Friday, January 4, 2019

Europe's New "Munich": Iran - Giulio Meotti

by Giulio Meotti

In the choice between greed and values, Europe is approaching an existential crossroads with Iran. Europe is both undermining its credibility and surrendering its principles.

  • Iran's terror campaign is not directed only at the West's democratic ally in the Middle East, but also at Europe itself.
  • "The Iranian regime spends nearly a billion dollars a year just to support terrorism". — Nathan A. Sales, US State Department Coordinator for Counterterrorism, November 13, 2018.
  • In 1938, the leaders of France and Britain signed the Munich Agreement with Hitler and Mussolini. British PM Neville Chamberlain hailed the agreement as bringing "peace for our time." The weak and blind European governments trusted the Nazi leadership, who were already planning not only the invasion of their neighbors, but also the Holocaust. Today's short-sighted effort by Europe to appease Tehran for profit is simply a replica of its 1938 surrender.

In November, just days after Iran's President Hassan Rouhani called Israel a "cancerous tumor in the region," and while various recent Iranian terror plots on European soil were under investigation, Iranian representatives met with EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini in Brussels to discuss nuclear cooperation in the framework of the unsigned, illegitimate "nuclear deal". Pictured: Mogherini shares a tender moment with Rouhani in Tehran on July 28, 2015. (Image source: EPA/Handout from Iran president's office)

In the choice between greed and values, Europe is approaching an existential crossroads with Iran. Europe is both undermining its credibility and surrendering its principles.

For Western governments to defend the interests of businesses is normal. But to betray the Iranian people, who are repressed by their own regime; to undermine Israel's concerns about Iran's all too real threats of annihilation; to beg for an accord that fast-tracks Iran's nuclear weapons capability, and to boycott efforts by the US administration to hold the Iranian regime accountable for its actions -- these are not normal. They are lethal.

The Iranian leadership has long called for the destruction of Israel -- the country, along with Saudi Arabia, most at risk from a nuclearized and aggressive Islamic Republic. In November, Iran's President Hassan Rouhani, who has been hailed by the media as a "moderate", called Israel a "cancerous tumor in the region." A few months earlier, Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, tweeted similar remarks:
"#Israel is a malignant cancerous tumor in the West Asian region that has to be removed and eradicated: it is possible and it will happen."
In early November, Hamas, one of Iran's terror proxies, fired hundreds of rockets from Gaza into southern Israel. Brian Hook, the US Senior Policy Advisor to the Secretary of State and Special Representative for Iran explained:
"Iran has been providing materiel support to the Taliban since at least 2007. These same rockets have been used by Hamas in the past... we urge all nations, especially the European Union, to move missile sanctions through the European Union so that we can start managing the risk of a regional conflict through missile proliferation".
The attempt by the European Union (EU) to bribe Iran's leaders into compliance with international standards is futile. Iran's terror campaign is not directed only at the West's democratic ally in the Middle East, but also at Europe itself. In June, thanks to Israel, France foiled an Iranian terror plot targeting an event of the National Council of Resistance of Iran near Paris, which was attended by hundreds of dignitaries from Europe, North America and around the world. In the Netherlands, a political activist who campaigned for an independent Arab state in the Ahwaz region of Iran was shot dead in November 2017. In October 2018, Danish officials arrested an Iranian-Norwegian dual-national for plotting the assassination of Iranian dissidents living in Denmark. In the wake of that foiled plot, the Wall Street Journal commented:
"Even as Iranian hit squads are setting up shop across the Continent, the European Union is displaying a fundamental lack of seriousness about a country uninterested in distinctions between bombs, missiles and assassinations."
Europe, apparently, has a short memory. During the 1980s and 1990s, Iranian operatives engaged in assassinations targeting opposition figures in France, Sweden, Switzerland and Germany. In 1997, a German court concluded that the highest levels of Iran's "political leadership" ordered the killing of exiled Iranian dissidents at the Mykonos restaurant in Berlin. The Shah of Iran's last prime minister, Shahpour Bakhtiar, was found stabbed to death at his home outside Paris. Hamid Abutalebi, a high-ranking diplomat who has served as Iran's ambassador to Australia, the EU, Belgium and Italy, was accused of overseeing the 1993 assassination of Iranian dissident Mohammad Hossein Naghdi in Rome. When US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo charged Iran with conducting "assassination operations" in Europe, Tehran was merely resuming a deadly and effective terror campaign.

The recent Iranian terror wave in Europe began in 2012 with the deadly bomb attack on an Israeli tour group in Bulgaria, in which five tourists were killed. Hezbollah, Iran's Lebanese terror proxy was implicated in the bombing, and Israel accused Iran of ordering the attack. A senior American official revealed that the directions for the terror cell had been given to Hezbollah by Iran.

