Friday, August 31, 2018

Taking an Axe to 'Peace Processing' - Shoshana Bryen

by Shoshana Bryen

In the new game, the Palestinians have something to lose – the sine qua non of successful negotiations.

The Trump administration has restored the United States to the position of honest broker – emphasis on "honest" – and taken a hatchet to a series of fantasies underlying the notion of an Israeli-Palestinian "peace process."  Twenty-five years after the Oslo Accords ushered in radical, despotic, kleptocratic Palestinian self-government, the Accords are dead.  And that's good.
The new construct is as follows:
  • The U.S. is not neutral between Israel, America's democratic friend and ally, and the Palestinians, who are neither.
  • Everybody has a "narrative," a national story.  Not everyone's narrative is factual.  The U.S. will insist that there are facts, and that history – both ancient and modern – is real and knowable.  The American government's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel is simply the acceptance of the truth of history.  The city was the capital of the Jewish people and never, ever the seat of government for any other.  In this assertion, the president was joined by many members of the U.S. House and Senate, irrespective of party – although some had more trouble saying so than others.
  • The U.S. will not pay for fraud, mismanagement, or support of terrorism by the Palestinians or the United Nations.  Repeat the comment about congressional support.
  • Neither will we fund two Palestinian governments simply because it is easier than figuring out what to do with Hamas and Fatah, who are fighting a civil war and agree on little besides the need for Israel's ultimate demise.  Repeat the comment about congressional support.
In the new game, the Palestinians have something to lose – the sine qua non of successful negotiations.
The Washington rumor mill believes that President Trump's next move will be to change the definition of Palestinians as "refugees" in the American lexicon.  Palestinians will cease to be the only population in the world in which refugee status is handed down generationally through one's father, which ensures permanent geometric growth in the refugee population.  Palestinians will become like every other group.  If you lose your home and can't go back – think Rohingya or Montagnard – you are a refugee.  Settled in a country that will have you, you are no longer a refugee, nor will any of your future generations be.  Think Vietnamese.
In tandem, then, comes the proposition that the descendants of refugees have no "right" to go and settle in places their parents, grandparents, or great grandparents claim to have lived.  This, again, will make the Palestinians just like every other refugee population.  Time moves forward only.  Israel is here, Israel will remain, and Israel can determine who lives within its borders.  
On the other hand, and there is always another hand, much of the discussion is driven by money.  Although money is fungible, it isn't always easily so, and contrary to the professional refugee-managers, the goal is not to punish Palestinians whose only crime is the misfortune of living under Hamas or the P.A.
The American Taylor Force Act – passed and signed – will have the United States withhold money from the P.A. in the amount of the stipends the P.A. pays to terrorists and their families.  The Palestinian Authority paid out approximately $350 million in 2017.  The knowledge that their families will be taken care of financially has, in fact, led to a number Palestinians choosing what we, in the U.S., call "suicide by cop."  Palestinians who feel hopeless and for one or another reason figure that they can best provide for their families by killing Jews are encouraged by their own government.  That's an easy one.  If P.A. strongman Mahmoud Abbas doesn't spend the money on terror stipends, he can replace the American shortage and spend the money on other things.
The Trump administration has also announced that it will stop the flow of U.S. taxpayer funds to the U.N. Human Rights Council – a bastion of anti-Israel sentiment.  "We'll calculate 22 percent of the Human Rights Council and the High Commissioner's budget, and our remittances to the UN for this budget year will be less 22 percent of those costs – and we'll say specifically that's what we're doing," NSC adviser John Bolton said.  "We expect that impact to occur on the Human Rights Council."  Again, not much of a problem.  One might hope the UNHRC will produce 22 percent less hot air, but that is not certain.
Then comes a more difficult issue.  The administration has cut $300 million from UNRWA, leading to the expected wails about starving babies.  UNRWA has, for almost seven decades, been the prison guard of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza, Lebanon, and Syria, as well as running shanty towns for Palestinians in Jordan, where many hold both citizenship and refugee status.  It has also hired Hamas and Hezb'allah operatives and shielded their weapons in UNRWA schools.
Babies won't starve unless the Palestinians want them to for a photo op.  (Don't be huffy – it was Gaza leader Yaya Sinwar who praised "the sacrifice of" Palestinian children "as an offering for Jerusalem and the right of return.")  On the other hand, it behooves the United States to work closely with Israel – the Israelis being most acutely sensitive to the connection between money and terror – to manage the change in available funds for the short term.  Otherwise, it is possible that Hamas and the P.A. can gin up even more unhappy souls to engage in terrorism.
If "peace" is a bridge too far, a long-term stabilization process is not out of reach based on President Trump's new foundations for American policy.  At a minimum, the United States can be sure that the policies that it pursues are consonant with American interests and American allies.  President Trump has done that.

Shoshana Bryen


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Fatah and Hamas: Reconciliation or divorce - Dr. Mordechai Kedar

by Dr. Mordechai Kedar

There are manifold reasons that make it so difficult to effect a compromise between the two movements and they involve every aspect of Palestinian Arab life. They do agree on Israel.

