Saturday, 30 June 2018
Juan Cole: Shameless Opportunist
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by Winfield Myers


Juan Cole

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s victory in the June 24th elections marks a major advance in his years-long march toward one-man rule. So clear is his progress, in fact, that over the past year or so, even Juan Cole has become a former Erdogan apologist and has taken to condemning the Turkish strongman.

It’s a pity – though hardly a surprise – that this change of heart comes two years too late to help thousands of Turkish academics fired and jailed in the aftermath of the failed July, 2016 coup attempt against Erdogan. But when Turkey’s professoriate was under direct attack from the government in the immediate aftermath of the failed July, 2016 coup attempt, Cole was hobnobbing with the Erdogan’s academic supporters at an Istanbul hotel.  

In October, 2016 he joined other scholars from the U.S. and Europe for a regime-sponsored conference titled “Envisioning a Post-Crisis Regional Order for the Sharq [East] Region.” As Campus Watch Fellow A.J. Caschetta reported at the time, the event featured no fewer than half a dozen members of Erdogan’s government, including his spokesman Ibrahim Kalin, a George Washington University Middle East studies Ph.D. and senior fellow at the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim Christian Understanding at Georgetown University. 

But that mattered not a whit to Cole, who was happy to accept Ankara’s largesse. He must also have known by then that his fellow American, Henri Barkey of the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, was among those blamed by Erdogan’s press minions for orchestrating the rebellion – a blatantly absurd charge.

At the Istanbul conference, Cole’s panel on “Discerning the Present through the Past” was immediately preceded by a luncheon titled “In Honor of Presidential Spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin.” Where was Cole’s moral backbone then?

Safely ensconced back home in Ann Arbor, Cole found his courage. His most recent attack on the Turkish president, on June 25 in Common Dreams, ignores Erdogan’s Islamism (the core of his ideology) and purports to warn Americans that Trump has similar designs on the U.S. Even when finally stating the obvious, Cole stumbles over his own ideological blinders.

Cole acknowledges today what everyone knew as he and other regime lackeys mingled with Erdogan’s thugs in Istanbul two years ago: that the government “closed entire universities and fired their professors because they had Gülen associations.”  

Worse:

“What margin had existed in the press or the universities for criticizing Erdogan and his policies was removed systematically. Dissident or critical professors and journalists were fired or even sent to jail.”

When his condemnation of Erdogan’s brutal attacks on Turkey’s universities could have called attention to the plight of his fellow academics, Cole chose to participate in a conference staged to lend a veneer of legitimacy to the crackdown. Now that Erdogan’s grip on power has tightened, he channels Patrick Henry. Persecuted Turkish professors can rest easy, though: Juan Cole has got your back.   

Winfield Myers is director of academic affairs and director, Campus Watch, at the Middle East Forum.

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Posted on 06/30/2018 4:50 AM by Winfield Myers
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Friday, 29 June 2018
Three men imprisoned after raping a woman in a Canterbury car park
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From Kent on-line

The attack happened in April in the area of Holman's Meadow in Canterbury.

Sali Amet, 23, of Preston Street in Faversham, Omer Engin, 24, of Hoades Wood Road in Sturry, and Salih Altun, 25 of East Street in Faversham, all pleaded guilty to rape. At a previous hearing in May, which was simultaneously translated into Turkish, Altun admitted two charges of rape and Amet and Engin, one each.

Altun was sentenced to nine years and nine months for two counts of rape. Engin and Amet were each jailed for nine years.

Canterbury Crown Court heard how part of the incident was caught on CCTV. A 10-minute section was played to Judge Heather Norton, who passed sentence this morning.

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Posted on 06/29/2018 6:51 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Friday, 29 June 2018
Portland ICE Protesters and the National Lawyers Guild
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Want ICE out of Oregon, Represented by National Lawyers Guild

by Gary Fouse

The open borders crowd has been camping out in front of ICE hqs in Portland, Oregon for over a week, and now, after four days of warnings, police have moved them.

I take note that the protesters say they are represented by the National Lawyers Guild. I have written about the NLG several times in the past. Their Los Angeles, director, Jim Lafferty, has spoken twice at UC Irvine on behalf of the Muslim Student Union and against Israel. As I have often pointed out, the NLG was founded in the 1930s as a legal arm of the Communist Party USA. Today, they still exist and stand ready to jump on any band wagon that is designed to make America look bad. Lafferty was the chief organizer of the Occupy LA camp out in front of City Hall a few years ago before the Occupy Movement morphed into Antifa.

In fact, if you watch the video included in the above news link, near the end you can see someone in a bright lime-green baseball cap. I have seen that cap before at UC Irvine. For a couple of years now, the NGL chapter attached to the UC Irvine Law School has accompanied Students for Justice in Palestine as their "official legal observers" as SJP and their leftist allies disrupt Israeli events and as SJP and the Muslim Student Union hold their annual May bash Israel events. The NLG people wear those distinctive caps that read, "NLG legal observer". In May 2016, they accompanied SJP et al when they marched from the Cross Cultural Center (de facto clubhouse of the MSU) and as the protesters were literally trying to crash through the door, they (NLG) reportedly demanded that the protesters be allowed in. I was not present that time, but I was present the following May when they disrupted a panel discussion by Israeli military veterans. In fact, I videotaped it and you can see a young woman in the green cap who was also recording on her cell phone. You can see them in action in 2017 at UCI  here and here.

I wrote to the UCI Chancellor Howard Gillman and then law school dean Erwin Chemerinsky asking how people affiliated with their law school can disrupt events held by other students. Of course, I have never received a reply. Chemerinsky has moved on to the UC Berkeley Law School. Just yesterday, he wrote an op-ed in the LA Times complaining about the Supreme Court's "hypocritical" ruling on Trump's travel ban.

But here's a tip: If you ever encounter one of those Antifa mobs or a group trying to shut down an ICE facility or disrupt a campus event held by pro-Israel students, look for those people in the bright lime-green caps. Nat would be the National Lawyers Guild in action.

 

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Posted on 06/29/2018 4:45 AM by Gary Fouse
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Thursday, 28 June 2018
Pondering London Underground adverts and more
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The Lord Mayor of London (which Dick Whittington was four times in the 15th century) is these days a post of commercial importance, whose holder is largely unknown outside the City of London, other than as the reason for a rather good parade every November. The relatively recent institution of Mayor of London is a political post of great power - Ken Livingstone, Boris Johnson and lately Sadiq Khan. Livingstone is so disgraced I hope he will ever be a power in the land or the Labour party again; both Johnson and now Khan see the post as a step to national power as Prime Minister, or senior cabinet minister.

One of Sadiq Khan's first actions when elected mayor was to censor unsuitable adverts off London Underground. The one he ordered be removed first was for a slimming product (always dubious stuff to a fat lady) featuring a pretty blonde girl in a yellow bikini and the slogan "Are you beach body ready". As a picture of a pretty girl in a swimming costume it was unobjectionable, in my opinion, but the slogan genuinely had overtones of 'body shaming' which was the excuse for it's removal.

I'm with the wag who remarked, 'How to be beach body ready. Locate body. Take body to beach. Job done'. 

At the time people wondered if it was going to be the thin end of a puritanical (sharia compliant?) wedge. Advertising gurus advised their clients to think carefully about future campaigns. 

The next advert to receive scrutiny (that I know of) was for a brand of tights, Heist. These are quite expensive but are said to be long-lasting and VERY comfortable. To show how comfortable they are they showed another agile young blonde haired woman leaping in the air with joyous freedom of movement. It was a back view, the movement was gymnastic rather than sexy, her legs and bottom were covered by the opaque and substantial nylon fabric, but her back was bare.

"This advert will only be acceptable if you paint in a matching brassiere". Which the company complied with, AND added a bit more blackness over her bottom. That one I did not understand.

Gary Lineker the left-wing, refugee friendly, anti-racist, former footballer advertises Walkers crisps in a very amusing series of television commercials which transform into still posters. A series of adverts showing him naked from the waist up had to be altered to make it clear that he was wearing shorts/underpants/swimming trunks beyond the crop of the shot.

Transport for London guidelines say an advert will be banned if it “depicts men, women or children in a sexual manner or displays nude or semi-nude figures in an overtly sexual context”.

Even serious historical fine art isn't exempt. It's starting to get silly. 

I travelled into London earlier this week and had time to study the adverts. They really are rather dull these days. Admittedly times are hard; budgets have been cut, maybe London Underground is no longer a cost effective placement. But of the adverts there were quite a few were just text. There were some with pictures of people. Films, shows and concerts featured members of the cast; Aladdin, Bat out of Hell, Tommy Steele. 

There were many public information posters from the Mayor of London himself.

Know about the London Living Wage! 

Help fellow passengers if taken ill! 

Khan and his office seem to find women in uniform acceptable. 

But anything that looked like fashion, frivolity, fun was missing, or was from my line this week. All bar two posters, one or both of which were at almost every station. They were advertising swimwear from the cheap on-line (mail order as it was when I was a kid) firm BooHoo.

I think this is the same model, also in a yellow costume, but much more sexually provocative (open legs, open pouting lips)  than slim Miss Ready for the Beach. 

I wondered about BooHoo. Apparently they aim to rival Primark and sell clothes so cheaply that a garment can be worn once by a fashionable 'Pretty Little Thing' (a sister company) and then discarded. According to the Burnley Express

The owner of Burnley online fashion retailer boohoo.com has been named in the Sunday Times Rich List as being one of the top ten wealthiest people in the North-West. Mr Mahmud Kamani and his family are said to be worth £1bn

That increase is partly down to the huge growth that boohoo has experienced in recent times, not least becoming the biggest employer in Burnley with around 1,400 people working at its distribution centre and offices on the Hesandford Industrial Estate. The site saw a second huge warehouse built in recent months.

However, it has not all been plain sailing for the company which came under criticism last year for its working practices following an undercover investigation by the Channel Four Dispatches programme. The programme appeared to show examples of staff at its Burnley depot being given two 30-minute breaks, one of which was unpaid, per 12-hour shift.

It is good when a large proportion of any retailers produce is manufactured in the UK; it is very bad when working conditions show practices that were dying out when my parents worked in factories in the 1930s which had gone by the time my husband started work in a Midlands textile mill in the 1970s. That, of course, was workers organising themselves in the days when Trades Unions were for the working man and woman. Unions now are for political control, and mass immigration has undercut our bargaining power. British workers who recall the hard fought rights our parents bequeathed to us are now condemned as lazy. 

This picture of a memo circulated around Boohoo workplaces became public in 2012. The websites that featured the story are not all exteant now, but the employee review of Boohoo on the website of Employment Agency Indeed confirms that the restriction on pork products is true and continuous. 

It also foreshadows some of the poor working conditions discovered by Channel 4 Dispatches.

 Customer Service – 27 August 2012 - Pros: friendly people, after 13 weeks of working you gain access to discounts. Cons: pork free environment, constant stress in relation to statistics, boring work overall, job security is not there at all.

(Former Employee) –  Burnley – 28 April 2014 - Cons:No pork allowed on premises

(Former Employee) –  Burnley, Lancashire – 19 January 2017: Bullying environment. Managers intimidate you. No breaks even if your working 6 hours shift

Lets have a look at other members of the Kamani family. According to the Manchester Evening News

The rags to riches story of Manchester's billionaire Boohoo family

Having taken the reigns of the Kamani Property Group, CEO Adam Kamani opens up about how his grandfather came from Kenya and founded a UK business dynasty - and how he has set his sights on a real estate empire. Meeting property expert Adam Kamani in his swanky Ancoats office is an experience in itself . . . Adam had already co-founded fashion business PrettyLittleThing with his brother Umar when he began focusing on property two years ago. Adam and younger brother Samir took a step back from the business, which is now being led by older brother Umar, who he says is doing an ‘incredible job’.

Adam took on the Kamani Property Group, a portfolio of investments made by his family.

The latest project to get approval from Manchester City Council is the refurbishment of a five storey building on Chorlton Street into ten apartments.

The portfolio also encompasses a new-build scheme in the Northern Quarter which will house the property office and was approved by Manchester City Council late last year.

There's some money in this good Muslim family. Am I being nasty in imagining that some of it might have changed hands in order to secure their adverts on London Underground? Inquiring minds wish to know. 

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Posted on 06/28/2018 7:39 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Thursday, 28 June 2018
Swiss Foreign Minister Tells the Truth, Causes “Surprise and Consternation”
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by Hugh Fitzgerald

The latest news from Switzerland:

Experts have reacted with surprise and consternation to Swiss foreign affairs minister Ignazio Cassis’ comments that the United Nations’ aid work for Palestinian refugees is a stumbling block to peace in the Middle East.

So long as Palestinians live in refugee camps, they can dream of returning home, Cassis said in an interview published in several Swiss newspapers on Thursday, which came after his first official trip to Jordan. Five million Palestinian refugees currently live in such camps, with aid and protection provided by the UNRWA.

He said that UNRWA had become part of the problem rather than the solution and it supplied the ammunition to continue the conflict. “By supporting the UNRWA, we keep the conflict alive. It’s a perverse logic,” Cassis said. He called for the integration of long-term refugees in their countries of residence.

Ignazio Cassis, having seen for himself the “Palestinians” kept in camps, understood the cruel hypocrisy of the situation: the Arab countries deliberately keep the “Palestinians” in camps, do not allow them to become citizens (save for a brief period in Jordan), nor to enjoy full access to higher education, nor to enter certain professions, all in order to keep them in harshly constrained conditions, prevented from integrating into their host countries, so that their own resentment of Israel is kept at a boiling point, and at the same time, in those UNRWA-run camps, their wretched state is a constant reminder to  the “international community” of the “plight of the Palestinians.” No one, and especially no one at UNRWA, wants it to be known that the other Arabs are to blame for the condition of the “Palestinians” in the camps.

Decades ago Ralph Galloway, former director of UN aid to the Palestinians in Jordan, summarized this situation succinctly. He wrote that

“The Arab states do not want to solve the refugee problem. They want to keep it as an open sore, as an affront to the United Nations and as a weapon against Israel. Arab leaders don’t give a damn whether the refugees live or die.” (quoted in The Palestinians: People, History, Politics by Terence Prittie, p. 71)

And another voice, from a time when truth-telling about the matter was still possible, is that of Elfan Rees, the World Council of Churches’ Adviser on Refugees, who declared in 1957:

“I hold the view that, political issues aside, the Arab refugee problem is by far the easiest post-war refugee problem to solve by integration. By faith, language, race and by social organisation they are indistinguishable from their fellows of their host countries. There is room for them in Syria and Iraq [and even more room, and need, now, in Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf oil states]. There is a developing demand for the kind of manpower they represent. More unusually still, there is the money to make this integration possible. The United Nations General Assembly, five years ago, donated a sum of $200,000,000 to provide, and here I quote the phrase “homes and jobs” for the Arab refugees. That money remains unspent, not because these tragic people are strangers in a strange land — because they are not, not because there is no room for them to be established — because there is, but simply for political reasons.”

Elfan Rees wrote before the OPEC oil bonanza reached its zenith. Since 1973 alone, the Arab states of OPEC have received $25 trillion dollars; they could easily pay for closing down the “refugee” camps in other Arab states (there is not a single such camp in the Gulf oil states themselves) and for building more than decent housing for “Palestinians” where those camps formerly stood — or indeed, wherever in the  Middle East or North Africa such housing might be welcome. But as Elfan Rees wrote, this won’t be done, because of “political reasons.”

Ignazio Cassis saw the camps in Jordan, and understood that UNRWA is a major part of the problem: it contributes to keeping the “Palestinians” in the camps, keeping their false and vengeful narrative alive, preventing them from integrating, as they so easily could if allowed to do so by their host countries.

“So long as Palestinians live in refugee camps, they can dream of returning home.”

Cassis said that UNRWA had become part of the problem rather than the solution and it supplied the ammunition to continue the conflict. “By supporting the UNRWA, we keep the conflict alive. It’s a perverse logic,” Cassis said. He called for the integration of long-term refugees in their countries of residence.

What was the response? From supporters of UNRWA, which is overwhelmingly staffed by “Palestinians” and headed by their European sympathizers, there was horror that someone should dare to tell the truth about UNRWA’s main function, which is not to help the refugees but to keep them from integrating, so that the conflict with Israel can be kept alive, and the world can see the “Palestinians” as a group permanently deserving of sympathy, with so few understanding that those maltreating them are not the Israelis, but the Arabs of their host countries, and UNRWA itself, help keep them in a state of dependency.

Former Swiss diplomat to the Middle East Yves Besson – and a former UNRWA director –  told swissinfo.ch that he was astonished by these comments. “The UNRWA is today the last vestige of the international community’s interest in the Palestinians and their refugees. What’s more, these comments are anything but neutral: this argument will be of service to Israel and the United States.”

Besson was “astonished” because truths about UNRWA must not be told, and here is Ignazio Cassis, the Foreign Minister of Switzerland fresh from touring a camp in Jordan, doing exactly that, undercutting decades of carefully-tended propaganda by, and for, UNRWA. When Besson claims that “UNRWA is today the last vestige of the international community’s interest in the Palestinians and their refugees,” what can he be talking about? The “Palestinians” are hardly in danger of neglect, with only UNRWA as the “last vestige of.the international community’s interest” in the “Palestinian” refugees. In fact, they receive far more sympathetic attention at the U.N. than any other people or group in the world. Consider, for example, that from its creation in June 2006 through June 2016, the UN Human Rights Council adopted 135 resolutions criticizing countries; 68 out of those 135 resolutions were against  Israel (more than 50%). And from 2012 through 2015, the United Nations General Assembly adopted 97 resolutions criticizing countries; 83 out of those 97, or 86%, were against Israel (86%). That’s some last vestige.

Notice that Besson finds Cassis’ comments “anything but neutral,” that “this argument [about UNRWA helping to prolong the Arab-Israeli conflict] “will be of service to Israel and the United States.” We can’t have that, of course. Mustn’t say anything, even if you believe it to be true, even if it is true, that could help the United States or Israel. To be “neutral,” you have to limit yourself to remarks that will help the “Palestinians” and the Cause of Palestine. That’s what neutrality is all about.

Besson added that, during the Oslo peace process, the Palestinians had not called for the effective return of millions of Palestinians, but the recognition of Israel’s responsibility towards the 700,000 Palestinians who fled in 1948.

Cassis shows little concern for these people who rely on their origin and right and [sic] return – even if they would necessarily not use it,” said Besson.

Besson wants us to believe that when the “Palestinians” demand the Right of Return, as they have been doing quite violently during their six-week Great March of Return in Gaza, they don’t really mean it, because they did not call for it during that ill-fated “Oslo peace process.” But they certainly are calling for it now. Everything we know about the “Palestinians” shows that they mean what they say when they make their maximalist demands. They intend, if they can, to return to claim houses, communities, towns that their grandparents came from in what is present-day Israel, and intend, too, to dispossess the Jews. This will take place by degrees. They hope, for now, to gradually overcome the Jews of Israel, not through military means, but demographically.

Cassis is being accused of showing “little concern” for the inhabitants of the camps, but it is he, in fact, who who shows real concern for real people. He doesn’t think the “Palestinian” refugees should be barred from citizenship and full participation in the life of their current host countries; he doesn’t think they should be forced to live in camps; he doesn’t think they should be barred from certain professions. It is Cassis, and not his outraged critics, who is truly sympathetic to the “Palestinian” refugees. He wants to end their exploitation as political pawns, kept in camps so as to ensure that their “Palestinian” sense of grievance against Israel does not diminish, and to keep the world’s sympathy for, and focus on, their cause.

Riccardo Bocco, Middle East expert at the Graduate Institute in Geneva, agrees. “We should not confuse the origin of the Arab-Israeli conflict of 1948 with the solution found for the Palestinian refugees. And the situation for Palestinian refugees is different depending on the country they are in. Who is advising Cassis?

Riccardo Bocco does not tell us what he thinks the “origin of the Arab-Israeli conflict of 1948” was, but perhaps we can help him out: the origin of that conflict was the absolute refusal of Muslim Arabs to countenance an Infidel-run state smack in the middle of Arabdom, on land that was once possessed by, and therefore must always belong to, Muslim Arabs. Still worse, those Infidels were the despised Jews. The 1948 war was a Jihad by military means; the Jihad against Israel has continued ever since, carried out through warfare (1956, 1967, 1973), terrorism (both inside and outside Israel), diplomacy (as at the U.N.), economic warfare (boycotts), and propaganda (billions of dollars spent, with great success, to blacken Israel’s name).

Bocco’s comment about the “Palestinian” refugees being treated differently in different countries is not quite true. In all Arab countries save Jordan, they are denied the right of citizenship; in Jordan, some of the refugees had citizenship granted but it was then taken away; their status in Jordan remains insecure, and can depend on which part of Palestine their ancestors came from.  They are in all of their host countries deprived of full access to higher education and prevented from entering certain professions. There is less difference in their treatment than Bocco would have you believe.

Speaking to the Le Temps daily, Pierre Krähenbühl, the Swiss current head of the UNRWA, did not want to wade directly into the debate around the comments. “Switzerland has until now given excellent support to the UNRWA,” he told the newspaper. This collaboration includes a good number of “innovative projects” which help the organisation to “reinvent itself”.

On the question of whether the UNRWA is an “obstacle” in the peace process in the region, Krähenbühl said: “We don’t have the same perspective on the issue.” “From our point of view, UNRWA,is not part of the fundamental issues which explains why there is no resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” he added. “If you look at what has happened in the Middle East, our role as provider of humanitarian assistance, medical work and training has increased in importance.”

UNRWA has not “reinvented” itself in any significant way: it still does not oppose, but collaborates with the Arab governments that want those refugees kept in camps and prevented from integrating. UNRWA’s main purpose is to keep UNRWA itself going, to keep the mass of the “Palestinians” within the closed circle of the camps, made permanently dependent economically on UNRWA, unable even to attempt to break that dependency, given the limits on their educational and vocational possibilities and, as non-citizens, their lack of political rights.

When Krähenbühl claims that UNRWA is “not part of the fundamental issues which explains why there is no resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” he is wrong. There is “no resolution” to the conflict because the Arabs do not want one; for them, no compromise could possibly be permanent. UNRWA keeps the flame of resentment and murderous revenge in “Palestinian” hearts alight, and acts as the advocate for the “Palestinian” side, making sure that Israel (which long ago integrated the 900,000 Jews who fled Arab lands) is blamed for the “plight” of the “Palestinians” who are kept in camps, quite unnecessarily, by Arab leaders, including their own.

Reaction from politicians was mixed. Christian Imark of the rightwing Swiss People’s Party told the SRF public radio that Cassis’ statement was a “step in the right direction.” Social Democrat Cornelio Sommaruga, however, said he was shocked and announced he would raise the issue during next month’s summer session of parliament.

For its part, the Swiss Foreign Affairs ministry told swissinfo.ch in a written statement: “The Foreign Affairs ministry has nothing to add to the comments that Minister Cassis made in the Aargauer Zeitung.”

Ignazio Cassis has done something rare in the annals of Arab-Israeli diplomacy. He has spoken the truth. Cassis openly recognized that UNRWA is an obstacle to peace. It helps to keep the conflict alive, for UNRWA fosters a climate of angry dependency among the “Palestinian” refugees. UNRWA makes no effort to convince the host countries to offer citizenship to the “Palestinians” in the camps. Nor does it try to get the host countries to allow the “Palestinians” to move out of the camps, or to have the same access to higher education, or to be able to practice the professions, as their own citizens enjoy. UNRWA also uses an extraordinarily expansive definition of a “Palestinian” refugee, to include all those who are descended from someone who once lived in Palestine. Even if your parents and grandparents were born, lived, and died outside of Palestine, you will be considered a “Palestinian refugee” by UNRWA as long as someone among your ancestors — your great-grandfather, or great great-grandfather — lived in Palestine. This definition is applied to no other group of refugees on earth. UNRWA staffers have also managed to keep on its rolls “Palestinians” who have died; that’s why the numbers of those who are dependent on UNRWA for food, clothing, education, housing, health care, continue inexorably to rise. And naturally the sums allotted to UNRWA continue to rise as well.

For having described UNRWA as a part of the problem, Ignazio Cassis has been raked over the coals. He has “shocked” Yves Besson, a former Swiss diplomat and director of UNRWA, and Riccardo Bocco, a Middle East “expert” in Geneva, and Christian Krähenbühl, the current director of UNRWA.

Cassis caused “surprise and consternation” among these Swiss “experts,” former diplomats, directors and heads of UNRWA; among the Arabs he caused rage. The Swiss president Alain Berset was quick to distance himself:

President Alain Berset says there is no change in Swiss policy on the UN Palestinian refugee agency UNRWA, which remains a strategic partner for Switzerland.

He was speaking on Friday after a meeting with foreign minister Ignazio Cassis, who caused outcry on Thursday by saying that the United Nations’ aid work for Palestinian refugees is a stumbling block to peace in the Middle East.

Berset said UNRWA “plays an essential role for stability in the region and the fight against radicalisation”. But he said that as a donor it was legitimate for Switzerland to join the debate on the agency’s future. 

Will Ignazio Cassis, and the forces of reason, prevail over those who want to continue to exploit the “Palestinians” confined to their UNRWA-staffed camps, so as to make peace between Israelis and “Palestinians” ever more unlikely? Swiss President Alain Berset did distance himself from Cassis’s remarks, but not perhaps to the extent the Arabs expected. He noted, as his parting remark, that it was “legitimate” for Switzerland to “join the debate” on UNRWA’s future. This  suggests that he is not dismissive of Cassis. He wants that debate. In the frozen wastes of the U.N.’s policy on Israel and the “Palestinians,” that’s a sign of a not impossible thaw. For Israelis, and for those “Palestinians” stuck in camps who would like to improve their own lives by being accepted as citizens by their Arab hosts,  it can’t come soon enough.

First published in Jihad Watch.

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Posted on 06/28/2018 4:54 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Wednesday, 27 June 2018
U.S. Criminal-Justice System Is Out of Control, and Media Are Distracted
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The evil is compounded by the preoccupation of the the political class with the news story du jour, from the southern border.

by Conrad Black

Few episodes illustrate more completely the absurdity American political discourse has reached than the more robust aspects of the controversy over separated children at the southern border. Once again the Trumpophobic media decked the halls with their latest version of their triumphalist call that this time he (the president) has gone too far. They have rung their bells threadbare with that refrain, from the size of the inaugural crowd through restriction of entry from terrorism-plagued countries, Charlottesville, supposed affronts to foreign leaders, warmongering over Korea, insults to countries that are the sources of immigration, and now the fate of these children. When Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut compares it to stuffing “people in cattle cars and sending them to death camps,” Bill Maher calls for a recession and if necessary assassination, to be rid of the president, and the bellwether of Trump-hate, the egregious and avaricious Representative Maxine Waters, warns of a violent public uprising and asks that Trump supporters be assailed in public and in their homes, Trump’s enemies smell blood, either his, at last, or in desperation, their own.

The issue is nonsense. The children were used by their parents to promote sympathy as they invaded the country illegally, and then were abandoned by them after being stopped and briefly retained and ordered to come back for a hearing, which most of them never do, simply leaving their children in the hands of the U.S. government as wards of the American taxpayers. Their conditions are better than most of them had at home, and they are reasonably well taken care of and fed as if they lived in McDonald’s. The administration has now undertaken to round up the parents and reunite them with the children, and the Democrats want them released into the country with their parents, and the process of trying to normalize entry into the country by masses of unskilled foreigners effectively abandoned. Trump probably sees a big electoral victory in a showdown on immigration, which would be the likely reason why he promised full support for Republican efforts to legislate at the start of last week but a few days later counseled to wait for the midterm elections. Endless trips to the border by improbable Democratic crusaders like Nancy Pelosi can’t be expected to maintain this levitation of public outrage indefinitely.

It is not the continuing media frenzy to find some mortal failing in Trump, and the lunacy, now down to Nazi name-calling, that makes discourse absurd, though it is certainly a flying start. It is the hypocrisy and stupidity of two-thirds of the federal politicians and almost all of the media running whole newscasts for days on end over these 2,300 Mexican and Central American youngsters who are well cared for, abandoned by their illegally invading parents, even as millions of Americans have had their lives ruined by the monstrously evil justice system of America. At any time, as many as a million Americans are in prison in inhuman conditions, despite being innocent or over-sentenced, or having committed minor offenses. The tenacity with which Americans persist in regarding themselves as a society of laws is disgustingly complacent, when 99 per cent of Americans accused of crimes are convicted, 97 per cent without a trial, and carceral conditions are frequently abominable by the standards of advanced countries.

Professor Andrew Koppelman of Northwestern recently wrote in the Arizona State Law Journal that because the American legal system and general “moral understanding” is that crime is caused by “morally defective people,” having committed almost any crime, they prove themselves to be permanently bad and undeserving of consideration. To quote another expert, Joshua Kleinfeld, with whom Professor Koppelman is having a sophisticated academic debate: “American criminal punishment is not too harsh because it reserves the ability to severely punish some people but because it metes out severe punishment to far, far too many people. American criminal punishment’s essential moral failure is its recklessness about when and against whom to be harsh.” Koppelman writes that, as Kleinfeld observes, the United States “is remarkably ready to declare that a person who has committed a crime is irredeemable. . . . Innocent people are routinely convicted on the basis of false and coerced confessions, questionable eyewitness procedures, invalid forensic testimony and corrupt statements by jailhouse informers.”

The United States has 2.3 million prisoners, about 1 per cent of the adult population, and about 3 per cent of the people are under correctional control, including about one third of African-American men. Prison conditions are notoriously vile: “male-on-male rape, domination by racial gangs, assault by sadistic guards, and assault by other prisoners,” as Kleinfeld writes in the Stanford Law Review. The whole system is one of vengeance and not of rehabilitation, and its hopelessness is compounded by sentencing guidelines, the near-uniformity of plea bargaining, and the use of actuarial guidelines to determine degrees of punishment. The legislators, in pursuit of the votes of the frightened and the misanthropic, have usurped the role of the judges. Though American justice is intended to stabilize society, the proportions of incarceration are so extensive that the opposite is the result; about 15 per cent of Americans have been in prison at some point in their youth, with very unsettling effects. It isn’t so much a justice system as a process dressed up in tatters of due process by which law enforcement sends astounding numbers of people to inhumane places and ruins their lives. There are 70,000 American minors in prison now, and juvenile prosecutions have risen spectacularly as the juvenile crime rate has been dropping.

The American criminal justice system is a monstrous and soul-destroying evil, and this fact is regularly proclaimed by enlightened judges, lawyers, and qualified academics.

This is why the U.S. has six to ten times as many incarcerated people per capita as other prosperous democracies (which have lower crime rates than the U.S.): Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan and the U.K. With less than 5 per cent of the world’s population, the United States has about 25 per cent of its incarcerated people. Kleinfeld writes that “America seems to have lost the concept of error.” He makes the point that people are deemed not to have made mistakes, they are wicked, as a result of having been convicted, even though, unlike every other advanced society in the world, indictment and conviction are synonymous 90 per cent of the time. He asserts that a system that provides 25 years in prison for someone who shoplifts three times, even five years apart, regards the wrongdoer as evil, when in fact the system itself is evil; “the country throws away tens or hundreds of thousands of lives that could be salvaged. . . . Racism, sadism, and mindless inertia interact in complex ways.”

Koppelman concludes:

In America, we have collectively decided that our interest in feeling superior to all those bad guys outweighs the atrocity of mass incarceration. . . . America maintains, at huge expense, an immense industry whose purpose and effect is the mindless or malevolent destruction of human lives. . . . We are the ones who are doing this. Evidently we are happy to keep doing it. That’s evil.

The professor is correct. The American criminal-justice system is a monstrous and soul-destroying evil, and this fact is regularly proclaimed by enlightened judges, lawyers, and qualified academics. The evil is compounded by the mawkish and obscene preoccupation of the entire media and the political class with this trivial business of a small number of illegally arrived foreign children being tolerably treated after abandonment by their parents. The entire tableau is a farce, a disgrace, an outrage, and a tragedy.

First published in National Review Online.

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Posted on 06/27/2018 7:48 AM by Conrad Black
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Tuesday, 26 June 2018
The media's embrace of anti-Semitism
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Mainstream media have led to the banalization of anti-Jewish imagery through the mindless repetition of false claims of Israeli abuses. The William of Norwich calumny has been brought back to life in Gaza.

by Matthew M. Hausman

News coverage of the current unrest in Gaza shows how profoundly anti-Semitism has infected the mainstream media, as reporters have mobilized the blood libel myth to disparage Israel and promote the revisionist Palestinian narrative.  Though media bias against Israel has been well-documented in recent years, the use of classical anti-Jewish tropes to suggest Israeli bloodlust against Arab civilians marks an ethical low-point for journalism as a profession. One does not have to scratch too far below the surface to see that depicting Israelis as callous predators while lending credence to fictitious claims of Israeli atrocities conjures images of the blood libel, which traditionally accused Jews of ritual murder and precipitated crusades, pogroms, and massacres.  

The blood libel was employed by Christians starting in medieval times (and increasingly by Muslims from at least the 19th century onward) to justify the persecution and murder of Jews throughout Europe and the Levant.  Blood libel symbolism was popularized across diverse religious, ethnic and political lines – by Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Christians; by Russians, Ukrainians and Poles; by Islamic leaders and Arab nationalists; by despotic European monarchs and the enlightened progressives who opposed them; by communists and socialists; and by right-wing zealots, fascists and Nazis.  For more than a thousand years, various religious, ethnic and national leaders around the globe accused Jews of rapacious parasitism and thus facilitated wholesale degradation and suffering.

Today one might expect to find such hateful themes in extremist literature and on radical websites.  The mainstream press, however, has done far more damage by its banalization of anti-Jewish imagery through the mindless repetition of false claims of Israeli abuses.  Western journalists have reinforced the myth with ill-conceived stories from unvetted sources accusing Israelis of indiscriminately attacking schools and hospitals, firing on unarmed civilians, and even killing Arabs to harvest their organs.  And they have maintained an unrelenting editorial campaign to undermine Israel’s right to protect herself, to inflate civilian casualty reports by misidentifying armed terrorists as innocent noncombatants, and to deny the genocidal anti-Semitism that pervades Palestinian society. ...

CONTINUE READING  https://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/22365 

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Posted on 06/26/2018 12:06 PM by Matthew Hausman
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Tuesday, 26 June 2018
Taliban bomb-maker found guilty of plotting knife attack on MPs and police outside Parliament
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From the Telegraph and the London Evening Standard

A Taliban bomb-maker has been found guilty at the Old Bailey of  plotting a knife attack on MPs and police outside the Houses of Parliament. Dramatic body-worn camera footage was aired in court at the beginning of the month of Khalid Ali being taken down by armed police outside Parliament.

In the police video, Ali was seen on the ground as he was arrested on suspicion of terrorism and when an officer asks him if he has anything on him that would cause harm, the defendant can be seen smirking and replying: "You'll see." Today, at the Old Bailey, he was found guilty. 

Having cut a backpack with a London logo and a Union Flag emblazoned upon it off his body with a pair of scissors, the officer finds a knife in each of his jacket pockets and one tucked into his waistband. While in custody, Ali's clothes were taken away and he was found to have a small cut in the front of his underwear where the largest of the three knives was found, jurors heard. His DNA was on all three blades, said prosecutor Alison Morgan.

Ali, a plumber from Edmonton, north London, denied two charges of possessing explosives with intent abroad in 2012 and one charge of preparing terrorist acts in Britain.

The court had heard he planned an attack in the UK after spending five years making bombs with the Taliban in Afghanistan. . . When asked if he had returned for jihad, he said: "Jihad is what we do. We are Mujahideen. And I am here to let you know the reason why I have come with the message, for you to make the right decisions, if not ... we have a lot of time. UK is next on the list."

His fingerprints had been linked by the FBI to Taleban bomb components in Afghanistan, and during his police interview Ali confessed he had helped to construct around 300 explosive devices. . . The fingerprint match was finally sent to the UK within hours of Ali’s arrest in Whitehall, when it was clear he was facing an allegation of plotting a home-grown terror attack.

He described himself as a “Mujahid” – a soldier of Islam – and admitted working on around 300 Al Qaeda bombs, adding menacingly: “If you thought the atom bomb was bad I don't think that's nothing compared to what's coming. I have to defend my fellow Muslim brothers and sisters”,

Judge Nicholas Hilliard QC, the Recorder of London, will now decide when to sentence Ali.

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Posted on 06/26/2018 12:04 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwaxe
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Tuesday, 26 June 2018
Bois d’ébène: Slave trade replay
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by Nidra Poller

Fake news, fake metaphors, fake emotions, real human trafficking

Bois d’ébène…it’s the French expression for the slave trade — ebony-black human beings stacked like wood, loaded into the stinking hold and shipped across the seas to serve as slave labor. Today, the image is replayed before the eyes of the world. But the clearly visual reality is twisted into a Shoah narrative. The St. Louis desperately roaming the seas in search of a safe harbor. We were wrong then, we sent the Jews to their death, so we will be right now, and give refuge to these new Jews streaming out of Africa.

And the slave ship is called the Aquarius! No, it isn’t the dawning of an age of peace & love. No, it has nothing to do with six million European Jews trapped in the killing fields, all doors closed to them, including the Gates of Palestine. No, these are not refugees fleeing war in Syria. Look at them! See their black-is- beautiful cargo. In this modern age of Equal Opportunity Intl. the slave traders aren’t cruel white men. They’re dark or black….perhaps Muslim? CNN did an excellent undercover report on the way these Africans are treated by the slave traders in Libya. The women are systematically and repeatedly raped. The men are beaten and tortured. Some are sold into slavery there, others shipped to Europe and who cares what becomes of them? Families pay a fortune to send one member to Europe. But once the poor souls get to Libya, the evil dealers blackmail the families, demand more money to the tune of their victims’ screams, and credible death threats against those back home.

The slave traders pocket their ill-gotten gains and pack the bois d’ébène into leaky boats. Deliberately. The NGO rescue ships scoop them out of the hold, out of the choppy waters, and pose for photo ops. Some drown but it’s not a total loss; they’re used to stir public opinion. The NGOs collect. They live on this misery and dump it into the laps of European taxpayers. Employers collect on cheap labor. The families back home collect via Western Union transfers of the meager earnings of the trailblazer. And eventually, there’s family reunification. Sometimes legal, mostly not.

These people are in distress. How can you turn them away? If you don’t buy the sob story, you’re inhumane. The story hits the media and everyone has to play the Orwellian game: Ten minutes of treacly compassion for the victims, ten minutes of hatred of the heartless, ten minutes of fabricated indignation.
The Al Dura syndrome

Sirens blaring! They’re separating the children from their parents! The noise was deafening! One ear was battered with the migrants at sea like Jews on the Exodus and the other ear was ringing with Latinos persecuted at the US border like Jews at the gates of Auschwitz. The media pounced on their icon. A little girl with black curly hair and a pink jacket, crying tears of desperation. (Did Catherine Ney find a new replacement for that little Jewish boy, hands up in the Warsaw ghetto, already sidelined by Mohamed al Dura?) From there, a hop skip and a jump to the cover of Time magazine. The little girl looking up at a larger than life Donald Trump looking down at her like a child-crushing giant.

Children separated from their parents? Where did we hear that before? Aha! Nazis! The Shoah! And the proof is that Jews one by one and in groups and bundles take a stand. We, as Jews, particularly as Jews, will not condone this inhumane treatment of human beings that deserve tender loving protection. They, the unspeakable Nazis, separated children from their parents. Full stop. Don’t finish the sentence. Here in France, for example, families were held briefly in local camps. Then the adults were sent to the death camps where most of the women and the elderly men were immediately exterminated. The children were shipped out shortly afterward. Straight to the gas chambers.

Don’t finish the sentence, don’t ask where these trespassers are coming from, don’t ask where they are being held during their stopover in Mexico. And why these refugees from Central America don’t want to live in Mexico. Or can’t? Is that an example of good neighborly relations? To let your country be used as a staging area for thousands or tens of thousands of people determined to sneak into the United States and live there as fait accompli?

“I can’t go back, says a woman from El Salvador. The gangs will kill me.” Certain media have been telling Americans not to pay attention to those alarmist far-right racist Trumpsters; in fact, Mara Salvatrucha’s no big deal. Well, not exactly. Those evil MS-13 gangs are reason enough for half of Central America to deserve asylum in the US. But if the same gang members might sneak into the US, hidden in the mass of families that should neither be detained nor separated, don’t panic, open your heart and your arms and trust in the NGOs.

This one, for instance, RAICES (Refugee and Immigrant Centre for Education and Legal Services), that collected $17 million dollars in an online campaign propelled by the iconic little girl in the pink jacket. Reuter’s reports: According to Denis Valera, who identifies himself as her father, she was not separated from her mother, Sandra Sanchez. They have been together in McAllen Texas for the past month, waiting for their asylum request to be processed. Señora Sanchez left without informing Señor Valera or the three children she left behind. If my math is correct, the mother separated the iconic little girl from her father and separated herself from him and their three other children. That’s why the child is the poster girl for inhumane treatment of refugees.

Who separated the unaccompanied minors from their parents? To become the next generation of Dreamers? Innocent children brought illegally into the U.S. by their parents, or sent by their families, to throw themselves on the mercy of the merciless American government. They’ll have to be naturalized because it wasn’t their fault.

Back to Gaza

Two months ago, the real Jews, not the Africans crossing the Mediterranean in leaky boats, were accused of mortally tear-gassing an 8 month-old baby, Layla al-Gandhour, on the border with Gaza during the March of Return. The photo of the mother holding her dead baby and surrounded by weeping women throbbed through international media. France’s newspaper of reference, Le Monde, gave the photo a half page. Doubts were immediately raised about the cause of the baby’s death. They hardly made a ripple in the news stream. A month later, one of her cousins who was arrested on terror charges said that Hamas paid the family $2,000 to claim the baby was killed by tear gas. She died of a genetic blood disease, like her little brother a year ago. The bereaved mother is 17 years-old.

Theme and variations on the Mohamed al Dura blood libel

Israelis were accused of cold-blooded murder of a Palestinian child in September 2000, leading to a wave of atrocities against Jews. The photo of 3 year-old Alan Kurdi washed up on the beach near a Turkish resort paved the way for a massive influx of illegal immigrants smashing through the frontiers of Europe. The little girl in the pink jacket is turned into a battering ram to force the United States to open wide its southern border.

And the forces that pull on our heart strings as if we were marionettes are the humanitarians?

First published in Israel National News.

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Posted on 06/26/2018 9:10 AM by Nidra Poller
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Tuesday, 26 June 2018
Scores killed in Nigeria clashes between Muslim herders and Christian farmers
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From the Times of Malta and The Telegraph Photograph from Euro News

Scores of people are dead after vicious weekend clashes in central Nigeria between mostly Muslim herders and Christian farmers.

One report has claimed 86 people were killed in the conflict, which by some accounts has become deadlier than Nigeria's Boko Haram extremist insurgency.

The deadly clashes between herders and farmers in central Nigeria are a growing security concern in Africa's most populous country, which is roughly split between Muslims in the north and Christians in the south.

The threat from Boko Haram, which continues to carry out attacks in the north-east, has been cited as one cause of the growing tensions as herders - also feeling the effects of climate change - are forced south into more populated farming communities in search of safe grazing.

This conflict is often pitched thus; as a clash between two types of food-rearing, exacerbated by climate change (got to get climate change in somewhere). But it's another manifestation of a 1400 year old incursion. The spread of Islam into non Muslim territory, by force if necessary..

While few details emerged immediately of the latest killings, Nigerians on social media shared a growing sense that something awful had occurred.

Police officials said the latest round of clashes erupted on Thursday when Christian farmers from Plateau’s native Berom tribe killed five Muslim Fulani cattle herders they accused of trespassing on their land.

The Fulani, who mainly come from northern Nigeria, retaliated with a wave of attacks on six villages in the Barkin Ladi region of Plateau State. In one incident, the two young children of a clergyman were hacked to death, according to a local Christian rights group.

Officials in the state put the death toll at 120, while some activists said that 169 had died. Nigeria’s police, frequently accused of understating death tolls, said 86 people were killed.

Northern Nigeria is also awash with weapons, many of which flowed out of Libya after the collapse of authority following the death of its strongman Muammar Gaddafi — making the conflict more brutal than it once was. Worryingly, the conflict is increasingly being framed in Nigeria as a religious one, with Christians accusing the Fulani of mounting an Islamist takeover.

There is no evidence of this,(I don't think this is a universal view - the Christians under pressure don't see it that way)  and the Fulani themselves say the violence is solely about cattle. . . President Buhari’s response to the violence has been seen as half-hearted, with previous military operations doing little to restore the peace, raising suspicion among Christians that he is turning a blind eye because he himself is Fulani.

Read the comments at the Telegraph - the readers understand the significance.

* The Christans are agriculturalists. Agriculture was the bedrock of civilisation.
The Muslims are 'herders'. They shout at cattle and corral them onto other people's land.
Hmm...

* The Muslims will not stop until all Christians are dead . Unless Nigeria acts now it will end up like Sudan

* Anyone only has to look at what has happened to Christians in the middle east to know that the same is happening to Africa. Lebanon was a majority Christian country only a few decades ago.

* Mulsims are never satisfied until all non Muslim religions are eradicated. They are not a religion of peace..far from it.

* This 'conflict' has been going on for decades if not centuries - nothing to do with climate change, everything to do with Mohammedanism.

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Posted on 06/26/2018 1:04 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwaxe
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Monday, 25 June 2018
The Incivility of Maxine Waters
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by Gary Fouse

First it was DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen driven from a Washington DC restaurant by hostile, pro-illegal immigration diners. Others showed up in front of her house chanting. White House press spokeswoman Sarah Sanders was ordered out of a Virginia restaurant. Then it was Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi being confronted at a Florida theatre. Now it is Congresswoman Maxine Waters actually calling for people to get in the faces of Trump administration  officials on the street. It matters not one whit that Trump himself has ordered a halt to separating children from their parents when they are arrested crossing the border illegally.

The mainstream news media also has its share of responsibility for this ugliness. This week, Time Magazine, on its cover, is running a doctored image of Trump staring down at a Hispanic toddler who is looking up at him and crying. In all the hysteria over family separation, nowhere is there any criticism of parents who drag their children across a border in violation of our sovereign laws.

But it is Waters' language that sets the bar so low. Here you have a member of Congress advocating that government officials be confronted and harassed in public  because they work in the Trump administration. Before she was calling for impeachment. At least that has a constitutional foundation. This latest outburst has the potential to lead to violence. But what does she care? She is in a safe district. The more she embarasses herself with her language, the more votes she gets. Her constituency is blind to her intemperate language and blind to her corruption.

In February 2012, I actually had a chance to see and hear this pathetic woman speak in Orange County. She was part of a panel hosted by the Orange Country Islamic Center in Garden Grove, California. This is the same mosque, where in 1992, head imam Muzammil Siddiqi actually hosted the so-called Blind Sheikh, Omar Abdel-Rahman and translated his sermon into English.

On this occasion in 2012, the topic was sharia law. Also present on the panel were Democratic congresswomen Judy Chu and Loretta Sanchez as well as now disgraced former LASD Sheriff Lee Baca and Michael Downing, then chief of the LAPD Counter Terrorism unit. (How deceiving titles can be.) It was a town hall event, open to the public, and devoted to the lie that sharia law is perfectly compatible with the US Constitution. It was an amazing exercise in public deception as each of the panelists repeated the lie including Waters. Of course, much of the discourse was devoted also to bashing Republicans.

Maxine Waters' resume is one that should guarantee defeat in any election for normal candidates. But it is an exercise in futility in hoping that the citizens of Waters' district will one day "woke up," to borrow a phrase, and vote her out of office. Even if worse comes to worse and this call to go after administration officials in public should lead to bloodshed, it would only result in another landslide re-election for this joke of a member of Congress.

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Posted on 06/25/2018 1:47 PM by Gary Fouse
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Sunday, 24 June 2018
A Report on a Rally On Behalf of Tommy Robinson That Took Place in Brisbane, Australia, on June 10
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This is coming in a little late, but I hope will offer some insight into just how far awareness of the worrying state of affairs in Britain has spread.  The account that follows was written by a gentleman, personally known to me, who attended the rally in Brisbane, state capital of Queensland, Australia; similar rallies took place on the same day in Sydney and Melbourne.  Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane, in that order, are Australia's three largest cities.  

"Tommy Robinson Protest".

"On Sunday June 10 2018, beginning at 9 am, a peaceful rally was held outside the British Consulate in Brisbane, to protest against the jailing of Tommy Robinson.  I believe that the rally was "peaceful" only because no Muslims nor their enablers turned up wearing face-masks, screaming abuse at the speakers and/ or physically attacking anyone participating in the rally.

"The crowd engaging in the protest was enthusiastic and well-behaved, breaking into periodic chants of the international Tommy Robinson war cry - "Hey, Tommy Robbie!  Tommy, Tommy, Tommy, Tommy Robinson!".

"The crowd of three hundred or so were all in good voice.  It was a varied and interesting crowd.  There were a lot of older folk but there were also a surprising number of young people, many with young children.  The Australian flag was everywhere, held aloft and waved proudly, along with a plethora of signs demanding Tommy Robinson's release.

"There were also several signs expressing support for Sonia Kruger.  (For the benefit of international readers: Sonia Kruger is a telegenic young Australian TV personality.  Almost two years ago, she commented, on air, that maybe it would be a good idea to stop any further Muslim immigration into Australia.  People should feel safe, when they go outside to celebrate events like Australia Day.  Her comments can still be viewed online.  A serial Muslim complainer then lodged a complaint with the Anti-Discrimination Board of New South Wales.  Two years later the issue has still not been resolved).

"There were two principal speakers at the rally.

"Avi Yemini has previously described himself as "a proud Ozraeli... Leftists hate me... Islamists want to kill me".  Avi seemed to be loaded with springs, as he leaped around, never still, shouting into his microphone.  He wore a kippah on his head, and said the words that his audience were already thinking.  "A right to free speech is a fundamental democratic right", he shouted, "And let's not forget that it was Britain that gave the world the Magna Carta.  If we cannot speak, we are not free."  He thanked all the people there, for attending on a cold winter morning.  (Aside: most northern hemisphere folks would not regard a Brisbane morning at 9 am on June 10 as cold; however... it's what you're used to that defines what you perceive as 'cold' ; it would have been colder still, by Aussie standards, in Melbourne and in Sydney on that particular morning. - CM).  He then spoke of the hundreds of thousands of people now attending protest rallies in Britain, but added, soberly - "I think it's probably too late for Britain.  It's not too late for Australia.  But you must keep coming to these rallies, and next time, bring a friend.  Large crowds are the only thing they'll listen to."

"I've been told I'm a Nazi", he thundered, gesturing at the kippah on the top of his head. "So I'm a Jewish Nazi. Explain that!"

'The crowd loved it.

"In contrast, Debbie Robinson, from the Australian Liberty Alliance, appeared more restrained.  She spoke quietly and persuasively in favour of Tommy Robinson and the right to free speech generally.

"The Australian Liberty Alliance and Pauline Hanson's One Nation were both well represented at the rally, as were other Conservative groups.

"It did seem to me that holding the rally at 9 on a Sunday morning could have prevented many practising Christians, people who would otherwise have liked to attend, from coming along.  This feeling was confirmed when I later spoke to a young man that I knew from a local conservative organistion.  Whenever I see him, he always seems to have his wife with him.  This morning, he was alone. "Where's your wife?" I asked him. "Oh, she couldn't come", was the reply, "She's working with the children at church this morning"

One might add that most churches have a roster for these sorts of tasks and it is normally fixed a month or so ahead of time; if, therefore, a 'snap rally' is suddenly called, a person who has a 'timetable clash' may not, in good conscience, be able to 'skive off' their already fixed obligation at short notice, no matter how noble the cause.  Early on a Sunday afternoon - say, beginning any time between 1 and 3 pm - would be a better time-slot for a rally, if there is a reasonable probability that practising Christians may form a high percentage of the likely attendees. I would also add that in Australia public transport in any of our cities in the early hours of a Sunday is generally rather patchy, especially for persons wanting to come in from outer suburbs or nearby regional areas; again, one hopes organisers of future rallies will take that sort of thing into account, as well; not everybody has a car nor can afford the cost of several hours of inner-city parking.  It is in fact remarkable that a rally organised at very short notice, at a time on a Sunday morning when public transport is somewhat unreliable and most churches are holding their main service of the day, nevertheless mustered as many people as it did. - CM

"So, that was the rally for Tommy, in beautiful downtown Brisbane, on a crisp winter morning.  I do hope Avi is wrong about the bleak future that Britain is facing.  

"But I also hope that he is right, that there will be many more rallies around the country, supporting Tommy Robinson, and that the numbers of attendees will grow.

"Concern for the safety of Tommy Robinson has become well and truly international.

"Britain, take note!"

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Posted on 06/24/2018 6:16 AM by Christina McIntosh
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Saturday, 23 June 2018
Why Can't We Hate Men - TFF episode 84
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Last week, an opinion piece came out in the Washington Post called “Why Can’t We Hate Men?” The author, a gender studies professor named Suzanna Walters argues that hating men is logical because men are supposedly responsible for vast amounts of sexual and institutional violence against women.
 

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Posted on 06/23/2018 4:03 PM by David Solway
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Saturday, 23 June 2018
Trump is grating, but he's a true leader — and America needs him
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Despite his liberties with the truth, Trump has amassed the most faithful record of modern U.S. presidents in doing what he promised to do

by Conrad Black

I was just reminded of Canada’s odd view of the United States by returning, for I think the third or fourth time, to Steve Paikin’s The Agenda on TVOntario, to respond to his questions about my recent book, Donald J. Trump, A President Like No Other (embarrassed descent to crass self-interest: please buy it). It is widely thought, and believed by most Canadians, that we know the United States better than anyone because we are so close and in many respects similar, to Americans. It is true that Canadians understand the American national character and tastes better than Europeans do. But we have no great aptitude to judge the United States in its role as an immense nation functioning at a level of influence on the world that had never been imagined to be possible prior to America’s emergence as a great world power a century ago, or the United States today as the world’s only superpower, rising to face the challenge of China, as it did to threats of Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia, and in economic terms, corporate Japan. In these respects, only the small community of America’s geopolitical specialists know what it is like to be the United States.

We have no great aptitude to judge the United States in its role as an immense nation

Steve Paikin is always well-informed and polite and I was delighted to be reminded that I was his very first guest on The Agenda, 13 years ago. (The program will be aired on Tuesday.) Paikin faithfully reflects the feed from the national U.S. media, which is almost entirely hostile to President Trump, because they are at war. Trump attacked the entire political class, including all political factions of both parties, the immense corruption in American government, the bias of the national media, and the ludicrous interventions of Hollywood airheads masquerading as the political conscience of the nation. Trump called for the reassertion of the American national interest and the public sensed this. An annual trade deficit of $865 billion could not be tolerated. Nor could the steady inflow of 500,000 to a million illiterate migrants a year from Central America and Mexico, or a Western Alliance where the United States paid most of the bill for everyone, guaranteed everyone’s national security, and got little but carping, whining and hypocrisy from its so-called allies. Germany has been the greatest power in Europe since Bismarck unified it in 1871. Chancellor Angela Merkel could have wielded enormous power on the continent, as a kind of Bismarck-in-drag, if you will, but instead she spends almost nothing on defence, appeases Russia in Ukraine while buying its natural gas, and has admirably but unwisely, admitted over a million refugees from the Middle East and Africa in the past three years.

Of the leaders of the world’s important countries, only Trump and France’s Emmanuel Macron in the West, and Shinzo Abe in Japan (in lockstep with the U.S. out of fear of North Korea, as America’s allies customarily are when they are frightened by anything) are rather purposeful. Germany and Britain are dithering and there is some danger of the disintegration of the governing coalitions; Italy is politically in shambles even by its unusual standards, and the electoral jury has begun its deliberations about Justin Trudeau. Trump will get no credit from his “allies” and other foreigners for doing it, but he has saved us from the self-impoverishing insanity of the Paris Climate accord chimera, and an unholy coalition of old-time Greenpeace-type conservationists with Marxist wolves in sheep’s clothing like Naomi Klein. He has bullied and enticed the North Korean leader (Kim Jong Un) into contemplating whether he wants respectability, prosperity and security, or the U.S. Navy to smash his military sites, including everything relevant to his nuclear military program. Despite the cavils of the Trumpophobes, including formerly serious political publications like the now unrelievedly slipshod Economist of London, and despite his liberties with the truth, President Trump has amassed the most faithful record of modern American presidents in doing what he promised to do. His record is impressive, even if his public utterances sometimes are not: tax cuts, deregulation, surging economic growth, reducing oil imports, and a foreign policy that is assertive but not reckless. Apart from my friend Adrienne Batra, editor of the Toronto Sun, and some of my readers, I appear to be practically the only person in Canada who recognizes that.

His record is impressive, even if his public utterances sometimes are not

I commend to skeptical Canadians the comments in a recent London interview of the greatest foreign minister of any Great Power in the 20th century, Henry Kissinger. He said that President Trump “is a phenomenon that foreign countries haven’t seen before … Liberals and all those who favour (Hillary) Clinton will never admit that he is … a true leader … After eight years of tyranny (of declinists and willful fantasy), … every country now has to consider two things: One, their perception that the previous president, or the outgoing president, basically withdrew America from international politics, so that they had to make their own assessments of their necessities. And secondly, that there is a new president who’s asking a lot of unfamiliar questions. And because of the combination of the partial vacuum and the new questions, one could imagine that something remarkable and new emerges out of it … Trump puts America and its people first … When he boasts that he has a ‘bigger red button’ than Kim Jung Un does, he transcends the mealy-mouthed rhetoric of the past, thereby forcing a new recognition of American power.”

He transcends the mealy-mouthed rhetoric of the past, thereby forcing a new recognition of American power

Henry Kissinger

The American and Canadian and European media can afford the luxury of judging the Trump phenomenon by its often grating exterior, but the geopolitical facts are as Henry Kissinger described. Thuggish charlatans like Putin are made to look strong by the weakness of Obama and fragile governments in Britain and Germany, but the U.S. is withstanding the domestic pressure to drive Putin into the arms of China and Iran, and is gathering strength to resist the challenge to the West presented by China, even if the population of the West is still steeped in snobbery toward Trump and his followers as a gang of loud-mouthed boobs.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau meets with U.S. President Donald Trump at the G7 leaders summit in La Malbaie, Que., on June 8, 2018. Justin Tang/CP

Justin Trudeau, with Kinder Morgan, the tariff theatrics, and even marijuana, is starting to look like a leader, while Andrew Scheer did not last week, by dumping Maxime Bernier from the shadow cabinet over his long-held and publicized objections to the heist of supply management (a 270-per-cent tariff to protect Quebec and Ontario dairy farmers that President Trump has highlighted). If the Trudeau government is gulled by imitative and reflexive Canadian revulsion against Trump into escalating the prime minister’s public joust with him, he will have missed the opportunity of a magnificent Canadian national policy. They will be difficult times because of the economic power of the United States, but if the government combined protectionism with a move to reduce foreign private-sector ownership in Canada equitably, without discouraging foreign investment, to make Canada a more transparent and less corrupt enterprise state than the U.S. while effecting innovative reforms in justice, taxes, health care, social assistance and other key areas, increasing its investment in cultural activities, and building its military strength and status in the Western Alliance, he could be a great prime minister. If he is not prepared to seek such an exceptional destiny as that, Justin Trudeau should quietly leave it to the specialists to get the best deal they can from the Americans without breaking any more crockery.

Either scenario may work for him, but something irresolutely in the middle — superficially nationalistic but really just abrasive to Trump while still pushing natives, gender and eco-extremism — will not work and would be very hazardous, for him and for Canada.

First published in National Review.

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Posted on 06/23/2018 4:34 AM by Conrad Black
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Friday, 22 June 2018
Felix Coe Retires
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by Hugh Fitzgerald

Felix Coe was until very recently an associate professor of biology at the University of Connecticut. He is a convert to Islam who had posted on his office door demands that directed students to “REMOVE SHOES BEFORE ENTERING” and “KNOCK FIRST, THEN REQUEST ENTRY Say: Bismillah.”

When one student asked politely — and recorded in an undated audio — why he insisted that she remove her shoes, Coe gruffly replied “Get the hell out of here. I don’t want to see you.”

“I am a Muslim,” Coe explained to the student. “You don’t come into my office with dirty shoes; that’s a curse.”

Two other people — who tell Coe that they are parents of students — came to Coe’s office in December 2017 to ask about the demands posted on his door:

“I want to know why these [signs] are necessary,” one of the men asks Coe. “Why would a student have to take their shoes off? Why would a  student have to say [Bismillah]?”

Because I am a Muslim and I don’t want them coming in my office with dirty shoes,” Coe stated.

But this is your office, this is not a prayer [place],” the man tells Coe. “We have a separate place for a prayer” (where shoes are to be removed).

Coe doesn’t answer, and the visitor then makes an obvious point about the “Say: Bismillah” command:

“If a Christian put in here ‘In Jesus’ name’…would this happen?”

Felix Coe doesn’t answer, but instead goes to his phone, no doubt calling Campus Security to come and remove these people who have the gall to question him. The video ends at this point, and we don’t know if the visitors then left voluntarily or were escorted out. But their points have been made, and Coe’s blustering nastiness recorded, not least for the benefit of the administrators at the University of Connecticut, a public institution.

What everyone of sense will realize is that Felix Coe thought he could get away with treating his office as a space for Muslim prayer, where shoes are to be left at the entry, and where, he further insisted, all those coming to see him, including non-Muslims, were required to say the Bismillah (“In the name of Allah”), the invocation made before any undertaking by devout Muslims. What was it that gave him that idea? Might it have been the general attitude, abroad in the land, and especially in academic settings, of deference to Muslims and to Islam? This last demand (“Say: Bismillah”) was especially outrageous at a public university. We all know that if a Christian professor had required students to say “in the name of Jesus” before entering his office at a public university, he would immediately be in big trouble. Coe could say nothing coherent to defend that “Say: Bismillah,” but he was not, either, about to remove the command.

Then something unexpected happened. The University of Connecticut administrators, having learned of the unusual demands made on visitors by the bullying botanist, ordered the immediate removal of “Say: Bismillah” from Coe’s office door. According to Campus Reform, “UConn promptly resolved the issue in a manner that respects the rights of all involved, and affirms the University’s values of civility and inclusivity. Regarding this instance, the sign that had directed guests to precede their conversations with a specific Arabic phrase was immediately removed at the University’s direction,” a university spokesperson stated.

And that was not the end of the matter. Sometime after December 2017, we now learn, Felix Coe “retired.” Was he forced to retire from the University of Connecticut, given the outrageousness of his behavior? Or did he retire because he didn’t like being told what he could and could not require of visitors? It hardly matters. He is gone. The administration, the faculty, and above all the students, are free from his bullying. The students and parents who helped draw attention to his behavior will be models for activist students, and their parents, on other campuses. And Muslim faculty, who might have emulated him, will now learn from the example of former associate professor, Felix Coe, now suddenly retired, that there are limits to what the Infidels will endure.

First published in Jihad Watch.

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Posted on 06/22/2018 5:05 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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