Saturday, October 8, 2022

Dems under water on top two voter issues heading into midterms - Aaron Kliegman


by Aaron Kliegman

With inflation and violent crime worrying Americans, polling indicates Americans trust Republicans on crime and the economy — and the GOP is taking advantage.


One month out from the midterm elections, voters have made clear that crime and the economy are the two most important issues to them, according to recent polling — and they trust Republicans more than Democrats to handle both top issues.

The economy, particularly inflation, has consistently ranked as the number one priority for voters. A new Monmouth University poll, for example, found that 82% of Americans ranked inflation as an extremely or very important issue.

The latest NPR/Marist poll likewise showed inflation continued to rank as the top issue voters say they'll be thinking about while casting their ballots.

It's easy to see why. Overall inflation for consumers reached its highest levels in four decades earlier this year and continues to make the two most basic and essential costs of living — food and shelter — exceedingly high for working people.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently released data showing food costs spiked 11.4% over the past year, and shelter costs, which include rents and various other housing-related expenses, jumped 6.2%. Mortgage rates have also skyrocketed over the same period.

With wages failing to keep pace with rising prices, the Labor Department said real average weekly earnings decreased 3.4% over the last 12 months. Various estimates show households on average will lose the equivalent of thousands of dollars this year due to inflation rising faster than wages.

Crime, meanwhile, is another top issue for voters. In fact, it ranked second in the new Monmouth poll, with 72% of Americans say it's an extremely or very important issue.

The latest Rasmussen Reports survey found that 83% of voters believe crime is a top issue and that 62% believe crime is getting worse.

Other recent polling has showed similar results amid a surge in violent crime.

Violent crime in urban areas rose 29% from 2020 to 2021, according to the Justice Department's recently released 2021 National Crime Victimization Survey, the nation's largest crime survey.

The survey doesn't include murder, although the FBI said this week that murders in the U.S. rose in 2021.

Preliminary data for this year has shown a surge in violent crime in cities across the U.S.

Polling has shown for months that voters trust Republicans more than Democrats on handling both crime and the economy by a substantial margin — in some cases by about 20 points.

To make matters worse for Democrats, polling has also found a majority of Americans disapprove of President Biden's handling of both key issues, even as his approval rating has ticked up recently.

The Gallup poll has long asked voters, "Which political party do you think can do a better job handling the problem you think is most important — the Republican Party or the Democratic Party?" This year, respondents picked Republicans over Democrats by 48%-37%.

The 11-point margin in favor of the GOP on this telling question is significantly larger than any the party has enjoyed in the last 20 years — including in the "red wave" midterm elections of 2010 (when the GOP picked up 63 House seats and 6 Senate seats) and 2014 (when the party gained 13 seats in the House and 9 in the Senate).

To put it in perspective, the last time the Republicans had a larger lead on this question heading into midterm elections was in 1946, when the party led by 17 points — and gained 55 House seats.

According to experts who spoke to Just the News, soaring inflation was caused by Biden's economic policies — namely too much spending — combined with the Federal Reserve keeping interest rates near zero while continuing to print money. Experts have also argued Democrats' recently passed spending package, the Inflation Reduction Act, will either have no impact on inflation or make inflation worse.

Meanwhile, Democrats nationwide have been scrambling to embrace law and order after previously embracing the "defund the police" movement, doing a virtual 180 on the issue of crime. This belated shift comes as progressive prosecutors face public backlash for rising crime rates on their watches as their permissive crime policies, such as prosecuting fewer nonviolent crimes and eliminating cash bail, backfire in liberal hubs such as San Francisco and Philadelphia.

The GOP is taking advantage of the situation, primarily campaigning on crime and the economy rather than so-called culture war issues.

Last month, the Republican National Committee issued a memo pushing candidates to focus on these topics. Soon thereafter, House Republican leaders unveiled their "Commitment to America," a policy platform broadly outlining the GOP's goals should they reclaim control of the chamber after the midterm elections.

At the center of the platform is a promise to combat inflation with economic growth and an anti-crime agenda that includes a "crackdown on prosecutors and district attorneys who refuse to prosecute crimes."

Republican candidates have been featuring high grocery prices in their political ads. They've been especially hounding Democrats with relentless attack ads for pushing policies that, they argue, contribute to rather than combat spikes in crime.

None other than former President Donald Trump has endorsed this campaigning strategy. In an exclusive interview with the "Just the News, No Noise" television show, Trump implored Republicans to focus relentlessly in the final weeks of the midterm elections on combating the crime scourge.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has similarly pushed Republican candidates to prioritize crime and inflation as a winning agenda.

The issue of crime has particularly come to the forefront this week, with New Mexico's Democrat governor pleading with the federal government for more law enforcement and a high-profile kidnapping of a California family ending in tragedy as all four members were found dead.

In response to GOP momentum on crime and the economy, Democrats have tried to pivot and focus instead on abortion, an issue on which polling indicates they enjoy greater support.

Following the Supreme Court's decision this summer to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 ruling that established a constitutional right to an abortion, red states have attempted to place greater restrictions on a woman's freedom to undergo the procedure.

The new Monmouth University poll out this week found 56% of voters consider abortion a top concern — a strong majority but far less than the number that named crime and inflation a major worry.

The GOP's strategy seems to be working, with Republicans gaining ground in some key Senate races amid their onslaught of ads on crime.

One race where this trend has been evident is in Wisconsin, where the Democrats' nominee for the Senate, Mandela Barnes, has tried to stay away from crime and focus on abortion, while his Republican opponent, incumbent Sen. Ron Johnson, has done the opposite.

Johnson's polling position has improved, with his crime-focused attacks taking their toll on Barnes.

Aaron Kliegman


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Biden Administration Establishes New Racial Equity Committee - Joseph Klein


by Joseph Klein

Can you guess what its mission will be?


Biden’s January 6 Anniversary Speech - and His Big Lies

Just days after Vice President Kamala Harris suggested “giving resources based on equity” in providing hurricane relief, the Biden administration doubled down on its woke obsession with “equity.” The Biden Treasury Department announced the establishment of a new Treasury Advisory Committee on Racial Equity. Its mission will be to “identify, monitor and review aspects of the domestic economy that have directly and indirectly resulted in unfavorable conditions for Black, Latino, and Indigenous and Native American persons, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and other persons of color.”

It is no surprise that the committee is stacked with left-wing social justice progressives.

Michael Nutter, the David N. Dinkins Professor of Professional Practice in Urban and Public Affairs at Columbia University and former mayor of Philadelphia, is the committee’s Chair. In June 2020, shortly after the killing of George Floyd, Mr. Nutter castigated the entire nation as racist. Mr. Nutter posed a whole series of accusations in the form of loaded questions, which were based on the premise that America is systemically racist and has never stopped trying to keep the black population down. Here are some samples.

“When, America, will you get tired of kneeling on the necks of the Black people you captured and brought here for your slave labor?”

“When will you tire of the daily effort to hold Black people back from ‘Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness’?”

“When will be the right time to talk about what you have done to Black people, how you made our lives hell, why you did what you did, and what you think can be done to fix what you have done?

“Aren’t you tired yet from holding your knee or foot on our collective necks for 400 years?”

At the end of his harangue, Mr. Nutter warned America that “we will…make you uncomfortable until you not only listen, but actually start hearing us and changing your behavior and systems.” (Emphasis in the original) Now he will have the chance to pose these questions and demand radical solutions as Chair of the Treasury Department’s new equity committee.

The Vice Chair of the new racial equity committee, Felicia Wong, is more radical than Michael Nutter, who at least at times has shown some support for the police and has acknowledged the severe problem of black-on-black crime plaguing major urban centers.

Vice Chair Felicia Wong sees the police as the enemy. She advocated for defunding the police in a report she co-authored for the Roosevelt Institute back in 2016, which charged that racial bias leads to “police brutality.” The report recommended that police budgets should be “reduced.”

Ms. Wong is the president and CEO of the Roosevelt Institute, a far-left organization that wants to “reimagine” capitalism. The Roosevelt Institute rejects what it calls “neoliberalism” and “racial liberalism” because supposedly they have “upheld a racial capitalism that subjugated people of color with racist rules while ignoring and revising history—promoting race-neutrality while exacerbating existing inequalities.”

In November 2021, Ms. Wong co-authored a report for the Roosevelt Institute entitled “A New Paradigm For Justice And Democracy.” Its subtitle is “Moving beyond the Twin Failures of Neoliberalism and Racial Liberalism.”

The report stated that “the demands of today’s racial justice movement stem from several core values,” which it listed:

“freedom and liberation: a vision for individual and collective self- determination, free from systemic oppression; repair and redress: an honest reckoning of America’s legacy of white supremacy and violence, followed by concrete, reparative action to redress those harms; and material equity: an equitable distribution of resources, decision-making power, and material outcomes.”

The report co-authored by Ms. Wong used the term “equity” forty times and defined it.

True equity means equity of outcome,” the report stated, “and not accepting the promise of ‘opportunity’ within a system that continues to systematically exclude.” (Emphasis added)

Elaborating on this theme, Ms. Wong and her co-author wrote: “Equity goes beyond equal access and opportunity. It means equitable material outcomes, closing gaps—in wealth, income, health, criminal justice, education, and more—that have persisted for generations and worsened over the last half-century. It is about a distribution of resources and of decision-making power, with an emphasis not only on individual equity but on equity for communities that have historically been excluded.”

This is the old wine of socialism in a new bottle branded as “racial equity.”

Others among the twenty-five committee members are not much better. Here are six examples who have displayed racial equity wokeness in action.

One of the members, Nicole Armand, described policing as “a profession that is built on a set of values, training programmes, reward systems that incentivise and motivate…racist actions.”

Another committee member, Georgetown Law Professor Dorothy Brown, has embraced critical race theory. Her 2021 book is entitled “The Whiteness of Wealth : How the Tax System Impoverishes Black Americans – and how we can fix it.” She also has written “Critical Race Theory: Cases, Materials and Problems.” One of her current projects is a book on reparations.

Lorella Praeli is the Co-President of Community Change and Community Change Action, whose “strategy is to create the conditions for transformational change that moves us in the direction of justice, equity, and an inclusive democracy and economy.”  She was formerly ACLU’s deputy national political director and director of immigration policy and campaigns, which focused on expanding immigrants’ rights, including illegal immigrants.

Ms. Praeli has also supported the defund the police movement. “#DefundThePolice isn’t just a hashtag. It’s a mandate to divest from racist policing, which disproportionately kills Black people and Latinos and feeds the deportation pipeline, and instead invest in a #caringeconomy that prioritizes working families and serves us all,” she tweeted in 2021.

Amanda Renteria is the CEO of Code for America, which emphasizes the need to “address deep inequities threaded into our country’s history and work toward more equitable outcomes for the people we serve.” (Emphasis added)

Darrick Hamilton is a university professor and founding director of the Institute on Race, Power and Political Economy at The New School. He served as a national surrogate in Senator Bernie Sanders’ 2020 presidential campaign and played a key role in advising Senator Sanders on some of his more left-wing “economic justice” policies, including housing, student debt, and education. Professor Hamilton is a proponent of what is known as stratification economics, which a 2022 article that he co-authored said was aligned  “with the critical race theory concept of ‘the property rights in Whiteness.’”

The Treasury Advisory Committee on Racial Equity will waste taxpayers’ money producing predictable woke pronouncements by its ideologues on how America needs to be fundamentally transformed to remedy the so-called continuing evils of systemic racism. It is another pitiful example of the Biden administration’s deference to the left-wing progressive base of the Democrat Party.

Joseph Klein is a Harvard-trained lawyer, and the author of Global Deception: The UN’s Stealth Assault on America’s Freedom and Lethal Engagement: Barack Hussein Obama, The United Nations & Radical Islam.


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Russian soldiers calling Ukrainian surrender hotline by the thousands - GUR - Jerusalem Post Staff


by Jerusalem Post Staff

Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense Representative Andriy Yusov said over 2,000 calls to the surrender hotline have been made thus far – and that the number is growing.


