Saturday, September 8, 2018

Trump to US Jews: No aid for Palestinians until deal with Israel - Israel Hayom Staff

by Israel Hayom Staff

U.S. was paying Palestinians "tremendous amounts of money. And I say, 'You'll get money, but we're not paying until you make a deal,'" president tells American Jewish leaders in conference call

U.S. President Donald Trump
Photo: EPA 

U.S. President Donald Trump marked the upcoming Jewish New Year in a conference call with several dozen American Jewish leaders on Thursday and discussed with them his administration's policies on Israel, the Palestinians and Iran.
He said the U.S. would resume funding to the Palestinian Authority and to the United Nations' Palestinian refugee agency UNRWA, but only if the Palestinians reached a deal with Israel.
"What I will tell you is I stopped massive amounts of money that we were paying to the Palestinians and the Palestinian leaders," Trump said.
"The United States was paying them tremendous amounts of money. And I say, 'You'll get money, but we're not paying until you make a deal. If you don't make a deal, we're not paying.'"
Referring to U.S. aid being used as a bargaining chip, Trump said, "I don't think it's disrespectful at all. I think it's disrespectful when people don't come to the table."
Trump also said he had removed Jerusalem as the first obstacle to a peace deal. Last December, Trump recognized the city as Israel's capital and in May he moved the U.S. Embassy there.
"The fact is that I took something off the table," he said.
"If you go back and look at your negotiations with the Palestinians over the years, the first thing was Jerusalem and moving the embassy to Jerusalem, thereby making it the capital. And I will tell you, we've taken that off the table.
"A few days before the declaration on Jerusalem, I stopped taking calls from foreign leaders who wanted to persuade me not to do it [relocate the embassy]. We took Jerusalem off the table, and I believe it will help get a deal done," he said.
He added that Israel would have to do something for the Palestinians but did not specify what that might be, and vowed to continue to defend Israel in international institutions.
Trump also praised the newly imposed economic sanctions on Iran, saying Iran was "no longer the same country" as when he entered office in 2016.
"I would imagine that they'll be calling in the not-too-distant future to try and make a deal. If we can make a real deal, we'll do it. If they don't call, that's okay too. Eventually, they're going to have no choice," he said.
Trump concluded the call by wishing the Jewish leaders and their communities a happy new year and noting his personal link to Judaism.
"My connection to Judaism is also personal. I am the very proud father of a Jewish daughter, Ivanka, and my son-in-law, who I'm very proud of also – I will say that very loudly – Jared, and my several Jewish grandchildren, namely three beautiful Jewish grandchildren that I love," he said.

Israel Hayom Staff


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Germany: Anti-Immigration Party Surges in Popularity - Soeren Kern

by Soeren Kern

"Migration is the mother of all problems." — German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer.

  • The AfD's opponents, who often brand the party as "far right" or "extremist," claim that the party's alleged ties to neo-Nazi groups pose an existential threat to Germany's constitutional order. The AfD's supporters counter that Germany's politically correct establishment, afraid of losing its power and influence, is attempting to outlaw a legitimate party that has pledged to put the interests of German citizens first.
  • "Migration is the mother of all problems." — German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer.
  • "Extremism cannot be combated with exclusion, but with looking at the facts. Those who want to reach concerned citizens must themselves get out of the ideological trenches." — Oswald Metzger in Tichys Einblick, a prominent German blog.

Pictured: A march of silence, organized by the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, in memory of victims of violent crimes perpetrated by migrants, on September 1, 2018 in Chemnitz, Germany. (Photo by Jens Schlueter/Getty Images)

The murder of a German citizen by two failed asylum seekers in Chemnitz, and the attempted cover-up by German police, has contributed to a surge in support for the anti-immigration party Alternative for Germany (AfD), which, according to a new poll, has overtaken the Social Democratic Party (SDP) to become the second-strongest political force in Germany.

Support for the AfD has increased to 17%, while backing for the SPD has fallen to 16%. Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU)/Christian Social Union (CSU) alliance is at 28.5%, according to an Insa Institute poll published by the newspaper Bild on September 3.

The rise of the AfD — which has been fueled by widespread anger over Merkel's decision to allow into the country more than a million mostly Muslim migrants from Africa, Asia and the Middle East, and the subsequent increase in violent crime — reflects an ongoing realignment in German politics, in which voters increasingly are rejecting the multicultural orthodoxy of the mainstream parties.
When federal elections were held on September 24, 2017, the CDU/CSU won 32.9% of the vote, its worst electoral result in nearly 70 years. The SPD won 20.5%, its worst-ever showing. The AfD won 12.6%, to become the country's third-largest party in the German parliament.

The election results showed that more than a million traditional CDU/CSU voters defected to the AfD. In a sign that concerns over mass migration are not limited to conservative voters, the center-left SPD lost 500,000 voters to the AfD while the far-left Left Party lost 400,000 voters. In addition, nearly 1.5 million first-time voters cast their ballots for the AfD. This trend has continued, as consistently corroborated by opinion polls since the 2017 election.

