Saturday, November 10, 2018

God and Guns in the Synagogue - Daniel Greenfield

by Daniel Greenfield

Jews across America choose between self-defense and gun control.

There are two types of synagogues: those that believe in G-d and those that believe in government.

After the mass shooting in a Pittsburgh synagogue, the government synagogues turned to the government with calls for gun control. And those that believe in G-d, turned to the Almighty.

And then, trusting in the Almighty to stand with them against danger, they went out and got their guns.

Morning services at the synagogue these days begin and end with guns, with talk of tactical courses, firing ranges and concealed carry permits. “If someone comes to kill you, get up early to kill him first,” the Gemara, the Babylonian Talmud, that massive encyclopedic work codifying Jewish law, advises.

In synagogues across America, the teachers, actuaries and small businessmen rising early for morning prayers are preparing for a mass shooting attack. Every synagogue I have been to lately has members who carry concealed firearms. Members are attending security courses, training to identify, disarm or kill active shooters, while also preparing for the ugly aftermath of another synagogue massacre.

CPR courses. Stop the bleed. Triage.

While one faction of American Jews, the noisesome lefty one, shouts about gun control, the quieter, religious one, is choosing self-defense over gun control, and preparing to face another attack.

After the Pittsburgh shooting, the Jewish Community Relations Council of San Francisco recycled a gun control tract from 1999 warning that, "14 young people below the age of 20 are killed by guns in this country every day". That talking point about inner city gang violence had nothing do with the mass shooting of unarmed Jewish worshipers, but establishment politics tend to run on lefty autopilot.

But meanwhile in South Philly, far from San Fran, but all too close to the Pittsburgh massacre, religious Jews were going out and buying guns.

“I'm a daughter of a Holocaust survivor,” a 61-year-old Jewish woman was quoted as saying. “I lost all my aunts and uncles in the Holocaust, and I'm going to go down fighting. I'm not walking into a gas chamber. I'm not going to stand there like a sitting duck… and get shot at. I refuse.”

Yonatan Stern, an IDF veteran running tactical training courses at Cherev Gideon (Gideon’s Sword), suggested that the demand is coming from the more politically and religiously conservative Jews.

Meanwhile at a lefty protest in Philly, Rebecca Hornstein, a member of the If Now Now anti-Israel hate group, who backed anti-Semites like Keith Ellison and Linda Sarsour, claimed that nobody wanted guns.

But quite a few real Jews did.

The debate over firearms in synagogues has reached into Jewish communities from New York City to Philadelphia, and from Chicago to Colorado Springs, where Mel Bernstein of Dragon Arms offered local Rabbis in the area free handguns or AR-15s, along with training and ammunition.

“You have to have the tool to fight back, and this is the tool,” the Jewish gun store owner said.

The local ADL branch was unhappy with Bernstein’s offer, claiming that armed clergy sent the wrong message. Five local rabbis however thought that it sent the right message and took him up on it.

“The 97-year-old Holocaust survivor did not have good people that carry firearms during the Holocaust. But there are good people that carry firearms in American now,“ Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, the former head of 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement, declared. “They should bring them inside with them to protect the people who are there.”

“If you are a Jewish police officer and you are off duty, when you come to worship, you should come with your handgun. If you are a Christian police officer, when you are off duty,” he urged in a press conference outside a Jewish institution, “come with your handgun.”

"No. No. No," Council Speaker Corey Johnson tweeted. "This is not how we heal and move forward."

Assemblyman Dov Hikind, an Orthodox Jewish politician from Brooklyn, however endorsed Adams' message and announced, "I am registering immediately for a gun license. And I encourage other Jews to do so to protect their institutions and synagogues."

David Pollock, the director of public policy and security at the New York Jewish Community Relations Council, however insisted that guns wouldn't work. "Having armed guards is not a panacea."

Rabbi Gary Moskowitz, a former NYPD officer and martial arts expert, who offers firearms training to Rabbis, has urged every congregation to arm its members.

“They tell me, ‘It’s not the Jewish way,’” he argued. “How can the rabbis say that it’s not the Jewish way when we just need to look at the Bible to see how David fought the Philistines?”

When Moskowitz had previously proposed allowing congregants in New York City to carry guns, he met with a cold response from local Democrats.

“We need fewer, not more, guns on the street, period,” City Councilman Mark Levine had insisted. “This would make us less safe, not more safe.”

But after Pittsburgh, unarmed synagogues increasingly don’t feel safe.

In Chicago, Jonathan Burstyn, the son of a volunteer policeman, guards his synagogue on the Sabbath and provides firearms training through Chi-Defense. A photo posted by Burstyn at the 2018 NRA Annual Meeting shows a group of Orthodox Jews touting some serious artillery.

In Virginia, Edward Friedman, the editor-in-chief of the NRA's Shooting Illustrated magazine, carries a concealed weapon to a Chabad Orthodox synagogue with the permission of the Rabbi.

“It’s something that’s incredibly important to me, and I think it should be to every single practicing Jew who goes to synagogue,” Friedman said.

At Temple Sholom, a small Reform synagogue in Springfield, Ohio, Rabbi Cary Kozberg took down the gun-free-zone sign. “Some realized that a gun-free zone can be an invitation.”

“I’m so not advocating that every Jewish person who goes to synagogue walk in with a gun,” he said. “But there are people who are OK with that, and those people need to be listened to.”

