Saturday, June 15, 2019

Where BDS and Terrorists Converge - Caroline Glick

by Caroline Glick

The international Left and the Iranian-controlled terror nexus.

On May 31, the cry went out from Times Square, New York City, to annihilate Israel and extend the terror war against the Jewish state to America.

As they did in BeirutBerlin, LondonTehran, and Dearborn, Michigan, Israel-haters gathered at Times Square to call for Israel’s dissolution on the day the Iranian regime has determined to be “Al Quds Day,” that is, Jerusalem Day.

The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) posted a video of the event. In it, a series of speakers called over and over again for Israel’s annihilation, voiced support for terrorists and terrorism and called for the war against Israel to come to New York.

Nate Chase from the World Workers’ Party led the crowd in chanting, “We don’t want not two state! We want ’48!”

That is, we don’t want to partition the land mass west of the Jordan River. We want to annihilate Israel, which was established in 1948.

Chase continued, “Because every inch – from the [Jordan] river to the [Mediterranean] sea – is Palestine!

“Israel does not exist! It has not existed, it doesn’t exist, and it will never exist! There is only Palestine!” he cried.

Rokeya Begun, from a New York-based Palestinian pro-terror group called Within our Lifetimecalled out, “Globalize the intifada!”

“From New York to Gaza!”

And Joe Catron from Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner [i.e. terrorist] Solidarity Network, led the crowd chanting, “There is only one solution!”

The crowd responded, “Intifada! Revolution!”

While unsettling, the pro-terror calls going out from Times Square were helpful. They laid bare the fact that terror groups are actively involved in the political campaigns against Israel.

Among the speakers, Catron from Samidoun in particular personified the nexus between terror groups and the political war against Israel.

Last October, Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs published an in-depth report demonstrating the central role terror Palestinian terror groups play in the “boycott, divestment and sanctions” (BDS) campaign against Israel and Jews who support Israel.

The report, titled “Terrorists in Suits: The ties between NGOs promoting BDS and terrorist organizations,” exposed that the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and Hamas are both heavily involved — indeed, likely control — several non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Western countries that play central roles in BDS campaigns. Hamas and the PFLP are both designated as foreign terrorist organizations by the State Department and the EU.

Samidoun is a major actor in the BDS universe. According to the Israeli government report, Samidoun is a U.S.-registered NGO founded in 2012. It has branches in Lebanon, Canada, France, Britain, Germany, Belgium, Greece, and the Palestinian Authority.

It is also enmeshed in, if not controlled by, the PFLP.

According to the Israeli government report, Samidoun’s international coordinator, Charlotte Kates, is married to Khaled Barakat, a member of the PFLP Central Committee. Kates is a member of several other BDS groups operating in the U.S. and Europe. Many of them are similarly affiliated with the PFLP. Some operate as left-wing BDS groups.

The Israeli report further alleges that Mustafa Awad, Samidoun’s European representative, is a Lebanese national. The report notes that according to the Israeli Security Agency (ISA), Awad was a member of a PFLP terrorist cell operating in Europe, and was in contact with terrorist operatives from Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority.

The Israeli government report further reveals that Kates’a husband Barakat “arranged for Awad to begin his military training in 2015 in Lebanon with Hezbollah.”
It continues, “Awad also took part in a 2015 meeting in Germany with PFLP operatives, during which they discussed how to revamp the organization’s activities.”

Moreover, it alleges, “Awad transferred funds from Lebanon and Syria to Khaled Barakat, in Belgium, on at least two occasions during 2016-2017. Additionally, he left his personal laptop and mobile phone with convicted [PFLP] terrorist Leila Khaled in Jordan before attempting to enter Israel…where he was arrested (July 2018).”

Following his reported arrest, the Israeli report reveals, “Awad was sentenced to 12 months in prison, as well as 12 months on probation, for membership in a terrorist organization, prohibited military training and use of property for terrorist activities.”

Catron’s Twitter page banner features a photo of him with Palestinian hijacker Leila Khaled.
The Israeli government report also exposes that Barakat appears at conferences with his wife, Kates. He runs the PFLP campaign for the release of PFLP commander Ahmad Sa’adat. Sa’adat is currently serving a 30-year prison sentence in Israel for masterminding the 2001 assassination of Israeli Tourism Minister Rehavam Ze’evi.

Samidoun runs a parallel campaign for Saadat’s release. As the report notes, “The PFLP campaign website uses elements identical to those on the Samidoun site. In light of this, and in light of Barakat’s connection to Kates, it is likely that donations made through the Samidoun website benefitted Barakat and the PFLP.”

The Israeli government report notes that in 2016, Kates published an article praising Ze’evi’s murder. She quoted “a PFLP senior operative who termed the murder ‘a symbol of heroism.’”

She also directed readers to the PFLP website, which also glorifies Ze’evi’s assassination.

In other words, it is hard to see where Samidoun begins and the PFLP ends.

According to a report published Tuesday in the Times of Israel, in response to the Israeli Ministry of Strategic Affairs campaign against Samidoun and other key BDS groups tied to the PFLP and Hamas, ten bank accounts in the U.S. and twenty in Europe attached to these groups have been shut down. Samidoun is among the groups that have been affected, with three of their accounts now shut due to the group’s ties to the PFLP.

The BDS campaign is geared towards two main goals. First, as its name suggests, its purpose is to wage political and economic warfare against Israel. By targeting Israeli companies and international companies that do business with Israel, the BDS campaign seeks to undermine the Israeli economy.

Moreover, by singling out non-Israelis who support Israel, particularly non-Israeli Jews who support Israel, the BDS campaign seeks to make the social cost of supporting Israel prohibitive while expelling predominantly Jewish pro-Israel voices from the public square.

These actions, in turn, advance two other goals. First, since like the terror groups, the goal of BDS groups more generally is to put an end to Israel’s existence, the BDS campaign works to legitimize the goal of the terrorist groups. Once publics in the West are desensitized to calls for the physical destruction of Israel and its Jewish citizens, they will similarly support — or not oppose — terrorist action to bring about this goal.

