Saturday, May 1, 2021

How Biden is smashing America's moral compass - Melanie Phillips


by Melanie Phillips

Former President Barack Obama repudiated the "Durban Declaration and Program of Action" on the grounds of its unjust demonization of Israel and the "hateful and anti-Semitic displays" around its creation. The Biden administration has embraced it.


For eight years, the administration of former President Barack Obama behaved as if the security needs of the State of Israel were such an irritating impediment to American foreign-policy aims that it had no compunction in brutally swatting them aside.

As a result, the Obama years were very difficult for Israel. Appallingly, it looks as if the Biden years may be even worse.

Much concern has already been expressed about President Joe Biden's posture of appeasement towards Iran, along with other moves such as his withdrawal of support from Saudi Arabia and his decision to cut and run from Afghanistan. This has thrown some of the world's most dangerous places into a state of even more dangerous flux.

Until now, it was possible to believe that his administration was merely hopelessly naive, appeasement-minded or delusional as a consequence of its utopian liberal ideology, and that Israel just happened to be particularly vulnerable to its correspondingly bone-headed blundering in the Middle East. Now, however, there is evidence that the administration is driven by actual malevolence towards both Israel and Zionism itself, which lowers it into a pit of infamy fouler even than Obama's hostility and disdain.

That evidence concerns the infamous 2001 UN World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance that was held in Durban, South Africa, a few days before the 9/11 attacks.

This was an eye-watering, anti-Israel, anti-Jew hate-fest, whose sole purpose was to demonize and delegitimize Israel under the Orwellian banner of "human rights," and which erupted into openly Nazi-referenced anti-Semitism.

The notorious, forged handbook of deranged Jew-hatred, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, was distributed to attendees. Leaflets saying Hitler should have finished "his job" circulated, along with fliers depicting him asking "What if I had won?" and receiving the answer: "There would be NO Israel and NO Palestinian bloodshed."

Jewish participants feared for their safety as activists chanted "Zionism is racism, Israel is apartheid," and "You have Palestinian blood on your hands." The Jewish Centre in Durban was forced to close because of threats of violence.

The conference's NGO Forum attacked every Jewish organization in attendance and passed a resolution calling Israel "a racist apartheid state," guilty of the "systematic perpetration of racist crimes including war crimes, acts of genocide and ethnic cleansing … and state terror against the Palestinian people."

The conference's final declaration brought this verbal pogrom to its climax by naming only one guilty country the world over – Israel – and listing only the Palestinians as "victims of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance."

It thus singled out Israel alone as an instigator of those evils. The sheer lunacy of such a claim, identifying the Jewish state as so monstrous that it was in a category all of its own, placed that declaration itself squarely in the frame of classical anti-Semitism.

In 2011, the United Nations organized a meeting to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Durban conference. The United States, along with thirteen other countries, boycotted it.

In a strong statement, the Obama White House explained that this was because the meeting would reaffirm in its entirety the 2001 Durban Declaration and Program of Action "which unfairly and unacceptably singled out Israel." The United States, it said, "did not want to see the hateful and anti-Semitic displays of the 2001 Durban Conference commemorated."

Durban 2001 indelibly marked the moral collapse of the United Nations. It was the point at which the "anti-racist" and "human rights" movement turned itself into a propulsive motor for anti-Semitism, serving as the launching pad for the campaign of demonization, delegitimization and destruction of Israel that has continued ever since.

The countries that in 2011 boycotted the Durban process held the line against this bigotry. That was then. Now, shockingly, the United States has obliterated that line. Last month, it reversed the Obama administration's Durban position.

Having just rejoined the UN Human Rights Council, America promoted a statement of commitment to combat racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance linked to "recalling the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the Durban Declaration and Program of Action."

Obama had repudiated this declaration on the grounds of its unjust demonization of Israel and the "hateful and anti-Semitic displays" around its creation. The Biden administration has embraced it.

Now there is to be a yet further attempt to re-weaponize Durban. In September, the United Nations plans to hold a 20th-anniversary meeting where the original declaration will be reconfirmed.

As the blogger "Elder of Zion" has observed, given America's endorsement of Durban at the Human Rights Council, it's entirely possible that the Biden administration will attend the September meeting – and thus associate the United States with what the Obama White House condemned as a commemoration of the "hateful and anti-Semitic displays of the 2001 Durban Conference."

Shocking as all this is, it makes perfect sense in light of the Democrats' embrace of intersectionality and identity politics. Intersectionality holds that Jews and the State of Israel are "white privileged" oppressors (even though most Israeli Jews are brown-skinned, coming from regions of the Middle East).

According to this dogma, Israel can't be the victim of Iran or the Palestinian Arabs (although it indubitably is), and no people of color can be anti-Semites (which some indubitably are).

Proponents of intersectionality view only white people as a threat. This is now the view of the Biden administration. In his address on Wednesday night to Congress, Biden said, according to the prepared text on the White House website (when he actually delivered the speech, he managed to mangle his words): "The most lethal terrorist threat to the homeland today is from white supremacist terrorism."

He made similar remarks in February when he said white supremacists were "the most dangerous people in America," calling them "demented."

But he doesn't think those Palestinian preachers and officials who say things like the Jews are "thirsty for blood to please their god" or that the Jews were forced out of Europe in the past because of the threat posed by their "evil nature" are demented. He doesn't think the Iranian leaders who deny the Holocaust, allege a Jewish conspiracy to replace Islam by Western imperialism and claim Jews seek to dominate the entire world are demented.

Instead, he treats the Iranians as rational actors with whom he wants to negotiate and into whose terrorist activities he intends to help funnel billions of dollars. And instead of acknowledging the Palestinians' exterminatory anti-Semitism as demonstrating "racism, xenophobia and related intolerance," he declares them to be the principal victims of such attitudes.

When Britain's Labour Party was in the grip of its hard-left, anti-Israel and anti-Semitism-promoting leader Jeremy Corbyn, there were Americans who took comfort in the belief that such a development couldn't happen in their own country. In fact, the Biden administration is even more baleful.

Whether Biden is too mentally fragile to grasp what he's doing or whether he has made a cynical calculation of where his interests lie in today's increasingly radical Democratic Party, it would seem that there's a puppet of the hard left in the Oval Office.

And it's not just America and Israel which are likely to feel the impact of this.

When the United States boycotted the 2011 Durban meeting, so did many other nations besides Israel. Now the reverse has happened. Every other nation that boycotted Durban 2011 signed the US-led Human Rights Council statement supporting the original Durban Declaration.

The demonization of Israel has helped smash the cultural moral compass of the West. Now America is smashing its moral compass in politics, too – and as a result, is dragging the rest of the so-called civilized world behind it, to the potential endangerment of all.

Reprinted with permission from


Melanie Phillips


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Biden's Radical Manifesto - Joseph Klein


by Joseph Klein

And Senator Scott's powerful rebuttal.


President Joe Biden delivered his first address to a joint session of Congress on April 28th. Biden laid down his $6 trillion marker. Gargantuan, tax-and-spend government is back big time. Biden outlined plans for trillions of dollars of additional federal spending for massive government giveaways, on top of the $1.9 trillion for so-called coronavirus relief passed on a strict party line vote earlier this year. Biden was selling the American people a far left, progressive bill of goods wrapped in a moderate-looking package. He said that “America is on the move again.” If Biden gets his way in Congress with its very slim Democrat majority, America will be on the move towards a socialist-style nanny welfare state.

Fortunately, after a little over an hour of Biden’s laundry list of partisan programs that are music to leftists’ ears and his phony calls for bipartisanship, we heard the real deal from Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina. Senator Scott delivered a “common sense” vision of America in his rebuttal speech on behalf of the Republican Party.

“A president who promised to bring us together should not push agendas that tear us apart,” Senator Scott said. “Our best future won’t come from Washington schemes or socialist dreams. It will come from you, the American people.”

On issue after issue, Senator Scott tore President Biden’s speech apart without having to literally rip up the written text, as Speaker Nancy Pelosi did last year with President Trump’s State of the Union address. Scott hit a grand slam, while Biden fouled out.

President Biden could have struck a truly unifying note by at least giving credit to former President Donald Trump for launching the coronavirus vaccine development and production program successfully in record time. But Biden was too petty to do that. Instead, he began his speech by taking all the credit for the vaccine roll-out. Then Biden proceeded to spread misinformation about his legislative agenda in a deliberate attempt to mislead the American people.

The first piece of Biden’s legislative economic package has already been signed into law – the so-called American Rescue Plan Act that was supposed to be about coronavirus relief. As Senator Scott pointed out in his rebuttal, however, “[T]hey spent almost $2 trillion on a partisan bill that the White House bragged was the most liberal bill in American history. Only 1 percent went to vaccinations. No requirement to reopen schools promptly.” Indeed, what Scott said “saddened” him the most was that “millions of kids have lost a year of learning when they could not afford to lose a single day.”

President Biden misrepresented the second piece of his legislative package - his $2.3 trillion “infrastructure” American Jobs Plan. Biden wanted his proposal to appear as American as apple pie. He talked about the jobs that would be created upgrading the nation’s transportation infrastructure including roads, bridges and highways, “building a modern power grid,” and “replacing 100 percent of the nation’s lead pipes and service lines.”

Most Americans would agree that these items fit within a reasonable definition of infrastructure, along with building more high-speed broadband. However, Biden’s so-called “infrastructure” proposal has far more to do with social engineering than engineering better bridges and the like. Biden’s proposal includes about $60 billion more for incentives to electric vehicle manufacturers than for modernizing highways and roads and repairing bridges. Biden wants to spend an estimated $213 billion on “affordable housing” - more than double what Biden envisions spending on either high-speed broadband or modernizing the electric grid. And dwarfing all other proposed spending in Biden’s misnamed “infrastructure” proposal is the $400 billion that Biden is allocating for expanding the provision of in-home care. None of these figures made it into Biden’s speech.

“Republicans support everything you think of when you think of infrastructure,” Senator Scott said in his rebuttal. “Roads, bridges, ports, airports, waterways, high-speed broadband — we’re in for all of that.” However, as Senator Scott noted, “Less than 6 percent of the president’s plan goes to roads and bridges. It’s a liberal wish list of big-government waste, plus the biggest job-killing tax hikes in a generation.”

The third legislative piece of Biden’s progressive trifecta is what he calls the "American Families Plan.” Biden touted various features of this plan in his address to Congress, but he left out what it would all cost. Biden used typical Democrat “soak the rich” rhetoric to explain how he would pay for both his infrastructure and family plans. Biden wants to raise taxes on corporations, which will reduce corporations’ job creating investments and lead to higher prices for consumers as the more heavily taxed companies pass along at least some of Uncle Sam’s bill to their customers. Biden is also intent on raising the top capital gains tax rate from 20 percent to an astronomical 39.6 percent, which will depress investments that are key to innovation and more jobs.

The " American Families Plan” would add $1.8 trillion more to Biden’s shopping list of government-run social programs. This would include about $511 billion dollars for education alone, including universal pre-school for 3-and 4- year-olds and free community college. Childcare and 12 weeks of paid parental and sick leave would each be federally subsidized to the tune of $225 billion. Tax credits of about $200 billion would be used for Obamacare health insurance subsidies. About $45 billion would be spent on expanded food stamps and school-food programs. The list goes on and on, but Biden left the price tag out of his speech.

Once again, Senator Scott exposed the truth behind Biden’s platitudes. “Even more taxing, even more spending,” Scott said, “to put Washington even more in the middle of your life — from the cradle to college.”

Senator Scott offered an alternative that is more in keeping with the American way of life. “The beauty of the American dream is that families get to define it for themselves,” he said. “We should be expanding opportunities and options for all families — not throwing money at certain issues because Democrats think they know best.”

During his address, President Biden urged Congress to pass his immigration reform bill. But Biden made no mention of the immediate crisis at the U.S-Mexican border that his own open-door policies created. Instead, with Vice President Harris sitting behind him, Biden tried to assure America that the vice president would be leading the administration’s diplomatic effort to provide “the help needed to address the root causes of migration.” Biden expressed his “absolute confidence she’ll get the job done.”

