Friday, June 29, 2018

ICE at Bay: Siege at Portland Continues as Copycat Insurrections Spread Nationwide - Peter Barry Chowka

by Peter Barry Chowka

City cooperates with far left kooks as national Dems echo the street radicals’ demands to shut down ICE

Thursday June 28 marks day 12 in the radical left wing and anarchist occupation and blockade of ICE headquarters in Portland, Oregon, organized by a group called Occupy ICE PDX. The direct action to shut down operations of the Federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement and investigative agency began with a small group of demonstrators on June 17. Within two days, scores of radicals, including families with children, had set up a sprawling tent city on the sidewalks and streets surrounding the building, effectively shutting it down. By week’s end, hundreds of “comrades” had been lured by social media to join the campaign, as it served to inspire similar provocative illegal actions around the country. According to Willamette Week, “The Portland occupation, the first nationwide, is an attempt to disrupt President Donald Trump's ‘zero tolerance’ policy that has treated refugees seeking asylum as criminals and separated small children from their parents.”

National mainstream television and cable news coverage of these developments in Portland has continued to be largely nonexistent. The fact that the movement has gone nationwide has also been ignored. Several Internet political publications, including American Thinker on June 25, have reported on the story, as have a few major newspapers. In contrast, the radical ragtag “Occupy Movement” demonstrations in the fall of 2011 grabbed major media coverage including on TV from the outset of the first one, Occupy Wall Street. It’s plausible that the widespread coverage of obnoxious and potentially criminal actions that have been taken place, and their potential impact to harm Democrat candidates in the fall, have discouraged the MSM from reporting on the equally obnoxious radical encampments in Portland and other cities.

Part of the Occupy Portland ICE tent city Photo: Daniel Stindt, Occupy ICE

The groups behind the Portland and allied anti-ICE actions include Antifa, DSA (Democrat Socialists of America), Direct Action, and various anarchists, socialists, and communist fellow travelers. The official Occupy I.C.E. PDX Twitter account makes the group’s agenda clear: “We won’t leave until I.C.E is out of Portland and is abolished!” and “ICE = GESTAPO.” The radical left wing Democrat mayor of Portland, Ted Wheeler, is in sync with the occupiers and has ordered Portland police to stand down and not enforce the laws against such actions. Other Portland political leaders are even more dedicated to kowtowing to the occupiers and shutting down ICE in the city. According to a Washington Post article reprinted at SFGate:
City Councilmember Chloe Eudaly said at a meeting Wednesday [June 27] that her office is looking into the possibility of revoking ICE’s lease at the Portland building. Margaux Weeke, a spokeswoman for Eudaly, said the office is looking into options for removing ICE: “We are definitely very supportive of the occupy movement. We're doing our very best to support everything that they're doing.”
Among the “dozens of cities nationwide” where groups of radicals have occupied or blocked ICE buildings are San Diego, Los Angeles, New York, Detroit, San Francisco, Chicago, and Pittsburgh. Demonstrators to date have had some success in shutting down ICE operations. For example, as Al Jazeera reported in an article on June 27:
On Monday [June 25], #OccupyICENYC forced the agency to temporarily cancel a series of immigration hearings, with officials citing a need to ‘ensure the safety of ICE employees, the court, the public and detainees,’ according to local media.
Source: Occupy ICE NYC Twitter

In recent days, prominent national Democrats have started to echo the Occupy ICE street radicals’ demands to shut down ICE. Support for this ultimatum to in effect nullify the law is quickly becoming an article of faith for Democrat candidates running for office this year and some presidential wannabes with their eyes set on challenging President Trump in 2020. High profile Dems jumping on the abolish ICE bandwagon include 2020 presidential hopeful Senator Kamala Harris (CA), New York Gubernatorial candidate, Sex and the City actress, and lesbian activist Cynthia Nixon, and a number of current Representatives and at least 15 candidates for the House, including the surprise winner of New York’s 14th Congressional District Democrat primary. That new rising star of the left, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, was a member of the DSA who was working as a bartender seven months ago. According to the Washington Post, Ocasio-Cortez “made ‘abolish ICE’ a centerpiece of her campaign, with bilingual ‘Abolish ICE/Elimina Ice’ posters appearing in shop windows across Queens and the Bronx.” On Monday, Representative Mark Pocan, a Democrat from Wisconsin, introduced legislation in the House of Representatives that would abolish the agency.

ICE was established in 2003 as part of the Department of Homeland Security that was a result of legislation passed after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. ICE’s 2018 budget is $7.6 billion and it employs over 20,000 people. ICE is responsible for much more than enforcing immigration laws. The agency “executes its mission through the enforcement of more than 400 federal statutes, focusing on preventing terrorism, immigration enforcement and combating transnational crime.” ICE also “maintains attachés at major U.S. diplomatic missions overseas.”

The recent clarion call to shut down ICE altogether is part of a larger agenda by this latest incarnation of the seven year-old Occupy movement and its wide variety of radical adherents. More broadly, the movement is also “demanding” the closure of prisons and the opening of borders. In other words, stick a dagger in the heart of law enforcement by freeing convicted criminals from jails and prisons and give up trying to keep illegal aliens out of the country because these policies – law and order and borders – are “racist.”

The Portland ICE HQ occupation has grown in numbers (more than 90 tents and hundreds of participants as of June 25) and has hardened its encampment with barricades made of wooden pallets, heavy tarps, and other material. Overnight last Monday, a small number of Federal officers managed to sneak into the building as the protesters were asleep. They started removing banners the demonstrators had attached to the building’s exterior and the next day began passing out fliers warning the tent city occupiers that they would be subject to arrest. As of late Wednesday June 27, no arrests had been made and no one had been evicted from the sprawling and ever expanding tent city.