Finally, by involving themselves in political campaigns to defame and delegitimize Israel, terror groups, including the PFLP, build strategic alliances with the international left. So too, as Awad’s terror training with Hezbollah in Lebanon makes clear, the PFLP is a bridgethat links the international left with the Iranian-controlled terror nexus.

Thus, it is not surprising that communists and PFLP-aligned BDS agitators joined forces to call for Israel’s destruction and support terrorism at Al Quds Day demonstrations from Dearborn to New York to Beirut. Al Quds Day was created by Iran to present the Shiite ayatollahs as the tip of the spear in the global war against Israel.

Moreover, as we shall presently see, through their addition of political warfare to their terrorism portfolio, terror groups, including the PFLP, are able to secure the cooperation and in some cases the funding of European governments and the EU, which support their political warfare against Israel.

BDS is not the only campaign in which the PFLP is intimately involved. If BDS is the battle for the hearts and minds of the nations of the West for the cause of Israel’s destruction, on the ground in Israel, the PFLP is also actively involved in another campaign to seize lands that Israel requires to defend its vital strategic interests and its citizens.

In November 2018, Regavim, an Israeli NGO dedicated to protecting Israel’s state lands and natural resources published a major study of Palestinian land seizures in Area C of the West Bank. In the framework of the peace agreements that Israel signed with the Palestinian Authority in the 1990s, the West Bank was divided into three areas dubbed Area A, Area B, and Area C. Areas A and B are the Palestinian population centers. They were transferred to the control of the PA, which has ruled them as an autonomy for the past 23 years.

Israel retained control over Area C, which includes approximately 60 percent of the West Bank.  Area C includes all of the Israeli communities and military bases in the West Bank. It also includes the international border with Jordan in the east, and the mountain ranges that control both central Israel and the eastern border.  In other words, as Israeli Major General (retired) Gershon Hacohen set out in a detailed study of Area C published earlier this year, Israel cannot defend itself either from Palestinian terror threats or from foreign infiltration and invasion without Area C.

As the Regavim report recalls, in 2009, then Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad laid out a program for seizing Area C from Israel. The EU gave official, full-throated supportfor the program. As Regavim’s report exposes, the program was based on land seizures in tactical and strategic choke points, without which Israel will be hard-pressed to defend its citizens’ lives and its vital strategic needs. As the Regavim report showed, the EU and its member states fund massive Palestinian operations to seize lands in Area C both along major highway arteries and adjacent to and surrounding Israeli communities in Area C.

As Regavim outlines, the primary means the Palestinians use to seize vast tracts of land is agriculture. And the main Palestinian group involved in the operations is called the Union of Agricultural Work Committees. Like Samidoun and other major BDS operatives, according to the Regavim report, the UAWC is riven with ties to the PFLP.

According to the report, “Both the PFLP and the UAWC have attempted to obscure their close ties, in order to portray the civilian organization as an independent non-profit. Notwithstanding their efforts, there is clear evidence of their ideological and financial interdependence.”

The report cites an internal USAID document from 1993 which refers to the UAWC as “the agricultural wing of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.”

The affiliation with the U.S. and EU designated terror group is ongoing, Regavim reports
For instanceJamil Muhamad Ismail Al Majdalawi, who served as the vice president of the UAWC in Gaza, is a senior PFLP commander. Regavim relays that he served as the PFLP commander in Gaza.

In 2013, Al Majdalawi served as PFLP’s representative to Fatah bodies. Fatah, the main faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization of which the PFLP is a member, is the PA ruling faction. Like Hamas and Islamic Jihad, the PLFP in Gaza attacks Israel with rockets and mortars.

Then too, Bashar Al Khiri served as the President of the UAWC Advisory Board from 2005 until 2010. Before taking up his position at the UAWC, he was in an Israeli prison after being convicted on terror charges. In 2012, the Israel Law Center, an Israeli legal group that defends terrorism victims informed Australian authorities that two Australian NGOs were in violation of Australian and U.S. anti-terror laws due to their financing of the PFLP-tied UAWC.

According to the Regavim report, UAWC receives funds from Norwegian People’s Aid, a Norwegian government funded group. In the past, USAID viewed NPA as a partner in its projects on behalf of the Palestinians. However, the Regavim study reports, in 2017, the U.S. Department of Justice indicted NPA on terrorism finance charges.

According to the Regavim report, “During the course of the trial, NPA admitted to supporting Iran, Hamas and a number of other terror organizations.”

According to the KGB archive published by Christopher Andrew and Vasili Mitrochin in The World Was Going Our Way: The KGB and the Battle for the Third World, beginning in 1970, the PFLP was largely controlled by the KGB. The KGB was drawn to the terror group, which was the pioneer of international passenger jet hijacking in part because of its Marxist-Leninist veneer. Today, using its leftist roots, the PFLP is pioneering the fusion of political warfare and terrorism as a means to legitimize both yhr PFLP itself, and its goal of annihilating Israel with the international left.

A case in point is the celebrity status that PFLP airplane hijacker Leila Khaled enjoys on the far left. In the early 1970s, Khaled carried out two airline hijackings. Last month Justin Rossomando pointed out in the Washington Examiner that leftist groups now view Khaled as a heroine. Her images are frequently featured in BDS propaganda on university campuses.

Rossomando notes that the Left’s iconography of Khaled shows that support for the PFLP “has gone mainstream elsewhere on the progressive Left.”

“The U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights and its Executive Director Youssef Munayyer have tweeted their support for this designated terrorist group,” he wrote.
He added:
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez retweeted Munayyer on an unrelated issue in February, illustrating how few degrees of separation there are between these trendy terrorists and actual elected officials. The Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, whose leadership includes at least one Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine official and whose events frequently feature PFLP’s flag, has also thrown its support behind Ocasio-Cortez and fellow freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar. Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., posed for a photo with a Samidoun’s U.S. coordinator Joe Catron last month.
The Palestinian terrorist groups responsible for the ongoing terror campaign against Israel are not the only actors involved in the political war being waged against Israel in the West, and on the ground in Israel.

But their involvement in BDS campaigns has worked to legitimize the organizations themselves, their terrorist aggression against Israel and ultimately, their goal of annihilating the Jewish state in the eyes of a large cross section of the hard core, and increasingly influential, hard left in America.

