Friday, May 26, 2017

A Council America Shouldn’t Keep - Anne Bayefsky

by Anne Bayefsky

Hat tip: Dr. Jena-Charles Bensoussan

The U.N.’s ‘human rights’ panel is a travesty and a sham.

The United Nations Human Rights Council is preparing a blacklist of American and other companies doing business with Israel—and U.S. taxpayers are paying a quarter of the bill.

The council’s move embraces the “boycott, divestment and sanctions” campaign, which seeks to accomplish through economic strangulation what Israel’s enemies have been unable to achieve through war and terror. How did the U.S. get on the wrong side of this battle?

When the Human Rights Council was created in 2006 as a “reform” of the original U.N. Human Rights Commission, the Bush administration voted against, because no membership conditions required actually respecting human rights.

But Barack Obama jumped on board and, playing Gulliver at the U.N., allowed the American giant to be tied up by foes contributing a fraction of our moral and financial weight. In 2016 Americans sent the U.N. almost $10 billion.

On Thursday a U.S. Senate subcommittee will meet to “assess” the Human Rights Council. Reconsidering U.S. membership and walking away—now—is the right choice. Successive White Houses have tried and failed to correct the entrenched anti-Israel and anti-Jewish bias of the council (and commission) for decades Simply put, the Lilliputians have more votes.

The council has condemned Israel more than any of the other 192 U.N. states, notwithstanding 500,000 dead in Syria, starvation and mass torture in North Korea, and systematic, deadly oppression in Iran. Saudi Arabia and China have used their seats on the council to avoid condemnation altogether.

Under a sanctions resolution adopted in March 2016, the council is creating a database of companies that “directly or indirectly” do business with Israeli settlements. The blacklist is intended to be expansive: Even an ATM in Arab-claimed territory could be enough to land a bank and its business associates on this database. The blacklist threatens to tarnish business reputations, make companies targets for lawfare in European and U.S. courts, and provide fuel for the boycott and-divestment machinery on college campuses and elsewhere.
Meanwhile, the council has no boycott policy for the world’s most ruthless regimes.

When Donald Trump became president, the U.S. did not promptly resign from the council but instead attended the March 2017 session. During this meeting, the resolution creating the Israel blacklist was reconfirmed over American objection. Then the U.S. was outvoted on 12 of 15 resolutions and backed into joining the consensus on various other resolutions, including one on “cultural diversity” cosponsored by the likes of North Korea.

As the Senate subcommittee meets, it will hear the familiar refrain echoed whenever American blank checks to the U.N. are questioned: fight the good fight from the inside; don’t cede the territory to enemies; the sole alternative is self-defeating isolationism.

But the answer is straightforward. Belonging to, and paying for, the U.N. Human Rights Council legitimizes those fighting to delegitimize Israel. Equal rights for some cannot be built on unequal rights for Jews. Reform from the inside has failed. America should choose its own partners and methods for making the world a better place. That’s real leadership.

Anne Bayefsky is director of the Touro Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust, and president of Human Rights Voices. Appeared in the May. 25, 2017, print edition.

Source: Wall Street Journal

Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

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

The World Needs to Drive Out Destructive Fantasies - Shireen Qudosi

by Shireen Qudosi

The Palestinians and other powers such as the OIC, the UN and domestic interest groups do not get a veto over reality.

  • The Palestinians and other powers such as the OIC, the UN and domestic interest groups do not get a veto over reality.
  • If we are going to "reset" the Middle East, we need to reset our thinking as well, starting with accepting that Israel has a right to exist. Israel exists, and Israel has a legitimate claim to Jerusalem. Further, the Jewish people have proven themselves as more capable custodians of Jerusalem than their Muslim neighbors, who are already burdened by challenges in their own territory.
  • Alongside us, the world must drive out the fantasy that Jerusalem is not Israel's capital. Jerusalem is the heart and soul of Israel. To deny Jerusalem as a part of Jewish and Israeli identity is the same as denying Mecca as inherent to Muslim identity.
The most iconic moment of President Donald Trump's visit to the Middle East was not his "speech on Islam"; it was his visit to the Western Wall in Jerusalem.

The Western Wall is a contested space, and that controversy has bled outside Israel's borders. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson recently reignited the debate, mentioning the Wall as being in "Jerusalem", instead of in Israel. It is a play on language often used to deny Israeli sovereignty over a space that clearly belongs to the Jewish people, as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, quickly rectified in response.

U.S. President Donald Trump's visit to the Western Wall in Israel was the most iconic moment of his recent visit to the Middle East. (Illustrative photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

How we talk about religion matters. If we want to be effective in moving forward, it is important to be truthful. The truth is that Israel won the Six Day War, thereby liberating eastern Jerusalem from Jordan, which had seized it illegally when it attacked Israel in 1948-49 and expelled all Jews from eastern Jerusalem.

Israel has earned the right to reclaim Jerusalem fully. This also means that the Palestinians and other powers such as the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the UN and domestic interest groups do not get a veto over reality. If the new foreign policy standard is to work together to combat destructive forces, then it is also important to recognize that it is destructive to start a discussion from positions of falsehoods.

If we are going to "reset" the Middle East, we need to reset our thinking as well, starting with accepting that Israel has a right to exist. That includes confronting calls for the annihilation of the Jewish people, and contesting the dishonest re-imagining of borders that quite literally erase Israel from the map. Israel exists, and Israel has a legitimate claim to Jerusalem. Further, the Jewish people have proven themselves as more capable custodians of Jerusalem than their Muslim neighbors, who are already burdened by challenges in their own territory.

The world also needs to stop aiding the Palestinians in believing they have not lost the war. For the Palestinian people to build a vibrant society of their own, the world needs to abandon the collection of fantasies it has allowed the Palestinians to keep. There is no "right of return" and the dismantling of all settlements is not possible, especially if the entire state of Israel is regarded by many as one big settlement.

