Friday, March 29, 2019

The Great Divide - Lloyd Billingsley

by Lloyd Billingsley

Exposing the Left’s divide-and-conquer strategy.

“This president is the first president in the modern history of our country who is trying to divide our people up based on the color of their skin, the country they were born in, their sexual orientation, their gender, their religion. And that is an outrage.”

That was Bernie Sanders, a Democrat candidate for president in 2020, at a CNN town hall event in late February. And as the Vermont Socialist explained, “our job is to bring our people together, not to divide them up.” This was not a new theme for Democrats.

In September of 2018 at the University of Illinois, POTUS 44  accused Trump and Republicans of knowingly dividing America by “appealing to tribe, appealing to fear, pitting one group against another, telling people that order and security will be restored if it weren’t for those who don’t look like us or don’t sound like us or don’t pray like we do.” As the previous president explained, “that’s an old playbook,” and he was right about that.

The greatest divider of modern times was Karl Marx, 1818-1883, author of Manifest der Kommunistischen Parte, the 1848 Communist Manifesto. Marx divided people into “bourgeois” and “proletariat.” In this class system, the bourgeoisie own the means of production, factories, business and so forth, which enable them to produce wealth. The proletariat are the workers, blinded by false consciousness from opiates such as religion. As Marx had it, the bourgeois capitalist bosses exploit the workers and this has been the model for the left ever since.

Feminists divide society into the classes of oppressive patriarchs exploiting women, who are all victims as a class. In this view, institutions such as marriage are prisons of patriarchy. In similar style, homosexual activists divide society into gay and straight people. In this view, the straight heterosexuals are defective “homophobic” oppressors, not partisans of different views on sexuality.

Racial theorists divide society into “people of color,” which implies people of no color. By some accounts, people of color dates from 1807 to designate anyone of any part African ancestry. The left currently deploys it to charge those pale skin shade, over which they had no choice, with “white privilege” that exploits the people of color. The Marxist exploitation model also divides society into a creditor class and a debtor class.

In this view, the privileged people of no color must pay reparations for slavery, abolished more than 150 years ago. Even the descendants of Union soldiers, and the people of no color who came to the USA after the Civil War, must now pay up.

This reparations demand is never applied to Cuba, where more than one million slaves landed, far more than the 388,000 in the United States, which has elected an African American president. Between 33 and 60 percent of Cubans have African ancestry but since the 1950s Cuba has been ruled by an all-white Stalinist dictatorship that holds many black political prisoners, put homosexuals into labor camps, and allowed no free elections. 

Sanders charged that the president is dividing people by religion. The Democrat socialist is quiet about the Nation of Islam, which believes that the exploitive people of no color are the result of an experiment by a mad scientist named Yacub some 6,000 years ago. And in the NOI view, members of the Jewish religion are a satanic breed. This brand of hatred is obviously divisive but leading Democrats remain very chummy with NOI boss Louis Farrakhan, photographed with a smiling senator Barack Obama back in 2005.

Bernie Sanders also tags Trump for dividing people based on “the county they were born in.” Trump has no problem with Taiwan-born labor transportation secretary Elaine Chao. He does have a problem with people who break U.S. immigration laws and enter the United States illegally. Democrats want more of them, in their quest for an imported electoral college, and this further divides the country.

Bernie Sanders also believes that heath care is a right, which was the position of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, where the socialist Democrat spent his honeymoon. The USSR’s Communist bosses maintained that health care was a substantive right, unlike merely formal, bourgeois rights such as freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and so forth.

So the presidential hopeful, who would have been the Democrats’ candidate in 2016 if Hillary Clinton had not rigged the process, is all-in on the socialist ideology. He’s basically an old Commie spouting the orthodoxies of the dreariest, most repressive regimes of modern times, perhaps of all time.

By implication, those who don’t agree with Bernie and the Democrats’ socialist Sanders Youth are dividing Americans, who seldom agree on politicians. The Nixon-Kennedy election of 1960, for example, was practically a dead heat.

When leftist politicians accuse others it is generally what they are up to themselves. Leftist Democrats such as Hillary Clinton divide the nation into the politically correct class and that basket of Islamophobic, homophobic, racist deplorables.

As POTUS 44 noted last year at the University of Illinois, the strategy of division is “as old as time. And in a healthy democracy, it doesn’t work.” It sure didn’t work for Hillary in 2016, so the Hawaii-born Harvard law alum, a composite character in his own Dreams from My Father novel, did get something right after all.

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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The Gaza embroglio - Dr. Mordechai Kedar

by Dr. Mordechai Kedar

For every reason given to eliminate the Hamas-run government in Gaza, there is a reason that shows it is not such a good idea.

At 5:19 a.m. on Monday, March 25, the sound of a loud explosion was heard in Israel, in the Sharon coastal plain community of Mishmeret. A rocket launched from southern Gaza's Rafiah area landed on a private home, injuring seven members of the Wolf family and killing their two dogs. Miraculously, the father heard the sirens and managed to get most of the family into the home's mandatory "protected space", saving their lives. 

It does not take a fertile imagination to realize what would have happened had the family not made it to the protected space before the rocket landed on its home.

The attack brought on an Israeli response in the form of the bombing of tens of Hamas targets all over the Gaza Strip, including the private offices of Ismael Haniyeh. Several people were injured. Clearly, Israel did not respond as strongly as it is capable of doing, or there would have been a great number of people killed in Gaza.

Why was the rocket launched? There are one or more reasons:

1.  The activation of a mobile phone conversation scrambler in Israel's Ktziot Prison, preventing Hamas prisoners from telephone contact with their friends via phones smuggled into the prison.

