Saturday, January 15, 2022

The Democrats Are Attempting A Coup By Lawfare - Wolf Howling


​ by Wolf Howling

The attempt to disqualify Republicans as “insurrectionists” sees leftists copying the tactics of King George III and Parliament—tactics the Founders despised

One way to conduct a coup is to control who can run for elected office. Examples of this abound in autocracies and police states, with the most recent being China’s coup in Hong Kong. America’s progressive left is attempting the same in this country, by targeting popular Republicans to make them ineligible for election.

Let’s start with the law and its origins. As a rule, the Constitution prevents Congress from prohibiting a person who meets the basic requirements of Article I § 2 (age, citizenship, residency) from competing in a federal election or being seated in government should they win. The sole exception, established after the Civil War in the 14th Amendment, § 3, is for those people who have “engaged in insurrection or rebellion against” our nation.

The background to this is colorful. In British-American legal history, this issue arose under King George III in the 1760s. To simplify a complex story: John Wilkes, an immensely popular firebrand, was a vocal critic of King George. The King conspired with Parliament to ensure that Wilkes, even if elected, would not be seated in the House of Commons. In 1768, the House of Commons went so far as to pass a law preventing Wilkes from even standing for election.

Wilkes was a consequential figure in our history and a favored household name among our Founders. Because they were familiar with his travails, Wilkes’s actions and the actions King George and Parliament took against him gave rise to two clauses in the U.S. Constitution and two clauses in the Bill of Rights.

As to the latter, when our Founders drafted the Bill of Rights, the First Amendment’s protection of freedom of the press and the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition of general warrants owed much to Wilkes. In the body of the Constitution, the protection given representatives for speech on the floor of Congress owes much to Wilkes. And lastly, the fact that Congress cannot normally control who can run for election and then be seated in Congress owes almost entirely to John Wilkes.

In 1782, Wilkes convinced Parliament to expunge the law prohibiting him from standing for election. Five years later, as recounted in the 1969 Supreme Court case of Powell v. McCormack, 395 U.S. 486, James Madison adopted Wilkes’s arguments before Parliament to argue at our Constitutional Convention against giving Congress unlimited discretion to exclude people elected to that body. To do so, he said, would be to vest

an improper & dangerous power in the Legislature. The qualifications of electors and elected were fundamental articles in a Republican Govt. and ought to be fixed by the Constitution. If the Legislature could regulate those of either, it can by degrees subvert the Constitution. A Republic may be converted into an aristocracy or oligarchy as well by limiting the number capable of being elected, as the number authorised to elect. . . . It was a power also, which might be made subservient to the views of one faction against another. Qualifications founded on artificial distinctions may be devised, by the stronger in order to keep out partizans of (a weaker) faction.’

The only exception to this power written into our constitutional law came with the passage of the 14th Amendment on the heels of the Civil War after 1,500,000 Americans were killed or wounded and one of John Wilkes’s distant relatives assassinated a president. That limited exception is that people who have committed rebellion or insurrection against the U.S. may be excluded from running for office or excluded from office if they win an election.

The progressive left is going all out to paint conservatives as “domestic terrorists” and to claim that the January 6 riot—a riot of a few hours by people with no weapons and carried out virtually without violence (and that may have been part of an FBI entrapment scheme)—is tantamount to our Civil War of 1861-1865. This is so far beyond ludicrous it is stunning. Yet progressives fully embrace this tactic as their only hope to stop a popular vote that promises to be a wave election in 2022 and an Electoral College vote that might return Trump to power in 2024.

The despicable Marc Elias, the man who paid for the Steele Dossier, stated in a series of tweets last month:

Before the midterm election, we will have a serious discussion about whether individual Republican House Members are disqualified by Section 3 of the 14th Amendment from serving in Congress.

We may even see litigation.


I am making clear that members of Congress who engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the United States are not eligible to serve in Congress.

And miracle dictu, we already have our first lawsuit trying to keep a Republican off the 2022 ballot. On Monday, two far-left groups, one of which is associated with Bernie Sanders, filed a lawsuit “in North Carolina before the state board of elections to challenge the candidacy of Rep. Madison Cawthorn.” They claim that Cawthorn committed the crime of insurrection by challenging the election results and speaking at the peaceful January 6 rally.

This attempted coup by lawfare is not aimed merely at Republican congresspeople. It is very much aimed at Donald Trump and the presidency as well. As Liz Cheney, a “Republican” house member sitting on the left’s kangaroo “January 6 Committee,” recently stated during a CBS interview:

I’m very focused right now...on the work of the select committee.... I can tell you that the single most important thing, though, is to ensure that Donald Trump is not the Republican nominee and that he certainly is not anywhere close to the Oval Office ever again.

There is no other way to describe this tactic than as an attempted coup using our courts, carried out by a deeply disingenuous group of people motivated solely by an unquenchable thirst for power. This is a deeply cynical attack on our Republic and our democratic traditions. Indeed, if the progressives succeed in their lawfare, they will have managed a coup, obscenely relying on the Constitution to, de facto, end our experiment as a constitutional republic.

Henry Ford boasted in his 1922 autobiography that he once stated, “Any customer can have a car painted any color he wants so long as it is black.” One hundred years later, the progressive left has taken that concept for its own. Between the effort to federalize election laws and its attempted coup through disqualifying Republicans, the progressive left is essentially saying to the electorate, “American citizens can vote for any candidate they like, so long as the candidate is a Democrat.”

Image: John Wilkes by William Hogarth. Public domain.


Wolf Howling is a pseudonym.


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Supreme Court Blocks Biden’s Vaccine Mandate for Private Employers - Robert Spencer


​ by Robert Spencer

Thank you, Mr. Trump.


The Trump Supreme Court finally worked exactly the way it was designed to work on Thursday, when it struck a massive blow for freedom in ordering a stay on Joe Biden’s handlers’ authoritarian and destructive vaccine mandate for private employers with more than 100 employees. The Court, again oddly inconsistent as it has often been since Trump appointees Brett Kavanaugh, Neil Gorsuch and Amy Coney Barrett took their seats, at the same time upheld the mandate for health care workers. Still, the high court’s refusal to rubber-stamp Biden’s mandate for employers is yet another failure for this disastrous administration, and a major victory for the defenders of individual freedom who have been fighting the mandates from the beginning.

The private employer mandate, which was imposed through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), was rejected on a 6-3 vote, with Trump’s three new justices forming the margin of victory. The Court’s order stated with admirable common sense and restraint that “although COVID-19 is a risk that occurs in many workplaces, it is not an OCCUPATIONAL hazard in most. COVID-19 can and does spread at home, in schools, during sporting events, and everywhere else that people gather. That kind of universal risk is no different from the day-to-day dangers that all face from crime, air pollution, or any number of communicable diseases. Permitting OSHA to regulate the hazards of daily life – simply because most Americans have jobs and face those same risks while on the clock – would significantly expand OSHA’s regulatory authority without clear congressional authorization.”

