Saturday, February 22, 2020

France: Macron Vows Crackdown on Political Islam - Soeren Kern

by Soeren Kern

"The problem is when, in the name of a religion, some people want to separate themselves from the Republic and therefore not respect its laws." — French President Emmanuel Macron, February 18, 2020.

  • "The problem is when, in the name of a religion, some people want to separate themselves from the Republic and therefore not respect its laws." — French President Emmanuel Macron, February 18, 2020.
  • "Turkey today can make the choice to follow that path with us or not, but I will not allow any foreign country feed a cultural, religious or identity-related separatism on our Republic's territory. We cannot have Turkey's laws on France's soil. No way." — French President Emmanuel Macron, February 18, 2020.
  • "What we must put in place is not, as I have sometimes heard from some people, 'a plan against Islam.' That would be a profound mistake. What we must fight is the separatism...." — French President Emmanuel Macron, February 18, 2020.

French President Emmanuel Macron has announced new measures aimed at countering political Islam in France. The changes would limit the role that foreign governments have in France in training imams, financing mosques and educating children. Pictured: Macron speaks to the media in Mulhouse, on February 18, 2020, shortly before making the major policy speech in which he vowed to fight what he called "Islamist separatism." (Photo by Sebastien Bozon/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)

French President Emmanuel Macron has announced new measures aimed at countering political Islam in France. The changes would limit the role that foreign governments have in France in training imams, financing mosques and educating children.

Macron also vowed to fight what he called "Islamist separatism" and to lead what he described as a "Republican reconquest" aimed at reasserting state control over Muslim ghettoes — so-called no-go zones (zones urbaines sensibles, sensitive urban zones) — in France.

In a much-anticipated policy speech, Macron, during a visit to the eastern French city of Mulhouse on February 18, said that his government would seek to combat "foreign interference" in how Islam is practiced, and the way that Muslim religious institutions are organized in France. "The problem is when, in the name of a religion, some people want to separate themselves from the Republic and therefore not respect its laws," he said. "Here in France, there is no place for political Islam."

Macron outlined a four-pronged strategy to combat Islamism in the country: 1) fight against foreign influences in schools and places of worship; 2) reorganize Muslim worship in France in accordance with the principles of secularism and French law; 3) fight against all manifestations of Islamist separatism and communitarianism; and 4) reassert state control over all parts of France.

Macron said that, among other measures, he plans to terminate a decades-old teacher exchange program called Teaching Language and Culture of Origin (L'Enseignement Langue et Culture d'origine, ELCO), which allows nine countries — Algeria, Croatia, Italy, Morocco, Portugal, Serbia, Spain, Tunisia and Turkey — to send teachers to France to provide foreign language and culture courses without oversight by French authorities.

Four majority-Muslim countries — Algeria, Morocco Tunisia and Turkey — are involved in ELCO, which serves approximately 80,000 students each year. These countries also send several hundred imams to France every year. Foreign imams, Macron said, were often linked to Salafism or the Muslim Brothers and "preach against the Republic." He stressed: "This end to the consular Islam system is extremely important to curb foreign influence and make sure everybody respects the laws of the Republic."

Macron said that ELCO will be replaced with bilateral agreements to ensure that the French state has control over the courses and their content, as of September 2020. Macron added that Turkey was the only country that had refused to sign a new bilateral agreement.

The Turkish government operates a large network of mosques in France and elsewhere in Europe under the auspices of Diyanet, or Directorate of Religious Affairs, which spent more than $2 billion on promoting Islam in 2019 and is controlled by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who has been accused of using Diyanet to prevent the integration of Muslims in Europe.

"Turkey today can make the choice to follow that path with us or not, but I will not allow any foreign country feed a cultural, religious or identity-related separatism on our Republic's territory," Macron said. "We cannot have Turkey's laws on France's soil. No way."

Macron also said that a new law is being drafted to allow for transparency in how mosques are financed. "Mosques financed with transparency with imams trained in France and respectful of the Republican values and principles, that's how we will create the conditions so that Muslims in France can freely practice their religion," he said.

Macron added that he would ask the French Council of the Muslim Faith (Conseil français du culte musulman, CFCM), the body representing Islam in France, to help the government find solutions to train imams on French soil and ensure they can speak French and not spread Islamism.

Macron also called for better integration of Muslims in French society and warned of the dangers of communitarianism — the practice of communities governing themselves in France:
"We are here for a reason that we share with Muslims — that is the struggle against communitarianism. What we must put in place is not, as I have sometimes heard from some people, 'a plan against Islam.' That would be a profound mistake. What we must fight is the separatism, because when the Republic does not keep its promises, others will try to replace it."
Macron's speech, which comes just weeks before municipal elections set for March 15 and 22, is part of an effort to elicit support from conservative voters. The government has faced criticism over its lackluster efforts to promote Muslim integration in France, which is home to Europe's largest Muslim population, estimated to number around 6 million, or 8 percent of the population.

Marine Le Pen, leader of the French nationalist party National Rally, has repeatedly argued that France has failed to assimilate its Muslim community — thus jeopardizing laïcité, or state secularism, a 1905 legal principle that separates church and state and requires the state's neutrality on religion. Le Pen, who is neck and neck with Macron in public opinion polls, speaks for many voters who are concerned about the spread of radical Islam in France.

Macron, who took office in May 2017 and has focused most of his presidency on economic reform, has had mixed results on keeping promises regarding Islamism and mass migration.
  • October 2017. Macron signed a new counter-terrorism law — Law to Strengthen Internal Security and the Fight Against Terrorism (Loi renforçant la sécurité intérieure et la lutte contre le terrorisme) — which gives prefects, police and security forces wide-ranging powers, without the need to seek prior approval from a judge, to search homes, place people under house arrest and close places of worship. The measure also authorizes police to perform identity checks at French borders.
  • February 2018. Macron pledged to "lay the groundwork for the entire reorganization of Islam in France." He said that the plan would be announced within six months and would limit the role that foreign governments have in training imams, financing mosques and educating children in France — the very same objectives that Macron announced two years later in his speech in Mulhouse in February 2020.
    Le Pen noted that Macron's latest plan mirrors her own report — "Le Pen Plan for the Suburbs" (Plan Le Pen pour les banlieues) — published in May 2018.
  • September 2018. French Interior Minister Gérard Collomb launched the "Republican Reconquest" (Reconquête Républicaine) aimed at retaking control of 60 so-called no-go zones in France by sending in extra police and improving public services.
  • September 2019. Macron, arguing that the government must stop voters from drifting to populist parties, hinted at a tougher line on immigration. "France cannot host everyone if it wants to host them well," Macron told French radio station Europe 1.
    Macron's comments caused a backlash from left-leaning members of his own party. They penned two open letters warning against "fueling hatred against all Muslim citizens." Lawmaker Jean-François Cesarini accused Macron of "co-opting Le Pen's talking points."
Meanwhile, in a new book — "The Emirates of the Republic: How Islamists are Taking Control of the Suburbs" — François Pupponi, who for 20 years was the Socialist mayor of Sarcelles, a commune in the northern suburbs of Paris, recounts how supporters of political Islam have upset the balance in his community, where Arabs, Christians, Jews and Turks had lived together in peace for many decades.

Pupponi describes a landscape in which entire districts are being infiltrated by Islamists in order to "make a takeover bid on this community." He added: "It is the fruit of my experience, what I live and what I observe."

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


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For Ilhan Omar, the best defense is always...anti-Semitism - Andrea Widburg

by Andrea Widburg

In response to the Daily Mail's article telling the world that Ilhan Omar married her brother, Omar tweets that "Zionists" are out to get her.

On Thursday, Britain's Daily Mail ran a story that America's media have refused to cover: the strong evidence that Ilhan Omar married her own brother, Ahmed Elmi, in order to commit immigration and student loan fraud. Omar's first response was precisely what everyone expected: she claimed anti-Muslim hate speech.

By Friday, though, Omar had escalated her rhetoric, not directly but by proxy. She retweeted a post from Humans 4 Human Rights asserting that any challenge to Omar is a Zionist conspiracy.

Reading through the site, it's apparent that the people behind it are from the Jeremy Corbyn left. It calls Boris Johnson a "rich men's lapdog" and inveighs against the "BLATANT UGLY FACTS of the SLEAZY SCHEMING foundation & agenda of #BREXIT, pushed & supported by the WHITE PRIVILEGED CORPORATE BANKSTERHOOD, #UK's elite #RulingClass, whose only aim is to get richer and damn the ordinary poor f***ks, the #BRITISH #PEOPLE." It warns that, in a post-Brexit U.K., "children ... the sick, vulnerable and homeless" won't survive.

The site doesn't like Trump, calling his administration a "kakistocracy" (rule by bad people), and it hates and fears Jews. On the subject of a "Free Palestine," it states that "'Antisemitism' is the weapon of choice for Psychological Warfare to silence all of us who demand a #FreePalestine!" The one thing it really loves is Ilhan Omar.

With widely publicized news that Ilhan Omar has been gaming the American system, so much so that federal law enforcement is investigating her, Humans 4 Human Rights went into overdrive to defend Omar. It published a post entitled "Enemy collaboration: Character Assassination of Ilhan Omar — tabloid brainwashing saga continues." The article oozes sympathy for Omar, while showing a paranoid level of dehumanization when it comes to Jews and Israel, as well as a manic conspiracy theory tying Jews and Israel to the Murdochs. Here are a few select quotations:
Pro-Israel Zionist / Far-right fraternization may be surprising to some, as their factions' "public image" apparently insists they violently despise each other. However, their fascist dystopian ideology [i.e., Zionism] is pretty much one and the same. Domination and oppression by any and all means necessary.
The latest tabloid slander by the Daily Mail and The Sun stink of brazen collusion, referring to articles by the New York Post, whose owners the Murdoch family, conveniently own The Sun, and self-proclaimed "investigative journalist", Pro-Israel touting David Steinberg, who's been out to destroy Ilhan Omar since 2018.
Aside from that ugliness, what's really not nice is an elected member of the United States House of Representatives retweeting this anti-Semitic garbage as a defense to charges that she's engaged in immigration fraud. Omar has a right to respond substantively (which she has not done), but, given that she's a member of Congress, it's not unreasonable to expect her to maintain some sort of dignity and decency...but that's not Omar's style. Instead, she retweets anti-Semitic muck:

The problem with having Omar in Congress isn't just her socialism, no matter how terrible an idea socialism is. Instead, it's her blatant, unrelenting hatred for America and American values.

One expects a person who was welcomed here as a refugee and reached one of the highest pinnacles in the land to show at least smidgen of gratitude...but not Omar. She's the bad guest who moves in and then tries to burn down the house and then tries to burn down the neighbor's house, too.

Andrea Widburg


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Netanyahu blasts rival Benny Gantz, cites two advisers who likened Trump to Hitler - Charles Creitz

by Charles Creitz

Benenson tweeted that Trump had gleaned "Hitler’s demonizing term for the press: 'lugenpresse.' Trump’s translation is “Fake News."

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sat down with Mark Levin for an interview airing on "Life, Liberty & Levin" Sunday, days before Israelis go to the polls for the country's third general election in fewer than 11 months.

Netanyahu blasted his chief rival Banny Gantz, whose center-left Blue & White Party has achieved parity with Netanyahu's right-wing Likud in consecutive elections, calling out two Gantz advisers who likened President Trump to Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler.