Then there is the issue of Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Muslim devotion to the Temple Mount stems from a story in which the Islamic Prophet Muhammad is said to have dreamt traveling from Mecca to Jerusalem to the Heavens beyond space and time (and back) all in one night. The tale of the night ascent is a spiritual journey with only brief mention in the Quran, while second-hand sources in hadiths colored in the rest of the story years after the prophet's death. The Temple Mount rests on historically Jewish territory. It is a generosity to allow it to remain under Muslim control, especially when the claim to the territory is based on a dream the Quran touches on only briefly. Typically, a dream does not secure land rights (even in centuries prior). A person cannot reasonably expect to get a key and deed to another person's home simply because they dreamed they visited it. It is an absurd claim.

Critical Muslim thinkers drive out fantasies from our faith. Alongside us, the world must drive out the fantasy that Jerusalem is not Israel's capital. Jerusalem is the heart and soul of Israel. To deny Jerusalem as a part of Jewish and Israeli identity is the same as denying Mecca as inherent to Muslim identity.

Finally, the world must drive out the belief that Palestinians do not have to make peace with Israel. It is abusive and counter to the interests of a future thriving Palestinian society to indulge in a warring fantasy that Israel can be destroyed. Instead of fetishizing the destruction of Israel, Palestinians would truly improve their lives if they started working to rebuild their own society rather than take on additional territory that could be governed or cared for with the respect and sanctity for history that Jerusalem deserves.

Palestinians would be better served addressing bedrock issues in their own society, including holding their people accountable for the hate indoctrinated into the hearts and minds of every Palestinian as soon as they learn to walk and talk. Stop financially supporting families of terrorists. Stop calling terrorists martyrs. Stop sacrificing your children and celebrating their deaths.

Shireen Qudosi is the Director of Muslim Matters, at America Matters. Follow her on Twitter @ShireenQudosi.


Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

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

Did Brennan Collude with Foreign Spies to Help Hillary? - Daniel John Sobieski

by Daniel John Sobieski

How clean is John Brennan?

John Brennan defended his thesis that Russia interfered in the 2016 election to help Donald Trump win before the House Intelligence Committee. He did nothing to disabuse Congressional Democrats or the mainstream media of the notion that Team Trump colluded with Moscow to change the results of the 2016 election.

Brennan didn’t explain why he thought that the Russians didn’t want Hillary Clinton to win. Perhaps he could explain why they didn’t prefer Hillary, who was Secretary of State when President Obama let Russia violate the INF Missile Treaty and colluded with the Russians to kill missile defense in Europe, telling Then Russian president Dimitri Medvedev to tell Putin he would have more “flexibility” after his reelection.

Brennan didn’t explain why the Russians didn’t prefer Hillary, Secretary of State for an administration that did nothing when Russia annexed Crimea and invaded Ukraine. Why wouldn’t the Russians want the Secretary of State who called murderous Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad a reformer and was there when President Obama drew the first of his “red lines,” then did nothing to prevent the slaughter of 500,000 Syrians while giving Russia free rein in that country?

Why would Russia prefer Trump over Hillary after she and husband Bill brokered deals giving Russia and Putin 20 percent of our uranium supply to benefit Clinton Foundation donors, including Canadian billionaire Frank Giustra?

As the New York Times reported, this mutual back-scratching gave Clinton donor Giustra control of a significant portion of the world’s uranium supply:
Late on Sept. 6, 2005, a private plane carrying the Canadian mining financier Frank Giustra touched down in Almaty, a ruggedly picturesque city in southeast Kazakhstan. Several hundred miles to the west a fortune awaited: highly coveted deposits of uranium that could fuel nuclear reactors around the world. And Mr. Giustra was in hot pursuit of an exclusive deal to tap them.
Unlike more established competitors, Mr. Giustra was a newcomer to uranium mining in Kazakhstan, a former Soviet republic. But what his fledgling company lacked in experience, it made up for in connections. Accompanying Mr. Giustra on his luxuriously appointed MD-87 jet that day was a former president of the United States, Bill Clinton….
Just months after the Kazakh pact was finalized, Mr. Clinton’s charitable foundation received its own windfall: a $31.3 million donation from Mr. Giustra that had remained a secret until he acknowledged it last month. The gift, combined with Mr. Giustra’s more recent and public pledge to give the William J. Clinton Foundation an additional $100 million, secured Mr. Giustra a place in Mr. Clinton’s inner circle, an exclusive club of wealthy entrepreneurs in which friendship with the former president has its privileges….
In February 2007, a company called Uranium One agreed to pay $3.1 billion to acquire UrAsia. Mr. Giustra, a director and major shareholder in UrAsia, would be paid $7.05 per share for a company that just two years earlier was trading at 10 cents per share.
Now isn’t that special! Both the Clintons and their donor made off handsomely. Uranium One, which was gradually taken over by the Russians, would later be involved in a curious deal involving Hillary Clinton when she was Secretary of State. From the New York Times:
At the heart of the tale are several men, leaders of the Canadian mining industry, who have been major donors to the charitable endeavors of former President Bill Clinton and his family. Members of that group built, financed and eventually sold off to the Russians a company that would become known as Uranium One.
Beyond mines in Kazakhstan that are among the most lucrative in the world, the sale gave the Russians control of one-fifth of all uranium production capacity in the United States. Since uranium is considered a strategic asset, with implications for national security, the deal had to be approved by a committee composed of representatives from a number of United States government agencies. Among the agencies that eventually signed off was the State Department, then headed by Mr. Clinton’s wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton.
As the Russians gradually assumed control of Uranium One in three separate transactions from 2009 to 2013, Canadian records show, a flow of cash made its way to the Clinton Foundation. Uranium One’s chairman used his family foundation to make four donations totaling $2.35 million. Those contributions were not publicly disclosed by the Clintons, despite an agreement Mrs. Clinton had struck with the Obama White House to publicly identify all donors. Other people with ties to the company made donations as well….
Soon, Uranium One began to snap up companies with assets in the United States. In April 2007, it announced the purchase of a uranium mill in Utah and more than 38,000 acres of uranium exploration properties in four Western states, followed quickly by the acquisition of the Energy Metals Corporation and its uranium holdings in Wyoming, Texas and Utah.
So Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, along with husband Bill, in exchange for donations, gave nuclear power Russia and Putin control of 20 percent of the world’s uranium supply. Is that what Hillary Clinton meant by a “Russian reset”? Yet neither Congressional Democrats, who accuse Trump of being too cozy with Moscow, nor their wholly owned subsidiary, the mainstream media, are eager to talk about the Clinton uranium deals with Russia.

