Friday, January 15, 2021

Restart, Reset or Renew? The Strategy against Iranian Nuclear Ambition - Peter Schweizer

 

​ by Peter Schweizer

[N]ow that Biden will be responsible for American security and not just criticizing Donald Trump, he would do well to slow down and consider alternatives.

  • Even if the deal negotiated in 2015 by the Obama administration were worth the effort, it is impossible to imagine the Iranians willingly recommitting to enrichment levels they have long since blown past. No one believes in their professed "peaceful use" of nuclear energy. So why does a return to the deal make any sense?

  • The killing of top terror-funding IRGC official Qasem Soleimani by the US military and Iran's relatively toothless retaliatory attack against two US bases in Iraq suggest that the regime fears what an escalation of tensions would mean to its own future more than it desires to stab at the "Great Satan." The regime may finally be on the verge of collapse.

  • Those sanctions are the only leverage the U.S. really has against Iran, and they may finally succeed, much as the Reagan administration was able to do to the USSR in the 1980s. Now is not the time to reduce or remove them in exchange for paper promises born of a campaign slogan, from a regime whose movements suggest it fears its days are numbered.

  • Through covert operations, hidden diplomacy, an intense military buildup, and a series of actions designed to throw sand in the gears of the Soviet economy, American policy destroyed the USSR from its fingertips to its heart. Former Soviet leaders including Mikhail Gorbachev have admitted it with grudging admiration. The only ones who were wrong were those in the liberal foreign policy establishment who pretended it was all just a coincidence.

Iran's ruling mullahs have openly accelerated their nuclear research, and recently boasted that they have achieved uranium enrichment levels of 20%. There is little hope that Iran will throttle back its advances in uranium enrichment, new deal or no deal. Pictured: The Isfahan uranium enrichment facility in Isfahan, Iran. (Photo by Getty Images)

President-elect Joe Biden ran on a slogan to "restore the Iran nuclear deal." For those voters desperate to undo every accomplishment of the Trump administration, which abandoned the deal and imposed sharp sanctions on Iran's oil and financial sectors, it must have sounded attractive.

But now that Biden will be responsible for American security and not just criticizing Donald Trump, he would do well to slow down and consider alternatives.

The mullahs in Iran, claiming to be freed from the deal by Trump's 2018 decision to pull the United States out, have openly accelerated their nuclear research, and recently boasted that they have achieved uranium enrichment levels of 20%. The JCPOA restricted them, on paper at least, to 3.67%. Iran has vastly increased its stockpile of ballistic missiles, a grave concern to other countries in the region, particularly Israel.

There is little hope that Iran will throttle back its advances in uranium enrichment, new deal or no deal. That genie is partially out of the bottle, and Iran remains a sworn enemy and a vicious threat to its neighbors. Even if the deal negotiated in 2015 by the Obama administration were worth the effort, it is impossible to imagine the Iranians willingly recommitting to enrichment levels they have long since blown past. No one believes in their professed "peaceful use" of nuclear energy. So why does a return to the deal make any sense?

European foreign policymakers seem to be encouraging exactly such a delusion. Germany's Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said last month that the Obama administration-era deal still remains the "best instrument" to resolve any disputes about Iran's nuclear program. He and his counterparts from Britain, France, China, Russia, and the European Union all declared it would be a positive step away from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's policy of crippling sanctions on the Iranian regime.

In 1994, in a book called Victory that traced the success of the Reagan administration's strategy against the Soviet Union. I showed how the combination of an immense military build-up by the United States and its allies combined with sharp economic sanctions against the USSR is what extinguished it from the map. The book is out of print but enjoyed a second life among Pompeo's subordinates and associates at the State Department and the CIA in 2018. I am still convinced that economic sanctions are the most effective way to effect a safer world and consign the Iranian regime to the same ash heap as the Evil Empire.

Iran's economy remains a shambles and indications grow of the regime's feathery grasp of power. Inflation is more than 40%, according to the Statistical Center of Iran. High unemployment and economic contraction have led to street protests against the regime, and harsh crackdowns on the people by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). The country's infrastructure and banking system continue to crumble, and the regime's own corruption becomes more obvious as the plight of everyday Iranians worsens. The killing of top terror-funding IRGC official Qasem Soleimani by the US military and Iran's relatively toothless retaliatory attack on two US bases in Iraq suggest that the regime fears what an escalation of tensions would mean to its own future more than it desires to stab at the "Great Satan." The regime may finally be on the verge of collapse.

Incoming National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said in a CNN interview recently that restoring the US to the JCPOA deal remains the intention of the new Biden administration, though he did predicate it on Iran's willingness to return to the enrichment limits of the previous deal. Both sides apparently want the other to readopt the agreement's terms first. Sullivan said nothing specific about whether the US would drop those sanctions as an incentive to Iran's putting their nuclear program "back in the box," as he called it. Iran has already rejected this offer, insisting as usual that it is the U.S. that is the "rogue regime." Iran wants sanctions eliminated as a precondition to deigning to return to the negotiating table.

Those sanctions are the only leverage the U.S. really has to offer Iran, and Iran's economy is now at the point where sanctions may finally succeed, just as the Reagan administration was able to do to the USSR in the 1980s. Now is not the time to reduce or remove them in exchange for paper promises born of a campaign slogan, from a regime whose movements suggest it fears its days are numbered.

The resource crisis faced by the Soviet Union in the 1980s was inherent in the system, but as noted in Victory, the U.S. had a comprehensive and sustained plan to make it a terminal illness. Through covert operations, hidden diplomacy, an intense military buildup, and a series of actions designed to throw sand in the gears of the Soviet economy, American policy destroyed the USSR from its fingertips to its heart. Former Soviet leaders including Mikhail Gorbachev have admitted it with grudging admiration. The only ones who were wrong were those in the liberal foreign policy establishment who pretended it was all just a coincidence.

Whatever course the new Biden administration chooses to combat Iran's regional threat must feature the same skill, deep commitment and determination that marked the nine-year campaign to stop the Soviet Union from threatening the rest of the world. No one suspects the aged mullahs of Iran to be any less devoted to fomenting terrorism in the Middle East than the Soviets were of destabilizing Western democracies and emerging nations in Africa or the Middle East. The same commitment that brought down one can defang the other.

 

Peter Schweizer, President of the Governmental Accountability Institute, is a Gatestone Institute Distinguished Senior Fellow and author of the best-selling books Profiles in Corruption, Secret Empires and Clinton Cash, among others. 

Source: https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/16937/iran-nuclear-ambition 

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CIA Director-designate William Burns' track record - Amb. (ret.) Yoram Ettinger

 

​ by Yoram Ettinger

Burns as the next Director of the CIA highlights Biden's determination to join a renegotiated nuclear agreement with Iran's Ayatollahs.

William Burns is one of the leading veterans of the State Department, representing its deeply-rooted worldview :

*Multilateralism and coalition-building over unilateral policy;
*Military restraint and supremacy of diplomacy/coercive-diplomacy; *International law, human rights and democracy-driven policy;
*Rejection of regime-change initiatives;
*Palestinian prominence in Middle East policy;
*Viewing Islamic terrorism as despair-driven;
*Misperceiving the raging Arab Tsunami as if it were Arab Spring.

