Friday, June 10, 2022

Grassley, Hawley demand details on Disinfo Board after whistleblower revelations - Rajan Laad

 

by Rajan Laad

Demanding that DHS provide them with specifics on how it planned to coordinate its Disinformation Governance Board with social media companies to remove user content

 

The Associated Press reported yesterday that GOP Senators Chuck Grassley (Iowa) and Josh Hawley (Missouri) are demanding that the Department of Homeland Security provide them with specifics on how it planned to coordinate its Disinformation Governance Board with social media companies to remove user content after a whistleblower provided them with key documents about the board.

In an open letter to DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Senators Grassley and Hawley wrote that DHS must "provide additional clarity regarding its policies and procedures for identifying (mis-, dis- or mal-information), as well as its efforts to ‘operationalize’ public-private partnerships and the steps it is taking to ensure it does not infringe on the constitutional rights of American citizens."

The public learned about the Disinformation Governance Board when Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas testified about its existence in April.

Observers were troubled by the appointment of Nina Jankowicz as the head of the board. Jankowicz has an abominable relationship with the truth. Back in 2020, she dismissed news about Hunter Biden's infamous laptop as "Russian disinformation." She was an advocate of the discredited Steele dossier that was funded by the Clinton campaign that was the source of the Russian Collusion hoax. She is also a blatant partisan with a history of embracing and spreading disinformation to undermine political opponents.

Observers were also concerned that Mayorkas wasn’t explicit about the powers of the Disinformation Governance Board?

Was the board meant to be a supervisory body that would order social media firms to add disclaimers or warnings about ‘disinformation’ and de-platform frequent peddlers of ‘disinformation’?

Was the board empowered to act on the ground and direct law enforcement to conduct arrests and searches? 

Was the board authorized to initiate legal proceedings?

It was alarming that this came at a time when Democrats are in myriad ways attempting to impede upon the fundamental democratic rights of citizens.

The protesters of January 6 are being subjected to draconian punishment without basis.  The partisan January 6 Select Committee exists to intimidate political opponents and prevent President Trump from running in 2024. Last year, parents who objected to their children being indoctrinated with left-wing propaganda were branded as domestic terrorists.  Recently, Biden called Trump supporters "the most extreme political organization that's existed in recent American history."

Was the Board another attempt by Washington in criminalizing political opposition?

Thanks to the efforts of GOP leaders, Free speech absolutists, and conservative commentators, the unconstitutional board was "paused" while Jankowicz was ousted.

The DHS has announced that former DHS secretary Michael Chertoff and former U.S. deputy attorney general Jamie Gorelick, both members of the Homeland Security Advisory Council, were to lead a "thorough review and assessment" of the board.

Back to Senators Grassley’s and Hawley’s letter.

The senators’ letter refers to internal DHS records provided through protected whistleblower disclosures that illustrate how the Disinformation Board was created to exert a powerful influence over the government’s efforts to crack down on disinformation in areas where there are “clear, objective facts.”

Documents reveal that DHS was not only focused on foreign disinformation but also on “issues at the heart of longstanding political debate such as theories about the validity of elections, the origins and effects of COVID-19 vaccines, and the efficacy of wearing masks.”

The letter also states that “given the significant coordinating role the Department envisioned for the Disinformation Governance Board, the consequences of installing Nina Jankowicz, a known trafficker of foreign disinformation and liberal conspiracy theories, as the board’s first Executive Director, would have been a disaster,” 

(Twitter)

GOP supporters often find themselves irked and disappointed with their party. Quite often they find their representative being seduced by Washington, causing them to abandon their campaign promises, their values, and their principles.

The likes of Mitt Romney, Lindsey Graham, and so many more have not only betrayed their voters on a regular basis but are often willing to dance obediently to the tune of the Democrats. 

 

In a press conference announcing the ‘pause’, Biden press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said the board's "work doesn't stop."

It therefore should be great news for voters that Senators Chuck Grassley and Josh Hawley, were not only responsible for compelling the Democrats to pause the Disinformation Governance Board but are also keeping a close watch on the developments related to the board. 

The senators must also ensure that the whistleblower is protected in every way. Their revelation will lead to a manhunt for the 'traitor' within the DHS. Democrats respect the rights of only those whistleblowers who work to hurt their political opponents. Those who dare challenge them could be subject to severe punishment. 

The Disinformation Governance Board was an attempt by the Biden Administration to sit in judgment of every pronouncement of the citizenry. This is undemocratic because in a free society it is the citizen who should sit in judgment of the government and not the other way around.

Both Grassley and Hawley with their actions are ensuring that the inherent rights of citizens are protected.

 

Rajan Laad

Source: https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2022/06/grassley_hawley_demand_details_on_disinfo_board_after_whistleblower_revelations.html

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Rafael Unveils 6th Generation SPIKE NLOS Missile - Rafael

 

by Rafael

New salvo controls, system handover, target acquisition, and extended ranges are some of the enhanced capabilities in this latest model of the world-renowned SPIKE precision missile family

 

The 6th generation SPIKE NLOS

RAFAEL Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. has unveiled the 6th generation SPIKE NLOS precision missile this month at Eurosatory 2022 in Paris, France.

Rafael’s SPIKE missile family of multi-purpose, electrooptical guided missiles provides pinpoint precision at extended ranges with the NLOS variant successfully engaging non-line of sight targets. SPIKE NLOS, launched from air, land, or naval platforms, provides critical real-time tactical intelligence and damage assessments allowing it to adjust targets and abort missions midflight, and operate in both offensive and defense scenarios.

 

The 6th generation SPIKE NLOS, building on the exceptional operational success of the entire SPIKE missile family, includes several new, enhanced capabilities to account for modern battlefield needs and trends. Specifically, these advanced technologies more quickly close the sensor-to-shooter loop and more efficiently neutralize swarm attacks from standoff ranges, improving overall battlefield survivability as a result.

Some of these newer elements of the 6th generation SPIKE NLOS include:

Salvo Launch & Control Capabilities: From a single launcher and operator, the 6th generation SPIKE NLOS can launch and control airborne salvos up to four missiles simultaneously. This new capability enables operationalizes the element of surprise and creates an immediate, significant effect.
System Handover & Transfer of Control: Control over launched 6th generation NLOS missiles can be transferred between battlefield platforms midflight for optimal success across operational scenarios. For example, if a helicopter launches the missile against a high-value target but continues flying outside the threatened area, a ground vehicle in that area or attack zone vicinity can gain control of the launched missile and navigate it toward the original target. This transfer of control enables seamless collaboration between systems and an uninterrupted operational pace.