Caroline Glick is the Director of the David Horowitz Freedom Center's Israel Security Project and the Senior Contributing Editor of The Jerusalem Post. For more information on Ms. Glick's work, visit


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The Mullahs Promise "Demise of Israel" and American Civilization - Majid Rafizadeh

by Majid Rafizadeh

It is an unacceptable double-standard that the United Nations and the international community have been, and continue to be, silent about Iran's threats against Israeli citizens.

  • Iran recently produced a program on its state television channel demonstrating that the government is currently practicing missile attacks, with the purpose of carrying out actual attacks on Israel.... The video excerpt included in the television broadcast showed how the operations the Iranians are striving to put into action will bombard Tel Aviv.
  • From the perspective of the Iranian leaders, if they continue to increase their threats against Israel, the United States will be pressured to change its strategy and lift pressure that has been placed on the clerical establishment, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), and its elite branch, the Quds Force.
  • It is an unacceptable double-standard that the United Nations and the international community have been, and continue to be, silent about Iran's threats against Israeli citizens. If the situation were reversed and if Israel threatened to annihilate Iran, the international community would be up in arms, and quick to defend Iran. Through political and economic pressure, the ruling mullahs of Iran should be held accountable by the international community for endangering global security and regional stability.

The Iranian government continues to defy international standards, as it refuses to act as a rational and constructive state, even apart from its repeated malign behavior in the Gulf of Oman this week. Pictured: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at a June 13, 2019 press conference in Washington, DC, where he said, "It is the assessment of the US government that Iran is responsible for today's attacks [on oil tankers] in the Gulf of Oman. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

The Iranian government continues to defy international standards, as it refuses to act as a rational and constructive state, even apart from its repeated malign behavior in the Gulf of Oman this week. Iran's Supreme Guide Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who enjoys the final say in all of Iran's domestic and foreign policies, recently proclaimed to the youth in Iran that they will soon witness the demise of Israel and all of American civilization. This announcement was confirmed on the Supreme Leader's official website.

Khamenei made Iran's intentions clear while meeting with students. "You young people," he declared, "should be assured that you will witness the demise of the enemies of humanity, meaning the degenerate American civilization, and the demise of Israel".

Iran also recently produced a program on its state television channel demonstrating that the government is currently practicing missile attacks, with the purpose of carrying out actual attacks on Israel. The video excerpt included in the television broadcast showed how the operations the Iranians are striving to put into action will bombard Tel Aviv. The video concludes with images of Israeli citizens covered in white sheets, indicating great tragedy for Israel, and a victory for the Islamic Republic.

The Deputy Commander of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Hossein Salami, also recently threatened on Iran's Channel 2 TV that Israel is "vulnerable and bringing itself closer to death".

Salami made the strategy of the Iranian government vehemently clear by stating, "Our strategy is to erase Israel from the global political map. And, it seems that, considering the evil that Israel is doing, it is bringing itself closer to that." In addition, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei recently posted a Twitter tirade attacking Israel. It stated that "the Zionist regime will perish in the not so far future."

Why are the Iranian leaders ratcheting up threats against Israel and the Jews at these critical times? There seem to be two major reasons.

Aside from their proclaimed hatred of the country, there is, behind these increased threats, a political motive. From the perspective of the Iranian leaders, if they continue to increase their threats against Israel, the United States will be pressured to change its strategy and lift pressure that has been placed on the clerical establishment, the IRGC, and its elite branch, the Quds Force.

Since its establishment in 1979, the modus operandi of the Islamic Republic of Iran has been to pursue aggressive violent policies instead of attempting diplomatic initiatives in the Middle East.

Since US President Donald J. Trump withdrew from the flimsy nuclear deal, the Iranian leaders have been under significant economic pressure, and are seeking ways to escape it. Sanctions leveled against the Iranian government's military institutions -- the IRGC and its affiliates -- as well as the banking system and the oil sector, are placing financial and geopolitical pressure on the Islamic Republic. Iran's oil exports have declined by more than half, and its national currency, the rial, continues to lose value. As the squeeze continues on both political and economic dynamics within Iran, the government will grow more and more desperate.

It is not only inside the country that the Iranian leaders are feeling economic losses and pressure; Tehran's financial influence, investments and assistance to other countries, particularly Syria, are also being negatively impacted.

As the pressure continues, it is becoming extremely difficult for the Iranian authorities to continue funding, sponsoring and supporting its militias, proxies and terror groups across the Middle East.

According to the latest reports, Iran's reduced oil revenues have already caused Tehran to cut funding to its militias in Syria. As Iran's militias are not getting their salaries and benefits, their ability to continue to fight is being limited.

When these militias do not receive the required funds to operate and advance Iran's interests, some will begin to lose their power, erode, and even fall apart altogether. The Islamic Republic will likely lose the loyalty of other militias as they attempt to find new paymasters.

The second reason behind Iran's increasing threats against Israel is linked to one of the core pillars and revolutionary ideals of the Islamic Republic: destroying the Jewish state. It is also one of the religious prophecies of the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, and his successor, the current Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, that Israel will be eventually erased from the face of the earth.

As Iran's theocratic establishment believes that the Supreme Leader is Allah's representative on earth, whatever words or desires the Supreme Leader utters are considered wishes, which must be brought to life by Allah's true believers. With this religious drive, the undercurrent of hatred toward Israel is only amplified: each attack against the country is considered a holy act.

It is an unacceptable double-standard that the United Nations and the international community have been, and continue to be, silent about Iran's threats against Israeli citizens. If the situation were reversed and if Israel threatened to annihilate Iran, the international community would be up in arms, and quick to defend Iran. Through political and economic pressure, the ruling mullahs of Iran should be held accountable by the international community for endangering global security and regional stability.
  • Follow Majid Rafizadeh on Twitter

Dr. Majid Rafizadeh is a business strategist and advisor, Harvard-educated scholar, political scientist, board member of Harvard International Review, and president of the International American Council on the Middle East. He has authored several books on Islam and US foreign policy. He can be reached at Dr.Rafizadeh@Post.Harvard.Edu


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LGBTQ Bigotry - David Horowitz

by David Horowitz

Tyranny masquerading as tolerance.

