Saturday, August 15, 2020

Peace for peace: Treaty with UAE changes the historical equation - Boaz Bismuth

by Boaz Bismuth

Anyone who doesn't understand how novel this is will probably never get it. A new Middle East indeed; not the one they tried selling us, but one where Israel is a strong, desired ally.

The various pundits in their television studios dusted the cobwebs off the Oslo Accords on Thursday, as if the historic peace deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, sponsored by US President Donald Trump, was achieved in the same spirit. Not quite my friends, not quite.

It's fair to say that this peace treaty, the third signed between Israel and Arab countries after Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994, is completely unlike what we've been accustomed to and were led to expect over the years, as if Israel needs to concede land to receive peace. Indeed, the new formula is as follows: peace for peace. Trying saying this out loud. Peace from a position of strength and might, as stated by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is now officially the second leader from the Right to strike a peace agreement with an Arab country. Apparently, when it comes to making peace, the Left isn't needed. 

It was obvious, then, that someone would argue that we did, in fact, give up land for this peace with an important Gulf state. Not just any land either, the land of our forefathers – Judea and Samaria. Or, if you will: Take Abu Dhabi, give up Ariel and Karnei Shomron. Not so fast, though. If the Oslo Accords stipulated Gaza and Jericho as the first stops on our journey of territorial concessions, in this case the Emirates is the first stop. First we take the peace treaty on the table – with a country that for two decades has demanded our relationship be kept in the dark, yet now has suddenly upgraded its status from secret mistress to official partner. All without binding us to talks with the Palestinians.

Anyone who doesn't understand how novel this is will probably never get it. A new Middle East indeed; not the one they tried selling us, but one where Israel is strong, where other countries want it as an ally, where Israel is a leader in almost every possible field from technology, agriculture, water, energy, commerce, banking and yes – security, too. Contrary to the peace treaties signed by Menachem Begin and Yitzhak Rabin, this time peace is peace, without the inferiority complex.

President Trump deserves a big, warm embrace from each and every one of us for another peace agreement, but mainly for the fact that the prospect of sovereignty in Judea and Samaria is still viable. As someone who knows this administration intimately, I can say that the idea of sovereignty has only been paused. The problem is that Trump's re-election in November is critical for us.

As members of the Right, it's okay to say, without contrition, that applying sovereignty in Judea and Samaria and establishing our eastern border is just as important as raising the Israeli flag in Abu Dhabi, but the two aren't mutually exclusive. If there are any complaints, they should be directed at the Blue and White party, mainly at Benny Gantz and Gabi Ashkenazi and certain folks on the ideological Right who played a role in delaying the plan after completely flummoxing the Americans, who believed there was a consensus in Israel surrounding their initiative. Yes, if Gantz and Ashkenazi had adopted the historic initiative without reservation, perhaps we would be in a completely different and positive situation right now. First sovereignty, then the Emirates.

The world is changing and the Middle East along with it, and if the guiding principle was ever to appease the Palestinians, today Arab countries want to appease themselves. The monarchies and regimes want to survive. Amid all these changes in the Middle East, only Iran insists on remaining in the past, as expected of a revolutionary regime (a shame Obama didn't understand this). Hence the other Gulf states are applauding the UAE, which has opened the path for Bahrain, Oman and who knows, maybe even Saudi Arabia.

Sovereignty in Judea and Samaria is dear and important to every Jew across the globe. The return to the land of our forefathers – it's entirely uncertain that one has to come at the expense of the other. Note what we've received since Trump ascended to the fore of the historical diplomatic stage:  recognition of Jerusalem as our capital; the relocation of the US embassy; recognition of our sovereignty on the Golan Heights; and recognition of the settlement enterprise's legitimacy under international law. We wanted sovereignty in Judea and Samaria, absolutely, in the meantime, we'll "make do" with peace – and not in exchange for territory. Peace in exchange for peace. Peace with an economic horizon, a bulwark of moderation against the tide of radical Islam. It is unnecessary, almost ridiculous, to grumble to the gardener when the lilies bloom before the roses. What are the critics from the right (and some from the left) complaining about, that we got gift number two before gift number one?

And one more thing to those who are evoking Oslo: Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas isn't taking this peace treaty between Israel and the UAE very well. Perhaps the 2020 version of Abbas understands something our pundits don't, similar to Arafat in 1993. And to the cynics who would say to me "Gaza and Jericho first," I'll only respond with this: Good morning; happy to see you've finally gotten the picture. And maybe I'll just add "Emirates first" – the tables have turned: This time it's only up to us, and Trump. It's just too bad I can't vote in November.

Boaz Bismuth


Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

UAE - The first domino to fall - Benjamin Weil

by Benjamin Weil

The UAE has broken the glass ceiling and the fear of recognizing Israel publicly, this without the failed 'land for peace' mantra.

(JNS) For years, statesmen and diplomats from around the world have claimed that it is impossible for Israel to reach a peace agreement with any Arab state without first signing a peace agreement with the Palestinian Authority. They said Israel would have to give up land beyond the Green Line, evacuating settlements, splitting Jerusalem and establishing a Palestinian state.

The thought of Israel signing a peace agreement with any Arab country—let alone one of the most influential ones in the Middle East—was considered crazy up until a few years ago. This historic day, with the announcement of normalizing relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, has proven that this old concept is not valid and never was.

Anyone following Israel’s relations with Arab countries might have noticed a pattern. Israel first establishes secret security coordination with Arab countries. Given Israel’s vibrant start-up and high-tech community, those security relations quickly spill over into technologies in the defense space and then into secret business ties. I am sure that this agreement will lead other Arab countries that have established connections with Israel to consider following the United Arab Emirates’ steps. This includes Chad, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and more.

The UAE has broken the glass ceiling and the fear of recognizing Israel publicly. The two countries have much to learn from and share with each other. Israel can offer the Emiratis technology and R&D, as well as future access to Mediterranean ports, thereby bypassing the needs to send oil tankers through the Straights of Hormuz. In return, the UAE has capital, vision and influence to help Israel both economically and diplomatically. This agreement will change the face of the Middle East, or as longtime former Israeli diplomat Shimon Peres used to say, “a new Middle East.”

To the “peace activists” in Israel and abroad, I am sure you have been working hard to convince governments from around the world that Israel is not serious about peace and is preventing chances for future peace with its communities in the 'West Bank'. This announcement shows that Israel has never stopped and will never stop the pursuit of peace. I hope the peace activists join all Israelis and Emiratis in celebrating this milestone. After all, this is what they were fighting for, too.

As a final thought, I look to the three countries Israel has secured peace with: Egypt (1979), Jordan (1994) and the United Arab Emirates (2020). Interestingly enough, two out of the three Israeli prime ministers who have reached a peace agreement with these countries are from the Likud and are right-wing, Menachem Begin and Benjamin Netanyahu.

It is even more striking that out of the three agreements, only one of them included giving up land for peace, and that was Begin giving the Sinai Peninsula to the Egyptians. It is worth mentioning that Ariel Sharon, another right-wing premier from Likud, disengaged from Gaza to gain peace, though that effort failed.

Looking at these examples, it seems that right-wing governments in Israel have been more successful in reaching peace agreements with Arab countries than the left.

I hope that this agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates is the first domino to fall, and that other potential Arab countries will see the benefit of establishing relations with the Jewish state. This will hopefully bring true peace and stability to the Middle East, and transform the region from an area of fighting and war to one of ingenuity, entrepreneurship, and building bridges between people and cultures so that our generation can reach a new peak.

Benjamin Weil is director of the Project for Israel’s National Security for the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET), a pro-Israel and pro-American think tank and policy institute in Washington, D.C. He formerly served as the international adviser to Yuval Steinitz, a member of Israel’s Security Cabinet


Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

Iran transferring advanced centrifuges to blast site Natanz - Arutz Sheva Staff

by Arutz Sheva Staff

Classified document shows Iran transferring advanced centrifuges to enrich uranium at Natanz production center.

Damage at Iran's Natanz nuclear facility
Damage at Iran's Natanz nuclear facility                                                                                                 Reuters

Iran is engaged in transferring new generations of advanced centrifuges used to enrich uranium from a warehouse to the main production center at Natanz, according to a classified document compiled by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that was obtained by the Bloomberg website.

The materials, transferred from a pilot facility, will be placed in the new Hall B at Natanz.

The document, circulated to diplomats last month, shows that Iranian engineers recently installed special pipes in the reactor that are reinforced in order to withstand the high pressure of uranium production created when using advanced centrifuges.

This transfer of the three new centrifuge cascades takes place about a month after the explosion at the Natanz reactor, which is estimated to have caused a delay of one to two years to the Iranian nuclear program.

Each cascade is equipped with 164 machines spinning at supersonic speeds to separate uranium isotopes.

The transfer is in violation of the 2015 agreement.

In June, the IAEA said that Iran is in violation of all aspects of the agreement.

Arutz Sheva Staff


Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

Barr teases Friday 'development' in Durham probe, says investigation won't be 'dictated to' by election - Charles Creitz

by Charles Creitz 

Attorney General says Connecticut prosecutor's investigation is 'moving along at the proper pace'

There will be "a development" Friday in Connecticut U.S. Attorney John Durham's investigation into the origins of the Russia investigation, Attorney General William Barr told Fox News' Sean Hannity in an exclusive interview Thursday.

Barr said that the development would not be "earth-shattering," but would be "an indication that things are moving along at the proper pace as dictated by the facts in this investigation."

"There are two different things going on, Sean," Barr said. "I said the American people need to know what actually happened, we need to get the story of what happened in 2016 and '17 out. That will be done.


"The second aspect of this is, if people crossed the line, if people involved in that activity violated criminal law, they will be charged. And John Durham is an independent man, highly experienced, and his investigation is pursuing apace. There was some delay because of COVID, but I'm satisfied with the progress and I've said there are going to be developments, significant developments, before the election.

"But we're not doing this on the election schedule," Barr added. "We're aware of the election. We're not going to do anything inappropriate before the election. But we're not being dictated to by this schedule.

"What's dictating the timing of this are developments in the case."

Charles Creitz


Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

Slain DHS Whistleblower Philip Haney Not Resting in Peace - Lloyd Billingsley

by Lloyd Billingsley

Is the FBI withholding evidence until after the election?

Through his work in the Middle East, Philip Haney gained deep knowledge of Islam, jihad, and terrorist networks around the world. In 2016, Philip Haney authored See Something Say Nothing: A Homeland Security Officer Exposes the Government's Submission to Jihad. Haney was reportedly at work on a sequel, which has yet to appear.

On February 21, 2020, Haney was found dead from a gunshot wound in Amador County, California. Haney’s friends denied he was suicidal, and some were certain he had been murdered. CNN set the tone for the way establishment media would cover the case.

“Haney’s controversial accusations that the Obama administration could have prevented terrorist attacks were polarizing among Americans,” Laura Hoy reported on February 23. Hoy had no take on whether Haney’s accusations were true, and she included no citations from Haney’s book or his Frontpage articles such as, “Deobond Attacks in San Bernardino, Sri Lanka,” and “The Terrorist Ties that Bind.”

As Hoy explained, “Haney’s death is likely to become political ammo for Republicans heading into the 2020 presidential elections.” That raises questions about another key player in the case.

In February, the Amador County sheriff reached out to the FBI “to assist in analyzing documents, phone records, numerous thumb drives and a laptop that were recovered from the scene and Mr. Haney’s RV.” Nearly six months later, the FBI has yet to deliver, and as the election looms, so do troubling revelations about the FBI.

The upper reaches of the FBI and DOJ spearheaded the coup attempt against President Trump. FBI counterintelligence boss Peter Strzok ran both the Midyear Exam and Crossfire Hurricane operations. FBI boss James Comey sent agents to set a perjury trap for Gen. Michael Flynn, whose legal woes continue. The FBI targeted Trump adviser Carter Page and FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith altered a crucial document to cover up FBI misconduct in FISA applications.

Clinesmith was on the team of special counsel Robert Mueller, former director of the FBI. On Mueller’s watch, the FBI removed hundreds of counterterrorism training documents going back to September 11, 2001. This was the kind of activity Philip Haney set out to expose.

As he explained in The Hill on May 5, 2016, the Department of Homeland Security ordered him “to delete or modify several hundred records of individuals tied to designated Islamist terror groups like Hamas from the important federal database, the Treasury Enforcement Communications System (TECS).”

After Haney’s testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2016, Sen. Ted Cruz asked Jeh Johnson, DHS Secretary from 2013-17, if Haney’s testimony was accurate. “I have no idea. I don’t know who Mr. Haney is,” Johnson replied. “I wouldn’t know him if he walked into the room.” Haney said DHS investigated him nine times and revoked his security clearance. The Department of Justice charged that Haney “misused a government computer,” charges later dropped.

Friends of Haney told the California Globe he was considering a return to DHS and preparing to go on the road during the 2020 election season. Neither prospect would please those who had opposed the whistleblower’s revelations on Islamic jihadists. The Haney case also raises issues for FBI boss Christopher Wray, a Yale law alum who like Mueller and Comey never attended the FBI Academy.

While Wray was assistant attorney general from 2003 to 2005, James Comey was the deputy attorney general and Robert Mueller headed the FBI. Both threatened to resign when President Bush planned to renew the NSA’s Terrorist Surveillance Program, and Wray threatened to resign with them.

When Attorney General William Barr agreed there had been “spying” on the Trump campaign, Christopher Wray told senators “that’s not the term I would use.”  And as Wray told Sen. Lindsey Graham, “I do not consider Director Mueller to be on a witch hunt,” and told Sen. Dianne Feinstein “I’m very committed to supporting Director Mueller in the special counsel investigation.” On the other hand, Wray has not been very committed to John Durham’s investigation of the coup plotters.

FBI documents have been slow to emerge, and not a single FBI or DOJ player is facing criminal charges. If nothing emerges before the election, key players may get away with major crimes. In the Haney case, somebody could possibly get away with murder.

Few knew more about Islamic jihadists than Philip Haney, and few if any were more willing to expose their networks and supporters. So jihadists and their supporters had ample motive to target Haney. The material in Haney’s documents, laptop and thumb drives could be quickly recovered and possibly flag potential suspects. Nearly six months after Haney’s death by gunshot, the Amador County sheriff is still waiting for the FBI analysis.

If anybody thought the FBI was delaying until after the election to avoid providing “political ammo for Republicans” it would be hard to blame them. And if someone in the FBI tampered with evidence or destroyed evidence, it would hardly be the first time.

According to the DOJ Inspector General, the mobile phones of Peter Strzok and Lisa Page were “reset,” meaning scrubbed clean. A records officer did not review Lisa Page’s phone “for records that would possibly need to be retained prior to the phone having been reset.”

* * *
Photo credit: YouTube

Lloyd Billingsley


Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

A Dallas judge is forcing a man to pay for his son's 'sex transition' - Andrea Widburg

by Andrea Widburg

In a sane society, one gently tries to counsel a confused person back into alignment with his biological sex and, perhaps, uses hormones consistent with that biological sex.

This story takes place in Texas, of all places: in October 2019, Americans learned about Jeffrey Younger's desperate fight to block his ex-wife from trying to turn their then-seven-year-old son into a girl. A jury tried to hand sole custody and decision-making over to the boy's mother, but a judge stepped in and gave both parents an equal say, with a different judge to render a verdict over any disagreements the parents could not resolve. That second judge has now given sole decision-making power to the mother, who wants to try to turn her son into a girl. To add insult to injury, the judge is making the father pay.

To realize how disturbing this case is, there are several things you need to know. Younger has argued that, when the boy is in his company, all he wants to do is be a boy. Younger makes the point that, just because James likes Frozen, that does not mean he wants to be a princess for life. Anne Georgulas, however, has gone the "therapeutic" route and inundated the jury and the new judge with evidence from therapists.

Few people have paid attention to the identity of these therapists, but their avocation is key to what's being done to this little boy. Keep in mind the saying that to a hammer, everything is a nail. Back in the 1980s, we witnessed scores of lives being destroyed as monomaniacal, mentally ill therapists trained little children to believe that their pre-schools were satanic worship centers.

Georgulas, whether because she has serious issues of her own or because she wanted to be a "responsible," virtue-signaling mother, took her child to a "Gender Affirming Care Program" at Children's Health in Dallas. This program is not in the business of recognizing that young children try on different identities and cycle through different interests. Instead, it is dedicated to using therapy and radical hormone treatments to push the dangerous fantasy that people can "become" the opposite sex:
GENECIS provides comprehensive, gender-affirming care to transgender and gender-diverse youth in a supportive and safe environment so they may live fulfilling lives within their families and communities.


We support youth of all gender expressions and identities, and provide evidence-based, gender-affirming care in a supportive and safe environment. Gender identity is unique for every child and may be different from the sex assigned to them at birth. Our care is individualized and developed through collaboration with patients and their families.
In this regard, it's important to understand that this is all bunk. There is no evidence to support any reality behind gender dysphoria, any more than there is evidence to say that emaciated girls with anorexia are fat because they think they are. Just recently, a major study had to be walked back because its claims about so-called "transgenderism" were unfounded.

As for Rebekka Ouer, the child's therapist, her whole practice is centered on affirming the so-called LGBT spectrum, as if the sexual desires of lesbians, gays, and bisexuals (a behavior) are the same as traumatized people's body dysmorphia (a denial of biological reality). It's not unreasonable that someone like that would work with a little boy whose mother is determined to make him the daughter she never had. (Understand that I am not accusing Ouer of malpractice or being evil. Between the bias of her professional background and Georgulas's determination, Ouer never stood a chance.)

Where does this all end up? With Younger being told to shut up and pay his ex-wife $5,000 a month to have his son "turned into" a girl:
Yesterday, a Dallas judge took away Jeffrey Younger's say in his son James' medical, psychological, and psychiatric care, giving that power to James' mother, who wants to "transition" him into a "girl."
Yesterday, Judge Mary Brown, who was appointed to the case in January, granted Georgulas' requests to force Mr. Younger to pay for counseling for James and Jude and attend family counseling.
According to the "Save James" Facebook page, Judge Brown's order will also allow Georgulas to enroll James in school as "Luna."
In a sane society, one gently tries to counsel a confused person back into alignment with his biological sex and, perhaps, uses hormones consistent with that biological sex. In an insane society, judges side with mothers who want to pretend a healthy little boy is, instead, a girl. It's time to stop the madness and Make America Normal Again.

Andrea Widburg


Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

"Mr. Jones" 2019 - Danusha Goska

by Danusha Goska

A new film about a forgotten genocide makes for inspirational viewing.

Legendary Polish director Agnieszka Holland has come out with a thoughtful, elegant new film, "Mr. Jones," addressing the 1932-33 Ukrainian Holodomor, or forced famine. I watch a lot of movies, and I've seen many addressing atrocity. "Mr. Jones" wrecked me. I fought back sobs, and also the urge to thrust my fist through the screen and destroy the film's slimy villains. Compared to numerous other films addressing humanity's dark side, "Mr. Jones" depicts virtually no onscreen gore. This is not atrocity porn. "Mr. Jones" is two hours long, and yet scenes of the actual famine take up only about half an hour – and it's a quiet, monochromatic half hour. This film most frequently depicts well-dressed, well-fed people talking. With just that, Holland was able to move me more deeply than many a more graphic film. In 2019, innovative horror director Ari Aster released "Midsommer," shot almost entirely in bright sunshine. Aster wanted to see if he could terrify people without hackneyed jump scares in old, dark houses. Holland has done what Aster was trying to do. "Mr. Jones" is a lowkey, polite, non-horror movie that utterly horrified me.

Don't get me wrong – you should see "Mr. Jones." The film offers you as pure a depiction of heroism as you are likely to get from a movie this year. When the film ended, my friend  was more exhilarated than depressed. He said that "sublime talent" and a depiction of "complex events and the best and worst of humanity" impressed him so much that he planned to watch "Mr. Jones" again, and soon.

Historical background

"All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others," George Orwell wrote. Genocides are not equal, and some are certainly better known than others. When I type "Holodomor," my spellcheck underlines the word in red, as if it were unknown. I have to guess that most Americans have never even heard of the Holodomor. This ignorance helps explain why so many young Americans have a favorable view of communism, a negative view of capitalism, and report that they are likely to vote socialist.

Their view might change if they read just two short, horrifying articles. In 2011, historian Timothy Snyder chewed over "Hitler vs Stalin. Who Was Worse?" Ian Johnson's 2018 follow-up asked, "Who Killed More? Hitler, Stalin, or Mao?"

If a student or employee were to wear a swastika or Hitler t-shirt, that person would be immediately ejected from class or the workplace. He might very well find himself in court, a therapist's office, and on various watch lists, and he would no doubt be abandoned by friends. Were that same person to wear a red star, a hammer and sickle or the likeness of Mao, Che, or Stalin, on a t-shirt, he would likely face zero consequences. You can buy a hammer and sickle cookie cutter, a hammer and sickle refrigerator magnet, and hammer and sickle vodka. The hammer and sickle makes a regular appearance in graffiti at Black Lives Matter protests. BLM co-founder Patrisse Cullors identifies herself and her comrades as "trained Marxists." It's more than ironic that a movement that contains the words "lives matter" follows Karl Marx. BLM has been granted an imprimatur by the Democratic Party. I wonder if, to Party leadership, 100 million lost lives matter worth a damn.

For those unfamiliar with the Holodomor, the subject of "Mr. Jones," a brief summary follows. Ukraine is located between traditionally autocratic Russia and Western-looking, independence-minded, Catholic Poland. It contains very fertile "black earth;" it's one of those grain-producing regions known as a "bread basket." Ukrainians have long been majority agriculturalists, that is, the kind of people history runs over with chariots, boots, and tanks. After the 1917 Russian Revolution, that ended the reign of the czars, there was chaos in Ukraine, and a massive peasant uprising. Many Ukrainians wanted their own country. They were defeated by Russian communists, who imposed communism on Ukraine, and incorporated it into the Russian-dominated USSR.

Beginning in 1928, the USSR began a campaign of collectivization of agriculture. Ukrainians resisted. For ten years, the USSR disseminated propaganda demonizing so-called "kulaks," or successful farmers. Lenin described kulaks as "bloodsuckers, vampires, plunderers of the people and profiteers, who fatten on famine." In propaganda posters, kulaks were depicted as immensely fat and greedy monsters who withheld grain from starving Russians: see here, here, here, and here. This propaganda campaign demanded, and paved the way for, the "liquidation" of the kulaks.

The killers often knew their victims. Even so, as Ukraine-born, Jewish author Vasily Grossman reported,
"They would threaten people with guns, as if they were under a spell, calling small children 'kulak bastards,' screaming 'bloodsuckers!'… They had sold themselves on the idea that so-called 'kulaks' were pariahs, untouchables, vermin. They would not sit down at a 'parasite's' table; the 'kulak' child was loathsome, the young 'kulak' girl was lower than a louse … [kulaks were] cattle, swine, loathsome, repulsive; they had no souls, they stank, they all had venereal diseases, they were enemies of the people and exploited the labor of others … there was no pity for them. They were not human beings … they were vermin."

Grossman was with the Red Army's westward advance. He entered Treblinka in July, 1944. He wrote the first article ever published about a Nazi death camp. He remarked on similarities between Nazism's treatment of Jews and communism's treatment of kulaks.

As a twenty-one-year-old, Lev Kopelev participated in the destruction of the kulaks. He later explained the communist brainwashing that enabled his brutality.
"I mustn't give in to debilitating pity. We were realizing historical necessity. We were performing our revolutionary duty. We were obtaining grain for the socialist fatherland … our great goal was the universal triumph of Communism, and for the sake of that goal everything was permissible – to lie, to steal, to destroy hundreds of thousands and even millions of people, all those who were hindering our work or could hinder it … and to hesitate about all this was to give in to 'intellectual squeamishness' and 'stupid liberalism,' the attribute of people who 'could not see the forest for the trees.'"

Indeed, Soviets eventually sentenced Kopelev to ten years in the Gulag for "bourgeois humanism" and "compassion for the enemy."

Collectivization went very wrong very fast. Stalin knew that famine was on the horizon. He could have, as historian Anne Applebaum points out, asked for international aid. Stalin did not ask for aid; he did not want the world to know that communism was failing. Stalin could have stopped grain exports. He did not stop exports; those exports paid for his construction of heavy industry. He wanted the world to be impressed by communism's gains. In autumn of 1932, the Soviet Politburo made the fateful decisions that signed a death warrant for millions of Ukrainians. They drew a cordon around Ukraine, prohibiting Ukrainian peasants from leaving the republic, and even forbidding them from going into Ukrainian cities. Teams of Communist Party activists went from house to house and removed all food, including pets. They also took money and clothes. Communists are nothing if not hypocritical. They also set up 1,500 shops around Ukraine where people traded wedding rings and czarist-era coins and medals for porridge, flour, and potatoes. This shakedown-at-gunpoint became, as Applebaum explains, "A crucial factor in Soviet international trade."

On another front in the war against Ukrainian identity and the very bodies of kulaks, the Soviet secret police carried out a campaign against anyone in Ukraine capable of leading any kind of national movement. Priests, teachers, museum curators, writers, and artists were "vilified, jailed, sent to a labor camp." Churches were destroyed. A letter was removed from the alphabet to make Ukrainian more like Russian. After mass death emptied out Ukrainian villages, ethnic Russians were moved into them.
Rafal Lemkin, the Polish-Jewish lawyer who coined the term "genocide," said that what Communist Russia did to Ukraine was the "classic example."
"the Ukrainian peasantry was sacrificed...a famine was necessary for the Soviet and so they got one to order... if the Soviet program succeeds completely, if the intelligentsia, the priest, and the peasant can be eliminated [then] Ukraine will be as dead as if every Ukrainian were killed, for it will have lost that part of it which has kept and developed its culture, its beliefs, its common ideas, which have guided it and given it a soul, which, in short, made it a nation... This is not simply a case of mass murder. It is a case of genocide, of the destruction, not of individuals only, but of a culture and a nation."
The Soviet Union participated in crafting the internationally recognized legal definition of the word "genocide." The USSR was careful not to allow that definition to encompass its own crimes. Rather, the USSR wanted Nazi Germany to occupy the dock in the "genocide" courtroom.

The Ukrainians faced not just the enemy in Moscow. They also faced the enemy in the United States. Walter Duranty was the New York Times Moscow bureau chief from 1922-1936. For articles misleading the public about Stalin and communism, Duranty won the 1932 Pulitzer Prize. The Nation, a progressive publication, said at the time that Duranty's work constituted "the most enlightened, dispassionate dispatches from a great nation in the making which appeared in any newspaper in the world." In spite of much protest, Duranty's prize has not been revoked.

Duranty's Holodomor denial is not a deservedly extinct species from a distastefully primitive, less evolved era. There are still powerful, scoffing voices. Grover Furr still has a page at Montclair State University. Furr calls the Holodomor a "myth," a "fiction" and a "fascist lie," for example in this YouTube video. Furr dismisses Ukrainians as right-wing Nazi collaborators and anti-Semites whose only interest is in denying the Holocaust and justifying Ukrainian murder of Poles. Collectivization, Furr insists, stopped famines.

In 1988, the Village Voice ran a nasty, lengthy piece by Jeff Coplon smearing Ukrainians as Nazi collaborators and "fascists," and denying the famine as a "fraud." The only reason anyone would mention the Holodomor is because their goal is "a denial of Hitler's holocaust against the Jews." Any account of the famine is "slanted," "right-wing," "biased," "rumor," "fraud" and "spin." "Premier Sovietologists dismiss" any talk of famine. Coplon quotes scholars from several universities.

Yes, leftists suppress discussion of the Holodomor. There are other reasons it is less well known. The Holodomor occurred a decade before the Holocaust. For a variety of reasons, the Holocaust receives more attention. Germany is in the center of Europe, not on its eastern periphery. For a long time, Germany was the ancestral homeland of the largest number of Americans. Germany produces superstars, from Beethoven to Goethe to Einstein to Marlene Dietrich. Germans were obsessive record creators and there is a crushing supply of photos, film footage, and written documents of the Holocaust. There is no such mountain of documentation of the Holodomor. Too, German Nazis managed, in a few short years, to reduce the European population of Jews by over sixty percent. Depending on how death tolls are calculated, the Holodomor claimed between 3.9 and ten million lives. There were still tens of millions of Ukrainians after the genocide.

As Agnieszka Holland herself has remarked, starvation is a humiliating way to die. Nazi efficiency, the gas chambers, and the ovens exert morbid fascination. Huddled peasants taking weeks to breathe their last breaths, watching their and their children's eyes sink in their sockets, bellies swell, skin sag, all this in cold huts in remote villages, is a very different phenomenon. Such deaths are, perhaps, the ultimate expression of human vulnerability and helplessness. As mighty as we think we are, without items as humble as potatoes and lard, we disappear. Then there is the added problem of cannibalism. Some Ukrainians did go mad and did eat their own children. According to one source, 2,500 people were convicted of cannibalism.

Anne Applebaum told an interviewer that researching the Holodomor was "unedifying" and more difficult than her previous work on the Gulag. In Gulag memoirs, she encountered those who managed, spiritually, to transcend their unjust imprisonment. She found no such material about the Holodomor. Instead, she describes searing scenes, for example, a communist kicking a starving fifteen-year-old Ukrainian girl to death. When onlookers began to cry, he berated them. "Some are getting too sentimental here. It is easy to spot enemies of the people."

There is another reason why some might not want to extend compassion to Ukrainians – very complicated history. For hundreds of years, beginning in the Middle Ages, Ukraine was controlled by Poland. Polish nobles and Jewish managers exploited Ukrainian peasants. This exploitation was remarked upon by Nathan Hannover, a seventeenth-century Jewish historian who survived a Cossack attack. Hannover remarked that Ukrainians were "slaves" to Poles and Jews, who meted out "cruel treatment." Ukrainians rose up against Poles and Jews in the 1648 Chmielnicki Uprising. During this uprising, Ukrainians committed atrocities. In the twentieth century, during post-revolutionary chaos, some Ukrainians carried out pogroms that killed tens of thousands of Jews. During the Nazi occupation, Ukrainians massacred approximately 100,000 Poles and tens of thousands of others collaborated with the Nazis. When mentioning Nazi collaborators, one must add that 4.5 million Ukrainians fought against the Nazis in the Red Army.

For not a few Jews, and Poles as well, Ukrainians are bad guys. Poles may tell Ukrainian jokes. Jews sometimes refer to Chmielnicki as Hitler before Hitler. Ukrainians are assigned the villain role in perhaps the most popular cultural product touching on Eastern Europe, the stage and screen classic, "Fiddler on the Roof." Eliyana Adler, a teacher of Eastern European Jewish history, writing in the Forward, sums up how Ukrainians are too often stereotyped. "In the mythical Anatevka of stage and screen, the only Ukrainians we see are drunk pogromchiki. Arguably our simplified version of the past is even worse than theirs … we have made them into the enemy."

One of my friends, John Guzlowski, comes from a Polish family that was horribly victimized by Ukrainian killers during World War II. I can condemn killers and torturers and yet recognize that they do not represent the entire nation. Right now is as good a time as any for all of us to transcend ancient hatreds. Not every Pole was an arrogant and oppressive nobleman. Not every Jew was a greedy exploiter. Not every peasant was a brutal sadist. They were all human beings, just like us, struggling for survival in a rigid, virtual caste system none of them invented. Each group produced wrongdoers. Each produced heroes. There were too many innocent victims in each. Now is the right time for us to feel compassion for those innocent victims, no matter their ethnicity.

Soviet dissident, Israeli politician and author Natan Sharansky was born in Ukraine. He and his co-author, historian Gil Troy, make an eloquent argument for mutual tolerance in spite of past wrongs in a July, 29, 2020 essay, and they use a Ukrainian statue to Chmielnicki as a case study in such tolerance.

"Mr. Jones" The Movie

"Mr. Jones" is an engaging film because it's about the title character: Gareth Jones, a real man, and a real hero. He's played by James Norton, a tall, handsome, charismatic actor. In the same way that Gareth Jones charms Soviets into doing what he wants, Norton, the powerful actor, charms the audience into following Jones into Hell.  

The film opens with a hypnotic view of abundant wheat, swaying and crackling in the wind and sun. There are hogs feeding, aggressively. We hear their snorts and look into their eyes. We are forced to think about food, our need, and survival.

The first character onscreen is George Orwell. He's writing "Animal Farm," whose main human character is Mr. Jones. There is speculation, but only speculation, that Orwell may have chosen this name in honor of Gareth Jones. Orwell bemoans his fate. Why is he writing a political book, one he will have trouble publishing? Why doesn't he write romance novels? One guesses that screenwriter Andrea Chalupa and director Agnieszka Holland may be asking themselves this question. Why try to tell the story of the Holodomor?

Gareth Jones is in his twenties, but he's in a hurry to make his mark upon the world. He's the son of a school teacher from Barry, Wales. In his own hometown, a childhood friend says to him, "We thought you would have been prime minster by now." In the wider world, Jones is a small town boy without credentials. He travels to Germany and through sheer audacity manages to share a plane with Hitler. Back home, he tries to tell colleagues of former prime minster David Lloyd George that war is coming. Jones is laughed out of the room. This is the first of many times that Jones is dismissed, laughed at, and taken as a rube. And then he's fired. "You need me," Jones tells his boss. "I'm the only one who tells you the truth." Maybe that's why he was fired.

Jones never mopes; this unemployed twenty-eight-year-old moves on to his next obsession: Stalin. How is Stalin paying for the industrialization of his five-year plan, during the depths of a worldwide depression? Is communism the miracle its supporters insist it is? Jones finagles a hard-to-obtain journalist visa to Moscow.

I just used the English word "finagle" but inside my head a voice keeps repeating, "No, the real words are 'zalatwic' and 'kombinowac.'" These two words encapsulated daily life in the Soviet Empire. Nothing was possible, rational, or fair. To get things done, those living under communism had to learn how to break rules, make connections, and pull rabbits out of hats. In that, Jones has experience. He's young, he's from a humble family in the provinces, and he's smarter than the stuffed shirts who laughed at his predictions about Hitler and war. A spunky underdog, he will amp up his finagling to outwit communism. To get a visa, to get a hotel room, and to get to Ukraine all require the craftiness and boldness of a folklore hero. "Gareth Jones was almost an Icarus-type character, who knew how close to the sun he was flying, but couldn't seem to resist the temptation to expose tyrannical abuse of power," said one of his biographers

Once in Moscow, Jones meets Walter Duranty. Peter Sarsgaard, in an Academy-Award-worthy performance, milks every droplet of evil from this creature, like a snake handler milking venom from a cobra. Sarsgaard is, by turns, as contemptuous as Nero, buck naked at a heroin-fueled orgy, and revealing the sweaty stink of fear. Scriptwriter Andrea Chalupa, who says she was inspired by her Ukrainian grandfather, admits that the film could have been much crueler to Duranty. She's correct. Allegations against Duranty include necrophilia. Why did Duranty lie? Perhaps because he was being blackmailed by the Soviets, holding him hostage with his sexual proclivities. Duranty was an occasional sex partner of occultist Aleister Crowley, who self-identified as "The Beast 666." Crowley wrote poetry in praise of necrophilia.

The reason for Duranty's perfidy may be more prosaic. The Soviets gave him an apartment, a driver, and daily deliveries of fresh caviar. He was famous and feted. During the Depression, people were craving a miracle cure. Stalin seemed to be providing one. Duranty was Stalin's court praise poet. They both sold to the world the shiny Utopian trinket the world wanted to buy.

Duranty lost his leg to gangrene. The film's Duranty carries a cane tipped with a white rabbit, visually similar to John Tenniel's depictions of the white rabbit in "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland." Like that white rabbit, Duranty is a guide to an upside world: communist Russia. Also like that white rabbit, he is a contrast to the main character. Lewis Carroll wrote that Alice, like Gareth Jones, was young, audacious, vigorous, and possessed swift directness of purpose, while the white rabbit was Alice's opposite. Like Duranty, he is pompous toward underlings and groveling and obsequious to superiors.

Duranty insists that the Soviets are working miracles. Jones suggests that they are deranged. "What is deranged in a deranged world?" Duranty asks, expressing his own moral relativism, which contrasts with Jones' insistence on truth as the absolute value.

Ada Brooks (a fictional, composite character, played by Vanessa Kirby) is Durante's beautiful, young protegee. She and Jones spend the night talking. Ada is clearly torn. Unlike Duranty, she could still be brought over to the good side. She asks Jones what his agenda is.

"I don't have an agenda," he insists. "I am a journalist. The most noble profession. Loyal only to truth. Unless you call truth an agenda."

Ada scoffs. "Whose truth?"

"There is only one truth," he replies.

"That is so naïve." We want to like her, but she's sounding too Duranty. She tells us her backstory. Her story is a microcosm of what is happening on the world stage. One must choose: Hitler or Stalin. "I grew up in Berlin," she says, remarking on how free and modern Berlin was. "The Nazis destroyed everything so quickly. I'm afraid for my friends. They're arresting everyone in the Communist Party. We have to succeed."

"You sound like you work for Stalin," he protests.

"I don't believe in Stalin," she says, earnestly. "I believe in a movement that is bigger than any one person There are cycles of history just like there are cycles of nature. We have a chance to fight for the future for the real people, the workers. This movement is bigger than any one of us." She argues that even if people have to be killed for communism to succeed, it's worth it.

"Do you hear yourself?" he asks.

A Soviet minder, Leonid (Oleg Drach) accompanies Jones on his trip to Ukraine, ostensibly to visit a factory showcasing communism's economic miracles. Alas, many Western viewers will not grasp the significance of Leonid's scenes. He eats with gusto on the train. He boasts how much communism has improved his life and the life of his family. His home is full of food. Real food, he emphasizes. His daughters go to the movies for free. Life is beautiful now. The Party takes care of all of our needs. Leonid drinks much vodka and falls asleep. Jones gives Leonid the slip. After Leonid awakes and discovers that Jones has escaped, the look on Leonid's face is devastating. He knows his life is effectively over, and his wife and daughters will suffer, too.

The movie Jones, as the real Jones did, traverses famine-struck Ukraine on foot. There is heavy snow. The film stock is now desaturated, almost black and white. An exception: Jones attempts to eat an orange. The orange's color is true. He tosses the peel to the ground. Starving Ukrainians lunge at the peel. This is based on a real incident from Jones' journals. The scene calls to mind "Schindler's List." In that black-and-white Holocaust film, there is only one touch of color. The red of a little girl's coat.
One of the stations of the cross in Jones' pilgrimage to famine-struck Ukraine is a very quiet, five-minute scene involving a child named Kolya. There is no gore; there is no screaming; no soundtrack violins pull at the heartstrings. The scene broke my heart and I will never forget it.

Jones returns to the West, and tries, again, as he did after his plane trip with Hitler, to tell the truth.
"The Soviet Union is not the worker's paradise," Jones says. "It is not the great experiment that you read about in the press. Stalin has no stunning new achievement unless you consider killing millions of innocent people an achievement. If we let him get away with this manmade famine, there will be others like him."

"What about the free schools and the free hospitals?" he is asked.

"At what cost?" he replies.

"A more egalitarian society does exist, but not perfectly. Experiments take time."

