Thursday, May 17, 2018

Gaza’s Miseries Have Palestinian Authors - Bret Stephens

by Bret Stephens

Hat tip: Dr. Jean-Charles Bensoussan

There’s a pattern here — harm yourself, blame the other — and it deserves to be highlighted amid the torrent of morally blind, historically illiterate criticism to which Israelis are subjected every time they defend themselves against violent Palestinian attack.

Palestinians protesting at the Gaza border on Sunday. The large wooden key the boy is holding symbolizes the Palestinians’ belief in their right of return.CreditMahmud Hams/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

For the third time in two weeks, Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have set fire to the Kerem Shalom border crossing, through which they get medicine, fuel and other humanitarian essentials from Israel. Soon we’ll surely hear a great deal about the misery of Gaza. Try not to forget that the authors of that misery are also the presumptive victims.

There’s a pattern here — harm yourself, blame the other — and it deserves to be highlighted amid the torrent of morally blind, historically illiterate criticism to which Israelis are subjected every time they defend themselves against violent Palestinian attack.

In 1970, Israel set up an industrial zone along the border with Gaza to promote economic cooperation and provide Palestinians with jobs. It had to be shut down in 2004 amid multiple terrorist attacks that left 11 Israelis dead.

In 2005, Jewish-American donors forked over $14 million dollars to pay for greenhouses that had been used by Israeli settlers until the government of Ariel Sharon withdrew from the Strip. Palestinians looted dozens of the greenhouses almost immediately upon Israel’s exit.

In 2007, Hamas took control of Gaza in a bloody coup against its rivals in the Fatah faction. Since then, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other terrorist groups in the Strip have fired nearly 10,000 rockets and mortars from Gaza into Israel — all the while denouncing an economic “blockade” that is Israel’s refusal to feed the mouth that bites it. (Egypt and the Palestinian Authority also participate in the same blockade, to zero international censure.)

In 2014 Israel discovered that Hamas had built 32 tunnels under the Gaza border to kidnap or kill Israelis. “The average tunnel requires 350 truckloads of construction supplies,” The Wall Street Journal reported, “enough to build 86 homes, seven mosques, six schools or 19 medical clinics.” Estimated cost of tunnels: $90 million.

Want to understand why Gaza is so poor? See above.

Which brings us to the grotesque spectacle along Gaza’s border over the past several weeks, in which thousands of Palestinians have tried to breach the fence and force their way into Israel, often at the cost of their lives. What is the ostensible purpose of what Palestinians call “the Great Return March”?

That’s no mystery. This week, The Times published an op-ed by Ahmed Abu Artema, one of the organizers of the march. “We are intent on continuing our struggle until Israel recognizes our right to return to our homes and land from which we were expelled,” he writes, referring to homes and land within Israel’s original borders.

His objection isn’t to the “occupation” as usually defined by Western liberals, namely Israel’s acquisition of territories following the 1967 Six Day War. It’s to the existence of Israel itself. Sympathize with him all you like, but at least notice that his politics demand the elimination of the Jewish state.

Notice, also, the old pattern at work: Avow and pursue Israel’s destruction, then plead for pity and aid when your plans lead to ruin.

The world now demands that Jerusalem account for every bullet fired at the demonstrators, without offering a single practical alternative for dealing with the crisis.

But where is the outrage that Hamas kept urging Palestinians to move toward the fence, having been amply forewarned by Israel of the mortal risk? Or that protest organizers encouraged women to lead the charges on the fence because, as The Times’s Declan Walsh reported, “Israeli soldiers might be less likely to fire on women”? Or that Palestinian children as young as 7 were dispatched to try to breach the fence? Or that the protests ended after Israel warned Hamas’s leaders, whose preferred hide-outs include Gaza’s hospital, that their own lives were at risk?

Elsewhere in the world, this sort of behavior would be called reckless endangerment. It would be condemned as self-destructive, cowardly and almost bottomlessly cynical.

The mystery of Middle East politics is why Palestinians have so long been exempted from these ordinary moral judgments. How do so many so-called progressives now find themselves in objective sympathy with the murderers, misogynists and homophobes of Hamas? Why don’t they note that, by Hamas’s own admission, some 50 of the 62 protesters killed on Monday were members of Hamas? Why do they begrudge Israel the right to defend itself behind the very borders they’ve been clamoring for years for Israelis to get behind?

Why is nothing expected of Palestinians, and everything forgiven, while everything is expected of Israelis, and nothing forgiven?

That’s a question to which one can easily guess the answer. In the meantime, it’s worth considering the harm Western indulgence has done to Palestinian aspirations.

No decent Palestinian society can emerge from the culture of victimhood, violence and fatalism symbolized by these protests. No worthy Palestinian government can emerge if the international community continues to indulge the corrupt, anti-Semitic autocrats of the Palestinian Authority or fails to condemn and sanction the despotic killers of Hamas. And no Palestinian economy will ever flourish through repeated acts of self-harm and destructive provocation.

 If Palestinians want to build a worthy, proud and prosperous nation, they could do worse than try to learn from the one next door. That begins by forswearing forever their attempts to destroy it.

Bret Stephens -  follow me on Facebook.


Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

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

The Democrats' Kanye Problem - Walter Williams

by Walter Williams

The electoral disaster the Left sees on the horizon.

In the aftermath of the Kanye West dust-up, my heart goes out to the white people who control the Democratic Party. My pity stems from the hip-hop megastar's November announcement to his packed concert audience that he did not vote in the presidential election but if he had, he would have voted for Donald Trump. Then, on April 21, West took to his Twitter account, which has 28 million followers, to announce, "I love the way Candace Owens thinks." Owens is Turning Point USA's director of urban engagement and has said that former President Barack Obama caused "damage" to race relations in the United States during his two terms in office.

