Saturday, April 14, 2018

A 'Goldilocks' air strike on Syria - Thomas Lifson

by Thomas Lifson

Not too much, not too little, just right.  And three important messages delivered.  This is not just about Syria, not at all.

As the war drums were being beaten for an attack on Syria in response to its apparent use of chlorine gas, I shared some of the fears of such critics as Tucker Carlson and Michael Savage – that we were being led into a possible war that could end up a quagmire. My greatest reservation was the possibility of toppling Assad and reaping another Libya or Iraq, with even worse enemies taking control. And for all the brutality of the Assad regime, it has prevented wholesale religious massacres in a multi-religion state.

But so far, the strike on three targets in Syria appears to have been not too much, not too little, but just right to deliver the necessary message.

Here is the official Pentagon map of the targets:

And just what is that message, you may reasonably wonder? Actually, it includes, but far exceeds, what the Pentagon is saying in a news conference as I write and what other official spokesmen will admit to.

The first message is that the use of chemical weapons will not be tolerated. The huge "red line" blunder of Obama has been corrected again. This is more than a do-gooder concern for humanity, even though that is what is being said, for the most part. If these weapons are used and not punished, they will used again and again. Not only can terrorists gain access by capturing them in Syria, but chlorine is not that hard to fabricate. A poison gas attack on Israel or the United States is not out of the question.

But there are other messages being delivered. The second one is to Russia.

It is obvious that the timing of the attack enabled Russia to pull its naval fleet from the Syrian port of Tartus, where Russia has its sole overseas naval base. The message was that the U.S. does not want war and will not knowingly attack Russia unless we are attacked by it. But Russian allies and puppets get no such protection. According to the news conference underway now, Russia was given no special warning of last night's attack. But Russia could read the tea leaves. And now we know how quickly Russia can evacuate its naval (and other) facilities, and no doubt have learned a lot of other precious data from our electronic and satellite monitoring of the Russians' responses to a pending attack.

The third message is to Kim Jong-un and the mullahs of Tehran: that vaunted Russian air defense capability you have purchased for precious hard currency isn't going to do you any good. The B-1 bombers that carried out part of the mission were not even detected, or if they were, the attacks on them were ineffective.

The pending summit between the POTUS and Kim Jong-un probably is of even greater importance than Assad's chemical weapons folly. And Kim now knows that President Trump can and will use American weaponry to destroy what he wishes to destroy, and Russia is powerless to prevent it.
Of course, in war, the enemy has a say, so matters still could turn south. But so far, the needle has been threaded, and the worst fears of critics are unrealized.

Thomas Lifson


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Pentagon Boasts US Coalition Strikes Crippling Syria's Chemical Weapons Ability - Asharq al-Awsat

by Asharq al-Awsat

"These strikes were justified, legitimate and proportionate response to the Syrian regime's continued use of chemical weapons on its own people," Chief Pentagon spokesperson Dana White said Saturday.

The US Navy guided-missile cruiser USS Monterey fires a Tomahawk land attack missile April 14, 2018. US Navy/Lt. j.g Matthew Daniels/Handout via REUTERS

Washington- Asharq Al Awsat 
The Pentagon said on Saturday that US Coalition strikes in Syria overnight had successfully hit every target and were aimed to deliver an unambiguous signal to the Syrian regime and deter the future use of chemical weapons.
The strikes significantly crippled head of Syrian regime Bashar al-Assad’s ability to produce chemical weapons, officials told reporters at a briefing, and the Pentagon was not aware of any civilian casualties resulting from the strikes.

"These strikes were justified, legitimate and proportionate response to the Syrian regime's continued use of chemical weapons on its own people," Chief Pentagon spokesperson Dana White said Saturday.

"This operation was carefully orchestrated and methodically planned to minimize potential collateral damage. I can assure you we took every measure and precaution to strike only what we targeted and we successfully hit every target."

At approximately 9 p.m. EST time Friday, the United States, Britain, and France pounded Syria in a coordinated air strike, in response to a chemical weapons attack that killed approximately 60 people last week. The US-led coalition is being called the biggest intervention in Syria's civil war by Western powers since the conflict began in 2011.

Speaking alongside White, US Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, Director of the Joint Staff, provided details of the overnight military operation.

McKenzie described the strikes as precise, overwhelming and effective.

"We are still conducting a more detailed damage assessment, but initial indications, are that we accomplished our military objectives without material interference from Syria," he added.

Though some of Syria’s chemical weapons infrastructure was still left, “I think we’ve dealt them a severe blow,” McKenzie said, adding it would set the program back for years.

Despite severely damaging the infrastructure with the strikes, McKenzie said the Pentagon would not rule out that the Assad regime still had the capability to use such weapons again.

“I would say there’s still a residual element of the Syrian program that’s out there,” he said. “I’m not going to say that they’re going to be unable to continue to conduct a chemical attack in the future. I suspect, however, they’ll think long and hard about it.”

Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump praised Western air strikes against the Syrian regime on Saturday as "perfectly executed", and added "Mission Accomplished."

"A perfectly executed strike last night. Thank you to France and the United Kingdom for their wisdom and the power of their fine Military. Could not have had a better result. Mission Accomplished!" Trump said in a Twitter post.

Asharq al-Awsat


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PM Netanyahu: Full support for Trump's decision - Arutz Sheva Staff

by Arutz Sheva Staff

PM Netanyahu says Israel's support, Pres. Trump's resolve, are 'unchanged,' slams Pres. Assad's 'wanton disregard' for international law.

Binyamin Netanyahu
Binyamin Netanyahu
Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Saturday evening expressed support for US President Donald Trump's decision to attack Syrian targets.

"A year ago, I declared Israel’s full support for President Trump’s decision to take a stand against the use and spread of chemical weapons," Netanyahu said. "President Trump’s resolve and Israel’s support remain unchanged."

"Early this morning, under American leadership, the United States, France and the United Kingdom demonstrated that their commitment is not limited to proclamations of principle.

"It should be clear to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad that his reckless efforts to acquire and use weapons of mass destruction, his wanton disregard for international law and his provision of a forward base for Iran and its proxies endanger Syria."

Friday's strike included 8 pre-selected targets. According to Syrian media, three people were injured in an attack on a security facility in Homs.

Arutz Sheva Staff


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IDF reveals: Iranian drone which infiltrated Israel was armed with explosives - Elad Benari

by Elad Benari

IDF reveals that Iranian drone which infiltrated Israel in February was tasked with attacking Israel.

The IDF revealed on Friday evening that the Iranian drone which infiltrated Israel in February was armed with explosives.

“After flight path analysis and an operational and intelligence-based investigation of the Iranian UAV that infiltrated Israeli airspace on February 10, 2018, the IDF concluded that the Iranian UAV was armed with explosives and was tasked to attack Israel,” said the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit.

“By intercepting the Iranian UAV, IAF combat helicopters prevented the attack Iran had hoped to carry out in Israel. The UAV was identified and tracked by Israeli defense systems until its destruction, effectively eliminating any threat the Iranian UAV posed,” it added.

The Iranian drone which entered Israeli airspace from Syria remained in Israel for 1.5 minutes before the IAF shot it down.

Responding to the infiltration, Israel attacked the drone's command center. During the IAF operation, Syrian surface-to-air missiles downed an Israeli F-16I fighter jet.

Both pilots ejected, one suffering light injuries and the other seriously injured.

Elad Benari


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Is Jordan about to fall apart? - Dr. Mordechai Kedar

by Dr. Mordechai Kedar

Is Jordan the next destination for the "Arab Spring?" Demonstrations against the king have reached new levels.

Towards the end of  2010, when the "Arab Spring" erupted destabilizing goverrnments and social order in most of the Middle Eastern countries, questions began to be raised about the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and whether the tidal waves sweeping across the Arab world would reach its borders. So far, King Abdullah II has succeeded in stopping the destructive advance at the country's borders, although over the past seven years, several manifestations of support for ISIS were observed, mainly in Maan, in Sourthern Jordan, and in the Syrian-populated refugee camps up north.

The kingdom's intelligence directorate, the Mukhabarat, is the regime's main arm for maintaining control, but there are significant outside forces – the USA, Europe, Israel – who never cease to guard the kingdom from those who have undermined the foundations of law and order upon which the  modern world bases its existence. 

Israel, especially, sees the Jordanian Hashemit Kingdom as a buffer zone between the Jewish state and the general chaos characterizing its neighbors to the east – Iraq and Syria – and peace with Jordan is considered a strategic asset to be preserved at all costs, even if Israel has to pay for it with hard currency in relinquishing sovereignty over parts of Jerusalem. Every time Arab-Islamic violence erupts in Israel's capital, Israel gives in to the Jordanian dictates, agreed upon in the 1994 peace treaty, granting the kingdom the status of "Guardian of the holy places of Islam in Jerusalem." In giving in to Jordanian dictates, Israel is guided by the belief – or the fear – that if the king does not live up to his obligations on this issue, his entire monarchy could lose its legitimacy and collapse.

At this point, it is important to mention the ethnic makeup of Jordan's citizens (excluding the Syrian and Iraqi refugees). These are divided roughly and schematically into two populations: Bedouin and Palestinian, with the first making up about a quarter of the citizenry and the second the other three quarters. The Palestinians are of two types: Those who are dwell in the villages ("falakhim") and cities ("mdanim") of the "Small Fertile Crescent" stretching from the fertile parts of Jordan near Amman north to the Syrian border and east to Zarka, and those refugees and migrants who moved from the western bank of the Jordan River to its eastern bank from 1948 on.

In the Arab world there are vast cultural differences between rural and urban Bedouin, with each group looking down on the other. Both, however, consider the desert dwellers primitive and lower class and there are very few marriages between the groups. Ever since the establishment of the "Transjordan Emirates" in 1921, its rulers, Abdullah I, his grandson Hussein ibn Talel and Hussein's son Abdullah II, relied on the Bedouin to fill the ranks of intelligence, army and administrative positions. The Palestinians, routinely kept from filling any governmental or security posts – were directed to money-making areas and are actually the sector that forms the economic basis of the kingdom. They well recall the 1970 "Black September" when King Hussein massacred thousands of Palestinians who, led by Yasir Arafat, threatened his monarchy.

In order to bridge the gap caused by the bitter memories of this period, King Abdullah II married a woman of Palestinian origin, Rania Yassin. Does  this marriage really create a bridge between the population sectors or does it serve to prove the king's control – by means of his Bedouin cohorts – over the Palestinian public? This is a question whose answer lies in the eyes of the beholder: Outsiders see it as a positive step, while many Palestinians see it as a negative political ploy and even as a betrayal of their downtrodden ranks, seeing the queen as a collaborator.

