Saturday, October 5, 2019

Brennan Hears Barr's 'Chilling' Footsteps - Daniel John Sobieski

by Daniel John Sobieski

Barr may be closing on James Clapper and former CIA Director John Brennan for their seditious roles in the attempted coup against President Trump.

James Clapper, the man who lied to Congress about spying on the American people was shocked back in April to hear William Barr testify before Congress that, yes, he thought that the Trump campaign had been spied upon by his political opponents. As Breitbart reported:
Well, I thought it was most stunning and scary. I was amazed at that and rather disappointed that the attorney general would say such a thing. The term “spying” has all kinds of negative connotations, and I have to believe he chose that term deliberately. And I think it’s incredible that if he has concerns, he would have easily on his first day on the job, after his confirmation, asked his own IG, the Inspector General of the Department of Justice, for a briefing on his preliminary, in the course of his investigation, that is, the IG’s investigation, whether there was any wrongdoing by the FBI.
Barr has more than that, it would seem and has sent chills up Clapper’s spine that the walls may be closing in, not on President Trump, but on Clapper and former CIA Director John Brennan for their seditious roles in the attempted coup against the President. According to a Wall Street Journal report:
Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper says… that Attorney General William Barr appears to be investigating a high-confidence finding of the US intelligence community assessment of the 2016 election sends a "chilling message to the intelligence community."
Brennan may be hearing those footsteps get louder as well with his increasingly hysterical commentaries at MSNBC, which, along with CNN, is where liars and leakers go to die, warning President Trump to keep off the grass. As Fox News reports:
Brennan… said he was "supposedly" going to be interviewed by U.S. Attorney John Durham but was concerned about Barr's role in the process of looking at the origins of the long-running Russia election meddling probe.
Given that Barr is now accompanying Durham on these things, it really makes me think that the hand of politics and of Trump are now being used to massage what this ongoing review quasi-investigation is," Brennan told host Nicole Wallace. "So I am concerned."
Fox News commentator and former congressman Jason Chaffetz notes Brennan’s panic and feels he is right to be concerned:
Chaffetz expressed that it was important for Barr to investigate Brennan and former director of National Intelligence James Clapper.
"If you're going to get to the bottom of the FISA [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] abuse, you have to understand what those two gentlemen were doing or not doing, and Barr has to pursue those facts."
"I think Brennan and Clapper have both shown their political bias. I think they're frightened to death that Michael Horowitz report is on the verge of coming out, that Mr. Durham has been on their tail, that the truth is going to be exposed…"
It is laughable for Brennan to be concerned about “the hand of politics” since it was his intelligence community that meddled in the 2016 elections in ways a foreign adversary such as Russia could only dream of and attempted to overthrow a duly elected president. And where did the Ukraine whistleblower come from? John Brennan’s CIA.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer once warned, some would say threatened, Trump, even before he took office, regarding the power of the intelligence community and its wrath against those who question its authority over our government and our lives. As the Washington Examiner reported:
"Let me tell you: You take on the intelligence community -- they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you," said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer Tuesday evening on MSNBC after host Rachel Maddow informed him that intelligence sources told NBC news that the briefing had not been delayed.
Is the Ukraine “whistleblower” the latest attempt by John Brennan’s intelligence community “getting back” at Trump?

As Rush Limbaugh and others have reported, Brennan took a trip to the Ukraine using a fake passport to dig up dirt on Trump:
“Now, John Brennan’s hands are as dirty as Obama’s in this whole thing. John Brennan… traveled to Ukraine back in the time period around 2016 under a fake passport so it wouldn’t be known that he had gone, and he was arranging data on the dossier and all of the other dirt that they were trying to amass. Ukraine -- not Russia, Ukraine -- is the center of the universe of all this… “John Brennan, Obama’s director-CIA, went to Ukraine under a fake passport so that nobody would know it was him. Fake name. Can you do that? Can you get a fake passport? No. John Brennan can, CIA director. I’m surprised he even needed a passport. But he went under a fake passport to get opposition research on Trump!
As I wrote here recently, Brennan may have colluded with foreign spies to help Hillary Clinton. And the mind harkens back to the day when an op/ed in the Washington Post, that right-wing rag, called for Brennan to be fired for conducting illegal surveillance of the Senate Intelligence Committee and then lying about it:
Brennan was asked by NBC’s Andrea Mitchell whether the CIA had illegally accessed Senate Intelligence Committee staff computers “to thwart an investigation by the committee into” the agency’s past interrogation techniques… Brennan answered:
As far as the allegations of, you know, CIA hacking into, you know, Senate computers, nothing could be further from the truth. I mean, we wouldn’t do that. I mean, that’s -- that’s just beyond the -- you know, the scope of reason in terms of what we would do. {…}
And, you know, when the facts come out on this, I think a lot of people who are claiming that there has been this tremendous sort of spying and monitoring and hacking will be proved wrong.
(You can see the video of Brennan’s answer here.)
Now we know that the truth was far different. The Post’s Greg Miller reports:
CIA Director John O. Brennan has apologized to leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee after an agency investigation determined that its employees improperly searched computers used by committee staff to review classified files on interrogations of prisoners. {…}
A statement released by the CIA on Tuesday acknowledged that agency employees had searched areas of that computer network that were supposed to be accessible only to committee investigators. Agency employees were attempting to discover how congressional aides had obtained a secret CIA internal report on the interrogation program.
Brennan’s briefing of Sen. Harry Reid, which included information from the Steele dossier, certainly is a key indicator of his participation in the campaign to keep and/or kick Donald Trump out of the White House:

“According to Russian Roulette, by Yahoo! News chief investigative correspondent Michael Isikoff and David Corn, the Washington bureau chief of the left-wing Mother Jones, Brennan contacted Reid on Aug. 25, 2016, to brief him on the state of Russia’s interference in the presidential campaign. Brennan briefed other members of the so-called Gang of Eight, but Reid is the only one who took direct action.

Two days after the briefing, Reid wrote a letter to then-FBI Director James Comey asserting that “evidence of a direct connection between the Russian government and Donald Trump’s presidential campaign continues to mount.”