Based on this assessment, Brennan is wrong that the Russians wanted Hillary to win [Editor: to be consistent with the rest of this article, the author must have meant "lose"  here instead of "win"] . They may have hacked into the DNC emails, but they didn’t write them. They didn’t keep Hilary from campaigning in Wisconsin, or make her motivate Trump supporters by calling half of them “deplorable”, or cause ObamaCare premiums to spike weeks before the November election.

There is another scenario as equally plausible as the one saying Team Trump, and perhaps President Trump himself, colluded with the Russians. It is that John Brennan himself colluded with the Russians to help Hillary win to guarantee his continued tenure as CIA director. It involves the infamous anti-Trump dossier compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele, used by Brennan and others as a pretext for a Trump investigation bonanza. As the American Spectator reported:
An article in the Guardian last week provides more confirmation that John Brennan was the American progenitor of political espionage aimed at defeating Donald Trump. One side did collude with foreign powers to tip the election -- Hillary’s.
Seeking to retain his position as CIA director under Hillary, Brennan teamed up with British spies and Estonian spies to cripple Trump’s candidacy. He used their phony intelligence as a pretext for a multi-agency investigation into Trump, which led the FBI to probe a computer server connected to Trump Tower and gave cover to Susan Rice, among other Hillary supporters, to spy on Trump and his people…
The Guardian story is written in a style designed to flatter its sources (they are cast as high-minded whistleblowers), but the upshot of it is devastating for them, nonetheless, and explains why all the criminal leaks against Trump first originated in the British press. According to the story, Brennan got his anti-Trump tips primarily from British spies but also Estonian spies and others. The story confirms that the seed of the espionage into Trump was planted by Estonia. The BBC’s Paul Wood reported last year that the intelligence agency of an unnamed Baltic State had tipped Brennan off in April 2016 to a conversation purporting to show that the Kremlin was funneling cash into the Trump campaign.
Any other CIA director would have disregarded such a flaky tip, recognizing that Estonia was eager to see Trump lose (its officials had bought into Hillary’s propaganda that Trump was going to pull out of NATO and leave Baltic countries exposed to Putin). But Brennan opportunistically seized on it, as he later that summer seized on the half-baked intelligence of British spy agencies (also full of officials who wanted to see Trump lose).
The Guardian says that British spy head Robert Hannigan “passed material in summer 2016 to the CIA chief, John Brennan.” To ensure that these flaky tips leaked out, Brennan disseminated them on Capitol Hill. In August and September of 2016, he gave briefings to the “Gang of Eight” about them, which then turned up on the front page of the New York Times.
Could it be that Brennan himself is the leaker of classified information? There are reports suggesting he is and isn’t that what is going on in Washington these days -- bogus investigations based on reports of collusion with the Russians and other shenanigans? Could that be any crazier than investigations triggered by the Steele dossier, a classic work of slanderous fiction? Two things we do know -- that the only crime is the leaking of classified information to the newspapers to damage Donald Trump and that Brennan is wrong on who the Russians wanted to win.

Daniel John Sobieski is a freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in Investor’s Business Daily, Human Events, Reason Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.


Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

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

Video: Whitesplaining White Privilege! - FrontPageMag

by FrontPageMag

White leftists and black Americans have very different views on "white privilege."

Filmmaker Ami Horowitz recently interviewed attendees of a Kansas City "white privilege" conference. See how their thoughts compare to the views of actual black Americans when asked about "white privilege."



Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

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

Whistleblower reveals Obama admin knowingly admitted and settled at least 16 MS-13 gang members - Thomas Lifson

by Thomas Lifson

Taking government action “for the children” has proven to be the best cover of imposing left wing mischief on the country.

What could possibly go wrong? Stephen Dinan reports in the Washington Times:
The Obama administration knowingly let in at least 16 admitted MS-13 gang members who arrived at the U.S. as illegal immigrant teenagers in 2014, a top senator said Wednesday, citing internal documents that showed the teens were shipped to juvenile homes throughout the country.
Sen. Ron Johnson, chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, said a whistleblower turned over Customs and Border Protection documents from 2014 detailing the 16 people who were caught crossing the border.
“CBP apprehended them, knew they were MS-13 gang members, and they processed and disbursed them into our communities,” Mr. Johnson, Wisconsin Republican, said.
The gang members were part of the surge of UAC, or “unaccompanied alien children,” as the government labels them, who overwhelmed the Obama administration in 2014, leaving Homeland Security struggling to staunch the flow from Central America.
Taking government action “for the children” has proven to be the best cover of imposing left wing mischief on the country. In this case, salting our communities with violent gang members who are capable of the cruelest criminal activities, the product of a violent and cruel Central American culture. There is no upside to allowing such people to be dispersed into unsuspecting communities. (By the way, 68% of the “children” admitted under the UAC program were 15, 16, and 17 – old enough to be violent gang members.

