Saturday, June 20, 2020

A Farrakhan Supporter Led the LA Black Lives Matter Rally That Became a Pogrom - Daniel Greenfield

by Daniel Greenfield

"F___ the police and kill the Jews."

"It’s no coincidence that the riots here escalated in Fairfax, the icon of the Jewish community. I saw the Watts and the Rodney King riots. They never touched a synagogue or house of prayer. The graffiti showed blatant antisemitism. It’s Kristallnacht all over again," Rabbi Shimon Raichik, a Chabad Rabbi in Los Angeles, wrote.

These scenes from what the media has falsely called peaceful protests and the Jewish community in the Fairfax neighborhood of Los Angeles has called the Shavuot Riots, after the biblical holiday during which the worst of the attacks on the community occurred, has fundamentally divided Los Angeles Jews.

Allyson Rowen Taylor, the former Associate Director of the American Jewish Congress in LA, and a co-founder of StandWithUs, passed on an account of hearing chants of, "F___ the police and kill the Jews."

"The antisemitic chants are not being widely reported.  This is insane and very, very scary," she noted.

After the conclusion of Shavuot and the Shabbat, members of the Jewish community went to pick up the pieces, battling looters and checking out the damage. Even synagogues that had been untouched began evacuating their Torah scrolls to places of safety, unprecedented outside of a major natural disaster.

Aryeh Rosenfeld, an Orthodox Jewish small business owner in the area, described to the Jerusalem Post hearing screams of, "F___ Jews" during the riots and looting as he tried to protect his store.

The looting not only devastated countless small businesses in the area, but graffiti, some of it explicitly anti-Semitic, was scrawled across at least 5 Orthodox Jewish synagogues and 3 religious schools.

“The attack on our community last night was vicious and criminal. Fairfax is the center of the oldest Jewish community in Los Angeles,” Councilman Paul Koretz said. “As we watched the fires and looting, what didn’t get covered were the anti-Semitic hate crimes and incidents."

Melina Abdullah, the lead organizer of Black Lives Matter in LA and a professor of Pan-African Studies at Cal State, had been very clear about her motive for bringing her hateful campaign to the area.

"We've been very deliberate in saying that the violence and pain and hurt that's experienced on a daily basis by black folks at the hands of a repressive system should also be visited upon, to a degree, to those who think that they can just retreat to white affluence," the BLM-LA co-founder ranted.

Melina Abdullah has a hateful record of appearing at Farrakhan and Nation of Islam events and praising the antisemitic hate group and its leader. When Facebook decided to remove Farrakhan over his hateful rhetoric toward Jews, the Black Lives Matter LA co-founder came to his defense.

“Facebook and Instagram’s decision to ban The Honorable Minister Farrakhan along with known white-supremacists represents the ultimate in false equivalencies," Abdullah complained. "As a Black community, we should be very wary when others attempt to silence our leaders. We should also think about how to organize beyond social media. I continue to appreciate the Minister’s fearless leadership and intense love for our people.”

Farrakhan has praised Hitler, compared Jews to termites, and had declared, “Those who call themselves ‘Jews,’ who are not really Jews, but are in fact Satan”, claimed, “Hitler was trying to destroy the international bankers controlling Europe”, and boasted, “there has not been a black leader in America locked in a struggle with the Jewish community, but Louis Farrakhan.”

And Abdullah has made no secret of sharing Farrakhan’s hostility toward Jews.

When CNN parted ways with Marc Lamont Hill after he once again endorsed the murder of Jews, Abdullah accused CNN of standing "with a Zionist Israel that murders and terrorizes the Palestinian people." The BLM-LA leader had complained that the Women’s March included “Zionists”.

At the Women’s March, Thandiwe Abdullah, her daughter, now the co-founder of the BLM Youth Vanguard, had said that as a "black Muslim girl, it is very important to me that Black Lives Matter also values the lives of the Muslim women in Palestine" and accused Israel of "genocide".

Thandiwe also spoke at the Fairfax Black Lives Matter protest, where she ranted, “I know you want to tear some s___ up... if you want to set some corporations on fire, you know what? I don’t care about Target burning. I don’t care that capitalism burns. I don’t care that white people in their f____ office buildings are upset."

Not just Melina, but Black Lives Matter LA, had partnered with the Nation of Islam, as she had noted in the past, “Minister Farrakhan was calling on folks not to spend their dollars with the White corporations that keep us oppressed, and so we partnered with the Nation and helped to amplify that call.”

The media not only failed to report the scale of vandalism against Jewish synagogues and schools, but treated it as a mysterious aberration while failing to report that BLM LA’s lead organizer had a history of anti-Semitism, and that BLM-LA had allied with one of the most vicious anti-Semitic hate groups around.

It did not note her own statement that “violence and pain and hurt” should also be “visited” on the people living and working in an area which included one of LA’s major Jewish communities.

The media repeatedly described Abdullah as an activist against police violence while ignoring her affinity for a racist black supremacist hate group whose leader has described Jews as satanic and subhuman.

The level of duplicity and malpractice by the media which covered this up is its own hate crime.

Imagine if a rally by a supporter of the KKK had turned into attacks on black churches and stores. The media would not be pretending that the two events were somehow separate and unrelated.

The national media, the local media, and even the local Jewish media failed to cover these facts.

In the aftermath of the Black Lives Matter riots, Los Angeles Jews, like millions of other Americans, found themselves deeply divided between standing with the rioters or their victims. And that unfortunately included some in the Modern Orthodox Jewish community.

