Chanukah guide for the perplexed, 2017 Ambassador (Ret.) Yoram Ettinger

Chanukah’s historical context according to the Books of the Maccabees, The Scroll of Antiochus and The War of the Jews by Joseph Ben Mattityahu (Josephus Plavius):

In 175 BCE, the Seleucid Emperor Antiochus (IV) Epiphanies of Syria (1/3 of the disintegrated Greek Empire) wished to exterminate Judaism and forcibly convert Jews to Hellenism. He suspected that the Jews were allies of his chief rival, Egypt. In 169 BCE, upon returning to Syria from a war against Egypt, he devastated Jerusalem, massacred Jews, forbade the practice of Judaism and desecrated the Temple.

The 167 BCE Jewish rebellion featured the Hasmonean (Maccabee) family: Mattityahu, a priest from Modi’in, and his five sons, Yochanan, Judah, Shimon, Yonatan and Elazar. The heroic, creative battle tactics of the Maccabees, were consistent with the reputation of Jews as superb warriors, who were frequently hired as mercenaries by Egypt, Syria, Rome and other global and regional powers. The battles of the Maccabees inspired the future Jewish rebellion against the Roman Empire: from the battle against Pompey in 63 BCE through the suppression of the Bar Kokhba Rebellion in 135 CE.

2. The name Maccabee (מכבי or מקבי) is a derivative of the Hebrew word Makevet (מקבת), power hammer in Hebrew. It is also a derivative of the Hebrew verb Cabeh (כבה), to extinguish. Maccabee, מכבי, is also the Hebrew acronym of “Who could resemble you among gods, O Jehovah” מי כמוך באלים יי)). In Latin, the C is sometimes pronounced like a TZ, and Maccabee could be the Latin spelling of the Hebrew word Matzbee, a commander-in-chief.

3. Chanukah ( חנוכהin Hebrew) celebrates the initiation/inauguration (חנוכ) of the reconstructed Temple. Chanukah (חנוכה) is education-oriented (חנוכ). A key feature of Chanukah is the education/mentoring of the family and community, recognizing education as the foundation of human behavior.

According to the First Book of Maccabees, Judah the Maccabee instituted an 8-day holiday on the 25th day of the Jewish month of Kislev 165 BCE (just like King Solomon’s 8-day celebration of the inauguration of the First Temple), in order to commemorate Jewish history, in general, and the inauguration and deliverance of the holy altar and the Temple, in particular. The Hebrew word, Chanukah, חנוכה, consists of two words, Hanu-Kah ( חנו-כהin Hebrew) which means “they camped/rested” (חנו) on the 25th day (כה equals 25 in Hebrew) of the Jewish month of Kislev.

4. The Chanukah Menorah (a 9-branched-candelabra) commemorates the legacy of the Maccabees, highlighting the prerequisites of spiritual and physical liberty, in defiance of formidable odds: value-driven faith, tenacious optimism, patriotism, attachment to roots, adherence to long-term values and interests over political-correctness and short-term convenience.

Advocacy and Bias: In Media, Universities and Federal Bureaucracy “Sydney Williams

We live in a time of media bias. From universities to news anchors to reporters, opinions dominate facts. “Our information environment is sick,” so warns David Patrikarakos, in his book War in 140 Characters, “…where facts are less important than narrative, where people emote rather than debate…” What is less publicized is bias in the federal government’s bureaucracy. For example, in last year’s election, 97% of Justice Department employees’ political contributions went to Hillary Clinton. She received 94% of all donations from IRS employees, and from those in the Department of Education, she received 99.7% of all monies. That bias is understandable, in the sense that Democrats are the Party of an expanding government, while Republicans would shrink it. But, still…

Trying to uncover the facts of the tax bill, the Mueller investigation, or climate change is more challenging than a 1000-piece jig-saw puzzle, and more fraught with emotion than a teen-ager. Advocacy has replaced reporting, and angry words, reasoned debate. Political partisanship is molded into our youths in our colleges and universities. Objectivity is missing from those responsible for ensuring a smooth, post-election transition from one Party to another. We have more information at our finger tips than ever before, but fewer disinterested reporters and news sources. Consequently, we are more polarized. For someone trying to make sense of the news, these barriers are almost insurmountable. A decline in print media and the rise in internet-related news, has aggravated the bias.