The man in the street

For the past few years, especially since the "Arab Spring" began, the role of the man in the Arab street has become significant, with the masses gaining strength due to the voice, presence, influence and power they have on social media. Before the advent of the web, the media were in the hands of the government and broadcast only what the ruler agreed to and wanted to publicize. In past years, there were sometimes local protests, especially in the southern Bedouin city of Maan whose residents did not join the regime and who sometimes expressed support for ISIS. The government dealt with those protests behind the scenes, and they simply faded away. 

In  the early part of 2018, a new and previously unseen series of demonstrations began with slogans containing problematic content as far as the king was concerned. An important detail that should not be overlooked is that those using those expressions did not conceal their faces, meaning they were not afraid of the king or his security apparatus.

The immediate background to these protests is the economic deterioration in Jordan, stemming – among other things – from the decrease in economic support granted by other countries, mainly by the Gulf States.  The difficult situation is seen in higher prices for basic products, such as bread, new taxes on the agricultural sector (Palestinians), on imported cars and gasoline, along with higher taxes on hybrid cars that use less fuel, higher prices for electricity, surging unemployment due to the influx of Syrian and  Iraqi refugees – and a general feeling of helplessness in the face of close to 2 million refugees flooding the country and destroying its economy and the delicate  social fabric between its demographic components.

Many fear that the corrupt regime gives in to external pressures from the USA, Europe, the UN, and the International Monetary Fund because of the funds that find their way to the coffers of the heads of state and members of parliament. The parliament, meant to represent the citizenry and its interests, rubber stamps the annual budget, and is therefore viewed as collaborating with the government and the royal family.

At the recent protests in Dhiban, a village 45 miles south of Amman, some of the slogans heard (my additions in parentheses, M.K.) were: 

 "Why should we beat around the bush? The king is at fault! The regime is responsible!"
 "You who's writing the report (the informers): Tell the big boss - the little boss ( the crowd, scornfully): Change! Change! There will be change! There will be! We have decided and you the dealer (p*imp), will get hell from us"  

 "O, Allah the hero! We want to bring this treasonous p*imp to justice!"  

"O, people of Dhiban, we prefer death to humiliation (by the regime)" 

"Freedom, liberty, and to hell with the thieves"

"As for Ziad (identity unclear) and Ali (Ali al-Brizat, a Dhiban lawyer who was arrested in February of this year for taking part in a protest against rising prices and taxes.  Along with him, other activists in Carac, Salt and Hay al-Tafail,  were detained as well.)  They are free, whoever arrested them (the king) is a traitor, their jailor (the king) is addicted to gambling (a rumor about the king – note that Islam prohibits gambling)"

"This issue is not dinars (prices) but gambling addiction,"
"You play with our money, your wife (Queen Rania) has looted us."

"Where is this nation going?  Where is Jordan's money? Ho, those who protect the corrupt!"
"Shout at the top of your lungs: Death will come to you from Dhiban!"

"From Dhiban to  Amman: Listen here, President of Raadan Palace (the king): Why do you outlaw the protesters and protect the traitorous and corrupt?"

"Listen here, Majdi Yassin (the Queen's brother), you are going the way of Khaled Shahin (arrested for corruption)"

On March 12 of this year there were supposed to be "Tribal Loyalty Parades" in Jordan in honor of the king, but they drew very few participants. Cries of "Our fear has disappeared, the corrupted must leave", were heard even among the largest tribe in Jordan, Bani Hassan.

In the demonstration held in the city of Madaba on March 8th of this year, (former member of the Jordanian parliament who strongly criticized the government's economic policies) Ali al-sanid, shouted to the king: "Leave!" This is the same cry heard in the Egyptian anti-Mubarak demonstrations, the Libyan anti-Qaddafi protests, and in Syria against Bashar Assad, to name a few. 

" We have cancelled your free visa to our hearts, you image is destroyed, we have ejected your statue from within us, go, the game is over, your imaginary holiness is destroyed, the sails on your ship are ripped to shreds, the ship you purchased in order to drown its passengers, those who trusted you. You have turned them into slaves to your pleasure and caprices, thrown them mercilessly into life's sufferings. You fail every day and in every song sung against you in the streets, and your holy palaces collapse one after another."

"You have become the talk of the land! The public sues you retroactively for youf crimes against the people, unified into one stream against you, while you travel through a swamp of shame. Leave! You cannot continue to remain on the cadavers that our dreams have become! You deserted us defeated, worried and lost, destitute, living in penury, without the most basic of human necessities, you have made us hate and detest one another. Leave! Leave! you p*imp, before the country goes up in flames! Leave our homes and songs, we have no fear! Jordan has been desiccated (by poverty)! Leave! You have stolen everything and left the nation with nothing!"

"You have never kept your promises, stolen our dreams, murdered our hearts so that ou could stay happy! You have turned us into a repository for sadness, leave! You holiness is destroyed, you are  no longer sacred! You have oppressed us and cause us to suffer! Our souls, longing for peace, were disappointed, you have destroyed the pubic, you are the source of the problem and the thievery. Leave!  The country has become poor, the difficulties mount, thieves flourish, life is dismal and we have had our fill of your lies emanating from the power you hold."

The First Lady steals our possessions night and day (the crowd jeers), you act nice to the poor when there are cameras present and on television, but there  is a vast difference between he who dedicated his life to please the people (a reference to Abdullah's father, Hussein) and he who caused millions to suffer for his own power and money, building his dream empire on the backs of the public. Leave! This is the lullaby that will eulogize you on your way to the bottom heap of history (Leave!) This is what will be said, our throats will shout this tomorrow, you will be defeated and flee and there (in exile) you will see the total loss. You will leave and our curses will pursue you, the opportunists with whom you surrounded yourself with desert you, and you will find yourself dead in exile, with memories of yor power, without eternal glory."

"You will end your life searching for a moment of inner peace. Tomorrow and the coming days will obliterate you and you will disappear like a bad dream. The Jordanian people will succeed in curing its wounds and begin anew to live the good life with the most important thing of all: You, out of the picture." 

Despite all this, there are several comments that must be made:

The first is that the videos showing these protests are disseminated mainly by oppositional bodies, eager to replace the Jordanian regime. This does not mean they are not authentic, but that their dissemination has to be put in the  poitical context of an anti-regime struggle of opposition forces, both those in Jordan, such as the Muslim Brotherhood, and those in other countries where they are granted political asylum.

The second comment is that the regime is aware of these protests and of what is chanted there, and the king is not acting against them on purpose, so as to allow the people to let off steam. This way he has only to gain – he comes across a liberal and modern ruler to the West and to Jordanians, someone who respects the right to opinions and freedom of speech. He well knows the economic and political price he would be forced to pay if he became the image of a cruel silencer of opposition, like his neighbor to the north and erstwhile (at the start of the century) friend and colleague, Bashar Assad. 

The third comment is that there is a possibility, at least theoretically, that the demonstrations and chants are actually being funded by the regime in order to create an atmosphere of threatened instability, which will result in increased aid – principally, financial – from foreign states, both Arab and non-Arab, who fear the alternative to the king would be much worse than the present situation. In the Middle East, sometimes conspiracy theories are the reality.

Whatever the real reason for these demonstrations, Israel's intelligence forces and those of other countries, must expend manpower and resources to follow the developments in Jordan most closely. The world must not allow itself to be surprised again when the next Arab volcano erupts, this time in Jordan.

Translated from Hebrew by Rochel Sylvetsky, Op-ed  Editor Arutz Sheva. Protest slogans re-translated and/or copied from the videos posted on Youtube by the Jordanian Opposition Coalition.

اهانة ملك الاردن والملكة رانيا البونو في السلط 29 -3-2018
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Dr. Mordechai Kedar is a senior lecturer in the Department of Arabic at Bar-Ilan University. He served in IDF Military Intelligence for 25 years, specializing in Arab political discourse, Arab mass media, Islamic groups and the Syrian domestic arena. Thoroughly familiar with Arab media in real time, he is frequently interviewed on the various news programs in Israel.


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None of These People Deserves Our Trust Anymore - Tom Trinko

by Tom Trinko

It's time that conservatives, even the anti-Trump ones, acknowledge that pretty much everyone in DOJ and FBI leadership is a partisan

It's not that long ago that we were told that James Comey is an honest and unbiased individual. We now know that he's untrustworthy, dishonest, and partisan.

We know he's untrustworthy because he told Trump that Trump wasn't under investigation, but until he was forced to testify under oath before Congress, he refused to tell the media that Trump wasn't under investigation.

He's dishonest because he leaked information indicating that Trump had tried to obstruct justice, but then, when under oath, he admitted that Trump had not in fact ordered him to do anything wrong.

He's partisan because he is attacking Trump left and right while ensuring that Hillary Clinton got away with gross negligence in her handling of highly classified information.

Then we were told that Robert Mueller is a paragon of correctness and honesty. We all know how that worked out.

Now we're being told that the seizure of all of Trump's privileged communications with his lawyer must be based on strong evidence because Rod Rosenstein must have signed off on it.

Those same people – sadly, many supposed conservatives among them – are saying Rosenstein is trustworthy. But isn't that the same Rosenstein who authorized Mueller to investigate something after Mueller had already illegally investigated it?

Isn't that the same Rosenstein who has done nothing to keep Mueller focused on collusion in the election?

Isn't that the same Rosenstein who is allowing Mueller to drag on an investigation that was started based on Comey's dishonest leaks?

It's time that conservatives, even the anti-Trump ones, acknowledge that pretty much everyone in DOJ and FBI leadership is a partisan. Those who aren't Democrats first and civil servants second are Deep State actors first and civil servants second.

Our go-to assumption should be that Rosenstein is part of the Deep State cabal, which will do anything to get rid of Trump because Trump is an outsider, one of the common folk, not an elitist government club member.

Hence, our assumption should be that the raid on Trump's lawyer is not based on deep secret truths that are amazingly harmful to Trump but haven't been leaked to the NYT or WaPo. Instead, we should assume that like the FISA warrant to surveil the Trump campaign, this raid is based on nothing more than a desire to violate the president's constitutional rights in an attempt to find some dirt since these people haven't been able to find anything through the Mueller investigation.

As of now, the same FBI that used uncorroborated dirt from Russia paid for by Hillary to illegally spy on Trump and have access to pretty much everything Trump has said in confidence to his lawyer. Trump could have said non-criminal but embarrassing things, and now the only thing standing in front of that appearing in the NYT or WaPo is the ethical standards of Deep State employees.

When Alan Dershowitz says something is a grave violation of the Constitution, I think we should pause a second and ask ourselves whether we think it's more likely that he's unreliable or that Rosenstein, et al. are willing to do anything to nullify the last election and secure the power of the Democrats and the Deep State.