Reid’s letter referred to some public reporting about Trump campaign associates’ links to the Kremlin, but he also included a reference to information that may not have been made public at the time. He cited allegations that were included in the infamous Steele dossier about Carter Page, an adviser to the Trump campaign at the time.

Brennan is a ringleader in the deep state coup against Trump. Instead of accusing AG Bill Barr of being corrupt, this might be a good time for Brennan to exercise his right to be silent.

Daniel John Sobieski is a former editorial writer for Investor’s Business Daily and free lance writer whose pieces have appeared in Human Events, Reason Magazine, and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.


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American Jewry’s Days of Reckoning - Caroline Glick

by Caroline Glick

While anti-Israel groups like J Street oppose legislative initiatives to penalize companies that boycott Israel, other liberal groups, like the ADL sit on the fence.

Crown Heights antisemitism

On September 29, President Donald Trump set out his nationalist political philosophy in his address before the UN General Assembly. Arguing that the nation-state is the best guarantor of human freedom and liberty, Trump set up a contrast between “patriots” and “globalists.”

“The future does not belong to globalists,” he said.

“The future belongs to patriots.  The future belongs to sovereign and independent nations who protect their citizens, respect their neighbors, and honor the differences that make each country special and unique.”

Jewish nationalists, that is, Zionists, could hear their core convictions echoed in Trump’s statement. Israeli political philosopher Yoram Hazony made much the same argument in his book, The Virtue of Nationalism, which was published last year.

One of the regimes most opposed to nationalism is the Iranian regime. Iran’s leaders view the regime not as the government of the nation of Iran, but as the leader of a global jihad, which will end with the regime’s domination of the world, in the name of Islam – not Iran.

Anti-Semitism is one of the animating doctrines of Iran’s regime. The leaders ascribe to genocidal Jew hatred. They use their commitment to annihilating Israel and war against the Jewish state as a means to build legitimacy for their regime and revolution throughout the Islamic world.

In his speech, Trump highlighted the regime’s anti-Semitism and its commitment to annihilate Israel.

Trump also excoriated the Arab world for refusing to recognize Israel’s right to exist, saying, “Fanatics have long used hatred of Israel to distract from their own failures.”

Trump pledged, “America will never tolerate such anti-Semitic hate.”

Rather than earning him plaudits, American Jews were caustic in their response to Trump’s speech. Britain’s Independent reported that several American Jews condemned Trump’s speech as anti-Semitic. For instance, Laura Seay, a political science professor in Texas tweeted, “So…Trump condemns anti-Semitism in the same speech he started with anti-Semitic code language like ‘globalism.’

A couple weeks before Trump delivered his address to the UN, the leaders of the Reform movement published a pre-Rosh Hashana statement on the movement’s website. Rather than concern themselves with Jewish continuity or spiritual renewal, the statement was a long diatribe against Trump.

Among other things, they alleged, “Since taking office, President Trump’s words and actions have sowed division, spread fear, and expressed hateful views that go far beyond the legitimate expressions of policy differences that characterize healthy political debate.”

The question is, what has the Reform movement done for American Jews? According to a few hundred Jewish demonstrators who congregated outside New York City Hall on September 22, the answer is: Nothing.

The purpose of the demonstration was to demand that city officials take effective action to stem the rising wave of anti-Semitic attacks in the city.

According to a report published in May by the New York Police Department, from January through May of this year, New York City experienced an 83 percent rise in hate crime. 59 percent of hate crimes in the city are directed against Jews. And anti-Semitic attacks have risen 90 percent in the past year.

Among the participants, Morton Klein, the president of the Zionist Organization of America was the only leader of a major Jewish organization. Aside from two New York city councilmen, no Jewish politicians attended the event. New York Senator Charles Schumer wasn’t there. Neither were any of the Jewish representatives from New York.

The Union of Reform Judaism also didn’t send a representative.

It isn’t difficult to understand why almost every Jewish leader ignored the rally. The Jews under assault aren’t their sort of Jews. And the people attacking them aren’t their sort of anti-Semites.

The Jewish victims in New York are not Reform Jews. They are ultra-Orthodox Jews. And they don’t live in Manhattan. They live in Brooklyn.

Shortly after the NYPD released its hate crimes report, New York’s Mayor Bill De Blasio held a press conference in Brooklyn. There he insisted that the anti-Semitic assaults are the work of the far right. In his words, “I think the ideological movement that is anti-Semitic is the right-wing movement.”

He added, “I want to be very, very clear, the violent threat, the threat that is ideological is very much from the right.”

Unfortunately for De Blasio, there are no neo-Nazis in Crown Heights and Williamsburg. The perpetrators of the attacks against his city’s Jewish community are not Trump voters. They are his voters.

Most of the perpetrators are African Americans, and as such, like the Reform Jews, they are members in good standing of the progressive camp in American politics.

The liberal Jewish establishment in America is far more comfortable talking about neo-Nazis than black anti-Semites. That is a large part of the reason that in its annual reports on anti-Semitic attacks in the United States in 2017 and 2018, the Anti-Defamation League tried hard to give the impression that most anti-Semitism in the U.S. emanates from the political right, and is inspired by President Trump. But the facts point to a different conclusion.

Last month the Amcha Initiative, which documents, investigates and combats anti-Semitism on college campuses, published its 2018 report on campus anti-Semitism. The report revealed that classic anti-Semitic attacks – that is, right-wing anti-Semitic attacks — decreased 42 percent. In contrast, 2018 saw a 70 percent increase in leftist anti-Semitic attacks on campuses.

The report’s most alarming finding is that faculty members are playing a central role in propagating and inciting anti-Semitism on campuses by pushing academic boycotts of Israel. Their decisive role – and the fact that their actions are largely backed by university administrators – indicates that anti-Semitism has become institutionalized in American academia.