"An egalitarian society?" Jones scoffs. "It's the same system of exploitation that exists here, only it's worse. Unimaginably worse. I know what I saw. Stalin is not the man you think he is."

"Are you saying there's no hope?"

Jones is, again, shut down. Duranty is a star; Jones is a non-entity who is stealing people's hope. He moves back in with his father and is mocked by local children. Eventually he finagles – there's that word again – a meeting with William Randolph Hearst, who publishes his work. That same year, 1935, Jones will be killed in Mongolia, probably by a Soviet agent. With time, Jones is forgotten, and the Holodomor, once a coverup, becomes a non-story, a word that spellchecks underline in red. Walter Duranty is shown receiving a standing ovation at the White House. His advice has convinced FDR to recognize the Soviet Union. And, yes, that did happen in real life.

Jones' obscure fate may help us to understand why Orwell is included in this movie. Jones' work on the Holodomor didn't get far or last long, but it did reach some readers. It's possible that one of those readers was Orwell himself. Orwell, through the disguised truth of a "fairy story" ("Animal Farm's" original subtitle) managed to tell, to millions of readers, the tale of the hunger and rot at the heart of a false Utopia.

Danusha Goska is the author of God through Binoculars: A Hitchhiker at a Monastery


Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

Jared Kushner: 'Israel won't move forward with sovereignty till time is right' - David Rosenberg

by David Rosenberg

Trump's senior adviser Jared Kushner responds to Netanyahu's vow to apply sovereignty, confirms sovereignty plan suspension is 'temporary'.

Jared Kushner meets Netanyahu
Jared Kushner meets Netanyahu                                                                                                       Kobi Gideon/GPO
President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner expressed optimism Thursday that Israel’s vow it will ‘suspend’ plans to apply sovereignty in Judea and Samaria will bring the Palestinian Authority to the negotiating table, adding that Israel won’t move forward with the sovereignty plan until “the right time”.

“I hope the fact Israel is not taking a provocative step on annexation in the West Bank will allow the Palestinians to go back to the negotiations table,” Kushner said, following the announcement that a peace agreement had been reached between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, with the help of the Trump administration.

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu agreed Thursday to “suspend” his sovereignty plan in a teleconference with President Donald Trump and the foreign minister of Abu Dhabi.

Netanyahu later played down the pledge, saying that he is still committed to applying Israeli law over parts of Judea and Samaria, and that the ‘suspension’ is only a temporary delay.

“There is no change in my plan to apply sovereignty in Judea and Samaria in full coordination with the US. That hasn’t changed.”

In a press conference held in the White House shortly after Netanyahu’s address in Israel, Kushner confirmed that the sovereignty plan’s ‘suspension’ is temporary, but offered no specifics regarding a time-frame.

“Somewhere between a long time and a short time, that’s what temporary means,” said Kushner.

“Our discussions with the prime minister have been very extensive over the last three-and-a-half years. We have a lot of trust between Israel and America. We’ve done a lot of historic things together. The people of Israel trust president Trump to make the decisions that are in Israel’s best interests for security and prosperity. And obviously President Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu have a very close relationship.”

Kushner emphasized that Israel would not apply sovereignty without closely coordinating with the US on the timing.

“I believe that they will not take action to move forward unless we have an understanding between American and Israel that this is the right action at the right time.”

“It’s not a binary thing of to move forward or not. There’s a lot of details that need to be considered, and we had a lot of those discussions [planned] in the coming months and we put those discussions on hold as this came about.

“I imagine that this is something that will be discussed in the future.”

“For the time being people will focus on this” peace deal.

David Rosenberg


Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

Saliva Test For COVID-19 With "Less Than 1 Second" Results Enters Trial Phase In Israel - Tyler Durden

by Tyler Durden

Hat tip: Dr. Jean-charles Bensoussan

The new test method is currently undergoing clinical trials involving hundreds of people at  Sheba Medical Center outside Tel Aviv.

Sure to be welcomed as good news for people returning to offices, factories, and schools this fall who will be subject to regular COVID-19 testing: an Israeli hospital is hosting clinical trials for a new "instant" test which utilizes saliva, instead of the more invasive and uncomfortable deep nasal swab.

The new test method is currently undergoing clinical trials involving hundreds of people at the Center for Geographic Medicine and Tropical Diseases at Sheba Medical Center outside Tel Aviv. It's purported to show whether someone is positive or negative in less than a second and utilizes artificial intelligence.

Getty Images
Hailed as a much cheaper and more convenient testing method especially useful when large groups of people must be quickly tested, it's so far said to be able to detect the virus at a 95% success rate.

As described in Reuters, it apparently doesn't even require a swab or direct contact:

Patients rinse their mouth with a saline wash and spit into a vial. This is then examined by a small spectral device that, in simple terms, shines light on the specimen and analyzes the reaction to see if it is consistent with COVID-19.
With machine learning it gets more accurate over time.
Sheba hospital is partnering with the new technology's developer, the Israel-based firm Newsight Imaging, to bring it to market. It could indeed be a game-changer, also given the projected price-tag of 25 cents for each single test, and $200 for the scanning machine itself. 

Reuters/VOA video purports to show how quick and easy the test is:
Some US colleges last month announced that for students to come back to campus, they have to agree to one or possibly up to two COVID-19 tests per week.

We expect a number of private businesses which can't opt for a remote work option will follow suit.

The current most common test, file image.
As Boston Magazine quipped in a recent article the current deep cavity swab method is extremely uncomfortable to many, especially if required on a weekly bases - for example at Tufts University and others: "Oh, and by the way, twice a week someone has to jam a cotton swab into your brain," the article commented

A cheap and easy saliva test available globally would most definitely be welcomed in such routine testing environments, and could actually help combat the disease more effectively, given how fast people with exposure could be isolated. 

Tyler Durden


Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter