Friday, December 27, 2019

The Great Cover Up Of The Biggest Scandal In American History - Tyler Durden

by Tyler Durden

Hat tip: Dr. Jean-charles Bensoussan 

The interesting thing about all of this is just how widespread the conspiracy was during the 2015-2016 period.

Via The Z-Man blog,

Joe diGenova has been talking about the seditious plot to overturn the 2016 election for at least a year, maybe longer. Unlike a lot of the people commenting on this in the mass media, he is not using it to sell books or boost his cable career. He also knows how the FBI and DOJ works from a practical matter. Being knowledgeable makes him a rare guy in the commentariat. Most of the people brought on as experts for the cable chat shows know very little about their alleged areas of expertise.

Regardless, he has been one of the most hawkish people on the Barr investigation, claiming that it is a real investigation with real criminal targets. In this recent radio interview he goes into the details of both the Barr investigation and the ongoing impeachment fiasco. He is a Trump partisan, so his opinions on impeachment are predictable, but his thoughts on the conspiracy are interesting. He probably has access to information from the Trump White House.

The interesting thing about all of this is just how widespread the conspiracy was during the 2015-2016 period. In that interview he talks about former NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers, who is allegedly cooperating with Barr and Durham. What makes the Rogers issue interesting is that he was the original whistle-blower. He is not treated as such, because the media hates Trump and anyone associated with him, but Rogers was the guy who blew the whistle on the spying to the Trump people.

What’s also interesting about Rogers is he seems to have been a good guy, who decided to put an end to the shenanigans with regards to access to top-secret data by FBI contractors. He closed off their access at some point in 2016, which put him in bad odor with the Obama administration. He was eventually pushed out, which suggests the conspiracy has roots into the Obama inner-circle. That may explain why the easy cases to be made against the FBI conspirators are on hold.

That’s the other thing about the Rogers case. As CTH explains in that post, his addition to the story reveals that the use of the NSA database by political contractors working for the Democrats goes back to at least 2012. It is an axiom of white-collar crime that the practice always goes back much further than the evidence initially reveals. Anyone who has done forensic accounting knows this. You find the first evidence of a crime, but it turns out that the pattern goes back much further.
That may be what lies beneath all of this. The great puzzle thus far has been the lack of prosecutions, despite ample evidence. The FBI agents are all guilty of crimes that have been detailed in public documents and the IG reports. There is now proof that Comey perjured himself many times. Just from a public relations perspective alone, rounding up these guys and charging them with corruption seems like a no-brainer. Almost a year into his tenure and Barr has charged no one with a crime.

One obvious explanation is that Barr is running a long con on Trump and the rest of the country, on behalf of the inner party. Robert Mueller was supposed to use his investigation to hoover up all the data so it could not be made public, in addition to harassing the Trump White House. His incompetence meant Barr took over the job and is now hoovering up all the information on the various parties. That way, everyone has an excuse for not doing anything about plot.

One bit of evidence in support of this is the handling of the James Wolfe issue. He was the Senate staffer caught leaking classified information to one of the prostitutes hired by the Washington Post. Big media hires good looking young women to sleep with flunkies like Wolf in order to get access to information. Wolf was caught and charged, but instead of getting a couple years in jail, he got two months. He will come out and land into a six-figure job as a reward for being a good soldier.

An alternative explanation is that what started as a straight forward political corruption case bumped into a long pattern of behavior. In the course of investigating that pattern, the trail went much further back than the 2016 election. If there is evidence of abuse going back to 2012, maybe it goes back further. It was the Bush people, after all, who pushed for the creation of secret courts and secret warrants. Maybe Dick Cheney was listening to your phone calls after all.

It is not just the linear aspect of this. The sheer number of people involved in just the FBI scandal is phenomenal. There are at least 20 FBI people named and dozens of bit players in the media and DOJ. So far, the “contractors” with access to the NSA database have not been revealed, but that could be hundreds of people, given that it seems to have been a free-for-all. The corruption may not only go back a long time, but cover a wide swath of official Washington.

That may be the answer to the great cover up. That’s what we are seeing. This is a great cover up of the biggest scandal in American history. To date, no one has been charged with a crime, despite hundreds of crimes being documented. Many of the principals are now enjoying high six figure lives, based on the fact they were part of the seditious plot to overturn the 2016 election. Instead of the scandal of the century, it is the celebration of the century for the inner party.

One of the signs of ruling class collapse is when they can no longer enforce the rules that maintain them as a ruling class. When the Romans started making exceptions to republican governance, it was a matter of time before someone simply decided the rules no longer applied to them. Perhaps the robot historians will consider Obama our Marius or Sulla. Maybe that person is in the near future. Either way, the rule of law is over and what comes next is the rule of men.

Tyler Durden


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New Israel Fund grantees help open ICC case against Israel - Ronn Torossian

by Ronn Torossian

Adalah, B'tselem, other NPOs aided by the New Israel Fund, do not even make a pretense of being pro-Israel. Why are US Jews donating to them?

On Friday, the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Fatou Bensouda, announced that her office will open a long-anticipated investigation into alleged war crimes perpetrated in the 'West Bank' and Gaza. 

Specifically, Bensouda will attempt to focus on the issue of the Israeli "settlements" and the IDF's 2014 Operation Protective Edge in Gaza.  Israel has challenged the Court's jurisdiction over the 'West Bank' and Gaza, along with Israel's activities there, as it is not a member of the Court and has never signed the Rome Treaty. Moreover, Israel contends that the Palestinian Arabs do not represent a state and therefore are not entitled to membership in the ICC.  Therefore, the Court has no jurisdiction to delve into any events or actions in the conflict.

Across the mainstream political spectrum in Israel, the move has been condemned. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday lambasted the move as “a dark day for truth and justice,” calling Bensouda’s ruling “scandalous and baseless.” He said the decision made the Hague-based court, which Israel has refused to sign on to since its creation in 2002, a “political tool” against the Jewish state.