That is absolutely true, and is a refreshing departure from the seemingly inexorable advance of government power over the lives of Americans. It is a sharp rebuke to the nanny state mentality that has been dominant far too long, and that looks to government to take care of all our needs and wants, and to protect us from all dangers.

The order adds: “Although Congress has indisputably given OSHA the power to regulate occupational dangers, it has not given that agency the power to regulate public health more broadly. Requiring the vaccination of 84 million Americans, selected simply because they work for employers with more than 100 employees, certainly falls in the latter category.”

Justice Gorsuch added more regarding the restriction of the powers of government agencies: “The central question we face today is: Who decides? No one doubts that the COVID–19 pandemic has posed challenges for every American. Or that our state, local, and national governments all have roles to play in combating the disease. The only question is whether an administrative agency in Washington, one charged with overseeing workplace safety, may mandate the vaccination or regular testing of 84 million people. Or whether, as 27 States before us submit, that work belongs to state and local governments across the country and the people’s elected representatives in Congress. This Court is not a public health authority. But it is charged with resolving disputes about which authorities possess the power to make the laws that govern us under the Constitution and the laws of the land.”

Gorsuch added: “The federal government’s powers, however, are not general but limited and divided. See McCulloch v. Maryland, 4 Wheat. 316, 405 (1819). Not only must the federal government properly invoke a constitutionally enumerated source of authority to regulate in this area or any other. It must also act consistently with the Constitution’s separation of powers. And when it comes to that obligation, this Court has established at least one firm rule: ‘We expect Congress to speak clearly’ if it wishes to assign to an executive agency decisions ‘of vast economic and political significance.’”

Imagine: in 2021, the Supreme Court actually noting that a government agency had exceeded the scope of its responsibilities. It’s practically unheard-of since the days of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, when the leviathan federal government began its out-of-control growth, but here it is.

Jeremy Boreing says in the Daily Wire that “today is a day of celebration,” and it certainly is. We have Donald J. Trump to thank for it. However, the struggle to defend our Constitutional rights is not even close to over. This is such a lawless administration that it may ignore the Court’s ruling and call upon employers to enforce the vaccine mandate anyway, and could even provide various carrots and sticks to compel them to do so. Nevertheless, if Biden’s handlers defy the Court, they’re likely to drive Old Joe’s approval ratings even lower than they are now, and further delegitimize this administration in the eyes of American citizens. Would they risk a thing? Probably.


Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He is author of 23 books including many bestsellers, such as The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades)The Truth About Muhammad and The History of Jihad. His latest book is The Critical Qur’an. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.


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'In another year or two, we will lose the Negev' warns fmr. IDF official - Jerusalem Post


​ by Jerusalem Post

A former head of the IDF Operations Division warned that Israel will lose the Negev unless it acts strongly.


 Israeli police officers clash with Bedouins during a protest against tree planting by the Jewish National Fund, outside the Bedouin village of al-Atrash in the Negev desert, southern Israel, January 13, 2022. (photo credit: JAMAL AWAD/FLASH90)

Israeli police officers clash with Bedouins during a protest against tree planting by the Jewish National Fund, outside the Bedouin village of al-Atrash in the Negev desert, southern Israel, January 13, 2022.
(photo credit: JAMAL AWAD/FLASH90)
About 2,000 people, residents of Bedouin villages, demonstrated for long hours on Thursday against tree planting by Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael-Jewish National Fund (KKL-JNF) in the Negev. According to reports, a policeman was injured by a stone thrown at him and two demonstrators were evacuated to Soroka Medical Center in moderate condition, along with the blocking of the roads to Arad and Dimona and stone-throwing against vehicles traveling on these roads.
Maj. Gen. (Res.) Israel Ziv, former head of the IDF Operations Directorate, addressed the situation in the south of the country on Friday morning. In a conversation with Nissim Mash'al on 103FM, he stated: "This brings me back to the pictures of the beginning of the First Intifada. The State of Israel should not take the matter lightly. If we continue like this, we will lose the Negev in another year or two."
Ziv expanded on his remarks: "We are seeing a kind of uprising which is being ramped up by politicians. There could be a popular uprising here. A situation in which the young people who took on nationalist responsibility and came out against the IDF, while the Palestinian leadership did not know about it at all, and it either prepared or joined or rode on this wave only later."
"Unfortunately, we have a similar situation in the Bedouin sector," said Ziv. "There is a group of young people here, some with children or are husbands of women brought from Gaza or the southern Hebron Mountains. There is a phenomenon of accelerated Islamization among this society. In all recent years, while the State of Israel ignored them, they have built a kind of autonomy."
"They live in an independent system of economy and conduct, some also do not know Hebrew and do not go to school. We are seeing a kind of uprising, of course it is also heated up by politicians who want to earn their points from it." Ziv warned that "there could be a real popular uprising here, perhaps not on the scale of Judea and Samaria but on a scale that would not allow the way of life of the residents of the Negev."
Israeli police officers clash with Bedouins during a protest against tree planting by the Jewish National Fund, outside the Bedouin village of al-Atrash in the Negev desert, southern Israel, January 13, 2022. (credit: JAMAL AWAD/FLASH90) Israeli police officers clash with Bedouins during a protest against tree planting by the Jewish National Fund, outside the Bedouin village of al-Atrash in the Negev desert, southern Israel, January 13, 2022. (credit: JAMAL AWAD/FLASH90)
In response, Mash'al asked him if his statement was not too serious. Ziv replied in the negative: "Unfortunately not. Perhaps technically or officially we are still there, but in practice for almost 20 years there has been no new settlement in the Negev. Unfortunately, I stand behind the statement that Israel has abandoned the Negev."
Asked if the dispute is really over land, Ziv replied: “The land is unequivocally not in terms of a legal dispute over land ownership. There is also a traditional perception of the Bedouin to hold on to the Negev and they consider themselves the owners, and there is also the nationalist interest. When the two things come together, we see the result we are seeing now. This is not really about them taking from some farmer the land on which he grows his wheat. There's a much heavier story here than this. Look what's going on there, I do not believe there is even one business there that does not pay protection to the Bedouin. Is this sovereignty? Is this a situation where there is law and order? The one who controls there is the one who uses force."
When asked what he thinks should be the solution to the problem, Ziv said that "the State of Israel should not take the matter lightly but put this issue at the top of its priorities. This is much more important than the Omicron. The coronavirus will pass in another year or two, but if we continue like this we will lose the Negev. We need to occupy it in quotation marks, not with tanks, but with a very strong presence of security forces. It needs to be re-occupied economically, including infrastructure, the establishment of settlements - everything. We need to set up a special cabinet that will deal 100 percent with this matter."
He later referred to the deaths of IDF officers in the training accident of the Egoz unit, when he said that what led to the wrongful shooting was a routine of stealing weapons from the bases. "I learned from the reports and conversations with the IDF that the problem there really stems from both the circumstances and an essential problem of an initiative, which is at its base positive, but is not coordinated between the soldiers and the framework," he explained.
"This is what brought about these dire circumstances. It must be said that the situation is such that because equipment had been stolen from them the day before and they were anxious that more weapons would be stolen from them, the officers took the initiative which stemmed from a great deal of responsibility. At the end of a training day, they took themselves and went to scan the area to see that God forbid there were no weapons left there. They showed great responsibility," he explained.


Jerusalem Post


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Whose land is this anyway? - Jack Engelhard


​ by Jack Engelhard

Who fought, bled and died for Zion and whose country is this anyway? And who is running it?

From the beginning the Israelis were admired as rugged pioneers who “made the desert bloom.”

To this day, planting a tree in Israel is a symbol of rebirth and permanence.

That’s what we do when we go to Israel to visit or to stay. We plant trees.

But not everybody is happy about this, three Arab communities in the Negev in particular, who say…not in my backyard.

To many of them, of course, the entire Land of Israel is their backyard, and so they riot when they don’t get their way.

They demand a halt to Israel’s forestation project, and as discussions continue between the government and the Bedouin, the planting has indeed been suspended.

The question is…which government? Which government is in power…the so-called Jewish one run by Bennett/Lapid…or, do elements of the Muslim Brotherhood really call the shots?

It’s come to this? Yes, it has.

Because in order to form a government by hook or by crook, Bennett/Lapid needed up to four more Knesset votes, and got them from Mansour Abbas and his Arab Ra’am Party.

Within a tug-of-war coalition like this, Israelis wake up every morning wondering who’s got the upper hand, and who gained an advantage overnight.

While they slept, which Israeli religious site along with Homesh Yeshiva has been marked for the bulldozers?

Who fought, bled and died for Zion and whose country is this anyway?

Parenthetically, some years back, as American volunteers for the IDF, a group of us arrived late back at our hotel where we were invited to stay rather than on base in Haifa. Our Madrich (group leader) began accompanying us to our rooms. The desk clerk shouted, “Stop.” Why? It was past visiting hours.

The heated exchange continued when our Madrich announced firmly that “I can go wherever I want, whenever I want. This is my country.”

“For the time being,” responded the Arab clerk. (More about all that in this thriller.)

So, there it was then, and here it is now.

I’ve got friends in and around NYC who, in bewilderment, keep asking me who is really in charge of the country. I tell them to stay tuned. It varies day to day.

On this day, it’s the Arabs, seeing how the coalition capitulated in the Negev, which proves that Bennett/Lapid are only half the show… and often the lesser half.

When the Muslim Brotherhood speaks, they listen, and obey. They have no choice. Should any member of the Ra’am Party bolt, poof goes the entire government.

On that exact threat, the Israelis caved, and stopped planting in the Negev, upon further notice. Or upon deciding once and for all if Israel is to remain the Jewish/Zionist dream and reality.

If the Jews are so smart, say my friends, how could they be so stupid? The Negev, which is about half of Israel geographically, is sovereign Israeli territory.

Jews are 80 percent of the country…the rest 20 percent…so how did the Jews put themselves in such a spot where others can dictate to them where they can or cannot plant trees?

Or houses…or neighborhoods…or communities…or yeshivas…

In a word, my friends…politics.

Don’t ask me to explain. It’s too complicated. Or maybe it’s too simple. The best of us, I’d suggest, become Einsteins in science and other fields.

That leaves politics for the rest…usually not the best and the brightest, but energetic and power-hungry just the same.

That doesn’t go for all. Once in a while, so far as leadership, we get lucky…in both Israel and the United States.

But in the United States, we still voted 80 percent for Biden, and would do so again, so yes, how can people so smart be so stupid.

In Israel, my friends and relatives are worried that at this rate, and through various political shenanigans, the Jewish nation of Israel is beginning to unravel and slip away from them.

G-d forbid, they say. But they do worry…and it does not have to be all at once…only through one uprooted yeshiva and one tree unplanted at a time.

New York-based bestselling American novelist Jack Engelhard writes regularly for Arutz Sheva.


Jack Engelhard wrote the worldwide book-to-movie bestseller Indecent Proposal,” the authoritative newsroom epic, “The Bathsheba Deadline,” followed by his coming-of-age classics, “The Girls of Cincinnati,” and, the Holocaust-to-Montreal memoir, “Escape from Mount Moriah.” For that and his 1960s epicThe Days of the Bitter End,” contemporaries have hailed him “The last Hemingway, a writer without peer, and the conscience of us all.” Website:


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The emergence of Arab Zionism? - Melanie Phillips


​ by Melanie Phillips

As Arabs increasingly turn towards Israel and survival, the West continues in the opposite direction.

While Western liberals and the U.N. Human Rights Council double down in their determination to demonize, delegitimize and destroy Israel, support for that beleaguered country is coming from a surprising direction.

In 2020, people were startled by the Abraham Accords between Israel and the United Arab Emirates. Hope was kindled that this unprecedented linkage might herald an end to the century-old Arab war against the Jewish state.

Now there are signs of a new and related phenomenon: the emergence of Arab Zionists.

In the Jewish Chronicle, Jonathan Sacerdoti has reported that a number of Arab influencers, with hundreds of thousands of followers on social media, have emerged to promote Israel and support the Jews.

A Syrian blogger began a video begging the Israeli government to “occupy” the whole of Syria to save more lives. “The Golan Heights is the only area in Syria that hasn’t been destroyed and had its people killed,” he said.

In another video, an Arab academic was moved to tears by visiting Jerusalem’s Holocaust memorial Yad Vashem, promising: “Today, together, Muslims Jews and Christians, we promise you, it will never happen again.”

In Dubai, 39-year-old Loay Al-Shareef, who declares he is a Zionist, said: “It’s very righteous for the Jews to have their ancestral homeland in the land of Israel.”

Making frequent references to Jewish scripture, he added: “Jews are not colonialists or conquerors in the land of Israel because if we would believe that then we would believe that David, Solomon, Isaiah and Yirmiyahu and the prophets were actually colonizers, and that would kill the Islamic faith.”

2021 Bahraini and Israeli in Machane Yehuda
Josh Hasten

It appears that something hitherto suppressed in Arab society has now been unlocked. The accords have liberated Gulf Arabs to declare their support for Israel and the Jews, thereby openly acknowledging certain truths and realities instead of the lies that their society has told itself for so long.

So how deeply does this development go?

To a large extent, it’s the result of a revolt against the religious extremism that the Arabs themselves exported to the rest of the Islamic world.

This extremism developed after World War I. When world leaders carved up the Middle East following that war and the related collapse of the Ottoman Empire, Arab Muslims originally supported the return of the Jews to their ancestral home in Palestine.

In 1918, Sherif Hussein, the guardian of the Islamic Holy Places in Arabia, referred to the Jewish people as Palestine’s “original sons” returning to their “sacred and beloved homeland.”

This support, however, was transformed into murderous enmity by the rise of Islamism—extremist political Islam. This arose in the early years of the last century as another result of the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, which had hitherto held political Islam in check.

The godfather of Islamism was the Egyptian Sayed Qutb, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, who drew with fanatical literal-mindedness upon Islamic religious texts and their theological enmity towards the Jews. In his 1950 diatribe Our Struggle With the Jews, Qutb declared that the Jews were the adversary of God, conspiring to penetrate governments all over the world to “perpetuate their evil designs” including a plan to take control of all the “wealth of mankind.”

According to the late scholar of Islam and antisemitism, Robert Wistrich, Qutb’s invective turned anti-Semitism into the marker of Islamist movements. Throughout mainstream Muslim society, it made the Jews into a metaphor for Western domination, immorality and a threat to the integrity of Islam.

Robert Wistrich
Hebrew University

Islamism was imported by the British into Mandate Palestine in the 1920s and 1930s in the person of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini. His virulent anti-Semitism merged Islamic theological enmity towards the Jews with Nazi racial Jew-hatred.

Now, however, led by the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (“MBS”), the Gulf states are turning away from Islamism as a losers’ charter.

Islamists view modernity as the lethal enemy of Islam and believe that behind modernity are the Jews. To MBS, by contrast, the Arabs must embrace modernity because the Islamist alternative will return them to tribal desert primitivism. And Israel is the key to modernity, as well as to protect against their common Shia Islamist foe in Tehran.

Of course, it’s important to keep all this in perspective. These reformist Arab voices are still few in number. MBS has many enemies who seek his literal demise.

In Britain and Europe, Muslim communities are disproportionately involved in attacks on Jews. And while many Muslims shun political Islam, their theology remains imbued with a hatred of the Jews and the call to jihad, holy war against them.

Nevertheless, these open expressions of Arab friendship towards Israel indicate a significant movement of the geopolitical tectonic plates. For the Arab “Palestinians” are now being abandoned by their erstwhile Arab allies.

Palestinianism is imbued with Islamism. This doesn’t just apply to Hamas, whose charter channels Qutb and holds the Jews responsible for all the ills of the world. It also applies to the supposedly moderate Palestinian Authority, whose leader Mahmoud Abbas openly venerates the Islamist al-Husseini, who was Hitler’s ally in the Middle East and committed to a “Final Solution” of the Jews throughout the region.

Yet despite these baleful facts, the West persists in its implacable belief that Israel is the problem.

It’s no coincidence that this mind-twisting inversion of truth and lies is redolent of Communist brainwashing. For the Soviet Union used the Palestinian Arab cause to subvert the West’s grasp of reason and knock it off its moral compass.

In an article for Gatestone, Richard Kemp recounts how Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa, the head of Romania’s foreign intelligence service who became the highest-ranking intelligence officer ever to defect from the Soviet sphere, provided details of KGB operations against Israel.

Pacepa says the chairman of the KGB, Yuri Andropov, told him: “We needed to instill a Nazi-style hatred for the Jews throughout the Islamic world and to turn this weapon of the emotions into a terrorist bloodbath against Israel and its main supporter, the United States.”

Moscow had understood how it could weaponize the Arab “Palestinians” against the West. Andropov told Pacepa: “Islam was obsessed with preventing the infidels’ occupation of its territory, and it would be highly receptive to our characterization of the U.S. Congress as a rapacious Zionist body aiming to turn the world into a Jewish fiefdom.”

To achieve its objectives, the Kremlin devised Operation SIG, a disinformation campaign intended “to turn the whole Islamic world against Israel and the U.S.”

But it also needed to target the West itself. It did this by transforming the Arab war of extermination against the Jewish state into something the West would support: a campaign for self-determination by the oppressed.

So in the 1960s, in cahoots with Yasser Arafat—the Egyptian-born leader of the terrorist Palestinian Liberation Organization—it created a fictitious Palestinian Arab identity. As Arafat said: “The Palestinian people have no national identity. I, Yasser Arafat, man of destiny, will give them that identity through conflict with Israel.”

The culturally demoralized West—surely, the Soviet Union’s most spectacular clutch of “useful idiots”—has been totally taken in by all this.

As an increasing number of Arabs realize that Israel is not their enemy but their indispensable ally, the Arab Palestinians’ last remaining hope is the West’s obsessive animus against Israel and the Jews.

The war of extermination against Israel is the unfinished business of both Nazism and communism. Yet Western Israel-bashers can’t see how Islamism has fused both these murderous systems in an onslaught not just against Israel but against the West itself.

While the Arab world increasingly turns its face towards survival and the Jewish people, the West remains intent upon marching in the opposite direction.


Melanie Phillips, a British journalist, broadcaster and author, writes a weekly column for JNS. Currently a columnist for “The Times of London,” her personal and political memoir,Guardian Angel, has been published by Bombardier, which also published her first novel,The Legacy.” Go to to access her work.


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USA: Reliving the Nightmare of a Shocking Christmas Carnage Every Day - Lawrence Kadish


​ by Lawrence Kadish

We cannot afford to turn a blind eye to this cynical and toxic reinvention of justice wrapped in a Progressive manifesto or evil will have, indeed, been allowed to triumph.


In America's most important city, and within Manhattan, there is now a District Attorney, Alvin Bragg, who has redefined evil: in his view, it is the criminal who needs protecting, not the victim. Bragg (pictured) has directed his office to stop seeking prison sentences for criminals who prey on those unfortunate enough to be walking the streets of Manhattan. (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

One would have thought that after a repeat felon out on a $1,000 bail is alleged to have driven his car into a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin, killing six people and injuring countless others, those who have sought to dismantle our criminal justice system would have recognized how their actions have created murderous carnage across the nation.

But that is far from the case and the lawless cannot believe their good fortune.

In America's most important city, New York, and within Manhattan, its most famous borough, there is now a District Attorney who, in changing what his office will prosecute, has essentially redefined evil.

In a staff memo leaked to the media, Alvin Bragg has directed his office to stop seeking prison sentences for criminals who prey on those unfortunate enough to be walking the streets of Manhattan. In addition, he has instructed assistant district attorneys to downgrade felony charges in cases ranging from armed robbery to drug dealing.

If a foreign nation sought to destabilize our society by creating such a scenario we would consider it an act of war.

According to press reports, the Bragg's instruction to his office stated, "(we) will not seek a carceral (meaning prison or jail) sentence except with homicides and a handful of other cases, including domestic violence felonies, some sex crimes and public corruption."

The memo goes on to offer exceptions even to his exceptions. "This rule may be excepted only in extraordinary circumstances based on a holistic analysis of the facts, criminal history, victim's input (particularly in cases of violence or trauma), and any other information available." And regardless of how heinous the crime, from terror attacks to police assassination, Bragg's memo states, "The Office shall not seek a sentence of life without parole."

The District Attorney has, in effect, redefined evil: in his view, it is the criminal who needs protecting, not the victim. By doing so, Bragg has done irreparable harm to the very fabric of our democracy. He has essentially sanctified and blessed crime that can terrorize entire communities -- especially the disadvantaged that need protecting the most – and inflicted lifelong trauma on victims as well as destroyed the quality of life that our citizens pay for with their hard-earned taxes and have a right to demand from their government. Consider: Bragg believes that armed robbers who use guns or other deadly weapons to hold up stores will be prosecuted only for a misdemeanor, provided there was seriously injured and there was no "genuine risk of physical harm" to anyone.

So we can pose the question, if someone holds you up at gunpoint, are you supposed to wait to see if he will shoot you in order to decide if he will be violent or not?

These kinds of wrong-side-up criminal justice policies have the means to turn our neighborhoods and communities into desolate, forbidding, streetscapes where only the brave or the desperate are prepared to run the gauntlet to get a container of milk.

The actions of the Manhattan District Attorney are not being done in a vacuum. The political movement described as Progressive, and their "bail reform" legislation passed by the New York Legislature, allows arrested felons to be released on the streets before their mug shots can even be printed. You now have a perfect storm for evil to take root, grow, and poison the lives of every law-abiding person and family.

The Irish statesman Edmund Burke has been often credited as warning, "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." That warning has never been more important, urgent, or clear. We are living in an era where an elected prosecutor has deliberately reinvented good and evil. And that destruction of law-abiding values is being replicated by others in other parts of the country, and tearing at the very fabric of our nation.

We cannot afford to turn a blind eye to this cynical and toxic reinvention of justice wrapped in a Progressive manifesto or evil will have, indeed, been allowed to triumph.


Lawrence Kadish serves on the Board of Governors of Gatestone Institute.


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Understanding the limited reach of the Supreme Court decisions on mandates - Molly Slag


​ by Molly Slag

Both decisions fell dangerously short of clipping the Biden administration's wings.

The two recent United States Supreme Court decisions — NFIB v. OSHA, No. 21A244, and Biden v. Missouri, No. 21A240 — can be confusing to those who don't understand exactly what the court decided.  The first stopped OSHA from issuing a regulation mandating vaccinations or expensive weekly tests for employees in private companies with 100 employees or more.  The second, sadly, did not stop Biden's mandate that, in the midst of a shortage of health care workers, 10 million health care workers will be fired if they refuse a vaccine that does nothing to prevent contagion.  Neither decision limited government power in the way people hope.

If you'd like to read the decisions yourself, NFIB v. OSHA can be viewed here and Biden v. Missouri can be viewed here.

Most people believe that the following three legal issues were presented to the court in these two cases:

1. Whether the federal government has the authority to mandate vaccinations.

2. Whether Congress has the power to delegate to federal agencies the authority to mandate vaccinations.

3. Whether Congress did in fact delegate to the two federal agencies in question the authority to mandate vaccinations.

Image: Supreme Court justices (edited in befunky).  Public domain.

It will surprise many people to learn that the Court did not address either the first or second issue in either case.  That is, the Supreme Court has not spoken about the federal government's authority to mandate vaccinations or Congress's power, if it has such an authority, to delegate the power to federal agencies.  Instead, in both cases, the Court limited itself to addressing the third issue only.  In NFIB v. OSHA, the court's answer is "no," and in Biden v. Missouri, the court's answer is "yes."

Florida governor Ron DeSantis, who has chosen a completely different path for Florida, clearly wanted the court to answer the first issue in the negative so he and other states' governors could have a free hand to do what's best for their citizens.  But both the majority and dissent in both decisions ignored the first two issues.  In effect, it was tacitly assumed by all nine that the answers to Issues No. 1 and No. 2 are that the government has the power to order Americans to get vaccinated and can farm that power out to federal agencies.

The tacit "yes" to Issue No. 1 raises an important question: is there any coercive power the federal government does not have?

The tacit "yes" to Issue No. 2 raises an equally important question: is there any legislative power granted to Congress by Article I of the federal Constitution that Congress cannot delegate to an executive agency?

Taken together, these two questions become, is there any coercive power that cannot be legally assigned to the president?


Molly Slag


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China: Buying Up Europe - Judith Bergman


​ by Judith Bergman

What appears to be urgently needed in Europe now is a deeper understanding of the threat that China poses, as well as the political will to act on it.

  • A staggering 40% out of 650 Chinese investments in Europe in the years 2010-2020, according to Datenna [a Dutch company that monitors Chinese investments in Europe], had "high or moderate involvement by state-owned or state-controlled companies."

  • When the Chairman of the UK parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee, Tom Tugendhat, wrote that Chinese ownership of the British microchip plant, Newport Wafer Fab, "represents a significant economic and national security concern", UK Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng responded that the deal had been "considered thoroughly". Only after considerable pressure did British Prime Minister Boris Johnson agree to a national security review of the sale.

  • The European Court of Auditors, an EU institution that oversees EU finances, has found that gaining an overview of Chinese investments in the EU is difficult because of the lack of comprehensive data; it seems no one is recording it.

  • Efficient systems for blocking foreign investments based on national security concerns also appear either to be lacking or simply not used sufficiently.

  • The "strictest screening frameworks" clearly are not stopping China.

  • What appears to be urgently needed in Europe now is a deeper understanding of the threat that China poses, as well as the political will to act on it. Action is urgently needed to block investments that serve up Europe's strategic assets on a silver platter to China's state-owned companies, which the Chinese Communist Party then use to advance its expansionist ends.

For more than a decade, China has been stealthily buying up European companies in strategic sectors, particularly in technology and energy. Efficient systems for blocking foreign investments based on national security concerns appear either to be lacking or simply not used sufficiently. (Image source: iStock)

For more than a decade, China has been stealthily buying up European companies in strategic sectors, particularly in technology and energy. China appears to be using these European assets to help fulfil the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) ambitions of becoming a global force, technologically independent of the West and ultimately supplanting the US as the world's economic, political and military superpower.

