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J Street Launches Ad Campaign Promoting Obama’s Iran Nuclear Deal [+Video]

You probably have seen our panel discussion on the J street Challenge and comments about the pro-Iranian lobby group NIAC board members, “J Street Challenge documentary and Informed Panel Discussion in Pensacola.“ We noted:

Former deputy Chief of Mission at the Israeli Embassy in Washington, Lenny Ben David, revealed forensic analysis of the IRS tax filings of J Street. He noted the questionable funding by known enemies of Israeli both in the U.S. and the Middle East. Jeremy Ben Ami is exposed by Ben David apologizing for why he hid major funding for J Street from George Soros, who is fervently anti-Israel. A J Street board member, Genevieve Lynch, also sits on the board of Iran’s chief lobbying arm in Washington, the National Iranian American Council. Ben David also raised the question of why a Filipino woman living in Hong Kong underwrites almost a third of J Street’s budget.

In an earlier Iconoclast post we referenced a Breitbart News report on a former NIAC employee, Sahar Nowrouzzadeh, who was now an NSC staffer in the Obama White House:

Breitbart News in a March 31st, 2015 dossier article on Ms. Nowrouzzadeh reported:

Found that a person with the same name has previously written several publications on behalf of NIAC. According to what appears to be her LinkedIn account, Nowrouzzadeh became an analyst for the Department of Defense in 2005 before moving her way up to the National Security Council in 2014.

A NIAC profile from 2007 reveals that Sahar Nowrouzzadeh appears to be the same person as the one who is currently the NSC Director for Iran. The profiles indicate that she had the same double major and attended the same university (George Washington).

Critics have alleged that NIAC is a lobby for the current Iranian dictatorship under Ayatollah Khamenei. A dissident journalist revealed recently that NIAC’s president and founder, Trita Parsi, has maintained a years-long relationship with Iranian Foreign Minister, Javad Zarif.

NIAC was established in 1999, when founder Trita Parsi attended a conference in Cyprus that was held under the auspices of the Iranian regime. During the conference, Parsi reportedly laid out his plan to introduce a pro-regime lobbying group to allegedly counteract the influence of America’s pro-Israel and anti-Tehran regime advocacy groups.

NIAC has been investing heavily in attempts to influence the talks in favor of an agreement with the state sponsor of terror. In recent days, its director, Trita Parsi, has been spotted having amiable conversation with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s brother.

With the announcement of P5+1 nuclear agreement by President  Obama on Monday, July 14th, like night follows day, J Street is launching a multi-million dollar video campaign supporting the deal.  All while all  Israelis , many members of Congress and Americans support Prime Minister Netanyahu’s view that the pact is a dangerous  “historic mistake.” They have been joined by Saudi Arabia, the Gulf emirates castigating the deal with Iran posing an existential threat in the Middle East and some suggest here in the US, as well.

The Algemeiner reported on this latest example of J Street revealing its promotion of the President’s outreach to a nuclear Iran:

The left-wing Jewish lobby J Street said Wednesday that it is building support for the Iran nuclear deal through a “multimillion dollar national campaign.”

“J Street wants Congress to know that, despite some loud opposition to the deal coming from Jewish organizational leaders, our polling suggests that a clear majority of Jewish Americans agrees with us and backs the deal,” J Street said in its announcement of a campaign “to make the case to lawmakers that the agreement reached yesterday advances both US and Israeli security interests.”

The campaign, according to J Street, “will launch with a 30-second advertisement highlighting the unprecedented inspections and monitoring of Iran’s nuclear and military sites under the agreement.

Algemeiner noted the comments of Lori Lowenthal Marcus, national correspondent for The Jewish Press and  Jeffery Goldberg of The Atlantic, a frequent interviewer of President Obama.

Marcus said:

While every other Jewish group which praised the negotiators who reached the agreement “did so for their (the negotiators’) efforts,” only J Street praised the actual content of the deal. On Tuesday, J Street called the deal “a major step forward that will make the world appreciably safer.”

Goldberg tweeted:

“If Israel’s elected leader, and the head of the opposition, oppose the Iran deal, can J Street support it and still call itself pro-Israel?”