Rather than fight against this dangerous state of affairs, major Jewish groups have been diffident in their responses. While anti-Israel groups like J Street oppose legislative initiatives to penalize companies that boycott Israel, other liberal groups, like the ADL sit on the fence. They give lip service to anti-BDS laws while grousing incoherently that supporting the penalization of those who discriminate against Israeli Jews somehow breaches the First Amendment or otherwise causes undefined harm to the Jewish community.

The frustrating fact is that these liberal Jewish organizations could make a difference if they wished. If major Jewish groups, including the Reform movement, were to wage a serious, sustained campaign against U.S. academia’s institutionalization of anti-Semitism, liberal politicians would be doing much more than they have been to combat the phenomenon.

Notably, as they hem and haw, the same Trump administration which the liberal Jewish establishment regularly accuses of unleashing anti-Semitism is taking steps to curtail the scourge of academic Jew hatred.

Last month for instance, the Department of Education sent warning letters to Duke University and to University of North Carolina after they used federal funds to finance an anti-Semitic conference.

Which brings us to the ultra-Orthodox Jews in Brooklyn. The attacks against the Jews of Crown Heights, Williamsburg and Boro Part are serious and growing more frequent.

Jews walking down the streets are beset by assailants who call them, “Dirty Jew” and beat them, with sticks and fists. Jews are sideswiped with bricks. Jewish women are assaulted, their head coverings violently removed. Synagogues are vandalized.

The violence against the Jews of Brooklyn is reminiscent of the black community’s violent pogrom against the Jews of Crown Heights in 1991. In August 1991, more than 180 members of the Chabad community were injured in a three-day, four-night pogrom carried out by African and Caribbean American rioters. Yankel Rosenbaum, a visiting student from Melbourne, Australia was brutally beaten and stabbed to death.

One of the main black leaders who incited the pogrom was Rev. Al Sharpton, the self-styled civil rights leader. Despite the fact that Sharpton never apologized for stirring up the mass violence against the Jews and then maintaining it for days after it first began, over the past decade, Sharpton has risen in stature in the Democratic party to the point where Democratic presidential hopefuls make pilgrimages to him in the hope of securing his endorsement. MSNBC gave him a show.

And, in recent months, as the Jews of Crown Heights again absorb blows from their African American neighbors, the Reform Jewish movement has joined Sharpton’s fan club.

On Rosh Hashana, the tony East Side Synagogue honored Sharpton at its service. In May, the Religious Action Center of the Reform movement held a conference in Washington, DC titled “Consultation on Conscience.” They invited Sharpton, whom they touted as a “civil rights leader” to speak.

Rosenbaum’s brother Norman Rosenbaum decried the RAC’s decision to invite Sharpton in an op-ed in the Washington Examiner. “Sharpton has never apologized or shown any remorse for his actions during the 1991 Crown Heights Pogrom,” he noted.

“How pathetic it is that the Religious Action Center’s conference is titled ‘Consultation on Conscience.’ That organization, in having Al Sharpton speak, only demonstrates that it has none,” he concluded.

The liberal Jewish leadership’s decision to pretend away progressive anti-Semitism is not unhinged. As a decade of survey data has shown conclusively, their communities are in a state of demographic collapse. With the lowest fertility rates in America, with the majority of non-Orthodox Jews intermarrying and with Jewish literacy at an all time low, the liberal Jewish establishment seeks to retain its members by embracing their lowest common denominator. That commonality is not Judaism. It is progressivism. Whereas the 2013 Pew survey of American Jews showed that a mere 19 percent of American Jews believe that observing Jewish law is an essential part of what it means to be Jewish, 56 percent said working for justice and equality is an essential part of Judaism.

In light of the data, facing mass assimilation and a membership with an increasingly weak sense of Jewish identity, many non-Orthodox Jewish communities now conflate progressive politics with Jewish identity. By serving as a political outlet for their members, the apparent thinking goes, these non-Orthodox communities hope to retain their members.

The problem with this strategy is that with anti-Semitism rapidly becoming a major component of progressive politics, the more strongly liberal Jews embrace progressivism, the less capable they become of defending their Judaism – much less defending their fellow Jews who aren’t progressive. And if nothing changes in the trajectory of progressive politics, sooner rather than later, liberal Jews will be forced to abandon either their Jewish identity or their progressive identity.

For the American Jewish community to survive this clash, the leaders of the community need to begin fighting for their rights as Jews. Unfortunately, at present, there is little reason for optimism.

Originally published at Israel Hayom.

Caroline Glick


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Turkey: Ergodan Has Badly Overplayed His Hand in the Khashoggi Affair - Con Coughlin

by Con Coughlin

Many Turks blame their country's plight on Mr Erdogan's obsession with pursuing his radical Islamist agenda, which includes supporting groups like the Muslim Brotherhood.

  • Mr Erdogan, who has been the main driving force behind efforts to cause the Saudis maximum discomfort, now has an abundance of problems of his own, challenges which could spell the end of his 16-years in charge. After Mr Erdogan's Islamist AKP party lost badly in last April's mayoral election for control of Istanbul, the Turkish leader now finds himself trying desperately to salvage Turkey's battered economy, where the currency is in free fall, foreign debts remain vast, and inflation and joblessness are alarmingly high.
  • Many Turks blame their country's plight on Mr Erdogan's obsession with pursuing his radical Islamist agenda, which includes supporting groups like the Muslim Brotherhood.
  • Many prefer him to concentrate instead on addressing their domestic concerns, a view the Turkish president would be well-advised to take on board if he intends to remain in power.

If Mr Erdogan's aim throughout this process was to cause the Saudi Crown Prince maximum embarrassment, the ploy has failed miserably. (Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)

A year after the brutal murder of Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi, attempts by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to exploit the controversy to boost his own political standing have back-fired.

Ever since Mr Khashoggi was murdered moments after entering the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul in October last year to obtain documentation for his forthcoming marriage, Mr Erdogan has skilfully exploited the incident to cause maximum embarrassment to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, whom he regards as one of his major regional rivals.

Ankara has been at loggerheads with Riyadh ever since the Muslim Brotherhood, a key ally of Mr Erdogan, came to power in Egypt in 2012, a move bitterly resisted by the Saudis, who regard the Brotherhood as a terrorist organisation.

Indeed, one of the reasons the Saudis targeted Mr Khashoggi in the first place was because of his close links with the Brotherhood, as well as his close relationship with Qatar, the Gulf state that is bitterly opposed to the Saudi royal family and is one of the Brotherhood's most important backers.

Khashoggi's gruesome fate was very much the consequence of this complex web of bitter regional rivalries between prominent Muslim leaders, so that when a team of Saudi assassins carried out their plot to silence Khashoggi's high profile criticism of the Saudi regime -- his columns regularly appeared in the Washington Post, among other prominent publications -- Mr Erdogan responded by doing everything in his power to orchestrate an international campaign denouncing the Saudi crown prince.

Thus, in the immediate aftermath of the Khashoggi killing, the Turkish authorities oversaw a steady drip-feed of revelations about the murder that were acquired as a result of numerous bugging devices that had been placed in the Saudi consulate by Turkish intelligence.

Turkish efforts to maintain their anti-Saudi public relations offensive have continued right up until the first anniversary of his death, which fell earlier this week, with new, even more graphic, details of how Mr Khashoggi met his end being made available to Western media organisations such as the BBC, which this week broadcast a programme claiming to have the "secret" tapes of Khashoggi's last moments.

If Mr Erdogan's aim throughout this process was to cause the Saudi Crown Prince maximum embarrassment, then, to judge by the way Saudi Arabia's de facto ruler is conducting himself, the ploy has failed miserably.

There was, of course, much speculation in the immediate aftermath of the affair that MbS, as the Saudi Crown Prince is universally known, might be removed from his position over claims that he was personally responsible for ordering the murder, which was very much the line being pushed by Mr Erdogan in the Western media.

A number of administrative changes were indeed made to the running of the Saudi royal court. But as no conclusive evidence has been produced to link MbS directly to the killing, his position as the key figure in the Saudi regime appears undiminished. Moreover, his candid acceptance, in an interview with the PBS network aired this week, that ultimate responsibility for the Khashoggi killing rests with him because the murder happened on "my watch" appears to have drawn a line under the affair so far as most Western governments are concerned, with the US, as well as most European countries, slowly adopting a "business as usual" approach to their dealings with the Saudis.

By contrast, Mr Erdogan, who has been the main driving force behind efforts to cause the Saudis maximum discomfort, now has an abundance of problems of his own, challenges which could spell the end of his 16-years in charge. After Mr Erdogan's Islamist AKP party lost badly in last April's mayoral election for control of Istanbul, the Turkish leader now finds himself trying desperately to salvage Turkey's battered economy, where the currency is in free fall, foreign debts remain vast, and inflation and joblessness are alarmingly high.

Many Turks blame their country's plight on Mr Erdogan's obsession with pursuing his radical Islamist agenda, which includes supporting groups like the Muslim Brotherhood.
Many prefer him to concentrate instead on addressing their domestic concerns, a view the Turkish president would be well-advised to take on board if he intends to remain in power.

Con Coughlin is the Telegraph's Defence and Foreign Affairs Editor and a Distinguished Senior Fellow at Gatestone Institute.


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Prager U Video: What's Behind the Violence in Chicago? - Prager University

by Prager University

85 years of "Progressive" leadership—and zero accountability for decades of failed policies.

This new Prager U Video gives a glimpse of Chicago's violent crime rate which is staggering, 85 years of "Progressive" leadership—and zero accountability for decades of failed policies.

Prager University


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Israeli Jewish fertility rate tops Arab rate, hits 45-year high - David Rosenberg

by David Rosenberg

Jewish fertility rate continues to rise as Muslim rate declines, Palestinian Authority fertility rate falls to parity with Israel's.

The demographic shift in Israel, marked by an increase in fertility rates among Jews and a decrease among Muslims, continued last year, as the total fertility rate for Jewish women hit a 45-year high.

According to data released by Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics, the total fertility rate – that is, the average number of children a woman will have in her life time – for Jewish women in Israel rose in 2018 to 3.17, the highest level since the early 1970s, when the Jewish TFR averaged 3.28. In the 1990s, the Jewish TFR fell to its lowest level, averaging 2.62 both between 1990 to 1994 and 1995 to 1999.

The increase in the Israeli Jewish TFR in 2018 was smaller than in previous years, rising only 0.01 from the 3.16 total fertility rate in 2017.

The rise was fueled primarily by an increase in the number of women in older age groups having children, which offset a decline among younger women. While the general fertility rate – the number of women per 1,000 who gave birth - among teenagers aged 15 to 19 fell from 4.2 to 3.9 and also fell among women in their early 20s from 89.0 to 88.0, every age cohort 25 and up saw an increase.

Jewish women ages 25 to 29 had a general fertility rate of 176.0 in 2018, compared to 174.4 the year before, while women ages 30-34 had a GFR of 201.1, compared to 200.8 in 2017.

Christian and Druze women also saw an increase in their total fertility rates, though both remain far below the Jewish rate. Christian women – including both Arab Christians and Christian immigrants who moved to Israel with Jewish relatives – saw their TFR rise from 1.93 in 2017 to 2.06 in 2018. The Druze total fertility rate rose from 2.10 to 2.16.

But birthrates declined for both Muslim women in Israel and women not registered with any religious group, with the latter group’s total fertility rate falling from 1.58 to 1.54.

Muslim women still had the highest total fertility rate in 2018 at 3.20, despite falling from 3.37 the year before. Among Israeli Arabs as a whole, however, the TFR fell in 2018 to 3.04 – below the Jewish TFR of 3.17. The 3.20 TFR marks the lowest level recorded among Muslim Arab women in Israel, who fifty years ago had on average six more children than Jewish women (TFR 9.22 vs 3.3.6).

In raw numbers, the number of children born to Jewish mothers increased in 2018 to 135,809, or 73.7% of the 184,370 total live births in Israel. In 2017, Jewish mothers gave birth to 134,630 children, or 73.3% of the total number of live births. In 2010, Jewish women accounted for 72.6% of all live births, with 120,673 children born. In 2000, births to Jewish women made up just 67.4% of all live births in Israel, with 91,936 children born to Jewish mothers.