Russian soldier on the Ukrainian border, March 1 (photo credit: REUTERS)
Russian soldier on the Ukrainian border, March 1
(photo credit: REUTERS)

A representative from Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense (GUR) announced that thousands of phone calls have been made by Russian forces declaring the surrender to the ministry since the hotline debuted a few weeks ago, the GUR representative announced on an interview with TV channel "FREEDOM" on Monday.

Representative Andriy Yusov from GUR said the calls have come from soldiers awaiting deployment and even Russian troops who have already been mobilized. He added that over 2,000 calls have been made thus far and that the number is growing.

Yusov added that in some instances, wives call the hotline to inquire about securing surrenders for their husbands. Yusov also explained that Ukraine will follow Geneva Conventions protocol and allow surrendering forces access to medical care and allowed to contact their relatives.

“Most importantly, they get to live instead of being turned into cannon fodder in a war of Ruscists [supporters of the Russian administration] and Putin against Ukraine,” he said.

 A Russian serviceman addresses reservists at a gathering point in the course of partial mobilization of troops, aimed to support the country's military campaign in Ukraine, in the town of Volzhsky in the Volgograd region, Russia September 28, 2022.  (credit: STRINGER/ REUTERS) A Russian serviceman addresses reservists at a gathering point in the course of partial mobilization of troops, aimed to support the country's military campaign in Ukraine, in the town of Volzhsky in the Volgograd region, Russia September 28, 2022. (credit: STRINGER/ REUTERS)

Russian struggles in the war

Stories of Russian soldiers capitulating have grown in frequency as Russia continues to struggle in its war efforts.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Sunday that Ukrainian forces have "fully cleared" the strategic town of Lyman of Russian forces, adding to recent Ukrainian land gains, while prominent Putin allies have begun criticizing leading figures of the Russian Armed Forces for what they consider a failing war effort. 


Jerusalem Post Staff


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Explosion rocks Kerch Bridge connecting Russia and Crimea, 3 dead: officials - Lawrence Richard


by Lawrence Richard

Russian media reports the fire was caused after a fuel tank caught on fire

A truck exploded in the middle of the bridge connecting Crimea and Russia Saturday, killing three people, Russian officials confirmed.

The explosion ignited seven fuel tanks of a train also traveling on the Kerch bridge. Two of the victims, a man and a woman, have been pulled from the water below, Russia said.

The three victims were presumably passengers in the car next to the truck that exploded, according to Russia.

Authorities suspended travel on the bridge, according to Russia’s RIA state news agency. Ukrainian media outlets reported an explosion was heard around 6 a.m. local time, Reuters reported.

An explosion and a fire were reported in the middle of the Kerch Bridge on Oct. 8, 2022.

An explosion and a fire were reported in the middle of the Kerch Bridge on Oct. 8, 2022. (REUTERS/Nasaybah Hussain)

Authorities suspended travel on the Kerch Bridge after explosion.

Authorities suspended travel on the Kerch Bridge after explosion. (REUTERS/Nasaybah Hussain)

Photos of the road-and-rail bridge on social media show part of the bridge was destroyed and plunged into the water below. Some videos show a large blaze and a column of black smoke.

Russian officials say the truck was owned by a resident of the Krasnodar region in southern Russia, and that they are searching the owner's residence and tracking the truck's route.


In this image taken from video released by the Russian Investigative Committee, employees of the Russian Investigative Committee work at the scene of a damaged part of the Crimean Bridge connecting Russian mainland and Crimean peninsula over the Kerch Strait, near Kerch, Crimea, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022.

In this image taken from video released by the Russian Investigative Committee, employees of the Russian Investigative Committee work at the scene of a damaged part of the Crimean Bridge connecting Russian mainland and Crimean peninsula over the Kerch Strait, near Kerch, Crimea, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022. (Russian Investigative Committee via AP)

The agency added: "The shipping arches are not damaged."

The reports of the fire occurred hours after Russia shelled the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, destroying several buildings and sending towering plumes of smoke into the sky.

Authorities did not indicate any casualties.


The Kerch Bridge was built after Russia annexed the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine in 2014. It was officially opened in 2018 to connect Crimea to Russia.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Lawrence Richard


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Lebanon maritime border deal: A blessing or a curse for Israel? - Herb Keinon


by Herb Keinon

A better deal can always be had. The question is whether the deal on the table serves the country’s long-term interests, even if it is not perfect.


 AN ISRAELI Navy boat is seen in the Mediterranean Sea from Rosh Hanikra, close to the Lebanese border (photo credit: AMMAR AWAD/REUTERS)
AN ISRAELI Navy boat is seen in the Mediterranean Sea from Rosh Hanikra, close to the Lebanese border
(photo credit: AMMAR AWAD/REUTERS)

On September 14, 2016, after long, drawn-out negotiations, Israel and the US signed a 10-year memorandum of understanding governing military assistance to Israel from 2019 to 2028.

Under the deal, finalized by then-US president Barack Obama in the waning days of his presidency, Washington would provide Israel with $38 billion in military assistance over a decade, amounting to $3.8b. per year. No paltry sum, this represented a $7b. increase over the previous MoU.

As details of the deal began to trickle out even before the agreement was formally announced, then-prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu came under a barrage of criticism. Ehud Barak, Netanyahu’s bitter political rival, led the charge, arguing that had Netanyahu maintained better ties with Obama – and not gone head-to-head with him over the Iranian nuclear deal – Israel could have gotten an even better deal. Barak maintained that it would have been possible to get a $45b. package.

In addition, critics said that Israeli defense industries would be badly hurt by the MoU’s phasing out of an Off-Shore Procurement provision by which Israel could spend 26.3% of the US military assistance locally.

One of the counterarguments used by Netanyahu’s spokesmen at the time was that the opposition will always claim that it could have negotiated a sweeter deal.

A court hearing in the trial against former Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, at the District Court in Jerusalem on March 23, 2022. (credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)A court hearing in the trial against former Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, at the District Court in Jerusalem on March 23, 2022. (credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)

It is ironic, therefore, that one of the arguments Netanyahu and the Likud are making against the draft agreement with the US over a maritime border arrangement with Lebanon is that Israel gave in too much, and that with more determination a better deal could have been had.

A better deal can always be had. The question is whether the deal on the table serves the country’s long-term interests, even if it is not perfect.

The Lebanon deal is heavily politicized

PREDICTABLY, DURING an election campaign, the answer to that falls along party lines, with Prime Minister Yair Lapid and his supporters singing the deal’s praises, and Netanyahu and his supporters saying it was a total capitulation to Lebanon and Hezbollah.

Making matters even more difficult is that while the general contours of the deal have come out in the press over the last few days, the nitty-gritty details of the arrangement remain hidden from view.

According to reports in the press, Israel conceded some of what it claimed as its territorial waters to Lebanon so that the Lebanese could explore and then possibly exploit the Kana gas field.

In return, according to the reports, Israel will get a percentage of the royalties from that field, although the exact percentage has not been revealed. Beyond that, little more is known.

On Thursday Lapid’s office said that he rejected changes that the Lebanese wanted to insert in the agreement, though the public has no idea what those changes are. The security cabinet met to discuss the details of the plan only on Thursday afternoon.

Despite the dearth of any real information, a bitter political debate is already being waged over the issue, with Netanyahu arguing that Lapid has sold Israeli interests out to Hezbollah, and Lapid saying that Netanyahu is feeding Hezbollah propaganda.

In other words, a critical long-term strategic issue has turned into a short-term political one, leading to speculation whether Lapid would be pushing so hard for this deal if it weren’t three weeks before an election, and whether Netanyahu would be slamming it to the same degree if he were not in the midst of another election campaign.

THE ISSUE is a complex one, and negotiations surrounding it have been going on for over a decade, led first by Frederic Hof under the Obama administration, then David Schenker under the Trump administration, and over the last couple of years by Amos Hochstein, a Biden envoy.

At issue are competing Israeli and Lebanese claims about where their maritime border lies – an issue that took on great importance only over the last 20 years because of natural gas finds in the Eastern Mediterranean. The line Israel originally claimed is hundreds of kilometers north of where Lebanon set its line – constituting a disputed territory of some 860, an area that is believed to be rich in natural gas deposits.

In 2012, Hof split the difference between the two claims, giving Lebanon 55% of the disputed territory, and Israel the remaining 45%. This left the majority of the undeveloped Kana field on the Lebanese side of what became known as the Hof Line, while the lucrative Karish field would be fully inside Israel’s territorial waters.

Eight years later, however, the Lebanese changed their mind, and redrew their line even further south than their original position, encompassing the entire Karish field. Israel dismissed those claims, and the Karish field has been developed and is just awaiting word from the government before becoming operable.

One thing that has held up making Karish operable is Hezbollah’s threats. In July the organization launched four drones toward the rig, and a month later released a video putting the rig within Hezbollah missile sites. The message was clear: if Israel begins pumping gas from Karish, Hezbollah will retaliate, undoubtedly triggering a wider conflagration.

At first glance, Hezbollah’s message seemed aimed at Israel: don’t dare start pumping from Karish until the maritime dispute is resolved. But in retrospect, the message seemed designed for the Lebanese public: to convince it that it was Hezbollah’s threats that forced Israel to back down on its demands and compromise on its maritime claims.

So when Netanyahu said, as he did on Sunday, that Lapid “shamefully surrendered to Nasrallah’s threats” by “giving away sovereign Israeli territory with a huge gas reservoir,” that is also the same impression Hezbollah head Hassan Nasrallah wants to create.

The question is whether willingness to concede Kana is a surrender.

Former US ambassador David Friedman apparently believes it is. On Monday he tweeted the following: “We spent years trying to broker a deal between Israel and Lebanon on the disputed maritime gas fields. Got very close with proposed splits of 55-60% for Lebanon and 45-40% for Israel. No one then imagined 100% to Lebanon and 0% to Israel. Would love to understand how we got here.”

To understand “how we got here,” the first place to look is at the geopolitical map, which – because of the Russian invasion of Ukraine – has changed radically in the two years since Friedman was involved in trying to broker the deal. In addition, the situation in Lebanon has only worsened since Friedman left his post as ambassador.

Both the US and France have been heavily involved in trying to strike a deal, primarily as a way to keep Lebanon – already a basket case – from completely unraveling. While it will take years before any gas from Kana actually flows – as of now it is not even clear whether there is a commercial quantity in the field – an operable and profitable Kana field could help put Lebanon on a better trajectory.

The US has made it clear that it has an interest in seeing this deal through, and reportedly has placed pressure on Jerusalem to give it the green light. America’s interest is not only in trying to prop up Lebanon, but also in trying to find alternative energy resources for Europe, which is desperately seeking new energy sources now that the Russians – on which Europe was heavily dependent for its energy needs – have turned off the spigot.

Kana does not solve Europe’s energy needs, but – taken together with other alternative avenues that Europe is exploring – could eventually make a dent.

For Washington this deal is in the interests of not only Lebanon and Israel, but also the US. As such, Israel must ask itself whether it wants to say no to its most important ally over an issue that is more an economic than a security one, especially at a time when the Iranian nuclear issue still looms large and tensions are rising with the Palestinians.

In addition, the deal could potentially have far-reaching positive regional repercussions.

For instance, if the Kana field is developed, it would make it less likely for Hezbollah in the future to target Israel’s offshore gas sites, as it has threatened to do in the past, since this deal would give Israel a convenient target to retaliate against.

Secondly, while this deal is light years away from any kind of treaty or normalization agreement with Lebanon, it will provide Lebanon with a stronger incentive than it has now to ensure that the border with Israel remains calm.

And, thirdly, the stronger Lebanon becomes economically, the less it will depend on Iran. In this sense, the deal looks worthwhile from a long-term strategic viewpoint, even if it means paying an economic price.

What’s the problem?

The problem is that these types of logical scenarios predicting how various actors will play is reminiscent of the arguments the government made before Israel carried out its withdrawal from Gaza in 2005.

The Palestinians will want to maintain the quiet, it was argued, because of a fear of Israeli reprisals and because if they had something to lose, they wouldn’t want to jeopardize it. Furthermore, then prime minister Ariel Sharon also argued that this would give Israel more leeway from the Bush administration in acting against the Palestinian terrorism of the Second Intifada.

It all made sense in a theoretical world – it’s just that in the real world not all the actors acted as expected.

The issues involved in the maritime agreement with Lebanon are weighty – such as how Kana might be used to fill Hezbollah’s coffers, and what will be the ramifications of Hezbollah presenting this to the Arab world as an Israeli capitulation. This matter deserves a serious debate that goes beyond Netanyahu and Lapid trading barbs. The problem is that with just three weeks until the election, the chances of getting such a discussion are slim.

And that raises another difficulty. Should such a significant decision be made by a caretaker government in the final weeks of its tenure? And if the decision to accept the arrangement is made so close to the new election, won’t the legitimacy of the deal be forever questioned?•

Herb Keinon


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Israel remains caught between China and the United States - Ilai Z. Saltzman


by Ilai Z. Saltzman

As Sino-American relations continuously worsen, the fork in the road moment is fast approaching.


 CIA DIRECTOR William Burns speaks during a House Intelligence Committee hearing. During a meeting last year with then-prime minister Naftali Bennett, Burns expressed his concerns regarding Chinese investments in Israel (photo credit: TASOS KATOPODIS/REUTERS)
CIA DIRECTOR William Burns speaks during a House Intelligence Committee hearing. During a meeting last year with then-prime minister Naftali Bennett, Burns expressed his concerns regarding Chinese investments in Israel

The first meeting of the United States-Israel Strategic High-Level Dialogue on Technology took place in Washington, last week. According to the Jerusalem Declaration that established this forum, the objective is to “establish a partnership on critical and emerging technologies to bring the cooperation between the countries to new heights.” Though the language speaks of a bilateral partnership, the purpose of this working group is, in fact, to make sure the Israeli government does not sell technology to China the American administration deems a threat to US national security.

As Sino-American relations become more contentious, Israel has been quickly drawn into the crossfire given its close association with the US. Still, Israel’s technological exports to China and the challenges they pose for the US are not new. In the mid-1990s, for example, the Israeli government sought to sell China several Phalcon Airborne Early Warning (AEW) systems for an estimated $1 billion (NIS 3.5 b.). Under massive pressure from the White House and Congress, Israel eventually canceled the deal and had to pay back the $200 million (NIS 705.6 m.) down payment to the Chinese government, as well as $150 million (NIS 529 m.) in compensation.

Over the past decade, the American administration has become exceedingly apprehensive about China’s legal, as well as illicit efforts to boost its technological competency, and challenge the US’ advantage in innovative research and development (R&D). Beijing was frequently accused of engaging in extensive cyber campaigns designed to steal sensitive data concerning novel military technology from American governmental agencies, as well as private defense contractors.

FBI Director Christopher Wray publicly asserted in July 2020 that “The greatest long-term threat to our nation’s information and intellectual property, and our economic vitality is the counterintelligence and economic espionage threat from China. It’s a threat to our economic security and by extension, to our national security.” This harsh rhetoric is reminiscent of the Cold War era and it implies there is an all-consuming Sino-American great power competition that does not allow US allies to flirt with adversaries even in the ostensibly innocuous economic realm, let alone when it comes to advanced technology with military applications.

 US SECRETARY OF STATE Antony Blinken and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi meet on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Rome, in October (credit: Tiziana Fabi/Pool via REUTERS) US SECRETARY OF STATE Antony Blinken and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi meet on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Rome, in October (credit: Tiziana Fabi/Pool via REUTERS)

THE TENSE technological China-Israel-US triangle is further complicated by American worries regarding the efforts of Chinese companies to gain access to and possibly ownership over Israeli critical infrastructure, including ports, railways and highways as part of Beijing’s global Belt and Road Initiative. In August 2021, for example, director of the CIA William Burns expressed his concerns regarding Chinese investments in Israel during a meeting with then-prime minister Naftali Bennett. A senior State Department official told the Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee, “We know our partners and allies in the Middle East have trade relations with China and that’s OK... but we made it clear that there is a certain kind of cooperation with China we cannot live with.”

According to Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics, China became Israel’s largest source of imports in 2021, topping the US, and Israel’s largest trade deficit was also with China, totaling $6.6 billion (NIS 23.3 b.). Given the clear imbalance, from the Israeli perspective expanding trade relations with China makes sense and it is all about the promise of a massive and lucrative market for Israel’s burgeoning tech industry.

From the American administration’s standpoint, however, the problem revolves around military technology and dual-use technology that can serve both civilian and military functions. Israel’s role in China’s economic and military rise in support of Beijing’s regional or global aspirations, albeit considerably modest as well as indirect, is something with which the US is growingly uncomfortable.

In the late 1940s and early 1950s, David Ben-Gurion had to make a difficult decision about Israel’s global orientation and choose between East and West despite previous efforts to remain non-aligned. Israeli leaders are about to face a similar pivotal moment, although this time the dilemma is less severe. The US-Israel special relationship and the diplomatic, military and economic reliance on the Americans do not lend any meaningful support to a keep-all-options-open Israeli approach.

As Sino-American relations continuously worsen, the fork in the road moment is fast approaching, and Israeli policymakers must be prepared and willing to take the right path. Ben-Gurion chose the West over the East, the US over the Soviet Union. There are short-term benefits to selling technology to China or allowing it to build or own parts of Israel’s critical infrastructure.

There may be a way to tactically come to an understanding with the American administration regarding certain aspects of the China-Israel relationship. In the long-term, however, Israel’s future is with the US and maintaining the bilateral special relationship is of the utmost strategic importance.

Ilai Z. Saltzman is the Israel Institute visiting professor of Israel studies at the University of Maryland at College Park and a board member at Mitvim – the Israel Institute of Foreign Regional Policy.


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The FBI’s Double Standard on Abortion - Daniel Greenfield


by Daniel Greenfield

"They know who these people are. They're choosing not to make arrests."


Last month, The Mother and Unborn Baby Care Center, a pregnancy center in Southfield, Michigan, was vandalized causing thousands of dollars in damages. Graffiti left behind reading, “If abortion isn’t safe neither are you, Jane” linked the attack to Jane’s Revenge, a leftist pro-abortion domestic terrorist group that is believed to be responsible for as many as 50 attacks on pregnancy centers and pro-life groups.

Southfield police notified the FBI which refused to comment on the case.

After 18 attacks directly claimed by Jane’s Revenge over a period of six months, the FBI has made zero arrests. But while under Biden the feds have shown no interest in a national campaign of leftist terrorism, the FBI has been swift to come after abortion opponents.

The same month as the Southfield attack, an FBI team of 25 armed agents pounded on the door of of an anti-abortion activist in Pennsylvania who had been accused of shoving a Planned Parenthood escort. A nationwide campaign of domestic terrorism didn’t trigger a single arrest, but a shove brought heavily armed men in over a dozen vehicles to a suburban home.

The FBI has claimed that “the number of personnel and vehicles widely reported as being on scene Friday is an overstatement” and that its tactics were “professional”. The actual professional tactic would have been to ask the gentleman in question to turn himself in.

But under Biden and Garland, the DOJ has engaged in a campaign of political intimidation.

Biden’s DOJ put out a statement about the incident by his nominee, Jacqueline C. Romero, who was touted as the “first woman of color and first LGBTQIA+ person to become U.S. attorney.”

“Violating the FACE Act by committing a physical assault is a serious crime for which the FBI will work to hold offenders accountable,” Jacqueline Maguire, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Philadelphia Division, who had been featured in Women’s History Month, warned.

The FACE Act, introduced by Senator Ted Kennedy, who had killed a woman some said may have been carrying his child in the first known example of a senatorial underwater abortion, means that the FBI will come pounding on doors over a shoving incident at an abortion clinic, but pregnancy centers can be torched across the country without a word.

On paper, the FACE Act also protects pregnancy centers, but the extremely differing enforcement standards by Biden’s DOJ and the FBI make it all too clear that it does not.

Also in September,  Christopher Moscinski, a Franciscan friar, who was already serving time on state charges for “occupying” the waiting room of a New York abortion clinic, was hit with FACE federal charges by the Biden administration for padllocking the gates of an abortion clinic and then laying “his body in front of the gate, blocking vehicles from entering the health center’s parking lot”. Environmentalist protesters routinely lie down in the street to block traffic. No one sends in the feds after them. They occupy government buildings and they don’t go to prison.

Moscinski’s actions were illegal, but leftist protesters routinely engage in the same kind of behavior, locking and blocking entrances and call it civil disobedience. There are few consequences if any for this behavior. And no pro-abortion protesters rallying outside pregnancy centers have faced FACE Act charges, let alone aggressive FBI aids on their homes.

But Biden’s DOJ keeps using the FACE Act to target pro-life protesters outside abortion clinics while issuing pro-abortion political statements that make its political agenda clear.

Philip Sellinger, another Biden nominee and a leading Democrat fundraiser, celebrated a FACE Act campaign against a street evangelist by declaring, “Access to reproductive healthcare is a fundamental right…  Individuals must be able to access facilities like the Englewood clinic to make decisions about their own bodies.” That was not a legal statement by a US Attorney, but a political statement by an aspiring Democrat politician abusing federal law enforcement authority.

But Sellinger was just echoing Biden’s Attorney General Merrick Garland, who had responded to the Supreme Court’s Dobbs ruling by attacking the court for having “eliminated an established right that has been an essential component of women’s liberty for half a century” and announcing that the DOJ  “strongly disagrees with the Court’s decision”.

Garland went even further in his insurrection against the Constitution and the Supreme Court by warning that he would employ the FACE Act to “protect healthcare providers and individuals seeking reproductive health services in states where those services remain legal”.

Biden’s own Beria clearly meant only one kind of service. The kind that ends a child’s life.

The DOJ’s Reproductive Rights Task Force has weaponized the FACE Act under Vanita Gupta, a leftist veteran of the ACLU and the NAACP, and racked up charges against anti-abortion protesters. Since the attacks on pregnancy centers are being investigated under FACE Act violations, it is quite likely that they’re being routed to the DOJ’s Abortion Task Force.

And the Abortion Task Force’s response would be to cheer on Jane’s Revenge.

The lack of trust has become so severe that Reverend James Harden, the head of a pregnancy center in New York, has filed suit against the FBI to return surveillance footage from the attack. The FBI took the footage, but has refused to share it with CompassCare: the victimized clinic.

According to Harden, the video shows license plates and other identifying footage. And yet after over 100 days, the FBI has made no arrests and refuses to turn over the video.

“They know who these people are. They’re choosing not to make arrests,” Harden charged.

Meanwhile, local authorities claimed to be worried that releasing the video would play into the hands of right-wing “nut jobs out there with guns and AK-47s, bombing and killing people.”

Late last month, the FBI canceled a visit meant to look into the firebombing of the clinic.

Even while leftist pro-abortion terrorists continue vandalizing and firebombing pregnancy centers, Democrat politicians at the federal and state level have targeted those same centers with legislation meant to shut them down in an effort to achieve the same terroristic goals.

In Los Angeles, Democrats are trying to impose a $10,000 fine for anyone who claims to have been misled into thinking that pregnancy centers also provide baby-terminating services. A similar attempt in California had already been struck down by the Supreme Court years ago.

Senator Elizabeth Warren introduced the Stop Anti-Abortion Disinformation Act which tries to use the FTC to target pregnancy centers. Senator Mark Warner and House Democrats demanded that Google go even further in censoring pregnancy centers from its search results.

Jane’s Revenge, or whichever combination of activists are operating under that name, is just the direct action arm of a leftist movement that is coordinating a campaign against pro-life groups. And the Biden administration is using its control over the DOJ and the FBI to implement it, ignoring violence by its political allies while ruthlessly going after acts of civil disobedience.

Under Merrick Garland, the DOJ has become the enforcement arm of the Left. Justice can only return to the Department of Justice when Garland and the other cronies have left the building.

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


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Erdoğan Allows Iran's Ally Hizbullah to Operate in Turkey -- Monitoring NATO Installations - Abdullah Bozkurt


by Abdullah Bozkurt

Hizbullah is a deadly group backed by Iran that seeks to establish an Iranian-style mullah regime in Turkey.

Published originally under the title "Outlawed Hizbullah Entity Resumed Operations in Turkey with Erdoğan Gov't Approval."

Documents referenced in this article are available in the original Nordic Monitor version.

After being banned in 2012, the Iran-backed Hizbullah entity Mustazaf-Der ("the Oppressed") has resumed operations in Turkey with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's blessings.

Turkish authorities recently approved the reopening of an outlawed, Iranian-funded association with ties to designated Turkish terrorist group Hizbullah nearly a decade after a court ruled to ban the organization.

The move is yet more evidence of how the Islamist government of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been developing closer ties with Iran, which has been secretly funding Hizbullah and affiliated entities, providing intelligence and arms training to its militants.

The ceremony for the reopening of Mustazaf-Der (meaning "Those Oppressed," Mustazaflar ile Yardımlaşma ve Dayanışma Derneği in Turkish) was held on September 11 in Diyarbakır's central Bağlar district where Hizbullah's political front, the Free Cause Party (HÜDA-PAR), is headquartered.

The banning of Mustazaf-Der took place in 2012 after several cases launched by public prosecutors in Konya, Adana and Ankara between in 2008 and 2009 revealed that the organization was closely linked to Hizbullah. The investigations led to indictments and trials resulting in the conviction of dozens of Hizbullah militants with connections to Mustazaf-Der.

Based on the convictions and evidence revealed during these trials, the public prosecutor in Diyarbakır drafted an indictment for Mustazaf-Der, seeking the closure of the association on terrorism charges. In 2012, after deliberations, the Diyarbakır No. 2 Court of First Instance ruled that it be shut down.

Confidential documents obtained by Nordic Monitor show that Turkish police and military intelligence units had in the past mapped out the money trail leading to Mustazaf-Der and other Hizbullah-linked entities and individuals from Iran. The documents, incorporated into a terrorism investigation of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force, identified the transfer of half a million dollars from Iran to Hizbullah in February 2012 alone.

A report filed by the counterterrorism bureau of the Diyarbakır police department on May 9, 2012 stated that Hizbullah received $100,000 every month from Iran in addition to lump-sum payments for special operations. It noted that Mehmet Hüseyin Yılmaz, the head of Mustazaf-Der; Mehmet Göktaşa, the owner of Hizbullah's publication Doğru Haber; and Sait Gabari and Fikret Gültekin, Hizbullah propagandists, all received half a million dollars from Iran in February 2012. It also added that Iran sent $10,000 to the family of Ubeydullah Durna, a Mustazaf member who was killed by the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in the town of Yuksekova near Turkey's border with Iran on May 5, 2011.

The report further revealed that Iran set up a special unit in Hizbullah for espionage and surveillance in Turkey to monitor military activities, especially around NATO installations. Members of this group were selected from people who work in government jobs and the media for easy access to sensitive sites and installations. It underlined that the unit ran surveillance of a NATO radar base in Malatya province, photographed and video-recorded the base and its surroundings and passed the results to its Iranian handlers.

The Quds Force probe was hushed up by the Erdoğan government in 2014, and the investigating prosecutor was sacked before he had a chance to secure detention warrants for the suspects or file an indictment. The report on Hizbullah and other evidence in the case file were all buried by Erdoğan's people, who were in bed with Hizbullah.

The reopening of Mustazaf-Der is part of a secret deal made by Hizbullah with the government in exchange for its political endorsement of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), led by President Erdoğan, in next year's elections. It follows an earlier pattern seen just before the March 2019 local elections, when the Erdoğan government, which had quietly released convicted members of Turkish Hizbullah, including notorious killers who were serving life sentences for the murder of 91 people in the 1990s and early 2000s in Turkey.

Hizbullah is a deadly group backed by Iran that seeks to establish an Iranian-style mullah regime in Turkey. It was set up in the '80s but made a name for itself in the '90s, when it recruited mostly Kurds in southeastern Turkey and was supported by some elements of the Turkish intelligence, military and police establishments against the outlawed PKK.

They were brutal in their murders, kidnapping moderate Muslims and executing them after torturing them in rooms built under safe houses.

It, however, faced a huge crackdown in early 2001 after the death of its leader, Hüseyin Velioğlu, in a clash with police during a raid on a safe house in Istanbul on January 17, 2000. Hizbullah then adopted a low-key profile and changed tactics to survive the clampdown. It had quietly been reorganizing itself under a number of foundations, associations and other entities during the Erdoğan government's first two terms in office. The group established the HÜDA-PAR political party in December 2012 with the support of the Erdoğan government, which green-lighted the party's entry into politics.

Hizbullah's lobbying efforts to rescue its members from prison bore fruit in the aftermath of corruption investigations that rattled the ruling party in December 2013 and incriminated then-prime minister Erdoğan and his inner circle. The group struck a bargain with Erdoğan in exchange for political support before the local elections of March 2013. Some members of Hizbullah were released after the elections.

The alliance became more important for Erdoğan when the AKP lost its majority in parliament in the June 2015 elections for the first time in its 13-year rule. To help Erdoğan's party, Hizbullah did not field independent candidates in the elections and instead supported AKP candidates in Kurdish regions. More jailed Hizbullah militants were released from prison, while some Hizbullah members were given key posts in government agencies, especially to fill the void in the bureaucracy after a massive purge of members of the Gülen movement, a government critic.

Adding insult to injury, police chiefs, prosecutors and judges who were involved in investigating, prosecuting and trying Hizbullah members in the past were all removed by the Erdoğan government, and some were even imprisoned on bogus charges.

For example, Dündar Örsdemir, the presiding judge of the Ankara 11th High Criminal Court, which heard the Hizbullah trial in 2009, was arrested by the Erdoğan government, while two judges on the same panel, Hakan Oruç and Kadriye Çatal, were slapped with criminal cases on Gülen-linked charges. Similarly, three judges — Bayram Demirci, Ayşe Bolaç Yalçın and İrfan Yıldız — on a panel that heard the Hizbullah case in 2008 at the Adana 6th High Criminal Court were all dismissed and/or jailed by the Erdoğan government in 2016.

Now Hizbullah, with its political party, associations, foundations, media outlets, charity groups and other networks, has been rapidly expanding in Turkey, especially among Kurds, as well as in a number of European countries.

Abdullah Bozkurt, a Middle East Forum Writing Fellow, is a Swedish-based investigative journalist and analyst who runs the Nordic Research and Monitoring Network and is chairman of the Stockholm Center for Freedom.


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An Epidemic of Cognitive Impairment? - Victor Davis Hanson


by Victor Davis Hanson

Why is the supposed party of youth dominated by such frail and forgetful elderly?


President Joe Biden, the nominal head of the Democratic Party, is 79. But he increasingly acts and sounds 89.

Recently, Biden has pivoted repeatedly on stage with his arm outstretched to shake the hand — of someone not there.

On one recent occasion, Biden called out for Representative Jackie Walorski, R-Ind., who passed away in a car crash in early August. He was insistent, shouting to the crowd, “Jackie, are you here? Where’s Jackie? I think she wasn’t going to be here — to help make this a reality.”

Biden’s fantasy was the reality that Walorski is no longer with us.

Biden slurs his words. He truncates sentences. He speaks in a muddled voice that often makes comprehension impossible. When questioned, he grows irate, growls, and stutters.

Biden’s messaging is even more confusing than his medium. On any given day, Biden may impetuously announce that U.S. soldiers will defend the soil of Taiwan, or that the “killer” Russian President Vladimir Putin, unhinged head of nuclear Russia, must be removed from office promptly.

If Biden doesn’t like a question, he may deride the reporter as a “stupid son of a bitch.” He habitually lies about everything from COVID-19 vaccinations being unavailable until his presidency to the nature of his son’s military service.

Biden confuses Iran with Ukraine. He calls a senior African American assistant “my boy.”

For much of the Trump presidency, leftist opponents sought to remove him by the 25th Amendment. A Yale psychiatrist diagnosed Trump in absentia and declared him deserving of a straitjacket forced intervention. Partisan charges grew so intense that Trump voluntarily took — and aced — the Montreal Cognitive Assessment.

Strangely, the same Left armchair psychiatrists offer no such worries about Biden’s clear mental decline.

One reason Biden enjoys immunity from removal is that his 57-year-old vice president, Kamala Harris, is seen to be even more incoherent and ill-informed.

Harris cannot plead age as the cause of her mental confusion. Yet, the more the public sees and hears Harris’ mixed-up word salads, and bizarre cackling spells, the more it is convinced that she is either ignorant or intellectually lazy — or both.

Recently while at the demilitarized zone between the two Koreas, she read from a prepared speech that the United States honors its “very important,” “strong,” and “enduring,” “alliance” — with the communist, genocidal “Republic of North Korea.”

For those other than the vice president, North Korea is the sworn enemy of the United States, and is officially known as the “Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.”

Millions of Floridians remain currently displaced by Hurricane Ian. In response, Harris recently reassured them that impending federal assistance would be predicated not on need or individual disasters, but the basis of skin color.

Translated that would mean that millions of the homeless, white middle-class should wait in line for relief, given Harris’s promises to “fight for equity, understanding not everyone starts at the same place.”

Speaker of House Nancy Pelosi is 82. At times she too seems trapped in her world disconnected from reality. Pelosi recently mixed up Taiwan with mainland Communist China, and thus exclaimed “China is one of the freest societies in the world.”

She stood up and weirdly rubbed her clenched fists together when Biden in his state of the union address darkly mentioned the dangers of soldiers inhaling toxic fumes from burn pits.

Of course, after one of Trump’s SOTU addresses, Pelosi proceeded indignantly to tear up her copy of the speech on national television.

More recently, Pelosi defended open borders and the vast influxes of illegal aliens by crassly claiming “We need migrants to pick crops.”

Pelosi’s startling revelation of progressive condescension was reminiscent of NBC retweeting the liberal commentator who said of the movement of immigrants, “It’s like me taking my trash out and just driving to different areas where I live and just throwing my trash there.”

The Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania John Fetterman is running for senator in his home state. His handlers try to keep him from questioners. They duck debates. And they count on the media to edit videos of his increasingly rare and bizarre appearances.


Fetterman recently suffered a severe life-threatening stroke, the details, and prognoses of which he has yet to fully disclose.

Like Biden, Fetterman is now severely cognitively impaired. He cannot finish a coherent sentence while campaigning.

Almost daily Fetterman suffers long bouts of incoherence. He even becomes confused over where exactly he and his crowd are: “Send us back to New Jersey and send me to DC.”

The Democratic Party’s top hierarchy is run by octogenarians and septuagenarians. In the case of Biden and Pelosi, their powerful positions and age-related cognitive disabilities startle both Americans and allies abroad.

Why is the supposed party of youth dominated by such frail and forgetful elderly?

Maybe because the alternative of the next generation of would-be leaders waiting in the wings — like Kamala Harris or John Fetterman — is more frightening still.

Victor Davis Hanson


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Canada bans thousands of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard from entering country in major escalation - John Solomon


by John Solomon

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said move would ban over 10,000 members of the IRGC from entering Canada.


In a major escalation against Tehran’s regime, Canada on Friday permanently banned large numbers of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) from crossing its border.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau‘s declaration stopped short of legally declaring the IRGC a terrorist organization as conservatives had sought.

But it nonetheless will reduce Iran’s presence in the West while increasing pressure on its ruling mullahs as they try to violently suppress nationwide protests.

Trudeau said the move would ban over 10,000 members of the IRGC, including many prominent leaders, from entering Canada and was appropriate punishment for a regime he said was engaged in “heinous state behavior.”

“This is the strongest measure we have to go after states and state entities,” he said. “The Canadian criminal code is not the best tool to go after states or state entities, but we will continue to look at all tools we can use to do it.”

At least 92 people have been killed in Iran since Sept. 16, according to Oslo-based Iran Human Rights, after protests broke out countrywide over the killing of a young woman by the country’s religious police.

John Solomon


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