Target Image Acquisition: RAFAEL's new image matching capabilities have been integrated into the 6th generation NLOS to enable swift aerial image transfers to the missile system. Effective, accurate sensor-shooter closure is a critical operational need which was previously conducted through transferred target coordinates. Now, target images can be matched with the missile’s video images during flight, designating a target to the appropriate operator. For the first time, the focus is the target itself, rather than its coordinates or location, enabling an even more precise attack. This ability is especially useful when dealing with several similar targets or objects. For instance, if a number of enemy tanks are identified in the vicinity, the Target Image Acquisition capability allows the NLOS to distinguish between the vehicles and identify the commander's tank, or the most important hostile asset and strike it directly. This allows for minimized collateral damage and higher effectiveness especially in more dense urban settings.

Extended Missile Range: The 6th generation NLOS now reaches extended ranges up to 50 km when launched from a helicopter and up to 32 km from land and naval platforms. Together with NLOS’ beyond-line-of-sight launch and passive capabilities, these extended ranges increase the already very high platform survivability. Additionally, by not compromising accuracy, efficiency, or lethality, the 6th generation NLOS is the optimal solution for overcoming anti-access and area-denial (A2/AD) targets on top of its traditional uses.

Ran Gozali, Head of Land and Naval Division said: “The SPIKE NLOS serves as the foundation of the entire SPIKE Missile Family which has achieved incredible success and been widely incorporated over the years, being operated by thirty-nine customers around the world. The NLOS has evolved and now we see its most advanced and capable model, its 6th generation. For RAFAEL, it is a source of great pride and emblematic of its creativity and innovation. This advanced NLOS missile demonstrates our understanding of our customers’ operational needs and provides the best possible answer."

RAFAEL is also presenting the NMT – the NLOS Mission Taskforce - its comprehensive, end-to-end operational solution based on a small, mobile combat unit composed of 4X4 or armored vehicles with organic detection, attack, and fire control capabilities. The NMT enables force independence with very high mobility and lethality for wider control of the battlefield. The NMT combines some of RAFAEL's most advanced detection, tracking, and command and control systems. The NMT concept utilizes the mobility of small units operating highly capable systems with long ranges together they establish spatial dominance across various domains, from maritime borders to land borders.

 

Rafael

Source: https://www.israelnationalnews.com/news/354625

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Iran’s Cupboards Are Bare - Hugh Fitzgerald

 

by Hugh Fitzgerald

And so are its cradles.

 


The Saudi newspaper Al-Arabiya for May 20 contained an article about Iran’s collapsing birth rate. That story is here: “Voices from the Arab press: Iran’s new challenges: birth decline, aging society,” The Media Line, May 30, 2022:

Concerns about a dwindling population have cast a shadow over Iran. During the rule of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, Iran launched a US-backed program for population control that ultimately had little impact on the reproductive behavior of citizens. During the 1980s, Iranian women had an average of six children, in response to calls by Iranian leader Ruhollah Khomeini to reject family planning policies, since they are incompatible with Islam.

The birth rate remained high under the Shah because the economic conditions were steadily improving. The sudden increase in oil wealth was spread throughout society; people felt they had a future.

When Khomeini came to power in 1979, the population had not yet been exposed to the full extent of the horrors his regime, and that of his epigones, would bring. Iranians continued to have hope, and thus were willing to have more children for a future they could believe in. And Khomeini had insisted that Islam prohibited family planning. He had not been in power long enough to cause widespread disaffection; many Iranians were still blindly willing to follow his Islam-based commands.

The Iranian government also promoted the perception that a high birth rate was needed in order to promote a Shiite-dominated Middle East. Though 90% of Iranians, and 60% of Iraqis, are Shi’a, with 45% of Yemenis, and 30% of Lebanese, the number of Shi’a in the Middle East is less than 40% of the total number of Muslims. When Khomeini took over Iran, the Shah’s policy on family planning was overturned. Iran was now in a race to produce babies.

After the first Gulf War, which lasted about eight years, and in the face of a battered economy, Iran changed course under presidents Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and Mohammad Khatami, and adopted family planning programs, making the rate of two children per family the preference. And in 1988, the Supreme Court paved the way for modern family planning programs, when it declared the practice fully compatible with Islam.

The Iraq-Iran War (1980-1988) resulted in the impoverishment of Iran. With the loss of hundreds of thousands of men, casualties of the war, that meant there were fewer marriages, hence fewer babies. Furthermore, women had to enter the workforce to replace some of the men who had been killed. This meant they could not stay at home as readily as before. Nor could the country any longer afford the generous subsidies – family allowances – it had previously distributed to encourage large families. Instead, the Iranian government changed course. Under Presidents Rafasanjani and Khatami, it now discouraged large families. Two-child families were encouraged; any children beyond the second one were not provided with government support. Big families had simply become too expensive for the government, trying to recover from the Iraq-Iran War, to continue to subsidize. The Supreme Court, ignoring Khomeini’s ruling, declared that, after all, family planning was compatible with Islam.

The government subsequently promoted the distribution of modern contraceptives and provided advice, education and awareness campaigns throughout Iran. In 2005, during Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s presidency, having a large number of children was again declared a blessing and family planning was dismissed as a Western strategy to weaken Iran. But it was too late. The widespread availability and use of contraceptives could not be undone, and the two-child propaganda had sunk into the minds of millions of Iranian women, who found they vastly preferred smaller families, that would give them the possibility of joining the workforce, rather than just be “barefoot and pregnant” at home, churning out babies, By 2010, the average number of births per woman in Iran had fallen from 6.5 in 1985, to 1.7, a number that has remained steady until today. It is considerably below the “replacement” level of 2.1. Iran’s population, in other words, is shrinking.

After Khomeini’s policy of large families, the Iranian government reversed course, and in 1988, at the end of the catastrophic war with Iraq (1980-1988), it started vigorously campaigning for smaller families, distributing contraceptives, and providing family planning advice to Iranian women. That anti-natalist period lasted from the end of the war with Iraq in 1988 until 2005, when the Iranian government, under President Ahmadinejad, having become alarmed that the family planning had become too successful, reversed course again. And ever since then, the government in Tehran has again — going back to Khomeini — been promoting large families and blaming the West for trying to weaken Iran by lowering its population (a charge, needless to say, utterly without foundation).

Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, criticized the decline in the birth rate and announced that growing the size of the Iranian family is a strategic goal. Since then, Iran has implemented a number of family-friendly measures, including extending maternity leave to nine months, allowing pregnant women to take sick leave more easily, and facilitating access to loans and jobs for families with children.

Recently, Khamenei, in a letter to the National Population Center, warned against the dangers of a low birth rate. He called on all government ministries to enact plans to encourage population growth. Khamenei’s letter sheds light on the problem of a declining birth rate coupled with an increase in Iran’s elderly population. According to the Iranian Statistical Center, the fertility rate is currently 1.71 children per woman per year.

Within a single generation (from 1985 to 2010), the fertility rate in Iran sunk from 6.5 to 1.7 per woman. It’s the largest drop in fertility registered anywhere in the Middle East and North Africa. There is a fear that this decline in birth rates will cause various problems for the country, in particular the shrinking of the labor force that must take care of the larger number of elderly citizens. The result could lead to a decrease in per capita income, with severe economic impact on the overall population. Hence, the Iranian parliament enacted legislation to help families grow in size, such as infertility treatment and services for working women. The actions were accompanied by widespread propaganda efforts in the media and state institutions, including universities.

However, it has not been enough to convince the young people to change their practices. It can be said that the challenges facing the increase in birth rates are great, as young people cannot afford the expenses associated with large families, in light of the deteriorating economic conditions in Iran. With Iranians suffering from a mass exodus to already overcrowded cities, continued US economic sanctions and a 30-year drought, it is inconceivable that they would want to bring more children into the world at the present time.

All over the developing world, the same steep decline in the fertility rate has been observed. But in Iran the decrease has been especially dramatic, because it continues despite an energetic pro-natalist policy. When women are given access to contraceptives — the pill — they make full use of them. They do not want to be kept at home to produce, and to be saddled with, the care of large numbers of children. The Iranian state’s appeals to have more babies, and the programs now put in place – such as long maternity leave, and job flexibility for mothers of young children – have not been enough to raise the fertility rate. Having tasted the freedom that having fewer children permits, Iranian women are not about to go back to the old days of huge families because that’s what the Supreme Leader wants.

And in Iran’s case, there are other factors. Simply put, young Iranians are deeply disaffected from the regime, but see no way to effect change given their despotic rulers. They are now enduring a catastrophic economic decline, with more than 60% of Iranians now living below the poverty level. How many Iranian women, and men, ask themselves why they should bring children into a world where the troglodytic ayatollahs decide everything?

Another factor keeping fertility rates down is the increase in educated women. For every year of education an Iranian woman receives beyond high school, her fertility rate goes down. And these women, once confined to home, where they would take care of an ever-increasing brood of children, are going to college and professional schools in ever-greater numbers, even more than the men. Sixty percent of university students in Iran are women, and that percentage is inexorably increasing every year. These women put off marriage, and hence childbirth, until after they have finished their professional training, and entered the workforce. For some that means not having a first child until their mid-30s. There isn’t the time, nor the inclination, to have more than two children. And some of these highly-educated women never find an appropriate mate, given their own higher status and expectations; their fertility rate is zero.

Do the math. With a fertility rate of 1.7, how long will it take before Iran’s population is reduced by half? Hint: well before 2070. Meanwhile, despite all of its security problems, in this year’s Happiness Index, Israel ranks 9th in the world out of a total of 153 countries surveyed, while Iran ranks 118th. And the fertility rate for Israeli Jews is 3.01, the highest of any country in the O.E.C.D.. Apparently, unlike the Iranians, the Israelis have faith in the future, are generally happy, and want to have more children who will enjoy that future. There is only one solution to Iran’s demographic collapse: an end to the Islamic despotism, to be replaced by a real democracy. That is what would make life in Iran worth living again. But that won’t happen as long as the ayatollahs retain control of the army, the air force, the navy, the secret police. In Iran, as elsewhere, the lapidary phrase holds: “Morally, democracy is invincible. Physically, that side will win which has the better guns.”

 

Hugh Fitzgerald

Source: https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/2022/06/irans-cupboards-are-bare-hugh-fitzgerald/

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Globalists Try to Sell 'European Unity' - Bruce Thornton

 

by Bruce Thornton

But dubious happy-talk can’t hide the real lesson of the Ukraine war.

 


The sponsors of “moralizing internationalism,” as historian Corelli Barnett called it, are busy trying to spin the Russo-Ukrainian war as a crisis that has renewed European unity. For globalists, Russia’s return of Europe to its benighted past of invasions, destruction, and slaughters––horrors that the “rules-based international order” supposedly ended––has instead strengthened and highlighted two show-case institutions of that order, the European Union and NATO. Globalists claim that rather than an indictment of globalism’s failures, the war is restoring both institutions and confirming the superiority of supranational institutions in keeping order and creating prosperity.

But all the spin can’t hide the real lesson of the war: that the centrifugal, conflicting nationalist self-interests that wrecked the League of Nations and reduced the UN to an arena for maximizing those interests, remains the critical factor in interstate relations.

A good example of this dubious happy-talk about “unity” appears in a recent column by Thomas Freidman, a long-time Davos man and cheerleader for technocratic, antinationalist globalism. Take this sentence: Russia’s brutal invasion “explains why practically overnight, Germany’s government dispensed with nearly 80 years of aversion to conflict and maintaining the smallest defense budget possible, and announced instead a huge increase in military spending and plans to send arms to Ukraine.”

The key word, of course, is “announced.” Action is another thing. As James Snell writes in Spectator World: “And yet, as the war ends its first hundred days, German weapons deliveries to Ukraine have very visibly failed to materialize. For more than a month, the delivery of fifty Flakpanzer Gepard self-prepared anti-air systems has been authorized by Berlin. They have not arrived. Nor have the seven 155mm howitzers of German manufacture which have been promised. No German tanks, long a subject of Ukrainian requests and promises from other countries, are on the way.” According to documents leaked to the newspaper Die Welt, “deliveries from Berlin to Kyiv have slowed to a crawl, and then a trickle––all of this deliberately.”

Meanwhile, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz are keeping the line to Putin open, apparently hoping to mediate between the two sides, even though they have no leverage: “They have nothing to bargain with, yet still reduce their contributions to the Ukrainian effort in some bizarre one-sided quid pro quo,” Snell writes. This behavior has troubled Ukraine and its supporters. According to the Wall Street Journal, “Public statements by the leaders of France and Germany and comments by those countries’ officials suggest they are skeptical Kyiv can expel the invaders and they have called for a negotiated cease-fire, triggering complaints from Ukraine that it is being pushed to make territorial concessions,” including ratifying Putin’s 2014 annexation of Crimea.

Other Western European nations as well, the Journal writes, are “losing appetite for sustaining a war they think is unwinnable and has reached a bloody stalemate that is draining European resources and exacerbating a looming recession” caused in large part by high energy costs brought about by sanctions on Russian oil.

So much for “unity.” As the Journal headline on the above story reads, “Cracks Show in Western Front against Russia’s War in Ukraine.”