2. The attack on wardens in Ktziot Prison on Sunday, March 24, as a reaction to their activating the scrambler, in which two wardens were injured.

3. A test launch of the new 120 kilometer range missile manufactured in Gaza.

4. An attempt to disrupt Netanyahu's US visit.

5. Disputes within Hamas between the military, political and administrative echelons.

The latest incidents once again bring to the fore the long list of Israel's dilemmas regarding Hamas:

First, should Israel destroy the Hamas government in Gaza completely or let it continue? There are a many good reasons for bringing the Hamas government to a final collapse:

1. The organization took over Gaza in June 2007 by means of horrendous violence directed at the Palestinian Authority security forces – whose members fled in fear to Israel.

2. Hamas is a terror organization running a dark dictatorship which tries to harm its tranquil neighbor Israel, although Israel has never initiated any aggressive measures towards it. 

3. Hamas members believe that they are in a holy and eternal jihad against the Jewish State, so that there is no possibility whatsoever of their choosing to live peacefully beside Israel.

4. In the Hamas lexicon, the "occupied territories" comprise the entire the state of Israel, so that the only meaning to their expression "liberating Palestinian land" is the elimination of Israel.

5. Hamas does not differentiate between soldiers and civilians and actually aims at peaceful citizens, including women and children, giving Israel every right – and even the obligation – to destroy this murderous organization.

6. The organization shows no mercy to its own subjects: Just last week all of us saw the cruelty with which the Hamas security forces dispersed a peaceful demonstration of citizens protesting the high cost of living in the Strip.

7. Hamas is designated a terror organization the world over, and allowing it to remain in control of Gaza is, in effect, handing a state to a terror organization. This is a dangerous precedent that may repeat itself in Lebanon, where Hezbollah basically controls the country already. In the future there will be no lack of people who blame Israel for creating these terror states, although, in fact, Israel  is the main victim of Hamas and Hezbollah terror.

On the other hand, there are quite a few reasons to avoid launching an operation to destroy Hamas:

1. Hamas won a democratic election in 2006 and its members have filled most of the seats in the Palestinian legislature since, so that its rule is legitimate.

2. Removing Hamas from the government will entail house-to-house fighting in order to take control of the entire Strip, and this may come at the cost of many IDF lives.

3. The Israeli public is not in favor of retaking the Strip because of the danger to IDF soldiers and also because it does not want to annex an area containing two million Arabs. 

4. Bringing about the collapse of Hamas rule will force Israel to care for the Gaza Strip's population, from education to health concerns, from food to building supplies – and Israel has no interest in assuming responsibility for two million Gazans. 

5. Hamas took apart the Palestinian Authority, justifying the claim of Israelis that there is "no partner" with whom to hold peace negotiations because whatever the PLO agrees to will  not be upheld by Hamas and vice versa.

6. Hamas rule in Gaza serves as a precedent for what can happen in Judea and Samaria, if a Palestinian Arab state is established there. This region can also fall victim to a terror organization, as occurred in the Gaza Strip in June 2007, so that a state is not feasible.. 

These reasons, in fact, allow one to say that Hamas rule in Gaza is good for Israel's interests, helping to prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria.

The extreme tension between the reasons to eliminate Hamas and the reasons to let it continue to survive are the reason for Israel's hesitant response to the recent rockets rather than its engaging in a wide military operation. Israel tries to achieve quiet on a day by day basis by using the deterrence afforded by skirmishes and bombings that are intended to make it clear to the Hamas leadership that Israel is determined to defend itself at any price and will not allow any rockets, missiles or artillery to be launched against it without their paying a price.

Hamas, however, has found other ways to shatter Israel's tranquility and perhaps its nerves: Organizing demonstrations near the security fence and launching incendiary and explosive kites, balloons and gliders over towards Israel, taking advantage of the West winds that prevail along the fence, blowing from Gaza to Israel.   

In addition, they established the "nighttime disturbance unit" which disturbs  thousands of Israelis living in the Gaza Envelope and trying to get a normal night's sleep like everyone else in the world. These units – at best – set off bombs near the security fence, and at worst, attach them to the fence so as to injure IDF soldiers.

Hamas is trying to drag Israel into a strong reaction by its activities along the border fence. That will allow them to run to the UN, the Human Rights Council and to other international organizations to complain about Israel's malevolent deeds and present them as criminal, evil and sinful. Unfortunately, there are quite a number of people in the world – both Jewish and non-Jewish – who buy this stuff with their eyes closed and then join the BDS movement against Israel.

The real objective of the Gazans is a matter of debate in Israel's government:

1. Does the Gaza Strip have to remain under Hamas control or should it be under central Palestinian Authority control, probably emanating from Ramallah?

2. How should Israel respond to the rocket launchings? Kites? Balloons? Explosive balloons?  Is it permitted to kill a teen launching a set of balloons carrying explosives which are sure to kill anyone who gets near them?

These and other similar questions make it difficult for Israel's government to plan a coherent policy towards the Gaza Strip.

President Trump and the Golan Heights

I am sorry to spoil the party for some Israelis, including Netanyahu, but President Trump's recognition of Israeli sovereignty in the Golan does not create that sovereignty. The only legal way to annex the Golan under Israeli sovereignty is an agreement between Syria and Israel approving it and the UN Security Council's ratification of that agreement.

Trump's declaration has two significant points:

1. America's government, citizens and military will be able to visit the Golan legally without getting into trouble with American law. Firms, organizations and American citizens will be allowed to invest in businesses in the Golan or donate to its residents.

2. The US will be able to act publicly and politically in aid of Israel's demand to achieve sovereignty in the Golan, although Syria is free to refuse as it has done up to now.