A look inside Portland occupy ICE camps Source: Portland Oregonian

The warnings seemed to only harden the resolve of the occupiers. When a few federal officers were spotted in the area on June 27, an occupier tweeted “Homeland [DHS] chuds are here, SEND FUC–NG BODIES NOW #OccupyICEPDX.” According to Urban Dictionary, CHUD “is the acronym for Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dweller. This term is regarded as the WORST possible insult you can dish out on the social media circles today.” According to an article on June 27 in The Oregonian, Occupy ICE Portland leaders have promised that, if arrests are made and the encampment is shut down:
“People are going to do whatever it takes,” Jacob Bureros, an organizer of the Occupy ICE PDX movement, said Tuesday. “If they arrest us on federal property, we'll shut the roads down. You can't stop us. They’re going to find out that this city has more resolve than they do.”
On June 26, Williamette Week described how occupation leaders have already arranged with the city’s legions of public defenders, who normally represent illegal aliens, to vigorously defend anyone arrested at Portland’s ICE HQ.

Local Portland mainstream media – print, online, TV, and radio – are reporting daily on the occupation. The coverage is generally positive, as befits a city that might as well be named The People’s Republic of Portland. Local left wing “community” radio station KBOO-FM has been broadcasting live from the encampment.

The most common question people ask about this situation is a variation of “How long will this be allowed to go on?”

Source: Occupy ICE NYC Twitter

Peter Barry Chowka is a veteran reporter and analyst of news on national politics, media, and popular culture. He is a frequent contributor to American Thinker. Follow Peter on Twitter at @pchowka.


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How Tehran Lobbyists Mislead Opinion in the West - Amir Taheri

by Amir Taheri

The pro-Khomeinist chorus builds its case on an abstract notion in which, in dealing with the Islamic Republic, the choice is only between surrendering to its every whim or total military invasion.
  • The pro-Khomeinist chorus builds its case on an abstract notion in which, in dealing with the Islamic Republic, the choice is only between surrendering to its every whim or total military invasion.
  • The same lobbyists discourage any attempt by the major powers to adopt a policy aimed at helping, persuading and cajoling Iran into restoring its identity as a nation-state and behave like one by closing the chapter of a revolution that has plunged Iran and a good chunk of the Middle east into conflict and uncertainty.
As the clock ticks towards 8th of August, the deadline fixed by US President Donald Trump to unveil the next stage of his policy towards Iran, a choir of Western politicians, academics and businessmen is formed to urge him to stick to the policies of his predecessors since 1979. That, in turn, has encouraged elements in the Tehran leadership to argue against any change of policy and/or behavior by the Islamic Republic on a range of issues, as spelled out in US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's 12-point statement, including the attempt to "export" revolution to Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Bahrain and Yemen among others.

Last Tuesday Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif replied to Pompeo with a 15-point desiderata of his own, indicating Tehran's choice of a delaying tactic.

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif (pictured) has replied to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's 12-point statement with a 15-point desiderata of his own, indicating Tehran's choice of a delaying tactic. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

The pro-Khomeinist chorus builds its case on an abstract notion in which, in dealing with the Islamic Republic, the choice is only between surrendering to its every whim or total military invasion.

In her latest book "Fascism: A Warning" former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright reduces policy in Iran to a simple question: "Do we want to repeat the adventure in Iraq?"
One of her successors, John Kerry, goes even further by touring Western capitals to promote his idea that "there is no alternative to Iran's influence" in the Middle East.

That is echoed by Joshua Landis, a pro-Bashar al-Assad American academic, who claims that Iran's intervention in Syria, later backed by Russia, prevented the victory of the Syrian opposition which, he asserts, consists solely of ISIS and kindred military groups. He implies that the US and its ally Israel must be grateful to Iran for having prevented Assad's fall.

Ben Rhodes, a former National Security assistant to President Barrack Obama, echoes that sentiment in his new book "The World As It Is". He dwells on the fact that Iran has a middle class and a more developed society to cast it as a better model for the Middle East.
Translated into plainer language this means that the US should regard Iran's presence in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon as a positive development.

Dr. Landis shares the same view when he asserts in a recent article that "this is the first time in modern history that the entire north tier of the Middle East countries shares good relations". Depending on when his "modern history" begins, one could argue that the same countries also enjoyed "good relations" when they were under British and French colonial rule.

But is foreign domination the only means of developing good relations among neighbors?
More importantly, perhaps, how could one describe relations between the fractured Lebanese government, the remnants of the Assad regime and the wayward Iraqi political elite as "good" and the role that Tehran plays in all three countries as beneficial to their peoples?

Khomeinist Regime as a Model

The idea of the Khomeinist regime as a model for all Middle East is inspired by the 1960s concept of "models for development." Today, however, that concept is regarded as more of an intellectual conceit than a serious guide to socio-political analysis. Even Western democracies, though similar in many ways and sharing cultural and religious values, are patterned on many different models. There is, therefore, no reason why different nations in the Middle East should be encouraged or even forced to adopt Iran's "wilayat al-faqih" system as a model.

Whether deliberate or caused by ignorance, this misunderstanding of the destabilizing role that Iran plays in the region and beyond has led to what could only be described as political paralysis by the Western democracies and their allies at a time that the Khomeinist regime is increasingly contested by the people of Iran. That paralysis encourages the Tehran leadership to refuse internal reform and external accommodation in the service of peace and stability.

"American rulers have always dreamed of forcing us to change our behavior, and failed," Iran's "Supreme Guide," Ali Khamenei, has said. "Five US administrations took that dream to their graves. The present one shall have the same fate."

The Impossible American Dream

Khamenei's analysis is not far off the mark. Successive American presidents have worked hard to persuade the Khomeinist regime in Tehran to modify aspects of its foreign policy, so far with no success.

The reason may be the inability or unwillingness of successive US presidents, and a good part of the American political and cultural elite, to properly understand the nature of the Khomeinist regime.

Jimmy Carter believed the Khomeinist seizure of power represented the return of religion to the center of public life.

His administration described Khomeini as "a holy man" and "the Gandhi of Islam." Carter wrote letters to Khomeini "as a man of faith to a man of faith." He even ordered the resumption of arms supplies to Tehran. We all know what that did to Carter.

President Ronald Reagan, who had visited Iran just a year before the revolution, thought he knew Iranians better. He described them as "carpet merchants and dealmakers." Accordingly, he smuggled arms that the mullahs needed to stop the Iraqi army from advancing farther into Iran. He also sent a huge heart-shaped cake and a personally autographed copy of the Bible and two ultra-modern handguns as presents for the ayatollah.

