Saturday, May 18, 2019

A new and growing strain of anti-Semitism - Amil Imani

by Amil Imani

There is a new strain of violent anti-Semitism now widespread throughout the Left, permeating well into the Democratic Party.

Ilhan Abdullahi Omar of Minnesota, a Somalian by birth, and Rashida Harbi Tlaib of Michigan, of Palestinian descent, are the first two Muslim women ever to serve in the U.S. Congress. They have been given carte blanche to do and spew anything they wish without any retribution or repercussions.

These two freshman Jew-haters and anti-Semites did not waste any time to attack Israel and the Jewish people the moment they arrived at Capitol Hill. Like their fellow Muslims, they consider Jews and Israel the sworn enemies of Islam. This hostility dates to the time of Muhammad's own treatment of the Jews in Medina. At first, expediently, Muhammad called the Jews "people of the book" and accorded them a measure of tolerance until he gained enough power to unleash his devastating wrath upon them.

"Israel has hypnotized the world," Omar tweeted in 2012. "May Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel."

Anti-Semitic sentiment has always existed throughout the ages for no valid reason. However, there is a new strain of violent anti-Semitism now widespread throughout the Left, permeating well into the Democratic Party's lowest and highest echelons and their left wing. It is a raw Jew-hatred that covers itself as "anti-Zionism."

For days, the Democrats struggled with whether or not to discipline Omar for her anti-Sematic views, arguing over whether Omar should be singled out, what other types of bias should be decried in the text, and whether the party would tolerate opposing views on Israel. But they could not come up with a way to condemn her simply because she is a Muslim. Muslims all over the world get a free pass simply because elected officials are fearful of being labeled racist, even though Islam is not a race. 

By granting Omar a free pass, the Democratic Party officially announced that using anti-Semitic diatribes will be tolerated. It did not comfort when 22 Senate Democrats, including five presidential candidates, voted against legislation aimed at curbing the anti-Semitic boycott movement.

It appears that anti-Semitism is being normalized at the top levels of government. Is it shocking that the hatred of Jews has seeped into academe, where thousands of professors support the anti-Semitic boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement?

Many universities in the U.S. are bastions and incubators of useful idiots. Far-left professors do more than teach their specialty subjects. They feel that they have license to pontificate on any and all matters. That is why they are called "professors." These self-appointed prima donnas cover themselves with the shield of academic freedom. Academic freedom is like liberty — it can be abused often and abused greatly. That is the price of freedom. Yet these abusers of freedom, the far left, will be among the first to be buried under the rubble of a free society's collapse they work so doggedly to bring about.

An example: A university professor refused to write a letter of recommendation for his student when he discovered she was planning to study in Israel. Then more than 1,000 of his collogues signed a petition stating they would do the same thing. It is unconscionable to witness such bigoted behavior on display at an American university.

Unfortunately, social media have become a gutter filled with websites, posts, and comments that reinforce, encourage, and publicize Jew-hatred. I personally have been banned by both Twitter and Facebook for telling the truth and posting a picture of a Palestinian terrorist. There is no accountability whatsoever as to why Muslim terrorists and their fellow Democrats are free to say and post anything without any repercussions, but a conservative is banned or his account is closed for expressing his fact-based opinion. 

It is long overdue to have responsible journalists and editors oversee news and editorials, who will put an end to the anti-Israel or anti-Jews bias — which often has anti-Semitic undertones — and present the unfiltered facts.

This does not imply that Israel cannot be criticized, but it does mean that it should be covered with the same level of objectivity as other countries and that its actions be placed in historical and synchronous context.

In short, the Democratic Party has officially joined other anti-Semitic groups all over the world.

The Democratic Party has deliberately put America on a precarious path to lose its freedom, American values, and religious freedom plus many more. We must not only reject, but be as vocal as possible to declare the current Democratic Party as an adversary of the United States and our Constitution. The Democrats' racist and tacit actions against the Jews must be condemned at all levels. The Democratic Party is no longer the party of JFK or Harry Truman. It has become the greatest threat to our national security and America's survival as a nation.

Amil Imani


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Why Palestinians Oppose Economic Prosperity - Bassam Tawil

by Bassam Tawil

For Palestinians, the financial aid is a cynical attempt to lure them away from their struggle against Israel

  • To advance his goal, Ashraf Jabari recently announced the establishment of a new party that calls for focusing on economic prosperity for Palestinians. The Reform and Development Party seeks to solve the economic problems of the Palestinians, particularly high unemployment, he said. "We have an army of university graduates who are unemployed. We've reached a situation where a young [Palestinian] man holding a Master's degree in law has to work as a street vendor because he can't find work."
  • Instead of giving Jabari a chance to carry out his initiative, Palestinians have waged a massive smear campaign against him, with many denouncing him as a "traitor" and "collaborator" with Israel and Jews. Some Palestinians have even gone as far as calling for his arrest or execution.
  • The upcoming peace plan, according to various reports, talks about giving the Palestinians billions of dollars and raising money for them from wealthy Arab countries. Yet, as Jabari's case makes clear, the Palestinians are less invested in gaining economic stability than they are in hating Israel.
  • For Palestinians, the financial aid is a cynical attempt to lure them away from their struggle against Israel -- and no Palestinian leader has the stomach to face the threats that Jabari is currently confronting. So, far from any "deal of the century," the Palestinian leaders long ago struck a dirty deal of their own: they put their stock in Israel-hatred rather than in their own people.

Ashraf Jabari, a 45-year-old Palestinian businessman from the West Bank city of Hebron, recently launched a new economic initiative with some of his Jewish friends, to advance joint entrepreneurship between Israelis and Palestinians there. (Image source: iStock)

In most normal societies, a businessman who seeks to improve the living conditions of his people by boosting the economy and creating job opportunities for the unemployed -- including a host of jobless university graduates -- is treated with respect. The Palestinians, however, do not seem to belong to those societies.

Ashraf Jabari is a 45-year-old businessman from the West Bank city of Hebron. A member of a large Palestinian clan in the city, Jabari believes in economic cooperation and peaceful coexistence with his Jewish neighbors, including settlers living in the West Bank.

Earlier this year, Jabari and some of his Jewish friends launched a new economic initiative to advance joint entrepreneurship between Israelis and Palestinians there.

"We are working on taking down borders, and both Israelis and Palestinians need to take part in this," Jabari explained. "We need to breach this wall. We must first create good links and good relationships not just in the West Bank, but all over Israel so we can achieve our desired goal."

To advance his goal, Jabari recently announced the establishment of a new party that calls for focusing on economic prosperity for Palestinians:
The Reform and Development Party, he said, seeks to solve the economic problems of the Palestinians, including high unemployment. "We have an army of university graduates who are unemployed," he said. "We've reached a situation where a young [Palestinian] man holding a Master's degree in law has to work as a street vendor because he can't find work."
One would expect a message like that to be welcomed by Palestinians. Here is a man who is talking about helping his people put food on their tables. Here is a man who is saying: "Let's put aside our political differences and focus on ways of achieving economic stability for our people."