William Burns served as Deputy Secretary of State and Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs during the Obama Administration. He was part of the State Department establishment, which considered Saddam Hussein a potential ally until his August 1990 invasion of Kuwait; played a key role in the 2009 embrace of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, while abandoning President Mubarak; was a major proponent of the 2011 US-led military offensive which transformed Libya into a global platform of Islamic terrorism; and was one of the early architects of the 2015 Iran nuclear accord (JCPOA), conducting secret talks in Oman.

Since 2015, William Burns has been the President of the prestigious Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, which has espoused the aforementioned worldview of the State Department.

Carnegie's "Middle East analysis" section is replete with documents, which are pro-Palestinian and critical of Israel and the last four years' US policy in the Middle East, including the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital and the relocation of the US Embassy to Jerusalem. Also, Carnegie Endowment documents feature criticism of "Israel's shrinking democracy," Israel's treatment of "Palestinian activists" and "Palestinian popular resistance," "Israel's responsibility for the Palestinian financial crisis," and "Gun violence in Israel's Palestinian community."

While criticizing pro-US Egypt and Saudi Arabia because of their human rights record, Carnegie's documents define the Muslim Brotherhood – which has terrorized the Middle East since 1952, including Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan and Bahrain – as a legitimate political organization.

Iran

The designation of William Burns as the next Director of the CIA highlights President-elect Biden's determination to join a renegotiated nuclear agreement (JCPOA) with Iran's Ayatollahs, which will be wider in scope and longer in duration.

According to Burns, "We need to find a way back to an updated nuclear deal with Iran. That will not be a miracle cure for all our serious differences with the current regime in Tehran, from its regional aggression to its domestic repression. It will, however, be an essential starting point for countering its threats and eventually reducing them…."

The JCPOA represents a school of thought, which assumes that Iran's Ayatollahs are credible negotiators, and are amenable to peaceful-coexistence and power-sharing with their Gulf neighbors. Burns assumes that Saudi-Iranian peaceful coexistence is possible due to their mutual interest in stable competition.

"A lot will depend on the prospects for Saudis and Iranians finding some basis for regional co-existence—built not on trust or the end of rivalry, but on the more cold-blooded assumption that they both have a stake in stable competition."

Burns contends that lifting sanctions – through the JCPOA – "exposed the regime's vulnerabilities," since the Ayatollahs could no longer blame the US for their economic woes, stemming from corruption and mismanagement. He compared Trump's withdrawal from the JCPOA to the US unilateralism that led to the 2003 invasion of Iraq. "Nixing the nuclear accord was a dangerous dismissiveness of diplomacy." According to Burns, the abandonment of the nuclear accord was all coercion and no diplomacy.

A major dilemma facing the proponents of a renegotiated JCPOA: Is the Iranian leopard capable of changing spots, not just tactics?

Saudi Arabia

As opined by Burns, "we ought to support them [Saudi Arabia and the Arab Gulf States] against legitimate external security threats, from Iran or anyone else, and back serious political and economic modernization. [However], they need to stop acting as if they’re entitled to a blank check from us, end the catastrophic war in Yemen, stop meddling in political transitions in places such as Libya and Sudan, and manage their internal rivalries."

Just like Egypt, Saudi Arabia expects to be targeted for US criticism on account of its human rights and democracy record, including the attitude toward the Muslim Brotherhood, which is determined to topple all pro-US Arab regimes, and is the largest Islamic terror organization with a litany of political affiliates throughout the globe, including the US (e.g., CAIR, ISNA, AMC).

In addition, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are reprimanded, by the incoming US Administration, for their military involvement in Libya, Sudan and Yemen, which involves fighting against Iran's Ayatollahs (in Yemen) and Sunni Islamic terrorists (in Libya and Sudan).

Israel

In his memoir, William Burns detailed his efforts to explicitly criticize Israel, when he was the Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs during the George W. Bush administration. Burns was a proponent for providing a clear vision for a viable Palestinian state. In June 2002, he told an Israel official that "the one thing Palestinians are more fed up with than Arafat is the Israeli occupation."

"Our commitment to Israel’s security is deep-rooted, and its emergence as a military and economic powerhouse in the region is a remarkable story. And yet it is hard to see how Israel’s long-term security interests, let alone its future as a Jewish democracy, are served by the emergence of a one-state solution, with Arabs in the majority in the land Israel controls from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean."

Like the State Department's establishment, William Burns is unaware of the demographic reality west of the Jordan River, which features a dramatic Westernization of Arab demography and unprecedented Jewish demographic tailwind.

 

Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, "Second Thought: US-Israel Initiative,, https://bit.ly/3nFoei2

Source: https://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/294872 

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Trump's Democrat Impeachers and Double Standards - John Perazzo

 

​ by John Perazzo

Who, exactly, is guilty of “inciting insurrection”?

 


A mere 12 days after President Trump took office in January 2017, Congressman Joaquin Castro of Texas became the first of many elected Democrats to publicly call for his impeachment. In that case, Castro's concern was with regard to Trump’s executive ban on travel to the U.S. from nations rife with Islamic terrorism. By the end of 2019, House and Senate Democrats had proposed more than 70 additional reasons for impeaching Trump. Nancy Pelosi, for her part, went full-fascist when she declared, less than four months ago: “We can impeach him every day of the week for anything he does.”

And now, this same Nancy Pelosi has brought her totalitarian vision to life, impeaching Trump for “incitement of insurrection,” a sin supposedly committed in the same January 6 speech where the president explicitly and unambiguously encouraged his supporters to “peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.” Yes, Pelosi and her fellow Democrats assure us that -- even though it now seems highly unlikely that the people who breached the Capitol that day were among those who had attended Trump's speech -- the president himself was somehow responsible for the actions of the several hundred lamebrains who chose to break the law.

By the Democrats' same “logic,” however, a much stronger case can be made for the idea that the words which so many Democrats themselves have spoken over the past four years could, and should, have been used as justifications for removing them from political office.

Consider how Democrats have fawned over Black Lives Matter (BLM). It is no longer a secret that BLM was founded by three hardcore Marxist revolutionaries who openly detest America, despise police officers, embrace the doctrines of Marx and Engels, endorse the dissolution of the nuclear family, and revere, above all others, Assata Shakur -- the former Black Panther, convicted cop-killer, and longtime fugitive in Communist Cuba. What would Democrats and the media have said, if President Trump and his supporters were ever to have spoken out in praise of a group that honored a “hero” as repugnant as that?

The Democrats' love and support for BLM is longstanding, indisputable, and entirely obvious to anyone in possession of at least one functioning eye, ear, and brain cell. A few examples:

  • In August 2015, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) approved a resolution explicitly affirming BLM’s noble efforts to “condemn extrajudicial killings of unarmed African American[s]” in a nation where “too many young people [are] stripped of their dignity under the vestiges of slavery, Jim Crow and White Supremacy.”
  • On September 16, 2015, President Obama invited three BLM leaders to the White House, where he exhorted them to “Keep speaking truth to power.”
  • In December 2015, Obama lauded BLM for shining “sunlight” onto the dark underbelly of American racism, and for doing so much to make America “a fair, more just, healthier” society.
  • At a Black History Month event at the White House in February 2016, Obama praised BLM’s leaders for “making history” and “tak[ing] America to new heights.”

The very open and consistent support that Obama and fellow Democrat political leaders nationwide gave to BLM, contributed heavily to the seething rage that was directed at police officers across urban America throughout 2015-16. In response to this volcanic milieu of cop-hatred, law-enforcement officers in scores of Democrat-run U.S. cities -- recognizing that their political bosses had in essence thrown them to the wolves -- became far less proactive in tracking down and apprehending criminals. This, in turn, led to a dramatic and historic rise in violent crime rates nationwide. In 2015, America’s 56 largest cities experienced an astounding 17% rise in homicides over 2014 levels. In 10 of those cities, where the black populations were particularly large, murders increased by more than 60% -- an unfathomable statistic.

The spike in urban violence continued into the first quarter of 2016, when homicides in the nation’s 63 largest cities increased by another 9%, while nonfatal shootings were up 21%. Manhattan Institute scholar Heather Mac Donald characterized this phenomenon as “The Ferguson Effect” -- an allusion to the August 2014 police shooting of Michael Brown, an incident that transformed BLM from a loosely organized movement into a coordinated national enterprise of gargantuan proportions.

Did anyone in Congress or the media suggest that President Obama and the Democrats -- by so passionately and publicly endorsing the worldview and agendas of BLM -- bore some measure of responsibility for this sudden spate of bloodshed all across America? Did anyone suggest that Obama should be impeached for using his presidential platform to “incite” violence and murder on a scale that the nation had not seen in decades?

Not for a moment. Why not?

On July 6, 2016, President Obama, echoing BLM's familiar script, issued a statement saying that “all Americans should be deeply troubled” by the then-recent, fatal police shootings of two black men, Alton Sterling (in Baton Rouge) and Philando Castile (in Minnesota). Their deaths, said the president, were “symptomatic” of the very “serious problem” of “racial bias in law enforcement” and throughout the entire “criminal justice system.”

The very next day, July 7, a black gunman who emphatically proclaimed his solidarity with Black Lives Matter and his desire to kill white police officers as retribution for the Sterling and Castile shootings, cold-bloodedly murdered five cops and wounded seven others during a BLM protest in Dallas.

Not a single member of the House or Senate accused President Obama of having incited that violence. No one called for his impeachment. Why not? If Donald Trump can be impeached for “incitement of insurrection” as a result of having encouraged his supporters to “peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard,” why couldn’t Obama have been charged with using demonstrably false allegations about the criminal-justice system to foment the violence of thousands of newly emboldened felons across the United States, including the man who had gunned down 12 cops in Dallas?

Obama’s supporters, of course, would tell us that the president could not possibly be held responsible for the evil actions of such lunatics. Okay, fair enough. So why, then, is Trump responsible for the actions of the far fewer, and far less destructive, lunatics who entered the Capitol building last Wednesday?

On July 10, 2016 -- a mere three days after the Black Lives Matter supporter's mass shooting of the 12 police officers in Dallas -- Obama publicly lauded BLM as “part of” America’s “longstanding tradition” of progress via such crusades as the abolition, suffrage, and civil-rights movements of yesteryear.

Two days later -- July 12, 2016 -- in Dallas, Obama reached a new low. Delivering the eulogy at a memorial service for the five dead officers, he referenced “an African American community that feels unfairly targeted by police,” and he voiced solidarity with those who “weep for the families of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile.” Lamenting that “Americans are struggling right now” with “the shootings in Minnesota and Baton Rouge,” Obama declared that “centuries of racial discrimination, of slavery, and subjugation, and Jim Crow … didn’t simply vanish with the law against segregation.” “We know that bias remains,” the president explained, and that “some suffer far more under racism’s burden” and “feel to a far greater extent discrimination’s stain.” “No institution is entirely immune, and that includes our police departments,” Obama lectured. And “even those who dislike the phrase ‘Black Lives Matter,’” he preached, “should be able to hear the pain of Alton Sterling’s family,” to recognize that “his life matters,” and to understand that many people had likewise known Philando Castile as “a gentle soul.”

So again, Obama did not have a single unkind word to say about Black Lives Matter, whose rhetoric had quite obviously inspired the murderer in Dallas. If anything, the president affirmed his belief that BLM’s objectives were entirely valid and noble.

And how did the media react to this? Did they accuse Obama of giving aid and comfort to BLM’s “thugs” and “domestic terrorists,” terms that the media have repeatedly used to describe last week's protesters at the Capitol?

Nope. CNN celebrated Obama's “soaring address” for highlighting “the despair of minority communities who see the criminal justice system weighted against them.” The Los Angeles Times ran the headline, “Obama in Dallas to Comfort a Nation in Mourning.” A New York Times story praised the president’s “poignant speech” for the “hard truths” that it spoke. And the Washington Post reported that Obama “sought to unify a nation” with his “impassioned appeal” for “Americans to be more empathetic and focus on their shared values.”

And of course, Obama was still not done. The very next day -- July 13, 2016 -- he hosted three BLM leaders at a lengthy White House meeting. Also invited was a buffoon by the name of Al Sharpton, perhaps the most infamous black American racist and Jew-hater in living memory. Did any member of Congress or the mainstream media accuse Obama of inciting racial hostilities by hosting BLM and Sharpton just days after a BLM supporter had mown down a dozen police officers like ducks in a shooting gallery? Did anyone call for Obama’s impeachment?

Nope. Not even a whisper. Why not?

Fast-forward to 2020. In the aftermath of George Floyd’s May 25 death in Minneapolis, BLM’s police-hating rhetoric achieved exactly what it had achieved five years earlier: It again caused law-enforcement officers in police departments nationwide to become highly reluctant to engage criminals except where absolutely necessary. The result was yet another cataclysmic “Ferguson Effect.” By the end of July in America’s 50 largest cities, year-to-date homicide totals were 24% higher than the 2019 figure for the same calendar months. Some particularly noteworthy examples: The total number of murders had risen by 64.3% in Austin; 54.5% in Chicago; 42.3% in Fort Worth; 34% in San Antonio; 31.6% in Phoenix; 31.4% in Philadelphia; 27.1% in Houston; and 24% in New York City.

Meanwhile, BLM’s rhetoric remained as loud and vicious as ever. On June 24, 2020, Hawk Newsome, the president of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York, warned: “If this country doesn’t give us what we want, then we will burn down this system and replace it.” On June 25 and 27, BLM held a pair of anti-police marches in Washington, D.C., under the acronym “FTP,” signifying “Free The People,” “Fight The Power,” and “Fuck The Police.” And on July 4, BLM protesters in Washington kicked off their Independence Day activities by dancing and stomping on an American flag at Black Lives Matter Plaza, chanting “Fuck the Fourth of July and fuck the American flag.”

By that point, as many as 26 million Americans had already participated in BLM demonstrations from coast to coast, prompting The New York Times to run a headline that read: “Black Lives Matter May Be the Largest Movement in U.S. History.” A study by the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project, a nonprofit organization that tracks conflict in every part of the world, found that of the nearly 600 full-blown, violent riots whose organizers and instigators could be identified, fully 95 percent had been started by BLM. Moreover, the BLM riots of 2020 were projected to become -- in terms of losses due to theft, fire, vandalism, and other forms of destruction -- the costliest sustained acts of civil disorder in American history.

One would think that any political figure with even the barest shred of good judgment would refrain from glorifying an organization so violent and hateful. But alas, the Democrats couldn’t help themselves.

In an August 2020 photo essay in which Vanity Fair magazine “celebrat[ed] the founders of Black Lives Matter” and others “on the forefront of change,” congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called it “profoundly exciting” that the Marxist/anarchist revolutionaries of BLM were “discovering their own power” and “educating others” by way of their activism. In that same feature, Rep. Rashida Tlaib gushed: “When I see this movement on the street—that’s where transformative change really starts and it’s hitting us right here in the halls of Congress. It’s been powerful to watch it happen.”

Soon after the Vanity Fair puff piece hit bookstore shelves and the Internet, BLM activists in Chicago held an August 10 rally to express their solidarity with the 100+ individuals who had recently been arrested after a night of mass looting and criminal activity. One BLM organizer who spoke at the rally, Ariel Atkins, said: “I don’t care if someone decides to loot a Gucci or a Macy’s or a Nike store,” because “that is reparations.” In a similar spirit, a social media post publicizing the demonstration encouraged people to come out and “support the people arrested last night for protesting another police shooting & taking reparations from corporations.”

Did such rhetoric raise any red flags for leading Democrats? Did it cause any members of Congress or the media to call for the expulsion of Ocasio-Cortez or Tlaib from the House of Representatives?

Not for a moment. Instead, Senator Kamala Harris, who had just been named as Joe Biden‘s vice presidential running mate, praised BLM for leading “a moral reckoning with racism and systemic injustice that has brought a new coalition of conscience to the streets of our country, demanding change.”

A few days after that, on August 17, 2020, former First Lady Michelle Obama addressed the Democratic National Convention and lamented that while a “never-ending list of innocent people of color continue to be murdered,” President Trump continued to deride people for “stating the simple fact that a Black life matters.”

Former President Barack Obama likewise spoke at the 2020 Democratic Convention and applauded the spectacle of “Americans of all races joining together to declare, in the face of injustice and brutality at the hands of the state, that Black Lives Matter.” Addressing BLM and its supporters directly, Obama said, “You are this country’s dreams fulfilled,” “the missing ingredient,” and the ones who “can give our democracy new meaning,” “take it to a better place,” and “decide whether or not America becomes the country that fully lives up to its creed.”

On August 23, 2020 -- just a few days after the Harris and Obama speeches at the DNC convention -- a police officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin responded to a 911 call from a woman reporting that an African American male named Jacob Blake, who was alleged to have previously committed felony sexual assault against her, had violated a restraining order by coming to the woman's home and stealing her car keys. Instead of submitting to arrest, Blake engaged in a violent fight with the officers and was ultimately rendered a paraplegic by a gunshot to the back. In response to the shooting, BLM descended upon Kenosha with armed protesters roaming the streets, assaulting police officers, and setting fire to automobiles, businesses, and even the local courthouse. In one horrific attack, a policeman was knocked out by a brick thrown at his head, prompting the angry mob to cheer, “He just got bricked! He just got bricked…. Fuck the police!”

A week later, on August 30, 2020, hundreds of BLM activists marched through the streets of Oakland, California, chanting “Death to America.” Some members of the mob also threw projectiles at police officers, lit fires, smashed windows, and vandalized buildings.

On the night of September 12, 2020, two young Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies stationed their patrol car near the Willowbrook Metro station in Compton, California. At approximately 7 p.m., a masked gunman slowly crept up to the vehicle and fired multiple shots through the window, hitting both deputies in what Fox News reporter Bill Melugin described as a “100 percent ambush.” Both were critically wounded. As Sheriff Alex Villanueva subsequently wrapped up a press conference in which he condemned the shootings, a BLM mob mocked him and his colleagues, shouting “It’s a celebration! It’s a celebration!” Meanwhile, the two ambush victims encountered a separate conflict at St. Francis Hospital in Lynwood, where a BLM mob assembled outside the hospital and chanted, “Death to police!” The mob blocked entrance to the hospital emergency room, where family members of the wounded deputies were present. “I hope they fucking die,” one BLMer yelled, with another adding: “Y’all gonna die one by one. This ain’t gonna stop.”

Did anyone in Congress or the media suggest that either of the Obamas or Kamala Harris bore, as a result of the pro-BLM rhetoric they had so recently used, some measure of responsibility for these violent acts? Nope.

Thus, it came as no surprise when Kamala Harris, at the the NAACP’s national convention on September 25, 2020, praised the “brilliance” and “impact” of what she characterized as BLM’s very “necessary” protests, describing them as “an essential component of evolution in our country.” “I actually believe that Black Lives Matter has been the most significant agent for change within the criminal justice system,” she added with complete impunity.

Not a soul in Congress or in the media blamed Harris when, the very next day, armed BLM protesters in Louisville smashed school windows, vandalized buildings, set cars on fire, and attacked police officers with rocks, bottles, pepper spray, and fireworks. Nor did anyone blame Harris the day after that, when BLM rioters in Seattle committed precisely the same types of crimes.

On November 7, 2020 -- the same day that several mainstream media outlets declared Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as the winners of the 2020 election -- BLM co-founder Patrisse Cullors sent a congratulatory letter to the pair, signing it “on behalf of the Black Lives Matter Global Network.” Wrote Cullors:

“We are requesting a meeting with you both to discuss the expectations that we have for your administration and the commitments that must be made to Black people. We want something for our vote. Without the resounding support of Black people, we would be saddled with a very different electoral outcome. In short, Black people won this election. Alongside Black-led organizations around the nation, Black Lives Matter invested heavily in this election.... We want something for our vote.... We look forward to meeting with you ... to begin the immediate work of Black liberation. We would like to be actively engaged in your Transition Team’s planning and policy work.... Let’s get to work!”

Obviously, Black Lives Matter is not merely a support group of the Democratic Party. It is part-and-parcel of the party. For seven years, BLM's ugly record of violence, racism, and Marxism has been on full display for all the world to see. And yet, the most prominent Democrats in America have done nothing but sing its praises -- even as BLM's foot soldiers have burned and pillaged scores of U.S. cities. In light of these facts, Americans don't need any phony lectures from Democrats about the evils of “inciting” violence or “insurrection.” Kamala Harris, Barack Obama, and the rest of their party have no equals in that realm.

 

John Perazzo is the editor of the Discover the Networks website, the David Horowitz Freedom Center's encyclopedia of the Left.  

Source: https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/2021/01/trumps-democrat-impeachers-and-double-standards-john-perazzo/ 

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ICC rejects human rights claims against China, but continues to pursue Israel - Nitsana Darshan-Leitner

 

​ by Nitsana Darshan-Leitner

The ICC says it will not try China over Ughyur violations because it is not a member state, but then neither are Israel and the US.

 In recent days the International Criminal Court (ICC), in The Hague, has announced that it will discontinue its investigation of the Chinese government over alleged human rights violations committed against China’s Muslim Uighur minorities. Lawyers for the Uighurs had filed a communication against China with the ICC in July 2020.

Correctly, the Chief Prosecutor had swiftly determined that since China is not a signatory to the Rome Statute, and thus, China is not a member state, the Court had no jurisdiction to further advance any investigations or prosecutions. Accordingly, the ICC informed Beijing it would not proceed even though there was ample evidence of China's guilt and its refusal to carry out its own human rights investigation.

At the same time that the ICC has discharged China from criminal liability, it perniciously continues to pursue two other non-state members of the Court, the United States and Israel for alleged criminal conduct. Although neither country, like China, is a signatory to the Rome Statute and each country has a robust and independent military court system, The Hague has been engaged in aggressive and unlawful investigations to try and find a legal basis to commence a prosecution.

The ICC is investigating the US military over alleged "war crimes" in Afghanistan. Concerning Israel, the ICC is investigating the IDF over its 2014 Protective Edge Operation against Hamas rocket fire from Gaza. In addition, the Chief Prosecutor has publicly alleged that Israel's settlement policy is a violation of Palestinian rights and the Geneva Convention and is investigating that as well. It claims Jewish communities erected in Judea and Samaria would constitute “population transfers” into “occupied territories.”

Under Article 49 of the Geneva Convention: "Individual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons from occupied territory to the territory of the Occupying Power or to that of any other country,occupied or not, are prohibited, regardless of their motive." The Geneva Convention, legislated after World War II, was a partial response to the genocidal policies of the Nazi military to capture foreign territory and then deport the native poplulation while settling German speaking individuals in their former homes. That was history's purest example of ethnic cleansing.

Now the Palestinians, latching onto this provision, allege that Jewish communities built in Judea and Samaria constitute a "mass forcible transfer" by Israel and are illegal under international law.

In order to pursue non-signatory Israel, The Hague had to resort to several underhanded tactics to try and meet the criteria needed for a lawful investigation and prosecution. Firstly, it had to bestow statehood on the Palestinians and claim they had the capacity to sign the Rome Statute. Second, the ICC had to allow the Palestinians to sign the Rome Statute, a clear violation of the Oslo Accords and other international agreements. Next the ICC had to unilaterally make a determination of "Palestine's" final borders and decide which areas Israel was actually occupying. Shockingly, East Jerusalem, the Old City and Temple Mount were deemed to belong to the Palestinians.

Finally, the ICC rejected Israel's assertions that it has a robust and independent judiciary. It is Israel’s contention that it always conducted its own independent legal inquiries when allegations of illegal actions were raised and has always prosecuted and punished its own soldiers when it deemed necessary.

After making all these dishonest findings and forced assumptions, the ICC admitted “Palestine” as a state member. The Palestinians swiftly filed a communication with the Chief Prosecutor asking her to investigate Israel and the IDF.

The ICC's lenient treatment of Chinese human rights violations vis-a-vis its biased insistence on investigations of Israel and the US, once again displays the politicization of the ICC and the weaponization of international law.


In recent months, the Trump Administration has been extremely active in placing pressure on the ICC to drop its investigations of the US and Israel. Secretary Pompeo has seized the assets of ICC officials, has placed travel bans and other punitive sanctions on them. The Department of State has warned the ICC to discontinue its investigation of non-party members including the US and its allies such as Israel.

The incoming Biden Administration will be under pressure from Europe and the UN to cancel the travel bans and sanctions Washington recently placed on the ICC officials. Many believe the Chief Prosecutor has been patiently waiting until the Democrats assume office in January to announce its indictment of Israel for war crimes. Without the US’ backing against the ICC, Israel will have a very difficult time defending herself against the blood libels and false allegations.



Nitsana Darshan-Leitner is a prominent Israel attorney and the president of the Shurat HaDin Law Center in Tel-Aviv. Together with author Samuel Katz she has written the international best-seller HARPOON: Inside Israel's Covert War Against Terrorism's Money Masters.

Source: https://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/294873 

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The private-sector purge is beginning - Andrea Widburg

 

​ by Andrea Widburg

A former Trump worker allegedly lost his job simply because a pro sports league refused to work with a company that would employ Trump workers.

Dawson Buchanan, a young Trump-supporter, left a disturbing thread on Twitter.  He asserts that he was all set to begin working for a company called Private Jet Services.  However, shortly before he was to begin, PJS fired him.  He finally learned from the owner that PJS had a contract with the National Hockey League.  When the NHL learned that PJS had hired someone who had worked for the Trump company, the NHL said PJS had a choice: Buchanan or the NHL.  PJS opted for the company that helps pay its bills.

Here's Buchanan's story in his own words:

1) A couple of hours ago, I tweeted out that this tweet referred to me. Shortly after, I deleted that tweet. After much introspection, and talking with friends and family, I feel obligated to reveal why I deleted it.


 

2) After identifying myself as the subject of the thread, @Fly_PJS reached out to me, threatening to take legal action and publicly defame me if I didn't delete the tweet. Intimidated and nervous, I immediately deleted it.

3) But after thinking about it, and discussing my rights of free speech with advisors, I will not be bullied into silence. I'm now going to raise my voice louder.

4) In early January, PJS hired me to be a concierge for a contract they had with the @NHL team, @Canes. Having worked with PJS as an operations associate for Trump Campaign HQ, I eagerly accepted the position-excited to join a company I had developed a personal relationship with.

5) After receiving a laptop, establishing a work email, and even purchasing additional work clothes, I prepared to travel to Raleigh, NC today for training. Yesterday evening, around 7 PM, PJS called and fired me without explanation.

6) I was devastated. I had gone from being employed to unemployed in a matter of seconds, and I hadn't done anything wrong.

7) I called the owner of PJS and asked for any explanation, and he told me very bluntly: the @NHL found out I worked for the Trump campaign and threatened to cancel the contract with PJS unless they fired me.

8) Instead of standing up for me, instead of explaining to the NHL that I, as a person, am not solely defined by my previous work on the Trump campaign, they fired me for their own company's financial gain.

9) I was upset and disappointed, but I didn't initially blame them for this decision. I wish they had stood up for me...they didn't. I didn't have any animosity towards PJS, until they tried to bully me into silence.

10) So now I'm sharing the story, in its entirety. Even though the owner told me this afternoon that he would deny everything I say if this went any further. But this is the truth, and I feel more empowered and supported if I share it with all of you.

11) I can't begin to thank all of the people who helped me through this, and have reached out to me on Twitter, LinkedIn, and by email to help. Thank you all so much! I look forward to continuing to voice the truth so this never happens to a conservative again.

As far as I know, neither the NHL nor PJS has yet commented on Buchanan's version of events.  Assuming that they are true, Buchanan's ability to sue PJS depends on whether his employment with PJS was at-will or not.  At-will employment allows an employer to fire an employee for any reason except for illegal reasons.  However, if it's true that the NHL extorted PJS into firing Buchanan based upon Buchanan's support for a duly elected president of the United States, I think Buchanan should investigate whether he can sue the NHL for tortious interference with prospective economic advantage.

What's important for purposes of this post is that if Buchanan's facts are accurate, it's clear that the left is determined to marginalize Trump-supporters and other conservatives.  They have already made absolutely clear that they intended to deny them a voice in a computerized world, to leave them without access to banks, and to make sure that they cannot be employed.  Indeed, Curt Schilling has been told that, as a high-profile conservative, he's now uninsurable.  I'm sure there's a lawsuit there, too.  We are to be driven from pillar to post, like lepers of old.

In the long term, the left's is an unsustainable tactic.  Depending on the circumstances, it's almost certainly illegal in many cases.  And finally, if leftists are determined to "de-person" Trump-supporters, it cannot end well for America as a whole.  This is the behavior of hardcore socialists, in the communist or fascist mode, not of members of a pluralist liberal democracy.

 

Andrea Widburg  

Source: https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2021/01/the_public_sector_purge_is_beginning.html 

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Trump’s Actions Should Slow Biden’s Radical Climate Agenda - H. Sterling Burnett

 

​ by H. Sterling Burnett

In the waning days of President Donald Trump’s term, his administration took a series of actions that will act as shock absorbers for the economic havoc Biden’s climate policies would wreak.

Incoming President Joe Biden has promised to implement the most radical energy and climate agenda Americans have ever seen.

With the Democratic party having become an almost wholly owned subsidiary of the radical progressive environmental left while controlling both houses of Congress for at least the next two years and the White House for the next four years, Biden and his climate alarmist ilk have their best opportunity ever to impose the biggest government takeover of the economy since the Great Depression.

Fortunately, in the waning days of President Donald Trump’s term, his administration took a series of actions that will act as shock absorbers for the economic havoc Biden’s climate policies would wreak, complicating Biden’s attempt to impose a “Great Reset” to fight supposed climate change.

The Trump administration auctioned off oil and gas leases on public lands in Alaska (January) and California (December). These sales will complicate Biden’s ability to keep his promise of ending new oil and gas leases on federal land.

Although, to the federal government’s fiscal detriment, a Biden administration can refuse to offer more leases, it will be hard to prevent future production from leases the Trump administration recently approved, unless it can come up with the money to buy the leaseholders out of the leases. Federal regulatory agencies under Biden’s control can drag out the environmental review and permitting process, but as long as the companies comply with the relevant laws and guidelines, they should eventually be able to develop these lands.

Biden has vowed to take us back into the Paris climate agreement, from which Trump withdrew the United States, and he can do so. Yet, actions the Trump administration has adopted will make it harder to implement Paris-compliant regulations solely through executive action.

In December, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) determined current National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Ozone and Particulate Matter (PM) were protective of public health. EPA also finalized a rule requiring comprehensive benefit-cost analyses (BCA) be carried out for all future rules implemented under the 1970 Clean Air Act (CAA).

The Obama administration justified most of its climate policies based on claims they would save thousands of lives and billions of dollars. Almost all the supposed benefits of the regulations, however, resulted from counting benefits of restrictions on pollutants such as PM and ozone as if they were new benefits from limiting nontoxic carbon dioxide emissions.

Other purported benefits of carbon-dioxide restrictions flowed from including benefits to people in foreign countries while limiting the cost calculations to those accruing within the borders of the United States.

Under the EPA’s recently finalized BCA rule, all new CAA rules must be accompanied by a BCA that must include a statement discussing any industry, group, or geographic region that will be disproportionately negatively impacted by the rule.

Each new CAA-related regulation must contain a plain-language explanation of what welfare and public health benefits EPA believes the rule will deliver and what costs it will impose. BCAs, under the new procedures, will distinguish between benefits flowing directly from the rule and “co-benefits” resulting from other CAA requirements, and they will separate domestic benefits from any benefits the rule produces for people in other countries, reporting both.

Because Trump’s EPA affirmed and locked in the current ozone and PM standards for the next five years, the Biden administration should find it exceedingly difficult to claim “new” co-benefits from tighter restrictions on these two pollutants from any proposed carbon-dioxide restrictions.

In addition, in early January, Trump’s EPA finalized a rule to improve the transparency and public scrutiny of the science used to justify regulations.

Under the final transparency regulation, the Biden administration will be required to be more transparent than any administration in history concerning the science used to justify new climate regulations. The rule establishes requirements for the independent peer review of pivotal science. In addition, when proposing a significant regulatory action, the agency now must clearly identify the research used to inform the rule, specifying which studies it relied upon for rule-making.

The rule also requires EPA to consider studies for which the underlying dose-response data are available for independent validation and public examination.

Each of the policies described here was in the works long before any votes were cast in the 2020 presidential election. As such, the rules were intended to further Trump’s efforts to promote American greatness and energy independence, not to thwart Joe Biden from implementing his climate agenda.

In fact, these rules by themselves cannot stop Biden from attempting to impose whatever climate policies he thinks he can get away with. What these policies do, however, is make Biden’s efforts more transparent. Maximum transparency and thorough publicly justified analyses are good policies to follow in a democratic republic, regardless of the president or the party in power.

Image: Becker1999

 

H. Sterling Burnett, Ph.D. (hburnett@heartland.org) is a senior fellow at The Heartland Institute, a nonpartisan, nonprofit research center headquartered in Arlington Heights, Illinois 

Source: https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2021/01/trumps_actions_should_slow_bidens_radical_climate_agenda.html 

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WHO Sends Team to China to Investigate Coronavirus Origin - Joseph Klein

 

​ by Joseph Klein

Another coverup in the offing?

 


More than a year after the coronavirus first emerged causing nearly 2 million deaths globally, the Communist Chinese regime finally decided to allow World Health Organization (WHO) scientists into the country to explore the possible origin of the coronavirus pandemic. “We are pleased that an international team of scientists – distinguished experts from 10 institutions and countries – are commencing their travel to China to engage in and review scientific research with their Chinese counterparts on the origins of the COVID-19 virus,” WHO’s Director-General Adhanom Ghebreyesus Tedros said. Tedros was complicit in facilitating China’s original coverup of where the virus originated and its human-to-human contagion.

The WHO team is expected to arrive in China on January 14th. There had been a temporary holdup due to visa issues, which were eventually cleared up. Even after their delayed arrival, the WHO scientists will have to first quarantine for two weeks.

We do not know whether the scientists will be permitted to even visit the Wuhan Institute of Virology, from where it is believed by some experts that the virus was originally released. If they are permitted to visit, WHO’s scientists are not likely to be provided with unfettered access to the lab facilities, records, and past and present personnel. It will be like Iran’s denying unrestricted access to its military facilities by International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors looking for evidence of possible nuclear weapons-related activities. In any case, the WHO team is arriving far too late to find anything of significance. Chinese authorities had more than a year to cover their tracks.

“The WHO would greatly benefit if the Chinese would give the experts unlimited access to people, data and locations,” said Ayelet Berman, an adjunct assistant professor at the National University of Singapore Faculty of Law. “But I doubt it’s going to be that simple.” The WHO team members will be accompanied by Chinese scientists, who will do double duty as minders.

Even if the Wuhan lab was not the source of the coronavirus, there is no question from which country the original virus – as opposed to the subsequent mutations – emerged. China is the source of the virus and of early disinformation about it. Even now, China’s leaders are trying to sow confusion. A Chinese senior diplomat, for example, is still claiming that unverified “studies” showed the virus emerged in other places. A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson is calling on WHO to waste scarce resources in conducting origin tracing in multiple countries.

The World Health Organization is on board with China’s scattershot approach. WHO’s emergencies chief Mike Ryan is busy lowering expectations about what the World Health Organization team will find in China. “We are looking for the answers here that may save us in future - not culprits and not people to blame,” he said. According to Ryan, WHO would be willing to go “anywhere and everywhere” to find out the virus’s origins. When everyone is deemed “responsible” for something, then no one is held accountable.

Garrett Grisby of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services complained last November that WHO was not being transparent regarding WHO’s plans to visit China. “The (terms of reference) were not negotiated in a transparent way with all WHO member states,” he said. “Understanding the origins of COVID-19 through a transparent and inclusive investigation is what must be done.”

The names of candidates for WHO’s team were submitted to Beijing before being approved last November. The WHO team visiting China contains at least one member, zoologist Peter Daszak, who has already made up his mind in China’s favor before examining any evidence. Daszak claimed that the idea the virus could have leaked from the lab is a “conspiracy theory” that is “pure baloney.”

Daszak is the president of an organization known as the EcoHealth Alliance, which had previously been collaborating with the Wuhan Institute of Virology on “research” until the Trump administration cut off his organization’s funding last year.

Daszak believes that we all share the blame for the coronavirus because of the way we live. Daszak claimed that because of our consumer habits “we dominate every ecosystem on earth right now.” Instead of blaming “one country, versus another,” Daszak said, “we need to point the finger directly at ourselves, understand what’s going on and change it.” In other words, Daszak is not acting like an objective scientist who follows the evidence wherever it may lead. He is willing to let China off the hook for its gross negligence or worse, which it compounded with its campaign of misinformation.

No wonder the Trump administration cut off funding for Daszak’s collaboration with the Wuhan Institute. But now Daszak will be back in Wuhan as part of WHO’s “investigation” team.

WHO’s past deference to China does not inspire much confidence that WHO’s current mission to investigate the coronavirus’s origin will hold China to account.

 

Joseph Klein  

Source: https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/2021/01/who-sends-team-china-investigate-coronavirus-joseph-klein/ 

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Turkey-Israel Reconciliation? - Uzay Bulut

 

​ by Uzay Bulut

Erdogan has made it clear many times that his problem is not only with the "top" people in the Israeli government, but also with the whole Jewish nation.

  • [I]t was Erdogan who in October called Jerusalem a Turkish city. Referring to the Ottoman occupation of Jerusalem (1517-1917), Erdogan said: "It is still possible to encounter traces of the Ottoman resistance in this city that we had to leave in tears during the First World War. In other words, Jerusalem is our city, it is a city from us."

  • Apparently, the Erdogan regime is hoping to expand trade with Israel and further gain diplomatic support in international matters. At the same time, instead of genuinely trying to fight anti-Semitism and other forms of racism in Turkish society through education and other means, the Erdogan regime has been indoctrinating its supporters with Jew-hatred and actively supporting Hamas terrorists.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has referred several times to Israelis as "Nazis." This notion appears to be a projection: it has been Turkish governments that have ethnically cleansed Turkey of almost all its non-Muslim citizens. Erdogan denies the 1915 Armenian genocide by Ottoman Turkey, even as he has called the genocide "the most reasonable decision at the time". (Photo by Adem Altan/AFP via Getty Images)

On December 25, a reporter asked Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan about his views on the news that Israel and Turkey were "re-establishing their relations recently." Erdogan replied:

"Our relations with Israel concerning intelligence have not been interrupted anyway; they continue. I mean, we are experiencing some difficulties with the people at the highest level there, as with some other countries. If we had no such problems with the top [of the Israeli government], our relations with Israel would be very different. Of course, particularly Israel's Palestine policy is Turkey's red line. It is impossible for us to accept Israel's Palestinian policies. It is impossible for us to accept Israel's attitude towards our brothers and sisters in Palestine and its ruthless actions there. Where we differ with Israel is our understanding of justice and of territorial integrity of countries. Otherwise, we want to move our relations with them to a better point."

Two weeks before Erdogan talked about "bettering relations with Israel," a conference organized by a pro-government Turkish organization, the Association of Justice Defenders Strategic Studies Center (ASSAM), promoted the idea of creating a joint Islamic army and a common defense system for the "Confederation of Islamic Countries". One of the main targets of this proposed army is Israel.

The board chairman of ASSAM, a retired Turkish general Adnan Tanriverdi, is the founder of a Turkish security firm, SADAT International Defense Consulting, and a former senior advisor to Erdogan. In a 2009 article, Tanriverdi wrote:

"[T]o defeat Israel, it must be forced to defend itself, to engage all its forces, and the length of the war must be extended.... If Israel has to call all of its reserve soldiers to duty, there will be no one left at home or in their businesses. It cannot continue like that for a long time."

The annual Islamic Union Congress was organized online on December 12 under the theme of "ASRICA [Asia-Africa] confederation defense organization" and discussed "the principles and the procedures of the common defense system for the Islamic union". Tanriverdi presented in his speech the defense structure of the so-called Islamic union that ASSAM envisions will consist of 61 Muslim countries.

Tanrıverdi has repeatedly stated that the Muslim world must establish an "army for Palestine" against Israel. In an Istanbul speech delivered in 2019 by Tanriverdi, he emphasized that it was impossible for the Islamic world to "give up on Jerusalem." Tanrıverdi said:

"The Islamic world should prepare an army for Palestine from outside Palestine. Israel should know that if it bombs [Palestine] a bomb will fall on Tel Aviv as well."

Tanriverdi conveniently ignores that Palestine was a provincial place name established by the Romans in 135 CE, after the defeat of a Jewish rebellion, to replace "Judea" and all other vestiges of Jewish life in the region. The reason for the current Palestinian-Arab statelessness is their own political leaders who have rejected three offers for a state and instead chosen war and terrorism over peaceful coexistence. The United Nations proposed a plan in 1947 to partition Palestine into two sections: an independent Jewish state and an independent Arab state. While Jewish leaders accepted the plan, Arab leaders vehemently opposed it. The day after Israel declared its independence, May 15, 1948, five Arab countries invaded it: Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq.

Seventy-three years later, extremist Muslims still plan on destroying Israel. The gatherings of the Islamic Union Congress started in 2017 and will continue until 2023. The next annual congress in 2021 will discuss "principles and procedures of joint foreign policy for the Islamic union."

Erdogan referred to Turkey's understanding of "territorial integrity of countries" as one of the reasons their relations with Israel has deteriorated. However, it was Erdogan who in October called Jerusalem a Turkish city. Referring to the Ottoman occupation of Jerusalem (1517-1917), Erdogan said:

"It is still possible to encounter traces of the Ottoman resistance in this city that we had to leave in tears during the First World War. In other words, Jerusalem is our city, it is a city from us."

Erdogan also has made it clear many times that his problem is not only with the "top" people in the Israeli government, but also with the whole Jewish nation.

Speaking at a meeting on January 31,2020, for instance, Erdogan blasted the "Deal of the Century" that was presented by US President Donald Trump attempting to peacefully resolve the Israeli-Palestinian issue.

Erdogan called Israel "a pirate, cruel and insatiable" and -- apparently forgetting that the Palestinians had been offered a state three times, and each time turned the offer down -- opposed the idea that Jews should have a state of their own.

"We never recognize and accept this plan that will destroy Palestine.

"Israel, which was established in a pirate way on Palestinian lands, has reached its present borders unjustly and unlawfully. The eyes of the cruel ones do not get enough of either blood or property. Israel does not get enough of these things either. They are trying to put into effect this plan, which means the annexation of Palestinian lands. Now, without any shame, they are trying to deprive Palestine [of a state], including the West Bank."

Erdogan also condemned those who befriend and support Jews, whom he referred to as "those with a kippah on":

"When we look at the attitude of Islamic countries, I feel sorry for us. First of all, you, Saudi Arabia. You have been silent. When will you speak up? The Oman, Bahrain, Abu Dhabi administrations. They join [the peace initiative] and give applause. Shame on you! How will those clapping hands account for this treacherous step? Those sitting with kippahs on their heads [Jews] applaud and they [Muslims] applaud, as well. Tell me who your friend is and I will tell you who you are. The key to peace is in Jerusalem today, as it has been for thousands of years. Anyone who encourages Israel is responsible for the dire consequences that will occur."

Referring to his January 29, 2020 meeting with Turkey's Jewish community, which was closed to the media, Erdogan said he warned Turkey's Chief Rabbi Ishak Haleva about his stance on the US administration's peace plan: That Turkey's Jewish community and the "Christian world" should not maintain silence concerning the issue.