What a joke. More than a month after Harris received her assignment, she has still not visited the three Central American countries that many of the illegal immigrants are fleeing – Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. Phone calls and virtual meetings are no substitutes for face-to-face meetings and on-the-ground investigation of the “root causes.” Nor has Harris visited the border detention facilities to speak directly with the migrants and get their personal accounts of why they risked the long dangerous journey to the United States.    

Biden talked a good game about unity and bipartisanship, but it was all a sham. Biden has already proven that he is willing to jam his progressive agenda through Congress without a single Republican vote, if necessary.

Last year, as Senator Scott pointed out in his rebuttal, with a Republican-controlled Senate and a Republican in the White House, “we passed five bipartisan Covid packages. All five bills got 90 — 90 votes in the Senate. Common sense found common ground.”

There have been no good faith efforts since President Biden took office to find common ground.

While Biden also talked a good game about police reform in his speech to Congress, Senator Scott remarked how his own police reform legislation was blocked by a Democrat filibuster last year. “My friends across the aisle seemed to want the issue more than they wanted a solution,” Scott said. “But I’m still working. I’m hopeful that this will be different.”

The most moving part of Senator Scott’s rebuttal was when he spoke of his own personal experiences up close as an African American with racism and discrimination while never losing his faith in America. It was a stirring rebuke of President Biden’s tiresome refrain of “systemic racism” in America.

“Hear me clearly: America is not a racist country,” Senator Scott declared. “It’s backwards to fight discrimination with different types of discrimination. And it’s wrong to try to use our painful past to dishonestly shut down debates in the present.”

Senator Scott noted that he has been targeted by progressives who have called him “Uncle Tom” and “the n-word,” presumably because Scott does not buy into the critical race theory that progressives are pushing with the Biden administration’s support. “Original sin is never the end of the story,” Scott said. “Not in our souls, and not for our nation. The real story is always redemption.”

Notably, instead of addressing Senator Scott's points on their merits, social justice warriors went on social media with ad hominem attacks. Twitter took hours before taking them down.

Democratic socialists and other progressives are beside themselves with joy as Joe Biden does their bidding. “I do think that the Biden administration and President Biden have exceeded expectations that progressives had,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said during a virtual town hall several days prior to Biden’s speech to Congress. “I’ll be frank, I think a lot of us expected a lot more conservative administration.”

So did many Americans who thought they were voting for a moderate candidate committed to seeking common ground. Instead, they got the most far left president in American history who is dividing Americans by race and class.

Senator Scott provided the optimistic antidote to the poison that the progressive left steering Biden's agenda is trying to spread in this country. “We are not adversaries,” Scott said. “We are family. We are all in this together. And we get to live in the greatest country on Earth.”


Joseph Klein


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Biden Picks Soros BDS Activist as Asst Secretary for Human Rights - Daniel Greenfield


by Daniel Greenfield

Her idea of human rights is cheering the destruction of Israel.


When Airbnb began boycotting the homes of Jews living in those parts of Israel claimed by Islamic terrorists, the Jewish communities of the United States rallied against the dot com.

Sarah Margon however stood against the Jewish communities and with the Airbnb boycott.

“Airbnb to remove listings in Israeli settlements of occupied West Bank. Thanks @Airbnb for showing some good leadership here. Other companies should follow suit,” she tweeted.

“Airbnb is playing a role by supporting the settlement real estate infrastructure — they’re perpetuating an illegal activity,” Margon ranted. “There is no way for a company…to do business in the settlements without violating the laws of occupation.”

That’s the woman Biden picked as his Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor.

"Yesterday @Airbnb agreed to stop renting in the Israeli-occupied settlements," Margon argued. "Other companies should follow @Airbnb's lead."

BDS will now have a powerful ally within the Biden administration and the State Department.

Margon’s hatred for Israel was not surprising. The leftist extremist was heading up the Human Rights Watch office in Washington D.C. HRW has defended BDS and recently issued a report falsely accusing Israel of apartheid. Airbnb’s temporary surrender to BDS was an HRW project

Sarah Margon was defending an HRW policy. HRW’s Deputy Director for the region had agreed in an interview that it was a crime for Jews to live anywhere in the West Bank. That same HRW official recently argued that the Biden administration should support the “right” to boycott Israel. Margon’s appointment would make that much more likely. So much for human rights.

Margon was active on social media “urging companies to pull out of the Israeli Settlements”, but her hatred for the Jewish State goes beyond an economic war of BDS in all its forms.

When Peter Beinart put out his infamous, “I No Longer Believe in a Jewish State” op-ed, Margon highlighted an excerpt calling for one state and the destruction of Israel.

“Peter Beinart on fire,” she cheered.

That’s Biden’s Assistant Secretary for Human Rights supporting the destruction of Israel.

Sarah Michelle Margon is one of a number of anti-Israel activists Biden picked including Maher Bitar, who was pictured dancing in a keffiyah in front of a banner reading, “Divest from Israel Apartheid” and is now Biden’s Senior Director for Intelligence on the National Security Council, and Hady Amr, who described being “inspired by the Palestinian intifada” and is now Biden’s point man on the conflict between Israel and the terrorists fighting to destroy the Jewish State.

Reema Dodin, Biden's Deputy White House Legislative Director, had argued that, “suicide bombers were the last resort of a desperate people.”   

Margon’s selection isn’t surprising for an administration that appears determined to put a few moderates out front while packing the policy ranks full of anti-American and anti-Israel extremists. At one point Matt Duss, an ally of Margon, Bernie’s foreign policy advisor, and one of the more infamously anti-Israel figures in the echo chamber, was under consideration.

While Margon may not be up there with Duss, whom she’s praised and promoted, her attacks on Israel and opposition to Jewish civil rights was consistent. When she wasn’t attacking Israel, she was attacking the idea of protecting Jewish students from her anti-Israel collaborators.

When President Trump signed Executive Order 13899 on Combating Anti-Semitism at colleges, Margon complained that it "ostensibly addresses antisemitism. But in reality it's a bogus initiative geared to stifle free speech & go after those who might criticize Israel."

Margon’s hatred and hostility for the Jewish state were relentless. 

As Hamas supporters rioted at Israel’s border fence with the terrorist statelet, a New York Times puff piece celebrated one of the rioters who was “screaming ‘Allahu akbar!’ and hurling stones”. 

Sarah Margon tweeted a link to it with the comment, “Extra important read when the new US SecState comes out of the gate noting Israel has a right to defend itself.”

When the Obama administration stood against Israel, she tweeted, “Vote affirms illegality of settlements, longstanding US policy. Thank you @POTUS.”

Margon repeatedly complained that the United States was providing Israel with military equipment and falsely accused it of “exploiting COVID-19 & using it as a pretext for repression.” 

“Such brutality & injustice rarely so stark,” she tweeted about a piece smearing Israel over casualties in Gaza.

After HRW, Sarah Margon joined one of George Soros’ Open Society Foundations as its director of foreign policy advocacy. The OSFs fund BDS groups and Soros, its backer, has blamed antisemitism on Jews and the “pro-Israel lobby”. "If we change that direction, then anti-Semitism also will diminish,” the extremist anti-Israel billionaire has argued.

"Despite what Giuliani wants you to think, being Jewish is not decided by political preference or how you live your life or how much you support Israel," Margon, who is of Jewish ancestry, had argued. But how you live your life does determine if you’re Jewish or not. 

And part of that is opposing antisemitism and the murder of Jews. 

A snapshot of Margon’s activism can be seen in her Twitter feed which shows her promoting attacks on Israel by HRW’s Abier Almasri who has defended terrorists. In one article promoted by Margon, Almasri described, “three military assaults Israel has launched during its armed conflicts with the Hamas-led Gaza authority since 2008”. Not Hamas terrorists: authority.

"Starting our day off right - visit to @RashidaTlaib," Margon tweeted in 2019 about accompanying Almasri to the militantly anti-Israel and pro-terrorist House member. 

Included in the tweet was Omar Shakir, an HRW BDS activist, on whose behalf Margon had campaigned when Israel told him to leave. “Where is the US on the ouster of my colleague @OmarSShakir from Israel? Virtually silent, just like on the Israeli security forces’ disproportionate attacks on Palestinians in Gaza,” Margon complained in 2018.

But it wasn’t just the Islamic Jihadis trying to murder Jews who animated Margon’s activism.

When President Trump took out the head of ISIS and said, “he died like a dog”, Margon whined about his “aggressive language” which “can easily be used to recruit & radicalize.”

“US is illegally transferring foreign ISIS suspects from Syria to Iraq, leading to botched trials & torture,” another tweet complained.

All of this will have severe consequences for American soldiers who have come under fire from Sarah Margon before.

When Air Force pilots bombed an Afghan hospital that Taliban fighters had been using, Margon wrote a letter to Obama's Secretary of Defense on behalf of HRW demanding a "criminal investigation" and the "possible criminal liability of US personnel."

Our men and women in uniform, like the Israelis, have to watch out. 

The Biden administration is coming for them.


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


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Biden Administration Needs to Halt Talks with Iran's Mullahs - Majid Rafizadeh


by Majid Rafizadeh

The Biden administration's silence in the wake of Iran's increasing threats and nuclear defiance will only embolden and empower this predatory regime. The Iranian regime clearly believes it can get away with its violations.

  • The Biden administration seems more determined than ever, however, to "reward" Iran's dangerous and predatory regime by returning to a deal that has sunset clauses, as well as an expiration date after which the mullahs can enrich uranium, spin centrifuges at any level they desire, and make as many nuclear weapons as they like.

  • A return to the 2025 deal would help to lift all major sanctions against Iran -- sanctions it took years to put in place. The deal would enable Iran's military sites to be exempt from inspection by the International Atomic Energy Agency. The deal would allow Iran to rejoin the global financial system with full legitimacy, so that billions of dollars could begin flowing into the treasury of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and its expanding militias across the Middle East.

  • Finally, amid the talks to revive the "nuclear deal," Iran's leaders signed a 25-year strategic deal with China. In addition, the Iranian authorities are also engaged in high-level talks with Russia, "in order to help establish stability and combat American interventions."

  • The Biden administration's silence in the wake of Iran's increasing threats and nuclear defiance will only embolden and empower this predatory regime. The Iranian regime clearly believes it can get away with its violations. Instead of "rewarding" this dangerous Islamist regime, the Biden administration needs to take a firm stance and hold the ruling mullahs accountable.

The Iranian regime recently announced that it will be activating more centrifuges at the Natanz nuclear site. Abbas Araqchi, Iran's chief negotiator, said that Iran would activate 1,000 advanced centrifuge machines. Pictured: The Natanz nuclear enrichment facility in Iran. (Photo by Majid Saeedi/Getty Images)

Amid talks -- between the Iranian regime and France, the United Kingdom, China, Russia, plus Germany as well as indirect talks between the US and Iran -- the ruling mullahs of Iran continue to ratchet up their threats and nuclear defiance.

Last week, the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, Ali Akbar Salehi, announced that Iran would be enriching uranium to 60 percent -- a level of enrichment that has no civilian purpose. Now the Iranian regime has begun enriching uranium to its highest level ever, 60 percent, close to weapons-grade level.

Iranian leaders also began boasting about this development. Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf, the speaker of the Iranian parliament wrote:

"The young and God-believing Iranian scientists managed to achieve a 60% enriched uranium product... I congratulate the brave nation of Islamic Iran on this success. The Iranian nation's willpower is miraculous and can defuse any conspiracy."

The Iranian regime also announced that it will be activating more centrifuges at the Natanz nuclear site. Abbas Araqchi, Iran's chief negotiator at the talks, said that Iran would activate 1,000 advanced centrifuge machines.

Now, instead of halting talks amid Iran's defiance, the Biden administration appears happy that Iran is engaged in discussions. President Joe Biden told reporters in Washington during a joint news conference with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga:

"We are, though, nonetheless pleased that Iran has continued to agree to engage in discussions -- indirect discussions -- with us and with our partners on how we move forward and what is needed to allow us to move back into the [nuclear deal]...".

The Biden administration seems more determined than ever, however, to "reward" Iran's dangerous and predatory regime by returning to a deal that has sunset clauses, as well as an expiration date after which the mullahs can enrich uranium, spin centrifuges at any level they desire, and make as many nuclear weapons as they like.

A return to the 2025 deal would help to lift all major sanctions against Iran -- sanctions it took years to put in place. The deal would enable Iran's military sites to be exempt from inspection by the International Atomic Energy Agency. The deal would allow Iran to rejoin the global financial system with full legitimacy, so that billions of dollars could begin flowing into the treasury of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and its expanding militias across the Middle East.

The deal also disregards that the Financial Action Task Force's (FATF) has placed the Iranian regime on the terrorism financing blacklist. The FATF pointed out in its report:

"[G]iven Iran's failure to enact the Palermo and Terrorist Financing Conventions in line with the FATF Standards, the FATF fully lifts the suspension of counter-measures and calls on its members and urges all jurisdictions to apply effective counter-measures..."

Ever since President Biden declared that he wanted to resurrect the nuclear deal -- which, incidentally, Iran never signed -- the Iranian regime has been ratcheting up its threats and nuclear defiance in order to get more "rewards" -- evidently for non-compliance -- from the Biden administration.

First, Iran began increasing uranium enrichment to 20% in January 2021. Then on January 4, in a move that apparently alarmed the US State Department, Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) seized a South Korean-flagged ship carrying thousands of tons of ethanol in the Persian Gulf, according to Fars News. A US State Department spokesperson noted at the time:

"The (Iranian) regime continues to threaten navigational rights and freedoms in the Persian Gulf as part of a clear attempt to extort the international community into relieving the pressure of sanctions. We join the Republic of Korea's call for Iran to immediately release the tanker."

Later, on January 9, the Iranian parliament passed a law requiring the government to expel the International Atomic Energy Agency's nuclear inspectors.

This week, according to the US Navy, "Revolutionary Guard fast-boats swarmed U.S. Coast Guard vessels in [the] Persian Gulf."

Last September, Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif told a forum organized by New York's Council on Foreign Relations that Iran wants more money. "A sign of good faith is not to try to renegotiate what has already been negotiated," he said, adding in the same speech that the US must "compensate us for our losses." Iran's top judicial body had already demanded that the US pay $130 billion in "damages." And now the regime is enriching uranium at its highest level ever.

The Biden administration has reportedly agreed in principle to the Iranian regime's demand for compensation over the "economic damage".

Unnamed Israeli diplomats unofficially expressed disappointment over the nuclear negotiations and characterized the talks as "complete American capitulation" to Iran's leaders. Israeli leaders are apparently seriously concerned that the Biden administration wants to revive the Iran nuclear deal "at all costs".

Finally, amid the talks to revive the "nuclear deal," Iran's leaders signed a 25-year strategic deal with China. In addition, the Iranian authorities are also engaged in high-level talks with Russia, "in order to help establish stability and combat American interventions."

The Biden administration's silence in the wake of Iran's increasing threats and nuclear defiance will only embolden and empower this predatory regime. The Iranian regime clearly believes it can get away with its violations. Instead of "rewarding" this dangerous Islamist regime, the Biden administration needs to take a firm stance and hold the ruling mullahs accountable.


Dr. Majid Rafizadeh is a business strategist and advisor, Harvard-educated scholar, political scientist, board member of Harvard International Review, and president of the International American Council on the Middle East. He has authored several books on Islam and US foreign policy. He can be reached at Dr.Rafizadeh@Post.Harvard.Edu


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Iran – where Biden and Israel's legal fraternity converge - Caroline B. Glick


by Caroline B. Glick

Given the Biden administration's latest moves, Israel needs to conceive and implement a strategy to bypass the US and achieve its goal of preventing Iran from becoming a nuclear power.



'The next US president must adopt a different approach toward Iran'
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani visits the Bushehr nuclear facility | File photo: AP/Iranian Presidency Office, Mohammad Berno

The US media is treating the leaked recordings of Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif's conversations with a journalist allied with President Hassan Rouhani as a major scoop. The recordings were allegedly set for release after Rouhani leaves office following this summer's presidential elections.

While there is good reason to doubt their authenticity, assuming the recordings are authentic, Zarif told his interlocutor two notable things. First, he said the Iranian government is merely a mouthpiece. All decisions related to Iran's foreign and security affairs are made by the Revolutionary Guards in conjunction with Iran's dictator Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Zarif said that his own contribution to foreign policymaking was "nil."

As a historical document, the recordings, (if authentic) were helpful. It was good to hear Zarif admit this truth in his own voice. But he didn't say anything that wasn't already widely known.

Since the first "moderate" Iranian president appeared on the scene with Mohamed Khatami's election in 1997, thousands of articles and still more intelligence reports have been written asserting and proving that Iran's president and his ministers have no actual decision-making power in regards to anything with strategic significance to the regime.

When Rouhani, the "moderate" presidential candidate was elected in 2013, Israel brought reams of proof to the Obama administration that Rouhani had no influence on regime policy and that anyway, there was nothing moderate about him. Then-President Barack Obama, his vice president Joe Biden and his secretary of state John Kerry along with all of their advisors were unmoved. They didn't care. They wanted to say the Iranian government was "moderate" to sell the policy of realigning the US towards Iran. It was an ideological position and they had no interest in reconsidering it. So the facts were dismissed.

The second significant thing Zarif allegedly said was that Kerry essentially acted as his agent. Zarif said that Kerry told him about 200 Israeli military strikes on Iranian targets in Syria. It bears noting that Zarif cultivated ties with Kerry since his service as Iran's UN ambassador. Zarif's time at the UN overlapped with Kerry's tenure as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. In the recordings, he indicated that Kerry had developed an emotional attachment to Zarif over the years.

While Kerry denied transferring the information to Zarif during his tenure as Secretary of State or in their meetings after he left office, Kerry didn't mention his actions in the Senate.

Whether or not Kerry actually told Zarif directly about Israeli operations, the fact is that senior Obama administration officials repeatedly leaked the media information about Israeli military strikes against Iranian targets in Syria to the media. And since they told CNN, why wouldn't they tell Zarif and his associates?

Kerry is currently a member of Biden's National Security Council and also serves as his envoy for climate change. Zarif's alleged revelations provoked calls from Republican lawmakers that Biden fires him from his positions.

Even in the unlikely event that Biden dumps Kerry, it won't have an impact on his administration's policies towards Iran. Every senior official involved in the administration's Iran policy shares Kerry's pro-Iran and anti-Israel positions.

Take Colin Kahl. Biden's appointment of Kahl to serve as Undersecretary of Defense for Policy was confirmed this week by the Senate. After word broke of the Mossad's May 2018 seizure of Iran's nuclear archive, Kahl posted a tweet insinuating that the archive was faked and the entire operation was an Israeli conspiracy to drag the US into war with Iran.

Speaking in opposition to Kahl's confirmation, Senator Ted Cruz called Kahl, "the most virulently anti-Israel nominee that would serve in the Biden administration."

Recalling Kahl's conspiracy theory about the Iran's nuclear archive, Cruz remonstrated that Kahl has "a lifelong obsession with and antipathy for the State of Israel, and he's demonstrated a willingness to endanger Israeli lives and American lives to advance that hostility."

Cruz placed Zarif's claims about Kerry in the context of Kahl's appointment saying that like Kerry, Kahl, "has been credibly accused of weaponizing and leaking classified information."

Now, thanks to the Democrats who approved his nomination, Kahl is responsible for determining the US security posture towards Iran together with the Robert Malley, the State Department envoy to negotiations with Iran. Like Kahl, Malley has a long history of obsessive hostility towards Israel and support for Iran and its terrorist proxies.

Working with them is CIA Director Bill Burns, who ran secret negotiations with Iran for then secretary of state Condoleezza Rice towards the end of George W. Bush's second term. This week Iran scholar Michael Rubin reported that Burns was in Baghdad over the past several days. There he reportedly met with Iranian officials in private homes.

Rubin reported that top administration officials have asked Iraq to release $4 billion "from an Iran escrow account that the Iraqi government had established during the Trump administration in order to ensure that Iraq could purchase Iranian fuel while ensuring that the proceeds would not subsidize Iranian terror."

These moves align with the Biden administration's previous successful effort to persuade South Korea to unfreeze $1 billion in Iranian funds after Iranian forces illegally seized a South Korean ship and held its sailors captive.

The goal of these efforts is clear. The Biden administration is seeking to give Iran money now, before it is in a position to cancel the economic sanctions the Trump administration applied to Iran because Iran refuses to curtail its illegal nuclear activities.

Burns moves, it should be noted are taking place as Malley is carrying out indirect negotiations with Iran in Vienna. The goal of those talks was previously to bring Iran into full compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal in exchange for the end of US economic sanctions. Malley has since adopted a position that Iran must merely return to the state of its nuclear activities before the Trump administration abandoned the deal. That is, Iran may continue to cheat, but at the level that it was cheating in 2018.

Under the 2015 agreement, all limitations on Iran's nuclear activities are due to end in nine years. So at best, all Malley's talks will do is postpone Iran from fielding a nuclear arsenal until 2030.

This brings us to Israel. This week, the heads of Israel's security establishment traveled to Washington to brief top Biden administration officials on the latest developments in Iran's nuclear project. On its face, the trip was an obvious move. The Americans are holding diplomatic talks with Iran. As the US's chief Middle East ally, Israel sent its top officials to coordinate its efforts to block Iran from becoming a nuclear power with those of its ally. Unfortunately, the trip was an exercise in futility.

Even before Mossad Director Yossi Cohen, National Security Advisor Meir Ben Shabbat and head of Military Intelligence Dorector Maj. Gen. Tamir Heyman left their offices, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that their briefings would have no impact on US policy towards Iran. Like the Obama administration before it, the Biden administration is ideologically committed to realigning US policy towards Iran and away from Israel and the Sunni Arab states. And no facts will sway it from that course.

So too, just as Kerry could not be trusted with classified information Israel shared with him and his Obama administration colleagues, so his colleagues in the Biden administration can be expected to misuse information Israel provides them about Iran.

Facing this reality, in which the US – the most important strategic actor in the region – is now openly in Iran's corner, Israel needs to conceive and implement a strategy to bypass the US and achieve its goal of preventing Iran from becoming a nuclear power.

As a general rule, strategic policies are developed through political processes. Although it will be difficult, Israel has the ability to develop an international political strategy that achieves its goal while bypassing Biden. But this brings us to Israel's domestic political morass. Here it is far from clear that Israel's elected leaders have the political power to develop and implement a coherent and successful strategy for preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. Moreover, the domestic political obstacles harm Israel's ability to implement a successful international strategy.

Consider past efforts. According to a 2012 exposé by Israel's investigative journalism program Uvda ("Fact"), in 2010, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and then-Defense Minister Ehud Barak ordered the IDF and Mossad to prepare plans to attack Iran's nuclear installations. Then-Mossad director Meir Dagan and then IDF chief of general staff Gabi Ashkenazy refused to follow the order. They claimed that Netanyahu and Barak lacked the legal authority to give such an order. At the time, current attorney general Avichai Mandelblit served as the IDF's Military Advocate General. In a posthumously broadcast interview, Dagan insisted that Netanyahu's determination to destroy Iran's nuclear program was driven by "political" considerations.

In 2016, Uvda broadcast an interview with Leon Panetta. In 2010, as Obama's CIA director, Panetta was Dagan's counterpart. In the interview, Panetta revealed that after refusing Netanyahu's order, Dagan travelled to Washington and informed Panetta about the order – thus alerting the US to Israel's plans.

Dagan's move was arguably treacherous, but more to the point, the fact that in 2010 he had faith in the Obama administration's commitment to Israel's security than he had in Netanyahu shows that at a minimum, Dagan had no understanding of international politics. The year before, at his address at the American University in Cairo, Obama declared before the world his intention to realign US policy away from Israel and the US's traditional Sunni Arab allies and towards Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood. Dagan clearly failed to grasp the implications of the speech. Netanyahu and Barak clearly understood them.

As Attorney General, the same Mandelblit who claimed in 2010 that Israel's elected leaders lacked the authority to determine strategic policy has even more aggressively eroded the governing powers of Israel's political leadership, while arrogating those powers and authorities to himself and his office. Just this week, Mandelblit took his legally ungirded efforts to new heights by declaring illegal a legal vote of the government which approved the appointment of a justice minister that Mandelblit didn't want.

In this state of affairs, with elected leaders hamstrung by unelected lawyers devoid of international political awareness or accountability to the voting public, the likelihood that Israel's elected leaders will be capable of conceiving and carrying out a policy to block Iran's rise as a nuclear power is not high.

The Israeli public discourse about legal reform generally focuses on the domestic implications of the legal fraternity's seizure of the political powers of elected officials. But as the episode from 2010 makes clear, the current power imbalance between unelected lawyers and elected politicians has acute strategic implications. Until Israel's elected leaders seize back their powers from the government attorneys, they will be unable to contend with the strategic challenge posed by the Biden administration's embrace of Iran and gutting of the US-Israel alliance.


Caroline B. Glick


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Profiteers of Biden Administration’s Open Borders Policy - Michael Cutler


by Michael Cutler

Malfeasance has it rewards.


It has been said that “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”

The border crisis endangers national security, public health and public safety, yet for the Biden administration, the border crisis that creates consternation for most Americans, incredibly, is viewed as a success story by Biden and the radicalized Democrat Party.

As you will see shortly, Biden immigration policies are also important to human traffickers, drug smugglers, terrorist groups and American companies that move the money of all of the above and, incredibly, even the “fees” and ransom money paid to the human traffickers by aliens’ family members.

As I noted in my recent article, Biden Amps Up The Immigration Delivery System, the Biden administration’s refusal to declare a border crisis is more than a matter of semantics.  

Over the past several decades, globalists in both major political parties have come to see immigration as a delivery system rather than a law enforcement system that is dedicated to protecting America and Americans.

This immigration delivery system delivers a virtually unlimited supply of cheap exploitable workers (and not just the illegal aliens who perform economic bottom rung low-skilled, physically demanding menial jobs, but increasing numbers of highly skilled alien workers who are granted visas to work legally in the United States).  This delivery system also delivers a nearly unlimited number of foreign tourists (hence the continually expanding Visa Waiver Program), a huge number of foreign students including students from adversarial nations such as China, and a virtually unlimited number of clients for immigration law firms.  Indeed, there are a significant number of  immigration lawyers in both political parties. 

Comprehensive Immigration Reform was never intended to get the “aliens out of the shadows” but to motivate aliens to head for the waiting rooms of immigration law firms.   

To actually get the aliens out of the shadows, our government would need more ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents).  But the hiring of more ICE agents has never been considered by either political party.  Such agents would not only arrest illegal aliens but would likely uncover crooked employers, crooked lawyers and interfere with the immigration delivery system.

These politicians know where “their bread is buttered” and understand that they must act to satisfy the demands of those who write the fat checks.  Simply stated, the term “campaign contribution” is Orwellian Newspeak for the actual appropriate term: “Bribe.”

No administration, however, has had the unmitigated chutzpah and utter contempt for the safety of America and Americans to do what the Biden administration is now doing, making an obvious concerted effort to remove any and all deterrents against illegal immigration and essentially put control of America’s southern border under the de facto control of the drug cartels and human traffickers (often one and the same).

Biden Cripples Immigration Law Enforcement, his Executive Orders handcuff agents - and set law violators free.

In the past, the Border Patrol checked transportation facilities such as bus stations, train stations and airports to locate and arrest illegal aliens who evaded detection by the Border Patrol and were then heading to the interior of the United States.

Under Biden’s policies, however, the overwhelmed Border Patrol is now driving illegal aliens to bus terminals so that they can head for the interior of the United States!

Some of these aliens are not even being given immigration court dates because, as it now stands, the system is so overloaded that hearings for these aliens won’t be possible for years.

The failure to deter illegal immigration has encouraged a human tsunami of foreign nationals, from all over the world, including countries that sponsor terrorism, to head for the United States.

This has created a huge opportunity for the human traffickers and gangs to make unprecedented profits as more aliens seek their “services.”

On April 20, 2021 Vice reported, US Companies Are Helping Mexican Cartels Get Rich Kidnapping Migrants, noting that the  wave of migration at the border is a boon for kidnappers, human smugglers, and the American businesses that handle their money.

Here is an important excerpt from the Vice report:

VICE World News reviewed 40 ransom payments made through money transfers in eight different kidnapping cases from 2014 through January of this year. Virtually all of the money flowed through U.S. companies, mostly through Western Union and MoneyGram but also Walmart and lesser-known companies like Ria. By our rough estimate, criminal organizations in Mexico have made around $800 million on migrant kidnappings alone over the past decade, and money-transfer companies received a cut on nearly every transaction through fees and exchange rates. American corporations are profiting from kidnappings.

Bad as this is, let us remember that those who engage in human trafficking and drug smuggling are violent criminals, many of whom  are working in conjunction with terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah, a Lebanon-based terror organization that is under the control of Iran.  Human trafficking and drug smuggling not only provide huge financial rewards for these criminal and terrorist organizations but provide terror organizations with the ability to move sleeper agents into the United States.

Consider some experts from my 2019 article, Jihad At The Border:

On April 30, 2019 the Justice Department issued a press release, Jordanian National Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Bring Aliens into the United States, which noted that in 2017 the smuggler smuggled aliens from Yemen, a Special Interest Country” into the United States without inspection from Monterrey, Mexico to Piedras Negras in Texas.

As I reported in a previous article, on January 29, 2019 the Senate Intelligence Committee conducted a hearing on Worldwide Threats that was predicated the "World-Wide Threat Assessment," that was issued by Daniel Coats, the Director of the Office of National Intelligence, which oversees the U.S. intelligence community.  Additional witness included the heads of the FBI, CIA and other agencies.

The threat assessment warned about the dangers posed by transnational gangs such as MS-13 and went on to report:


Global transnational criminal organizations and networks will threaten US interests and allies by trafficking drugs, exerting malign influence in weak states, threatening critical infrastructure, orchestrating human trafficking, and undermining legitimate economic activity.