Instead of giving Jabari a chance to carry out his initiative, Palestinians have waged a massive smear campaign against him, with many denouncing him as a "traitor" and "collaborator" with Israel and Jews. Some Palestinians have even gone as far as calling for his arrest or execution.

The campaign against the Palestinian businessman reached its peak on May 13, after he hosted at his home several Jews for the Ramadan break-the-fast meal, Iftar. It is not unusual for Muslims to host non-Muslims for the Iftar meal. In this instance, however, Jabari seems to have invited the "wrong" guests: Jews.

As soon as photos of the Ramadan meal appeared in various media outlets, many angry Palestinians took to social media to voice their strong condemnation of Jabari.

In the face of the widespread protests and resentment, Jabari's clan was forced publicly to denounce and disown him. "Ashraf Jabari is a criminal, and he doesn't enter the Palestinian Authority-controlled territories," said Arif Rubin Jabari, a leader of the clan. "Our family already disowned this fraud back in 2002. He doesn't represent anyone from our clan or Hebron."

The clan leader further claimed that Israel was "using Jabari to carry out its suspicious schemes against Palestinians." He called on Palestinian Authority officials to "study Israel's attempt to give prominence to Jabari by presenting him as an alternative to the current Palestinian leadership."

The clan's public denunciation of Jabari, however, has failed to placate many Palestinians, who are now calling for severely punishing the him for his words and deeds.

The Palestinian news website Wattan, based in Ramallah, the de facto capital of the Palestinians, called for bringing Jabari to trial for treason. "The [Palestinian] security services must act immediately to arrest him," Wattan said in an article published on its website.
"According to Article 135 of the Revolutionary Penal Code of the PLO (1979), the punishment for treason is prison with hard labor. The law states that anyone who offers accommodation, food or clothes to an enemy soldier or a spy or helps him escape, should be punished. Dozens of spies have already been punished in accordance with this law. Article 140 of the same law stipulates the death sentence for anyone who serves as an informant for the enemy. Indeed, many spies have been executed."
Judging from the reactions of the Palestinians, they are angry with Jabari mainly for two reasons: engaging in "normalization" with Israelis and promoting the idea of "economic peace." The Palestinians' "anti-normalization" movement is strongly opposed to any form of relations with Israel -- including sports and cultural events. Now, it seems that they are even opposed to seeing Palestinians and Jews eating together.

Jabari offended many Palestinians because he dared to invite his Jewish friends to the Ramadan meal at his home.

Moreover, his talk about "economic prosperity" for Palestinians has turned him into a public enemy. How dare the man discuss seeking ways to improve the living conditions of his people and create jobs for the unemployed?

In the eyes of many Palestinians, the struggle against Israel should be paramount, even if they have to eat and drink that struggle instead of the food they could buy through engaging in economic initiatives such as those proposed by Jabari.

Had Jabari joined Hamas or Islamic Jihad, or one of the anti-Israel organizations in the West Bank, he would have been idolized. Had he called for boycotting Israel rather than working -- and eating -- with them, he would have been lauded among his people and his clan.

In light of the uproar sparked by the Palestinian businessman's actions and statements, it is safe to assume that his new party will never succeed in winning the hearts and minds of Palestinians. It's also hard to see how any of the economic enterprises he's talking about will ever materialize.

The unprecedented campaign of hate and intimidation against Jabari comes weeks before the US administration rolls out its long-awaited plan for peace in the Middle East, also known as the "deal of the century."

The upcoming peace plan, according to various reports, talks about giving the Palestinians billions of dollars and raising money for them from wealthy Arab countries. Yet, as Jabari's case makes clear, the Palestinians are less invested in gaining economic stability than they are in hating Israel.

For Palestinians, the financial aid is a cynical attempt to lure them away from their struggle against Israel -- and no Palestinian leader has the stomach to face the threats that Jabari is currently confronting. So, far from any "deal of the century," the Palestinian leaders long ago struck a dirty deal of their own: they put their stock in Israel-hatred rather than in their own people.

Bassam Tawil is a Muslim Arab based in the Middle East.


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UK: Muslim MP rejects “islamophobia” definition, says the term is “weaponized by hardline groups” - Christine Douglass-Williams

by Christine Douglass-Williams

"We as Muslims should be proud of who we are and try to move away from a victim mentality.”

“England’s first Muslim MP today agreed that the Government was right to refuse to enshrine a definition of Islamophobia in law.  Labour’s Khalid Mahmood… said the move would only divide the country more and lead to increased segregation of Muslim communities.” He further stated: “I am for equality for all – but I oppose this. We as Muslims should be proud of who we are and try to move away from a victim mentality.”

Jihad Watch covered the rejection of the working definition of ‘Islamophobia’ proposed by an all-party Parliamentary group. The definition, “as put forward by the British Muslims determined that Islamophobia is rooted in racism and is a type of racism that targets expressions of Muslimness or perceived Muslimness”. The latter term is undefined and downright ludicrous.

The victimology subterfuge is often used by Islamic supremacists to beat down critics of Islam.  MP Khalid Mahmood also warned that “‘Islamophobia’ had been ‘weaponised’ by hardline groups and could be used to stifle the ‘operation of a free media'”. But for fellow Muslim Labor MP Naz Shah, the UK government’s rejection of the term was rather upsetting to her as it was to many Muslim groups. She stated:
If it is down to women to define the experience of feminism, the experiences of people of colour to define racism, the experience of Jews to define anti-Semitism, the experience of the LGBTQ+ communities to define homophobia, I ask the minister how dare he tell the British Muslims that our experiences can not define Islamophobia.
Aside from dislike of “Muslimness” which could be interpreted to mean dislike of the sharia, deemed be divine in Islam, the term “Islamophobia” was also defined in Canada by the National Council of Canadian Muslims to be: “fear, prejudice, hatred or dislike directed against Islam or Muslims, or towards Islamic politics or culture.

So, no, it is not up to Muslims to impose the term “Islamophobia” upon Western societies as Naz Shah would have it. If Muslims want to address their experiences of discrimination, then they have every right to do so, and to oppose anti-Muslim bigotry, but “Islamophobia” is a loaded term that has no place in any free democracy.

While Naz Shah is pushing “Islamophobia”, she cares nothing about Muslims victimizing innocents. She retweeted for the young victims of Muslim rape gangs to shut up for the good of diversity.