He claimed that Bensouda “entirely ignored serious judicial arguments we presented.” Netanyahu argued that the ICC “has no authority to adjudicate the matter. It has jurisdiction only in lawsuits presented by sovereign states, but there has never been a Palestinian state. We will not accept or acquiesce to this injustice. We will continue to fight it with all the tools at our disposal.”

Benny Gantz, the leader of the Blue & White Party, and Netanyahu’s chief political opponent said “…when it comes to the international legitimacy and the right of the State of Israel to defend itself, there is no coalition and no opposition.” He added “There is no basis for the demand to initiate an investigation against Israel at the Hague – it is clear this is a political decision, not a legal one.”

Yair Lapid, another opposition leader noted, “The announcement of the prosecutor at The Hague is a surrender to the propaganda of lies and slander spread by the Palestinian terror organizations. As a former member of the [Israeli] cabinet and the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, I can attest that throughout the entire history of warfare, there has been no army that has done more to avoid harming innocent civilians than the Israel Defense Forces.”

Meanwhile, the extremist organization B’Tselem funded by the New Israel Fund commended the decision, noting that the announcement “… was the only possible outcome arising from the facts. They added that Israel "must not be allowed to whitewash its crimes… and should be held to account.”

It is a continuation of the scandalous behavior of New Israel Fund grantees attacking the Israel Defense Forces.

As Mosaic Magazine noted, previously, another NIF grantee,  Adalah “…which is supported to the tune of millions of shekels by the NIF and foreign entities, was a partner in the promotion of the UN resolution to investigate Israel over “war crimes committed in Gaza.”

According to the NGO Monitor organization, between 2008 and 2016 the NIF gave Adalah more than 7.3 million shekels.

It’s a natural  continuation of the radical extremist behavior funded by the New Israel Fund. Across the mainstream left and right in Israel and American Jewry, we stand with the Israel Defense Forces. 

We cannot state too often that The New Israel Fund is a radical organization which while continuing to advocate a boycott of the State of Israel, also harms the IDF.

Ronn Torossian is a Public Relations executive.


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BDS Movement: We Can Boycott Israel, but You Can't Boycott Us - Civis Americanus

by Civis Americanus

The First Amendment does not require Federal, state, and local governments to do business with organizations that boycott Israel any more than it requires them to support the Ku Klux Klan.

We will start this off with due credit to Air Marshal Sir Arthur Harris for the basic idea. "The enemies of Israel entered this conflict under the rather childish delusion they were going to boycott Israel, and nobody was going to boycott them. Presbyterian Church USA, American Friends Service Committee, Jewish Voice for Peace, and others like them have put their rather naive theory into operation. They sowed the wind and now they are going to reap the whirlwind."

The Presbyterian Church USA has not only embraced boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) against Israel, it has bleated that "Legislation Penalizing Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) Undermines First Amendment Protections" and cites the Combating BDS Act which "…allows a state or local government to adopt and enforce measures to divest its assets from, prohibit investment of its assets in, or restrict contracting with: (1) an entity that engages in a commerce- or investment-related boycott, divestment, or sanctions activity targeting Israel; or (2) an entity that owns or controls, is owned or controlled by, or is under common ownership or control with such an entity." The legislation, in other words, allows state and local governments to do to entities in the BDS movement exactly what they do to Israel.

The First Amendment says, "Congress shall make no law …abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances." This means only that Congress cannot make it a Federal crime to advocate the destruction of Israel, blood libel Israel by accusing it of "genocide" of the Palestinians, suggest that Jews go back to the ovens, call African-Americans the N word, call white people "potential humans" who have yet to evolve, or proclaim that God hates gay people.

The First Amendment does not require Federal, state, and local governments to do business with organizations that boycott Israel any more than it requires them to support Antifa, the Ku Klux Klan, Louis Farrakhan's Nation of Islam, and similarly repulsive organizations. It does not require them to give public funding to universities that provide the Students for Justice in Palestine with on-campus facilities and resources.

Marginalize and Boycott the BDSers, and 13909 Them

Only one organization in the BDS camp has been accused (in a civil suit, not a criminal charge) of providing material support to terrorists, and the plaintiffs have yet to prove their case. A handful have given verbal support to terroristic violence against Israelis. The rest (including all the organizations named above) do not endorse or condone Palestinian violence in any way, shape, or form. It can be argued, however, that BDS gives non-material and indirect support to the terrorists. Suppose, for example, that an organization had, in 1942, orchestrated a boycott of the United Kingdom but did not advocate violence or Nazism. Most people would conclude nonetheless that the organization was on the Nazi side and shun, marginalize, and boycott it.

The Anti-Defamation League, which is hardly a right-wing organization, says BDS "…rejects Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state" and "is the most prominent effort to undermine Israel’s existence." Anti-Semitism, as opposed to just anti-Zionism, has been linked to the BDS movement. The UK's Lord Eric Pickles stated that “B.D.S. is anti-Semitic, and should be treated as such," in conjunction with Prime Minister Johnson's anti-BDS initiatives. Even Canada's Justin Trudeau has denounced BDS as anti-Semitic while BDS has also been depicted as racist. "BDS is not just anti-Semitic, it is racist. Why? Because it singles out a nationality – Israelis – for differential and discriminatory treatment in the international arena."

Individual members of PCUSA, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, American Friends Service Committee, and other churches in the BDS movement, need to consider carefully whether other religious institutions would better meet their spiritual, social, and community needs. PCUSA is, for example, not the only Presbyterian organization in the United States and there are Protestant alternatives to ELCA as well. While it is not part of the BDS movement, the otherwise repulsive Westboro "God Hates Fags" Church is similarly far from the only Baptist church in the U.S.

PCUSA and others say the First Amendment gives them the right to BDS Israel. It also entitles the rest of us who regard terrorism, whether against Jewish children at Ma'alot, Americans and guests of the United States in the Twin Towers on 9/11, U.S. Marines in Beirut, Britons on 7/7, French people in Paris, Danish and Norwegian hikers in Morocco, Hindus in Mumbai, LGBT people in Iran, and peaceful Muslims in Egypt, as evil as Nazism and a cancer to be eradicated from the face of the earth, to marginalize and boycott PCUSA, ELCA, AFSC, JVP, and all organizations like them. Sir Arthur Harris was right: sow the wind, reap the whirlwind.

"To 13909 somebody" means to submit this form to try to get their 501(c)(3) tax exemption revoked. "We don't like them" or "we don't agree with them" is not a reason the IRS will or even should consider. Illegal activities, which include nonviolent but unlawful civil disobedience or disruption, are reasons. Unlawful civil disobedience by a member of the organization on his or her own does not count, but illegal activity orchestrated by the organization does. It is vital, when filing a Form 13909, to be entirely truthful and supply objective evidence of the violation such as a news article from a reputable source or, even better, the organization's own web page that brags about organizing and getting arrested for civil disobedience.

Expel Them From the United States

This is the United States and not some outhouse country where it is legally and socially acceptable to shout down and physically intimidate people with whom we disagree whether the speaker is pro-Israel, pro-Palestinian, pro-choice, pro-life, pro-Trump, or pro-Democrat. International students who illegally disrupt on-campus events (as opposed to lawfully protest them) need to leave and take their uncivilized behavior with them. The Department of State can "prudentially revoke" a visa based on arrest for a crime. The usual context is drunk driving but other alleged crimes, including misdemeanors, also can apparently qualify for a prudential revocation (not legal advice). Law enforcement agencies should therefore report relevant arrests to DHS via Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The elders of PCUSA may have convinced themselves, and believe honestly, that Israel is a colonialist apartheid nation or whatever, and PCUSA and like-minded organizations should therefore undermine the only free nation in the Middle East with legal protections and social acceptance for the same LGBT people and women PCUSA claims to support. We believe similarly that all BDS participants are aiding, albeit through indirect and lawful (non-material) means, terrorists who intend to destroy Israel, and that an organization that aids the enemy should be treated as an enemy through whatever nonviolent and lawful means (Combating BDS Act, boycotts, and Form 13909) are available. The BDS camp can exercise its beliefs, and we will exercise ours.

Civis Americanus is the pen name of an American Thinker contributor who remembers the lessons of history and wants to ensure that our country never needs to learn those lessons again the hard way.


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The Plot Against the President - Daniel Greenfield

by Daniel Greenfield

Lee Smith’s new book exposes the biggest political scandal in American history.

The Five W’s are the essential infrastructure of good journalism. It’s important to be able to tell a good story. But if the story doesn’t contain answers to who, what, where, when, and why, it’s meaningless.

Fortunately, Lee Smith’s The Plot Against the President digs into the origin of the coup against President Trump in the old-fashioned Five W’s sense. While the book still leaves plenty of questions buried in reams of classified documents, it’s an excellent resource for organizing and making sense of the mess.

Rarely has a government investigation been clouded in this much secrecy or required so many investigations of the investigation. The points of the spiderweb between private contractors, the media, and government figures still vanish into darkness. But Smith follows the work of Rep. Devin Nunes and his team (the subtitle for the tome is The True Story of How Congressman Devin Nunes Uncovered the Biggest Political Scandal in U.S. History) and that comes with its own infrastructure of the Five W’s.

The ‘why’ isn’t hard to grasp, but the ‘when’ remains elusive. Smith makes a good case for the smear campaign associated with the Steele Dossier predating the former British operative whose continental credentials and FBI connections were used to sell a political assault ordered by the Clinton campaign.

Instead, Smith describes a series of ‘protodossiers’ which were used to eventually shape the Steele Dossier. These protodossiers were works in progress, bits of opposition research focusing on Trump’s international business connections, put together and fed to the media in a conventional fashion. There’s nothing especially controversial (or palatable) about this type of opposition research. But, even from the very beginning, these work products were not merely opposition research intended for the public.

Their real audience can be assessed from the linkages to Nellie Ohr, the wife of senior Department of Justice official Bruce Ohr, and a friend of Steele’s, who would act as a conduit for the Steele dossier, and the warnings that Trump was a national security threat. Accusing Trump of Russian ties was not a strategy meant to win an election. It was a justification for an unlimited investigation of Trump and his associates using methods and degrees of secrecy that would otherwise be off limits against Americans.

This is what Smith describes as a “paper coup” or “a bureaucratic insurgency waged almost entirely through the printed word”. Trump’s international business affairs wouldn’t have interested voters. Opposition research focusing on those ties had only one true vector and purpose. The protodossiers were also a protocoup. The Steele dossier, sloppy and incompetent as it might have been, was the final product. A piece of work that could be used to bring the full weight of FISA warrants, informants, and unmaskings down on the political opposition, even while the media manufactured a parallel reality.

Smith also traces how the protodossiers evolved into Russiagate. As he notes, "a key difference between the protodossiers and Steele's seventeen memos is that the former discuss Trump's supposed connections to Russian and Eastern Bloc figures alleged to have ties to organized crime and also possibly to Russian state interests. Steele's documents by contrast deal almost exclusively with alleged ties connecting Trump and his associates to Russian government officials and figures publicly known to be close to Kremlin leadership." The narrowing of the focus on Russia from the protodossiers into the dossier, winnowed down and focused the regional opposition research into the most useful narrative.

The usefulness of a narrative that moved past organized crime figures to the Kremlin lay not in its public appeal, where allegations of organized crime might have been more damaging, but its surveillance uses. The Steele dossier had emerged as the product of a political campaign, but had never been intended for public use. Instead it was a piece of opposition research that had been aimed directly at the FBI.

The uniqueness of such a thing also testifies to the uniqueness of the conspiracy against Trump.

The media echo chamber fed by the dossier and the protodossiers had not come into being to merely pursue a negative, smear Trump, but to uphold a positive, the investigation of Trump. Their stories were used internally, as in the FISA warrant, to support the tactics and the purpose of targeting Trump.

The evolution of the ‘Paper Coup’, its stages, and the roles of a variety of familiar figures from James Comey to Glenn Simpson, from Peter Strzok to Rod Rosenstein, are at the center of Smith’s Five W’s book. Even as it remains mired in paper, the reams of documents have real consequences, leading to arrests, interrogations, legal bills, surveillance and, eventually a pushback by, among others, Rep. Devin Nunes.

