Saturday, December 9, 2017

President Trump’s Jerusalem Move Deals a Blow to Terror - Daniel Greenfield

by Daniel Greenfield

We won’t let Islamic terrorists decide where we put our embassies.

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical left and Islamic terrorism.

Hamas has announced that President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel has opened the “gates of hell.” Its Muslim Brotherhood parent has declared America an “enemy state.”

The Arab League boss warned that the Jerusalem move “will fuel extremism and result in violence.” The Jordanian Foreign Minister claimed that it would “trigger anger” and “fuel tension.”

“Moderate” Muslim leaders excel at threatening violence on behalf of the “extremists”.

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) warned that recognizing Jerusalem will trigger an Islamic summit and be considered a "blatant attack on the Arab and Islamic nations."

The last time the OIC was this mad, someone drew Mohammed. And wasn’t stoned to death for it.

According to the Saudi ambassador, it will “heighten tensions”. The Deputy Prime Minister of Islamist Turkey called it a “major catastrophe”. And the leader of the largest Muslim country in Europe, France's Emmanuel Macron "expressed concern" that America will “unilaterally recognize Jerusalem."

PLO leaders and minions meanwhile made it quite clear that now the dead peace process is truly dead. 

The Palestinian Authority’s boss warned that recognizing Jerusalem will “destroy the peace process”. The PLO’s envoy in D.C. threatened that it would be the “final lethal blow” and “the kiss of death to the two-state solution”. A top PA advisor claimed it “will end any chance of a peace process.”

A day later, the peace process is still as alive and as dead as it ever was.

Since the chance of a peace process is about the same as being hit by lightning while scoring a Royal Flush, that “chance” doesn’t amount to anything. The peace process has been deader than Dracula for ages. And even a PLO terrorist should know that you can’t threaten to kill a dead hostage.

The only kiss of death here came from Arafat.

Peace wasn’t killed though. It was never alive. Because a permanent peace is Islamically impossible.

"The world will pay the price," warned Mahmoud Habash, the Palestinian Authority’s Supreme Sharia judge.

Habash isn’t just the bigwig of Islamic law, he’s also the Islamic adviser to the leader of the Palestinian Authority. And Abbas, the terror organization’s leader, was there when Habash made his remarks.

Previously Habash had declared that the Kotel, the Western Wall of the fallen Temple, the holiest site in Judaism, “can never be for non-Muslims. It cannot be under the sovereignty of non-Muslims.”

While the official warnings from the Palestinian Authority, the Arab League and assorted other Islamic organizations have claimed that recognizing Jerusalem threatens the non-existent peace process, Habash had in the past had made it quite clear that the issue wasn’t land, it was Jihad.

“The struggle over this land is not merely a struggle over a piece of land here or there. Not at all. The struggle has the symbolism of holiness, or blessing. It is a struggle between those whom Allah has chosen for Ribat and those who are trying to mutilate the land of Ribat," Habash had declared.

Ribat means that Israel is a frontier outpost between the territories of Islam and the free world. The Muslim terrorists who call themselves “Palestinians” have, according to the Abbas adviser, been chosen for “Ribat” to stand guard on the Islamic frontier and expand the territories of Islam.

The sense of Ribat is that the Jihadists may not yet be able to win a definitive victory, but must maintain their vigilance for the ultimate goal, which a Hadith defines as performing Ribat “against my enemy and your enemy until he abandons his religion for your religion."

That is what’s at stake here.

It’s not about a “piece of land here or there”, as the PA’s top Sharia judge clarifies, it’s a religious war. And Israel is not just a religious war between Muslims and Jews, but a shifting frontier in the larger war between Islam and the rest of the world. It’s another territory to be conquered on the way to Europe. And Europe is another territory to be conquered on the way to America.

There can be no peace in a religious war. Nor is there anything to negotiate.

“It isn't possible to compromise on or negotiate over Jerusalem,” Habash had said. “In politics there can be compromises here and there... In politics there can be negotiation. However, in matters of religion, faith, values, ethics, and history, there can be no compromises.”

There’s an extremely thin line in Islamic theocracy between politics and religion. But what Habash is really saying is that there might be room to negotiate how many times a week the garbage truck comes to pick up the trash, but not who gives him the orders. Islamic supremacism is non-negotiable.

The Supreme Sharia judge warned Trump that moving the embassy is “a declaration of war on all Muslims.” Why all Muslims? Because the “Palestinians” are a myth. Islamic conquests are collective.

And it’s not as if any of the Muslim leaders disagree.

Why is Jerusalem their business? It’s not empathy for the “Palestinians”. Kuwait ethnically cleansed huge numbers of them. They aren’t treated all that much better in other Arab Muslim countries.

It’s not about them. The Muslim settlers in Israel are just there as “Ribat”. They’re the frontier guard of the Islamic conquest. Much like the Sharia patrols in the No-Go Zones of Europe or the Jihadists in Kashmir, the Rohingya in Burma and all the other Islamic Volksdeutsche variants of occupying colonists.

Sunni may fight Shiite. Muslim countries, tribes and clans may war with each other. But the land they’re fighting over belongs to all of them collectively.

It can never belong to non-Muslims. That is the essence of Islam where conquest is religion.
That’s true of Jerusalem. And of the entire world.