“MPs rail against plan to define Islamophobia in law that would ‘divide the country’ after the government rejected it and experts warned it would limit free speech”, by Martin Robinson, Daily Mail, May 16, 2019:
England’s first Muslim MP today agreed that the Government was right to refuse to enshrine a definition of Islamophobia in law.
Labour’s Khalid Mahmood, who represents Birmingham Perry Barr, said the move would only divide the country more and lead to increased segregation of Muslim communities.
He told the Commons during a debate on the issue: ‘I am for equality for all – but I oppose this. We as Muslims should be proud of who we are and try to move away from a victim mentality’.
Supporters of the idea including the All-Party Parliamentary Group on British Muslims say that formalising the term will help to counter hostility toward Muslims.
But Mr Mahmood said: ‘I have been the victim of hate mail and actions from the far right and the Islamist community as well. I am proud to be a British Pakistani Muslim MP – the first Muslim to be elected in this Parliament from England. I will take no lessons from anyone who says I’m an Islamophobe or too much or a Muslim’.
Mr Mahmood also said the proposed definition focussed too much on what a Muslim man or woman would traditionally wear – rather than protecting British Muslims who choose to dress differently.
He said: ‘How do you protect those Muslims who dress normally in society but have the religion in their heart? The definition of ‘Muslimness’ as it is described in this report categorises people who dress a particular way and those who don’t. By defining it in this way you are excluding those who don’t’.
Yesterday he said the term ‘Islamophobia’ had been ‘weaponised’ by hardline groups and could be used to stifle the ‘operation of a free media’.
Downing Street said last night the suggested definition of Islamophobia had not been broadly accepted, adding: ‘This is a matter that will need further careful consideration.’
More than 40 religious leaders and experts including Mr Mahmood wrote to Home Secretary Sajid Javid yesterday, telling him that the definition could be a ‘backdoor blasphemy law’ and limit free speech.
Naz Shah, who represents Bradford West, said Muslims in Britain were being denied the same rights as other races or religions in the UK.
Proposals for an official definition of Islamophobia were rejected by the Government yesterday after advice from anti-terror police and concerns it could be a ‘back door’ blasphemy law.
What is the UK law on Islamophobia?
There is no specific law against Islamophobia in the UK.

However, there are numerous laws which might be used to prosecute offenders.
Stirring up religious hatred is an offence under the Public Order Act 1986.
It can carry a sentence of up to seven years in prison.
Criminals may also be handed longer sentences for other offences if they are found to have been motivated by racial or religious hostility.
There are separate laws covering online abuse.
In addition, the Equality Act 2010 stops discrimination based on ‘protected characteristics’ including religion.
If a new, official definition is adopted, it could be used to block government actions in the courts.
Terror legislation could be subject to such judicial reviews, it is claimed.
An unofficial 1997 wording defined Islamophobia as ‘unfounded hostility towards Muslims’.
The suggested new one says: ‘Islamophobia is rooted in racism and is a type of racism that targets expressions of Muslimness or perceived Muslimness.’
Supporters of the idea say that formalising the term will help to counter hostility toward Muslims. ….

Christine Douglass-Williams


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CAIR-Pittsburgh Staffer Wonders if ISIS is a Zionist Plot - Samantha Rose Mandeles

by Samantha Rose Mandeles

"al Baghdadi is actually a Jewish man called Elliot Simon, who 'was recruited by the Israeli Mossad and was trained in espionage and psychological warfare against Arab and Islamic societies'."

CAIR-Pittsburgh Program Director Zohra Lasania is known for antisemitic views.

So numerous are the instances of anti-Semitism from the employees of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) that it can be tough to keep up at times. But, we're glad we found this one, because rarely do they provide such amusement.

We've covered the outrageous anti-Semitism of Zohra Lasania, lone staff member of CAIR's Pittsburgh branch, before. Though she was quoted generously in the media condemning the October Pittsburgh shootings at the Tree of Light synagogue, she has used social media to promote and endorse the anti-Semitism of Ken O'Keefe, a prominent Holocaust denier, whom the Southern Poverty Law Center has condemned because of his overt white supremacism.

This time, having seen the shocking news in an online Azerbaijani paper, Lasania wonders if ISIS leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi is, in fact, a "Jewish Mossad Agent."

The article she posted claims (without a shred of proof, naturally) that al Baghdadi is actually a Jewish man called Elliot Simon, who "was recruited by the Israeli Mossad and was trained in espionage and psychological warfare against Arab and Islamic societies."

Antisemites don't have a sniff test.

As a "trained Zionist agent", the article continues, the plan is to "get into the military and civilian heart of the countries that are declared as a threat to Israel in order to destroy to facilitate thereafter, the takeover by the Zionist state on the entire area of the Middle East in order to establish Greater Israel."

As we did in response to Lasania's earlier anti-Jewish posts, we contacted CAIR-Pennsylvania and CAIR-National to ask if it would condemn its own staffer's open Islamist anti-Semitism in the same way it condemns white supremacist anti-Semitism. CAIR refused to respond.

So, though one might think that Lasania's repeated spread of anti-Semitic content undercuts the integrity of her claim to stand in solidarity with the Jewish community, CAIR apparently disagrees.

Samantha Rose Mandeles is the coordinator of Islamist Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum. Follow her on Twitter @SRMandeles.


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The Media at Their Lowest - R. Quinn Kennedy

by R. Quinn Kennedy

We've reached a tipping point.

When Joe Biden claimed this week on The View (see it here) that the Obama administration "had not a whisper of scandal" during eight years in the White House, the audience cheered wildly. And why wouldn't it? It's a partisan crowd that overwhelmingly leans left. 

Those of us on quite the other side of the aisle didn't bother falling out of our chairs at such an absurd claim. We know how the game is played: make sure that statements such as this from Democrats are played in front of a partisan audience on a biased show that isn't about to challenge the assertion.

As a reminder for candidate Biden, let's review a partial list of the dozens of scandals and all the corruption during the Obama administration:
  • IRS targeting of conservative 501(c)(3) nonprofits
  • The $500-million Solyndra scam admitted to by secretary of energy Steven Chu
  • Attorney General Eric Holder held in contempt for lying to Congress
  • Mass domestic spying by the NSA
  • Illegal DOJ investigations of journalists
  • Complete mismanagement of the war in Syria
  • Transferring $1.7 billion in cash to Iran
  • The Benghazi cover-up
  • Operation Fast & Furious
  • Secretary of state Hillary Clinton's pay-for-play scam with foreign governments
  • Falsified Veterans Administration documents after patients died waiting to be seen
The above list could easily be three times as long. It could specifically include Joe Biden, as vice president, pressuring Ukraine into firing its top prosecutor, who, at the time, was investigating illegal activity by his own son, Hunter Biden (which Ukraine On what other grounds would Joe Biden even care?

When presented with a list of these scandals, the Left scoffs and passes them off as right-wing conspiracy theories. Yet every scandal and instance of corruption cited is amply documented.

How is it, then, that Joe Biden can make such a claim without being held accountable? You and I know the answer. It's because shows like The View and the national mainstream media aren't about to hold Biden or any other Democratic candidate accountable. Rather, they want such falsehoods to resonate as believable. (With inserted loud claps of approval to validate them.)