West's support for Trump, along with his criticism of the "plantation" mentality of the Democratic Party, has been met with vicious backlash from the left. In one song, West raps, "See, that's the problem with this damn nation. All blacks gotta be Democrats. Man, we ain't made it off the plantation." Rep. Maxine Waters said West "talks out of turn" and advised, "He should think twice about politics — and maybe not have so much to say." The bottom-line sin that West has committed is questioning the hegemony of the Democratic Party among black Americans. The backlash has been so bad that West had to hire personal security to protect him against threats made against his life. Fortunately, the police are investigating those threats.

Kanye West is not saying anything different from what Dr. Thomas Sowell, Larry Elder, Jason Riley, I and other black libertarians/conservatives have been saying for decades. In fact, West has tweeted quotations from Sowell, such as "Socialism in general has a record of failure so blatant that only an intellectual could ignore or evade it" and "The most basic question is not what is best but who shall decide what is best." Tweeting those Sowell quotations represents the highest order of blasphemy in the eyes of leftists.

The big difference between black libertarians/conservatives and West is that he has 28 million Twitter followers and a huge audience of listeners whereas few blacks have even heard of libertarian/conservative blacks outside of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. (I might add in passing that Dr. Thomas Sowell is one of the nation's most distinguished and accomplished scholars alive today.)

The Kanye problem for the Democratic Party is that if the party doesn't keep blacks in line and it loses even 20 to 25 percent of the black vote, it can kiss any hope of winning any presidential and many congressional elections goodbye. Democrats may have already seen that threat. That's why they support illegal immigration and voting rights for noncitizens. Immigrants from south of the border who are here illegally may be seen as either a replacement for or a guarantee against the disaster of losing the black vote.

Keeping blacks blind to the folly of unquestioned support for the Democratic Party by keeping blacks fearful, angry and resentful and painting the Republican Party as racist is vital. Democrats never want blacks to seriously ask questions about what the party has done for them. Here are some facts. The nation's most troublesome and dangerous cities — Indianapolis, Stockton, Oakland, Milwaukee, Cleveland, Kansas City, Baltimore, Memphis, St. Louis and Detroit — have been run by Democrats, often black Democrats, for nearly a half-century. These and other Democratic-run cities are where blacks suffer the highest murder rates and their youngsters attend the poorest-performing and most unsafe schools.

Democrats could never afford for a large number of black people to observe, "We've been putting you in charge of our cities for decades. We even put a black Democrat in the White House. And what has it meant for us? Plus, the president you told us to hate has our unemployment rate near a record low." It turns out that it's black votes that count more to black and white politicians than black well-being, black academic excellence and black lives. As for black politicians and civil rights leaders, if they're going to sell their people down the river to keep Democrats in power, they ought to demand a higher price.

Walter Williams


Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

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

Muslim Candidate for Governor Comes Unhinged Over Sharia - Leo Hohmann

by Leo Hohmann

Says to GOP opponent: 'You may not hate Muslims, but Muslims definitely hate you!'

Michigan's first-ever Muslim candidate for governor, Dr. Abdul al-Sayed, took a shot at fellow gubernatorial candidate Patrick Colbeck on Thursday that some Republicans are saying was below the belt.

Colbeck, speaking at a candidate's forum in East Lansing, expressed his concerns about Sharia law and the extremist Muslim Brotherhood's tactic of civilization jihad. Colbeck took exception with an article he says was planted last month by Sayed supporters at the left-wing website Buzzfeed,  which painted Colbeck as a fringe extremist using "unfounded conspiracy theories" against Sayed.

Rather than address Colbeck's concerns about the Brotherhood, Sayed called Colbeck a racist Islamophobe whom Muslims "definitely hate."

Sayed, 33, the former public-health director for the city of Detroit, was on stage Thursday evening at the Michigan Press Association with several other Democrat and Republican candidates for governor running in the Aug. 7 primary.

Sayed refused to answer a question from the moderator about the Islamic legal system known as Sharia, other than to say that, if elected, he would uphold the constitutions of the U.S. and State of Michigan.

"I take [the Constitution] particularly seriously because it guarantees me two things. A, the right to pray as I choose to pray, and for me that means I put my face on the ground 34 times a day," Sayed said.  "Some people choose not to pray at all. Then in Article Six it also tells us that no religious test should be held over someone wishing to serve under this Constitution. It's an incredible document."

Sayed leveled charges of racism and "white supremacy" at Republicans in general but saved his most severe critique for Colbeck, the one GOP candidate who has dared to talk about the issue of creeping Sharia in a state that has the country's highest concentration of Muslims and has the nation's first case of female genital mutilation working its way through the federal courts. The state also recently had a case involving a possible honor killing in which a 15-year-old Muslim boy in Farmington Hills allegedly pushed his mother to her death at a time when she was going through a divorce from his father.

Colbeck, an aerospace engineer and two-term state senator, said his concerns are not about individual Muslims. Rather, he worries about the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood, which has been declared a terrorist organization by Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, and whose influence in the U.S. was spelled out in the Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America, a document seized by the FBI in 2004 and presented as evidence in a terror-financing trial that sent five members of an Islamic charity called the Holy Land Foundation to prison in 2008 for funneling money to Hamas.

"This is one of those areas that got me ticked off in regard to the fairness of the media," Colbeck told the audience Thursday. "They pitched this comment around concern about the Muslim Brotherhood as a concern about Muslims in general. I love Muslims. It's not an issue. The issue is about terrorist organizations like the Muslim Brotherhood."

After he berated Colbeck as a racist, and lectured the other Republicans on the panel for not condemning Colbeck as a racist and white supremacist, the normally cool-headed Sayed became visibly angry and showed he is not above expressing some hatred of his own.

"What frustrates me more is not that you have blatant racism on the part of certain people, but what frustrates me more is, in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, is not when bad people speak out but when good people fail to speak out, and what I have not heard is the Republicans on this panel, decisively and swiftly call out this kind of Islamophobia, this kind of racism, in the context that they are wanting to represent the state that has the highest per-capita number of Muslim Americans in the country. Now you may not hate Muslims, but I'll tell you, Muslims definitely hate you!"

Watch the full 6-minute exchange between Colbeck and Sayed in the video below:

Dick Manasseri, spokesman for Secure Michigan, one of the groups that has concerns about the incremental advancement of Sharia in Michigan's Muslim enclaves, including female genital mutilation, honor violence and polygamy, said he was surprised to see Sayed come unhinged in response to a calmly-communicated concern by Colbeck.

"Dr. Abdul definitely lost his cool," Manasseri said. "I think what we saw was an outburst. Abdul was not cool. Patrick is purposely trying to not make this his only issue, but when it comes up he's not afraid to address it and Dr. Abdul showed he just can't handle it. All he has in his bag of tricks is the canned response that everyone who asks about Sharia is a racist and an Islamophobe."

Since Islam is not a race, and some of the most populous Muslim countries such as Syria and Bosnia are filled by Caucasians, the charge of racism is disingenuous at best, nonsensical at worst, Manasseri said.

Philip Haney, a counter-terrorism expert and retired member of the Department of Homeland Security's National Targeting Center, said Sayed responded predictably.

The International Muslim Brotherhood's stated goal, in its documents and even its motto, is the worldwide establishment of Sharia law, not necessarily by violence but by using "the hands of the unbeliever" in Western societies, Haney said. In essence, they use the political systems and the freedoms of speech and religion to infiltrate a Western society "from within," as stated in the Explanatory Memorandum authored in 1991 by Brotherhood member Mohamed Akram.

Sayed served as vice president of the Muslim Student Association while attending University of Michigan, and his wife Sarah served as president of the chapter. The MSA has been linked to the Muslim Brotherhood in the Explanatory Memorandum and other documents.

Haney said Sayed responded like a trained Muslim Brotherhood operative when confronted with the issue of Sharia at Thursday's candidates' forum.

"He did what those guys tend to do, which is to change the narrative whenever the issue of Sharia comes up and make it about racism and so-called Islamophobia," Haney said. "But he showed his true colors there at the end. He's not as slick as he thinks he is."

Manasseri said one of the most revealing moments of the forum was how the other two leading GOP candidates – Attorney General Bill Schuette and Lt. Gov. Brian Calley – sat silently throughout the entire exchange about Sharia.

"He's standing there on the stage attacking their party as white supremacists and racists. And the current attorney general and the current lieutenant governor have nothing to say about it," Manasseri said. "The press is mostly silent. If the man's head touches the ground 34 times a day, this is not a casual Muslim we're talking about, this is a fundamentalist Muslim. I'm concerned now. The press should be asking him: How do you feel about FGM, what are your views on forced veiling of Muslim women and honor violence against women?"

Leo Hohmann


Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

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

The First Pro-Israel Administration - Daniel Greenfield

by Daniel Greenfield

Why Trump can be pro-Israel when no one else could.

After Hamas terrorists kidnapped and murdered three Israel teens (one of them Israeli-American), Barack Obama urged Israel not to “destabilize the situation.” 

Secretary of State John Kerry warned that, “The perpetrators must be brought to justice... without destabilizing the situation.”  State Department spokeswoman Jen Psak told, "Both sides to exercise restraint and avoid the types of steps that could destabilize the situation."

When Hezbollah terrorists opened fire on Israeli villages and took two the bodies of two Israeli soldiers as hostages, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice insisted, "All sides must act with restraint to resolve this incident peacefully." When Hamas kidnapped Gilad Shalit, another soldier, she urged Israel to "Calm the situation, not to let the situation escalate and give diplomacy a chance to work.”

After the latest attacks by Iran and Hamas, the EU, the UK, France, Germany and China called on Israel to exercise “restraint”. "We continue to implore Israel to show greater restraint," the UK's Alistair Burt insisted. France’s Jean-Yves Le Drian demanded that Israel, "Act with caution and restraint in the use of force, which must be strictly proportional".

Belgium called Israel’s ambassador in to browbeat her for defending her own country.

At the White House, the media demanded that deputy press secretary Raj Shah issue some sort of call for “restraint”. Instead Shah made it clear, "Hamas is responsible."

"Does the U.S. not agree with the French, that Israeli authorities should exercise discretion and restraint?" NBC News' Peter Alexander asked.

Shah once again pointed out that it was a Hamas attack.

"So there's no responsibility beyond that on the Israeli authorities? Kill at will?" the frustrated NBC News hack barked. What he and the rest of the media wanted was for Trump to stop Israel from fighting back.

That was what “restraint” had always meant. And the same game had been played by every administration. Israel would respond to a terrorist attack. And then there would be immediate calls for restraint. That code word meant that Israel had to immediately stop fighting back against the terrorists.

At the United Nations, Ambassador Nikki Haley put the restraint meme to bed. “No country in this chamber would act with more restraint than Israel has," she said. 

The meeting had been called by Kuwait's ambassador. The Muslim country's response to Palestinian collaboration with Saddam Hussein during the Gulf War had been to ethnically cleanse 200,000 of them.

In response to an upsurge in Muslim violence, China banned beards and burqas, ordered Muslim storekeepers to sell liquor and warned against children attending Koran classes.

"The records of several countries here today suggest they would be much less restrained," Haley added.

All administration, even those of Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama, had claimed to be pro-Israel. But for the first time ever, there was an actual pro-Israel administration. There have been pro-Israel presidents before, but their campaign convictions never translated into White House policy. Walled in by their advisers, Republicans would end up with a foreign policy barely distinguishable from Democrats.