That is why the joy expressed by Netanyahu and his friends over Trump's declaration was somewhat overdone and came before its time. The reason behind it was political, to help Netanyahu in the elections to be held in two weeks' time.

Written for Arutz Sheva, translated from Hebrew by Rochel Sylvetsky.

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


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Time to Investigate the Washington Post’s Qatari Collusion? - Daniel Greenfield

by Daniel Greenfield

Is WaPo propagandizing for foreign regimes and terrorist organizations?

Even as the New Zealand government was condemning the Erdogan regime for using mosque shooting footage in its election rallies, the Washington Post decided to give the Islamist tyrant a platform.

It was the second time in six months that The Post had given Erdogan a platform.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan has prisons full of political dissidents. He has silenced the media and has tortured opponents. His brutal Islamist regime has been described as the world’s biggest jailor of journalists.

It’s been estimated that a third of the world’s imprisoned journalists have been locked up by his regime.

But that didn’t stop the Washington Post from giving the man who has locked up hundreds of journalists a forum to posture about the mysterious death of The Post’s own Qatari lobbyist: Jamal Khashoggi.

The Washington Post is a paper that is uniquely willing to not only advocate on behalf of Islamists and their causes, as it frequently does, but to provide a forum for some of the most toxic Islamists around. And those Islamists are invariably aligned with the Qatari-Turkish-Iranian axis and the Brotherhood.

The paper’s decision to provide Osama bin Laden’s old friend, Jamal Khashoggi, with a forum for promoting Qatari interests, from the Brotherhood to attacks on Saudi rivals, and to then turn his death into a crusade, is part of a larger picture of collusion between The Post and Qatar’s Islamist axis.

Khashoggi was a Qatari lobbyist whose columns, as The Post was forced to admit, were shaped by the Qatar Foundation. The Foundation, an arm of the Qatari regime, proposed topics, drafted them and translated his columns. Jamal Khashoggi was not a journalist. He was a front for Qatar to plant columns attacking Saudi Arabia and promoting the Muslim Brotherhood in the Washington Post.

Last year, the Post was criticized for running an op-ed by Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, the leader of Yemen’s Houthi Jihadis whose motto is, “Death to America, Death to Israel, Curse the Jews, Victory to Islam.” The Jihadist group is backed by Iran and had launched an attack on the USS Mason.

After the attack, its commanding officer noted that, “Mason’s actions protected 1,000 U.S. sailors on the warships and countless more mariners in merchant vessels.” What the Houthis couldn’t accomplish with kinetic weapons, its Qatari and Iranian allies sought to accomplish using the instrument of the Post.  

The op-ed was the tip of a much larger iceberg in which the media spread Qatari and Iranian propaganda falsely claiming that the campaign against the Houthis had caused mass death in Yemen.

Typical Post headlines such as, "85000 children have starved to death" and "Enough is enough. End the war in Yemen" amplified the Islamist propaganda leading to Senate resolutions demanding that the United States leave Yemen to the Houthis. And allow Iran to take control of a vital strategic area.

The media flooded the zone with false claims that Saudi intervention, rather than Houthi larceny, had caused the famine. The truth emerged in an AP investigative report that revealed that large amounts of food were entering the country, but were being diverted by the Houthis for their own Jihadis or were being resold by the Shiite terror group to finance its war. These were the same tactics that Hamas, another Islamic terror group backed by Iran, had successfully used while the media falsely blamed Israel.

The Yemen famine was manufactured for tactical purposes by the Houthis who profited from stealing food while using a humanitarian crisis to force an end to the Saudi/American campaign against them. The more food they stole, the more money they made, the more people died and the more the propaganda circulated in Islamist mouthpieces like The Post urging that the Houthis be left alone.

Despite the revelations in the AP report, The Post continued pushing Islamist famine propaganda and members of the Senate continued relying on its reporting to undermine the US fight against Iran.

Erdogan and al-Houthi, like Jamal Khashoggi, were featured under Global Opinions. A highly visible banner touts “Post Opinions Arabic”. The Post’s global op-ed section doesn’t advertise foreign language translations for any other language. Its goal isn’t just influencing middle eastern politics. It doesn’t push op-eds in Persian, Turkish or, for that matter, Hebrew. Its goal, like that of Qatar, is the Arab world.

The regular Global Opinion section is already a mélange of Islamist axis agendas, attacks on China's counterterrorism in Xinjiang, on Trump's recognition of the Golan Heights, on Myanmar for fighting Islamic terrorism, promoting Iran's puppet government in Baghdad, on Trump for backing the Saudis over Qatar, on French 'Islamophobia', and on Trump's anti-Muslim ‘bigotry’.

But the Arabic op-eds read even more monotonously like Qatari propaganda with attacks on Saudi Arabia, Egypt’s President Sisi: a Saudi ally and opponent of Qatar’s Muslim Brotherhood allies.

There are no Arabic op-eds critical of Qatar. But there is one critical of Tunisia’s government by Fadil Aliriza. Fadil often writes for Middle East Eye, a Muslim Brotherhood site backed by Qatar.  MEE has been described as Qatar’s second media outlet. The Washington Post would be its third.

That’s no exaggeration.

Many of the Washington Post’s house headlines read like Qatari propaganda. "China has put 1 million Muslims in concentration camps. MBS had nothing to say," a Fred Hiatt column headline screams.

MBS refers to the Saudi king. A prime Qatari target.

What does Saudi Arabia have to do with China? Not that much. Most Muslim countries, aside from members of the Islamist axis, have avoided offending China. Singling out MBS tells Americans nothing. It’s a message destined for Arab audiences in an Islamic slapfight between Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

Many Washington Post columns on Saudi Arabia now read in this Hiattesque way, written in English for an audience of Arab and Muslim elites operating out of Washington D.C. and foreign capitals. There is a long history of the agents of influence of oil-rich states sponsoring Washington D.C. propaganda. But it’s the first time that they have managed to turn the leading paper in the District into their mouthpiece.