Unfortunately, we are at a point in our nation's history where freedom of the press has reached its lowest point. Not only do the national mainstream media immorally sweep such contradictory statements under the rug, but they are, as President Trump has stated, "an arm of the Democratic Party." Rather than being impartial in news-reporting, their narrative clearly promotes the Democratic Party's agenda and is hypercritical of Republican Party policies and social stances. Can any mainstream reporter deny this with a straight face?

The devious relationship between one party and its willing accomplices in the media has moved beyond the point of eye-rolls and shoulder-shrugs. It has reached a tipping point for our nation. Joseph Goebbels famously stated, "Give me the media and I will make of any nation a herd of swine." This has become the incestuous relationship the Left lustfully pursues with increasing reliability. Through decades of permeation, the media have been given over to the Left, and for leftists, our society has become the herd of swine.

Not surprisingly, the playbook isn't limited to the national mainstream media. Media technology group AllSides published a report that Google News results lean heavily toward media outlets with a "left" bias. The author of the study, John Gable, stated that the bias is a result of "most news outlets and most news consumption online being from a left perspective." The purveyors of Google News are well aware of this egregious bias, but because Google's corporate culture sways heavily left, we can hardly expect the company to create an algorithm that provides a fair and balanced narrative.

Indoctrination of the masses by the Left used to come in the form of opinion pieces. During the Reagan administration, White House network reporters certainly reported the news. However, they steadily began introducing the technique of ending each report with strongly worded opposing viewpoints from critics of the administration. Who were these unnamed critics? The ones holding the microphone.

Thus began the stepped up infiltration of political views into national news. Subsequently, what began as infiltration has become full-on partisanship. The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, NBC, CBS, ABC, and various other "news" outlets used to portray themselves as impartial. Reading an opinion piece masquerading as a news story in a national news publication no longer seems brazen. It has become the new normal.

On any number of subjects, building a wall between Mexico and the United States being a current topic of the day, there are literally dozens of video recordings of Democrats contradicting themselves from the position they took even a decade ago. Joe Biden once pounded the pulpit demanding that we build a wall. With Joe Biden as the Democratic frontrunner for U.S. president, you've seen that contradiction reported all over the national mainstream media, haven't you?

Contrast that with anything and everything Donald Trump says. The media are quick to pull any quote, any tweet out of context or bend it out of shape to promote the narrative that the president is an unhinged liar. With very few exceptions, how can one not be entirely cynical of our news sources and online media?

Remember the Joe Biden interview on The View and the clapping throngs responding to his claim? In a 2017 article by leftist (find it here), the subtitle reads, "The Nazi propaganda machine exploited ordinary Germans by encouraging them to be co-producers of a false reality."

Not a whisper of scandal, indeed.

R. Quinn Kennedy is a conservative activist and writer in Colorado.


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Hey Greenies: Check out the global revolt against your green agenda... - Monica Showalter

by Monica Showalter

Around the world, the green chickens are coming to roost.

For all the good press the green agenda gets in the mainstream media, voters in free countries across the globe are getting wise to just what this feelgood earth religion really about.

Not green jobs, as President Obama liked to promise. Not lower emissions - just ask Germany about that one. Not saving the planet.

Nope, just less money in one's pocket and more power in the government's hand reaching for it.

The Heartland Institute's H. Sterling Burnett, writing for the Washington Examiner, has a good one on just what's going on globally, calling it 'backlash':
From Alberta to Australia, from Finland to France, and beyond, voters are increasingly showing their displeasure with expensive energy policies imposed by politicians in an inane effort to purportedly fight human-caused climate change.
Skepticism over whether humans are causing dangerous climate change has always been higher in America than in most industrialized countries. As a result, governments in Europe, Canada, and other developed areas are much farther along the energy rationing path, cutting carbon dioxide emissions as required. However, residents in these countries have begun to revolt against the higher energy costs they suffer under due to high taxes on fossil fuels and mandates to use expensive renewable energy.
This is what originally prompted protesters in France to don yellow vests and take to the streets in 2018. They were protesting scheduled increases in fuel taxes, electricity prices, and stricter vehicle emissions controls, which French President Emmanuel Macron had claimed were necessary to meet the country’s greenhouse gas reduction commitments under the Paris climate agreement. After the first four weeks of protest, Macron’s government canceled the climate action plan.
He has a whole string of examples to suggest that there's a global revolt in the works around the fake problems, phony promises, soaring costs, and greedy as hell green agenda being shoved down the free world's throat. (Rest assured, the world's tyrannies and socialist dumps are not participating). 

Australia's election being reported today, looks like a massive example of the green chickens coming to roost. Look at these headlines rolling out here in my last post about Al Gore.

Which is ironic in the extreme. After all, didn't Al Gore win the Nobel peace prize? Shouldn't that make his green agenda a slam dunk for star-struck Australians? After all, a few Norwegian elites seem to think so.

Nope. And perhaps more significantly, hasn't the press been promoting Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her 'green new deal' as the fresh new face of the future? The green future, the new generation? Young people being more idealistic than the last batch of young people?

This global revolt tells us a different story. And it portends the demise of the phony green agenda, which the public is increasingly onto like the emperor's new clothes. 

Perhaps that's a follow-on from President Trump's election, with Trump's open skepticism of all the left's claims about global warming, and for that matter, Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro's election, too, which has shown increasing hostility toward green demands. Perhaps even more likely, people are sick of being told they are saving the earth when the stats show they are not saving the earth emissions-wise, green profiteers are getting rich, and their taxes and other costs are simply soaring. 

If so, it's a move toward sanity. The green agenda has decisively proven to have been a fraud and it's about time something better on the environment, such as cost-benefit analysis, take its place in the name of common sense. The green agenda is a failure and enough of it has been going on for voters to get wise to it. The gig is up. Sorry, Solyndra. Sorry, Sandy.

Monica Showalter


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Government Experiment Brainwashes Children to Manipulate Conservative Parents - Daniel Greenfield

by Daniel Greenfield

They’re not your children anymore. They’re a “treatment group.”


That’s the hashtag for it in Germany, where they know a bit about mass hysteria and brainwashing. It shows up every time students are manipulated into another school strike for the “environment”.

The Joan of Arc of C02Kult is Greta Thunberg, the daughter of two Swedish celebrities, and a 15-year-old suffering from Aspergers, who became a popular lefty figure for leading environmental school strikes.

“I overthink. Some people can just let things go, but I can’t, especially if there’s something that worries me or makes me sad," Greta said. "I remember when I was younger, and in school, our teachers showed us films of plastic in the ocean, starving polar bears and so on. I cried through all the movies. My classmates were concerned when they watched the film, but when it stopped, they started thinking about other things. I couldn’t do that. Those pictures were stuck in my head.”