While an out-of-touch secular establishment still claims to speak for Jews on gun control, the growing number of religious Jews are far more comfortable with firearms. And after Pittsburgh, more places like Temple Sholom are willing to question the suicidal fanaticism with which the Left clings to gun control.

The choice between self-defense and gun control is at also a choice between dependency and independence. It’s the quintessential dilemma out of which the United States of America was born.

And more Jewish organizations are stepping forward to advocate for the Second Amendment.

“With all due respect, singing songs, lighting candles and posting the phrase 'Never Again', regardless of the number of exclamation points, is not going to stop anyone from killing Jews,” Doris Wise, the founder of Jews Can Shoot, wrote. “Fear of being shot by armed Jews. That’s what will stop them.”

“Self-defense is a God-given right. Here in America - all of America - we have the very good fortune to have the Second Amendment. Honor it, yourselves and all good people by making use of it.”

Jews Can Shoot is one of a number of rising Jewish organizations that connect Jewish civil rights to the right to bear arms.

The idea is not new to Jewish history.

Zionism began not with irrigating the desert, but with arming vulnerable Jewish populations. It’s a story that traverses Jewish history and goes back all the way to the very dawn of the Jewish monarchy.

When Shaul was anointed as the first Jewish king, the Philistines had disarmed the Jewish population leaving them without even a blacksmith, worrying, ”Lest the Hebrews make them swords or spears” (1 Samuel :13:19), until King Shaul and his son, Yonatan, were said to have received spears from heaven.

Then they led the rebellion against Philistine rule and created the first Jewish kingdom.

After the Jews returned from the Babylonian exile, the Book of Nehemiah relates that when the Arabs came to besiege Jerusalem vowing to kill the returning exiles and end the rebuilding of the Second Temple, the Prophet Nehemiah assembled the people behind the wall with “swords, spears and bows.”

And as they built the Temple, of which the present synagogues are only lesser models, struggling to raise the wall against the Arab invaders, they “worked with one hand, and held their weapon with the other”.

Today, the synagogues that believe in G-d, Jews are taking the prophet’s advice. "Do not fear them, remember the Great and Awesome G-d, fight for your brethren, for your sons and daughters, for your wives and your houses." (Nehemiah 4:8)

And after morning prayers, the men leave still talking of active shooter training and firing ranges.

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism.


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The Jim Acosta Controversy - Paul Joseph Watson

by Paul Joseph Watson

Did I really "doctor" the Jim Acosta video?

In his new video below, Paul Joseph Watson focuses on The Jim Acosta Controversy, and he asks: Did I really "doctor" the Jim Acosta video? 

Paul Joseph Watson


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Trump Versus the Euro-Swamp - James Lewis

by James Lewis

Trump is a disruptive figure in Swamp politics, and now, right after the midterms, he’s flying to Paris to practice jujitsu on the EU's version of the Swamp.

This guy Donald Trump has amazing physical staying power. Right after his end-sprint in the Midterms, which ended pretty well, and only pausing for a White House presser to deliver a kick to Jim Acosta, Donald Trump is in Europe, where the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day is being memorialized on Sunday.

In case you forgot, Armistice Day is the day the guns stopped firing in the trenches in World War I, after the United States sent in our first huge expeditionary force to tilt the balance against the Central Powers, including the German Empire, as Bismarck had rebranded Prussia in1848, and the other German Empire of the time, called the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

During that bloody trench war the German General Staff also sent Vladimir Lenin in a closed train across to Moscow, to stir up revolution against the Romanoff Czars.

Lenin and his Bolsheviks killed the Romanoffs, all of them -- men, women and children, and after a civil war that the Bolsheviks won. The rest, as they say, is history. Lenin pulled Russia out of World War I, which was the German aim in smuggling Lenin over there.

So we have another German Empire to thank for the Soviet Union, though we should not blame living people for the sins of the past. But history has a crazy way of repeating, and today we have the makings of a new European Kaisertum, called the European Union.

It’s the Frankish Empire all over again, only run by unelected bureaucrats of the European Commission, "the executive of the European Union."
Flags outside the headquarters of the European Commission in Brussels
Photo credit: Sébastien Bertrand

There are only three things to remember about the EU.

The EU has no electoral legitimacy.

(Repeat three times, wash, rinse and dry).

Those are the only three facts you need to know, and in Britain, a British independence movement has been gathering steam against the power-hungry Euro-Swamp. After 25 years of campaigning, a fellow named Nigel Farage led the charge to have an actual voters’ referendum, and two years ago the Leave referendum barely squeaked by with 52 percent of the vote. But 52 percent is a majority in a democracy.

And now, another creature from the Swamp named Theresa May is shafting the British independence movement by making it clear that Brexit will happen only over her dead body. Because the British Swamp is also the Euro-Swamp, which is also the US Swamp, which is also the UN Swamp.

Guess why British and Aussie spooks were part of the coup d’etat against Donald Trump, before, during and after the election of 2016?

Yes, that’s right. Christopher Steele, superspook for the Brits, is just a carbon copy of John Brennan, the former Communist voter who somehow became head of the Obama CIA. When Donald Trump goes to Verdun to memorialize the Armistice of 1918, he might want to have a quiet word about all that with Mrs. May.

British spooks don’t stir up an American coup d’etat without checking with the boss, Mrs. May.

As of Friday night, "Mr Trump is reportedly not scheduling any meetings with the other world leaders in attendance, including Mr Putin. But, he did not rule out the two would interact at a scheduled Elysee Palace dinner."

Nothing scheduled, but who knows what might come up? 

Maybe The Don can just have a word with the British Prime Minister? 

These Swampsters all have lifetime jobs, so they know each other.

Donald Trump has long known about the International Swamp, because you can’t be in the international hotel business without knowing about the Swamp. Trump has big hotels overseas.

Trump is a disruptive figure in Swamp politics, and now, right after the midterms, he’s flying to Paris to practice jujitsu on the EU's version of the Swamp..

Now Nigel Farage has a talk show (American style, and very successful) on a YouTube channel called LBC, a takeoff on the BBC, also known as the Bolshie Beeb. LBC seems to be disrupting the propaganda monopoly that the Beeb has exercised for a century.

In the last 50 years the EuroSwamp has been sucking in one British Prime Minister after another, so that UK sovereignty is almost gone. The Union Jack is still fluttering, but it’s steadily sinking below the waves.

So the Leave Referendum two years ago was a turning point, and it naturally freaked out Herr Dr. Jean-Claude Juncker, the aptly named President of the European Union, which has no electoral legitimacy whatsoever --- zero, zilch, nada. The socialist Ruling Class over there has locked itself into power, exactly like the Swamp of DC, the American left and the Rinos.

Don’t worry about trying to understand their complicated fan dance. It’s just the global Swamp again, Euro branch. All Swamps are alike, and they all seem to be very good friends.

(But the EU has no electoral legitimacy at all, remember? None. It’s a Swamp front.)

Now consider M. Macron, President de France, and how he is welcoming the President of the United States, Donald Trump, for Armistice Day on Sunday. Keep in mind that Macron is in trouble in France. The mighty EU is also in trouble in Britain, Italy, Germany, Hungary, Poland and Greece. The Greeks and Poles have just threatened to sue Germany for a trillion dollars in war reparations from 70 years ago, when the Nazis did what they did. Now the Greeks and the Poles are trying to level the playing field.

More trouble for the EU.

EU President Herr Dr. Jean-Claue Juncker just gave his State of the European Union Address, and he was not a happy man. 

They can see the signs of voter revolt all over Europe, and they’re beginning to run out of ammo. 

So M. Macron, who is technically elected by the voters of France, but who is actually a regular Swamp creature, has done what European rulers always do when their power is questioned. hey double down and up the ante.

In response to the Brexit campaign M. Macron is celebrating the forthcoming anniversary of Armistice Day with a big slap in the face to the United States, by announcing the sudden need for an EU Army, which now shows all the signs of becoming yet another European Imperial military-bureaucratic tyranny. No need for NATO, thank you very much, ve vill do zis ourszelves. President Trump tweeted back his displeasure:

Europe won’t pay for its own defenses, which they leave to Uncle Sucker. But now, faced with a voter revolt, because the Euro-Fraud is suddenly obvious over there, the ruling elite has decided to go for broke. They want their own Imperial Flag, their own currency (really the Deutschmark), their own vainglorious Anthem, and their own Empire.

This is not the new, peace-loving non-empire they’ve been promising to make for fifty years.
It’s just the old, old Kaiser again. (It doesn’t matter which Kaiser you pick, they’re all the same).

In case we didn’t get the message clearly enough, Macron announced that yes, the new European Empire would defend itself with French nuclear weapons, against Russia, against China, and yes, against the United States! (Which has defended Europe against three consecutive world-conquering plagues, the Austro-Hungarian Kaiser, then Hitler, and then Stalin and the Soviet Empire.)
Gee, thanks, guys.

Nigel Farage has a talk show on LBC that’s fun to listen to, and it sounds like the Brits are finally getting the Farage message. He’s been predicting this explosion for 25 years.

Farage is the Donald Trump of the UK, along with a very modest-sounding old-fashioned-looking gent named Jacob Rees-Mogg, the very image of a modern British gentleman.

Both of them are enormous fun to watch, and if you wanted to take a long bath after the last couple of years of dirty US politics, I recommend watching them. They haven’t won the battle yet, but they are very steady and determined, and their side is gathering political steam by convincing the people that something is very wrong with drowning in the Euro-Swamp.

So what should The Donald do when he lands in Paris on Sunday, to honor the dead on Armistice Day, a hundred years later?

Chances are he’s thinking about that even now.

If the President reads this column, I would recommend respectfully that on arriving in Paris, Mr. Trump should simply greet his hosts by saying


That’s all he needs to say.

They’ll get it.

James Lewis


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Comey exposed: used personal, un-secured Gmail account for official business so sensitive that the emails cannot be released to the public - Thomas Lifson

by Thomas Lifson

I am no lawyer, but is this a conflict of interest?

We now know that if James Comey had recommended prosecution of Hillary Clinton for her email abuses, he would have been cooking his own goose, for he was guilty of similar abuses. So by exonerating her on the basis of lack of intent, he was also letting himself off the hook.

Marisa Schultz reports in the New York Post:
Fired FBI chief James Comey used his private Gmail account hundreds of times to conduct government business — and at least seven of those messages were deemed so sensitive by the Justice Department that they declined to release them.
The former top G-man repeatedly claimed he only used his private account for “incidental” purposes and never for anything that was classified — and that appears to be true.
But Justice acknowledged in response to a Freedom of Information request that Comey and his chief of staff discussed government business on about 1,200 pages of messages, 156 of which were obtained by The Post.
Caricature by Donkey Hotey

None of the messages were officially “classified” but rather sensitive, which also should be protected from hackers. So, Comey was not in violation of the national security laws Hillary clearly violated. But he was in violation of laws that give the public access to information that belongs to us, under provisions of the Freedom of Information Act. By short0circuiting the requiremets of that law, Comey frustrated the need for transparency and accountability as mandate by law. Comey’s Gmail account would not be subject to searches under provisions of the FOIA laws.