“Can I possibly work for such a regime, and still look at myself in the mirror each morning?” Hiatt demanded of anyone taking Saudi money. Meanwhile, on a PBS show, Hiatt fumed that the Saudis were hurting American interests. “Everything this reckless 33-year-old crown prince has done has hurt American interests. He entered this war in Yemen, which has been a disaster. He broke with Qatar, an American ally. That's been harmful to U.S. interests.” None of this harms America. It harms Qatar.

Confusing our interests with Qatari interests is the sort of thing that a Qatari lobbyist would do.

The Post pretends to offer its readers, global perspectives. Instead it treats them to propaganda from foreign regimes and terrorist organizations engaged in open and covert wars with the United States.

This would be a problem even if the Washington Post’s target audience weren’t our country’s leaders.

The Post took the lead in pushing foreign collusion narratives. But if a bunch of Russian bots on Facebook supposedly posed a gigantic threat to democracy, what sort of threat do agents of influence in a paper read by some of the most powerful people in Washington D.C. pose to our country?

 There’s no sign that Russian bots on Facebook ever made a meaningful difference. But The Post’s Islamist propaganda has influenced Senate resolutions on Khashoggi and Yemen.

Now that the Washington Post’s efforts to push conspiracy theories about Russian collusion have failed, it may be time to look into its Qatari collusion.

* * *
Photo by POMED

Daniel Greenfield


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Palestinian Leaders Punish Gaza, Blame Israel - Khaled Abu Toameh

by Khaled Abu Toameh

According to the logic of the PA, the conflict started when Israel fired back.

  • Rather than demanding that Hamas cease and desist from endangering the lives of Palestinians by sending them to clash with Israeli soldiers, the Palestinian Authority (PA) and its leaders are condemning Israel for perpetrating "crimes" against Palestinians. According to the logic of the PA, the conflict started when Israel fired back.
  • Abbas and his officials have apparently not heard of the arson kites and booby-trapped balloons that have been launched from the Gaza Strip towards Israeli towns on nearly a daily basis over the past few months. They also apparently have not have not heard of the rockets and mortars that are fired from the Gaza Strip at Israel almost every day. The PA further appears unaware that Hamas has been sending thousands of Palestinians to attack Israeli soldiers with explosive devices, firebombs and rocks.
  • Abbas and the PA are simply doing the one thing they are good at: trying to frame Israel for Palestinian crimes against their own people. Clearly, the PA leaders are afraid to condemn the rocket attacks on Israel. They evidently do not want to be accused by their people of betraying the Palestinian "resistance" against Israel.

Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority (PA) are doing the one thing they are good at: trying to frame Israel for Palestinian crimes against their own people. (Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)

Until a few days ago, the Palestinian Authority (PA) and its leaders were strongly denouncing Hamas for its brutal crackdown on Palestinians protesting economic hardship in the Gaza Strip.

Now, the PA is condemning Israel for launching military strikes on Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip. The Israeli strikes, however, were provoked; they came hours after a long-range rocket fired from the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip hit a house in the Kfar Saba region of Israel, and injured seven people.
The PA and its leaders, including Mahmoud Abbas, have yet to condemn the launching of rockets at Israel. Instead of condemning those responsible for firing the first rocket, which miraculously did not result in any deaths when it hit a home in the early hours of the morning, the PA leaders are lashing out at Israel for launching a "new aggression" against the Gaza Strip.

According to the logic of the PA, the conflict started when Israel fired back. The leaders of the PA seem especially careful not to blame Hamas or any other Palestinian group for the latest tensions in the Gaza Strip. In a series of statements in the past few days, PA officials sought, as usual, to put all the blame on Israel. These are the same officials who, until a few days ago, were attacking Hamas for breaking the bones of Palestinian protesters who took to the streets of the Gaza Strip to demand improved living conditions and a solution to the soaring unemployment there.

Abbas and his officials have apparently not heard of the arson kites and booby-trapped balloons that have been launched from the Gaza Strip towards Israeli towns on nearly a daily basis over the past few months. They also apparently have not heard of the rockets and mortars that are fired from the Gaza Strip at Israel almost every day.

The PA further appears unaware that Hamas has been sending thousands of Palestinians, including women and children, to demonstrate near the border with Israel and attack Israeli soldiers with explosive devices, firebombs and rocks. These demonstrations, which began exactly a year ago under the banner of the "March of Return," have resulted in the deaths and injury of thousands of Palestinians.

Rather than demanding that Hamas cease and desist from endangering the lives of Palestinians by sending them to clash with Israeli soldiers and breach the Gaza-Israel border, the PA and its leaders are condemning Israel for perpetrating "crimes" against Palestinians.

The PA envoy to the United Nations, Riad Mansour, said this week that the current tensions in the Gaza Strip were the result of the "silence of the international community towards Israeli crimes." Another reason for the escalation, he claimed, was the "blockade" -- which Israel established at its border of the Gaza Strip to prevent weapons being brought in -- and the use of force against Palestinian demonstrators.

Mansour was echoing the official PA position of holding Israel -- and Israel alone -- responsible for the violence and suffering of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

This is the same PA that has been imposing severe economic and financial sanctions on the Gaza Strip since 2017. Those sanctions include, among other things, cutting salaries and welfare payments to thousands of Palestinian employees and families in the Gaza Strip. The PA is even considering additional sanctions against the Gaza Strip as part of its effort to undermine the Hamas regime.
On the one hand, the PA is accusing Israel of imposing restrictions on the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. On the other hand, it is the PA itself that is punishing the people there by cutting their salaries and firing thousands of civil servants. When Palestinians in the West Bank took to the streets to protest the PA sanctions against the Gaza Strip, the PA sent its security forces to break up the protests and arrest many of the demonstrators. This is the same PA that is now accusing Israel of using force to disperse Palestinian protesters at the Gaza-Israel border.