Greta claims that she began to suffer from depression when she was only 8-years-old because of global warming. She claims to have gotten her mother to stop flying and her father to turn into a vegetarian. 

The autistic teenager spends a lot of time being afraid and sharing her fear. “I don’t want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel every day,” she told leaders in Davos.

As with all child activists, some see a passion for social responsibility, while others see child abuse.

Had Greta been born in another time and place, she might have been just as afraid of witches or subversives. Terrified teens who were encouraged to act on their fears were responsible for everything from the Salem witch trials to the crimes of the Cultural Revolution. The fault lies with the adults who traumatize children and then unleash them on society to win their political battles.
There’s a name for that. Child soldiers.

A recent paper in Nature is titled, “Children can foster climate change concern among their parents” which suggests that the best way to influence adults is by brainwashing their children.

Or, as its abstract states, “Child-to-parent intergenerational learning—that is, the transfer of knowledge, attitudes or behaviours from children to parents—may be a promising pathway to overcoming socio-ideological barriers to climate concern.” The ideological barriers are conservative politics.

What was put into practice was an “educational intervention designed to build climate change concern among parents indirectly through their middle school-aged children in North Carolina, USA.”

That reads like the title of a KGB project from the Cold War, but it’s an academic paper in America.

The study found that “parents of children in the treatment group expressed higher levels of climate change concern than parents in the control group. The effects were strongest among male parents and conservative parents, who, consistent with previous research, displayed the lowest levels of climate concern before the intervention. Daughters appeared to be especially effective in influencing parents.”

They used to be your children and grandchildren. Now they’re a “treatment group”.

Some of the 10-14 year olds being targeted were exempt from human experimentation because they were in the “control” group. 166 students and 199 parents did get the “treatment”. After two years of this, the paper gloated that “parents who identified as male or conservative more than doubled their level of concern about climate change”.

Danielle F Lawson, a grad student at North Carolina State University, credited the level of trust between parents and children. It’s exactly this trust that environmentalists and all totalitarian ideologies exploit.

"We also found that the results were most pronounced for three groups: conservative parents, parents of daughters, and fathers," Lawson is quoted as saying in an NCSU press release.

This, the NCSU release informs us, “was noteworthy because conservatives and men are typically among the least concerned about climate change.”

"There's a robust body of work showing that kids can influence their parents' behavior and positions on environmental and social issues," Lawson asserts.

Scientific American’s article on the study is illustrated with a picture of, who else, Greta Thunberg.

The release thanks the Department of Interior's Southeast Climate Adaptation Science Center for its support.

Lawson’s bio claims that she’s looking to build “climate literacy” through “intergenerational transfer in familial and community groups”. It’s not a new idea. The USSR’s educational system was built on the conviction that brainwashing children was an effective tool for controlling their parents.

The North Carolina grad student lists Kathryn Stevenson and Nils Peterson as the professors she's working under. Both of their names appear on the Nature paper. Lawson’s activities are creepy, but not original. Stevenson’s research reeks of a disturbing obsession with figuring out how to manipulate children into accepting her views that we would associate with the USSR or Communist China.

“Our findings suggest convincing teachers that climate change is real, but not necessarily human caused, may have profound impacts on students,” Stevenson insisted after the release of, "How climate change beliefs among U.S. teachers do and do not translate to students."

Her articles and publications obsessively focus on middle-school students and how to manipulate them into accepting her belief system. A 2015 article delves into "fostering climate change hope and concern and avoiding despair among adolescents". Another one explores "psychological factors". A third delves into the "role of significant life experiences" while a fourth explores the role of "friends and family".

A future article seeks to develop a "causal model for adolescent climate change behavior."

One of Stevenson’s favorite targets are the children of conservative parents. Or as one piece describes them, individualists as opposed to communitarians.  “Kids are just developing their worldviews, their political ideologies," Stevenson says. The study is titled “Overcoming Skepticism With Education”. Its abstract admits that it targets children because "worldviews are still forming in the teenage years" and therefore "adolescents may represent a more receptive audience."

Not only is NCSU a public research university, but much of this creepy obsession with manipulating children into supporting a destructive partisan agenda is funded through massive government grants.

Kathryn Stevenson’s “Ensuring Readiness For Climate Variability And Change By Leveraging The Power Of Younger Generations” was a grant proposal funded by the USDA to the tune of $149,997.

An upcoming proposal, involving both Stevenson and Peterson, requests $120,000 for "Improving environmental decision making in coastal communities through giving children a voice".

The children don’t have a voice. The adults cynically manipulating them are the only ones who do.

The child soldier of the leftists running the Soviet Union was a boy named Pavlik Morozov who, Communist propaganda claimed, had been killed by his parents for informing on his father. In reality, the boy was murdered by other teens. But the leftist regime massacred most of the dead boy’s family, including his brother, and used his myth to encourage other teens to turn Thunberg.

Child soldiers have their youth, their sense of security and their future stolen from them. And it’s all done when they are still too young to understand the crime that has been committed against them.

Children don’t choose to advocate for political agendas. That choice is made for them. Sometimes those decisions are made by their parents. Other times it’s made by a totalitarian machine lubricated by hundreds of thousands in grant money stolen from their parents in order to brainwash their children.

Greta, depressed, terrified, angry, and traumatized, is the intended outcome of that machine.
A child soldier.

* * *
Photo by Anders Hellberg at Wikimedia Commons

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


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Left-Leaning, Anti-Christian Social Studies Curriculum Guidelines Proposed in Michigan - Sara Dogan

by Sara Dogan

Indoctrinating schoolchildren in progressive values.

A task force in Michigan has released a new proposal recommending dramatic changes to the social studies guidelines for teaching K-12 public school students. Critics charge that the recommendations would foster politicized teaching, anti-Christian bias, and promote a leftist vision of America’s history and ideals that our nation’s founders would find difficult to recognize.

The new politicized guidelines replace the previous state recommendations, which were released only one year earlier and then quickly abandoned after a progressive backlash.

The earlier version of the standards drafted in 2018 focused on the “core values” of America as expressed in our nation’s founding documents: the Declaration of Independence, the Preamble to the Constitution, the Articles of the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.  The recommendations made by the 2018 task force declare that these documents “respectively illustrate how, even in a contest of competing ideas and ideals, people may come together united in hope for a better society,” and add, “In spite of, or perhaps because of, this tension these founding documents endure.”

In this earlier version of the recommendations, America’s system of government is described accurately as a “constitutional republic” a form of government in which citizens elect representatives who then enact laws to govern the polity in accordance with a constitution.

By contrast, in the 2019 iteration of the guidelines, rewritten by a new task force dominated by progressives, the term “core values” is instead replaced with “democratic values,” a term that is open to many interpretations, while the form of American government is alternatively and confusingly characterized as a “democracy,” “constitutional democracy,” or “constitutional republic” in different sections. The focus on America’s founding documents is replaced by an emphasis on “critical literacy” which is defined as “the next cerebral step as students move toward an approach to see and ‘read’ themselves and the world.”