What we're seeing is the natural continuation of the slow coup the Democrats have been waging for decades. It started with the Supreme Court making law and cutting the people out of the process. It proceeded with the weaponization of the IRS and DOJ under Obama. It continues with federal judges declaring that they have veto power over everything Trump does, thereby abolishing any limits on judicial power and destroying the separation of powers, which is the core of our government.

In this latest phase, we're seeing the Deep State use fascist tactics to overturn an election that their candidate didn't win. 

Judicial activism has already stolen much of our freedom. If you doubt that, ask yourself why the biggest deal about a presidential candidate is whom he'll put on the Supreme Court.

If the Democrats and the Deep State get rid of Trump, our elections will be just as much of a sham as the "elections" in communist China or Russia. We will cease to be a free people and become serfs lorded over by the rich judges and the leftists elites.

We need to fight back, which will unfortunately require us to vote for the Republicans who let us down on immigration and Obamacare. Make no doubt about it: if the Republicans lose the House, the Democrats will impeach Trump and effectively make it clear that only Democrats, or McCain Republicans, need apply for the presidency in the future.

You can read more of Tom's rants at his blog, Conversations about the obvious, and feel free to follow him on Twitter.

Tom Trinko


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Israel and Anne Frank's Jewishness - Caroline Glick

by Caroline Glick

The effective merger of the New Israel Fund with the Anne Frank Foundation is the latest chapter in the theft of Anne Frank’s legacy, which began in the 1950s.

AnneFrank1940 crop

On the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day, the New Israel Fund announced it signed a partnership agreement with Anne Frank Fonds, the foundation Anne Frank’s father, Otto Frank, established in 1963 to administer the profits from the sales of her diary.

Frank’s diary has sold more than 30 million copies in 60 languages since it was first published in 1947. Its sales and global reach make it the most famous book authored by a Jew aside from the Bible.

The New Israel Fund’s deal with the Anne Frank Foundation is a symbolic expression of the existential struggle being waged in the Jewish world today. That struggle pits the government of Israel against much of the American Jewish leadership. It pits Israel’s public against the justices of the Supreme Court. It pits IDF line soldiers and commanders against the General Staff.

The effective merger of the New Israel Fund with the Anne Frank Foundation is the latest chapter in the theft of Anne Frank’s legacy, which began in the 1950s.

In 1952, a Jewish-American journalist named Meir Levin discovered The Diary of Anne Frank in French translation. Levin recognized that her diary was the ideal vehicle for telling the story of the genocide of European Jewry to the American public.

Frank was a Westernized Jew. Her family wasn’t religious. They were cosmopolitan German Jews who decamped to Amsterdam in 1933 when the Nazis rose to power, and immediately fit right in.

But for the Nazi occupation of Holland in 1940, Anne would likely never have received any Jewish education. But when the Dutch collaborationist government implemented the Nazi race laws, and expelled all Jewish children from public schools, in 1941 her parents were compelled to enroll her in a Jewish school.

As Prof. Ruth Wisse explained in her discussion of Anne Frank in The Modern Jewish Canon, Anne’s period in the Jewish school gave her a chance to develop a familiarity with Jewish tradition and history and to develop a positive sense of her Jewish identity.

“Thus,” Wisse wrote, “by the time the family was forced into hiding, she was well armed to face the assault against her as a Jew.”

By the same token, Anne’s family’s Westernism, coupled with the fact that they were hidden by Dutch Christians, made her proud of her Dutch citizenry. Wisse noted that in one of her diary entries, Anne resolved to sacrifice her life, “like a soldier on the battlefield” for Holland.

When he read Anne Frank’s diary in 1952, Levin recognized in Anne’s split identity the millennial condition of Jews in exile. He believed that her innocent explication of that condition, as a young Jewish Dutch girl hiding from the Nazis made Anne Frank’s diary the perfect means to tell the story of the Holocaust and the story of the Jews in the Holocaust to the American public.

But Levin lost control of her story almost as soon as the English translation of The Diary of Anne Frank was published.

Guided by playwright and Stalinist Lillian Hellman, Anne’s father chose intellectuals from America’s Jewish far-left elite to adapt her diary for stage and screen. For these intellectuals, Jewish particularism and Jewish nationhood were completely unacceptable. Playwrights Albert Hackett and Frances Goodrich purged the screen and stage version of Anne’s diary of all Jewishness and transformed the Holocaust into a tale of universal persecution.

Wisse quoted Garson Kanin, who directed the play on Broadway, explaining how the dejudaization worked.

“Anne says, ‘We’re not the only Jews that’ve had to suffer. Right down through the ages, there have been Jews and they’ve had to suffer.’

“This strikes me as an embarrassing piece of special pleading. Right down through the ages, people have suffered because of being English, French, German, Italian, Ethiopian, Mohammedan, Negro, and so on…. The fact that in this play the symbols of persecution and oppression are Jews is incidental, and Anne, in stating the argument so, reduces her magnificent stature.”

In the end, Kanin just wrote her Judaism out of the script. The offending line was edited to say, “We’re not the only people that’ve had to suffer. Sometimes one race… sometimes another.”

According to Wisse, Levin spent the rest of his life fighting against the dejudaization of Anne Frank and was literally driven mad by his losing battle.

Levin’s loss was preordained. There were too many powerful actors pushing to revise her life story and transform her from a Jewish girl murdered in the Holocaust to a symbol of universal suffering.

It wasn’t just the Hellman-led Jewish intellectuals driving the train. The Dutch government became fully engaged in denying Anne Frank her Jewishness the Nazis murdered her for.