Maybe that’s why MK Isaac  Herzog Israeli opposition leader of the Leftist  Zionist Union (Labor) Party said he would work with Prime Minister  Netanyahu’s coalition  to stop the Iran deal.  We wonder which Iranian  conduit funneled the money to underwrite the launch of the J Street video ad with the Orwellian title: “Good for America/Good for Israel”.

Watch the J Street ad on this You Tube video:

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

Brandeis University Roiled by anti-Police and anti-Zionist Radicals

At 10:03 PM Saturday, December 27, 2014  Americans for Peace and Tolerance (AP&T) sent an email containing a petition requesting the President of Brandeis University, Frederick Lawrence and the 29 university trustees,  to protect the free speech rights and person of intrepid student, Daniel Mael.  So far it has garnered 2,337 signatures. This writer was among the earliest to sign it. More should, as the circumstances warrant it.

Mael had published an expose in on-line publication Ben Shapiro’s Truth Reports   about scurrilous anti- police tweets sent by Khadijah Lynch, a junior and African and African American studies department major at the Waltham, Massachusetts elite campus. Lynch’s provocative tweets were hateful to police in general, specifically suggesting how pleased she was about the assassination on December 20th of two NYPD officers, Felix Ramos and Wenjian Liu. They were shot from behind by convicted felon, Ismaaliya Brinsley, without warning while seated in their patrol car at the troubled Tomkins House in the Bedford Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn. Brinsley subsequently took his life with the murder weapon at a nearby subway platform after a chase by responding officers. The irony was these downed NYPD officers were protecting minorities from the depredations by the likes of Brinsley and drug gang bangers at the Tompkins Houses.

Earlier on Saturday,  a literal ”sea of blue” composed of  25,000 uniformed police from across the U.S. and Canada attended the funeral services  for  downed NYPD officer Ramos at Christ Tabernacle in the Glendale section of Queens New York. Eulogies were given by Vice President Biden, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and NYPD Commissioner William Bratton. When controversial New York Mayor William DiBlasio turn came to eulogize Officer Ramos, NYPD officers in the multitude outside the church turned their back on the large video screen in a demonstration of contempt. They were expressing their anger  regarding his promotion of protests against  grand jury actions upholding police conduct in the shooting death in July 2014 in Ferguson , Missouri of Michael Brown and the August 2014 Staten Island death of former convicted felon Eric Garner under NYPD physical restraint in Staten Island, New York.  They were called to the scene by African American shop owners in the vicinity regarding Garner’s continual violation of the law.

A  Gatestone Institute article by Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz was posted at 1:30 AM EST, Sunday morning, “A Brandeis Student Refuses to Show Sympathy for Assassinated Policemen — and Her Critic Is Attacked.”  Dershowitz drew attention to Lynch’s hate-filled tweets:

As I watched, with tears in my eyes, the funeral of police officer Rafael Ramos who was ambushed along with fellow officer, Wenjian Liu, in revenge for the deaths of two black young men who were killed by policemen, I could not help thinking of the following horrible words tweeted by a bigoted young woman named Khadijah Lynch, on the day the police officers were murdered in cold blood, and the day after:

“i have no sympathy for the nypd officers who were murdered today.” (December 20, 2014)

“lmao, all i just really dont have sympathy for the cops who were shot. i hate this racist f…ing country.”(December 21, 2014).

Nor was this her first bigoted tweet. She has apparently described her college as “a social themed institution grounded in Zionism. Word. That a f…ing fanny dooly.” And she cannot understand why “black people have not burned this country down….” She describes herself as “in riot mode. F… this f…ing country.” She has apparently said that she would like to get a gun and has called for an intifada: “Amerikkka needs an intifada. Enough is enough. ” “What the f… even IS ‘non-violence’. “

Ms. Lynch is certainly entitled to express such despicable views, just as Nazis, Klansmen and other bigots are entitled to express theirs. But when another Brandeis student, named Daniel Mael, decided to post her public tweets on a website, Lynch threatened to sue him for “slander”. Republishing someone’s own published words could not possibly constitute slander, libel or any other form of defamation, because you can’t be slandered by your own words. You can, of course, be embarrassed, condemned, ostracized or “unfriended” due your own words

Brandeis, you should  recall was founded under Jewish auspices as a living memorial to revered  US Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, a vigorous defender of free speech rights, something that Mael was exercising. Lynch’s comments, while inflammatory and hateful, as Dershowitz  had referenced, would be regarded as ‘protected speech’  under Supreme Court rulings , such as the  landmark 1969 Brandenburg v. Ohio  decision in a matter involving a Klu Klux Klan leader.

