Friday, 31 January 2020
Remainer Thugs, SNP Delusions And Screaming Victimhood, And Brexit Celebrations
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by Brex i teer

You’ll no doubt have been informed by just about every single main stream media outlet that outside the Scottish so-called Parliament building a large group of Scottish National Party (SNP) anti-Brexit remainers and delusional believers in magical incantations demonstrated their support for the oligarchic dictatorship of the European Union and their contempt for the free democracy of the union of the United Kingdom.

What those main stream outlets will not tell you is that those of us who wished to gather there to protest against the stupidity of the Scottish Executive’s – sorry, the self-styled Scottish government’s – insistence that the E.U. is, and will always be, the fount of all goodness and the spiritual home of all those who love their part of the U.K., despite all the evidence to the contrary, were threatened with violence, in no uncertain terms, if we dared to even turn up.

This is typical of SNP supporters whose thuggish instincts surface if anyone even dares to whisper opposition to any of their crackpot ideas. For safety’s sake we decided on this occasion that cowardice was the better part of valour so we chose to hold our celebrations and our protests elsewhere and, as far as necessary, in private.

Needless to say there was no, and there will be no, coverage of those of us in Scotland who object to the SNP’s stance on Brexit, or its stance on anything else for that matter. Nor will there be any mention of the fact that more people in Scotland voted for Brexit than voted for the SNP. Nor will there be any coverage of the horrendous terms (such as massive curtailment of government spending leading to severe austerity, signing up to limitations on free speech, control and limits on foreign trade outside the E.U., acceptance of unlimited migration from non-E.U. countries, supervision of the currently independent Scottish legal system by the unaccountable E.U. courts, etc. etc.) that would be imposed on Scotland as prerequisites for the province joining the E.U. at a later date.

The main stream media seem to be hell bent on breaking up the UK by fair means or foul and reports of the events in Scotland surrounding Brexit are deliberately slanted in such a way as to imply that Scotland must now leave the United Kingdom. It’s dishonest and copiously demonstrates the underhand methods that most main stream journalists will use against the UK and its interests at every conceivable opportunity. Never has it been more true than it is now that if one does not read, listen to, or watch the main stream media then one is uninformed and if one does then one is totally misinformed.

 

 

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Posted on 01/31/2020 7:43 PM by Brex I Teer
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Friday, 31 January 2020
Dancing Party Tonight - Brexit Day in London
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To London for Brexit Day celebrations. Warning, I am an aged gammon and couldn't last the course. Nigel Farage's party was due to start at 9pm and finish at 11.15 after whatever has been contrived to announce 11pm in the absence of Big Ben. I got there early enough to photograph some of the preparations, meet friends, soak up the atmosphere and eventually (once we got into a pub which was accepting customers) have a beer. The party is ongoing as I write and I have permission to use photographs taken by braver, more vigorous friends. 

As I came across Trafalgar Square The Veterans,led by their piper were marching to their platform in Whitehall for their disco party.

Trigger warning - the DJ was playing some very good 1970s glam rock. A young policeman observing was quite startled at an elderly woman (me) who knew most of the words of Sweet's 1974 hit Ballroom Blitz.  Also Showaddywaddy and T-Rex

That set the mood very nicely. We had been warned that regulations governing Parliament Square are that no alcohol was permitted and no music other than incidental music between speeches. So a good rousing pop and rock reportoire in Whitehall was welcome. 

A dinky little bubble car turning off Whitehall.

The Mall leading to Buckingham Palace was lined with Union flags. 

A friend spent his afternoon observing the Remainer's sad farewell to Europe, with promises to campaign to return. This woman fancies herself as some sort of Eurowoman super hero. 

He also followed their farewell march from Whitehall to Europa House in Smith Square and I am on a promise of a photograph when he can send it later.  Later - thanks mate.

He also met some French supporters of Brexit who aspire to their own liberation Frexit in due course.

This is what was happening in Parliament Square when I arrived.

You might have noticed that many of the people present and celebrating are young and/or of an ethnic minority. It is not true that all us Brexit voters are old, decrepit and white (I'm more of a party pooper) and need to die (soon and preferably of a good flu, is one suggestion) 

As you can see the Queen Elizabeth Tower which contains the famous clock and its bell Big Ben is undergoing a massive restoration. The famous chimes are silent but were brought into use specifically for Remembrance Sunday in November and New Years Eve.  We were told that it would be too expensive to reinstall the temporary floor needed for the bell to chime 11 times at 11pm today; so a crowd fund raised £500,000 (despite the same operation in November and December only costing £40,000). But still the bell will not chime. I believe a recording will be used. There was supposed to be an illuminated clock on the walls of No 10 Downing Street but I couldn't see it. Unless it is only in the bit that the Prime Minister, other ministers and officials have access to. 

Parliament Square filling up over 2 hours in advance of Nigel Farage's presentation. 

The London Eye in the background, the other side of The River. 

As it got dark the red, white and blue illumination of some of our public buildings showed to good effect.

Downing Street alternating red, white and blue.

Viscount Alanbrooke and the Ministry of Defence.

Back at Parliament Square my friend describes the atmosphere as 'banging'. Which is good. This is the scene a few minutes ago.

I'm going to give the TV coverage some better attention as 11pm approaches. 

Telegraph live updates including Boris's speech here. 

The BBC really didn't want to cover the events in Parliament Square for a second longer than they needed to. The clock projection on Downing Street wouldn't have been visible to the public and was pretty pathetic. 

Meanwhile out in the 'burbs fireworks are going off down my street.

Happy Brexit Day!

 

Photographs E Weatherwax, C Dixon, Mr and Mrs F. London 31st January 2020

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Posted on 01/31/2020 3:26 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Friday, 31 January 2020
Selective Vigilante Justice
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by Phyllis Chesler

The tyrants of social identity have gone far enough—but I fear they will not stop anytime soon. I am talking about the de-platforming, “cancelling,” censorship, self-censorship, and revising or “disappearing” of all politically incorrect history.

Today, on stage, one can only act the character, if, in real life, you already are that character. Only a transgender person can “act” the part of a transgender person. So too, only someone whose ancestry is and who looks Latino, African, Japanese, Chinese, Hindu, etc. can act the part of one; only someone gay can play the part of a gay character.

And I thought that actors are in the specific business of acting the part of someone who they themselves are not. It’s why we call it “acting.”

Today, while men can again play and sing women’s roles on stage, and women can, increasingly, play male parts; and while singers and actors of color can play white parts—recently, only African-Americans were allowed to sing in the Metropolitan Opera’s production of Porgy and Bess. Okay, fair enough, historic marginalization and discrimination was and is real, but how far are we prepared to take this? Will no white opera singer ever be allowed to sing the roles of Aida, Turandot, or Othello? And will divas and tenors of color be confined only to such roles?

Roger Kimball has just excoriated Yale University for deleting everything white, straight, and male from its Art History survey course. Thus, out with Michelangelo, Da Vinci, Rembrandt, Goya, and Vermeer. Yale has also removed statues and names of men who had slaves or believed in slavery.

Will Flaubert also eventually be stricken from the curriculum because he dared to write about women—when clearly, he himself was not a woman? When he was a whoremonger and wrote about the brothels in Egypt quite graphically? And will George Elliot, Colette, and Virginia Woolf be “de-platformed” because they wrote about men? As “outsiders?”

Here’s something that bothers me quite a lot. As everyone knows, I am a very strong supporter of believing women (and men) who allege rape. In 1971, I delivered a keynote speech at the first-ever radical feminist speak-out on Rape in New York City. I support the #MeToo movement but also bear in mind the possibility that not all accusations are true or can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. A mere allegation should never serve as a conviction as it now does.

But, here’s where I part company with what’s happening.

I do not think it was right to remove the great opera singer Placido Domingo because he was accused of abusing his power as a director and world-famous tenor in sexual ways. Try him for committing a crime—but until then, allow him to move us to tears on stage. Nor do I think James Levine, the conductor, should have been dismissed because it was finally acknowledged that he’d been preying upon young boys and men. Try him if he’s committed a crime but if not, allow him to conduct. If Luciano Pavarotti were still alive, would he too be dismissed because he took liberties of one kind or another?

I despise what filmmaker Woody Allen has been accused of doing (sexually abusing his young daughter Dylan, an allegation which Ronan Farrow, Dylan’s brother, most ardently believes is true). Even if this remains an “unfounded” accusation, Allen’s very public, originally secret affair with and marriage to his long-time girlfriend, Mia Farrow’s adopted then teen-age daughter, is reason enough to see him as a cruel and immoral man.  But he is still a great filmmaker. Should we ban his films? Or boycott them? I think not.

This brings me to the banning of Roman Polanski’s new film about Dreyfus An Officer and as Gentleman. This is sheer madness. Yes, Polanski the man did something disgusting. He drugged and had sex with a thirteen-year-old girl and then fled the country into permanent exile in Europe to avoid being held responsible for this crime. Polanski the filmmaker is someone else.

This is absolutely the right time to screen a film about France’s sordid, Jew-hating past. The Dreyfus story is seminal. His trial was covered by the very assimilated Theodore Herzl and led to Herzl’s writing The Jewish State and eventually to his convening the first Zionist Congress in Basel, Switzerland, in 1897. Then, as now, crowds in Paris screamed “Death to the Jews.” Then, as now, there are heroes and villains galore involved in this story.

We will not be able to see this film in the UK or in the United States. And that is outrageous, unfortunate, dangerous, and demented.

The sexual harassment and assault of women must end. That is not happening any time soon. Rape victims are still rarely believed by police officers. Rape kits across the United States have sat on the shelves untested for nearly thirty years. Many women are desperate. People are paying attention for the very first time. But does de-platforming and cancelling the work of very imperfect, even criminal individuals solve this problem?

How close are we to demanding that only politically correct and socially identifiable artists be allowed to publish poetry, fiction, history, music? Are we ready to dismiss Rimbaud from the curriculum because he was a promiscuous, homosexual drunk, drug addict, and illegal gun-runner? Out with Dickens and Tolstoy for their extreme cruelty to their long suffering wives? Down with Robert Lowell who was a bi-polar misogynist and publicly cruel to his author wife Elizabeth Hardwick?

Might we weigh the public good inherent in having access to an amazing piece of culture over and against the importance of punishing the past criminal acts of its creator, acts that were, alas, tolerated? 

However, long silenced, heartbroken, and outraged mobs are applying vigilante justice and their power is feared by movie distributors, publishers, theater, opera, and ballet companies. 

What about all the sexual harassers and assaulters who are not great artists and who are rarely named? All the factory foremen, restaurant owners, and union bosses who continue to have the power to shame an innocent woman who is desperate to earn a living, and who rarely obtains any justice when she become a whistleblower. How do the politically correct mobs plan to “out” and punish them—men (more rarely, women), who do not contribute to culture and civilization in any way?

Is this the kind of selective vigilante justice we want to rule us?

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Posted on 01/31/2020 7:29 AM by Phyllis Chesler
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Friday, 31 January 2020
Prince Charles in Bethlehem: “It breaks my heart” to see Palestinian suffering
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by Hugh Fitzgerald

Prince Charles was recently in Israel, along with many world leaders, for the observance of the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. He visited the President’s Residence, where he told President Reuven Rivlin that “For me, this [visit] is a very significant experience. Many of my teachers at school were Holocaust survivors, and we are all deeply committed to combating antisemitism.” He went to the Israel Museum, and saw the Dead Sea Scrolls and other artifacts that provided irrefutable evidence for the thousands of years of Jewish history made in the Land of Israel. He went to Yad Vashem for the main ceremony. He was, of course – how could he not be? – deeply moved. He proclaimed his sympathy for the past sufferings of the Jews. And he meant it.

