Saturday, July 1, 2017

Why the Jews Are Losing the War on College Campuses - David Horowitz

by David Horowitz

A failure to brand the American accomplices of terrorism.

Reprinted from the Times of Israel

According to a recent study conducted by the “Brand Israel Group,” support for Israel among Jewish college students has dropped 27% in the last 6 years. This mirrors a smaller but still significant drop in support among Americans generally, from 76% to 62%. According to Fern Oppenheim, the founder of the Brand Israel Group that conducted the survey, the source of this drop is the perceived lack of shared values between college students and the Jewish state. The same study found that 1 in 3 Jewish students reported anti-Semitic incidents on their campuses. Of these, 59% said that the incidents were related to anti-Israel attitudes. To explain this, Oppenheim blamed a political “atmosphere” on campus that divides the world into oppressor groups and victims, Israel being a symbol of the former.

“We are allowing Israel to be defined by its detractors,” Oppenheim warned, which is unfortunately true. But her proposed remedy to step up efforts to brand Israel as not only a tolerant society but, in fact, the helper of victims, even of its enemies is flawed. To support her strategy, Oppenheim offers the case of Ismail Haniyeh, a leader of Hamas, the terrorist organization sworn to destroy Israel and exterminate its Jews. Oppenheim observes that Haniyeh sent his ill granddaughter to Israel to receive medical treatment because he knew “Israel is too decent to turn her away,” and says: “People need to know this.”
Perhaps they do. But this is clearly not the solution to the problem. If it were, Ismail Haniyeh would have left Hamas and joined Israel’s supporters. Re-branding Israel alone is not the answer to a propaganda war, based on genocidal lies, whose goal is Israel’s destruction. The only viable solution is to do what Jewish organizations have so far refused to do: brand the American supporters of Hamas and the campus promoters of its lies as terrorist enablers and allies.
The strategy of merely promoting Israel’s good deeds, while pretending that Hamas’s American supporters are merely misinformed, is failing for a simple reason: If you are accused of stealing other people’s land, imprisoning them in Gaza-size ghettos, and segregating them by race, the fact that you are sending humanitarian missions to Haiti and other needy cases or providing medical care to your mortal enemies is not going to exculpate you in the eyes of people who have been seduced by Palestinian lies. In their eyes, you are still the oppressor and these good deeds are merely efforts to obscure that evil fact. That is why lesbian leftists at the “Dyke March” in Chicago banned rainbow flags with the Jewish star – even though Israel is the only country in the Middle East where a gay pride parade can be held. They see Israel’s acceptance of gays as “pinkwashing” – a fig leaf provided by one victim group to cover up its crimes against another. The left even has a term for this: “intersectionality.”
The only way to counter such malicious attacks is to brand the campus allies of Hamas for what they are: supporters of genocidal lies and a terrorist war to obliterate the state of Israel and kill its Jews. These American allies of Hamas terrorism include Students for Justice in Palestine, the Muslim Students Association, Jewish Voice for Peace, and assorted leftwing groups who support them.
Students for Justice in Palestine, the leader of this anti-Israel, pro-Hamas coalition was founded in 2001 by Hatem Bazian, a Fatah activist at the time. He created it as an ancillary support for the suicide bombing Second Intifada, launched in that year. The chief funder of SJP and orchestrator of its campaigns is a well-established Hamas front, American Muslims for Palestine. Hatem Bazian is the chairman of the AMP board. Since Hamas is a terrorist organization, Students for Justice in Palestine and its campus coalition are clearly instruments of its terrorist campaigns. They do not themselves plant bombs but they support the terrorists who do and spread their political propaganda, much the way the Irish political party Sinn Fein was a working partner of the terrorist Irish Republican Army.
Stigmatizing the campus supporters of terrorists would effectively neutralize the attacks on Israel. It would provide the basis for a campaign to pressure American universities to withdraw their recognition and funding from these groups. It would discredit the lies that fuel their campus campaigns and inspire the anti-Semitic attacks that have reached epidemic proportions.
The David Horowitz Freedom Center has conducted campaigns that employ this branding principle for ten years at over 100 campuses. But ours has been a lonely voice. At virtually every campus where we have organized events, our efforts have been undermined by Hillel and Students for Israel groups who smear us as “Islamophobic” and “racist,” though we are neither, and who come to the defense of Students for Justice in Palestine as though they were victims and not aggressors. In other words, these Jewish groups prefer to join hands with an organization supporting a genocidal war against Jews, in condemning (in my case) a Jew who doesn’t mince words in opposing our enemies. If Hillel and groups that care about Israel’s survival would instead turn their guns around and brand Israel’s enemies for what they are, the tide of anti-Semitic hatred on campus would begin to reverse itself, and support for the Jewish state would surely grow.

David Horowitz is the author of Big Agenda: President Trump's Plan to Save America, now in its tenth week on The New York Times’ best-seller list.
Horowitz was one of the founders of the New Left in the 1960s and an editor of its largest magazine, Ramparts. He is the author, with Peter Collier, of three best selling dynastic biographies: The Rockefellers: An American Dynasty (1976); The Kennedys: An American Dream (1984); and The Fords: An American Epic (1987). Looking back in anger at their days in the New Left, he and Collier wrote Destructive Generation (1989), a chronicle of their second thoughts about the 60s that has been compared to Whittaker Chambers’ Witness and other classic works documenting a break from totalitarianism. Horowitz examined this subject more closely in Radical Son (1996), a memoir tracing his odyssey from “red-diaper baby” to conservative activist that George Gilder described as “the first great autobiography of his generation.”


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America Needs a Post-ISIS Strategy - John R. Bolton

by John R. Bolton

The real issue isn't tactical. It is instead the lack of American strategic thinking about the Middle East after Islamic State.

The headlines out of Syria are eye-catching: There are signs the Assad government may be planning another chemical attack. American pilots have struck forces threatening our allies and shot down a Syrian plane and Iranian-made drones. The probability of direct military confrontation between the U.S. and Russia has risen. Yet the coverage of these incidents and the tactical responses that have been suggested obscure the broader story: The slow-moving campaign against Islamic State is finally nearing its conclusion — yet major, long-range strategic issues remain unresolved.

