Friday, February 8, 2019

Democrat Socialists of America - Lloyd Billingsley

by Lloyd Billingsley

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Bernie Sanders expose the dynamics.

“America was founded on liberty and independence and not government coercion, domination and control,” President Trump said in his State of the Union message. “We are born free and we will stay free.” And as the president clarified, “Tonight, we renew our resolve that America will never be a Socialist country.”

That brought applause even from Democrats such as Chuck Schumer. For her part, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sat stone-faced, and as Peggy Noonan noted, the Democrats’ rising star Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez looked “sullen, teenaged and at a loss.” The 29-year-old socialist shot back that “the president failed to offer any plan, any vision at all, for our future. We’re flying without a pilot.”

In the socialist vision, a ruling class elite of surpassing wisdom pilots the nation, eliminating poverty and injustice, tranquilizing all anxieties and ushering in unparalleled prosperity. This ruling elite stands apart from human corruption and seeks only good things for all humankind. Trouble is, as F.A. Hayek showed in The Road to Serfdom, no person or group can possibly possess the knowledge to govern in that fashion. So under socialism poverty prevails and oppression follows because under socialism the worst always get on top.

Countries that are barren of liberties are also barren of groceries, and that has been on display in Venezuela. Socialism has bludgeoned a prosperous nation into squalor, with millions fleeing and a bemedaled thug persecuting the opposition. This reality has failed to register with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her fellow Democrat socialists.

French historian Hippolyte Taine explains the dynamic:
Nothing is more dangerous than a general idea in narrow and empty minds”: as they are empty, it finds no knowledge there to interfere with it. As they are narrow, it is not long before it occupies the place entirely. Henceforth, they no longer belong to themselves but are mastered by it. It works in them and through them, the man, in the true sense of the word, being possessed.”
Alexandria Vacio Cortex, as she might be called, shows little if any knowledge of the great works of political economy, by thinkers such as Hayek, Milton Friedman and Thomas Sowell, author of Basic Economics and many other great books.  She also seems unaware of how, long before Venezuela, the “general idea” of socialism wreaked havoc in Cuba and Eastern Europe, leaden regimes from which people fled in droves.  Despite the yield of poverty, repression and death, the general idea prevails in the narrow, empty minds of socialist Democrats, who hail it as America’s future.

The general idea was also on display in American socialist Anna Louise Strong, who wrote in I Change Worlds that Stalin was too important to be called a “god.” As Malcolm Muggeridge wrote, Strong had an expression of such overwhelming stupidity that it actually gave her a rare kind of beauty. Despite the sullen Vacio Cortex, socialists are not necessarily stupid people. On the other hand, as Saul Bellow said, “A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep.”

Long after its planned famines, mass murders and repressions were well known, Vermont socialist Bernie Sanders chose to spend his honeymoon in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The largest nation in the world, with vast natural resources, never came close to rivalling the USA, and with collective farms the USSR had trouble feeding itself. Communist bosses sought grain imports from, of all places, the United States.

After the State of the Union Speech, Bernie Sanders tweeted, “I say to Trump: People are not truly free when they can’t afford health care, prescription drugs, or a place to live. People are not free when they cannot retire with dignity or feed their families.” This drivel calls to mind another French thinker.

In Voltaire’s Candide, published in 1779 the young hero Candide finds a world of pestilence, poverty, murder and enslavement. Yet his tutor Dr. Pangloss tells Candide he lives in the best of all possible worlds. The socialist Democrats reverse this dynamic.

Of all the nations that actually exist or have existed, the United States of America is by far the freest and most prosperous, attracting millions from around the globe. For the socialist Democrats and their support groups, the United States has always been an oppressive vale of tears, the worst of all possible worlds. 

Whatever America’s actual record of preserving liberty and prosperity, the socialist Democrats promise a transformation to a social justice paradise that has never existed. Past socialist bosses may have failed, but the Democrat socialists expect things to be different under such wise, morally pristine leaders such as themselves. And the establishment media play along.

Nobody at CNN, CNBC, the New York Times or Washington Post is going to pose any hard questions to socialist Democrats like Alexandria Vacio Cortex. And now abide utopianism, obstructionism, and ignorance, but the greatest of these is ignorance.

Lloyd Billingsley is the author of Barack ‘em Up: A Literary Investigation, recently updated, and Hollywood Party: Stalinist Adventures in the American Movie IndustryBill of Writes: Dispatches from the Political Correctness Battlefield, is a collection of his journalism.


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Infanticidal Democrats Took Their Cues from Barack Obama - Trevor Thomas

by Trevor Thomas

Obama was the advocate par excellence of baby-killing.

When it comes to the most significant moral issues of our time, no one should be surprised by immoral actions of modern liberals. You can be saddened, shocked, angry, disgusted, and the like, but you should not be surprised. This is certainly true when it comes to the issue of even infanticide.

For decades, Democrats have dehumanized the unborn and argued against protecting the most innocent and helpless among us, even when they escaped death in their mothers' wombs. In order to further their wicked sexual agenda, Democrats at the highest levels have taken some of the most radically gruesome views of life in the womb. No less than Barack Obama took a position on children who survived abortion that can be described only as infanticide.

Obama, while a member of the Illinois state Senate, opposed multiple versions of an Illinois bill that mirrored the federal Born-Alive Infants Protection Act (BAIPA). According to National Right to Life, BAIPA was essentially "a simple two-paragraph proposal – [that] established ... for all federal law purposes, any baby who was entirely expelled from his or her mother, and who showed any of the specified signs of life, was to be regarded as a legal person for however long he or she lived, and that this applied whether or not the birth was the result of an abortion or of spontaneous premature labor."

In 2000, the original BAIPA was passed by the U.S. House by a vote of 380 to 15. This occurred in spite of opposition by the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League (NARAL). Even staunch pro-abortion leaders, such as Jerrold Nadler, ignored the NARAL position and supported BAIPA. This version of BAIPA was later killed in the Senate by an objection to unanimous consent.

In 2001, the Illinois Legislature took up a bill patterned after the federal BAIPA. Obama voted against this bill in committee. On the floor of the Illinois Senate, he later gave the only speech against the bill, saying, "I mean, it – it would essentially bar abortions, because the equal protection clause does not allow somebody to kill a child, and if this is a child, then this would be an antiabortion statute." Because, of course, we need the "equal protection clause" to tell us we shouldn't kill our children.