China has been covering up its European purchases by passing them off as ostensibly commercial investments. It has been hiding the state-owned companies involved in the investments behind "layers of ownership, complex shareholding structures and deals executed via European subsidiaries," according to Datenna, a Dutch company that monitors Chinese investments in Europe. A staggering 40% out of 650 Chinese investments in Europe in the years 2010-2020, according to Datenna, had "high or moderate involvement by state-owned or state-controlled companies, including some in advanced technologies".

When, for instance, the Chinese took over the Italian drone maker, Alpi Aviation, the Italian Air Force had already revealed the strategic importance of Alpi's drones, by using them in Afghanistan. In 2018, a company registered in Hong Kong, Mars Technology, bought a 75% stake in Alpi Aviation. Italian authorities knew nothing about the sale and only found out about it in 2021, subsequently opening an inquiry into it. The Italian authorities found that Mars Technology was just a shell company that could be traced to two Chinese state-owned companies. One of them was the China Railway Rolling Stock Corp, the world's largest supplier of rail equipment. The purpose of the acquisition, it would appear, was the appropriation by the Chinese state of Alpi's drone technology, which, soon after the sale, the Chinese began transferring to China. "It's a textbook case," said Jaap van Etten, chief executive of Datenna. "This is the strategy of the Chinese state, pushed by the Chinese government."

More recently, the Chinese took over Newport Wafer Fab, the UK's largest producer of semiconductors, also known as microchips, essential in electronics from smartphones to high-tech weapons. In July 2021, Nexperia, ostensibly a Dutch company, bought Newport Wafer Fab. Nexperia, however, is owned by Wingtech Technology, a Chinese company with close links to the Chinese state. According to Datenna, 30% of Wingtech Technology is owned by Chinese government entities. The UK government, despite that, did not appear to understand the threat. The sale, despite protests to UK Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng, went ahead. When the chairman of the UK parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee, Tom Tugendhat, wrote that Chinese ownership of the British microchip plant "represents a significant economic and national security concern", Kwarteng responded that the deal had been "considered thoroughly". Only after considerable pressure did British Prime Minister Boris Johnson agree to a national security review of the sale.

The European Court of Auditors, an EU institution that oversees EU finances, has found that gaining an overview of Chinese investments in the EU is difficult because of the lack of comprehensive data; it seems no one is recording it.

Efficient systems for blocking foreign investments based on national security concerns also appear either to be lacking or simply not used sufficiently. Only 18 European countries – among them Germany, France and Spain -- have introduced or updated national mechanisms for screening foreign investments, but apparently they are not always used. Since 2012, Italy, for instance, has used its mechanisms only four times -- two of them in the past 9 months.

According to Datenna, Spain's investment screening mechanism is "one of the strictest frameworks within Europe". Despite that, China has still managed to make large inroads into Spain's energy and nuclear sector.

In 2020, two Spanish companies, Empresarios Agrupados and Ghesa, which design and construct nuclear plants, were taken over by the China Energy Construction Group Planning and Design. That company, it just so happens, is closely linked, via its parent company, China Energy Engineering Group, to the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council (SASAC), an entity of the Chinese government. SASAC owns almost 100% of the shares in China Energy Engineering Group -- the parent company of the Chinese acquirer of the two Spanish nuclear design companies. The acquisition was reportedly one of the largest Chinese takeovers of Spanish infrastructure companies ever. Furthermore, also in 2020, Reuters reported that China's state-owned energy and infrastructure giant, China Three Gorges, had agreed to buy 13 Spanish solar plants.

The "strictest screening frameworks" clearly are not stopping China.

What appears to be urgently needed in Europe now is a deeper understanding of the threat that China poses, as well as the political will to act on that threat. Action is urgently needed to block investments that serve up Europe's strategic assets on a silver platter to China's state-owned companies, which the Chinese Communist Party then uses to advance its expansionist ends.


Judith Bergman, a columnist, lawyer and political analyst, is a Distinguished Senior Fellow at Gatestone Institute.


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Jews Don’t Count - Richard L. Cravatts


​ by Richard L. Cravatts

When talking about diversity and inclusion, Jews are not part of the discussion


In 1978, the significant Regents of the University of California v. Bakke case brought the term “diversity” into the lexicon of higher education. Although the Court found that the medical school at the University of California at Davis had used an unconstitutional quota system in denying Alan Bakke admission, Justice Lewis Powell made his now-famous observation that, notwithstanding the inherent defect of such a quota system, universities could likely enhance the quality of their enrollments by striving to create a “diverse student body” engaging in “a robust exchange of ideas,” and that there was “a compelling state interest” in trying to achieve such a goal and in promoting the inclusion of historically underrepresented groups on campus.

Rather than helping students adapt to the real diversity of society outside the campus walls, however, the campaign to increase diversity has served to create balkanized campuses where victims of the moment segregate themselves into distinct and inward-looking racial and cultural groups—exactly the opposite intention of the university diversocrats and their bloated fiefdoms with which they promote this theology of victimization, racial justice, and inclusion.

It seems, though, that not all ethnic groups warrant the concern of woke campus social justice warriors. Jews, a tiny but highly visible and influential minority group, are regularly ignored when victim groups compete for recognition on the sensitivity scale. More than that, the very individuals whose role it is to ensure that all people are recognized and all groups protected have been shown to harbor a particular animus towards Jews and the Jewish state, Israel.

In the rarified atmosphere of racial equity and discussion about oppression and victimhood, Jews are now considered to be white and enjoy “white privilege,” that even though they have long been a maligned and hated minority, Jews are now excluded from victim classification and have themselves become targets for condemnation, criticism, and censure—even from those diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) professionals whose primary role it is to create campus environments free from bigotry, hatred, and bias.

Corporations like Google, along with Facebook and Twitter, have revealed themselves to be core facilitators of contemporary woke culture, but nowhere are identity-based fiefdoms more apparent than on university campuses where DEI officers, “diversity czars” on their respective campuses, decide who comprises this generation’s victim groups and how they should be coddled and their grievances rewarded.

But, troublingly, a 2021 report from Jay Greene and James Paulat the Heritage Foundation, “Inclusion Delusion: The Antisemitism of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Staff at Universities,” has revealed that the very people charged with creating campus environments free from bigotry and places where all groups feel welcome harbor particularly dark and hateful attitudes when it comes to Jews and Israel, the Jewish state.

The study, based on an analysis “of the Twitter accounts of 741 DEI staff members at 65 universities to document whether there was evidence of antisemitism to support anecdotal claims about anti-Israel activity by DEI staff,” revealed the DEI professionals were not impartial observers of campus climates and made it “clear that DEI staff at universities actually function as political activists, articulating and enforcing a narrow and radical ideological agenda.”