Speaking of sanctions, Friedman’s celebratory metaphor that describes them as a “precision economic-sanctions missile right into the center of Putin’s economy” is preposterous. Russian fossil fuels are still being purchased by the Europeans, and further reductions are scheduled for the end of the year. If the conflict drags on until winter, the reduction in available energy for heating European homes will put even more pressure on governments to settle the conflict and reopen the Russian pipelines.

This premature touting of European unity is clearly globalist wishful thinking. But it’s nothing new. It reflects the long, unresolved problem that has bedeviled the idealism of the “rules-based international order”––the incoherence of an international structure created by treaties among sovereign nations that sign them not because of some lofty shared principles or “harmony of interests,” but because they serve each nation’s interests.

The conflict between idealism and interests was obvious in the Versailles settlement and the creation of the League of Nations a few years after its birth. In 1923, League member Italy bombed fellow member Greece’s island of Corfu, killing 15 Greek and Armenian refugees from Turkey. Greece appealed to the League for justice, but in the end, was forced to pay Italy reparations. The Secretary-General of the League, Sir Eric Drummond, commented that this unjust outcome “has brought into question the fundamental principles which lie at the root of the new world order [NB!] established by the League.”

Drummond was prescient, as the following two decades saw not just the principles of the League, but also the terms of idealistic multinational treaties like the Locarno Treaty (1925) and the Kellogg-Briand pact (1928) that “Bar[red] War Forever,” as a New York Times headline announced. Both would be serially violated by League Members and signatories of the treaties Italy, Japan, and Germany. Along with disarmament, pacifism, reduced military spending, and growing social welfare spending, this na├»ve reliance on “parchment barriers,” as James Madison called them, paved the way for the most destructive war in history.

The history of those two decades between world wars alone should have been enough to confirm the wisdom of George Washington: “No nation can be trusted farther than it is bounded by its own interests.” The histories of NATO and the EU likewise illustrate the primacy of national interests over obligations to a treaty.

For example, the problem of NATO states, including rich ones like Germany, failing to spend adequately on their militaries––a violation of Article 3 of the Washington Treaty, which requires members to fund militaries large enough to “maintain and develop their individual and collective capacity to resist armed attack”––has been going on for half a century. That’s why in 2006 NATO members pledged to spend at least a modest 2% of GDP on their militaries, which only a third of members reach today. The reason is obvious, given that the U.S. is willing to bear the brunt of military spending, and that most members prefer spending on social welfare and entitlements.

Since the Russo-Ukrainian war broke out, Germany has excited globalists like Friedman by pledged to meet that requirement. Whether it actually does and continues to after the current crisis abates, is doubtful given how thoroughly pacifism had shaped Germany’s national identity since World War II. But even if it does, 2% is shamefully low for a country as rich as Germany, one within easy reach of Vladimir Putin’s aggression.

Some EU states have also ignored rules that conflict with their national interests, especially economic ones. This bad habit became obvious during the 2007-8 Great Recession. The rule prohibiting bail-outs, which Article 125 of the Lisbon Treaty created, was violated in order to rescue Greece and other economically distressed members. Before then, the 1998 Stability and Growth Pact put a 3% of GDP limit on budget deficits, and a 60% limit on national debt. In subsequent years, every member except three has at some point violated those rules. In 2021, the average national debt of EU states was 88%, and 95% for the Eurozone.

The primacy of national interests is not the only impediment to the “rules-based international order.” National interests differ, and often collide, because of the great diversity of nations, which reflects differences in language, history, law, customs, mores, and religion. Eastern Europe’s history of Muslim occupation, for example, and its Orthodox faith spurred a different reaction to Muslim immigration than a mostly secular Western Europe’s. Similarly during the Great Recession, talk of the South’s poor work ethic compared to Germany’s, fueled resentment against what was seen as an arrogant, condescending surcharge added to the economic assistance. For all the EU’s talk of unity, Greeks are still Greek, and Germans are still German.

These still potent national differences and interests, particularly among European non-elites, ensure that European unity will remain fragile, except for the cognitive elites who run the EU, and nationalism will continue to trump supranational rules and interests. Those globalists hoping that the current crisis will unify Europe will be disappointed.

 

Bruce Thornton is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center.

Source: https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/2022/06/globalists-try-sell-european-unity-bruce-thornton/

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Methodist leaders say 'rebellion and dysfunction' over LGBT issues splitting denomination - Jon Brown

 

by Jon Brown

The United Methodist Church is hemorrhaging congregations over LGBTQ rights and church government

Several Methodist leaders said the third-largest Protestant denomination in the United States is facing a growing divide as conservative clergy push back against liberals they claim are being disobedient to the church.

"[Liberal clergy] are the ones who are not abiding by the pronouncements of our General Conference, which speaks for the entire church," Rev. Keith Boyette told Fox News Digital. "So they're acting in violation of the provisions of our Book of Discipline, which undermines the effectiveness of the church."

Boyette, who serves as a top staff person at the newly established Global Methodist Church, calls it a "rebellion" by some liberal clergy who refuse to abide by the church's rules, resulting in an inevitable split.

The North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church (UMC) voted last Thursday to allow 70 churches in the state to disaffiliate largely over LGBTQ issues, and more are expected to depart as 35 congregations in Arkansas and over 100 in Florida are in the midst of a discernment process to consider following suit.

DOZENS OF GEORGIA CHURCHES SPLIT FROM UNITED METHODIST CHURCH OVER LGBTQ ISSUES

Protesters chant during the United Methodist Church's special session of the General Conference in St. Louis, Missouri, on Feb. 26, 2019.

Protesters chant during the United Methodist Church's special session of the General Conference in St. Louis, Missouri, on Feb. 26, 2019. (AP Photo/Sid Hastings)

Some are slated to join the Global Methodist Church, which is a conservative international Methodist denomination that formally began May 1.

At a special session of the General Conference in 2019, the UMC voted 438-384 to uphold the church’s ban on ordaining LGBTQ clergy and officiating at or hosting same-sex marriages.

The UMC also adopted a disaffiliation agreement that year providing a path for churches to leave the denomination through the end of 2023 "for reasons of conscience" related to the practice of homosexuality or the ordination or marriage of "self-avowed practicing homosexuals," which is forbidden in the church's Book of Discipline.

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Several conservative members of the Methodist clergy told Fox News that far from settling the issue, however, the 2019 vote was disregarded by many liberal leaders within the UMC who decided to remain in the denomination while commissioning openly gay clergy and officiating same-sex weddings anyway.

An LGBTQ+ flag flies over Union United Methodist Church in the South End of Boston on Jan. 5, 2020.