The tax bill has been vilified. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) called it “Armageddon,” though later walked that back. Larry Summers, economist, and former president of Harvard, said the bill would kill 10,000 people each year. There was no evidence to support such an imprudent allegation. “…Tilting the United States tax code to benefit wealthy Americans…,” is the way The New York Times put it. The article omitted the fact that the top 1% of wage earners pay 40% of all income taxes, that the top 10% pay 70%, and that the bottom 50% pay no federal income taxes. In the Wall Street Journal, Tom Steyer was hyperbolic. The plan “…puts another knife into American Democracy.” Consider the hullabaloo regarding losing or limiting the ability to deduct state and local taxes. Who gets hurt? It is not the 80% of the population that makes less than $100,000 a year. It is the wealthy, like Mr. Steyer in high-income-taxed states like California, and New York, New Jersey and Connecticut where publishers, editors and reporters of the Times live.

US Muslim Brotherhood Operative Calls for the Execution of President Trump Nidal Sakr labels Trump “enemy of God” and tweets, “Down with America!!!” Joe Kaufman

What do you get when you have an individual who was acquainted with the founders of al-Qaeda and recruited into a terrorist cell by one of them; who was sentenced to death for the murder of an Egyptian policeman; who is consistently leveling threats at world leaders; and who is currently living in the United States? The answer can be nothing short of ‘Trouble.’ The individual in question is Muslim Brotherhood operative and Chairman of the March for Justice, Nidal Sakr. Recently, Sakr took to social media to call for the execution of President Trump. He is yet to be punished for his alleged murder. Will he be punished for this crime?

On October 19th, from a location in Huntington Beach, California, Nidal Mohamed Sakr issued the following in a tweet about Donald Trump: “GET RID OF SOB. IMPEACH OR ELSE!!!!!” The next day, Sakr reiterated his threat with even more obscenity. He tweeted, “GET RID OF THE MF. IMPEACH OR ELSE!!!!!” Ten days later, on October 30th, Sakr dropped the warning and outright called for the death of President Trump. He tweeted, “EXECUTE SOB TRAITOR Donald Trump.” And the same day, he tweeted, “Donald Trump, You Are TOAST… I GUARANTEE IT.”

To issue a threat against the President of the United States is a federal crime. As stated in US Code Title 18, Section 871: “Whoever knowingly and willfully deposits for conveyance in the mail or for a delivery from any post office or by any letter carrier any letter, paper, writing, print, missive, or document containing any threat to take the life of, to kidnap, or to inflict bodily harm upon the President… or knowingly and willfully otherwise makes any such threat against the President… shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.”

This was not the first time that Sakr has used threatening language against the President. In September, he wrote on Facebook: “FACTS ARE FACTS. Patriotic Americans Will Keep After SOB Donald Trump Until We Nail His ass. YOU WATCH!!” On innumerable occasions, Sakr has stated that Trump must be “sacked.” In August, he said the same for Trump’s family. He posted on his Facebook page, “Ivanka Trump, RUSSIAN BACKDOOR SAUDI/UAE/Israeli PRETTY BOY Jared Kushner MUST ALL BE SACKED. SACK’M ALL.”

In July, Sakr referred to Trump as an “enemy of God” and, in February, he warned Trump, “U come to ISLAM Or ISLAM WILL COME TO YOU.”

Of course, Sakr was furious, when President Trump said the United States was recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. For over two decades, US Presidents would sign waivers of the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995, which mandated that the US Embassy in Israel would be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Sakr took to Facebook and Twitter and took out his rage on both Israel and the United States.

Trump’s Immigration Policies Are Working How 800 Americans and lawful immigrants got jobs overnight in Chicago. Michael Cutler

I often focus on the nexus between failures of the immigration system and the way that these failures undermine national security and public safety. Today, however, we will consider a more prosaic issue, but one that impacts millions of American and lawful immigrant workers and their families and hurt the U.S. economy. The fact that millions of illegal aliens have taken jobs that should be done by Americans and lawful immigrants.

For years we have heard the lament spewed by globalist immigration anarchists that there are “jobs Americans won’t do.”

That statement is one of many employed in committing the crime of what I have come to refer to as Theft By Deception: The Immigration Con Game.

There are no jobs Americans won’t do, provided that they are paid fair wages under lawful working conditions. The very concept of “jobs Americans won’t do” is insulting to tens of millions of hard-working and conscientious Americans who trudge off to work each and every day to do dangerous, back-breaking and filthy jobs so that they can support themselves and their families.

Homer Hickam, is the author of the book, “Rocket Boys,” an autobiographical account of his early years in the 1950s as the son of a coal miner in Coalwood, West Virginia. Back then, the launch of the Russian satellite Sputnik motivated him to become involved with rocketry. He ultimately went on to become a NASA engineer. His book became the basis for the must-see film October Sky.