Until a few days ago, the PA was accusing Hamas of committing crimes against unarmed Palestinians protesting the high cost of living and increased taxation by Hamas. Now, the PA is denouncing Israel for targeting Hamas after Hamas fired rockets into Israeli towns.

One PLO official, Tayseer Khaled, went as far as likening Hamas's repressive measures to those of Nazi Germany's secret police, the Gestapo. Another Palestinian official, Jamal Muheissen, said that Hamas was like a terrorist group that has hijacked an airplane.

Last week, Abbas himself denounced Hamas as "dogs" and said that it will end up in the dustbin of history. "They [Hamas] can go to hell; those dogs," Abbas said while he was visiting in hospital a senior Fatah official who was reportedly badly beaten by Hamas members in the Gaza Strip. The official, Atef Abu Seif, was transferred from the Gaza Strip to a hospital in Ramallah.

Abbas and the PA are furious because Hamas militiamen and security officers have been breaking the arms and legs of protesters in the Gaza Strip. They do not seem overly concerned, however, when Hamas or other groups in the Gaza Strip indiscriminately fire rockets and booby-trapped balloons at Israeli civilians.

Abbas says he would like to see Hamas "go to hell" and "end up in the dustbin of history," but when Israel responds to Hamas's rocket attacks, he and his officials rush to condemn Israel. Clearly, the PA leaders are afraid to condemn the rocket attacks on Israel. They evidently do not want to be accused by their people of betraying the Palestinian "resistance" against Israel. The PA's anti-Israel incitement makes it impossible for Abbas and his PA officials to speak out against terror attacks on Israel.
Without a doubt, Abbas despises Hamas and would indeed see it buried and gone. Deep down, he and his officials also likely hope that Israel will one day do that job for them. The PA leaders, however, do not hate Hamas because it launches rockets at Israel. They hate Hamas because the Islamist movement humiliated them and expelled them from the Gaza Strip in 2007. They hate Hamas because since then, Hamas has been arresting, beating and torturing Abbas loyalists in the Gaza Strip.
Abbas and the PA are simply doing the one thing they are good at: trying to frame Israel for Palestinian crimes against their own people. Only when Hamas beats the brains out of PA supporters do Abbas and his associates respond. As far as they are concerned, rockets and mortars can explode to their hearts' content -- as long as they land on Israeli homes. Thanks to this double game, which the PA has been playing for a long time, Abbas and his senior officials appear increasingly to be losing credibility among their people.

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Khaled Abu Toameh, an award-winning journalist based in Jerusalem, is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at Gatestone Institute.


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The Democratic Plan to Transform Congress - Discover The Networks

by Discover The Networks

A look at the devious tactics of a group called Brand New Congress.

Brand New Congress (BNC) is a political action committee which was established in April 2016 by the veteran Democratic activist Zack Exley and several other supporters or staffers of Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign that year. Those co-founders included Saikat Chakrabati, Claire Sandberg, Alexandra Rojas, and Corbin Trent (who served the Sanders campaign, respectively, as director for organizing technology, digital organizing director, national digital field director, and founder of “Tennessee for Bernie Sanders”). Other major co-founders of BNC included Cenk Uygur, the progressive activist who created the leftist media company The Young Turks, and Waleed Shahid, political director of the Pennsylvania Working Families Party.
From its inception, BNC’s objective was to completely remake the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate by recruiting a slate of 535 candidates with no prior political experience, and to have them replace every sitting Democrat and Republican alike – on grounds that those incumbents had become more beholden to corporate interests and big donors than to the welfare of their constituents. As Zack Exley told a group of supporters in 2013, his goal was “to go out and get 500 Elizabeth Warrens and run them together as a slate ... all at once.” Those new candidates, said BNC, would lead a noble crusade “to rebuild the [American] economy, repair our communities, and radically reform our institutions.” To help these novice candidates navigate unfamiliar political waters, BNC vowed to manage all of their campaign needs related to mailings, publicity, press relations, community outreach, and online presence.

The “Brand New Congress” that would emerge from BNC’s efforts, said the organization, would consist of a supermajority of Democrats who would bring “justice” to a deeply flawed nation that was “founded on slavery and genocide” and had “never been able to escape that legacy.”
In 2016, BNC vowed to run an aggressive primary challenger in every congressional district represented by a so-called “blue-dog,” or moderate, Democrat. “And if we lose those primaries,” said Zack Exley, “we’re gonna run our candidates again [in the general elections] as independents.”

Conversely, in deep red districts represented by particularly conservative Republicans, BNC pledged to recruit self-identified “progressive Republicans” whose professed party affiliation would increase the odds that voters would at least consider supporting them. Like their Democrat counterparts, these BNC-affiliated “Republican” candidates would be required to embrace, in its entirety, the BNC platform. According to Debra Mayes, a BNC African American Outreach Team leader, it was “non-negotiable” that these Republicans would have to “ru[n] on [Bernie Sanders’] platform—plus a bigger-scale jobs program.” “All of our candidates,” said Corbin Trent in a similar vein, “will have to support the living wage, access to health care, and education.”

