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Why ‘Holocaust Denial’ Graffiti Matters

Early Friday morning, March 10, 2017 Holocaust graffiti was discovered by an off-duty Seattle police officer on the façade of a major Reform Jewish Temple in the Capitol Hill District of Seattle, Temple De Hirsch Sinai.

According to a Buzz Feed report, the graffiti read:

“Holocaust is fake history!” A dollar sign appeared to be used in place of the letter S in the graffiti.”

The Seattle Police Department (SPD) undertook an immediate bias crimes investigation and established patrols for both the historic sanctuary on Capitol Hill as well as a companion one in Bellevue, Washington.   Later that morning, a thoughtful neighbor in the Capitol Hill district of Seattle hung a sign over the anti-Semitic graffiti with a comforting statement expressing community support for the temple, “Love wins.”Because of the heightened security, a suspicious box left at the door of the temple Friday afternoon was investigated by the SPD and found to contain a donation of old books.

Comments of the anti-Semitic incident by the  Seattle Temple Rabbi

holocaust denial graphitiA CNN report noted what Rabbi Daniel Weiner wrote on the Facebook page of Temple de Hirsch Sinai regarding the security precautions that this latest anti-Semitic incident prompted and its occurrence on the cusp of the Jewish festival of Purim:

And as we take all of these precautions, we are also adamant in our conviction that we will not allow the toxicity of intolerance and growing climate of hate to define who we are, how we live, and what our nation can be.

We take courage from the upcoming celebration of Purim and its story in the Book of Esther, as our people triumphed over the evil plans of those who seek to diminish and destroy us, and as we stand shoulder to shoulder with all who are vulnerable and in need, placing our faith in God to inspire us to perfect a broken world.

Condemnation of Anti-Semitic Seattle incident  by Washington Governor Inslee and U.S. Representative Jayapal

Washington Governor Jay Inslee condemned this latest act of anti-Semitic vandalism, saying: “It is the responsibility of each and every one of us to condemn any and all acts of hate and intolerance.”   US Rep. Pramilla Jayapal, whose 7th Congressional District  covers Seattle  tweeted:

“I condemn the anti-Semitic vandalism against Temple De Hirsch Sinai in Seattle in the strongest possible terms.”

The Seattle anti-Semitic incident reported on Friday was not the only occurrence that day.  CNN noted:

The graffiti is the latest in a wave of anti-Semitic vandalism and threats made to Jewish institutions all over the country.

Earlier in the day, staff at a Jewish community center (JCC) in Las Vegas received “suspicious communications,” according to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, prompting them to evacuate the area and investigate. Police reported the property safe a short time later.

In Tucson, Arizona, police were investigating the second threat in two weeks sent to a JCC. Sgt. Pete Dugan, a spokesman for the police department, said a bomb threat was received via email.

There have been more than 148 reports of anti-Semitic bomb threats, calls against Jewish Community Centers across the US and several Jewish cemetery desecrations in St. Louis, Philadelphia and Brooklyn, New York. These occurrences have been condemned by both President Trump and Vice President Pence. The FBI has a task force currently investigating these occurrences and at least one arrest has been made in St. Louis of a suspect, Juan Franklin who made a string of 8 hate bombing calls. Franklin was a former staff journalist for on-line journal The Intercept, ironically fired for producing fake news stories.

Governor Inslee in a statement drew attention to this latest occurrence of intolerance in the State of Washington:

Yesterday’s act of vandalism at the Temple De Hirsch Sinai in Seattle is the latest in a wave of anti-Semitic threats against our state’s Jewish community.

We can’t ignore the reality that these threats have increased in recent months. Right here in Washington — a state known for being tolerant, open-minded and forward-thinking.   We are seeing an increase in reports of harassment, vandalism and attacks against Muslims, Sikhs, Hispanics and Latinos, African-Americans, LGBTQ individuals and other minority groups. I continue to stand with the Jewish community as I have stood with all Washingtonians. Regardless of one’s faith, color or orientation, Washington welcomes all.

2006 Seattle Jewish Federation shooter Naveed Haq. Source: Seattle Times.

The 2006 Seattle Jewish Federation lethal attack

The Seattle Jewish Community is acutely aware that anti-Semitic attacks can be lethal.  In 2006 there was a shooting attack on the Seattle Jewish Federation offices by a Pakistani – American Muslim that killed one staffer, maiming and wounding others.  We reported  a second trial and conviction  to multiple life sentences of  a Pakistani American  in December 2009 in a New English Review/Iconoclast blog post,  .“Seattle Jihad Naveed Haq found guilty in Second Trial.” 

Remember the infamous Seattle Mass shooter, Pakistani American, Naveed Haq?  He was convicted by a Seattle Jury in a second trial.  The AP report noted what he did in 2006:

Haq made several trips to gun stores in the weeks prior to the attack, wrote two documents on his father’s computer criticizing Israel and U.S. policy in the Middle East, and used MapQuest to find directions to the center from his family’s home in Pasco, 180 miles east of Seattle

Haq drove from his eastern Washington home to Seattle the day of the attack and forced a teenage girl at gunpoint to let him into the Jewish Federation. Once in the second-floor office, he opened fire, shooting some people in their cubicles, some in the hall and one, Pamela Waechter, fatally as she fled down a stairwell.

He shot and seriously injured five others. One of the shooting victims a woman who was pregnant was shot in her arm shielding her unborn fetus. Her child, a boy was born unharmed seven months later.

Here is the Seattle Times ‘harrowing testimony’ of Layla Bush in the first Haq trial in 2008. She has not been able to walk again:

As Layla Bush lay bleeding from a gunshot wound on the floor of her boss’s office, her thoughts were a jumble.

Against a backdrop of gunfire and screaming coming from other parts of the building, Bush thought about how, as the receptionist, it was her duty to call 911 and report the rampage at the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle.

But the pain in her side anchored her to the floor.

“I realized that I couldn’t move, so there was nothing I could do even if he was reloading,” she said.

Suddenly, the gunman, Naveed Haq, returned.

“We made eye contact, and he shot me again. I believe he was trying to kill me,” she testified.

According to the AP report on the second  trial outcome:

Haq was found guilty of all eight counts against him. The 34-year-old man will spend the rest of his life in prison.

Haq’s first trial ended in 2008 with jurors deadlocked on whether he was legally insane during the shooting spree on July 28, 2006, that left one woman dead and five others injured.

The eight counts against him included one count of aggravated first-degree murder; five counts of attempted first-degree murder; one count of unlawful imprisonment; and one count of malicious harassment, the state’s hate-crime law.

Jurors rejected Haq’s defense that he was not guilty by reason of insanity. His lawyers acknowledged that he committed the shooting but said his mental illness kept him from understanding what he was doing.

They also conceded he poses a danger to the public and should never be free, but asked jurors to send him to a state mental hospital rather than prison. They declined comment after the verdict.

Prosecutor Don Raz said he was pleased the verdict would bring closure to the victims.

Raz argued Haq wasn’t insane – just angry – when he stormed the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle.

“He was tired that no one was listening to the Muslim point of view. He wanted that point of view heard,” Raz told jurors as Haq’s second trial opened in October, 2009.

A major difference between this trial and the first was the playing of jailhouse phone calls.

In a recorded phone conversation after the shooting, Raz said, Haq told his mother, “I did a very good thing. I did it for a good reason.”

She said, “I know you’re not well,” to which Haq replied: “Whatever, Mom.”

One of Haq’s lawyers, John Carpenter, argued that his client believed he could change the course of wars by attacking the Jewish Federation.

Conclusion

The 2006 Seattle Jewish Federation attack was a wake-up call to Jewish communities across the country to undertake robust security precautions. Now, with this latest anti-Semitic graffiti incident in Seattle, the fear is palpable about whether this might be a prelude to another possible shooting  incident or a temple bombing like the historic one in Atlanta in 1958.   We only have to look at the March 3, 2017 shooting by a gunman wounding a Sikh  in the driveway of his  home in a Seattle suburb.   The attacker shouted: “go back to your own country.” That is why this Seattle anti-Semitic incident matters both there and throughout this country. Violent intolerance kills.

DAMN LIE: AP claims Islamic State recruits have a poor grasp of Islam

Over at PJ Media I take apart yet another attempt to exonerate Islam of responsibility for crimes committed in its name and in accord with its teachings:

IslamicStateshahadah

At last the universal claim has been proven: Islamic terrorism has nothing, nothing whatsoever to do with Islam! The proof?A new report from the Associated Press claims that recruits to the Islamic State (ISIS) knew little or nothing about Islam. After all, if they did, they would have known Islam is a religion of peace. So they wouldn’t have joined an outfit as violent and brutal as ISIS, right?

Wrong, of course.

This AP study is one of an endless stream of mainstream media articles intended to show us that the Islamic State has nothing to do with Islam, that the real Islam is peaceful and benign, and therefore we need have no concern about the elites’ suicidal Muslim immigration policies.

The study is, as one might expect, vague and anecdotal. Apparently much of the AP’s assumptions rest on jihadis’ self-evaluation of how much they knew about Islam, as well as their refusal to expound on Islamic theology in court. The AP tells us about a “jihadi employment form”:

[The form] asked the recruits, on a scale of 1 to 3, to rate their knowledge of Islam. And the Islamic State applicants, herded into a hangar somewhere at the Syria-Turkey border, turned out to be overwhelmingly ignorant.

AP also notes:

[W]hen pressed by the judge on his knowledge of Shariah and how the IS group implements it, Mohammad-Aggad, a former gas station attendant, appeared dumbfounded, saying repeatedly: “I don’t have the knowledge to answer the question.”…

[O]ne of his co-defendants, Radouane Taher, was also pressed by the judge on whether beheadings carried out by the IS group conformed to Islamic law. He couldn’t say for sure, answering: “I don’t have the credentials.”

Very well. But even if jihadis might rate their knowledge of Islam as low, and not feel competent as non-clerics to explain the teachings of the religion, that does not imply they are “ignorant” of Islam. Further, it answers nothing about whether the Islamic State has anything to do with Islam.

Meanwhile, in selecting its anecdotes, the AP ignored those that don’t fit its agenda. We hear nothing in the AP report about the Islamic State propagandist whose parents said of him:

Our son is a devout Muslim. He had learnt the Quran by heart.

Nor does the AP say anything about the Muslim politician from Jordan who said:

[ISIS] doctrine stems from the Qur’an and Sunnah.