And, in keeping with the current campus campaign to libel and slander Israel relentlessly in helping to support Palestinian self-determination, these DEI officers target Israel promiscuously, so that the report authors “. . . found that DEI staff are obsessed with Israel, communicating about the Jewish homeland almost three times as often as about the country [China] that is actively interning their Muslim citizens.” 

And the obsession with Israel was, predictably, not positive. In fact, the report found, “Tweets about Israel were also uniformly negative: 96% were expressing criticism . . ,” while “[i]n contrast, 62% of the tweets referencing China [included in the report as a comparison] were favorable.”

The tweets examined in the report also confirm that these DEI diversocrats frequently engage in speech that is clearly anti-Semitic based on the International Holocaust Remembrance Association’s (IHRA) working definition. “The frequent use of terms [in the tweets] such as apartheid and colonialism are meant to portray Israel as a racist endeavor and deny its right to exist as the homeland of the Jewish people,” one of the definition’s indications of anti-Semitic speech. 

Not only that, in holding Israel to a standard not expected or demanded of any other country undergoing similar challenges, the DEI officers are demonstrating another example of anti-Semitism according to the IHRA definition. “The forceful denunciation of Israeli responses to rocket and terrorist attacks prominently feature a double standard,” the report found, “as only the Jewish state is expected not to defend its citizens in a way that all other countries would. The sparsity of criticism of China relative to Israel is also strong evidence of a double standard. Accusing Israel of genocide or ethnic cleansing is clearly meant to equate Israeli policy with that of the Nazis”—other anti-Semitic actions, according to the definition.

What are the report’s final observations? The authors suggest that, because it is perceived that “‘Jews, unlike other minority groups, possess privilege and power, Jews and victims of Jew-hatred do not merit or necessitate the attention of’” those in DEI positions of authority. In fact, the report concludes, it is “becoming painfully clear that many Diversity, Equity and Inclusion staffers charged with pursuing these laudable goals are betraying their mission, at least when it comes to Jews.”

Though by any normal measure Jewish students would be seen as a group worthy of protection from bias, hatred, and harassment by their peers and professors, the debate about Israel and the Palestinians has put Jewish supporters of Zionism and Israel in an uncomfortable position, often where they have found themselves excluded from progressive movements. Radical activist groups such as Students for Justice in Palestine have often been successful in recruiting black, Muslim, gay, and Hispanic students to the anti-Israel campaign that positions Israel as a white, colonial oppressor of a brown indigenous people, with the result being that students and faculty who support Israel are condemned as unrepentant racists and supporters of an apartheid regime.

Liberal students, who may well support the progressive values and beliefs of their peers but support Israel, therefore, frequently find themselves shut off from participating in campaigns for racial equity with which they actually sympathize but which, due to their allegiance to Zionism and Israel, brands them as liberal outcasts.

And because Jews are, rightly or wrongly, perceived as being powerful, of being “white” and enjoying “white privilege,” DEI officers have been less than sympathetic when Jewish students complain about the harassment and vilification they often receive as a result of virulent anti-Israel events, pro-Palestinian guest speakers, and anti-Israel faculty who load syllabi with one-sided anti-Israel, anti-Western, and sometimes anti-Semitic course materials.

That someone charged with fostering inclusion, diversity, and equity among students could at once purport to care about this goal and yet publicly despise Israel and Jews would seem to be contradictory, yet an example of this doublethink is currently roiling the University of Southern California campus. That case involves the vile Yasmeen Mashayekh, a student in the USC Viterbi School of Engineering who a group of some 60 USC faculty has accused of “ongoing open expressions of anti-Semitism and Zionophobia.” 

Incredulously, though possibly not coincidentally, Ms. Mashayekh is a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion senator in USC’s graduate student government yet, as cataloged on Canary Mission (a website that compiles dossiers of anti-Semitic, radical students and faculty), on May 9, 2021, Mashayekh tweeted: “I want to kill every mother f**king zionist." When Canary Mission responded to that odious tweet with one of their own, claiming that her tweet was “horrifying,” Mashayekh tweeted: “Oh no how horrifying that I want to kill my colonizer!!"

In June, Mashayekh tweeted: “Death to Israel and its b**ch the US.," and retweeted a tweet that read: “May i****l [Israel] burn to the ground. #SaveSilwan.” And in case there was any doubt about her feelings about the Jewish state, her June tweets included support for terrorism and the death of Jews: “If you are not for the complete destruction of Israel and the occupation forces then you’re anti-Palestinian;" “Death to Israel;" and “Yes I f**king love hamas [sic] now stfu [shut the f**k up]."

But while a group of faculty called on the USC administration to take some proactive action to denounce the rhetoric and sentiment of this vicious student, others who support Mashayekh have been busy transforming her from a hateful, anti-Semitic bigot into a victim of Islamophobia and racism, and someone even experiencing reputational damage. 

Mashayekh could thus insulate herself with a mantle of victimhood and was free to attack Zionism, Jews, and Israel with impunity, presumably due to her victim status and the fact that the targets of her vile ideology are “white” Jews, defenders of a racist state who, in her mind, at least, do not deserve protection from hatred.

At Stanford University, the DEI program of the University’s Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) division is at the center of a lawsuit filed by the Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law on behalf of two CAPS mental health counselors, Dr. Ronald Albucher and Sheila Levin, who experienced “a hostile and unwelcoming environment for Jews in its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) program, in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act.”

“The DEI program,” the lawsuit claimed, “advanced the stereotype that Jews, including Ms. Levin and Dr. Albucher, are ‘white’ or ‘white passing,’ and invoked the classic anti-Semitic trope that Jews are powerful, wealthy and privileged.” At DEI training sessions, Levin and Albucher were confronted with the language of victimization that animates the progressive ideology on campuses, language which includes “white” Jews as oppressors of people of color. “By endorsing an anti-Semitic narrative that designates Jews collectively as ‘oppressors,’responsible for systemic racism, while simultaneously denying Jewish ancestral identity,” the lawsuit reads, “the DEI program fosters anti-Jewish sentiment and encourages hostility toward Jews.”

And while the “DEI program was designed to ‘help all staff develop the skills and confidence to engage with students from different backgrounds,’” disqualifying Jews and the Jewish experience from protections afforded other ethnic groups clearly violates both the spirit and intent of that DEI mission. More troubling, the lawsuit notes, “when the DEI program ignores anti-Semitic incidents on the Stanford campus and spreads the anti-Semitic canard that Jews have ‘immense power and privilege,’ it teaches Stanford’s mental health professionals to disregard the mental health consequences of anti-Semitic incidents.”