Drug Trafficking

The foreign drug threat will pose continued risks to US public health and safety and will present a range of threats to US national security interests in the coming year. Violent Mexican traffickers, such as members of the Sinaloa Cartel and New Generation Jalisco Cartel, remain key to the movement of illicit drugs to the United States, including heroin, methamphetamine, fentanyl, and cannabis from Mexico, as well as cocaine from Colombia. Chinese synthetic drug suppliers dominate US-bound movements of so- called designer drugs, including synthetic marijuana, and probably ship the majority of US fentanyl, when adjusted for purity.

On April 17, 2018 the House Committee on Homeland Security, Counterterrorism and Intelligence Subcommittee, conducted a hearing on the topic, "State Sponsors Of Terrorism: An Examination Of Irans Global Terrorism Network.”

The prepared testimony of one of the witnesses, Dr. Emanuele Ottolenghi of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, included this alarming excerpt:

In recent years, Hezbollahs Latin American networks have also increasingly cooperated with violent drug cartels and criminal syndicates, often with the assistance of local corrupt political elites….

This toxic crime-terror nexus is fueling both the rising threat of global jihadism and the collapse of law and order across Latin America that is helping drive drugs and people northward into the United States. It is sustaining Hezbollahs growing financial needs. It is helping Iran and Hezbollah consolidate a local constituency in multiple countries across Latin America. It is thus facilitating their efforts to build safe havens for terrorists and a continent-wide terror infrastructure that they could use to strike U.S. targets.

Biden and his cohorts have discovered that indeed, “Crime does pay” and the cost is not only measured in money but in human suffering and even the loss of human lives.

Photo: Associated Press


Michael Cutler


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Strategic Ambiguity “Comes Out of the Closet” - Dr. Doron Matza


by Dr. Doron Matza

It turns out that apart from certain phenomena, whether they involve adversarial security activity or positive economic activity, it is no longer possible to maintain ambiguity.


Benny Gantz and Benjamin Netanyahu, images by Executive Office of the President of the US and President of the Russian Federation via Wikimedia Commons

BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 2,011, April 29, 2021

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Misguided political discourse on the question of the value of strategic ambiguity endangers Israel’s effort to craft its regional image as much as does the loss of such ambiguity.

The question of the value of strategic ambiguity has arisen in the wake of the recent attack on the Iranian centrifuge production plant at Natanz and the leaking of the attack on an Iranian intelligence ship in the Red Sea. DM Benny Gantz has accused PM Benjamin Netanyahu of eliminating ambiguity, and a media chorus has been leveraging that accusation by portraying Netanyahu as playing with Israel’s security secrets for political reasons.

In this context as in so many others, one’s political stance shapes one’s perception of reality and obscures the facts. Ambiguity has been gradually expiring for quite a while, and indeed has almost ceased to exist. This pertains to the sustained struggle against Iran that Israel has been waging in Syria, primarily via air attacks; and against Iran itself in the shipping lanes of the region. Ambiguity has lapsed in other domains as well, where it was once used to conceal relationships and interactions between Israel and various actors in its neighborhood.

For more than a decade, ambiguity characterized Israel’s relations with Gulf States and other Arab parties in the region, long before the formal and much-covered announcements of the normalization agreements (the Abraham Accords) and long before Israelis began to visit Gulf principalities. It also characterized the extensive economic-political cooperation between the Netanyahu government and the Arab leadership in Israel headed by the Joint Arab List, which was conducted under the radar over the past five years and which led, inter alia, to the government’s Resolution 922 on a far-reaching aid program for the Arab sector.

To no less an extent, ambiguity also characterized the state’s relations with the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, which were based on conflict management and involved clandestine contacts and collaborations. These ran from indirect negotiations on arrangements for the Gaza Strip to security cooperation with the Palestinian Authority that enabled stability in the West Bank for over a decade, as reflected in the low rates of terror attacks in recent years.

Ambiguity, particularly in the contexts of the struggle against Iran and Syria but also in more positive contexts regarding the Persian Gulf, was practiced for a good reason. It enabled Israel to manage conflicts and conduct dialogues on issues where secrecy reduced risk. It also facilitated a seemingly impossible breakthrough in relations with actors that sought to break free from political constraints (for example, “the Palestinian problem” for the Gulf States) that made it hard for them to pursue their own strategic interests.

It turns out, however, that apart from certain phenomena, whether they involve adversarial security activity or positive economic activity, it is no longer possible to maintain ambiguity. Israel has had trouble sustaining it for a long time, and not only because of boasting and unwanted disclosures. Amid a multiplicity of attacks, relations, operations, and collaborations, it is hard to cling to rules of protocol that entail secrecy and camouflage. It is like pouring water into a cup until it inevitably overflows.

It is likewise clear that beyond a certain level of activity, the other side has difficulty accepting the tactic and continuing to play the ambiguity game. The most conspicuous example was the unintentional killing of a Hezbollah operative in an Israeli attack in Syria in the summer of 2020. While Israel maintained its professed ambiguity, Hezbollah flouted it completely, refusing to play the denial game and stoking tensions in the north and expectations of a counterattack.

If anything typifies the past two years, it is not the upholding of ambiguity but the ongoing process of “coming out of the closet” in almost every sphere in which Israel has dealt, for better or worse, with different actors, both internally and externally. How much the lifting of ambiguity serves Israel’s interests is a difficult question, and arguments can be made both for and against. But this does not change the fact that the ambiguity phenomenon is receding—not as a result of a deliberate Israeli decision but as a side effect of an ongoing reality that has eroded the ability to play the game. It appears that all the players, not only Israel, are putting ambiguity aside.

In many senses, the era in which Israel operated under a certain logic is coming to an end, and the reality is changing. Today, everyone knows what has been hushed up and denied. It is no longer possible to just run off and hide. None of the sides appears willing to maintain the illusion. Misguided political discourse on the ambiguity issue endangers Israel’s effort to craft its regional image no less than the removal of ambiguity itself.

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This is an edited veresion of an article published in Makor Rishon on April 14.


Dr. Doron Matza, a Research Associate at the BESA Center, has previously held senior positions in the Israeli intelligence system.


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