Islamic law differentiates between tlak raji, a revocable divorce that can be cancelled and tlka baan, a final, not-cancellable divorce. Islamic legal experts are familiar with the kind of marital conflicts that can be brought to an end by expending a reasonable amount of effort,  leading to reconciliation and renewed harmony, as opposed to a couple whose negative feelings are too deeply entrenched for there to be hope of their ever living together peacefully. One of the ways to sense the situation between a couple is to listen to what they say about one another and also pay attention to the "background music" that accompanies what is said.

Ever since the Hamas movement's takeover of the Gaza Strip in 2007, more than 11 years ago, this writer has been saying that the divorce between: Hamas and Fatah, the Gaza government and the PA, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas heads Khaled Meshaal, Ismail Haniyeh and Yahya Sinwar – is a final one. All the Palestinian Arab, Egyptian and Jordanian attempts to effect a reconciliation between the two sides have failed dismally and will continue to do so. If the sides ever achieve a reconciliation agreement, it will consist of a signed agreement, but no reconciliation.

There are manifold reasons that make it impossible to effect a compromise between the two movements and they involve every aspect of Palestinian Arab life. Ideologically, Hamas is the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), an organization which vehemently opposed the nationalism that found its way into the Arab world at the start of the 20th century. The MB sees nationalism as a betrayal of Islam, because nationalists believe that a nation is more important than religious belief, so that if you are Arab it does not matter if you are Muslim, Christian, Druze, Alawite or a member of any other religion,  The "Brothers," in contrast, believe that "Allah is our only goal, the prophet is our model, the Koran our constitution, Jihad our way of life, and to die for Allah fulfillment of our most exalted wish."

Nationalist considerations are relative and subject to change as conditions vary, while religious considerations are permanent, absolute and subject only to the word of the deity. Fatah, a nationalist movement, changes its opinions in line with practical possibilities: When it was founded towards the end of the 1950s, Fatah’s stated goal was to destroy the Israel whose armistice line borders were set at the end of the War of independence, but now it claims to accept Israel within those borders and wishes to free the areas Israel conquered in 1967 (Judea and Samaria). Hamas, on the other hand, sees no way to allow the State of Israel to exist at all

Hamas’ viewpoint stems from Islam’s three-pronged approach:

1. Judaism’s era is over (din batal) and thus there is no need for a state

2. The Jews are not one nation, but disparate communities of people who are part of whatever state in which they find themselves, so that they have no need for a state of their own. They are meant to be second rate subjects in Muslim lands, known as dhimmi.

3. Palestine is holy to Muslims all over the world and no one has the right to give any part of it to the Jews.

Fatah and Hamas are thus on opposite sides of the ideological scale, with no chance of uniting them. The most that can be aspired for is to create or find a common agenda allowing them to built a wide and flexible framework that can contain both. That, naturally, depends on the good will and abilities of their leaders and the points on which they agree.

Looking at the history of the two organizations from Hamas’ founding in 1987, one observes a very small number of instances when both sides agreed on a joint framework. In fact, for over thirty years, the two groups worked separately and were hostile to one another during most of that time; Even their shared hatred for Israel and their desire to destroy the Jewish state, which should bring them together, has not led to reconciliation.

The deep rooted cultural differences between the two entities became clear to everyone when the two signed a reconciliation agreement in 2017. In the photos, Fatah and PA representatives are sporting suits and ties while Hamas delegates are not. The reason for the difference is simple: Fatah and the PA are trying to build a modern western image for themselves, while Hamas refuses to be influenced by western culture, which in its viewpoint is the antithesis of Islam. That is another reason that the agreement was duly signed, but the reconciliation did not take place.

 Let's have a look at what the two sides say in public about one another to understand what their real feelings are;

As this article is being written, the Hamas-affiliated Palestine-info website has as its main headline the story of the Gaza baby who died because the PA Health Ministry refused to allot the 30,000 dollars needed for medical intervention that might have saved his life. It is accompanied by a large and clear photograph, not blurred, of the baby while he was still alive. The message here is that the PA, not only Israel, is responsible for children dying in Gaza. This is published on the backdrop of PA  corruption, so that an additional message is that PA leadership has chosen to preserve the millions of stolen public funds to be found in its personal Swiss bank accounts rather than spend a trifling sum to save a Palestinian baby's life.

In April 2017, Hamas legislature member Marwan abu Ras, said the following in front of the news cameras (my additions in parentheses, M.K.).  

"If Abbas doesn't want want Gaza, let him refrain from taking a cent from Gaza. They (the PA leadersihp) tell us that we have to choose between total responsibility for Gaza (run it by yourselves without any help from us) and handing over total control to us (letting the PA run every aspect of our lives). Okay, Sir (Abbas), we will choose total control of Gaza, but why are you taking our money? Why do you take Gaza's money? Why do you take Gaza's taxes (taxes Israel collects and transfers to the PA in line with the 1995 Paris Agreement)? Why do you take the money that comes from the countries that donate funds for Gaza? There is a (PA) lying media chorus that manufactures lies for the (consumption of the Palestinian) people and for the (Arab and Islamic) nations, falsifies facts – ….for a (monetary) price they have adopted treasonous positions vis a vis this nation."

"Abbas has placed himself on the highest rung of betrayal and collaboration (with the Zionists). He has brought about his own certain elimination as well as that of his (political) ideas and has abandoned our people and our cause because all he does is engage in treachery and collaboration with the enemy. Abbas must be brought to judgment by the people, legally, in the center of Gaza and have it announced that his sentence is death by hanging in front of (the eyes of) his people, because he is the worst traitor the Palestinian cause has ever known."