After the attacks on synagogues in Fairfax, the major Modern Orthodox synagogues in nearby Beverlywood, the more modern counterpart of the community, conducted Black Lives Matter sessions. Even though these same synagogues had to rush out their Torah scrolls to protect them from a racist mob, they did not voice any pain or outrage, or offer solidarity to their fellow vandalized synagogues.

Unlike the statements by Young Israel and the Agudah, the Orthodox Union failed to even address the attacks on synagogues. Local leaders urged Orthodox Jews, who were the victims of the racist violence, to atone for their imaginary crimes of racism and to take up the hateful slogan of Black Lives Matter.

On a street in Beverlywood, high school kids from one of the more liberal schools in the area chalked slogans denouncing “white silence” and the same police who keep the mansions of their parents safe.

In Fairfax, the more traditional Orthodox Jews, in black pants and white shirts, in dangling tzitzit and black hats, had cheered the LAPD and other law enforcement agencies as they rolled in after the pogrom, and Persian Jews handed out donuts and snacks to the members of the National Guard.

There is an unbridgeable moral gap between the Chabad synagogue that opened its doors to the National Guard and the Modern Orthodox synagogues that opened their doors to black nationalists. And that gap in the Orthodox community can be seen in those teens cheering the LAPD in Fairfax and those chalking slogans against it in Beverlywood. That gap will determine which community has a future.

A community that teaches its children that they are privileged racists and that standing up for Israel and for their own homes and synagogues has to take a back seat to black nationalism, has no future.

As Rabbi Pini Dunner, of the Young Israel of North Beverly Hills, wrote, "If supporting BLM means collective suicide, you can count me out."

Those Jews who have had the courage to speak up have been told that now is not a Jewish moment. This is a time for empathizing with criminals, not for standing up for the victims of anti-Semitism.

Jay Sanderson, the president of the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, worried that focusing on the attacks on synagogues would detract from the important cause of the protests.

“This is not about us,” Los Angeles Jews have been told.

And yet the vandalism of synagogues and businesses, the cries of, “F___ Jews”, and the “F___ Israel” graffiti on a synagogue eloquently testify to the inescapable truth of anti-Semitism that it is about Jews.

And if Jews don’t stand up when their synagogues and stores are attacked, who will?
Paint can be cleaned off, glass can be swept away, and family savings and dreams can be put away, but there is a bigger price to be paid for failing to stand up to the rise of someone like Melina Abdullah. Bigoted mobs don’t go away when you fail to stand up to them. They gain power and legitimacy. And the price of standing up to them grows while the toll they take with each attack becomes unbearable.

The true moral cost of the Los Angeles Pogrom can be measured in the fact that racists were able to get away with attacking synagogues while intimidating some Jews into keeping quiet and supporting them.

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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The Death of Europe - Joseph Puder

by Joseph Puder

In Europe today, “freedom of religion” means simply freedom of Islam.

Douglas Murray is a rare commodity on the European scene, a conservative intellectual and author of numerous best-selling books. His recent (2017) book, The Strange Death of Europe, is a dire warning to the European elites of their impending demise. Murray’s book is a personal account of Europe caught in the “act of suicide.” He addresses the dismal failure of multiculturalism, the lack of repatriation of the migrants, existential tiredness and guilt.

In an interview Peter Robinson (of the Hoover Institute Uncommon Knowledge Program) had with Douglas Murray (October 7, 2019), he quoted from Murray’s book, “Europe today has little desire to reproduce itself, fight for itself, or even take its own side in an argument. By the end of the lifespan of most people currently alive in Europe, Europe will not be Europe, and the peoples of Europe will have lost the only place in the world we had to call home.”

The symptoms of Europe’s terminal diseases were not new or first revealed by Douglas Murray, they go back for at least a generation. Murray simply confirmed the diagnosis. In his 2009 book, Reflections on the Revolution in Europe: Immigration, Islam, and the West, Christopher Caldwell writes: “In the U.S., there was a ‘race problem’, and there was an ‘immigration problem,’ and the two did not always have much to do with one another. Even if they were sometimes confused, they could generally be disentangled by the people of good faith. In Europe, the immigration problem was the race problem.  So, declaring immigration a success and an ‘enrichment’ became the only acceptable opinion. To hold immigration a failure was to reveal oneself a racist; to express misgivings about immigration was to confess racist inclinations… People still talked about immigration and its consequences, but only along preapproved lines. Real discussions – about increasing ‘diversity’ of European society, and whether it was a good or bad thing – were all but shut down.”

Europe has undergone a demographic revolution it never expected. After WWII, shortage of labor compelled European industrialists to import foreign labor. Millions came to Germany from Turkey, virtually all of them Muslim. They were not just religiously different, but culturally as well. Many came from rural areas who never integrated into Mustafa Kemal Ataturk’s secular Turkey. Former colonial subjects, Algerian, Moroccan, Tunisian Arabs, and some Berbers, all of them Muslims, flooded France. Britain brought former colonial subjects from Pakistan and India, and once again, many of them Muslims. When these immigrants/workers arrived, they were not required to adopt European values including secularism, tolerance, and equality. Many of those immigrants in Britain, France and Germany took their inspiration and values from their mosques and imams, and not from the European societies they lived in. Lack of integration (unlike America’s “melting pot”) created Muslim ghettos that resembled their home countries. This writer experienced one in Stockholm, Sweden, where the garb, language, and interactions remained largely within the ghetto.

Diversity and multiculturalism became the new European religion, except that Europeans knew little about the culture of their Muslim immigrants. So, the European elites were busy rooting out European traditions that excluded people and supposedly restricted the liberties of their Muslim immigrants. Christianity and churches were considered stupid and superstitious but not mosques and Islam. Colonial guilt drove European obsession with Third World causes. While the Muslim immigrants could freely express their hatred, and their solidarity with repressive regimes in the Middle East and South Asia, Europeans were not to express pride in their culture, history, and mostly national pride, i.e. nationalism (except on the soccer fields). The creation of the European Union further stifled European nationalism. Unable to embrace their own sense of nationalism, Europeans adopted others, especially Palestinian nationalism, which, in its radical versions, allowed Europeans to reconnect with antisemitism in the guise of anti-Israelism.

In Europe today, “freedom of religion” means simply freedom of Islam. European governments proscribe interference in the affairs of mosques. Europe is waiting for Islam to modernize, but the European political elites wouldn’t, for example, dare apply the 18th Century Enlightenment attacks that were leveled at Christianity on Islam. In today’s Europe, the ridicule in which Voltaire treated Christianity (and Judaism) is forbidden to be used against Islam. Ridiculing Islam has been considered racist and xenophobic. Caldwell writes: “The reasonableness of Christianity was attacked over the centuries, and continues to be attacked, with utter ruthlessness. No socially acceptable way has yet to emerge for attacking the reasonableness of Islam in any way at all. In fact, Islam increasingly receives legal protection against criticism.”

To understand the extend of European degeneracy, consider the 2009 indictment of Geert Wilders, a Dutch Member of Parliament, and leader of the Freedom Party. He was charged with inciting violence in showing the film Fitna, in which he called the Quran a fascist book and compared it to Hitler’s Mein Kampf. The politically correct Dutch government tried to prevent its viewing, a clear sign of stifling free speech for Dutch people. Conversely, Muslim communities in Europe have produced antisemitic texts and have perpetrated violence against Jews throughout Europe with impunity, whether in, Brussels, Copenhagen, London, Lyon, Malmo, Paris, or Toulouse. In an interview with Fox News (January 2008), Gilders called Islamic culture “retarded.” He made a distinction however, between Islam and Muslim people. He said, “We should stop being tolerant towards people who are intolerant towards us.” 

Enoch Powell, the British Conservative Member of Parliament, warned as early as 1968 of the consequences of unrestrained non-European immigration. Speaking at a London Rotary Club he said: “The urban part of whole towns and cities in Yorkshire, the Midlands, and the Home Counties would be preponderantly Afro-Asian in population.  There would be several Washingtons (alluding to U.S. black ghettos) in England. From those areas the indigenous population, the people of England, who fondly imagine that this is their country, and these are their hometowns, would have been dislodged.” Powell added: “The English as a nation have their own peculiar faults. One of them is that strange passivity in the face of danger or obscurity or provocation.”

Perhaps the best example of European ‘death-wish’ is the 2015 decision by German Chancellor Angela Merkel to invite and welcome over a one million migrants from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Africa. All of the arriving migrants were from non-democratic countries. The vast majority of them were from Muslim societies, where western concepts of diversity, human rights, the rule-of-law, and tolerance are non-existent. Moreover, many of them are with learned prejudice and hatred towards Jews. Ironically, Merkel’s attempt of atonement for Nazi crimes against Jews is likely to bring out increased antisemitism, and violence against Jews and others.

It seems that the only outrage the European elites and their followers clearly express is toward the Jewish state and America. They resent being reminded of their role in the Holocaust that was preceded by centuries of antisemitism. Israel reminds them of their inequities. Additionally, European elite’s frown upon Israel’s proud nationalism. They hide their latent antisemitism by condemning Israel, for alleged “mistreatment of Palestinians,” and in this they find their moral refuge. Likewise, they hate the Trump administration for its pride in America, and American exceptionalism. In the final analysis, the death of Europe might very well be G-d’s punishment for the Holocaust.

* * *
Photo credit: Mstyslav Chernov at Wikimedia Commons

Joseph Puder


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The Palestinians No One Tells You About - Khaled Abu Toameh

by Khaled Abu Toameh

The Arab states unremittingly subject Palestinians to apartheid and discriminatory measures.

  • "The animals that live in European countries have a better life than us... [The] UNHCR lied a lot to us.... Even the [Israeli] enemy has not acted in this way." — Palestinians in Iraq, Al-Youm newspaper, May 28, 2020.
  • Before the downfall of Saddam Hussein's regime in 2003, there were about 34,000 Palestinians living in Iraq. Only a few thousand Palestinians are now living there, and many face harassment, threats of deportation, media scapegoating, arbitrary detention, torture and murder.
  • The Arab states unremittingly subject Palestinians to apartheid and discriminatory measures. Yet the heads of the UN and its member states seem too busy with their obsession with Israel to attend to their pleas of these Palestinians, who are being deprived of basic rights in Iraq and throughout the Arab world.

Iraqis' contempt for Palestinians reached its peak last month during Al-Quds Day ("Jerusalem Day") celebrations in Baghdad. Many Iraqis were unhappy with the event, often used to express Arab and Islamic solidarity with the Palestinians. Pictured: A man rides a bicycle under Palestinian flags in the Iraqi capital Baghdad on May 22, 2020, hung for the celebrations marking Al-Quds Day. (Photo by Ahmad Al-Rubaye/AFP via Getty Images)

Facing discrimination, poverty, and misery, Palestinians residing in Iraq have finally broken their silence in an attempt to draw the world's attention to their predicament. The Palestinians are accusing the Iraqis and the United Nations of taking a series of measures that have further aggravated the conditions of hundreds of Palestinian families in Baghdad and other Iraqi cities.

In a letter to the Iraqi newspaper Al-Youm, Palestinians complained that "the animals that live in European countries have a better life than us."

These animals, the refugees said, "have someone to defend them, protect them and provide them with housing worthy of human beings. As for us, the Palestinians, there is no local or international official or organization that inspects our conditions."

The Palestinians' complaint was mainly directed against the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNCHR), after its decision to halt financial aid to Palestinian families in Iraq.

"UNHCR lied a lot to us," the Palestinians wrote. "We have become victims like sheep surrounded by wolves. Even the [Israeli] enemy has not acted in this way."

The Palestinians pointed out UNCHR had informed a large number of Palestinian families in Iraq of its decision to cease disbursement of rental allowances starting March 2020.

Issued at the end of last year, the decision to stop paying for rent and other services threatens to displace about 300 families receiving assistance through a special program approved by UNCHR about 15 years ago.

The Palestinian Authority ambassador to Iraq, Ahmed Akel, warned that the humanitarian condition of the families will deteriorate due to the abrupt removal of the rental allowances. Akel said that the Palestinian Authority embassy contacted the UN offices in order to obtain the lists of families who will no longer receive rent allowances and to learn about the real motives behind the decision.

Despite the ambassador's statement, the Palestinian families said that all Palestinian officials have ignored their appeals for help.

"Are we really Palestinians?" they asked in their letter.
"If we were not Palestinians, our situation would have been better, and we would have seen [Palestinian] officials fighting valiantly to recover our rights. We are not beggars. We only want our legal rights. We are human beings, and all we're asking for is shelter for our children. We don't want any party to trade in us as if we were a flock of sheep."
Before the downfall of Saddam Hussein's regime in 2003, there were about 34,000 Palestinians living in Iraq. Only a few thousand Palestinians are now living there, and many face harassment, threats of deportation, media scapegoating, arbitrary detention, torture and murder.

Iraqis' contempt for Palestinians reached its peak last month during Al-Quds Day ("Jerusalem Day") celebrations in Baghdad. Many Iraqis were unhappy with the event, often used to express Arab and Islamic solidarity with the Palestinians.

Most of the comments by Iraqis on social media platforms included anti-Palestinian insults and held Palestinians responsible for terrorism in Iraq.

Several Palestinians expressed shock and anger over the Iraqis' hateful posts.

"Sometimes they accuse Palestinians of terrorism, and sometimes they accuse us of being Saddam followers," said one Palestinian. "Now they are holding us responsible for the deteriorating situation in Iraq and are claiming that the Iraqi government cares more about the Palestinians than about Iraqis."

"Whoever wants to liberate Jerusalem and Palestine should respect the human rights of the Palestinians," another Palestinian commented. "They should also release Palestinian prisoners and restore payments to widows and children. We say it to our Iraqi brothers: Your priority should be to solve your problems and improve your conditions."

"We want you to stop insulting Palestinians and Palestine," said a third Palestinian, addressing the Iraqis.

Earlier this year, Palestinians living in Iraq took to the streets to demonstrate against UNCHR's decision to stop paying housing allowances to Palestinian families. They also protested an Iraqi government decision to abolish a pre-2003 law that granted Palestinians equal rights to Iraqis.

"The Palestinians [in Iraq] primarily suffer from unemployment and poor living standards," Nabil Samara, a Palestinian activist involved in organizing the protest, said.
"This is not to mention that they are ineligible for government employment under Iraqi law. Since the Saddam Hussein regime was ousted in 2003, the Iraqi government has not kept the promises they made to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. On the contrary, Iraqi authorities withheld food ration cards and cut welfare salaries. Also, the wives of [late] Palestinian employees were denied pensions."
Yonadam Kanna, the first Christian member of the Iraqi parliament since 2003, told The New Arab website that a Palestinian living in Iraq does not have equal rights.

"One of the most important items that we seek to enact is the right to own property, inheritance and retirement," Kanna said. "There are people who have worked in the country for 30 years without any rights."

Palestinian activist Ahmed Abdullah noted that the children of the Palestinian community who are concentrated in Baghdad suffer from extremely poor financial conditions. "Some families are no longer able to provide meat for meals or buy used clothes," Abdullah said.

The Iraqi mistreatment of Palestinians is yet another example of the discrimination Palestinians have long been facing in Arab states, particularly Lebanon. It has "an elaborate racist political system designed to discriminate against Palestinians," according to Palestinian journalist Zaher Abu Hamdeh. Palestinians living there are banned from working in many professions, including medicine, law, and engineering, as well as from holding jobs as taxi drivers and barbers.

Given mounting tensions between the Palestinians and several Arab states, particularly the Gulf countries, it is unlikely that the Iraqis will upgrade their treatment of the Palestinians.

The Arab states unremittingly subject Palestinians to apartheid and discriminatory measures. Yet the heads of the UN and its member states seem too busy with their obsession with Israel to attend to the pleas of these Palestinians, who are being deprived of basic rights in Iraq and throughout the Arab world.
  • Follow Khaled Abu Toameh on Twitter

Khaled Abu Toameh, an award-winning journalist based in Jerusalem, is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at Gatestone Institute.


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Black success blocked by charter schools' enemies - Thomas Sowell

by Thomas Sowell

Charter schools are an important tool in breaking the cycle of poverty

For decades, there has been widespread anxiety over how, when or whether the educational test score gap between white and non-white youngsters could be closed. But that gap has already been closed by the Success Academy charter school network in New York City.

Their predominantly black and Hispanic students already pass tests in mathematics and English at a higher rate than any school district in the entire state. That includes predominantly white and Asian school districts where parental income is some multiple of what it is among Success Academy students.

New York’s charter school students are predominantly black and Hispanic, and live in low-income neighborhoods. In 2019, most students in the city’s public schools failed to pass the statewide tests in mathematics and English. But most of the city’s charter school students passed in both subjects.

Such charter school results undermine theories of genetic determinism, claims of cultural bias in the tests and assertions that racial “integration” is necessary for blacks to reach educational parity with whites.


Thomas Sowell


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Video: White George Floyds -


White Lives Matter, Black Lives Matter exposed.

In this new video, the Hodge twins reveals White Lives Matter, Black Lives Matter Exposed! Don't miss it.


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The West Bank’s Status Quo is More Dangerous than Applying Sovereignty - Maj. Gen. (res.) Gershon Hacohen

by Maj. Gen. (res.) Gershon Hacohen

The choice facing PM Benjamin Netanyahu is between the more or less recognized risks associated with applying sovereignty and the less knowable but undoubtedly serious risks inherent in the collapse of the status quo.

BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 1,610, June 19, 2020

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Contrary to the alarming charge that the application of sovereignty over parts of the West Bank would transform Israel into a binational state, doing so would not affect 95% of the West Bankers who have been living under the rule of the Palestinian Authority since January 1996. They will continue to do so. The move does entail political risks, but they are smaller than the security hazards that would accompany Israel’s inability to maintain a permanent security presence in the Jordan Valley.

Many of the most vociferous opponents of applying sovereignty over parts of the West Bank are former senior security officials who use their professional authority to convince the public that a wide range of grave risks would attend such a move. According to these individuals, the application of sovereignty would expose Israel to multiple deeply threatening dangers and is in any case unnecessary.

The implication of this line of thinking is that Israel’s current strategic position is riskless and hence preferable to the new position that would result from the application of sovereignty. That is a misrepresentation of reality.

If the Israeli government misses the opportunity presented by President Trump’s plan to apply sovereignty, the risks to Israel multiply; they do not decrease. That is because Israel will not be able to preserve its temporary security presence in the Jordan Valley forever.

The choice facing PM Benjamin Netanyahu is between the more or less recognized risks associated with applying sovereignty and the less knowable but undoubtedly serious risks inherent in the collapse of the status quo.

The dangers to Israel of a full withdrawal appear to be obscure to a great many professional soldiers. The Allen Plan of the Obama era, the brainchild of US Gen. John Allen, advocated a complete withdrawal of IDF forces from the Jordan Valley. This is also the basic plan for a permanent status agreement as outlined on the “Commanders for Israel’s Security” website.

A full withdrawal would bring the kind of threat currently posed by Hezbollah and Hamas all the way to the outskirts of Highway 6. The Israeli public must weigh the risks inherent in the application of sovereignty against the severity of the risks of total withdrawal—not an easy task, as the latter set of risks is being minimized for public consumption by members of the military elite.

It is important to reiterate: The prime minister’s plan to apply sovereignty would have no effect on the vast majority of Palestinians living in Areas A and B, which have been under PA control since January 1996. Even if the Authority decides to cease to exist, it is not a foregone conclusion that there would be a need to return to the military administration.

The Israeli government has been given an opportunity—one that may well never return—to promote the country’s vital national interests and bolster its future. This is an opportunity not only to expand territorial control but also to reposition Israel as a nation that will dare to act on its own behalf even in the face of threats. That is the embodiment of sovereignty: political power and independence.

Maj. Gen. (res.) Gershon Hacohen is a senior research fellow at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies. He served in the IDF for 42 years. He commanded troops in battles with Egypt and Syria. He was formerly a corps commander and commander of the IDF Military Colleges.


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In a world of sheep-like conformity, Hillsdale College takes a stand - Andrea Widburg

by Andrea Widburg

In the 20th century, as myriad colleges gave up their intellectual independence chasing after state and federal money (and, it seems, Chinese money), Hillsdale refused to do so.

Free Will Baptists founded Hillsdale College in 1844 under the name Michigan Central College. Despite the founders' religious beliefs, the college has always been nonsectarian, although its teachings are informed by Christianity's moral teachings. The college assumed its present name in 1853 when it relocated to Hillsdale, Michigan.

The Free Will Baptists who founded Hillsdale were abolitionists and true feminists, so the college immediately began admitting blacks and women. E.B. Fairfield, who was Hillsdale's president from 1848 to 1869, was one of the founders of the Republican Party, a political party dedicated to abolishing slavery in the United States.

Because of Hillsdale's abolitionist reputation, Frederick Douglass spoke there, as did Edward Everett, who shared the stage with Abraham Lincoln at Gettysburg. When the Civil War began, Hillsdale sent a higher percentage of students to the Union Army than any other college in Michigan. Sixty students gave their lives in the fight against slavery.

In the 20th century, as myriad colleges gave up their intellectual independence chasing after state and federal money (and, it seems, Chinese money), Hillsdale refused to do so. As it has since its founding, it depends entirely on private donations and tuition to meet its needs. Hillsdale is also one of the few colleges in America that continues the classic inquiring tradition of a liberal education, rather than falling in line with academic leftism and mindless obedience.

In sum, Hillsdale is a bastion of intellectual liberty, founded on a moral and historic bedrock dedicated to the equal rights of all people, regardless of race or sex. So people began insisting that it issue a statement supporting Black Lives Matter.

It wasn't enough that — unlike every elite college in America — Hillsdale has spent the last 176 years dedicating itself to the principle that, in a world predicated on the Constitution and the Judeo-Christian Bible, all lives matter. In our new McCarthyite world, Hillsdale was told that "silence is violence."

So Hillsdale spoke. The official Hillsdale statement does not lend itself to an easy summary. You have to read it all, especially the last paragraph. When you're done, you'll find yourself wishing every academic institution and corporation in America would have the courage to issue a similar statement in the face of the Democrats' violent demands for institutional conformity:

Editor's note: The following is a statement from the leaders of Hillsdale College.
Amidst the events of recent weeks, a number of alumni and others have taken up formal and public means to insist that Hillsdale College issue statements concerning these events. The College is charged with negligence — or worse.
It is not the practice of the College to respond to petitions or other instruments meant to gain an object by pressure. The College operates by reasoned deliberation, study, and thought. The following observations, however, may be helpful and pertinent.
The College is pressed to speak. It is told that saying what it always has said is insufficient. Instead, it must decry racism and the mistreatment of Black Americans in particular. This, however, is precisely what the College has always said.
The College is told that invoking the high example of the Civil War or Frederick Douglass is not permitted. Perhaps it is thought that nothing relevant can be learned about justice and equality from the words and actions of great men and women in history. Instead, the College is guilty of the gravest moral failure for not making declarations about … justice and equality.
The College is told that it garners no honor now for its abolitionist past — or that it fails to live up to that past — but instead it must issue statements today. Statements about what? It must issue statements about the brutal and deadly evil of hating other people and/or treating them differently because of the color of their skin. That is, it must issue statements about the very things that moved the abolitionists whom the College has ever invoked.
It is told that failure to issue statements is an erasure, a complicity, an abandonment of principle. The silence of the College is deafening.
The College founding is a statement — as is each reiteration and reminder of its meaning and necessity. The curriculum is a statement, especially in its faithful presentation of the College's founding mission. Teaching is a statement, especially as it takes up — with vigor — the evils we are alleged to ignore, evils like murder, brutality, injustice, destruction of person or property, and passionate irrationality. Teaching these same things across all the land is a statement, or a thousand statements. Organizing our practical affairs so that we can maintain principles of equity and justice — though the cost is high and sympathy is short — is a statement. Dispensing unparalleled financial help to students who cannot afford even a moderate tuition, is a statement. Helping private and public schools across the country lift their primary and secondary students out of a sea of disadvantages with excellent instruction, curricula, and the civic principles of freedom and equality — without any recompense to the College — is a statement. Postgraduate programs with the express aim of advancing the ideas of human dignity, justice, equality, and the citizen as the source of the government's power, these are all statements. And all of these statements are acts, deeds that speak, undertaken and perpetuated now, every day, all the time. Everything the College does, though its work is not that of an activist or agitator, is for the moral and intellectual uplift of all.
There may be something deafening in the culture—certainly there are those who cannot hear — but it is not from the silence of the College.
There is a kind of virtue that is cheap. It consists of jumping on cost-free bandwagons of public feeling — perhaps even deeply justified public feeling — and winning approval by espousing the right opinion. No one who wishes the College to issue statements is assumed to be a party to such behavior. But the fact that very real racial problems are now being cynically exploited for profit, gain, and public favor by some organizations and people is impossible to overlook. It is a scandal and a shame that compounds our ills and impedes their correction. Hillsdale College, though far from perfect, will continue to do the work of education in the great principles that are, second only to divine grace, the solution to the grave ills that beset our times.

Andrea Widburg


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Turkey: Erdoğan Wishes "Many More Happy Conquests" - Burak Bekdil

by Burak Bekdil

When Erdoğan wished God to grant Turks "many more happy conquests" which non-Turkish lands is he hoping to "conquer"?

  • In Turkish jargon, the difference is simple: It is "conquest" when we do it and "invasion" when others do it.
  • In this year's celebrations, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan raised the stakes when he spoke of the conquest prospectively not just retrospectively. "I am wishing that God grant this nation many more happy conquests," he said....
  • A serious question remains to be asked: When Erdoğan wished God to grant Turks "many more happy conquests" which non-Turkish lands is he hoping to "conquer"?

The venue for this year's Turkish celebrations of the 1453 conquest of Constantinople was not chosen randomly: it was the stunning edifice of the Hagia Sophia Cathedral (pictured), built in the sixth century Byzantine Empire as the centerpiece of its capital. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan personally commemorated the conquest with Islamic prayers at the Hagia Sophia, a UNESCO world heritage site. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

In Turkey, every May 29 brings up the country's "conquest fetish." Turks are proud that their Ottoman ancestors, in 1453, "conquered" (not "invaded") then-Constantinople, today's Istanbul. It is bizarre enough that a proud nation is commemorating, every year, the capture from another nation of its biggest city by the "force of sword." This year's 567th anniversary was no exception: The celebrations euphemistically referred to the fall of Constantinople as "conquest" -- not "invasion."

In Turkish jargon the difference is simple: it is "conquest" when we do it and "invasion" when others do it. In this year's celebrations, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan raised the stakes when he spoke of the conquest prospectively not just retrospectively. "I am wishing that God grant this nation many more happy conquests," he said at a celebration where he recited from the Quran.

The venue for this year's celebrations was not chosen randomly: it was the stunning edifice of the Hagia Sophia Cathedral, built in the sixth century Byzantine Empire as the centerpiece of its capital, Constantinople. Erdoğan personally commemorated the conquest with Islamic prayers at the Hagia Sophia, a UNESCO world heritage site. The church was converted into a mosque after the fall of Constantinople. But Atatürk, the secular founder of modern Turkey, converted it into a museum.

The Hagia Sophia has been emblematic in the Turkish Islamist politics from whose ranks Erdoğan emerged. It reflects Islam's "spread by force," the capture of another Christian monument by Muslims, therefore a Muslim victory over "infidels." The Hagia Sophia has been a source of political tension between secular Turks who want it to remain a museum out of respect for Christians and Islamists who want it to become a mosque for the sake of the spirit of "conquest".

In 2016 the Erdoğan government issued a directive to allow the recitation of Islamic call for prayers inside the Hagia Sophia. It then assigned an imam into a small chamber (masjid) within the church compound where Muslims had been allowed to pray since 1991. More recently Erdoğan said he would convert the Hagia Sophia into a mosque in retaliation to U.S. President Donald Trump's recognition of Israel's "claims to East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights."

The childish Turkish hypocrisy over "conquest vs. invasion" came most clearly from a fiercely pro-Erdoğan columnist. A Hürriyet newspaper columnist and former member of parliament, Fuat Bol , wrote on June 1: "[Ottoman Sultan] Mehmet the Conqueror converted the Hagia Sophia into a mosque as required by the right of sword." ["Right of sword" refers to the Ottoman narrative that it supposedly has the right of a successful invader to rule an invaded land in line with its rules and wishes. Ed.] In the same article, Bol then mentioned "those shameless Greeks who converted [Ottoman] mosques into churches."

The "spirit of conquest" keeps poisoning the ordinary minds, too, and slowly winning over respect from the people who have remained secular.

On May 23, just a few days before the anniversary of the "conquest" of Constantinople, an attacker dismantled a cross outside an Armenian church in Istanbul's historical Kuzguncuk neighborhood. Two weeks earlier, on May 9, another Armenian church in Istanbul's Bakırköy district, had also been also attacked. Garo Paylan, a Turkish-Armenian lawmaker for the opposition Peoples' Democratic Party, called it a hate crime. "Attacks continue on our churches. The cross of our Surp Krikor Lusaroviç Armenian Church was removed and thrown away. Hate speech made by the ruling power normalizes hate crimes," he said in a tweet.

On the day the Turks celebrated the "conquest" of Constantinople, an Istanbul-based Armenian foundation received death threats by email. The threat to the Hrant Dink Foundation, named after the Turkish-Armenian journalist who was assassinated in 2007, included the phrase "We may turn up one night, when you least expect it." This is a slogan used frequently by Turkish ultra-nationalist groups -- "and the very same slogan we were well used to hearing before Hrant Dink was assassinated, and within the knowledge of officials," the foundation said.

After all that gloom, the good news was that the Turkish police quickly found and detained the suspects responsible for the threats to the Hrant Dink Foundation and church attacks. The not-so-good news is that the suspects will probably get a red-carpet treatment under detention, be brought to a prosecutor for a brief testimony and released immediately, and then receive several official and unofficial pats on the shoulder for their "heroic" acts.

In all this typically Turkish "conquest" fanfare a serious question remains to be asked: When Erdoğan wished God to grant Turks "many more happy conquests" which non-Turkish lands is he hoping to "conquer"?

Burak Bekdil, one of Turkey's leading journalists, was recently fired from the country's most noted newspaper after 29 years, for writing in Gatestone what is taking place in Turkey. He is a Fellow at the Middle East Forum.


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Why We Won’t Have a Civil War - Bruce Thornton

by Bruce Thornton

But there is a more worrying possibility.

The latest take on the recent riots and protests is that our political “cold” civil war is turning hot. The political polarization of recent years is now turning increasingly violent, with each side hunkering in its hardened silos and elevating the threat-level to DEFCON 1. The coronavirus and its attendant hysteria have increased this sense of dread and apocalyptic angst. That’s why, the pundits tell us, we the people are “yearning for normal,” a longing that will help determine the outcome of the presidential election.

This fear is overblown. We’re mistaking an availability error––the fallacy of coming to conclusions based on what is most recent and first comes to mind––for a more probable reality. But that doesn’t mean that we are not facing serious political danger in the coming months.

There are several reasons why a civil war is unlikely. First, we live in a world saturated with news and images 24/7, skewing our sense of reality. Moreover, information is refreshed in seconds and accompanied by dramatic visuals. Way back in 1962 Daniel Boorstin was decrying how the image became the reality, or what he called “pseudo-events,” a “thicket of unreality which stands between us and the facts of life.” That world of images has become the world, crowding out all the other real data and events that define our daily existence. In such a world it’s easy to jump to improbable conclusions.

And images love the drama of conflict and violence. “If it bleeds, it leads,” as the television newsroom cliché puts it. Additionally, these images typically lack a larger context. They are framed, often intentionally, to heighten the emotional drama at the expense of accurate understanding. Such events are perfect for creating the “propaganda of the deed,” as the old anarchists put it, the promotion of political ideology through emotionally charged, usually violent images. So powerful are these images that they can create a seeming reality.

Consider how the disturbing images of George Floyd’s brutal treatment by a callous cop––the latest in a series of such encounters that are actually rare between policemen and unarmed black males––has created a pseudo-reality in which white cops systematically murder unarmed black men. This is one of those manufactured “crises” that the left is not letting go to waste, but exploiting in order to leverage tragedy into political power––in this case, replacing the president and taking back the senate.

But couldn’t such a volume of manipulated images and their attendant duplicitous commentary spark a civil war? Anything can happen, but the transient nature of such events like the riots, and the short attention-spans of most viewers, argue against it. It’s unlikely the current civil unrest will persist over the next four months until election day. And the more the images fill our screens, the more possible a backlash arises among ordinary Americans who don’t cotton to vandalizing and destroying small businesses, or killing innocents, or defunding police departments.