President Trump is the first pro-Israel president who actually has a pro-Israel policy. This is the first administration to have a pro-Israel Secretary of State, National Security Adviser and UN Ambassador. 

And so it’s the first administration that actually means what it says. 

The embassy move, the upending of the Iran nuke scam and the refusal to condemn Israel for fighting Hamas are examples of this incredible new phenomenon in the often tawdry history of foreign policy.

A pro-Israel administration isn’t measured by the size of its foreign aid. The financial barometer that politicians love to use is often just a kickback to politically connected American companies. Being pro-Israel doesn’t mean money. It means letting Israel protect its borders and people against terrorists.

Being pro-Israel is not calling for restraint. It’s not demanding a proportionate response. (Which would mean that Israeli soldiers should throw firebombs into Gaza while trying to stab Hamas supporters.) It’s not fighting wars for Israel (which we’ve  never done), but allowing Israel to fight its own wars.

Pro-Israel is respect. 

If you respect a country, you don’t second guess its self-defense or tell it where its capital is. 
During the Obama years, Hillary Clinton had bragged that she was the "designated yeller". One time, she yelled at the Israeli Prime Minister for 45 minutes after the Jerusalem municipality approved one stage of a possible housing plan while Biden was in the country.  

It’s a sure bet that Secretary of State Pompeo hasn’t spent 45 minutes yelling at Netanyahu.
Forget all the policy details. Forget Jerusalem, Hamas, the Green Line and Iran’s nuclear program. When your diplomatic relationship is defined by yelling over the phone at Israel, that’s not pro-Israel.  The contempt and hostility in the style of that relationship reflected the substance of the relationship.

And the mutual respect of the relationship style under Trump also reflects its deeper substance.

There’s a very good reason for that.

Democrat and Republican administrations chased stability by appeasing terrorists and pressuring Israel to show restraint and not “destabilize” matters by fighting terrorism. That was followed by demands for a diplomatic solution which the establishment claimed would bring stability to the region.

Every previous administration treated Israel as the problem. And that made it impossible for them to be pro-Israel. If you view a country as the problem, your relationship to it will be the “designated yeller.”

Trump isn’t a stability guy. He knows the power of creative chaos. Stability is the coat that a failed establishment uses to hide its lack of imagination. Instead he dumped the Iran deal and moved the embassy to Jerusalem because he wants results and isn’t interested in the establishment’s status quo. 

That’s why he can be pro-Israel.

The obsession with stability eventually turned every administration against Israel. Every terror attack and Israeli response created crises that previous administrations would stabilize with meaningless truces and worthless deals that rewarded the terrorists and punished Israel. And that kept the violence going.

President Trump however knows that forcing a crisis can actually lead to a resolution. That’s what he did in North Korea. His predecessors were more willing to go to war than face a diplomatic crisis. They were told by their advisers that instability was an even greater threat than war and that as the leaders of a superpower, they were geopolitical managers tasked with maintaining stability around the world.

Our enemies became used to employing chaos to threaten stability. But Trump showed North Korea that he could be a bigger and scarier chaos agent. Iran is using Hamas to unleash chaos, but it doesn’t understand that Trump can ride bigger probability waves than its virgin-seeking suicide bombers.

The Trump revolution blew out stale lies for harsh truths. Trump enjoys the thrill of a crisis and isn’t afraid to throw a punch. His predecessors thought like managers while he thinks like an insurgent. They saw a crisis as a threat to order. Trump sees a crisis as an opportunity to achieve a desired outcome.

Unlike his predecessors, Trump is willing to let Israel do what it needs to do. And see what emerges from the crisis. That’s why so much of the foreign policy establishment panicked when he came on the scene.

Left to their own devices, the foreign policy establishment would be demanding, “restraint” from Israel. But Trump neither demands nor exercises restraint. He knows, what so many in America and Israel have forgotten, that you don’t win through restraint, but by doing what you need to do to win.

The motto of the 2016 campaign was, “Let Trump be Trump.” Trump’s approach for now has been to, “Let Israel be Israel.” 

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


Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

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

Millennial Conservative Candace Owens Ignites Snowflake Meltdown Nationwide - Robyn Dolgin

by Robyn Dolgin

Democrats are right to be nervous about Candace Owens, who is driving a stake through the heart of Democratic messaging.

Candace Owens – a black conservative – takes a page from President Donald Trump's playbook when encountering unhinged liberals: she is fearless. 

Her career, at the tender age of 28, has accelerated to the point of making the Nancy Pelosis and Chuck Schumers very nervous, given her growing national popularity to ignite ideological warfare among leftist-indoctrinated blacks, including Millennials on college campuses.

She treads where few conservatives are willing to go, especially white Republicans. "We need to get off the Maxine Waters plantation," says Owens, taking aim at one of the most accomplished race-baiters in the Black Caucus. The new concept, says Owens, is to hold Democrats "accountable" for their "shameful" record of service to America, speaking as communications director of Turning Point USA. 

Waters's abysmal political career of 27 years (repeat: 27 years) remains enshrined in a district (Compton, Calif.) teeming with local corruption and shocking levels of criminal activity. "She lives in her $6 million mansion (in Hancock Park) while black people continue to suffer," Owens adds. "And all she does is talk about race. Black leaders are engaged in the race business."

Ardent leftists – who ignore her dismal record – can't get enough of "Auntie Maxine" devoting so much of her time to hyper-partisan views on racial inequality and calling for the president's impeachment.

It's a good thing Owens loves going after the race-baiters, because she encounters more than her fair share on college campuses. Her rare brand of talking points for Millennials to change their victim mindset – especially students of color – doesn't always receive the warmest reception. "Why are you screaming about Jim Crow and slavery?" asks Owens of students waving "Black Lives Matter" signs at a recent UCLA speaking engagement. "You didn't live through anything. You're just a bunch of over-privileged Americans."