Smith pays carefully attention to the interplay of personalities, the timing of bureaucratic maneuvers, and the evolution of narratives to produce a carefully studied and documented reading of his original research and the work of the Nunes investigation. The plot that is the book’s subject takes place in a world governed by these rules, by motives telegraphed through maneuvers, by an intimate knowledge of procedures, and by a formidable array of contacts, and that is world that Smith and Nunes know.

As the book progresses, Smith and Nunes and his team dig into not just the lines of the documents, but the story between the lines, explaining not just why the players did what they did, but why they did it when they did it, and what the various moments that drove the disparate news cycles underlying this story really meant. 

As the political dominoes keep falling, the lies that brought us from the murky origins of the Russia smear to the Ukraine impeachment are being exposed. And Smith’s book is an important resource for understanding where those lies came from, how they were employed, and what they were meant to accomplish. We already know, as its title testifies, the plot against President Trump was the biggest political scandal in American history. But The Plot Against the President explains how it was exposed.

The Plot Against the President: The True Story of How Congressman Devin Nunes Uncovered the Biggest Political Scandal in U.S. History is ultimately a study of a war fought with paper, in which both sides warred with investigations, one to seize power under the guise of a lie and the other to protect the power of the people with the truth.

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


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German Parliament: Its Resolution to Ban Hezbollah is Just a Legal Charade - Part II - Soeren Kern

by Soeren Kern

The Bundestag resolution -- calls for an incomplete ban, which appears aimed at providing the German government with political cover that would allow Berlin to claim that it has banned the group even if it has not.

  • Gatestone Institute wholeheartedly supports U.S. President Donald J. Trump's efforts to ban Hezbollah in Europe. The Bundestag resolution, however, calls for an incomplete ban, which appears aimed at providing the German government with political cover that would allow Berlin to claim that it has banned the group even if it has not.
  • It is utterly implausible that Germany, one of the wealthiest and most technologically advanced countries in Europe, is unable to ascertain the organizational structure of Hezbollah within its own borders.
  • "Six months ago, the AfD presented a resolution in the Bundestag to ban Hezbollah, a resolution which you vehemently rejected and which since then you have blocked in caucus.... What is needed is the complete ban of Hezbollah. Hezbollah's propaganda and terror financing in Germany must be stopped... This, by the way, is also demanded by the Bundestag's Anti-Semitism Resolution, which expressly calls for the deportation of supporters of anti-Semitism. If this does not apply to supporters of Hezbollah, which wants to send Jews to the gas chambers, and wants to destroy Israel, then to whom could this apply?" — Beatrix von Storch MP, Alternative für Deutschland [AfD] party, to the Bundestag, December 19, 2019.
  • Von Storch noted that the Bundestag's resolution, if implemented by the German government, would allow Hezbollah's 30-plus German-based mosques and cultural centers — where the group raises funds and spreads anti-Israel propaganda — to continue to operate. Moreover, not one of the 1,050 known Hezbollah operatives now in Germany would be deported.

German member of parliament Beatrix Von Storch noted that the resolution, if implemented by the German government, would allow Hezbollah's 30-plus German-based mosques and cultural centers — where the group raises funds and spreads anti-Israel propaganda — to continue to operate. Moreover, not one of the 1,050 known Hezbollah operatives now in Germany would be deported. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Gatestone Institute recently reported that a December 19 German parliamentary resolution, which claims to call for a complete ban in Germany of Hezbollah (Arabic for "The Party of Allah"), actually falls short of demanding a comprehensive ban of the terrorist organization. A senior US government official called the article "flat wrong". If only it were.

Gatestone Institute wholeheartedly supports U.S. President Donald J. Trump's efforts to ban Hezbollah in Europe. The Bundestag resolution, however, calls for an incomplete ban, which appears aimed at providing the German government with political cover that would allow Berlin to claim that it has banned the group even if it has not.

The Bundestag itself has issued a statement which states that it is calling for an activity ban (Betätigungsverbot) of Hezbollah, but not an organizational ban (Organisationsverbot) — an important distinction because the activity ban is legally weaker than the organizational ban.

The Bundestag claimed that it is not calling for a complete organizational ban of Hezbollah because the group's structures in Germany are "not currently ascertainable." The Bundestag's statement in the original German clearly states:
"Hezbollah-related association structures, which could justify an organizational ban, are not currently ascertainable." ("Der Hisbollah zuzurechnende Vereinsstrukturen, die ein vereinsrechtliches Organisationsverbot begründen könnten, seien derzeit jedoch nicht feststellbar.")
The Deputy Chairman of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group in the Bundestag, Thorsten Frei, explained:
"Hezbollah-related association structures, which could justify an organizational ban (vereinsrechtliches Organisationsverbot), are not ascertainable, despite efforts by the federal government since 2008. An organizational ban is therefore not an option due to the lack of a verifiable domestic organizational structure. However, we are free to pursue an activity ban (Betätigungsverbot) that we have also applied to other terrorist organizations that lack a demonstrable domestic organizational structure."
It is utterly implausible that Germany, one of the wealthiest and most technologically advanced countries in Europe, is unable to ascertain the organizational structure of Hezbollah within its own borders.

More probable is that the German government, for political reasons, has decided to turn a blind eye to Hezbollah's activities in Germany. In July 2018, the German foreign ministry, responding to a parliamentary query, claimed that banning Hezbollah in its entirety would jeopardize Germany's ability to "maintain a political dialog with all of the relevant political forces in Lebanon."