The Palestinian Authority, too, does not mince words when talking about Hamas. In March 2018, the PA prime minister and the head of his security detail came to Gaza. Just as they entered the Strip a terrorist bomb exploded near their car and slightly injured them. Abbas responded by saying: "This will not blow over (without a response). That's why when Hamas says 'we are investigating' or 'not investigating' we (the PA) say 'we have no need of your investigation and information, we know full well that Hamas was behind the despicable incident."

What is important for us to realize is that Abbas is saying that political murder was born with Hamas, meaning it is part of the genetic makeup of the organization. Historically that is patently untrue, because there were political assassinations before Hamas took control of Gaza, which it did while murdering tens of PA security personnel. Abbas' statement stems from personal experience: He visited Gaza in April 2007 and was almost killed in a terrorist attack in which one of his bodyguards was shot dead by a bullet to his head. He was officially the chairman of Gaza as well as Judea and Samaria in 2014 when Hamas terrorists eliminated over 30 people at a mosque in Rafiah.  

PA spokesmen accuse Hamas of betraying the Palestinian cause by dividing the territory in question into two – Gaza and the 'West Bank,' -- handing Israel a permanent excuse for refusing to agree to a Palestinian Arab state that would soon turn into Hamastan in Judea and Samaria as was the case in Gaza. Hamas accuses the PA of pretending to want reconciliation only to gain control of its arms and hand its arsenal over to Israel even though these weapons are meant to liberate Falestin.

Hamas is vehemently opposed to handing over Gaza's defense portfolio in any agreement, because of fears that the ongoing security cooperation between Israel and the PA will force the PA to destroy the Hamas rocket arsenal, give Israel information about the tunnels and possibly, at Israel's demand, destroy them.

The significance of Palestinian Arab reconciliation in accord with the PA's conditions means that Hamas gives up all the military and political possessions it has garnered for years and remains with only the hope of winning the next elections to the Palestinian legislature and the executive positions. Unfortunately, Hamas well remembers what happened when it received most of the seats in the 2006 elections for the legislature. Hamas won and put together a government with ministers to its liking, but the PA people refused to leave the offices that had been theirs before they lost the elections. Hamas is afraid that this scenario is going to repeat itself.

In conclusion, there  is too much bad blood coursing in the arteries of the Hamas-PLO conflict, too many personal, ideological, religious and cultural vendettas that prevent  both sides from finding common ground upon which to build a consensus. Anyone who talks about a reconciliation agreement in the near future is ignoring the extent of the yawning cultural, ideological, political and personal gap that separates the two sides. My conclusion was reached after Hamas took over Gaza in 2007 at which time I said that any reconciliation would be worth approximately the cost of the paper on which it was written. If in the distant future, a drastic ideological and cultural change takes place in both organizations, perhaps they might bridge that gap.

A few words about Iran

At  the beginning of the week, the Iranian parliament deposed  the Economy Minister because of his 'failure to administer the country's economy,' this on the backdrop of the tightening American sanctions, the fall of  the country's currency, the rise in unemployment and the international companies' abandonment of Iran. On Tuesday this week, President Rouhani said "that many Iranians have lost faith in the future of the Islamic Republic and have doubts about its strength."

In Syria, Iran acts as if business is as usual, a mutual defense agreement was signed by Iran and Syria, Iranian soldiers are settling down in Syria and even the Russians have ceased talking about the exodus of the 'foreign powers'. Except that when what is going on backstage in the Ayatollah's regime is getting more and more complicated, the day is not far off when the Iranian soldiers will say farewell to Syria in order to preserve the integrity of the heads resting on the necks of their rulers, lest the knives of those who "have lost faith in the future of the Islamic Republic" get there first.

Translated from Hebrew by Rochel Sylvetsky, Arutz Sheva Op-ed and Judaism Editor.

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


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Smoking Gun Memo Laid out Left's Assault on Conservatives - Matthew Vadum

by Matthew Vadum

While President Trump was being inaugurated, the Soros-funded Left was busy agitating.

[To learn more about the Freedom Center's recent victory over the Left's censorship attempt, and its call for a coalition across party and ideological lines to defend free speech, click here.]
A strategy memo compiled by George Soros-funded activist groups as President Trump was being inaugurated last year foretold and seemed to lay the groundwork for many of the political difficulties Trump now faces and the politics-related strife now roiling the nation.
The memo takes on a heightened importance as the politically-driven censorship of conservatives by the gigantic, unregulated social media corporations controlled by the Left is moving into high gear while the crucial midterm congressional elections of Nov. 6 approach.
The intensely anti-conservative animus in the memo may have inspired MasterCard and WorldPay’s attempt on Aug. 21 to strangle the fundraising efforts of the David Horowitz Freedom Center, publisher of FrontPage, by refusing to complete its financial transactions. On that day MasterCard informed the Freedom Center that it would no longer process its transactions because it had been labeled a “hate group” by the radical leftist groups known as the Southern Poverty Law Center and The Freedom Center stood falsely accused of being “hateful in nature” and “advocating for violence.”
Only a massive outcry by conservative groups and prominent conservatives like Rush Limbaugh forced MasterCard to back down days later and restore the Freedom Center’s online fundraising facilities. But other conservative websites haven’t been so lucky. Many have been shut down or seen their traffic slashed as leftists have manipulated algorithms and limited the reach of conservative content.
The David Horowitz Freedom Center has since called for a coalition to be created across partisan and ideological lines to defend free speech.
The memo itself, "Democracy Matters: Strategic Plan for Action," marked an escalation in tactics by the Left. It was first made public last year by Joe Schoffstall of the Washington Free Beacon around the time Donald Trump took the oath of office to become the nation’s 45th president. This smoking-gun planning document aimed at suppressing conservative voices on social media was ignored by the mainstream media at the time and in the more than a year-and-a-half since.
The document spelled out the Left’s plans for impeaching President Trump, filing lawsuits against the fledgling administration, and using social media to delegitimize Trump’s presidency and hurt Republicans. “Right now, our institutions are among the critical few that stand between the America we love and the abyss,” the memo stated. “We must protect and defend our democratic values. We will not back down. We will only move forward.”
WND founder Joseph Farah referred last week to the 49-page memo as a blueprint “revealing how George Soros operatives, including David Brock, were there at the genesis, the planning stages, with their hands on the ignition key, of the most concerted, well-funded, diabolical attack on free speech in the history of America.”
The document “was nothing short of a plan to turn Google, Facebook and other social media into hyper-partisan Democratic Party activists, promoters, cheerleaders, and off-the-books donors in an effort to turn the country into a one-party state.”
The memo outlined left-wing activist David Brock's four-year plan to undermine the Trump administration and Republicans using Media Matters for America (MMfA), American Bridge 21st Century, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), and left-wing propaganda website Shareblue. All four organizations were either founded by Brock or are now controlled by him. Since 2008, leftist billionaire George Soros has given more than $1.5 million to MMfA and more than $1.1 million to CREW through his philanthropies.
Brock, who reportedly raised $65 million during the 2016 election cycle, began working on his plan more or less immediately after Republican Donald Trump unexpectedly trounced Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election in November 2016.
Brock and his comrades met in Palm Beach, Fla., as Trump assumed the presidency and Trump-hating Antifa rioted in the streets of the nation’s capital. “What better way to spend inaugural weekend than talking about how to kick Donald Trump’s ass?” Brock said in an email to left-wing mega-donors including Soros and Tom Steyer.
Whether Brock can take responsibility for all the leftist-inspired turmoil in the country is debatable, but many of the goals identified in the memo have already come to pass.
According to the memo, MMfA “will continue its core mission of disarming right-wing information.” This is what “success will look like,” the document states:
Serial misinformers and right-wing propagandists inhabiting everything from social media to the highest levels of government will be exposed, discredited.
Internet and social media platforms, like Google and Facebook, will no longer uncritically and without consequence host and enrich fake news sites and propagandists.
Toxic alt-right social media-fueled harassment campaigns that silence dissent and poison our national discourse will be punished and halted.
The super PAC, American Bridge, “will cement itself as the standard-bearer of opposition research, build on its role as a progressive clearinghouse for information that drives the narrative on Republican officeholders and candidates, and be at the epicenter of Democrats' work to regain power,” the memo states.
“Success will look like” this:
Trump will be defeated either through impeachment or at the ballot box in 2020.
The balance of power will shift back to Democrats. We will measurably impact US Senate, gubernatorial, and state legislative races.
We will free ourselves from solely relying on the press. Our robust digital program will reach voters directly online.
CREW will become “the leading nonpartisan ethics watchdog group in a period of crisis with a president and administration that present possible conflicts of interest and ethical problems on an unprecedented scale,” the memo states.
CREW “will demand ethical conduct from the administration and all parts of government, expose improper influence from powerful interests, and ensure accountability when the administration and others shirk ethical standards, rules, and laws.”
Success will take this form, according to the document:
Trump will be afflicted by a steady flow of damaging information, new revelations, and an inability to avoid conflicts issues.
The Trump administration will be forced to defend illegal conduct in court.
Powerful industries and interest groups will see their influence wane.
Dark money will be a political liability in key states.
The Shareblue website “will take back social media for Democrats,” the memo states. The group will “delegitimize Donald Trump's presidency by emboldening the opposition and empowering the majority of Americans who oppose him.”
Success will be achieved when the following happens:
Shareblue will become the de facto news outlet for opposition leaders and the grassroots.
Trump allies will be forced to step down or change course due to news pushed by Shareblue.
Under pressure from Shareblue, Democrats will take more aggressive positions against Trump.
Shareblue will achieve financial sustainability while diversifying content offerings and platforms.
Top editorial and writing talent will leave competitors to join Shareblue.
Meanwhile, President Trump told reporters in the Oval Office on Tuesday that social media giants Google, Twitter, and Facebook “better be careful” because they “are treading on very, very troubled territory” by favoring left-wing viewpoints.
Earlier that day he tweeted, “This is a very serious situation—will be addressed!”
“Google search results for ‘Trump News’ shows only the viewing/reporting of Fake New Media. In other words, they have it RIGGED, for me & others, so that almost all stories & news is BAD,” he wrote. “Republican/Conservative & Fair Media is shut out. Illegal.”
Google CEO Sundar Pichai has indicated he will not testify at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing Sept. 5. on social media and Russian meddling in American elections. Unlike Pichai, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg are expected to testify.
Whether Dorsey and Sandberg will tell the truth is an open question.
Matthew Vadum, senior vice president at the investigative think tank Capital Research Center, is an award-winning investigative reporter and author of the book, "Subversion Inc.: How Obama’s ACORN Red Shirts Are Still Terrorizing and Ripping Off American Taxpayers."