A central component of BNC's overall plan was to exploit a feature of primary elections that makes them inherently vulnerable to interference by malevolent actors -- specifically, the fact that primaries tend to have very low rates of voter turnout. As such, BNC reasoned, a small group of motivated ideologues could essentially hijack a Republican primary by means of an aggressive get-out-the-vote drive that focused on persuading independents and Democrats to change their party registration status to “Republican,” which in turn would enable them to vote in a Republican primary. By devious means like this, voters in red districts could be tricked into supporting progressive Democrats disguised as “Republicans.” Corbin Trent himself once told an interviewer about BNC's plan to exploit this “obvious weak spot” in the primary election process: “We decided that ... instead of forming a third party or doing something like that, the way to [proceed] was to work within the two existing parties and to attack district by district, looking for people who fit th[e] culture of that district ... [and] put those people up in midterm primaries where turnout is abysmal.” Zack Exley, for his part, once referred to this strategy as “a little bit of a hack... in the sense of computers.” “We're kind of hacking the system with the BNC,” he elaborated, by “getting people to switch parties and go vote in the primary” -- a tactic whose effectiveness would be magnified by the fact that “nobody cares about their local congressperson running,... nobody knows who their local congressperson is, and nobody knows when the primaries are.”
After Republican Donald Trump’s unexpected victory over Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election, a number of BNC leaders began to wonder whether it might be wiser to actually support certain sitting Democrats in Congress, and to direct their efforts instead toward fighting: (a) all Republicans, and (b) only those Democrats whose politics were unacceptably centrist. Thus, in January 2017 some of BNC’s founders – most notably Chakrabarti, Trent, Rojas, and Uygur -- split off to create Justice Democrats, a new organization that would pursue precisely such a targeted strategy. Chakrabati, for his part, went on to become Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s congressional campaign manager in 2018, and her chief of staff in Congress in 2019. Both BNC and Justice Democrats were major supporters of Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign, and the two organizations remain close allies to this day.      

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Syrian army says Israeli strikes hit northern city of Aleppo - News Agencies and Israel Hayom Staff

by News Agencies and Israel Hayom Staff

Airstrikes reportedly hit ammunition depot, logistics hub belonging to Iranian-backed militias, vicinity of military airport used by Iranian troops

An Israeli airstrike in Syria                                                                               Illustration: AP 

The Syrian military said Israel on Wednesday launched raids on an industrial zone in the northern city of Aleppo, causing only material damage, while opposition sources said the strikes hit Iranian ammunition stores and a military airport used by Tehran's forces.

"The Israeli aggression targeted some positions in Sheikh Najjar industrial zone and a number of enemy missiles were brought down," an army statement said.

According to the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, seven members of Iran's forces in the country were killed in the attack.

There was no immediate comment from Israel.

The blasts caused an electrical blackout in Aleppo, the country's second largest city and a major industrial hub that bore the brunt of years of fighting and heavy Russian and Syrian aerial bombardment on its former rebel-held areas.

Military experts say Aleppo is one of the main areas where Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards have a strong military presence supporting local militias that have for years been fighting against insurgents alongside the Syrian army.

Two opposition sources familiar with Tehran's military presence in the area said a large ammunition depot and a logistics hub belonging to Iranian-backed militias inside the industrial zone took direct hits.

Other strikes hit the vicinity of Nairab military airport on the outskirts of Aleppo in the second such strike on the installation used by Iranian troops in less than a year, they added.

Iranian-backed Shiite militias have expanded their control over mainly Sunni areas around Damascus, southern and eastern Syria that bore the brunt of the heaviest bombardment and led to mass displacement or emigration to neighboring countries.

Iran's growing influence in Syria, where it has struck economic and trade deals, has raised the prospect of a military confrontation with its archenemy Israel

Israel, which considers Iran its biggest threat, has repeatedly attacked Iranian targets in Syria and those of allied militia, including Lebanon's Hezbollah.

Earlier this year Israeli military said they had attacked Iranian targets that included munitions stores in Damascus International Airport.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said Israel had carried out "hundreds" of attacks over the past few years of Syria's war to curtail Iran and its ally Hezbollah.

Israel has said it was crucial to block growing Iranian military influence in Syria and has vowed it would push its troops out of the country.

Iran has warned Israel it would respond if it continued attacking targets in Syria and repeatedly said its military presence in Syria is at the invitation of the Assad government and that it has no immediate plans to withdraw.

The strike coincided with an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council that was held at Syria's request over U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

News Agencies and Israel Hayom Staff


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Antisemitism Cannot Be Conflated with Islamophobia - Zebya Nur

by Zebya Nur

After the New Zealand mosque attack, the journalist Mehdi Hassan claimed that antisemitism has been stigmatized in a way that Islamophobia has not.

With the rise of anti-Muslim sentiment in the West, there is a growing trend in conflating Islamophobia with antisemitism. After the New Zealand mosque attack, the journalist Mehdi Hassan claimed that antisemitism has been stigmatized in a way that Islamophobia has not. Hassan also muses:
Imagine if a BBC presenter asked a Jewish guest after the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting, ‘Do you thank your community does enough to condemn Israel’s occupation?’
Unwittingly, Mehdi Hassan is revealing an antisemitic line of thought which he assumes will get a free pass because it is dressed up in antizionist or anti-Israel garb; Jews are to the Israeli occupation what Muslims are to extremist Islam. Many Muslims claim to be anti-Zionist but not antisemitic. In truth, this is little more than a deceptive ruse designed to garner support in the Western world under the guise of human rights, where calling for the destruction of Israel (as is common in Muslim countries) would not be tolerated.

The conflation of antisemitism with Islamophobia can be vigorously challenged on a number of counts:

1. The logical conflation would be to compare Jews to extremist Judaism. But of course, Judaism is not seen as a threat in the West the way Islam is. Even the far-left antisemitism popularised under Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party in Britain is rooted in the Marxist belief that Jews are rich capitalists.