Because of his background and eloquence as a writer, he was called upon to address the memorial service for the miners who perished at the Sago Mine disaster in 2006. In the eulogy, Hickam said, “There is no water holier than the sweat off a man’s brow.”

Contrast Hickam’s reverence for hardworking Americans that his eloquent statement reflected with the contempt of those who derisively claim that Americans apparently won’t do hard work.

Employers who intentionally hire illegal aliens generally are putting their bottom lines first and not acting out of compassion. There is nothing compassionate about firing hard-working Americans to replace them with foreign workers who are vulnerable to exploitation.

In point of fact, such actions are illegal and anti-American in the truest sense of that term. President Trump is the first president, in all too many decades, who understands the issues and is determined to address this betrayal of American workers by ramping up immigration law enforcement against unscrupulous employers who knowingly hire illegal aliens and the illegal aliens themselves.

An Anti-Semitic Allahu Akbar in Amsterdam This is what the new Nazi collaboration looks like. Daniel Greenfield

Amsterdam’s HaCarmel restaurant sits between two other restaurants. The Jewish kosher eatery whose big blue sign boasts fish, meat and vegetarian options is sandwiched between a sidewalk café with its inevitable Heineken umbrellas on one corner of Amstelveenseweg and an ice cream place on the other corner. There’s an Italian restaurant across the street with some very nice front windows.

If the Muslim refugee had wanted to smash up any eatery, he had plenty of options. But he went to the Kosher restaurant. Inside were wooden chairs, white tablecloths and red roses. Outside came the guttural shriek of, “Allahu Akbar.” This was the battle cry with which Mohammed had inaugurated his massacre and enslavement of the Jews. The cuisine inside HaCarmel is Middle Eastern, but the attack showed why there are few Jews (or Christians) left in the Middle East outside Israel.

The Amsterdam cops had plenty of warning. The “Palestinian” was wearing a Keffiyah on his head, waving a large PLO flag in one hand and brandishing a club in the other while shouting, “Allahu akbar.”

Even in a city where 1 in 4 are Muslim, the attacker was putting on a hell of a display. He had done everything but put an ad in the paper announcing that he’s an Islamic terrorist. And so the police were already on the scene by the time the Islamic thug reached the Jewish restaurant.

Synagogues, kosher restaurants and any recognizably Jewish buildings in Europe are at risk of being attacked. Police officers and, in some countries, soldiers usually aren’t too far away from potential targets in nicer areas. But being there and actually stopping the attack is not at all the same thing.

Video shows the police officer arriving on the scene just in time. The Muslim refugee goes on shouting. Then he smashes HaCarmel’s front windows. The police, in typically European fashion, do nothing. Instead they stand there watching the Muslim thug as he smashes the glass with blow after blow as if they were attending the opening of an interesting art exhibit instead of a violent racist attack.

He starts smashing the door and the Amsterdam cops amble over for a better view. Their body language is casual and loose. They’re interested in the attack in the way that sightseers are. Maybe they’re admiring his Kosher restaurant window smashing techniques. But they’re not about to intervene.

Forget Collusion. Can Mueller Prove Russia Committed Cyberespionage? And if not, what’s the point of his investigation? By Andrew C. McCarthy

The rationale for Robert Mueller’s appointment as special counsel is that Russia conducted a cyberespionage attack — hacking — to interfere in the 2016 presidential campaign, and that the Trump campaign may somehow have “colluded” in this offense. Mueller has been at this for six months, and the FBI for a year before that. So isn’t it about time we asked: Could Mueller prove that Russia did it?

Forget Trump. What about Russia?

We have paid too much attention to the so-called collusion component of the probe — speculation about Trump-campaign coordination in Russia’s perfidy. There appears to be no proof of that sort of collusion. Because it has been our focus, though, Mueller has gotten a free pass on a defect that would be fatal to any related prosecution theory: He cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Russia is guilty of hacking the Democratic National Committee and prominent Democrats.

This doesn’t mean it didn’t happen — like the U.S. intelligence agencies, I’m assuming it did, and that Russia should continue to be the subject of intense government counterintelligence efforts. The point is that Mueller can’t prove it in court, which is the only thing for which a prosecutor is needed. If he can’t establish to the required standard of proof that Russia conducted an espionage attack on the election, it is impossible to prove that anyone conspired with Russia to do so. There is no criminal case.

Plainly, that is why Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, to appease Democrats angered over former FBI director James Comey’s firing in May, appointed a special counsel without specifying any crimes that the Justice Department is purportedly too conflicted to investigate (as the pertinent regulations require). This infirmity was papered over by calling the probe a “counterintelligence” investigation — which is not a criminal investigation but an information-gathering exercise to defend the nation against foreign threats to American interests.