Her appearances are now igniting national debate, spilling over into better polling numbers for President Trump. Famous rapper Kanye West posted his support of Owens on social media, triggering responses from millions of supporters and haters. All the commotion was over the rapper's one-line endorsement: "I like the way she thinks."
President Trump thanked Kanye for stepping out of the groupthink tank among blacks, and the commander-in-chief watched his polling numbers of support nearly double among black males. 

Democrats are right to be nervous because Owens, and black conservatives like her, keep driving a stake through the heart of Democratic messaging. 

"You're never getting off the federal plantation talking about the past," Owens said, debating a group of BLM flag-wavers at her UCLA talk. "I don't know why people embrace being oppressed. It is so embarrassing. You act like 'I love being oppressed.' You can either be a victim or a victor."

Her last line provoked a rarely witnessed cultural shift among students breaking into applause for the young speaker – signaling their choosing the label of "victor" over "victim." It most likely was disorienting for the BLM hecklers to be challenged as alleged "victims" while shouting out insults in a seemingly safe space for race-baiting: academia. 

No subject appears off limits in Owens's world. She now has been committing the unthinkable by challenging the legacy of a political leader deemed untouchable in her minority community: former president Barack Obama. 

Owens had the temerity to suggest, "We have so many great results in the black community because of Donald Trump" and not Obama, ticking off the unprecedented regulatory rollback, corporate tax cuts, and record low unemployment rates. "Black people are starting to wake up[.] ... We need new black leadership."

"I don't think we should spend any time putting down Obama," said a political opponent during an open-forum panel that later appeared on YouTube. "We made progress under a black president."

"Progress is not a skin tone," Owens shot back. "Progress is a number." 

Owens's insights on Obama are tantamount to treason among many in her community, but she plows ahead, oftentimes trampling on liberal sensitivities. "For so long we've been convinced the photo opportunity of Beyoncé and Jay-Z was something," says Owens, referring to the constant stream of black celebrities invited to the Obama White House. "It meant absolutely nothing."

"They [Democrats] have erected a mental prison for all of us," she tells black students at many of her college stops. "When someone runs off the Democratic plantation, they [liberals] send the dogs out."

One can't help but wonder whether Owens's ancestors were among the first to throw off the "mental shackles" of slavery (the worst kind) and escape the plantation life, without so much as a glance backward.

Robyn Dolgin


Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

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

Guardian Editorial on Gaza Perfectly Shows the Media’s Anti-Israel Bias and Hatred - Adam Levick

by Adam Levick

The Guardian erases Hamas' presence and responsibility for the  riots on Israel's border.

A swastika on display during Gaza border protests in early April. Photo: IDF via Twitter.

The first thing that stands out in The Guardian’s latest official editorial on the Gaza border riots is the absence of even one use of the word “Hamas” in more than 600 words of text, despite the fact that the violence has been organized and funded by the terror group. This is part of a long Guardian and media pattern of erasing Palestinian actions from the moral calculus of the conflict.

The anti-Israel agitprop and lies masquerading as progressive thought begin in the headline: “The Guardian view on Gaza shootings: stop killing unarmed civilians.”

First, contrary to the headline’s claim, hundreds of demonstrators have in fact been “armed” with molotov cocktails and other weapons and incendiary devices. Further, not only civilians are “protesting.” Palestinian terrorists from Hamas and Islamic Jihad have been present and are among the key instigators of the clashes.

Then, there’s the strap line:
Channelling a reckless Donald Trump, Israeli ministers appear to have adopted a dangerous mindset: to destroy the national aspirations of the Palestinians by military force
The suggestion that the IDF response demonstrates that its leadership is channeling Donald Trump is nonsense and likely written by a Corbyn-supporting editor designed purely to incite the insatiable anti-Trump appetites of the Guardian readership.

It is also completely counterfactual to suggest that the riots based on the “right of return” have anything to do with “the national aspirations of the Palestinians.” Israel left Gaza in 2005 and since then Gaza has been a Palestinian-run polity. Gazans’ lack of freedom is due to the fact that they voted for an Islamist extremist group that rejects liberalism, human rights, and democracy.

The lies continue in the editorial’s first paragraph:
It is inexcusable for soldiers of a military, especially those under democratic civilian control, to shoot and kill protesters, almost all of whom were unarmed, and who pose no credible threat.
How do thousands of violent rioters attempting the breach the border of a sovereign democratic state at the behest of a proscribed terror group not represent a “credible threat”?

In addition, The Guardian has deemed Israel guilty of a war crime:
Israel’s army evinced no shame in committing what looks like a war crime. These are serious accusations. Yet they were greeted with little more than a shrug.
This “shrug” is Israelis’ unwillingness to take seriously such immediate, knee-jerk rushes to judgment by the usual band of international delegitimizers, for whom any act of Israeli self-defense is framed as sadistic or racist wanton killing.

The paragraph concludes with another deception:
By blockading Gaza, Israel imprisoned 2 million people behind barbed wire and military towers. Israel treated the violence as a jailer might a prison riot: a tragic fault of the inmates.
First, Egypt controls (and blockades) one of Gaza’s borders, a fact The Guardian has forgotten to acknowledge on previous occasions. Also, the partial blockade only prevents military items (largely weaponry and items that can be used to make weapons) from entering. Further, thousands of Gazans leave the territory daily to conduct business, get professional training, and receive Israeli and PA medical care. The image of Gaza painted in the minds of Guardian readers has little resemblance to reality.

The Guardian’s misrepresentation of the goals of the Gaza rioters continues:
This is a dangerous mindset for Israelis to embrace. Yet they have done so because the extreme right in Israel, and most of the present government ministers, nurture the idea that Israel can, through its vastly superior military force, end the national aspirations of the Palestinians.
Again, the suggestion that the border violence instigated by Hamas — a group whose leaders publicly support the annihilation of the Jews — has anything to do with “national aspirations” is divorced from reality. Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar has made clear that the marches will continue until Israel’s border is “erased” and “revenge” can be exacted on Israeli civilians.