This conflation of Jews and white supremacy, the central ideology of Nazism, is, of course, historically absurd and morally perverse, as is the assumption that Jewish students and faculty enjoy “white privilege.” It is also potentially dangerous for Jewish students, who now may have to defend themselves—not only from the perennial accusations of supporting the racist, apartheid regime of Israel that oppresses the hapless Palestinians—but also that they are part of a larger, more sinister movement that includes, in the minds of DEI officers and other woke campus leftists, the worst, most radical elements of the alt-right, supposedly emboldened and given visibility and influence during the Trump administration: conservatives, Republicans, Zionists, and assorted cranks from the neo-Nazi fringe.

The relentless focus on diversity, inclusion, and equity has purposely excluded Jews from this ideological mission, and, in the process, the rights and safety of Jews have been compromised, ignored, and minimized.  

“Indeed,” the Stanford lawsuit noted in addressing the broader issue at play here, “this case serves as a cautionary tale: those [DEI professionals] . . . who are engaged in the important and necessary work of combating systemic racism and discrimination, must be careful to ensure that in the process of opposing bigotry that targets one group, they do not in the process promote or perpetuate harassment and discrimination of another group.”

Good intentions aside, Jews need to count.


Richard L. Cravatts, Ph.D., a Freedom Center Journalism Fellow in Academic Free Speech and President Emeritus of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East, is the author of Dispatches From the Campus War Against Israel and Jews.


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Abbas calls off PLO parley to avoid ‘confrontation’ with Israel, US - Khaled Abu Toameh


​ by Khaled Abu Toameh

The meeting was postponed because Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas wants to maintain channels of communication with the Israeli government.


Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (C), joins a reading of the Koran prior to a meeting of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) executive committee in the West Bank city of Ramallah, August 22, 2015.  (photo credit: MAJDI MOHAMMED/POOL VIA REUTERS)
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (C), joins a reading of the Koran prior to a meeting of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) executive committee in the West Bank city of Ramallah, August 22, 2015.


A crucial meeting of the Palestinian Central Council that was supposed to take place later this week has been delayed due to ongoing tensions and differences among Palestinian officials and factions, Palestinian sources said on Saturday.
The meeting was postponed because Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas wants to maintain channels of communication with the Israeli government, especially in light of his recent “positive” meeting with Defense Minister Benny Gantz, the sources said.
In its last meeting in 2018, the PCC recommended ending the security coordination between PA security forces and the IDF and suspending the PLO’s recognition of Israel until it recognizes a Palestinian state.
“President Abbas is keen on preserving the dialogue with some members of the Israeli government,” according to the sources. “He is also opposed to calls by various Palestinian factions to terminate security coordination with Israel.”
A PLO official in Ramallah said the decision to delay the PCC meeting aims “to avoid a confrontation” with both the Israeli government and the US administration. The official said many of the Palestinian factions that were supposed to attend the meeting were planning to renew their call for cutting all ties with Israel.
A man enters the headquarters of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), in Ramallah September 10, 2018 (credit: MOHAMAD TOROKMAN/REUTERS)A man enters the headquarters of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), in Ramallah September 10, 2018 (credit: MOHAMAD TOROKMAN/REUTERS)
The PCC, also known as the PLO Central Council, is one of the Palestinians’ key decision-making institutions. Its 124 members belong to various Palestinian factions, including those opposed to any peace process with the Jewish state.
Earlier this month, Abbas warned that Israel was continuing to undermine the two-state solution and said that the PCC would hold a meeting soon to “take decisive decisions” regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
He was apparently referring to previous threats by the PA leadership to suspend all relations with Israel in protest of the Israeli government’s policies and measures toward the Palestinians.
In a virtual address to the United Nations General Assembly last 2021, Abbas gave Israel one year to “withdraw from the Palestinian territory it occupied in 1967, including east Jerusalem.” If this is not achieved, he warned, the Palestinians would no longer recognize Israel “based on the 1967 borders.”
The council was supposed to convene on January 20 to “discuss the issues of interest to the Palestinians and to confront the fierce colonial aggression facing the Palestinian issue,” said Salim Zanoun, speaker of the Palestinian National Council (PNC), the Palestinian parliament in exile.“It will also discuss internal Palestinian issues in order to face the challenges, mainly the Israeli settlement projects in the Palestinian territories, particularly Jerusalem, and take the necessary decisions to confront the grave challenges our people have to face to gain their full rights in ending the occupation,” he said.

HOWEVER, PLO Executive Committee member Wasel Abu Yusef announced last week that the meeting has been delayed until further notice due to Abbas’s engagements abroad.
The sources said the decision to delay the meeting was also taken after several radical Palestinian factions turned down an invitation to attend the parley. The invitation was delivered to the factions by Fatah Secretary-General Jibril Rajoub during his recent visit to Syria.
The faction heads told Rajoub that previous decisions taken by the PCC have not been implemented by the Palestinian leadership. They also cited Abbas’s decision to call off the parliamentary and presidential elections, which were supposed to take place last year, as another reason for their decision not to attend the meeting.
According to the sources, sharp differences among senior Palestinian officials over filling vacant positions in the PLO also prompted the PA leadership to postpone the meeting.
One of the disputes centers on filling the position of PLO secretary-general, a job held by Saeb Erekat until his death in November 2020, the sources said.

Another dispute is related to finding a replacement for Hanan Ashrawi, who announced her resignation from the PLO Executive Committee in December 2020.
At least five senior Fatah officials are vying for the job of PLO secretary-general: Hussein al-Sheikh, Mohammed Shtayyeh, Jibril Rajoub, Mahmoud al-Aloul and Tawfik Tirawi.
But Abu Yusef, the PLO Executive Committee member, said the PCC meeting was supposed to “devise a strategy to confront the occupation, and not to fill vacant positions.”
Maher al-Taher, a senior official with the PLO’s Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, said the crisis in the Palestinian arena was “deeper than a meeting of the Palestinian Central Council.” He accused the PA of “marginalizing” the PLO and turning it into a “structure without content.”
The PFLP official called for reaching a “new political path and political vision” by rescinding the Oslo Accords with Israel.
Meanwhile, six Palestinian factions have accepted an invitation from Algerian President Abdelmajid Tebboune to attend a “dialogue conference” in the Algerian capital later this week. The conference aims to end the dispute between Fatah and Hamas and achieve “national reconciliation.”
Hamas has accepted the invitation, saying it will send two of its senior officials, Khalil al-Hayya and Husam Badran. Previous attempts by Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Egypt and Qatar to end the Fatah-Hamas rivalry have failed, although the two sides signed a number of reconciliation agreements that were never implemented.

Khaled Abu Toameh


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