An LGBTQ+ flag flies over Union United Methodist Church in the South End of Boston on Jan. 5, 2020. (Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

Boyette said debate has been waged over various issues within the UMC for half a century and could have continued were it not that those who disagree with the church's teachings are "blatantly disobeying" them in ways that bring dishonor on the institution and sow chaos in its administration.

"The church has been impotent to address those acts of rebellion and dysfunction," he added.

UNITED METHODISTS EDGE TOWARD BREAKUP OVER LGBT POLICIES

Rev. Thomas Lambrecht, the vice president of the denomination's traditionalist Good News caucus, echoed Boyette's assertions, saying the centrists and progressives in the UMC who chose to defy the church instead of leaving rendered it "essentially ungovernable."

Several clergy members told Fox News that while the sexuality debate is important, they see it as a "presenting symptom" of deeper divisions that have been simmering within the denomination for decades.

Multiple sources traced the seeds of the present disunity back even further when theological liberalism that questioned the Bible's authority swept into U.S. seminaries from Europe during the 19th century.

Rev. Cynthia Good, pastor at Calvary United Methodist Church in Arlington, Massachusetts, speaks to her church during Sunday services on Jan. 5, 2020.

Rev. Cynthia Good, pastor at Calvary United Methodist Church in Arlington, Massachusetts, speaks to her church during Sunday services on Jan. 5, 2020. (Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

Bishop Scott Jones, a Houston-based prelate who serves as the resident bishop of the UMC's Texas Annual Conference, said many believe the fundamental disagreement among Methodists hinges on biblical interpretation and church doctrine.

"There are people who believe that reason and experience should have a higher level of influence on how the Bible is read," he said of liberals. "Conservatives tend to emphasize the authority of Scripture."

TUCKER: MODERN LIBERALS HATE CHRISTIANITY, NOT BECAUSE IT'S REPRESSIVE, BUT BECAUSE THEY ARE

Rev. Tom Berlin of Floris United Methodist Church in Herndon, Virginia, pushed back against Methodists he suggested are leaving because they have not gotten their way.

Berlin, who classified himself within the centrist wing of the church, emphasized the complexity that comes with having a diverse denomination of 10 million members around the world.

"If you choose to be in a denomination that large, that is global in nature, you have to face the fact that in different cultures, people will be doing different things that may be offensive to you personally, your taste in how Scripture is read," he said.

Rev. Tom Berlin of Herndon, Virginia, delivers remarks during the 2019 Special Session of the General Conference of the United Methodist Church in St. Louis, Missouri, on Feb. 26, 2019.

Rev. Tom Berlin of Herndon, Virginia, delivers remarks during the 2019 Special Session of the General Conference of the United Methodist Church in St. Louis, Missouri, on Feb. 26, 2019. (AP Photo/Sid Hastings)

Stressing the importance of reading Scripture within the context "of the lives people really lead," Berlin contrasted his own approach with fellow Methodists he claimed, "believe that anytime someone does something that they disagree with strongly, they don't want to be in that church."

"There are United Methodists who believe that if any gay couple is married in any Methodist church anywhere, they no longer want to be in the denomination," he said. "And I suppose if that issue is that important to you, then probably the logical thing to do would be to go and leave and find a new place to be the church together."

All the clerical sources who spoke to Fox News saw the fracture within the UMC as part of a larger battle over sexuality that has played out in every other mainline Protestant denomination in the United States. Several noted, however, that the Methodists are the last to face the split, a fact they attributed to its global nature, which allows conservative congregations in Africa, Asia and elsewhere to hold the traditionalist line.

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The First United Methodist Church in Little Rock, Arkansas, displays a rainbow decoration.

The First United Methodist Church in Little Rock, Arkansas, displays a rainbow decoration. (dlewis33 via Getty Images)

Ryan Danker, a church historian and director of the John Wesley Institute, noted that much of the liberalism in the UMC is confined to the United States and predicted that the conservative Methodist congregations splintering off will find themselves better aligned with Christians globally.

"Theological commitments, I think, are stronger now than denominational ones," Danker observed. "Conservative Anglicans, Methodists and Presbyterians would have more in common than they would with progressives in their own denominations."

"So we'll see a shift, I think, where the UMC becomes much more American-focused, and the Global Methodist Church will really, truly be global," he added.

 

Jon Brown

Source: https://www.foxnews.com/us/methodist-rebellion-dysfunction-lgbt-denomination

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Joe Biden Betrays the Kurds - Breason Jacak

 

by Breason Jacak

Biden and the Democrats have been notably silent about Erdogan opening hostilities against the Syrian Kurds.

On June the 1st, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that he intended to use his military to once again move against the multi-ethnic Syrian Democratic Forces in northern Syria. The Syrian Democratic Forces are the armed wing of the Rojava government, a sort of autonomous region that broke from the main Syrian government in 2014. The Rojava region is not wholly unfriendly to the Syrian Arab Republic, but is also not quite part of it. It is also not a party to the “Syrian Rebels” who have largely been absorbed by the Turkish occupation of northern Syria or the al-Qaeda presence in Idlib province. Once again, the SDF have been in opposition to both the rebels and the Syrian government, but have been more likely to cooperate with the Syrian government in the past.

The SDF are probably most famous for being the ground forces who, supported by U.S. air cover, drove the Islamic State from its capital of ar-Raqqa in 2017. I say these forces are multi-ethnic because, though the biggest component is Kurdish, the SDF also has many Arabs, Assyrians, Turkmen, and Armenians within. It is a nice snapshot of the ethnic diversity of Northern Syria and Iraq. However, the SDF are largely referred to as “Syrian Kurds” in the news, and this has seemingly been used by their enemies. I refer to how the Kurdish association allows the conflation the Kurdish-led SDF with the Kurdish Marxist terrorist organization, the PKK.

The PKK (Kurdish Workers’ Party) are Kurdish rebels in Turkey who fight for an autonomous Kurdistan in southern Turkey. Since 2015, the PKK have purportedly killed hundreds of people in sniping, IED attacks, and rocket attacks. I want to make clear that I believe the state of Turkey has the right to defend itself against PKK terrorists. That said, the PKK, to their credit, did help with the liberation of Northern Iraq and Syria from the Islamic State. However, just to demonstrate how complicated the Kurdish situation is, the Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga disassociated from the PKK after rising tensions.

I have not seen President Joe Biden say anything in condemnation of the announced Turkish offensive against Syria’s Kurdish-led SDF. I intentionally waited for seven days after the announcement to give him the chance. I suppose I should not be surprised, it was Joe Biden who gave his approval of the first such encroachment in 2016. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the current attack might, “…undermine regional stability (and) provide malign actors with opportunities to exploit instability.” However, nobody would have let Donald Trump off the hook for letting somebody else speak his indignation, so there is no need to give Joe the benefit of the doubt here. Considering how desperately NATO needs Turkey’s approval right now, I would not expect much.