Former Michigan State Senator Patrick Colbeck was among a handful of conservatives who served on the original task force which developed the 2018 standards, which were carefully written, he says, to be “politically-neutral and accurate.” In an opinion piece published on the website of the Detroit News, he describes how the newer 2019 standards deliberately politicize the teaching of social studies by changing the terminology used in the guidelines.

“We should be pursuing ‘core American values’, but that does not appear to fit the political agenda of the new standards developers… Instead of adhering to this standard, the authors [of the 2019 standards] sought to literally promote the professed values of the Democratic party (e.g. equality) under the fitting umbrella ‘democratic values,’” Colbeck states.

“The Declaration states specifically that we are all CREATED equal. We all have equal value in the eyes of our Creator. Our laws are subsequently meant for our equal protection. Yet the so-called ‘progressives’ running today’s Democratic Party and the development of the 2019 standards seek to scrub the references to ‘created’ and skip simply to ‘equality’. This opens the door to their philosophy of equal outcomes (i.e. earnings, property) – except, that is, when it comes to representing differing world views in our social studies standards,” he adds.

Regarding the myriad of ways in which the new standards schizophrenically describe America’s system of governance, Colbeck also believes this is a deliberate attempt to obscure the finer points of American republicanism in the minds of schoolchildren.

“While we do feature democratic processes such as ballot initiatives, our system of government is designed to be a constitutional republic, not a democracy,” he writes. “We elect representatives of the people to make laws on our behalf subject to the constraints of the constitution. The current standards deliberately obfuscate our form of government in the minds of our future generation of leaders.”

Nor does the progressive bias end there. The 2018 guidelines included dedicated sections on both Islam and Christianity, but in the 2019 version, the section on Christianity—but not that on Islam—was removed, amounting to, in Colbeck’s view “overt anti-Christian bias.” The 2019 version also adds “the gay and lesbian community” as a discussion category under civil rights, but excludes the crucial and complementary issue of religious rights of conscience.

Former Senator Colbeck sees in the new guidelines an attempt to “change our system of the government via our education system…not Article V of the U.S. Constitution” which he terms “sedition.”  He notes that at a Detroit Public Forum where the 2018 standards were discussed, a 30-year veteran Detroit teacher came up to the microphone and asserted “We are a democracy not a republic.  It says so in the Constitution.” When challenged to cite the relevant passage, she could not.

A flyer distributed at that same forum from the World Socialist Website exhorted, “Teachers must link up their fight with educators nationally and internationally!”

“We need to demand politically neutral and accurate standards,” explains Colbeck. “Anything less than this pursuit ensures that our students will be subject to continued progressive indoctrination, not an enlightened education enabling them to participate in reasoned debate.”

Michigan’s Board of Education, in which Democrats hold a 6-2 majority, will soon vote on whether to adopt the new social studies guidelines. The future for “politically neutral and accurate” does not look bright.

To learn more about the Freedom Center's campaign to halt indoctrination in K-12 schools, please visit  To read the K-12 Code of Ethics CLICK HERETo order the Freedom Center’s new pamphlet, “Leftist Indoctrination in Our K-12 Public Schools,” CLICK HERETo donate to the Stop K-12 Indoctrination campaign, CLICK HERE.

Sara Dogan


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We Do Need Another Hero - Danusha Goska

by Danusha Goska

And recent documentaries present us with two new ones.

In November, 2018, several of my liberal Facebook friends shared euphoric memes of newly elected Congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar. If Facebook posts were audible as well as visual, these posts would whoop, cheer, and applaud – indeed they would ululate.  
"What do you know about these women?" I asked. "What makes you think that their terms as congresspeople will be any more consequential than any other?" What I knew about these three women indicated to me that their election presented no cause for elation. Ocasio-Cortez had displayed a cringeworthy lack of depth in a July, 2018 Firing Line interview. Ilhan Omar had a history of anti-Semitic tweets and there was evidence strongly suggesting that she had married her own brother as part of an immigration scam. Rashida Tlaib had referred to the president of the US with a twelve-letter curse word. In that same talk, Tlaib ululated and said, "You can't take the Palestinian out of me. I feel so Palestinian today." She celebrated her victory by posing with a Palestinian flag, and her office map was altered to indicate that Israel was in fact "Palestine." Why were these women heroes?

Finally one of my liberal friends acknowledged that the rhapsodic, over-the-top celebration had nothing to do with these women's proposals, intellects, or accomplishments. Rather, liberals were celebrating the new celebrities' identities. It's so easy to be a hero these days. All you have to do is be other than the villain of the moment: the white, Christian, American man.

History is being re-written. My liberal friends believe that the world has been run by white, Christian, American, heterosexual men. These men have all been racist, sexist, and homophobic. Other people, who are not white or American or Christian or heterosexual are, by virtue of their identities alone, virtuous. As these others gain power, the world improves.

This revisionist history is expressed in quite overt ways. Omar told us that "CAIR was founded after 9-11 because some people did something." Ocasio-Cortez claimed that Republicans "had to amend the Constitution of the United States to make sure Roosevelt did not get reelected" in 1947, two years after Roosevelt died. Rashida Tlaib said that she feels "a calming feeling … when I think of the Holocaust" because her Muslim Arab ancestors created "a safe haven for Jews."

The entertainment industry has gotten the revisionist message, as have reviewers. Two very good recent films, Green Book and The Best of Enemies, were lambasted as "white savior" movies. Both films are based on real events from decades ago. The main characters in both films are white men who begin as racists. Both are forced into situations where they have positive encounters with a black person. Later they both go on to forge lasting friendships with black people. One might think that this plot outline would offend no one – that, rather, viewers would find it inspirational. Well, it would offend no one rational, but rationality is optional nowadays.

Hostility to films that depict white American men behaving in an at all decent manner towards women or people of color is so intense that docudramas now resort to distorting history. Hidden Figures is a 2016 film that dramatized the true story of African American women who made significant contributions to NASA's space race. The film depicts a handful of women who, on their own and without significant support from any white men, break through pervasive racism and sexism. Any thinking person will recognize that this aspect of the film cannot be accurate. Without white and male allies, the Civil Rights Movement and feminism never would have gotten off the ground. In fact, in several respects, Hidden Figures changed historical realities in order to worsen the image of the majority white males working at NASA. The segregation depicted in the film was a thing of the past during the time period of the film's action. Several other events in the film were depicted as worse and more racist than they were in real life. Why? Perhaps so that the film could avoid the dreaded moniker of "white savior" movie.

When I think of young, conventionally educated Americans, I worry. Too many have been brainwashed and demoralized by revisionist history. They look at their own country, at their heritage, Western Civilization and the Judeo-Christian tradition, and see only error and oppression. In too many classrooms and media products, status, good and evil are all determined by ethnic, religious, or gender identity. This process is occurring even as I write this. Tlaib's inexcusable comments about the Holocaust and Muslims providing a "haven" for Jews are the subject of at least five Washington Post articles in the past sixteen hours. The headlines tell the story: "Anatomy of a Smear," "House Republicans Criticize Tlaib" "Trump Joins GOP Criticism," "Republicans Are Ignoring Reality to Twist Tlaib's" comment, "Trump, GOP, Twisting" Tlaib's comment. Tlaib, because of her identity, must be made virtuous. Republicans, because of their identity, must be made villains.

If I had the power, I would encourage as many young people as possible to watch two recent documentaries. They are movies you've probably never heard of, about people you have probably never heard of. The lead characters are not the type of hero the entertainment industry or its critics is invested in celebrating these days. These two people are the old-fashioned kind of hero who earned heroism, not by being young and pretty, non-white and left-wing, but by doing very hard things. One of these heroes did what she did in total anonymity, and died unknown.

I was checking the new releases in a local theater when I saw the title Hesburgh. Sounds like a Dracula spin-off, I thought. I had never heard the name before and I knew nothing about the movie. Curious, I did a quick Google search and discovered that Hesburgh is a documentary about a Catholic priest. A documentary about a Catholic priest running in a suburban multiplex? I had to see it.
Father Theodore Hesburgh was president of Notre Dame for thirty-five years, 1952–1987. He also played a role in the Civil Rights Movement, the effort to limit nuclear arms, and immigration reform. He had close, personal relationships with Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Carter, Clinton, and Obama, Popes Paul VI and John Paul II, Martin Luther King Jr and Ann Landers. Much of the film consists of grainy, decades-old film footage of the Space Race, The Civil Rights Movement, and the Vietnam War. A few scenes are reenactments of key moments in Hesburgh's life. There are also contemporary interviews with people who knew Hesburgh, including Leon Panetta and Wyoming Senator Alan Simpson. Speakers at Hesburgh's memorial service included Mike Pence and Condoleezza Rice.

Hesburgh sounds like a priestly Kardashian, no? Listen, I walked into the theater knowing nothing about Theodore Hesburgh and by the end of the film my face was sloppy with tears. I cry no tears for Kardashians. Why did this film move me so much?

The film depicts Hesburgh as a remarkably humble man. As a man who, yes, wined and dined with the rich and powerful, but who never lost the personal touch, and who was almost supernaturally humble, and relentlessly committed to his priestly vocation. In every scene I can remember, from the time he took his vows to his 2015 death at age 97, Hesburgh is wearing the exact same clothing: the unadorned, dark suit and white collar of a priest of the Congregation of the Holy Cross. Selecting personal dress and adornment is a fundamental human choice. Hesburgh surrendered that choice at 18 and never took it back. In a clip from an interview, TV host Phil Donahue presses Hesburgh. How have you lived your life alone, without a wife? Hesburgh's visage is severe but calm. "I made that choice at 18." It's remarkable to witness a man of his word.

Pope Paul VI presented Hesburgh with his own emerald ring as a gift. The implication was that the pope hoped to elevate Hesburgh to cardinal. Hesburgh put the ring in a drawer. His vocation was as a priest, not a "prince of the church." Former students from Notre Dame testify on camera that Hesburgh was like a father to them. Journalist Robert Sam Anson, a Notre Dame alum, was taken prisoner in Cambodia during the Vietnam War. Hesburgh phoned the Vatican to help broker his release. Anson is visibly moved when discussing Hesburgh.

Hesburgh's most sustained effort in public affairs, at least as depicted in the film, was in the field of Civil Rights. In one of the most famous images of Hesburgh, he is linking arms with Martin Luther King Jr. at Soldier Field in Chicago in 1964, as they sing together "We Shall Overcome." Hesburgh was no mere fellow traveler. When Civil Rights Commission members were stonewalling each other, the Northerners against the Southerners, Hesburgh kept his eye on the individual human soul. His faith taught him that each Commission member, no matter how obstructionist, was made in the image and likeness of God. With that perspective, Hesburgh recognized that one thing all these diverse combatants had in common was a love of fishing. He arranged for a Notre Dame donor's private jet to transport them to a secluded lake. There they could connect as human beings, and make progress. Hesburgh was willing to stick his neck out even when the presidents who counted him among their friends dropped the ball. The Kennedy administration had concluded that pushing Civil Rights would cost Kennedy votes in the South, and, thus, the election. They decided to "slow walk" progress. Hesburgh at this instance, and at other key moments as well, took it upon himself to press for an end to Jim Crow. Sorry, Hollywood and film critics cum social justice warriors, but yes Hesburgh was one of many white allies without whom the Civil Rights Movement would have been an historical blip that reached the same dead-end of a thousand other liberation movements in societies without conscience.

Like any serious Catholic, Hesburgh faced criticism from the right and the left. The Catholic Church opposes abortion, and, thus, gains approval and allies on the right. Other stances on poverty and immigration earn approval and allies on the left.

Conservative Catholics condemn Hesburgh's defiance of the Vatican regarding the concept of a Catholic university. In 1954, Hesburgh hosted Jesuit theologian John Courtney Murray. Murray spoke on the individual freedom of conscience. The talk was to be published. Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani, secretary of the Holy Office (formerly known as the Inquisition) ordered that the publication be disappeared, and that no one be told why. "Roma locuta est, causa finita est," Hesburgh was told. "Rome has spoken; the matter is finished." Hesburgh saw this as a "frontal assault on academic freedom" and he published anyway. "There was no way I was going to destroy the freedom and autonomy of the university."

Hesburgh wrote, "The best and only traditional authority in the university is intellectual competence… It was great wisdom in the medieval church to have university theologians judged solely by their theological peers in the university… A great Catholic university must begin by being a great university that is also Catholic." As the New York Times summarized Hesburgh's position in his 2015 obituary, Hesburgh declared that "the pursuit of truth, not religious indoctrination, was the ultimate goal of Catholic higher learning in the United States." His declaration had high impact on other Catholic universities.

Hesburgh rankled both supporters and opponents of the Vietnam War. Hesburgh was an admirer of the military. After he was ordained, his personal goal was to be a military chaplain. His superiors nixed that idea and assigned him to a career in academia. Having taken a priestly vow of obedience, he had to comply. When Notre Dame students wanted to burn down the ROTC building, Hesburgh argued against the arson, insisting that America needed a military with a moral and intellectual foundation, such as they could acquire at Notre Dame. Hesburgh issued a strict rule against campus protests, threatening to suspend or expel those engaging in anti-war demonstrations. This tough stance met with President Nixon's approval. But Hesburgh personally hoped for a withdrawal of troops.

