiatives is infuriating. Option 1 would “address the needs of some of the intended deferred action population,” meaning anyone physically present in the nation who has been prohibited from obtaining an EAD until now. That definition applies to 4.3 million people covered by DAPA and the Expanded DACA programs, despite the reality the benefits accruing from those programs were supposed to have been stopped by the Hanen decision. In addition, the DHS plan would provide EADs to individuals with temporary non-immigrant visas, such as H-1B visas holders whose work authorizations are tied to their employers—along with an additional 5-6 million illegal aliens yet to be included in any part of Obama's deferred action amnesty agenda. The DHS is contending it can unilaterally separate the work authorization requirements contained in the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act from the rest of U.S. visa statutes. And while it can’t ignore legal requirements with regard to issuing visas, the Obama administration insists it has discretionary powers that should shock any American who believes in the rule of law.
In short, Obama and his minions contend they have the power to grant anyone currently residing in the United States, regardless of status, a work permit.
Ironically, the authors of the memo concede the beneficiaries of the Obama administration’s offensive against the rule of law will still “face difficulties in pursuing permanent residence due to ineligibility or being subject to unlawful presence inadmissibility for which a waiver is required.” This is a reference to the reality that an EAD is not the equivalent of a green card, and an EAD holder will ultimately have to apply to “adjust their status,” an undertaking that cannot be accomplished absent evidence of lawful status to begin with.
Unsurprisingly, the memo’s authors envision a solution for that dilemma, noting the DHS’s “macro-level policy goal” is aimed at helping illegals remain in the United States “until they are ready and able to become immigrants.” In other words, the DHS envisions itself abetting lawbreaking.
If these initiatives are successful, the impact on American workers would border on catastrophic, especially for college graduates. American universities churn out approximately 800,000 graduates per year with degrees in medicine and business, as well as science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). These graduates are already having trouble finding jobs in their respective fields, and Obama’s agenda would add the insult to injury, forcing them to compete with foreign workers willing to accept lower wages. A scathing column written by a former Disney IT worker recounts the company’s despicable effort in that regard. Disney forced their American workers to train their foreign counterparts prior to being laid off as a condition for receiving their severance pay. A number of other companies, including Microsoft, Facebook, Google, Infosys, Tata Consultancy Services, Intel and Qualcomm have all clamored for increased numbers of H-1B  visas, even as many of them have laid off American workers.
Ian Smith, a lawyer with the Immigration Reform Law Institute, puts the administration’s latest agenda in perspective. “The President’s ruthless politicization of our immigration laws seems to be getting more extreme as his final day in office nears,” said Smith. "Each of the plans contemplated in this memo would be a complete subversion of our visa system and is 100 percent illegal… [and] will be a direct slap in the face of Congress.”
Not exactly. Virtually every Democrat is behind the president’s plans, as are many Chamber of Commerce-beholden Republicans who are on board with increasing the number of H-1B visas. They include Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) who, along with co-sponsors Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), proposed a reincarnation of the 2013 “I-Squared” bill called the “Immigration Innovation Act of 2015.” The latest version would increase the number of H-1B visas from the current level of 65,000 a year (plus 20,000 for holders of U.S. graduate degrees), to 115,000, “with the possibility of the cap rising as high as 195,000 depending on economic conditions,” Hatch stated last April. This despite the reality that since 2000, the entire net gain in the number of people holding a job went to immigrants, both legal and illegal, according to a 2014 report by the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS).
Furthermore, no one should expect any help from the GOP’s newly-elected House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI). Ryan has repeatedly aligned himself with Obama and the pro-amnesty left, insisting in 2013 that any public displeasure with “waves of immigration” arises from "some ignorance…some resistance.”
In a searing column for Roll Call,  Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) and Rep. Dave Brat (R-VA) reveal the utter fraud behind Ryan’s assertion, explaining the Census Bureau "projects that the foreign-born share of the U.S. population will soon eclipse the highest levels ever documented, and will continue surging to new record highs each year to come.” They further note that "activists and politicians who support unprecedented levels of immigration are never asked to explain how they believe such a policy will affect social stability, community cohesion or political assimilation.”
 Both men mince no words with regard to the real agenda in play here. "This is not immigration reform,” they state. "This is the dissolution of the nation state, of the principle that a government exists to serve its own people.”
And make no mistake: the Obama administration is leading the charge, along with the entire Democrat Party and a number of Republicans, whose contempt for national sovereignty is only surpassed by their efforts to label those who resist the fundamental transformation of America as bigoted, nativist and/or xenophobic. It behooves the 26 plaintiff states that have challenged Obama’s agenda to make sure the Fifth Circuit court of Appeals is fully informed with regard to the DHS memo and the administration’s attempt to subvert the law. Sad to say, either they, or ultimately the Supreme Court, may be the last line of defense against a cabal of politicians and well-connected corporate oligarchs, and their supra-nationalist ambitions. It is not just America, but the concept of the nation-state itself, that hangs in the balance.

Arnold Ahlert is a former NY Post op-ed columnist currently contributing to, and He may be reached at


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