Most telling about the AP’s motives, their report ignores the central importance that the Islamic State places upon the Qur’an: In its communiqués, it quotes the Qur’an copiously. They quote it in threats to blow up the White House and conquer Rome and Spain; in explaining its priorities in the nations it is targeting in jihad; in preaching to Christians after collecting the jizya (a Qur’an-based tax, cf. Qur’an 9:29); in justifying the execution of accused spies; and in its various videos.

ISIS’s beheadings (47:4), sex slavery (4:3, 4:24, 23:1-6, 33:50, 70:30), subjugation of Christians (9:29), global imperative (8:39) and more are all based upon the Qur’an.

ISIS has also awarded $10,000 prizes and sex slaves in Qur’an memorization contests. One of its underground lairs was found littered with weapons and copies of the Qur’an. Children in the Islamic State study the Qur’an and get weapons training.

As for misrepresenting the Qur’an? One Malaysian Muslim said that the Qur’an led him to join the Islamic State. A Muslima in the U.S. promoted the Islamic State by quoting the Qur’an.

AP also hauls out the evergreen anecdote that two jihadis ordered The Koran for Dummies andIslam for Dummies from Amazon. This factoid has been seized upon before by apologists for Islam — including Mehdi Hasan and Karen Armstrong — as evidence that Muslims going to Syria and Iraq to join the jihad don’t really know anything about Islam and are motivated by other factors.

However — and of course — no one actually knows why the jihadis ordered the books. Maybe they wanted to learn how to explain it better, or were planning to give the books to others relatives, or had one of any number of other possibilities in mind. But any irrational argument will do for the likes of the AP, Hasan, or Armstrong when it comes to exonerating Islam from all responsibility for crimes committed in accord with its texts and teachings.

The AP even invokes Tariq Ramadan to emphasize that Islam forbids the killing of innocents.

But it doesn’t ask Ramadan to explain the Islamic perspective that considers all non-Muslims to be guilty, or the Islamic State’s view that they are fighting against people who are not innocent because they have rejected the authority of the ISIS caliphate.

Not in the AP report, of course, is any information about the slick pseudo-moderate Ramadan himself, the grandson of Muslim Brotherhood founder Hasan al-Banna and formerly a paid employee of the Iranian mullahcracy. Ramadan is skillful at manipulating credulous infidels into thinking that he is the very model of the modern moderate Muslim….

Read the rest here.

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The Qur’an likens a woman to a field (tilth), to be used by a man as he wills: “Your women are a tilth for you, so go to your tilth as you will” (2:223).

It declares that a woman’s testimony is worth half that of a man: “Get two witnesses, out of your own men, and if there are not two men, then a man and two women, such as you choose, for witnesses, so that if one of them errs, the other can remind her” (2:282).

It allows men to marry up to four wives, and have sex with slave girls also: “If you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly with the orphans, marry women of your choice, two or three or four; but if you fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly, then only one, or one that your right hands possess, that will be more suitable, to prevent you from doing injustice” (4:3).

It rules that a son’s inheritance should be twice the size of that of a daughter: “Allah directs you as regards your children’s inheritance: to the male, a portion equal to that of two females” (4:11).

Worst of all, the Qur’an tells husbands to beat their disobedient wives: “Men are in charge of women, because Allah has made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property. So good women are the obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah has guarded. As for those from whom you fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart, and scourge them” (4:34).

It allows for marriage to pre-pubescent girls, stipulating that Islamic divorce procedures “shall apply to those who have not yet menstruated” (65:4).

Islamic law stipulates that a man’s prayer is annulled if a dog or a woman passes in front of him as he is praying. “Narrated ‘Aisha: The things which annul the prayers were mentioned before me. They said, “Prayer is annulled by a dog, a donkey and a woman (if they pass in front of the praying people).” I said, ‘You have made us (i.e. women) dogs.’ I saw the Prophet praying while I used to lie in my bed between him and the Qibla. Whenever I was in need of something, I would slip away. for I disliked to face him.” (Sahih Bukhari 1.9.490)

Woodward_ Cal

Calvin Woodward

“AP ‘Corrects’ Trump For Saying Islam Treats Women Badly,” by Blake Neff, Daily Caller, March 12, 2016 (thanks to Thomas):

The Associated Press published a “fact check” of Donald Trump’s claim during Thursday’s GOP debate that “Islam treats women horribly,” saying it is untrue, even though there is ample evidence for such a statement.

“No such generalization is supported by the diverse circumstances for women in the Muslim world,” writes the AP’s Calvin Woodward.

Woodward backs up his argument with several statements.

“The United States has yet to see a woman as president, many years after Muslim women achieved national leadership in other countries, most prominently Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto back in the late 1980s and in the 1990s,” he says, glossing over the fact Bhutto was assassinated in 2007, and that her rise was enabled by the fact she was in an extremely powerful political dynasty.

Woodward also dismisses other ways Islamic doctrine leads to women being legally or socially limited, arguing that many women prefer it that way.

“Some Muslim societies are indeed repressive by Western standards, enforcing or pressing for norms such as clothing that covers all but their eyes or faces; bans on driving, voting and education; and restrictions on interacting with the other sex,” he writes. “But many Muslim women adhere to Islamic norms not out of fear or repression, but in observance of faith and their own preference.”…

a 2012 report by the World Economic Forum ranked 135 countries based on their level of gender equality — measured by women’s level of education, political empowerment, health and economic opportunity. Of the 135 countries on the list, the most highly-ranked one with a Muslim majority was Kyrgyzstan at 35th. Fifteen of the bottom 20 countries are Muslim, while three more have large Muslim minorities.

Several of the world’s most severe violations of women’s rights are most common in Islamic countries. For example, the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) is seen most often in the Islamic world, as the practice occurs frequently in central Africa, Egypt, Iraq, Yemen and Indonesia. Most Muslim countries allow men, but not women, to practice polygamy. Child marriage is a major issue in several Muslim countries because Islam generally allows women to be married off at a very young age. In Pakistan, an effort to ban child marriage was blocked after clerics declared it un-Islamic.

There are many ways in which women are treated as inferior to men under Islamic law (Sharia). In many Muslim countries, a woman’s testimony is treated as one-half of a man’s testimony in certain trials. Women may initiate divorce in Islam, but are at a disadvantage relative to men. When women are murdered or are otherwise the victims of crime, Islamic jurisprudence holds that less blood money be paid out than in the case of a man. Women may collect inheritances, but in most cases their share is half that of men’s….

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EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is for illustration only. To view graphic images of Muslim women battered under Islamic shariah laws click here. Many Muslim and non-Muslim women are subjected to sexual jihad. Sexual jihad (Arabic: جهاد النكاح‎, jihad al-nikah) is the practice of women within some Wahhabist groups who are allegedly voluntarily offering themselves in sexual comfort roles to men fighting for the establishment of Islamic rule.

Is the North Korean Satellite Launch a Game Changer?

FoxNews reported these developments following the success of North Korea’s satellite launching confirmed by the Pentagon:

We’ve been able to determine that they were able to put a satellite or some space device into orbit,” Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said.

He said the Pentagon will, in light of this, begin “formal consultations” with South Korea over improvements to their own missile defense systems.

“We’d like to see this move as quickly as possible, but we’re beginning the consultations now in the coming days with the South Koreans and we expect that this will move in an expeditious fashion,” Cook said.

The U.S. and other world powers have condemned the launch of a long-range rocket, describing it as a banned test of ballistic missile technology.

At an emergency meeting Sunday of the U.N. Security Council which includes the U.S., all 15 council members approved a statement condemning the launch and pledging to “expeditiously” adopt a new resolution with “significant” new sanctions.

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power said a new U.N. resolution targeting North Korea over its rocket launch and recent nuclear test must be adopted very quickly and include “unprecedented measures” that its leader, Kim Jong Un, doesn’t expect.

The United States and China have been trying to agree on a new sanctions resolution since North Korea conducted a nuclear test on Jan. 6.

Gordon Chang in a Fox News interview said the North Korean satellite launch is something to worry about. Chang is a veteran North Korea and China analyst, Forbes columnist  author of Nuclear Showdown: North Korea Takes On the World.  He said the Hermit State “demonstrated the mastery of missile technology.” He was referring to the three stage Unha-3 space vehicle launcher (SLV) that successfully placed a satellite in orbit. Chang further commented that the North Koreans demonstrated they have the means to successfully develop a true ICBM. An ICBM  , as we wrote in an NER/Iconoclast post, yesterday, that  both North Korea and its ready customer Iran could use at attack both coasts of this country. Where yesterday, we posted the news of the North Korean satellite launch with the question“is this a game changer?”  Chang’s comments and the reaction from the Obama White House suggest maybe it is.  US UN Ambassador Samantha Power, called it a missile launch because the SVL and a true ICBM she shared the same technology. That meant in the Administration’s view the successful satellite launch violated UN sanctions against missile testing. However, given the track record will the UN Security Council do anything about this latest North Korean action?

Chang holds that sanctions don’t work with North Korea. Instead He suggested that we might control the aid to North Korea endeavoring to separate the people from the autocratic ruling Kim family. He also suggested that South Korea move 143 companies out of the Kaesong industrial shared with North Korea.  He noted that after the January 6, 2016 nuclear test, no further sanctions were proposed at the UN because China would effectively block them. China he pointed out does a fair amount of banking with North Korea.

The success of the North Korean orbit prompted GOP hopeful Texas Senator Cruz at Saturday night’s to raise the question of whether we should pre-emptive attack North Korea’s missile launches.  Ironic, as this proposal was suggested by the current Administration Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter and former Clinton Pentagon Chief William Perry, a decade ago.

DS-north-korea-13000-km-769x1024

The Administration is scrambling now that the Pentagon confirmed that the North Koreans successfully launched a satellite. Launched in a southerly direction, the 200kg.observational satellite is in polar orbit. That means it passes over the US every 95 minutes, perhaps providing imagery and GPS coordinates for possible later use. Yesterday, it missed the window of opportunity, by an hour, to pass over the stadium for 50th Super Bowl Championship game with tens of thousands of fans intent on watching the Denver Broncos beat the North Carolina Panthers for the title.

The Pentagon is talking about providing South Korea with Theater High Altitude Air Defense (THAAD) system to complete the shorter range missile defense umbrella that the Republic of Korea has in place.