The real issue isn't tactical. It is instead the lack of American strategic thinking about the Middle East after Islamic State. Its defeat will leave a regional political vacuum that must be filled somehow. Instead of reflexively repeating President Obama's errors, the Trump administration should undertake an "agonizing reappraisal," in the style of John Foster Dulles, to avoid squandering the victory on the ground.

First, the U.S. ought to abandon or substantially reduce its military support for Iraq's current government. Despite retaining a tripartite veneer of Kurds, Sunni Arabs and Shiite Arabs, the capital is dominated by Shiites loyal to Iran. Today Iraq resembles Eastern Europe in the late 1940s, as the Soviet anaconda tightened its hold. Extending Baghdad's political and military control into areas retaken from ISIS simply advances Tehran's power. This cannot be in America's interest.

Iraq's Kurds have de facto independence and are on the verge of declaring it de jure. They fight ISIS to facilitate the creation of a greater Kurdistan. Nonetheless, the Kurds, especially in Syria and Turkey, are hardly monolithic. Not all see the U.S. favorably. In Syria, Kurdish forces fighting ISIS are linked to the Marxist PKK in Turkey. They pose a real threat to Turkey's territorial integrity, even if it may seem less troubling now that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's plans have turned so profoundly contrary to the secular, Western-oriented vision of Kemal Atatürk.

Second, the U.S. should press Egypt, Jordan and the Gulf monarchies for more troops and material assistance in fighting ISIS. America has carried too much of the burden for too long in trying to forge Syria's opposition into an effective force. Yet even today the opposition could charitably be called "diverse." It includes undeniably terrorist elements that are often hard to distinguish from the "moderates" the U.S. supports. Getting fresh contributions from Arab allies would rebalance the opposition, which is especially critical if the U.S. turns away, as it should, from reliance on the Iraqi forces dominated by Tehran.

Third, the Trump administration must take a clear-eyed view of Russia's intervention. The Syrian mixing bowl is where confrontation between American and Russian forces looms. Why is Russia active in this conflict? Because it is aiding its allies: Syria's President Bashar Assad and Iran's ayatollahs. Undeniably, Russia is on the wrong side. But Mr. Obama, blind to reality, believed Washington and Moscow shared a common interest in easing the Assad regime out of power. The Trump administration's new thinking should be oriented toward a clear objective: pushing back these Iranian and Russian gains.

Start with Iran. Tehran is trying to cement an arc of control from its own territory, through Baghdad-controlled Iraq and Mr. Assad's Syria, to Hezbollah-dominated Lebanon. This would set the stage for the region's next potential conflict: Iran's Shiite coalition versus a Saudi-led Sunni alliance.

The U.S.-led coalition, enhanced as suggested above, needs to thwart Iran's ambitions as ISIS falls. Securing increased forces and financial backing from the regional Arab governments is essential. Their stakes are as high as ours — despite the contretemps between Qatar and Saudi Arabia (and others) — but their participation has lagged. The U.S. has mistakenly filled the gap with Iraqi government forces and Shiite militias.

Washington is kidding itself to think Sunnis will meekly accept rule by Iraq's Shiite-dominated government or Syria's Alawite regime. Simply restoring today's governments in Baghdad and Damascus to their post-World War I boundaries would guarantee renewed support for terrorism and future conflict. I have previously suggested creating a new, secular, demographically Sunni state from territory in western Iraq and eastern Syria. There may well be other solutions, but pining for borders demarcated by Europeans nearly a century ago is not one of them.

At the same time, the U.S. must begin rolling back Russia's renewed presence and influence in the Middle East. Russia has a new air base at Latakia, Syria, is involved in combat operations, and issues diktats about where American warplanes in the region may fly. For all the allegations about Donald Trump and Russia, the president truly in thrall to Moscow seems to have been Mr. Obama.

Russia has a new air base at Latakia, Syria, is involved in combat operations, and issues diktats about where American warplanes in the region may fly. Pictured: A Russian Air Force Su-24 passes a Syrianair Airbus A320 at Latakia. (Image source: Commons)

Russia's interference, particularly its axis with Mr. Assad and Tehran's mullahs, critically threatens the interests of the U.S., Israel and our Arab friends. Mr. Assad almost certainly would have fallen by now without Russia's (and Iran's) assistance. Further, Moscow's support for Tehran shatters any claim of its truly being a partner in fighting radical Islamic terrorism, which got its modern start in Iran's 1979 revolution. Both Iran and the Assad regime remain terror-sponsoring states, only now they are committing their violence under Russia's protective umbrella. There is no reason for the U.S. to pursue a strategy that enhances Russia's influence or that of its surrogates.

As incidents in Syria and Iraq increasingly put American forces at risk, Washington should not get lost in deconfliction negotiations or modest changes in rules of engagement. Instead, the Trump administration should recraft the U.S.-led coalition to ensure that America's interests, rather than Russia's or Iran's, predominate once ISIS is defeated.

John R. Bolton, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, is Chairman of Gatestone Institute, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and author of "Surrender Is Not an Option: Defending America at the United Nations and Abroad".
This article first appeared in the Wall Street Journal


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Abbas's Lies and Palestinian Child Victims - Bassam Tawil

by Bassam Tawil

In a move of mind-bending irony, we are witnessing a Palestinian president waging war not only against Hamas, but also against the two million Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip -- while Israel continues to provide the Palestinians living under Hamas with humanitarian aid.

  • Hamas and human rights groups hold Abbas personally responsible for the deaths of the children and the possible deaths of other patients in need of urgent medical treatment not available in Gaza Strip hospitals. One human rights group went so far as to call for the International Criminal Court in The Hague to launch an investigation against Abbas.
  • In a move of mind-bending irony, we are witnessing a Palestinian president waging war not only against Hamas, but also against the two million Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip -- while Israel continues to provide the Palestinians living under Hamas with humanitarian aid.
  • That is the standard operating procedure of the man who lied straight to the face of President Donald Trump, by claiming that he had stopped incitement against Israel and was promoting a "culture of peace" among his people. Will the last sick Palestinian child please stand up?
Palestinian children are the latest victims of the power struggle between the two rival Palestinian factions, the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Hamas.

PA President Mahmoud Abbas has declared war on the Gaza Strip as part of his effort to prompt Palestinians living there to revolt against the ruling Hamas administration. It appears that Abbas and Hamas are determined to fight to the last ill Palestinian child.