The mainstream parties are fighting back with what some observers say are underhanded measures, aimed at delegitimizing — and possibly criminalizing — the AfD, including by calling for the party to be placed under state surveillance.

The AfD's opponents, who often brand the party as "far right" or "extremist," claim that the party's alleged ties to neo-Nazi groups pose an existential threat to Germany's constitutional order. The AfD's supporters counter that Germany's politically correct establishment, afraid of losing its power and influence, is attempting to outlaw a legitimate party that has pledged to put the interests of German citizens first.

Calls for the AfD to be monitored by German intelligence have intensified in recent days, after members of the AfD participated in mass protests in Chemnitz against spiraling migrant criminality — protests in which approximately 50 hooligans and neo-Nazis were also present.

The protests erupted after a 35-year-old German-Cuban man named Daniel Hillig was stabbed to death on August 26 by two migrants during the city's annual festival.

Police initially refused to reveal the identities of the perpetrators, but on August 27 a police report was leaked on social media — the document has since been scrubbed from German websites but it remains on a Russian site — which showed that the killers were illegal migrants from Iraq and Syria. Both had extensive criminal histories but were allowed by German authorities to roam free on German streets. Police later confirmed that the leaked document was authentic and said that they had opened an investigation into suspected "violation of official secrets."

Thousands of people took to the streets for several days to protest the killing and the inaction by German authorities over the issue of spiraling migrant crime. The protests (and counter-protests) brought together a broad spectrum of German society, including supporters of the AfD, as well as members of the so-called "far-right scene." Near the end of one of the marches, some of the protesters turned violent and began insulting some migrant passersby. That incident then shaped the media narrative from one of Germans protesting migrant crime to one of far-right attacks on innocent migrants.

Few if any of Germany's mainstream politicians condemned the murder of Hillig, but they were quick to denounce attacks on migrants.

On August 27, government spokesman Steffen Seibert, in a national press conference, condemned the "hunting of humans of a different appearance, of different origins" on the streets of Chemnitz.
Chancellor Merkel echoed: "We have video footage about the fact that there were hunts, that there were riots, that there was hatred on the street, and that is unacceptable in our constitutional state."
It later emerged that all of the government's allegations were based on a single 19-second video — titled "Hunting for Humans in Chemnitz" — which was posted on YouTube and later broadcast by the public television channel ARD. The video shows one individual chasing another in what appears to be an isolated incident.

Moreover, a protester who grabbed national headlines by making a Nazi salute at the Chemnitz protest was discovered to be a left-wing extremist who infiltrated the march in order to discredit it. But the media narrative had been set in motion.

The chairman of the German Parliament's Internal Affairs Committee, Burkhard Lischka (SPD), warned of the danger of a civil war:
"There is a small right-wing mob in our country that will take its violent fantasies of civil war to our streets. That in the Bundestag [German parliament] a party applauds these excesses against foreign fellow citizens as legitimate self-justice, shows that the majority of our country must become even louder when it comes to rule of law, democracy and cohesion in our society."
Bundestag Vice President Thomas Oppermann demanded that the AfD be monitored by Germany's domestic intelligence service, the Office for the Protection of the Constitution (Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz, BfV): "The refugee question divides society and the AfD rides ever more radically on this wave."

German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) countered that he sees no basis for monitoring the AfD. On the sidelines of a closed-door meeting of the CSU in Brandenburg, Seehofer defended the Chemnitz protesters: "Just because people protest, that does not make them a Nazi." He added: "Migration is the mother of all problems."

Saxon Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer (CDU) later contradicted the government's claims: "There was no mob, there was no hunting down of people, there was no pogrom in this city."

Saxon Attorney General Spokesman Wolfgang Klein added: "After examining all of the material available to us, there was no hunt in Chemnitz."

When asked to rectify his claims, Seibert doubled down:
"I will not have a semantic debate here over a word. Of course, if the Attorney General's office says so, I take note. However, it remains that a video shows how people of foreign origin were chased and how they were threatened. It remains true that there were statements that were threatening, close to the call for vigilante justice. So, in my opinion, there is nothing to talk about."
Like Seibert, Merkel refused to back down:
"We saw pictures that very clearly revealed hate and the persecution of innocent people. One must distance oneself from that. That is all there is to say."
Writing for Tichys Einblick, a prominent German blog, commentator Oswald Metzger summed it up:
"'There was no mob, there was no hunting down of people, there was no pogrom in this city.' Saxon Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer (CDU) clearly corrected the almost hysterical and false reporting of countless leading media outlets on the events in Chemnitz after the deadly stabbing. Even the chancellor and her government spokesman had, as we all know, conveyed these false reports to the public, and thereby giving them publicity.
"For long enough, many citizens from all walks of life have noticed that the problems of integrating even third- and fourth-generation immigrants have grown bigger, not smaller — especially among Turks. The mass immigration of the past three years, under the banner of 'the right to asylum,' has significantly increased the fear of parallel societies, of crime, and of cultural alienation.
"When I consider the often undifferentiated, blanket accusations against 'brown Chemnitz' [brown is the color of Nazism], then the established parties will not have to wonder why, almost without exception, they continue to lose to the colorful AfD.
"When concerned citizens increasingly are stigmatized as being Nazis — accusations which, incidentally, in their excessive use amount to a shameless trivialization of Nazi crimes — they often respond with the indifferent remark: 'Well, then I'm just a Nazi!'
"Extremism cannot be combated with exclusion, but with looking at the facts. Those who want to reach concerned citizens must themselves get out of the ideological trenches."