As we said on the Sunday Lisa Benson Show yesterday “it’s great that the U.S. has THAAD and ship borne X band radar floating in the Pacific and both ship and shore based Aegis installations in Eastern Europe (Romania) protecting us from missiles fired towards the East Coast. However, we have nothing in place to provide missile defense our vulnerable Gulf of Mexico coast.”  Ambassador Hank Cooper, the Reagan era SDI chief, warned about the absence of Aegis missile defense installations on our Gulf coast in November 2015 and most recently in a Feb.2, 2016 High Frontier alert. He argues that that our ballistic missile defense shield  on the Gulf coast lacks  the means  to combat the threat of a possible North Korean bomb in a satellite (Fractal Orbital Bomb) or missiles launched from either ships in the Gulf or those silos that allegedly Iran has been building in the Paraguana Peninsula in Venezuela. Ex- CIA director R. James Woolsey and Dr. Peter Pry discussed  in a July 2015 article the threat from FOBS that could trigger an Electronic Magnetic Pulse (EMP) effect over the US sending us back to the dark ages of the 19th Century before the advent of electricity.

This issue came up in the ABC GOP New Hampshire debates, Saturday night. Sen. Cruz raised the matter of a preemptive attack against a future North Korean ICBM launch during those debates. We may have had a hand in prompting it. A twitter rally was held last week by the Nation Security Task Force of America (NSTFA) of the Lisa Benson Show on the missile defense issue. The twitter rally sent out messages at the rate of 400 an hour, one of which caught the attention of a South Carolinian with a close connection to the Senator’s campaign staff. Another NSTFA twitter rally is on deck this Thursday night on the same issue.

The irony is the preemptive attack proposal originated a decade ago in 2006 in a Time Magazine article co authored by then Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, now Pentagon Chief and former Clinton Pentagon chief William Perry. Four nuclear and several space launches and missile tests later, we have a President whose response is to hold more UN sanctions talks with China at the UN that North Korea continually violates.

Meanwhile the North Korean satellite launch coupled with the January 6, 2016 nuclear test exposes the vulnerability of the US to possible missile attack by rogue regimes like North Korea and ally Iran. The lack of a Ballistic Missile Defense demonstrated by this latest successful North Korean satellite launch now vaults the issue to the top of national security issues along with Islamic terrorism for serious discussion in the 2016 Presidential campaign.

Watch, the Fox News report with the Chang interview:

RELATED ARTICLE: In One Graphic, What Countries North Korea’s New Missile Could Hit

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review.

Anti-BDS Bill Unanimously Passes Florida Senate

The Florida  State Senate in Tallahassee yesterday unanimously passed on Third Reading an anti-BDS bill SB 38 on “scrutinized companies” directed at companies boycotting Israeli companies.  See the Florida Senate Legislation Tracker for the tally of those State Senators who cast the unanimous vote. The ‘scrutinized companies” Florida legislation would:

Require the State Board of Administration to identify all companies that are boycotting Israel or are engaged in a boycott of Israel in which the public fund owns direct or indirect holdings by a specified date; requiring the public fund to create and maintain the Scrutinized Companies that Boycott Israel List that names all such companies; prohibiting a state agency or local governmental entity from contracting for goods and services that exceed a specified amount if the company has been placed on the Scrutinized Companies that Boycott Israel List.

The legislation is modeled on one that passed in South Carolina, last session in Columbia, spearheaded by State Rep. Alan Clemmons. It has the support of the Israel Allies Foundation in Washington, which is seeking to see it adopted in other jurisdictions across the US. A companion bill, in the Florida House HR 527 passed its first stop, the House Government Operations Subcommittee on Wednesday, January 20, 2015.  The Florida anti-BDS legislation has the support of the Florida Christian Families Coalition.

Listeners to the weekly Lisa Benson Show that airs Sunday on KKNT 960 The Patriot out of Phoenix heard South Carolina Rep. Clemmons discuss the model legislation during an interview on December 6, 2015. LISTEN to the podcast here.

The AP had this report on the progress of the Florida anti-BDS legislation, “Boycott of companies that boycott Israel sought in Florida:”

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida wouldn’t be able to invest in companies that boycott Israel under a bill unanimously passed by the state Senate.

The Senate passed a bill Thursday that would force the State Board of Administration to identify companies that boycott Israel and then notify them they are on a “scrutinized companies” list. The board is responsible for managing the state’s retirement fund.

If the companies continue to boycott Israel, the board would not be allowed to invest in those companies.

It would also place limits on state agencies from contracting with companies on the list.

A similar House bill has two more committee stops before it’s ready for a floor vote.

RELATED ARTICLE: Israel and Florida: A Strong and Growing Economic Partnership

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review.

Will the UN Side Deal Kill Obama’s Iran Nuke Deal?

The swirl of controversy in the wake of Wednesday’s AP exclusive story deepened yesterday with contradictory statements from IAEA director General Yukia Amano. Amano released a statement saying the report was “misleading,” that he was satisfied with the access his people will receive under the deal. Referring to the AP report Amano said “Such statements misrepresent the way in which we will undertake this important verification work.” The AP story cited drafts of a separate inspection protocol about Iran being granted control over inspections of the disputed Parchin test site allegedly involved with tests of nuclear triggers a decade ago.

The IAEA is charged with developing a so-called Road Map of prior military developments upon hinges release of over $100 billion in sanctioned funds to the Islamic Republic of Iran in December 2015. A few weeks ago , when IAEA chief Amano briefed Senators on Capitol Hill, many came away less than impressed by his presentation of the inspection regime that  Administration negotiators, Secretary of State Kerry, Undersecretary Sherman and Energy Secretary Dr. Earnest Moniz said were” intrusive and robust verification” of Iran’s compliance with the JCPOA provisions.  Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AK) and Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS) weren’t satisfied and conducted their own due diligence at IAEA headquarters in Vienna. In an August 2, 2015 Wall Street Journal op-ed they argued that the so-called secret side deals should be released in compliance with the requirements of the Iran Nuclear Review Agreement Act. They commented:

Weaponization lies at the heart of our dispute with Iran and is central to determining whether this deal is acceptable. Inspections of Parchin are necessary to ensure that Iran is adhering to its end of the agreement. Without knowing this baseline, inspectors cannot properly evaluate Iran’s compliance. It’s like beginning a diet without knowing your starting weight. That the administration would accept side agreements on these critical issues—and ask the U.S. Congress to do the same—is irresponsible.

AP, Fox News and other media   obtained copies of Separate Agreement II leaked by an anonymous senior IAEA official revealing that the IAEA had adopted a protocol for the PMS Road Map giving Iran complete authority over soil sampling, video and photographic evidence at the disputed Parchin Site.  Armin Rosen of Business Insider revealed the text in his report:

Separate arrangement II agreed by the Islamic State of Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency on 11 July 2015, regarding the Road-map, Paragraph 5

Iran and the Agency agreed on the following sequential arrangement with regard to the Parchin issue:

1. Iran will provide to the Agency photos of the locations, including those identified in paragraph 3 below, which would be mutually agreed between Iran and the Agency, taking into account military concerns.

1. Iran will provide to the Agency videos of the locations, including those identified in paragraph 3 below, which would be mutually agreed between Iran and the Agency, taking into account military concerns.

1. Iran will provide to the Agency 7 environmental samples taken from points inside one building already identified by the Agency and agreed by Iran, and 2 points outside of the Parchin complex which would be agreed between Iran and the Agency.

1. The Agency will ensure the technical authenticity of the activities referred to in paragraphs 1-3 above. Activities will be carried out using Iran’s authenticated equipment, consistent with technical specifications provided by the Agency, and the Agency’s containers and seals.

1. The above mentioned measures would be followed, as a courtesy by Iran, by a public visit of the Director General, as a dignitary guest of the Government of Iran, accompanied by his deputy for safeguards.

6. Iran and the Agency will organize a one-day technical roundtable on issues relevant to Parchin.

Rosen went on to write:

The final text confirms that at least one aspect of the IAEA’s road map — the agreement meant to resolve the agency’s numerous outstanding questions on the status of Iran’s nuclear weaponization program — was settled on terms favorable to Iran.

Iran has barred IAEA inspectors from Parchin despite nearly a decade of requests for access. The roadmap, which is meant to settle years of unanswered questions about Iran’s nuclear weaponization drive, apparently doesn’t change that.

If the Parchin investigation is happening on Tehran’s terms, it raises the possibility that the rest of the roadmap inquiry will be carried out under a process that Iran can strongly influence or even control.

This is by design: As Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of Iran’s atomic energy agency told regime-linked media in early August, one of Iran’s negotiating objectives was limiting the IAEA’s reach inside of the country, according to a report from the Washington Institute for Near East Studies:

We do not have an optimistic view of the [IAEA]. There is no doubt that they will release the information [that we are giving them]. We need to be careful in the information that we supply to them …We are not only dealing with the agency and these spies. We are dealing with all the countries that own nuclear programs. There are formulas and methods to prevent supplying information to the agency’s inspectors. We did not know about these methods in the past and supplied some information that should not have been supplied.

Iran’s “formulas and methods” for limiting the IAEA’s reach are now apparent, at least as Parchin is concerned. Whether the Parchin arrangement is part of a larger trade off to ensure IAEA access to other, possibly more important sites is currently unknown — the other implementation agreement governing whom IAEA inspectors can talk to and what facilities they can visit as part of their investigation is still secret.

Yesterday, State Department spokesperson, Admiral John Kirby was besieged with journalists’ questions about the relinquishing of IAEA inspection to Iran on development of the Road Map. He endeavored to repeat Administration claims of being “confident and comfortable” that the Inspection regime adopted via the IAEA would provide the information for the Roadmap. Besides, as he is often wont to say, ‘we have enough evidence of what went on at Parchin and other known sites”.  The skepticism of inquiring journalists was risible. I am reminded of I.F. Stone, the radical alleged KBG agent and US Journalist during the Vietnam anti-War era in Washington, whose eponymous weekly report was emblazoned with this masthead quote: “all governments are led by liars don’t believe a word they say”.

Watch this C-Span video excerpt of yesterday’s State Department briefing on the Parchin prior military developments inspection protocol:

There are those of us like Stephen and Shoshana Bryen and my colleague Ilana Freedman and this writer  suggest that the IAEA will never be able to inspect the more likely venue of Iran nuclear weaponization experimentation since 2003, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Given the revelations of the AP  and other  media news stories, Members of both Chambers of Congress  who favor the President’s position might reassess their positions and request  vigorous due diligence  gathering  all of the side agreements  for the JCPOA, prior to casting a vote by the mid-September  on the pending resolution .  Otherwise, they might, as Senator Menendez warned in his Seton Hall University address this week, they might find having   their names added to Iran’s bomb.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review. The featured image is of IAEA Director General Yukia Amano and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Tehran, July 2, 2015. Source: Europhoto.

President Obama’s Latest Treachery on Iran Nuclear Deal

It has been a spectacular week for Russia and Iran.  Monday, Foreign Ministers Lavrov and Russia and Mohammed Javad Zarif meet in Moscow given the success of the JCPOA negotiations and UN Security Council endorsement to discuss listing weapons sanctions and ways to shore up the flagging fortunes of ally Bashar Assad in bloody Syria, the junior partner in the so-called Axis of Resistance.  That was followed by the announcement of an agreement to deliver on an expedited basis, four versions of the mobile S-300 advanced air defense system for $900 million.  Reuters first reported that Iran plans to sign a contract for four of the S-300 Russian missiles next week.”The text of the contract is ready and our friends will go to Russia next week to sign the contract,” Iran Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan reportedly said.  The earlier version of the S-300 systems were purchased in 2007, but not delivered because of objections by both Israel and the U.S.  Further sales of conventional Arms and missile technology were barred under the 2010 UN Security Council resolution.

A member of the Russian forces guards in front of surface-to-air S300 missiles in a Ukrainian anti-aircraft missile unit on the Cape of Fiolent in Sevastopol on March 5, 2014. A military source has told Interfax-Ukraine that Russian commandos have seized control of the anti-aircraft missile systems and are guarding them. AFP PHOTO/ VIKTOR DRACHEV

A member of the Russian forces guards in front of surface-to-air S300 missiles in a Ukrainian anti-aircraft missile unit on the Cape of Fiolent in Sevastopol on March 5, 2014. A military source has told Interfax-Ukraine that Russian commandos have seized control of the anti-aircraft missile systems and are guarding them. AFP PHOTO/ VIKTOR DRACHEV

The S-300 systems basically provides an anti-Missile shield of Iran’s “peaceful “ nuclear program against any U.S./Israeli aircraft  or medium range ballistic missile attack according to  the Pentagon.  Fox News reported “We have long expressed our concerns over reports of the possible sale of this missile system to the Iranians,” Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis told Fox News. Further that “is a very capable weapons system that can bring down U.S. or Israeli jet aircraft.”

How capable are the new S-300 system?   Note this Washington Free Beacon report:

According to the defense website Deagel, the S-300V4 missile system is “1.5 to 2.3 times more effective” than previous systems “in its anti-missile defense capabilities.” The system is “capable of shooting down medium-range ballistic missiles (MRBM) with a maximum range of 2,500 kilometers.”

All this stemmed from the July 24th meeting in Moscow by Iran’s controversial Quds Force director Gen. Soleimani with Russian President Putin and Defense Minister Shogui endeavoring to expedite these deliveries of S-300 air defense systems and other weapon systems, including advanced Russian jet fighters to replace aging US fighters from the era of the Late Shah. That would complement the deliveries of Chinese stealth Jet fighters under a $10 Billion oil barter agreement. While objecting to the Russian sale to Iran of advanced S-300 missile deal, State Department press spokesman Admiral  John Kirby suggested  that it was excluded from the JCPOA terms lifting  both  conventional weapons and missile technology  sanctions under the 2010  UN  Resolution 1929 five and year  sunsets provisions.

Parchin Test Site 7-2015

Parchin Iran Military Explosives Test Site.

Then there was the exclusive AP report of its examination of one of the secret side deals between Iran and the UN nuclear watchdog agency, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The AP had been given access to the secret deal by a senior official of the IAEA on conditions of anonymity. The AP report of its examination of the secret side deal revealed   that it gave Tehran, the authority to use its own inspectors to deliver findings on alleged prior military developments for explosive nuclear triggers at the contested military site of Parchin. Iran for years had barred  IAEA inspectors access to Parchin and other known sites under the pretext that it would violate the Islamic Regime’s national security.  U.S. Intelligence has recently said that digital photos show the site being ‘sanitized”. The board of the IAEA, including the US and some of the P5+1 partners,  contemplate acceptance under the terms of the JCPOA  lifting upwards of $100 billion plus in sanctions relief slated for December of this  year based on the delivery of the PMD inspection reports. The reactions of the White House and presumably President Obama on vacation on the offshore island of Martha’s Vineyard stretch credulity.  They simply repeated the explanations by the President and White House press spokesperson Josh Earnest dismissing issues of trustworthiness of Iran’s Mullahs. The meme was the highly intrusive and robust IAEA inspection regime of the JCPOA would catch Iranian cheating instantly enabling punitive snapback of sanctions.

When  queried by journalists at yesterday’s State Department Daily Press Briefings, Press Spokesperson, Admiral John Kirby contended that  the IAEA  Director General Amano briefed both Chambers of Congress in closed door sessions on IAEA Iran inspection terms stating that the side deals  were “routine” and exemplary of the “robust intrusive” inspection regime. Further, he repeated the line that the US and other P5+1 already knew what Iran did a decade ago in prior military developments in violation of the non-proliferation treaty.  These PMD reports by the IAEA were to establish a baseline for the “intrusive, robust” inspections over the 10, 15 and 25 terms of the JCPOA. Now, given the AP report on this secret side deal between the IAEA and Iran it is questionable whether the entire agreement can assure any compliance by Iran.

Watch this C-Span video clip of State Department spokesman Admiral John Kirby at yesterday’s Daily Press Briefing:

The reaction from Republican leaders in both Chambers was incredulity.  That was underlined by statements by two experts on nuclear inspections, former IAEA Deputy Director Ollie Heinonen of Harvard’s Belfer Center and David Albright of Washington, DC –based, Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS). The AP report on the IAEA side deal with Iran noted these comments:

House Speaker John Boehner said, “President Obama boasts his deal includes ‘unprecedented verification.’ He claims it’s not built on trust. But the administration’s briefings on these side deals have been totally insufficient – and it still isn’t clear whether anyone at the White House has seen the final documents.” House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce: “International inspections should be done by international inspectors. Period.” John Cornyn of Texas, the second-ranking Republican senator, said, “Trusting Iran to inspect its own nuclear site and report to the U.N. in an open and transparent way is remarkably naive and incredibly reckless. This revelation only reinforces the deep-seated concerns the American people have about the agreement.”

The Israel Project Daily Report noted Heinonen stating “that he knew of no other instance in which a country under scrutiny was allowed to conduct its own investigation.” Albright of ISIS, “called this arrangement “unprecedented and risky.” Albright warned that “ambiguity over Iran’s nuclear weaponization accomplishments and residual capabilities risks rendering an agreement unverifiable by the IAEA.”

Notwithstanding these developments Democrat Senators continued signing up yesterday signed up in support of the President’s nuclear pact with Iran.  Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey, who succeeded Senator Kerry, said in a statement to the Boston Globe, yesterday:

I have concluded that diplomacy remains our best tool to secure a nuclear-weapon-free Iran, That’s why I intend to support the Iran nuclear agreement when it comes before Congress in September.”

This agreement is far from perfect and carries risks. But I believe our negotiators achieved as much as they reasonably could, and that if strictly implemented, this plan can be effective.

In contrast to Markey and other loyal Democrat Senators, we suggest that they heed the warning of colleague New Jersey Democrat Robert Menendez at his Seton Hall University address:” Hope is not a national security initiative … if Iran is to acquire a nuclear bomb, it will not have my name on it”.

The perfidy of the Obama Administration is exposed each day, yet the cupidity his claque of supporters of the Iran nuclear pact in the Congress like Senator Markey and other Democrats in both Chambers of Congress is appalling.  Witness the mind numbing comment by House minority leader, Nancy Pelosi (D-CA: “I truly believe in this agreement”.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review. The featured image is of Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif and Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov in Moscow on August 18, 2015.

UN IAEA: Iran Violated Nuclear Deal Before it is Even Inked

Amidst frenetic Administration efforts to spin a possible Iran deal comes evidence that it has already been violated given an IAEA Report and analysis by Washington, DC –nuclear watchdog, the Institute for Science and International Security.   Adam Kredo in today’s Washington Free Beacon  reported these last minute developments, Iran Violates Past Nuclear Promises on Eve of Deal”:

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) disclosed yesterday that Iran has failed to meet its commitments under the interim Joint Plan of Action to convert recently enriched uranium gas to powder.

While Iran has reduced the amount of enriched uranium gas in its stockpiles, it has failed to dispose of these materials in a way that satisfies the requirements of the nuclear accord struck with the United States and other powers in 2013.

Wednesday’s disclosure by the IAEA sent the State Department rushing to downplay the Iranian violation.

Obama administration officials insisted that despite Iran’s failure to meet its obligations, negotiations were still on track and that Tehran would face no repercussions.

One U.S. official who spoke with the Associated Press on Wednesday said that instead of converting its uranium gas into uranium dioxide powder as required, Iran had transformed it into another substance. The IAEA found that Iran had converted just 9 percent of the relevant stockpile into uranium dioxide.

The official went on to downplay concerns about Iran’s violation, claiming that Tehran was only having some “technical problems.”

The “technical problems by Iran had slowed the process but the United States was satisfied that Iran had met its commitments,” the AP reported the official as saying.

“Violations by Iran would complicate the Obama administration’s battle to persuade congressional opponents and other skeptics,” the AP continued.

David Albright, a nuclear expert and founder of the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS), warned that the United States is weakening its requirements on Tehran as a final deal gets closer.

“The choosing of a weaker condition that must be met is not a good precedent for interpreting more important provisions in a final deal,” Albright wrote in an analysis published late Wednesday.

While Iran was not in compliance with the oxidation requirement, the IAEA found that it did get rid of uranium gas that surpassed a self-imposed benchmark of 7,650 kg.

The IAEA’s disclosures are in contrast to comments made by Kerry last summer when he assured observers that Iran would live up to the interim agreement.

“Iran has committed to take further nuclear-related steps in the next four months” and “these include a continued cap on the amount of 5 percent enriched uranium hexafluoride and a commitment to convert any material over that amount into oxide,” Kerry said.

The Israel Project (TIP), which has sent officials to Vienna to track the deal, wrote in an email to reporters that the administration looked like it was “playing Tehran’s lawyer” in a bid to defuse potential fallout from the IAEA’s report.

This is not the first time that Iran has been caught by the IAEA cheating on past nuclear arrangements.

As negotiations between the sides slip past their June 30 deadline and stretch into July, Iranian officials have become more insistent that the United States consent to demands on a range of sticking points.

President Hassan Rouhani also threatened to fully restart Iran’s nuclear program if negotiators fail to live up to any final agreement.

One Western source present in Vienna said the administration is scrambling to ensure that nothing interferes with a final deal.

“Once again, the White House will go to any length needed to preserve the Obama-Iran deal, even if it means covering up Iran’s failure to convert all of the nuclear material as promised,” said the source.

“If they had admitted Iran failed to live up to the letter of the JPOA—as is the case—this one-week extension period of the JPOA would be totally invalidated and the talks would be over,” the source added. “Like they have for months, the administration continues to hide violations and is acting more like Iran’s advocate than the honest broker the American people deserve. “

Will these IAEA/ISIS revelations upend the P5+1 Iran deliberations in Vienna?  We bet the Obama State Department and White House spokespersons will continue the charade of “don’t believe your lying eyes”. All while Iran ‘s Supreme Ruler stiff arms the talks in Vienna with new ‘red lines” trusting that greed by the P5+1 over billions of trade and development deals  will  lift $150 billion in sanctions relief upon inking a deal.  Both Israel and the US Congress are increasing wary of this deal that will provide a nuclear breakthrough by Iran. If achieved the deal  will vault Iran’s  state sponsorship of terrorism.  Iran could develop one bomb to wipe Israel off the map of the world and an ICBM to detonate an EMP over the US fulfilling their Mahdist apocalyptic dream and both Israel’s and our nightmares.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review. The featured image is of U.S. Energy Secertary Moniz, Secretary of State Kerry and Undersecretary Wendy Sherman taken in Vienna, July 1, 2015. Source: Reuters.

Advanced Placement U.S. History a threat to America?

boardmembers14I received a copy of an email from Doug Lewis a concerned parent who lives in Collier County, Florida. After reading a column titled “College Board’s Reckless Spin on U.S. History” Doug decided to write the Collier County School Board about his concerns regarding Advanced Placement (AP) U.S. History courses given in the district.

Doug wrote:

Dear Board,

In view of state law, District policy and campaign pledges pertaining to support for the elimination of one-sided and biased curriculum, I respectfully request that you reach out to the fifty-five (55) distinguished scholars who published an open letter on June 2, 2015 protesting the one-sided and politicized curriculum framework introduced last year by the College Board to prepare high school students for the Advanced Placement Exam in U.S. history.

The scholars assert that the College Board’s framework exposes the teaching of American history to “a grave new risk.” It does this and worse…

If you confirm the findings of the fifty-five (55) distinguished scholars as referenced in the attached link, I respectfully request that the District take immediate action and discontinue all AP US History course offerings for the 2015-2016 school year and until such time as the curriculum framework complies with State US history standards, District policy and campaign pledges pertaining to the elimination of one-sided and biased curriculum.

Best,

Doug Lewis, parent

What concerns teachers, students, academics and parents alike is the replacing of U.S. history with “identity politics.” The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy defines identity politics as:

The laden phrase “identity politics” has come to signify a wide range of political activity and theorizing founded in the shared experiences of injustice of members of certain social groups. Rather than organizing solely around belief systems, programmatic manifestos, or party affiliation, identity political formations typically aim to secure the political freedom of a specific constituency marginalized within its larger context. Members of that constituency assert or reclaim ways of understanding their distinctiveness that challenge dominant oppressive characterizations, with the goal of greater self-determination.

Peter Berkowitz, from Real Clear Politics wrote:

Earlier this year Gordon Wood, a preeminent scholar of the American founding, took to the pages of The Weekly Standard—a noteworthy choice since so many of Wood’s non-academic essays have appeared [in] The New Republic and The New York Review of Books—to explain the decline of his discipline. His recent essay lamented that the rise of identity politics has all but blotted out traditional scholarship. “The inequalities of race and gender,” he wrote, “now permeate much of academic history-writing, so much so that the general reading public that wants to learn about the whole of our nation’s past has had to turn to history books written by non-academics who have no PhDs and are not involved in the incestuous conversations of the academic scholars.” [Emphasis added]

Identity politics is indoctrination and bias against the norm, elevating the abnormal, a certain race, political movement or creating tribes rather than promoting assimilation into the American ideals of freedom and liberty.

AP U.S. History can create an elite class that will become the future leaders unlike those who founded America such as: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and Benjamin Franklin. Rather AP U.S. History is creating a new class of future leaders in the mold of those who look at America not as a shining example but rather as a nation that must be fundamentally changed to meet the ideologies and causes of identity politics – the few versus the many.

If local school boards do not see what is happening, or see what is happening but do nothing to stop it, then traditional scholarship with disappear.

The future of America lies in the hands of our children, but will our children create a different America based on what they are taught rather than what actually happened?

Ayn Rand wrote a short nineteen page paper asking: What is the basic issue facing the world today? Rand, in her paper makes the case that, “The basic issue in the world today is between two principles: Individualism and Collectivism.” Rand defines these two principles as follows:

  • Individualism – Each man exists by his own right and for his own sake, not for the sake of the group.
  • Collectivism – Each man exists only by the permission of the group and for the sake of the group.

AP U.S. History is teaching collectivism, not individualism. It’s about promoting certain social groups at the expense of others. AP U.S. History is not educating our youth about the the unique belief system upon which America was created a Constitutional Republic which codifies the ideals of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all.

If our elite youth are taught the wrong things then they will remember the wrong things not what is historically true. That is what has Doug and other parents so concerned.

RELATED ARTICLE: The drive to take ‘America’ out of U.S. history

Dutch MP Geert Wilders’ Warning on CAIR’s abuse of the First Amendment

Geert Wilders was on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. on April 30, 2015 at a press conference with Rep. Steve King (R-IA), Louie Gohmert (R-TX) and Scott Perry (R-PA).  He  warned  Americans  about the dangers of  mass  Muslim immigration  and  suggested letting  Americans who volunteer   leave and   join  the Islamic State but be denied  return  to this country. He said:

I am warning America. Don’t think that what’s happening in Europe today will not happen in America tomorrow because it will. Islamic immigration has proven to be a Trojan horse, the jihadists are among us,” he added, warning of “enormous security problems” in the United States if Muslim immigrants are allowed to stay. Let them go, but never let them return.

The Congressmen praised Wilders exercise of free speech vis a vis his criticism of Islam, defense of Judeo-Christian values and Israel. Wilders paid court to this” beautiful land” with its protection of free speech rights and expressed “the wish that the he and other citizens of the EU” had the equivalent protection.  Wilders is once again the target of investigations by the Dutch police as the behest of Public Prosecutors in the Hague over his alleged hate speech remarks at a Freedom Party rally during the May, 2014 European Parliament elections in the Hague, over “ fewer Moroccans”.   Wilders has criticized Islam for being an ideology and the Qur’an for being the equivalent of Hitler’s Mein Kampf.  His most recent book, Marked for Death, presented that and more fundamental arguments referencing    Qur’anic doctrine, Hadith, Sunna and Shariah Islamic Law. Wilders defeated an earlier hate crime charge brought against him in the Amsterdam district court in 2011.

Watch the Wilders Capitol Hill press conference with Reps. King, Gohmert and Perry:

Prior to his Capitol Hill press conference, Wilders gave a speech on April 29, 2015 at the Washington, D.C., Conservative Opportunity Society.  Two Muslim U.S. Representatives, Keith Ellison (D-MN) and  Andre Carson sent a letter  on April 23, 2015 to Secretary of State Kerry and Department of Homeland Security Chief Jae Johnson seeking to bar Wilders entry to the US on the grounds that his speech violated provisions of the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998. They wrote:

In the past, the United States has denied entry to international leaders under the authority of the International Religious Freedom Act which allows the Department of State to deny entry to a foreign leader who is responsible for severe violations of religious freedom. This precedent is applicable to Mr. Wilders.

[…]

In the U.S., freedom of speech is a bedrock principle that distinguishes free societies from ones living under oppressive regimes. Freedom of speech, however, is not absolute. It is limited by the legal and moral understanding that speech that causes the incitement of violence or prejudicial action against protected groups is wrong. As Mr. Wilders continues his pursuit of political power, granting him entry will embolden him to engage in further incitement of violence and discrimination against Muslims.

Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia are sweeping through Europe. Mr. Wilders is among the hateful leaders responsible for perpetuating prejudice. Allowing him to enter the United States will cause harm to our nation that values religious freedom and respects pluralism.

Eugene Volokh, a UCLA law professor and expert on free speech and religious freedom law in a “Volokh Conspiracy” column in the Washington Postexamined the arguments of the two Representatives, referencing Supreme Court case rulings, notably, Brandenburg v. Ohio and Hess v. Indiana, regarding “incitement. Volokh concluded:

Whether “Christian culture is superior to other cultures,” which groups should be allowed to immigrate into a country, and even whether Islam should be viewed as an ideology rather than a religion (an unsound distinction, in my view) are matters that the First Amendment allows us all to debate. The Congressmen quite clearly don’t want to allow Rep. Wilders to debate such matters here in the U.S. But their “In the U.S.” paragraph suggests that they view even such debates by Americans as constitutionally unprotected.

CAIR, the self styled Muslim civil rights group affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood,  sent  Government  Affairs Manager, Robert McCaw, to question Wilders and the Congressional Representatives who participated in Capitol Hill press conference.  The CAIR press release noted the exchange:

CAIR Government Affairs Manager Robert McCaw pressed Rep. Gohmert as to whether he stood by “Wilders’ statement that Islam is an ideology of a retarded culture.” Congressman Gohmert avoided the question only stating that he “proudly stands by Wilders” and that he may not always agree with him but will defend his right to make such comments.

McCaw also pressed Wilders on whether or not the Republican Party should adopt his Dutch Freedom Party’s proposal of “banning the Quran and the building of new mosques.” Wilders sidestepped the question by stating that he is “not trying to unify the two parties” and comparing the Quran to Hitler’s Mein Kampf.

[…]

“By endorsing and promoting Geert Wilders’ anti-Muslim hate, these elected officials tarnish the Republican Party’s reputation and harm our nation’s international image,” said McCaw.

CAIR arranged for a counter press with the authors of the letter, Reps. Ellison and Carson, joined by Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-NY) protesting Wilders anti-Islam stands and promoting inter-faith unity.

Watch the CAIR YouTube video of McCaw’s questioning of Wilders and Rep. Gohmert:

Tomorrow, May 3, 2015 Wilders will next appear at an event in Texas.  According to a Breitbart News report Wilders Will speak at the First Annual Muhammad Art Exhibit and Contest. The event will be held May 3rd at the Curtis Caldwell Center, which is owned and operated by the Garland Independent School District, and hosted by the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI). The Curtis Caldwell Center was the site of an “Honor the Prophet” rally in January. About two thousand Texans came out to protest that event.

 Pam Geller and Robert Spencer of AFDI will also be speaking at the event.  For those interesting in watching this event. It will be live streamed at 5-7 (CST) and 6-8PM (EST). Read more, here.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review. The featured image is of Geert Wilders at a press conference near Capitol building April 30, 2015 in Washington, DC (AFP Photo/Brendan Smialowski).

A Legacy of Propaganda

We’ve seen the way the Associated Press skews its commentaries, and this latest approach to delegitimize the State of Israel is to challenge her democratic values amid an expanse of dictatorships. After Benjamin Netanyahu’s re-election to his post of Prime Minister, Dan Perry, AP’s Middle East editor, writes, “with the occupation of the West Bank grinding on toward the half-century mark, and with Netanyahu’s election-week statement that no change is imminent, hard questions arise.” His question and answer are, “Is Israel a democracy?  The answer is not so straightforward.”

Editor Perry’s premise is an immediate indictment against Israel, crafted to set the reader’s mind in motion to join in the attack.  Surely, he calculatedly omits the history that explains why these Arabs (now renamed Palestinians) remain in the West Bank.  Not only did he fail to recap that it was because Israel was attacked by Jordan and won that war that she acquired this territory, but he also excluded the fact that Israel offered land for peace on eleven separate occasions. The Palestinian leaders emphatically rejected the idea. Their strategy was to keep these Palestinians as pawns for as long as it takes to change world opinion and paint Israel as the aggressor and punishing “occupier,” until they succeed in hijacking all of Israel for Islam.

Thus, these Palestinians became the world’s eternal ‘victims” of oppression, set up to receive perpetual support monies from the United Nations, Europe, America, and Israel, even as the original victims have long been replaced by succeeding generations. Meanwhile, the new Palestinians wage evermore-creative wars against Israel, including increasingly lethal rocket and human attacks; and myriad propagandist accusations of apartheid, illegal housing and roads; accusing Israelis of causing floods, droughts, and shortages. One effective accusation was the Jenin “Massacre that wasn’t,” when the majority of 52 dead were combatants, and Doctors Without Borders confirmed that Palestinians had disinterred old corpses for authentic scenography.

is dollPerry doesn’t remind his readers that just as non-citizens’ living outside of America have no voting rights within America, so non-citizen Palestinians’ living outside of Israel have no voting rights in Israel. The two million Palestinian Arabs who are citizens of Israel, of course, have the same voting rights as other Israelis, Jew and non-Jew alike.  If these Palestinian Arabs ever show themselves to be civilized enough to lay down their weapons and seek peace, and to create their own democratic state, they may one day be able to vote for their own leadership. Unfortunately, Palestinian parents and teachers are coaching their small children to hate and to kill – to even practice beheading skills on dolls.  Surveys show that the majority of Muslims worldwide prefers Islamic law, Sharia, which is antithetical to democracy, so that these long suffering people will be more harshly ruled than ever by their authoritarian clergy and perhaps never experience an authentic election.

The author makes at least three off-the-wall accusations that show a decided, preconceived effort to blemish the Jewish state.

  • The first was his expectation that non-citizens have the right to vote in their occupiers’ elections.  When the United States and our allies occupied Japan and Germany after winning the Second World War (and the U.S. still maintains military bases in Japan), neither Axis voted in the elections of the victors.
  • The third bears mention because it is so ludicrous.  Perry must accuse Israel as “indirectly” dominating Gaza because Israel completely vacated Gaza in 2005.  Gazan Palestinians are occupied and dominated by Hamas, terrorists whose activities consistently put the civilians in harm’s way and inhibit the potential for democracy.

gazaSecond, Perry claimed that Israelis are concerned that the West Bank Palestinians have no voting rights for Israel’s parliament. There are no such foolhardy concerns. The West Bank is Judea and Samaria, long acknowledged as the original Jewish homeland by the United Nations. Israelis know the unfeasibility of a two-state solution as long as the Palestinians adamantly maintain their enemy status. A handshake for peace requires two hands.

Associated Press is notorious for its false accusations against Israel, America’s ally, while defending Islamic countries, those that produce terrorists who maim, kill, and enslave innocents by the thousands, the same countries that vow Israel’s and America’s destruction. Perry is one of numerous unethical journalists who are willfully dishonest and unreliable. They use selective inattention (or willful blindness) straight from the Muslim playbook. Rather than write that the Arab nations control their people to such a degree that torture and death are commonplace, that hangings and beheadings are done in the public arena, that children begin their lessons of hate and acceptance of death with Kindergarten, he falsely accuses Israel of violating human rights.

One can’t help but wonder if these degenerate journalists comply with Associated Press’s directives to consciously misrepresent the facts for their own biases or gain, or that they are habitual liars who actually come to believe the untruths they spew. Contrary to what Perry himself concluded, I think the answer is quite straightforward.  They are in collusion: it is AP and its journalists.

Christian students slaughtered in Kenya by Islamists

Early Thursday  morning Al Shabaab jihadis swarmed into the grounds of Garissa University College in northeastern Kenya with over  815 students stealthily knowing at 5:30 AM that Muslim students would be at morning prayers leaving vulnerable Christian students in their dormitories. The toll during the several hour siege was 147 killed, dozens of others injured and many students unaccounted for. USA Today reported “the White House strongly condemned the attack and said the United States was providing assistance to the Kenyan government. We extend our deep condolences to the families and loved ones of all those killed in this heinous attack, which reportedly included the targeting of Christian students,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said in a statement.”

Watch this AP Report on the Garissa, College siege:

 Fox News provided details on the Garassi College attack and siege:

Hours after the assault began, Kenyan security forces cornered the gunmen in a dormitory at the school, and President Uhuru Kenyatta said in a speech to the nation that the attackers were holding hostages.

“There are many dead bodies of Christians inside the building,” Al-Shabaab spokesman Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab told Sky News. “We are also holding many Christians alive. Fighting still goes on inside the college.”

Collins Wetangula, the vice chairman of the student union, said when the gunmen arrived at his dormitory he could hear them opening doors and asking if the people who had hidden inside whether they were Muslims or Christians.

“If you were a Christian you were shot on the spot,” he said. “With each blast of the gun I thought I was going to die.”

A spokesman for the terror group told the BBC that it attacked the school because “it’s on Muslim land colonized by non-Muslims.” The spokesman also said the gunmen had separated non-Muslims from Muslims and had freed 15 of the latter group.

The interior ministry said around 500 of 815 students has been accounted for, but hundreds remain missing. The students at Garissa are predominantly non-Muslim, a source told Fox News.

Police identified a possible mastermind of the attack as Mohammed Mohamud, who is alleged to lead Al-Shabaab’s cross-border raids into Kenya, and they posted a $220,000 bounty for him. Also known by the names Dulyadin and Gamadhere, he was a teacher at an Islamic religious school, or madrassa, and claimed responsibility for a bus attack in Makka, Kenya, in November that killed 28 people.

312 people have been killed in Al-Shabaab attacks in Kenya from 2012 to 2014. Thirty-eight people were killed and 149 wounded in Garissa in the same period, according to police statistics.

Bursting into their residences, these Al Shabaab killers used the same terrifying method perfected in September 2013 to kill innocent non-Muslims at the Westgate Mall massacre.  They asked whether they were Christians or if Muslim asked them to recite verses from the Koran or the Shahada-the profession of faith. If they responded as Christian they were summarily shot. Most of those Kenyan students at Garissa  College murdered by the al Shabaab attackers were Christians.  As Christian victims of this Jihad massacre they became like Jesus, the literal agnus die, lambs of G-d referring to the Passover sacrifice.  All of this occurred at the beginning of the conjunction of the Easter–Passover holy days in the Judeo-Christian calendar. Maundy Thursday that occurs three days before Easter commemorates the last supper between Jesus and his apostles believed to have been a Passover Seder.

The slaughter of these Christians in Kenya on Maundy Thursday is believed to be the worst terrorist event since the 1998 East African Embassies attacks by Al Qaeda in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.  It is alleged that Al Shabaab was reported by intelligence to be planning  a retaliation against soft targets inside Kenya for the US drone attack on March 18, 2015 that reportedly took the life of Adan Garar the  planner of the September 2013 Westgate Mall Attack in Nairobi. Al Shabaab had engaged in several spectacular recent attacks on hotels and offices in the capital of Mogadishu killing dozens.

The irony is that President Obama considered Somalia, like Yemen, “counterterrorism “successes, despite both being failed states. Yemen is being pounded daily by Saudi air strikes against Houthi rebels who have succeeded in taking the Presidential Palace in Aden. Somalia has been a perennial failed state since the eruption of civil war in 1990. It became the haven for Al Qaeda affiliate Al Shabaab, “the foot soldiers of Islam’ who have conducted an unrelenting campaign against fellow Somali Muslims and across the frontier in indiscriminate attacks on targets of opportunity in Kenya. A Kenya which holds one of the largest Somali refugee camps administered by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees from which residents have been sent for asylum in the United States. The irony that the children of those refugee émigrés in the US have been recruited to fight and die for Al Shabaab , and now  the Islamic State in Syria.  Many of those émigrés have been drawn from the twin cities of Minneapolis –St. Paul. They have become a US hub for ISIS and Al Shabaab recruitment aided by extremist Mosque leaders in those Middle West communities.

UN report released today estimated  that  more than 25,000 foreign Muslims  streamed to the Islamic State and Al Qaeda affiliate Al Nusra  from more than 100 Countries across the globe to be trained in “finishing schools” in Iraq and Syria, to return home as dangerous jihadis. The report noted that   besides 22,000 foreign fighters in Syria and Iraq, there were also 6,500 in Afghanistan and hundreds more in Yemen, Libya, Pakistan and Somalia.”According to Reuters, the UN panel report estimated that growth of these foreign Muslim jihad recruits rose by more than 70%. It likened the Islamic State as equivalent to Afghanistan in the 1990’s with the growth of the Taliban and Al Qaeda. President Obama met last September with the 15 nation Security Council to develop a strategy for contending with the threat of extremist Islamic terror threats like ISIS, Al Shabaab, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, and Boko Haram in Nigeria that resulted in this report.

This Easter weekend, Christians around the world should grieve for the 147 slaughtered by Al Shabaab jihadis at Garassi College on Maundy Thursday, 2015.

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EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review. The featured photo is courtesy of DPA.

Media Manipulation of the Jerusalem Synagogue Murders

In the wake of the horrific news of the slaughter at the Kehillat Yaakov synagogue in Jerusalem, we convened an on-air discussion on 1330WEBY in Pensacola. During the broadcast word came of the fifth death, an Israeli Druze Border Policeman. A sixth victim of their barbarous attack is reported to have fallen into a coma. This was as a result of the Islamikaze attack by two cousins from the Jabel Mukaber section of east Jerusalem, Odei Abed Abu Jamal, 22 and Ghassam Mohammed Abu Jamal, 32, equipped with guns, knives, and meat cleavers. They were members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine allegedly motivated by Jewish threats to the Haram al Sharaf/ Temple Mount. They were shot dead by the two Israeli police at the blood spattered horrific scene inside the synagogue in Har Nof that took the lives of four rabbis, three dual citizen Americans and a Briton. In the aftermath of this heinous attack, sweets and cookies were distributed in Gaza City while Palestinians there celebrated the grisly murders of the rabbis at Kehillat Yaakov synagogue in Jerusalem.

The ‘we” included  WEBY Your Turn host and general manager Mike Bates, this writer  and Rabbi Eric Tokajer of Brit Ahm Synagogue in Pensacola, host of WEBY program, “In the  Beginning.” This summer we did several programs to update the Gulf Coast listener audience of the threats to Israel during the 50 day IDF Operation Defensive Edge.  The rocket and terror tunnel war was launched by Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad in the wake of the murders of three Jewish Yeshiva students by Hamas operatives masquerading as observant Jews.  They were killed while hitchhiking home near Hebron. That series of radio discussions culminated in the launch of a local Federation sponsored Stand for Israel rally in historic Seville square with hundreds of attendees.

Prior to the segment, Bates and I looked at two disquieting videos of President Obama’s remarks regarding the slaughter at Kehillat Yaakov synagogue.  One was produced by CNBC, while the other was the raw AP news video. Conspicuous by its absence in the former was President Obama’s morally equivalent lines in his statement, “Too many Israelis and too many Palestinians have died”.  Breitbart drew attention to Obama’s remarks in the raw AP video, Obama Responds to Jerusalem Synagogue Attack: ‘Too Many Palestinians Have Died’. However, as Rabbi  Tokajer observed during the opening moments of our discussion, CNN had an earlier breaking headline of the grisly synagogue attack, “Two Palestinians shot Dead by Israeli Police “. This while sweets and cookies were being handed out and Palestinians celebrated in Gaza.  I drew attention to the deep links between the Obama White House and major media illustrated by Deputy National Security Advisor and spokesperson, Ben Rhodes, whose brother David heads CBS News. As one aspect of that, I referred to the  editing of reportage by former CBS correspondent Sheryl Atkisson over the Benghazi episode that she chronicled in her  new book, Stonewalled: My Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation, and Harassment in Obama’s Washington.

Early on in the radio discussion, I drew attention to one of the victims of the synagogue slaughter, Rabbi Moshe Twersky, son of revered Chassidic Rabbi Isadore.  As a native of the Boston area I spoke of the esteem the Twersky rabbinic dynasty was held in, reflected in the naming of the new Harvard Judaic Studies Center after Rabbi Isadore, its founding director. Rabbi Jonathan Hausman of Ahavath Torah Congregation in Stoughton, Massachusetts commented in a Skype IM exchange, that “Moshe’s father was the Talner Rebbe. A giant.”  The Twerskys were an important Rabbinic dynasty that The Forward pointed out in an article melded both Chassidic and Modern Orthodox Judaism.  Rabbi Moshe Twersky’s grandfather on his mother’s side was Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik, a renowned Jewish scholar who founded the Maimonides School from which Rabbi Twersky graduated.

During the segment we discussed the incitement and duplicity in the condemnation by PA President Abbas that was quickly seized upon by the President Obama and the mainstream media.  Abbas, as Bates pointed out was serving in the tenth year of an initial four year term as PA President, had stoked the violence in Jerusalem in the wake of an American born Palestinian youth murdered by three Israeli youths. Bates said that the Jewish perpetrators had been arraigned and doubtless will be prosecuted for their crime.

 Rabbi Tokajer commented that perhaps behind this current wave of violence lay a reality when he pointed out that “according to a recent survey by Near Eastern Consulting 75% of Palestinians do not accept Israel’s right to exist and reject a two state solution.” He noted that Administration had repeatedly accused PM Netanyahu of stoking the Palestinian violence through announcements of new housing construction in Jerusalem. To which Bates replied this criticism was unwarranted as there was a project that set aside nearly half the units for Arabs.

That was exemplified by the contretemps during the October 2014 Netanyahu visit with Obama in the Oval Office. over the announcement of 2,610 units in Givat HaMatos.  White House press spokesman Josh Earnest expressed deep concern with construction of “settlements” in “sensitive” areas of east Jerusalem. Further Earnest said , “This development will only draw condemnation from the international community, (and) distance Israel from even its closest allies”, a clear reference to the Administration. Israel PM Netanyahu at a New York press conference later the same day disputed the comment saying, “Arabs in Jerusalem purchase homes freely in the west of the city and nobody says that’s forbidden. I don’t intend to tell Jews that they can’t buy homes in East Jerusalem.” It was left to Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat angered by the White House attack who issued this statement:

I say this firmly and clearly: building in Jerusalem is not poisonous and harmful – rather, it is essential, important and will continue with full force. I will not freeze construction for anyone in Israel’s capital. Discrimination based on religion, race or gender is illegal in the United States and in any other civilized country.

Our discussion then focused on Abbas and Jordan’s upset at Jewish claims that they are entitled to pray on the temple mount, which is also shared by Muslims as the fourth most revered Mosque in Islam. Turning to the religious conflict over the Temple Mount, Bates, who had his first visit to Israel in March 2014, referred to the sign that Jews were not permitted to pray on the Temple Mount, the Noble Sanctuary/Haram Al Sharaf as Muslims refer to it. He mused that the spot is revered by Jews as well as Christians as the Dome of the Rock is the mythic location of Abraham’s attempted sacrifice of Isaac, the Akeda in Hebrew, but had been aborted by Angels carrying instructions from Ha Shem.

We pointed out the contemporary conflict over Jewish rights to pray on the Temple Mount in the shooting of another American –born Israeli   victim of Palestinian violence, Rabbi Yehuda Glick, head of the Temple Mount Faithful that seeks civil rights for Jews to pray there. Glick was assaulted at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center in late October 2014 and shot three times by a Palestinian Islamic Jihad operative, Mutaz Hijazi, who after fleeing the scene on a motorcycle was tracked down and killed by Israeli Border police.

The continuing denial of Jewish and Christian rights to pray on the Temple Mount under Israeli law can be traced to the key role that the legendary Moshe Dayan played in urging the Knesset to pass legislation ceding control over the Temple Mount to the Waqf or trust appointed by the King of Jordan, hence the role played by King Abdullah in the current contretemps. Meanwhile the Muslim appointees have done everything possible to destroy the heritage of Jewish presence by excavating under the Haram al Sharaf/Temple Mount.

Rabbi Tokajer brought up the issue that the myopic delusion of a peace settlement between Israel and the PA based on the 1949 Armistice Line.  He said that there is no reason for a division of unified Jerusalem given that a Palestinian State already exists, Jordan.

We brought up the matter of the UAE’s designation of a host of terrorist groups that included, Al Qaeda, ISIS, the Muslim Brotherhood and two of its US affiliates, the Council of American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Muslim American Society (MAS). The question was brought up about both the UAE and Saudi Arabia having major financiers underwriting these terrorist groups.  Rabbi Tokajer pointed out that Arab society is based on loyalty to family, clan and tribe; hence, you could have subjects of Arab states  who would view their contributions to  these designated terrorist groups as  simply  Zakat  or Charity  in support of following the way of Allah, jihad. Bates asked how Saudi Arabia and the UAE could control that. I responded by saying  perhaps the US Treasury Undersecretary  for Finance and Terrorism might advise them, as  we apparently know  who are these financiers are.

When the question of what Israel might do, we referred to American –Israeli Vic Rosenthal suggestions in his blog, Abu Yehuda.  Rosenthal’s suggestions included the Knesset passing a Basic Law declaring Israel a Jewish State, Annexing Area C that includes Judea and Samaria, leaving Areas B and D on the West Bank as an autonomous entity with 98 % of the Palestinians in the West Bank. However that still left the matter of dealing with the ironic situation of disloyal Arab Muslim Members in Israel’s Knesset engaging in seditious acts seeking to foster the destruction of the Jewish State. Then there is the ISIS wannabe Israel Arab Muslim Sheik Real Salah of the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement inciting violence against Jewish, Christian and Druze citizens seeking to declare a Caliphate to supplant Israel. The Knesset might adopt legal proceedings to be conducted to deprive citizenship and eject such individuals. That is, if the Israeli High Court doesn’t overturn it.

On the matter of what the new GOP controlled US Congress might do when the 114th session begins on January 3, 2015, we offered some suggestions. Congress might seriously   consider defunding the Palestinian Authority.  It might deny US funding for reconstruction of war torn Gaza. That might raise the question of depopulating Gaza, allowing voluntary transfer elsewhere in the region. Something that Egypt and other Members of the Arab League had heretofore barred.  Now Egypt has effectively created a buffer zone in the Rafah gap destroying housing and smuggling tunnels, isolating the residents of Gaza. Perhaps, if this fantasy occurred Gaza might serve as a safe haven for persecuted Middle East Christians.

Listen to the 1330 WEBY “Your Turn” discussion, Segment 1Segment 2, Segment 3 and Segment 4.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review.

Common Core Architect David Coleman’s Imperial College Board

What happens when a school board decides not to implement the new AP U.S. History standards wholesale and insist that such courses not present a distorted anti-American version of history?  Common Core is creeping into college, taking over the rightful role of professors, as I report at the Selous Foundation, in my article, “Common Core: K-16 Education.”  It’s also creeping in via the AP exams that give students college credit.  The College Board, which directs the AP coursework and exams, under the direction of its president David Coleman, “architect” of Common Core, is now using its muscle to usurp local boards of education.  The most recent example comes from the Denver area, in Jefferson County.

Several days ago, the teachers union, objecting to the school board’s decision to review the standards, manipulated high school students into staging a multi-day walkout.  While most newspapers simply reported that students objected to “censorship” or a biased “conservative” version of American history, Michelle Malkin reported the real story of teachers using the controversy to recruit students to protest for their own aims, keeping the leftist history standards and doing away with teacher evaluations.

The teacher union activists’ agitation has had its effect.  It’s chilling to the idea of local representative government. USA Today reports that the review of the standards has been shelved for a compromise proposal, which will now include administrators, students, and parents.

Flannery-OConnor 1947

Fannery-O’Connor 1947

 Dissident Prof reminds readers of Flannery O’Connor’s famous essay about allowing eight-graders to choose the literature they’d like to read, “Total Effect and the Eighth Grade,” wherein the wise woman reminds the adults, “Ours is the first age in history which has asked the child what he would tolerate learning. . .”

The Devil of Educationism: This is a problem of “Educationism,” a “devil” which can be “‘cast out only by prayer and fasting.'”  She notes that at one time children’s attention was held by Homer and Virgil, but “our children are too stupid now to enter the past imaginatively.”  What would she say now that school board members, parents, and teachers are asking students what they want to learn in history?  Back then, 50-some years ago, O’Connor posed, “No one asks the student if algebra pleases him or if he finds it satisfactory that some French verbs are irregular, but if he prefers Hersey to Hawthorne, his taste must prevail.”

The taste for takin’ it to the streets has prevailed, and it seems that protest, or mob action, has had the intended effect.

What also probably “helped” was the directive last Friday from the College Board, under the leadership of David Coleman.  It began:

The College Board’s Advanced Placement Program® supports the actions taken by students in Jefferson County, Colo., to protest a school board member’s request to censor aspects of the AP U.S. History course. The board member claims that some historical content in the course “encouraged or condoned civil disorder, social strife, or disregard for the law.”

Do these minors have the maturity and judgement to make decisions about protesting?  Well, if they agree with the College Board’s radical agenda, yes.  In fact, their lawlessness is cast as being the pinnacle of patriotism:

These students recognize that the social order can—and sometimes must—be disrupted in the pursuit of liberty and justice. Civil disorder and social strife are at the patriotic heart of American history—from the Boston Tea Party to the American Revolution to the Civil Rights Movement. And these events and ideas are essential within the study of a college-level AP U.S. History course.

Are “civil disorder and social strife” at “the patriotic heart of American history”?  Many would differ.  Many would take issue with aligning students skipping class with the brave men facing possible death in a war.  The opinions on civil disobedience are not unanimous.  But in the classroom, it is now taken as doctrine that mob protest, shouting, placard-carrying, and civil disobedience are the highest forms of civic action.  This is no accident.  Teachers and textbooks have been promoting this line for decades, and Common Core is accelerating this view, much of it through substituting group work and social justice activity for reading and writing.  So the students are right because they agree with the College Board’s view of history.  Did I mention that logic is also being shirked under the Common Core conglomerate?

Ignoring evidence and the historical record of its work, the College Board then presented an altered version of its own history:

The College Board will always listen to principled concerns based on evidence—and in fact has announced a public-review process for the AP U.S. History course framework. But in light of current events, an important policy reminder is in order:

Insisting that teachers and college faculty “collaborate” in designing the AP courses and exams, while allowing them “flexibility” to examine local topics, the College Board reminds those who resist the detailed 98-page directive,

To offer a course labeled “AP” or “Advanced Placement,” a school must agree to meet the expectations set for such courses by the more than 3,300 colleges and universities across the globe that use AP Exam scores for credit, placement, or consideration in the admission process.

The final boot comes down with a threat:

As vital context for the courageous voices of the students in Colorado, the AP community, our member institutions and the American people can rest assured: If a school or district censors essential concepts from an Advanced Placement course, that course can no longer bear the “AP” designation.”

The bold is in the original.  Perhaps a review of some texts from the Soviet Union might be in order in this curriculum in order to give students some perspective.  With video games, informational texts, such as EPA directives, and Common Core comic books replacing foundational works like the Federalist Papers, and, fiction, such as Animal Farm and 1984, students might be misled into believing that those who toe the line of a powerful agency, supported by millions of dollars of government funds, and federal diktats over “equal access” are really “courageous voices.”

American Jewish Baby Killed by Hamas Terrorist in Jerusalem

Baby-Killed-NY-Jerusalem

Insert is photo of three month old Chaya Zisel Braun. Photo courtesy NBC Channel 4 New York.

Three month old Chaya Zisel Braun was run down and killed at the Silwan Light Rail Station in Jerusalem by a Hamas terrorist, 21 year-old Abdel Rahman  Al-Shalodi. Eight other persons were injured in the crowd he ploughed into on the station platform. Ha’aretz reported:

According to witnesses, Al-Shalodi drove the car 14 meters on the tracks itself, hitting disembarking passengers and continuing on along the length of the track. He stopped after hitting a pole a few hundred meters down and then attempted to flee on foot, when he was shot, arrested, and hospitalized.

[…]

An eyewitness reported seeing the car hit the mother and baby and continue plowing through the crowd. “The stroller was shattered and the mother was screaming.

[…]

The stroller flew into the air and the baby was found 10 meters away from the stroller.”

Hamas issued a statement calling Al-Shaludi’s murder of Chaya Zisel an “act of heroism”.

Al-Shaludi  had served  time  in an Israeli prison on terrorist-related charges.  Chaya Zisel  parents and visiting grandparents from America, the Halperins, grieved for their loss. Shimon Halperin and his wife had just arrived in Israel on their first visit after their birth of their granddaughter to see Chaya Zisel. Instead they were rushed  to Hadassah Hospital  on Mount Scopus   Chaya  succumbed to her injuries and  was laid to rest  at a Jerusalem cemetery  at midnight, Wednesday, October 22nd.  Al -Shaludi’s  mother,  did not acknowledging her son’s murderous action.   The Times of Israel  reported 42 year old Inas Sharif  saying “I feel [Chaya’s mother’s pain, I am a mother after all. I don’t wish for any mother in the world to lose her child.”

 Biased media  obfuscated what occurred on Wednesday  at the Silwan Light Rail stop in Jerusalem located at the bottom of Ammunition Hill.

What passes for the leadership of the Palestinian Authority (PA)  stoked the violence that broke out during the recent Sukkoth holiday.  The AP had an initial headline, “ Israeli Police shoot man in East Jerusalem”  and only after complaints about it being misleading changed it to read,  “Palestinian Kills Baby at Jerusalem Station. “ The  U.S. consulate in Jerusalem issued statement hours after the event  calling it a “traffic incident”.  When the news caught up  at Foggy Bottom  they called it an act of terrorism, but with the usual proviso of  “all parties remaining calm.”  Jen Psaki  State Department Press Spokesperson made  the following statement:

The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms today’s terrorist attack in Jerusalem. We express our deepest condolences to the family of the baby, reportedly an American citizen, who was killed in this despicable attack, and extend our prayers for a full recovery to those injured. We urge all sides to maintain calm and avoid escalating tensions in the wake of this incident.

Jerusalem Mayor  Nir Barkat said:

We must restore peace to Jerusalem – as I said for months, the situation in Jerusalem is intolerable and we must be acting unequivocally against the violence taking place in the city,

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu put the blame squarely on the PA leadership. He said:

This is how Abu Mazen’s  partners in government act, the same Abu Mazen who – only a few days ago – incited  a terrorist attack in Jerusalem.

Khaled Abu Toameh  squarely put the blame for the eruption of violence in Jerusalem  on PA President Abbas in a Gatestone Institute article, today, “Abbas’s Responsibility for Murder.” Toameh wrote:

To understand what drives a young Palestinian to carry out such a deadly attack, one need look at the statements of Palestinian Authority leaders during the past few weeks.

The anti-Israel campaign of incitement reached its peak with Abbas’s speech at the UN a few weeks ago, when he accused Israel of waging a “war of genocide” in the Gaza Strip. Abbas made no reference to Hamas’s crimes against both Israelis and Palestinians.

Whatever his motives, it is clear that the man who carried out the most recent attack, was influenced by the messages that Abbas and the Palestinian Authority leadership have been sending their people.

Toameh drew attention  to the record of incitement  perpetrated by Abbas and  his cohorts like chief negotiator Saeb Erekat .  They concocted  the hate that led to Wednesday ‘s vehicular homicide by  al-Shalodi.  There was  Abbas’ UN General Assembly speech in September accusing Israel of waging  a “war of Genocide” in the 50-day war against  terrorist group Hamas in Gaza.  This from a man who ordered Palestinian security to cooperate with Israel  during the rocket and terror tunnel conflict fomented by his partner in the unity government, Hamas.   Abbas used the Sukkoth visits to the Kotel to inflame Palestinian. That  resulted in Israeli police cordoning off the Al Aqsa Mosque preventing Palestinians from raining rocks and Molotov cocktails on  the festival crowd of observant Jews below.  Abbas railed about Jewish desecration of Islamic  holy places. Abbas said:

We must prevent them from entering the Noble Sanctuary by all means. This is our Al-Aqsa. Al-Aqsa is a red line: Israel must be aware that the ongoing raids and attacks on Al-Aqsa will cause a volcanic explosion in the area that will reach Israel. Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the State of Palestine, and without it, there will be no state.

The flash point for al-Shalodi’s  terrorist act was reports that Jewish  “settlers” were buying buildings in the Silwan  section in Jerusalem.   The National , published in the UAE had  a  report that vaulted  to world coverage  when it popped up on Yahoo News, “By hook or by crook, settlers rack up gains in East Jerusalem.” The report looks suspiciously like hate filled PA agit-propaganda , tantamount to throwing oil on the fire of the “silent Intifada”.

By fair means or foul, Jewish settlers are notching up property gains in the heart of Arab east Jerusalem through a series of shady deals involving front men or straw companies.

The process by which such properties are acquired is shrouded in mystery, with the new Jewish occupants often moving in under the cover of darkness to avoid confrontation with residents.

The latest controversial acquisitions took place in Silwan, a densely populated Palestinian neighborhood on a steep hillside flanking the southern walls of Jerusalem’s Old City.

In the past three weeks, hardline settlers have moved into 35 apartments there, sparking anger and consternation among Palestinians who vehemently oppose such moves as a hostile attempt to Judaise Silwan.

Some were allegedly acquired fraudulently, and others legally.

Jewish groups buying up property in the heart of Arab neighborhoods is an explosive political issue because it touches on the future of east Jerusalem, which the Palestinians want as capital of a future state.

The reality is that Jerusalem is Israel’s eternal and undivided capital. East Jerusalem was formally annexed  by the Knesset on June 28, 1967, reunified following the Six Day War.. Earlier this month we posted on the Iconoclast:

The President and State Department condemned  Netanyahu’s announcement of 2,610 apartments in Givat Hamatos completing the Jewish areas of the municipality and separation from Bethlehem.   The Administration said the move would “poison relations” among Israel’s allies.  Nir Barkat , Mayor of Jerusalem,  took exception to the Administration’s criticism of the building program noting that it was anti-discriminatory and had been approved over two years ago.  Nearly half of those apartments were allocated for Arabs. There were death threats against Arab property brokers for sales of apartments to Jews in the Silwan section of Jerusalem, that prior to the War for Independence had been occupied by Jews.

Wednesday’s vehicular homicide of three month old Chaya Zisel Braun was perpetrated by Hamas terrorist al-Shaludi  with  PA President Abbas, as  an accomplice after the fact for inciting the terrorist act.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review. Photos courtesy of NER.