Abbas is hoping that a series of punitive measures he has taken, which include reducing electricity and medical supplies and cutting off salaries to many Palestinians, will lead to the collapse of Hamas, paving the way for the return of his PA to the Gaza Strip. Abbas has had a grudge against Hamas ever since the Islamist movement expelled his PA and loyalists from the Gaza Strip ten years ago.

Abbas's war on the Hamas may seem justified. Nonetheless, it smacks of hypocrisy and is accompanied by a smear campaign against Israel.

Instead of accepting responsibility for their punitive actions against Hamas and the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, Abbas and his PA are falsely trying to put the blame on Israel. They are telling their people and the rest of the world that Israel bears the full and sole responsibility for the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip. This, of course, is a wide-eyed lie as well as another blood libel against Israel.

The attempt to put the blame on Israel should be seen in the context of Abbas's ongoing incitement against Israel. Moreover, Abbas is trying to drag Israel into his continuing conflict with Hamas, which is a purely internal Palestinian affair. Israel had nothing to do with Hamas's violent takeover of the Gaza Strip in the summer of 2007. Two years earlier, Israel had totally withdrawn from the Gaza Strip, leaving Abbas's PA fully in control of the area. Within two years, Hamas had overthrown the PA and seized control of the Gaza Strip, including Abbas's house.

Abbas's loyalists in Gaza hardly resisted Hamas. Most of them simply surrendered to Hamas or fled to Israel and Egypt. It was thanks to Israel that many of Abbas's senior officials were able to run from the Gaza Strip to the West Bank. Were it not for Israel, they would have been dragged through the streets of the Gaza Strip and publicly lynched. Many PA operatives were thrown from the top floors of buildings.

What, then, is spurring this switch? Why has Abbas suddenly decided to take a series of drastic measures against Hamas and his people in the Gaza Strip, ten years after the Islamist expulsion?

According to his aides, Abbas is fuming over Hamas's recent decision to establish an "administrative body" to run the affairs of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. Abbas seems to view the move as driving a nail into the coffin of any PA-Hamas reconciliation.

He is also apparently deeply worried that his political rival, Mohamed Dahlan, and Hamas are close to forming an alliance against him. In recent days there have been reports that Hamas may allow Dahlan to return to the Gaza Strip to head a new Palestinian government that would be funded and backed by some Gulf countries and Egypt, all of which are disillusioned with Abbas.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is apparently deeply worried that his political rival, Mohamed Dahlan, and Hamas are close to forming an alliance against him. Pictured above: Abbas (left) and Dahlan (right) in Jericho on June 20, 2003. (Photo by Awad Awad-Pool/Getty)

Furthermore, Abbas reads the move as a sign of Hamas's effort to turn the Gaza Strip into an independent and sovereign Palestinian state, leaving him as the president of a mini-state in parts of the West Bank only. Such a move would seriously undermine his claim that he is the president of all Palestinians, including the two million residents of the Gaza Strip. He can hardly tell the world that he wants a Palestinian state on the pre-1967 lines when he cannot even return to his private home in Gaza.

At an emergency meeting of the Palestinian Authority government on June 28, Abbas repeated his demand that Hamas dismantle the "administrative body" it established in the Gaza Strip. He accused Hamas of sabotaging efforts to end the dispute with his PA and warned that the Islamist movement's measures in the Gaza Strip "jeopardize the Palestinian national project."

The meeting in Ramallah came in the wake of an outcry over Abbas's punitive measures against the Gaza Strip and charges that he and his PA have aggravated the humanitarian crisis and deepened the suffering of Palestinians living there.

According to sources in the Gaza Strip, Abbas has instructed the PA to stop issuing medical referrals from the Gaza Strip to Palestinian patients who need urgent medical treatment in Israeli and West Bank Palestinian hospitals.

As a result, the sources say, at least four critically ill Palestinian children have died in Gaza Strip hospitals in the past week because they were not given permits from the PA Ministry of Health in the West Bank to receive treatment outside the Gaza Strip.

Hamas and human rights groups hold Abbas personally responsible for the deaths of the children and the possible deaths of other patients who are in need of urgent medical treatment not available in Gaza Strip hospitals. One human rights group went so far as to call for the International Criminal Court in The Hague to launch an investigation against Abbas.

Hamas, for its part, has condemned Abbas's measures as a "crime against humanity" and an attempt to strangle the entire Gaza Strip. Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri warned that between 3,000 to 4,000 patients in the Gaza Strip are seriously ill and need urgent medical treatment outside Gaza.

"Mahmoud Abbas deserves the title of baby killer," remarked Ra'fat Murra, a top Hamas representative in the Gaza Strip. He pointed out that the four children died because of lack of medicine supplies (which were halted by the PA in the West Bank) and the refusal of the PA to issue permits for them to leave the Gaza Strip for treatment in hospitals in Israel and the West Bank. "Abbas wants the Gaza Strip to explode in the face of Hamas or Israel," Murra charged. "Abbas has a project for killing Palestinians and destroying our cause and society. His measures are intended to serve his private agenda."

Last month, Abbas told Israel that his PA government would no longer pay for the electricity Israel supplies to the Gaza Strip. This measure, which has left most of the residents of the Gaza Strip without electricity for the greater part of each day, also should be taken in the context of Abbas's war on Hamas. In addition, he has decided further to reduce medical supplies to the Gaza Strip, intensifying the humanitarian crisis there even more.

In a move of mind-bending irony, we are witnessing a Palestinian president waging war not only against Hamas, but also against the two million Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip -- while Israel continues to provide the Palestinians living under Hamas with humanitarian aid.

Israeli steps fly in the face of Abbas's ruthless measures. Just this week, about 300 Palestinians from the Gaza Strip were issued permits by Israel to leave Gaza while thousands of tons of equipment and goods were allowed into Gaza.

What does Israel get for this most recent aid to the Palestinians?

Take for example, this statement issued by Abbas's Ministry of Health in response to the deaths of the ill children in the Gaza Strip. The statement seeks to implicate Israel by claiming that "ongoing Israeli restrictions are the main reason behind the harm caused to patients in the Gaza Strip."