Next, we forget how parochial the political class, whence comes most of the commentary predicting a civil war, really is. Those of us who are immersed in politics forget that the majority of voters and normal people are not as invested or even interested in the daily fluctuations of opinion. They’re busy trying to make a living and raise their kids, or hanging out with their friends and families, or enjoying entertainment. Even among registered voters, polls consistently reveal that opinions on issues are very different from those of the punditariat. For example, in recent years, catastrophic global warming has obsessed commentators, mostly on the left. But this issue repeatedly ranks near the bottom of issues voters are concerned with. More recently, the sympathy for defunding the police among political and media elites is much lower than the 64% of people opposing it.

With 154 million registered voters in the U.S., then, it’s very difficult to know what issues will motivate them come election day. We learned this in 2016, when the political class and its hired pollsters failed to take seriously Donald Trump’s chances of winning. It was a repeat of the mythic quote from film critic Pauline Kael, “I don’t know how Nixon won, nobody I know voted for him.” But the actual quote is just as revealing of the elite’s political parochialism: “I live in a rather special world. I only know one person who voted for Nixon. Where they are, I don’t know. They’re outside my ken. But sometimes in a theater I can feel them.” Not as punchy as “smelly Walmart shoppers,” “bitter clingers,” and “basket of deplorables,” but the sentiment is the same.

Such a disconnect between the opinions of the political class and American reality does not suggest enough of a broad and passionate consensus necessary for an actual civil war involving mass violence. A revolution can be started by a committed minority: In 1917, 10,000 Bolsheviks seized power over a country of 126 million. But most of those millions were poor and dispossessed, and had lived most of their lives under an autocrat. In a rich, participatory democratic republic such as ours, with regularly scheduled elections and divided powers, such a feat is more difficult.

But what about our Civil War, which killed over 700,000 Americans and sowed the seeds of regional and racial strife still with us today? That was a different world in 1861, when regional differences were more distinct, political identities more local, and experience with weapons and fighting more widespread than today. When we watch on our screens the well-nourished, leisured protesters, looters, and vandals, we don’t see the kind of young men who did hard physical labor from an early age, who were familiar with disease and early death, and who knew how to handle firearms. There were no snowflakes in the 1860s.

Indeed, apart from opportunistic thugs and felons, the bulk of the “troops” who would comprise one side of some civil war are pretty much denizens of the young comfortable classes. Their disruptive and violent behavior is happening because governors, mayors, and police chiefs have over the last decade sent the message that they will not respond with mind-concentrating force in order to restore order and hold rioters accountable. On the contrary, they encourage and validate the kids’ behavior with their words and their deeds like kneeling in solidarity with overgrown petulant teenagers. It’s hard to imagine one of these snowflakes in a maelstrom of violence like Shiloh or Antietam.

Also don’t forget, as Townhall’s Kurt Schlichter reminds us, that one side of this imagined civil war already has most of the guns––perhaps as many as 300 million, with 60 million more having been sold just in the last few months. And which side do you think most soldiers, veterans, and police officers––the citizens most highly trained in the use of firearms––would take in such a civil conflict? The woke soy-boys and “resistance” posers of Chazistan, whining about the “homeless” people stealing their food, and begging for donations of vegan meals?

Finally, the “looming civil war” meme reflects the old “bipartisan divide” or “polarization” complaint regularly trotted out by commentators disturbed about how “nothing gets done” and “problems aren’t solved” by politicians who won’t “reach across the aisle.” In fact, as James Madison reflects in Federalist 10, this country was born in factional strife created by the great diversity in settlement patterns, denominational strife, attitudes to democracy, and distinct economic interests, folkways, mores, customs, and tastes. These “factions,” which are not anomalies to be corrected but “sown in the nature of man,” as Madison wrote, are why we ended up with a government of divided powers and checks like the sovereignty of the states. And despite the progressive century-long weakening of those mechanisms for preventing the concentration of one faction’s powers at the expense of others’ freedom, they still work well enough to forestall the mass mobilization of factions necessary for civil war.

That a civil war is unlikely, however, doesn’t mean that there aren’t dangers ahead. The Dems have suffered decades of disappointment in their desire to “fundamentally transform America” into a socialist state. After the euphoria of Obama’s mediocre two terms, the success of a political outsider from a bare-knuckle commercial world alien to most of the postwar political class has addled with resentment and rage the Democrats and NeverTrump Republican quislings. They are doubling and tripling down on the left’s mantra “by any means necessary,” even to the point of endorsing socialist and utopian policies––eliminating carbon-based energy, forgiving $1.6 trillion in student-loan debt, free college tuition, and even defunding the police––that are political poison for a majority of Americans. And they have pinned their hopes on a corrupt serial groper and grifter not even in control of his mental faculties.

All of which should presage an overwhelming victory for Trump. But let’s not be hasty. In just a decade this country has changed in ways unthinkable 20 years ago. Trump has had to face not just the Democrats, but the universities, the media, the entertainment industries, and amoral corporations throwing in with the “woke” mob, no doubt to cultivate brand loyalty. And he’s had to battle so-called conservatives so blinded by resentment and wounded self-love that they can’t see how disastrous a Hillary Clinton presidency would have been, or a Joe Biden presidency will be, for everything true conservatives hold dear––unalienable rights, political freedom, a vigorous civil society, and personal autonomy.

Civil war? Unlikely. A radical transformation of the United States from a government of, by, and for the free people, to a regime of, by, and for the illiberal technocrats and their dependent clients? That’s a much more possible outcome, and one worth worrying about.

Bruce Thorntonis a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center.


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