Hesburgh the documentary depicts a strong, not-quite-silent American hero of old-school masculinity. He's square of jaw, and graced with Tyrone Power eyebrows. Hesburgh's facial expression does not significantly change, no matter who his interlocutor is, or what the topic of conversation. He makes no attempt to ingratiate. His voice neither rises nor falls. His stoicism is in the John Wayne or Gary Cooper mold. Did he not face loneliness? The documentary reports that Hesburgh was very close to his sister, and took her death from breast cancer very hard. He also had a lengthy correspondence with Ann Landers.

Filmmaker Patrick Creadon was a Notre Dame student. He was curious to see if "If Father Ted's life really lives up to the legend that surrounds him." His film takes a "hard-hitting, deep dive" into Hesburgh's life. "What we came up with is the story of an extraordinary man who made a difference… he serves as an incredible role model for anyone who wants to try to make the world a better place …  While making the film, I thought, 'What was his one superpower?' And I realized it was his kindness … He was very transparent, honest, and trustworthy, but his kindness is what saw him through some very difficult times in our country's history and helped him make really tough decisions." Creadon is donating all profits from the film to charity, including a hospital in Ecuador and a health care facility for Holy Cross clergy.


Franciszka Halamajowa died in obscurity. Few outside her immediate family had any idea of her heroism. She never rubbed elbows with the rich or the powerful. When Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia invaded Poland in 1939, Halamajowa was a 54 year old Polish, Catholic farm woman, her gray hair brushed back into a simple bun. She was plump, with apple cheeks and kind eyes. She wore simple, loose, cotton dresses. She lived on a small plot of land with fruit trees and pigs in the small town of Sokal. Sokal was then in Eastern Poland; it is now in Ukraine. In 1939, it had a mixed population of Poles, Ukrainians, and 5,200 Jews. Only thirty Jews survived the war. Sixteen Jews were sheltered by Franciszka Halamajowa. The documentary No. 4 Street of Our Lady tells the almost unbelievable story of Halamajowa's heroism. This ninety-minute, 2009 documentary is currently available on Vimeo.

One can't begin to understand Halamajowa's feat without understanding the Nazi and Soviet approach to Poland. Both were genocidal, and their hostility to the continued existence of Poland had begun centuries before. Under German and Russian occupation beginning in the eighteenth century, at times and in places, Poles could not build permanent dwellings on their own land, could not speak their own language in school, and were subject to mass deportations to Siberia, where many died. The Nazi Generalplan Ost called for the genocide and occupation of Slavic nations. In his infamous August, 1939 "Armenian speech," Hitler said, "I have placed my death-head formation in readiness … with orders to them to send to death mercilessly and without compassion, men, women, and children of Polish derivation and language. Only thus shall we gain the living space (Lebensraum) which we need."

Soviet Russians, Sokal's first World-War-Two-era occupiers, deported between 500,000 and 1.7 million Poles to Siberia. Soviet Russians arrested and imprisoned hundreds of thousands of other Poles. Many were tortured and executed, including 22,000 Polish Army officers shot in the Katyn Massacre. Soviet propaganda depicted Poles as enemies of the people. Polish land was seized and redistributed, most to collective farms. An estimated 150,000 - 500,000 Polish citizens died during the Soviet occupation. 

In June, 1941, as part of Operation Barbarossa, the Nazis arrived. Scarred by the 1932-33 Soviet-orchestrated Ukrainian famine, interwar Polish rule, and Soviet occupation, some Ukrainians collaborated with the Nazis. In addition to persecuting Jews, Ukrainians tortured, mutilated, and massacred Polish Catholics. Historians estimate that approximately 100,000 Poles were murdered by Ukrainians.

All this bloody history swirled around Franciszka Halamajowa as she tended her fruit trees, chickens and pigs. Ukrainians knocked on her door and told her to leave. Sokal was now Ukrainian territory, and no longer safe for a Polish woman alone with a young daughter. Nazis could kill Poles for infractions so minor as owning a radio. Poles were regularly rounded up and sent to slave labor or concentration camps. Any aid given to any Jew, even something so simple as offering a drink of water, was a capital crime, not just for the one giving the aid, but for her entire family. This punishment was unique to Poland. Miep Gies, who aided Anne Frank in Holland, for example, survived betrayal and discovery. One list of Poles killed for helping Jews includes 704 names. No doubt many more were killed but their accounts cannot be documented.

Jews escaping a Nazi aktion asked Halamajowa for help. Yad Vashem reports that Halamajowa and her daughter Helena "believed that it was G-d who had brought the Jewish refugees to their door to test their faith. They considered it their religious duty to protect the Jewish refugees, and never demanded payment of any kind." It was not until after the war that the Jews Halamajowa was hiding in a pigsty discovered that she had another Jewish family hiding in a specially built dugout under her kitchen floor. Indeed, Halamajowa was also hiding a renegade German soldier in her attic. He did not want to participate in Nazi killing.

Poles under Nazism were poor and hungry. That Halamajowa was able to feed herself, her daughter, and all of her charges calls to mind the miracle of the loaves and fishes. She had to dispose of hidden people's waste without attracting German suspicion, or the suspicion of neighbors eager to receive a reward or even just personal safety in exchange for collaboration. In the documentary, one neighbor says, "We all knew but no one said anything." In fact one neighbor did confront Halamajowa and tell her that he knew she was sheltering Jews. This could have resulted in death. Instead he asked to see the hiding Jews, recognized a kindly doctor, and remained mum.

The horrors of Nazi occupation are brought home in an almost unbearably painful portion of the documentary. One of the Jewish children couldn't stop crying. The sound of her sobs might have betrayed other people and guaranteed their death. The doctor had a dose of deadly poison. Everyone, including the girl's own mother, decided that she had to be forced to swallow it. I will let you discover what happens when you watch the documentary yourself.

After the war, Halamajowa, an ethnic Pole, for her own safety, had to leave her home in Sokal and travel to Poland, as it existed within its new, post-war borders. She died in 1960, in a Poland still ruled by occupying Soviet Russians. In fact just four years before Halamajowa's death, in 1956, 100,000 Poles faced off against 400 tanks and 10,000 soldiers. Shots were fired and perhaps a hundred Poles died, including one 13-year-old boy. Such demonstrations would continue until 1989, when the Berlin Wall finally fell. No. 4 Street of Our Lady is a worthy tribute to a woman of peerless heroism.

Self-examination and self-criticism are foundational in the West. They are rooted in the Judeo-Christian concepts of confession of sins, restitution, and subsequent redemption. This is an invaluable concept in our culture that has prompted our progress. Of course I want young people to learn about American racism, priestly sex abuse, and those Poles who committed acts of violence against Jews. But that's not enough. Let them also learn about heroes like Hesburgh and Halamajowa.

Danusha Goska is the author of God through Binoculars. Her writing has been awarded a New Jersey State Council on the Arts Grant, the PAHA Halecki Award, and others.


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