[Order David Horowitz's new book, Dark Agenda: The War to Destroy Christian America.]
To anyone focused on real world events and relationships, America is obviously the most tolerant and inclusive society that has ever existed. If you are looking for irrefutable evidence, watch an hour of TV commercials created by major U.S. companies. Racially integrated couples, gay couples and families, multi-racial professionals and creators are featured on virtually every one. This would hardly be the case if anti-Black and anti-gay sentiments were perceived by corporate advertisers to pose a significant threat to their sales. The same is true of television programming generally, where series featuring little people, obese people, and every mix of gay couples, non-white and non-straight TV hosts and commentators, are ubiquitous all day long. Yet the political left and the Democratic Party still refuse to take yes for an answer and prefer instead to focus on fringe and marginalized bigots who come in all colors, genders and sexual orientations, and will be with us to the end of time.  
In fact, through a perverse but also inevitable twist to Identity Politics, the most aggressively bigoted and hate-filled censors seeking to suppress and marginalize individuals whom they regard as “other” are the very movements organized as advocates for “victim” minorities. The haters include white supremacist fringe movements who think that through attacks on Jews and Blacks they are actually defending whites (who are indeed targeted by so-called social justice warriors. But the most prominent and far more numerous hate groups are the social justice warriors themselves - Black Lives Matter, the misnamed Human Rights Campaign and the equally misnamed Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, an organization that is well-practiced in the art of defamation against what it refers to as “oppressor” groups.

Vice President Mike Pence and Trump’s gay Ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, are leading a Trump-inspired global campaign to end the criminalization of gay sex and gay relationships, but you would never know it from the hate that gay “civil rights” groups are directing at them. Pence has been singled out by leading Democratic presidential candidate, Pete Buttigieg as a dangerous bigot - not because he actually is a bigot but because he holds traditional Christian views of gay marriage, which offend Buttigieg and the gay vigilantes. When Buttigieg announced he was gay and introduced his husband in 2015, Pence went out of his way as the governor of Indiana – as Buttigieg’s political rival - to praise him for his public service as mayor of South Bend.

Being able to hold opinions that others find offensive is called freedom of conscience or religious liberty, and is the most basic freedom we have as Americans, which is why it is stipulated in the First Amendment to the Bill of Rights. It is the most basic freedom because without the ability to hold dissenting opinions and express them freely you can’t defend any of the other freedoms you have. The sin committed by Vice President Pence that gave Buttigieg the license to demonize and defame him was his signing of a bill to protect the religious liberty of the people of Indiana. The presumption behind Buttigieg’s slander of Pence was his membership in a group purportedly “marginalized” and therefore “oppressed.” In fact, in the present political climate, even in Indiana, Buttigieg’s homosexuality is an obvious asset – one so powerful as to catapult an obscure mayor of a crime-ridden small town to third or fourth place in the race to become the Democrats’ presidential candidate for 2020.        

Buttigieg’s assault on Pence and religious liberty was supported by the LGTBQ left represented by organizations like the Human Rights Campaign and GLAAD. Deploying victim politics to suppress opponents of leftist ideas has been the pattern of leftist attacks on Christians since gays won their rights through a series of questionable Supreme Court decisions culminating in the legalization of gay marriage in 2015.

Most notorious among the vigilante assaults was the attempt by a gay Colorado couple, to drive a Christian baker named Jack Phillips out of business because he could not in good conscience bake them a wedding cake endorsing gay marriage. There was nothing in Phillips’ attitude or behavior that a reasonable person would describe as bigoted. He was gracious to these gay customers, and offered to sell them any cake in the shop they desired. What he would not do was endorse a sacrament that violated his religious principles.

His gay assailants reciprocated by cursing him and smashing his wares as they exited his shop. They then mobilized the LGBTQ legal agencies to file suit and force him to defend himself in lengthy and expensive court battles. During these trials he was forced to give up making wedding cakes, which constituted 40% of his business.  Not satisfied with attacking his business, the LGBTQ vigilantes also incited a hate campaign against him personally. In one incident a member of their lynch mob called to inform Phillips he was coming to kill him. Phillips had to hide his granddaughters who were visiting him in the pantry until the police came. Eventually, Phillips won his Supreme Court case but this didn’t end the campaign against him. His gay antagonists came back with a request that he make them cakes dedicated to Satan and featuring other statements of belief they knew he could not accommodate.

Nor was Phillips alone as a target of gay-lesbian hate groups. In Lexington Kentucky, the Gay and Lesbian Services Organization (GLSO) asked a Christian T-shirt maker named Blaine Adamson to make them a T-shirt promoting a Gay Pride Festival. Adamson turned them down. He had done the same with many other T-shirt requests for slogans and causes he could not in good conscience produce. At the same time, he offered to connect them to a T-shirt maker who could and would fulfill their request. In other words, Adamson was a tolerant believer in live-and-let live American pluralism.

But his GLSO antagonists were not. They filed a lawsuit against him and began a public boycott campaign to defame him and drive him out of business. Large enterprises withdrew their patronage and the Mayor of Lexington denounced him. Adamson has prevailed in two court decisions but this has not caused his persecutors to relent. His case is now before the Kentucky Supreme Court, eight years after it began.

There are numerous cases like this all driven by the same agendas. Claiming the authority to pursue these vendettas through their status as a “marginalized” and “underserved” group – both demonstrable falsehoods - LGBTQ activists have conducted nationwide campaigns to force religious Christians to give up their freedom of conscience and submit to the kind of tyranny and religious persecution that caused America’s Founders to flee Europe and create the rights that have protected us ever since.

The assaults on these rights - vigorously encouraged and often led by the Obama Administration – have become so serious and so widespread that the Trump administration has countered with an “Extended Religious Conscience Rule” promulgated by the U.S. Health Agency. As summarized by Kaiser Health News, “The HHS rule is designed to protect the religious rights of health care providers and religious institutions by allowing them to opt out of procedures such as abortions, sterilizations and assisted suicide.”