It also falsely claims that the Israeli Ministry of Health has stopped issuing permits to patients from the Gaza Strip to receive medical treatment in Israeli and West Bank hospitals. The statement goes on to accuse the Israeli media of waging a smear campaign of lies and fake news about the PA's responsibility for the misery of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

In making these false claims, Abbas is doing double "duty": punishing his people in the Gaza Strip while further blackening the name of Israel. These false accusations, however, accomplish even more: they encourage Palestinians to step up their murder sprees against Israelis and feed the campaign in the international arena to delegitimize and demonize Israel and Jews.

This is an old tactic of Abbas and other Palestinian leaders, who have never assumed responsibility for the suffering of their people. Abbas seeks to fight Hamas at the expense of his people, beginning with sick Palestinian children, but at the expense of Israel.

Like Hamas, Abbas sacrifices these sick children in Gaza and slanders the name of Israel, to divert attention from his responsibility for the tragedies that have befallen the residents of the Gaza Strip.

That is the standard operating procedure of the man who lied straight to the face of President Donald Trump, by claiming that he had stopped incitement against Israel and was promoting a "culture of peace" among his people. Will the last sick Palestinian child please stand up?

Bassam Tawil is a Muslim based in the Middle East.


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Who Cares about Jewish Unity? - Caroline Glick

by Caroline Glick

Two recent decisions by the Israeli government and what they tell us about the prospects for Jewish unity today.

Reprinted from the Jerusalem Post

There are four important aspects to the government’s decisions on Sunday relating to egalitarian prayer at the Western Wall and the conversion bill. The first is that by and large, the headlines of the stories distort rather than explain what the government decided.

The second is the nature of the American Jewish community’s response to the government’s moves.
The third important aspect of the story is what the government’s decisions tell us about how the government perceive Israel’s relations with the American Jewish community.

Finally, the aftershocks of the decisions tell us something important about the prospects for Jewish unity today.

To the first issue. From the headlines in the newspapers, it is easy to assume that the government just struck a blow at egalitarian prayer at the Western Wall plaza and changed for the worse the status of non-Orthodox conversions in Israel. But neither is the case.

As far as the Western Wall is concerned, the government decision doesn’t harm the egalitarian prayers at the holy site. For the past several years, egalitarian prayer services have been taking place regularly at Robinson’s Arch along the southern wall of the Temple Mount Plaza, just outside the archeological park.

The area, easily accessible from the Dung Gate, is easier to reach by car and foot than the regular Western Wall complex.

In January 2016, after protracted negotiations with progressive American Jewish groups, the government agreed to connect the Robinson’s Arch complex to the Western Wall complex. The government also agreed that management responsibility for the egalitarian prayer area would be transferred from the ultra-Orthodox-controlled Western Wall Foundation, to a new body that would include representatives of Reform and Conservative Judaism as well.

On Sunday, the government reversed that decision.

People have every right to be angry about the government’s move. It just reneged on its agreement, and that isn’t right.

Substantively, though, the government didn’t change the status quo. It just chose not to change it.

While wrong, it doesn’t justify the vitriol being leveled at the government by American Jewish leaders threatening to rethink their support for Israel.

As for the conversion law, the government’s decision on Sunday should make the members of the American Jewish community angry, but not for the reasons they claim. The draft conversion law the government just approved doesn’t change the status of converts who were converted by non-Orthodox religious courts outside of Israel.

Twenty years ago, the Neeman Commission decided, with the agreement of the Reform and Conservative movements, that people who converted in Reform or Conservative conversions outside of Israel would receive citizenship if they chose to make aliya under the Law of Return. They would not, however, be registered as Jews for the purpose of marriage, divorce or burial by the state rabbinate.

This would remain the case under the proposed law.

The people who are harmed by the conversion law are the more than half a million Israeli citizens from the former Soviet Union who made aliya under the Law of Return because they have Jewish lineage, but are not halachicly Jewish because their mothers are not halachically Jewish.

As Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, the chief rabbi of Efrat and noted conversion expert, explains, “According to great halachic authorities like the former chief rabbi of Israel Rav Ben-Tzion Uziel, although [these Israeli citizens] are not formally Jewish and must undergo a formal conversion, ‘it is incumbent upon the Religious Court to convert them because they have Jewish seed (zera Yisrael).’” Riskin adds, “Of course, we must always encourage observance of the commandments, but the bottom line must be to love and embrace them; they are living in Israel and their children will be going to the IDF.”

Uziel’s ruling informs the conversion policies of religious-Zionist rabbis and conversion courts, but it is rejected by the ultra-Orthodox religious authorities who today exercise absolute control over state conversions.

When the Neeman Commission reached its accord with the Conservative, Reform and Orthodox Jewish authorities in 1997, the Orthodox authorities included both ultra-Orthodox and religious-Zionist, or Modern Orthodox, rabbinic authorities.

As a result, the assumption of the commission members was that the state conversions would be conducted in an atmosphere that reflected a plurality of views represented in the Orthodox Jewish world, including the view of Rav Uziel, which informs the judgment of religious-Zionist rabbinic authorities.

This assumption ceased to be correct however in 2004.

That year, then-prime minister Ariel Sharon’s coalition began unraveling. Sharon’s decision to adopt the policy of the Left and unilaterally withdraw from Gaza while destroying the Israeli communities in Gaza and northern Samaria and forcibly expelling their 10,000 residents tore his party and government apart. Sharon fired the ministers from the National Religious Party and the National Union.

To survive in office, Sharon had to retain the support of the ultra-Orthodox parties. To this end, he acceded to their demand to kick religious-Zionist rabbis out of the state rabbinate and replace them with ultra-Orthodox rabbis. Sharon’s move gave the ultra-Orthodox total control over all state conversions.

Since then, the ultra-Orthodox rabbis have used their absolute to cancel the conversions performed by the most senior rabbis in the religious-Zionist community. Some of the converts affected have been Jews for decades and raised Jewish children.

Their Judaism and that of their children was retroactively denied by the rabbinate.

The ultra-Orthodox rabbinic courts subject half a million Israeli citizens who made aliya under the Law of Return to humiliating and drawn-out conversion processes even though many of them have lived their entire lives as Jews in Israel.

Rather than be given consideration as Rav Uziel and the national-religious religious authorities prescribe, they are treated as though they never had any relationship with the Jewish people of which they have always considered themselves members.

Due to the progressive American Jewish groups’ enthusiastic support for the withdrawal from Gaza and the destruction of the Israeli communities in Gaza and northern Samaria, they did not object to Sharon’s move.