Rosenstein did not identify a crime because he did not have one. There are two reasons for this, but we have focused myopically on the wrong one: the fact that contacts between Trump associates and the Russian regime do not prove they conspired together in an espionage scheme. That simply shows that Mueller does not have a case. The more basic problem is that he cannot have a case. Russia’s espionage operation cannot be proved beyond a reasonable doubt, so it will never be possible to prove the Trump campaign colluded in it.

Let’s concede that there is some evidence — not much, but some — of contacts between Trump associates and operatives of the Russian regime. On its face, this is not incriminating — no more than the fact of contacts between the Clinton camp and the Russian regime. What would make the Trump-Russia contacts criminal would be indications that they facilitated Russia’s cyberespionage operation against the 2016 election.

This raises the question: What is the proof that Russia conducted a cyberespionage operation against the 2016 election? Here we get to the critical distinction between counterintelligence and criminal investigations — a distinction I have been harping on since before Mueller’s appointment.

President Trump: The Courage to Act by Douglas Murray

The reaction around the world in recent days has been a reminder of the one central truth of the whole conflict. Those who cannot accept that Jerusalem is the capital of the State of Israel tend to be exactly the same as those who cannot accept the State of Israel.

Trump comes out of the whole situation well — taking on a promise that his three predecessors made, but on which only he had the courage to act. Those who have most forcibly criticised him, on the other hand, have shown something weak, as well as ugly, about themselves.

President Trump’s announcement on the status of Jerusalem last week was both historic and commendable. Historic because it is the first time that an American president has not just acknowledged that the Israeli capital is Jerusalem but decided to act on that acknowledgement. Commendable for breaking a deceitful trend and accepting what will remain the reality on the ground in every imaginable future scenario. As many people have pointed out in recent days, there is not one prospective peace deal between the Israelis and the Palestinians in which Tel Aviv becomes the capital of the Jewish state.

Yet, the Palestinian leadership, much of the mainstream media, academia and the global diplomatic community take another view. They believe that the American president should have continued with the fairy tale and should never have said “That the United States recognises Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel and that the United States Embassy to Israel will be relocated to Jerusalem as soon as practicable.” They claim that this is not a simple recognition of reality and not simply the American President granting the State of Israel the same right every other nation on the planet has — which is to have their capital where they like. Such forces claim that this is a “provocative” move. Amply demonstrating the illogic of this position, the first thing the Turkish Sultan Recep Tayyip Erdogan did after the American president made his announcement was to threaten a suspension of Turkish relations with Israel.

Bangladesh: Runaway Muslim Persecution of Hindus by Mohshin Habib

If you want to root out a Hindu family from its ancestral home in Bangladesh, just accuse one of its members of insulting the Islamic Prophet Muhammad. You will find thousands of Muslims rushing to burn the Hindu family’s whole neighborhood down, without hesitation or evidence.

In a horrible twist, an investigation into the Facebook post that ostensibly sparked the riots revealed that the user who wrote the supposedly offensive comments was MD Titu, not Titu Roy.

Within 30 years, there will be no Hindus left in Bangladesh, based on “the rate of exodus over the past 49 years.” — Dr. Abul Barkat, Dhaka University.

If you want to punish a non-Muslim, especially a poor Christian in Pakistan, point your index finger at him and utter the word “blasphemy.” You will soon find thousands of Islamic hardliners beside you chanting, “Death to blasphemers!” Similarly, if you want to root out a Hindu family from its ancestral home in Bangladesh, just accuse one of its members of insulting the Islamic Prophet Muhammad. You will soon find thousands of Muslims rushing to burn the Hindu family’s whole neighborhood down, without hesitation or evidence.

Such behavior towards minorities — Christians in Pakistan and Hindus in Bangladesh — has become commonplace among fundamentalist Muslims in both countries, whose governments have surrendered to Islamists.

On November 5, for instance, a Bangladeshi Muslim, Alomgir Hossein, filed a complaint against a Hindu, Titu Roy, for allegedly posting derogatory remarks about the Islamic Prophet Muhammed on Facebook. The Muslims of Titu Roy’s hometown of Thakurpara (a Hindu-dominated village in Rangpur) gave police a 24-hour ultimatum to arrest the “blasphemer,” or they would take action.

Although Titu Roy lives with his wife and two children 500 miles away in Narayanganj, a few days later, after Friday prayers, around 20,000 Muslims from neighboring villages descended upon Thakurpara to take “revenge.” Ignoring police attempts at dissuasion, the mob set fire to at least 30 Hindu homes, and looted and vandalized others.