MS-13 is wreaking havoc on peaceful American communities.
The MS-13 gang is linked to a startling 38 percent of all the homicides in normally placid Suffolk County over the last 16 months, its besieged police chief told a startled Senate panel Wednesday.
Since Jan. 1, 2016, 17 of 45 murders in the county have been connected to the brutal gang, testified Police Commissioner Timothy Sini.
He said MS-13 engages in selling drugs, stealing and extortion, but unlike other gangs, the primary motivation isn’t to make money but to terrorize the community.
“MS-13 often engages in violence for the sake of violence,” Sini told the Senate Homeland Security Committee, “to increase notoriety of the gang and to cause communities to fear the gang and its members.”
The 16 gang members knowingly settled in the United States have names. The can be traced. Prior to deportation, congressional hearings should investigate what crimes they have committed. I would consider it a good bargain to offer them immunity from prosecution (but not deportation) for crimes that they admit to in testimony (via translators). Let the American people understand what evil Obama loosed upon us.

Thomas Lifson


Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

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

Censoring You to 'Protect' You - Douglas Murray

by Douglas Murray

Indeed, it is imaginable, that with examples such as this, students in America could be reminded not only that truth will always triumph over lies, but that the current trend of ignorance and censorship might one day soon begin to be turned around.

  • The editor of The Vanguard at Portland State University decided that it was more important to cover up a story than to break it, more important to evade truths than to expose them, and more important to treat students -- and the wider world -- as children rather than thinking sentient adults able to make up their own minds.
  • That students such as Andy Ngo exist is reason for considerable optimism. So long as there are even a few people left who are willing to ask the questions that need asking and willing to tell people about the answers they hear -- however uncomfortable they may seem right now -- all cannot possibly be lost.
  • Indeed, it is imaginable, that with examples such as this, students in America could be reminded not only that truth will always triumph over lies, but that the current trend of ignorance and censorship might one day soon begin to be turned around.
In the culture-wars currently rocking US campuses, the enemies of free speech have plenty of tools on their side. Many of these would appear to be advantages. For instance the employment of violence, thuggery and intimidation against those who disagree are generally effective ways to prevent people hearing things you do not want them to hear. As are the subtler but more regularly employed tactics for shutting people down, such a[s] "no-platforming" people or getting them disinvited after they have been invited, should the speaker's views not accord 100% with those of their would-be censors. As also noted in this space before, many of the people who campaign to limit what American students can learn also have the short-term advantage of being willing to lie without compunction and cover over facts whenever they emerge.

The important point here, however, is that word "short-term". In the long run, those who wish to cover over a contrary opinion, or even inconvenient facts, are unlikely to succeed. Adults tend to be capable of more discernment and initiative than the aspirant-nannies believe them to be, and the effects will always tend to show. Take, for example, events in Portland, Oregon, last month.

In April, a gathering took place at the Portland State University. The occasion was billed as an interfaith panel and was given the title, "Challenging Misperceptions." As this is an era when perceptions, as well as misperceptions, of religion are perhaps unusually common, there might be some sense in holding such a discussion, even in the knowledge that it is likely to be hampered -- as interfaith get-togethers usually are -- by the necessity of dwelling on things that do not matter and focusing attention away from all things that do. Thus, by the end of an average interfaith event, it can generally be agreed upon that there are certain dietary laws that certain religions have in common, some agreement on the existence of historical figures and an insistence that religion is the answer to most problems of our world. Fortunately, at Portland, there were some people in the audience who appear to have been happy to avoid this sort of boilerplate.

A young woman raised her hand and asked the Muslim student on the panel about a specific verse in the Koran which would appear to approve killing non-Muslims (Possible verses might have included Qur'an: 8:12; 22:19-22; 2:191-193; 9.5; 9:29). The Muslim student replied:
"I can confidently tell you, when the Koran says an innocent life, it means an innocent life, regardless of the faith, the race, like, whatever you can think about as a characteristic."
This had the potential to develop into an interesting, or at the very least, an interestingly evasive answer. And so a young student there, named Andy Ngo, who also worked for the university's student newspaper, The Vanguard, got out his phone and began recording. The Muslim student on the panel went on to say:
"And some, this, that you're referring to, killing non-Muslims, that [to be a non-believer] is only considered a crime when the country's law, the country is based on Koranic law – that means there is no other law than the Koran. In that case, you're given the liberty to leave the country, you can go in a different country, I'm not gonna sugarcoat it. So you can go in a different country, but in a Muslim country, in a country based on the Koranic laws, disbelieving, or being an infidel, is not allowed so you will be given the choice [to leave]."
All of this is an admirably more complete answer than tends to be given at such affairs. All of this is also theologically strong. Speaking about the attitudes of the Islamic faith towards apostasy a few years ago, no less an authority than Yusuf al-Qaradawi said that if Muslims had got rid of the punishments for apostasy, "Islam would not exist today". It is a striking admission, and one which would appear to suggest an awareness that the religion's innate appeal is not as great as is often alleged.

The young reporter who captured this segment of video proceeded to share it on his Twitter account. This is the sort of thing journalists often do if they are at a public event and someone says something of interest. The alternatives (that journalists hope never to attend anything interesting, or attend events that are interesting but choose to keep their discoveries private) are not models for success in the profession.