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Google's War on Free Speech - Mark Tapson

by Mark Tapson

The internet giant is eliminating conservative voices from the online sphere.

[To learn more about the Freedom Center's recent victory over the Left's censorship attempt, and its call for a coalition across party and ideological lines to defend free speech, click here.]
To paraphrase Captain Renault’s famous exclamation in Casablanca, we are shocked, shocked to find that political bias is going on at Google. Former employee James Damore, the recipient of an Annie Taylor Courage Award from the Horowitz Freedom Center, had already exposed Google’s internal culture of repressive political correctness last year by writing a rather innocuous memo that got him controversially canned. Now a PJ Media report has exposed the internet giant’s efforts to spread that Progressive intolerance throughout the culture at large, and even President Trump has weighed in on the outrageous revelation.
Paula Bolyard at PJ Media experimented with the search engine’s “News” tab by conducting a search for “Trump” and comparing the results to journalist Sharyl Attkisson's media bias chart. She discovered a “blatant prioritization of left-leaning and anti-Trump media outlets,” primarily CNN (again, we’re shocked), and also found that not a single right-leaning site appeared on the entire first page of search results. “Is Google manipulating its algorithm to prioritize left-leaning news outlets in their coverage of President Trump?” Bolyard asked rhetorically. “It sure looks that way.”
She discovered that out of the first one hundred results, “CNN, by a wide margin, appeared most frequently, with nearly twice as many results returned as the second-place finisher, The Washington Post.” Among the other left-leaning sites in those results were NBC, The Atlantic, CNBC, and Politico. “The only right-leaning sites to appear in the top 100 were The Wall Street Journal and Fox News with 3 and 2 results respectively. PJ Media did not appear in the first 100 results, nor did National Review, The Weekly Standard, Breitbart, The Blaze, The Daily Wire, Hot Air, Townhall, Red State, or any other conservative-leaning sites except the two listed above."
CNN accounted for nearly 29 percent of the total article results, and left-leaning sites together made up 96 percent of the total results, Bolyard calculated. Google has brushed off accusations of steering its search results leftward before (as well as using its fact-checking feature to target conservative media almost exclusively), but this is undeniable and overwhelming bias.
In response to the PJ Media article, on Tuesday morning President Trump tweeted,

Google issued a statement denying political bias:
“Search is not used to set a political agenda and we don’t bias our results toward any political ideology. Every year, we issue hundreds of improvements to our algorithms to ensure they surface high-quality content in response to users’ queries. We continually work to improve Google Search and we never rank search results to manipulate political sentiment.”
But a Search Engine Optimization company in San Francisco called Can I Rank also found an anti-conservative bias in Google search results. "Among our key findings were that top search results were almost 40% more likely to contain pages with a 'Left' or 'Far Left' slant than they were pages from the right," the company found. "Moreover, 16% of political keywords contained no right-leaning pages at all within the first page of results":
The company's research turned up no right-leaning sites in the top results for keywords like “minimum wage,” “abortion,” “NAFTA,” “Iraq war,” “campaign finance reform,” “global warming,” “marijuana legalization,” and "TPP."
"No attempt is made to present multiple viewpoints on controversial political issues, and the algorithm in its current form does not return results equally distributed across the entire political spectrum."
Breitbart News performed a similar investigation and got similar results: “over the first five pages of Google News results for ‘Trump,’ CNN was the most-listed outlet, featured twenty times”:
This was followed by the New York Times (eight times), the Guardian (seven), the Washington Post(seven), the BBC (six), USA Today (five), CNBC (four), HuffPost (three), Financial Times (three), Fox News (three), the Atlantic (three), Vox (two), CBS News (two), and the Wall Street Journal (two).
Business Insider, the IndependentWired, ESPN, the Daily Beast, NPR, Bloomberg, the Hill, ABC News, NBC News, People MagazineTIME, Reuters, Vanity Fair, Global News Canada, the Telegraph, FiveThirtyEight, NewsHub, and were included once throughout the five pages.
Conservative media including Breitbart News, the New York Post, the Daily Caller, PJ Media, and Independent Journal Review were all entirely absent. [emphasis in original]
The PJ Media article quoted Bloomberg columnist Leonid Bershidsky as saying, "Google's search algorithms are a black box to the public. People inside the company can mess with them without telling us, potentially imposing their internal culture on millions of searchers who have no reason and no desire to share it." And the piece also quoted PJ Media founder Roger L. Simon as declaring that social media monopolies “are far worse than the original monopolies like International Harvester and Standard Oil and far more dangerous because they monopolize not just our industries but our brains. They control, or at least inordinately influence, how Americans and even much of the world think."
Those leftist social media monopolies have ramped up their attempts to stifle conservative speech by “deplatforming” right-wingers. Conservative YouTube stars such as Dave Rubin have had their accounts demonetized. The enormously popular Prager U. videos temporarily disappeared from Facebook. The Freedom Center’s Director of, Robert Spencer, recently had two of his funding pages shut down by Mastercard. David Horowitz’s own Twitter account was temporarily locked down. Not to mention the concerted social media blockade against Alex Jones and InfoWars.
The good news is that the David Horowitz Freedom Center won a major battle against such repression last Friday, reversing a decision by Mastercard to refuse to accept online donations to the Freedom Center because it had been labeled a “hate group” by the leftist smear organization, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), and by a similarly leftist group called Color of Mastercard initially didn’t even bother to announce its decision to the Freedom Center, much less give us an opportunity to defend ourselves. But massive support from other major conservative entities such as Breitbart, Rush Limbaugh, Newsmax, OAN, The Daily Caller, Ricochet, and others seemed to force Mastercard to back down. 
As noted at FrontPage Mag, “This campaign [to deplatform conservatives] is masterminded by two George Soros-funded organizations-- Media Matters, which has waged a holy war against conservatives in the media for two decades, and The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which has managed to get itself taken seriously as an authority on ‘hate speech’ and ‘hate groups’ by a credulous and collaborative mainstream press”:
The Southern Poverty Law Center has gotten away with this hatred masquerading as anti-hate for far too long. The SPLC recently paid a $3.4 million settlement to Majid Nawaz, a devout Muslim and also a fierce critic of Islamic terrorism after it labeled him an “anti-Muslim extremist.”  All the other dozens of conservative groups similarly slandered should be developing their own legal defense funds to go after this reckless and mendacious organization and its enemies list.  The David Horowitz Freedom Center certainly is.
The left is waging a tireless war against free speech. It does not control the political sphere, so it cannot enforce censorship through the government. It does largely control the culture, however, so the leftists at Media Matters and the SPLC, Facebook and Twitter, and Google are now brazenly using that significant cultural leverage to minimize and demonize the voices of conservative individuals and organizations, choking them off financially if need be. But as the Freedom Center and its supporters proved last week, the right is prepared to take the fight to them and shut down their totalitarian agenda.

Mark Tapson


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China and Clinton Emails: Hack or Invitation? - Brian C. Joondeph

by Brian C. Joondeph

How convenient that the Clintons, who have been cozy with the Chinese for decades, can claim they were hacked.

A Chinese-owned company operating in the Washington, D.C. area hacked Hillary Clinton's private email server, gaining real-time access to her emails during her term as U.S. secretary of state.  The Daily Caller reported this bombshell, corroborated by two sources.
One might quibble about unnamed sources, but this is the new standard in journalism.  CNN, NBC, the N.Y. Times, and the rest of the fakestream media regularly rely on anonymous sources for their anti-Trump stories.
Apparently, the Chinese wrote code that they embedded into Clinton's home server in her Chappaqua home, which conveniently sent a copy of all of her emails to this Chinese company – and, by default, to the Chinese government.
This is exactly why official government email communications must travel only through secure government servers: to prevent such electronic intrusion.
But the rules don't apply to the Clintons.  Former FBI director James Comey admitted as much in his famous July 2016 press conference when he explained in detail how Mrs. Clinton negligently and illegally handled national security materials but that she would be given a pass based on her last name and her presidential candidacy.
The other less mentioned reason is that then-president Barack Obama was regularly communicating with Mrs. Clinton via her unsecure server.  How inconvenient if the president was found to be mishandling classified material.
The FBI and DOJ were well aware of the server hack in July 2015 but did nothing about it.  James Comey's book, A Higher Loyalty, was appropriately named.  Unfortunately, his higher loyalty was to Mrs. Clinton, not the USA, the FBI, or the U.S. Constitution.
What if this wasn't actually a hack?  Instead, what if Mrs. Clinton allowed the Chinese to access her server, knowing full well that she was giving a foreign adversary full access to communications at the highest levels of the U.S. government?
Why would she do that?  Conspiring with a foreign government or serving as an agent of that government is highly illegal.  How ironic if Mrs. Clinton is doing what the Deep State and the media are accusing president Trump of having done.  That's called projection.
Given the Clintons' pattern of behavior, one must assume they were being paid for giving the Chinese access.  This is just another form of "pay to play."  Mrs. Clinton would be paid not directly, but instead through her money laundromat, the Clinton Foundation.
The Clinton Foundation has ties to the Chinese, as well as many other foreign governments hostile to U.S. interests.  The South China Morning Post reportedearlier this year, "The FBI is investigating donations to the Clinton Foundation – but will charges follow?"
Ask Jeff Sessions about the charges.  Money was flowing into the Clinton Foundation from all over the world, disguised, rerouted through a Canadian charity, all to obscure its origins.
Longtime Clinton pal Terry McAuliffe was caught selling influence for Chinese cash.  As the Washington Post reported, "Wang Wenliang, a Chinese billionaire and donor to the Clinton Foundation and Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, has been expelled from China's top legislature after being caught up in a widespread cash-for-votes scheme."
Sexual abuse scandals seem to follow the Clintons closely.  An ex-Clinton Foundation official was tied to a Chinese kindergarten "bizarre sexual abuse scandal," as reported last year.
In 2005, the Clinton Foundation brokered pharmaceutical deals for HIV-AIDS drugs with a Chinese pharma group.
I'm sure there are more deals between the Clinton Foundation and the Chinese, but the ones above popped up first on a quick internet search.
Did the Clintons pull this off on their own, or did they have help?  As Congressman Louis Gohmert pointed out, the Intelligence Community inspector general knew about the breach, meaning that the FBI did as well.  But in Comey fashion, the intelligence agencies did nothing about it.
Why did they ignore it?  Because the boss wanted it that way, the big guy in the Oval Office.  He was already aware of the unsecure and illegal server and was using it to communicate with his secretary of state and who knows whom else.  Was President Obama benefiting from this "Chinese Connection"?  And I don't mean the old Bruce Lee movie.
Providing access to a server or a computer is a much cleaner way to disseminate national security secrets.  No paper trail, and if caught, they can always say they were hacked.  The DOJ can investigate and indict, just as Robert Mueller indicted a bunch of Russian troll farms, but those charges are for show and go absolutely nowhere.
Remember Anthony Weiner's laptop, the one holding hundreds of thousands of emails, many belonging to Mrs. Clinton or Mrs. Weiner?  The same FBI that chose not to investigate the Chinese access to the Clinton server similarly chose not to investigate the Weiner laptop emails.
How easy would it have been for Hillary or Huma to provide the appropriate login credentials to any foreign agent so that agent could access the email account remotely, browsing through highly classified national security information from the top echelons of the Obama administration?
Who might have had access?  Huma has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood through her parents.  The Clintons have ties to the Chinese going back as far as the Bill Clinton presidency, campaign contributions, Charlie Trie, missile technology, and all sorts of other "pay to play" schemes.
How convenient to blame the server breach on a hack when it may have been intentional.  It's easy to blame the Chinese, yet the reality is that the Clintons may have left the front door wide open, with a bright welcome mat and a path of Chinese lanterns leading from Beijing to Chappaqua –
all for money, contributions to the Clinton slush fund.  With the Clintons, everything is for sale.  National security, weapons, soldiers, you name it.
What a coincidence that this happened while Mrs. Clinton was secretary of state and was using her illegal server.
The Chinese government systematically dismantled C.I.A. spying operations in the country starting in 2010, killing or imprisoning more than a dozen sources over two years and crippling intelligence gathering there for years afterward.
One can only hope that Horowitz or Huber is investigating all of this, rather than the business-as-usual approach of the FBI and DOJ to exonerate the Clintons without even a cursory investigation.  Don't listen to the media narrative of a hack, as it is likely a convenient deflection from the real story.