For these extremist Muslims, facts do not seem to matter. The US administration's peace plan for Palestinian Arabs and Israel does recognize Palestinian statehood and a "two-state solution." The plan notes that it "addresses today's realities, and provides the Palestinians, who do not yet have a state, with a path to a dignified national life, respect, security and economic opportunity." These are, in fact, rights and opportunities that the Turkish government has never recognized for any of its persecuted minority communities: Armenians, Yazidis, Anatolian Greeks. Alevis, Kurds, or Assyrians.

Meanwhile, antisemitism in Turkey has become a government-level, systematic problem. In 2018, Erdogan established nine councils, the members of which he appointed, who are responsible for "offering policy proposals, ideas and strategies to the president" on the economy, foreign policy, education and law. Among those councils' appointees are well-known public figures who have made blatant anti-Semitic statements. In an interview with the Turkish journal Yörünge in August, for instance, author Alev Alatlı, a member of Erdogan's culture and art council, said that the "anti-Erdogan forces of the world" are led by Jews and motivated by millennia-long Jewish teachings. "The real project [of the Jews] is to cleanse the universe of goyim," she said, referring to "goyim" as those "for whom there is no place in the world unless they serve the Jews." In another interview the same month with the newspaper Takvim, Alatlı said:

"American imperialism and Jewish alliances (Evangelism and Jewish) have once again stepped into action today and are dragging the world into chaos. Their first target is Turkey."

This is in line with Erdogan's worldview. He has frequently targeted Israelis and Jewish people with insults and hate speech. In 2014, he said:

"Israel is a country that threatens peace in the world; it is a country that threatens peace in the Middle East. Therefore, as Turkey, as long as I am in this position [of prime minister], I cannot think of anything positive about Israel. It is not possible for us to look positively at Israel, which is engaging in state terror.

"My call is to the Islamic world. As long as it does not clearly show its attitude towards Israel, these problems will continue. Our attitude is clear. We were almost at a point where we zeroed our relations with Israel. Israel is currently committing genocide."

Erdogan seems not to be the best judge of what constitutes a genocide. A proud denier of the 1915 Armenian genocide by Ottoman Turkey, he has called it "the most reasonable decision at the time". Also, when then Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, against whom an arrest warrant was issued by the International Criminal Court for conducting a genocide in Darfur, visited Turkey in 2009, Erdogan defended him by saying: "It is never possible for a person belonging to the religion of Islam to which we belong to commit genocide." Evidently Erdogan thinks that what determines genocide is not the actions or intent of the perpetrators, but their religion.

Erdogan then targeted Jewish people with a violent Islamic teaching: In December 2017, after US President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, Erdogan said:

"Those who think they are the owners of Jerusalem today will not even be able to find trees to hide behind tomorrow."

The remark alludes to an Islamic hadith (saying attributed to Islam's Prophet Muhammad) according to which:

"The Hour [of Judgement Day] will not begin until you fight the Jews, until a Jew will hide behind a rock or a tree, and the rock or tree will say: 'O Muslim, O slave of Allah, here is a Jew behind me; come and kill him."

Erdogan has also referred several times to Israelis as "Nazis." In July 2018, he responded to Israel's passage of its Nation-State Law by saying that the "spirit of Adolf Hitler" had re-emerged in the country. Erdogan called Israel the "most Zionist, fascist, and racist state in the world" and claimed that there was "no difference between Hitler's obsession with the Aryan race and Israel's understanding that these ancient lands are meant only for Jews."

This notion appears to be yet another projection: it has been Turkish governments that have ethnically cleansed Turkey of almost all of its non-Muslim citizens -- through genocide, pogroms, forced deportations and other forms of persecution.

The Turkish government's hostility to Jews and Israel is not limited to statements. In 2018, the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) announced that Hamas was funneling terror funds to the West Bank and Gaza through Turkey:

"Kamil Tekeli, a Turkish law professor, was arrested by the Shin Bet and the police in mid-January. He was deported back to Turkey after being questioned...

"Tekeli said he helped Hamas operatives who came to Turkey to buy apartments, offices and cars and set up companies registered in his name.

"The Shin Bet said its investigation discovered one company set up by Hamas in Turkey that was used to launder money collected for Hamas in other countries and then send it on to the territories. In this way, millions of dollars were sent to Hamas-controlled Gaza.

"The Shin Bet statement also accused Turkey of aiding Hamas' military build-up via a company called SADAT, established by an adviser to members of the current government in Ankara. Tekeli told his interrogators that the company sends money and arms to Hamas."

Erdogan's government is also reportedly harboring members of Hamas, providing at least a dozen members of the terrorist organization with citizenship. In August, Erdogan personally met with a Hamas delegation that included politburo chief Ismail Haniyeh and the terror group's No. 2, Saleh al-Arouri, a top military commander who has a $5 million US bounty on his head.

The US government unambiguously condemned Erdogan's welcoming of Hamas:

"Hamas is designated as a terrorist organization by the U.S. and EU and both officials hosted by President Erdogan are Specially Designated Global Terrorists. The U.S. Rewards for Justice Program is seeking information about one of the individuals for his involvement in multiple terrorist attacks, hijackings, and kidnappings."

Following Erdogan's meeting with Hamas members, Israel's chargé d'affaires in Istanbul, Roey Gilad, said that Turkey had given passports to a dozen Hamas members in Istanbul. He described the move as "a very unfriendly step" which his government would raise with Turkish officials.

According to Reuters, Gilad said Israel had already told Turkey last year that Hamas was carrying out "terror-related activity" in Istanbul, but that Turkey had not taken any action. According to Reuters:

"Gilad said the Hamas members who received Turkish documents were financing and organising terrorism from Istanbul, which Turkey has previously denied. Many of them came to Turkey under a 2011 deal between Turkey and Israel to exchange a captured Israeli soldier for more than 1,000 prisoners, Gilad said."

Sadly, much of the Turkish public seems to agree with Erdogan's hate-filled rhetoric against Israel. A 2014 Pew Research Center poll found that the country most hated by Turkish citizens is Israel. 86% of respondents had an unfavorable opinion of Israel, while only 2% viewed it positively.

Moreover, books such as Protocols of the Elders of Zion, Hitler's Mein Kampf, and The International Jew by Henry Ford "form the basic texts for anti-Semites the world over, are perennial bestsellers" in Turkey, as a leading scholar of Turkish Jewry, Rifat N. Bali, pointed out.

After years of hostile statements and actions against Israel, why is Turkey trying to approach Israel now? One reason appears to be geopolitics. Because of its aggressive policies in the region, the Turkish government is now largely isolated there. In addition, the Financial Times reported in August:

"Turkey's economy suffered its deepest downturn on record at the peak of this year's coronavirus crisis, according to data that underlined the pain caused by lockdown measures on key sectors."

Apparently, the Erdogan regime is hoping to expand trade with Israel and further gain diplomatic support in international matters. At the same time, instead of genuinely trying to fight anti-Semitism and other forms of racism in Turkish society through education and other means, the Erdogan regime has been indoctrinating its supporters with Jew-hatred and actively supporting Hamas terrorists.

The Erdogan regime has proven time and time again that it is hostile to Israel, hostile to Jews and other non-Muslim minorities, and friends with those who want to obliterate the Jewish state.

 

Uzay Bulut, a Turkish journalist, is a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Gatestone Institute.

Source: https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/16951/turkey-israel-antisemitism 

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