In the days immediately following the event, a couple of websites picked up the story. Shortly afterwards, Andy Ngo was called in for a meeting at his student newspaper and told by the editor-in-chief that his behaviour was "predatory" and "reckless" and that he had put the life of the Muslim student and that student's family at risk. So far as anyone knows, nothing has happened to either the Muslim student or his family. Despite much flame-fanning by "Defenders of Minorities", America does not seem to be in the middle of a lynching season for religious minorities, even though these moralists often appear to wish it otherwise. Nevertheless, "health and safety" and "minimising harm" are, as Mark Steyn has observed, the new "shut up". Where once someone would invite you just to "shut up", today they can appeal to the possibility that a non-existent lynch-mob might show up to murder anyone whose cause the censor of the day happens to be trying to protect.

At any rate, while the Muslim student and his family are, of course, fine, the young journalist who reported his words was fired. The editor of The Vanguard at Portland State University decided that it was more important to cover up a story than to break it, more important to evade truths than to expose them, and more important to treat Portland students -- and the wider world -- as children rather than thinking adults able to make up their own minds.

The account of The Vanguard is a typical display of student cowardice and American academic dishonour. The report, nevertheless, should also stand as a demonstration of American hope. That students such as Andy Ngo exist is reason for considerable optimism. So long as there are even a few people left who are willing to ask the questions that need asking and willing to tell people about the answers they hear -- however uncomfortable they may seem right now -- all cannot possibly be lost. Indeed, it is imaginable, that with examples such as his, students in America could be reminded not only that truth will always triumph over lies, but that the current trend of ignorance and censorship might one day soon begin to be turned around.

Portland, Oregon. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Douglas Murray, British author, commentator and public affairs analyst, is based in London, England.


Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

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

The Left’s Road Leads to Manchester - Robert Spencer

by Robert Spencer

Which is the bigger threat? Jihad terror or “Islamophobia”?

On Monday night, a mass murderer killed 22 people and injured 59 at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England.

The perpetrator was a man named Salman Ramadan Abedi, a man whom friends described as a “devout” Muslim who had memorized the entire Qur’an. He was known to British authorities as a terror threat and had been in touch with a recruiter for the Islamic State (ISIS).

I hadn’t heard of Salman Abedi before he murdered all those little girls and their friends and family members at the Ariana Grande concert, but when I recently spoke at Truman State University in Missouri, the University at Buffalo, and Gettysburg College, and then at an event in Iceland, I discussed the belief system that incites people such as Salman Abedi to violence. I explored the ways in which jihad terrorists use the texts and teachings of Islam to justify violence and make recruits among peaceful Muslims, and the texts of the Qur’an and Islamic law that call upon Muslims to wage war against those who do not believe in Islam.

For this, the three universities and the Icelandic press treated my presence in the country as if Josef Goebbels had stopped by for a visit. A petition demanding that my Truman State appearance be canceled called me “rabble rouser, inflammatory speaker, and outright Islamaphobe [sic],” and claimed that I have “an agenda of hate and violence.” It further claimed that “allowing Spencer on this campus is detrimental to the safety and well-being of this university’s community members.” Others called for me to be physically attacked.

A similar petition at the University at Buffalo charged: “Spencer’s scheduled talk poses the very real risk of inciting acts of violence on campus between student communities.” A Gettysburg College student claimed, without providing any evidence, that my work has been “used as a basis for hate crimes against Muslims in the United States.”

The Icelandic press wrote in the same vein. The Reykjavik Grapevine warned: “Known Islamophobe To Hold Conference At Grand Hotel, Protest Likely.” After I left, the Iceland Monitor observed that “US lecturer and Islamophobe Robert Spencer…gave a lecture on what he calls the ‘Jihad Threat’ in Reykjavik recently.”

While I was there, several interviewers accused me of casting unjust suspicion upon the small Muslim community in Iceland, and worried that Muslims in Iceland might be attacked by vigilantes in the wake of my lecture. Virtually every news story about my Icelandic visit, like the petitions and news stories about my visits to those three universities, contained the information that Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik had mentioned me numerous times in his manifesto. None of them noted the differences between his beliefs and mine; or the fact that he started planning violence in the 1990s, before I had published anything about the jihad threat; or the fact that he criticized me in that same manifesto for not inciting violence; or the fact that he also quoted many people across the ideological spectrum, including Barack Obama, Tony Blair, and Condoleezza Rice, who are never questioned about their possible role in inciting him to kill.

The message was consistent and clear: Spencer is a dangerous person whose work threatens the safety of innocent people. He speaks about a threat where there is none.

Now it has been several weeks since I spoke at those three academic institutions and in Reykjavik, where a Leftist who was no doubt incited to act against me by the venomous coverage I received in the Icelandic media poisoned me. In that span, have any Muslims at Truman State, the University at Buffalo, Gettysburg College or anywhere in Iceland been brutalized by those who heard me speak? No. Has any Muslim anywhere been murdered by an “Islamophobe”?

No. But twenty-two people are dead in Britain at the hands of a man who is a manifestation of, as the Iceland Monitor put it, what I call the jihad threat. That threat is real, and growing worldwide, as the evidence of 30,000 jihad attacks worldwide since 9/11 shows.

Anders Breivik as a madman, a psychopath with no coherent world view. Those who disagree should try to account for the fact that this murderous “Islamophobe” counseled collaboration with the jihad terror groups Hamas and al-Qaeda. He did not represent the violent outcome of “Islamophobic” rhetoric. That there have been no other “Islamophobic” killers either before or after him is further evidence of this.

What his continuing notoriety actually represents is the avidity of the Left and the establishment media to stigmatize and demonize, and thereby marginalize and silence those who are calling attention to what is an actual threat: that of Islamic jihad.

Within the past year, there have been murderous jihad attacks in Orlando, Florida; Magnanville, France; Würzburg, Germany; Ansbach, Germany; Rouen, France; Ohio State University; Berlin; and now Manchester. I’ve listed only the attacks in Europe and the U.S.; there were many others elsewhere in that span as well. In the ones I’ve listed, 90 people were killed, all by Muslims who took the exhortations to kill that are contained in the Qur’an and Sunnah to heart.

There remain no casualties by anyone who took my exhortations to heart, anywhere at any time; I don’t call for or condone violence. Yet I am certain that those institutions of higher learning and the Icelandic media were far more hostile to me than they would have been if, say, a jihad terrorist freed from Guantanamo had come to speak.

I am banned from entering Britain for the crime of noting correctly that Islam has doctrines of violence; meanwhile, Britain has admitted numerous preachers of jihad violence against unbelievers.

Clearly Britain, like Truman State University, the University at Buffalo, Gettysburg College, and the Icelandic media, believes that the “jihad threat” is imaginary and the “Islamophobia” threat is real.

The body count says otherwise.

And if the students who protested my appearances and the Icelandic government and media don’t awaken to that fact quickly, they will discover it by direct experience, on their own soil. The Left’s strategy regarding “Islamophobia” leads straight to Manchester.

Once every foe of jihad terror is demonized and silenced, who will be left to speak out in resistance? No one – and then the jihad will advanced unopposed and unimpeded, while those who might have spoken out remain silent for fear of charges of “Islamophobia.”

Robert Spencer


Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

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

“Arrest Napolitano! Janet Must Go!” - Lloyd Billingsley

by Lloyd Billingsley

University of California protesters speak the truth to power.

Dozens of University of California students and workers peacefully assembled at a recent UC regents meeting in San Francisco, but it wasn’t to protest Milo Yiannopoulos, David Horowitz, Ann Coulter or even Donald Trump.  The target was Janet Napolitano, president of the University of California. 

“Arrest Napolitano! Arrest Napolitano!”  and “Janet Must Go!” were the rallying cries, and along with their placards the protesters brought along some facts.

While beating the drum for tuition and fee hikes, president Napolitano has amassed a secret slush fund of $175 million, which she used to shower perks on already overpaid staff and even to renovate the houses of UC chancellors. That’s why the protesters wanted her arrested. The state auditor reported that Napolitano’s office “intentionally interfered” with their investigators, which could be construed as an obstruction of justice.

“Shame on you Janet Napolitano,” said UC Santa Barbara graduate student Hannah Kagan-Moore during the public comment. “Shame on the office of the president for padding your own pockets!” Other students called the regents “hypocrites” and “greedy,” but the regents weren’t having it.

Regents chair Monica Lozano, formerly of U.S. Hispanic Media, talked of “changing the culture” but was uncritical of Napolitano. “There has been no criminal activity and no slush funds,” responded regent Sherry Lansing. The former movie executive blasted “distortions” in the media, hailed Napolitano’s “wisdom and integrity,” and proclaimed, “her leadership has been incredible.”

Regent Bonnie Reiss, an attorney who produced president Bill Clinton’s 1993 inauguration ceremony, complained of “salacious” newspaper headlines. “Seeing how some in the press have characterized it as a slush fund or a secret fund hurt my heart,” Reiss lamented.

UC regent Norm Pattiz was “delighted when I found out we had a chance to have Janet Napolitano as our president.”  Pattiz was “still delighted” after the audit, but protesting students might have wondered why he was still a University of California regent.

Last year, during a commercial for a memory-foam bra, Pattiz asked television writer Heather McDonald, “Wait a minute — can I hold your breasts?” and referred to his hands as “memory foam.” In another audio clip Pattiz offered critiques of pornographic films and that got the attention of the student press.

“If you want a porn connoisseur making decisions about our school’s academic, administrative and yes, sexual harassment policies, then by all means, Pattiz should remain a regent,” editorialized the Daily Bruin. “But if he has any remaining respect for himself and the institution he works for, he must resign.”

It didn’t happen. The eager Pattiz with the memory-foam hands is still a UC regent and “still delighted” with president Janet Napolitano.

In similar style, Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom, also a UC regent, criticized the audit as too strict and opined that president Janet Napolitano was doing a good job. Media sycophants also had the president’s back.

“Nothing in her long career or her UC performance indicates that she’s dishonest or incompetent,” wrote Shawn Hubler of the Sacramento Bee. Napolitano’s critics need to “dial down the hostility, give some benefit of the doubt and remember the bigger picture. Like the UC system itself, a UC president of her stature is something to value and it would be too bad if California failed to appreciate that.”

That was a stark contrast to the response from legislators. Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi, a Torrance Democrat, said he was “very disturbed” that Napolitano’s office had interfered with the auditors, and several Democrats announced plans for a bill to make such interference a crime. 

“President Napolitano is not worthy of the public’s trust,” explained Democratic assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva. “It’s time she resigned.” Other legislators were curious whether Napolitano had already committed crimes and should be subpoenaed.

Attorney general Xavier Becerra, currently occupied with the protection of illegal foreign nationals, did not weigh in on the subject. Governor Jerry Brown threatened to withhold money but did not criticize Napolitano directly, nor call for her to step down. As it happens, the $175 million slush fund was not the UC president’s first caper against California students.

As the San Diego Union-Tribune reported, Napolitano lowered admission requirements for out-of-state applicants “while denying admission to nearly 4,300 qualified Californians — using out-of-state students’ higher tuition rates to avoid any belt-tightening during the state’s revenue recession.” The UC regents responded by attacking state auditor Elaine Howle’s report on this practice and defending Napolitano. The regents now ignore the $175 million slush fund, the obstruction of auditors, and hail the UC boss as an incredible leader.

Janet Napolitano got her start spearheading the smear campaign against the African American Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas. The former Arizona governor and Department of Homeland Security chief is a non-educator and has never produced anything of scholarly interest. The prominent Democrat was a purely political hire and with Donald Trump in the White House she serves, in effect, as California’s very own female president. Napolitarian rule quashes free speech, shirks accountability, and shows utter contempt for the rights and welfare of students.