One result was the Iran-Contra scandal that rocked Reagan's presidency.

Dealing with the aftershocks of that crisis, President George H.W. Bush developed no policy on Iran beyond a number of secret talks with the Rafsanjani faction that led nowhere but reassured Tehran that the American "Great Satan" had been neutralized.

President Bill Clinton saw the Khomeinist regime as "progressist," a view shared by many American liberals who think anti-Americanism is the surest sign of progressive beliefs.
Here is what Clinton said at a meeting on the margins of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, in 2005:
"Iran today is, in a sense, the only country where progressive ideas enjoy a vast constituency. It is there that the ideas that I subscribe to are defended by a majority."
And here is what Clinton had to say in a TV interview a bit later with Charlie Rose:
"Iran is the only country in the world, the only one with elections, including the United States, including Israel, including you name it, where the liberals, or the progressives, have won two-thirds to 70 percent of the vote in six elections: two for president; two for the Parliament, the Majlis; two for the mayoralties. In every single election, the guys I identify with got two-thirds to 70 percent of the vote. There is no other country in the world I can say that about, certainly not my own."
Clinton and his secretary of state, Madeleine Albright, apologized to the mullahs for unspecified "crimes" committed "by my civilization" and removed a raft of sanctions imposed on Iran after the seizure of the US hostages in Tehran.

But what crimes?

Clinton summed them:
"It's a sad story that really began in the 1950s when the United States deposed Mr. Mossadegh, who was an elected parliamentary democrat, and brought the Shah back, and then he was overturned by the Ayatollah Khomeini, driving us into the arms of one Saddam Hussein. We got rid of the parliamentary democracy [there] back in the '50s; at least, that is my belief."
Clinton did not know that in Iran, which he so admired, Mossadegh, far from being regarded as a national hero, is an object of intense vilification. One of the first acts of the mullahs after seizing power was to take the name of Mossadegh off a street in Tehran.

Presidents Bush and Obama

Too busy with Afghanistan and Iraq, President George W. Bush paid little attention to Iran. Nevertheless, in his second term he, too, tried to persuade the mullahs to modify their behavior. His secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, sent an invitation, not to say a begging note, to the mullahs for "constructive dialogue." They responded by stepping up the killing of US soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq by local surrogates.

Needless to say, he did no better.

President Barack Obama went much further than any of his predecessors in trying to curry favor with the mullahs. Even in 2009, when the regime's paramilitary units were massacring people in the streets of Iranian cities during a nationwide pro-democracy uprising, Obama decided to side with the mullahs.

Obama officially recognized Iran as a threshold nuclear state in exchange for dubious concessions by Tehran within the so-called "nuke deal" that Trump has denounced.
One key reason for misunderstanding the nature of the present regime in Tehran is the failure to acknowledge that, for the past four decades, Iran has suffered from a Jekyll-and-Hyde split personality.

To be sure, as a people and a culture, Iran is attractive.

Valerie Jarett, reputed to be Obama's closest adviser, remembers Shiraz, the Iranian cultural capital and the Florence of the East, where she was born and grew up. Before the revolution, Shiraz, with its beautiful architecture, was a city of gardens and music with an annual international art festival. How could one not love Iran through it?

Today, however, Shiraz, where John Kerry's sister worked for years, is a scene of public hangings and floggings, with its prisons filled with political and religious dissidents.
The film star Sean Penn, acting as a part-time reporter, visited Iran and wrote laudatory pieces. He saw Isfahan, the great former capital of Iran, as something of a paradise on earth. Like Clinton he was impressed by "incredibly progressive" people he met. What he ignored was that Iran has been top of the world list for the number of executions and political prisoners. Right now 15,000 men and women live under the death sentence in Iranian prisons.

Another movie star, George Clooney, praises Iranian cinema as "the only original one" in the world. But he ignores the fact that the films he admires, seen in festivals in the West, are never shown inside Iran itself and that many Iranian cineastes are in jail or in exile or banned from making films.

The State and the Tool

John Kerry admires Iran because he knows it through his Iranian son-in-law, who hails from a pre-revolution middle-class family. He doesn't know that it is precisely such families that suffer most from Khomeinist terror and repression; this is why many, including the family of his son-in-law, fled into exile.

As a nation-state, Iran has no problems with anybody. As a vehicle for the Khomeinist ideology it has problems with everybody, starting with the Iranian people. The Khomeinist regime makes no secret of its intense hatred for Iranian culture, which it claims has roots in "the age of ignorance" (jahiliyyah).

To admire this regime because of Iranian culture is like admiring Hitler for Goethe and Beethoven and praising Stalin for Pushkin and Tchaikovsky.

This regime has executed tens of thousands of Iranians, driven almost 6 million into exile, and deprived the nation of its basic freedoms. It has also killed more Americans, often through surrogates, than al-Qaeda did on 9/11. Not a single day has passed without this regime holding some American and other hostages.

The Tehran regime makes no secret of its role in fomenting and sustaining the Houthi rebellion in Yemen. Fars, the news site run by the Revolutionary Guard Corps claims that the Houthis represent "part of a global resistance movement" led by Tehran.

The daily Kayhan, reputedly echoing the views of "Supreme Guide", states that Bahrain is part of Iran that was "given away" by the late Shah and must be regained.

General Qassem Soleimani, the man in charge of "exporting revolution" says he has transformed Lebanon into a "Resistance state" led by Iran. Ayatollah Ali Yunsei, senior adviser to President Hassan Rouhani, boasts that Iran now controls four Arab capitals: Sana'a, Baghdad, Damascus and Beirut. This may be hyperbole but it offers an insight into the mindset of the current rulers of Iran.

"Pro-Tehran lobbyists in the West do a disservice both to Iran and to the democracies in which they live," says analyst Nasser Zamani. "They encourage Tehran's illusions that have already led Iran into an historic impasse".

But that is not all. The same lobbyists discourage any attempt by the major powers to adopt a policy aimed at helping, persuading and cajoling Iran into restoring its identity as a nation-state and behave like one by closing the chapter of a revolution that has plunged Iran and a good chunk of the Middle east into conflict and uncertainty.

This article was originally published by Asharq al-Awsat

Amir Taheri was the executive editor-in-chief of the daily Kayhan in Iran from 1972 to 1979. He has worked at or written for innumerable publications, published eleven books, and has been a columnist for Asharq Al-Awsat since 1987.


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What Prince William Did Not See in Ramallah - Bassam Tawil

by Bassam Tawil

The message to the Palestinians: We support anyone who murders a Jew and will take care of their families if they are killed or imprisoned by Israel. The message to Prince William and other world leaders and dignitaries: We are committed to peace and the war on terrorism.

  • It seems that Abbas and Israel have different views on how terrorism should be combated. Abbas seems to think that paying salaries to convicted terrorists and their families is a good first step in that direction.
  • Prince William just spread smiles around as Abbas was talking about the Palestinians' "serious" desire to achieve peace with Israel and their "commitment" to combating terrorism.
  • The Palestinian leadership does not want the prince and the rest of the world to know about the conflicting messages they send to their people and to the rest of the world. The message to the Palestinians: We support anyone who murders a Jew and will take care of their families if they are killed or imprisoned by Israel. The message to Prince William and other world leaders and dignitaries: We are committed to peace and the war on terrorism.
  • As chance would have it, on the very day that the prince was in Ramallah, the Palestinian Authority was repeating its pledge to continue funding terrorists and their families. One hopes that Prince William enjoyed his visit to Ramallah. One also hopes that he asks his advisors to translate for him what Palestinian leaders are saying to their own people in Arabic.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas shared some interesting news with England's Prince William during a meeting in Ramallah on June 27. He informed the royal visitor that the Palestinians are "serious about reaching peace with Israel." Abbas also said that the Palestinians were "committed to combating terrorism."

What makes this news interesting is that as Abbas was speaking to Prince William in his Ramallah headquarters, known as the Mukata, the Palestinian government issued a statement praising Palestinian terrorists imprisoned by Israel. The Ramallah-based government also vowed to continue paying salaries to Palestinians convicted of murdering and injuring Jews, defying Israeli and American demands to stop the payments.

The Palestinian government's pledge to continue supporting the terrorists and their families financially came in response to a new Israeli law that allows the Israeli government to deduct funds that are supposed to be transferred to the Palestinian Authority commensurate with the amount of money the Palestinians pay to the terrorists and their families.

The Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee approved the law this week, on June 27. The bill, which was proposed by MK Avi Dichter (Likud) and MK Elazar Stern (Yesh Atid), states that welfare payments paid by the Palestinian Authority to the terrorists and their relatives will be deducted from tax revenues Israel transfers each month to the Palestinian Authority. The money withheld would instead go into a fund designated to help victims of Palestinian terror attacks.

Abbas and his government are outraged by the new Israeli law, which comes in the context of Israel's effort to combat terrorism -- the same terrorism that the Palestinian leader claims he is "committed" to fighting. They see nothing wrong with funding terrorists and their families.

It seems that Abbas and Israel have different views on how terrorism should be combated. Abbas seems to think that paying salaries to convicted terrorists and their families is a good first step in that direction.

For some reason, Prince William, who sat next to Abbas when the Palestinian leader made his statement about combating terrorism, did not bother to ask the Palestinian leader about the payments to the terrorists and their families. Nor did the visiting prince deem it necessary to ask his host about the Palestinian Authority's long-standing tradition of glorifying terrorists who target Jews. Instead, Prince William just spread smiles around as Abbas was talking about the Palestinians' "serious" desire to achieve peace with Israel and their "commitment" to combating terrorism.

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge meets Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas during an official visit to in Ramallah, on June 27, 2018. (Photo by Joe Giddens - Pool/Getty Images)

The prince must have been unaware of what the Palestinian government had to say about convicted terrorists during his visit to Ramallah. In case the prince still does not know, here is a translated excerpt from the Palestinian government's statement (which was issued while the prince was meeting with Abbas): "Palestinian prisoners are our national icons and symbols of defending freedom and dignity and confronting oppression and subjugation." The Palestinian government vowed that it would "not abandon the prisoners and the families of the martyrs."

It is worth noting that the "martyrs" that Abbas's government is talking about are in fact Palestinian terrorists, who were killed by the Israeli army or police during attacks on Jews. The "martyrs" also include Palestinians who blew themselves up during suicide bombings in Israel.

Abbas, like the vast majority of the Palestinians, consider terrorists who killed or maimed Jews as heroes, shaheeds (martyrs) and role models. Of course, there is nothing new about the Palestinian tradition of glorifying terrorists, and much has been said about the policy of naming schools and squares after Jew-murderers in Palestinian cities, villages and refugee camps in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

In addition to the government's statement, another Palestinian Authority institution, The Commission for Palestinian Prisoners and Ex-Detainees, described the Palestinian terrorists as "soldiers of freedom and dignity." The commission was responding to the new Israeli anti-terrorism law. In sharp contrast to Abbas's message of peace during his meeting with Prince William, the commission denounced Israel as a "fascist" state that engages in "piracy and theft" of Palestinian funds. "The Palestinian people, government and leadership will not abandon the prisoners and the families of the martyrs," the commission said in a strongly worded statement. The Palestinian terrorists, it added, "have sacrificed their lives and souls for the sake of their people and homeland and the entire humanity."

On the eve of Prince William's visit, the Palestinian Authority inaugurated a monument commemorating the "martyrs" of Ramallah. At the ceremony, the mayor of Ramallah praised the "martyrs" and described them as "great" fighters who sacrificed their lives for the sake of their people and homeland.

Predictably, Prince William was not taken by his Palestinian hosts to see the monument erected in the old city of Ramallah to honor Palestinian terrorists. Instead, he was escorted by his Palestinian hosts to enjoy falafel, hummus and kenafah sweets and attend a musical presentation on the streets of Ramallah.

But the choice to share candy rather than training for terrorism makes sense good sense, from the Palestinian point of view.

The last thing the Palestinians want is for the prince and his entourage to see a monument honoring terrorists. That would stand in sharp contrast to Abbas's claim that the Palestinians are committed to combating terrorism and serious about achieving peace with Israel.

The Palestinian leadership sought to protect the prince from the double-talk and hypocrisy of Abbas and his cronies. They do not want the prince and the rest of the world to know about the conflicting messages they send to their people and to the rest of the world. The message to the Palestinians: We support anyone who murders a Jew and will take care of their families if they are killed or imprisoned by Israel. The message to Prince William and other world leaders and dignitaries: We are committed to peace and the war on terrorism.
Prince William may have received a red-carpet reception in Ramallah, but he left the city ignorant of the dark side of Palestinian culture -- particularly the part concerning the glorification of terrorists and the ongoing anti-Israel incitement. Falafel and hummus are just the beginning of what is happening on the Palestinian street and in the mosques and the media.

As chance would have it, on the very day that the prince was in Ramallah, the Palestinian Authority was repeating its pledge to continue funding terrorists and their families. One hopes that Prince William enjoyed his visit to Ramallah. One also hopes that he asks his advisors to translate for him what Palestinian leaders are saying to their own people in Arabic.
Bassam Tawil is a Muslim Arab based in the Middle East.


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The Left Loses the Judiciary - Daniel Greenfield

by Daniel Greenfield

The golden age of conservative jurisprudence is here.

Fisher v. University of Texas protected racial discrimination in college admissions.
Justice Kennedy wrote the decision joined by Ginsburg, Sotomayor and Breyer. The court’s only African-American justice dissented. As did Roberts and Alito. Scalia had been the most vigorous of the Supreme Court members in challenging racial preferences in college admissions. But he had passed away.

The 4-3 decision that continued the shameful tradition of progressive racist jurisprudence will become an impossible relic once President Trump’s next Supreme Court nominee joins Gorsuch on the bench.

As we wrap up a season of Supreme Court decisions successfully reaffirming constitutional law, if at times only narrowly, it’s time to look forward to the coming restoration of our founding document.

And the restoration of our freedoms, our dignity and our honor.

The early years of the Trump administration have seen both the worst and the best of the judiciary. Federal judges joined the leftist resistance by seizing the power to decide everything from immigration policy down to whom the President of the United States can block on Twitter. These decisions weren’t just power grabs, they ignored basic law and precedent, and not to mention checks and balances.

The President spent months having his legitimate authority of office crippled while waiting for the Supreme Court to intervene. And sometimes these interventions, as in Trump v. Hawaii, were shockingly narrow. Without Gorsuch, the 5-4 decision, in which the court’s four leftists insisted on denying Trump the authority of his office, would have been the verdict of the Supreme Court and the law of the land.

During the election, Never Trumpers told us that a Republican Senate could check Hillary Clinton. Now, George Will and other GOP defectors insist that the Senate needs to be turned over to the Democrats.

Imagine the Supreme Court with two or three more leftists on it. That would have been the outcome.

And imagine Janus v. AFSCME, Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, Abbott v. Perez, Jennings v. Rodriguez, Minnesota Voters Alliance v. Mansky, Husted v. A. Philip Randolph Institute, National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra, and others coming up under the justices appointed by President Hillary Clinton.
Then ask how anyone who believes those cases involving religious freedom, freedom of speech, and the rights of states should have been decided to the left could possibly claim to be a conservative.

If President Trump had done nothing else, two Supreme Court appointments alone are transformative.

We stand on the threshold of a golden age in conservative jurisprudence. After generations of wandering through a wasteland of judicial activism and unilateral supremacism, we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. And so can the left. That is why it is preparing to go to war for Kennedy’s seat.

Most elections only last for years. But Supreme Court appointments resonate across the ages.

Justice Kennedy took office in 1988. George H. W. Bush gave the nation the gift of Clarence Thomas in 1991. Bill Clinton sent Ruth Bader Ginsburg on in 1993 and Breyer in 1994. Think about how much these men and women altered the country across the decades. And how much more their successors will.

The left has begun screaming about Roe v. Wade. It doesn’t really believe that the Supreme Court will do away with it. But it has no better way to mobilize a screaming mob and all the money it can grab. Every major media outlet is already assembling hit pieces on the likely candidates. Democrat Senators are preparing to accuse anyone whom Trump nominates of being a rapist and a murderer of women.

Sight unseen.

It’s not really about Roe v. Wade, though that will likely be the social issue that the left will rally around. It’s not even about Trump v. Hawaii. It is about Janus v. AFSCME and Husted v. A. Philip Randolph Institute because it’s about defending the corrupt power and privilege of the left.

Democrats have abused the courts to protect their own corrupt institutions, whether it’s municipal unions or college campuses, and to suppress political dissent, Masterpiece Cakeshop and National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra, are typical examples of this phenomenon.

Losing the Supreme Court will roll back the judicial activism of generations. It will make it harder for the left to rig elections, Abbott v. Perez, and protect the ability of states to fight voter fraud, Husted v. A. Philip Randolph Institute. It will go on protecting religious freedom and it will start fighting racism.

And it will stop the judicial activist assault on the Trump administration. Because it’s not just about the Supreme Court.

The nine seats of the Court are the biggest judicial prizes. But President Trump and the Senate have been breaking judicial appointment records. 21 federal appeals judges have been confirmed. The 87 nominees are a down payment on an opportunity to name a quarter of the Federal judiciary.

And these aren’t just the same old crowd. The new judicial nominations represent a culture shift.

The Supreme Court still consists of Yale and Harvard graduates. But a shift is underway in the lower ranks with University of Virginia Law and Duke rising, while Harvard and Yale falter. Trump’s early batch of judicial nominees included an Indian-American judge out of UC Berkeley School of Law, a former magistrate judge with a degree from the University of North Dakota and a University of Nebraska College of Law grad.

When the left complains that Trump’s judicial picks lack diversity, it’s because they don’t fill quotas, instead they have intellectual diversity.

As Above the Law put it, "As Trump and McConnell take over the federal judiciary, it’s interesting to me that more people from Chicago and UVA and Duke are getting clerkships, while fewer people from Harvard and Yale are. It could be a one-year blip… it could be a 25-year blip if the Federalist Society and Heritage Foundation continue to have their way."
If you want to understand the left’s clamor that Trump’s nominees are unqualified, it’s not because they’re unqualified. It’s because they’re coming from outside the usual lily pads in the great swamp.

These aren’t just cosmetic changes.

Everyone knew in 2016 that by 2020, the winner would have significantly transformed the judiciary. If Trump can get a second term and if the Republicans can maintain a Senate majority, then everything will change. Whatever else happens, those changes will be huge. And they will be very difficult to undo.

Everything won’t change overnight. But it will change for generations to come.

Like an iceberg, most of the problems with the Federal government can only be seen underwater. But the changes are also only visible underwater. The State Department has been fundamentally transformed. The military is slowly starting to return to what it was before the Obama era. The bloody battle for control of the EPA is largely reflected in the media’s obsessive attacks on its head. And conservatives are recreating the left’s efforts with a successful long march through the judiciary.

That is another reason why leftist judges have been furiously lashing out at Trump. They know that the tide is turning. As Obama liked to say, their leftist ideology is no longer on the right side of history.

Ever since the election, the left retreated into a hateful media bubble. It built an echo chamber in which everyone was convinced that President Trump would fail. It even managed to find some Republicans who were happy to climb into the bubble with them. But the only people who need to live in a bubble are incapable of coping with the reality outside. And reality has a notorious right-wing bias.

In 2016, the blue wall fell. Now the judicial wall is falling.

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


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Donny Deutsch, Michael Hayden and the Moral Collapse of American Jewish Institutions - Dennis Prager

by Dennis Prager

Where's the condemnation of the Left's utter trivialization of the Holocaust?

Last week, on the MSNBC TV show "Morning Joe," MSNBC contributor Donny Deutsch said that every American who votes for President Donald Trump is a Nazi. His exact words: "If you vote for Trump, then you, the voter — you, not Donald Trump — are standing at the border like Nazis going, 'You here. You here.'"

Now, as virtually every Jew of Deutsch's generation knows, a Nazi saying, "You here. You here," refers to guards at Nazi extermination camps sending Jews to gas chambers or to work the barracks.

Also last week, Gen. Michael Hayden, a former director of the CIA (a fact that, among other things, gives credence to the increasingly widespread realization that our intelligence elites have been morally and intellectually compromised) tweeted a photo of the tracks leading into Auschwitz-Birkenau, the most infamous Nazi extermination and concentration camps, with the caption "Other governments have separated mothers and children."

Deutsch, Hayden and the myriad other fools who compare Trump to Hitler and the Nazis have utterly trivialized the Holocaust. As everyone who isn't on the left knows, there is nothing morally analogous between the way the last three presidential administrations dealt with some children of immigrants who are in the country illegally and what the Nazis did to Jewish children. 

American children are routinely separated from their parent when that parent is arrested, and if the arrestee is a single parent, the child is taken into government custody until other arrangements can be made. With regard to immigrants who are in the country illegally, the only way to avoid separation is to place the children in detention along with their arrested parent(s). But this was expressly forbidden by the most left-wing court in America — the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals — if detention lasts longer than 20 days, as it nearly always does when either a not-guilty plea or an asylum claim is made.

Moreover, as awful as separation from a parent is, these children were not treated like animals in cages but transferred to the care of relatives or foster homes, or housed with other detained children where they were provided with room, board, education, sports facilities, etc.

By contrast, Jewish children separated from their parents by Nazi guards were sent to gas chambers to die a gruesome, painful death by their lungs being filled with poisonous gas. And their parents almost always eventually suffered the same fate unless they were worked, starved or tortured to death.

Comparing the two is not only a trivialization of the Holocaust; it is actually a form of Holocaust denial. 

If Jewish children were treated by the Nazis the same way Central American children have been by America, then everything we know about the Holocaust is false. Jewish children weren't subjected to torturous medical experimentation, and they weren't gassed and cremated. They were simply separated from their Jewish parents for a finite period of time, sent to stay with Jewish relatives or provided for by foster families while their parents were detained pending due-process legal proceedings. According to Donny Deutsch, Michael Hayden and all the leftists comparing America and Trump to the Nazis, Jewish children weren't gassed; they played soccer while waiting to be reunited with their parents.
What is even more depressing than Deutsch and Hayden is the reaction — or silence — of most American Jewish organizations.

The Anti-Defamation League, which once defended Jewish interests, is becoming just another leftist interest group. I looked for some condemnation of Deutsch or Hayden and found none. Instead, in the words of the Israeli (left-wing) newspaper Haaretz, the ADL "made a direct comparison to the Holocaust." It tweeted: "Children separated from their parents during the Holocaust speak out about the trauma it has caused. How can anyone defend such inhumane policies?"

The only criticism the ADL could muster was this: "People need to be extremely careful in drawing comparisons to the Holocaust and the Nazi regime in whatever context it is used." But it offered no condemnation of those who actually made this odious comparison.
Leftism has poisoned much of American Jewish life. That is the primary reason, as reported in the just-released American Jewish Committee poll, American and Israeli Jews are so divided on so many issues.

There were rabbis who announced they fasted when Trump was elected. Non-Orthodox synagogues around America sat shiva (the religious mourning period for a deceased immediate family member) when Trump won. And the Hebrew Union College, the Reform Jewish movement's rabbinical seminary, had an Israel-hating writer as this year's graduation speaker. 

If you support Trump or Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, or hold almost any traditional Jewish worldview — like God creating the human being as male and female — you must either hide your opinion or risk being ostracized at almost any non-Orthodox synagogue.

To their credit, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, the Zionist Organization of America and a few other organizations did condemn those who equate America under Trump with Nazi Germany. But most Jewish organizations kept quiet, offered tepid caution or actually echoed the sentiment.

In other words, at this time many American Jewish organizations are bad for the Jews, bad for Judaism and trivialize the Holocaust in order to score political points.

If it's any comfort (and it isn't), things are no better in mainstream Protestantism or at the Vatican.

But here is real comfort: If the left keeps on smearing nearly half its fellow Americans as Nazis, it will assure more Republican victories this coming November.

Dennis Prager


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The Bible, Secularism, and Anti-Semitism - Rafael Castro

by Rafael Castro

A culture's respect for the Torah is a good indicator of its respect for its Jews

BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 877, June 28, 2018

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Anti-Semitism is the most insidious hatred in history. Aversion to Jews has flourished under so many circumstances that it is hard to find a common denominator accounting for its manifold manifestations. However, there have been periods when non-Jews showed strong sympathy and solidarity towards Jews. Perhaps the best illustration of this friendship is modern America.

There are precedents showing that America’s willingness to befriend the Jews is not a unique case in history. Calvinist Holland and Puritan England also displayed friendship and solidarity towards Jews, a sympathy that was expressed by fervent Christians. The fervor of those Christians was as strong as that of Catholics who burned conversos at the stake and of Orthodox Christian clergymen who intimidated Jews throughout Eastern Europe.

The difference between Puritans and Catholic or Orthodox Christians towards Jews was not doctrinal. These streams of Christianity each embraced the replacement theology of Augustine, which viewed Christians as God’s new covenant partners. The difference is that Calvinists and Puritans embraced the Hebrew Bible, whereas Catholics, Lutherans, and Orthodox Christians tended to view the Torah as the obsolete relic of an irascible and vindictive Israelite deity.

Nowadays, many Jews are baffled that American Christians overwhelmingly embrace Jews and Israel, whereas those Jews’ forefathers from the “old country” had good reason to fear and resent Christianity. This paradox is accounted for by the contrasting attitudes of Christians in North America and in continental Europe towards the Hebrew Bible. American Christians are eager and sympathetic readers of the Old Testament. Historically, European Christians have disregarded the Torah.

Indeed, the attitude of an ideology or culture towards the Torah is the best predictor of its attitude towards Jews. Nazis and Communists were on opposite ends of the political spectrum, but their hatred for the ethical and theological message of the Torah made them both implacable enemies of the Jewish people. Nowadays secular leftists and postmodernists embrace anti-Zionism and flirt with anti-Semitism, a phenomenon that dismays Jews raised on the axiom that progressivism is sympathetic to Jews. This animosity explains itself once we remember that the morality and ethics of Jewish scriptures are antithetical to postmodernism.

In this discussion Islam also plays a role. As long as Jews were submissive dhimmis of a self-confident Muslim polity, anti-Semitism played a relatively minor role in Islamic thought. After all, Jewish scriptures and Jewish meekness corroborated that Islam was the ascendant faith. However, once Jews returned to their historical homeland and vanquished Islamic armies on their home turf, the Torah morphed in Muslim eyes into an immoral text justifying all sorts of crimes including racism, supremacism, and genocide. Rabid anti-Semitism in the Muslim world followed.

The secularization of European and American societies has coincided with a marked rise in anti-Jewish sentiment in the Western world. University campuses in urban centers are at the heart of this hostility. This is not a coincidence given that these spaces are the least Bible-literate in America and Europe.

The Western powers would have never supported the establishment of a Jewish state in 1948 had their leaders not attended Sunday school and been knowledgeable about the Biblical stories that played out in Canaan and Judea.  Indeed, Biblical literacy at the core of one’s cultural identity and ethical self-understanding is the common thread shared by most Gentiles whose sympathy and support for the Jewish people has been selfless and spontaneous.

The secularization of Western society and the hollowing out of Christian culture into a digest of Gospel mantras thus constitute an existential threat to the Jewish people. Secularization erodes the traditional American identity whose sympathy and support for Jews and Israel has historically been so generous. In addition, it contributes to assimilationist trends by flattening out differences between Jews and Christians.

The fate of the Jewish people is intimately bound up with the prestige of the Torah. To strengthen flagging support for Israel and the Jewish people, the Bible and its ethos must be restored in the American educational system and culture industry. This restoration will undermine anti-Semitism more effectively than lectures on human rights and the dangers of racism.

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

Rafael Castro is a Yale- and Hebrew University-educated political analyst based in Berlin. He can be reached at


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NY congressional primary win for anti-Israel candidate stuns Dems - Yoni Hersch, News Agencies and Israel Hayom Staff

by Yoni Hersch, News Agencies and Israel Hayom Staff 

Ocasio-Cortez has slammed Israeli policies and has termed Israel's killing of violent Gaza border protesters a "massacre."

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a 28-year-old political novice, upset longtime U.S. Rep. Joseph Crowley on Tuesday in the Democratic congressional primary in New York
Photo: AP

The No. 4 Democrat in the U.S. House of Representatives, 10-term incumbent Joseph Crowley from New York's 14th distict, lost his bid for another term on Tuesday to 28-year-old democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

The stunning upset is the latest sign that the party's left-wing insurgency is ascendant in 2018. The pro-Israel Crowley had not faced a challenger from his own party in 14 years.
Ocasio-Cortez, who won 57.5% of the votes in New York's 14th Congressional District primary, represents a considerable challenge for Israel, after criticizing the Israeli government's policies and even describing Israel's killing of violent Gaza border protesters a "massacre."

Crowley, who was viewed as a possible successor to Nancy Pelosi as minority leader of the House of Representatives, only received 42.5% of the votes.

Conceding defeat, Crowley voiced his support for Ocasio-Cortez.

"I look forward to supporting her and all Democrats this November," Crowley said in his concession remarks. "The Trump administration is a threat to everything we stand for here in Queens and the Bronx, and if we don't win back the House this November, we will lose the nation we love."

U.S. President Donald Trump mocked Crowley, who he called "one of my biggest critics," for losing the primary.

"Wow! Big Trump Hater Congressman Joe Crowley, who many expected was going to take Nancy Pelosi's place, just LOST his primary election," Trump tweeted Tuesday night. "In other words, he's out! That is a big one that nobody saw happening. Perhaps he should have been nicer, and more respectful, to his President!"