And now, by mischaracterizing the government- backed conversion bill as a slap in the face to Reform and Conservative converts, they miss the real reason they should be fighting the legislation.

They should be fighting the bill because a large majority of the members of their communities are intermarrying. The children of many of those marriages who want to make aliya will be subjected to the same humiliating conversion processes undertaken by the ultra-Orthodox state rabbinic courts as the half a million Israelis who are not registered as Jews with the Chief Rabbinate face.

The fact that this doesn’t seem to be a concern for them indicates two things. First, their anger over the proposed law is not substantive. The contents of the bill – from their perspective – do not change the status of their converts. They have been living at peace with that status, which they agreed to, for 20 years.

At the same time, the American Jewish leaders who threaten not to speak to or host Israeli politicians who support the bill, ignore the fact that the current law would doom the children of their intermarried community members to second-class status in Israel if they try to convert halachically in the framework of aliya, rather than ensuring that they are treated with the love and respect their deserve.

Along these lines, and in relation to the Israeli citizens from the former Soviet Union, Rabbi Riskin notes, “The entire fabric of Israeli society would be torn asunder if a division were made between Israelis and halachic Jews. The religious courts must do their utmost to expose them to basic Shabbat, festivals and kashrut observance, but the most important goal must be to bring them into the Covenant with the Jewish people. After all they have gone through because of their ‘Jewishness’ under the Communist regime, it behooves us to incorporate them within our Jewish collective as part of the miracle of the ingathering of the exiles.”

So both in the case of the government’s decision regarding the Western Wall and in relation to its decision regarding the draft conversion law, American Jewish leaders are reacting with fury unhinged from the substance of the decisions themselves.

They cry foul to perceived, but largely imaginary, slights while ignoring the real problem with the conversions bill.

This then brings us to the government, and what apparently motivated it to take action that so provoked the American Jewish leadership.

In an interview with The Jerusalem Post, Rabbi Julie Schonfeld, vice president of the Conservative Rabbinic Assembly, accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of preferring momentary political advantage to the interests of the Jewish people. In her words, “The prime minister will do what he sees as beneficial for the next five minutes of his political life... There’s no possible way that the prime minister and his officials can argue they’re acting in the best interests of the State of Israel. They are betraying the citizens of the State of Israel in order to keep themselves in power for the next five minutes.”

While nasty, her criticism is not without foundation.

But what was Netanyahu’s alternative? If the American Jewish community flies off the handle and declares war against the government, threatening to blackball the elected leaders of the Jewish state when they adopt measures that while impolite have little substantive effect on their positions, then why should Israel take their views into account? If everything that the government does is terrible, then dialogue is reduced to recrimination. Sitting with progressive Jewish leaders from America means being subjected to a lecture about how terrible Israel is by people who do not live here and are not interested in having a serious discussion about what is actually on the table.

The fact that they are not interested in having that sort of discussion, and that they have no interest in making Israel their home, is demonstrated by their indifference to the real implications of the draft conversion law. Leaders truly invested in the future of both their communities and of their communities’ ties with Israel would be appalled by the retention of monopoly control over conversions by rabbinic authorities who refuse to recognize the difference between children of intermarriage and non-Jews with no relation to Judaism and the Jewish people.

They would insist that religious-Zionist rabbis be reinstated in the state rabbinate, and work avidly to ensure that conversions once approved cannot be overturned.

The real problem here is that while everyone involved speaks of the need for Jewish unity, no one involved in the conversation seems to be motivated to work toward that goal.

Jewish unity isn’t achieved by mutual recrimination.

And it isn’t achieved by one-upmanship. It is achieved through compromise based on mutual respect and love for fellow Jews. Absent that, nothing good will come from negotiations or laws or agreements. Absent that, nothing good will come at all.

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


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Rejecting Globalism and Affirming Patriotic Nationalism - E. Jeffrey Ludwig

by E. Jeffrey Ludwig

For decades, the left and the Democrats have been pounding home the idea that we are not the land of opportunity but are the land of exploitation.

Our nation has gradually been subverted from within. Our national identity has been portrayed as hypocritical and unworthy of the claims of being a free society. The left wing insists that the U.S. has not lived up to its so-called ideals from the very beginning. For decades, the left and the Democrats have been pounding home the idea that we are not the land of opportunity but are the land of exploitation. Further, the America haters insist that the ideals enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and the statements of many of our early leaders are deceptions. They are intended to deny that the seeking of power and wealth by a ruling elite are the motives that have driven the growth of our country, and that the ideals and legal strategies that are supposed to strengthen our rights, our liberties, and our prosperity are merely strategies by which white, male persons have gained and sustained control of the centers of power and wealth in the USA.

Abraham Lincoln’s assertion that we are a nation “of the people, by the people, and for the people” was a nice sounding but false slogan, according to the brainwashed ideologues. Rather, under leftist dogma, the USA, from its very inception and even before that going back to Christopher Columbus is portrayed as anti-“the people.” The left portrays the USA as anti-black, anti-Latino, anti-Catholic, anti-worker, anti-women, anti-liberty, anti-farmer, anti-Native American, anti-blue collar, anti-Chicano, anti-Muslim, anti-world, anti-health, anti-freedom, anti-poor people, and anti-protected classes (such as the disabled, elderly, LGBQT individuals, or religious minorities). Undocumented immigrants or illegals are referred to by the left simply as “immigrants” and are another victimized group.

This propaganda can come under the general rubric of “Zinnism,” named after the writings of Howard Zinn, a longtime professor of history at Boston University. Zinn was a card-carrying member of the Communist Party, and wrote the bestselling American History college textbook A Peoples’ History of the United States. In this textbook, he portrays the USA as a bastion of economic exploitation, militarism, racism, hypocrisy, and in fact as completely ignoble from its founding to the present day. Because his textbook has become the best-selling textbook for introductions to American history in our universities, the Zinnian mindset has become dominant in a large portion of the population.

This extremely negative depiction of the U.S., a depiction intended to reverse the image of a righteous country that is the land of opportunity par excellence, is intended to drive us into acceptance of globalism and world government as the antidote for the social and economic problems that beset us. If our Constitution is an outdated document, one which has allowed so many injustices to occur and to continue occurring in the name of “justice” (i.e., based on the leftist paradigm, that over time we are a nation prone to systemic injustice), then the corrective must come from the outside. Outside influence can only increase if there is a dilution of U.S. sovereignty. That means more immigration (we already have the highest level of legal immigration in the world), more transfers of funds to other countries via the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and more contributions to the United Nations. Under the Democrat Party dissent from patriotic nationalism, we are called by our bogus leadership to engage in multilateral trade agreements that sacrifice U.S. benefits in favor of benefits to other countries, and living beyond our means in order to spend moneys we do not have to correct perceived as well as real injustices. The so-called unjust and selfish system of capitalist America will presumably be corrected by running up an incredibly shocking and nauseating debt of over $20 trillion, a debt that was doubled during President Barack Obama’s eight years in office.

Attempting to buy a secure future for ourselves, our national debt has created problems for future generations that are too disturbing to even contemplate. Instead of budgeting ourselves with a prudent and thoughtful national policy, and instead of aiming for balance and not for overdrafts that bail out the top 1% (despite the Democratic rhetoric of hating the top 1%), we have printed and borrowed ourselves into a desperate economic cul de sac. Also, Democrats and Republicans have not openly challenged the Federal Reserve policy of keeping interest rates excessively low. With the low interest rates, people who are thrifty and save find that their money growth cannot keep up with inflation, and they are losing buying power.

Nevertheless, inflation rates, and stock prices have continued to be high since the collapse of the housing market in 2008 and the concomitant venal bank bundling of mortgages with phony ratings of those bundles by rating agencies like Moody’s and Standard & Poor. Because the government continues printing so much money and making the money more available to financial institutions, those institutions are buying stocks, which is why the stock market prices remain high. Those higher stock prices and higher priced consumer products are not reflective of consumer demand or market projections. Thus, Zinnism, excessive national debt, and globalist policies of law, economics, and government go hand in hand in hand.

As an empowered citizenry and as good deplorables, we must dedicate ourselves every day to a restoration of patriotic nationalism and the overthrow of Zinnian anti-Americanism and globalism. Zinnism and globalism are bonded twins of the public socioeconomic/political landscape. Together they continually attempt to destroy the morale of our republic by destroying our national identity. We need to include daily prayers for the restoration of our national patriotic identity just as prayers were lifted up regularly and often by the those living in the thirteen original colonies for unity and relief from the oppressions of the mother country. Without anger or vituperation but with firm righteousness, we need to affirm to others that we live in a land of opportunity not a land of exploitation.

We should often and freely express to others our gratitude at having the opportunities and enjoyments that life affords us here in the USA. Introduce the topic in a light and pleasant way. Say, “I’m just so thankful today that I live in the USA, the land of opportunity.” And if assailed by hostility or ridicule or just plain old disagreement, we should be prepared to ask the other(s), “Why aren’t you more grateful for the liberties and many opportunities and possessions you and your family receive and have received as a consequence of living in the USA?” While the left will confront us with the drumbeat of their quest for “equality,” we must counter with the assertion that liberty takes precedence over equality. Equality at best is a subset of liberty. Without liberty as first priority, the quest for “equality” can and will become oppressive.

E. Jeffrey Ludwig


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Pentagon Halts Obama’s Transgender Endorsement Plan - Neil Munro

by Neil Munro

The Secretary of Defense has frozen a decision by former President Barack Obama to recruit transgender soldiers this year, and a new poll shows the planned recruitment freeze is very popular.

Two of every three swing voters say the Pentagon should postpone plans to accept “transgender” people who are trying to live as members of the opposite sex, according to the new poll by Rasmussen Reports.

Defense Secretary James Mattis explained his July 30 decision to delay Obama’s plan for six months, just before it was to begin operating:
Since becoming the Secretary of Defense, I have emphasized that the Department of Defense must measure each policy decision against one critical standard: will the decision affect the readiness and lethality of the force? Put another way, how will the decision affect the ability of America’s military to defend the nation? It is against this standard that I provide the following guidance on the way forward in accessing transgender individuals into the military Services.
The six-month delay will encourage and help opponents lobby against Obama’s pro-transgender policy.

Throughout 2016, Obama used his power as president to push schools and other institutions to support the claim by transgender activists that people have a hidden “gender identity” which is independent of their sex and biology. These advocates also say that a person’s sex is determined by their “gender identity,” not their male-or-female body. In turn, the advocates demand that the federal government force Americans to accept the sex-switching “gender identity” claims made by each person, regardless of scientific data about genetics, biology and the variety of normal behavior and appearances shown by normal women and men.

Transgender activists were furious about Mattis’ last-minute decision to block Obama’s directive, which would have resulted in a de-facto endorsement of the transgender ideology by the most respected government institution in the nation.

“For the past year, transgender troops have been serving openly … stonewalling on full inclusion will, just like ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,’ compromise military readiness,” said a statement from the pro-transgender Palm Center in California.

Obama’s proposal is widely opposed, in part, because it would require soldiers to share bathrooms and shower facilities with people of the opposite sex, and would require the U.S. military pay for the expensive procedures — such as hormones and perhaps surgery — used by people trying to live as members of the opposite sex.

The military’s most famous transgender recruit, now named Chelsea Manning, was recently freed from military jail on Obama’s orders. When serving in Iraq, Manning illegally copied a huge haul of military records and videos and released them to the world. 

The Rasmussen poll was published just before the Pentagon announcement. The June 26 to June 27 survey of 1,000 likely voters showed 48 percent of voters supporting a delay, only 32 percent oppose a delay and an unusually larger proportion — 21 percent — avoided comment, saying they were “not sure.” Read the poll here

The cross-tabs, however, showed that GOP supporters split 60 percent for a delay and 23 percent opposition to a delay. Democrats split 33 percent for a delay and 44 percent opposition to a delay. 

Importantly, 52 percent of the swing-voting independents back a delay, while only 25 percent oppose a delay — and 23 percent declined to comment. That is a two-to-one preference among swing-voters for delay, and most of the no-comment voters likely favor a delay also.

Among self-described conservatives, 64 percent want a delay, while only 22 percent oppose a delay. Self-described “moderates” split 42 percent for a delay, 35 percent opposed a delay. 

The questions about a “delay” – instead of outright opposition — offered voters some opportunity to show opposition to the media-favored transgender agenda while protecting themselves from claims of bigotry. 