The Guardian then weaves the US president into Israel’s response to the Gaza riots once again.
These politicians take succor from US president Donald Trump, who has made good on his promise to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
The final two paragraphs carry on with the theme of the supposedly injurious impact to peace of the US recognition of Jerusalem.

However, The Guardian is conflating two separate events. The “Great March of Return” is not about Jerusalem or the blockade, and it’s not about Donald Trump. It is, as its name makes clear, organized around the unlimited right of “return” — the ludicrous idea that millions of Palestinians (over 99% of whom aren’t refugees) should be allowed to live in Israel, erasing Israel’s Jewish majority and thus the Jewish state.

Hamas is a violent extremist group whose founding charter (which has never been revoked) calls for the annihilation of Israel, the murder of Jews, and cites Jewish conspiracies to rule the world that have been “demonstrated” in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion as proof of the need to eliminate Israel.

Any media outlet that fails to contextualize the current border violence without acknowledging that the Great March of Return has absolutely nothing to do with human rights or “national liberation,” and everything to do with the virulent eliminationist antisemitism of the group directing the violence, is obfuscating hardcore anti-Jewish racism and abdicating its fundamental journalistic duty to tell the truth.

Adam Levick covers the British media for CAMERA, the 65,000-member Boston-based Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America.


Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

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

Hamas: Fight to the last Gazan - Dr. Mordechai Kedar

by Dr. Mordechai Kedar

Hamas has betrayed the residents of Gaza. Instead of an Islamic regime, it has built one based on fear. Instead of hope, it has brought despair.

About a year ago I took part in a long and searching discussion of Arab-Jewish relations with several friends in an Arab city in Samaria.  They were heads of leading hamulot (clans), traditionally the respected leaders of the local population. The meeting took place at the home of one of the city's dominant sheikhs, over a lavish platter of fruits and vegetables fit for a king. 

At some point, my host ceased speaking, and  after thinking for what seemed a very long time, said in ponderous literary Arabic, incisive and serious, weighing every word: "Doctor Kedar, do  you know what  a terrorist organization is?" The question surprised and intrigued me, and I answered "No," curious and awaiting his answer. "Mark my words, Doctor," he said, "a terrorist organization is not an organization fighting against its enemies. A terrorist organization is an organization that fights its own people, its own nation, fights the very people it claims to protect, the children for whom it is responsible."

My eyebrows raised in surprise, I asked "Kif – how is that?" and he answered, in a voice permeated with sadness: "Look at ISIS, who do they slaughter? The Muslims in Iraq, Syria, the Sinai. Look at Hezbollah, who do they murder? The Syrian Muslims. Look at Hamas, who do they kill? The people of Gaza. An organization fighting enemies is a liberation organization, an organization fighting its own people is a terror organization." The words were totally unexpected, and all those present were shocked into silence. Not a sound could be heard in the room, because the import of that statement is a declaration of war, no less, on Hamas, made by a sheikh and his hamula. "Interesting," I finally was able to say, keeping my thoughts to myself, intending to mull upon his remarks later on.

During the past weeks, ever since the riots – definitely not protests  – began near the fence separating life in Israel and death in Gaza, I keep thinking about the Sheikh's statement. In the years since the Hamas movement took over Gaza violently in June 2007, blowing up PA police stations, shooting at the heads and knees of security personnel and policemen, hurling PLO members from the roofs of buildings to their deaths on the street – ever since that debacle, life in the area has deteriorated to the level of the terrible conditions Gazans live under today.

Hamas has spent a large part of the funds it was given to purchase weapons, develop missiles, manufacture rockets, acquire explosives and dig tunnels. Hamas has not built a single hospital in the Strip, not one desalinization plant, nothing. Zero. Nada. Then Israel developed the "Iron Dome" and simply erased the threat of rockets and missiles. It soon found a solution for the tunnels as well. Hamas lacks tanks and artillery. So what's left? How are they to attack Israel? What can they use? The answer is to be found in the Sheikh's words: Hamas, after it succeeded in putting out every flicker of hope left in the hearts of Gaza residents, after it brought them to the depths of despair, has now turned them into live ammunition aimed at Israel.

People are the best weapon of all, low cost and self-activated for 50 shekels a head. That is the sum Hamas pays each rioter. For 50 shekels, Hamas gets a walking bomb, imbued with Hamas-produced anger, frustration and despair. That is the real story of what is happening at the border fence for the last few weeks, the reality that clearly exposes the reason Hamas is defined as a terror organization: the war it has declared on the residents of Gaza since the day it first took over their lives. Now it is sending them to their deaths, knowing full well  that Israel will never, ever allow them to cross the fence to reach any kibbutz or moshav filled with men, women and children. The very thought of the horrific massacre that would ensue is terrifying.  

Hamas is a terrorist organization not [only] because of its war against Israel but because it has betrayed the residents of Gaza: Instead of an Islamic regime, it has instituted a regime based on fear. Instead of work, it has brought unemployment. Instead of hope, it has caused despair. Hamas rule has dragged the Gaza Strip into three rounds of violence with Israel: Cast Lead (2008-09), Pillar of Defense (2012) and Protective  Edge (2014). There is as yet no name for today's events, except for the delusional one given them by Hamas - "the march of return," as if Israel was actually going to allow a single rioter to "return" to Israel's sovereign territory. All the Hamas mantras are old, tired slogans whose objective is to ignite the human explosives with foreign fire.