We know about the volume of official business, an astounding 1200 pages, conducted on Gmail, and of the sensitivity of it, because:
The Cause of Action Institute, a conservative watchdog group, filed a Freedom of Information lawsuit for Comey’s Gmail correspondence involving his work for the bureau. (snip)
Justice released 156 of them but refused to hand over seven emails because they would “disclose techniques and procedures for law enforcement investigations or prosecutions.” And another 363 pages of emails were withheld because they discussed privileged agency communications or out of personal privacy concerns.
I am no lawyer, but is this a conflict of interest?

Thomas Lifson


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10 Questions About the Compatibility of Islam with America - Frank Hawkins

by Frank Hawkins

Depending on your answers, does that make you an Islamophobe?

Wikipedia defines Islamophobia as the fear, hatred of or prejudice against the Islamic religion or Muslims, especially when seen as a geopolitical force or the source of terrorism. Yes, many people around the globe who identify with Islam are good, hard working, loving people. But that’s a separate issue from Islam itself. Here are 10 questions about the compatibility of Islam in America. Depending on your answers, does that make you an Islamophobe?

10) Are Islam and Sharia Law compatible with American culture? The generally accepted values of modern America stress a wide range of freedoms involving speech, sexuality and life styles as well as equal rights for women, minorities and a long list of others. None of this fits with the program of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) that affirmed Sharia law as supreme, with the death penalty for those leaving Islam, punishing women who are victims of rape, allowing men to be polygamous, permitting wife beating and censoring speech that insults Islam.

9) Does Islam threaten to destroy our system of law and our Constitution? Islam is not merely a religion. It is an entire societal and quasi-governmental structure with its own legal edifice called Sharia. The holy Qu’ran calls for subjugation of infidels or non-believers, if necessary, through armed jihad. Dr. Irwin Lutzer in his book “The Cross in the Shadow of the Crescent,” describes a Muslim demonstrator in Dearborn, Michigan, holding a sign stating: “We will use the freedoms of the Constitution to destroy the Constitution!” That’s the game plan. You see, Sharia law is in direct conflict with the Bill or Rights. The First Amendment, for instance, states Congress shall make no law prohibiting the “free exercise” of religion. Yet Mohammad said, “Whoever changes his Islamic religion, kill him. Those who reject Islam must be killed.” Islamic law enforces dhimmi status on non-Muslims, prohibiting them from observing their religious practices publicly, raising their voices during prayer, ringing church bells or saying anything considered “insulting to Islam.” Islamic law relegates non-Muslims to “dhimmi” status, where they are forbidden to propagate their customs among Muslims and cannot display a cross, Christmas decorations or the Star of David. There’s a lot more, but you get the idea.

8) Are Islam and Sharia Law tolerant of other religions? Tolerance is a fundamental American value. That is the polar opposite of Islam. When Muslims are not in a position of authority, they naturally call for tolerance and cooperation. But one only has to look at Muslim societies to understand how far that goes. How many Christian churches are there in Saudi Arabia? Zero. Non-Muslims (infidels) are not permitted to visit Mecca? Christians are routinely attacked or murdered in Pakistan. More than 600 Christians have been arbitrarily arrested and detained in Iran in the past year. Iranian authorities routinely raid church services, threaten church members and arrest and imprison worshipers and church leaders, particularly Evangelical Christian converts. Christian church leaders have been explicitly been targeted by the Iranian authorities charged with ‘unfounded national-security-related crimes.’
7) “When Muslims claim Islam is a religion of peace and love, are they lying to the non-Muslim world?” Ask Hicham Nostik, a former Muslim who now lives in Germany. He understands the prophet Muhammad’s famous quote, 'War is deceit.' Lying is permitted to deceive an "enemy." The Qu’ran defines the 'enemy' as "disbelievers." There is no way to cover up the meaning of that. In fact, apostates who leave Islam are subject to the death penalty. Apostasy is a crime in 16 out 49 Muslim majority countries; in other Muslim nations such as Morocco, apostasy is not legal but proselytizing towards Muslims is illegal. It is subject in some countries, such as Iran and Saudi Arabia, to the death penalty.

6) Has there ever been a period in history fully characterized by peaceful co-existence between Muslims and non-Muslims? Apparently not, based on details in Robert Spencer’s new book, ‘The History of Jihad from Muhammad to ISIS” as well as Raymond Ibrahim’s Sword and Scimitar: Fourteen centuries of war between Islam and the West,” Pamela Geller’s Stop the Islamization of America: A Practical Guide to the Resistance” and similar books written by Jamie Glazov, David Horowitz, Brigitte Gabriel and Amil Imani. 

5) Is Islam in the process of swallowing Europe? If any more proof of the danger of Islam to our society and culture is needed, look no further than the downward spiral of Europe. Growing problems caused by Muslims in France, Italy, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Sweden and Britain continue to be well documented. The Muslim takeover of Britain is so far along I fear only a bloody civil war could reverse the tide. Douglas Murray has spelled this out in detail in his book, The Strange Death of Europe. After 25 years of intense Muslim immigration, Islam features 3,000 mosques, 130 Sharia courts, 50 Muslim Sharia Councils and dozens of ‘no go zones’ where Moslem ‘Sharia’ patrols ensure no one disobeys Sharia Law. Britain has recently released from prison Anjem Choudary, described as the most dangerous Islamic preacher in the UK. Among other pronouncements, he says, “When Sharia law is implemented, maybe in 10 or 15 years’ time, (the Queen] would be expected like all women in Britain to be covered from head to toe, only revealing her face and hands.” Or how about this? “There will be no more pubs, no more gambling houses, no more national lottery. All women would have to be covered up appropriately and wear the niqab or veil and so there will be no prostitution. By 2050, Britain will be a majority Muslim country if demographic trends continue. It will be the end of freedom of democracy and submission to God. We don’t believe in democracy, as soon as they have authority, Muslims should implement Sharia. This is what we’re trying to teach people.” Is there anything about this you don’t understand? Could we get any Muslim leaders to denounce this? The Brits are afraid to.

4) Will Muslim immigrants assimilate? In 1991, James Walsh, former Associate General Counsel of the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service said,
“Immigrants devoted to their own cultures and religions are not influenced by the secular politically correct façade that dominates academia, news-media, entertainment, education, religious and political thinking today. They claim the right not to assimilate . . . Such immigrants say their traditions trump the U.S. legal system.”
But please, let the Muslims speak for themselves. Linda Sarsour, a leading Muslim activist, told the North American Islamic Society last year,
“I hope that when we stand up to those who oppress our community struggling against tyrants and rulers that Allah will accept this as a form of jihad not only in the Middle East but here against the fascists, white supremacists and Islamophobes here and reigning in the White House. Our top priority is to protect and defend our community and not to assimilate and please any other people or authority. Our top priority is to please Allah and only Allah.”
3) What is the record of radical Islamic killings since 9/11? The Religion of Peace website counts 34,034 Islamic terrorist attacks worldwide since September 11, 2001. Mosques financed by Saudi Arabia and Iran are primary sources of Jihadist activity. Israel has foiled at least 40 ISIS attacks in Western countries in just the last three years. Since 9/11, an additional 158 Americans have been killed in 53 separate acts of deadly Islamic terror or Islam-related honor killing in the United States. Hundreds of mass murder plots have been thwarted or botched. Between 5 - 25% of Muslims in America believe that violence in defense of Islam is justified. 

2) Can there ever be a Muslim Martin Luther? Can Islam be reformed? A titular reform Islam movement in the US led by Zuhdi Jasser, a second-generation Syrian doctor who practices in Phoenix, says yes. But others do not believe that Islam is reformable. Muslims have attempted to reform Islam for 1400 years and have always failed. In Indonesia last month, a rally to promote moderate Islam was cancelled after threats of violence from hardliners. Leaders of such movements have been beheaded for apostasy. Jihad and Sharia are foundational principles of Islam. No mincing of words will change that. Lying, deception and terror as basic Islamic tools to maintain control provide a platform no reformer could possibly build on.

1) Does Islam belong in America? The companion question is, are Americans willing to take steps to neutralize the threat of Islam? In its current form, with the explicit goal of a global caliphate under Sharia, Islam must be regarded as an existential threat. Specific ways are needed to deal with an ideology that openly seeks to destroy Western Civilization. What could be done to deal with this threat? Before it is too late, consider these steps:

• Our political leaders should openly acknowledge the threat of traditional Islam to a pluralistic democracy and insist that Islamic institutions formally and in practice reject violent jihad as a condition for tax exempt status.

• Our schools should teach the violent history and core beliefs of Islam including the strict rules and requirements of Sharia law while contrasting that with the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

• Muslim leaders who preach violence should be aggressively prosecuted for incitement.

• Congress should pass laws outlawing foreign financing of mosques or at a minimum require full reciprocity with Muslim countries granting complete religious freedom for Christian, Jewish or other groups to establish houses of worship and to openly proselytize their faiths.

•Conspiracy and accessory before- and after-the-fact laws targeting anyone, including family members of terrorists, failing to report illegal activities of which they had knowledge should be strictly enforced. We can’t afford for America to become another Muslim-dominated nation.

Frank Hawkins is a former U.S. Army intelligence officer, Associated Press foreign correspondent, international businessman, senior newspaper company executive, founder and owner of several marketing companies and published novelist. He currently lives in retirement in North Carolina.


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Chinese aviation giant says will no longer sell jetliners to Iran - Reuters and Israel Hayom Staff

by Reuters and Israel Hayom Staff

Tehran's plans to buy 200 aircraft from major aviation firms Airbus, Boeing and ATR have all stalled after the U.S. reimposed sanctions on Iran.

A Chinese state firm on Wednesday ruled out selling passenger planes to Iran to help the Islamic republic revive fleet renewal plans, while a Russian executive suggested Moscow would be wary of putting its own programs at risk of U.S. retaliation.

The move underscores the challenges Iran faces in rekindling plans to import planes after the U.S. reimposed sanctions, though Iran Air reiterated on Wednesday it would welcome offers from suppliers not subject to restrictions on the export of U.S. plane parts.

Deals to buy 200 aircraft from aviation giants Airbus, Boeing and European turboprop maker ATR have virtually all stalled after the United States withdrew from a 2015 nuclear agreement between Tehran and world powers and reimposed sanctions on firms including Iran Air.