By comparison, the number of births to Arab women (Muslim, Christian, or Druze) fell in 2018 to 43,268, down from 43,782 in 2017. Births to Arab women made up 23.5% of all live births in Israel in 2018, compared to 23.8% in 2017, 24.5% in 2010, and 29.9% in 2000.

Within the Jewish population, families with a father born in the Americas had the highest birthrate, with a total fertility rate of 4.17. Families where the father was born in Israel had the second highest TFR at 3.34, compared to 3.05 for families which had a father born in Asia, 3.03 for families with the father born in Africa, and 3.02 for those where the father was born in Europe.

When broken down by region, the highest total fertility rate in Israel was reported among women living in Judea and Samaria, at 4.89, followed by the Jerusalem district at 3.97, southern Israel at 3.59, the central district at 2.78, northern Israel at 2.68, the Tel Aviv area at 2.63, and the Haifa district last at 2.52.

The rising Israeli Jewish fertility rate has also pulled into near-parity with that of Judea and Samaria, which according to the CIA World Fact Book 2019 had a TFR of 3.2, compared to a TFR of 3.27 in 2017. The Gaza Strip, however, has a significantly higher fertility rate, at 3.97. This also marks a significant decline compared to 2017, when the Gaza TFR was 4.13.

Commenting on the Central Bureau of Statistics report, demographer and former Israeli diplomat Yoram Ettinger said that the numbers disproved the “myth of an Arab demographic time bomb” in Israel.

“Demographers of doom who have reverberated Palestinian data without examination, have ignored reality, promoting the myth of an ‘Arab demographic time bomb.’ They have been dramatically mistaken or outrageously misleading,” Ettinger wrote in The Ettinger Report.

Citing reports which suggest the Palestinian Authority’s population figures have significantly over-counted the number of Arabs living in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza, Ettinger claimed that there is a nearly two-thirds majority of Jews between the Jordan and the Mediterranean if the Gaza Strip is not included.

“Well-documented data – rather than subjective assessments or projections – confirm a 65.5% Jewish majority in the combined area of Judea, Samaria and pre-1967 Israel, benefitting from a tail wind of fertility and migration, in addition to a potential Aliyah (immigration) wave of 500,000 Jews from France, Britain, the former USSR, Germany, Argentina, etc.”

David Rosenberg


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Warren’s Anti-Capitalist Message - Joseph Klein

by Joseph Klein

The low-key, folksy tone delivering radical ideas.

Senator Elizabeth Warren continues to rise in the Democrat presidential primary polls. She led the field by 4 points in the latest Economist/YouGov weekly tracking survey. In Quinnipiac University’s national poll released on September 25th, Warren received 27 percent while Biden got 25 percent of Democratic voters and independent voters who lean Democratic. “Dig a little deeper, and the reasons behind Warren’s rise become more clear. She generates a lot of excitement as a potential nominee,” said Quinnipiac University Polling Analyst Tim Malloy. “On top of that, half of Democrats want a presidential candidate that supports big changes – even if it means things are harder along the way.” Senator Bernie Sanders, whose far left ideology is the closest to Warren’s among the presidential primary contenders, had seen his poll numbers slipping even before he suspended his campaign appearances and events until further notice following a heart procedure for a blocked artery.

Warren has tried to distinguish herself from Sanders, a self-declared democratic socialist, by portraying herself as a believer in capitalism so long as it is heavily regulated and fundamentally restructured to favor those further down the economic ladder. She has claimed that she is a "capitalist to my bones." However, no matter how hard Warren tries to sugarcoat her ideas to appeal to more moderate voters without losing her progressive base of support, Warren is a far leftist with a radical, anti-capitalist ideology. 

“There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own — nobody,” Warren said in 2011 – an idea that Barack Obama picked up a year later with his “You didn’t build that” remark.

 “You built a factory out there? Good for you,” Warren said. “But I want to be clear: you moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for; you hired workers the rest of us paid to educate; you were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory, and hire someone to protect against this, because of the work the rest of us did.”

Elizabeth Warren also claimed credit for creating “much of the intellectual foundation” of the radical Occupy Wall Street movement. “I support what they do,” she exclaimed in 2011. Here are some of things  they did in the course of their “occupations” in the name of “social justice” – violence, vandalism, sexual assaults, and arson.

Fast forward to the 2020 presidential campaign. A center piece of Senator Warren’s current pitch is her wealth tax proposal. She wants to pay for her radical redistributionist programs such as tuition-free public college, cancellation of student debt, universal child care, "Medicare for all,” and the economy-wrecking New Green Deal with a 2 percent tax on net worth over $50 million. To the catchy chant at a September campaign rally of “Two cents, two cents, two cents,”  Warren responded, "Yes, that is a two cents tax on fortunes over $50 million." Her tax would increase to three cents on every dollar above $1 billion.  

Warren is serving up class warfare par excellence to her leftist base. Only the super-rich would be impacted by the new tax, the “richest 0.1 percent of Americans,” according to its proponents.  And who cares about them, especially if you believe Warren’s claim that that they didn’t get rich on their own anyway? Indeed, Warren repeated her collectivist refrain from 2011 in defending her wealth tax proposal this past August and September. Warren believes that “all of us” – by which she means the government on our behalf - deserve much of the credit for helping those fortunate enough to “build a great fortune…we’re saying that if you make it really, really, really big, bigger than 50 million dollars, then pitch in two cents so everyone else can have a chance.”

Elizabeth Warren’s pitch is disingenuous, to say the least. True, entrepreneurs, factory owners and business owners, indeed “all of us,” benefit from certain government programs such as education, defense and infrastructure spending that help facilitate individuals’ ability to fully realize the American dream. However, what she leaves out in her speeches is that many of the dollars she claims are used by the government to do all the things for the “fortunate” have come, in the first place, from owners of factories and businesses – entrepreneurs who take risks and create tax revenue-producing jobs for many other Americans. Moreover, government inefficiency, corruption and harebrained social engineering schemes too often waste taxpayer money. Why should the government be permitted to seize even more money from law-abiding taxpayers to squander on such extremist proposals supported by Warren as free health care for illegal immigrants?