Dershowitz went further to point out Mael’s rights under the law:

Mael had the right — and was right — to expose Lynch’s words for public assessment and criticism. Now hard left students at Brandeis are calling for Mael’s head — or at least his expulsion — for exercising his freedom of expression. He has been accused of “stalking”, “cyberbullying” and “inciting racial hatred and oppression” for merely republishing what Lynch published.

Dershowitz also pointed to the irony that  Lynch comments   was  supported by the Brandeis Asian American in view of downed NYPD officer Liu, who was Asian.

The Algemeiner revealed more about Mael’s earlier efforts to expose Lynch’s support for the violent Students for Justice in Palestine eviction notice campaign posted on Jewish student dorm doors across the country that involved  the attacks by SJP against Jewish  university students, Brandeis Radical Who Insulted Murdered NY Cops is Backed by Students for Justice in PalestineThe Algemeiner reported:

When Lynch ran for student office in 2013, she gushed that she “fell absolutely in love with Brandeis”… The two organizations that endorsed her manifesto, which included a commitment “to make Brandeis a safer, more tolerant, and friendly environment,” were the Brandeis Black Student Organization and the Brandeis chapter of SJP.

“An apathetic attitude toward the murder of innocents and calls for violence are entirely in-line with the actions of Students for Justice in Palestine chapters across the country,” Mael told The Algemeiner. “Unfortunately the vicious rhetoric of Ms. Lynch is echoed by many other student activists across the country. This language helps fuel a disturbing atmosphere of hatred and fear.”

Mael’s own expose of SJP, published last October in The Tower magazine, detailed a number of violent attacks on pro-Israel students by members of that organization.

Since Mael’s article about Lynch appeared, both he and members of his family have been targeted for abuse. Lynch herself tweeted “i need to get my gun license asap” after Mael contacted her for comment regarding her tweets.

Meanwhile, Brandeis University President Fred Lawrence weighed into the controversy today, releasing a statement in which he confirmed, “We have no greater concern than the safety of our students at Brandeis.” Lawrence did not, however, specifically address the threats made against Mael and his family, nor the involvement of hate groups like SJP in the verbal attacks and threats made against him.

 APT’s petition campaign to Brandeis  President Lawrence  may have forced  him to act. Unfortunately , this was what we have come to expect under his leadership at Brandeis.  Witness, his acceding to demands  from  Muslim Brotherhood front groups CAIR and the Brandeis Muslim Students Association  and Near Eastern and Judaic  Studies faculty members  to withdraw  the honorary doctorate to Ayaan Hirsi Ali  that was to be awarded her at  commencement this past  June. We noted in an April 9, 2014  Iconoclast post  the circumstances under which  Brandeis President Lawrence withdrew her honor:

Tuesday evening [April 8, 2014]  Brandeis University President Fred Lawrence rescinded an honorary doctorate that was to be conferred on Somali American women human rights advocate and author, Ayaan Hirsi Ali at the June 2014 Commencement.  He succumbed to outcries of Islamophobe and Fatwas from the Waltham, Massachusetts campus Muslim Students Association chapter supported by a letter signed by 86 members of the university’s Near Eastern and Judaic studies faculty.

[…]

Lori Lowenthal Marcus, US correspondent for The Jewish Press, herself an honored graduate of Brandeis, Class of 1980, declared in an email:  “there is no justice for Hirsi Ali” at her alma mater. In her Jewish Press article, on this latest example of dhimmitude at Brandeis, she noted the campus furor that forced the decision of President Lawrence:

 The Brandeis students issued a fatwa: the invitation to Ali had to be rescinded. The school newspaper, The Justice (yes, the irony!) ran both a “news article” and an editorial denouncing the decision to give Ali an honorary degree.

Sic ignominia transit Brandeis.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review. Featured image courtesy of Americans for Peace and Tolerance.

Judgement Day: Pro-Israel Z-Street trial “Will Force the IRS to Open its Books”

In the August 2013 New English Review (NER) we interviewed Lori Lowenthal Marcus, national correspondent for The Jewish Press and co-founder of Z Street- the Zionist antidote to anti-Israel J Street.  It was about the July 19, 2013 hearing held before Judge Ketanji Brown of the DC Federal  Court in the matter of Z Street v IRS. The case had been filed in the Eastern District in Pennsylvania and then transferred  to the DC Federal court as this was a federal government matter. The original Z Street matter was based on a First Amendment issue, “viewpoint discrimination”. In our NER interview article we noted what the basis of the original filing was about:

news release by Z STREET, issued  just prior to the DC court proceeding cited the June 24, 2013 House Ways and Means release of acting IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel’s responses to a letter from Ranking  Member, Sander Levin (D-MI). Z STREET’s supplementary filing revealed that there were no “progressive” groups scrutinized by the IRS “Touch and Go” Group (TAG) in Washington, DC. Instead due diligence of the IRS documents revealed that Z STREET was the sole subject by the TAG review because of “Israel-connected” views of the group in its original 501 (c ) (3) application.   

We further noted the contretemps at the July 19, 2013 DC federal court hearing:

Alana Goodman of The Washington Free Beacon who attended the DC Federal Court hearing noted in her report the IRS argument and the reaction of Judge Brown:

The government argued in court on Friday that Z STREET should resolve its tax-exempt status, which is still in limbo, before any policy questions can be addressed.

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson seemed skeptical of the argument, saying that the government appeared to be mischaracterizing the remedy that Z Street was seeking.

“That’s not what they want,” Judge Jackson snapped at one point.

Z STREET said the government was misrepresenting its position.

“We’re not seeking tax-exempt status in this case. We are seeking an untainted process,” said Counsel Jerome Marcus. “What is the policy that the IRS has been following since 2010, and is that process constitutional?”

Is the Z Street case against the IRS evidence of bureaucratic ineptitude or something else? If discovery is granted by the DC Court ruling we may find who and why an unconstitutional act of viewpoint discrimination was perpetrated against STREET.

Today’s Wall Street Journal reported Judge Katanji Brown ruling effectively granting discovery to Z Street, “IRS Judgment Day: The un-talkative agency comes under scrutiny from a federal judge”:

In August 2010, Z Street sued the IRS on grounds that the position amounts to viewpoint discrimination and violates the First Amendment. The IRS responded by claiming special protections, including the Anti-Injunction Act, a law written to protect the IRS from litigation that could interfere with its ability to collect revenue.

But Washington, D.C. federal district Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson ruled that the Anti-Injunction Act has not been interpreted by the courts as preventing constitutional claims. In its attempt to “thwart” the action, she wrote in denying the IRS motion to dismiss, the IRS tries to “transform a lawsuit that clearly challenges the constitutionality of the process . . . into a dispute over tax liability.”

The IRS also tried to duck out under the sovereign immunity doctrine, which was designed to deter lawsuits against the feds. But that claim fails, Judge Jackson writes, because the Administrative Procedures Act “waives sovereign immunity with respect to suits for nonmonetary damages that allege wrongful action by an agency or its officers or employees, and the instant lawsuit fits precisely those criteria.”

This ruling will force the IRS to open its books on the procedures it used and decisions it made reviewing Z Street’s tax-exempt application, procedures it has tried to keep shrouded. As the case proceeds, Z Street’s attorneys can seek depositions from many who have been part of the larger attempt to sit on similar applications by other conservative groups.

It will be fascinating to see which names— Lois Lerner, former head of IRS tax-exempt scrutiny?—show up in the internal email traffic. The Administration may have a harder time evading accountability now that a judge will be supervising the testimony.

In our NER interview with Ms. Marcus, we asked her what the best outcome that might emerge with Judge Ketanji’s ruling.  Here is the exchange:

Gordon:  What do you believe would be the best outcome of the D.C. Federal Court after its review of the various filings in terms of handing down a ruling in this case?

Marcus:  Naturally, I think the court should sign the proposed Order that we submitted and provide us with access to what is called discovery. Meaning we are permitted to seek information about how the IRS set about creating this policy, who formulated it, who approved it, who knew about it, who had to apply it, to whom was it applied. That is what we need to find out in order to learn how the IRS came to create policies that are not just inappropriate, not just mismanagement, but which constitute violations of the U.S. Constitution. We need to find out because unless we do, there are going to be greater and greater restrictions on fundamental freedoms.

Way to go Judge Brown.  Now the IRS has no shield against discovery by Z Street. This could an interesting turn of events vis a vis the original viewpoint discrimination issue raised in the Z Street Federal court filling.  Whatever names emerge on the BOTL emails might cause  a flood of filings from other possible social welfare filers. As baseball great Yogi Berra might opine, “It ain’t over till it’s over”.  Congratulations to Lori Lowenthal Marcus and her counsel, her husband Jerome, for undertaking this landmark case for Z Street and all Americans. Let’s see how the IRS counsel  responds  to Judge Brown’s ruling.

As a Z Street board member this federal court ruling has justified the four year wait for justice to be done in the matter. To paraphrase Justice Brandeis Judge Brown’s ruling is good “disinfectant”.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on The New English Review.

Brandeis Cancels Honorary Degree for Ayaan Hirsi Ali at 2014 Commencement

AayanHirsiAli.jpg

Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Tuesday evening Brandeis University President Fred Lawrence rescinded an honorary doctorate that was to be conferred on Somali American women human rights advocate and author, Ayaan Hirsi Ali at the June 2014 Commencement.  He succumbed to outcries of Islamophobe and Fatwas from the Waltham, Massachusetts campus Muslim Students Association chapter supported by a letter signed by 86 members of the university’s Near Eastern and Judaic studies faculty.

Ali is currently embroiled in the lambasting by CAIR of the Clarion project film, Honor Diaries.   Hirsi Ali, a former Dutch political figure was  colleague of the late Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh, who was murdered on the streets of Amsterdam by a Dutch Moroccan. She wrote the script for the short film, Submission about the oppression of women under Islamic Sharia doctrine.  Ali is the author of the acclaimed biographies, Infidel and Nomad.  She has been a vigorous opponent of political Islam’s totalitarian oppression of women’s human rights, and culture espousing female genital mutilation and honor shame killings.

Honor Diaries trailer:

[youtube]http://youtu.be/9WijI2U7dKY[/youtube]

Lori Lowenthal Marcus, US correspondent for The Jewish Press, herself an honored graduate of Brandeis, Class of 1980, declared in an email:  “there is no justice for Hirsi Ali” at her alma mater. In her Jewish Press article, on this latest example of dhimmitude at Brandeis, she noted the campus furor that forced the decision of President Lawrence:

The Brandeis students issued a fatwa: the invitation to Ali had to be rescinded. The school newspaper, The Justice (yes, the irony!) ran both a “news article” and an editorial denouncing the decision to give Ali an honorary degree.

Marcus noted:

The Facebook Page denouncing Ali and the decision to honor her at Brandeis’s 2014 Commencement decried her for her “hate speech.” The Muslim Students Association claimed that honoring her “is a direct violation of Brandeis University’s own moral code as well as the rights of all Brandeis students.”

Most chillingly, while the students acknowledged Ali had experienced “terrible things in her life,” their bottom line was “we will not tolerate an attack at our faith.”

And so they issued a fatwa: the invitation to Ali had to be rescinded. The school newspaper, The Justice (yes, the irony!) ran both a “news article” and an editorial denouncing the decision to give Ali an honorary degree.

Brandeis University president Fred Lawrence echoed the students (and a large number of faculty members, including the Women’s Studies professors) in his statement:

Following a discussion today between President Frederick Lawrence and Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Ms. Hirsi Ali’s name has been withdrawn as an honorary degree recipient at this year’s commencement. She is a compelling public figure and advocate for women’s rights, and we respect and appreciate her work to protect and defend the rights of women and girls throughout the world. That said we cannot overlook certain of her past statements that are inconsistent with Brandeis University’s core values.  For all concerned, we regret that we were not aware of these statements earlier.

Commencement is about celebrating and honoring our extraordinary students and their accomplishments, and we are committed to providing an atmosphere that allows our community’s focus to be squarely on our students. In the spirit of free expression that has defined Brandeis University throughout its history, Ms. Hirsi Ali is welcome to join us on campus in the future to engage in a dialogue about these important issues.

In other words, Ali’s decades of devotion to helping women enslaved by misogynistic practitioners of the Muslim faith – who dominate the governments of Muslim countries – was neutered by the pronunciamento by students that they “would not tolerate an attack on [their] faith.” And in still other words, on American campuses criticism of religion – which has been a fixture of campus life – is no longer permitted. What words, what thoughts will be deemed unacceptable next?

This on a campus in leafy Waltham, Massachusetts established by secular Jewish interests in furtherance of one of America’s leading Supreme Court justices, Louis Brandeis. Brandeis was  a vigorous defender of free speech under the US Constitution,   He commented  in a 1913 Harper’s Weekly article saying , ”sunlight is  said  to be the best  of disinfectants”.

Marcus also noted the hypocrisy of a member of the Near Eastern and Judaic Studies Department, posted on the Facebook page by Prof.  Bernadette Brooten, requesting withdrawal of the honorary doctorate for Ali, “a group of 86 faculty members has signed a letter to President Lawrence, asking him to rescind the invitation.”

Marcus noted that Brandeis had conferred honorary doctorates on anti-Israel Pulitzer Prize winning playwright, Tony Kushner (2006) and South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu (2000). Tutu is an alleged anti-Semite who supporting the notorious Durban I and II UN Human Rights Conference accusing Israel of a Nazi –like occupation of the disputed territories of Judea and Samaria, denying Palestinian statehood.

The withdrawal by force majeur of Muslim Students and supporting Brandeis faculty is the latest in a series demonstrating dhimmitude at the suburban Boston campus.  In a June 2006 Israpundit post, “Dhimmitude at Brandeis”, we wrote about the controversial honorary degrees conferred on Kushner and Jordan’s Crown Prince Hassan:

Lori Lowenthal Marcus, Honors graduate of the Brandeis Class of 1980,  finally got her message out in an American Thinker article about the mindless and dangerous Brandeis partnership with al Quds University: “The Strange Partner of Brandeis.“ On top of this was the cancellation of a controversial Palestinian children’s art exhibit at Brandeis.

President Reinharz on the other hand was feeling the brunt of all this accumulated criticism when he cataloged his and the Brandeis University woes reflected in a letter exchange with Brandeis faculty captured in a Ha’aretz weblog commentary:

“As you may know, the university (i.e. the president’s office) has been under a steady barrage of complaints these last months… because of my defense of (1) Dr.Khalil Shikaki, a Senior Fellow at the Crown Center for Middle East Studies, against uninformed allegations that he is a supporter of terrorists, (2) Al Quds University President Sari Nusseibeh… (3) Al Quds University itself in the face of the uninformed allegation… and (4) Mr. Tony Kushner, one of this year’s honorary degree recipients, who has been accused by some as being an enemy of Israel…”

As regards the taqiyyah in Crown Prince Hassan of Jordan’s acceptance speech at the 2006 Commencement, we wrote:

That was a backdrop to the sinuous sophistry spread by Prince Hassan of Jordan about religious universalism capsuled in his remarks about the “dear Moishe dear Ibn” correspondence of Maimonides and ibn Rushd in his Brandeis commencement address.

[…]

Prince Hassan persisted in misinforming his Brandeis commencement listeners that somehow, Maimonides, Averroes and St. Thomas Aquinas were intellectual “buddies.” A fiction. This all smacks of dhimmitude, the field of study pioneered by Bat Ye’or author of “Eurabia” concerning the subjugation of all infidels under the Islamic Shariah laws. All Brandeis trustees had to do to complete this transformation was to pay the jizya or “poll tax.”

So, if Muslim taqiyyah isn’t bad enough there is the EUrabian anti-Zionist mindset of students at the Brandeis Middle East Studies Crown Center program.

When the atrocities and barbarities of Islamofascist Ba’athist leader and monster, Saddam Hussein was discussed students said in rebuttal, “how can you chastise Saddam Hussein, when we have the monster Sharon.” This is moral equivalency of the most abysmal sort and patent pro-Palestinian propaganda.

In a controversial Brandeis student newspaper column by Matt Brown in April [2006] he complained about the university being “too Jewish.” This gave rise to accusations of “self loathing” by the Jewish community in a recent Boston Globe article entitled “A Question of Culture” by staff writer Sarah Schweitzer. I guess Brown would complain if Brandeis was a Jesuit university, right?

Our conclusion in the Israpundit 2006 post on the prior Brandeis Commencement episode seems prescient given what occurred last night with the withdrawal of the honorary doctorate for Hirsi Ali:

Perhaps the Brandeis trustees should change its name to something nondescript like Dhimmi U to complete the transformation. Then wouldn’t the late Supreme Court Justice, the iconic Louis Brandeis, whom President Reinharz referred to in his commencement exercise comments as “a Zionist and a proud Jew,” spin in his grave.

RELATED STORY: Ayaan Hirsi Ali: “They Simply Wanted Me to be Silenced”

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on The New English Review.

Did Boston Bomber Tamerlane Tsarnaev Contact Jihadists near Sochi Olympic Site?

The late Boston Marathon Bomber, Tamerlan Tsarnaev made contact with Jihadists in Dagestan during a six month sojourn there in 2012. Dagestan is less than 1000 miles from the Russian Olympics site in Sochi. The question arises as to whether he visited Sochi in the company of Jihadists?  That is a concern facing Members of the US House Homeland Security Committee, chaired by Rep. Michael McFaul (R-TX). They are investigating that  and security at Sochi during a trip to Russia endeavoring to wrap up  an report  to be issued shortly on  the  April 15, 2013 Boston Marathon finish line terror attack by the Tsarnaev Brothers.

The surviving younger brother Dzhokhor is facing a possible death penalty conviction for the Boston Marathon bombing that killed three and injured more than 264, many severely with loss of limbs. He is also facing possible charges in the triple murder of three men in Waltham, Massachusetts on September 11, 2011 involving his late brother Tamerlane and an alleged accomplice, Ibragim Todashev  killed in an FBI shootout in Orlando Florida in May 2013.

Massachusetts Congressman William Keating (D- MA)   was interviewed today prior to a visit to Sochi Tuesday to check out security arrangements there with the start of the Winter Olympics, just two weeks away on February 7th.  Russia has spent more than $50 Billion dollars on the Sochi Winter Olympics and virtually cordoned off the city and surrounding region deploying more than 40,000 security personnel.  The main alpine events at the Sochi Olympics will be held 70 kilometers distant in the resort areas of Krasnaya Polyana and Rosa Khutor.  Some of the Olympics events will take place in the neighboring Caucasus Mountain range.  Russia is still reeling from last month’s deadly suicide bombings by Chechen “Black Widows” in Volgograd that killed 34. Volgograd is located 700 miles from Sochi. 2014 marks the 10th anniversary in September of the deadly Beslan School massacres in North Ossetia perpetrated by Chechen Jihadists.

Villayet Dagestan jihadis Reuters 1-20-14

Vilayat Dagestani Jihadis 1-19-14. Source: Reuters

Both the AP and Lori Lowenthal Marcus, US correspondent for The Jewish Press had reports about security concerns for the upcoming Sochi Winter Olympics and possible ties to Chechen and Dagestani Jihadists in the adjacent Northern Caucasus region.

According to The Jewish Press report by Marcus, “Security Report, Tsarneav sought insurgents near 2014 Olympics Site”,  Rep. Keating said in a Boston Herald Radio interview:

He believes “that Tamerlan Tsarnaev did meet with insurgents here.” The phone interview was with the Boston Herald Radio and it took place on Monday, Jan. 20. Keating and several other members of the congressional committee investigating the Boston Marathon bombings traveled to Russia to investigate Tsarnaev’s connections to local terrorist groups.

[…]

Keating said a House Homeland Security Committee report will become public in two weeks, and it will contain new information on deceased Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev time in Dagestan.

Regarding  the purpose   of tomorrow’s  trip by the House Homeland Security Committee to the Sochi Olympics site, Keating was quoted by the AP saying:

We want to take back whatever coordinated information we can that deals directly with U.S. citizens, so we’re in the best position possible to make sure our own people are safe.

Marcus cites the alleged mastermind behind the terror attacks in Russia and the Caucasus. The Emir of Chechnya, Doku Umarov:

Over the past several weeks there have been several terrorist bombings in Russia which have killed many dozens. Credit for some of those bombings was claimed by a particularly brutal band of Muslim terrorists, headed by the charmless Doku Umarov, sometimes referred to as the “Russian bin Laden.”

[…]

“They plan to hold the Olympics on the bones of our ancestors, on the bones of many, many dead Muslims buried on our land by the Black Sea. We as mujahideen are required not to allow that, using any methods that Allah allows us,” Umarov stated in the video.

On Sunday these terrorists released another video. In this one they claim that Putin and all the tourists who come to watch the Olympics should expect “a surprise.” “We’ll have a surprise package for you,” one of them said, addressing Russian officials. “And those tourists that will come to you, for them, too, we have a surprise.”

According to a Reuters/VOA report  two men in the video released Sunday were from “Vilayat Dagestan, which says it is affiliated with a faction in Iraq known as Ansar al-Sunna, gave no other details of the two men. It is the first group to claim responsibility for the Volgograd bombings of a train station and a trolleybus.”

The Reuters/VOA Report further noted these developments in Sochi and Dagestan:

In another development, hotel workers in Sochi tell reporters they have seen wanted posters for a woman from Dagestan. She is described as a 22-year-old widow of a militant killed by Russian security forces last year. The posters say the woman, identified as Ruzanna Ibragimova, may be in or near Sochi and could be planning an attack.

Also Monday, Russian security forces say they killed three militants in Dagestan’s capital, Makhachkala.

The deaths are the latest violence in the city. On Saturday, security forces said they killed seven suspected militants who were believed to be involved in an attack on a restaurant. That attack left at least 16 people injured.

Putin has purportedly built a “ring of steel” around the Sochi Olympics site. Besides the Winter Olympics Sochi will be also be the site of the first Formula One Race in Russia scheduled for October 2014.  Besides security forces, Russia will deploy drones, metal detectors, bomb sniffing dogs, helicopters and even submarines offshore the resort complex as additional protection.  However, as Marcus in her Jewish Press report notes there is still vulnerability:

But the terrorist groups say they will target not just the host city but other areas of Russia. “Soft targets” such as transportation systems are particularly vulnerable. It is too early to tell whether the threats will keep away either athletes or tourists, but it is likely that terrorism considerations will play a role in future selections of Olympic host sites.

Given the 10th anniversary of the Beslan atrocity in September 2014 and the recent Volgograd suicide bombings could more murderous Jihad terrorism occur?  That despite  Russian security virtually  cordoning off  the entire Russian Winter Olympic site and the surrounding vicinity of Sochi, as well as prior clearance of credentials for officials, TV and print journalists, national  teams and spectators.

Possible terrorist scenarios  might range from combating with a mass suicide attack akin to Volgograd perpetrated by  Chechen and Dagestani Black Widows  to hostage taking  by  Chechen  henchmen of  Emir Umarov of one of the Olympic teams  eerily akin to the Israeli  team massacre at the  1972 Munich Olympics.

Marcus of The Jewish Press contrasted the security concerns of Rep. Keating and Maine US Senator King:

This Sunday the talk shows finally began airing discussions of potential terrorism at the Olympics next month. U.S. Sen. Angus King of Maine said he would not go to Sochi due to security concerns. Cong. Keating said he “wouldn’t go so far” as King, but said he is “aware of the dangers.”

Marcus commented in an email to this writer: “In what may be the first time, I fully agree with Angus King: I am not going to the 2014 Olympics and I wouldn’t let anyone in my family go!”

RELATED COLUMN: ‘Ring of steel’ vs. Islamic terrorists: Olympic records set for security, threats in Sochi

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on The New English Review.