"I'm familiar with this," said Levin. "Two staffers who refer to our president in one way or another as Hitler, and Mr. Gantz keeps them on board as senior advisers."

Netanyahu claimed Gantz has merely "pretended" to be part of a more moderate political movement and added that he has asked Gantz to dismiss the two men, one of whom he identified as Joel Benenson, an American who has also advised the campaigns of Hillary Clinton, President Barack Obama and the late former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo. Netanyahu identified the other adviser as Ronen Tzur, a former member of the Knesset.

"[Tzur] compared President Trump to Adolf Hitler. It's incredible," Netanyahu said. "The greatest friend [Israel has] ever had in the White House, he's compared him to Adolf Hitler."

According to the Jerusalem Post, Tzur posted disparaging comments about Trump on Twitter in 2016. In March of that year, he wrote: "The book of the 21st century: Mein Trumpf”, a play on Hitler's polemic "Mein Kampf."

The Jerusalem Post also reported that Tzur apologized when his tweet came to light earlier this year, calling Trump "the bravest president of the [United States]" and praising his commitment to Israeli's security.

In an October 2018 tweet, Benenson replied to another Twitter user's claim that Trump kept a copy of Hitler's speeches by his bed by claiming that the president's language is influenced by the German tyrant.

Benenson tweeted that Trump had gleaned "Hitler’s demonizing term for the press: 'lugenpresse.' Trump’s translation is “Fake News."

Netanyahu told Levin that the Gantz team is "putting on an act" in order to falsely persuade Israeli voters that they back the Trump administration's Middle East peace plan.

"These people who call President Trump Hitler are for President Trump's plan? Come on, give me a break. So this is one big con job. That's what it is."

For his part, Netanyahu called Trump's plan "terrific." The plan calls for a two-state solution including the state of Israel and the "future" state of Palestine. Under the plan, the Palestinians would have to reach certain benchmarks to achieve a state, including rooting out terrorism, stopping so-called “pay to slay” programs, implementing steps toward free speech, and other political reforms.
"It's a strategic buffer against invasion and smuggling of weapons from the east," he said. "It recognizes the legitimacy and the sovereignty of Israel over communities in our ancestral homeland, in Judea and Samaria."

Fox News' Andrew O'Reilly and John Roberts contributed to this report.

Charles Creitz


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Build, Bibi, Build - Caroline Glick

by Caroline Glick

Protecting Jewish civil rights in the face of anti-Jewish hostility.

The United Nations Human Rights Council’s release on Wednesday of its blacklist of companies with financial ties and business relations with Israeli Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria is a reminder of Israel’s vulnerability and the vulnerability of Jews worldwide. The vile, bigoted list, which singles out for boycott firms that do legitimate business with law-abiding Israelis just because they are Jews is yet another example of the U.N.-led international community’s anti-Jewish bloodlust.

For eight years, under then-President Barack Obama, the United States green-lighted these witch hunts. Since Donald Trump took office, the United States has led an aggressive effort to punish institutions that scapegoat and otherwise discriminate against Israel and Jews in the United States and around the world, beginning at the United Nations. 

This state of affairs is a welcome relief, but Israel cannot rest on its laurels. Trump is standing for reelection this year, and the one central truth of elections that they are unpredictable.

Currently, the Democratic front-runner for the nomination is Senator Bernie Sanders. In a crowded, radical, largely anti-Israel field of candidates, Sanders, the self-avowed socialist, stands out as the most radical and most anti-Israel candidate. His victory in the New Hampshire primaries last week consolidated his control over the party’s progressive base.

The implication of Sanders’s power is straightforward. Whether or not he wins the Democratic nomination, he has already won control over the party’s positions and ideology. His are the ideas and policies everyone else is rushing to embrace. Sanders once said that he wants the Democratic Party to look like Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party in Britain. And now, thanks to his consolidation of the progressive base, it increasingly does.

The Corbynization of the party was on abject display last weekend when AIPAC, the pro-Israel lobby, issued a groveling apology to the Democratic Party for a Facebook ad it ran last week against “the radicals in Congress.”

AIPAC’s ad, which it quickly removed, said, “Radicals in Congress are threatening the U.S.-Israel relationship by reducing or cutting aid and military assistance, encouraging the boycott of Israeli companies, and using plainly anti-Semitic language.”

It continued, “It’s critical that we protect our Israeli allies especially as they face threats from Iran, Hamas, Hezbollah and—maybe more sinister—right here in the U.S. Congress.”

The most prominent anti-Semites in Congress today, Reps. Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, are among Sanders’s most valuable supporters.

AIPAC ran its ad in a bid to help moderate Democrats who are being attacked by the likes of Tlaib and Omar over their support for Israel. But rather than thank AIPAC for trying to help them, they stood by and watched as their fellow Democrats—pro-Israel and anti-Israel alike—viciously attacked the pro-Israel lobby. AIPAC, with its overwhelmingly Democratic membership, collapsed under the strain.

It offered an “unequivocal apology to the overwhelming majority of Democrats in Congress who are rightfully offended by the inaccurate assertion that the poorly worded, inflammatory advertisement implies.”

Of course, there was nothing in the ad that was either inaccurate or inflammatory. AIPAC’s only mistake was its belief that “the overwhelming majority” of Democrats support Israel.

Just over a week ago, 107 Democratic members of Congress and twelve Democratic senators, (among them four presidential candidates), signed letters to President Trump supported by the anti-Israel lobby J Street rejecting his peace plan.

The day after AIPAC’s humiliation, PLO chief Mahmoud Abbas gave a joint press conference at the United Nations in New York with Israel’s disgraced former prime minister Ehud Olmert. Like congressional Democrats, the two men rejected Trump’s peace plan. As they ended their remarks, Abbas hugged and kissed J Street chairman Jeremy Ben-Ami.