Obama finally, and "boldly," voted "present" on the bill, which had the same effect as voting "no." The bill passed the Illinois Senate but died in a House committee. The scene pretty much repeated itself in 2002, this time with Obama voting "no."

In 2002, a "neutrality clause" was added to the federal BAIPA. This clause basically said that, as far as federal law was concerned, legal protection could not be conferred upon a human being prior to being "born alive." This effectively protected Roe. The bill unanimously passed both houses of Congress and was signed into law by President Bush in 2002.

Obama is on the record saying he would have supported the Illinois bill had it contained the neutrality clause. In October of 2004, the Chicago Tribune reported, "Obama said that had he been in the U.S. Senate two years ago, he would have voted for the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act[.]" However, in 2003, the exact language of the federal neutrality clause was added to the Illinois bill, making it virtually identical to the federal BAIPA. In March of 2003, Obama chaired an Illinois Senate committee and led the Democrats on that committee to kill the amended bill.

In attempting to blunt the extremism of his abortion record, Obama stated time and again that the lack of a neutrality clause was all that was preventing him from supporting the Illinois bill. When he was called out on the matter, Obama accused individuals and institutions of lying about his record. His campaign later had to admit that his critics were correct about his voting record.

Obama's radical – evil – position on infants born alive was widely reported on in the pro-life media. There was even audio of him making his case! Obama's position was described as infanticide prior to his presidential re-election bid in 2012. He not only won two presidential elections with such evil positions on life, but was so emboldened that once Obamacare became the law of the land, then President Obama instructed his Department of Health and Human Services to issue its notorious contraception and abortifacient mandate.

As David French noted at the time, "[t]his is who Barack Obama is. There is no reason to be surprised by this. He is not being pulled to extremes by his base – he is the one doing the pulling." Obama pulled, and along came New York governor Mario Cuomo, Virginia governor Ralph Northam, and Rhode Island governor Gina Raimondo. On infanticide, each of these Democrat governors has picked up where Obama left off.

It seems clear that what immoral Democrats in New York passed and what immoral democrats in Virginia and Rhode Island are proposing all violate the federal Born Alive Infants Protection Act. However, as Operation Rescue points out:
Some have postulated that with New York's new abortion law, crimes committed by late-term abortionist and convicted murderer Kermit Gosnell will now be legal in New York. He was convicted of first-degree murder on three counts of snipping the spinal cords of living newborns who survived abortions at his Philadelphia "House of Horrors" clinic.
That may well be the case.
The Federal Born Alive Infant Protection Act of 2002 mandates that babies born alive during abortions must be cared for as patients. Unfortunately, that act has no enforcement clause, meaning there is no criminal or civil penalty for violating it. Even Kermit Gosnell could not be charged with breaking that law.
The proposed Rhode Island bill, co-sponsored by state senator Gayle L. Goldin and Rep. Edith H. Ajello, would, as LifeNews notes, "strip away even minor, common-sense abortion regulations." LifeNews continues:
The bill appears to allow restrictions for late-term abortions, but it adds a broad "health" exception for abortions after viability. The exception would allow women to abort unborn babies up to nine months of pregnancy for basically any "health" reason, including "age, economic, social and emotional factors," a definition given by the U.S. Supreme Court in the case Doe v. Bolton.
Ajello described protections for unborn babies as "insidiously restrictive, harmful and patriarchal reproductive laws." Her bill would even repeal the state partial-birth abortion ban and fetal homicide law, which provides justice to pregnant mothers whose unborn babies are killed by abusive partners, drunken drivers or others whose illegal actions cause the death of the unborn baby.
Do you remember our partial-birth abortion debate? With 281 House votes (65%), including 63 Democrats, and 64 Senate votes, including 17 Democrats, and President Bush's signature, in 2003, the federal partial-birth abortion ban became law. Twice Bill Clinton vetoed similar bills, and while a partial-birth abortion ban was finally being passed at the federal level, state senator Barack Obama was opposing the Illinois version.

When he arrived in the U.S. Senate, Obama denounced the U.S. Supreme Court's 5-4 decision to uphold the ban. In the months prior to the 2008 U.S. presidential election, then-candidate Barack Obama said, "The first thing I'll do as president is sign the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA)." FOCA, as co-sponsor Barbara Boxer described it, "supersedes any law, regulation or local ordinance that impinges on a woman's right to choose."

As Rich Lowry described FOCA in Politico:
The act would enshrine in federal law a right to abortion more far-reaching than in Roe v. Wade and eliminate basically all federal and state-level restrictions on abortion. This isn't a point its supporters contest; it's one they brag about. The National Organization for Women says it would "sweep away hundreds of anti-abortion laws [and] policies."
Look for the next Democrat nominee for POTUS to make a pledge similar to Obama's. Whether Kamala Harris, Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Cory Booker, Andrew Cuomo, or another, it seems that all of the candidates seeking to replace Barack Obama at the head of the Democratic Party will continue his wicked war on the unborn.

Trevor Grant Thomas: At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
Trevor is the author of the The Miracle and Magnificence of America.


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Time for a Frank Discussion on NATO - Ari Lieberman

by Ari Lieberman

The US continues to shoulder the burden of an alliance that may have outgrown its usefulness.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization was formed in 1949 as a collective defense pact against the aggressive designs and intentions of the Soviet Union. Turkey was accepted into NATO in 1951. The latest NATO entry was the tiny Balkan nation Montenegro, which ascended in 2017.

The United States shoulders the lion’s share of NATO’s budget and the defense of Europe. According to one estimate, US expenses associated with the defense of Europe totaled US$36.0bn in 2018, which represents 5.5% of the US defense budget and 6.3 times the amount President Trump is asking to facilitate the construction of a barrier or wall on the US-Mexico border.

With the fall of communism and the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, the threat of a mass Soviet invasion of Western Europe instantly vanished. Western style democracy and free enterprise triumphed decidedly over totalitarianism and stifling socialism.

Despite the diminished threat, NATO still served a valuable purpose in that its collective defense doctrine promoted regional and world stability. Indeed, following the 9-11 attacks, NATO invoked the principles of Article 5, providing for collective defense of alliance members. It was an extraordinary expression of solidarity with the United States, which witnessed the worst attack ever perpetrated on its soil.

This appearance of unity however, is overshadowed by nefarious elements within the alliance that tirelessly work to undermine alliance goals and objectives. I and others have argued that Turkey should be expelled from NATO. Turkey served as a valuable member of the alliance since 1951 but under the leadership of its unhinged Muslim Brotherhood president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey has morphed into an untrustworthy, aggressive, hostile entity.

Turkey has an abysmal human rights record but that’s only a fraction of the problem. Erdoğan is deeply anti-Semitic and xenophobic, allowed hundreds of thousands of Muslim migrants to pour into Europe, betrayed intelligence agents, helped Iran circumvent sanctions, supports Hamas and provided support for ISIS, maintains occupation forces in Northern Cyprus, purchased weapons from Russia which are incompatible with Western arms, and snatched US, Czech and Greek nationals for use as bargaining chips, a tactic commonly employed by the likes of rogue nations like Iran and North Korea.

In 2015, Turkish warplanes shot down a Russian Su-24 attack aircraft which strayed into Turkish airspace for a few seconds. The Russians were furious, and the Turks, fearful of the Russian response, called for an emergency NATO session to discuss the incident thus dragging alliance members into matters initiated by Turkey’s hyper aggressive stance and having nothing whatsoever to do with thwarting an invasion of Western Europe. 

In 2010, Turkey permitted a flotilla of ships to disembark from its shores to the Gaza Strip for the purpose of penetrating a legal quarantine Israel maintained over the Strip. The flotilla was backed by the highest echelons of the Turkish government. The Israeli Navy intercepted the flotilla and its personnel encountered fierce resistance from Turkish IHH members (an organization with ties to Hamas), killing 10 of them in self-defense.  This incident placed Israel in direct confrontation with a NATO member.

Turkey has long left the West’s sphere of influence to join forces with radical Muslim elements, like Iran and Hamas, whose values and morals are antithetical with those of the West. An increasingly unhinged Erdogan has stoked irredentist violence in Syria, and created needless friction with neighbors such as Greece, Cyprus and Israel. It is not inconceivable that this narcissist, imbibed with delusions of neo-Ottoman grandeur will one day drag NATO into a war with a few reckless miscalculations.

But Turkey is the least of NATO’s problems. The United Kingdom is NATO’s second most important member after the United States. However, there is a distinct possibility that Britain’s Labour Party boss, Jeremy Corbyn, may soon be prime minister of the UK. That development would be disastrous for NATO.

Like Erdogan, Corbyn is deeply anti-Semitic. Britain’s leading Jewish leaders and publications have referred to him as an “existential threat” to British Jewry and a staggering 40% of Britain’s Jews would seriously consider emigrating if he ever assumed the premiership. Ideologically, Corbyn shares more in common with Nicolas Maduro than he does with Western leaders. Russian and Iranian bots are working overtime to ensure a Corbyn victory in the next election. Indeed, Corbyn actually worked for the Iranian government mouthpiece, Press TV, from 2009-2012. It is safe to classify Corbyn as a fifth columnist who will work tirelessly to undermine NATO.

Finally, the inclusion of Montenegro is problematic. The tiny Balkan nation contributes near nothing to NATO’s defense yet 19-year-old American boys would theoretically be forced to defend a nation that 99.9% of Americans never heard of.

A discussion on America’s involvement with NATO is long overdue. There is strong opposition to such discourse and those even suggesting it are unfairly labeled as isolationists or worse, Russian stooges. However, in light of the staggering costs, diminished threats and changing realities, a reassessment is warranted.

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


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What's Beto's Problem with the Constitution? - Dave Rybarczyk

by Dave Rybarczyk

To get an idea of O'Rourke's principles, we might look to his recent failed Senate run.

When "Beto" O'Rourke recently questioned whether the basic principles of the Constitution still apply in today's world, what exactly did he mean? Which principles would he reject, and what new principles would he substitute for our governance?

At a time when our Constitution is increasingly attacked as unfair, immoral and obsolete, or simply irrelevant, the pronouncements of political figures such as O'Rourke matter. O'Rourke is a rising star of the left and a presumed 2020 presidential candidate who, as it happens, comes from Texas, a state with a large number of electoral votes.

To get an idea of O'Rourke's principles, we might look to his recent failed Senate run. His campaign platform lists 17 major issue categories. Within O'Rourke's 17 categories are over 75 specific initiatives.

As might be expected, a review of his platform's top initiatives reveals a strong alignment with the progressive left on nearly every point: health care a "basic human right," ensuring "guaranteed due process" as well as citizenship for illegal immigrants, correcting "bias" in the criminal justice system, increasing public funding for "underserved communities," "protecting" teachers' pensions, and much more.

Within this potpourri of regulation, handouts, and carveouts, we can discern a common thread: a larger role for government -- specifically the federal government -- tacitly justified by a deluge of empathy.

O'Rourke's platform aligns neatly with Franklin D. Roosevelt's "second bill of rights" of the 1940s, which viewed the Constitution as inadequate and proposed a vast expansion of federal power and reach as a correction. In more recent times, FDR's view was embraced by Barack Obama, who described the Constitution dismissively as a "charter of negative liberties." O'Rourke is only the latest in a long line of progressives who plainly have trouble with the Constitution.

Yet if O'Rourke's platform contains any actual new "principles of governance" that are somehow superior to the Constitution's and presumably should supersede them, they are obscured by the gratuitous empathy that motivates his initiatives. O'Rourke simply identifies numerous "victims" and makes himself their gallant champion.

In the realm of civics, it is vital to be skeptical of empathy. Viewed cynically, empathy is politically useful inasmuch as it makes it easy to seduce the persuadable to your side, and it opens the door wide to politically useful virtue-signaling.

But viewed realistically, empathy in civic discourse is insidious and corrosive. It is wholly incompatible with rational judgment and sober decision-making -- hallmarks of good governance. Instead, empathy empowers a few individuals to hijack civic priorities, irrespective of facts and in circumvention of just process. Empathy demands compassionate action regardless of any obstacles -- never mind that resources are always and everywhere limited. Empathy privileges certain preferred choices over others, without regard to their relative worthiness -- necessarily trampling the legitimate rights of the truly worthy. Empathy silences opposing points of view, as its claim to the moral high ground makes it virtually immune to criticism.

Does O'Rourke actually understand the real principles at the foundation of the Constitution? Does he appreciate their wisdom and importance?

The Founders were learned men, keen students of human history and human nature, who had endured tyranny firsthand. They understood human weakness and fallibility. They observed the corrupting influence of power on leadership. They appreciated the essential limits and inadequacies of every sort of governance and authority. They respected that individuals, men and women -- and only they -- are the proper guardians of their destiny.

These are durable, unchanging, inherent principles of humankind, and the Constitution embodies this found wisdom. In devising a new form of government, the Founders incorporated these understandings through a variety of structural limitations, controls and "checks and balances" upon government, and upon those who hold office. The Bill of Rights further embodies key concepts of liberty, most importantly the principle of inalienable rights, that additionally restrict the powers of the federal government. This formula of restrained government as an enabler of unprecedented social and economic freedom, combined with individual enterprise, produced the wealthiest and most beneficent nation on Earth, and we are its fortunate inheritors.

Beto O'Rourke is simply wrong to declare these principles obsolete. Human nature has not changed. The passage of "230-plus years" since the Constitution's adoption makes no difference whatsoever.

Is O'Rourke merely ignorant of this basic truth? O'Rourke calls for a "discussion" on these principles, but it is hard to see this as anything other than their implicit rejection. More likely, holding his own views as incontrovertible, O'Rourke arrogantly seeks to control the affairs of American citizens and will use the power of government to achieve his ends. For such purposes the Constitution is decidedly an obstacle and not an enabler.

But who is Beto, or any of his philosophical predecessors and cohorts, to make intimate decisions and judgments for others' lives, families and destinies? Election to office is not such a license, as the Founders understood. It takes stupendous hubris, conceit, and a wholly unjustified sense of personal righteousness, to usurp this privilege.

Only a sound and respected republican Constitution will prevent people like O'Rourke from putting the government in charge of literally everything. 

Dave Rybarczyk


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Why Won't the British Left Pick on Someone Else? - Denis MacEoin

by Denis MacEoin

Israel is the only Middle Eastern country to uphold all the rights the Labour Party claims to hold precious. Yet, Israel is the only country in the world that the Labour party reserves for its censure, while other countries are ignored, mildly rebuked or even cosied up to.

  • Why are Labour members not speaking out loud about the need to boycott or overthrow such a regime as Iran, but instead focus all their venom on Israel, a country they demonize on wholly false grounds, especially considering the full IHRA definition of anti-Semitism which Labour has technically adopted -- while reserving the right, however, to criticize Israel as an apartheid or Nazi state?
  • Whatever its faults, Israel is a utopia for human rights that many self-congratulatory moralists identify as their personal preserve. Israel is the only Middle Eastern country to uphold all the rights the Labour Party claims to hold precious. Yet, Israel is the only country in the world that the Labour party reserves for its censure, while other countries are ignored, mildly rebuked or even cosied up to.
  • In reality, the Palestinian Authority and Hamas have largely governed their own people since 1994, following the signing of the Oslo Accords. The Palestinians, however, continue to go through inconceivable suffering due to the atrocious governance by their own often corrupt and manipulative leaders. They continue to blame Israel and the Jews -- preferable, apparently, to blaming themselves.
  • "Victimization is the pain-orientated version of privilege. If it suffices to call oneself oppressed in order to be in the right, everyone will fight to occupy that slot." — Pascal Bruckner, An Imaginary Racism: Islamophobia and Guilt.

(Image source: iStock)

The 2018 annual conference of Britain's Labour Party proved that, however strong the criticism, and however embarrassing the scandal, there are many in England who will get on with their top priority: slandering and libelling one of the world's most outstanding countries, Israel. At the same time, they seem never to tire of singing the praises of the Palestinians, regardless of the savagery with which they govern their own people.

They also seem comfortable overlooking the Palestinians' repeated rejections of peace, and their glorifying and funding non-stop terrorism.

The oddity of this approach generally escapes the mainstream media or is amplified by them, and is proliferated across all sorts of social media such as Twitter, and anti-Zionist blogs, websites, and YouTube channels, where it often merges with Holocaust denial, on sites such as Facebook, neo-Nazi rants, Muslim anti-Zionist pages, and speeches by Muslim preachers who choose to live on the dark side of their faith.

The question, of course, is "Why Israel?" Are there not enough dictatorships and oppressive regimes in the world to keep any decent socialist busy on a hundred other fronts?
Not long after that Labour Party conference, your humble correspondent attended a smaller event in Newcastle upon Tyne on October 3, 2018, where a local Labour MP, Catherine McKinnell, addressed a packed hall to apologize for the blatant anti-Semitism in her party. It has to be said that McKinnell herself had nothing to apologize for. She is not Jewish, but she was among the hundreds of people protesting anti-Semitism in the Labour Party outside the Houses of Parliament on March 26 earlier this year. The protest brought home to many observers the simple truth that Jews were profoundly worried, if not afraid, to see a resurgence of anti-Jewish activity in the political party for which they had mainly voted all their lives.

There was one question for which McKinnell could not provide an answer. It began by referring to a news item from the day before, a story about a 24-year-old Iranian woman, Zaynab Sekanvand, who had just been executed two days after delivering a stillborn baby. Zaynab had been married at 15 to a husband who abused and beat her regularly, rejecting her wish to divorce, until one day she snapped and stabbed him to death. Arrested when 17, she was tried without legal representation or a medical report on her psychological state. She was then denied a retrial, even though the Iranian penal code itself stated that anyone who committed a crime when a minor must have a second court appearance. While in prison, she was married (probably through Iran's legal temporary marriage) to another prisoner, and became pregnant. Just before giving birth, she was traumatized when her cellmate, another woman, was taken out and hanged. Shortly after, Zaynab gave birth to a stillborn baby. Two days later, she herself was taken out and hanged.