Brian C Joondeph, M.D., MPS is a Denver-based physician and writer.  Follow him on FacebookLinkedIn, and Twitter.


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Is Canada Prepared for the Threat of Returning Jihadists? - A. Z. Mohamed

by A. Z. Mohamed

-- there are dozens of jihadis roaming free in Canada, without being apprehended or charged by authorities.

  • Canada's intelligence service stated that some 60 "returnees" -- fighters who had returned to Canada -- "have the potential to pose a significant threat to our national security." In other words, there are dozens of jihadis roaming free in Canada, without being apprehended or charged by authorities.
  • The noise surrounding the debate over jihadist returnees has been drowning out the country's intelligence service assessment about the threat they pose to Canada's national security -- a threat that the Trudeau government is ill-prepared, ill-equipped and ideologically ill-suited to confront. 
  • Prevention, investigation and prosecution of terrorists should be the top priority, ahead of rehabilitation and reintegration.
According to the website of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), under the section "National Security Threats - Terrorism":
"Terrorism, including terrorist travel and the radicalization of Canadians, is the most prominent threat to Canadian interests and our national security. The intelligence community has never before faced a terrorist threat of this scope, scale, and complexity."
The CSIS text, last modified on January 27, 2017, also notes that, despite ISIS's huge losses, "its ideology continues to hold global appeal, including among susceptible Canadians," and Canadians with extremist Muslim views "continue to engage in a range of terrorist activity, in Canada and abroad."

By January 2017, CSIS was aware of:

"approximately 180 individuals with a nexus to Canada who are engaged in terrorist activity abroad, approximately half believed to be in Syria or Iraq.
"The activities of these extremist travellers vary widely, ranging from planning operations, training, and logistical support, to fundraising and studying at extremist institutions."
The number of "people suspected of travelling overseas to engage in terrorist activity" increased to about 250 by November 2017, according to Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale.

CSIS also stated that some 60 "returnees" -- fighters who had returned to Canada -- "have the potential to pose a significant threat to our national security." In other words, there are dozens of jihadis roaming free in Canada, without being apprehended or charged by authorities.

CSIS noted that returnees may behave in a number of different ways, "from returning to normality, to radicalizing others, to financing or facilitating the travel of others, or to engage in attack planning." Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Liberal Party government and its supporters in academia and the media, however, seem to focus mainly on a wish that the returnees' resume normal lives, and promote the argument that such people are open to rehabilitation. The government has thus chosen to welcome the returnees with open arms, and to aim, seemingly by wishing, for their rehabilitation and re-integration; it also has an array of flawed excuses to support its choice.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. (Photo by Neil Hall - Pool/Getty Images)

Goodale, however, although he says that the chance of reintegrating returning ISIS fighters is "pretty remote."