Every person killed is a public relations accomplishment for Hamas, every person wounded is a propaganda gain to mislead viewers in Europe and America who have no understanding of Hamas' satanic plans to use the people of Gaza as live ammunition against Israel, knowing that they will be killed as soon as they try to break through the fence. 

For weeks now, Israel has been warning them of what happens to anyone who touches the fence, this by means of warnings, flyers, telephone calls and media communications. Everyone in Gaza, from Yihye Sinwar down to the last of the rioters, now knows exactly what happens to anyone who comes near the fence. That makes the rioters themselves and the Hamas organization which sends them fully responsible for the deaths of these live bullets

However, the foreign press is another responsible party of which the public must be made aware. Anyone who understands Hamas' plans knows full well that without media coverage all the riots near and at the fence would not have occurred. After all, why would Hamas waste human ammunition unless it could make an impression on world opinion? 

This is where Israeli idiocy steps in, as Israel allows foreign media to reach the immediate surroundings of  Gaza (where Hamas  tunnels end, where it attempts to kill and kidnap men, women and children) to photograph - while standing behind them -  IDF snipers protecting the residents of kibbutzim and moshavim with their own bodies.  Most of the foreign correspondents do not tell their audience the truth about these IDF heroes who faithfully fulfill their mission to protect Israeli citizens. Instead, the media act as tools of the Hamas terrorists, useful idiots who spread Hamas propaganda without charge.  

There are those who claim that the advent of internet and social media makes it impossible to prevent this. Still, one can limit the reports from the front line by temporarily shutting internet access in Gaza. For anyone who does not know it, Israel supplies internet services to Gaza. Do you get it? They get internet access from Israel (do they pay for it? Who knows?) and  use that medium to spread propaganda lies about Israel. Is there anything more absurd?

What about the electricity with which Israel supplies Gaza and which allows the continued existence of the Hamas satellite television station broadcasting rabid incitement against Israel 24/7? Why does Israel continue to supply electricity to Gaza during these riots?  During WWII would it have entered the head of any normal, loyal British or Russian citizen to supply electricity to the Nazi propaganda machine?

True, Israel is better off acting as if it is "business as usual" before the cameras, so that tourists do not flee and Israelis do not complain – but we are at war and in war as in war. If Hamas fires human ammunition at us, we are allowed to do anything reasonable to stop them – from taking out Hamas leaders, those personally responsible for the terrible state of the Gaza Strip and for the shots fired against the rioters threatening Israeli citizens' lives and welfare.

In contrast to the Arab world, Israel protects its citizens from the knives of Gaza rioters. Israel, however, must also protect the image of its citizens in the eyes of the world and act against those promoting European "media terror" and the "Jihad media" promulgated by Hamas and Arab satellites headed by al Jazeera. I am incapable of understanding how Israel continues to allow them to broadcast endless incitement from within its borders.

There  is no question that Israel will defeat Hamas, because Israel is fighting a just war and Hamas is a terror organization whose reign of terror over Gaza turns its population into disposable ammunition with its own evil hands. The fate of Hamas is not in doubt: It will be dumped in the ash heap of history, along with the other Arab dictators who were overthrown in the "Arab Spring."  Hamas, the despotic and tyrannical terror movement, is no different than they, because it, too, is prepared to sacrifice the Palestinian Arabs down to the last man on the altar of its own survival. 

Written in Hebrew for Arutz Sheva, translated by Rochel Sylvetsky

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.


Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

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

Why Is Hamas So Interested in Palestinian Deaths? - Lt. Col. (ret.) Jonathan D. Halevi

by Lt. Col. (ret.) Jonathan D. Halevi

On May 14, Hamas explained the goals of the “Great Return March,” which are the elimination of the State of Israel and ethnically cleansing any Jewish presence from the land

Institute for Contemporary Affairs
Founded jointly with the Wechsler Family Foundation
Vol. 18, No. 11
  • Hamas defined the day of violent clashes at Israel’s border with Gaza on May 14, 2018, during which some 59 Palestinians were claimed to have been killed, as proof of a victory for jihad and the armed struggle against Israel.
  • It openly admitted these were not spontaneous demonstrations but a campaign orchestrated by Hamas.
  • On May 14, Hamas explained the goals of the “Great Return March,” which are the elimination of the State of Israel and ethnically cleansing any Jewish presence from the land:
  • “Our people set out today to react to the new American Zionist aggression and to tell the world with its blood and limbs that it is the one that will draw the map of return and the map of victories.”
  • “The blood that has been spilled in resisting this crime will arouse a revolution until the occupation is removed, and the embassy is removed from Palestine forever.”
  • If, in the past, Hamas counted its victories according to the number of Israeli casualties, today it measures victory according to the number of Palestinian casualties.
Hamas banner
The photo on Hamas’ webpage during the Gaza riots reveals its intent
to capture Jerusalem.

Hamas defined the day of violent clashes at Israel’s border with the Gaza Strip, on May 14, 2018, during which some 59 Palestinians were claimed to have been killed, as living proof of a victory for jihad and the armed struggle against Israel. It openly admitted that these were not spontaneous demonstrations but a campaign orchestrated by Hamas and other Palestinian organizations defined as terrorist groups in the West.