That worry was clearly visible in a prior Rasmussen question, which asked likely voters whether the decision to allow transgender people into the military is good or bad for the military. 

Twenty-three percent said transgenders are good for the military — including just 32 percent of Democrats. Thirty-one percent said transgenders are bad for the military — but only 16 percent of liberals. 

Significantly, the largest group — 38 percent — of voters waffled by saying transgenders would have no impact. That 38 percent number likely hides some opposition to recruiting transgender for the military because it is actually larger than the 32 percent who oppose a delay.

The question of whether the military should accept “transgender” people was unimaginable a few years ago. However, it is now an issue because the Democratic Party’s progressive leadership — and much of the elite media — has embraced the transgender ideology. 

The ideology claims that people have a hidden “gender identity” which is independent of their sex and biology, and which justifies their claim to be members of the opposite sex. The ideology also demands that the federal government force Americans to accept the “gender identity” sex-switching claims made by each person, regardless of scientific data about genetics, biology and the variety of normal behavior and appearances shown by normal women and men. 

The progressive push to bend Americans’ attitudes and their civic society around the idea of “gender” has already attacked and cracked popular social rules for how Americans handle the many charming differences between complementary men and women — the rules governing single-sex bathrooms and shelters for battered womensports leagues for girlshiking groups for boysK-12 curricula and university speech codesreligious freedomsfree speech, the social status of womenparents’ rights in childrearing, practices to help teenagers, women’s expectations of beautyculture and civic societyscientific researchprison safetycivic ceremoniesschool rules, men’s sense of masculinitylaw enforcement, and children’s sexual privacy.

To read more about the “transgender” ideology, click here.

Neil Munro


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Trump Exposes What Real Privilege Looks Like in America - Scott Mayer

by Scott Mayer

What is write privilege?

Social justice warriors periodically riot and wreak havoc in cities across the United States, fighting for imaginary “rights” and targeting certain Americans for their (fill-in-the-blank) “_______ privilege.” Yet they turn a blind eye to a hugely unjust and oppressive form of societal advantage that has permeated our society for far too long. One that, following the election of Donald Trump, has become so conspicuous that it needs to be rightly identified for what it is -- write privilege. 

What is write privilege? It’s the unfair advantage certain “more equal than other” individuals possess, allowing positive words (sometimes fictional) to be written or spoken about them on a wide scale within the media and, if necessary, have virtually any misdeed covered up, flatly ignored or at least framed in the most positive light possible.

Write privilege is a benefit based purely upon the color of an individual’s politics, which must reside on the far-left end of the spectrum. Additionally, temporary write privilege is occasionally afforded to those who are useful idiots in forwarding the far-left progressive agenda (think John McCain). 

Write privilege is the entrenched institution that allowed an individual such as Hillary Clinton to rest easy in her ambulatory limo/van knowing virtually nothing would be printed or said (or the bare minimum when impossible to ignore) in the mainstream media about the numerous scandals surrounding her. And as if that weren’t privilege enough, she even received debate questions ahead of time during the campaign. 

President Trump pointed out this social injustice perfectly in two recent tweets:
Sorry, Mr. President, you don’t possess this thing called write privilege. A partisan witch hunt can be extended almost indefinitely against any individual lacking it. The power of write privilege can be used equally to either build up, or tear down. And once the MSM is fully engaged in a narrative, it’s like watching an enormous flock of starlings fly in one direction and then all suddenly turn on a dime. 

Some examples of write privilege in addition to Clinton include: Obama being built up as a constitutional scholar, receiving a pre-Nobel Prize and the media silence on the his administration's unmasking of Trump people; Trayvon Martin being turned into an innocent little boy and the Michael Brown “Hands up don’t shoot” false narrative. 

On the flip side, Dr. Ben Carson learned the hard way that a lack of write privilege can turn even a pediatric brain surgeon into a bumbling idiot overnight. And of course, we now have Trump and Russia, Russia, Russia. 

Since write privilege is not merit-based, it leaves many who benefit from its fruits with the impression that they that they’re more important or talented than they actually are. Case in point: write privilege has clearly infected what some are currently trying to pass off as comedy. Several comedians (and Stephen Colbert) have gone off the deep end with TDS (Trump derangement syndrome), to the detriment of their craft. It was Sid Caesar that said: “comedy has to be based on truth.” No wonder there isn’t much to laugh about on late-night TV lately.

Watching the likes of Seth Meyers breaking Sid’s rule while smugly hiding behind his write privilege is truly painful to watch. Which is why I don’t, unless I happen to accidently stumble upon one of his futile attempts at “humor.”

Sporting what truly is a creepy grin, imagine if Seth found himself on the wrong side of write privilege. Saying merely one positive word about Trump could cause a seemingly innocent interaction with a child to be “interpreted” in a way that would lead to a long, drawn-out, painful ordeal in the public eye. And once the forces of write privilege were being used against him (fully knowing the allegations were untrue) the charades could continue in the hopes he would make some legal miss-step during the “investigative process.”

Fortunately for Seth, he has plenty of stock in write privilege and even if he held a Sharia compliant view on adult/child relations, it’s unlikely his reputation with the Left would be fully destroyed. Just ask Roman Polanski. 

The bottom line is that the institution of write privilege is controlled by the mainstream media, academia and Hollywood (AKA the Democratic Party) and is used to hide certain inconvenient truths and alternatively, to create needed “truths” where none exist. As it turns out, CNN has been exposed as nothing but a bunch of write supremacists. 

It is progressives who are comfortable lying about or doing anything (including violence) to control their far-left agenda while liberty-loving Americans believe the best cure for write privilege is full-spectrum sunlight. The new media is doing an excellent job bringing that much-needed sunlight. But unlike most Republicans who crumble before those with write privilege, Trump is bypassing it altogether by tweeting his message directly to the American people. As one would expect, this is causing a massive write-lash from mainstream media outlets everywhere.