When police intervened, clashes erupted. One man was killed and 20 others were injured, including four policemen. The police claimed it was activists from the Islamic party Jamaat-e-Islami who led the arson attacks to create unrest ahead of the parliamentary elections.

In a horrible twist, an investigation into the Facebook post that ostensibly sparked the riots revealed an apparent case of mistaken identity. It turned out that the user who wrote the supposedly offensive comments was MD Titu, not Titu Roy. (MD is an abbreviation for Muhammed, used by millions of Muslims across the world; Titu is one of the rare names that is used by both Muslims and Hindus.)

This was also not the first time that Muslims used social media pots as an excuse to attack Hindus in Bangladesh. According to the U.S. State Department’s International Religious Freedom report for 2016:

“There were a significant number of attacks against religious minorities [in Bangladesh], particularly Hindus. In October hundreds of villagers in the eastern part of the country vandalized more than 50 Hindu family homes and 15 Hindu temples, following a Facebook post believed by some to be offensive to Islam. High levels of election-related violence in June resulted in the death of 126 individuals and injuries to 9,000 others. In one attack in a suburb of Dhaka, the media reported hundreds of attackers used sticks and bamboo poles to beat a group of Catholics and vandalize their homes and shops, injuring an estimated 60 people.”

Firebombing Jewish Children in Sweden by Bruce Bawer

On Friday night, an anti-Trump rally in Malmö drew about 200 people, many of whom shouted anti-Jewish remarks and threatened to “shoot the Jews.”

Saturday’s attack on the Gothenburg synagogue may have been immediately triggered by Trump’s recognition of Israel’s capital, but it is part of a pattern of persecution and savagery that has been in place, and that has been systematically ignored, denied or played down by the news media and public officials, ever since the Islamization of Western Europe began.

On Saturday, December 9, masked men threw firebombs at a synagogue in Gothenburg, Sweden. The attack took place shortly after 10:00 pm, at a time when about thirty children and teenagers (the Swedish word “ungdomar”, used in media reports, suggests they were teens, but could be younger or both) were attending a party at the Jewish Center adjoining the main building. When the assault began, the guards rushed them into the cellar, and finally allowed them to go home at about 11:30 pm. (Guards, of course, are a fixture at European synagogues these days.) A mother of one of the girls at the party received a text message from her daughter saying that she was scared and that there was a smell of gasoline.

Yes, in Western Europe, in 2017, a group of young Jews stood huddled in a basement, helpless, amid the gasoline fumes from firebombs. (It is not clear whether the people guarding them were armed, or why, facing the threat of a possible conflagration, they chose to send them into a cellar.)

Gothenburg, by the way, is the same city in which, as we reported recently, the churches will be opening their doors every night this winter to provide shelter for homeless immigrants — whether legal or illegal — but not for homeless Swedes. There is probably no direct connection whatsoever here, but it is hard not to find a certain dark irony in this juxtaposition of events.

A small fire did indeed spread out at the synagogue, but was soon extinguished by firefighters. Fortunately, there were no injuries; alas, there were only three arrests. When asked by the daily Expressen to say something about the identity of the suspects, a police spokesperson would say only that the three persons taken into custody were about 20 years old. In the aftermath of the attack, Swedish police have intensified security arrangements around the handful of other synagogues in the country.

Swedish Synagogue Firebombed in Apparent Terror Attack After Anti-Semitic Incidents in Malmo and Stockholm By Patrick Poole

An apparent terror attack occurred overnight in Sweden’s second largest city, as a mob of masked men firebombed a synagogue in Gothenberg during a youth event.

This happened just a day after Palestinian protesters in Malmo, Sweden’s third largest city, shouted “Shoot the Jews” and chanted taunts about killing Jews.

Sweden has been leading the international diplomatic effort against President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, which was announced last Wednesday.

JTA reports that at least a dozen masked men approached the synagogue last night and hurled firebombs as synagogue officials rushed the youths gathered inside into the basement until police arrived.

According to one Jewish community official, rains prevented the fire from spreading and causing more damage.

The Local-Sweden reports that at least three of the attackers were arrested by police this morning.

No motive has been identified for the attack, but The Local reported anti-Semitic incidents in Malmo and Stockholm over the weekend during protests against the U.S. recognition of Jerusalem.

According to Sveiriges Radio, protesters in Malmo chanted: “We have announced the intifada from Malmo. We want our freedom back, and we will shoot the Jews.”

Video of the event also shows the crowd being led in the “Khaybar, Khaybar” chant calling for the genocide of Jews: