Friday, December 18, 2020

Oblivious Biden - Donald N. Finley

 

​ by Donald N. Finley

There is one certainty about Joe Biden, and Barack Obama capitalized upon it. One thing he has proven time and time again is that he’s for sale.

What kind of man must Joe Biden be to accept being illegitimately put into the Oval Office?
 
We’ve all seen the clips.  Nearly every recent Joe Biden public appearance has been an embarrassment.  The media called his garbled statements 'gaffes,' as if they were innocent, harmless mistakes, but many have suggested far worse age-related cognitive failures.  We experienced embarrassment with him, and pitied a man clearly past his prime.  What seemed most prominent about Joe Biden, other than his mental decline, was his obsession with one singular goal -- to be president of the United States. 
 
He first ran for president in the 1988 presidential election.  He didn’t last until the first primary, being forced to drop out when caught in multiple lies about his background, his upbringing, his academic record, and for plagiarizing other politicians.  Twenty years later, he ran again in the 2008 presidential election, but dropped out after coming in fifth in the Iowa caucuses, with less than 1% of the vote.  He was later chosen as Barack Obama’s running mate.  
 
After eight years of office there, and four years out, he announced his run in the 2020 presidential election, where his plagiarism problem came up again as some of his policy positions were lifted verbatim from other organizations.  The blame was immediately deflected to his staff, and the scandal seemed not to touch him.
 
For most politicians, such scandals end careers, but Joe Biden outlasted the scandals, and remained in office for more than four decades, really only rising above the noise on three occasions.  
 
The first was as Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee during the Clarence Thomas Supreme Court confirmation hearings, where he conducted what Thomas called “a high tech lynching” of a black man who dared to be a conservative.  Thomas was still confirmed, though, and remains on the court today.  
 
The second time was as Barack Obama’s vice president, where little was heard from him, but much has since surfaced about family conflicts of interest during that period, including illicit family business relationships with several adversary foreign countries.  
 
Third, and finally, is the present day.  While the election is still contested, and more evidence of widespread Democrat fraud surfaces daily, Biden speaks and behaves as if he were the clear and universally accepted victor. 
 
Looking back, one may ask, ‘Why didn’t Biden run in 2016 as the heir-apparent after eight years as vice president?’  He claims it was due to the death of his son, but here's the far more likely answer:  Because Obama lacked confidence in him.  
 
Obama said of Hillary, in 2016:  "I don't think there's ever been someone so qualified to hold this office."  
 
When Biden announced his 2020 run, Obama reportedly told him, “You don’t have to do this, Joe, you really don’t.”  
 
During the campaign, Obama said of Biden, “Don’t underestimate Joe’s ability to f**k things up.”  In reference to a connection to the Democrat electorate, Obama said, “And you know who really doesn’t have it?  Joe Biden.”  
 
Obama’s own Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, wrote in his 2014 memoir, while Obama and Biden were still in office, that Joe Biden “has been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades.”  
 
Ben Rhodes, Obama’s former deputy national security adviser, wrote, "...in the Situation Room, Biden could be something of an unguided missile.”
 
The picture is getting clearer as to the kind of man Joe Biden is, from those who worked closest with him.  
 
But there’s more. 
 
In 1972, only weeks after Biden’s first election to the Senate, Neilia and Naomi Biden were tragically killed in a collision with a tractor trailer.  His sons, Beau and Hunter, were both seriously injured and hospitalized.  Neilia was Joe Biden’s first wife, and Naomi his 13-month old daughter.  During a public appearance in 2007, Biden told his audience, “A tractor-trailer, a guy who allegedly — and I never pursued it — drank his lunch instead of eating his lunch, broadsided my family and killed my wife instantly and killed my daughter instantly and hospitalized my two sons …”  He had also told the story in 2001.
 
The truck driver was Curtis C. Dunn, and he was not drunk.  In 2008, Delaware Superior Court Judge, Jerome O. Herlihy, who oversaw the police investigation as chief prosecutor, recalled that Mrs. Biden drove into the path of Dunn’s tractor-trailer, and he did all he could to avoid hitting the car, including overturning his truck and trailer.  Following the collision, Dunn ran to the car and was the first to render aid.  He remained traumatized by the accident, and the media’s repeated retelling of it, for 27 years, until his death in 1999.
 
In 2008, Dunn’s daughter, Pamela Hamill, said she had had enough of Joe Biden’s lies about her father, and demanded an apology.  “I just burst into tears,” Hamill said.  “The story already is tragic enough.  Why did he have to sensationalize it by saying my father was drunk?  My family is outraged.”  
 
Hamill told Politico in 2019 that Biden did apologize in 2009, a full ten years too late for the man he had wrongfully and repeatedly publicly humiliated.
 
In 1977, Joe married Jill after her first marriage had broken up.  They met on a blind date in 1975.  That’s the romantic story they tell, but her first husband, Bill Stevenson, tells it differently.  He says he and Jill had helped on Biden’s first campaign in 1972, and that he first suspected they were having an affair in 1974.  "Then one of her best friends told me she thought Joe and Jill were getting a little too close.  I was surprised that she came to me.”  Soon afterward, he discovered the truth.  Today, Stevenson says, “Joe Biden stole Jill from me.”
 
It’s clear Joe Biden is not the type whose intelligence, competence, or mastery of even a single topic has ever been a point of envy.  Those he worked with have not thought highly of him, and the few times he has risen into the spotlight, he has failed to accomplish anything of note on his own accord.  Without the coattails of another, namely Barack Obama, Joe Biden would have vanished from public life over a decade ago.  Had it not been for other Democrats sabotaging Bernie Sanders in the 2020 Democrat primary, Biden would have certainly fallen away early.  If he hadn’t sold his soul to the socialist and progressive wings of their fractured party to get support, the Democrats couldn’t have manufactured enough votes to save him.
 
There is one certainty about Joe Biden, and Barack Obama capitalized upon it.  So did China.  So did Ukraine.  So did Iraq.  So did Kazakhstan, and others.  One thing he has proven time and time again is that he’s for sale.  He will take the position and use his elected powers to implement the policy most beneficial to Joe Biden and his family.  Remember the flip-flopping fracking fiasco?  He is a piece of moldable flesh, a useful idiot, who will do what he’s told and paid to do.  His positions change as his handlers change.  He is wholly void of any core beliefs, a single bank of knowledge he could be considered an expert in, the ability to think for himself, or any recognizable moral principles.  His Catholic faith does not even conform to the Catholic Church teachings.
 
The question is not whether Joe Biden is a liar, it is whether he is a compulsive liar (sees his lies as clearly untrue, but cannot stop himself from telling them; lies out of habit), or a pathological liar (sometimes believe their own lies; plan their lies in advance).  He’s also a serial liar (lies repeatedly over time).  But whatever type, he is undoubtedly a liar.  Proof:  hereherehereherehereherehereherehere, and here.  That’s more than enough.
 
So back to the original question: What kind of man must Joe Biden be to accept being illegitimately put into the Oval Office?  From his speech on Monday, after the Electoral College vote, I must reiterate everything above, and add one more word:  Oblivious.
 
Donald N. Finley is a retired U.S. Air Force Colonel.

 

Donald N. Finley  

Source: https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2020/12/oblivious_biden.html 

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Omar, Tlaib and AOC Demand Facebook Remove 100% of 'Anti-Muslim Content' - Daniel Greenfield

 

​ by Daniel Greenfield

30 House Democrats go to war against the First Amendment.

 


Two of the most notorious bigots in the House of Representatives signed a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg demanding that he “eradicate anti-Muslim bigotry from Facebook”.

The three-page letter signed by Rep. Ilhan Omar, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, as well as 28 other left-wing House members, spends a great deal of time demanding the removal of what it calls "anti-Muslim content" without ever specifically defining it. That's convenient considering Omar and Tlaib's own history of racism and antisemitism, and support for the sorts of Islamic bigotry and violence that groups like CAIR, which supports the letter, have become known for.

The letter spotlights one violent incident, but then goes on to call for a ban on "anti-Muslim content", "anti-Muslim animus", "anti-Muslim bigotry", and finally, "anti-Muslim content and organizing" on the platform, without ever explaining what exactly they want to ban.

Considering the letter’s call for, "100 percent proactive detection and removal of anti-Muslim content", the safe assumption would be that they want to ban everything critical of Islam.

That's a disturbing attack on the First Amendment coming from 30 House members.

Democrats have repeatedly pressured Facebook and other social media companies to remove speech they politically disapprove of, whether by President Trump or other conservatives, eroding the thin line between private companies acting on their own initiative and government officials conspiring to violate the First Amendment by banning certain kinds of political speech.

After multiple hearings, legal proposals, and legislative threats, it’s no longer possible to view Facebook’s censorship of political speech as anything other than government censorship. When enough pressure by government officials has been applied to a company to censor certain kinds of speech, the company’s decision to censor speech becomes government censorship.

30 House members would now like Facebook to censor criticism of Islam and political protests against Islamic terrorism. One of the few examples of anti-Muslim content in the House letter was a political protest against the Islamic Society of North America’s 2019 conference.

That was the conference which included an appearance by two Democrat presidential candidates, Bernie Sanders and Julian Castro, whose forum was moderated by Salam Al-Marayati, the head of MPAC, who had defended Hamas and Hezbollah. Also participating in a round table at the conference was Imam Siraj Wahhaj, an unindicted co-conspirator in the World Trade Center bombing, who has defended the Islamic mandate to kill gay people.

This is the sort of information that AOC, Omar, and 28 other House Democrats, want banned.

House Democrats trying to shut down protests targeting their own candidates is a blatant violation of the First Amendment which was meant to prevent exactly that kind of thing.

And the party of social justice wants to stop Americans from protesting against an Imam who says things like, ”Brothers and sisters, you know what the punishment is, if a man is found with another man? The Prophet Mohammad said the one who does it and the one to whom it is done to, kill them both.” What happens when ‘anti-Muslim content’ meets anti-gay content?

The 30 House Democrats don’t want to talk about any of this which is why their letter doesn’t.

Even Omar and Tlaib can’t quite openly call for blasphemy regulations for social media, but they conveniently leave terms like “anti-Muslim content” undefined and then demand that Facebook outsource the suppression protocols to "senior staff focused on anti-Muslim bigotry issues" backed by diversity training on "civil rights issues and common words, phrases, tropes or visuals used by hate actors to dehumanize and demonize Muslims".

And if that's not enough, there's an independent third-party review of Facebook’s compliance.

CAIR and other Muslim Brotherhood groups would be brought in to define what “anti-Muslim content” is and then senior staff, approved of by CAIR and its allies, would set moderation policies to suppress “tropes” used by “hate actors” like Jihad, Sharia, Taqiyya, and terrorism.

Cartoons of Mohammed, mentions of blasphemy, hate, and terrorism would all be censored.

It's not hard to spot what sort of content they're after.

The House Democrat blasphemy and terror letter has been endorsed by CAIR and the Islamic Networks Group, but beyond these traditional Islamist groups, it has the backing of pro-terror groups like Code Pink and JVP, and assorted anti-war organizations. These groups are less concerned with blasphemy, but very focused on preventing America from fighting terrorists.

CAIR had demanded the removal of Mohammed's image from the Supreme Court, and more recently compared magazines publishing cartoons of Mohammed to ISIS. A board member of the Muslim Brotherhood group had insisted that, "[t]he right to free speech is not absolute."

The Founding Fathers and the Constitution disagreed.

The letter also cites a Muslim Advocates report which listed examples of "anti-Muslim content" that they wanted Facebook to censor that included President Trump's call for a ban on migration from Islamic terror nations, and a Trump campaign ad which described AOC, Omar, Tlaib, and Pressley as socialists who had made "anti-Israel, anti-American, and pro-terrorist remarks".

AOC, Omar, Tlaib, and other Democrats have signed a letter demanding that Facebook censor political speech critical of them. That’s a grotesque assault on the First Amendment.

Another example of “anti-Muslim content” from the Muslim Advocates report was an Israeli Facebook user who had written negatively about Omar, Trudeau, and Corbyn.

Omar responded to this by ranting that "foreign interference – whether by individuals or governments – is still a grave threat to our democracy” and that “malicious actors operating in a foreign country, Israel”, were “spreading misinformation and hate speech to influence elections in the United States." Even though there’s no evidence that elections were actually influenced.

But, once again, the kind of “anti-Muslim content” that Omar and her political allies seem to want to ban involves criticism of her and of them. The “grave threat” here is coming from Rep. Omar.

The letter claims that its signers also want Facebook to remove “any hate content directed at a religious or ethnic group”, but Rep. Ilhan Omar, one of the letter’s signers, has been the House’s worst offender, tweeting antisemitic content, including her infamous “Benjamins” tweet.

If House Democrats were serious about removing hate, they would have removed Rep. Omar.

Facebook already engages in extensive monitoring and censorship. This isn’t about taking down bigotry, but about removing political speech and content that Islamists consider blasphemous. It’s also about suppressing the political organizations that combat Islamist hate and violence.

It’s no coincidence that the type of political speech that Omar, Tlaib, Carson, and other House members want to censor casts a negative light on their own political alliances with Islamists, their bigotry, and their ugly views. And they would like Facebook to do the censoring for them.

The more Democrat officials lay out the kind of censorship they would like internet platforms to perform, the more the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech becomes a dead letter. And this letter, signed by 30 House Democrats, is a new threat to our freedom of speech.

America does not have blasphemy laws. And politicians are not allowed to ban speech they don’t like. The letter to Facebook makes it more urgent than ever that our elected officials find ways to protect the marketplace of ideas from political censorship by Democrats and Facebook.

 

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

 Source: https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/2020/12/omar-tlaib-and-aoc-demand-facebook-remove-100-anti-daniel-greenfield/ 

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Netanyahu to Visit Egypt on Official Trip - Hugh Fitzgerald

 

​ by Hugh Fitzgerald

A cold peace warms up.

 


While in one direction – toward the Gulf – Israeli and Emirati and Bahrain businessmen are making deals, expanding trade, encouraging investments in each other’s countries, promoting tourism in both directions, now that the two Arab states have agreed to normalize ties with Israel – in the other direction, toward Egypt, with which Israel has had a “cold peace” since 1979, a major warming may at last be taking place. Israel and Egypt already cooperate on security matters, as General El Sisi forthrightly said on “60 Minutes.” They collaborate in containing the Muslim Brotherhood, which remains a threat to El Sisi’s regime, and to Israel as well, since Hamas is merely the Gazan branch of the Brotherhood. They also help each other by sharing intelligence on other Jihadis, including remnants of ISIS that have regrouped in the Sinai.

Egypt regards with alarm the attempts by Iran to create a “Shia crescent” from the Gulf to the Mediterranean by employing a network of proxies and allies, including the Houthis in Yemen, Iran-backed Shi’a militias in Iraq, the Alawite-led army of Bashar Assad, and Hezbollah in Lebanon. And Israel, which recognizes Iran as a mortal threat, shares Egypt’s deep anxiety about that Shia crescent. Egypt and Israel are thus doubly allies, against both the Muslim Brotherhood and against Iran.

Egypt has joined with the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain in attempting to isolate Qatar, a statelet rich from natural gas, that gives succor and support to the Muslim Brotherhood. Qatar provides a platform for Yousuf Qaradawi, the Egyptian-born cleric who has lived in Qatar for many decades. Though not formally its head, Qaradawi is the undisputed spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood; he broadcasts from Qatar to a worldwide audience of 60 million; he’s the most influential Muslim cleric now alive. Qatar is also being shunned by the same four states because of its continuing friendly ties with Iran. Egypt’s participation in this anti-Qatar alliance has brought the country closer to the UAE and Bahrain, both of which have recently normalized ties to Israel, and to Saudi Arabia, which is edging ever closer to following the trail blazed by the Emirates and Bahrain. Thus Egypt and Israel not only share enemies (the Muslim Brotherhood, assorted Jihadis in the Sinai, and Iran), but also friends (the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain). It’s not surprising that Egypt may now be intent on warming up that “cold peace” it has had with Israel for 41 years.

The report on Netanyahu’s upcoming visit to Cairo is discussed here.

Israeli and Egyptian officials are engaged in talks ahead of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s official visit to Cairo in the coming weeks, the Maariv daily reported on Monday.

According to the report, Netanyahu is expected to meet Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi during the trip, which is said to be focused on bolstering the economic ties between Jerusalem and Cairo.

A bilateral meeting is also scheduled between Israeli and Egyptian trade delegations to discuss joint economic projects and promote business relations.

This trip will come on the back of Israel’s diplomatic gains in the region, with the Jewish state signing US-brokered normalization agreements with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

Soon after those deals, the US announced that Sudan also agreed in principle to normalize its relations with Israel.

It’s unclear as of now if Sudan will normalize relations with Israel; it has been insisting it wants in return an American pledge not to prosecute any Sudanese for previous involvement in terrorism during the reign of Omar al-Bashir. That’s a very large ask, and the Americans may not be willing to agree. But there are so many economic benefits, both from having American sanctions lifted on the country, and from what Israel by itself can provide, particularly in providing help to Sudanese farmers, by sharing its advances in drip irrigation, waste water management, desalinization, and producing water from the air (a new method invented by the Israeli company Watergen), all fields in which Israel is a world leader.

Last week, Netanyahu reportedly visited Saudi Arabia in an under-the-radar trip, which saw him meet Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and US State Secretary Mike Pompeo.

The trilateral meeting was focused on the prospect of normalizing the Israeli-Saudi ties and on confronting Iran jointly.

This week, President Donald Trump’s adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner will visit Saudi Arabia in a last-ditch effort to negotiate a normalization deal between the kingdom and Israel, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday.

It’s been 41 years since Egypt and Israel signed a peace treaty. It has been a cold peace, because that’s how Egypt wanted it. President Mubarak, for example, visited Israel only once during the three decades of his rule – only to attend the funeral of Yitzhak Rabin. Egyptians were dissuaded from visiting Israel, and some of those who did go were subject to arrest when they returned home. Israeli tourists were made to feel distinctly unwelcome in Egypt, and in the end repeated terrorist attacks on Israelis in Egypt caused that tourism to dry up. And during those 41 years of the “cold peace,” there were scarcely any economic ties between the two nations, until Israel began selling natural gas from its Tamar and Leviathan fields to Egypt, starting this past January.

But now that may all be changing. Netanyahu’s visit will focus, it has been reported, on economic relations. Egyptians can see for themselves the benefits being reaped by Emirati and Bahrain businessmen as they discuss trade, technology, and tourism with the Jewish state, make investments in Israel, buy Israeli products which can now be found in Emirati grocery stores; they can see Israeli businessmen who are mirror-imaging their new Arab partners, seeking trade and investment opportunities in the UAE (and Bahrain), offering to share with their Arab partners know-how in everything from drip irrigation to cybersecurity to high tech start-ups. The Egyptians have been following how those two Arab states normalized relations with Israel and the sky did not fall. They have picked up the signals from Saudi Arabia that it doesn’t oppose such normalization; the Saudis have granted Israeli planes overflight rights, first to the UAE, and now to anywhere the Israeli planes want to go. Egypt doesn’t want to be left behind, as more Arab states – which will be next? — make their calculations and decide. It makes sense for them to pursue economic ties with the Start-Up Nation in the neighborhood. As for the Palestinians, their furious reaction against the UAE and Bahrain, calling them “betrayers” who “stabbed the Palestinians in the back” has not won them any fans in the Arab states, including Egypt. In early September, the Palestinians demanded that the Arab League condemn the UAE and Bahrain for normalizing relations with Israel; they were turned down flat. Mahmoud Abbas vented his spittle-flecked fury, his impotent rage, in his $13 million palace in Ramallah, but few Arabs bothered to pay attention.

Meanwhile, as Egypt sees the economic benefits accruing to the UAE and Bahrain from their agreements with Israel, it does not want to be left behind. “Within three to five years trade between Israel and the United Arab Emirates will reach $4 billion,” Israeli Intelligence Minister Eli Cohen told the Reshet Bet radio station. But that prediction was made at the beginning of September. It looks as though, three months later, that amount may be reached not in three to five years, but within two to three years. And Bahrain, a much smaller country, has already signed deals with Israeli businessmen worth several hundred million dollars in the coming year.

Egyptian farmers can benefit especially from Israeli advances in drip irrigation, waste water management, desalinization, and the production of water from air (with the patented technology of an Israeli company, Watergen). Solar energy is another field where Israel can help. Egypt last year completed its massive 1.8-Gigawatt Benban Solar Park, with 7.2 million photovoltaic cells, but it can still benefit from advances in solar energy constantly being made by researchers in Israel, a world leader in the field; the Jewish state is planning to produce 15 gigawatts of solar energy within the decade. Israel has recently, for example, made a major breakthrough — with the help of Chinese researchers — in solar cells made of perovskite.

Israeli foods are already on UAE grocery shelves; these should also be of interest to Egyptian businesses and consumers. It’s up to the Egyptian government to remove barriers to entry of Israeli foodstuffs. It’s the same for Israeli medicines and medical equipment now being sent to the UAE and that could be of immediate benefit, as well, to Egyptian patients, if the decision is made by Cairo to let them in. .

But before any of this can come to pass, there has to be a sustained effort by the Egyptian government to create a less hostile attitude among the people, who remain wary of ties with the Jewish state. Having Netanyahu as a guest in Cairo, followed by a return visit by El-Sisi to Jerusalem, is a first indispensable step in warming things up. Egypt’s government-controlled media can be recruited to run favorable stories on Israel and Jews, instead of promoting hostility as so much of It still does. Stories about the contribution of Egypt’s Jews to the country’s cultural life in the first four decades of the 20th century are a good place to start.

During the “cold peace,” the Egyptian government actively discouraged its citizens from visiting Israel. Those who did so, despite that opposition, were subject to investigation and even arrest on their return home. Now it is time to actively encourage such visits by Egyptians, to remove any stigma that earlier Egyptian visitors to Israel endured. In the past, Egypt prevented university and cultural exchanges from taking place; these should now be encouraged by the Egyptian government. It is the same with sport teams: no Egyptian soccer team has ever played in an Israeli stadium, and no Israeli team has played in Egypt. The government in Cairo can change that policy overnight. While Israeli tourists in the first few years after the peace treaty did visit Egypt, a series of bloody attacks by Muslim fanatics on European tourists, discouraged tourism. The worst attack was at Luxor in 1997 where 62 were killed (including a five-year-old child). There were also terror attacks by Egyptians that deliberately targeted Israelis. These included:

The Ras Burqa massacre, a shooting attack in October 1985 on Israeli vacationers in Ras Burqa, a beach resort area in the Sinai peninsula, in which seven Israelis were killed, including four children. Egypt refused to allow the victims to be treated by Israeli doctors or transferred to hospitals in Israel.

On February 4, 1990, a bus carrying tourists in Egypt was attacked by members of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Eleven people were killed, including nine Israelis, and 17 wounded (sixteen of whom Israelis). This was the fourth attack on Israeli tourists in Egypt since the signing of the peace treaty in 1979.

In November 1990, an Egyptian border guard crossed the border into Israel and opened fire with his AK-47 on vehicles on the Eilat-Kadesh Barnea road, killing four people.

Twelve of the people killed in the 2004 Sinai bombings were Israeli.

These attacks help explain the virtual disappearance of Israeli tourists from Egypt. If Egypt makes a sustained effort to provide Israeli tourists and businessmen with tight security, they will return. As for Egyptians visiting Israel, the government in Cairo need only show it now wants to encourage such visits; there is no longer any stigma attached. It should encourage Egyptian businessmen to seek out opportunities in Israel for trade and investment, the way the Emiratis and Bahrainis have been doing. These would include increases in bilateral trade, and possible investments by Israeli businessmen in Egyptian companies, as well as the sharing by Israel of its know-how and advances in a dozen fields, from agriculture to solar energy to computers.

The Egyptian government-controlled media — newspapers, radio, television — can be ordered to run stories to encourage a more favorable attitude toward Israel. Such stories could include coverage of Israeli Arabs who sit on Israel’s Supreme Court, serve in the Knesset, go abroad as Israeli ambassadors. Israeli Jews and Arabs could be shown studying together at universities, working in the same offices and factories, playing on the same sports teams and orchestras, giving – and receiving – care at the same hospitals. These stories would be designed to undermine the preposterous charges about “Israeli apartheid.”

Other stories, for both newspapers and television, could show Israeli advances in various fields. One televised series might be devoted to Israeli achievements in agriculture, including drip irrigation, wastewater management, desalinization, water production from air, and growing seeds from saline soil. A second would show Israeli advances in solar energy – the use of new materials for solar cells, such as perovskite, new ways to store and distribute the energy, and Israel’s ambitious plans to produce 15 gigawatts of solar energy within a decade. Another series might be devoted to Israeli achievements in automobile manufacture, including electric vehicles, million-mile batteries, and self-driving vehicles. Still another might detail Israeli medical advances, including new treatments for cancer and heart disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and – the latest breakthrough — the printing of 3-D human hearts. Another could be devoted to Israeli advances in computer chips, software tools for e-commerce, cybersecurity, and cyberwarfare. The commentary throughout the series ought to be threefold: first, stressing the theme of how long and successfully Egypt and Israel have already been collaborating in security matters; second, stressing how much Egypt stands to gain from increasing its economic ties to Israel, based on the experience of the Emirates and Bahrain; third, persuading an Egyptian audience just how eager “Israel is to benefit from its economic cooperation with Egypt” so as not to wound Egyptian amour-propre.

The Egyptian media, taking its cue from its government, helped ensure that for 41 years there would only be a “cold peace”with Israel. The Egyptian government has in the last few years become convinced of the value of collaborating with the Jewish state on security matters. And now that it has been impressed with the economic benefits the UAE and Bahrain have already been reaping from having normalized relations with Israel, that same media can be enrolled to undo its previous damage, in a determined effort to warm that cold peace up.

 

Hugh Fitzgerald  

Source: https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/2020/12/netanyahu-visit-egypt-official-trip-hugh-fitzgerald/ 

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European Court of Justice approves Belgian kosher slaughter ban - Lahav Harkov

 

​ by Lahav Harkov

 

The laws requiring animals to be stunned before they are slaughtered strike "a fair balance between animal welfare" and religious freedom.

 

The European Union Court of Justice upheld a ban on kosher and hallal slaughter in Belgium, in a ruling released on Thursday.

The court dismissed arguments by Jewish and Muslim groups that Belgium is infringing on their religious rights by requiring them to stun animals in the process of slaughtering them for meat, something contrary to their religious precepts.

The ruling sets a precedent that could lead to a wave of laws across the European Union against shechita, Jewish ritual slaughter.

European regulations ban slaughter without pre-stunning, but make an exception for religious slaughter. At the same time, those regulations state that countries can set their own laws to reduce animal suffering.

The court determined that the laws requiring animals to be stunned strike "a fair balance to be struck between the importance attached to animal welfare and the freedom of Jewish and Muslim believers to manifest their religion.

"The reason the court gave for the law being balanced is that it allows for “reversible stunning.” The court also said that the law limits one specific aspect of the ritual act of slaughter, not the act of slaughter itself, and as such does not count as interference with religious practice.

However, mainstream Jewish and Muslim authorities do not permit any form of stunning before slaughtering animals for meat, such that the court has determined that outlawing the production of meat for those communities is a fair balance between animal rights and the rights of Jews and Muslims.

"That interference [in ritual slaughter] meets an objective of general interest recognized by the European Union, namely the promotion of animal welfare," the court stated.

The court did not accept the argument that hunting and killing animals at "cultural or sporting events" is still permitted by law, despite the animals not being stunned before they are killed."

Cultural and sporting events result at most in a marginal production of meat which is not economically significant. Consequently, such events cannot reasonably be understood as a food production activity, which justifies their being treated differently from slaughtering," the ruling states.

The court took the unusual step of ruling against the European advocate-general's opinion.

Advocate-General Gerard Hogan stated in September that EU member states "are obliged to respect the deeply held religious beliefs of adherents to the Muslim and Jewish faiths by allowing for the ritual slaughter of animals," and that requiring stunning in the slaughter process "would compromise the essence of the religious guarantees" the EU provides.
 

THE DUTCH-speaking Flanders and French-speaking Wallonia regions of Belgium passed laws in 2017 prohibiting slaughter without pre-stunning, even in the context of religious rites, such as kosher shechita and Muslim slaughter.

Belgium’s Constitutional Court sent the lawsuit, filed by the Coordinating Committee of Jewish Organizations in Belgium, to the European Union Court of Justice last year to determine whether the laws violate EU regulations.

Committee President Yohan Benizri, who is also vice president of the European Jewish Congress said: “No democracy can exist when its citizens are denied basic human and civil rights. We plan to pursue every legal recourse to right this wrong.”

Brooke Goldstein, executive director of The Lawfare Project, which helped Benizri with the legal challenge, warned that "the religious freedom of millions of Europeans has been put in jeopardy by this shameful ruling."

Israeli Ambassador to Belgium Emmanuel Nahshon said that the ruling is "a catastrophic decision, a blow to Jewish life in Europe. Apparently, tolerance and diversity are empty words in the eyes of some Europeans."

Russian Chief Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, president of the Conference of European Rabbis, said Thursday’s decision “flies in the face of recent statements from the European Institutions that Jewish life is to be treasured and respected.

“The Court is entitled to rule that member states may or may not accept derogations from the law… but to seek to define shechita, our religious practice, is absurd,” Goldschmidt stated. 