This story led to more comments on the Iranian Shi'ite regime: that Iran executes per capita more prisoners than China, the world leader in that respect; that Iran has long backed and funded a range of terrorist groups, notably Hamas and Hezbollah; that Iran has been expanding its violent behaviour from Iraq to Yemen to Syria to Lebanon; and that Iran has long threatened to destroy the state of Israel. More than that, Iran has an abysmal human rights record regarding women, gays, ethnic and religious minorities, and political opponents.

The simple question was: Given all this, why are Labour members not speaking out about the need to boycott or overthrow such a regime, but instead focus all their venom on Israel, a country they demonize on wholly false grounds, especially considering the full IHRA definition of anti-Semitism which Labour has technically adopted -- while reserving the right, however, to criticize Israel as an apartheid or Nazi state?

Mrs McKinnell, not surprisingly, had no answer.

Perhaps the most important aspect of that question lies in the sheer hypocrisy of the Labour Party's supporters. To its credit, Labour strongly opposes the use of execution, and supports women's rights, gay rights, ethnic minority rights and religious minority rights. Many of Labour's supporters, like many others, are appalled to see Iranian women stoned to death, gay men hanged on cranes, and Baha'is, Christians and others fiercely persecuted and hanged.

In Israel, by contrast, women, homosexuals, and all racial minorities, are treated well, especially Arabs. According to Thane Rosenbaum, distinguished fellow at New York University School of Law and legal analyst for CBS News Radio:
"Arabs serve on the Israeli Supreme Court and can live, work and eat anywhere they choose, vote freely in elections and are represented in parliament. The only nation in the Middle East where civil rights exist for racial minorities, homosexuals and women is Israel".
More could definitely be done, but for the most part, they have full citizenship rights and free access to virtually all the same opportunities and professions as everyone else in the country.

All religious communities are protected, all holy places are guaranteed freedom from molestation under law. Tel Aviv has been named more than once as the world's "gay capital."
Today, no one is executed for any reason in the Jewish state, not even Palestinian terrorists who have committed murder time and again, often in gruesome circumstances. Israel hosts the world centre and holiest shrines of the Baha'is, while Iran, by contrast, has demolished all their sacred sites and cemeteries. Israel has laws that protect and enforce these and all human rights. So, would Israel not be the country that the West would most admire? Whatever its faults, it is a utopia for human rights that many self-congratulatory moralists identify as their personal preserve. Israel is the only Middle Eastern country to uphold all the rights the Labour Party claims to hold precious. Yet, Israel is the only country in the world that the Labour Party reserves for its censure, while other countries are ignored, mildly rebuked or even cosied up to.

These double standards have never been properly exposed or tested in a public forum at which Jeremy Corbyn and his acolytes could be forced to explain themselves.

This disjuncture is, in fact, only part of a wider one that allows many in Great Britain to condemn all things Western while lauding Muslim countries without reservation. They even back extremist Islamic terror groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah, which Corbyn called his "friends".

For all this sentimentalisation, it is "Islamophobia" that takes centre stage, with antisemitism paid mere lip service, if that.

In his recently published book, An Imaginary Racism: Islamophobia and Guilt, the French philosopher Pascal Bruckner delves deeply into these issues. Those who do not have time to read it in full can peruse a long and accurate summary by David Mikics. For the present, a few quotations from the English translation must suffice to show why many left-wing ideas about Islam and Muslims are central to obsession with Jews and Israel.

The argument revolves around a number of linked notions. Led by Europe, the international left turned against Jews and Zionism after 1967, based on the claim that Jews had capitalized on their suffering during and after the Holocaust to gain privileges as the West's favoured people on that account alone. For the left, a new variety of worthy oppressed people came into being, first the Palestinians, then Muslims in general. This sympathy for all Muslims who had supposedly been victims of Western colonialism -- rather than as the invaders and colonisers of the great Christian Byzantine Empire, North Africa and the Middle East, Greece, Hungary and the Balkans as well as Spain -- moved into high gear. More and more politicians and so-called intellectuals began to support radical Islam, and deemed it a road to cheap oil and the promise of no terrorism at a time when many thought the West, as a former coloniser, was more powerful than, in their minds, it deserved to be.
Even Muslim terrorism came to be lauded as an antidote to European and American privilege.

Israel became the supposed centre of Western intolerance and outdated colonisation – even though Jews have lived in the area for nearly 4,000 years. In the minds of many, and following the anti-Semitic Islamic narrative, the Jews became the new Nazis, and the Palestinians became the new Jews. In reality, the Palestinian Authority and Hamas have largely governed their own people since 1994, following the signing of the Oslo Accords. The Palestinians, however, continue to go through inconceivable suffering due to the atrocious governance by their own often corrupt and manipulative leaders. They continue to blame Israel and the Jews -- preferable, apparently, to blaming themselves.

Although following the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948, there were roughly the same number of refugees -- approximately 800,000 Jews from Arab lands, and 800,000 or quite possibly fewer than 300,000 Arabs from land then governed by the British (now mainly Israel) -- the Palestinians are the only refugees in history who have been deemed entitled to their own UN agency and the freedom to pass their refugee status and resentment down through generations, rather than to be resettled, as other refugees have been under the legal stipulations of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

Let us look at how Bruckner expresses some of these points. Bruckner, an opponent of political correctness, sets out the links between the political left and radical Muslims, an alliance that has reinforced existing antisemitism in Europe.
In 1994, Chris Harman, the leader of the [British] Socialist Workers' Party... published a long article entitled, "The Prophet and the Proletariat". In it, he advocated an alliance between left-wing activists and radical Muslim groups -- that he thought would be wrong to describe as retrograde. On the contrary, he maintained, we should return these lost sheep of Islam to the fold of the left, and mobilize them in the service of the only cause that matters – the destruction of capitalism. (p. 39)
The left has lost everything – the working class, the USSR, China, Cambodia, the Third World – with the exception of Islam, the new International of the outcasts... Islam becomes the last great narrative to which they can cling and which replaces communism, decolonization, and pan-Arabism. In the category of the good revolutionary subject, the Mujahideen, the Fedayeen, the Jihadists, and the martyrs of Hamas or al-Qaeda replace the proletarian, the guerrillero, the wretched of the Earth, the Palestinian. (p. 43)
In a more classic left-wing register, Jean Baudrillard saw in the mullahs' inspection of the revolution a proof of vitality. In his view, Iran presented itself as:
The sole active destabilizer of the two great powers' terrorism and strategic monopoly. [...] Whether it is at the price of medieval "barbarity", so be it, it doesn't matter. [...] (p. 45)
The future will remember that in the twenty-first century, a large part of the Western intelligentsia made common cause with fundamentalist totalitarianism, just as their elders had communed with Nazism and communism. (pp. 55-56)
... this "theft of the Holocaust" ... and the desire on the part of some Muslims to be more Jewish [i.e. more oppressed] than the Jews are contemporary with the rejection of the Hebrew state in the Middle East: "The hatred for Israel is the most powerful aphrodisiac in the Arab world", the late king of Morocco, Hassan II, is supposed to have said. (p. 71)
By raising the word "Islamophobia" to the level of anti-Semitism, people can finally brandish their certificates of malediction as titles of nobility. Victimization is the pain-orientated version of privilege. If it suffices to call oneself oppressed in order to be in the right, everyone will fight to occupy that slot. Every conqueror likes to be seen as a martyr. No-one admires the Shoah more than the revisionists, to the point of wanting to steal it from those who suffered from it. (p. 77)
The new racism... culminates in the anti-Zionism about which [it was said] that it was "an unhoped-for windfall because it gives you the permission and even the right to be an anti-Semite in the name of democracy! Anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism justified, finally made available to everyone. It is the permission to be democratically anti-Semitic. What if the Jews themselves were Nazis? That would be marvellous. It would no longer be necessary to feel sorry for them: they would have deserved their fate!"
In the name of the fight against colonialism, the first duty of an anti-racist is to be an anti-Zionist. (p. 84)
In his comments and judicious use of quotations, Bruckner lays bare the monstrous grievances and immoderate allegiances that underlie the antisemitism and anti-Zionism of the European Left and the British Labour Party. These include Jeremy Corbyn's calling Hamas and Hezbollah his "friends" and supporting other extremists; his appearances on Iran's Press TV; repeated support for the absurd claim that Israel has committed a "genocide" of the Palestinian people; calls to replace Holocaust Memorial Day with a World Genocide Day; Jewish Voice for Labour's contempt for the Israeli army and vast claims that the Palestinians are the most oppressed of all people. Who can be more oppressed than the Palestinians? Well, how about the Tibetans, Yazidis, Middle Eastern and South Asian Christians, Jews, Baha'is and so on? But by Labour's false logic, it is the Palestinians that should be the most deserving of support -- meaning that only Israel (not North Korea, Iran, China, Sudan or Syria, among others) must be condemned time and again as ostensibly the most evil nation in the world.

Denis MacEoin, PhD is a former academic in Arabic, Persian, and Islamic Studies. He is a Distinguished Senior Fellow at New York's Gatestone Institute, and lives in the United Kingdom.


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Are the US and Other Democracies in Trouble? - Judith Bergman

by Judith Bergman

With the last election cycle putting Islamists, who are openly hostile to Jews, in the House of Representatives, the Democratic Party has jettisoned even the pretense of repudiating their anti-Semites.

  • It is apparent that, over time, Jewish American Democrats will find themselves the voters and donors of a party that will initially seek to marginalize them, then ostracize them, and finally, demonize them.
  • With the last election cycle putting Islamists, who are openly hostile to Jews, in the House of Representatives, the Democratic Party has jettisoned even the pretense of repudiating their anti-Semites.
  • This transformation will be brought about by a group of new leaders who will have the means effectively to rebrand their emerging power base, either implicitly or explicitly, as the Neo-Islamic Democratic Party, thereby asserting a dominance that will make today's political landscape unrecognizable.
  • It is more than painful, as anti-Semitic libels are whitewashed by the media or risk becoming part of the Congressional Record, to watch the American Jewish community being played by the political party that many have called "home."

Pictured: The United States Capitol building in Washington, DC. (Image source: FEMA/Bill Koplitz/Wikimedia Commons)

Are democracies in trouble?

As someone outside the world's most powerful democracy, the United States, it is concerning to see how many countries in the West are being transformed. In Europe, free speech continues to be seriously eroded, churches are desecrated, and religious Europeans murdered.

There are signs that the same transformation is beginning in the United States, as well.
International observers have begun asking if the US has a problem. Additionally, according to the Worldwide Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community, released on January 29:
"Global jihadists in dozens of groups and countries threaten local and regional US interests, despite having experienced some significant setbacks in recent years, and some of these groups will remain intent on striking the US homeland. Prominent jihadist ideologues and media platforms continue to call for and justify efforts to attack the US homeland".[1]
The report adds:
"Homegrown violent extremists (HVEs) are likely to present the most acute Sunni terrorist threat to the United States, and HVE activity almost certainly will have societal effects disproportionate to the casualties and damage it causes"[2].
Late last year, a synagogue in Pittsburgh was attacked. In Ohio, another attack was being planned, "inspired by the mass shooting" in Pittsburgh.

Threats are, of course, directed against Christians as well as Jews.

Abroad, the US is being mocked, and Europe has set up a payment channel to enable trade with Iran that evades US sanctions.

The American Jewish community seems to be facing a threat that it appears quite content to ignore.

Not since the aviator legend Charles Lindbergh gathered fellow American Nazis together and others condemned American Jews as being a "fifth column" has the American Jewish community faced such a threat as it does today from openly anti-Semitic candidates recently elected to Congress.

If the past is any way to predict how Jews will respond to this threat, sadly, the vast majority will probably remain indifferent to the ominous political changes now taking place around them. Their indifference, however, is likely to come with an eventual cost.

Today's Congressional freshmen class includes Democrats who clearly seek to upend the belief held by members of the Jewish community that they are a respected minority within the American society. These newly elected members seem to be trying to isolate the Jewish community from their political base by engaging in the traditional canard used by past demagogues, from Rep. Rashida Tlaib's tweet accusing Jews of dual loyalty to the age-old lies that Jews conspire to control the media and finance.