Below are excerpts from a Hamas press release [emphasis added] presented at a press conference on May 14, 2018:1

“Oh to the public of our rebellious people, oh to our Arab and Islamic nation, oh to the liberals [or the free people] in the world…

“Our own march was drawn into the heroic armed struggle, the popular peaceful march that took place last March 30 [2018], conducted by our people and the organizations of jihad fighters, and the population itself, of its men, women, and children until today, expressing through successive waves of jihad and struggle that its purpose is to fulfill the objectives of our nation and its aspiration to return, to establish a state, to end the embargo, to end the occupation forever…

“Our people set out today to react to the new American Zionist aggression and to tell the world with its blood and limbs that it is the one that will draw the map of return and the map of victories…

“The blood that has been spilled in resisting this crime will arouse a revolution until the occupation is removed, and the embassy is removed from Palestine forever…. We will continue to pursue this enemy and to fight it with every means…

“I have not forgotten to bless our brothers, the members of the national Palestinian organizations who stand up and manage the popular marches, which are run peacefully, the Upper National Council for the Return March and Breaking the Embargo. We support them, and we stand by them, welcoming their efforts, with all our respect and honor…

“The message of the people of our nation who went out today is:

“Al-Quds [Jerusalem] is the red line, and there are sacrifices for its sake, and for its sake we will continue to follow the path of jihad and fight with all our means…

“Our Palestinian nation today has achieved true unity in the field of action, with gatherings, and in the struggle to reach the fence, which will be removed with the Will of Allah. It will ascend, through true national unity, and through the refined, pure blood that will enrich the land of Palestine…. Our duty is to build this freedom and the legitimacy of this powerful nation that has spoken today with its soul, blood, and limbs, and has spread its word to the world through its blood, strength, and revolution, and through its accumulated rage, and its blessed intifada…

“What is called the ‘Trump Deal’ is invalid and it needs to be sabotaged in every way. It will not pass, with Allah’s Will, and we will stand against all of the plans to eliminate the Palestinian problem at any price, which we will pay with blood and in any way to achieve this. True national unity is based upon partnership and the path of jihad. The struggle and dealing with all the elimination plans [of the Palestinian problem] is a national choice that is obligatory for us to strive toward, and which needs to be actualized today and before tomorrow…

“This movement and popular revolution, in all its ways, perpetuates and continues, and we emphasize its constancy and continuation. We support the activities that the Upper National Council for the Return March and Breaking the Embargo have decreed, and of our Palestinian people who have been living the bitterness of banishment and exile, and the bitterness of the Nakba for the past 70 years. They will not be silent or withdraw, and they will not return until their aspirations are fulfilled and they go back to their homeland and the occupation is removed, their independent country is established, and its eternal capital will be al-Quds…

“The Zionist occupation must not receive legitimacy from any source. We call upon our Arab and Muslim brothers to stop the normalization plan, the plan for Arab and Islamic brainwashing, and turning the Zionist enemy into part of the region or a member of a union of countries from this area. The Zionist enemy is our adversary, and we have no other foe apart from it, and there is no room upon our land for it. The day must come when this enemy is removed, by the Will of Allah. The natural reaction to this aggression and the killing of our peaceful people must be an Arab and Islamic one, through a broad-based intifada in all major cities and a clear Palestinian response here in Gaza and the [West] Bank of a firm stand, and in al-Quds and the [territories] of 48 [Israel]. It is obligatory for our enemy to pay the price for this killing, and for the enemy and the American government to pay the price for transferring the American embassy to al-Quds. The West Bank needs to burn, and all of Palestine needs to burn in the face of Zionist aggression today and tomorrow, and after tomorrow, with the Will of Allah…

“Combat organizations are managing and supervising the peaceful marches of our people, and this is one of the rights and legitimate methods of struggle of our people, and they are managing the marches, supporting them, and standing as their defenders, like a shield that protects them…. [The enemy] must not try the patience of the struggle or the continued patience of the al-Qassam Brigades…

“This is jihad – victory or causing death in the way of Allah.”

The Hamas press release reveals these significant points:

Hamas takes full responsibility, with the cooperation of other organizations, for managing the Return Marches in their characteristically violent style.

In the al-Aqsa intifada, Hamas chose a strategy of individual suicide terror attacks; today they are following a strategy of mass “suicide attacks,” fired up by clashes, with the clear understanding that endangering Israeli soldiers and civilians will elicit a military response to neutralize the threat.

If, in the past, Hamas counted its victories according to the number of Israeli casualties, today it measures victory according to the number of Palestinian casualties. Hamas is interested in flowing Palestinian blood. Its press release mentioned its hope that these events would lead to a broad intifada in the West Bank, Jerusalem, Israel, and various major cities. In other words, Hamas perceives Palestinian blood as an explosive material, the purpose of which is to threaten regional stability in a way that will help it to build a coalition against Israel and weaken it from within through an intifada of Israeli Arabs. Thus, for the purpose of a reaching a broader audience, Hamas did not immediately respond to the killing of Palestinians who attacked IDF soldiers (or to an Israeli air force attack on Hamas targets). This also contradicts its repeated promises to the Palestinian public that its armed activists would follow the participants in the march and protect them if the IDF opened fire on them.

Hamas operatives at the border fence with Israel
Hamas operatives at the border fence with Israel (Hamas website)

There are other purposes for weakening Israel and torpedoing diplomatic initiatives. Hamas is interested in standing out as the true leader of the Palestinian people and being the only leader that can rally all of the Palestinian organizations in the struggle against Israel. This is in contrast to the attempts of Mahmoud Abbas to reestablish his leadership at a recent meeting of the Palestinian National Council, of which Hamas and Islamic Jihad are not members. The assembly was boycotted by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. Through clashes and bloodshed, Hamas seeks to create a leadership alternative to the administration of the Palestinian Authority as part of its plans to merge with the PLO and take control of it from within.

Hamas refers to the events surrounding the marches as “peaceful,” yet in the same breath it calls them “jihad” and “the armed struggle.” Hamas admits that these are acts of violence and warfare, but it adheres to the description of “peaceful ways” as part of its propaganda machine against Israel, which receives a sympathetic ear and understanding from the Left and human rights groups.

Hamas has clarified the objectives of the Return Marches, which are the elimination of the State of Israel and ethnically cleansing the Jewish presence from the land.

* * *


Lt. Col. (ret.) Jonathan D. Halevi is a senior researcher of the Middle East and radical Islam at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. He is a co-founder of the Orient Research Group Ltd.


Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

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