Soeren Kern is a Senior Fellow at the New York-based Gatestone Institute. Follow Soeren Kern on Twitter and Facebook


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Hezbollah force that infiltrates Israel won't get ‎out alive, IDF warns - ‎Lilach Shoval, Associated Press and Israel Hayom Staff

by ‎Lilach Shoval, Associated Press and Israel Hayom Staff

Construction of 80-mile wall along Israel's northern border stokes tensions as Lebanon claims the project infringes on its sovereignty

An Israeli soldier near the wall being built on Israel's northern border
Photo: AP 

Israel is building a massive wall along its northern ‎border, saying the barrier is needed to protect nearby communities from Hezbollah attacks, ‎but the project has raised tensions with Lebanon, ‎which fears the wall will encroach on its ‎territory.‎

The Israeli military insists the entire barrier is ‎being constructed in Israeli territory, and UNIFIL – ‎the U.N. peacekeeping force in the area – agrees.

But Iranian-backed Shiite terrorist group Hezbollah has never fully ‎accepted the border, and a senior Israeli military ‎official stressed the need for the wall, saying that ‎while Israeli intelligence closely monitors Hezbollah‎, "we are prepared for the possibility ‎that they will surprise us.‎"

‎"Borders, as the saying goes, will forever be ‎breached. They [Hezbollah] may mark certain ‎achievements but it won't be anything as big as they ‎are planning. Wherever it happens, a Hezbollah force ‎that infiltrates Israel won't get ‎out alive," he ‎said.‎

Hezbollah has been heavily involved ‎in the seven-year-long Syrian civil war, sending thousands of ‎operatives to fight alongside Syrian President ‎Bashar Assad's forces. With the conflict ‎in Syria waning, Israel is wary of renewed ‎hostilities with Hezbollah. ‎

Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanon waged war in ‎‎2006, sparked by a deadly cross-border raid in which ‎Hezbollah killed ‎eight Israeli soldiers and abducted ‎two others, ‎whose remains were returned to Israel in ‎a prisoner ‎exchange two years later.‎

Twelve years on, Hezbollah is believed to have an ‎even larger and more sophisticated arsenal of ‎rockets that pose a threat to all of Israel's ‎territory. ‎

Brig. Gen. Eran Ofir, the commander in charge of ‎Israel's border wall projects, said around 7 miles ‎of the 80-mile barrier has been ‎built. Most of it comprises a ‎30-foot high ‎concrete wall‎ ‎topped by steel mesh and lined with a ‎grid of sophisticated ‎sensors and advanced ‎surveillance systems. Steel fencing ‎replaces the ‎concrete in especially rugged ‎areas.‎ ‎

The $450 million project is slated for completion in ‎‎‎two years. ‎

Lebanese soldiers routinely monitor the ‎construction's progress from a guard post on the ‎opposite side of the Blue Line, which was demarcated ‎by the U.N. after Israeli forces withdrew from south ‎Lebanon in 2000 following an 18-year military ‎campaign. ‎

An IDF official said Israel has noted a troubling ‎rise ‎in "very close cooperation between the Lebanese ‎army and Hezbollah" near the Israeli border in ‎the ‎past year. He said the IDF expects even ‎more ‎Hezbollah fighters to arrive in the area after ‎the ‎Syrian war ends.‎

Israel and Lebanon technically remain at war.‎

The U.N. Security Council warned last month that ‎violations of the cease-fire agreement between ‎Lebanon and Israel could lead to fresh conflict.‎

Lebanon's top security body earlier this year ‎described the planned border wall as an "aggression" ‎against it.‎

‎"This wall, if it is built, will be considered an ‎aggression against Lebanon," it said in a statement. ‎‎"The Higher Defense Council has given instructions ‎to confront this aggression to prevent Israel from ‎building this so-called wall barrier on Lebanese ‎territory."

Maj. Tomer Gilad, Israel's liaison officer with ‎UNIFIL, said monthly meetings are held with the ‎Lebanese military and U.N. officials to coordinate ‎the barrier's construction.‎

‎"Even for the past year before we started this ‎construction, we've coordinated this activity with ‎UNIFIL, and through UNIFIL with the Lebanese Armed ‎Forces. We've alerted them of our intention to construct this defensive mechanism," Gilad ‎told reporters.‎

Thus far, construction has proceeded "very calmly ‎with the participation on all sides to maintain ‎stability," he said. "We expect UNIFIL and the ‎Lebanese army to maintain stability over here ‎throughout this construction because this ‎project is a stabilizing measure."‎

UNIFIL spokesman Andrea Tenenti said that since ‎construction began in February, all the building work has been south of the Blue Line and away from ‎sensitive areas.‎

‎Lilach Shoval, Associated Press and Israel Hayom Staff


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Media and the Rise of Homosexuality - Mike Konrad

by Mike Konrad

An admission about homosexual influences, by a famous documentary, does much to explain society today.