That is what is truly at stake in the war over Jerusalem. When countries refuse to move their embassies to Jerusalem, they are submitting to Sharia law and Islamic supremacism. The issue at stake is the same one as drawing Mohammed. It’s not about a “piece of land”. It’s about the supremacy of Islam.

Refusing to move the embassy doesn’t prevent violence. Islamic terrorism continues to claim lives in Jerusalem. And Islamic violence has been a constant before Israel liberated Jerusalem or before there was even a free Israel. The Arab League, the Jordanians, the Saudis and the rest of the gang aren’t promising an end to the violence. Instead they warn that if we don’t obey, it will grow worse.

That’s not diplomacy. It’s a hostage crisis.

President Trump made the right decision by refusing to let our foreign policy be held hostage. We don’t win by giving in to terrorists.

We win by resisting them.  Or else we’ll have to live our lives as hostages of Islamic terror.
Jerusalem is a metaphor. Every free country has its own Jerusalem. In America, it’s the First Amendment. Our Jerusalem is not just a piece of land, it’s a value. And the Islamic Jihad seeks to intimidate us into giving it up until, as the Hadith states, we abandon our religion for Islam.

Moving the embassy to Jerusalem will do much more for America than it will for Israel.

The Israelis already know where their capital is. We need to remember where we left our freedom. Islamic terrorists win when they terrorize us into being too afraid to do the right thing.

President Trump sent a message to the terrorists that America will not be terrorized.

Previous administrations allowed the terrorists to decide where we put our embassy. But Trump has made it clear that we won’t let Islamic terrorists decide where we put our embassies, what cartoons we will draw or how we live our lives. That is what real freedom means.

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


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Trump's Great and Ingenious Gifts - Caroline Glick

by Caroline Glick

President Trump gives a Hanukka gift to the Jewish people and a Christmas gift to the American people.

Originally published by the Jerusalem Post

Trump’s gift to Israel is not merely that 68 years after Israel declared Jerusalem its capital, the US finally recognized Israel’s capital.

In his declaration, Trump said, “Israel has made its capital in the city of Jerusalem, the capital the Jewish people established in ancient times.”

By stating this simple truth, Trump fully rejected the anti-Israel legacy of his predecessor Barack Obama.

In his speech in Cairo in 2009, Obama intimated that Israel’s legitimacy is rooted in the Holocaust, rather than in the Jewish nation’s millennial attachment to the Land of Israel. Whereas the Balfour Declaration and the League of Nations Mandate rooted the Jewish people’s sovereign rights to the Land of Israel in its 3,500-year relationship with it, Obama said that Israel is nothing more than a refugee camp located in an inconvenient area. In so doing, he gave credence to the anti-Israel slander that Israel is a colonialist power.

By asserting the real basis for Israel’s legitimacy, Trump made clear that the Jewish people is indigenous to the Land of Israel. He also made it US policy to view Israel’s right to exist, like its right to its capital city, as unconditional.

Trump’s extraordinary gift to Israel was an act of political and moral courage. It was also a stroke of strategic brilliance.

To understand why it was both courageous and wise, consider the political, institutional and geopolitical contexts in which Trump acted.

Politically, Trump made his declaration in a poisonous political environment at home.

The Democrats responded to Trump’s victory last year over Hillary Clinton by seeking to delegitimize his victory. To this end, they chose to oppose everything that he says and does.

And so, despite their long-held and recently voiced support for US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, leading Democratic senators including New Jersey’s Cory Booker and California’s Diane Feinstein condemned Trump’s declaration.

The Democrats’ rejection of Trump’s move was an astounding act of hypocrisy. But it was also predictable.

Trump had to know the Democrats would oppose him. And he also had to know that in their opposition, they would empower US allies in Europe and the Arab world to publicly condemn his move in a manner they would be loath to do if the Democrats supported him. And still, despite this sure knowledge, Trump took action.

And it wasn’t only the Democrats, the Europeans and the Arabs Trump willingly opposed. His chief opposition came from within his own government.

Since 1949, the State Department has driven US policy on Israel and on the Middle East as a whole. And since 1949, the State Department’s Israel policy has refused to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Even worse, it worked to undermine any international support for Israel’s sovereign rights to Jerusalem.

For instance, a 1962 State Department memo to then-president John F. Kennedy’s national security adviser McGeorge Bundy laid out the law on Jerusalem.

The memo told Bundy that not only did the State Department oppose Israel’s decision to make Jerusalem its capital. It detailed the efforts the State Department had made over more than a decade to lobby every government that opened diplomatic ties with Israel not to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and not to locate its embassy in Jerusalem.

Over the years, various presidents have taken issue with the State Department’s policy toward Israel. These disputes have been informed both by genuine disagreement with Foggy Bottom’s institutional hostility toward Israel and by political concerns. The American people have been supportive of Israel, and that support has only grown over the years.

But despite their genuine disputes and political concerns, no president who opposed State Department hostility toward Israel seized control over US Israel policy from the State Department.

That is, no one did until Trump did.

On Wednesday, in a very public way, Trump wrested control over US policy toward Israel generally, and Jerusalem specifically, from the State Department. The consequences of Trump’s seizure of the reins over US Middle East policy are enormous, and entirely positive for the US itself. Indeed, two in particular are great gifts to the American people.

In his declaration, Trump said, “Today we finally acknowledge the obvious. That Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. This is nothing more or less than a recognition of reality. It is also the right thing to do. It’s something that has to be done.”

Under State Department control for 68 years, US foreign policy relating to Israel specifically and the Middle East as a whole was made in deliberate defiance of reality. In the case of Jerusalem, rather than recognize the plain fact that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital city, the State Department insisted on pretending that Israel has no capital. This position was a central component of an overall US Middle East policy that the State Department similarly based on a defiant rejection of observable reality.

So it happened that for decades the US ignored the multiple, systemic pathologies of the Arab and Islamic world and opted instead to predicate its policies on the false assumption that the problems of the Middle East are rooted in Israel’s refusal to sufficiently appease the Arab world.

By rejecting the State Department’s position on Jerusalem, and by noting that its position is rooted in a rejection of reality, Trump initiated a new course for US Middle East policy rooted in reality for the first time in three generations.

The salutary implications of a reality-based policy for America are as self-evident as the fact that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital.

This brings us to the second positive advantage America gained from Trump’s Jerusalem declaration.

Over the span of decades, a US president’s power to determine foreign policy was measured by two things: the amount of daylight between White House statements and traditional State Department positions, and the disparity between US foreign policy positions and the positions of Western European governments and the EU. The greater the distance between White House positions and those of the State Department and Europe, the more power the president held over US foreign policy.

The only exception to this rule was Obama. Like the State Department, and like Europe, Obama’s foreign policy was predicated on the need for the US to appease its enemies at the expense of its allies – first and foremost Israel. It was also based on the State Department’s long-held assumption that the US should align its policies with Europe. Given his convictions, Obama could advance his agenda in harmony with the State Department.

During Obama’s tenure, US allies and enemies alike were conditioned to believe that the US would not challenge them and that the State Department controlled US foreign policy. The Europeans came to believe that despite their military and economic dependence on the US, it was the US that had to take their policies into account when it fashioned its foreign policies – and not the other way around. This was certainly the case in the Middle East where Obama eagerly joined them in appeasing Iran and turning the screws on Israel.

As for America’s enemies, Obama and his State Department made it clear to the North Koreans and Iranians that American threats were a joke. The US would do nothing to seriously challenge them. And in the interests of appeasing them, the US was willing to sell out all of its allies.

With this track record, it was clear that Trump would need to take dramatic action to show US allies and enemies alike that the rules of the game had changed in Washington.

Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem did the job.

By recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in defiance of Europe and the Arabs and in the course of wresting control of foreign policy from Europe, Trump showed US allies and enemies alike that he is in charge. And he is willing to act even when doing so provokes US enemies to threaten retaliation, when he believes that his action advances US interests.

Trump’s move wasn’t merely strategically brilliant. It was also a political masterstroke.

Consider the liberal Union for Reform Judaism’s contradictory responses to his recognition of Jerusalem. In the lead-up to Trump’s declaration, URJ President Rick Jacobs condemned Trump’s anticipated move which he claimed would harm chances for peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

Jacobs’s statement – which was supported by key groups within the Reform movement – effectively divorced Reform Judaism from Zionism. By giving the PLO a veto over Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem, Jacobs said that the Reform movement thinks PLO claims to Jerusalem are stronger than Jewish claims.

This self-evidently anti-Zionist position apparently didn’t go down well with the Reform rank and file. Because less than 24 hours after Trump gave his speech, the URJ issued a new statement praising Trump’s move.

And the URJ leaders aren’t the only ones with egg on their face.

Trump risked political support in the opinion polls by deepening US support for Israel in the face of strident opposition from the Democrats, the State Department, the media, the Europeans and the Arabs because he believed it was the right thing to do.

And as it works out, it was also an astute, if incredibly gutsy political move.

By standing up to the Democrats who just months ago called for him to take the very actions he took, but now opposed them because it was Trump adopting them, Trump exposed the likes of Booker and Feinstein as hypocritical opportunists. At the same time, he took ownership of a policy of supporting Israel that enjoys broad and deep public support.

To sum up then, by recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Trump made clear that US support for Israel is not conditioned on anything. Israel, the Jewish state, is supported by the US because it deserves US support as an allied democracy.

Trump strengthened himself against his political opponents by taking ownership of a deeply popular foreign policy position.

He took control of US foreign policy from a State Department that opposes his policies. He made reality, rather than the defiance of reality, the foundation of US Middle East policy.

He put US allies and enemies on notice that he is calling the shots in US foreign policy. And he took a large step toward restoring US credibility as a superpower.

Oh, and he accomplished all of these things without spending a dime.

For his gift to Israel, Trump now enters the pantheon of Israel’s friends in the annals of Jewish history.

For his gifts to America he has taken his place among the most astute American statesmen.

And for his political and economic mastery, he enters the ranks of the geniuses of American political history. 

Caroline Glick


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Islamist Regimes Take Over UNESCO - Giulio Meotti

by Giulio Meotti

"UNESCO has been hijacked and abused as a tool for the persecution of Israel and the Jewish people" — Carmel Shama Hacohen, Israel's ambassador to UNESCO.

  • The UN agency is currently dominated by the most oppressive regimes on education and culture. There is China, which recently let writer, poet and Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo die an agonizing death in prison, where he was serving an 11-year jail sentence for his support of human rights and democracy. Then there is Iran, where a dean of journalism, Siamak Pourzand, committed suicide to avoid more persecution by the regime.
  • "UNESCO has been hijacked and abused as a tool for the persecution of Israel and the Jewish people, while concocting fake facts and fake history, meant to... rewrite global history." — Carmel Shama Hacohen, Israel's ambassador to UNESCO.
  • If UNESCO is really serious about reforming itself, it should immediately issue a statement against the Islamization of Turkey's Hagia Sophia Cathedral, a UN World Heritage Site.
Hit by the departure of the United States and Israel, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) recently welcomed its new Director-General, former French Minister of Culture Audrey Azoulay. Those who care about cultural diversity and Western civilization hailed her election, because the representative of Qatar's Islamist regime had come close to winning UNESCO's leadership race. But the real problem is that UNESCO has been abandoned to Islamist dictatorships. A battle to save the organization has begun.

Among the critics of UNESCO there is a tendency to dismiss this agency as "irrelevant". Yet, so long as UNESCO exists, the West cannot allow repressive regimes to dominate the world's highest body supposedly in charge of culture, science and education. Richard Hoggart, the British scholar who served as UNESCO's assistant director general from 1970 to 1977, once asked: "Should Unesco Survive?".

The UN agency is currently dominated by the most oppressive regimes in regard to education and culture. There is China, which in July let writer, poet and Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo die an agonizing death in prison, where he was serving an 11-year jail sentence for his support of human rights and democracy. Then there is Iran, where a dean of journalism, Siamak Pourzand, committed suicide to avoid more persecution by the regime. Last week, the assistant director for Education of UNESCO, Qian Tang, was in Iran to advance "cultural cooperation" with the Islamic Republic, but the issue of cultural freedom in the Iran was not even raised by the envoy of the UN agency. There is also Pakistan, a country that has sentenced to death essentially for being a Christian mother of five, Asia Bibi, whose condition has never even been questioned by UNESCO. There is Qatar, where a poet, Rashid at Ajami, was sentenced to three years in prison for a poem critical of the emir Hamad bin Khalifa at Thani.

Irina Bokova, then Director-General of UNESCO, is pictured speaking at China's official Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, on May 14, 2017. Two months later, the Chinese government let writer, poet and Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo die an agonizing death in prison, where he was serving an 11-year jail sentence for his support of human rights and democracy. (Photo by Mark Schiefelbein - Pool/Getty Images)

UNESCO has become a grotesque forum, hosting shows such as that orchestrated by Cuba. Last June, Cuba complained of a minute of silence for Holocaust victims, but was able to hold another one for the Palestinians. At the opening of UNESCO's 39th General Conference in Paris, the United Arab Emirates' delegation placed a box containing a medal on the desk of each foreign delegation in honor of the UAE having sponsored the renovation of the conference hall. No box, however, was placed on the desk of Israel's ambassador to UNESCO, Carmel Shama-Hacohen. These farces are nothing new at UNESCO. And they must end. The UN agency cannot allow the "uncivilized regimes", as Shama-Hacohen called them, to continue to bully and vandalize Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East.

Islamic regimes launched a takeover bid for UNESCO by investing massive financial resources and political lobbying at the UN cultural agency. Qatar, the wealthiest state in the world per capita, provided extremely generous financial support. That is why a Qatari representative, the former Minister of Culture Hamad bin Abdulaziz al Kawari, for days led the recent race for the leadership of UNESCO. The Simon Wiesenthal Center charged Qatar with bribing countries to win votes for the UN agency post. The Wiesenthal Center then launched an appeal to prevent Iran from becoming the head of UNESCO's executive board. Meanwhile, Turkey, another country with an Islamist regime that bullies culture and freedom, joined the executive board.

This "lobbying" has enabled those Islamic countries to form the most powerful bloc at UNESCO. As Denis MacEoin has previously explained:
"Of UNESCO's 195 member states, 35 are fully Islamic nations, another 21 are members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, and four are OIC observer states. That makes 60 who represent a bloc favourable to Muslim-inspired resolutions."
Qatar has been pivotal in sponsoring anti-Semitic resolutions. There was UNESCO's resolution denying Jewish history in Jerusalem, Islamizing historically Biblical holy sites by magic wand legerdemain, as Islam did not even exist until 600 years later. In a speech to the UNESCO General Assembly last week, Israel's ambassador to UNESCO Carmel Shama Hacohen said :
"UNESCO has been hijacked and abused as a tool for the persecution of Israel and the Jewish people, while concocting fake facts and fake history, meant to erase our history in Jerusalem and rewrite global history."
The Islamists' takeover of the agency does not affect only Israel. It undermines the universal noble goal of this UN agency, which should be the protection of cultural diversity, especially where it is endangered.

The Preamble of UNESCO's Constitution says: "Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defenses of peace must be constructed". UNESCO is knowingly betraying its own message. It is allowing regimes that massacre the minds of men to take over the UN agency that claims to be precisely in charge of "defenses of peace".

Last March, UNESCO's then Director-General, Irina Bokova, expressed appreciation for Qatar's support with a $2 million loan as part of a commitment by the Qatari authorities to donate $10 million to UNESCO. UNESCO's headquarter in Paris hosted a forum sponsored by Saudi Arabia on "cultural and religious diversity". It was a capitulation to barbarism; Saudi Arabia tortures bloggers such as Raif Badawi, sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in prison. UNESCO also held a three-day event entitled "Saudi Cultural Days" with Saudi art, food, customs and dances. Saudi King Abdallah Ibn Abdul Aziz donated $20 million to the UNESCO Emergency Fund. Donations to UNESCO have been promised by other Islamic countries, such as Algeria, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Qatar and Turkey.

The United Arab Emirates gave $6 million to UNESCO, while Kuwait gave $5 million. UNESCO now hosts the presentation of books such as The Foundations of Islam along with ISESCO, the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, whose director Abdulaziz Othman Altwaijri met Flavia Schlegel, assistant director general of UNESCO, to advance the cooperation between the two agencies.

At its headquarters in Paris, UNESCO also promoted a project, "Fighting Islamophobia through Education". As the French author Pascal Bruckner explained:
"The concept of Islamophobia masks the reality of the offensive, led by the Salafists, Wahhabis, and Muslim Brotherhood in Europe and North America, to re-Islamize Muslim communities — a prelude, they hope, to Islamizing the entire Western world."
Under UNESCO's previous Director-General Irina Bokova, the organization allowed the "State of Palestine" to join as a member, despite its not being a state and despite the Palestinians' clear failure to protect holy sites. Palestinians destroyed the Jewish holy shrine of Joseph's Tomb and attacked the holy site known as Rachel's Tomb, while Palestinian terrorists invaded the Christian holy site of Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity. UNESCO also kept silent when Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist terror group governing Gaza, destroyed the ancient Anthedon Harbor, which includes the ruins of a Roman temple and archaeological remains from the Persian, Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine eras.
UNESCO's concern for "endangered sites" -- a travesty of language used by these regimes to mask the Islamization of Hebron's Jewish cemeteries at the UN -- quickly disappears when it comes to Christian churches in the Islamic world. Hagia Sophia, the great cathedral of Christianity in Istanbul, was re-Islamized by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The muezzin's call to prayer resounded for the first time in 85 years since the country's former leader, Ataturk, turned the cathedral into a museum. If UNESCO is really serious about reforming itself, it should immediately issue a statement against the Islamization of Hagia Sophia, a UN World Heritage Site.

Novelist and filmmaker Zulfu Livaneli, Turkey's goodwill ambassador to the UNESCO, resigned in 2016; he accused the UN agency of hypocrisy for ignoring the destruction of a heritage site in Diyarbakir during clashes between the Turkish army and militants in his country's mainly Kurdish southeast. "To pontificate on peace while remaining silent against such violations is a contradiction of the fundamental ideals of UNESCO," said Livaneli, who had held the goodwill post to promote UNESCO values since 1996. More officials and personalities should take the same position protesting against UNESCO's silence on many other destructions.

New UNESCO chief Azoulay said last week that the US "empty chair" cannot last. The American boycott, however, is not a matter of time, but of substance. The US and Israeli boycott will last until UNESCO returns to its original mission.

When Pablo Picasso painted the famous frescoes at UNESCO's headquarter at Place de Fontenoy in Paris, UNESCO's founding fathers dreamed of the rebirth of Western culture after the horrors of the Holocaust and Nazism. Now the West, intimidated by physical terror and political ransom, is allowing UNESCO to be seized by regimes that hang dissidents, lash women, execute gays, imprison Christians and leave their own people illiterate.

When did the West cynically decide that education and culture were worth less than a barrel of oil?

Giulio Meotti, Cultural Editor for Il Foglio, is an Italian journalist and author.


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Palestinian agitators embarrass selves with puny turnout for ‘day of rage’ over Jerusalem embassy move - Thomas Lifson

by Thomas Lifson

Those “experts” who long have warned of “violent chaos” if the US moves its embassy to Jerusalem have been exposed as a bunch of hysterical ninnies at best, in the age of Trump.

Those “experts” who long have warned of “violent chaos” if the US moves its embassy to Jerusalem have been exposed as a bunch of hysterical ninnies at best, in the Age of Trump. The fury of the “Arab street,” the purported seething anger over America recognizing the reality that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital, is a chimera in the era of Iran, ISIS, and a booming high-tech Israel in a de facto alliance with a reformist Saudi monarch.

To be sure, the leadership of Hamas, Hezb’allah and the Palestinian Authority need there to be violence, and have the resources to produce some. But all they could come up with were comparatively puny riots on Friday – after Arabs went to mosques and heard fiery sermons. The violence afterward was just vicious enough to provoke an Israeli response and produce scary photo-ops for CNN and the rest:

In fact, there was no spontaneous violence directly after President Trump announced the embassy move, as would happen if there really were seething anger. You see, it was raining then, so naturally, people stayed indoors, because nothing says rage quite like an unwillingness to get a little wet. It required planning, and urging, and maybe a little pressure in order to produce a pitifully small turnout in the West Bank and Gaza:

CNN reports on the scale of ginned-up gatherings:
An Israeli army statement said what it called violent riots had broken out in about 30 locations across the West Bank and Gaza. The main disturbances in the West Bank were in Hebron, Al-Arroub, Tulkarm, Ramallah, Qalqilya and Nablus.
About 3,000 protesters were involved in the West Bank unrest, with 28 people arrested and about 65 injured, it said.
In Gaza, about 4,500 Palestinians were demonstrating at six locations along the border with Israel, the army said, with protesters rolling burning tires and throwing rocks at IDF soldiers.
"IDF soldiers are responding with riot dispersal means," the military said.
Population figures for the West Bank and Gaza are disputed (like everything related to the Palestinians’ claims), but one reasonable estimate reported in left-leaning Haaretz has 2,657,029 Palestinians in the West Bank, and 1.7 million in Gaza.