In other words, if you are a religious Christian and believe in the sanctity of human life you cannot be forced to perform an abortion or assist in a suicide. In normal times, this might seem like a reasonable defense of religious liberty and individual conscience, without causing threats to third party patients since obviously there are plenty of health care providers who would be willing to perform the procedures.
But these are not normal times, and this is now the defining issue in the war between the left and Christian America.  A headline on the leftwing Internet site,, describes the conflict in these distorted and inflammatory terms: “Progressives fight back on the Christian right's grotesque ‘religious freedom’ power play.” Salon describes the new HHS rule as “a sweeping assault on civil rights” and an effort to advance the religious right’s “discriminatory agenda.” The legal director for “Americans United for Separation of Church and State has joined offered the following phony distinction to defend these assaults on the First Amendment: “Religious freedom is incredibly important. It’s right to believe and worship as you see fit. But it's never an excuse to discriminate.” In other words, you can have opinions and beliefs but keep them to yourself.

This is perfectly Orwellian. Under these guidelines, it’s discrimination to choose not to perform a procedure that would violate your most cherished principles and beliefs – but it’s okay to force people to do just that. By this logic it’s bigotry to hold a belief – for example against gay marriage – even if your real world behavior towards gay married couples like Pete Buttigieg and his husband is generous and tolerant. At the same time, it’s not bigotry to force people to perform acts that they consider hateful. Or to stop them from expressing themselves publicly. A senior living home in Oregon has actually banned its seniors from playing Christian music. The case is in the courts.

This is the divide in our nation today. The left has disconnected itself from the American tradition of individual freedom, which originated as an idea of the Protestant Reformation and became a fundamental part of our founding documents as the First Amendment. The First Amendment not only grants its beneficiaries freedom of conscience but the freedom to speak and advocate their conscience. Leftist opponents of these freedoms have redefined religious liberty so that it’s not liberty at all.

To totalitarian leftists, religious liberty is the freedom to worship according to the values you believe in, but not to advocate or live by those values; they have redefined tolerance as a mandate to force people to act against their beliefs if those beliefs are at odds with the prejudices of the left. These are anti-American ideas and they constitute a determined attack on America’s pluralistic culture – a culture and respect they hypocritically demand for themselves but refuse to afford to others. These attacks have already corroded our national dialogue and created divisions so deep it is problematic as to whether in the long run our nation can survive them.
Photo Credit: (Shutterstock).

David Horowitz
[For Frontpage editor Jamie Glazov's essay on David Horowitz's life and work, click here.]
David Horowitz is a conservative thinker and writer who has authored dozens of books over the course of his lifetime. He began his political career as one of the founders of the New Left in the 1960s and served as an editor of its largest magazine, Ramparts. As described in his bestselling autobiography Radical Son (1997), Horowitz was forced to confront some difficult truths about the political left after a close friend of his was murdered by the Black Panthers, and ultimately found a political and intellectual home as a conservative activist. Well-known conservative author and economist George Gilder described Radical Son as “the first great autobiography of his generation.”


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Trump Tightens Stranglehold on Castro’s Financial Throat - Humberto Fontova

by Humberto Fontova

Scraps Obama’s failed Cuba policy.

If Cuban troops and militia do not immediately cease military and other operations for the purpose of causing death and destruction to the constitution of Venezuela, a full and complete embargo, together with highest-level sanctions, will be placed on the island of Cuba,” ( Pres. Trump April 30, 2019.)

“Trump administration bans cruises to Cuba in clampdown on U.S. travel-– The Trump administration on Tuesday imposed heavy new restrictions on travel to Cuba by U.S. citizens, including a ban on cruises, in a bid to further pressure the Communist island.” (Reuters, June 4, 2019.)

As  often documented hereabouts, Castro’s military and secret police (the only people in Cuba with guns, in case some have forgotten) majority- own everything related to Cuba’s tourism  industry, which is the Castro-Crime-Syndicate’s 2nd largest source of income, slightly behind what they extort and otherwise squeeze out of their miserable Venezuelan colony in stolen oil and drug-smuggling proceeds.

Any more questions about why the Trump team decided to attend to this travel matter? (i.e. to once again make good on a threat to a foreign adversary?)

But wasn’t Obama’s Cuba policy of forgiving The Castro-Crime-Syndicate’s mass theft of U.S. property, its torture and murder of U.S. citizens, its blatant terror-sponsorship and drug-smuggling while showering it with $billions of U.S. dollars–wasn’t this shrewd policy guaranteed  to turn Cuba into a Spanish-speaking Switzerland? Well: 
“Cuba continues to play a destabilizing role in the Western Hemisphere, providing a communist foothold in the region and propping up U.S. adversaries in places like Venezuela and Nicaragua by fomenting instability, undermining the rule of law, and suppressing democratic processes. This Administration has made a strategic decision to reverse the loosening of sanctions and other restrictions on the Cuban regime. These actions will help to keep U.S. dollars out of the hands of Cuban military, intelligence, and security services.”  (Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.)

Some perspective: in 2017, Cuba received 1.5 million visitors from the U.S.  Given a big spike in recent cruise ship landings, that figure was expected to balloon in 2019, and the Castro-Crime-Syndicate was rubbing its hands and whooping in anticipation of this Obama-generated financial windfall.

Those delighted whoops have now turned to wails of anger and grief.   

But wasn’t Cuba historically a tourist playground for Americans, some might ask? Sure. But here’s some more perspective:

When travel to Cuba was promoted by the U.S. government and Cuba served as a “tourist playground” for Americans  (the 1950’s), the island annually received  around  200,000 tourists from the U.S.  In fact , up until 1953,  more Cubans had vacationed in the U.S. annually than did Americans in Cuba, as befit a developed nation with a larger middle-class than much of Europe of the time.  

But, as mentioned, on a year (2017) when tourism to Cuba from the U.S. was outlawed by congressionally-passed and presidentially-signed laws the island received upwards of ONE AND A HALF MILLION tourists from the U.S. 

Sounds crazy, I know. But here it is straight from the U.S. State Dept. “Tourist travel to Cuba is prohibited under U.S. law for U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and others subject to U.S. jurisdiction.” 

Obviously there was something drastically wrong with that picture--with such a flagrant scoffing at U.S. law. Any more questions why the Trump team decided to attend to this travel matter? (i.e. to once again make good on a threat to a snickering foreign adversary who --catastrophically as it turned out!--thought he was still dealing with Obama?)

What happened recently is that, though U.S. tourism to Cuba remained technically illegal according to U.S. law, Obama opened up so many loopholes that Americans became 2nd only to Canadians as vacationers in Cuba (i.e. as financial partners with the Stalinist, terror-sponsoring regime’s military and secret-police.)

 “A, B, C--easy as one, two, three,” goes the famous song. And just as easily predicted by all “Right-Wing-Cuban-American-Crackpots” (i.e. people who thoroughly understand Castroism from firsthand experience)—just like the song:  A.) Obama’s executive orders further enriched the Stalinist regime B.) who thus became fat and happy C.) unleashed a wave of terror on their subjects (both Cuban and Venezuelan) unlike anything seen in decades.

This (eminently predictable) Castroite wave of terror was verified even by leftist watchdog groups like Amnesty international.   

As Obama implemented his Cuba “opening” (to cheers from libertarians) your humble servant went blue in the face trying to explain the horrible--but eminently predictable--consequence to some libertarians on John Stossell’s show.

In fact, contrary to all the media blather about Raul Castro’s and his successor’s (i.e puppet’s) Diaz-Canel’s “reforms,” Cuba hasn’t budged a millimeter from its spot in the Heritage Economic Freedom list. It still maintains its proud historic ranking of almost dead last, next to its partner in Stalinism North Korea.

And regarding all the Fake News Media blather about Cuba’s “new and burgeoning private sector!” and how this “vibrant economic sector!” now employs a hefty “and growing!” chunk of Cuba’s working population! And how Trump’s “clamp-down” (i.e enforcement of U.S. law) will “hurt Cuba’s private sector hardest!”—regarding this Fake News Media/Castro agent mantra, some of us actually bothered to run the numbers.

In the process, your humble servant revealed that-- as a percentage of the Cuban population-- the number of Cuban’s currently “self-employed” in Cuba is about the same as were similarly employed when fanatical Maoist/Stalinist Che Guevara served as Cuba’s “Minister of the Economy.”

Hence, yet another Fake News Media lie about Cuba bites the dust.

Humberto Fontova


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Israel demands EU countries end funding for BDS groups - Yair Altman

by Yair Altman

Hat tip: Dr. Jean-Charles Bensoussan

Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan calls on US, Spain, Belgium, Norway, France, Brazil, India, Germany, and Britain to cease support to the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement. By disguising themselves as human rights activists, BDS organizations are able to raise millions of euros from Western states, he says.

Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan has contacted his counterparts in 10 countries with the demand to end funding for organizations that support a boycott of Israel.

Among the countries whose officials were contacted by Erdan were Spain, Belgium, the United States, Norway, France, Brazil, India, Germany, and Britain. In December 2018, the EU’s Court of Auditors published a comprehensive report that found a lack of transparency in the European Union’s funding of nongovernmental organizations.

At the time, Erdan, who oversees Israel’s efforts to combat the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, contacted European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker with a request to ensure the EU halts funding to Palestinian organizations that support boycotts of Israel and prevent the transfer of future funds to organizations that promote boycotts of Israel.

In March, the EU’s Foreign Affairs Council made the decision to adopt the principles of the EU’s Court of Auditors’ report.

Over the past two years, the Strategic Affairs Ministry has published two reports on EU funding to organizations that promote a boycott of Israel. According to these reports, the EU transfers at least €5 million ($5.6 million) to such organizations every year.

Another significant achievement in the effort to cut state funding to such groups came with the closure of the Ramallah-based Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat, which served as a funding mechanism for the European government and counted among its members Sweden, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Switzerland.

Although they have been able to receive funding from individual states, the Strategic Affairs Ministry believes the secretariat’s closure delivered a serious blow to the BDS groups as since then they have received fewer funds.

Some 350 participants from 30 countries are set to arrive in Israel next week for an international conference aimed at coordinating the struggle against efforts to delegitimize Israel and fight the BDS campaign.

According to Erdan, “The anti-Semitic BDS organizations disguise themselves as human rights activists, thereby succeeding in raising millions of euros from Western states. BDS organizations themselves have testified that our activity is one of the central threats they face.”

Yair Altman


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A Jew in SS uniform - Akiva Bigman

by Akiva Bigman

Hat tip: Dr. Jean-Charles Bensoussan

An Orthodox Jew from Manhattan, William Brickman never expected to be dispatched to Germany during World War II. There, posing as an SS officer behind enemy lines, Brickman's job was to catch Nazis attempting to flee Germany for South America.

A Jew in SS uniform
William Brickman, far right, with his fellow agents in Nazi uniform

Haim Brickman was just 5 years old when he learned that his stepfather had been a Nazi officer. It was the 1960s, and the newly blended family had just relocated to the Philadelphia suburbs for Haim’s stepfather William’s, academic career. While rummaging through some boxes in the basement, Haim discovered an SS uniform, officer insignia, Nazi flags, documents in German and worst of all, a picture of his father in full Nazi uniform.

Shocked at what he had found, Haim ran up the basement stairs, his mind racing. “Could my mother have unknowingly married a Nazi?” “What else is he hiding from us?” “What crimes was he involved in?” Panting and out of breath, Haim entered the kitchen and yelled out, “Mommy, Daddy is a Nazi!” Haim’s mother smiled. That was the moment when he learned his family’s big secret.

Haim is my uncle. I have known about his stepfather for a few years now, and every year I am reminded of his past on Holocaust Remembrance Day. This year, though, I decided to look into the matter. Over the past few weeks, I have been collecting countless documents from personal archives and a few institutions in Israel and the US. Naturally, not everything was preserved in full. Some of the stories lack detail, while in other instances, there are discrepancies between the various documents and Haim’s childhood memories. But nevertheless, what I have been able to learn makes a fascinating and inspiring story.

This is the incredible story of William Zeev Brickman, a professor of education, American spy and an emissary behind the Iron Curtain.

William Wolfgang Brickman was born in June 1913 in Manhattan, the son of Shalom-David, a German Jew, and Lahia-Sarah, a Jewish woman originally from the Polish town of Jedwabne, the infamous site where the Polish locals murdered their Jewish neighbors.

As a member of an Orthodox Jewish family, Brickman mostly spoke Yiddish at home, while he learned English and other languages out on the street. His father died when he was young, apparently the result of a self-inflicted umbilical hernia aimed at helping avoid the military draft back in Europe.

William was a towering, vibrant boy. When he registered for college, he decided to play it safe and major in something he knew he would be good at. With a background in German and Yiddish, he decided registered for the German and education programs at the City University of New York.

Agent 004

During the 1930s, Brickman got his doctorate in German, Latin and education, managing to overcome the hostility and often anti-Semitism of some of the academic staff. His knowledge of Yiddish from home and knack for languages in general allowed him to develop great expertise in a number of languages, including full mastery of various local dialects. According to his academic resume, he could read 20 European languages, in addition to Latin and ancient Greek, three Asian and two African languages.

By the late 1930s, Brickman had a blossoming academic career, but World War II broke out and threw a wrench in his plans. In March 1943, one year after the US entered the war, he was drafted into the air force as a historian and German-language expert. In a letter of recommendation for an officers’ course, Brickman’s direct commander at his base in Fort Worth, Texas described him as “a scholar turned soldier, who proudly made the transition from civilian to military life.”

Brickman had requested to be drafted as an officer in the air force’s medical or chemical warfare units. All signs point to him having been convinced the war would serve as a sort of continuation of his academic career, but once again, fate would have other plans.

In late 1944, following the allied invasion of northern France, it was clear the demise of the Third Reich was a matter of time. The US military was on the lookout for German speakers, when Brickman’s name came up. He was summoned to interviews that were presented to him as ascertaining whether he would be a good fit for the occupation forces in Germany after the war. Brickman was supposed to serve in the occupation forces’ postal service, where his knowledge of German would be considered an advantage, they said.  He scored high marks on the language exams, and of course, was accepted for the role. Though he did not know it at the time, his peaceful life was about to get a lot more interesting. A few weeks later, when he received his new draft order for his unit, it was clear to Brickman that the war was going to be an entirely different experience for him than he had expected.

According to the military documents, Brickman was to be stationed with the US Counter Intelligence Corps 970th division, which operated in liberated territories in order to catch Nazi agents that had stayed behind. Between Jan. and Feb. of 1945, Brickman took an intelligence course at the Fort Ritchie base in Maryland, in preparation for his being stationed in liberated Germany. According to his son Haim, at this stage, there was yet another change in plans and Brickman was drafted to the Office of Strategic Services, the US intelligence agency that would later become the CIA.

At first, Brickman was alarmed. Beyond the challenges of being stationed overseas, he did not want to leave his mother, who was alone and suffering from a serious illness, behind. As an Orthodox Jew, he also feared that on such a mission, he would not be able to maintain his religious way of life. Nevertheless, Brickman would soon be identified as Agent 004. Later on, his relatives would joke that Brickman had in fact preceded Agent 007, otherwise known as James Bond.

Setting the trap

Service in the OSS was particularly challenging, and Brickman’s unit was to be stationed inside Germany, behind enemy lines, in the twilight of the Third Reich. Their objective: to capture senior SS officers that tried to escape and evade capture. The plan was to parachute into the border area between Germany and then-Czechoslovakia – an area known for being a center where Nazis would head in order to flee the country, in particular to Argentina, and pose as senior officers to catch those attempting to flee. For reasons that remain unclear, instead of parachuting in, the forces crossed the border by foot, setting up camp in Regensberg, Germany. This was made easier by the fact that the allied forces had already made significant progress, and the battle for Berlin was already in its advanced stages. The Germans began to destroy documents and archives, and the chaos that pervaded made it impossible to check the identities of agents posing as Nazi officers, thus allowing them to carry out their missions.

The official military documents I found while researching this article do not add any information or details about this period. All I know is what Brickman himself said about this time in conversations with his stepson. As Brickman told it, his unit offered Nazi officers a way out of the country, interrogated them and then foiled their escape plans. Their working assumption was that the only people in the area with the means and desire to leave Germany would be senior officers in the SS and the Wehrmacht.

Their method went something like this: Some of the agents in the unit would go out in public, mainly to the bars the Nazi officers were known to frequent. After having given the appearance they had been drinking, the agents would begin to brag about about how they could help those who had the money flee the country for South America. When someone would turn to the agents and ask for their help, they would direct them to a specific cabin, where the agent would say they would find a Nazi officer with the connections and ability to get them out of the country. The Nazis would arrive at the cabin at night, where they would be greeted by a secretary who would ask them a few questions about where they served, their ranking and the like. The secretary would then call Brickman, who would be waiting in the office inside.

Brickman would be dressed in SS fatigues, on his shoulder the insignia of a military rank higher than that of his guest.

According to Haim, his stepfather “made sure not to take things too far. He wanted to remain credible, but he wanted to be more senior than the Nazi in order for him to obey him and treat him with respect.”

In his conversation with the Nazi, Brickman would investigate the officer over his actions in the war and the places where he had served, before agreeing on a payment for his evacuation. Eventually, Brickman would send him a rendezvous point on the Czechoslovakian border and an agreed upon date when a group would prepare to leave for South America. When that date arrived, the Nazi officers would show up to the meeting point. But instead of finding their guides for the trip out of the country, they would find other OSS officers, who would take them hostage and transfer them to allied prisons. Other senior officers were taken to Nuremberg.

In one case, Brickman’s unit had received information about the presence of very high-ranking SS officer in one of the villages in the area, and the agents set out to arrest him. Brickman entered the room, gave him two minutes to pack before leaving. The officer protested, saying he had many possessions and needed more time. Brickman made it clear that if he was not be ready, he would be arrested and dragged through the streets naked. Two minutes later, the officer was ready.

Brickman was involved in a mission to catch Martin Berman, one of the heads of the German Nazi regime. While the allies suspected he was hanging around the Czechoslovakian border, there were no pictures of him available, so he could not be identified. Brickman arrived at the village where Berman was born and located the school he had attended as a boy. It was there he found a photograph of Burman, which he distributed to his fellow agents. According to Haim’s account, his father managed to get to the village where Burman had apparently been hiding, although he did not ultimately succeed in catching him.