India has just legalized gay sex. This is roughly one-sixth of the world's population. A few years ago, this would have been unthinkable. What happened? An admission about homosexual influences, by a famous documentary, does much to explain society today.

We must first go back to the 1960s, to an amazing documentary by CBS, hosted by Mike Wallace, called "The Homosexuals."

In the documentary, Mike Wallace noted that, as late as 1967:
Most Americans are repelled by the mere notion of homosexuality. A CBS news survey shows that two out of three Americans look upon homosexuals with disgust, discomfort or fear… The majority of Americans favor legal punishment, even for homosexual acts performed in private between consenting adults. "The Homosexuals," (6:39), CBS, 1967, with Mike Wallace.
Not too long ago, people received severe sentences for homosexual behavior.
This man is twenty-seven, college educated... He has been in jail three times for committing homosexual acts. If he is arrested once more, he faces the possibility of life in prison. "The Homosexuals," (6:03) CBS, 1967, with Mike Wallace.
Yet, within a generation, homosexuality became accepted, and today it is celebrated, almost as desirable and heroic. This would have been unthinkable, even in the 1960s. 

I have also noticed older people, whom I have known for decades, change their attitudes. In the 1960s, they would have been one of those Americans who saw homosexuality as disgusting. Now, they are "tolerant." The brainwashing seems to have worked retroactively.

Do not get me wrong! I am not advocating the recriminalization of consensual homosexual acts. Some of the laws back then were unnecessarily strict. But neither do I celebrate homosexuality as a good thing, something to be sought. I would have preferred the limited accommodation of decriminalization, and nothing more.

The usual explanation given is that the Stonewall Riots of 1969 were the game changer. When police raided a homosexual bar, the patrons fought back. Homosexual rights were brought into the public eye. The problem is that the Stonewall Riots were not the cause.
One could track further back to the Mattachine Society founded in 1950, or the drawings by Tom of Finland, the latter of which would become the inspiration for the Village People.
Simply put, without Tom of Finland, there would have been no Village People. – The Guardian
An amazing admission in the 1967 CBS documentary confirms what many have said under their breaths, and what other have suspected.
Homosexuals are discriminated against in almost all fields of employment, in all parts of the country. But in the world of the creative arts, they received equal treatment; indeed, some would say better treatment. There is even talk of a homosexual mafia in the arts, dominating various fields. Theater, music, dance, fashion.
In painting, there is the commonly expressed notion that the homosexuals influence has been corrupting:
In the fashion industry, many observers see an effort to blend the sexes, to defeminize woman, to replace curve and counter with sexless, geometric sterility… "The Homosexuals," (31:05) CBS, 1967, with Mike Wallace.
If someone said that out loud today, they would be charged with hate speech and have their lives destroyed.

But the problem is not even limited to homosexuality.

If one were to watch fashion shows, with a discerning eye, one would wonder why so much of women's fashion has women dressed like boys. The women look almost androgynous.

This in not even a recent development
1920s women's clothing was also extremely androgynous, especially considering the flouncy skirts and cruelly exaggerated waistlines that had gone before it during the Victorian period. – A History Of Androgyny In Fashion
Writers have noted how the ideal runway model seems perilously close to looking pre-pubescent.
Acne Confirms: Fashion's Ideal Woman Is a 12-Year-Old Boy – Yahoo Lifestyle
Now, obviously, it is not the models who push this. It is the fashion designers. The very ones that Mike Wallace said might belong to a "homosexual mafia."

Neither am I a fulminating fundamentalist who thinks women should not wear pants. I think jeans look good on a woman, when they accent her curves and contours. I do not expect all women to look like the quasi-androgynous Twiggy of the 1960s or Kate Moss. And why would androgyny be pushed as the ideal, anyway?

Since the rise of Hollywood, and mass media, we have allowed our culture to be directed, and led, by a minority. Though it be politically incorrect to admit, it seems that a disproportional amount of these people are what many, in the 1960s, would have called sexually deviant.

With the advent of movies, they could influence the population, but only to a point. If they became too radical, the public would not pay for the tickets. With radio in the 1930s and 40s, there was no visual input. Androgyny does not translate well over AM.

With the introduction of visual TV in the 1950s and 60s, these creative professionals set the tone. Most of the public had no choice about what was broadcast. And since TV was ostensibly free at that time, there was no disincentive not to watch. An advertiser might balk if things went too far, but it was a process of erosion.

So within a short period from 1967 to 1976, the media could move the public to accept homosexual rights. Rod Stewart released "The Killing of Georgie," a song about the murder of a New York homosexual, and it got major airplay, something which would have been unthinkable nine years earlier.

There can be no doubt that Hollywood and New York were the most influential centers of art in the Western world, though that may be changing. Leveraging this influence, the embedded "homosexual mafia" changed the United States, which then started the ball rolling to change the world. Hence… India, which has just legalized gay sex.
A small "homosexual mafia" has foisted itself on the planet, and quite successfully.

The key was their control of the media.

The present cultural war is over that control. The internet truly democratized the media, which is no longer centralized. Hence, Facebook and Twitter are now shadow banning.

What would have been unthinkable 50 years ago – and might have landed one in jail – is today lauded and heralded. And much of this is due to the influences of a small, unrepresentative community. What is amazing is how easily people have allowed themselves to be led, rather than think for themselves. This mafia should never have had this much influence.

Now that the internet has broken the monopoly of those creatives, they seek new ways to reign in the true liberty that would counteract them.
Donald Trump has angered feminists all over again, after a new report suggests that he has told the female staff of his administration that they need to always "dress like women" when at work. – The Telegraph
Trump is not destroying democracy, he is contesting with the minority who would.

Mike Konrad is the pen name of an American who wishes he had availed himself more fully of the opportunity to learn Spanish better in high school, lo those many decades ago. He runs a website about the Arab community in South America at

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Republican Senator introduces bill targeting UNRWA - Elad Benari

by Elad Benari

Oklahoma Senator James Lankford's law would require UNRWA to change its definition of Palestinian refugees or the US will sever ties.

James Lankford

US Senator James Lankford (R-Oklahoma) has proposed legislation that would permanently sever Washington’s funding to UNRWA if it does not change its definition of “legitimate Palestinian refugees”, reports i24news.

Lankford said Thursday he was introducing a bill that would enshrine President Donald Trump’s decision to end US funding to UNRWA in law and open the door to a resumption of funding if UNRWA stops bestowing refugee status on descendants of male Palestinian Arab refugees who fled what is now Israel in 1948 or the 1967 Six Day War.

“We are currently funding an entity that has ensured that a refugee population of several hundreds of thousands 70 years ago has exploded to more than 5 million,” said the Senator.

“This is not sustainable -- for American taxpayers, who are asked to finance the welfare of these individuals, for the Palestinians themselves, or for the Israelis,” he added.

Lankford alluded to his bill’s potential impact on the Palestinian “right of return” to land in what is now Israel, arguing that UNRWA’s methodology “wrongfully” implies that the 5.4 million who access its services have an “internationally-sanctioned right to return to Israel.”

"This isn’t about cutting funding for aid to the Palestinians; it’s about providing foreign aid the right way so people’s lives are actually improved and American interests secured,” said Lankford, according to i24news.

He added that “UNRWA is a barrier to peace, and it must be reformed. If it cannot reform, the US should find other ways to help the Palestinians people access education, jobs, and healthcare.”

Lankford’s initiative comes a week after the Trump administration announced it would no longer fund the UN agency for “Palestinian refugees”.

The announcement by Washington came several months after it decided to cut some of its funding to UNRWA, citing a need to undertake a fundamental re-examination of the organization, both in the way it operates and the way it is funded.

A report last week said that the White House is expected to insist UNRWA that slash the number of Arabs recognized as refugees, though the State Department statement announcing the cut to UNRWA made no mention of this.

The administration’s move was met with anger in the Arab world. Jordan’s foreign minister warned the decision would only fuel radicalism and harm prospects for Middle East peace.

The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) called on parliaments around the world to oppose the US decision and fight it through the UN General Assembly and Security Council.

Elad Benari


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Quaker Event Promotes Blood Libels against Israel - Andrew Harrod

by Andrew Harrod

Quakers join the global demonization of Israel.

“This is not prison; this is a genocide,” stated an audience member following August 29 movie screenings concerning the Gaza Strip at the Washington, DC office of the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL). Typifying the Israel-hating audience of about 25 that filled FCNL’s small Capitol Hill presentation room, this woman’s comments demonstrated how Quakers at FCNL and beyond have joined the global demonization of Israel.

The woman, a self-professed member of the radical anti-Israel organization Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), “was totally sickened” by the evening’s viewings of Gaza in Context and Gaza: A Gaping Wound. These two films formed the latest presentation of Voices from the Holy Land (VFHL), a Washington, DC-area film club that unites local members of Israel’s enemies such as JVP and is well-known to this author. Gaza’s ruling Hamas terrorists could not have been more pleased with VFHL’s pseudo-documentaries depicting victimized Palestinians and fiendish Zionists, as the JVP woman declared, “I just want to stand up and salute every Palestinian.”

Such bias belied the supposed objectivity of the evening’s introduction by VFHL’s Deepak Kenkeremath, a member of Manassas Presbyterian Church in Virginia. The “mainstream media” discusses Gaza in terms of “words and phrases like terrorists, and Hamas, and rockets, and suicide bombers, and Israeli Defense Forces,” he stated. Somehow the evening’s agitprop sought to expose a deeper, hidden truth behind the clear meaning of these plain words, and give “context for understanding what is going on in Gaza right now.”