2. Muslims, like Christians, are a religious group, whereas Jews define themselves as an ethno-religious group: Jewishness is matrilineal. Islamophobia is a hatred directed at the religion of Islam. Hatred towards Muslims should perhaps be called Muslim-phobia so that violence towards Muslims can be fought without stifling criticism of Islam. Islam should not to be shielded from the same level of criticism that other religions endure under freedom of speech laws.

3. Islamophobia is often used as a tool by Muslims to prevent legitimate discourse about Islam. Shariah law as endorsed by the mainstream branches of Islam is incompatible with western democracies, not least because Islam has not had a reformation. Witness the failed attempts by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to get blasphemy laws implemented in the West.

4. Muslims themselves are one of the biggest purveyors of antisemitism. Muslim opposition to Israel is rooted in Islamic supremacist teachings, a replacement theology which itself is a is a form of antisemitism. Few Muslims will assert that Pakistan is a British colonial endeavour the way they falsely claim that Israel is. I grew up hearing how one day Islam would defeat Israel in the same way the Crusaders were centuries earlier. It is hypocritical for Muslims to oppose Zionism then lump themselves with Jews and claim they face the same enemy and pretend that Zionism has nothing to do with Judaism. For if that were true, over 700,000 Middle Eastern Jews would not have been expelled or forced to leave behind their property and wealth when they fled Arab violence and persecution prior to and after the creation of Israel in 1948. This pretense is a ruse to mobilise the more established Jewish organisations to fight Islamophobia on behalf of Muslims.

5. A lot of the anti-Muslim sentiment in the West is due the illiberal and extremist beliefs and practices of Muslims. As an example, the New Zealand mosque attacker claimed that he was taking revenge for the Rotherham sex grooming gang rapes committed by men of mainly Muslim Pakistani Mirpur descent in England. By comparison, the Orthodox strands of Judaism are liberal and well-integrated and compatible with western democracies. In Britain, the strictly Orthodox actually have the lowest crime rates in the country, whereas prison statistics show that demographically the Muslims have a higher crime rate per capita than the general population.

6. The far-right white nationalist ideology is a racist one, but that does not necessarily mean that every opponent of Islam is a racist. Many who view Shariah to be incompatible with liberal Western values equally reject the far-right ideology. Other minorities who are often from the same countries as Muslim immigrants do not face the same level of hostility. Why do we not hear of Buddhist-phobia? Hindu-phobia? Sikh-phobia?

7. The growth of Islamophobia in the West is a response to the type of Islamic extremism unleashed by Al Qaeda and ISIS. Cultural practices found in some Muslim communities like female genital mutilation and honor killings are another driving factor. Yet another reason is the disproportionate number of Muslim men involved in child sex grooming scandals in England. It does not help that the politically correct culture prevents an honest discussion of religious and cultural practices common in many parts of the Islamic world. There are Muslim men who believe that women who do not veil and who believe in sexual liberation have no grounds of complaint if men rape them. In the Judeo-Christian tradition, the onus of controlling sexuality is on the man, but in the Islamic culture a woman has to take care not to arouse a man. In Muslim countries, a woman who is raped is often blamed for the crime for inciting the man. Social norms dictate that issues like sexual abuse (whether of women or children) is swept under the carpet to preserve family honor. When men from such cultures move to West and bring these practices with them, they can expect to face a backlash.

For Muslims, it would perhaps be more productive to challenge or reform these views and practices and not pretend that Islamophobia and antisemitism are two sides of the same coin. The ISIS caliphate's practices of sexual slavery and rape of Yazidi women are sanctioned in the Quran. Historically, one can see that the Ottoman caliphate practice of enslaving Christian women for sex slavery was rooted in these same teachings. 

Not all Muslims support such views of course, and many others think they are outdated. But unfortunately, there has not the been the same zeal by Muslim leaders and clerics to agitate for reform as there has been to causes such as seeking the destruction of Israel. On the contrary, one can see concerted efforts to deflect attention away from traditional Islamic teachings and instead play the race card to claim victimhood. Muslim rights groups like the Hamas -- linked CAIR in the USA and the Muslim Council of Britain in the UK -- will expend an inordinate amount of energy undermining liberal Muslims and promoting Islamism whilst claiming to be victims of racism and Islamophobia.

Islamophobia and antisemitism are two different issues which should not be conflated.

Zeyba Nur writes about issues concerning Muslim antisemitism. She can be contacted on


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Turkey: Want to Win an Election? Bash the Jews! - Uzay Bulut

by Uzay Bulut

Erdogan's implied threat to the Jews of his country, that they might suffer negative consequences as a result of the actions of Israel, should be viewed with deep concern.

  • The Turkish president repeated a long-standing lie, claiming, "We have never persecuted any Jew here in this country. We have never done to the synagogues the things you do [to mosques]. Do not provoke us."
  • Contrary to Erdoğan's assertions, anti-Semitism in Turkey is actually widespread -- not surprising, given the open anti-Semitism expressed in Turkey by Erdoğan, members of parliament, journalists and political activists.
  • Then there is the anti-Semitism expressed by Erdogan supporters, claiming that Fethullah Gülen -- the self-exiled, U.S.-based Turkish Muslim cleric whom Erdogan blames for the failed 2016 coup attempt -- is actually a Jew.
  • Erdogan's implied threat to the Jews of his country, that they might suffer negative consequences as a result of the actions of Israel, should be viewed with deep concern.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan recently issued a veiled threat to Turkey's 15,000 Jews. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

In the run-up to the Turkey's local elections on March 31, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has taken his diplomatic brawl with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to a new level, even issuing a veiled threat to Turkey's 15,000 Jews.