That means that just over one-tenth of one percent of West Bank Palestinians turned out for demonstrations – after a day of cajoling by Palestinian Authority agitators. In Gaza, where even more violent, radical, and fearsome Hamas presumably urged rioters on turnout more than doubled Gaza as a percentage: a massive two and half tenths of one percent of the population turned out. Both turnouts happened right after Friday mosque services and sermons. 

Hezb’allah doesn’t really need street demonstrations in the territory it dominates in Lebanon. It has a military force to use, and fired off some of its Iranian-supplied missiles on Israel. The object, once again, was photo ops -- pictures demonstrating poor Arabs suffering at the hands of mighty Israel, as the anticipated retaliatory air strikes at the missiles hit the civilians among whom Hez places its rockets, so as to use their suffering for propaganda.

Richard Baehr suspects that the Palestinian leadership “may fear that Trump will get ticked off and there will be real repercussions for inciting violence. They have feared nothing from prior presidents on violence related to this particular conflict.” If he is correct, as I suspect, this means that President Trump has indeed changed the calculus of the Palestinians, letting them realize that their intransigence from now on has a cost. For decades, they have rejected any compromises because there have been only gains, not losses, when they escalate. Those days are over.

President Trump knows hardball negotiations, and feels no guilt at all at pressing for the interests of the United States and its allies. Now that the world is seeing the brand-new American posture, we can expect the behavior of our foes to change. I am not yet “tired of winning” and I expect more gains to be made in the Middle East over the next three years than have been made in the last three decades. No less than Osama bin Laden noted that when people see a “strong horse” they naturally are attracted. 

Thomas Lifson


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A bad week for the media - Rick Moran

by Rick Moran

Several major media meltdowns in the last few days.

It's been a week to forget for the national media. Besides the usual partisan, biased, and hysterically exaggerated reporting, there were some major errors of basic facts that led to one reporter being suspended without pay, and four other media organizations being forced to issue embarrassing and sheepish corrections. 

We covered the latest media misstep here - a CNN "bombshell" report that turned out to be a nothingburger. But there were several other careless errors that led to cries of "fake news" across the internet.

In today's hyperpolarized world, "fake news" has become a refrain to describe stories that observers on both sides of the spectrum decide that they don't like. These reporting issues by esteemed media organizations give credence to that ignorance, which further damages the value of insightful, impactful reporting — especially when it comes to one of the biggest, most polarizing stories of our political age: the Russia probe.
  1. Flynn's testimony: Last Friday, ABC News reported that former national security advisor Michael Flynn was prepared to testify that President Trump, while still a candidate, directed him to contact Russian officials. But later in the day, the network issued a "clarification" that the direction came when Trump was president-elect. That changed the impact of the story entirely as it's a common occurrence for presidential transition teams to reach out to foreign governments.
  2. Deutsche Bank subpoena: Reuters and Bloomberg both reported on Tuesday that Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation had subpoenaed Deutsche Bank for information on accounts relating to President Trump and his family members — seemingly confirming that Mueller had expanded his probe to investigate the president's financial dealings. The WSJ defused that bombshell in a follow-up report stating that the subpoenas actually dealt with "people or entities close to Mr. Trump."
  3. WikiLeaks emails: CNN reported this morning that senior Trump campaign officials, including Trump himself, received an email from an unknown sender on September 4, 2016 that linked them to what could have been unreleased WikiLeaks documents. WaPo issued their own report later in the afternoon that the email was actually sent on September 14 — and linked to a trove of documents that WikiLeaks had publicly released a day earlier.
And that's just reporting on the Russia probe. Fox News had its own brush with fake news:
Beverly Young Nelson has accused the Repub lican Senate nominee of sexually assaulting her nearly 40 years ago when she was 16 years old.
She told Tom Llamas, of ABC News, in a Friday interview that she made notes underneath Moore's entry.
“Beverly, he signed your yearbook?” Llamas asked.

“He did sign it,” Nelson replied.

“And you made some notes underneath?” Llamas followed.

“Yes,” she confirmed.

A since-deleted tweet on the official Fox News twitter account had read, “BREAKING NEWS: Roy Moore accuser admits she forged part of yearbook inscription attributed to Alabama senate candidate.”

Fox News has since updated the story with a note at the bottom of the piece while removing any references to “forgery” in it.

"An update to this story reflects that Beverly Young Nelson admits writing what ABC News characterized as 'notes' beneath what she says is Roy Moore’s signature, and that the only notes below the signature are the date and location.
"Furthermore, the headline on [the] story now specifies that Nelson admits to writing part of the inscription herself, rather than forging part of it."
Adding the date and location below pervert Moore's creepy inscription and signature is not "forging" anything. But Moore is desperate to discredit Nelson, who has accused the former DA of sexual assault.

An update to the Fox story reflected that:
An update to this story reflects that Beverly Young Nelson admits writing what ABC News characterized as “notes” beneath what she says is Roy Moore’s signature, and that the only notes below the signature are the date and location. Furthermore, the headline on story now specifies that Nelson admits to writing part of the inscription herself, rather than forging part of it.
Regardless of what Moore wrote or what Nelson wrote there is the fundamental question: what is a 30 something man writing anything in a teenage girl's yearbook? Creepy.

We live in a media age where "facts" no longer drive the story, but rather the story drives the "facts." Reporters pick and choose which "facts" fit their narrative and if they don't conform to their bias, they are conveniently left out, or in the cases above, altered. Former Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan famously said "You are entitled to your opinion. But you are not entitled to your own facts."

That's a lesson that should be hammered into the consciousness contemporary "journalists."

Rick Moran


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Reading Palestinian Responses to Trump’s Jerusalem Declaration - Prof. Hillel Frisch

by Prof. Hillel Frisch

The Palestinian silent majority is tired of sacrificing their sons on behalf of these warring factions.

BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 678, December 8, 2017

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The PA and Hamas are hopeful that unorganized Palestinian youth will mobilize against President Trump’s declaration acknowledging that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. A groundswell from the streets would preclude the necessity for the two organizations to actively take the lead. However, the readers of al-Quds, the Palestinian silent majority, are loath to sacrifice their sons on behalf of the warring factions. 

On December 6, 2017, President Donald Trump announced that the US is officially recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. A quick read of the major Palestinian media outlets reveals what the various Palestinian actors consider the appropriate response.

The picture is reminiscent of the three bowls of soup in the tale “Goldilocks and the Three Bears.” There was a call for a fierce, blood-curdling response (hot), an expression of hope that the announcement will trigger a third intifada (warm, though really only a few degrees shy of the first response), and a hope that there will be no popular response (cold).

The “warm” response appeared in al-Hayat al-Jadida, the newspaper set up by the Palestinian Authority (PA), which strictly expresses the position of Mahmoud Abbas. The PA, remember, is obligated by the various accords signed during the Oslo peace process to behave peacefully and to refrain from any form of incitement. There is nothing peaceful in the headline that appeared in the PA mouthpiece: “Tension, a Third Intifada Likely to Break Out the Moment Trump Declares Jerusalem the Capital of Israel.”

The accompanying photo (immediately below) reflects the suggestion that while the PA is not spelling out its outright support for such an outcome, the reader is welcome to read between the lines.

Photo credit: al-Hayat al-Jadida

No such restraint characterizes the Hamas mouthpiece,, which published the photo below with the caption “A Call to Arms for the Sake of Jerusalem.” Again, the photo matches the sentiment in the headline. Whereas the photo chosen by the PA mouthpiece can be construed (with difficulty) as defensive, Hamas chose an actively violent throwing of rocks.

Photo credit:

The most important element in the Hamas article is what was left unsaid.

The reported “days of rage” that the Palestinian factions are planning for the days ahead will consist, Hamas hopes, of mass violent protests. There is no mention of plans by Hamas leadership to initiate a fourth round of fighting between Hamas and Israel through the launching of missiles or tunnel raids, which is naturally good news from an Israeli perspective. The support for a groundswell of violence as expressed in the Hamas outlet, and the accompanying photo, suggest that the organization prefers to be let off the hook. It will likely do very little directly against the declaration.

In al-Quds, which is by far the most widely read Palestinian news site, there is no allusion to popular protest whatsoever. Instead, the main headlines address expected stormy weather in Jerusalem, several statements by UN and EU officials opposed to the US decision, and the charging of several individuals in Saudi Arabia with corruption.

Al-Quds represents the business class – i.e., the Palestinian silent majority – in Jerusalem and the West Bank. Obviously, the position it takes on the subject, declaratively in support of the PA’s hoped-for opposition but structuring its front page to minimize the urgency of the issue, is more in keeping with the views of the Israeli authorities. They too hope the coming storm turns out to be meteorological, not metaphorical.

The wisdom lies of course with al-Quds. PA officials and Hamas might want Arab youngsters to violently oppose the declaration, but they clearly realize that the potential political gains of such violence will be trivial compared to the costs in lives and injury. Israel will easily muster the police and army units needed to quell any popular disturbances, and it is unlikely that such violence will compel President Trump to rescind his decision.

This understanding is the common denominator motivating the responses of the political actors standing behind the media outlets al-Hayat al-Jadida,, and al-Quds. The only difference is that the PA and Hamas hope Palestinian youth will do their bidding without risking their own bureaucratic enterprises. But they might not get their wish. The Palestinian silent majority is tired of sacrificing their sons on behalf of these warring factions.

BESA Center Perspectives Papers are published through the generosity of the Greg Rosshandler Family

Prof. Hillel Frisch is a professor of political studies and Middle East studies at Bar-Ilan University and a senior research associate at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies.


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Welcome to the Hell Hole that is Brussels - Drieu Godefridi

by Drieu Godefridi

...where socialism, Islamism, riots and looting are the new normal.

  • Last month alone in Brussels, there were three separate outbreaks of rioting and looting on a major scale.
  • If you penetrate the thick cloud of professional indignation to scrutinize the reality of the "capital of Europe", what you see in many respects is actually a hell hole, one where socialism, Islamism, riots and looting are the new normal.
When then-candidate Donald Trump noted in January 2016 that, thanks to mass immigration, Brussels was turning into a hell hole, Belgian and European politicians presented a united front at the (media) barricades: How dare he say such a thing? Brussels, capital of the European Union, the very quintessence of the post-modern world, the avant-garde of the coming new "global civilization," a hell hole? Of course assimilating newcomers is not always easy, and there may be friction from time to time. But never mind, they said: Trump is a buffoon, and anyway, he has zero chance of getting elected. Such were the thoughts of those avid readers of The New York Times International Edition and regular watchers of CNN International.

However, Donald Trump, in his unmistakable, brash style, was quite simply right: Brussels is rapidly descending into chaos and anarchy. Exactly two months after that dramatic Trumpism, Brussels was eviscerated by a horrific Islamic terror attack that left 32 people dead. And that was only the tip of the monstrous iceberg that has built up over three decades of mass immigration and socialist madness.

Last month alone in Brussels, there were three separate outbreaks of rioting and looting on a major scale.

First, there was the qualification of the Moroccan team to the soccer World Cup: between 300 and 500 "youths" of foreign origin took to the streets of Brussels to "celebrate" the event in their own way, looting dozens of shops in the historical center of Brussels, wreaking havoc in the deserted avenues of the "capital of civilization" and, during their riot, injuring 22 police officers.

Riot police, backed by a water cannon, attempt to push back rioters in the center of Brussels, Belgium, on November 12. Hundreds of "youths" of foreign origin "celebrated" the World Cup qualification of Morocco's soccer team by rioting and injuring 22 police officers. (Image source: Ruptly video screenshot)

Three days later, a social media rap music star nicknamed "Vargasss 92," who is a French citizen of foreign origin, decided to organize another unauthorized "celebration" in the center of Brussels, which quickly turned into another riot. Again, shops were destroyed and people assaulted for no other reason than being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Short clips of the event streamed onto the social networks, showing the world (and Belgians) the true face of Brussels without the politicians' makeover. No wonder the European political elite hate social media from the depths of their hearts; they prefer the sanitized (and, in both France and francophone Belgium, heavily subsidized) traditional press.

Finally, on November 25, the socialist authorities in charge of the City of Brussels had the bright idea of authorizing a demonstration against slavery in Libya, which quickly descended into yet another riot: shops were destroyed, cars set on fire, 71 people arrested.

This lawlessness, with not even the remotest political justification, is the new normal in Brussels. Politicians may not like that fact, which is the result of their lamentable failure, but it is nonetheless a massive and unavoidable fact. The new Brussels is characterized by riots and looting by people of foreign origin, as well as the ongoing heavily-armed military presence in the streets of Brussels, in place since March 22, 2016, the day that European Islamists murdered 32 and wounded 340 people in the worst-ever terrorist attack in Belgium.

One may wonder why these fine Belgian soldiers patrolling the streets do nothing to stop the rioters. For the simple reason that it is outside of their remit; should a soldier actually hurt a looter, he would probably be publicly chastised, pilloried by the media, put on trial and dishonorably discharged.

It would be funny if it were not so serious. After the first two recent riots, Belgian state television (RTBF) organized a debate with politicians and pundits from Brussels. Among the participants was Senator Alain Destexhe, from the center-right Reformist Movement (the party of Belgium's Prime Minister).

Destexhe is an interesting figure in Belgian politics. In French-speaking Belgium, he has been among the few to say publicly that the mass-immigration Belgians are inflicting upon themselves is unsustainable, that Islam may not be such a peaceful religion, and that school classes in which 90% of the children are of foreign origin, who do not speak French or Dutch at home, are not a recipe for success. Such may be taken as a given in much of the Western world, but in the French-speaking part of Belgium, heavily influenced by the French worldview, he was considered right-wing, if not an extremist, a racist, and other such niceties the Left often utters.

When, during this debate, Destexhe tried to make his point -- that there is a connection between the non-integration of many people of foreign origin in Brussels and the decades-long high level of immigration -- the moderator literally yelled at him that "Migration is not the subject, Monsieur Destexhe! MIGRATION IS NOT THE SUBJECT, STOP!", before giving the word to a "slam poet", a young woman who explained that the problem was that women wearing the Islamic veil (such as herself) do not feel welcome in Brussels. The audience was then instructed to applaud her. Also on the set was a Green Party politician who affirmed that "nobody knows the origin of the rioters." Hint: they were, in their own idiosyncratic way, "celebrating" Morocco's victory. A great moment of Belgian surrealism? No, just a typical political "debate" in French-speaking Belgium, except that normally Destexhe is not invited.

The picture would not be complete without mentioning that the very night that the first riot began, November 11, an association called MRAX (Mouvement contre le racisme, l'antisémitisme et la xénophobie) published on its Facebook page an appeal to report any case of "police provocation" or "police violence". The results of the riot? 22 police officers hurt, zero arrests. MRAX is not only a bunch of leftist Islamist sympathizers, they are heavily financed by taxpayers. Are movements from the right also financed by taxpayers? Simply put: No. In Brussels, the unemployment rate is a staggering 16.9%, a mind-boggling 90% of those on welfare have foreign origins, and although taxes are among the highest in the world, the public coffers are nonetheless bleeding. A sad snapshot of yet another socialist failure.

But there is hope. Brussels is not only Molenbeek and rioting, it has a robust tradition of entrepreneurship, and Belgium's federal government, particularly its Flemish component, is extremely conscious of the challenges that need facing. But nothing is going to change if people do not recognize that in many respects Brussels has, from the opulent conservative and "bourgeois" city that it was 25 years ago, morphed into a hell hole.

Ironically, what Brussels now obviously needs is another Donald Trump.

Drieu Godefridi, a classical-liberal Belgian author, is the founder of the l'Institut Hayek in Brussels. He has a PhD in Philosophy from the Sorbonne in Paris and also heads investments in European companies.


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