Similarly, in his post-screening discussion of his recent charity trip to Gaza to perform surgery, VFHL’s James Cobey, an orthopedic surgeon and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, engaged in moral inversion of Hamas aggressors and Israeli defenders. The JVP woman’s comments followed Cobey’s remark that omnipresent Israeli drones overflying Gaza meant that there “everybody feels they are imprisoned.” Accordingly, he claimed that in Gaza the “reason the Palestinians shoot these rockets, which aren’t very powerful, is because they are frustrated,” not because of Hamas’ jihad ideology.

The considerable dangers of Hamas rockets, as well as terror tunnels and more recently fire kites, must cause considerable loss of sleep among Israelis. Yet Cobey focused not on their necessity to quickly take cover in bomb shelters, but on Gaza’s rest needs. He stated that the night before he left Gaza, the Israeli Air Force dropped 90 bombs in six hours, and complained that “it is hard to sleep with bombs all night long.”

Cobey’s fellow Episcopalian and VFHL member Tom Getman demonstrated once again how his antisemitism was a primary factor in turning the Christian aid agency World Vision International against Israel. He has previously ranted this year before an anti-Israel conference audience (including this author) about Zionism’s “genocidist” God. His writings for the George Soros-funded Sojourners magazine have slanderously described the Old Testament Canaanite god of child sacrifice, Moloch, as an “angry Israeli god.” As Dexter van Zile from the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) has documented, with Getman et al leading, “World Vision’s behavior is, simply put, scandalous” towards Israel.

Getman at FCNL noted that he “worked five years in Palestine” for World Vision’s Jerusalem, West Bank, and Gaza operations. His comments evoked those of the Massachusetts Episcopal Bishop Gayle Harris, who recently apologized for fabricating Israeli atrocity stories. He described an Israeli military that willfully attacked humanitarian Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) like World Vision, as if the standard human shield tactics of jihadists such as Hamas did not encompass NGOs.

Contrary to the Israeli military’s documented high ethical standards, Getman claimed to have once stood near Red Cross tents at a Gaza intersection
with my flak jacket on, clearly marked as an NGO. The men on either side of me were shot, one right here in the forehead, and the other with a graze wound. I could hear no sound of the shot; it was from 1,500 meters from across the barrier, across the fence. That happens every day, not just what you are seeing, even when we would call regularly the coordinates of our projects….I came to believe that when we called in coordinates, they added us to their list, and that to me shows the kind of evil we are facing, and how we must mobilize in ways that I think we haven’t even begun to comprehend.
Corresponding to Getman’s comments, much of the post-screening discussion concerned political advocacy against Israel. VFHL member Thomas Johnson mentioned the Washington, DC Episcopal Diocese Companion Diocesan Committee—Jerusalem, where he collaborates with both Cobey and Getman. Getman emphasized the importance of weaning Christian Zionists away from Israel. “We have many former Christian Zionist friends, inadvertent Zionist friends who, when they have got the kind of picture we got today, will come over to the winning side,” he said.

Cobey, meanwhile, praised President Barack Obama’s 2009 Cairo speech, with its politically correct pieties about Islam, as “fantastic.” Cobey said that some saw in Obama a coming “great change in the relationship to Israel after that, but he backed off, he was told to stop, he wouldn’t be reelected.” Cobey hoped that the former president freed from reelection concerns could be a “great speaker” on Israel.

Similar sentiments came from the evening’s hosts, FCNL Legislative Director for Middle East Policy Kate Gould, and FCNL Quaker Field Secretary Christine Ashley. The Iran nuclear deal promoter Gould noted people such as Hillary Clinton “who have supported past attacks on Gaza, even those who we may not think of as natural allies on this issue.” They have “frustration and anger about the continuation of the ‘occupation’” by Israel over Palestinians, and therefore there are politically “really some new opportunities.”

Gould said that politicians are “hearing certainly from those who want to see more bombs and they are saying we don’t hear enough from people who support human rights.” Her ideas of human rights supporters such as the Virginia Coalition for Human Rights (VCHR) were rather curious. This local group contains members of organizations supporting the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel, such as JVP and the Hamas-derived American Muslims for Palestine (AMP).

The evening’s affiliations with BDS supporters such as VFHL rendered hollow FCNL’s official online statement that FCNL members “do not take a position on BDS.” Meanwhile, the Quaker church has divested from companies doing business with Israel. Israel has also listed the Quakers’ American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) among 20 organizations such as JVP that are banned from entering Israel due to BDS support, as a result of the AFSC’s longstanding anti-Israel animus.

Most Jews would not have appreciated the event’s seething contempt against Israel and the discovery that FCNL is no friend of the Jewish state. Yet Ashley tried to end the evening on a note of John Lennon-like happy multicultural platitudes. She blithely quoted from the Quaker writer Parker J. Palmer, who apparently has never studied Islamic supremacist doctrines like jihad.

Palmer had stated that
all the great spiritual traditions when you boil them down, are saying one simple thing, be not afraid…you don’t have to be your fears, and you don’t have to create a world in which those fears dominate the conditions of many, many people.
Many should fear the FCNL’s warped views.

Andrew E. Harrod is a freelance researcher and writer who holds a PhD from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and a JD from George Washington University Law School. He is a fellow with the Lawfare Project, an organization combating the misuse of human rights law against Western societies. You may follow Harrod on twitter at @AEHarrod.


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Sunday's Vote Could Snap Swedes out of Their Stockholm Syndrome - Charles Ortel

by Charles Ortel

Are Swedes required to welcome and subsidize all immigrants, even those who may despise secular government, and local mores?

Swedes are set to vote Sunday, and soon the world may view another example of citizens frustrated by arrogant politicians and bureaucrats upending the status quo and changing the landscape of a rich country whose leaders manifestly have failed the working class. For in truth, Sweden is burning, physically and figuratively.  This reality is known better outside that country, because pro-globalist elites in Sweden work so hard to obscure brutal crimes and dislocations that occur as too many unvetted immigrants sweep into their generous nation.

But it is not simply burning cars, and savage assaults that capture the concern of Swedish citizens and international observers. An expensive, thirty year experiment in Sweden promoting global governance and attacking world problems has certainly helped Swedish elites, but many voters see more financial harm than benefit for themselves.

So, in mere days, the Swedish electorate will speak, and rumblings emanating various ways suggest that parties and politicians long in control of the government will suffer erosion in their influence.  How much power will a right-leaning party – Sweden Democrats – win at the ballot box, and what roles might candidates in this party play either supporting or obstructing the coalition government destined to emerge after September 9, 2018?

How closely will voters examine the qualifications and backgrounds of candidates for office, including their criminal records, if any, and the stated goals of their political parties concerning Sweden and regarding the wider world?

These major questions and looming answers must be seen in context.

Sparks Igniting Political Changes

In February 2017, when newly inaugurated President Trump drew attention to Tucker Carlson's Fox News special on Sweden's mounting problems with immigration policies, most critics around the world scoffed.
So, who was correct?

Months later, on April 7, 2017, an asylum-seeker killed five persons, and injured many more. These are the brutal losses that can be seen and measured.  How many more minds were wounded then, and how many still suffer from deep, lasting anxieties knowing there may no longer be safe spaces left in once-serene Sweden, especially for children and for grandchildren?

Lax vetting of visitors and immigrants is a poor choice for governments in rich nations. Evidently, the ancient lesson of the "Trojan horse" is one casualty of trends in education.  When will we start learning from history, recent and long past?

For years, the Swedish police, government officials, mainstream "journalists," local educators and think-tankers did their best to cover up tragic incidents where newly settled immigrants committed violent crimes against persons and against property inside Sweden.

Much has changed following events in 2017 and then on August 14, 2018, when roving bands of black-clad youths overturned and burned vehicles in Gothenburg and several additional Swedish cities.  Even Sweden's Prime Minister, Stefan Lofven, had to admit publicly that he was outraged over violent attacks that seemed coordinated almost with military precision.

As in other nations, crime statistics in Sweden apparently are not tracked carefully enough to catalog socio-economic characteristics of attackers and victims.   Moreover, concerns arise whether crimes against the vulnerable are accurately reported in "No-Go" zones scattered across Sweden that are chiefly populated by immigrants.

Yet, evidence is unmistakable that immigrants streamed into Sweden to take advantage of taxpayer-funded financial benefits that are not available in the war-torn, economically depressed zones whence immigrants originate. Sadly, in too many cases these immigrants exhibited little interest in assimilating peaceably, and instead attacked their economic benefactors.

Long-time residents and visitors to Sweden understand that welcoming numerous immigrants who despise secular society and reject Swedish cultural norms entails profound risks.

Do Swedes really wish to inhabit a globalist world, where artificial borders unfairly deny fair access to Sweden to fellow world citizens living in economically depressed or politically challenging conditions?  Are Swedes required to welcome and subsidize all immigrants, even those who may despise secular government, and local mores?

As challenging as Sweden's immigration problems are in September 2018, they seem to be symptoms of deeper concerns.  Sending all unvetted immigrants back to their countries of origin would still leave Swedish workers as cogs in a globalist wheel of misfortune, where their wages may be crushed by cheaper human or machine alternatives.

Regulated Nationalism or Unregulated Globalism?

For 30 years, from 1989 to the present, the Swedish people have been in thrall to elites who tirelessly sell virtues of "globalism."

Considering who may actually benefit from submitting to globalist impulses, American observers need to understand that Sweden's economy is remarkably different from ours: Sweden's businesses are much more dependent on foreign customers. For example, in 2016, exports from Sweden were $228 billion.  This figure is equal in size to the internal Swedish market for household goods and services (consumption). In contrast, American exports of $2,296 billion were just 17% of household consumption during 2016.  Without export sales, many Swedish companies would experience substantial economic losses. Whereas, American companies, even now, can still thrive catering primarily to our large, vibrant home market.

So, it is easy to understand why Swedish politicians would embrace globalism, thinking that doing so might help Swedish multinational companies and their employees to promote export sales.  And yes, large corporations there have indeed thrived – many Swedish-branded products sell across the world, and some private sector employees earn incomes that allow families to live well, even to save.