The Dutch government’s enthusiasm for Anne Frank derived from its desire to airbrush the wartime Dutch government’s and people’s active collaboration with the Nazis out of world history.

It is true that Dutch Christians hid Anne and her family. But it is also true that Dutch Nazis arrested the Franks and another 100,000 Dutch Jews. Dutch Nazis interned the Franks and 100,000 other Dutch Jews at Westerbork detention camp. Dutch Nazis deported them to German death camps.

The Dutch government embraced Anne Frank as a “Dutch heroine,” and turned the attic where she and her family hid into a national museum. As Wisse noted, one of Anne’s childhood friends wrote in the guest registration book at the Anne Frank museum, “Anne Frank didn’t want this.”

The co-option of Anne Frank’s legacy by intellectuals and political forces who pretended away her Jewishness may have been the first successful attempt to deny the antisemitic nature of the genocide of a third of the Jewish people. But it wasn’t the last one.

Ahead of Holocaust Remembrance Day, as it does every year, the IDF Education Corps distributed an instructional guide to commanders directing them how to discuss the Holocaust with their soldiers.

The Education Corps’ booklet tells commanders to tell their soldiers that the Holocaust was caused by “the deterioration of the rule of law and the decline of democracy” in Germany.

Ignoring the fact that the Nazis rose to power by winning an election, and pretending away the fact that Germany had no liberal tradition for the Nazis to subvert, the Education Corps’ manual instructs commanders to emphasize to their soldiers “the importance of democratic institutions and checks and balances that protect the democratic method.”

In other words, as far as the IDF’s Education Corps is concerned, the Holocaust was not caused by the German people’s thousand-year history of Jew-hatred and demonology. The Nazis’ weren’t elected because their antisemitism resonated with the German public. Rather, they rose to power because Germany lacked effective checks on its executive branch.

Where did this bizarre, ahistoric view of history, which whitewashes antisemitism – the chief driver of the Holocaust – out of the Holocaust come from?

The apparent source of the Education Corps distortion of the historical record and its decision to erase antisemitism from the IDF’s discussions of the deliberate annihilation of European Jewry is the worldview of retired Supreme Court president Aharon Barak.

Barak’s worldview is largely a function of his political convictions. Barak oversaw Israel’s so-called “constitutional revolution” of the 1990s. That “revolution” transformed Israel from a parliamentary democracy into what is often referred to as a “jurisdocracy,” where judges exercise unchecked power to overturn laws and abrogate government policies.

Since the 1990s, Barak’s political convictions have become the intellectual foundation of the Left’s ideological and programmatic identity. The Nazis play a major role in Barak’s justification of that worldview.

Barak explained his convictions in an interview with Yediot Aharonot in 2015. As is his wont, he began his justification of unchecked judicial power by invoking Nazis.

“The Nazi party was also elected with a democratic majority,” he said.

“The rule of law isn’t just enforcing the law. The rule of law involves enforcing law on the basis of an internal morality.”

And what is the source of Barak’s “internal morality”?

As far as Barak is concerned, it isn’t the Bible, which instructs the Jewish people that all men are created in God’s image that ensures the “internal morality” of Israel. It is Barak, and his fellow justices. They are the only thing preventing the Jews of Israel from becoming goose-stepping stormtroopers marching down Dizengoff Boulevard.

Importantly, there is nothing uniquely Jewish or Israeli about Barak’s judges. They could just as easily be Germans.

Barak said, “In Germany of the early 1930s, the Supreme Court didn’t have the power to abrogate laws. I believe with perfect faith, that if Germany had a powerful court and judicial oversight back then, it would have been possible to prevent Hitler.”

Barak’s position, the Education Corps’ position, the position of the leftist Jewish-American intellectuals who erased Anne Frank’s Judaism, and the New Israel Fund’s goal of creating a “New Israel” devoid – like Anne Frank’s legacy – of all Jewish character, are all based a common view. For political and ideological reasons, they all agree that Jews must assimilate into a universal world in which antisemitism plays no role and Jewish identity, history and tradition have no place.

The diary entry that Anne Frank ended by pronouncing her determination to die for Holland “like a soldier on the battlefield,” began with the following meditation.

“Who has made us Jews different from all other people? Who has allowed us to suffer up till now? It is God that has made us as we are, but it is God, too, who will raise us up again…. We can never become just Netherlanders or just English or any nation for that matter, we will always remain Jews, we must remain Jews, but we want to, too.”

Hanging in the balance in all the battles over Israel’s identity and the identity and character of the Jewish people is one question: Was she right?

Do we want to remain Jews? Should we want to remain Jews?

Are we uniquely subjected to hatred and persecution because we are Jews? Or is our Judaism a meaningless distinction that attracts no unique animus and violence? Should we stand together to defend ourselves, and our rights as Jews, recalling that the Holocaust was caused by annihilationist hatred directed against assimilated and devout Jews alike just because they were Jewish? Or should we view the Holocaust as just another bad thing that some people did to other people?

Should we aspire to write the next chapters of our history as our forefathers authored our past, or would it be better to throw caution and history to the winds, embrace a universalist identity and depend on the internal morality of judges or communists or progressive American Jews to prevent us from becoming Nazis or becoming victims once again?

Originally published in The Jerusalem Post.

Caroline Glick


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The Media’s War on Freedom of the Press - Daniel Greenfield

by Daniel Greenfield

The free press is a threat, read about it in the mainstream media.

The media took a brief break from its campaign against the Sinclair Media Group to go after the National Enquirer. The two don’t have anything in common except the perception of being pro-Trump.

In the good old days, going after rival media outlets meant writing nasty things about them. But these days the media doesn’t write nasty things for the sake of writing them. It writes nasty things to get someone fired, investigated or imprisoned. And that’s what its Sinclair and Enquirer stories are about.

CNN, the Washington Post and the New York Times had wasted barrels of ink and pixels, to warn that Trump’s criticism of their media outlets represented a grave threat to the First Amendment.

And what better way to protect the First Amendment than by destroying it?

In its story about the FBI raid on Trump’s lawyer, the Times managed to suggest that the Enquirer’s support for the President of the United States might strip it of its First Amendment protection. 

The Times tells its readers that the "federal inquiry" poses "thorny questions about A.M.I.’s First Amendment protections, and whether its record in supporting Mr. Trump somehow opens the door to scrutiny usually reserved for political organizations.” 

That’s a thorny question alright. And there’s plenty more thorns where that one came from.
In ’08, the New York Times published an op-ed by Obama, but rejected McCain’s response. It just published an editorial titled, "Watch Out, Ted Cruz. Beto is Coming" which appears to have no purpose other than to help Beto O'Rourke raise money from New York Times readers. 

The Times has a sharp thorn. So sharp it could punch a hole in it and the entire mainstream media.

 “In one instance, The Enquirer bought but did not publish a story about an alleged extramarital relationship years earlier with the presidential candidate,” the Times sniffs. It’s not unprecedented for a paper to have damaging material about a politician without publishing it. Just ask the Los Angeles Times about the vault they’re keeping Obama’s Khalidi tape in. Or ask the Washington Post about its embargo of the photo of Obama posing with Nation of Islam hate group leader Louis Farrakhan at a CBC event.

Try and suggest that behavior like that should strip them of their First Amendment rights and a howling mob of pudgy pundits would descend on the green rooms of CNN and MSNBC like hornets out of hell.

On the Sinclair front, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker and eight other Senate Democrats sent a letter to the FCC demanding that it take away its licenses because Sinclair condemned media bias.

No, really.

As “strong defenders of the First Amendment”, Bernie, Liz and Cory want to silence Sinclair because its anchors warned about "the dangers of 'one-sided news stories plaguing our country.'" And what better way to disprove such nonsense than by using government power to silence the news on the other side?

The Senate Stalinists accused Sinclair of a "systematic news distortion operation that seeks to undermine freedom of the press." But most people know that as the mainstream media.

Freedom of the press requires us to accept the idea that a handful of major lefty corporations control the country’s new distortion operation because it also allows conservatives to have their own media.

But the media left doesn’t accept that compromise. It isn’t willing to settle for the first spot in a two-man race. Like Tonya Harding, it wants to take a club to the knee of its political opponents.

In the media’s utopia, just like in a Soviet election or a movie tagline, there can be only one.   

The press is perversely waging its war on the First Amendment in the name of freedom of the press. Its definition of the First Amendment is an exclusive club. And the only way to protect the club from Republican riffraff is to strip away their First Amendment rights. All for the sake of the First Amendment.

Like all leftists, the media doesn’t believe in freedom of the press. It believes in its own freedom. It identifies the First Amendment with itself and declares any threat to it to be a threat to the First.

That’s how the media can call for censoring rival media outlets in the name of the First Amendment.

After Trump’s victory, the media tore apart this country to boost its circulation and ratings (the New York Times and the Washington Post are so outraged that they can’t count the cash fast enough) and manufacture a crisis that would justify consolidating its control over the internet and print media.

Facebook was the biggest threat to the media’s bottom line. That’s why Mark Zuckerberg was testifying in Congress over data privacy issues that weren’t an issue when Obama Inc. had “ingested the entire social graph.” It was one of a series of fake news stories blaming Facebook for Trump’s victory.

Even the average leftist couldn’t care less about Facebook’s impact on the media’s business model. So the media instead rallied its mobs by accusing Facebook of collaborating with Trump and the Russians.

And the howls, imprecations and regulations began.

The media’s endgame was neutering Facebook and turning it into a profitable safe space for its content. The post-election accusations about “fake news” and the later conspiracy theories about “Russian bots” blamed Facebook’s “unregulated” spaces for powering Trump’s seemingly improbable election victory.

The solution to an unregulated space is regulation.

Facebook was blackmailed into letting the media’s fact checkers decide which stories should be allowed. Then algorithm tinkering wiped out the traffic of many conservative sites, leading several to shut down. 

Google, Twitter and other social media companies have taken their own steps to prioritize lefty media views and silence conservative ones. The post-Trump environment in search and social has been rigged to be very favorable to the mainstream media and deeply unfriendly to Trump supporters.

The great media dream is a gated internet news operation completely under their control. But the attacks on Sinclair and the Enquirer show that even with the internet, old media is still in the crosshairs.

The media isn’t just going after websites; it’s also going after channels and print magazines. And it’s targeting them using the blunt tools of government censorship. FBI raids and FCC licenses are an escalation from pressuring Facebook into hiring its fact checkers to censor conservative media.

It’s the difference between monopolistic abuses and totalitarian ones.

The media has been using corporations to do its dirty work. But it’s never going to be satisfied with oligarchy if it can grab the brass ring of tyranny. Crackdowns by Citibank and the Bank of America on the Second Amendment or by Facebook and Google on the First Amendment are effective, but unsatisfying.  The left didn’t spend over a century dying and killing just to have the Bank of America do its work for it.

As a dog returns to its vomit, the left returns to government repression.  

The media will not accept any monopoly that is a hair short of total. FOX News, Sinclair and even the National Enquirer must be destroyed. Corporations and governments will be used as hand puppets to silence every voice of dissent. And it will be done for freedom of the press and the First Amendment.

 The free press is a threat to freedom of the press, read about it in the mainstream media.

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


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European Immigration: Nuns Out, Terrorists In - Douglas Murray

by Douglas Murray

Bewildering priorities of Britain's Home Office

  • When the same Home Office that forbade Sister Ban even to enter the country discovered that the young male Iraqi was in Britain, he explained clearly that he had been trained by ISIS. He told the Home Office officials that the group had trained him to kill. The Home Office promptly found him a place to live and study, and treated him as the minor he said he was but most likely was not. He subsequently told a teacher that he had "a duty to hate Britain".
  • Last year the Institute of St Anselm (a Catholic training institute for priests and nuns, based in Kent) closed its doors because of problems it had getting the Home Office to grant visa applications for foreign students. One nun last year was apparently denied entry to the UK because she did not have a personal bank account.
  • So, those who flee ISIS are turned away, while those who are trained by ISIS are welcome.
The behaviour of government departments in charge of immigration and asylum across Europe repeatedly demonstrate the truth of the late Robert Conquest's maxim -- his "third law of politics" -- that the simplest way to explain the behaviour of any bureaucratic organisation "is to assume that it is controlled by a cabal of its enemies".

Last week it was reported in the Catholic Herald that a nun who was driven out of the town of Qaraqosh, on the Nineveh plains in Iraq, has been forbidden to visit her ill sister in the United Kingdom. Sister Ban Madleen was among those Christians who were forced to flee the largest Christian town in the area when ISIS entered it in 2014. She was among the thousands of Christians who fled the approaching jihadists and found refuge in Iraqi Kurdistan. There, she set up kindergartens to look after the children of other refugees who had also sought sanctuary in the Kurdish areas. A letter, seen by the Catholic Herald, from the UK Visa and Immigration division at the UK Home Office, stated that Sister Ban had not given evidence of her earnings as a kindergarten principal or shown enough evidence that her order of nuns would fund her visit.

The UK Home Office noted that Sister Ban had previously travelled to the UK and had on those occasions always complied with the terms of her visa. However, the Home Office pointed out that her visa was issued seven years ago, in 2011, and noted her lack of recent travel to the UK. It shows no understanding of why her recent travel might have been limited. Such as the possibility that events such as the rise of ISIS, the attempted annihilation of Iraq's Christian community and that community's quasi-Biblical flight to safety in the Kurdish regions might explain the nun's otherwise inexplicable absence from the UK?

In any event, the letter claims that for these reasons, the UK authorities are not satisfied that Sister Ban's appeal to visit her sick sister is genuine. Therefore, she is denied entry, with "no right of appeal or right to administrative review."

Perhaps Sister Ban made an elementary mistake. Instead of the nun telling the UK authorities that she had fled ISIS and been looking after refugees since her last visit to Britain she should have told the UK authorities that she had spent the interim period joining ISIS, being trained by them to kill, and that she had also learned how to hate Britain. If she had done this, then perhaps she would now be settling into life in the UK.

After all that is what Ahmed Hassan told the UK authorities after he entered the country illegally in 2015. When the same Home Office that forbade Sister Ban even to enter the country discovered that the young male Iraqi was in the UK, he explained clearly that he had been trained by ISIS. He told the Home Office officials that the group had trained him to kill. The Home Office promptly found him a place to live and study, and treated him as the minor he said he was but most likely was not. He subsequently told a teacher that he had "a duty to hate Britain". Last September, he stepped onto the District line and planted a bomb that failed to detonate fully, but which -- if it had gone off -- would have killed many dozens of commuters (including children) on the London Underground.

How does the UK Home Office find it impossible to give a temporary visa for a nun who fled ISIS, yet give every possible provision to an illegal migrant who has been trained by ISIS to kill in Britain?

Christian charities who have monitored the decision-making processes of the UK Home Office have prior experience of this bizarre process. Sister Ban is just one of a number of Christians who have found the UK authorities reluctant to permit them entry to the UK. According to Father Benedict Kiely (the founder of an organisation which helps persecuted Christians in the Middle East), the UK authorities have twice refused to issue a visa to another Dominican nun who has a PhD in Biblical Theology. Last year the Institute of St Anselm (a Catholic training institute for priests and nuns, based in Kent) closed its doors because of problems it had getting the Home Office to grant visa applications for foreign students. One nun last year was apparently denied entry to the UK because she did not have a personal bank account. And a year earlier -- in December 2016 -- three archbishops from Iraq and Syria were denied entry into Britain. They had been invited to the UK for the consecration of London's first Syriac Orthodox Cathedral – an event that was attended by Prince Charles. So, those who flee ISIS are turned away, while those who are trained by ISIS are welcome.

It is not just that the British immigration system -- and immigration systems across Europe -- seem to be controlled by a cabal of their enemies. They seem to be controlled by a cabal of people who are opposed to European nations having any suitable compassion, common sense or even an instinct for survival.

(Source of original Heathrow border image: dgmckelvey/Flickr)

Douglas Murray, British author, commentator and public affairs analyst, is based in London, England. His latest book, an international best-seller, is "The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam."


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