Economists Natasha Sarin and Lawrence H. Summers have critiqued the wealth tax on several grounds. First, they argued, efforts to minimize the impact of the 2 percent annual rate are misleading. “A 50-year old who has accumulated a substantial fortune can expect to pay more than half of it in taxes before she dies,” they wrote. “Imagine that a wealthy person invests in 10-year treasury bonds, with a 2.4 percent return. The wealth tax would extract 2 of the 2.4 percent return. Combined with income taxes levied at a 40 percent rate, the wealth tax could make the effective tax rate on capital income well over 100 percent. And then at the end of life would come the estate tax.”

Second, Sarin and Summers wrote that “wealth taxes are likely to be burdensome on entrepreneurial businesses in their private phase, when entrepreneurs are liquidity-constrained. Perversely, this could disincentivize transformative innovation…If America had had more figures like Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and Steve Jobs over the last generation, it would have been a good thing, associated with a stronger economy even if measured inequality increased.” That’s because a stronger economy means more jobs for more Americans. “Turning the tax code into a vehicle for confronting what some call ‘oligarchic drift’ would undermine business confidence, reduce investment, degrade economic efficiency, and punish success in ways unlikely to be good for the country or even to be appealing to most Americans,” the economists added.

Third, there are valuation issues, particularly with respect to intangible assets such as intellectual property or shares in a privately-owned company that has not yet generated a profit.

Fourth, Sarin and Summers pointed to other countries’ unsuccessful experiences with a wealth tax. “Twelve countries had wealth taxes in 1990, and only three still do today,” they wrote.

There is also a problem with Warren’s wealth tax proposal that Sarin and Summers did not expressly address. The 2 cents slogan makes it sound so modest, with only a tiny part of the population who would be directly impacted. But as with many such modest-sounding beginnings, the camel will be getting its nose under the tent. A brief look at the history of the federal income tax illustrates the point.

The Sixteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which permitted Congress to levy an income tax without apportioning it among the states based on population, was officially ratified and added to the Constitution in February 1913. During the negotiations later in 1913 leading up to the enactment of the legislation that included the federal income tax, President Woodrow Wilson wrote Senate Finance Chairman Furnifold M. Simmons (D-N.C.) in support of the lower of two alternative rates under consideration. He wrote that “my own opinion in the matter is that it is much safer to begin upon somewhat moderate lines.” President Wilson signed the Revenue Act of 1913, which lowered tariff rates as well as enacting the income tax, into law on October 3, 1913. It imposed a one percent tax on incomes above $3,000, with a top tax rate of an additional six percent on those earning more than $500,000 per year. The amount of $500,000 in 1913 “is equivalent in purchasing power to about $12,682,163.30 in 2018,” according to the CPI calculator. By 1918, the top tax rate rose to 77 percent, presumably to help defray World War I costs. It went down to levels in the mid-twenties during the next decade. However, the top tax rate rose again to levels between 63 percent and 94 percent, until finally brought down to far more reasonable levels during the Reagan administration that led to rapid economic growth.

Now, on top of Elizabeth Warren’s proposed wealth tax, some of Warren’s kindred progressives are calling for a return to a top federal income tax rate of 70 percent not seen since 1980. And Warren has ducked questions on whether her version of “Medicare for all,” which would eliminate private insurance in favor of a government take over of the health care industry, would entail increased taxes on the middle class.  

Everyone who values innovation, jobs, and protection of the inalienable right of Americans to the “pursuit of happiness” proclaimed by the Declaration of Independence should be alarmed by Elizabeth Warren’s radical ideas as she continues to climb in the polls. Do not be fooled by the low key, folksy tone that she uses to deliver her left wing, anti-capitalist nostrums.

Joseph Klein


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The 'Islamophobia' Accusation - Stephen Brown

by Stephen Brown

How it harms society.

The intellectual atmosphere in France suffered severe disruption last August when French philosopher Henri Pena-Ruiz set off a storm by stating, “One has the right to be Islamophobic.”

Pena-Ruiz made this statement at a conference of the French political party France Insoumise (France Unbowed). France Insoumise is a socialist party with 17 members in the National Assembly.

Pena-Ruiz’s statement appeared to cause dissension in the leftist party, arousing consternation especially among “les belles ames” (the beautiful souls). The philosopher, who is described as being close to France Insoumise, was strongly criticized on social media for his statement.

What Pena-Ruiz actually said was:

“Anti-Muslim racism is a crime. Criticism of Islam, criticism of Catholicism, criticism of atheist humanism is not one. One has the right to be an atheophobe like one has the right to be an Islamophobe.”

But in a politically correct, western society like France, of course, where all criticism of Islam is almost taboo, there were, as to be expected, outcries against Pena-Ruiz’s statement.

One municipal counselor for the Parisian suburb of St. Denis, for example, called the statement “shocking” because “Islamophobia is the hostility to Muslims and Islam.”

“Stop seeming to understand that this situation is not just…,” he wrote on Twitter. “It is the result of two years of Islamophobic sallies, notably by certain elected representatives who have never failed to belittle veiled women.”

French Minister of Housing Julien Denormandie also entered the melee against Pena-Ruiz, stating: “Even if it was not the intention of the author, the offered words give the sentiment that it is normal to be an Islamophobe, of which many French are victims. No, it is not normal, no, one does not have the right to be an Islamophobe.”

But there were some who supported Pena-Ruiz, one of whom was the leader of the France Insoumise Party himself, Jan-Luc Melanchon, who said:

“It is a total, complete error to confuse racism and Islamophobia as racism…One has the right, and even for some among you, the duty to criticize mercilessly religions that I consider are making an extraordinary contribution to the war between human beings and to mutual detestation.”

Another who sensibly defended Pena-Ruiz was Marlene Schiappa, Secretary of State for Equality Between Men and Women, who believes: “It is not permitted to insult believers for reason of their religion. But it is permitted to debate and criticize religion. It’s the sense of his (Pena-Ruiz’s) expression. It seems necessary to me to defend these two assertions.”

Pena-Ruiz went on to criticize those who dishonestly criticized him on social media.

“Those who criticized me on social media passed in silence the fact that I put on the same plane ‘catholophobia’ or ‘atheophobia’ and Islamophobia. They made it like I set myself solely in the criticism of Islam,” he said.

What Pena-Ruiz’s words center on is that all beliefs should be freely discussed in a free society no matter what they are. No religion should find shelter from criticism and be able “to expel its critics from public life” -- as appears to be happening now with Islam. As French writer Mathieu Bock-Cote notes:

“In the measure where a religion is a system of beliefs and ideas, it should not oblige those who are strangers to love or respect it. One should be able to reject it, as one would with any ideology without fear of being called Islamophobic. The dogma of one should never become the forced belief of another.”

But it is this fear of being called Islamophobic that is causing many people to censor themselves, to “forbid themselves to speak of Islam except to flatter it.” Bock-Cote sees in this “gestures of submission.” And as the Islamophobia concept advances among politicians, he sees them “kneeling and ceding to intimidation” that is “symptomatic of their intellectual destruction.”   

 Bock-Cote goes further, accusing western intellectual elites of disqualifying themselves morally when they accuse their own people of racism because they simply “wish to conserve their right to criticize a religion which does not conform to the compatibility of their world.”

A good definition of Islamophobia is given by the French social scientist Philippe D’Iribarne, a leading expert on Islamophobia, author of the  book Islamophobie: Intoxication Ideologique (Islamophobia: Ideological Intoxication). D’Iribarne writes: “…the notion of Islamophobia is a deception forged to hinder the comprehension of reality and to prevent the critical spirit from exercising its rights.”

D’Iribarne sees the present situation analogous to moments in history when there was “a delirium of persecution” against “the enemies of the people, the Kulaks, the Jews where a fantasy enemy is diabolized.” Orwell warned us, D’Iribarne says, that the “magical capacity” of language “loses its way” when its view of the world is “guided by manipulation and lie,” even to a fabrication of proofs “to have a cause triumph,” like in the Moscow show trials under Stalin. Islamophobia “obeys this logic,” D’Iribarne asserts.

While the left passionately claims to support liberty and equality, they hypocritically and passionately denounce those as Islamophobic who point out that this is not the case in the Islamic world. The lack of freedom of conscience for those, for example, who wish to change their Muslim religion. The discrimination against women in inheritance laws and as witnesses in trials as well as the prohibition against their marrying non-Muslims. All these aspects of the Islamic world that contradict western values, which the left should be sharply denouncing, are not only conveniently ignored by it but believes that pointing them out is a “scandal” that unfairly stigmatizes a “group of citizens.”

Islamophobia has also been described as “a manipulation that disturbs the civil peace.”  One of these disruptions is that the Islamophobia accusation hinders integration, perhaps absolving Muslims of the “responsibility” to do so. They can dispense with the “laborious adaptation” process that all immigrants have had to undergo. D’Iribarne writes:

“It [Islamophobia] conveys a message addressed to Muslims: the Occident is an evil empire blinded by bad passions; no matter what you do, your belonging to Islam will mark you with an indelible stigma under which you will never be accepted as a full member; the only honorable option which is offered to you is to reject a world that rejects you, refuse its seductions, gather yourselves in places where you will make the law.”  

The Islamophobia accusation today is promoted by “international organizations, by governments of Islamic countries, by militant associations, universities and journalists.” But all this has done is create a suffocating atmosphere of censorship which has permitted Islam “to advance in the public space and neutralize its adversaries.” All of which, unfortunately, is very detrimental to the West.

Stephen Brown


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Who's Afraid of Scandinavia's Crime Statistics? - Judith Bergman

by Judith Bergman

Unless Scandinavian political leaders begin actively to engage with the facts that these statistics describe, the problems are only going to become more intractable

  • "Most immigrants are not criminals, but when the immigrant population is overrepresented in almost every crime category, then there is a problem that we must dare to talk about." — Jon Helgheim, immigration policy spokesman for the Norwegian party Fremskrittspartiet (FrP).
  • "In the more than thirty years that the surveys cover, one tendency is clearer than all others, namely that the proportion of the total amount of crimes committed by persons with a foreign background is steadily increasing...." — Det Goda Samhället ("The Good Society"), Invandring och brottslighet – ett trettioårsperspektiv ("Immigration and crime – a thirty-year perspective"). All statistics for the report were supplied by the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention.
  • Unless Scandinavian political leaders begin actively to engage with the facts that these statistics describe, the problems are only going to become more intractable -- to the point where they might not be solvable at all.

Unless Scandinavian political leaders begin actively to engage with the facts described by crime statistics, the problems are only going to become more intractable -- to the point where they might not be solvable at all. (Image source: iStock)

In Sweden, discussing who is behind the current crime epidemic in the country has long been taboo. Such a statistic has only been published twice by the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention (BRÅ), in 1996 and in 2005. In 2005, when BRÅ published its last report on the subject, "Crime among people born in Sweden and abroad," it contained the following note:
"Critics have argued that new results can be inflated, taken out of context and misinterpreted and lead to reinforcing 'us and them' thinking. There is every reason to take such risks seriously. However, BRÅ's assessment is... that a knowledge-based picture of immigrant crime is better than one based on guesses and personal perceptions. The absence of current facts about the crime among the foreign-born and their children facilitates the creation and consolidation of myths. If crime is a problem in certain groups of the foreign-born, then the problems do not disappear unless you highlight them and speak openly about them. A correct picture of the extent and development of the problems should instead be the best basis for analyzing conditions and improving the ability of all residents to function well in Sweden, regardless of ethnic origin."
Back then, apparently, the authorities still appreciated facts.