The UC boss is looking out for number one, as the late Frank Zappa would say, and students, workers and taxpayers aren’t even number two. So the protesters have good reason to cry “Arrest Napolitano!” and “Janet must go!” This time they are speaking the truth to power.

Lloyd Billingsley is the author of Barack ‘em Up: A Literary Investigation, and Bill of Writes: Dispatches from the Political Correctness Battlefield.


Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

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

Adam Carolla and Dennis Prager Talk Smashing the Left’s ‘Safe Spaces’: ‘When You Confront the Cowards, They Flee’ - Daniel Nussbaum

by Daniel Nussbaum

Dennis Prager believes it could take decades to undo the damage done to American universities by the institutional left, if it can ever be undone at all — but that doesn’t mean he won’t pitch in on the effort.

The nationally syndicated radio host has partnered with comedian and podcaster Adam Carolla on a new film, No Safe Spaces, that will explore and then pick apart the culture of political correctness — and the left’s suppression of differing viewpoints and open debate — that has metastasized on college campuses throughout the country.

“If Americans understand what the Left has done to the universities, it will understand what it is doing and what it will do to America,” says Prager, who graduated from Brooklyn College and went on to attend Columbia University and the University of Leeds in England.

“The university is first, and then the rest of the country follows,” Prager explains. “The suppression of free speech, the rendering of kids into immature creatures who have little thought of their own, who are given slogans rather than ideas — the university is the least morally acute place in the United States, as an institution.”

Carolla and Prager are set to embark on a cross-country tour of college campuses later this year, footage of which will be incorporated into No Safe Spaces. The film gets its title from so-called “safe spaces” — rooms filled with coloring books, stuffed animals, and other pleasant distractions — provided by many universities to students who become offended or otherwise traumatized by exposure to alternative opinions, or by micro-aggressions.

Owen Brennan
Universities have again become flashpoints in the country’s debate over free speech, including the University of California Berkeley, where threats of violence from left-wing activist groups recently forced the cancellation of scheduled visits by conservative speakers like Ann Coulter and Milo Yiannopoulos. The cancellations drew national media coverage and fueled accusations of politically-motivated censorship; but Prager says the problem extends even deeper, to the curricula being taught in many of these institutions.

“The students who took over the dean’s offices [in the ’70s] now run the universities and teach. This is the tenured class, my baby boom generation. And they are truly mindless,” he says. “We have a massive number of foolish people teaching our children. And we have whole departments of nonsense, like Gender Studies and Women’s Studies. It’s the most anti-intellectual place in the country. It’s a very big problem.”

Carolla — who co-hosted the decidedly politically incorrect The Man Show with Jimmy Kimmel on Comedy Central in the early 2000s and frequently tackles uncomfortable topics on his popular podcast — wonders whether it is even worth attempting to fix a college environment cultivated by the left in which everyone wears a helmet and drinks triple-filtered water, and in which young professionals expect to get a month off from work to celebrate a half-birthday.

“Instead of going out and trying to fix [the left], why don’t I exploit them? Why don’t I take a look at all these holes in their game?” Carolla tells me as he and Prager step away from filming a segment on Fox News’ Tucker Carlson Tonight to promote the movie. “There’s a sort of Charmin on Charmin crime going on; soft, pillowy, triple-ply. In a weird way, it’s never been a better time for anyone with a little chutzpah and a fire in their belly — and not scared to roll up their sleeves and get a little dirt under their fingernails — to just get to work.”

“With all these soft, pampered little sort of half-men, half-women, all-wuss little creatures running around the campuses, my kids no longer have to be the most talented, or the best students, or the smartest or brightest. Just get up and go to work, and you’re going to blow away your boss,” he adds.

Carolla and Prager launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise money to produce No Safe Spaces on Wednesday; the campaign had already collected around $32,000 of its $500,000 goal by late Wednesday night. Contributors get perks like a digital download of the film upon its release, a “Utopia University” diploma signed by Carolla and Prager, and, in the spirit of the project, a No Safe Spaces official coloring book.

Prager says that partnering with Carolla on the film will allow the pair to present the “very dire” situation surrounding today’s college campuses in a humorous way.

“You cannot allow yourself to be intimidated, or they win,” he explains. “They bank on intimidation winning. But they’re cowards. And when you confront the cowards, they flee.”

Meanwhile, Carolla chuckles when I ask him whether The Man Show — which featured an all-female group of cheerleaders/announcers called the “Juggy Dance Squad” and a regular segment in which girls jumped up and down on trampolines in slow motion — could exist in today’s hyper-sensitive, politically correct environment.

“I think The Man Show starring Caitlyn Jenner and Chaz Bono would be an amazing hit today,” he joked.

Follow Daniel Nussbaum on Twitter: @dznussbaum

Daniel Nussbaum


Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

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

Watch: Evidence of battle of Jerusalem 2,000 years ago - Arutz Sheva Staff

by Arutz Sheva Staff

On the occasion of the jubilee celebrations for J'lem's reunification, researchers are unveiling evidence of the last battle of Jerusalem.

On the occasion of Jerusalem Day and the jubilee celebrations commemorating the reunification of the city, the Israel Antiquities Authority and the Nature and Parks Authority are unveiling evidence from 2,000 year ago of the battle of Jerusalem on the eve of the destruction of the Second Temple, at the City of David in the Jerusalem Walls National Park.

Arrowheads and stone ballista balls were discovered on the main street that ascended from the city’s gates and the Pool of Siloam to the Temple, which was excavated in recent years with funding provided by the City of David Society (Elad).