“The European Court of Justice’s decision to enforce the ban on non-stun slaughter in the Flanders and Wallonia regions of Belgium will be felt by Jewish communities across the continent," he said. "The bans have already had a devastating impact on the Belgian Jewish community, causing supply shortages during the pandemic – and we are all very aware of the precedent this sets, which challenges our rights to practice our religion.”

Goldschmidt said that historically, bans on religious slaughter have been an attempt to control a country’s population, and can be traced back to the 1800s, when Switzerland attempted to stop Jews fleeing pogroms from entering their country, as well as to Nazi Germany. In 2012, he said, politicians in the Netherlands attempted to ban ritual slaughter to stop the spread of Islam.

“We are told by European leaders that they want Jewish communities to live and be successful in Europe, but they provide no safeguards for our way of life," the rabbi said. "Europe needs to reflect on the type of continent it wants to be. If values like freedom of religion and true diversity are integral, then the current system of law does not reflect that and needs to be urgently reviewed.”

 

Lahav Harkov 

 Source: https://www.jpost.com/diaspora/european-court-of-justice-approves-belgian-kosher-slaughter-ban-652402 

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The UAE's Full-throttled Embrace of Religious Tolerance - Seth Frantzman

 

​ by Seth Frantzman

 Originally published under the title "The UAE's Historic Embrace of Hanukkah Is Part of a Process."

 

Emiratis in Dubai pose with Israeli tourists in front of a giant menorah on display at Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building, for all eight nights of Hanukkah.

The extraordinary scenes in Dubai that included Hanukkah celebrations are part of a historic and unprecedented process of embracing tolerance, coexistence and peace by the United Arab Emirates.

It is happening simultaneously with a unique bursting forth of ties between Israel and the Emirates, and comes as flights began from Tel Aviv to Dubai, all of it years in the making.

The UAE has been embracing a unique kind of tolerance that has translated into actions – not just the kind of talk of "diversity" one gets in the US or Europe, where Jews have to go to synagogue surrounded by security and armed guards and where graveyards are frequently vandalized with swastikas.

Religious tolerance has become a national ethos in the UAE.

Last year was proclaimed as a year of tolerance in the UAE. This has been a process over the last decade that has seen a national ethos emerge, which supports visible displays from numerous religions.

Visibility is important. It's one thing to talk about diversity, but having giant Christmas trees in hotel lobbies and Santas in the mall – and Hanukkah celebrations below the massive Burj Khalifa, a new Hindu temple and modern mosque architecture – is all part of an openness to true interfaith tolerance.

Foundation work for the UAE's first Hindu temple began in February 2020.

This support for real, visible tolerance is unique in the Middle East. Over the last decades there has been growing sectarianism in some countries, along with massacres and terror. In Europe, there are frequently attacks on Jews and synagogues. The UAE has sought to change the narrative by speaking consistently and openly about coexistence – and including Jews in those discussions.

For instance, on November 11 the UAE embassy in the US emphasized that the country had unveiled plans last year for an Abrahamic Family House: an interfaith complex for inclusion. This went along with tweets by officials about how much pride the Emirates takes in efforts toward tolerance as a national policy.

With imagery and descriptions of the new Abrahamic House – and noting that the country has 200 nationalities and many faiths – the videos put out by the government show messages to people around the region about how Jews, Muslims, Christians and people of other faiths are coming together.

This year's Christmas tree at the Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi was decorated with ornaments reportedly worth $11 million.

My experience in the UAE last week and in 2015, when I attended the Emirates Literature Festival, shows how much the country has moved forward on these plans, putting them into action.

The Hanukkah celebrations last week that began on Thursday were just one part of this. Israel's displays at the GITEX tech confab were part of it, as was the virtual tour of the Crossroads of Civilizations Museum with Israel's culture minister on December 2 and the event there with Ahmed Obaid Al Mansoori on December 6.

The first weeks of December are a historic turning point on a path that was launched with the year of tolerance in 2019 along with the moves the UAE has made over the last few years on peace and coexistence.

In this region messages are important. Showing government support for different religions and having Hanukkah celebrated in a central space, as it was last week, shows the 200 nationalities in the UAE that Jews are embraced.

Elli's Kosher Kitchen in Dubai is doing brisk business.

Jews have visited and resided in the UAE in the past, but obtaining kosher food was difficult. Now there are kosher caterers, and hotels will have kosher food. In May, reports about Elli's Kosher Kitchen made huge headlines. Now there are new stories every day about initiatives for coexistence that include Jews, as well as a push to include more information about Jews and Judaism in everyday activities.

In discussions with numerous people involving these symbols and statements, videos showing rabbis with Jews at prayer with tefillin have been mentioned as examples of rapid change over the past year.

People say that although the changes seem fast, their overall foundation is the year of tolerance and the last decade of conscious national decisions to embark on this path.

It is a path that is being gingerly embraced by other countries. Whether it is renovations of synagogues in Lebanon or Egypt, or more interest in Jewish history in Iraq and even Sudan, the discussion is happening.

But in many countries it is happening more quietly. The new peace deals with Morocco and Bahrain provide wind in the sails for this coexistence. For instance, the "happy Hanukkah" greetings that are flowing from the Gulf, such as from organizations like the King Hamad Global Centre for Peaceful Coexistence in Bahrain, all anchor this new support for including Jews in national discussions.

On the one hand this should be normal: Jews should be embraced. But on the other hand, decades of toxic rhetoric in the region and the way Iran and its extremists made hatred a normal aspect of daily life – as well as the way groups linked to the Muslim Brotherhood push anti-Jewish views openly, including constant conspiracies – poisoned the minds of generations.

It will take decades to change that. What has begun in the UAE over the last week is part of the process – and it has burst forth with intense energy.

 

Seth Frantzman is a Ginsburg-Milstein Writing Fellow at the Middle East Forum and senior Middle East correspondent at The Jerusalem Post.

Source: https://www.meforum.org/61867/uaes-full-throttled-embrace-of-religious-tolerance

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Scrutiny of her doctoral dissertation will make 'Dr. Jill Biden' wish she had stuck with 'Mrs. Biden' - Thomas Lifson

 

​ by Thomas Lifson

 

We are being led by a bunch of pretentious imposters.

 

The real scandal around Joe Biden's second wife wanting to be called "Dr. Jill Biden" is not that people like Whoopi Goldberg incorrectly assume that she is a physician and recommend her for the position of surgeon general.  The real scandal is that the title is handed out to people who can't produce scholarly work, as exemplified by the pathetic "dissertation/executive position paper" that Jill Biden "submitted to the Faculty of the University of Delaware in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Education with a major in Educational Leadership."

The problems with the 33,000-word document begin on the title page with the label "dissertation/executive position paper."  Why the hedging with two labels?  Back in the late 1970s, when I researched and wrote my 1978 Ph.D. thesis, I was told that the criterion was an original contribution to scholarly knowledge.  (Strangely, I can find no reference to this concept in the latest guidelines published by Harvard for the Ph.D. degree, much less for the Ed.D.)  I suppose that calling her essay an "executive position paper" entirely disposes of the requirement of actual production of knowledge.

As it happens, no less an authority than her husband went on the record as to the real motivation for Mrs. Biden wanting to acquire a doctorate, and it wasn't any devotion to expanding the body of scholarly knowledge, or even writing an executive position paper.  Robin Abcarian of the Los Angeles Times wrote in early 2009:

Joe Biden, on the campaign trail, explained that his wife's desire for the highest degree was in response to what she perceived as her second-class status on their mail.

"She said, 'I was so sick of the mail coming to Sen. and Mrs. Biden. I wanted to get mail addressed to Dr. and Sen. Biden.' That's the real reason she got her doctorate," he said.

She wanted the title in order to appear highfalutin'.  That helps explain the fury over Joseph Epstein's essay suggesting that she stop using the title.

But the door has been opened to examine the basis of that title, no matter how much huffing and puffing over sexism and lèse-majesté the propaganda media dish out.  You can read the whole thing yourself here, but you could just rely on the Twitter thread by Matt Bethlehemanti, who uncovered the online copy, or the critique of it by Nick Arama, published in RedState.  There are lots of embarrassments in it, enough to raise questions about the university and faculty members who thought it worthy of the exalted title of "doctor."  Kyle Smith of National Review offers a theory of why it was accepted:

Mrs. Biden wanted the credential for its own sake. As for its quality, well. She got it from the University of Delaware, whose ties to her husband, its most illustrious alumnus if you don't count Joe Flacco, run so deep that it has a school of public policy named after him. That the University of Delaware would have rejected her 2006 dissertation as sloppy, poorly written, non-academic, and barely fit for a middle-school Social Studies classroom (all of which it is) when her husband had been representing its state in the U.S. Senate for more than three decades was about as likely as Tom Hagen telling Vito Corleone that his wife is a fat sow on payday. The only risk to the University of Delaware was that it might strain its collective wrist in its rush to rubber-stamp her doctoral paper. Mrs. Biden could have turned in a quarter-a**ed excuse for a magazine article written at the level of Simple English Wikipedia and been heartily congratulated by the university for her towering mastery. Which is exactly what happened.

Last night, Tucker Carlson did a superb job of not just exposing the inadequacies of the dissertation, but of making the broader point that the ruling class's justification for its rule is mostly based on credentials (it certainly isn't based on actual competence or results), and Jill Biden's credential is empty, as far as demonstrating actual intellectual or substantive merit.  We are being led by a bunch of pretentious imposters.

Watch and enjoy seven-plus minutes of pretentiousness brutally mocked (hat tip: The Right Scoop).

 

Graphic credit: Twitter video screen grab (cropped).

 

Thomas Lifson 

 Source: https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2020/12/scrutiny_of_her_doctoral_dissertation_will_make_dr_jill_biden_wish_she_had_stuck_with_mrs_biden.html 

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The War on 'Manly Men' - Mark Tapson

 

​ by Mark Tapson

Why is the Left so heavily invested in reversing traditional sex roles?

 


Amid all the election mayhem and politicized coronavirus hysteria of the past several months, it is easy to lose sight of the fact that the cultural realm, not the political arena, is where the deeper threat to our freedoms and civilization lies, because the culture is where hearts and minds are won or lost. The Left has always known this, but the Right tends to obsess over the political and scorn the cultural as trivial and unserious. If we never grasp how critical it is to engage the Left on that front, we will lose the Long Game. Let’s look at a couple of recent examples of one aspect of the Marxist assault on our culture in which the Left is gaining ground – their agenda to subvert our traditional norms of masculinity.

After what was widely touted in the media as a “history-making” appearance, Vanderbilt University female soccer player-turned-football kicker Sarah Fuller was recently named Special Teams Player of the Week by the Southeastern college football conference (SEC), along with Florida University player Kadarius Toney.

What did Fuller do to earn this honor? She “[t]ook the opening kickoff of the second half against the Tigers, as her perfectly-executed kick sailed 30 yards and was downed at the Missouri 35-yard line,” the SEC crowed in explanation.

That’s it. She was on the field for one play – not for a high-pressure, game-clinching field goal, but for a low, line drive of a kickoff that “sailed” a mere 30 yards. In all fairness, this kick was intended to be short in order to prevent a runback, but apparently, as a soccer goalie, longer kicks aren’t her strong suit: “[The short kickoff] was designed for her because that’s what she’s used to striking,” the head coach later tried to explain to reporters. And “perfectly-executed”? Perfectly-executed is the standard, not the exception, with kickoffs. One perfectly-executed kickoff is not an award-winning achievement – unless the kicker is a woman.

What would have happened if Vanderbilt’s opponents had returned the kick? “Football is not a contact sport,” the late Michigan State coach Duffy Daugherty is credited with quipping. “It is a collision sport.” At 6’2”, Fuller isn’t petite (it’s unclear what her weight is; she is the only player on the Vanderbilt roster whose weight is not listed), but it’s a fair bet that if one of the male Missouri blockers hurtling downfield at full speed after Fuller’s kickoff had targeted her, or if she had tried to tackle the ball carrier, the question of whether women can compete on a truly equal footing with men in a collision sport would have been settled in one single collision. To avoid that very possibility, Fuller jogged to the sidelines immediately after her kick.

Meanwhile, her co-Player of the Week Kadarius Toney returned a punt 50 yards for what proved to be the decisive touchdown of the game as his Florida team defeated Kentucky. And yet Fuller’s inconsequential kick in a game in which her team was massacred 41-0 earned her equal billing with Toney. This seems suspiciously like affirmative action and virtue signaling, though her head coach tried to distance himself from it as such: “I’m not about making statements. This was out of necessity,” he told the media about his choice to play Fuller, pointing out that COVID and the holiday break had reduced student availability for the kicker position to “almost nil.”

The fact is, the SEC named Fuller Player of the Week, and the Left-leaning media trumpeted it as history-making, not because of outstanding play but because she is a woman who took the field for a single play in a man’s game (a game which feminists – both male and female – decry as brutal and macho; but apparently it’s okay when a woman takes part). She is actually being celebrated for an historic breakthrough not in college football, but in social justice. “Making history” is how you spin a narrative – however false – to promote a culture-changing agenda.

This is not to take anything away from Fuller’s competitive spirit or her athletic ability as a women’s championship soccer player. She likely would excel in a women’s football league. But under ordinary, non-pandemic circumstances, she doesn’t belong on the field alongside men in a collision sport. Affirmation action does not empower anyone; on the contrary, it demeans those it is intended to benefit and breeds resentment, distrust, and division all around. And virtue-signaling to promote a political agenda does not alter the reality that women generally are not physically designed for a game made for hulking men with a degree of upper-body strength that would annihilate the average male, much less woman. It is not misogynistic or sexist to point out what in recent memory everyone still would have considered to be a biological truth. Similarly, hulking men who conveniently “identify” as women so they can dominate women’s sports don’t belong in them (a growing number of female athletes very vocally agree). Such a formerly commonsense stance is now considered “transphobic” hate speech.

In related news in another cultural arena, pop star Harry Styles was celebrated this month as the first man to appear solo on the cover of Vogue magazine. In the cover photo and a fashion spread inside, Styles is decked out in women’s clothing. Conservative commentator Candace Owens expressed her disapproval of this expression of dubious manliness on Twitter: “There is no society that can survive without strong men,” she tweeted. “In the West, the steady feminization of our men at the same time that Marxism is being taught to our children is not a coincidence. Bring back manly men.”

The woke internet mob lost what little it had of its collective mind over this triggering term, “manly men.” Celebrities and leftist media personalities, who like to think of themselves as free-thinking individuals but who actually make up the most conformist, lockstep-thinking demographic in the world, piped up to accuse Owens of an unforgiveable lack of cool. “You’re pathetic,” actress Olivia Wilde shot back. Media critic Carlos Maza said Owens sounded “like the pearl-clutching puritans who've been around since the 50s and 60s. Genuinely impossible for them to be cool for even one second.” Even radical Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez took to Twitter to defend Styles, claiming she got a “James Dean vibe” from his cover photo.

This may seem like a tempest in a teapot, because the fashion world, with its artsy pretentions, is ridiculous and superficial anyway, and pop stars like David Bowie have been toying with androgyny for decades. But the question this Vogue cover raises, like the female soccer player supposedly breaking into a man’s sport, is actually a deeply significant one: why is the Left so heavily invested in discrediting and dismantling traditional sex roles? Why do woke celebrities and their fans so fervently leap to defend the notions that women can compete right alongside men in a collision sport, that men wearing dresses on the cover of a women’s fashion mag is “cool,” and that, as actor Kumail Nanjiani tweeted recently, “Traditional masculinity is a disease”?

The answer is that Progressives are at war with anything perceived as normal and traditional. Everything that has made us in the West who we are, and made us the freest, most prosperous, most accomplished, most civilized civilization in history – our religious beliefs, our values, our traditions, our art and literature, our history, our heroes, even our science – is now deemed either racist, sexist, classist, homophobic, Islamophobic, colonialist, oppressive, exploitative, or a toxic combination thereof, and must be erased. Our past and any links to it are unacceptably unwoke, and so Progressives seek relentlessly to redefine, or preferably eradicate, every cultural norm in order to remake the world according to their self-righteous, allegedly inclusive, collectivist, utopian vision.

The Left claims falsely that sex distinctions derive almost exclusively from an oppressively patriarchal nurture, not nature. This is important to their agenda because erasing such distinctions is necessary for the “abolition of the family,” which Karl Marx called for openly. Why? Because the bonds of the nuclear family are the last and most resistant line of defense against collectivism and totalitarian control, and masculinity is the warrior spirit of the nuclear family. If you emasculate men by disparaging their aggressive, competitive, high-achieving drive as “toxic,” and by denying the hard-wired differences between them and women, then men become neutered, the family unit disintegrates, resistance dissolves, the “community” replaces our family, and the State becomes our parental authority.

Candace Owens was not wrong when she claimed that “the steady feminization of our men at the same time that Marxism is being taught to our children is not a coincidence.” True – it is no coincidence. The emasculation of Western men is a direct, intended result of the cultural Marxism that has been poisoning our youth for decades. The goal is to sap the independence and fighting spirit of masculinity and to undermine resistance to the power of the State.

Put women on a men’s football team, put men in dresses, celebrate them both as virtuous milestones and mock those who think otherwise, and the distinctions and definitions of the sexes will gradually blur. Masculinity and femininity will begin to have no meaning. This is already happening. Contrary to the Left’s claims, though, this doesn’t make human beings freer and more evolved; it diminishes both men and women and makes us more confused about our roles and purpose in the world. It leaves us unmoored from our true nature, from God, and from each other – just as the State wants us.

 

Mark Tapson is the Shillman Fellow on Popular Culture for the David Horowitz Freedom Center.  

Source: https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/2020/12/war-manly-men-mark-tapson/ 

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