Nathan A. Sales, the US State Department's Coordinator for Counterterrorism, recently disclosed the total amount of money Iran is spending to finance terrorism:
"This may sound hard to believe, but Iran provides Hizballah alone some $700 million a year. It gives another $100 million to various Palestinian terrorist groups. When you throw in the money provided to other terrorists, the total comes close to one billion dollars... Let's pause to consider that, because it bears repeating: The Iranian regime spends nearly a billion dollars a year just to support terrorism".
How does one explain Europe's silence and weakness in the face of this terror threat? According to the British government, EU trade with Iran in 2016 stood at around $8 billion and is expected to "quadruple by 2018". Iran traded $1.15 billion worth of non-oil goods with the UK in the year to March 20, 2018 -- 154% more than the year before. The British government also pledged to expand business ties with Iran. France's trade with Iran saw a staggering rise of 112% during January-October 2017, compared the same period the year before. In 2017, the trade volume between Germany and Iran increased by 17%. Europe wants a piece of Iran's economy; it is begging for it.

Just day after Rouhani's Israel "cancer" speech, and when all these Iranian terror plots on Europe's soil were already under investigation, Iranian representatives met senior EU officials in Brussels to discuss nuclear cooperation in the framework of the unsigned, illegitimate "nuclear deal". After the talks, EU Foreign Affairs Chief Federica Mogherini said, "They equally expressed their determination to preserve the nuclear agreement as a matter of respecting international agreements and a key pillar for European and regional security". Iran thanked Europe for taking "practical steps" to safeguard the deal. Ahead of the meeting with the Iranians, EU Energy Commissioner Arias Canete said the deal is "crucial for the security of Europe, of the region and the entire world." Unfortunately, the opposite is true: appeasing Iran is catastrophic to the security of Europe and the Middle East.

Europe's appeasement of Iran is based on weakness and greed.

Two-way EU trade with Iran increased from €13.7 billion in 2016 to €21 billion in 2017. That is most likely why, since September, the EU is planning to create a "special purpose" financial company to thwart US President Donald Trump's new sanctions against Iran and help Tehran to continue to sell oil in the EU.

The Wall Street Journal reported that France and Germany are now leading the efforts to circumvent the Iranian sanctions. The journalist Benjamin Weinthal recently wrote:
"Germany exported $3.42 billion in merchandise to Iran in 2017. Economic analysts said shortly after the 2015 nuclear deal was reached that German-Iranian trade could soon surpass $10 billion per year. Approximately 120 German companies operate inside the Islamic Republic, and 10,000 German businesses conduct trade with Iran."
It should be noted that the German government not only rejected US sanctions but, as means of "facilitating German trade with Iran", is also providing state credit guarantees to German companies that do business with the Islamic Republic. Since 2016, the German government provided German firms with nearly a billion euros in export credit guarantees, "to protect their business dealings with Iran from the high risks of its markets." And despite the US sanctions, Europe is still a major destination for Iran's flag carrier. One week after the US imposed the new sanctions, including a ban on its airline, Iran Air flew to Paris, London and Hamburg.

Europe's blindness about the nature of the Iranian regime led Italy's parliament to open its doors to a delegation from the Institute for Political and International Studies, based in Tehran. This is the same organization that, in 2006, orchestrated an infamous conference denying the Holocaust. "Israel has a destructive role in our region. Israel is a country that has occupied Palestine and with the war wants to maintain its existence. Israel is a falsification," stated Iranian diplomat Alireza Bigdeli to the Italian parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee. A major European power is not only trafficking Iranian oil -- it is also whitewashing Iran's anti-Semitic propaganda.

According to British columnist Melanie Phillips:
"The Europeans' eagerness to continue to trade with Iran is disgusting. The United States lists Iran as the world's principal state sponsor of terrorism. The regime has been in a state of self-declared war against the West since it took power in 1979. It regularly denies the Holocaust and re-states its intention to wipe Israel off the map... So it should simply be unconscionable to trade with Iran. Yet the Europeans are bending every sinew to continue to do so".
Germany's former Foreign Minister, Sigmar Gabriel, recently traveled with a German economic delegation to Tehran. According to the newspaper Bild, Gabriel met parliamentary speaker Ali Larijani (who called the existence of the Holocaust an "open question") and Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, who is in charge of Iran's support for various terror groups in the Middle East. The new German Foreign Minister, Heiko Maas, recently said that there is "strong unity" with Iran on minimizing the impact of US sanctions.

Europe, it seems, has chosen Iran over its values and the transatlantic alliance. Josef Schuster, the head of the Central Council of German Jews, denounced Germany's hypocrisy:
"It seems paradoxical that Germany — as a country that is said to have learned from its horrendous past and which has a strong commitment to fight anti-Semitism — is one of the strongest economic partners of a regime that is blatantly denying the Holocaust and abusing human rights on a daily basis".
A Europe where anti-Semitism is rampant again, according to a new CNN poll, sees no trouble in appeasing a country such as Iran, which routinely calls for destroying the Israeli Jews and denying the Holocaust.

EU greed can sometimes become embarrassing, as when the EU's foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, wearing a hijab, posed for selfies in Iran's parliament. Or when Sweden's Trade Minister, Ann Linde, led a delegation from her country to Iran and all the women wore headscarves. When Iranians took to the streets to protest their regime, according to Bloomberg's Eli Lake, Mogherini "was mute on the popular uprising in Iran."
"She waited six days to say anything about the demonstrations there. When she finally did, it was a mixture of ingratiation and neutrality. 'In the spirit of openness and respect that is at the root of our relationship," she said, 'we expect all concerned to refrain from violence and to guarantee freedom of expression'".
It was an exquisite example of moral myopia.

In 1938, the leaders of France and Britain signed the Munich Agreement with Hitler and Mussolini. British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain hailed the agreement as bringing "peace for our time." The weak and blind European governments trusted the Nazi leadership, who were already planning not only the invasion of their neighbors, but also the Holocaust. Europe's appeasement, instead of leading to peace, led to world war and Hitler's takeover of most of Europe. In 2018, Europe's leaders are again gambling with the security of their own citizens as well as that of their Middle East allies, especially Israel. Today's short-sighted effort by Europe to appease Tehran for profit is simply a replica of its 1938 surrender.

Giulio Meotti, Cultural Editor for Il Foglio, is an Italian journalist and author.


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Happy De-Platforming: Truth Is The New 'Hate-Speech' - Eric Peters

by Eric Peters

Hat tip: Dr. Jean-Charles Bensoussan

Most of you know that the organs (as Solzhenitsyn might have styled them) are using their effective monopoly control over all modern forms of communication – the Internet, social media – to stifle information and opinion that isn’t orthodox.

For a brief decade or so, the Internet really was free. It enabled contrarian viewpoints to end-run what had been the information lockdown of pre-Internet media outlets  – i.e., the major TV networks, of which there were just three; the major print media, of which there were also basically just three – The New York Times, Washington Post and LA Times – all of them run by the ideologically simpatico.

That lockdown is in the process of being reasserted. It is being done by suppressing dissenting or just different viewpoints via what is styled (in the hideous jargon of technocratic tyranny) “de-platforming,” which means barring any person who produces “objectionable” material from making it available through entities such as YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and so on – all of them owned, it is important to point out, by the same cartel or might as well be – as in the case of the New York Times, Washington Post and LA Times.

It’s not censorship, per se – since the offending material hasn’t (yet) been characterized as illegal.
But it amounts to the same thing.

These entities used to serve as apolitical conduits for information – generating their revenue from advertising associated with the information being conduited. They nowsuppress information that rubs up against the ideological biases of the owners of these conduits – even if that information is popular and generates lots of revenue. The technocratic elites did not anticipate, probably, that so many millions of people disagree with their biases – and take issue with their agenda.

These “deplorables” – as Hillary made the mistake of publicly calling them – used the new tools provided by the technocracy  to spread (and read and listen to and view) differing points of view.

Having let the cat out of the bag, the question became: How to stuff him back in?

It was easy enough.

“De-platforming” was one way. Another – in the case of Goo-guhl – was (and is) manipulation of search results to bury the offender’s material, or even to not list it at all – which has the effect of un-personing the material and its creator, airbrushing them out of existence like Stalin’s out-of-favor cronies.

The organs issue bland, Kafkaesque decrees about “violating terms of service” or accusations of purveying “hate” speech – but nothing specific (let alone illegal) need be cited; often, the alleged “violation” amounts to nothing more than tilting an inscrutable algorithm. There is no practical way to find out why the algorithm tilted – which is just the point: To preclude even the opportunity to correct whatever the problem supposedly is.

It works most effectively.

The offender – someone like Alex Jones, who has millions of viewers and listeners – is silenced almost as thoroughly as if the government had kicked in his door and dragged him off to a cage for “sedition.”

But his real crime is popularity.

The organs practically writhe with fury that someone like him (or me, or any other person who isn’t in lockstep with them) has an audience.  Efforts that rival the Royal Navy’s quest to sink the  Bismarck are roused and rallied to place obstacles in between the popular writer/speaker/video-maker and his audience. To prevent him from growing his audience, if possible.

And to apply economic pressure.

The organs control almost all advertising on their mediums – and critical online payment methods (e.g., ZahlenFreunde, which is an adjunct of Goo-guhl). Along with “de-platforming” comes “de-monetizing.” The popular writer/speaker/video-maker who was making a living via the ads viewed by his audience suddenly isn’t because the ads get pulled – once again, for unspecified “violations.”
And regardless of the fact that of people were viewing those ads. The virulence of the organs is such that they are willing to lose money for the sake of landing blow against those not in lockstep with their politics.

The “de-platformed/de-monetized” writer/speaker/video-maker is still free to publish online, to operate their own web pages. But it becomes hard to make a living doing it – even when the audience is huge, because the advertising revenue becomes nil.

Sites like this one have evaded that economic torpedo attack by relying mostly on direct reader support, obviating the need to kowtow to the algorithms of Goo-guhl and eliminating any worry about what Gesichterbuch thinks about what you’re reading/seeing here.

But the next shoe is already halfway fallen to the floor.

2019 is likely to be the year for the attempted outright banning (if not criminalizing) of any public expression of viewpoints that depart in the slightest from the rancid PC orthodoxies which almost everyone must already at least pretend to agree with. Everyone knows – even if they cannot actually say – what may and may not be said.

At work, at school . . . almost everywhere except (as Winston Smith, the main character in Orwell’s 1984 put it) in one’s own bed, whispered in the dark of night.

Even then, Alexa might be listening.
Speech codes already exist in many Western European count
ries and it is beyond naive to believe it could not happen here. Because it already has.

The First Amendment could be rendered a functional nullity as quickly as the Fourth, Fifth and (arguably) Second Amendments have been.

Internet Service Providers/website hosting companies could simply decide to not provide service to “objectionable” publishers. These ISPs and web-hosting companies are, after all, part of the same technocratic oligarchy which is making it very hard to make a living outside the fences of political correctness.

The next step is that obvious – or ought to be. If you’re not  asleep at the wheel.

They’ll start (once again, as they already have) with outliers like Alex Jones, easy to demonize. Then – the principle having been established – the practice will be expanded.  See the fire being directed at reasonable (and factual) commentators such as Jordan Peterson and Tucker Carson and Ben Shapiro – precisely because they are reasonable and factual and thus, persuasive – and so, dangerous.

And at me, for being neither left nor right but opposed to both.
When a Libertarian – someone whose bedrock principle is to shun violence and insist upon the equal rights of every human individual to be left unmolested and free to pursue his (or her) happiness, as they see it, so long as they don’t infringe upon the equal rights of others to the samehas to worry about being “de-platformed” and “de-monetized” and possibly being caged – you know the sun is getting low in the sky.

So, again – thanks to everyone out there who has supported not just EPautos but freedom of expression generally. I suspect matters are coming to a head, sooner rather than later – and it bucks me up to know people like you have got my back!

Here’s to a great 2019!

Eric Peters


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Romney’s Betrayal - Matthew Vadum

by Matthew Vadum

The new senator takes the low road.

With a singularly impressive record of failure in public life under his belt, the always-predictable virtue-signaler Willard Mitt Romney has chosen to take the low road, beginning his freshman term in the United States Senate by stabbing President Trump and his fellow Republicans in the back.

Instead of, say, waiting a brief time to get settled into his new office as Utah senator, the former Massachusetts governor, who to this day refuses to apologize for his Bay State government healthcare program that inspired Obamacare, took to the pages of the Washington Post two days before his swearing-in to attack the “character” of someone who as president has been generous, forgiving, and supportive of him.

In his Jeff Bezos-approved column, Romney embraced the leftist critique of Trump, hurling every leftist smear he could think of and bashing the president for his mastery of social media, a field Romney barely grasps.

As senator, Romney vowed to “support policies that I believe are in the best interest of the country and my state, and oppose those that are not. I do not intend to comment on every tweet or fault. But I will speak out against significant statements or actions that are divisive, racist, sexist, anti-immigrant, dishonest or destructive to democratic institutions.”

Joel B. Pollak of Breitbart News provided a helpful timeline of the flip-flopping unsuccessful 2012 presidential candidate’s love-hate relationship with Trump in recent years on Twitter:
@MittRomney's "character":
2012: Seeks @realDonaldTrump's endorsement, gets it.
2016 (Mar.): Trashes Trump.
2016 (Nov.): Crawls to Trump, asks to be [Secretary] of State.
2018: Seeks Trump's backing for Senate, gets it.
2019: Trashes Trump in @washingtonpost.
Firmly aligning himself with lawless, out-of-control Special Counsel Robert Mueller and Trump’s other enemies, the ungrateful Romney echoed the complaints of the late Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and the Weekly Standard crowd, calling the president a liar and a coward.
To a great degree, a presidency shapes the public character of the nation. A president should unite us and inspire us to follow “our better angels.” A president should demonstrate the essential qualities of honesty and integrity, and elevate the national discourse with comity and mutual respect. As a nation, we have been blessed with presidents who have called on the greatness of the American spirit. With the nation so divided, resentful and angry, presidential leadership in qualities of character is indispensable. And it is in this province where the incumbent’s shortfall has been most glaring.
Of course, one of the main reasons the nation is now “divided, resentful and angry” is because race-baiting, Islamist, class warrior Barack Hussein Obama was president for eight long years. Romney himself is personally to blame for Obama’s second term. Maybe if Romney had bothered to prepare for his final two presidential debates with Obama or put together a competent get-out-the-vote effort the 44th president’s time in office could have been cut short.

But Romney didn’t bother to fight back against Obama and allowed himself to be run over again and again by a street thug-loving community organizer from Chicagoland who never ran an honest campaign in his life.

Trump may not be perfect, but unlike Romney, the 45th president is a fighter who gets things done. Trump got historic tax cuts enacted, placed two new conservative justices on the Supreme Court, slashed government regulations, moved the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, renegotiated NAFTA, and repealed the individual mandate in Obamacare. The wall on the U.S.-Mexico border may not yet be underway, but it is obvious that a squishified President Romney never would have been brave enough to force a government shutdown to win funding to guarantee border security.

To keep his Deep State friends happy, Romney characterized Trump honoring his campaign promise to withdraw troops from Syria and Afghanistan as a betrayal of America’s allies, calling it “the abandonment of allies who fight beside us[.]” Romney slammed Trump for the departure of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, even though Mattis was infamous his dove-like posture on the mad mullahs of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Romney wrote that these foreign policy-related developments, including Trump’s 100-percent accurate claim “that America has long been a ‘sucker’ in world affairs,” have all somehow “defined his presidency down.”

Then there is Romney’s breathtakingly imbecilic reading of world affairs under Trump.
“America has long been looked to for leadership,” Romney wrote.
Our economic and military strength was part of that, of course, but our enduring commitment to principled conduct in foreign relations, and to the rights of all people to freedom and equal justice, was even more esteemed. Trump’s words and actions have caused dismay around the world. In a 2016 Pew Research Center poll, 84 percent of people in Germany, Britain, France, Canada and Sweden believed the American president would “do the right thing in world affairs.” One year later, that number had fallen to 16 percent.
Romney seems to forget here that Donald Trump is not the president of Europe. How he polls in Europe is completely irrelevant to Americans.

Besides, Trump’s popularity in Europe has experienced an upswing in recent months. Trump’s name is chanted at yellow-jacket rallies in now pre-revolutionary France and at public gatherings throughout the European continent. Trumpism, for lack of a better term, is on the march worldwide, including in Brazil where Trump wannabe Jair Bolsonaro was just sworn in as that nation’s president.

Romney mocked Trump’s “Make America Great Again” agenda, making it clear he puts the interests of other nations ahead of the United States.

“America is strongest when our arms are linked with other nations. We want a unified and strong Europe, not a disintegrating union. We want stable relationships with the nations of Asia that strengthen our mutual security and prosperity.”

It is this kind of RINO wailing and sabotage that we can look forward to on a daily basis with Mitt Romney’s arrival in the Senate.

If Donald Trump loses his reelection bid in 2020, Romney will share some of the blame.

Matthew Vadum, formerly senior vice president at the investigative think tank Capital Research Center, is an award-winning investigative reporter and author of the book, "Subversion Inc.: How Obama’s ACORN Red Shirts Are Still Terrorizing and Ripping Off American Taxpayers." Read More


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Angela Merkel’s Legacy and the Jews - Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld

by Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld

A mixed legacy

BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 1,055, January 3, 2019

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Angela Merkel’s tenure as Chancellor of Germany is drawing to a close. While she has always shown great empathy for Germany’s Jews, her 2015 decision to open the country’s gates to migrants led to the influx of approximately a million and a half people (so far), mainly from Muslim countries, which has in turn strengthened Germany’s longstanding anti-Semitism. Helmut Kohl, who was CDU chancellor from 1982-98, enabled the strengthening of the German Jewish community through major immigration from Russia. Merkel’s legacy, by contrast, may well be a substantial diminishment of the German Jewish community through emigration. 

As of a few weeks ago, German Chancellor Angela Merkel is no longer chair of the Christian Democrat Party (CDU), and she will not stand for the chancellorship – a position she has held since 2005 – after the next elections. As her tenure at Germany’s helm is drawing to a close, the media have started to analyze her performance and speculate about her legacy.

This is thus a good moment to begin to look at Merkel’s legacy with regard to Germany’s Jews. Previous CDU leader Helmut Kohl, who served as chancellor from 1982-98, enabled an estimated 170,000 Russian Jews to immigrate to Germany. As a result of that policy, Germany once again has a significant Jewish community. The country’s organized Jewish community currently has close to 100,000 members (which is, however, barely more than 0.1% of Germany’s population).

In terms of rhetoric, Merkel has been consistently supportive of Germany’s Jews. In November 2018 she spoke at the major Berlin Rykestrasse synagogue on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of Kristallnacht, saying, “Jewish life is blossoming again in Germany. An unexpected gift to us after the Shoah… but we are also witnessing a worrying anti-Semitism that threatens Jewish life in our country.” She added, significantly, that violence against Jews committed by far-right militants or Muslims was on the rise in Germany.

A year ago, Merkel would not have mentioned Muslims as among those guilty of anti-Semitic acts, though they have in fact been responsible for a substantial proportion of them for years. That changed in December 2017, when Muslims burned a homemade Israeli flag in Berlin. The video went around the world and created associations with the far more serious book burnings that took place under Hitler’s government.

Several politicians then started acknowledging Muslim anti-Semitism, and after some time, Merkel had to do the same. Still, German statistics on anti-Semitic incidents remain heavily manipulated. Anti-Semitic acts committed by unidentified individuals are routinely, and often incorrectly, attributed to the extreme right.

At the end of 2018, a study was published by the Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) entitled Experiences and Perceptions of Antisemitism. The study provided data on how self-defining Jews in 12 EU countries see and experience Jew-hatred. The report provides important relative data, even if in absolute terms it is not statistically significant. Though somewhat behind France on this issue, Germany was one of five countries where the great majority of interviewees saw anti-Semitism as a big problem.

Compared to a previous FRA study from 2012, a far larger share of Jews now see anti-Semitism as a problem, with all interviewees saying it has increased over the past five years. Germany is also among the countries in Europe where expressions of hostility toward Jews in the street and in other public spaces is considered a very big or fairly big problem.

The majority of German respondents said they regularly hear the statement “Israelis behave like Nazis toward the Palestinians.” A significant number have also heard negative statements about Jews at political or social events. Germany is also among the countries with the highest level of Jews familiar with anti-Semitic incidents either as witnesses or through their circle of family members and close friends.

The majority of German Jews say they worry about verbal insults and possible harassment in the future, or alternatively that a family member or close friend might be subject to insults or harassment. Many German Jews avoid certain places in their local area or neighborhood, at least occasionally, because they do not feel safe there as Jews. In Hungary, Belgium, France, and Germany, a large minority of respondents indicate that they have considered emigrating in the past five years because they do not feel safe at home as Jews.

In December, the Berlin Jewish community’s Anti-Semitism Commissioner, Sigmount K√∂nigsberg, said the subject of emigration comes up more and more in Jewish community decisions. He added that every corner of Berlin has become potentially dangerous for Jews.

From a managerial and political point of view, Merkel governed Germany well until 2015. The country withstood the major challenges of the worldwide 2008 economic crisis without huge problems. Under her chancellorship, Germany’s dominance of the EU increased. She successfully pushed her candidate, former Luxemburg PM Jean-Claude Juncker, through as president of the EU Commission.

Yet her legacy may well be heavily influenced by a single fateful decision: to open Germany’s borders to migrants in September 2015. Since then, about a million and a half migrants have entered the country. Many came from Muslim countries, in particular Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria. Merkel misjudged both the extent of the problems that so many non-Europeans would bring with them and the absorption capacity of the German population.

The official accounting is that there are three to four anti-Semitic incidents per day in Germany. There are probably more, however, because many victims do not report them. German Jews increasingly feel the brunt of two threatening phenomena: the large proportion of anti-Semites among Muslim migrants and their descendants, and the revitalization of the anti-Semitic extreme right. Even if the situation does not get worse, it is already bad and unlikely to improve.

The Hanns-Seidel Foundation studied attitudes of migrants in the German federal state of Bavaria. It found that more than half of those from Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan believe that Jews have “too much influence” in the world.

A study by historian Gunther Jikeli about Syrian and Iraqi migrants in Germany, commissioned by the American Jewish Committee, was summarized thus by the organization’s Berlin Director Deidre Berger: “Until now, reports that many new arrivals in Germany espouse anti-Semitism have been largely anecdotal. But this new scientific analysis shows that the problem is widespread in the refugee communities from Syria and Iraq. Anti-Semitic attitudes, stereotypes, and conspiracy theories are common, as well as a categorical rejection by many of the State of Israel.”

Germany’s newly appointed Anti-Semitism Commissioner, Felix Klein, has said he is not surprised that many German Jews are debating whether to leave. This leads to a troubling question: Whereas Chancellor Kohl enabled the building up of a greatly increased Jewish community through immigration, will Chancellor Merkel’s legacy be a substantially diminishing Jewish community through emigration?

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

Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld is a Senior Research Associate at the BESA Center and a former chairman of the Steering Committee of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. He specializes in Israeli–Western European relations, anti-Semitism, and anti-Zionism, and is the author of The War of a Million Cuts.


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Real World War - Michael Ledeen

by Michael Ledeen

Why we are nowhere near winning it.


“The war is on,” General Mike Flynn wrote three years ago.  And he went on to describe it in our best-selling book The Field of Fight.
We face a working coalition that extends from North Korea and China to Russia, Iran, Syria, Cuba, Bolivia, Venezuela and Nicaragua.  We are under attack, not only from nation-states directly, but also from al Qaeda, Hezbollah, ISIS, and countless other terror groups.
It’s a world war, and the enemy alliance is composed of both radical Islamist groups and nations—above all, Iran and its proxies--and radical secular tyrannies, like Putin’s.  While we have defeated them every time we fought them on an actual battlefield, today we are nowhere near winning the real world war.  Our enemies are advancing in the Middle East and North Africa, and flooding our hemisphere with terrorists, even in our own homeland.

We have to win this global conflict, and there are several ways to do it.  Above all, we must launch a vigorous political campaign against their anti-democratic ideologies.  Far too many American intellectuals and politicians say we lack “standing” for such a campaign.  They are wrong, as they were similarly wrong during the Cold War.  Reagan was repeatedly criticized for pointing out the failure of Soviet Communism, but we now know from the dissidents that overthrew it that Reagan’s words were important and inspirational. 

Ours is the most durable and most successful revolution in the modern era, and we should say so.  

Our enemies, typically, are failed or failing states (Iran, Turkey) or proxies thereof.  Political warfare can be very effective, as the case of the Soviet Empire clearly demonstrates.

Yes, I’m talking about promoting regime change.  It’s not easy, not popular, and it’s altogether likely to fail, whether it comes about nonviolently or as the result of armed action.  Most of the time, revolutions fail (ours is a rare exception), from the French in the 18th century to the Egyptian “spring” that brought the Muslim Brotherhood to power.  Failed revolutions more often than not lead to a restoration of the original tyranny, or (think Russia) something even worse.  We don’t want that.

Nonetheless, our enemies are hell-bent on our defeat and domination, and they mean to impose their malevolent world-view on us.  We should take the war to them—the whole enemy alliance—and the most effective way to do that is to threaten the survival of our enemies’ regimes and the leaders of the radical Islamist groups and movements.

As General Flynn said:
We can’t win this war by treating Radical Islamic terrorism as a handful of crazies…any more than we can win the global war solely with military forces.  The political and theological underpinnings of their immoral actions have to be demolished…
Some foreign leaders recognize this, notably Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who has called upon his country’s Muslim leaders to carry out a revolution of Islamic doctrine.  True, Sisi is not a liberal democrat, but he is fighting against the radical Islamists of the Muslim Brotherhood, who are both tyrannical and enemies of the United States.

Our political campaign against the enemy alliance is urgently needed.  Thus far, we don’t have one.  It’s long past time we took this world war into enemy headquarters.  The best place to start is Iran, where an open rebellion against the regime has been raging for a year, and seemingly grows by the day.  We should be openly and vigorously supporting those millions of anti-regime demonstrators.  If we could bring down the Soviet Empire by supporting the relatively small number of dissidents, the Islamic Republic, where a majority of Iranians detest the regime, should be significantly easier.

As for ISIS and al Qaeda, we should use both political and military means.  ISIS has lost most of its “caliphate,” and our leaders should reiterate this theme on a daily basis, via our radio and television broadcasts to their would-be followers, at the same time we decimate their forces.

Let’s close with General Flynn:
We are fighting an enemy that wants to win, legitimately believes it is winning, and is bringing the war to our homeland.  We need a winning strategy.

Faster, please

Michael Ledeen


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Send Your Son to a Leftist School or the Government Will Take Him - Daniel Greenfield

by Daniel Greenfield

Behind the Left’s war on Jewish schools.

In 2016, a poll showed Trump beating Hillary Clinton 66% to 22% among Orthodox Jews. This wasn’t as unusual as it sounds. In New York City, Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods light up as islands in a lefty sea.

Romney won over 90% of the vote in some Orthodox Jewish areas.

Traditional religious beliefs are associated with conservative politics among Jews the same way that they are among Christians. 60% of Jews who attended weekly religious services disapproved of Obama while those who didn’t, mostly supported him. Why do American  Jews lean much more to the left? Because only 11% of American Jews attend weekly synagogue services. Well below the 40% national average.

Only 34% of American Jews are certain that they believe in G-d. What do they believe in? When asked what it means to be Jewish, 56% mentioned social justice, 42% comedy and only 19% percent mentioned anything involving religion. Meanwhile 63% of Israeli Jews believe “completely” in G-d.

Last year, Trump’s approval rating among Orthodox Jews was at 71%. The American Jewish Committee’s Survey wrote the results up glumly as “We have seen the future, and it looks Orthodox".

Establishment Jewish groups, which suddenly woke up and realized that the majority of Jewish children in New York City were Orthodox Jews, are preparing to fight that future. If those children are allowed to grow up Orthodox, the end of the Jewish Left will have arrived. And so they came after the children.

The New York State Department of Education now threatens to shut down Jewish schools and report parents who refuse to send their children to leftist government schools to child protection authorities. As in the Soviet Union, giving a child a Jewish education would be treated as evidence of child abuse. The government would be able to abduct children for the crime of receiving a Jewish education.

The new "Indian Residential Schools" had arrived.

Jewish schools aren’t the only targets of this discriminatory campaign by the educational establishment. Catholic schools have also come under attack with the Archdiocese of New York posting an editorial that declares, “Leviathan has now focused its attention on religious schools here in New York, with the clear intention of either forcing them to submit to its authority or face destruction.”

The public face of the campaign against Jewish schools is YAFFED or Young Advocates for Fair Education. Its members claim to be the products of Orthodox Jewish schools whose poor education left them so unprepared for the real world that all they were able to do was launch an extremely effective statewide campaign whose press releases and talking points are quoted verbatim in every single media outlet.

As in March for Our Lives, young faces are used to hide the agendas of the old lefties behind the curtain.

While Naftuli Moster, YAFFED’s executive director, plays its equivalent of David Hogg, speaking to media outlets and appearing at forums to discuss the incredible intellectual disadvantage that the same educational system that produced generations of visionary thinkers and geniuses burdened him with, Hannah Rothstein, a not remotely “young” Baruch College prof, serves as its president.

Hannah Rothstein also serves on the board of Footsteps, an organization working to secularize Orthodox Jews and transition them to an irreligious lifestyle. She’s a Trump critic and an Obama supporter.

She has also donated to Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Al Franken, Beto O’Rourke and Cory Booker. Her repeated out of state donations, some through ActBlue, show a woman passionate about the Left. And the growing Orthodox Jewish population poses a threat to everything that Rothstein has been funding.

Moster, YAFFED’s public face, is also a Footsteps graduate. Pesach Eisen, a Yaffed member who testified in its cause, is a Footsteps member and a fellow with the radical leftist Jews for Racial & Economic Justice which denies the existence of lefty anti-Semitism even as it defends leftist anti-Semites. Eisen demonstrates how Footsteps and YAFFED act as arms of the broader anti-Jewish Left.

And Moster has, in turn, defended the anti-Semitic Women’s March.

Anita Altman serves on the Board of Directors of YAFFED and her bio boasts of helping numerous Footsteps clients. In 2014, she had signed an angry letter, declaring, “AIPAC speaks for Israel’s hard-line government and its right-wing supporters, and for them alone; it does not speak for us.” The signatories included a range of anti-Israel activists, supporters of BDS and defenders of anti-Semitic terrorism.

Altman has also signed a letter backing anti-Semitic Farrakhan supporter Linda Sarsour.

Altman is, unsurprisingly, no fan of religious Jews. In a bizarre interview, which repeatedly warns of a "khasidic takeover", she complained that there is "fear" when "it comes to government dealing with these fundamentalist communities." Then she compared Orthodox Jews to Iran.

That’s the medieval bigotry behind YAFFED and the war on Orthodox Jewish schools.

YAFFED’s bid is all about lefties using the government to deal with “fundamentalists” under the guise of helping the few formerly Orthodox members of Footsteps being used as fronts for the hateful operation.

Altman isn’t the only anti-Israel activist in YAFFED. Its communications director, Abigail Beatty, also allegedly works for the anti-Israel NIF, an organization notorious for its funding of leftist and BDS group.

YAFFED claims to advocate for “the rights of Hasidic and ultra-Orthodox children”. But it appears to be another face of Footsteps: an organization advocating against the traditional religious practices of Orthodox Judaism.

The people behind YAFFED have the right to advocate for discriminatory policies targeting the Orthodox Jewish community, in order to force Jewish parents to take their children out of Jewish schools.

They have the right to do so in the name of their radical leftist politics and hatred of religion.

But they have no right to masquerade as an organization fighting for the rights of the very people they are persecuting. Instead of highlighting these obvious connections, the media has chosen to act as the echo chamber for YAFFED while denying the Jewish communities targeted by Altman and her ilk, a voice.

Anonymous stories and bots have been used to manufacture a group of Orthodox Jewish parents and children who are “suffering” in the Jewish school system, but oddly, choose not to leave it.

These astroturf tactics are being used to justify discrimination and harassment of a religious community.

It’s about more than just the bigotry of Anita Altman, obsessed with recreating Philip Roth’s Eli the Fanatic. Behind the fresh young faces, there are elderly veterans of the lefty political establishment, many with backgrounds in education and academia, who see religious Jewish education as a threat.

An economic threat and also a political threat.

In a letter to a Democrat councilmember, David Bloomfield, claimed that the war on Jewish schools would enable their students to “vote outside the confines of their deterministic communities”.

Bloomfield has written a number of articles and appeared at Yaffed forums attempting to pressure the government into cracking down on Jewish schools.

At stake are two very different visions of education and the future.

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos recently visited Orthodox Jewish schools and touted them as models of school choice. There is no word in the English language that the Left hates more than “choice”.

The education lobby has gone to war against charter schools. And Orthodox Jewish schools are seen as even worse than charter schools. They don’t bow to the teachers’ unions. The money their parents spend on education doesn’t end up in the pockets of union bosses and their Democrat political allies.

The Orthodox Jewish community has helped drive the expansion of voucher programs. And school choice is an existential threat to the educational establishment and the political power of the Left.

Orthodox Jewish communities have fueled support for school choice not only in New York, but in swing states like Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida, endangering presidential elections.

Something had to be done about those pesky Jews. Now something is being done.

The Left’s vision of the educational system is Footsteps and Yaffed writ large, a machine for destroying communities, undermining their traditions, and crushing parental authority so that academics can reinvent the children in their own cultural and political image. That’s what happened to American Jews.

Now the same people who a century ago turned a generation of immigrants from believers in G-d to believers in social justice see another Jewish demographic threat and want to do it all over again.

On Sabbath, hundreds of thousands of Orthodox Jews will read the story of how an ancient Egyptian leader grew disgusted with rising Jewish demographics.  "Behold, the numbers of the children of Israel are too many," he tells his political allies. "Come, let us deal cunningly with them, lest they multiply."

On Fifth Avenue, the establishment pharaohs, whose faith is not in Isis or Hathor, but in progressive social justice, look at the children in Jewish schools across New York City and bitterly echo his words.

Photo from U.S. Embassy Jerusalem

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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