After the war, Brickman went back to working with the Counter Intelligence Services, where he was made responsible for Germany’s Deggendorf district. When the Nuremberg trials began, he was stationed at one point with the security unit tasked with the area where the trials were held. In this role, a disguised Brickman would try to infiltrate the site in civilian clothes, with the aim of exposing weaknesses in the security system there. From time to time, when he would walk around among the Nazis’ cells, he would run into a prisoner he had helped capture. He would take the opportunity to remove his military hat and reveal his kippah underneath. “He wanted to show them that fate had been reversed, and the victims had become the masters,” Haim said.

In the months after the war, Haim would often serve as a witness at Jewish wedding ceremonies for concentration camp survivors conducted by a rabbi from the US military.

Brickman set himself a goal of collecting as many materials as possible from the Nazi era during his stay in postwar Germany, in order to preserve and document them for the sake of historical remembrance.

Among these documents, some of which are now at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial and museum in Jerusalem, others now housed in Brown University’s archives, one can find a collection of files and pamphlets from the Nazi era. There is also a copy of the Nazi party’s 1933 campaign platform, numerous Reichsmark bills, various limericks and everyday documents distributed by the regime. One of the more important findings that Brickman managed to take with him from Germany was an elegant album produced by the Gestapo that detailed the various torture methods used by the secret police. The album was donated to the Yad Vashem archives in 1960, along with uniforms, flags, pins, a collection of stamps and various other items from that period.

Postcards from behind the Iron Curtain 

Upon his discharge from the army in April 1946, Brickman returned to the academic track. He studied with the well-known philosopher John Dewey, and during the 1950s, taught at New York University’s Department of Education, where he headed the department’s history program. In 1960, he transferred to the University of Pennsylvania, where he served as the head of the comparative education department.

Taking advantage of his knowledge of a variety of languages, Brickman’s research focused on the comparison of different education systems around the world. He wrote dozens of books on education, published dozens of articles in periodicals and Jewish magazines and edited a journal in the field.

In 1958, Brickman married Sylvia Mann, the daughter of a Jerusalemite family that had immigrated to the US. Mann was divorced with two children, Haim and his sister Simcha. It was in the early 1960s, when Brickman became a faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania that the family moved to that house in Philadelphia, taking with them William’s large collection of books and various objects that would expose Haim to his past.

According to Haim, William didn’t talk much about that time in his life. But Haim does recall how his stepfather would embarrass him whenever they would go see a James Bond movie together. “He would erupt in laughter in the middle of the movie. It really embarrassed me as a child,” Haim said.

Haim also recalled how his stepfather had refused to hire an attorney when he was called into court for some matter or another. “I underwent interrogation training, and I can get along just fine on my own,” William explained.

Just like at the outset of his military service, quite a few surprises were awaiting Brickman in his academic career. As an expert on comparative education fluent in world languages, the US State Department hired him to asses education systems around the world. It was the beginning of the aviation era and the status of the US was rising in the world, and America was contending with an influx of students coming to the country to get a higher education.
William Brickman stands in front of an anti-Semitic poster in the Soviet Union
In order to assess their academic level and intellectual capability, there was a need to carry out in-depth surveys of education systems in their countries of origin and develop methods for comparing high-school graduates from different places. Brickman joined many such delegations, including to Israel, and compiled reports on the subject for the State Department as well as the Dept. of Education.

Of particular interest are his journeys to the Soviet Union, China and countries in Eastern Europe. On these travels, Brickman would not suffice with meeting senior officials in the nation’s capital and writing down the official version provided by the authorities, but rather would try as much as possible to tour the schools themselves and gain a first-hand impression of what was happening out in the field.

A troubled Jewish heart

While we don’t know whether Brickman was working for the intelligence service on these journeys, we do know for certain that he had developed an independent line of Jewish intelligence. After learning of the difficult situation the Jews in the Soviet Union faced, he began to bring religious articles and books with him on his trips and distribute them to members of the local community who were doing whatever they could, and at any price, to preserve their identity. Because the authorities would not check the contents of his suitcase upon entering the country, he could smuggle in large amounts of material. Upon departing, Brickman would take with him letters to the West, which he would conceal under a heavy pile of Soviet propaganda material, so that during the security check at the airport, no one would get suspicious.

In one of his reports, Brickman describes how he was almost caught. In Jan. 1972, while at the airport, waiting to depart for Leningrad, the decision was made to carry out a thorough check of his items.

“That was the first time my belongings were examined. They found a few copies of the Pravda newspaper, some writing by Karl Lenin, speeches by Brezhnev,” he said. As the officials seemed suspicious, Brickman showed them his library card for the Lenin Library and that made the necessary impression. I was allowed to continue in the direction of the bus.”

Brickman’s frequent journeys to the Soviet Union led him to connect with Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, who invested great efforts in preserving ties with the Jews in the Soviet Union at that time.

On one of his visits to Moscow, Brickman went to a synagogue on Friday night. Moscow’s Chief Rabbi Yehuda Leib Levin, who knew of his guest’s identity but feared the KGB agents planted in the crowd, gave a sermon in Russian in which he praised the authorities for supporting Jewish education, synagogues, religious institutions, and so on and forth. But in the middle of his speech, he looked directly at Brickman and under his breath, muttered the words of the kaddish, the mourner’s prayer. That was all it took for Brickman to understood that Soviet Jewry was on its deathbed.

Within the framework of his activity in the Soviet Union, Brickman forged ties with the Israeli Embassy in Moscow. One of the Pentateuch’s in William’s possession contains a special dedication from Ambassador Yaacov Sharett, the son of Israel’s second Prime Minister Moshe Sharett, dated the eve of Rosh Hashanah, 1960. The dedication reads: “To the dear, dedicated and brave Professor Brickman, in memory of many other Pentateuchs.”

Brickman died in the US in 1986, and was buried in Jerusalem’s Har Hamenuchot cemetery. He now has 25 great-grandchildren who reside in Israel. At his funeral, he was lauded for his contribution to Jewish education in the US and his efforts to obtain federal funding for Jewish day schools.

Akiva Bigman


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