During a rally of supporters on March 13, Erdogan said tauntingly, "Hey Netanyahu, behave yourself. You are a tyrant...who massacred seven-year-old Palestinian children." Erdoğan went on to refer to the unrest on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem -- Judaism's holiest site, and the location of the Al Aqsa Mosque -- by implying that if Israeli soldiers and police continued to "enter our sacred places with their combat boots," Turkish Jewry would pay a heavy price.

A few days later, at a ceremony commemorating the Battle of Gallipoli, Erdoğan compared Netanyahu's son, Yair, to the white supremacist who murdered 50 Muslim worshipers in Christchurch, New Zealand the previous week.

"They [Yair Netanyahu and the Christchurch killer] are being fed by the same source, no matter where they are in the world," Erdoğan said.

The Turkish president also repeated a long-standing falsehood, claiming, "We have never persecuted any Jew here in this country. We have never done to the synagogues the things you do [to mosques]. Do not provoke us."

Contrary to Erdoğan's assertions, anti-Semitism in Turkey is actually widespread. According to a survey conducted in 2015 by the Anti-Defamation League, a full 71% of the Turkish population holds anti-Semitic views -- a trend still apparent today.

When the Kurdish-controlled Syrian city of Afrin in northern Syria fell to Turkey's army in March 2018, for instance, many Turkish Twitter users used anti-Semitic epithets celebrating the event and calling Kurdish PKK fighters there "servants of Jews," "bastards of Jews," "underbred... Jews" and other similar slurs.

Such anti-Semitic statements on Turkish social media are not surprising, given the open anti-Semitism expressed in Turkey by Erdoğan, members of parliament, journalists and political activists.

In July 2018, Erdoğan responded to Israel's passage of its Nation-State Law by saying that the "spirit of Adolf Hitler" had re-emerged in the country.

In December 2017, following U.S. President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, Erdoğan took the opportunity to rail:
"Those who think they are the owners of Jerusalem today will not even be able to find trees to hide behind tomorrow."
The remark was a reference to an Islamic hadith (saying attributed to Islam's Prophet Muhammed) according to which:
"The Hour [of Judgement Day] will not begin until you fight the Jews, until a Jew will hide behind a rock or a tree, and the rock or tree will say: 'O Muslim, O slave of Allah, here is a Jew behind me; come and kill him."
Radical Turks echoed Erdoğan's sentiment on social media. Under the hashtag #KudüseSahipÇık ("Safeguard Jerusalem"), which quickly became a trending topic, Turkish Twitter was filled with anti-Semitic posts, such as:
  • "[With each] Jew massacred, the world will get more relaxed, and say, 'I have got rid of those filths.'"
  • "The Jew is cowardly. He cannot fight. He trusts his money, and recruits soldiers."
  • "Oh Allah! Do not take my soul before you grant me the privilege to engage in jihad against Israeli Jewish dogs."
  • "There is only one thing to be said about Jews: There has never been a more cowardly, dishonorable, and peasant nation like them."
  • "Close all synagogues in Turkey. Either arrest or deport all Jewish citizens. Close all the water lines to Israel. Then they will croak automatically."
Dr. Andrew G. Bostom, the editor of the book The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism: From Sacred Texts to Solemn History, writes:
"Sadly, the full scope of Erdogan's widely shared predominant Islamic vision — rife with jihadism and conspiratorial Jew-hatred — dates back more than four decades to a 'seminal' 1970s play the current Turkish leader wrote, directed, and 'starred' in... The ugly Islamic Jew-hating 'ethos' of Erdogan's 'Mas-Kom-Yah has been a 'green thread' knitting together his entire subsequent career as a local and national Turkish Muslim politician."
Meanwhile, a popular Turkish TV series that has been airing for the past two years contains unabashedly anti-Semitic themes. As the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) reported on March 21, the drama ("Sultan Abdülhamid") – broadcast by the state-owned Turkish Radio and Television Corporation -- includes an episode in which:
"Theodor Herzl, the founder of modern political Zionism, and his co-conspirator Emanuel Carasso, celebrate Purim in Istanbul while Herzl's plot to kidnap and kill Jews in Palestine is underway. Later, Herzl and Carasso get mugged in the street, and Carasso manages to contain the situation, teaching Herzl a lesson: 'We shall spread discord among the Ottomans – through money and women... fame, power mania, ethnic disputes, and lies about freedom.'"
In addition, books such as Protocols of the Elders of Zion, Hitler's Mein Kampf, and The International Jew by Henry Ford – which, as the leading scholar of Turkish Jewry, Rifat N. Bali, has pointed out -- "form the basic texts for anti-Semites the world over, are perennial bestsellers" in Turkey.

Then there is the anti-Semitism expressed by Erdogan supporters, claiming that Fethullah Gülen -- the self-exiled, U.S.-based Turkish Muslim cleric whom Erdogan blames for the failed 2016 coup attempt -- is actually a Jew.

Burhan Kuzu, a member of parliament from Erdogan's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) explained this "Jewish connection" to the coup attempt as follows:
"Three American agents are involved in [the failed coup]. All of them are originally Israelis -- I mean Jewish... America is ruled by Israel or, to put it more correctly, by the Jewish lobby... 40 or 45 percent of the most powerful media belongs to them. They also own [a large portion of] the capital and intelligence units. Why did they kill Kennedy? Because Kennedy was a friend of Turks."
Erdogan's implied threat to the Jews of his country -- that they might suffer negative consequences as a result of the actions of Israel -- should be viewed with deep concern.

Uzay Bulut, a journalist from Turkey, is a Distinguished Senior Fellow at Gatestone Institute.


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