Twelve years later, in January 2017, however, Minister of Justice Morgan Johansson flatly refused to publish statistics about the ethnic origins of criminals in Sweden. According to Johansson:
"[Studies] have been done both in Sweden in the past, and there are countless international studies that all show much the same thing: That minority groups are often overrepresented in crime statistics, but when you remove socio-economic factors, it [the overrepresentation] almost completely disappears. So the political conclusions that I need to make, I can already make with existing international and Swedish studies."
Johansson, who in addition to being Minister of Justice also serves as Minister for Migration and Asylum Policy, was not alone in his views. When Swedish Television asked the political parties in the Swedish parliament, the majority said that they did not think such a statistic was needed.

This summer, however, in the continued absence of any forthcoming public statistics on such an extremely important public issue, a private foundation, Det Goda Samhället ("The Good Society") took it upon itself to produce these statistics in a new report, Invandring och brottslighet – ett trettioårsperspektiv ("Immigration and crime – a thirty-year perspective"). All the raw data in it were ordered from and supplied by BRÅ. The raw data from BRÅ can be accessed here.

According to the new report by Det Goda Samhället:
"For the first time now, more crimes -- in absolute terms -- are committed by persons of foreign background than by persons of Swedish origin... The most crime-prone population subgroup are people born [in Sweden] to two foreign-born parents."
The report concludes:
"In the more than thirty years that the surveys cover, one tendency is clearer than all others, namely that the proportion of the total amount of crimes committed by persons with a foreign background is steadily increasing... During the first of the investigated periods, 1985-1989, persons with a foreign background accounted for 31 percent of all crimes. During the period 2013-2017, the figure had risen to 58 percent. Thus, people of Swedish origin now account for less than half, 42 per cent, of the total crime in Sweden, despite constituting 67 per cent of the population surveyed."
In 1996, in its first report on the issue, BRÅ disclosed (p. 40) that, "The general picture from foreign studies of immigrants' children's crime is that they have a higher crime rate than first-generation immigrants. That is not the case in Sweden". According to the new report, it is the case now, and that is perhaps the greatest indictment against Swedish integration policies of the past 30 years: the policies clearly do not work.

Another notable conclusion of the report is the increase in crimes committed by foreign-born non-registered persons in Sweden -- these include illegal immigrants, EU citizens and tourists. The crimes this group has committed have increased from 3% in the period 1985-89 to 13% in 2013-17.

The report has largely been ignored by the Swedish press and political echelons, apart from a few exceptions, such as the local newspapers Göteborgs-Posten and Norrköpings Tidningar.

In Norway, recently, a report about the overrepresentation of immigrants and their descendants in crime statistics was ordered from Statistics Norway, by Fremskrittspartiet (FrP), which forms part of the Norwegian government. "We had known that immigrants are overrepresented in these statistics, but not [by] so much" said FrP immigration policy spokesman Jon Helgheim.
"For example, if we use the unadjusted figures... Afghans and Somalis are charged five times more for violence and abuse than Norwegians. Adjusted for age and gender, the overrepresentation is almost triple... Most immigrants are not criminals, but when the immigrant population is overrepresented in almost every crime category, then there is a problem that we must dare to talk about".
According to Dagbladet, FrP has, for years, been calling for detailed statistics on crimes perpetrated by immigrants and children of immigrants. In 2015, the party commissioned data from Statistics Norway, but the agency refused to compile crime statistics based on immigrants' country of origin.

Two years later, Statistics Norway published research showing that immigrants were strongly overrepresented in the crime statistics, but the report was not detailed enough, according to FrP, which ordered a new report, now available. According to Dagbladet, the new statistics "show that immigrants from non-Western countries are overrepresented in 65 out of 80 crime categories. In 2017, 7.1 per cent of Norway's population were immigrants from a non-western country."

According to Dagbladet, the new statistics also show that, "The largest overrepresentation [is] in violence and abuse in close relationships."
"Non-Western immigrants and their descendants are charged with family violence eight times as often as the rest of the population. In total, 443 persons were charged per year on average during the period 2015-2017, [and] 35 per cent (155) of those charged were from a non-western country or had a non-Western background. Only half of those charged with abuse in close relationships were what SSB [the statistical bureau] calls the rest of the population... Africa, Asia, Latin America, Oceania except Australia and Europe outside the EU and the EEA are considered non-Western countries."
According to Dagbladet, men from the Palestinian Authority and Somalia are charged with violence and abuse three times more often than Norwegian men.

FrP has been accused by its political opponents of ordering these statistics specifically for municipal elections that took place in Norway on September 9, 2019. Dagbladet asked Helgheim whether using these statistics was "cynical." Helgheim responded:
"No, it's not cynical at all. This is very relevant for the citizens to know something about. It would be a failure of FrP not to do everything we can to inform voters of what are realities and facts. Our opponents constantly criticize us for pulling the immigration card... I can find no explanations other than that those who do not want this to be known also do not want to know about the consequences of immigration to Norway."
In Denmark, unlike Sweden and Norway, the publication of such statistics in itself is fairly uncontroversial. The Danish statistical bureau, Statistics Denmark, publishes them as a matter of fact every year and they are publicly available to everyone.

According to one of the latest such reports, "Immigrants in Denmark in 2018," as reported by Berlingske Tidende in April:
"The figures show that crime in 2017 was 60% higher among male immigrants and 234% higher in male non-Western descendants than the entire male population. If one takes into account, for example, that many of the descendants are young, and Statistics Denmark does so in the report, the figures are 44% for immigrants and 145% for descendants, respectively. If further corrected, for both age and income, of immigrants and descendants from non-western countries, the figures are 21% and 108%".
As for the nationality of the criminal migrants, Berlingske Tidende reported:
"At the top of the list are male Lebanese who, as far as [their] descendants are concerned, are almost four times as criminal as average men, when [the figures are] adjusted for age. [That is] sharply followed by male descendants from Somalia, Morocco and Syria. The violence index is 351 for descendants from non-western countries. They are 3.5 times more violent than the population as a whole. Descendants from Lebanon have an index of violent crimes of 668 when corrected for age."
Unless Scandinavian political leaders begin actively to engage with the facts that these statistics describe, the problems are only going to become more intractable -- to the point where they might not be solvable at all.

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


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