These finds tell the story of the last battle between the Roman forces and the Jewish rebels who had barricaded themselves in the city, a battle that resulted in the destruction of Jerusalem. This battle is described by the historian Flavius Josephus: "On the following day the Romans, having routed the brigands from the town, set the whole on fire as far as Siloam" (Josephus, Wars, Book 6:363)

According to Nahshon Szanton and Moran Hagbi, the directors of the excavation on the stepped-street on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, “Josephus’ descriptions of the battle in the lower city come face-to-face for the first time with evidence that was revealed in the field in a clear and chilling manner.

Stone ballista balls fired by catapults used to bombard Jerusalem during the Roman siege of the city, were discovered in the excavations. Arrowheads, used by the Jewish rebels in the hard-fought battles agains the Roman legionnaires were found exactly as described by Josephus."

So far, a section of the road c. 100 m long and 7.5 m wide, paved with large stone slabs as was customary in monumental construction throughout the Roman Empire, has been exposed in the excavations.

The archeological excavations on the street utilize a combination of advanced and pioneering research methods, the results of which so far strengthen the understanding that Herod the Great was not solely responsible for the large construction projects of Jerusalem at the end of the Second Temple period. Recent research indicates that the street was built after Herod’s reign, under the auspices of the Roman procurators of Jerusalem, and perhaps even during the tenure of the Roman governor Pontius Pilate, who is also known for having sentenced Jesus to death by crucifixion.

According to the exacvation's directors, Szanton and Hagbi, "This conclusion in fact sheds new light on the history of Jerusalem in the late Second Temple Period, and reinforces recognition of the importance of the Roman procurators’ rule in shaping the character of Jerusalem". 

“Two thousand years after the destruction of Jerusalem and fifty years since its liberation”, the archaeologists added, “we are going back to the water cisterns, the market and the city square on the eve of its destruction. Naomi Shemer certainly never dreamed of re-discovering Jerusalem in the days of the Second Temple”.

According to Dr. Yuval Baruch, the Jerusalem region archaeologist for the Israel Antiquities Authority, "We intend to uncover the entire length and width of the street within five years, and thereby complete the excavation of this unique site which had already drawn the attention of archaeologists from around the world about one hundred years ago. In fact, one can consider the current excavations in the City of David a natural continuation of the previous archaeological excavations of the site, which were begun in the past by European and American scholars. About four years ago archeological excavations were renewed along the street, this time in order to expose its full length and width”. Baruch added, “When the excavations are completed, the remains of the street will be conserved and developed and made ready to receive the tens of thousands of visitors who will walk along it”.

In recognizing the importance of the site and the finds, IAA researchers chose to utilize advanced cutting-edge research methods from the fields of natural science, biology and geology in their excavations. A combination of these advanced techniques makes the excavation of the stepped-street in the City of David exceptional in its scientific quality and importance in the development of archaeological research in Jerusalem and Israel in general, and they enable researchers to address questions that have not yet been studied. The current excavations also focus on exposing the area adjacent to the street, and the shops that were alongside it. Finds revealed in the excavations will allow researchers to answer such intriguing questions as: What did the main street that led to the Temple look like? What was the urban nature of the Lower City that extended on either side of the magnificent road? What did they eat in Jerusalem during the difficult siege, etc.? In order to answer these questions, a multidisciplinary study is being conducted, as well as careful wet sifting at the sifting site in the Zurim Valley National Park, where even the smallest finds are collected. 

Arutz Sheva Staff


Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

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

Thursday, May 25, 2017

ISIS is redoubling its efforts - Maj. Gen. (ret.) Yaakov Amidror

by Maj. Gen. (ret.) Yaakov Amidror

There is no way to completely eradicate Islamic State's brand of terrorism, but Israel's preventative model has much to teach the world.

The atrocious terrorist attack in Manchester on Tuesday was not an isolated incident, and one can hedge that other attacks may take place all over the world. It is highly likely that as the holy month of Ramadan begins on Friday night, Islamic terrorist organizations will redouble their efforts to that effect. Ramadan aside, terrorist attacks will remain the principle effort of the Islamic State for the foreseeable future.

There is no way to completely eradicate this sort of terrorism. The cultural change U.S. President Donald Trump called for in Saudi Arabia, which includes denouncing Islamic extremism and launching an all out war against terrorism, is an issue for generations. It is not at all certain if the leaders of these countries, which gathered in Riyadh to hear Trump, can make the change needed. Some of them notably drew Islamist elements close and have been encouraging them for decades. It will be difficult to end these relationships on such short notice, if at all.

The task of readying countries under the threat of terrorism is not simple, either. Even Israel, which is many times more prepared than most countries to deal with terrorists, is unable to neutralize every terrorist attack as it is in the making.

Israel's advantage can be seen on three fronts: First of all, it has a legal system that enables it to deal with terrorists decisively, and not as just as another criminal act. The main difference compared with other countries is that Israel terrorist prevention organizations, such as the Shin Bet security agency and the police, have the ability to arrest every terror suspect before he has the chance to carry out his nefarious plans. If the arrest in question is based on sensitive intelligence, Israel has the option of employing administrative detention -- approved by the courts, of course, to protect it. 

Moreover, to prevent terrorist attacks in Israel, intelligence gathering may include more invasive measures than those used in most other Western countries and generally speaking, the protocols on the use such intelligence are less restricting. This is the price the Israeli public pays to successfully fight terrorism. There is no such thing as a free lunch -- not here.

Finally, combating terrorism requires cooperation between organizations inside the country, along with a no less tight cooperation with other countries from which terrorists come. Many countries have much to improve on these issues. Israeli experience shows that even though maximum efforts do not promise zero terrorist incidences, they can be reduced drastically.

Maj. Gen. (ret.) Yaakov Amidror


Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

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