"Goodale admits pursuing charges against these people is difficult. So far charges have been brought in two cases since the Liberals came to power. The challenge, Goodale said, is in translating intelligence that Canadian security agencies have on these people into evidence that will stick in court."
Meanwhile, Lorne Dawson, project director for the Canadian Network for Research on Terrorism, Security and Society (TSAS) -- which receives money for research through a fund administered by the Centre for Community Engagement and Prevention of Violence, established by the federal government -- claims that returnees can be rehabilitated.
"Dawson said that many terrorist travellers are disillusioned by the time they return home, and others suffer from trauma. Others, he said, may be focused on returning to a more normal life after feeling they have fought for their cause overseas.
"'No credible expert in the world thinks you arrest your way out of jihadist radicalization -- it's a social movement,' Dawson told the Canadian Press. 'You can't possibly arrest all the people who are engaged with this ideology.'"
It is not clear whether Dawson's statements are based solely on "talking with" returnees. He seems to be misinforming Canadians by blurring the distinction between jihadist ideology and mainstream Islam, and between jihadist ideology and operational or actual jihad. It is notable that, while touting rehabilitation, Dawson also skillfully avoids taking responsibility for his position, by saying: "You could rehabilitate them... but only with a very careful effort, which we're not well-equipped for in Canada right now."

A.Z. MohamedThe noise surrounding the debate over jihadist returnees has been drowning out the country's intelligence service assessment about the threat they pose to Canada's national security -- a A.Z. Mohamedthreat that the Trudeau government is ill-prepared, ill-equipped and ideologically ill-suited to confront.

This is not to say that there should be no debate or discussion. On the contrary, containing the threat posed by jihadist returnees should not be one-dimensional. However, prevention, investigation and prosecution of terrorists should be the top priority, ahead of rehabilitation and reintegration. The appointment of a special prosecutor to handle terrorism-related trials and the development of precise rules and guidance in the collection and use of secret intelligence in court cases are urgently recommended.

A. Z. Mohamed is a Muslim born and raised in the Middle East.


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A mistaken mandate - Aharon Garber

by Aharon Garber

The High Court of Justice is allowing itself more latitude to overrule the cabinet and Knesset in the name of "justice," even where there is no legal basis or justification for doing so.

In another defiant attempt to prove who is in charge, the High Court of Justice once again made itself sovereign when it ordered the government to allow five women from Gaza who are relatives of Hamas members into Israel for lifesaving medical treatment. They had been refused entry permits as part of a government attempt to promote Israel's security interests by pressuring Hamas, especially the return of the bodies of fallen soldiers Lt. Hadar Goldin and Staff Sgt. Oron Shaul. The ruling is the latest in a long string of decisions in which the court intervened in government decisions without having any legal authority to do so.

This was not classic judicial oversight in which the court looked at whether the government acted according to the law; this was substituting the court's judgment for the government's – not because the decision was illegal, but simply because the justice who wrote the ruling thought differently. The court feels that the decision was "unreasonable" and "disproportionate," but there is no legal argument that serves as a basis for the ruling. It ruled the way it did because that was what seemed just.

Former Beatle John Lennon asked us to imagine a world without countries or borders, but in reality, sovereign nations issue passports and operate border crossings. The challenges posed by terrorism and illegal migrants remind us that control of border crossings is not only a question of sovereignty but also a defense requirement and a matter of national interest.

The High Court, which manages Israel's policies, even though that is not its field of expertise, has fallen into the trap that was well-planned by the petitioners on behalf of the women, who employed legal warfare to promote the interests of Hamas and the Palestinian Authority.

How can judges face a cancer patient who is standing in front of them with medical proof that her life is in danger? Who will save her, if not the people of Zion and the judges in Jerusalem? The judges assume that they are the only ones who can take care of her, and rush to allow her and the four other cancer patients into Israel for immediate treatment.

To save these women's lives, the judges ignored the fact that it's not Israel's responsibility to treat them. They ignored the broader ramifications of their decision, as well as the fact that both Jordan and Egypt refuse to allow sick Gaza residents in to be treated. The Palestinian Authority, which will shoulder the cost of their care, is also insisting that the women be treated at the Christian Augusta Victoria Hospital on the Mount of Olives, which the Justice Isaac Amit deems to be in "Palestine." All this gnaws away at Israel's policies and national security interests.

Still, in the name of justice and morality, is there no room for a ruling like this one? In my opinion, these moral views are leading us to our destruction. I'm not the only one who says so – High Court justices who were on the bench only a few years ago, and even the current Chief Justice Esther Hayut, say the same. Moral rulings "in the name of justice" lead to anarchy. In the past, judges would explain to petitioners that their hands were tied in cases where the petition was not supported by law. But since then, things appear to have changed and the judges have much more latitude.

Former Supreme Court Justice Yitzhak Zamir once explained that "it [sometimes] happens that a judge, facing a conflict between justice and the law, cannot reconcile the two. In such a case, as difficult as it might be for him, he must not allow his impulses to overcome his work. Until the judge's oath of office demands that he rule based on what is just, he is bound to stay faithful to the laws of the state. … Above and beyond that, without the law … there is no justice. Therefore, heaven forbid that any judge jump from the facts to justice, as if no statute formed a barrier between them. With all due respect to justice, it must rest on a legal foundation."

In recent years, the perception of "the essence of democracy" has become more entrenched, judicial oversight a much freer reign when it comes to the government and the Knesset.

But like Chief Justice Hayut once said, "We must remember that judges are limited by the boundaries of the law and that smashing these boundaries and the legal rules to which we have allegiance has a price."
That price could be catastrophic.

Aharon Garber is an attorney with the Kohelet Policy Forum

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