Apparently, the German government believes that maintaining a distinction between a political and military division of Hezbollah is for the benefit of Israel. In May 2019, the Munich-based newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung reported:
"In internal debates, the German foreign ministry said that it does not want to jeopardize its relations with Hezbollah, which sits at the government table in Lebanon. It has more fighters than the Lebanese state army. The German embassy in Beirut maintains good contacts with Hezbollah, which is always valuable when there is a need to mediate between Israel and the militia."
The conservative party, Alternative for Germany (Alternative für Deutschland, AfD), the third-largest party in the German parliament, refused to support the Bundestag's resolution. Addressing the parliament on December 19, AfD MP Beatrix von Storch explained:
"Six months ago, the AfD presented a resolution in the Bundestag to ban Hezbollah, a resolution which you vehemently rejected and which since then you have blocked in caucus. Now, six months later, you collectively are rushing through the door that we have politically opened. If this would happen with more AfD proposals, Germany would be in a much better place....
"Nevertheless, your resolution has two central weaknesses. The first weakness is that you are asking for only an activity ban (Betätigungsverbot). We want a specific organizational ban (Organisationsverbot). According to the Crime Fighting Law (Verbrechensbekämpfungsgesetz) of 1994, the activity ban is the weaker legal means when compared to an organizational ban. There is no reason in the world why you would fight a terrorist organization with the weaker means and not the stronger. You are making a loud bark, but you are not biting.
"The second fundamental weakness of your resolution is your justification for using the weaker means. You write, and I quote, 'Hezbollah-related association structures, which could justify an organizational ban (vereinsrechtliches Organisationsverbot), are not ascertainable.' That is objectively false, as confirmed by the 2017 and 2018 annual reports of Germany's domestic intelligence agency (Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz, BfV). The 2018 report states, and I quote, 'In Germany, Hezbollah followers maintain organizational and ideological cohesion, among other things, in local mosque associations, which are primarily financed by donations.' Do you even read your own intelligence reports? In case it is too long for you to read, it is located on page 214. Just check it!
"If you do not want to touch Hezbollah's mosque associations, then this resolution is pure symbolism politics (Symbolpolitik), and symbolism politics cannot continue. What is needed is the complete ban of Hezbollah. Hezbollah's propaganda and terror financing in Germany must be stopped. The mosque associations that exist must be disbanded, and most importantly, Hezbollah supporters must be deported. This, by the way, is also demanded by the Bundestag's Anti-Semitism Resolution, which expressly calls for the deportation of supporters of anti-Semitism. If this does not apply to supporters of Hezbollah, which wants to send Jews to the gas chambers, and wants to destroy Israel, then to whom could this apply?
"Since 1996, we here in Berlin have been forced to tolerate Hezbollah's annual hateful anti-Semitic spectacle, the so-called al-Quds Day [an annual event held on the last Friday of Ramadan that was initiated by the Islamic Republic of Iran in 1979 to express support for the Palestinians and oppose Zionism and Israel]. This must end. We hope that you will have resolved this Hezbollah problem before the next al-Quds day [May 21-22, 2020]. Please address this issue. Merry Christmas."
Von Storch noted that the Bundestag's resolution, if implemented by the German government, would allow Hezbollah's 30-plus German-based mosques and cultural centers — where the group raises funds and spreads anti-Israel propaganda — to continue to operate. Moreover, not one of the 1,050 known Hezbollah operatives now in Germany would be deported.

In any event, the main parties in the Bundestag appear to have reached a compromise among themselves to ban Hezbollah without really banning Hezbollah. Unfortunately, as even they admit, the German ban, if implemented, will not really be a ban.

Soeren Kern is a Senior Fellow at the New York-based Gatestone Institute.


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Dems Target Tulsi - Lloyd Billingsley

by Lloyd Billingsley

“Present” vote on impeachment sparks call for Gabbard to resign from Congress.

Former congressman and Hawaii governor Neil Abercrombie, the Hawaii Tribune-Herald reports, has called for Democrat presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard to resign “the sooner the better” following her vote of “present” on the articles of impeachment against President Trump.

Abercombie is co-chair for the campaign of Kai Kahele, a Democrat running against Gabbard, and the former governor cited Gabbard’s missing votes “on everything” as the reason for his resignation call. On the other hand, fallout from the call has focused on Gabbard’s impeachment stand.

“Throughout my life, whether through serving in the military or in Congress, I’ve always worked to do what is in the best interests of our country,” Gabbard explained last week. “Not what’s best for me politically or what’s best for my political party. After doing my due diligence in reviewing the 658-page impeachment report, I came to the conclusion that I could not in good conscience vote either yes or no.” That aside, Tulsi Gabbard has been a target-rich environment since October, when she made her most controversial statement.

Trump won the election in 2016,” Gabbard said in the CNN debate that turned out to be more of an impeachment inquest and socialist shout-out. In effect, Tulsi Gabbard was saying, “Hillary Clinton lost the election in 2016,” a clear violation of the Democrat speech code. The former First Lady had been repeating the claim that she defeated Donald Trump, telling PBS “Obviously, I can beat him again,” and that she was panting for a “rematch.” With Tulsi Gabbard, as with Trump in 2016, Clinton saw the evil hand of Russia at work.

“I’m not making any predictions,” she told POTUS 44 retread David Plouffe,  “but I think they've got their eye on somebody who is currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate,” a clear reference to Tulsi Gabbard.  “She’s the favorite of the Russians,” Clinton said, “They have a bunch of sites and bots and other ways of supporting her so far.” Plouffe closed out the interview citing Hillary’s “belief that Tulsi Gabbard is going to be a third-party candidate, propped up by Trump and the Russians.”

The former First Lady and Secretary of State cited no evidence for her claim and the Russian bots and such proved elusive. Even so, Clinton’s charge became the new party line for the Democrat-media axis. “If Tulsi Gabbard runs,” tweeted POTUS 44 UN boss Samantha Power, “it would be a huge windfall for Trump, Assad, Putin, Xi.” For her part, Gabbard noted that the New York Times and CNN were also claiming she was a “Russian asset.” This, she said, was “completely despicable.”

Before the impeachment vote, Democrats had been calling for revival of the Mueller report, which focused on Russian collusion. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi proclaimed “all roads lead to Putin” and “this has been going on for 2 1/2 years.” California Democrat Eric Swalwell, told reports the latest report on the Ukraine inquiry “ shows that a leopard doesn’t change his spots.”  Democrats have not changed their spots, and now mount a multi-front surge.

As she refused to send the articles of impeachment to the house, Nancy Pelosi called Sen. Mitch McConnell a “rogue leader,” adding, “frankly, I don’t care what the Republicans say.” In similar style, Pelosi had previously called President Trump an “imposter,” and as Pelosi withholds the articles from the Senate, putting a trial on hold, Democrats are calling for yet more articles of impeachment.

Over in the Senate, Dianne Feinstein has remained rather quiet on impeachment. That marks a contrast to her performance with Trump Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Feinstein, a favorite of Communist China, scripted the smear show starring Christine Blasey Ford. Kavanaugh gained confirmation but in March Elie Mystal writes a piece in The Nation headlined, “The Time Has Come for Democrats to Impeach Brett Kavanaugh.”

The Democrats believe that under Donald Trump the executive, judicial and legislative branches of government are all illegitimate. When their own presidential contender Tulsi Gabbard acknowledges that Trump won the election 2016, and declines to vote for the president’s impeachment,  a fellow Democrat calls for her resignation. The military veteran shows no signs of stepping down, and the campaign against her has reveals the Democrats’ defining dynamic.

As socialists Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders surge to the fore, the so-called “blue dog” Democrats, allegedly dedicated to fiscal conservatism, are an increasingly rare bread. The party is now dominated by those who, in the style of a junkyard dog, bark at anybody and everybody. In that role, the junkyard dog Democrats guarantee escalating conflict down the road.

With the 2020 election less than a year away, U.S. Attorney John Durham continues a criminal investigation into the origins of the Russia hoax, and he wants to know what John Brennan, a former CIA boss and Gus Hall voter, was up to during all that intrigue. As the duly elected President Donald Trump likes to say, we’ll have to wait and see what happens.

Lloyd Billingsley


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America’s Failed Jewish Leadership - Charles Jacobs and Avi Goldwasser

by Charles Jacobs and Avi Goldwasser

The Jewish community deserves better.

Reprinted from the Algemeiner.

On Tuesday, December 10, 2019, in a premeditated attack, two shooters opened fire inside a kosher deli in Jersey City, New Jersey and murdered four people. The killers included a former member of a notoriously antisemitic group and, reportedly, a follower of Louis Farrakhan.

It’s becoming obvious to most Jews that we are living in a state of siege. Practically every Jewish institution in America now needs significant security. College campuses have become hostile territory for Jewish students. Jews are murdered in Pittsburgh, San Diego, and Jersey City, beaten on the streets of Brooklyn, bullied and harassed in the universities, defamed by The New York Times and CNN, and now maligned in the US Congress.

There are many reasons for the current situation. Many are not within our control, but one thing truly ought to be: Jewish leadership.

The abolitionist leader Fredrick Douglass understood the consequences of failed leadership. He wrote: “Find out what any people will quietly submit to and you have the exact … measure of the injustice and wrong … which will be imposed upon them.”

It’s hard to ignore the simple fact that Jewish leaders have failed to stop or even slow down the accelerating epidemic of Jew-hatred in America. Good intentions and doing their “best” is not good enough. It’s irrational to continue with the current policies and leaders and expect different results.

Part of the reason for their failure is that many mainstream Jewish leaders, with a few exceptions, most significantly Morton Klein of the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), have failed to fully understand the new threats we face. Like failed generals fighting the last war, they focused on Nazis and the political right — and ignored the changed battlefield for as long as they could. They deliberately, out of political consideration, minimized the assaults coming from “progressives” and Islamists.

Recently, there has been some grudging acknowledgement of the not-so-new dangers, but there is little reason to hope that our leaders will significantly shift their focus and reallocate resources to deal with these politically inconvenient threats.

Many mainstream Jewish leaders seem ideologically incapable of internalizing the Left’s betrayal of the Jews. They refuse to acknowledge the political and social consequences of the mass influx of Muslim immigrants — who have grown up steeped in anti-democratic and antisemitic beliefs — into Western societies. They do so even when they know that this influx threatens to force the Jews out of Europe. They fail to understand how promoting tolerance of the intolerant may be lethal.

Mainstream Jewish leaders have also tended to ignore the ugly ideological assaults on Jews and Israel by prominent African-American leaders — with the exception of Louis Farrakhan, who is too obviously and publicly toxic to disregard — assaults which have led to predictable escalating physical attacks on Jews by young blacks. Only now, when it is no longer possible to ignore these repeated brutal attacks on New York Jews, have groups like the Anti-Defamation League begun to stir.

The deteriorating Jewish condition in America must be addressed immediately as an existential threat and the single most important priority for our community. We are under siege; we are in a state of emergency.

To be clear: we are referring to establishment national Jewish organizations, not to the many brave and dedicated smaller Jewish groups who fight BDS on campus, and anti-Israel bias in the media, K-12 curricula, and liberal churches. Indeed, most of these start-up groups were formed as a direct result of the decades-long failure of the ADL, the Federations, and the JCRCs to fight what is now recognized as “the new antisemitism.”

The Jewish community cannot prevail against these multiple and mounting assaults without strong national leadership.

There is a need for an honest self-assessment by Jewish leaders. They need to understand and recognize their responsibility for the failures noted below:
  • Failing to mobilize and prioritize communal resources to protect the community both from physical and ideological assaults;
  • Ignoring the fast-growing Jew-hatred promoted by “progressives” in our schools, our media, and politics;
  • Remaining silent in the face of the genocidal teachings of Islamists in mosques and Islamic community centers;
  • Refusing to deal forthrightly with the explosion of Jew-hatred by certain groups within the African American community, especially those in leadership positions in Congress and academia;
  • Ignoring the failure of Jewish education that has resulted in the formation of antisemitic and anti-Israel Jewish organizations, cult-like groups preying on naïve, vulnerable, and ill-informed Jewish youth, by offering them secular identities and virtue signaling platforms as “Social Justice Warriors”;
  • Failing abysmally to condemn Jews who are clearly trying to undermine Israel;
  • Failing to effectively address Jew-hatred from “liberal” mainline Protestant churches;
  • Mostly ignoring the hostile environment for Jews on college campuses, and the growing hostility in K-12 education funded with billions of dollars by the antisemitic regimes of Saudi Arabia and Qatar;
  • Suppressing, marginalizing, and even attacking dissenting voices within our own community;
  • Abandoning their fiduciary responsibilities by compromising the needs of our community for the sake of progressive politics.
Sadly, the failure of establishment Jewish leadership is not a new story: during World War II, many American Jewish leaders were cowards — more concerned with a potential backlash of antisemitism in America than with the fate of their fellow Jews in Europe. Today, still cowering, they fear exclusion from the progressive community. Then, they abandoned the Jews of Europe; now the Jews of Brooklyn, America, and Israel.