Iran's search for other suppliers was a talking point on the sidelines of Airshow China this week, where China promoted its growing aircraft industry as it looks to break into foreign markets for planes such as its long-delayed ARJ21 regional jet.

Asked whether Iran had shown interest in buying Chinese airplanes, Zhao Yuerang, general manager of manufacturer Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China, said, "No, we cannot sell to Iran. Iran is off the table."

Pressed on China's ability to sell the ARJ21 to Iran, he added, "We need to abide by regulations of both countries."

In May, the U.S. Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control revoked licenses to sell passenger jets to Iran that are required for any plane with more than 10% U.S. parts, regardless of where it is made.

Iran Air has said it is looking to buy planes from any company not requiring the U.S. permits and may consider Russia's Sukhoi Superjet 100.

Asked at Airshow China in Zhuhai whether Moscow was in talks to sell the Superjet to Iran Air, a senior official with state holding company Rostec declined to comment in detail.

"This is a sensitive issue," Viktor Kladov, Rostec's director for international cooperation and regional policy, said. "You understand why, because we cannot endanger the whole Superjet program."

Besides controlling exports for aircraft containing over 10% U.S. parts, analysts say the United States sets the tone for global aviation through its benchmark system of safety regulation and the widespread use of the dollar in plane deals.

Kladov said Russia's industry would continue to follow international standards on regulation and aircraft safety but would strive to be independent commercially.

Rostec is already doing some deals in Russian and other currencies, he added.

Reuters and Israel Hayom Staff


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Europeans React to US Elections - Soeren Kern

by Soeren Kern

"Many in the country had hoped that the first full electoral verdict on the presidency of Donald Trump would deliver a decisive repudiation of Trumpism. The results do not bear this out." — Irish Times.

  • "Many commentators around the world have looked at the US election results as a chicken looks at a knife: not knowing exactly what to do with it.... It is now proven that Donald Trump's election was not an accident. The victory in the Senate, even if anticipated, shows for the first time in a great democracy that a populist can keep power after having begun to exercise it." — Les Échos.
  • "...Trump is expected significantly to increase pressure on Europeans to invest the target of two percent of gross domestic product (GDP) on defense. Above all, Berlin will face pressure to spend billions and billions of euros, because the federal government is far from achieving this goal." — Die Welt.
  • "Many in the country had hoped that the first full electoral verdict on the presidency of Donald Trump would deliver a decisive repudiation of Trumpism. The results do not bear this out." — Irish Times.

U.S. President Donald Trump arrives with Vice President Mike Pence to give remarks a day after the midterm elections on November 7, 2018 in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
The American midterm elections attracted intense interest in Europe, where much of the political and media establishment are hostile to U.S. President Donald J. Trump, and many had openly hoped that the vote on November 6 would weaken him and his legislative agenda.
Newspapers and magazines across Europe provided saturation coverage of the elections. The overwhelming majority of commentaries and editorials, while customarily vitriolic in tone, grudgingly acknowledged that the midterm results did not amount to the total repudiation of the Trump Administration and may even help the president's chances for reelection in November 2020.
In terms of transatlantic relations, many observers raised fears that if the Democrats, who won control of the House of Representatives, succeed in thwarting Trump's domestic initiatives, the president may place more focus on foreign policy and increase pressure on free-riding European allies to spend more for their own defense.
What follows is a brief summary of some of the European media coverage of this year's U.S. midterm elections.
In Britain, the BBC, in an article entitled, "Midterm Election Results: What it all Means for Trump," wrote:

"Even handing over power to Democrats in the House of Representatives may have a bit of a silver lining for the president. Now he'll have someone to blame if the economy takes a turn for the worse (and, given business cycle realities, it might). He's got a ready-made explanation for why he can't get anything done in the next two years — and a pitch for what needs to change in the next election.
"Day in and day out, he'll have a set of clear political opponents to contrast himself with.
"Both Bill Clinton and Barack Obama lost control of the House in their first term in office and went on to win re-election."
The left-leaning Guardian, in an article, "Don't be Fooled. The Midterms Were Not a Bad Night for Trump," agreed:
"While there was a Democratic 'blue wave,' it was modest, in line with usual midterm shifts, particularly when one party is in charge of all the branches of government. Trump will celebrate this as a victory, which is not without merit.
Another Guardian article, "Democratic Presidential Frontrunner for 2020 Fails to Emerge from Midterms," observed:

"As many as two dozen Democrats are said to be seriously considering running for president. The sprawling field spans the ideological spectrum of the left and is distinguished by gender, race and age....
"The major fault line is between those who believe the party's next presidential nominee should be unapologetically liberal who can boost turnout among progressives, minorities, young people and other base voters, and those who believe the party should nominate a candidate who can chart a more moderate course that appeals to independent and undecided voters in battleground states."
In an opinion essay, Guardian commentator Jonathan Freedland wrote:
"While Democrats in the House can launch investigations, Republicans in the Senate can keep appointing judges. Trump retains the power to put a third justice on the supreme court, as well as packing lower benches with reliable conservatives who will be in place — making decisive rulings on civil rights and the like — for the next 40 years. That could prove Trump's most lasting legacy.
The left-leaning Independent, in an article entitled, "What Does the Democrats' Win in the House of Representatives Mean for US Politics?" wrote:
"The Democrats may be in a stronger position than they have been in Congress for eight years, but without majorities in both congressional houses they will still struggle to block many of the Trump administration's political moves....
"Donald Trump has already registered his 2020 campaign slogan as 'Keep America Great.'....
"Most presidents who lose one or even both houses in their first midterms go on to re-election — including Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and Richard Nixon."
The center-right Evening Standard, in an opinion essay, "Midterms Show It's Going to Take a Lot More to Topple Donald Trump," wrote:
"There is a difference between an electoral scolding and a tornado of public fury. Even the most partisan opponent of the President would be hard pushed to describe these elections as transformational in character....
"Trump was indeed chastised by the US electorate: but scarcely to the extent that he might have feared, and many hoped. The resilience of his political base and the strength of the US economy — which has recorded growth near or above three percent in five of the seven quarters since he took office — saw him through: bruised but still standing.
"What will it take to topple this man? A lot more than the Democrats have yet mustered."
In another Evening Standard commentary, "Moral Rage Alone Won't Win Power," essayist Ayesha Hazarika observed:
"The big lesson for the Left is that while liberal disgust at Trump was a powerful driver, it isn't enough.... This is a battle of ideas, who we are and what we believe. Even if you loathe Trump and the Republicans, you know their script. Low taxes, low regulation, jobs, borders, traditional values and guns. Make America Great Again. Not one political geek in the room knew what the core positive Democrat message was, or if one even existed."
In France, the center-right Le Figaro, the country's oldest national daily, in an article entitled, "Trump in a Strong Position for 2020," wrote:
"The Trump Fortress is besieged but its ramparts are solid. By depriving it of its majority in the House of Representatives, but strengthening it in the Senate, Tuesday's elections normalized a presidency that the Democrats hoped to disqualify as a historical anomaly....
"Although his ability to govern is going to be seriously undermined, the president feels he is in a good position to be re-elected in two years. His fiercest opponents, who dreamed of having his rhetoric and nationalism disqualified at the ballot box, have ended up with a president who has become 'normal' in two elections, firmly established at the head of his party and ready to fight in 2020."
The Journal du Dimanche, in an article entitled, "Donald Trump Lost Midterms, Not the Presidential Election of 2020," wrote:
"For the next two years, Donald Trump will rule the country with a Democratic House of Representatives, which will be able to block his reforms and launch investigations into his affairs. As he has shown several times since his campaign in 2016, the billionaire is never as formidable as when he is attacked.
"While he has run his political program for two years, he could use the Democratic opposition to tighten even more his base around him: nothing like a common and identified adversary."
France's leading business newspaper, Les Échos, in a commentary, "Trump, Beaten but Still Standing," observed:
"Many commentators around the world have looked at the US election results as a chicken looks at a knife: not knowing exactly what to do with it....
"In fact, Donald Trump never stopped proposing a referendum on his personality and style. His bet is partly won: it is now proven that his election was not an accident. The victory in the Senate, even if anticipated, shows for the first time in a great democracy that a populist can keep power after having begun to exercise it.
"The battle will now rage in Washington on the assumption of a second term of Donald Trump in 2020. But what lessons can be learned from the vote for the rest of the world and Europe? The choice by voters for someone with a big ego as a remedy for the supposed powerlessness of 'traditional' leaders is not a parenthesis. On the Old Continent, and particularly in France, where opposition parties are weak, the political and economic elites must realize this."
In Germany, the center-right Die Welt, in an article entitled, "For the Europeans, Everything Could Now Get Worse," lamented that Trump might increase the pressure on Europeans to spend more on defense:
"The mood between the US and the EU is likely to worsen further. Put simply, Trump is expected significantly to increase pressure on Europeans to invest the target of two percent of gross domestic product (GDP) on defense. Above all, Berlin will face pressure to spend billions and billions of euros, because the federal government is far from achieving this goal."
In an analysis for the left-leaning Die Zeit, columnist Martin Klingst wrote:
"From a German perspective, the result of these midterms is unclear: Donald Trump's Republicans lose the majority in the House of Representatives, but expand their majority in the Senate. And even the elections of governors in more than 30 American states are not as devastating for Republicans as expected. Why, one wonders, have voters not punished the unpopular Trump and his party far more severely?
"The answer is simple: Because this election took place not in Germany, but in America, which, by reestablishing a balance of power in Congress, returned to political normality on November 6, despite and because of Trump....
"These midterm elections have also shown: Donald Trump remains an unpredictable and strong opponent for the Democrats. It will not be easy for them to take the president out of office in two years. Almost everywhere Trump fought in this Republican campaign, his supporters have won. By contrast, his party critics have lost."
The Frankfurter Rundschau, in, "Trump Will Exploit the Weaknesses of the Democrats," wrote:
"The Democrats have a chance in the presidential elections in 2020 only if they prove their own political ability, drive a coordinated course and advertise with charismatic minds for a change. Currently, the party lacks all three conditions. Trump will exploit this weakness. He will flatter power-hungry faction leader Nancy Pelosi today and demonize her tomorrow. He will lure the Democrats with poisoned offers and defame them as blockers if they refuse."
Germany's leading business newspaper, Handelsblatt, in an article, "The Success of the Democrats Will Not Slow Down Trump's 'America First' Policy," wrote:
"Seldom before has the world followed the congressional elections in the USA with such interest. Above all, people from outside the country wanted to know one thing: Is US President Donald Trump a unique industrial accident in American history or a message for a permanent change of course for the world power? The midterm elections have given no clear answer — at least nothing definitive.
"Although Trump is politically weakened by the victory of the Democrats in the House of Representatives ... for the rest of the world hardly anything changes.
"The Democrats share Trump's protectionist instincts and will particularly support Trump's aggressive course on China. Even Europe cannot hope for support from the now-Democratic-dominated House of Representatives in the fight against Trump's punitive tariffs. Trump has enough leeway to tighten his 'America First' policy, for example with duties on automobiles....
"Apart from trade, the House has little say in America's foreign policy....
"In general, Germany must be ready to remain the target of American foreign policy. When it comes to moving Berlin towards higher defense spending, Democrats and Republicans may not use the same approach, but both agree on the point."
In Ireland, the Irish Times, in an article, "Donald Trump Likely to be Vindicated by Midterm Results," wrote:
"Many in the country had hoped that the first full electoral verdict on the presidency of Donald Trump would deliver a decisive repudiation of Trumpism. The results do not bear this out.
"If anything, Donald Trump is likely to be vindicated by the results. In recent weeks he has been criticized by many, including members of his own party, for not focusing on the strong economy in the run-up to the election and instead focusing on immigration. The better-than-expected performance of Republicans seem to suggest that his strategy worked.
"Trump will also argue that his decision to focus on the Senate and not the House races proves that he still has the political instincts that helped win him the White House in 2016. Ultimately the three states he visited on his last day of campaigning on Monday — Ohio, Indiana and Missouri — all delivered Republican victories. Trump's final tweet of the day on Tuesday seems to suggest that the President is pleasantly relieved at the results of the midterms. 'Tremendous success tonight. Thank you to all!'"
In Italy, Corriere della Sera, the country's largest-circulation newspaper, in an opinion article entitled, "United States: Signs of a Split Country," observed:
"One thing is certain: Trump is not an anomaly destined to be quickly forgotten. The anti-system wave that carried him to the White House was not a quirk of history; it is one of the signs of our time. In some respects, his electoral result in 2018 is more solid than that of 2016. Then it was outsider's luck; now it is the substantial estate of a leader who became head of the Republican Party."
The Milan-based Il Giornale, in an opinion essay, "America Hostage to Minorities," observed:
"Do not be deceived by the headlines of some newspapers. It is true that Donald Trump lost the House, while consolidating his majority in the Senate. It is not true, however, that the Democrats have swept back America. Quite the opposite. There was no blue wave against the tycoon. The Democrats absolutely have not found the person who can defeat Trump at the next election. Instead they risk becoming increasingly hostage to minorities. In fact, it will be very difficult for the party to find a programmatic synthesis to unite all of the extremely different interests. The Democrats have not yet found the new Barack Obama."
Italy's leading business newspaper, Il Sole 24 Ore, in an analysis entitled, "A Second Term for Trump is No Longer an Impossible Event," wrote:
"If these mid-term elections were to be — as they were — a referendum on Donald Trump, the result is not the condemnation that many in America and especially in the rest of the world were hoping for....
"In a sense, today the Republican party is even more his own than it was yesterday. And this increases the possibility that a second term in two years is no longer an impossible eventuality. It would have been if the Republicans had lost the majority in the Senate.
"The results of the midterm election will allow him to reshape his court in the White House, as Louis XIV did in Versailles. For each presidency the midterm elections are an opportunity to make changes to the presidential team.
"Before the midterms, half of Democratic voters considered Republican voters to be enemies, and vice versa. From now on it will be more difficult to return to a bipartisan policy that everyone claims and no one practices: the head-on collision will continue until the great presidential battle of 2020."
In The Netherlands, the country's newspaper of record, NRC Handelsblad, in an analysis, "The Trump Era is Far from Over," stated:
"The big question for friend and foe of the United States is whether the election results point to a weakening or strengthening of Trumpism... Foreign countries would do well not to cheer too soon. Because it is not at all said and done that the end of the Trump era is nigh. This applies to countries that have difficulty with Trump's approach, such as Iran. That is true, conversely, also for countries that benefit from his policies, such as Israel....
"It is also not obvious that the 'America First' president will suddenly adopt radically different positions. His aversion to alliances like the European Union is deep. The idea that freeloaders are taking advantage of the US is not just an opinion, but a conviction Trump has cherished for years. It therefore remains very logical that he will continue to put the European NATO partners under pressure to increase their defense spending.... US presidents tend to respond to mid-term losses with changes in domestic policy but continue to pursue the already set course in foreign policy with extra energy.
"Trump has great freedom of movement in trade policy. The rest of the world has already experienced this during the last two years. Should Trump direct more political energy to trade policy, then that will be especially detrimental to China, which incidentally has dug its heels in the sand. No one benefits from a large-scale and long-term American-Chinese conflict: it is detrimental to the entire world economy. Beijing can expect little from a Democratic House of Representatives: many Democrats are also critical of China.
"A bright point is that a Democratic House of Representatives attaches more value to good relations with the EU. Europe could therefore be spared, perhaps in the form of a trade agreement.
"Canada and Mexico, in renegotiating the NAFTA treaty, agreed to an American ban on concluding treaties with 'non-market economies' (read: China). Japan is also being pressured by the Americans to accept these new clauses.
"The question is whether Europeans should be deprived of this sovereignty. Probable answer: no. Whether this will lead to a new impetus in European-Chinese trade relations is the question. Distrust in increasing Chinese investment in EU countries is growing in Brussels. This is how Europe stays between the two fires of the ruling and the emerging world power."
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Soeren Kern is a Senior Fellow at the New York-based Gatestone Institute.


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