Ocasio-Cortez began her political career as an organizer for Senator Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign. To defeat Crowley, she ran an energetic, defiant grass roots campaign aimed at the outmoded Democratic establishment, drawing the bulk of her support from the party's ultra-liberal younger voter base.

The outcome of the New York race added fuel to the battle between the Democratic Party's establishment wing, led by longtime House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and a more liberal faction inspired by Sanders' 2016 presidential campaign.

"This is yet another canary in the coal mine for both November and the years ahead," said Joshua Henne, a Democratic strategist. "You can look back four years to around now when Eric Cantor was knocked off and what that meant for an ascendant wing on the right. This is a big deal."

"This is the beginning of a movement," Ocasio-Cortez declared.

Yoni Hersch, News Agencies and Israel Hayom Staff


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Western Europe’s Disconnect On Islamic Antisemitism - Ari Lieberman

by Ari Lieberman

From Sweden to Germany, Europe’s justice system fails its Jewish citizenry.

This past week, a Swedish court found two “Palestinians” and a Syrian guilty of attempting to set fire to Sweden’s second largest synagogue through use of petrol bombs. The terrorist attack occurred on December 9, 2017 in the city of Gothenburg, and though no one was hurt, some 20 people present in the synagogue at the time of the attack were briefly forced to seek shelter in the synagogue’s cellar. 

Two of the perpetrators received two years in prison for their respective roles in the hate crime while a third was sentenced to one year and three months. The punishment meted out by the court represents a travesty of justice and is nothing short of farcical. In the United States, a similar crime would have resulted in far greater punishment.

Under the New York Penal Law for example, this form of arson would have generated a term of between 5 to 25 years. In other words, had these criminals committed the crime in New York, their minimum sentence would have been more than double than what was handed down by the Swedish court. The meek and utterly pathetic Swedish sentence demonstrates a persistent unwillingness on the part of Sweden’s political and judicial echelons to address the growing problem of anti-Semitic hate crimes committed by Sweden’s migrant population.

But Sweden is not unique in this regard. All over “enlightened Europe,” Islamic antisemitism and concomitant violence is on the rise and European courts have routinely treated such cases with dismissive nonchalance.

In Germany, a Berlin court convicted a 19-year-old Syrian migrant of “insult and grievous bodily harm” for his role in an anti-Semitic assault, and sentenced him to four weeks detention. But because he had already been detained pending the trial, the court credited him with time served and thus permitted him to walk free. 

The incident, which was captured on video, occurred on April 17. An Israeli Arab embarked upon a social experiment to determine if publicly wearing a Kippah in Berlin’s streets would invite anti-Semitic attacks. Sure enough, the 19-year-old migrant, accompanied by his thuggish friends, took the bait. It appears that the Kippah was enough provoke the migrant to spiral into an unhinged, violent rage. He removed his belt and began swinging violently at the victim, while screaming “Yahudi,” [sic] Arabic for “Jew.”

Video of the attack went viral prompting the Syrian to turn himself in. The court treated him as a juvenile absurdly claiming that he lacked maturity. Courts often factor the defendant’s level of remorse and acceptance of responsibility to determine the severity of the punishment. In the instant case, the defendant offered excuses but little by way of remorse. He claimed he was high on drugs and also claimed that he was provoked, a fact contradicted by the video (unless one considers wearing a kippah a provocation).

The court also required the defendant to visit a museum on the Holocaust; as if a single visit will reverse 19 years of brainwashing and ingrained antisemitism. To add insult to injury, the court ordered that the defendant be given one year of support services, which likely includes assistance in finding an apartment and an apprenticeship.  So instead of being punished and deported for his antisemitism and violence, the defendant is rewarded, courtesy of the German taxpayer.

Sigmount Koenigsberg, a leader of Berlin’s Jewish community rightly termed the sentence “an absolute joke,” and added, “…the man is laughing himself silly.” That’s an understatement.

In December, a Kaffiyeh-clad, 29-year-old Syrian asylum seeker carrying a Palestinian flag smashed the storefront window of a Jewish owned restaurant in Amsterdam. This occurred in full view of two policemen who did nothing to intervene. The man then entered the restaurant, and exited shortly thereafter with an Israeli flag, which he promptly threw to the ground. At that point, the police tackled and arrested him.

To the dismay of the Dutch-Jewish community, the man was only charged with simple vandalism without aggravating circumstances. The owner of the restaurant, which had been hit with a spate of anti-Semitic attacks, recently stated that he would have to shutter his doors for good if law enforcement failed to provide security.

On April 3, 2017 Sarah Halimi, a retired medical doctor and mother of three was attacked in her Paris apartment by her 28-year-old Muslim neighbor. She was brutally beaten over a period of time and then thrown off her balcony to her death. The man was heard shouting Allahuakbar and other Quranic verses during the savage attack. 

To the shock and horror of many, French authorities initially labeled the crime an ordinary homicide, ignoring the anti-Semitic component. The murder occurred at a sensitive moment just prior to national elections and many believe that French officials did not want to provide anti-immigrant parties with additional anti-immigrant ammunition. After an intensive campaign mounted by community leaders, a judge, overturned the authorities’ earlier refusal to treat the murder as a bias crime.

These four examples reflect the tip of the iceberg. Western Europe is refusing to come to terms with the fact that it has a serious Islamist inspired antisemitism problem. The migrants who are leaving Syria, Iraq, Yemen and elsewhere are not leaving their conflicts behind. On the contrary, they are bringing age-old ethnic and tribal hatreds with them. Among Mideast migrants in particular, there is a near 100 percent prevalence in anti-Semitic attitudes. 

Some have argued that Western Europe is already lost and its drift into the abyss is irreversible. I do not know if that assessment is accurate but what I do know for certain is that history has proven time and again that a society that treats its Jewish citizenry poorly is a diseased society that is destined to fail. One needn’t look further than the Muslim Mideast, with its numerous failed states, to confirm this stark reality.

Ari Lieberman is an attorney and former prosecutor who has authored numerous articles and publications on matters concerning the Middle East and is considered an authority on geo-political and military developments affecting the region.


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