Academics, think-tankers, and writers in Sweden also have flourished while promoting unregulated globalism. But the people who have suffered are those in the private sector whose jobs and incomes stand ever more at risk.  Despite abundant evidence that globalist policies failed to lift wages for private sector workers in richer nations, Swedish voters, until now, continue to elect pro-globalist governments, and in so doing exhibit classic signs of "Stockholm Syndrome," a condition that Merriam Webster's dictionary defines as "the psychological tendency of a hostage to bond with, identify with, or sympathize with his or her captor."

Will Swedish voters escape their captors and chart a new, more productive course for Sweden's workers and entrepreneurs?

Will Sweden become safe again?

Soon, the world shall see.

Charles Ortel


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Who Is Andrew Gillum? - Discover the Networks

by Discover the Networks

A closer look at the politics of the Democratic candidate for Florida governor.

A few days ago, 39-year-old Andrew Gillum – the Tallahassee, Florida mayor who proudly embraces the socialist political and economic agenda of Bernie Sanders – won his party's gubernatorial primary race in that state. This sets the stage for November, when Gillum will face Republican Ron DeSantis in the election for governor. Gillum's campaign has been endorsed not only by Sanders, but also by Our Revolution, an activist organization that explicitly promotes the Vermont senator's agenda.
Gillum has a long history of political activism that stretches back to his school days. When he was enrolled at Florida A&M University, for instance, he was very active in the Student Government Association. In early 2000, Gillum helped organize a large “March on Tallahassee” to protest Governor Jeb Bush's 1999 executive order abolishing affirmative action in state university admissions and state contracting. To reward Gillum's activism vis-a-vis this and other matters, the Center for Policy Alternatives recognized him as the nation's top student leader in 2001.

In 2002, Gillum became the Florida Field Organizer with the People For the American Way Foundation (PFAWF), spearheading its “Arrive With 5” initiative – a pro-Democrat voter-mobilization campaign whereby young people pledged to bring five additional voters with them to the polls on Election Day.

In 2003, the Florida Democratic Party recruited Gillum to serve as its interim Political Director, but before long he returned to his previous position with PFAWF. Also in 2003, Gillum was elected to the Tallahassee City Council, a post he would hold for the next 11 years.

In late 2004, Gillum, in addition to his City Council duties, became the National Deputy Director of PFAWF's “Young People For” program, a campus-based initiative designed to develop young leftist leaders across the United States. In 2006 he established the Young Elected Officials Network, which had a similar mission. The leading funder of this organization was George Soros's Open Society Institute. Soros, of course, is the multi-billionaire who has long bankrolled a myriad of far-left causes.
In 2014, Gillum was elected Mayor of Tallahassee. Two years later, he was given a platform from which to speak at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

On a variety of key political issues, Gillman:

  • strongly favors the expansion of Obamacare as a step toward a government-run, single-payer, “Medicare-for-all” healthcare system;
  • strongly favors government-enforced affirmative action policies designed to compensate nonwhites and women for the effects of past and present discrimination;
  • strongly favors a steeply progressive income-tax structure where high earners pay disproportionately high rates, and where corporate taxes are increased significantly;
  • strongly favors the implementation of a pathway-to-citizenship for illegal aliens;
  • strongly favors the enactment of carbon taxes, higher CAFE standards for automobiles, and federal funding for the research-and-development of wind and solar power technology;
  • strongly opposes Voter ID laws as racist schemes that are designed to suppress minority voting;
  • believes that the enactment of voucher programs through which low-income parents can take their children out of substandard public schools and send them instead to superior private schools, constitutes bad public policy;
  • believes that the availability of guns should be severely restricted, even for law-abiding citizens who have never been convicted of a crime, and that the 2nd Amendment does not guarantee Americans the right to possess a firearm;
  • supports a complete ban on so-called “assault weapons”;
  • believes that the federal government should inject large amounts of funding – in the form of cash as well as federal job-creation programs – to help the U.S. economy recover from downturns that it may experience;
  • believes that the nationalization of banks and corporations is more appropriate than government bailouts of those entities when they fail economically;
  • calls for a national $15-per-hour minimum wage requirement for all workers; and
  • advocates the repeal of Florida’s “stand-your-ground” gun laws which permit people to use deadly force if they feel that their lives are threatened by an aggressor or assailant.
Gillum also has released a video demanding that President Trump be impeached because he allegedly “obstructed justice” by firing former FBI Director James Comey.
The two leading individual donors to Gillum's 2018 campaign have been George Soros and another left-wing billionaire, Tom Steyer. Scarcely two weeks ago, Soros, who already had contributed $1 million to Gillum’s Forward Florida political committee, announced that he was giving $250,000 more. And Steyer, who had previously funneled $500,000 to Forward Florida, pledged another $300,000. “I’m obviously deeply appreciative of Mr. Soros, as well as Mr. Steyer, both men who I’ve known them for some time,” said Gillum. The most recent Soros/Steyer donations coincided with a $3.5 million get-out-the-vote effort by a coalition of pro-Gillum leftist organizations.

In addition to his political activities, Gillum also serves as a Board of Directors member with the New World Foundation, a far-left entity that was once chaired by none other than Hillary Clinton.

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