The biggest Jewish defense agency, the ADL, is the biggest failure. Their mission has been universalized: it changed from fighting antisemitism to fighting “all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion,” as if the Jewish community has the resources to do that, as if the community is secure and protected.

In too many instances, the ADL has failed to protect Jews. They seem more dedicated to protecting politically correct progressive causes and leaders. They are conflicted when Jew-hatred comes from progressive ideologues like themselves or certain “protected” minorities. The ADL has become a fraud.

The Jewish community deserves better. We need strong, proud and courageous Jewish leaders who are not ideologically conflicted or morally confused, and who are unafraid to fight courageously. ADL’s leadership must be replaced.

Today, we are calling on establishment Jewish leaders, including Federation and JCRC leaders as well as rabbis to examine their failure to effectively respond to the hostility towards Jews in America. Then, consistent with the highest Jewish values, they should seek forgiveness and resign.

Only with proud, brave, and competent leadership, can we hope for a secure Jewish future.


Charles Jacobs, is co-founder and President of Americans for Peace and Tolerance and The American Anti-Slavery Group. He is also co-founder of the David Project.
Avi Goldwasser is the co-founder of Americans for Peace and Tolerance and The David Project. He is the executive producers of several documentaries including Hate Spaces, The J Street Challenge, and The Forgotten Refugees.


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Exposé: Avigdor Liberman's Russian language campaign - Rochel Sylvetsky

by Rochel Sylvetsky

Yisrael Beyteinu's Russian campaign, it has been revealed, is vastly different from the one in Hebrew.

Listening to several Israeli radio station talk shows this week, Kol Chai, Reshet Bet and Galei Yisrael, one heard commentators reacting with shock to an article by Yishai Friedman in Makor Rishon Hebrew weekly this past Friday which revealed Avigdor Liberman's Russian language campaign to the Hebrew speaking Israeli population .

Israelis are familiar with Liberman's Hebrew language campaign, aimed at frightening secular Israelis into thinking that the religious parties are going to force them to keep Shabbat, wear kippot and daven three times a day if they are in the governing coalition or face biblical punishments (His slogan: "Yes to a Jewish State, no to a Halakhic State" is said solemnly– as if that were an imminent danger, when, as is obvious, it is not even a remote possibility). They heard his demands for public transportation on Shabbat, forcing haredi schools to teach secular studies, allowing civil marriage, recognizing no-requirement conversions and above all, his demand to force all yeshiva students to serve in the army (the IDF cannot handle that kind of influx – but this is not the place for an analysis of the complex and explosive issue). 

Popular rightwing (once the darling of the leftwing) broadcaster Irit Linor had the courage to say what people who want the Jewish state to remain Jewish in public places and want people to be allowed to educate their children as they see fit, have been saying to one another for weeks. Israel is facing Avigdor Lieberman's demands to erase the Jewish character of the Jewish State because Israel's government allowed hundreds of thousands of non-halakhically Jewish Russians  to enter the country when it included the father/grandfather clause in Israel's Law of Return in 1970. This allowed grandchildren and children of non-Jewish grandmothers and their families - if a grandfather was Jewish - to become automatic citizens under the Law of Return, the law that was meant to make Israel a place where Jews could always find a haven without worrying about quotas or the need for visas.

The Russian immigrant non-Jews have no desire to convert, she said, exposing the lie behind all the media-encouraged liberal Orthodox and Reform Movement accusations that the Rabbinate placed unnecessary impediments before Russians allegedly begging to convert.  The extensive experience I received running a youth village with hundreds of Russian teens and a user-friendly conversion (but Rabbinate approved) program as well as the information gleaned at meetings with other educators is proof enough that she is right. Most Russian students did not want to convert– and why should they? They came from anti-religious surroundings and they got the same benefits if they stayed non-halakhically Jewish.  Yes, we now have thousands of non-Jewish children in public religious elementary schools, but the answer, sadly. is not their mass conversion – a bad enough answer because both parents are not Jewish and it is hard to imagine a converted child eating in his own home – but because they have no intentions of doing so if there is even a modicum of change in lifestyles involved. And that, by all acounts, is their right. No one made that a condition for coming to Israel. (The Ethiopian aliyah is a totally different story). But that is not the same as trying to change the country's ethos.

Since most non-Jewish immigrants are from Ukraine and Russia, where anti-Semitism is part of the local culture, some are infected with antipathy to anything smacking of Judaism – and sometimes to Jews themselves.

In that vein, two incidents this past week caused the Yisrael Beyteinu Party some uncomfortable moments.  The first was when a campaign video in Russian by party member Dr. Alex Kushner containing undisguised hatred for the haredi community was translated into Hebrew on the web. "Over a million representatives of the Orthodox community live at our expense" railed Kushner, on a backdrop of a photograph of masses of haredi Jews. "The state subsidizes them using our taxes, our labor. Enough." 

The second was when the Makor Rishon website reported that Haifa deputy mayor and member of Yisrael Beyteinu, Lazar Kaploun, posted on the web that the religious are "gluttons and drunkards" who "rape minors."

Religious public figures and politicians reacted furiously to these incidents, and in Haifa there were calls for Kaploun's resignation. Organizations identified with the religious sector sent letters to the Attorney General demanding Kaploun's dismissal for "spreading anti-Semitic writings." Kaploun later apologized for his remarks.

The following weekend, Makor Rishon's magazine section contained an exposé of the hitherto unknown Liberman campaign, the one in Russian  aimed at his core electoral base, non-Jewish and anti-religious (including some halakhically Jewish) Russian immigrants. 

The paper also spoke to a grassroots group of veteran Russian immigrants, many of them refuseniks from the 1990s, some once supporters of the Yisrael Beyteinu party, who are appalled at what they call its "campaign of enmity-arousing anti-Semitism and hatred within the Russian population against the religious and haredi public."  They claim that the level of discourse Yisrael Beyteinu maintains on the Russian web awakens dark evil impulses and breeds anti-Semitism.

In an op-ed on the subject, the group informed the public that Yisrael Beyteinu's Russian campaign is entirely different from its Hebrew one. "The Russian campaign is skewed, one-sided and in essence antisemitic, it incites against religious and haredi Jews, calls the religious sector 'parasites who take advantage of state funds at the expense of the Russian sector."

The Yisrael Beyteinu MKs in the Russian broadcasts, the group wrote, "purposely try to arouse fears of a bullying halakhic State that is in the works, thereby bringing certain parts of the Russian sector to express real anti-Semitism, including calls for violence against the Religious Zionists and haredim  Some accuse the entire haredi sector of pedophilia. They try to give the impression that the haredim intend to rule over and discriminate against the secular." 

Former refusenik Natalie Rotenberg, a secular grandmother of five, has created a website called "Danger from within" – "Sakana miBeyteinu" – a play on the name of Liberman's party. Some of the group's members say that the social media conversation of Yisrael Beyteinu supporters brings them back to the dark days of Jew hatred in Russia. A number of the Hebrew and Russian quotes they have collected call for pogroms, ghettos for haredim, and even violence. 

"Yisrael Beyteinu's campaign awakens the nascent anti-Semitism in part of the Russian population, now aimed at the religious and haredi sectors.  When you see a video showing haredi Jews (in this case, it was of Arye Deri and Shas members, ed.)  dancing as money falls from the sky upon them, it causes irreparable damage to the social fabric of this country. And I am quite sure Avigdor Liberman knows exactly what he is doing and what he is encouraging."

The blatantly anti-Semitic trope used by Liberman's party is the warning that haredi parties are out to "empty the pockets" of Russian speaking immigrants. One video has Deri's face framed by a circle of dollars.  Several official posts claim that the dead vote for Deri en masse (thereby accusing the party of using identity cards of the deceased to add voters, ed.) and show him reciting the Shema and praying for the dead to be resurrected so they can vote for Shas.  There are posts against Religious Zionists, claiming the sector is prejudiced against Russians and harbors insane messianic beliefs. 

The refusenik's website also brings talkbacks that appear under the official party posts. Here is one: "The time has come to take our pitchforks and go out to the streets. Our problem is that we don't get together against the darkness of the dosim (pejorative for religious, ed.) and we will end up like Iran…"  And another: "We have to stop giving the wages of our labor to thieves and parasites in black jackets and smelly hats."  More: "The religious are not descended from the apes, but from moldy fungi."  And this: "We have to destroy entire neighborhoods, starting with Bnai Brak and Kfar Chabad. I wish I could reach Hamas to show them how to direct their rockets." Also, "put my name on the list of pogrom activists." One post reportedly said "HItler was right to destroy Jews."

Talkbacks the world over are a way for deviants to come out of the woodwork, but the horrified refuseniks say, with justification, that these go way beyond the Israeli talkback level –and that in addition, they contain blatant anti-Semitic motifs of a virulence which does not appear on the Israeli web.

Makor Rishon spoke to several of the group members. Mordecai Tomshpolsky, 70, says that he knew people like that in Russia, aggressive "pogromanics" who incited to physical violence. He says that Israelis don't really fathom what is going on, but that he himself is afraid.  "When MK Milinovsky (of Yisrael Beyteinu, ed.) writes that the haredim are a population that endangers the rest because they spread diseases and don't get vaccinations, I remember what they accused the Jews of Europe of doing. When a deputy mayor calls Jews loyal to Torah pedophiles, that is absolutely shocking. He is a public official! I think Yisrael Beyteinu is doing us a service, revealing something the public was not aware of – that we have sleeper cells of anti-Semitism in Israel, which are beginning to hit the streets."

Ilya Levin was once an active member of Yisrael Beyteinu, but left over a year ago because of the attitude of the party to mitzvah observant citizens. "We are a small people. We cannot allow ourselves to fight within our ranks. Liberman has always wanted the votes of those who arrived here because of the Law of Return but are not halakhically Jewish. The non-Jewish vote is worth at least a Knesset seat and since he wants that seat, he is campaigning in a manner that would be called out as anti-Semitic in any other country."

"The anti-Semitism revealed among the Russian sector is shocking," says another activist in the refusenik group who wishes to remain nameless. "The campaign defining an entire sector as the enemy, as money hungry and dominating, is spinning out of control. The quantity of nasty talkbacks is the sign of a trend."

Yisrael Beyteinu's office dismissed the criticism and the entire expose as politically motivated, according to the Makor Rishon article. 

Except that the quotes are real and so are the videos and the talkbacks, so that a better question might be – why is Avigdor Liberman doing this? Liberman is in total control of his party, from choosing the candidates to telling them what to say and there is no way he has not approved of this campaign.  But he is far from stupid and he must know where this is leading.  

Why is he burning every bridge to religious Jewry, when his wife and children are observant Jews? What is making Liberman do this? Why does his party's Russian campaign sound like Louis Farrakhan crossed with Jeremy Wright?  Is it the same phenomenon as today's Black anti-Semitism which ignores the fact that it was Jews who risked their lives marching down South to end segregation, this because it helps the goals of Black Power to define a group of whiteys they can hate? It was religious Jewry who fought the Let My People Go campaign to free Soviet Jewry. Does that make them ripe for hating as well by those who did not join that people?  

And is it really Liberman talking or is there some other force behind him out to pit Israelis against one another in the Jewish state, one that has Liberman under its thumb for whatever reason?  We may never know, but one thing we do know: About that hatred genie. Once it is out of the bottle, it is almost impossible to put it back in.

Rochel Sylvetsky is Senior Consultant and op-ed and Judaism editor of Arutz Sheva's English site


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