Scott blogs at

Scott Mayer


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Europe: "Big Business" Colludes with Islamism - Yves Mamou

by Yves Mamou

The next stage is that if most Muslims consider a veil and halal food an Islamic obligation, they will soon ask for sharia law and Islamic courts -- as in Great Britain

  • For "Big Business," the more things that are declared "forbidden" in the name of Islam, the more products declared "permitted" must be produced for "good Muslims" to buy.
  • In the 1970s, Iran and Saudi Arabia, which were engaged in a competition to spread their vision of Islam worldwide, found help from multinationals such as Nestlé, which had in mind the creation of the large global halal food market.
  • The next stage is that if most Muslims consider a veil and halal food an Islamic obligation, they will soon ask for sharia law and Islamic courts -- as in Great Britain.
When there is a profit to be made, capitalism has no political spirit and can collude with any ideology -- from democracies to totalitarian tyrannies. This view was most recently set forth by the French anthropologist Florence Bergeaud-Blackler in her book, "Le marché halal ou l'invention d'une tradition" ("The Halal Market or the Invention of a Tradition").

Bergeaud-Blackler claims in her book that "halal" food (food that, in Islam, is religiously permitted) was "recently invented" as a label and as a potential commercial market, in a collusion between Iranian fundamentalists and multinational agrifood businesses. In an interview with the French daily newspaper, Liberation, she said:
"I speak of invention of the 'halal market' in the sense that we are not dealing with an ancient tradition imported from Muslim countries. The halal market never existed in the Muslim world until food 'big business' created it and exported it. The halal convention was born in the 70s and 80s. At this time, two ideologies triumphed on the international scene: on the one hand, Muslim fundamentalism, including the proclamation of the Islamic Republic of Iran in 1979, and, on the other hand, neo-liberalism, with Thatcher and Reagan. This convergence, unscheduled and unexpected, would allow these two ideologies to work together to establish a halal food industrial protocol".
According to Bergeaud-Blackler, halal food, for centuries, had been reduced in Muslim countries to the prohibition of pork. All food, with the exception of pork, that had been produced both locally -- and non-locally, by "People of the Book" (Christian and Jews) -- was considered halal. But after the Iranian Revolution in 1979, halal became a fundamentalist food requirement habit, sanctified by economic interests. In the 1970s, Iran and Saudi Arabia, which were engaged in a competition to spread their vision of Islam throughout the world, found useful help by multinationals such as Nestlé, which had in mind the creation of the large global halal food market.

Bergeaud-Blackler says food businesses and Islamic fundamentalists found a common interest to convey a new idea: Muslims have specific "needs" in terms of food. Before the Iranian Revolution, Islamists, including radicals like Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader Yusuf al-Qaradawi, considered that Muslims could consume food produced by countries of Christian and Jewish tradition. But, aware that a "food border" might produce some effects in politics, the fundamentalists have changed their position. The food produced in secularized countries was proclaimed haram (forbidden) and a specific Muslim food market began to arise.

According to Bergeaud-Blackler, by industrializing halal food production, agrifood multinationals gave a strong hand to fundamentalists and helped to build a separation wall between Muslims and non-Muslims in European countries:
"Splitting in two the space between what is permitted and what is not, creates a certain social anxiety and leads to a behavior of avoidance. When you eat exclusively halal, you do not invite home non-halal people, for fear this person will invite you in return. These patterns of avoidance combine with speech that rejects of "impure" food. The confusion between halal and purity is disturbing."
The separation wall, however, goes far beyond common sociability. According to Gilles Kepel, professor at the Paris Institute of Political Studies:
"By exacerbating the question of halal, the political actors of Islamism are leading a logic of rupture -- Muslim children are incited to abandon school canteens, and this helps them to distance the youth from the school and from the nation".
In France, for example, where public schools are the traditional tool of social and cultural integration, this is especially important.

According to Kepel, halal food is the second battle Islamists are leading in France and in Europe. Once the veil covers the heads of most Muslim women, the time has come to achieve the secession of the Muslim population with halal:
"Initially, halal is presented as a consumption pattern; halal is part of a demand for pluralism: we eat halal like vegan, organic or kosher. And retail companies are not mistaken: their supermarkets offer a wide range of halal products in the aisles, with an estimated market of 5 billion euros.... the political actors of Islamism... see halal as an opportunity for community control and they strive to radicalize and exacerbate..."
In France, in the workplace, halal has begun to be a major source of conflict. Companies are confronted by growing demands for halal food in canteens. In France, companies are not legally required to supply halal food, but many companies, if they do not comply with the demands, fear being treated as racist.

Shop sign in French and Arabic for a halal butcher's shop in Rue de Patay, Paris. (Image source: Wikimedia Commons / Mu)

By now, all Western companies specializing in food, poultry, candy, meat, fast food, and retail chains are deeply involved in halal production. Nestlé is number one worldwide, competing fiercely with other food multinationals such as Woolworths, Cole's, Aldo's, Cadbury, Kraft, Kellogg's and hundreds of others. Fast food outlets such as McDonald's, Burger King, Red Rooster, KFC and Subway have invested in halal meat, sometimes only abroad.

A report established by Thomson Reuters and DinarStandard estimated the halal food market in 2014 at $1.37 trillion. This represents 18.2% of the total food and beverage market worldwide, and an increase of 6.2% compared to 2013.

For "Big Business," the more things that are declared "forbidden" in the name of Islam, the more products declared "permitted" must be produced for "good Muslims" to buy.

For fundamentalists, the more that Muslims adhere to these outward signs of Islam -- halal food, veiled women, burkinis -- the easier it is to separate Muslims from non-Muslims.

"In Europe, the halal market is growing at an estimated annual rate of between 10-20%. It is a demand driven by a general desire for Sharia compliance among a growing Muslim population," according to Paulius Kuncinas, business analyst and managing editor Asia, at Oxford Business Group.

We can now safely say that Muslim population in Europe -- and in France -- is totally under cultural and religious control led by different Islamic organizations (Salafists, Muslim Brotherhood). In 2016, according to a study, "A French Islam is Possible", released in France by the Institut Montaigne, 70% of the Muslims polled said they "always" buy halal meat; 22% buy it "sometimes" and only 6% "never".

The next stage is that, if most Muslims consider a veil and halal food as Islamic obligations, they will soon ask for sharia and Islamic courts -- as in Great Britain.

Governments will have to decide what to do: start trying to hold back the encroachment of Islamism or to split each European country in two: one for Islamists, the other part for non-Muslims.

Yves Mamou is a journalist and author based in France. He worked for two decades for the daily, Le Monde, before his retirement.


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