J Street funded Olmert’s trip to New York.

As AIPAC crumbles in the face of a Corbynized Democratic Party, J Street rises.

This brings us to Israel, two and a half weeks before its elections. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his coalition partners don’t know whether they will win or transfer power to a leftist government led by Benny Gantz. Israel doesn’t know who the Americans will be electing in November.

Facing this uncertainty, what should it do?

Any move has to be based on a general understanding of how to fight anti-Semitism.

Whether they’re thugs on the street or diplomatic goons in fancy suits, anti-Semites are bullies. You don’t get a bully to quit picking on you by appeasing him. You get a bully to quit picking on you by growing too big for him to easily attack.

Jews are attractive targets because they are vulnerable and easily isolated. To make anti-Semites back off, Jews need to be as invulnerable and as popular as possible.

This then brings us to the Trump plan. In a real sense, the future of the Jews in Israel and in America is tied up with the implementation of the Trump plan. And to a significant degree, the March 2 election is a referendum on Trump’s peace plan.

If the left wins on March 2, its leader Benny Gantz will bury the Trump plan by subsuming it in a doomed-to-fail effort to get the anti-Semitic international community to support Israeli sovereignty over the communities in Judea and Samaria and the Jordan Valley.

The administration’s sudden and unexpected decision to oppose the application of Israeli law to the Jordan Valley and the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria before the March 2 elections means that the only chance that the deal has of being implemented is if Netanyahu forms the next government as the head of a right-religious coalition.

This doesn’t mean that the government is barred from action. To the contrary. There is something Israel can do to sustain the Trump plan and increase the plan’s chances of survival regardless of the results of the March 2 elections in Israel and the November elections in America.

From the dawn of modern Zionism, two forms of Zionism have operated in tandem. The first is diplomatic Zionism. The second is pioneering Zionism. One of the unique aspects of the Trump plan is that it embraces both.

The map of Israel envisioned in the Trump plan adds the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria to sovereign Israeli territory. It bears out the central maxim of pioneering Zionism—the map of Israel is determined by the settlement of Israel. The land Jews live in is the land over which they take possession. The slogan of the pre-state pioneers, “One more dunam [hectare], one more goat,” lives on in the Trump plan, as relevant as ever.

As for diplomatic Zionism, the Trump plan is predicated on a recognition that Israel is the legitimate sovereign in Judea and Samaria under international law. This recognition, a hundred years after those rights were anchored in international law in the San Remo Convention, is a singular triumph for diplomatic Zionism.

Over the past 150 years, when progress in one form of Zionism was blocked, the other compensated by taking a more dominant role.

For instance, due to Obama’s obsessive hostility towards Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria and neighborhoods in united Jerusalem, throughout most of his presidency, pioneering Zionists were stymied. Israel couldn’t build new communities or build much of anything inside existing communities without incurring the white wrath of the White House.

So Netanyahu, the greatest diplomatic Zionist since Theodor Herzl, grabbed the baton and started running. Through his peripatetic defenses of Israel’s rights and relentless push to strengthen and widen Israel’s bilateral relations with countries around the world, Netanyahu enabled Israel to withstand the Obama administration’s anti-settlement pressure campaign and get through his presidency with all communities intact.

Due to the administration’s sudden opposition to the application of Israeli law over the Jordan Valley and the Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria ahead of the March 2 elections, the diplomatic pathway to Israeli sovereignty over the areas is stymied. But there is a path forward. It has a diplomatic component but it mainly involves community building.

Ahead of the election, the government can pass a decision with two component parts. First, the decision would commit the government to apply Israeli sovereignty over the areas currently being agreed to by the American-Israel committee in accordance with the Trump plan. Second, the decision would approve significant building in strategic settlement areas in Judea and Samaria and give formal approval to the master plans of the communities built in Judea and Samaria over the past two decades. These communities have been denied formal approval for years due to international pressure. The time has come to treat them fairly.

A government decision along these lines would kill three birds with one stone. First, it would be an appropriate response to the UNHRC’s release of its anti-Semitic blacklist.

Second, it would significantly reinforce the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, to the benefit of Israel and American Jewry alike.

In Israel’s case, construction in strategically vital communities and formal approval of the master plans of the younger communities would make it much more difficult for a hostile Democratic administration to harm Israel’s hold on the areas and so make Israel a much less vulnerable target for diplomatic bullying.

Decreased Democratic and United Nations motivation to attack Israel over these communities, whose reinforcement now would obviate the prospect of easily destroying them later, will provide breathing room for American Jews. Progressives will spend less time targeting pro-Israel Jews for their support for Israel. That respite will give the American Jews the opportunity to reorganize their resources in a manner that will expand their ability to protect Jewish civil rights in the face of a hostile administration.

Finally, such a government decision will protect Israel from the vagaries of a leftist government. It’s much easier for a government not to take controversial action than to walk back action after it’s been taken. A Gantz government would never pass a decision to endorse sovereignty over the Jordan Valley and the Israeli communities, or approve building in strategic areas and approve the master plans of young communities. But it would be hard pressed to supplant a government decision in effect when it takes office.

And if Netanyahu and the Likud-led religious-right bloc win on March 2, a decision along these lines before the election will make a decision to actually apply Israeli law to the Jordan Valley and the Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria look more like an afterthought than an earthquake.
Sanders’s victory in New Hampshire and the UNHRC release of its anti-Semitic blacklist remind us of the dangers lurking around the corner. The government must take Zionist action now to blunt those dangers and curb our enemies’ enthusiasm.

Caroline Glick


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UCLA Under Investigation for Anti-Semitism - Sara Dogan

by Sara Dogan

A watershed moment in the battle against campus Jew-hatred.

The Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR) announced last month that it will investigate a Jewish student’s complaint of anti-Semitism at UCLA in connection with the University’s decision to host the 2018 Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) National Conference. That student, Justin Feldman, filed the complaint with the help of the Zachor Legal Institute alleging that invited speakers at the SJP conference promoted and glorified terrorism and violence.  

The OCR investigation represents a crucial step forward for opponents of Jew hatred on campus. The charges that Feldman and the Zachor Legal Institute have brought against SJP are the same ones that the David Horowitz Freedom Center has exposed and publicized for over a decade. It is the cumulative work done by the Freedom Center and other organizations in publicizing these outrages combined with President Donald Trump’s firm stance against Jew hatred, that has led to this critical juncture.   

As the Freedom Center has voiced in numerous articles and reports, and in direct action taken on college campuses, Students for Justice in Palestine is funded by the anti-Israel terrorist organization Hamas, whose goal, as stated in its charter, is the genocide of the Jews and the destruction of the Jewish state. Hamas uses SJP and its collegiate network to promote the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel on campuses across the United States.

Hamas, for its part, employs a network of Islamic “charities” and front groups, most notably the organization American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), to funnel large sums of cash and provide external support to assist SJP chapters in promoting the genocidal and anti-Semitic BDS movement at American colleges.

The funding Hamas provides to SJP is a matter of federal record. In testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Jonathan Schanzer, an expert who previously worked as a terrorism finance analyst for the United States Department of the Treasury, revealed, “At its 2014 annual conference, AMP invited participants to ‘come and navigate the fine line between legal activism and material support for terrorism.’” 

Schanzer described AMP as “arguably the most important sponsor and organizer for Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), which is the most visible arm of the BDS campaign on campuses in the United States” and revealed that AMP “provides speakers, training, printed materials, a so-called ‘Apartheid Wall,’ and grants to SJP activists” and “even has a campus coordinator on staff whose job is to work directly with SJP and other pro-BDS campus groups across the country.”  He added, “according to an email it sent to subscribers, AMP spent $100,000 on campus activities in 2014 alone.”

AMP is headed by the notorious anti-Semite and jihad supporter, UC Berkeley professor Hatem Bazian, the co-founder of SJP. AMP’s board, as Jonathan Schanzer has shown, is dominated by former leaders of the Holy Land Foundation which was successfully prosecuted by the US government for funding Hamas. SJP is the chief campus sponsor of BDS—a Hamas orchestrated campaign to isolate and financially strangle the Jewish state.

Israel’s Minister of Strategic Affairs and Public Diplomacy Gilad Erdan has backed up Schanzer’s findings, declaring that, “The relationship between terrorist organizations and the BDS movement has never been closer, ideologically or operationally.”

Despite this ample evidence that Students for Justice in Palestine is an anti-Semitic hate group allied with known terrorists, universities across the nation continue to provide funding, support and institutional privileges to SJP.

Even among the 200 or so campuses in the United States that officially sanction chapters of SJP, UCLA stands out for its cooperation with SJP’s genocidal agendas and its failure to protect Jewish students and their right to pro-Israel speech on campus. The UCLA SJP chapter has repeatedly and violently disrupted pro-Israel events in violation of UCLA’s community standards. Not only did the UCLA administration choose to ignore this despicable conduct, they still aided SJP in bringing their national conference to campus.

For more than a decade UCLA chancellors have funded and defended this terrorist support organization and attacked the Freedom Center’s efforts to expose their sinister agendas. When the Freedom Center distributed anti-BDS posters on campus exposing SJP’s affiliations with Hamas, UCLA Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Jerry Kang sent an email to the 50,000 members of the UCLA community attacking Horowitz and calling the posters “repulsive” and “hateful.” Kang has been an open supporter of SJP and its campaign of hate. 

“This case … [is] about incitement to violence being exported to campuses all around the country,” UCLA student Feldman told the Jewish Journal.

“If you want to have rightful advocacy for Palestinian self-determination on campus, you can,” Feldman added. “Just make sure it’s not affiliated with funding terror groups, and this is what we’re fighting against with this civil rights case.”

A spokesman for UCLA contested Feldman’s claims, stating that “That conference was exclusively sponsored by Students for Justice in Palestine, one of our 1,200 registered student groups — not the university,” and adding that “No public funds or student fees were used” to hold the event. But this attempt at deflection is clearly a lie.

Marc Greendorfer, founder of the Zachor Legal Institute and one of the attorneys handling Feldman’s complaint, points to documents acquired through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request which prove that UCLA funded the event through both the UCLA Office of Equity Diversity and Inclusion’s Bruin Excellence and Transformation (BEST) program. The University also paid for security and barricades at the event and there is email evidence that administrators discussed how best to “minimize and or counter the impacts of backlash.” From all available evidence it appears that UCLA was far from a disinterested party to the SJP conference.

“UCLA clearly had their hands all over this,” attorney Greendorfer stated. “They say that they had nothing to do with it. That’s an absolute lie.”

While Feldman and the Zachor Legal Institute deserve much of the credit for filing the specific complaint leading to the OCR investigation, it is important to recognize the larger cultural shift that has enabled such complaints to be taken seriously. Groups like the David Horowitz Freedom Center and the Canary Mission have spent years exposing SJP’s links to terrorism and that continual stream of truth-telling has finally begun to take root in the public consciousness.

During 2007-2009, the Freedom Center organized an Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week on over one hundred campuses to draw attention to the atrocities and dangers perpetrated by adherents to radical Islam. In subsequent years, the Freedom Center worked with students to bring the Terrorism Awareness Project and Islamic Apartheid Week to American universities. Prominent colleges and universities set up and displayed the Freedom Center’s “Wall of Lies” which countered Hamas propaganda claims that Israel is an apartheid state that is built on stolen Arab land – in short to dramatize that “The Palestinian Cause is based on a Genocidal Lie” as a half-page we placed in the NY Times stated.

More recently, the Freedom Center’s Stop the Jew Hatred on Campus and Stop University Support for Terrorists campaigns have exposed the inner workings of the Hamas-funded and Muslim Brotherhood-linked organization Students for Justice in Palestine and lobbied university administrators to withdraw funding and support from this terrorist-allied campus group. For the past five years we have published a report on the Top Ten Campuses that Promote Jew Hatred and have publicized our findings directly to students on those campuses.

The Freedom Center’s collegiate campaigns have centered around an undeniable truth: the Palestinian cause is a genocidal aggression based on genocidal lies to “finish the job that Hitler started.” It is the public’s gradual realization of this truth—aided by the spotlight applied by the Trump Administration—that has enabled the OCR complaint against UCLA to go forward.

Sara Dogan


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Video: Texas High School Teacher's Incoherent Responses to Questions About Sharia -


Inside the twisted world of Lake Highlands High School teacher Tracey Bishkin.

On February 19, 2020, Lake Highlands High School (Dallas, Texas) teacher Tracey Bishkin gave a one hour presentation entitled "The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict." Bishkin told the audience Israel is to blame for the first and second Intifadas (1987 & 2000) and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin was a terrorist but Yassar Arafat was not.
Understanding the Threat (UTT) President John Guandolo asked Ms. Bishkin this question during the presentation: "How can we put this discussing in proper perspective without looking at Palestine's true intent as detailed in the Cairo Declaration since Palestine is a signatory as a member of the OIC?" Her answer was the Cairo Declaration is not relevant and its one of many treaties and other agreements over the years.

After the presentation, John Guandolo spoke with Ms. Bishkin. The following video captures the conversation and interlaces facts to contradict what Ms. Bishkin shares. A real question here is: How can Texas public schools, in this case the Richardson Independent School District, employ a racist and biased teacher like Tracey Bishkin? This says a lot about how U.S. public school students are not only ignorant about real-world issues, but are intentionally trained to be anti-Israel and pro-jihadi.


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How China is losing global trust and goodwill over its handling of the coronavirus crisis - Brian P. Klein

by Brian P. Klein

The crisis could have been a turning point in Beijing’s quest to be a reliable world power. Instead, a lack of transparency is poisoning the well of global goodwill and rekindling concerns about China’s influence over the WHO

Illustration: Craig Stephens
Illustration: Craig Stephens
As the number of reported coronavirus cases in China has slowed, many have been wondering whether the worst may be over. Maybe it wasn’t as bad as it seemed? Perhaps the world and the media have overreacted to an outbreak no more threatening than a new flu strain.
That’s the message coming out of Beijing in a public relations offensive meant to assuage the fears of an increasingly sceptical world.
Serious doubts about the veracity of official Chinese public health data are making it nearly impossible to draw firm conclusions about the scope and scale of the epidemic. Covid-19
infection rates, mortality, recovery, methods of transmission, incubation periods, and even screening methods have all been thrown into doubt. With this lack of confidence will come significant political fallout.
This crisis could have been a major turning point in Beijing’s quest to assume a leadership role in world affairs. Instead, a lack of transparency is poisoning the well of global goodwill and rekindling concerns about China’s control (and manipulation) of information, its influence over the
World Health Organisation and its reliability in a crisis.

Take even the most basic data on infection rates, for example. The statistics were already not following the expected exponential trajectory of epidemics and then diagnostic criteria were abruptly changed. That led to a surge of over 15,000 new patients in one day. Then, about a week later, the case definitions were revised again, and the numbers plummeted to barely a few hundred.

Medical professionals still can’t seem to agree on whether symptoms, chest images or
blood tests are sufficient diagnostic tools, but two months into the crisis, this is an unexpected problem to encounter, one with dramatic implications for the stemming of the epidemic.
Why so much confusion? There’s been little transparency in the outbreak as information, or even access to it, has been politicised by Beijing.
Ever since the United States airlifted its citizens out of Wuhan, warned against all travel to China, and its airlines stopped service, Beijing has taken umbrage at Washington. Nevertheless, other countries rapidly followed suit with their own evacuations and flight stoppages.

Beijing publicly derided what it called an overreaction on the part of foreign governments. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, in a recent Reuters interview, stated: “Everybody can see that the measures taken by those countries go far beyond the recommendations of the WHO.”
These recommendations would include WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus’ early statements about avoiding restrictions that “unnecessarily interfere with international travel and trade”  – remarks that were especially suspect, however, as China itself imposed increasingly restrictive quarantines throughout much of the country.
China’s information blockade, which has included increased censorship and the
disappearance of citizen journalists who were posting about the Covid-19 outbreak, contributes to the international community’s outsize negative reaction.
Although there are over 75,000 infected patients, physicians are still lamenting how little they know about the disease. Other countries have had to scramble to piece together data from the limited cases they’ve seen first-hand.
After extensive deliberations, the WHO, which has only now been able to send a full delegation to China, finally received permission to visit Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak.
Yet, the messaging out of Beijing has shifted: the situation is improving and under control. The Global Times, a state-run media outlet, has called for the resumption of international flights to China. Its editor-in-chief, Hu Xijin, has gone so far as to tweet: “Those who badmouth China’s economy will get a slap in the face.”

Maintaining the perception of stability continues to trump all evidence to the contrary.
China’s political event of the year, the National People’s Congress meeting, is set to be
delayed. Schools in China remain closed. While the government is eager for idle factories to
restart production, Beijing has recently announced that anyone returning to the city must submit to a 14-day quarantine.
Even China’s ally, Russia, has finally decided to close the country to all Chinese nationals in an attempt to stem the spread of the virus (as of February 20, Russia had reported only two cases on its soil).

What cannot be easily hidden is the spillover effect of the outbreak on the economy. This has turned up the heat on China’s highly politicised disaster response even more.
Significant economic contraction, at least in the first quarter of 2020, is all but assured for the
mainland, with hits likely to Hong Kong and Taiwan. Imports and exports are dropping. Global companies are revising down their earnings estimates.
Supply chain vulnerabilities have become more evident in industries from pharmaceuticals to consumer goods and electronics. Factory closures and worker shortages continue.
This type of global disruption is impossible to sweep under the carpet. China’s rise as a reliable global power is in doubt, even as the US under President Donald Trump continues to lose influence.
If the virus doesn’t just shrivel up and die – if, instead, the epidemic truly goes global – China’s instinct to control information will engender scepticism at best and outright scorn at worst.
It is unreasonable to expect nothing less than full-throated public praise for China’s containment efforts. Certainly, no country likes to be criticised, but had China chosen a more cooperative and transparent approach at the outset, it would have engendered more international goodwill and higher levels of support.
This is becoming an increasingly rare commodity as this crisis continues to unfold. Once information is politicised, trust is broken, and without trust there is no leadership.

Brian P. Klein, a former US. diplomat, is the founder and CEO of Decision Analytics, a NYC-based strategic advisory and political risk firm


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Devin Nunes on fire: 'Tide turns' for his California farmers, Russia hoaxers on the run - Monica Showalter

by Monica Showalter

A good week for the Central Valley's leading advocate for water for farmers. And a bad one for the Deep State and crazy greenies.

Rep. Devin Nunes is on fire this week.

While much of the nation was impressed with President Trump's attention to America's farmers, Nunes is telling constituents that the tide has finally turned on their farmers' long Democrat-caused drought. That's based on President Trump's signature this week on a bill to provide California's beleaguered farmers with water, build storage for them, and put a stop to the junk science that buttresses the whole problem. Here was his email to constituents:
While campaigning in 2016, then-candidate Trump promised that the Central Valley's water supply would no longer be held captive by radical environmentalists. This week, both President Trump and Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt visited the Valley to make official the Trump administration's plans to return water to the Valley.
On Wednesday, President Trump signed a second presidential memorandum to formally adopt policies that will deliver more water to the Valley. In addition to implementing new biological opinions that govern how much water flows through the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, President Trump directed the Secretaries of the Interior and Commerce to develop more water storage infrastructure so that Valley farmers, families, and communities can have a more bountiful and reliable water supply. Since before my election to Congress, I have fought to reclaim the water that California's radical environmentalists have flushed out to the Pacific Ocean. With this week's actions, President Trump has turned the tide in California's decades-long water wars.
Along with other Republican congressmen, I joined President Trump for the signing ceremony.
This, coming from him, a dairy farmer himself, is dramatically good news. Nunes was the original voice crying out in the wilderness about California's disastrous water situation. We often think of him in his role as the ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee, but his original cause was always the water. He wrote this book about the environmentalists' efforts to shut down America's most important land for food production. Here was his hugely popular account of the backstory that appeared in Investor's Business Daily in 2015:
In the summer of 2002, shortly before I was elected to Congress, I sat through an eye-opening meeting with representatives from the Natural Resources Defense Council and several local environmental activist groups. Hoping to convince me to support various water restrictions, they argued that San Joaquin Valley farmers should stop growing alfalfa and cotton in order to save water — though they allowed that the planting of high-value crops such as almonds could continue.
Then, as our discussion turned to the groups' overall vision for the San Joaquin Valley, they told me something astonishing:
Their goal was to remove 1.3 million acres of farmland from production. They showed me maps that laid out their whole plan: From Merced all the way down to Bakersfield, and on the entire west side of the Valley as well as part of the east side, productive agriculture would end and the land would return to some ideal state of nature. I was stunned by the vicious audacity of their goal — and I quickly learned how dedicated they were to realizing it.
He knows all their tricks. And now he's finally closing in on them. Just as he thwarted the Deep State with digging to the truth about the foundations of the Russia hoax, how he's marshaled the feds to go around California's wasteful greenies, who flush millions of gallon of pure clean water into the sea in the name of saving the delta smelt, a policy that has turned the lower San Joaquin valley into a wasteland.

And speaking of the Russia hoax, Nunes is on fire here, too.

He's also telling Fox News's Harris Faulkner he's suing the Washington Post, based on its habitual lies concerning his supposed visits to the White House. These, he says, are visits never made. Now he's in hot pursuit.

That's another victory for him coming up. Like President Trump, Nunes racks up a lot of wins. This is a good week for him. We can only wish he has many more.

Image credit: YouTube screen shot.

Monica Showalter


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Iran, Hezbollah Stir Chaos in Syria's Southwest - Jonathan Spyer

by Jonathan Spyer

Eight hundred thousand people have left their homes to flee the advance of regime forces and the relentless, indiscriminate bombing of Assad's Russian allies.

The global spotlight has currently returned to Syria because of the Assad regime's current bloody offensive in Idlib, Aleppo and Latakia provinces. The regime is trying to reduce the last enclave held by Sunni Arab rebels in the country's northwest.

The assault has precipitated one of the worst humanitarian disasters of the bloody, nine-year war. Eight hundred thousand people have left their homes to flee the advance of regime forces and the relentless, indiscriminate bombing of Assad's Russian allies.

Far to the south of Idlib, however, and largely ignored by the global media, events are under way that may offer a clue to the future direction of Syria. These events are of direct interest to Israel.

The regime is currently seeking to consolidate its presence in Deraa and Quneitra provinces in Syria's southwest. Assad's army completed its "conquest" of these areas in the summer of 2018.
The Syrian regime reconquered the southwest in 2018, but the region is still not silenced.
Observation of the current situation on the ground in these areas suggests, however, that the situation remains far from a return to the repressive and stifling order of the pre-revolt days.

Rather, the situation is characterized on the one hand by extensive Iranian and Hezbollah activity within the empty shell of the government's structures, and on the other hand by an ongoing, armed resistance to that government. The precise organization, origins and nature of this resistance remain somewhat mysterious. But the tempo of attacks on regime positions and facilities is relentless, and increasing.

Hezbollah forces stationed at Juroud Arsal along the Syrian-Lebanese border.
Deraa is where the Syrian rebellion broke out, in distant early 2011. Nine years on, it is not yet silenced. Rather, the area and its environs increasingly constitute Syria's wild southwest.

Regarding Iranian and Hezbollah activity, the extensive human infrastructure maintained by Iran and its proxy in southwest Syria has been well documented.
In a recent report produced by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA), Brig.-Gen. (ret.) Shimon Shapira and Col. (ret.) Jacques Neriah noted that since the return of the area to regime control, Hezbollah has been actively recruiting. The recruits come from among the area's impoverished Sunni communities. They are tempted into the ranks by financial inducements. Hezbollah pays $250 a month, according to Shapira and Neriah. Three thousand five hundred local Syrians have been recruited in this way since mid-2018, according to the report.

Hezbollah commanders are recruiting impoverished Sunnis in the Golan Heights.
They further note that the Hezbollah commander behind these efforts is 50-year-old Munir Naima Ali Shaito, known as Haj Hashem. Shaito is a veteran and senior Hezbollah operative, and is former deputy commander of the elite Badr unit within the organization.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a pro-opposition but generally reliable source, reported this week that Iran-backed militia commanders have begun to offer financial incentives to the mukhtars of villages in the Syrian-controlled part of the Golan, in return for their cooperation in recruiting village youth to the militias' ranks. Among the villages named by the observatory are al-Habiriyah and Sultanah.

Iranian efforts in this area are not taking place in isolation from the official regime structures. Rather, in the manner Tehran favors, its operatives both cooperate with regime forces and operate from within them.

Maher Assad, Iran's chosen partner in southwest Syria.
The powerful Air Force Intelligence Directorate and the 4th Armored Division, commanded by Bashar Assad's brother Maher, are the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' chosen partners in southwest Syria. Hezbollah maintains an intelligence gathering facility within a base of the Syrian Arab Army's 90th Brigade in the Hadr area, very close to the border with Israel, according to the JCPA report.The implications of this information are significant. The notion that an unproblematic return of the antebellum status quo and of the strong prewar Baathist state is taking place in areas where the regime has replanted its flag needs to be complicated. What is returning is something different – namely, the shell of the prewar regime, within which Iran and its allies appear to have unfettered freedom of action.
They are not having things all their own way, though. Since June 2019, according to the observatory, more than 300 attacks have taken place on regime and allied forces in the Deraa area. These have included shootings, and detonations of IEDs and mines. One hundred ninety-two people have been killed in these attacks, including 36 civilians and 100 members of the regime forces, and its "loyalists and collaborators," according to the observatory.
Attacks on regime forces and facilities in the southwest have increased since June 2019.
The latest attacks came this week, when unidentified gunmen fired on an Air Force Intelligence checkpoint at the southern entrance to al-Musayfirah town in Deraa's eastern countryside.

The precise figures produced by the observatory should be treated with some skepticism. Southwest Syria is closed to media coverage and so there is no way of verifying these. But the ongoing attacks on regime forces and facilities are confirmed from other sources and are not in doubt.

So what is behind these actions?

Haid Haid, a respected Syrian researcher on the war, notes that the regime's continued arrests and violations of amnesty agreements with locals may be motivating the return to resistance.

An organization calling itself Popular Resistance (Al-Muqawama al-Sha'abia) has emerged and has begun to claim responsibility for the attacks. The group, as reported by Haid, gave an interview to an Arabic news site in November, declaring war on the regime and its associated militias. In the interview the spokesman, calling himself Saif al-Horani, said that the group has no affiliation with any foreign state or entity.

Haid notes, however, that no further information is available on this group. Doubts have emerged whether it exists at all, or whether it is simply an effort to take credit for acts committed by others. There is also the possibility that the overt "leadership" of Popular Resistance is an attempt by the regime to draw its opponents in Deraa into the daylight, so that they can be neutralized.

Identifying those behind Popular Resistance is important. A question of particular interest will be the role of Sunni jihadis affiliated with Islamic State or Hayat Tahrir al-Sham in these actions. No evidence of either has emerged as yet. The perpetrators remain shrouded in mystery. But the attacks are continuing and increasing.

In the southwest, a failed state penetrated by outside powers faces an inchoate but deadly insurgency.
Events in Syria's southwest matter for Israel because the chaos and the continued weakness of the Syrian state allow Iran to advance by stealth, organizing in the direction of Israel's border.

More broadly, Deraa and Quneitra are worth watching with care, because they show that contrary to the impression conveyed in regime and Russian propaganda, normality is not returning to Syria with the advance of the regime's flag.

Rather, in Syria's wild southwest, what exists is a chaotic failed state, thoroughly penetrated by outside powers, and facing an ongoing, inchoate but deadly insurgency at the hands of those it claims to have vanquished.

Jonathan Spyer is director of the Middle East Center for Reporting and Analysis and is a research fellow at the Middle East Forum and at the Jerusalem Institute for Security and Strategy.


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