These anti-Semitic falsehoods are being promoted against a backdrop of increased assaults on members of the Jewish community at a rate not seen in generations (most recently here and here).

A new report from the UK-based Institute for Jewish Policy Research, and most likely also applicable in the US, has established "a clear link between antisemitism and hostility towards Israel, finding that the strongest holders of antisemitic views tend to support boycotts of Israel or consider it an apartheid state."
"Jonathan Boyd, executive director of the Institute for Jewish Policy Research and the report's co-author, said that people who hold 'traditional antisemitic views' about divided Jewish loyalties or the nefarious use of power are more likely to back ideas of boycott or apartheid than those who do not hold them."
The report was based on a survey of 4,000 people in Britain carried out by Ipsos Mori between late 2016 and early 2017.

The threat emerging from within the Democratic Party is not without irony. The party has been the traditional home of the majority of American Jews since the days of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. (His studied indifference to chilling evidence of the Holocaust -- that was smuggled out to the Allies -- is a topic for another day.) However, with the last election cycle putting Islamists, who are openly hostile to Jews, in the House of Representatives, the Democratic Party has jettisoned even the pretense of repudiating their anti-Semites. As of this writing, not one Democratic Congressional leader has called for disciplinary action in the wake of recent anti-Semitic slurs by Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib. Rather, there are Republicans who have called out Tlaib.

These emerging political threats to the Jewish community come at a time when social media has totally altered how, where and by whom political positions are communicated throughout American society. They also come at a time when radical Islamists, who have assumed seats in Congress, are seeking to stoke the fires of anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism. Further, it comes at a time when a legitimate women's rights movement has been hijacked by an anti-Semitic leadership. Expect the Democratic Party to be pushed further into the Islamist camp in the months to come.

An entire generation of liberal Democratic leadership that at least recognized Israel's right to exist is being pushed aside. The leaders that remain (such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi) had been "assaulted" daily with online tweets, trolls and bots launched by younger, aggressive and thoroughly committed Democratic socialists who seek to reinvent the party in their own image, sometimes by using sophisticated online tactics that seemed unstoppable, until Pelosi awarded them plum positions on the prestigious House Oversight and Foreign Relations Committees.

The Jewish American experience in standing with the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s is in the process of being relegated either to ancient history, or the realm of fiction, or discarded as inconsequential.

As an observer far from the U.S., perhaps it is easier to see, and call attention to, this threat. In Israel, for instance, the Jewish community may quarrel and debate among itself but it always appreciates the precarious nature of its survival. Today's American Jewish community, however, remains blind to the threat, repeating the mantra of the German Jews of the early 1930s that there has always been anti-Semitism and, aside from some uncomfortable moments, it is not really an existential threat.

A retired attorney, Pete Cohon, noted:
"Democrats were presumed to be for the little guy, and Republicans were assumed to be rich, white men. The Jewish community (other than the Orthodox) and the Democrats became joined at the hip. The majority of Jewish families taught its kids to vote Democrat for justice for the little guy. Voting Democrat became a part of Jewish culture in America...
"These Jews just can't let anything disturb the comfortable delusion that they inherited from their parents and grandparents that the Democrats are for the little guy, especially the Jews.
"But times have changed, and they are wrong. Today, the big issue is the survival of Israel, and it is the Republicans, not the Democrats, who are on our side."
From this offshore observation post, however, it is apparent that, over time, American Jews who are Democrats, and most apparently are, will find themselves the voters and donors of a party that will initially seek to marginalize them, then ostracize them, and finally, demonize them. This transformation will be brought about by a group of new leaders, who will have the means effectively to rebrand their emerging power base, either implicitly or explicitly, as the neo-Islamic Democratic Party, thereby asserting a dominance that will make today's political landscape unrecognizable.

It is more than painful, as anti-Semitic libels are whitewashed by the media or risk becoming part of the Congressional Record, to watch the American Jewish community being played by the political party that many have called "home."

[1] Worldwide Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community p 10.
[2] Ibid. p 12

Judith Bergman, a columnist, lawyer and political analyst, is a Distinguished Senior Fellow at Gatestone Institute.


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Targeting BDS movement, US Senate votes to outlaw boycott of Israel - Reuters, Yoni Hersch and Israel Hayom Staff

by Reuters, Yoni Hersch and Israel Hayom Staff 

Measure would make the boycott of the Jewish state a violation of federal law and cement state-level prohibitions on anti-Israel activity

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell speaking to the 
media on Tuesday
Photo: AFP 

Legislation that would penalize entities for boycotting Israel got overwhelming support in the U.S. Senate on Tuesday, dealing another blow to the boycott divestment and sanctions movement.

The Senate backed the Strengthening America's Security in the Middle East Act by a lopsided 77-23  hours before President Donald Trump delivered his annual State of the Union speech discussing his policies for the year.

The bill includes language that would make it illegal to boycott Israel at the federal level. It also protects the more than two dozen states that have passed laws penalizing entities that discriminate against the Jewish state.
To become law, however, the bill would need to pass the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives, where it is unlikely to move without significant changes.

Opponents of the bill, which include presidential hopefuls in the Democratic Party, argue that Americans' participation in boycotts is protected by the constitutional right to free speech.

Reuters, Yoni Hersch and Israel Hayom Staff


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'Dearbornistan' Mayor Suppresses Free Speech - Joseph Klein

by Joseph Klein

Blocks article on anti-Semitism that he deems a “distraction.”

Dearborn, Michigan, nicknamed "Dearbornistan," is the U.S. city with the largest percentage of Arab Americans. The Arab-American National Museum (AANM) is located in Dearborn because, its director said, “Dearborn is the heart of Arab-America.” The majority of these Arab American residents are Shiite Muslims from south Lebanon and Iraq. The Islamic Center of America in Dearborn is the largest Shiite mosque in the United States. 

Dearborn was also the hometown of Henry Ford, the auto industrialist whose factories attracted Arab immigrants to Dearborn in the 1920s. “Palestinian Muslims arrived in the second decade of the 20th century, attracted by the prospect of work on the assembly lines that produced Ford’s revolutionary Model ‘T’,” according to a report in the National. While Ford was heralding the arrival of Arab immigrants to this country to work in his factory, he was also widely spreading his virulent anti-Semitic blood libel.