Later, at a reception at the British ambassador’s residence in Ramat Gan, the Prince expressed his admiration for the Start-Up Nation’s remarkable display of ingenuity and creativity. After meeting the people behind technological projects, he said: “It seems to me like Israeli genius is maintaining the entire structure of the NHS, along with a great deal of other technology,” and he spoke of “riveting developments and ingenious inventions.” That’s quite something: stating that the entire structure of Britain’s National Health Service is being maintained by “Israeli genius.” Israel’s unstoppable inventiveness is now resulting not just in patents and profits and worldwide wonderment, but also in political benefits.

Prof. Hossam Haick of the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology presented the Sniff Phone, an electronic nose that can detect diseases from exhaled breath, to the crown prince. Hayah received a UK-Israel bilateral scientific research excellence grant. Prof. Tal Dvir of Tel Aviv University showed the prince his work on 3D printed hearts.

Prince Charles was also presented with sustainability projects: HomeBiogas, a device to produce natural gas from home waste, and Watergen filtration system, which draw waters from humidity in the air.

So far, so good.

But then there was this:

A speech by the heir to the UK throne, urging ‘freedom, justice, equality,’ was described by a TV station as ‘biggest show of support ever’ for the Palestinians by a member of the royal family.

Britain’s Prince Charles said on Friday that he was heartbroken to witness the “suffering” and “hardship” endured by the Palestinians.

The remarks by the heir to the British throne, who was visiting the West Bank town of Bethlehem, were described by Britain’s Sky News TV as constituting “the biggest show of support that a member of the Royal family ever has [expressed] for the Palestinians.”

Visiting the town revered by Christians as the birthplace of Jesus, Charles said: “It breaks my heart therefore that we should continue to see so much suffering and division. No one arriving in Bethlehem today could miss the signs of continued hardship, and the situation you face.”

It breaks Prince Charles’s heart to see – in Bethlehem – “so much suffering and division.” That statement demands discussion. There has certainly been “suffering and division” in Bethlehem – it’s the “suffering” of Bethlehem’s Christians. And there is “division” in Bethlehem, between the town’s Muslims and its Christians. In 1950, 86% of the population of Bethlehem was Christian; now it has plummeted to below 10%. Why should this have happened? Prince Charles undoubtedly does not know how that Christian town turned into a Muslim one. So let’s explain it to him.

As Muslim numbers grew, and Muslims became more aggressive, the Christians in Bethlehem suffered. They felt keenly that they were being inexorably replaced by those who despised them. There were more mosques. There were more shops owned by Muslims who were happy to sell Christian themed souvenirs to tourists. In the schools, as the student population became more Muslim, the subjects taught reflected that fact: less attention to Christian history, much more to Muslim history. There were often clashes between Muslims and Christians: who was hogging the best spaces in the open markets, who was badmouthing whom to tourists, who received preferential treatment from the municipality – it all contributed to bad blood and to the decisions of so many Christians to leave their native town of Bethlehem.

Israel had nothing to do with that “suffering” of Bethlehem’s Christians, and as a matter of fact, it was only when Bethlehem was governed by the Israelis, after the Six-Day War, that the outflow of Christians noticeably decreased. But ever since Bethlehem came under the rule of the Palestinian Authority, Christians have again been leaving Bethlehem. The same phenomenon could be seen in Gaza, where there were 5,000 Christians when Israel pulled out in 2005; now there are fewer than 1,000.

Muslims in Bethlehem have made life difficult and unpleasant for the Christians who remain. It is hard for them to conduct normal and secure lives living, as they do, in a Muslim sea. The Christians have to worry about angering the Muslim majority; they mustn’t say or do the wrong thing lest thin-skinned Muslims, quick to anger, take offense. Christians in Bethlehem need to show that they know their place. And the Palestinian Authority makes it hard for the Christians to conduct their business without interference. A Christian souvenir shop or restaurant might want to expand, but a Muslim competitor can put the kibosh on all such projects. A muezzin’s wail, the azan electronically amplified, can make it hard for Christians to stay sleep before dawn or fall asleep after dusk. It can drown out the sound of church bells. When 9 out of 10 residents are Muslim, Christians are not wrong to feel uneasy in Bethlehem.

Of course the PA makes life difficult for Muslims, too. There is massive corruption; Mahmoud Abbas and his two sons are worth $400 million, while lesser leaders, like Saeb Erekat, have helped themselves only to millions. This corruption is cause, too, for Palestinian “suffering,” for ordinary Palestinians have to endure the spectacle of the lavish villas and lifestyles of those who rule over them, while they must scramble to survive. No wonder that 2/3 of the Palestinians say they want Mahmoud Abbas to quit. But he won’t. The grasping Mahmoud Abbas is in the 15th year of his four-year term. He needs to make more money before he retires; Arafat made off with billions; why shouldn’t Mahmoud Abbas have the same opportunities? But what does credulous and ignorant Prince Charles know about any of this? If there is “suffering” and “hardship” in Bethlehem, it should be laid squarely at the door of the Palestinian Authority. Israel is no longer in charge, and cannot be blamed either for the mistreatment of Christian by Muslim Arabs, or for the corruption and mismanagement both of the local government and of the Palestinian Authority.

Speaking at Casa Nova, a Franciscan pilgrim house near the Church of the Nativity, Charles went on: “And I can only join you, and all communities, in your prayers for a just and lasting peace. We must pursue this cause with faith and determination, striving to heal the wounds which have caused such pain.”

Charles says he wants to “pursue this cause of a just and lasting peace…striving to heal the wounds which have caused such pain.” What exactly are those “wounds” that need to be healed? Does he know that there is no way to establish a permanent peace between Muslims and Unbelievers, because of the more than 100 verses in the Qur’an that command Muslims to engage in violent Jihad against Unbelievers? How does Prince Charles propose to do away with those verses that instruct Muslims to fight, to kill, to smite at the necks of, to strike terror in the hearts of, the Infidels? The Qur’an is immutable and uncreated; it cannot be changed. And how would Charles attempt to deal with the Qur’anic verses that tell Muslims that they are the “best of peoples” and that non-Muslims are “the most vile of created beings”? I suspect that Prince Charles has no idea what’s in the Qur’an. Or he may have been shown the abridged version of 5:32, which seems to denounce killing instead of what it really does, which is to describe when killing is permissible, and 2:256 (“There is no compulsion in religion”). Perhaps, when he returns to Clarence House, he can take time from his busy schedule of handshaking and ribbon-cutting, and read the Qur’an. If he really manages to take it in, to not read but comprehend, the resulting revelation would do him, and his country, good.

He added: “It is my dearest wish that the future will bring freedom, justice and equality to all Palestinians, enabling you to thrive and to prosper.”

In what Muslim country, of the 57 members of the O.I.C, is there “freedom, justice, and equality” for everyone? There is no such Muslim country. And neither Hamas that rules in Gaza, nor the Palestinian Authority that rules in the West Bank – offers that “freedom, justice, and equality” for the Palestinians which is Prince Charles’ “dearest wish.”

Later, after he held talks with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, the official PA news agency WAFA said Abbas told the prince he was grateful to the UK “for accepting the two-state solution and rejecting the US-led ‘deal of the century’.”

Prince Charles did not “accept the two-state solution.” He said nothing about it. Nor did Charles reject the American “deal of the century.” He said nothing about it. But that doesn’t matter to Mahmoud Abbas. President Abbas was doing what he so often does: putting words in the mouth of an interlocutor, knowing full well when that other person will not deny the false attribution, but pass over it in dignified silence.

US President Donald Trump said Thursday he would unveil his Israeli-Palestinian peace plan within days. The PA has preemptively rejected it. The UK has not taken an official position on it.

Sky quoted officials representing the prince as saying he was trying to remain “neutral” in the course of his trip — his first official visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories.

If Charles was trying to remain “neutral,” he wasn’t trying very hard. He seems to have been deeply affected by his meetings with the “Palestinians,” who no doubt had been thoroughly coached in how they were to wear their “suffering” on their sleeves. Some may even have been schooled to tell the Prince their own sad stories, carefully rehearsed, of what they had endured at the hands of the malevolent Israelis. Prince Charles may well have been taken in, but it is never to late to set him straight.

Prince Charles was in Israel to take part in the observance of the 75th anniversary since the liberation of Auschwitz. He went to the President’s House, to be greeted by President Reuven Rivlin. He visited the Israel Museum, where he saw the Dead Sea Scrolls and other visible evidence of the Jews’ connection, over more than 2000 years, to the Land of Israel.

During his visit to Bethlehem, the prince visited the Church of the Nativity, where he attended an unprecedented Ecumenical Service marking what his official residence, Clarence House, tweeted was the “first time that the three Christian churches have collectively held a service to celebrate the contribution of Christian communities across the Holy Land and wider Middle East.”

Has Prince Charles forgotten how Palestinian terrorists, from Hamas, Fatah, and Islamic Jihad, took over the Church of the Nativity in 2002, bringing guns and explosives with them, and firing on the Israelis from inside the church, knowing that the Israelis, unlike themselves, would demonstrate their respect for the sanctity of the place and not enter?

As for “celebrating the contribution of Christian communities” in the Holy Land and “the wider Middle East,” Prince Charles could help the dwindling Christian communities by raising his voice in protest at their mistreatment, from the killings of Assyrians and Chaldeans in Iraq to the bombing of Coptic Churches in Egypt. He might also try to discover, even perhaps ask aloud of his “Palestinian” hosts, why it is that the percentage of Christians in Bethlehem has steadily declined, from 86% in 1950 to less than 10% today, and further, why did the percentage not decrease during the years when Israel controlled Bethlehem. He could also ask why there were 5,000 Christians in Gaza when the Israelis pulled out in 2005, and fewer than 1,000 in the Strip today.

He also met with local storekeepers and iconographers, visited the Mosque of Omar, held a reception at which he met with “guests including people who work with Palestinian refugees and Palestinian Christians,” Clarence House said.

This is the first time that the three Christian churches have collectively held a service to celebrate the contribution of Christian communities across the Holy Land and wider Middle East.

According to WAFA, Abbas, hosting the prince later in the day, thanked the UK “for its assistance to the Palestinian people in building state institutions, as well as its assistance to the UNRWA, and for accepting the two-state solution and rejecting the US-led “deal of the century.”

The U.K. has in the past accepted the “two-state solution,” but that was before Boris Johnson became Prime Minister. Johnson has been described as the most pro-Israel prime minister in British history, and his cabinet the most pro-Israel as well, with Sajid Javid (Chancellor of the Exchequer), Dominic Raab (Foreign Secretary), and Priti Patel (Home Secretary). It is possible that, following the American “deal of the century,” the U.K. may rethink its support for a “two-state solution,” a meretricious phrase that assumes what must be proven – that “two states” are indeed a “solution.” Those who recognize that the Jihad against Israel has no end until the Jewish state disappears understand that any “solution” that weakens Israeli deterrence will whet, not sate, Arab Muslim appetites for more.

As for Abbas’ thanking the U.K. for “rejecting the US-led ‘deal of the century,’” the U.K. had not done so, and could not have done so, since that “deal” had not yet been made public at the time Abbas spoke.

When Mahmoud Abbas refers to the U.K.’s help in building “state institutions” for the Palestinians, what can he have had in mind? It couldn’t have been “democratic” institutions, for the PA is run by a despot who is serving the fifteenth year of a four-year presidential term, and who has, with his sons, amassed a $400 million fortune. The U.K. did not help build an independent judiciary, for there is none in the Palestinian Authority. The U.K. could not have helped build a strong parliamentary democracy, because the Palestine Legislative Council (the Parliament) has been defunct for over 12 years. Finally, the U.K. can’t have helped put in place strong human-rights guarantees, because there are none in the PA – no guaranteed freedom of speech, no right of assembly, no free exercise of religion, no equality between the sexes – in the police state run for the benefit of Mahmoud Abbas, his family, and his collaborators.

“Our hope in the near future,” WAFA further quoted Abbas saying, “is that Britain recognizes the State of Palestine, because we’ve heard that the British Parliament recommended this to the government. So we hope that this will happen.”

Hope away, Mahmoud Abbas. There will be no British recognition of the State of Palestine, one suspects, as long as Boris Johnson is P.M., and his cabinet continues to include Sajid Javid, Dominic Raab, and Priti Patel.

WAFA said Prince Charles praised “the historical Palestinian-British relations and said he looks forward to achieving a just peace in the region.”

Prince Charles should be reminded that there is little to praise, and much to criticize, about those “historical Palestinian-British relations,” and what they meant for the Jews of Mandatory Palestine and in Europe, too. When Arabs were murdering defenseless Jews in Jerusalem in 1920, and the Jewish leader Vladimir Jabotinsky tried to organize a defense force for the Jews, the British did not punish the Arab killers, but sentenced Jabotinsky to 15 years in jail (an international outcry followed, leading to Jabotinsky’s release).

In another infamous chapter of “Palestinian (Arab)-British relations,” the British closed off to Jewish immigration 77% of the territory originally to have been assigned, according to the Mandate for Palestine, to the future Jewish state, and handed all of Palestine east of the Jordan River over to the Hashemite Emir Abdullah, to form his newly-created Emirate of Transjordan.

In 1929, when the Arabs conducted a pogrom against the Jews in Hebron, the second holiest city in Judaism, the British had received advance notice of the Arab plans, but sent no additional police or troops to protect the Jews. There was exactly one British policeman, Raymond Cafferata, who commanded a force of 18 mounted police and 15 on foot in Hebron. All but one were Arabs, and later, during the pogrom, some of those Arab policemen joined in the killing. It was a horrible business; babies were decapitated; women raped and disemboweled; in the end, no Jews were left in Hebron. Had the British cared, they could easily have sent reinforcements and prevented the whole thing.

During the Arab Revolt, that lasted from 1936 to 1939, the British took little interest in helping the Jews defend themselves against Arab attacks. There was one British officer, Captain Orde Wingate, a Christian Zionist and deeply sympathetic to the Jews. He helped organize and train Jews to take the fight to the enemy. He founded the Special Night Squads of Jewish fighters who went on the offensive against marauding Arabs. However, his deepening political involvement with the Zionist cause and an incident where he spoke publicly in favor of the formation of a Jewish state while he was on leave in Britain caused his superiors in Palestine to remove him from command. He was so deeply associated with political causes in Palestine — i.e., his support for Zionism — that they considered him compromised as an intelligence officer in the country. He was too much on the side of the Jews for their taste, and in May 1939, he was transferred to Britain. He later helped the Ethiopians resist Mussolini’s forces, and then, during the Second World War, Wingate was sent to Burma, where he organized the Chindits, a guerrilla force that harried the Japanese. Wingate died in a plane crash in Burma, and is buried, along with the American servicemen, who died with him at Arlington National Cemetery. He is considered the father of the IDF. Among the British military and civilian authorities in Mandatory Palestine, Wingate stood out as the lone pro-Jewish exception.

In 1939, the British government adopted a White Paper that limited Jewish immigration into Mandatory Palestine to 15,000 a year, for five years, after which any Jewish immigration would be subject to an Arab veto, which in practice meant an end to such immigration. At a time of maximum peril for Europe’s Jews, the British government, to placate the Arabs, limited Jewish immigration to 15,000 a year through the entire war, and blocked Jews from entering Palestine. Perhaps as many as a million Jews, it has been suggested, might have been saved – the warm-water ports of Romania stayed open all through the war – had the British fulfilled their own solemn responsibilities under the Mandate for Palestine, to “facilitate Jewish immigration” and to encourage “close Jewish settlement on the land.”

After World War II, when surviving Jews in D.P. camps in Europe were trying to reach Palestine, British ships turned back these desperate people. The most famous example of this was the Exodus, a ship carrying 4,500 Jewish refugees from D.P. camps in Europe to Palestine in 1947. The British kept the ship from unloading passengers in Palestine, and instead the ship, with its desperate human cargo, was forced to return to Europe, and the Jews on board were sent back to D.P. camps in Germany.

One final example of British “even-handedness.” While the British, and the Americans placed an embargo on arms to both Arabs and Jews inside Palestine itself during the 1947-1949 hostilities, the British had previously armed Egyptian and Iraqi forces, and the British both armed and trained the Arab Legion of Jordan which, under the command of Sir John Glubb (“Glubb Pasha”), proved to be the best fighting force on the Arab side during the 1948-49 war, responsible for seizing, and holding, the West Bank.

Prince Charles should, in his library at Clarence House, study the history of how the British discharged their responsibilities when they held the Mandate for Palestine. He could start by reading the Mandate’s provisions, and studying its maps. He could look into how the Emirate of Transjordan was created by the British, who closed off all of Eastern Palestine to Jewish immigration, and instead handed over that territory to the Hashemite Abdullah, in order to create a state for him to rule. He could investigate how the British during the Mandate period treated the Jews, both those living in Palestine, and those who were prevented from finding refuge in Palestine from the Nazis. It might have a salutary effect, making Prince Charles more aware of what the Jews of Palestine endured because of British perfidy, and possibly, make him less quick to embrace the “Palestinians” whose supposed “suffering” so concerns him. If he engages in such study, he will discover that the suffering and betrayals endured by the Jews of Mandatory Palestine at the hands of the British were of a different order altogether.

First published in Jihad Watch here and here

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Posted on 01/31/2020 6:40 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Thursday, 30 January 2020
Inescapable Delusions
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by Theodore Dalrymple

It is human nature to be fascinated by dramatic events and to invest them with more significance than they warrant. First we take them as being more typical than they are, and then we take them as the shape of things to come. We forget the wisdom of Ecclesiastes, that there is no new thing under the sun.

Once, on the small island of Jersey in the English Channel, I researched three murders that took place there within three months in the middle 1840s, including one of a policeman, when normally there was only one murder on the island every ten years. The population, not surprisingly, thought that something must have gone terminally amiss in their society for there to be so many murders in so short a time. In fact, they were just a statistical blip and the rate of murder returned to what it had always been before, and no policeman has ever been murdered on Jersey in the intervening century and three quarters.

How, then, are we to take the story of Adam Neumann, the former chief executive of WeWork? Is it just the kind of thing that will from time to time happen, or is it emblematic of a deep malaise in the economic system of the west? For myself, I incline to the latter view, but then I recall that I have long advocated as compulsory reading for all economists, bankers, stockbrokers, investors and company directors, the book by Charles Mackay in 1841, Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds. Whether this would do any good depends on whether people learn from other people’s experience at third or even fourth hand; the recurrence of similar mass delusions through history, even or especially among the highly-educated, experienced and well-informed, would suggest not. This time, they always tell themselves, it is different; this time money really can be conjured out of nothing.

By comparison with many an investment banker, at least those involved in the WeWork saga, people who buy lottery tickets are rational beings. Doctor Johnson once called a lottery a tax on stupidity, but here for once his humanity and understanding deserted him. Lottery tickets, bought mainly by people who, with some reason, think that they are unlikely to attain wealth or even modest prosperity by any other means, do not really expect to win and are therefore not disappointed or embittered when they do not, provide an interval of innocent and consoling daydream between the day of purchase and the day of the draw—albeit that the content of those daydreams is usually that of a leisured life with present pleasures enjoyed on a vastly larger scale, that would lead soon to bankruptcy or the hospital, or both.

The backers of Adam Neumann had obviously not read, marked, and inwardly digested Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds. With the precipitancy reminiscent of the Gadarene swine they poured billions, mainly of other people’s money, into a scheme that, fundamentally, was neither new nor exceptional, and they gave to the expression “throwing good money after bad” a new piquancy. In charge of very large companies, reputed financiers, they were dazzled by a man because he was six feet five tall, had long hair and the manner of an established rock star, though what he was proposing was as about as solidly grounded in reality as Jimmy Swaggart’s promise of eternal life if you contributed enough to his television ministry. No financial losses, no outrageous sumptuary expenditure at company expense, no evident loss of self-control on the part of the scheme’s founder, could dim their faith, at least until the evident absurdity of what they had done could no longer be disguised from the public. Men go mad in crowds, said Mackay, but they recover their senses one by one—and too late, he might have added.

From this debacle, it was reported, Mr. Neumann emerged with $1.7 billion, when $1.70 might have seemed an extravagantly generous reward for what he had done. Of course, final accounts have yet to be rendered: the misled, or swindled, are unlikely to take their losses lying down. But even if Mr. Neumann is forced, after prolonged proceedings, to disgorge (to the great profit, no doubt, of lawyers) a large proportion of what he has, for the time being, walked away with, what the public will remember is that he benefited enormously, pharaonically, from conduct that was delusional at best and grossly dishonest at worst.

Two questions arise: is the story of WeWork now typical or emblematic of—or even necessitated by—our current economic system, and what is its likely effect upon the feeling of the population, that sooner or later will translate into action?

The first question—was Mr. Neumann an outlier, or does his manner of operating tell us something essential about the way the contemporary economy works, in the West if not in China and other countries that are in the process of taking over the world?—is perhaps not susceptible of a definitive answer. After all, this is not the first time in history, not by a long way, that a charismatic charlatan has wheedled his way to wealth, in life as in fiction. The name of Ivar Kreuger, the Swedish match king, who said that the stupidity of people was the soundest basis of any business, springs to mind. Still, one cannot help thinking that in a world in which the real and the virtual are increasingly difficult for people to distinguish, susceptibility to visionary scams can only increase.

As to the effects of this episode, at least as comic as it is tragic, on the feelings of the population, one can only say that it is likely to increase or reinforce its belief that it is living under a fundamentally unjust economic dispensation which can, and ought, to be overthrown, almost irrespective of whatever succeeds it. This is a dangerous state of mind, for it renders people susceptible to the siren-song of egalitarian demagogues.

On the question of whether there are any reforms, short of a change in human nature, that can prevent future Adam Neumann’s from making fortunes, I am agnostic. A reading of Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds suggests not.

First published in the Library of Law and Liberty.

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Posted on 01/30/2020 5:58 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
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Thursday, 30 January 2020
The Trump Administration and the Jordan Valley
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by Hugh Fitzgerald

Both Prime Minister Netanyahu and his chief rival Benny Gantz, a former chief of staff of the IDF, agree that for vital security reasons, Israel must annex the Jordan Valley. Very few Israelis would disagree. This is a strip of land in the West Bank, 65 miles long, with a width averaging  6.2 miles, narrowing to 2.5 miles over most of the course, before widening out to a 12-mile-wide delta when reaching the Dead Sea. The possession of the Jordan Valley is deemed by Israel’s military to be essential to the country’s defense; control of the Jordan Valley can halt or hinder any potential invaders of Israel from the east. Netanyahu has announced his intention to annex this territory if re-elected. Benny Gantz, his political rival,  is in full agreement.

But surprisingly, the Trump Administration has declared that it is opposed to Israel annexing this land before the unveiling of the Trump peace initiative. That story is here.

The Trump administration is opposed to an Israeli annexation of the Jordan Valley before the long-delayed unveiling of its peace initiative, according to an Axios report on Wednesday.

The report — authored by Israeli Channel 13 journalist Barak Ravid — came after comments made in recent days by both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and his top rival, ex-IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz, advocating such a move.

Citing unnamed US officials, Ravid said the Trump administration “has made its position clear to the Israeli government, and Netanyahu is aware that the US doesn’t want Israel to take any unilateral steps before the peace plan is published.”

Ravid further noted, “It is still unclear when the US peace plan will be presented. US officials say Trump is expected to announce his decision in the next few days.”

Israel’s Kan public broadcaster quoted on Wednesday sources in Netanyahu’s Likud party as saying that the prime minister wished to bring the issue to a vote in the Knesset as soon as possible and was seeking a “green light” from the Trump administration.

“This position by the White House reduces dramatically to [sic] chances of that happening,” Ravid pointed out on Twitter.

The Jordan Valley has long been viewed by a wide swathe of the Israeli populace as a part of the West Bank that should be retained in any potential peace agreement with the Palestinians. Israel took control of it, along with the rest of the West Bank and East Jerusalem, from Jordan in the 1967 Six-Day War.

Netanyahu pledged to annex the Jordan Valley during the run-up to last September’s Knesset elections, but the inconclusive outcome put off the plan indefinitely. The proposal was generally considered a sop to right-wing voters whose support Netanyahu wished to retain in a tough election fight.

The issue arose again this week, however, when Gantz endorsed annexation as well.

Gantz said the Jordan Valley must remain part of Israel in “any future scenario.”

“Governments that previously discussed the possibility of giving it back were gravely mistaken,” he asserted. “We consider it an integral part of the State of Israel, and after the elections we will work to annex the valley in coordination with the international community.”

This demand by the Administration that Israel not annex the Jordan Valley before Trump’s peace initiative is announced puts Israel in a quandary. Can it afford to ignore the wishes of its best friend in the world, that has already done so much for Israel, by moving the American Embassy to Jerusalem, by recognizing the annexation of the Golan, and by steadfastly supporting Israel at the U.N.’s kangaroo court? Netanyahu has been placed by the Administration in a box, and he is now likely to wait, with a sense of urgency, for that Trump peace initiative. He and Gantz will be in Washington at the end of January; they will be meeting with Trump, according to news reports, just after the President’s “peace initiative” is announced.

We should note one very good thing: that the Trump administration carefully did not say that it opposed such annexation by Israel — only that it opposed it taking place before Trump’s “peace initiative” was revealed. Why? I suspect it’s because that initiative already makes provision for Israel to retain the Jordan Valley, and Trump didn’t want that part of his plan to be merely an echo of what Israel had already announced; he wants credit, instead, for proposing what Israel will then immediately do. It’s far better for Israel to delay its announcement – it will only be a matter of a few days at most – in order to go along, at this point, with the Administration. Israel should trust that it can count on the Trump Administration’s sympathetic understand of Israel’s need to hold onto the Jordan Valley. The Trump Administration has never let Israel down before, and is unlikely to start doing so now. In any case, no matter what the Administration proposes, the Palestinian Authority will reject it. That leaves Israel in an excellent position to accept those parts of the initiative that it favors, and proposing to discuss further with the Americans and the Palestinians other parts of the plan to which it might have objections. But the Palestinians won’t engage in any talks. From the moment the details of the peace initiative are announced, the Palestinians will declare their refusal to discuss anything with either the American or the Israeli governments, period. From Mahmoud Abbas and Saeb Erekat on down, they’ll be howling with rage.

Full of victimhood and fury, the Palestinians will be crying to the high heavens. Any annexation of any part of the West Bank will be denounced. Abbas (or Erekat, or Ashrawi): “These proposals have destroyed all chances for peace. This is a crime against the Palestinian people, who still placed their hopes, despite so many betrayals, in Mr. Trump; they thought just possibly he might try to be, even a little bit, fair. We see that we were wrong.” When, after the peace initiative is revealed, and Israel announces its annexation of the Jordan Valley, it should also, at the same time, make sure to lay out the two separate justifications for its claim to such annexation, based on both the Mandate for Palestine and on U.S. Resolution 242.

Israel has two independent claims which support the Jewish state’s retaining all — or as much as it deems necessary for its security — of the West Bank. The first is found in the Palestine Mandate itself, which assigned to the future Jewish state all the land from Mt. Hermon in the north to the Red Sea in the south, and from the Jordan River in the east to the Mediterranean in the west. Indeed, that territory was originally to have also included a great swath of land east of the Jordan River out to the desert, constituting 77% of the territory, according to the Mandate for Palestine,  assigned to the future Jewish state. The British, however, in order to create a state for the Hashemite Prince Abdullah, as a kind of consolation prize (Abdullah had previously sought to rule over Syria, which France, as the Mandatory for Syria and Lebanon,  rebuffed), without seeking approval of any Zionist representatives, closed off all the territory east of the Jordan to Jewish immigration and settlement. But all the territory west of the Jordan River would remain, as before, part of the future Jewish state.

Israel’s legal claim to the West Bank did not disappear when the Jordanians held that territory  from 1949 to 1967; Jordan was only the military occupier of that land, and after the Six-Day War Israel became able at long last to enforce its preexisting legal claim. It is too bad that both Israel, and the Trump Administration, have not made Israel’s legal claim to the West Bank, based on the League of Nations’ Mandate for Palestine, clear to a public largely unaware of the Mandate’s express provisions, and the territory to which it was meant to be applied. That claim ought to be frequently repeated by Israeli leaders and diplomats, quoting the relevant excerpts from the Mandate itself – especially Articles 4 and 6 – so that it can no longer be ignored. And the Trump Administration should do the same. When called upon by opponents of the peace initiative to justify its endorsing Israel’s continued possession of much of the West Bank, it should be prepared, and even eager, to explain the purpose of the Mandate for Palestine, to quote its provisions, and to note what territories it included.

Israel’s second, and distinct claim, to part or all of the West Bank, is based on U.N. Resolution 242.  That resolution’s chief author, the British ambassador to the U.N. Lord Caradon, insisted that Israel did not have to withdraw to the pre-1967 lines – that is, to the 1949 armistice lines. He said that those were terrible lines, that he knew them well, and that they  reflecting nothing more than where the parties stood at the cessation of hostilities in 1949. Caradon also said Israel was required to withdraw only “from territories” occupied in the recent conflict, and  not “from all the territories” — wording that the Arabs had kept trying, in vain, to have included. Lord Caradon said that the Arabs, having failed to see their preferred wording adopted, had subsequently claimed, meretriciously, that “from the territories” meant “from all the territories” occupied in the recent conflict. It never did. According to Lord Caradon, the most important phrase in Resolution 242 was that about the need for Israel to have “secure and recognizable boundaries.” “Secure” meant “defensible,” and only Israel could decide what territorial adjustments would have to be made to provide it with “defensible” borders.

Not only Israelis, but also American military men have studied Israel’s security needs, and concluded that retention of the Jordan Valley is indispensable for its defense.

In 1967, President Johnson asked the Joint Chiefs of Staff to study what territorial adjustments would be necessary to meet Israel’s minimum defense needs. They duly presented their military assessment of what, for Israel, would constitute “secure and defensible borders.” 

The Joint Chiefs endorsed Israel maintaining control of a strip of land to the immediate west of the Jordan River, and extending southward to the Dead Sea. This means it is the Jordan Valley, and the Judean heights to its west that overlook it, that would provide Israel with “a militarily defensible border.” Indeed, the Joint Chiefs also recommended that Israel retain Gaza, and some small part of the Sinai, both of which the Israelis decided in the end not to retain. But the Jordan Valley is very different: there may be some disagreement among Israeli leaders over which settlements elsewhere in the West Bank to annex, but there is no disagreement among Israel’s military men as to the need to retain the entire Jordan Valley.

The Israelis should keep emphasizing both their legal claim, according to the Mandate for Palestine, to the West Bank, and their other claim, based on U.N  Resolution 242, to “secure” borders that requires, at a minimum,  retention of the Jordan Valley. Palestinians will howl – that’s what they do best – when Israel annexes the Jordan Valley, but there’s not much they can do. The Arab states have other fish to fry; they are tired of the “Palestinian problem” and preoccupied with their own problems — civil wars (in Libya, Yemen, and Syria), the Iranian threat (in Yemen, Syria, and Iraq, which most alarms Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Egypt), and with popular rage building at corrupt and incompetent governments (in Lebanon and Iraq).

Many predicted all hell would break loose when the Trump Administration moved our Embassy. Nothing happened. Then many people predicted a tsunami of unassuageable fury  from the Arabs would erupt in response to the American recognition of the Golan as part of Israel. Again, nothing happened. And now, when Israel annexes – as it must for security reasons – the Jordan Valley, there will be the same exaggerated worries about the Arab reaction. There will be Arab anger at that annexation, and even more at Trump’s entire peace initiative, which is said to include retention by Israel of most of the West Bank, but that anger will be short-lived; there are so any other things for the Arab states to worry about that have nothing to do with the Palestinians. There will, of course, be continued impotent rage from Ramallah. The Arab saying is fitting yet again: The Dogs Bark, The Caravan Moves On.

First published in Jihad Watch

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Posted on 01/30/2020 5:37 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Wednesday, 29 January 2020
Alan Keys Interviews Manda Zand Ervin
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Posted on 01/29/2020 10:47 AM by New English Review Press
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Wednesday, 29 January 2020
Christian Persecution Worldwide
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by John Constantine

Open Doors, an international organization that tracks the persecution of Christians worldwide, reports that 1 out of 8 Christians are persecuted. That translates into 250 million followers of Christ throughout the world. Out of the top 15 countries only one, North Korea, is non-Islamic. The other 14 nations are Muslim majority nations. Islam is responsible for 95% of all the horrendous religious persecution taking place in the modern world.

What shall we as Christians do about this problem? First of all, we need to pray for sisters and brothers undergoing these terrible trials. This action needs to take place in our private devotional lives. But even more importantly, we should lift up the plight of our sisters and brothers to the Lord. If your church does not pray publicly for the persecuted, speak to your pastor and ask he or she to do so.

Finally, Muslims need to stop these execrable practices. Islam needs to leave the 7th Century and join the modern world. It should be the God-given right for every man, woman and child to choose freely and without coercion their religious affiliation.

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Posted on 01/29/2020 9:43 AM by John Constantine
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Wednesday, 29 January 2020
Mayor Mike Courts the Democrats
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His achievements are clear, but his appeal to primary voters is fuzzy at best.

by Conrad Black

Michael Bloomberg is gaining some ground in the Democratic presidential field, but in so doing he is complicating his life as the potential nominee against President Trump. His cock-a-hoop support of solar energy is nonsense, and the country won’t take much persuading to see that. There may be some hidden metric of rounding up Democratic primary voters by pitching something that creeps toward the Ocasio-Cortez–Sanders Green Terror, but the country doesn’t buy into it. Public perception of solar energy hasn’t risen much since Ronald Reagan helped sink Jerry Brown’s campaign for the U.S. Senate from California in 1982 against Pete Wilson by suggesting that he might appear in Washington with a solar panel on his forehead. The country doesn’t like pollution, but it doesn’t like quack boondoggles either.

More problematic was Bloomberg’s flippant tweet as President Trump addressed the March for Life on January 25, that in doing so Trump insulted all American women (although most of the marchers were women). That issue has evolved also. It is as if Bloomberg, though living in the country’s largest city, was oblivious, as Washington notoriously is, of how most Americans view these questions. All polls now indicate that the percentages of Americans who support abortion in any circumstances, and those who oppose all abortions, are approximately equal, at between 20 and 25 percent, and that those who support the legality of abortions in some cases and not others is between 25 and 30 percent. The rest, about 30 percent, are undecided — not uninterested in the issue, only unsure.

Bloomberg has chained himself to Roe v. Wade, and a rather shopworn view of this emotive subject, stating that it is an issue of the right of every woman to decide what goes on in her own body. He is still trying to emancipate women from domineering, enthusiastically procreative men, a rather bygone caricature and one that completely ignores what is now generally seen as the larger question, which is: When do the unborn attain to the rights of people? There are champions of every possible answer to that question, from the moment of conception to the moment of live birth at full term, and some Democrats have endorsed live-birth abortion, i.e. infanticide. This is clearly a political suicide mission, as the overwhelming majority of Americans, Bloomberg presumably included, will not approve the murder of newborn children, as if by an edict of King Herod.

What has happened in other countries, such as the United Kingdom, is a compromise based on presenting non-partisan, free-vote measures outlawing and admitting abortions at every stage of pregnancy, with and without allowance for the mother’s health and whether the pregnancy resulted from coerced sex. There is extensive debate, with no party constraint; all legislators vote their consciences, and what generally emerges (and did in the U.K.), is acceptability of abortion to the fetal age of five months and for exceptional reasons after that, when most babies, if given the necessary care, can survive normally even if born four months prematurely. It is fine for Bloomberg, if this is what he believes, or even if he doesn’t particularly believe it but thinks it is good politics, to oppose the right-to-life organizations because most of their members disapprove of abortion in most or all cases. But to say that the president is affronting American women by attending the march is foolish as an assertion and politically maladroit. It implies that the interests of women the and children they conceive are necessarily opposed and that abortions should be permissible and officially facilitated in all cases and at every stage of pregnancy. A solid majority of Americans oppose that view, outnumbering those who agree with Bloomberg by more than two to one. But whatever the opinions involved, it is, as Hillary Clinton used to say, “so yesterday” to equate reservations about abortion to hostility to women. This is just mindless 1970s sloganeering.

Bloomberg is not well known for his views on national and foreign-policy issues, and he may have to revise his thinking and refine his arguments if he gets into serious contention for the Democratic presidential nomination. The public outside New York (almost 95 percent of the population, a fact that would astonish and dismay many New Yorkers) would probably best remember him for trying to facilitate construction of a mosque adjacent to the ruins of the World Trade Center, for his intervention in New Yorkers’ eating habits by portraying himself as a fitness buff and requiring display of the calories in various fast foods, and even for banning automobiles from Times Square, which caused a serious disruption of traffic flows. The country also noticed his flip-flop on stop-and-frisk, a successful crime-reduction measure he should not have renounced.

Bloomberg has had a remarkable career, and if nominated, he would come in about even with Trump on prior career accomplishments, and well ahead of any previous presidents except those who were decisive in founding the country (Washington, Jefferson, Madison), or led great armies victoriously in just wars (Grant, Eisenhower), and possibly Herbert Hoover for his relief work in Europe during and after World War I. Bloomberg built from scratch a business in which his interest is now valued at about $35 billion, and was one of just four three-term mayors in New York since the consolidation of the boroughs in 1895 (with Fiorello La Guardia, Robert Wagner, and Ed Koch). The city was clearly tiring of him by his third term, when he spent $170 per vote to win a narrow victory over an undistinguished candidate. The mayoralty of New York necessarily requires sharp focus on local issues in an intense political climate, and it doesn’t promote a national or global view or national political popularity. Bloomberg generally comes across as a humorless and authoritarian executive — not necessarily disqualifying for a president, but sub-optimal for a candidate.

Bloomberg worked hard to be secretary of state, first with Jeb Bush and then with Hillary Clinton, undergoing the grace of conversion to the Democrats when Jeb’s ship sank. In the present race, he is not just a late arrival in the Democratic party but is overtly trying to buy the nomination. He has no followers to start with apart from some in New York and is suffering the problem of all politicians of the last 85 years who have been elected in New York and try to make the jump to Washington. Thomas E. Dewey, a crusading district attorney and governor, was twice an unsuccessful Republican candidate for president; Governors Averill Harriman, Nelson Rockefeller, and George Pataki and Mayor John Lindsay tried for the nomination rather half-heartedly and without success. Hillary famously tried unsuccessfully too. The last New York politician to come up through the offices of that state and on to national office was Franklin D. Roosevelt. Robert Kennedy might have done it, but he was a special case (and a carpetbagger at that), and Bloomberg is no FDR or RFK. He will, if nominated, have only the ragged army of Trump-haters to lead against the fierce and fervent legions of the president’s supporters.

Michael Bloomberg is right that the field of Democratic candidates is unimpressive. Sanders is a declared Marxist and Warren an undeclared Marxist who has real problems with the truth. Joe Biden is very unexciting and bedraggled, as well as increasingly scandal-ridden, and former mayor Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind., is not credible. There are scenarios in which Bloomberg, if he runs well in the Super Tuesday states, especially California and Texas, becomes a hot contender. The party establishment has sandbagged Sanders before and will, if necessary, do it again. If Biden fades, Bloomberg could go down to the wire against Klobuchar, but in that case, he will have to seem a more plausible candidate for the whole country and not just another rich New Yorker tossing off glib reflections on ecology, abortion, and other complicated issues. He has a considerable ego (for good reasons) but will not be a quick or easy sell west of the Hudson. He will not easily catch up with the 25 years the incumbent has spent building his brand throughout the country, nor will the Trump record, liberated at last from the mighty Democratic tainting operation, be an easy target to run against.

First published in National Review Online.

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Posted on 01/29/2020 6:40 AM by Conrad Black
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Wednesday, 29 January 2020
Police Scotland took down large-scale asylum seeker grooming gang in Glasgow – but kept it secret
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I can't find this anywhere other than the Scottish Sun, and certain news outlets that are repeating it from them. This is the unbowed Fahenheit 211 with his opinion. The original source for the Scottish Sun, which they credit and link, is the Express; but I can't find it on the Express on-line site any more. It may still be there, but I can't find it. 

COPS took down a huge asylum seeker grooming gang in Glasgow - but kept it secret. The gang preyed on vulnerable young girls in the city, and had at least 44 victims, including a core group of six youngsters who were all known to each other. . . .55 suspected members of the vile group were identified by officers, with 46 positively identified.

All were asylum seekers from the Kurdish, Afghani, Egyptian, Moroccan, Turkish, Pakistani or Iraqi communities. So not all 'Asian' but I bet their religion links them. 

Operation Cerrar was kept under wraps by Police Scotland, and has now come to light after an investigation by the Daily Express.

Cops say 19 members were reported to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal, but its unknown how many were convicted.

Briefings from the 2016 operation are stored in the archives of the Glasgow Child Protection Committee.

The horrifying extent of the gang's activities was laid bare in a National Child Abuse Investigation Unit report by Detective Inspector Sarah Taylor.

22 of the suspects were still living in Glasgow at the time, with a further eight still thought be in the UK. 14 had been deported, with another awaiting deportation and one in prison.

Under the heading 'Victims', the report states: "Girl 1 - 28 suspects, Girl 2 - 23 suspects, Girl 3 - 9 suspects, Girl 4 - 8 suspects, Girl 5 - 4 suspects, Girl 6 - 1 suspect. All are known to one another. 20 other named girls believed to be victims. A further 18 girls were identified through the course of the current investigation."

Cops say they used "disruption tactics" including intelligence gathering, covert policing, financial and "lifestyle" profiling - looking at the suspects' associates, vehicles and employment.. . grooming and trafficking legislation, preventative orders and immigration status to take down the offenders. Asked why Operation Cerrar was not made public, a police source said: "We need to be very clear that we always carefully consider when and what information to release in relation to ongoing investigations to protect vulnerable victims and the integrity of the inquiry."

The comments are robust and forthright.

  • censorship by the Scottish government this problem is as bad if not worse than Rotherham these girls are being preyed on by dangerous individuals in mass numbers check out Facebook and ask the question and see how big the problem really is
  • yet more enrichment for the good peoples of Glasgow, "Childmen welcome"....
  • I'm going to take a wild stab in the dark from the stated ethnic origins and guess that like the kiddy groomers in many English cities the perps were not believers in Methodism, Hassidic Judaism, Jain Buddhism or the doctrines of the Church of Latter Day Saints. In fact they'll all be adherents of one religion in particular, one that the authorities will go to almost any lengths to suggest does not have a social and political outlook that we should be worried about. Am I right?
  • They keep all these grooming gangs secret so that the public don't turn against their insane immigration policies which are the root cause of ALL of these cases. . . keep sweeping the symptoms underneath the carpet and telling us to support the desolation of our country and our own destruction to 'help the economy' and 'be more diverse'.
  • And a lovely big welcome to our 'new Scots'! Bravo Nicola, we really do need thousands more sexual abusers in Scotland. I've noticed for years that we are really lacking in this area!!!!!! That's some skills-gap you are filling there. You must be vewy pwoud!!!
  • ...Why does nobody care? Like why am i reading this on a sun article. If Sargon hadn't made a vid, i wouldn't even know about it. The Snobs on TV clearly just don't care. They probably want it to happen for some sort of sick twisted form of reparations. How many times does this have to come to light, before people take action?
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Posted on 01/29/2020 6:19 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Wednesday, 29 January 2020
Orla Guerin Covers the Holocaust Commemoration in Israel
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by Hugh Fitzgerald

Orla Guerin has for 20 years been a BBC correspondent in the Middle East, covering Israel and the Palestinians. She’s acquired quite a reputation, over those years, for her palpable dislike of Israel and her deep sympathy for the Palestinians. But before getting to her latest outrage, let’s remind ourselves of what has been left out of the BBC’s coverage — not just by Guerin, but also by others — of that Arab-Israeli conflict.

Here are some of the things you won’t have learned about from the BBC in its thousands of reports about Israel and the Palestinians:

You won’t find out what the Mandate for Palestine states about Jewish settlement on the land, nor what territories were to be included, according to that Mandate, in a future Jewish state. You won’t find out that 77% of the territory originally to have been included in the Mandate – all the land east of the Jordan River — instead became the Emirate of Transjordan. You will not learn what Lord Caradon, the author of U.N. Resolution 242, insisted was its correct meaning, recognizing Israel’s right, in accordance with that resolution, to have “secure” – i.e., defensible – borders – through territorial adjustments.

You will not ever have heard the words “dhimmi” and “jizyah” used or explained on the BBC. You will have no notion, from the BBC, which in this case mainly means their correspondent Orla Guerin, of the dozens of antisemitic passages in the Qur’an. You will never have been informed, by the BBC, that the Qur’an describes Muslims as the “best of peoples” and non-Muslims as the “most vile of created beings.” You won’t learn, from the BBC, that the Qur’an instructs Muslims not to take Jews or Christians as friends, “for they are friends only with each other.” You won’t learn from anyone at the BBC that there are more than one hundred Qur’anic verses that command Muslims to engage in violent Jihad, to fight, to kill, to smite at the necks of, to strike terror in the hearts of, Infidels. You won’t learn from anyone at the BBC that Muhammad in a famous hadith said that “war is deceit.” You won’t find out that he claimed in another well-known hadith that “I have been made victorious through terror.” You won’t discover from the BBC that Muhammad consummated his marriage to little Aisha when she was nine years old, and he was fifty-four. You won’t learn from the BBC about Muhammad’s evident pleasure when he learned of the murders, by his loyal followers, of three people – Asma bint Marwan, Ka’b bin al-Ashraf, and Abu ‘Afak – who had mocked or criticized him. You won’t discover, despite that disturbing history, that Muhammad is regarded by Muslims as the Perfect Man (al-insan al-kamil) and the Model of Conduct (uswa hasana).

But what you will learn, from the likes of BBC Middle East correspondent Orla Guerin, is how the Israelis take every occasion to oppress the “Palestinian people.” The existence of this “Palestinian people” is simply assumed by Orla Guerin, even though there is plenty of evidence that the Palestinians are a “people” invented for purely political reasons. Zuheir Mohsen, the Palestinian leader of the terrorist group As-Saiqa, famously said that “the Palestinian people do not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct ‘Palestinian people’ to oppose Zionism. Yes, the existence of a separate Palestinian identity exists only for tactical reasons.”

The “Palestinian people” do not differ in language, religion, clothing, cuisine, customs, folk and fairy tales, from Jordanians or Egyptians or other Muslim Arabs in their immediate neighborhood. But Orla Guerin has never discussed this, just as she will never touch the contents of the Qur’an. Such things are better left passed over, Orla Guerin knows, in silence. The contents of the Qur’an would only confuse, and might even alarm, the BBC audience that needs to be kept in the dark about so many things having to do with Islam, including the Jihad against Israel. Orla Guerin stays well away from this subject; she has covered Muslims for more than twenty years, and never cited the Jihad verses in the Qur’an or addressed the unseemly character of Muhammad.

On January 22, I heard a BBC reporter from Bush House, London, in a voice not quite as plummy as those in decades past, briefly mention the Holocaust commemoration events that were then taking place in Israel. Then, quickly turning to another news item – no need to spend more than a minute or two on six million dead Jews — he said “and now about another people who have also suffered persecution,” and segued into a story about the Rohingyas. So the suffering of the Jews under the Nazis, with six million people tortured, gassed, shot, electrocuted on fences, buried alive in pits, burned alive in crematoria, subject to ghoulish medical experiments is casually described by the BBC news presenter as “persecution.” And what happened to the Rohingyas in Myanmar is thus likened to what happened to Jews in Europe, though only 24,000 Rohingyas have died, while 740,000 are alive in Bangladesh, and several hundred thousand others are still living, unharmed, in Myanmar. There were killings – even war crimes – but not a “genocide” as that word is generally understood, which would apply only if all or most of the Rohingya had been rounded up rather than allowed to leave Myanmar and murdered, as happened to the Jews during the Holocaust.

But worse was to come on the BBC that day. There was a brief, almost cursory, report from Yad Vashem by Orla Guerin; her appalling comment on Israelis, during the very moment when Holocaust commemoration ceremonies were being held in Jerusalem with 40 world leaders, is discussed below. Some people hold Guerin in high regard – the same people who think Jeremy Corbyn, Ken Livingstone, and George Galloway are all fine fellows. She was the winner of a Television Journalist of the Year Award in 2018, which says something, none of it good, about that year’s judges. She is famous for her palpable want of sympathy for Israel and its people; some people, such as Natan Sharansky, believe her distaste for Israelis is pathological, and amounts to antisemitism. Time and again her coverage of Israel and the Palestinians has been held up for examination for obvious bias– so many stories, so much trenchant criticism – but that has not prevented the BBC from keeping her on for two decades as their correspondent covering Israel and its enemies. 2

Here is the latest example of Orla Guerin’s coverage of Israel:

Outrage erupted on Thursday after a BBC report on the Holocaust commemoration events currently underway in Israel used the opportunity to slam the Jewish state.

The Thursday [January 22] ceremony in Jerusalem marking the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz was attended by dozens of world leaders, including Britain’s Prince Charles, Russian President Vladimir Putin, French President Emmanuel Macron and US Vice President Mike Pence.

The segment in question ended with a narration by Orla Guerin, a veteran international correspondent for the BBC, who has long been accused of bias against Israel.

Over images of the Hall of Names at Yad Vashem, in which photographs and names of victims of the Nazi genocide are displayed, Guerin said, “In Yad Vashem’s Hall of Names, images of the dead. Young soldiers troop in to share the binding tragedy of the Jewish people.”

“The State of Israel is now a regional power,” she added. “For decades it has occupied Palestinian territories. But some here will always see their nation through the prism of persecution and survival.”

Reaction to Guerin’s statement was immediate and angry. Gideon Falter, chief executive of the UK-based Campaign Against Antisemitism, said, “The BBC is supposed to inform the British public, not feed them propaganda. Few could imagine perverting what is supposed to be an educational piece about the Holocaust to instead fuel the very antisemitism that such education is supposed to prevent, but that is what the BBC has done.”

“It was utterly appalling to watch Orla Guerin hijack a segment dedicated to remembering six million murdered Jews, and instead use it as a vehicle to desecrate the memory of the Holocaust with her hatred of the Jewish state,” he continued.

Referring to the British television regulator Ofcom, Falter declared, “Ms. Guerin and the BBC editors who allowed this to be aired must be made to face the consequences of this sick act, which is why we are now making an official complaint and will take the matter to Ofcom if necessary.”

Amanda Bowman — vice president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews — also condemned the BBC report, saying, “Orla Guerin’s attempt to link the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to the horrors of the Holocaust was crass and offensive.”

Noting longstanding criticism of Guerin’s reporting on Israel, Bowman stated, “Her lack of partiality on the Israel-Palestine conflict has long been a matter of concern and it is questionable why the BBC would even use her for this sensitive assignment. As we approach Holocaust Memorial Day, the Jewish community is within its rights to expect an apology.”

Voices on Twitter also condemned Guerin’s statement. Historian Simon Sebag Montefiore wrote, “This @bbcnews commentary on Yad Vashem by Orla Guerin linking the Holocaust to the Israel’s West Bank occupation is truly foul — managing to be both shamefully amoral + historically inaccurate, utterly cynical and complacently self-righteous all [at] the same time.”

Gerald Steinberg, head of the monitoring group NGO Watch said, “@OrlaGuerin clearly violated journalistic ethics — she has a long history of #antiSemitism and Israel derangement going back at least 20 years.”

The organization Students Supporting Israel (SSI) asserted, “This @BBCNews report exposes the inherent problem and hate towards Jews & Israel in the British #Media.”

Guerin’s distaste for Israel and biased reporting have been a focus of concern and derision for decades. In 2015, The Independent quoted former BBC Chairman Lord Grade criticizing one of her reports for “equivalence between Israeli victims of terrorism and Palestinians who have been killed by Israeli security forces in the act of carrying out terror attacks.”

“This directly misleads viewers,” he said.

The Guardian reported in 2004 that Natan Sharansky, then Israel’s minister for diaspora affairs, had called a Guerin report on a Palestinian child soldier “cynical manipulation of a Palestinian youngster for propaganda purposes.”

“It showed, he said, “a deep-seated bias against Israel.”

Sharansky said the report applied “such a gross double standard to the Jewish state” that “it is difficult to see Ms. Guerin’s report as anything but antisemitic.

Orla Guerin has a long record of denigrating Israel, and Israelis; her “Israel derangement…goes back at least 20 years.” But her comment on January 21, linking the Holocaust to Israel’s treatment of Palestinians in the West Bank, as part of the BBC’s coverage of the Holocaust commemoration in Israel, was unusually foul. We’ll look at her remark tomorrow.

Let’s go over Orla Guerlin’s remarks on the BBC from Yad Vashem:

Over images of the Hall of Names at Yad Vashem, in which photographs and names of victims of the Nazi genocide are displayed, Guerin said, “In Yad Vashem’s Hall of Names, images of the dead. Young soldiers troop in to share the binding tragedy of the Jewish people.”

“The State of Israel is now a regional power,” she added. “For decades it has occupied Palestinian territories. But some here will always see their nation through the prism of persecution and survival.”

There is a hint that Yad Vashem is being instrumentalized by the Israeli government. It is being used as a “binding tragedy” for the Jewish people, represented here not “by housewives and children and old men, some of them the descendants of Holocaust victims” who come to Yad Vashem, but only by “young soldiers” – a subliminal hint that Israel is a militarized little Sparta. And in Orla Guerin’s worldview, it is not Judaism, not the Torah or Talmud, not several thousand years of Jewish history, but the Holocaust alone that is the “binding tragedy of the Jewish people.” And according to Guerin, the Israeli “fixation” on the Holocaust has led them to think of themselves as permanently in a war for their “survival” that is a figment of their overheated imaginations.

Much worse followed. Guerin describes Israel as a “regional power.” Guerin has always liked to emphasize Israel’s military might, as part of her complaint that this “mighty” state – so small it can hardly be discerned on any world map, and only eight miles wide at its narrowest point in the pre-1967 armistice lines that Guerin thinks it must again squeeze into – ought to be more magnanimous toward the poor Palestinians. Let’s remember that the total area of the 22 Arab states in more than one thousand times that of tiny Israel. Let’s also remind Guerin that Israel has had to fight three major wars for its survival (1948-49, 1967, 1973) and several smaller campaigns in the Sinai (1957), in Gaza (2004, 2008-2009), in Lebanon against the PLO (1982) and Hezbollah (2006), as well as fight terrorism day in day out, year after year. In 2019 alone, the Shin Bet prevented 560 attacks on Israeli citizens. For nearly two years Hamas has been conducting the Great March of Return, sending incendiary kites into Israel that have set fire to tens of thousands of acres; the terror group has also lobbed missiles into towns in southern Israel. In Lebanon, Hezbollah has seen its terror tunnels discovered and destroyed by Israel but at the same time, Iran has been helping to improve the precision of the 140,000 missiles Hezbollah has already received from Tehran, given to the terror group for future use against Israel. And Iran has been building its own bases in Syria from which it hopes to threaten Israel.

Israel has its hands full with state and non-state actors who wish to harm it, but for Orla Guerin, it’s a “regional power” with few worries. She doesn’t mention that Iran, with its vast oil wealth, which has enabled it to build a formidable stockpile of advanced weaponry, and with a population ten times that of Israel, has repeatedly threatened to destroy the Jewish state; the regime holds endless rallies where tens, even hundreds, of thousands chant “Death to Israel.” There is Turkey, once a friend and now an enemy of Israel, whose leader, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has proposed that a pan-Islamic army be formed to “destroy Israel.” That is Israel’s reality. It has to work constantly to protect its people from attacks by Hamas, Hezbollah, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorists. It has to prevent Iran from building permanent bases in Syria. And while it has done much to slow down Iran’s nuclear program, from the Stuxnet virus that caused centrifuges to speed up and self-destruct, to the killing of Iranian nuclear scientists, Israel cannot let up in its efforts to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. Orla Guerin doesn’t take such threats, from Iran and Turkey as well as from the Arab terrorist groups, to heart, but the Israelis can’t afford her blithe indifference.

Despite its remarkable feats of military derring-do, Israel can never let its guard down. Its leaders wake up each morning to find out how many terrorist attacks have been foiled the day before, and how many succeeded. They are filled in on what threats against Israel have been made this week in Tehran, in Istanbul, or what plots against Israelis have been hatched in a cafe in Beirut or Baghdad, or London, or Paris. They worry about the new precision guided missiles that Hezbollah has just taken delivery of from Iran. And they ask themselves, constantly, how many of the 22 members of the Arab League, and how many of the 57 states in the Organization of the Islamic Conference, must Israel worry about today? And next year? And the year after next?

But for Orla Guerin, Israel is not in real danger. The Jewish state likes to think of itself, and to present itself to the world, as under constant mortal threat. But according to Guerin it’s nonsense, a calculated wallowing in false fears; Israel holds up for the world the spectre of the Holocaust, but it has no real worries. Israel is mighty, while the Palestinians are the helpless ones, their lands taken from them, and now “occupied” by Bible-crazed Jewish settlers who have the gall to want the world to feel sorry for them. But where’s this great threat Israelis supposedly face? How many Israelis died as a result of the Great March of Return? One. And how many Palestinian who took part in those peaceful protests were killed by Israelis? 267. Orla Guerin asks: What more do you need to know?

“For decades it has occupied Palestinian territories. But some here will always see their nation through the prism of persecution and survival.”

No, Israel has not “occupied Palestinian territories.” After the Six-Day War, Israel was finally in a position to enforce the legal claim it had always had, based on the Mandate for Palestine itself. And furthermore, it has an independent claim based on U.N. Resolution 242, and its author Lord Caradon, to “secure” — that is, “defensible” — boundaries, which meant there would be territorial adjustments based on Israel’s determination of its security needs. Guerin doesn’t know or care about the Mandate for Palestine, or U.N. Resolution 242. Her mind was made up long ago. She’s chosen her side. She’s never wavered. The West Bank is now and forever “Palestinian.”

And then there is that last, vile sentence: “But some here will always see their nation through the prism of persecution and survival.” For Orla Guerin, it doesn’t matter that Israel has had to fight more wars, in its short history, than any other country on earth. These Israelis want pretend they are still being persecuted, still under some kind of genocidal threat. Orla Guerin is heartily sick of these Israelis who want everyone to view everything through the prism of the Holocaust. How dare they worry about their persecution and survival? It’s the Palestinians who are being persecuted; it’s the Palestinians who may not survive. Israelis are both neurotic and cruel. Neurotic, because they have no real security worries but think, or pretend to think, that they do. They have tanks, they have planes, they have helicopters, they have drones, they have nuclear submarines. What more do they need? Their worries are baseless. And Israelis are cruel, because Israel is a mighty power, and it’s the poor Palestinians who are helpless, whose land has been taken, and held onto, by Israel, without any justification whatsoever.

Yes, Israel still wants the world to feel sorry for it, to think that the country’s survival is at stake. Orla Guerin won’t stand for that nonsense. She’s not going to pass on Israeli propaganda. She’s going to tell the truth, even if the Jewish lobby complains to the BBC executives: Israel hasn’t much to worry about. Oh, there may be a tunnel or two – only to bring in goods the Israelis won’t let them have, like building materials– but those tunnels have all been easily discovered and destroyed. And a few missiles are occasionally lobbed from Gaza into Israel, but they always land harmlessly in some open field. And let’s not forget that every Israeli home has a bomb shelter, so they wouldn’t have to worry in any case – unlike the Palestinians, who have no shelters and no place to run. And with that kind of constant pressure on the Palestinians, there is always bound to be someone, maddened with rage and grief over his people’s misery, who lashes out. That’s why every so often there’s a stabbing of a soldier at a bus stop, or of a policeman in the Old City. But that’s about it. And that soldier, that policeman, are seen by the Palestinians as the face of an oppressive and militarized state. “For god’s sake,” Orla Guerin wants to shout at these Israelis wallowing in self-pity, “it’s Holocaust this and Holocaust that. Persecution. Survival. That was a long time ago. Get over it. And stop making life miserable for the Palestinians. Jews suffered during the Holocaust, and so they have a special responsibility to behave decently toward the Palestinians, instead of emulating the behavior of those who once tormented you. And that’s what I have reported on, and I will continue to report on.”

First published in Jihad Watch here and here

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Posted on 01/29/2020 5:39 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Wednesday, 29 January 2020
Rochdale child sex offender who fled to Pakistan during trial extradited
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From Yahoo News

A child sex offender who sexually exploited an underage girl in Rochdale has been returned to the UK to serve a 19-year jail sentence after fleeing to Pakistan halfway through his trial.

Choudhry Ikhalaq Hussain, 42, was extradited on Tuesday after being arrested in January last year in the province of Punjab, Greater Manchester police (GMP) said.

He was one of 10 men sentenced in 2016 for committing sexual offences against a teenage girl in Rochdale, but he fled the UK while on bail.

Hussain was given permission to leave his trial by the judge after claiming he wanted to go to a relative’s funeral in the UK but instead left for Pakistan.

He was sentenced in his absence to 19 years imprisonment in April 2016 after being found guilty of three counts of sexual activity with a child, two counts of rape and one count of conspiracy to rape.

Speaking after the extradition, DS Jamie Daniels, senior investigating officer for Operation Doublet, said: “Hussain is a sexual predator who mistakenly thought he could flee to another country to live the good life, while his victim was forced to deal with the consequences of his vile actions and robbed of justice. His apprehension demonstrates that when it comes to pursuing perpetrators of child sexual exploitation, we will hunt them across the globe if necessary.” Fine words - lets hope he pursues current criminals across Greater Manchester and beyond; into Lancashire and Yorkshire, maybe as far as Birmingham and Shropshire - these gangs are all linked swapping and trading girls.

Dr Christian Turner, from the British high commission in Islamabad, said: “This latest example of close cooperation between the UK’s and Pakistan’s law enforcement agencies shows there is no escape for those who flee from the law, even across international boundaries. Choudhry Ikhalaq Hussain will finally face jail for his terrible crimes.”

As he likes his homeland so much there should be no problem deporting him back there in due course. 

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Posted on 01/29/2020 3:53 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Tuesday, 28 January 2020
Buckingham Palace sword attacker said killing pregnant women is ‘fair game’ if they weren’t Muslim, court hears
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From the Independent Photographs from the Daily Mail earlier

The Buckingham Palace sword attacker told his sister he was about to launch “another attack” months after being acquitted of a terror offence, the court has heard.

Mohiussunnath Chowdhury allegedly trained for an attack on potential targets including a gay Pride parade and Madame Tussauds after being freed from custody at the end of a retrial.

Woolwich Crown Court heard that the 28-year-old told undercover police officers of his intentions and said that any non-Muslims were “fair game”.

On 20 June – six months after his release from prison – a covert recording showed him telling his sister, Sneha Chowdhury, that he was quitting his job at a chicken shop in Luton.

“I’m doing another attack bruv,” Mr Chowdhury said. “I’m serious bro, it’s about time now.”

But giving evidence at his trial, he claimed he made the comment “for attention” and did not mean it.

Prosecutors told a jury that the defendant was “to unleash death and suffering on non-Muslim members of the public who happened to be present, using a firearm, sword and even a van as part of an attack”.

The court heard that Mr Chowdhury boasted to undercover police of “deceiving” the jury that cleared him of a terror offence after he attacked officers with a sword outside Buckingham Palace in August 2017. At trial, he claimed that he drove to London with a large sword and drew it on police while shouting “Allahu akbar” because he felt suicidal and wanted to be shot dead. After his release, Mr Chowdhury was recorded telling undercover police, his cousin and a friend that his real intention had been to kill the officers in a terror attack.

The court heard that Mr Chowdhury had debated terrorism with his friends in online chats, telling one man that killing a soldier or police officer would be “instant paradise innit”.

When the friend said that he could not condone the murder of a pregnant woman or children, he replied: “It’s halal [permissible] because it is not sacred. if they’re not Muslim then they’re fair game. . . : When you fight in war you fight men to men, yeah, but the war has come to a stage now where it’s like they are bombing our women... pound them equally as they pound you.”

The court heard the he praised previous terror attacks, calling the Charlie Hebdo massacre “epic” and the murder of Lee Rigby “amazing”.

Asked about his remarks on the Charlie Hebdo attack ...“It was beautiful that they stood up and attacked them,” he told the jury. “I don’t think it’s right that they did that [but] it’s like they put their foot in it. They were warned not to do these things, so it’s hard for me to have sympathy for people who insulted my prophet.”

The court previously heard that Mr Chowdhury engaged in physical training for an attack, acquiring wooden swords, enrolling on a shooting training course and obtaining a replica pistol while seeking a live firearm and ammunition. Mr Chowdhury said he had just “played” with his young cousins and sister using the wooden swords, and cancelled the firearms course.

When presented with photos showing canvas with apparent knife marks from his home, he admitted using it for stabbing practice with his sister, who is charged with failing to inform police about his plans. Mr Chowdhury admitted that they practised stabbing motions together, with a knife kept under his bed, but said it was for “protection against intruders” after their neighbours were burgled. In a recorded conversation in April last year, Mr Chowdhury allegedly told his sister that he “needed to practice decapitation techniques”.

A recording showed him telling his sister that he was targeting children who came into the chicken shop where he worked after prayers at a nearby mosque, adding: “They come in the shop and I start radicalising them.” Mr Chowdhury told the court that he was “just messing around” and the claim was “nonsense”.

Mr Chowdhury denies preparing acts of terrorism, disseminating a terrorist publication and possessing terrorist information. His 25-year-old sister denies two counts of failing to disclose information regarding terrorist activity.

The trial continues.

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Posted on 01/28/2020 4:02 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Tuesday, 28 January 2020
Macron, Testy and Petulant Outside a Church In Jerusalem
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by Hugh Fitzgerald

The disturbing story is here.

“Go outside,” French President Emmanuel Macron demanded in English in a melee with Israeli security men on Wednesday, demanding they leave a Jerusalem basilica that he visited before a Holocaust memorial conference.

Here’s what he shouted, in English, to the Israeli security men:

“I don’t like what you did in front of me. Go outside. I’m sorry but you  know the rules.

“Nobody has to provoke, Nobody! We keep calm!

Emmanuel Macron was demanding that the Israeli security men who were standing at the entrance to the Church of St. Anne with only one purpose in mind – to make sure that he, President Macron, would be made as safe as possible in visiting the site– should leave, “go outside.” He didn’t think it right for Israeli police and Shin Bet to enter the church, which he considers to be the property of France, akin to an Embassy which, juridically, is a debatable proposition. Does he think that a Saudi-funded mosque in Paris would be off-limits to the French police?

The Israeli security people had a job to do: to ensure Macron’s safety. Isn’t it possible that they know how to do this, in Jerusalem, better than anyone else, including the security men who accompanied Macron from France? Is Macron an expert on Palestinian terrorism? Does he know how to look over people of Middle Eastern mien in the crowd at the church to detect if anything is amiss? Does he know what the Shin Bet people know about the particular risks of visiting the Church of St. Anne’s? Does it make sense to berate the Israeli security men for fulfilling their task, a difficult job in any circumstances, for which Macron, instead of becoming angry, should have been grateful?

The French tricolor has flown over the Church of St. Anne in Jerusalem’s walled Old City since it was gifted by the Ottomans to French Emperor Napoleon III in 1856.

France views it as a provocation when Israeli police enter the church’s sandstone complex.

Why is it a “provocation” when the Israeli police attempt to enter the church? How, and who, are they provoking in trying to assure security for Macron at the church? Are the Israeli police there to interrupt or shut down a service or otherwise make trouble for their distinguished visitor? Did they try to prevent his security detail from entering? Wasn’t it the other way round, with the French trying to keep out the Israelis? The Israelis were there for only one reason, which we must keep repeating: to safeguard a foreign dignitary who, because of his position, might be at risk of attack. Is that really beyond the intelligence of Macron, who has gone to all the right French schools – the Lycee Henri IV, followed by Sciences-Po, followed by the Ecole Nationale d’Administration — to understand? Would the French, who know perfectly well what Arab terrorists are capable of, prefer that the Israeli security services, both police and Shin Bet, not have visited the Church of St. Anne’s before Macron arrived to check it out? Would he really prefer — as his rude outburst suggests — not to have any Israelis in the church to provide an extra level of protection?

Perhaps Macron needs to be reminded of what happened to him just three days before he arrived in Jerusalem. He and his wife had gone to see a play – “La Mouche” – at the Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord.

When 30 protesters outside tried, vainly, to enter the theatre, his security detail quickly surrounded him, treating others in the audience rather roughly. The security men weren’t about to stand on ceremony. Does Macron remember that? But he understood that it was part of their job; he did not berate those security men at the theatre, as he did, just a few days later, the Israelis who were, in much more difficult and potentially dangerous circumstances only attempting to ensure his safety?

While the Israelis behaved with professionalism and, indeed, admirable restraint under conditions made more difficult for them by the French security detail, and by the outburst from testy and petulant Emmanuel Macron himself, nothing at St. Anne’s Church compares to the behavior of Macron’s personal bodyguard and friend Alexandre Benalla, who in 2018 caused a scandal by lunging out and hitting two protesters, one a woman, who posed no danger whatsoever to Macron or anyone else. At the time, Macron found nothing wrong with his bodyguard’s behavior. Benalla’s brutality went unreported until the story appeared on social media. But as for those Israelis, they were truly indefensible in wanting to help protect Macron he was right to yell at them.

Wednesday’s incident was a case of deja vu all over again. In 1996, former President Jacques Chirac lost patience with Israeli security agents at the same church, telling one of them that his treatment was a “provocation” and threatening to get back on his plane.

Chirac refused to enter St. Anne until Israeli security left the site.

Again, for Chirac then as for Macron now, a moment’s reflection would have told them that that they should be grateful for, and not be angry with, Israel’s superb security services. Just the other day, the Shin Bet revealed that in 2019, it had foiled 560 terrorist attacks. Macron himself, as the President of France, has received threats from Arab terrorists. Why should he shout at the Israeli security men who are keenly aware of such threats, and have longer experience at foiling them than anyone else, including the members of Macron’s security detail?

Video showed Macron, jostled in the center of a crowded circle between his own protective detail and Israeli security personnel, including several paramilitary policemen in uniform, under an archway leading into the church.

When there are two distinct groups providing security for the same dignitary, as here, with both Macron’s French “protective detail” and Israeli security personnel, the task becomes more difficult: who will have final say? Who answers to whom? How close should crowds of well-wishers be allowed to come? How do we ensure Macron’s safe entry and exit? Isn’t it just possible that the Israelis, who are well-versed in scanning Jerusalem crowds for suspicious types, and who know, too, the precise layout of the church, and the places where one bent on mayhem or murder could hide a weapon, or plant an explosive, should be worked with, instead of enduring Macron’s shouting in English at the Israeli security guards that “I don’t like what you did in front of me. Go outside. I’m sorry but you know the rules. Nobody has to provoke, Nobody! We keep calm!”? Of course. Keep calm! Just like Emmanuel Macron.

There were reports of “shoving.” But who was doing the “shoving” and who was being “shoved”? The contretemps was between the two security services, French and Israeli, at the entrance to the church. The French wanted to keep all the Israeli security men out; it was they who were “jostling” and “shoving” the Israelis, who were determined not to back off; they had been tasked by the government with ensuring Macron’s safety and wanted only to do so. But after Macron’s shouting, which stunned the Israelis, they agreed to send in only two people, one policeman and one member of Shin Bet.

According to a statement put out by the Shin Bet, Macron later apologized to Israeli security men. Later on the same day as the church visit, an Élysée spokeswoman said that the incident was “nothing serious,” and that Macron’s visit continues as planned. “Everything is going well.” And then, on the next day, the French government denied that Macron had apologized to Israeli security for anything.

Here’s what Macron should do, to make proper amends. He should recognize that his behavior at the church was intolerable. He should apologize publicly and unambiguously, to the security services and the people of Israel, for his unseemly performance. He might word it thus: “I must apologize for my inexcusable behavior outside the Church of St. Anne’s on Wednesday. I failed to give sufficient weight to the difficult task it must have been for those Israelis providing me with an extra level of security, and I am sorry for my outburst.” But he won’t. Macron belongs to the never-apologize-never-explain school of statecraft. And Israel’s security professionals will just have to soldier on, for the grateful and the ungrateful alike, as they have had to do for decades.

First published in Jihad Watch

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Posted on 01/28/2020 3:55 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Monday, 27 January 2020
Phyllis Chesler and Incorrect Feminism
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by Michael Curtis

I shall be telling this with a sigh. She took the road less travelled, and that has made all the difference. She never bothers with people she dislikes; that’s why the lady is not a tramp.

Polarization and partisan acrimony are inherent in all organizations. In the famous Federalist Paper No. 10, James Madison regarded factions as inevitable, and stated thst people will continue to form alliances with others who are or feel similar to themselves. It has always been puzzling that commentators have tended to regard feminism as if it were a united monolithic movement rather than one divided, as all other organizations, by passion, interest or ambition. More correct is the analysis by Phyllis Chesler in her book, A Politically Incorrect Feminist, in its discussion of 20thcentury American leaders of the feminist movement, some  of whom she describes as noble, self-sacrificing, and generous, and others she regards as confrontational women and lunatics who do not treat each other in the movement with respect or compassion. Chesler minces no words, and she is formidable, intrepid, courageous, and opinionated. Her book is like the curate’s egg, part good and fascinating, part suspicious in its acceptance of gossip about other feminists. She wants to save feminism for true believers.

Phyllis Chesler, emerita professor of psychology and women’s studies at CUNY, the City University of New York, is well known as an activist and author on various topics, especially for her account of her astonishing short marriage to an Afghan man and sad experience in Kabul before she could escape. Now aged 79, she tells something of her background, coming from a family of Jewish working-class immigrants, her cold mother, and her sometimes brutal father. She suggests that her early treatment made her an individualist, a loner, but she is forthright in self-revelation, including her liaisons with men and women, and two abortions. The book is a mixture of analysis, autobiography and gossip, thoughts about feminism, concern about mental health professions that stigmatized women, criticism of violence in the Muslim world, and disapproving of left-wing feminists who blame the West for all problems and focus on class warfare. Chesler deals with the difficulties of divorced women, the problem of adoption and commercial surrogacy. But for most readers its main interest will lie in her depictions of the behavior of well-known U.S. feminist leaders, even if her account may sometimes appear to be a settling of scores, and breakage of relations with former close friends.

 Feminism, a term coined in 1837 by Charles Fourier, is a mixture of various ideas and programs, at a minimum all aimed at equality between men and women in matters relating to economics, government, and socio-political matters. Feminist movements have often been described in terms of “three waves.” The first in the 1800s and early 1900s focused on suffrage and equal property rights; the second wave, liberal, radical or cultural, beginning in the early 1960s, and important until the 1980s, was concerned with legal equality between men and women, gender, sexuality, the workplace, reproductive rights, domestic violence and the creation of liberation movements. Chesler holds that most feminists of the “second wave” did not focus on motherhood as sacred rites of passage or as feminist issues. The third wave, sometimes referred to as post-feminist or intersectional, is diffuse and ongoing, with differences on sexuality and pornography. Chesler is honest in confessing she cannot understand contemporary French feminist writers, influenced by the post modernism of Lacan, Foucault, Derrida, the Belgian Lucy Irigaray,  and the French Helene Cixous. She also has little time for Israeli Jewish feminists who specialize in criticism of their own government.

Daughter of Jewish working class immigrants, Chesler tells her story as a politically incorrect feminist largely through encounters with and candid comments on many of the talented women, feminist personalities of the second wave. She tells of a number of encounters with men and rape, but she does not fully explain the reasons for her change to bisexuality when she was in her mid 40s. 

Chesler has had a full life as a teacher, scholar, a key figure in making women’s studies into serious scholarly programs, co-founding  the National Women’s Health network and present at the founding of Ms magazine. She was active in the National Organization for Women, in the Association for Women in Psychology. Her earlier writings were useful and influential for discussion of important psychological issues such as depression, and problems of sexuality..

 She helped write a feminist Haggadah for the many Passover Seders she held. 

 She explains her support for Israeli women wanting to pray at the Western Wall.

In this age of MeToo, it is timely that she points out the prevalence of sexual harassment by professors, employers and even strangers, and that she, like other women, kept quiet about it. She talks of the extra baggage for women, and that because of daily prejudice and victimization, women can become disabled, with symptoms such as uncontrollable weeping, bad temper, paranoid accusations, envy of those seen as more talented, and inhumanity toward other women. Her book is not a history of feminism, but a highly personal and critical account of some major U.S. feminist leaders.

In telling her story Chesler appreciates that the major feminists have done much of value, but also some of the gains were tempered by the constant backbiting, claims of plagiarism, and need for recognition among the women, especially by those of the left. Chesler says she was stunned, blindsided by the incomprehensively vicious behavior among feminist  leaders.

The overall impression Chesler, both insider and outsider, gives of those leaders is that they were very flawed, with individual petty jealousies and group bullying.  According to Chesler, some of the most charismatic and original thinkers had psychological problems, were clinically schizophrenic, or manic depressive. It is well known that famous men have been mentally ill or disturbed, Baudelaire, Hemingway, Robert Lowell, Ezra Pound, Percy Shelley, Dylan Thomas, but Chesler indicates, though not all will agree, that this is true of some feminists, such as Canadian radical Shulie Firestone, author of The Dialectic of Sex, Kate Millett, author of Sexual Politics, or Andrea Dworkin, a close friend who wrote on pornography, but a fanatic who felt she was always the victim, or Jill Johnston, journalist who wrote Lesbian Nation, and who Chesler alleges is antisemitic.   

Chesler’s comments are acid, especially about Betty Friedan, who changed many lives through her 1963 book The Feminine Mystique, whom she pictures as “a rare harridan constantly raging at everyone.” Chesler sees Friedan as cantankerous, abusive, abrasive, outrageously demanding, and an out-of-control drunk. According to Chesler, Betty, jealous of Gloria, and saw her as a lightweight people-pleaser, a prom queen who made off with the captain of the football team, and once accused her of being an CIA agent, was not an intellectual.

Other portraits are almost equally unflattering. Gloria Steinem is a tireless networker. She goes where the media goes, and often succeeded in persuading the media to follow her. She accuses Steinem of becoming the sole face of second wave feminism through Ms magazine. In her watered down radical feminism, Steinem defended Bill Clinton against Monica Lewinsky. Kate Millett was a mad genius, often in mental hospitals. Robin Morgan was an inveterate scene stealer. Erica Jong, good hearted and generous, yearned for fame as if it were the Muse itself. Andrea Dworkin was a demanding, domineering figure who knew how to badmouth others. Susan Sontag was naive.

Chesler spends some time on the incident and consesquences of her rape in 1979 by David Nicol, Under Secretary at the UN, a married Sierra Leone citizen, who was supposed to discuss with Chesler a conference to be held in Oslo in July 1980. She was attacked In her home while her infant son and his babysitter were in the next room. Her feminist colleagues, Gloria and Robin Morgan, refused to support her action against the highly placed Nicol. Chesler holds they sacrificed her to defend their brand of feminism and their control of international feminist networks.

Sometimes Chesler seems petty, as with her animus against someone who refused to review her book in 1976. But she, a serious intellectual, is attempting to illuminate the true path for other feminists. Is feminism failing? It is telling that a generation ago there were more than a hundred feminist bookstores, now there are twelve. Chesler’s work, politically incorrect though it be, is important in addressing the contributions and the complications of feminist writers.

Chesler concludes with explaining that the rise in antisemitism  reconnected her to her Jewish roots and led her to revise Jewish rituals in feminist terms. She is bitter about Western feminists, who after 9/11 were afraid to criticize Muslin violence, and who are more interested in blaming the West for the world’s miseries than in defending Western values. Philosophically, feminists are supposed to be universalists, but Chesler argues that many modern feminists are isolationist, and believe that speaking out against Muslim bad crimes and behavior is somehow racist. For her not speaking out against racism is perhaps the greatest failing of current feminists. 

But the feminist movement is more important than the personality traits and feuds among individual feminists, and one can criticize Chesler’s book for concentrating on those issues. However, Chesler is an idealist, who believes in the principles of feminism, equality, and social justice for all. At the same she is one of the few feminists who recognize the hostility of Islam to Western values. Her views deserve to be heard on college and university campuses today.

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Posted on 01/27/2020 1:00 PM by Michael Curtis
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