Then again, I remember how the Democrats could not have cared less about those allies of ours until it provided them an opportunity to criticize Donald Trump in 2019. In particular, I remember the remarks of then former-vice president Joe Biden saying that Donald Trump, “betrayed our word as a nation” and that Trump was following the whims of “a fellow strongman.” He even felt the offense was enough to warrant an impeachment of the America First President.

Why bring up only Biden’s hypocrisy? There have been plenty others. Photojournalist Jason Motlagh was quite incensed against Donald Trump’s betrayal of the Kurds in 2019, but has remained noticeably silent this time. Since Motlagh is often reporting from warzones, perhaps he is just too busy. I might be able to accept such an excuse from him. However, I know that David Ignatius of the Washington Post does not have that excuse, nor does the editorial board of the Times of San Diego. Regardless of the hypocrisy, the journalists mentioned have done perfectly respectable work in the past and perhaps should be cut some slack for not paying attention to the Mideast while there is a war going on in Europe.

How about Donald Trump’s political foes? Chuck Schumer had some pretty strong words about betraying the Kurds in 2019, how about now? The only statement I found from him on June 1st was celebrating Pride Month. The same could be said of Nancy Pelosi, Adam Schiff, and even Lindsey Graham. To be fair to Lindsey, this criticism of Putin might be seen as a tacit condemnation of Turkey, but I doubt it. The round of criticism for these people’s silence is strangely tepid with only a few people doing such.

Mitch McConnell criticized Trump for “only [benefitting] Russia, Iran, and Assad.” However, I suppose abandoning the Kurds only benefits Russia when Trump does it. Then again, the SDF has expressed interest in getting closer to the Syrian government if the Turks attack, which was not something they did in 2019. I may not have been a fan of Donald Trump’s decision in 2019, but it seems to me that the ramifications could well be much more serious this time around. Of course we will not hear the thunders of condemnation of President Biden for his silent approval of Turkish encroachment; that would be in violation of the “America’s back!” narrative.

I will let the sitting President describe my opinion on this matter in his own words:

“[He] sold out the Syrian Democratic Forces -- the courageous Kurds and Arabs who fought with us to smash ISIS’s caliphate -- and he betrayed a key local ally in the fight against terrorism. But that’s not all -- he betrayed our brave troops, who sacrificed alongside them. He betrayed our word as a nation -- raising doubts among our allies around the world about America’s security commitments.”

Image: Kurdishstruggle

 

Breason Jacak

Source: https://www.americanthinker.com/

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Why Biden Needs to Fight, Not Appease, the Enemies of Peace - Bassam Tawil

 

by Bassam Tawil

Does the Biden administration really want as its legacy that it backed, encouraged and funded unscrupulous, violent regimes – the Taliban in Afghanistan, the Chinese Communist Party, the state sponsor of terrorism Iran, the illegitimate rule of Venezuela's Maduro – and the corrupt government of Mahmoud Abbas?

  • While Hamas and the Houthis target Israel, the Palestinian Authority (PA) leadership, in addition to that, continues to act against the interests of its own people. PA President Mahmoud Abbas appears to be encouraged by the unconditional support he is receiving from the Biden administration, to the point where he feels free to continue denying his people good governance and judicial due process.

  • All signs now indicate that most people in the region are fed up with the anti-peace camp in the Arab and Muslim world, especially with Iran's proxies Hamas, the Houthis and Hizbollah, all of which have offered the region, including the Palestinians, nothing but violence and bloodshed.

  • Whenever Abbas feels encouraged by the US, he sees that support as a green light, this time from the Biden administration, to impose more suppression on his people and to whip up violence in the region.

  • Does the Biden administration really want as its legacy that it backed, encouraged and funded unscrupulous, violent regimes – the Taliban in Afghanistan, the Chinese Communist Party, the state sponsor of terrorism Iran, the illegitimate rule of Venezuela's Maduro – and the corrupt government of Mahmoud Abbas?

  • Meanwhile, Iran's proxy, Hamas -- whose charter calls not only for the elimination of peace but also of all Jews -- continues to urge Arabs and Muslims not to normalize their ties with Israel.

  • Iran, among other atrocities, imprisons attorneys for defending human rights, executes minors, and criminalizes human rights activism. If that is how Iran's regime treats its own people, what makes anyone think it will treat other countries -- in the region or in Europe -- any better?

  • And in a rare occurrence, according to the veteran Iranian journalist Amir Taheri, demonstrators in Iran have recently been publicly calling for regime change.

  • The Pakistani minister, however, is mistaken if she thinks that firing a journalist will support the rights of the Palestinians. Such myopic measures only support and embolden the enemies of peace, stability and human rights in the Middle East: Hamas, Hezbollah, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the Houthis, the Muslim Brotherhood, Turkey and Iran.

  • People who say they care about the Palestinians can genuinely support them by defending journalists and human rights activists who are being persecuted, harassed and even killed by the Palestinian Authority. People who claim they are "pro-Palestinian" can truly help the Palestinians by coming to the West Bank and defending freedom of speech and the press, and teaching Palestinians about democracy and respect for human rights. Spreading hate against Jews does not make one "pro-Palestinian."

  • The Pakistani government's decision is a big prize to despots and tyrants in the region, such as Iran and its many proxies, and a severe blow to attempts to build bridges between Arabs and Muslims and Christians and Jews.

  • A sure-fire way for Biden to get immediate and full cooperation from the Saudis would be, on his planned visit, to commit to entirely eliminating Iran's nuclear weapons program. The US has the capability, apparently just not the will. To begin with, any country that is officially on the US list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations should not be allowed to possess nuclear weapons, period. It is what all serious discussions in the region are about. For everyone in the region except fundamentalist Qatar -- and including the Iranian people, the mullahs' regime is a mortal threat.

  • If Biden, as the leader of the Free World, would totally remove this threat, it would not only go a long way to preventing a nuclear war and regional arms race, and persuade the Saudis to export more oil, but after the threat is eliminated, it would send a message of deterrence to Russia, China, North Korea and other adversaries about what they could expect, and turn Biden's poll numbers around overnight.

  • These increased efforts to foil peace are the main reason that the Biden administration needs to work toward strengthening and expanding the entities in the Middle East who want peace. President Joe Biden's planned visit to Saudi Arabia is a praiseworthy first step. Saudi Arabia may not be perfect -- no country is -- but at least it not aggressively trying to take over its neighbors.

  • It is crucial that the Biden administration throw its full weight behind encouraging Saudi Arabia to be a leader for peace, stability and, as it has been doing, if slowly, advancing human rights.

  • Any efforts to cozy up to Iran will only be seen as hugging and empowering ruthless despots. It is more important to seek allies, wherever they can be found, that are eager to discard aggression and violence. Failing to do so will just plunge the region into a massive war -- which Iran, its terrorist groups and the US administration unfortunately seem to be working toward day and night.

Whenever Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (pictured) feels encouraged by the US, he sees that support as a green light, this time from the Biden administration, to impose more suppression on his people and to whip up violence in the region. (Photo by Alaa Badarneh/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)

The enemies of peace in the Middle East are continuing their efforts to destroy any effort to normalize relations between Israel and the Arab and Muslim countries.

The enemies of peace want Arabs and Muslims to remain in a continual state of war with Israel. They want more violence and bloodshed, not Arabs and Muslims and Jews working together in various fields, including technology or anything that might bring economic prosperity.

Does the Biden administration really want as its legacy that it was the first in American history to be for oppressors and against human rights, freedom and prosperity for the downtrodden?

There are no human rights to speak of in entities such as Iran, Pakistan or the Palestinian Authority.

Iran, on the US list of State Sponsors of Terrorism since 1984, has been called by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken a "leading sponsor of state terrorism" -- as detailed just weeks ago by America's own State Department. On April 13, the United States Institute of Peace reported:

"Iran's human rights record was extremely poor in 2021, the State Department reported. Security, judicial and political officials carried out extrajudicial killings, conducted torture and arbitrary detention, restricted free expression and religious freedom, recruited child soldiers and discriminated against women and minority groups, among other offenses. 'The government took few steps to identify, investigate, prosecute, and punish officials who committed human rights abuses or corruption,' the 2021 Country Report on Human Rights Practices report said.

"'Governments are growing more brazen in reaching across borders to threaten and attack critics,' Secretary of State Antony Blinken noted. 'Iranian intelligence agents plotted to kidnap an Iranian American journalist from her home in Brooklyn.'"

Iran, among other atrocities, imprisons attorneys for defending human rights, executes minors, and criminalizes human rights activism. If that is how Iran's regime treats its own people, what makes anyone think it will treat other countries -- in the region or in Europe -- any better?

And in a rare occurrence, according to the veteran Iranian journalist Amir Taheri, demonstrators in Iran have recently been publicly calling for regime change.

The Lebanese, last month, voted that they have had enough of Iran's proxy, Hizbollah. The only question now remains what to do with Hizbollah's masses of "peaceful" weapons.

Another Iranian proxy, Yemen's Houthis, showed their gratitude to the US for removing them from the US List of Foreign Terror Organizations, by attacking Abu Dhabi with drones and missiles and striking a Saudi oil depot.

All signs now indicate that most people in the region (for instance, here, here , here, and here) are fed up with the anti-peace camp in the Arab and Muslim world, especially with Iran's proxies Hamas, the Houthis and Hizbollah, all of which have offered the region, including the Palestinians, nothing but violence and bloodshed.

The enemies of peace sense that the Biden administration is weak, so apparently they are now feeling confident to increase their campaigns of terrorism and intimidation against those Arabs and Muslims who would like their countries to enjoy "a new era of peace, stability, and prosperity across the region," as the Emirati trade minister, Thani al-Zeyoudi, said on Twitter.

Iran continues to encourage its proxies to launch terrorist attacks against neighbors in the Middle East such as Saudi Arabia, Israel and the United Arab Emirates. Iran, too, seems to view the Biden administration as being weak and obsequious.

While Hamas and the Houthis target Israel, the Palestinian Authority (PA) leadership, in addition to that, continues to act against the interests of its own people. PA President Mahmoud Abbas appears to be encouraged by the unconditional support he is receiving from the Biden administration, to the point where he feels free to continue denying his people good governance and judicial due process.

Last year, Abbas called off the PA general election after realizing that Hamas's chances of winning the vote were higher than those of his Fatah faction. Shortly after, Abbas's security officers beat to death an anti-corruption activist, Nizar Banat, in the city of Hebron. The murder was followed by protests from Palestinians "calling for the resignation of the Palestinian president." Fourteen officers involved in the murder have gone on trial, but the family of the slain activist and legal experts say that the trial is moving too slowly, is "incomplete," and that the PA security forces are harassing and intimidating some of the witnesses.

Whenever Abbas feels encouraged by the US, he sees that support as a green light, this time from the Biden administration, to impose more suppression on his people and to whip up violence in the region.

Does the Biden administration really want as its legacy that it backed, encouraged and funded unscrupulous, violent regimes – the Taliban in Afghanistan, the Chinese Communist Party, the state sponsor of terrorism Iran, the illegitimate rule of Venezuela's Maduro – and the corrupt government of Mahmoud Abbas?

Meanwhile, Iran's proxy, Hamas -- whose charter calls not only for the elimination of peace but also of all Jews -- continues to urge Arabs and Muslims not to normalize their ties with Israel.

Here is what Hamas's charter says: "Israel will exist and will continue to exit until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before."

Its charter also warns against any attempt by Arabs and Muslims to make peace with Israel:

"Initiatives, and so-called peaceful solutions and international conferences, are in contradiction to the principles of the Islamic Resistance Movement [Hamas]. Abusing any part of Palestine is abuse directed against any part of the religion." (Article 13, Hamas charter)

A few months ago, Hamas praised Mauritania for refusing to establish relations with Israel. Last month, Hamas praised the Iraqi parliament for passing a law that criminalizes normalization with Israel.

Alarmed by the rapprochement between Israel and the Arab countries, a number of Palestinian and Arab researchers earlier this month recommended the establishment of an "Arab and Islamic Front" to boycott Israel and oppose normalization with it.

This came during a virtual conference held in the Gaza Strip by the Council of International Relations in partnership with the Palestine-Malaysia Center for the Strategic Initiative and the Anti-Normalization Campaign.

The participants of the conference , held under the banner of "The New Wave of Normalization, Repercussions and Confrontation Strategies," stressed the need to:

"... reject, criminalize and prohibit normalization with the [Israeli] entity in all fields, and work to activate popular resistance in all regions of Palestine and the diaspora along with armed resistance, in addition to activating Palestinian diplomacy in defending the interests of the Palestinian people."

They also called on the Arab League to prevent Arab countries from concluding normalization agreements with Israel, support Islamic countries that reject normalization, work to cancel peace agreements signed with Israel, and issue decisions and legislation that prevent governments from normalizing with it.

Senior Hamas official Ahmed Bahr said at the conference that Israel was seeking to "penetrate the Arab cultural heritage through cultural and economic normalization."

The head of the Council of International Relations and head of the boycott and anti-normalization campaign, Basem Naim, called for devising new strategies to counter Israel's alleged effort to "penetrate" the Arab and Muslim countries.

Sadly, some countries such as Pakistan have also begun to heed the calls to prevent peace. The Pakistani government announced that a journalist and broadcaster, Ahmed Quarishi, working for its official television outlet, had been dismissed from his job after visiting Israel, despite subsequent calls to rehire him.

The announcement was made by Pakistani Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb, who said that Pakistan's policy is clear and that it will not accept any kind of normalization.

According to Aurangzeb, "the reported visit in question was organized by a foreign NGO which is not based in Pakistan."

The Palestinian Media Forum, a group affiliated with Hamas, expressed its "great appreciation" for the decision to expel a journalist for visiting Israel., stating:

"This step reflects the authenticity of the Pakistani position in support of the Palestinian people and their just rights, and a rejection of the media normalization policy with the Israeli occupation."

The Pakistani minister, however, is mistaken if she thinks that firing a journalist will support the rights of the Palestinians. Such myopic measures only support and embolden the enemies of peace, stability and human rights in the Middle East: Hamas, Hezbollah, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the Houthis, the Muslim Brotherhood, Turkey and Iran.

Contrary to her belief, boycotting Israel and combating normalization with it do not contribute to "lasting peace" or the "two-state solution." On the contrary, such moves harm any prospect of achieving peace and security in the Middle East and play right into the hands of those seeking aggression, instability and destruction.

People who say they care about the Palestinians can genuinely support them by defending journalists and human rights activists who are being persecuted, harassed and even killed by the Palestinian Authority. People who claim they are "pro-Palestinian" can truly help the Palestinians by coming to the West Bank and defending freedom of speech and the press, and teaching Palestinians about democracy and respect for human rights. Spreading hate against Jews does not make one "pro-Palestinian."

The Pakistani government's decision is a big prize to despots and tyrants in the region, such as Iran and its many proxies, and a severe blow to attempts to build bridges between Arabs and Muslims and Christians and Jews.

These increased efforts to foil peace are the main reason that the Biden administration needs to work toward strengthening and expanding the entities in the Middle East who want peace. President Joe Biden's planned visit to Saudi Arabia is a praiseworthy first step. Saudi Arabia may not be perfect -- no country is -- but at least it not aggressively trying to take over its neighbors.

It is crucial that the Biden administration throw its full weight behind encouraging Saudi Arabia to be a leader for peace, stability and, as it has been doing, if slowly, advancing human rights.

A sure-fire way for Biden to get immediate and full cooperation from the Saudis would be, on his planned visit, to commit to entirely eliminating Iran's nuclear weapons program. The US has the capability, apparently just not the will. To begin with, any country that is officially on the US list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations should not be allowed to possess nuclear weapons, period. It is what all serious discussions in the region are about. For everyone in the region except fundamentalist Qatar -- and including the Iranian people, the mullahs' regime is a mortal threat.

If Biden, as the leader of the Free World, would totally remove this threat, it would not only go a long way to preventing a nuclear war and regional arms race, and persuade the Saudis to export more oil, but after the threat is eliminated, it would send a message of deterrence to Russia, China, North Korea and other adversaries about what they could expect, and turn Biden's poll numbers around overnight.

Any efforts to cozy up to Iran will only be seen as hugging and empowering ruthless despots. It is more important to seek allies, wherever they can be found, that are eager to discard aggression and violence. Failing to do so will just plunge the region into a massive war -- which Iran, its terrorist groups and the US administration unfortunately seem to be working toward day and night.

 

Bassam Tawil is a Muslim Arab based on the Middle East

Source: https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/18596/biden-fight-enemies

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Regavim: Israel has failed to formulate policy on Judea and Samaria - Eitan Divinsky

 

by Eitan Divinsky

The group blames 'selective enforcement of outrageously outdated laws' for continuing to allow the PA to exploit Israel.

 

Israelis in Gush Etzion

The Regavim movement released a statement stating that the recent failure of the government to pass the Judea and Samaria Regulations Law was "but a small part of the overall problem" and that Israel needed to formulate a concise policy with regards to the future of Jewish life in Judea and Samaria or risk losing it all.

At the beginning of the week, the Knesset plenum voted down what has been a standard piece of legislation for some five decades.

The first reading of the bill to extend emergency regulations in Judea and Samaria for another five years failed to pass, for the first time since 1967: 52 MKs voted in favor, 58 opposed. The emergency regulations apply Israeli law to citizens living in Judea and Samaria, and mainly concern the powers of Israel’s judiciary and executive branches regarding Israelis who have committed crimes in Judea and Samaria, including areas under Palestinian Authority jurisdiction.

These regulations make it possible for Israel to carry out orders and enforce punishments on Israeli citizens and creates a framework for legal cooperation between Israel and the relevant arms of the Palestinian Authority.

The emergency regulations will expire at the end of this month, which may complicate matters for law enforcement authorities as well as for the residents of Judea and Samaria. In the opinion of the Deputy Attorney General, "This will create legal and practical difficulties in conducting complex or joint investigations, which is a significant factor and a vital element of the powers vested in the Military Governor, impacting governance of the area and maintenance of public order and security."

"[But] the real story here is the ongoing failure of Israeli governments to formulate policy, to articulate a national vision, and to demonstrate governance," says Avraham Binyamin, Director of the Regavim Movement's Policy Division.

"The only thing that has prevented Israeli governments since 1967 from applying Israeli law in Judea and Samaria is their own reticence – actually, their timidity. This has led to a chaotic reality that harms the security and quality of life of the residents of Judea and Samaria, Jews and Arabs alike, and the security of the State of Israel as a whole," says Binyamin.

“These regulations deal mainly with criminal law and civil rights. The various technical clauses reveal the official policy of the State of Israel to criminality in Judea and Samaria, but what they do not include may be even more telling: In completely ignoring the issues of proprietary rights – real estate law and ownership - they lay bare the government's failure to protect the basic rights of the State and its citizens," he continues.

"Proprietary rights in Judea and Samaria remain under the Jordanian and Ottoman systems, and these laws are outdated, ineffective and in some cases even antisemitic. Even worse, perhaps, is the selective manner in which these laws are enforced by the Israeli judicial and military systems. Selective enforcement of outrageously outdated laws has enabled - and continues to enable - the Palestinian Authority to exploit the Israeli system, to annex vast areas of Judea and Samaria, to redraw the map, and to lead the entire region toward violent confrontation. Continued reliance on emergency legislation may be the lesser of evils, but it is most certainly not the solution."

 

Eitan Divinsky

Source: https://www.israelnationalnews.com/news/354616

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