However, the mayor of Dearborn today, John B. O’Reilly, Jr. (pictured above), wants to sugarcoat the unpleasant part of Ford’s biography dealing with his many anti-Semitic writings and pronouncements. Mayor O’Reilly decided to ban the distribution of a city-financed historical journal containing an unflattering article about Henry Ford’s record of anti-Semitism that the mayor deemed to be too much of a "distraction" for Dearborn’s “diverse” population. He also severed the city’s ties with the editor of the publication and long-time Dearborn resident, Bill McGraw, who had written the article to educate Dearborn residents today regarding their hometown hero Ford’s “dark sides.”

Mr. McGraw’s article ran afoul of the mayor’s politically correct speech code. “It was thought that by presenting information from 100 years ago that included hateful messages — without a compelling reason directly linked to events in Dearborn today — this edition of The Historian could become a distraction from our continuing messages of inclusion and respect,” Mayor O’Reilly said in a statement issued last Friday. Although Mr. McGraw’s article can still be read online, Mayor O’Reilly’s moves to block the distribution of Mr. McGraw’s article and to sever the city’s ties with him were punitive acts that most likely violated the First Amendment.

The mayor claimed that Ford’s anti-Semitic views were old news, no longer relevant to today’s "diverse" Dearborn population. The exact opposite is true. Ford’s writings are just as popular with some white nationalist extremists today as when they inspired Adolf Hitler. Ford’s writings also appeal to Jew-hating Islamists. His hate speech against the Jews’ aspirations for a state of their own in the Holy Land has a sympathetic audience amongst Dearborn’s current Arab-American and Muslim population.

“The Zionist propaganda has always been accepted on the assumption that Palestine is the Jews’ land and that they only need help to go back,” Ford wrote in his publication entitled The International Jew: The World's Foremost Problem. “It is an historical and political fact that Palestine has not been the Jews’ land for more than 2,000 years.” As for Jews emigrating to the Holy Land to escape religious persecution, Ford decried what he described as the “propaganda of pogroms” disseminated by Zionists.

Some of those protesting against Israel in Dearborn today have lauded the terrorist organization Hezbollah. They believe, like Ford, that Jews have no legitimate historical claim to the land of Israel. They have regularly chanted, in celebration of a massacre of Jews in the days of Prophet Mohammed, “Oh, Jews, remember Khaibar. The army of the Prophet will return.” 

Mayor O’Reilly channeled Ford’s pro-Arab anti-Zionism when he joined a protest rally in December 2017 consisting mainly of Dearborn’s Muslim community. They had gathered to denounce President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The mayor declared that he stood with the Palestinian community and shared their goals. A child was photographed at the rally holding a sign stating succinctly what the Palestinians stand for: “Ending Zionism Ends Racism!!!”

Dawud Walid, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Michigan, and Imam Elahi, spiritual leader at the Islamic House of Wisdom, were amongst the anti-Israel speakers at the rally attended by Mayor O’Reilly.

“We’ve seen the same protests in European enclaves from throwback, bigoted anti-Israel racists, especially in areas with large Muslim populations,” former Congresswoman Michele Bachmann told WND. “Politicians in Dearborn and Europe who represent these anti-Semites continually cater to and appease the racist, bigoted views of their newest, often foreign-born voters,” she added.

Imad Hamad, American Human Rights Council’s executive director, said in a release issued to announce the rally that “one can be a part of the problem or a part of the solution. President Trump’s provocation on Jerusalem has made many countries in the world, regrettably, perceive the U.S. as a big part of the problem.” Hamad himself is the real provocateur who has used the Jerusalem issue as a pretext to delegitimize Israel’s very existence. He displayed his true beliefs last June when he joined other Arab American and Muslim community leaders in a news conference to denounce Israel. They expressed their support for Palestinians demanding return to their villages in Israel “from which they were uprooted by Israeli terror in 1948.” Such a mass "return" of millions of so-called Palestinian refugees, most of whom were born years after 1948, would mark the end of the Jewish state of Israel. 

Yet in the face of such incendiary anti-Israel rhetoric Mayor O’Reilly still believes that Hamad and his organization play a constructive, problem-solving role. Last October, months after the news conference, the mayor praised Hamad for looking at issues from a perspective of bringing people together and achieving consensus. Once again, the mayor decided to appease today's anti-Semites.

Mayor O’Reilly has been making excuses for Islamists for years.  As far back as 2007, he delayed a public announcement of the arrest of a Muslim medical student and Dearborn resident, Houssein Zorkot, who was found in a public park dressed in fatigues and armed with a fully loaded AK-47. The mayor was worried, in his words, that “this would have turned into a story about terrorism. That's not the kind of tone we want to set." What kind of tone did this mayor want to set? Did he think that an armed individual sympathetic to Hezbollah, who had uploaded to his website on the day of his arrest an image that included a photo of a soldier holding a rifle, with the caption “The Start of My Personal Jihad (in the US),” was just engaging in some harmless fun?

In 2010, Mayor O’Reilly justified the arrest of three Christians while they were answering questions from children and others attending the Arab International Festival in Dearborn. He had decried what he viewed as the Christians’ “attack on the City of Dearborn for having tolerance for all religions including believers in the Koran.” In the spirit of Sharia law, the mayor thought the sensibilities of the “believers in the Koran” outweighed the Christians’ First Amendment rights to express their own religious beliefs in public. He had to eat crow after the Christians were acquitted.

It is time for Mayor O’Reilly to eat some crow again. He should either reverse his decision regarding Bill McGraw’s article on Henry Ford’s anti-Semitism and reinstate Mr. McGraw, as officials with the Dearborn Historical Commission have urged, or he should resign his office. Henry Ford’s brand of anti-Semitism has no expiration date. To deliberately whitewash Ford's anti-Semitic history is to say that exposing anti-Semitism no longer matters.  But it does matter more than ever, including most especially in Dearborn.

* * *

Photo Credit: Flickr.

Joseph Klein is a Harvard-trained lawyer and the author of Global Deception: The UN’s Stealth Assault on America’s Freedom and Lethal Engagement: Barack Hussein Obama, the United Nations & Radical Islam.


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