Friday, June 3, 2016

Bernie Sanders’ War Against the Jews - Daniel Greenfield

by Daniel Greenfield

Forget Wall Street. Israel is where it’s at.

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam.

Bernie Sanders started out by running against Wall Street. These days he’s running against Israel.

Running against Wall Street was hard. The Sanders campaign had to produce actual numbers. Americans were shocked to learn the higher taxes they would be facing in the People’s Republic of Bernie. Prominent economists on the left and the right tore his economic plans to shreds. The Sandernistas responded by touting the support of the country’s most prominent Marxist economist, the son of the Rosenberg Stalinist atom bomb traitors and an instructor at Chemeketa Community College.

Bashing Israel is a lot easier and appeals to the same conspiratorial bigoted contingent of the left.

And the facts don’t matter. 

Bernie Sanders lied and claimed that Israel had killed 10,000 innocent people in Gaza. That statement was false in every possible way. As Mary McCarthy said of Lillian Hellman, “every word… is a lie including the ‘and’ and ‘the’.” But the Sanders base, which had gleefully eaten up his conspiracy theories about Goldman Sachs, loved every minute of it. 

Like the Manchurian Candidate’s Senator Iselin, Senator Sanders gleefully threw around false numbers in the fashion of a cheap bigoted demagogue knowing that the resulting debate would not be about whether Israel had killed innocent people in Gaza, but how many innocent people it had killed in Gaza. 

Bernie’s ugly pandering to left-wing anti-Semitic bigots lost him the Jewish vote from Massachusetts to New York.  By the time he got to New York, polls showed that Catholics were more likely to vote for the “son of a Polish immigrant” than Jews. And that was before he appointed radical anti-Israel activist Simone Zimmerman, from anti-Israel hate group If Not Now, as his Jewish outreach coordinator.

But with each defeat, Bernie Sanders pandered even harder to his anti-Semitic left-wing base. In Arizona, he had a member of the Students for Justice in Palestine hate group standing next to him on stage. SJP has become notorious for its publication of anti-Semitic materials and harassment of Jewish students on campus. He lost Arizona, 57% to 39%. After his slander of Israel, he lost New York 58% to 42%. Trailing in the race for the nomination, he is doubling down on his war on the Jewish State.

Bernie Sanders has a long history of pandering to anti-Semitic leftists. He endorsed Jesse Jackson despite his Hymietown slur. He has campaigned with Harry Belafonte, who had claimed that "Hitler had a lot of Jews high up in the hierarchy of the Third Reich" and Spike Lee who had responded to criticism of anti-Semitic stereotypes in his movies by saying that he “couldn’t make an anti-Semitic film” because Jews run Hollywood.  He met with Sharpton who had jeered, “If the Jews want to get it on, tell them to pin their yarmulkes back and come over to my house.” Sanders had nothing to pin back and happily came.

Now he’s pushing some of his favorite haters of Israel in on the Democratic Party’s platform drafting committee. 

The Sanders Democratic dream team includes Cornel West, who flirted with 9/11 Trutherism and is an opponent of Israel, and James Zogby, who had defended Hamas and Hezbollah. West claimed that anti-Semitic hate group leader Louis Farrakhan “always pushes me in a powerful way.” Farrakhan had claimed that “Satanic Jews… control everything and everybody.” That’s certainly powerful. 

Zogby had referred to Israel as Nazis, compared the Lebanon War to the Holocaust and described Iran’s anti-Semitic Hezbollah terrorists as "the Lebanese armed resistance." The boss of this “Lebanese armed resistance” has stated that, “If they (Jews) all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide.”

It’s unclear whether he would be willing to exempt Senator Sanders from that worldwide purge. Or from his claim that, “If we searched the entire world for a person more cowardly, despicable, weak and feeble in psyche, mind, ideology and religion, we would not find anyone like the Jew.”

But Bernie Sanders put Cornel West and James Zogby into place in order to push the Democratic platform into anti-Israel territory. The official word is that the platform will introduce more “balance” between the Jews and the various “armed resistance” movements trying to kill them.

The balance of this ideological seesaw will be tilting toward the terrorists and away from their Jewish victims. But that’s because Bernie Sanders has his finger on the pulse of his hateful base.

Bernie Sanders supporters are the only group of backers for any of the candidates in the race who are more likely to support the terrorists over Israel. And as Sanders has focused more on bashing Israel, their bigotry is only likely to grow. 

Bernie Sanders has conducted almost no outreach to Jews. Instead his campaign has focused heavily on bringing in hateful Muslim figures such as Linda Sarsour, who described throwing stones at Jews as “the definition of courage”, and CAIR’s Zahra Billoo, who compared Israel to ISIS. Even more than Obama, Bernie Sanders is surrounded by hateful figures who despise America and Israel. And who have the notorious weakness of political radicals for conspiracy theories, especially those involving Jews.

The Sanders campaign is deeply rotten. It has come to exemplify the worst of the left. Every setback has pushed it only further to the left until its ideas of “authenticity” and “principle” have become extremism and bigotry. It is time for decent Democrats to repudiate the bigotry that the Sanders campaign has stirred up. While supporters will insist that Bernie Sanders can’t be pandering to anti-Semites because this son of a “Polish immigrant” is of Jewish ancestry, there has been a pattern of such behavior.

Sanders’ ancestry has not prevented the Socialist from Vermont to pandering to the bigotry against Jews that has been described as the “Socialism of Fools”. His smears and slanders have made that all too obvious.

When at one of his events, a questioner claimed that “Zionist Jews” run the Federal Reserve and Wall Street, Bernie Sanders did not denounce his bigotry. Instead he criticized Israel. 

That sad moment embodied what Bernie Sanders had become. A fading radical desperately pandering to left-wing bigots. His campaign against Israel channels the conspiratorial mindset of the Occupy Wall Street demographic and the obsession of the left with “Zionist Jews” and banks. 

Even while Bernie limits any mention of his Jewish ancestry to ritualistic invocations of Nazism, he is pandering to militant Socialists whose own obsessions with “Zionist Jews” are ominously similar to those of the National Socialists.

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam.


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

Britain's National Students Union in Crisis - Robbie Travers

by Robbie Travers

Britain's National Union of Students (NUS) is in crisis. Three major university student associations -- Newcastle, Lincoln and Hull -- have disaffiliated themselves from the organization.

  • Bouattia's role is meant to entail representing the best interests of students in the UK. How does endorsing and legitimizing terrorist attacks in Israel the best way to improve conditions for students in the UK? Is Bouattia trying to radicalise students in the UK?
  • When students need representation, the voice often heard is that of the NUS. Is it any wonder that when this voice has a history of endorsing terrorism, including sharing platforms with convicted terrorists, that students may want a different voice?
The United Kingdom's National Union of Students (NUS) is in crisis. Three major university student associations -- Newcastle, Lincoln and Hull -- have disaffiliated themselves from the organization, and more are set to follow. NUS is struggling even to retain its previous strongholds, such as Exeter's Student Association.

The Exeter University campaign to leave the NUS managed to increase the number of votes to defect from roughly 200 to 2546. This stampede occurred despite the massive protests by the "stay" campaign, including text messages to thousands of students and visits to the school by more than 10 senior NUS officials, including two Vice Presidents-elect and the President-elect.

Why are students from so many British universities fighting to leave the NUS? Well, take for example statements by its new president-elect, Malia Bouattia.

Bouattia actively promotes violence against Israel. She has argued that,
"To consider that Palestine will be free only by means of fundraising, non-violent protest and the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement is problematic... Boycott can be misunderstood as the alternative to resistance by the Palestinian people."
Presumably, then, Bouattia means that violent "resistance" against Israel is something she supports -- such as the theocratic group, Hamas, whose policies include preaching genocide against the Jews, or ISIS, who crucify children and also believe in murdering Jews.

Malia Bouattia, the president-elect of the UK National Union of Students, actively promotes terrorist violence against Israelis. (Image source: NUS press office)

Supporting terrorism against the only free state in the Middle East, according to Freedom House, is, and should be, deeply concerning. It is to the students' credit that they seek to distance themselves from Bouattia's views.

Bouattia's role is meant to entail representing the best interests of students in the UK. How does endorsing and legitimizing terrorist attacks in Israel the best way to improve conditions for students in the UK? Is Bouattia trying to radicalise students in the UK? The more Bouattia legitimizes violence, the more students might decide that violent "resistance" is acceptable.

Of course, statements such as Bouattia's also make Jewish students across the UK feel even more at risk, especially in the wake of rising anti-Semitism throughout the UK.

Bouattia's remarks at a Middle East Monitor (MEMO) event included arguing that:
"David Cameron and [Israeli PM] Netanyahu seem to be in competition over who can deliver the most over-the-top and outlandish sermons on the apparent existential threat their nation seems to be facing from these invisible 'terrorists."
Invisible? Does Bouattia mean that Israel only imagines it is under threat from nations such as Iran, which is on the fast track to acquiring nuclear weapons and which repeats, "Death to Israel"? Or from Hamas, which threatens genocide not only to Israelis but to all Jews? Or from Hezbollah, a puppet of Iran, which has 100,000 missiles pointed at northern border of Israel, a country the size of New Jersey? Or from organizations that openly wish to destroy Israel?

What about the terrorists who murdered Israel's athletes at the Munich Olympics, in 1972, or who murdered an elderly wheelchair-ridden Jew by throwing him overboard from a ship in 1985? What about the terrorists who spent years blowing up cafes, buses, discotheques -- and now the better part of a year in knifing Israeli Jews and car-ramming attacks? All, of course, are totally invisible.

Bouattia also seems to have missed the nine attacks on Israeli military personnel and civilians in January 2016, and the 18 attacks in February 2016. A quick Google search of "list of Palestinian terror attacks" reveals 1,210,000 entries -- that is a lot of invisibility. It seems bizarre, therefore, that Bouattia would claim such violent terrorism does not exist.

It also seems bizarre that she implies that there is no threat to the UK from terrorism. A quick Google search of "Terrorism incidents in the United Kingdom" lists 1,130,000 entries -- so evidently there is nothing to worry about. These include London's 7/7/2005 transport system attacks, which included among its victims students such as Atique Sharifi. It also seems odd to state that there is no threat to the UK from terrorism just as London is "preparing for up to 10 simultaneous terror attacks" in the wake of the Paris attacks of November 13, 2015. Subsequent arrests in Paris and Brussels revealed that attacks on central London landmarks such as the London Eye were also planned.

Bouattia, it seems, has either concluded that either the organizations preaching anti-Jewish violence and trying to destroy Israel do not exist -- along with those targeting London -- or it would appear that she is she is simply not interested in facts.

Bouattia also argued that "Muslims in the UK find themselves in a situation where their democratic freedoms have been comprehensively stripped." Really? Didn't London just elect a Muslim mayor, and isn't the Business Secretary a Muslim, and haven't there been Muslims in the cabinet and the House of Lords?

Bouattia spoke at an event for the Middle East Monitor, MEMO, an organization which has claimed that Israelis are "pathological liars from Eastern Europe, who lie as much as they breathe oxygen." Wouldn't one think that appearing on the event platform of an organization that promotes negative national stereotypes is the exact opposite of what an "anti-racist" should be doing? Bouattia claims she has "always been a strong campaigner against racism and fascism in all its forms."

MEMO's senior editor, Ibrahim Hewitt, also a Holocaust-denier -- he has referred to the "so-called Holocaust" -- claims that homosexuals would suffer "severe punishments" in an Islamic state for their "great sin." How should Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transsexual (LGBT) students feel about their newly elected president sharing a platform with an organization whose editor calls for "severe punishments" against homosexuals? The NUS actually campaigns against homophobia and homophobic attitudes, with slogans such as "Zero tolerance to LGBT bullying." How does appearing at events organized by those who would like to see homosexuals "suffer" help to fight homophobia?

On a final note, it is important to ask, what is the purpose of the NUS? According to the organization's official website, it is to "make a real difference to the lives of students and its member students' unions." Its successes include electing new Black student officers who "will help to make sure that issues such as racism, anonymous marking and a 'no platform policy against fascists and racists' remain high in the agenda of their students' unions."

When students need representation, the voice often heard is that of the NUS, and that is often channelled through its president, Malia Bouattia. Is it any wonder that when this voice has a history of endorsing terrorism, including sharing platforms with convicted terrorists, that students may want a different voice?
Robbie Travers, a political commentator and consultant, is Executive Director of Agora, former media manager at the Human Security Centre, and a law student at the University of Edinburgh.

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

The White House Spin, J Street, and Iran - Michael Curtis

by Michael Curtis

Ploughshares indeed faithfully obeyed the spin and the message that Rhodes disseminated.

In an astonishingly arrogant remark, Ben Rhodes, the spin doctor of the White House, confessed to misleading the American people, media, and nongovernmental organizations about the seven-nation negotiations with Iran in 2015 purportedly to stop Iran’s nuclear development. He boasted of creating an “echo chamber,” and using “outside groups like Ploughshares “to help carry out the Obama administration message. To their disgrace, those groups then said things in public that validated the misleading information that Rhodes and other White House officials had given them to say.

Now we have the newly-published document of the non-profit Ploughshares Fund (PF) whose stated objective, like all non-lunatics, is to help make the world more safe and secure. The Fund states that it does this by funding organizations and people who promote the elimination of nuclear weapons, who are devoted to prevent the emergence of new nuclear states, and to build regional peace. All these activities are worthy, but what the Annual Report 2015 of the Fund did not say or want to know is that it had been manipulated by the Obama administration for propaganda purposes.

Some news organizations, such as the Associated Press, have rules concerning funds they accept and are concerned to uphold journalistic integrity. Ploughshares Fund does not appear to be one of them, as Rhodes implied in his reference to it. Ploughshares indeed faithfully obeyed the spin and the message that he disseminated.

The PF 2015 Report detailed the organizations and groups it funded to carry out the Obama administration message, and reveals their subservience to the message. It is worth looking at a few of them.

Some are surprising but others are not. Not everyone will agree that National Public Radio is always objective in its reporting. Not surprisingly, NPR, which receives a small amount from Congress, has since 2005 received $700,000 from Ploughshares (PF) to cover national security issues. In 2015 for the propaganda campaign concerning Iran, NPR received $100,000 from PF. In this PF is less than forthright. It stated that “funding does not influence the editorial content of their coverage in any way, nor would we want it to.” The facts speak otherwise. NPR hosted supporters of the deal, including Rep. Adam Schiff of California and Joseph Cirincione, president of PF, who was invited at least twice, but it refused to invite Rep. Mike Pompeo of Kansas, a critic of Iran’s nuclear program., who had several times requested an appearance on radio.

Some recipients of the grants seem understandable, other seem bizarre. Included among the recipients of funding are the Arms Control Association, which received 4 grants amounting to $282,500, and the Atlantic Council that got $182,000. The National Iranian American Council got five grants amounting to $281,211, perhaps because one member of the PF board, the actor Farshad Farahat, is also a director of the NIAC. One of the more surprising and inexplicable was the National Committee on North Korea that got $50,000.

Academic institutions and think tanks were helped. The Brookings Institution in D.C. got 3 grants amounting to 225,000, and Princeton University received $70,000 to support Seyed Hossein Mousavian, former Iranian ambassador, for his books and activities involved with the negotiated settlement of Iran’s nuclear program. 

The single largest grant went to J Street, the leftist or liberal Jewish political action group, “pro-Israel, pro-peace,” which got six grants amounting to $576,500. These were awarded to support J Street’s media and education campaign to continue diplomatic engagement with Iran, to demonstrate the benefits of the negotiated settlement with Iran, and to mobilize Jewish support for a final deal. J Street in effect accepted the spinning of the White House. Among J Street’s activity was on July 23, 2015 a full page ad in the New York Times praising the diplomatic solution and calling on Congress not to sabotage the Iran nuclear agreement.

The Ploughshares Fund prides itself in general that its approach to reducing nuclear weapons and other global security threats is unique and effective. With this in mind, it is not clear why Valerie Plame, the central figure in the political storm in 2003 over the leaking of her alleged identity as a CIA covert officer, is on the board.

In particular, PF claimed that the Iran coalition it created was one of the most effective collaborative efforts in many decades.

The chair of the board Mary Lloyd Estrin, also a director of the General Service Foundation, enthused about the absolutely critical role that civil society and the PF played in tipping the scales in the promotion of a diplomatic solution to the Iranian nuclear weapons threat. She also spoke of the “fearless leadership of Obama administration and supporters in Congress”. Can one detect in her words a fundamental worldwide conspiracy against the leadership that PF stopped?

The PF and its associates regard the Iran Agreement as a major victory for U.S. national security. To this end, the PF provided a network organizations and individuals in common effort These included pooling ideas, sharing information, deciding strategies, and accepting the misleading statements of the Obama administration.

J Street, usually critical of Israeli policies, sought to disarm criticism of its acceptance of the White House spin by asserting that it worked to advance the deal out of the belief that the important agreement contributed greatly to Israeli security, and that it blocked Iran’s path to a nuclear weapon for some years.

But that is not necessarily true. It is possible that the path of Iran to nuclear weapons may be limited for a short time with closer international inspection. It is equally possible that the deal may lead to better relations between the U.S. and Iran.

 But already the U.S. Government Accountability Office in a report in February 2016 suggests that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) may have problems in monitoring and verifying Iran’s implementation of the nuclear deal, regarding nuclear materials and activities. Iran in the past has failed to notify the IAEA of some of its activity.

Observers may legitimately differ about Iran’s adherence to the nuclear agreement, but there can be no disagreement about Iran’s continuing provocative behavior. Iran’s missile program is proceeding with full support from its leaders, and its ambition to become the hegemonic power in the Middle East is clear, especially to Saudi Arabia. The PF group, in its obeisance to White House spin, have neglected the reality that Iran is a dangerous power. This is shown by its missile launches and testing of ballistic missiles, its support for the Assad regime in Syria, its support of Hizb’allah, its involvement in Yemen, and its detention of U.S. sailors.

In the bible, Isaiah 2:4, says “they shall beat their swords into ploughshares.” Ploughshares Fund by its acceptance of misleading official propaganda and its funding of organizations not usually regarded as advocates of peace in the Middle East nor concerned with the security of Israel has not been helpful in turning Iranian “spears into pruning hooks.”

Michael Curtis


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John Kerry, the Islamic Republic’s New Lobbyist - Ari Lieberman

by Ari Lieberman

The administration urges foreign financial institutions to fund the Iranian terror machine.

Iran, the nation that has built a well-deserved reputation as the world’s premier state-sponsor of terrorism has a new lobbyist and he is none other than U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. Since the Obama administration inked the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action in January, Kerry has been busying himself with ensuring that European banks start doing business with the Iranians. Yes, you read that correctly. Not only has the United States and its European allies agreed to lift sanctions against the Islamic Republic, the administration is now encouraging the private banking sector to do the same. It appears however, that their intense lobbying efforts are being received with a healthy dose of skepticism.

HSBC’s chief legal officer, Stuart Levey confirmed that Kerry had requested that HSBC start opening its banking doors to the Iranians and transact business with them. Levey criticized Kerry’s misguided initiative noting that the U.S. still maintains other non-nuclear related sanctions against the Islamic Republic and that doing business with Iran runs the risk of running afoul of those sanctions. HSBC has had prior negative experience with the U.S. Treasury and Justice departments. In 2012, the bank was forced to fork over $1.9 billion to U.S. authorities to settle allegations involving money laundering for Mexican drug barons.

Levey also noted that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, which controls large swaths of the Iranian economy, has been slapped with sanctions by both the U.S. and Europe because of the central role it plays in illicit regional and international activities. Doing business with Iran will almost certainly result in facilitating IRGC operations. Adding to the uncertainty, Iran has over the years developed a penchant for hiding money, engaging in shady deals and money laundering thus making it difficult, if not impossible for banking institutions to engage the Iranians in legitimate business transactions without being complicit in their illegal dealings.

Kerry has assured the banks that they have nothing to fear if they perform their due diligence but banking representatives have expressed other legitimate concerns. Iran is one of the most corrupt nations on the planet and ranks poorly in the categories of transparency and ease of doing business. Banking institutions and large businesses are naturally reluctant to deal with such an opaque entity.

Practical matters and banking concerns aside, it is disturbing to witness the zeal in which Kerry is conducting his lobbying campaign on behalf of an enemy country whose national pastime involves chants of “Death to America” and “Down, Down U.S.A.” Even more disturbing is the fact that despite signing the JCPOA, Iran continues to act in defiance of United Nations Security Council resolution 2231 which calls on Iran to cease all research and testing activities relating to its ballistic missile program.

Since the conclusion of the Iran deal, the Islamic Republic has test-fired eight ballistic missiles. The Iranians boasted that some of their missiles were capable of reaching targets 1,200 miles away. Israel is only 1,000 miles away from Iran placing it well within the target radius. Emblazoned on the side of at least one test-fired missile was an ominous threat; “Israel must be wiped out from the face of the earth.”

The Iranians are continuously attempting to increase the range and accuracy of their ballistic missiles. Iran’s illicit ballistic missile program has only one aim, to deliver weapons of mass destruction (WMDs). That apocalyptic prospect does not seem to worry Kerry who seems more interested in propping up the Islamic Republic rather than ensuring that it lives up to its international obligations and stops behaving like a pariah state. Indeed, in an effort to prevent derailment of the JCPOA, the administration asked the Iranians not to publicize their launches. Iran’s illicit ballistic missile program doesn’t seem to bother the Obama administration so long as the Iranians keep their activities below the radar.

Iran’s nefarious undertakings extend far beyond its illicit ballistic missile program. The IRGC, the group that runs Iran in partnership with the ayatollahs, represents the life-blood of Hezbollah. Both Hezbollah and the IRGC are engaged in a full-fledged operation to destabilize the region. From Syria to Yemen, Iranian and Hezbollah operatives are fomenting chaos and bloodshed with the aim of establishing a Shiite arc extending from Iran through Syria and Lebanon as well as securing control of two of the region’s most important chokepoints, the Strait of Hormuz and the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait.

Hezbollah’s main source of funding comes from Iran, which trains, arms and pays the salaries of its operatives. Its other sources, though minor in comparison to Iranian assistance, include drug trafficking and extortion. Last week, Adam Szubin, the acting Treasury undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, noted that Hezbollah was “in its worst financial shape in decades.” It’s hard to take that near-comical boast seriously in light of the $150 billion cash infusion the Obama administration injected into the anemic Iranian economy. It’s hard to imagine that Iran will spend any of that money on improving the quality of life of its citizens and promoting human rights. Iran will almost certainly channel a large portion of those funds to its proxy stooges in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Yemen and elsewhere.

Kerry’s lobbying efforts on behalf of Iran in connection with the banking industry will make Iran’s ability to transfer funds to these terrorist groups less difficult. The lengths to which the Obama administration will go to indulge the Iranians is beyond shocking, it’s frightening. But we should expect no more from an administration that expressed gratitude to the Islamic Republic after its naval pirates kidnapped and humiliated 10 American sailors when their craft encountered mechanical difficulties in the Arabian Gulf. Sadly, the Obama administration continues to lose the trust of its allies, while emboldening its enemies and has given new meaning to the term appeasement.

Ari Lieberman is an attorney and former prosecutor who has authored numerous articles and publications on matters concerning the Middle East and is considered an authority on geo-political and military developments affecting the region.


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

What is happening in Jordan? - Mudar Zahran

by Mudar Zahran

The media are puzzled and rather clueless about what exactly is happening in my country, Jordan.

Days ago, King Abdullah II‎ of Jordan dissolved the parliament and appointed a new prime minister. 

This came ‎weeks after the king amended the constitution to expand his already swollen authority as the sole ‎ruler, and has launched a wave of speculation in the Western and Israeli media. The media are puzzled and rather clueless about what exactly is happening in my country, Jordan. Some, including respected publications, jumped to the convenient conclusion ‎that the king has "appointed a pro-Israel prime minister" and even that "Israel has a new friend ‎in the Middle East, Jordan's prime minister." These statements by ‎themselves are irrelevant to the status quo and the situation in Jordan is much more critical and ‎dire than anyone in the Israeli media realizes.‎

In November 2015, U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said ‎Jordan's future was "not clear" and that Palestinians and Israelis needed to know what will ‎happen in Jordan and "whether Jordan will remain stable" before they resume the peace process. Clinton's tenure as U.S. secretary of state saw anti-regime protests in Jordan, particularly the November 2012 revolution, ‎when a million Jordanians took to the streets demanding that the Hashemite royals leave the ‎country. She knows more about the reality in Jordan from firsthand experience than any other U.S. presidential candidate.

While Clinton's statements cannot be taken as prophecies from the Torah or the Quran, the facts on the ‎ground do support her concerns for Jordan. As these lines are being written, unrest continues in the ‎Wadi Mousa-Petra area, including gun battles between the king's police and the locals, arrests, the ‎destruction of vehicles and other property, stone throwing, and rumors of casualties on both sides. In ‎short, there is an intifada at one of Jordan's most significant tourist sites. 

In addition, anti-regime ‎protests take place every Friday, yards away from the king's palace. Those protests are not ‎continuous, but they are a regular occurrence and likely to grow. Protests against Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak began in the same ‎way in 2004, and 10,000 protests later, a one-strike revolution toppled him in ‎‎2011, the same year that the current protests in Jordan began.‎

Jordan's debt-to-GDP ratio is above 90%. Greece's economy collapsed when it hit ‎the same rate, and the Jordanian regime is not getting the help from Arab states that Greece got from the European Union. Nevertheless, the Jordanian royal family spends beyond belief and is not shy about showing off its opulent lifestyle to its starving subjects.‎

Less than a month ago, Jordan's king visited our Saudi brothers and came back speaking ‎about billions of Saudi riyals "on the way." None of this has yet materialized. While these ‎things do take time, Saudi King Salman‎ announced a $25 billion aid package to the el-Sissi regime half an hour ‎after the king's arrival in Egypt in April. ‎

There are also no signs or news of aid money coming from the ‎Gulf states. Our Arab brothers are wise; they won't give their money to an ailing regime.‎

On the other hand, the king has been fragile for years now, and many -- myself included -- have ‎predicted his fall, yet he remains on the throne in Amman. So why should anyone worry that ‎the king might fall now? 

In fact, the situation has completely changed.‎

Today, Jordan's army is independent of the king, and so is Jordan's intelligence service. Both are tightly coordinated with the U.S. Central Command. When the Islamic State group became a real threat to Jordan, ‎the U.S. must have realized it could no longer tolerate the king's recklessness, inexperienced ‎handling of security, and mismanagement of Jordan's military operations and funds. Thus, the ‎U.S. supported separating the army and intelligence apparatus from the king's influence. This happened trough [sic] tight and direct cooperation between the Jordanian and U.S. militaries, and between Jordanian and U.S. intelligence agencies, particularly the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency.‎

This new arrangement might explain the record-smooth cooperation between Jordan and Israel on ‎security, which is described in the Israeli media as "unprecedented." Yes, it is unprecedented, ‎because the king no longer has any influence over the army or intelligence service.‎

Further, the U.S. has announced it is about to finish building a massive security wall separating ‎Jordan from Syria and extending along the Iraqi borders. This little-publicized wall will be fully ‎operational in August, according to its contractor, Raytheon, at a cost of over $500 million. At the same time, Israel is quickly and publicly building a $1 billion wall ‎along its border with Jordan.‎

These measures, taken by the U.S. and Jordanian armies, suggest that both are expecting major change in ‎Jordan. The outcome should be safe; Islamic State cannot take over Jordan with thousands of American soldiers stationed ‎in several major U.S. bases across Jordan. ‎

Meanwhile, Jordan's king sees firsthand signs that his angry, hungry, and hopeless ‎people could actually topple him, and with him having no control over the army now, the king ‎could face a situation like that of Egypt's 2011 revolution, which was supported by the ‎Egyptian army.‎

Afraid and helpless, Jordan's regime has turned to the oldest trick in the book: beating the Israeli ‎drum. The regime knows that if a new intifada breaks out in Israel, this ‎could buy it more time in power; the world would be too busy to let it go and Jordan's ‎public would be distracted by anti-Israel hatred once again. This might explain why an official Israeli ‎statement on Sept. 21, 2015, confirmed that "Jordan was a major contributor to Temple ‎Mount tension" and accused Jordan's government of exacerbating tensions in Jerusalem with ‎inciting statements and actions.‎

In November 2014, I published an article in which I warned that Jordan's regime was ‎planning to set the West Bank and Jerusalem on fire in order to stay in power. Also, a month ‎before the "knife intifada" broke out, I noted several times on social media that Jordan's ‎regime was going to launch unrest in Jerusalem itself.‎

Change is coming to Jordan. It could be tomorrow morning or in five years, but the ‎Hashemites already have a one-way ticket out, and it seems they are now purposely ‎causing damage to Jordanian, Palestinian, American and Israeli interests. ‎

It is about time the few pro-Hashemite hopeless romantics wake up and smell the strong ‎Jordanian coffee already brewing in Amman.‎

As far as the Israeli government is concerned, it has been clear from the beginning: The Israelis ‎will not be involved in the Arab Spring or its aftermath, and will keep good ties with Jordan's ‎regime, military and intelligence agencies, without any involvement in Jordan's internal politics. As ‎Jordan's opposition, we highly appreciate Israel's stance and fully understand it.‎

As we expect change in Jordan, we must work hard to make sure Jordan remains committed ‎to peace while it becomes economically prosperous and gives hope to all its citizens.‎

Mudar Zahran is secretary-general of the Jordanian Opposition Coalition. Twitter ‎@mudar_zahran.


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Europe Braces for More Jihadist Attacks - Soeren Kern

by Soeren Kern

British police chiefs are struggling to recruit enough officers who are willing to carry a firearm, because many fear they will be treated as criminal suspects if they use their weapon in the line of duty.

  • Sports stadiums and big music events are especially vulnerable: "This is where you put a small town into a small area for a couple of hours." — Neil Basu, deputy assistant commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, London.
  • "We know that the Islamic State has the European Championship in its sights." — Hans-Georg Maaßen, head of Germany's domestic intelligence agency.
  • According to Patrick Calvar, head of the France's domestic intelligence agency, at least 645 French nationals or residents, including 245 women, are currently with the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. Another 200 individuals are "in transit," either on their way to Syria or returning to France. Around 244 jihadists have already returned to France.

European security officials are bracing for potential jihadist attacks at public venues across Europe this summer.

In France, officials are preparing for possible attacks against the European Football Championships. The games, which start on June 10, comprise 51 matches involving 24 teams playing in 10 host cities across the country.

Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said that more than 90,000 security personnel will be on hand to protect the 2.5 million spectators expected to attend the games, as well as the hundreds of thousands more who will watch the matches on big screens in so-called "fan zones" in major cities.

Patrick Calvar, the head of the France's domestic intelligence agency (Direction générale de la sécurité intérieure, DGSI), warned: "We know that the Islamic State is planning new attacks in France." He added:
"We risk being confronted with a new form of attack: a terrorist campaign characterized by placing explosive devices in places where large crowds are gathered, and repeating this type of action to create a climate of panic."
According to Calvar, at least 645 French nationals or residents, including 245 women, are currently with the Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria and Iraq. Another 200 individuals are "in transit," either on their way to the Middle East or returning to France. Around 244 jihadists have already returned to France, and another 818 people have "demonstrated their intention to go to Syria."

The Stade de France, located in a Paris suburb, was attacked by three Islamic State suicide bombers in November 2015. The stadium will be hosting games during the UEFA Euro 2016 football championships (June 10 - July 10, 2016), and French officials are preparing for possible jihadist attacks. (Image source: Wikimedia Commons/Liondartois)

Calvar's concerns have been echoed by Hans-Georg Maaßen, the head of Germany's domestic intelligence agency (Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz, BfV). In an interview with Rheinische Post, Maaßen said: "We know that the Islamic State has the European Championship in its sights."

On May 29, British media quoted Belgian security sources as saying they had discovered an Islamic State plot to attack British football fans in the southern French city of Marseille when England plays Russia on June 11. The plans were reportedly discovered on a laptop used by Salah Abdeslam, a Belgian-born French national of Moroccan descent who is thought to be the mastermind of the November 2015 terrorist attacks on Paris which left 130 dead.

The laptop is said to have contained information about a plot to kill large numbers of British fans using assault rifles, suicide bombers and possibly even drones armed with chemical weapons. The laptop contained photos and references to Marseille's historic Old Port, where tens of thousands of football fans are expected to gather at the many bars and restaurants in the area.

Meanwhile, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve also announced that more than 23,000 police will be deployed to protect the Tour de France, the world's premier bicycle race, which takes place from July 2 to 24.

Teams of special operations forces (Groupe d'intervention de la Gendarmerie Nationale, GIGN) will guard riders and an estimated 12 million spectators along a route that covers 3,500 kilometers (2,180 miles). "Everyone understands that this year the Tour de France is taking place in a particular context," Cazeneuve said. He added: "The terrorist threat remains very high."

In Poland, officials are preparing for possible jihadist attacks against the Catholic Church's World Youth Day, which is expected to draw 2.5 million to Krakow from July 26 to 31. Poland will impose border controls at all of its national borders from July 4 to August 2.

In Britain, music festivals, big sports venues and nightclubs have been placed on "high alert" for potential jihadist attacks, according to a senior anti-terrorism officer interviewed by the Sunday Times.

Neil Basu, the deputy assistant commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, said that crowded places — including Glastonbury, billed as the world's largest music festival, which will draw 135,000 people to Somerset from June 22 to 26 — are a major concern for police this summer. Basu warned:
"These people are perfectly happy to target civilians with the maximum terror impact. Crowded places were always a concern for us, but now they are right at the top of the agenda."
Basu said that sports stadiums and big music events are especially vulnerable: "This is where you put a small town into a small area for a couple of hours."

Police in rural communities in Britain that host large summer festivals are warning that they could be "sitting ducks" in the face of a jihadist attack as they wait for armed backup to arrive from many miles away.

In an interview with the BBC, John Apter, the head of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Police Federation, said:
"Being realistic, if a firearms unit was coming from the middle of the county you are still talking about 30 miles away — you are not talking about a few minutes. There would be an understandable delay. If a firearms unit is the other side of the county they could be 70 miles away so you are talking a significant distance. So the only officers that you have available are unarmed and vulnerable officers and they are the officers that are saying to me that in a terrorist situation they would be sitting ducks."
Most police in Britain are unarmed. According to Deputy Chief Constable Simon Chesterman, the UK's top firearms officer, British police chiefs are struggling to recruit enough officers who are willing to carry a firearm, because many fear they will be treated as criminal suspects if they use their weapon in the line of duty.

Senior British security officials estimate that the UK needs an extra 1,500 armed officers to tackle jihadist attacks such as those carried out in Paris. Because half of the recruits will not make it through the rigorous training, however, 3,000 volunteers are needed to come forward.

Che Donald of the Police Federation — which represents the 5,647 officers throughout Britain who currently carry firearms — told the Guardian that while major cities such as London are sufficiently protected, other large towns and cities are not: "Currently there are not enough firearms officers who could deal with an incident in quite a lot of areas of Britain."

In Brussels, Manuel Navarrete Paniagua, the head of the European Counter Terrorism Centre at the European police agency Europol, warned Members of the European Parliament that terrorist cells in Europe are stockpiling weapons and explosives for future attacks:
"We have some information reported by the member states that terrorists groups are trying to establish large clandestine stockpiles of explosives in the European Union to be used eventually in large scale home attacks."
Paniagua added that police had foiled more than 200 terrorist attacks in the EU in 2015. A total of 151 people were killed and more than 360 injured during terrorist attacks in the EU in 2015. More than 1,000 people were arrested for terrorist-related crimes.

In an interview with Time magazine, Europol director Rob Wainwright revealed that "several hundred" battle-trained European jihadists are probably plotting new attacks. He said that his agency is working on 50 ongoing terrorist investigations:
"This is the highest terrorist threat we have faced in Europe since the days of 9/11. We have 5,000 Europeans who have been radicalized by the Islamic State and have traveled to Syria and Iraq and engaged in conflict experience. We suspect that about one-third of them have come back: That is our best guess. We don't know for sure...
"Our real concern is that there are other networks, either in Europe already, or who are being trained in Syria for further action. We know that the Islamic State last year took a strategic decision to establish an external operations command, a division to plan exactly the kind of attacks we have now seen. We think that they are still active and planning to do that. The threat is alive and current. Another attempted attack is almost certain. Whether it gets through depends of course. I am concerned about the Islamic State's clearly expressed desire for the spectacular."
On May 31, the U.S. State Department issued a travel alert for Europe this summer:
"We are alerting U.S. citizens to the risk of potential terrorist attacks throughout Europe, targeting major events, tourist sites, restaurants, commercial centers and transportation. The large number of tourists visiting Europe in the summer months will present greater targets for terrorists planning attacks in public locations, especially at large events."
The travel alert urges vigilance when in public places or using mass transportation, and avoiding crowded places.
Soeren Kern is a Senior Fellow at the New York-based Gatestone Institute. He is also Senior Fellow for European Politics at the Madrid-based Grupo de Estudios Estratégicos / Strategic Studies Group. Follow him on Facebook and on Twitter. His first book, Global Fire, will be out in 2016.

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Bill Clinton Profits from World’s Largest For-Profit University - Michael Bargo, Jr.

by Michael Bargo, Jr.

Laureate International Universities, unlike Trump University, is still in existence and going strong.  And while news media have attacked Trump for his association with Trump University, somehow the connection between Bill Clinton and Laureate University has been ignored.

As accusations swirl around Donald Trump for the complaints filed against Trump University, few people know about how Bill Clinton was hired in 2010 to be Chancellor for the Laureate Network, the world’s largest for-profit university network. 

Not just Bill Clinton but other Clinton friends from the past were hired to promote the university.  Investors in the vast multinational university include Henry Kravis, George Soros, Steve Cohen and Paul Allen.  One of the investors in Laureate University, SAC Capital Advisors LP, is a hedge fund that had to pay a $1.2 billion dollar settlement to the US Dept. of Justice to settle allegations of insider trading.

Bill Clinton has personally been paid to make appearances promoting Laureate University in countries such as Malaysia, Peru and Spain.  By January 2014 Laureate University had 800,000 students worldwide and its annual revenue was $4 billion, far larger than the revenues of Trump University.

Laureate has taken over struggling colleges by using high-pressure marketing tactics such as “turbocharging enrollment” using students as telemarketers.  Laureate University was investigated by the Rio State Legislature’s Investigative Commission on Private Universities in Brazil.   Robson Leite, a Rio state legislator who led the probe concluded:  “They have turned education into a commodity that focuses more on profit than knowledge”

Pictures of Bill Clinton line a walkway at Laureate’s Bilgi University in Istanbul.  His photos can also be seen outside the rector’s office, along with pictures of Douglas Becker, the founder of Laureate, and Turkey’s Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.  Neither Laureate nor Bill Clinton will disclose how much money Clinton has been paid to promote the for-profit international university setup, which features both classroom and online instruction.

One student named Larissa Da Silva complains that when she enrolled in IBMR, a Brazilian branch of Laureate, the admissions officer promised her a 30 percent discount on tuition.  Two years later the deal evaporated and her monthly tuition cost jumped to 791 reais.  She summarized the change of policy by stating “I feel completely deceived.”  Apparently the fine print states that grants and tuition discounts may be temporary, so it’s her fault for not lawyering up before she enrolled in the Clinton-promoted college.  

Laureate has a habit of allowing students with low admissions test scores to enroll.  One named Phillipe Linhares, age 24, stated that he was surprised when IBMR in Rio accepted him as a student.  “I knew I had done horribly on the test,” he recalled, “But the salespeople called me three times saying I’d done great and asking when I would come down to enroll.” 

Laureate International Universities, unlike Trump University, is still in existence and going strong.  And while news media have attacked Trump for his association with Trump University, somehow the connection between Bill Clinton and Laureate University has been ignored. No stories exist online since 2014.

Recently a judge released sealed documents on Trump University, but no one knows where the documents are that show how much money Bill Clinton was paid for his promotion of Laureate, or what other financial connections there may be to the Clinton Foundation.  And while the Trump University playbook has been a topic of controversy, no one seems interested in the high pressure sales tactics used by Laureate, the world’s largest for-profit university group.  What voters may soon realize is that every time the media attack Donald Trump for something, it turns out that the Clintons were involved first, to a far greater extent.  This also proves what Trump has been saying; that the media are very dishonest and focus only on him.

Michael Bargo, Jr.


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In Vietnam, our president again insisted the Stalinist Ho was the second coming of Thomas Jefferson - Paul Kengor

by Paul Kengor

Part of communist discipline was mastering the art of propaganda and how to tap naïve Western “progressives” for political purposes. They learned the tactic of finding the right buttons to push to prey on liberals’ left-wing sympathies.

Three summers ago here at The American Spectator I published a piece titled, “Ho Chi Minh, Obama’s Freedom Fighter.” It got a lot of play, reprinted by (among others) Real Clear Politics.

The focus was yet another stunning statement uttered on behalf of a communist by our President of Fundamental Transformation. This one came during a July 25, 2013 meeting between Barack Obama and the leader of communist Vietnam. Obama stated: “We discussed the fact that Ho Chi Minh was actually inspired by the U.S. Declaration of Independence and Constitution, and the words of Thomas Jefferson.”

As I noted at the time, this was sheer nonsense. Ho Chi Minh was a committed Marxist-Leninist revolutionary, indoctrinated early on at Moscow’s Lenin School, which he left to become one of the Comintern’s most successful agents. German Marxist revolutionary Ruth Fischer, who knew Ho in Moscow in the 1920s, referred to him as an impressively “disciplined Communist,” one who “proved time and again his profound loyalty.”

Part of communist discipline was mastering the art of propaganda and how to tap naïve Western “progressives” for political purposes. They learned the tactic of finding the right buttons to push to prey on liberals’ left-wing sympathies. Thus, Ho Chi Minh’s invoking of the Declaration of Independence in September 1945 was and always should be viewed as just that, and certainly not as an expression of sincere interest in or desire to adopt a Jeffersonian republic based on God-given unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Indeed, what Ho wrought, and what Vietnam has been ever since, is a complete rejection of the principles of the American founding. This should be patently obvious to anyone, particularly an American president.

Just because Ho Chi Minh mentioned the Declaration does not mean that we should — back then and especially still today — take it as a meaningful affirmation (nor certainly imitation) of our own nation’s founding principles.

If I may, I’ve written two recent books that devote considerable time to this specific form of propaganda by communists. One was called, Dupes: How America’s Adversaries Have Manipulated Progressives for a Century, published in 2010, and the other was a 2012 book, The Communist: Frank Marshall Davis, The Untold Story of Barack Obama’s Mentor. In both of those, I laid out at length how American communists, especially those who were members of Communist Party USA (CPUSA), cynically cobbled together propaganda that parroted the phraseology of the American Founding. They did this to appeal to liberals as useful idiots.

In Dupes, I noted precisely the line that Obama would echo to the president of Vietnam in July 2013. CPUSA and its mouthpieces regularly compared Ho Chi Minh to the American Founding Fathers, as if he were fighting not for the ideas of the Bolshevik Revolution but the American Revolution. I gave several examples, including Dr. Benjamin Spock, a leftist dupe extraordinaire. In 1968, Spock published a bestselling screed against the Vietnam War, titled, Dr. Spock on Vietnam, which repeatedly referred to the Vietcong as “communist patriots,” akin to the American revolutionaries. “The Vietnamese people declared their independence from France, much as we declared our independence from England in 1776,” wrote Spock. “Their war of independence was fought by a united front of various political groups and was led by the communist patriot Ho Chi Minh…. Ho is sometimes called the George Washington of Vietnam.” Spock insisted: “The motivation for revolution is the same today as it was in 1776: the desire for justice and a better life.”

In 2012, in The Communist, I wrote an entire chapter titled, “Our Communist Founding Fathers,” where I noted how members of CPUSA, including Obama’s mentor, Frank Marshall Davis (CPUSA card number 47544), orchestrated this tactic. Davis portrayed various global communist revolutionaries as reincarnates of the American Founders. Davis did this incessantly. And he wasn’t the only one.

One of them was a pal of Davis, Howard Fast, whose columns Davis ran regularly (usually directly above Davis’s own) on the editorial page of Davis’s Chicago Star, the Party-line publication of which Davis was the founding editor-in-chief in the latter 1940s. Fast, a “Stalin Prize” winner (no kidding), wrote a book in 1943 called Citizen Tom Paine, where he portrayed Paine and Dr. Benjamin Rush and other American revolutionaries as akin to Fast and his fellow current-day revolutionaries.

Citizen Tom Paine was so egregious that the U.S. Congress singled it out in a report and the New York City board of school superintendents sought to ban its use in schools. Naturally, the communists in New York City (a March 1948 government report stated that half of all CPUSA members in America lived in New York City alone) went bonkers. They protested vehemently, as did the Daily Worker and as did Fast’s colleague at the Chicago Star, Frank Marshall Davis. In at least two issues in early 1947, Davis editorialized against this vile “censorship” of Fast’s book.

Not to digress, but I’m here illustrating the fact that Barack Obama pointing to Ho’s invoking of the Declaration of Independence makes him yet another sucker of successful propaganda efforts by Ho and a long line of other communists.

And so, why mention this now? It occurred three years ago, July 2013, after all.

Well, the reason is that Obama did it again last week, and this time in Vietnam itself, where 58,000 American boys died. He did it the week before Memorial Day in the United States. On two separate occasions, Obama again referred to Ho’s invocation of the Declaration of Independence.

Speaking on May 24 at Hanoi’s National Convention Center, Obama declared: “And on the day that Vietnam declared its independence, crowds took to the streets of this city, and Ho Chi Minh evoked the American Declaration of Independence. He said, ‘All people are created equal. The Creator has endowed them with inviolable rights. Among these rights are the right to life, the right to liberty, and the right to the pursuit of happiness.”

For the record, yes, Ho did just that. But dictators can and do say anything. Hitler signed a formal pact with Stalin promising not to invade the USSR. Stalin promised free and fair elections throughout Eastern Europe to FDR and Churchill at Yalta. He did not honor that promise. And Ho Chi Minh did not establish a Jeffersonian representative republic in Vietnam.

The next day, May 25, in Ho Chi Minh City (fittingly), in unscripted remarks at a “townhall” gathering, Obama was even sloppier, apparently almost suggesting that Ho had “adapted” the Declaration:
You think about the United States of America. We have a really good story called the Declaration of Independence. “We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal; that we’re endowed with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” That’s a wonderful story. There’s no — when the Declaration was made, there really was not United States. It was just a good story that they were telling about what could be. And then people were attracted to that story. And it led to independence, and it led to immigrants from around the world who wanted that vision for themselves — it led Ho Chi Minh to adapt it when Vietnam was trying to declare independence.
That is the official text provided by the White House, and it’s quite egregious.

This is all especially bad because in 2013, after his initial statement, Obama was hammered by conservatives in the American media for praising Ho’s alleged admiration of America’s sacred founding document. Ron Radosh wrote a piece for the Wall Street Journal calling out Obama. Communist-watcher Trevor Loudon wrote a piece. Articles were posted at Breitbart, Fox News website, the Drudge Report, Real Clear Politics, PJ Media, the Media Research Center, World Net Daily, and more.

Radosh’s piece for the Wall Street Journal was notably compelling. He wrote at the time:
During World War II, Vietnam — a French colony — was taken over by Japan, and toward the end of the conflict, with Japan in retreat, a power vacuum developed. Ho Chi Minh, leading the Viet Minh communist guerrilla group, saw a chance to seize power before the French could restore colonial rule. He needed allies and knew that the American president, Franklin Roosevelt, had a reputation for being anti-French and anti-colonial. Thus began Ho’s courtship of the U.S. by citing the Declaration of Independence and appealing to the American ideal of liberty.
Radosh quoted Ho’s biographer, William Duiker, who said that Ho’s aim had been to “induce the United States to support the legitimacy of his government, rather than a return of the French.”

Again, Radosh wrote this for the Wall Street Journal, a serious and reputable journal of opinion with major outreach. Did no one in the White House press office catch the piece? Are there not press people in the Obama administration on alert for such things so their president will not embarrass himself in the future by repeating the same mistakes?

Apparently not. Conservatives were fuming at Obama, and yet he learned nothing at all. Barack Obama, our president, continues to be Ho Chi Minh’s dupe.

Paul Kengor


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