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January 2017

David Singer: Anti-Israel Security Council Resolution 2334 violates UN Charter

Any attempt by the Security Council to enforce Resolution 2334 or to pass any new Resolutions based on Resolution 2334 will also be illegal.

Article 80 preserves the legal rights vested in the Jewish people to reconstitute the Jewish National Home within 22 per cent of the territory comprised in the 1922 Mandate for Palestine (“Mandate”). That territory includes what is known today as Area “C” located in Judea and Samaria (West Bank) and East Jerusalem (“disputed areas”).

Resolution 2334 seeks to erase and annul – not preserve – those vested Jewish legal rights in the disputed areas by:

1. Claiming that Jews now presently living – or seeking in the future to live – in the disputed areas constitutes “a flagrant violation under international law” – when in fact their right to live there is sanctioned by Article 6 of the Mandate and Article 80.

2. Alleging that the right to reconstitute the Jewish National Home in the disputed areas requires the consent of any other party.

3. Calling on all States to discriminate between Jews living in the disputed areas and Jews living in Israel.

4. Discouraging Jews from living in the disputed areas when Article 6 of the Mandate specifically encourages close Jewish settlement in the disputed areas.

The questionable legality of Resolution 2334 needs to be urgently resolved by the Security Council itself seeking an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice (“ICJ”) under Article 96(a) of the United Nations Charter.

The General Assembly so acted when it sought an advisory opinion in 2003 from the ICJ on the legality of the security barrier erected by Israel.

That decision was fundamentally flawed because contrary to Article 65 (2) of the ICJ Statute – two vital documents – the Mandate for Palestine and Article 80 – were not included in the dossier of documents submitted to the ICJ for consideration by then UN Secretary General Kofi Annan – an omission never explained until today.

Give the ICJ half the documents and you will only get half a judgement.

Agents and Agencies Donald Trump should push for intelligence reform. By Kevin D. Williamson —

The Wall Street Journal reports that Donald Trump’s recent public criticism of U.S. intelligence agencies presages an effort to reorganize the nation’s sundry spy bureaucracies. Trump’s press secretary, Sean Spicer, denies that the president has any such plan in mind.

If he doesn’t, he damn well should.

The plan described in the Journal is not unlike the one described in National Review on December 9 by Fred Fleitz of the Center for Security Policy, which would scale back the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), a post-9/11 innovation intended to create a central authority to ensure cooperation and coordination within the herd of cats that is the intelligence community. Fleitz and others have argued that ODNI is just another ladle full of federal alphabet soup — CIA, DIA, NIC, etc. — doing very little more than adding a layer of bureaucracy.

Conservatives have a blind spot for spies, cops, and soldiers. The psychology here is pretty straightforward: A great many conservatives (myself included) who are habitually and instinctively skeptical of grand federal plans were insufficiently beady-eyed when it came to President George W. Bush’s big plans for Iraq, and some of that (again, speaking for myself first and foremost, but not, I think, for myself alone) is purely reactionary. When I see a bunch of dopey white kids with dreadlocks from Haverford College, the Workers World Party, and Chaka Fattah on one side of a barricade, I instinctively want to be on the other side. (This is especially true at the moment for Fattah, the longtime Philadelphia Democrat and Hugo Chávez fanboy who is headed to the penitentiary for corruption.) This is, to be sure, an imperfect heuristic.

There is a question of agents and a separate question of agencies. Many of us, especially conservatives, are inclined to respect and admire those whose profession consists in performing necessary violence: police on the beat in New York City, soldiers patrolling Mosul, and intelligence operatives who, if they are doing their jobs, will never hear the words “Thank you for your service.” But bureaucracies have lives and characters of their own, irrespective of the sort of men they employ. The public schools are made up mostly of good people, but they don’t work very well. One imagines that most IRS agents are scrupulous and dedicated. (The DMV people just hate us.) Out of the field of operations and into the cubicles and corner offices, the NYPD, the FBI, the Department of Defense, and the Central Intelligence Agency are bureaucracies like any others, and suffer from familiar bureaucratic ailments.

What the ‘Women’s March on Washington’ Is Really About By D. C. McAllister

Nearly 200,000 people have signed up to participate in the Women’s March on Washington to protest the inauguration of Donald Trump. The protest, called “The Gathering for Justice,” includes an array of liberal causes, but at the center is the demand for equal rights for women.

The application for the protest states that the purpose is “to come together in solidarity to express to the new administration and congress that women’s rights are human rights and our power cannot be ignored.”

The group’s mission and vision statement says the march is a response to the “rhetoric of the past election cycle,” which they say “has insulted, demonized, and threatened many of us—immigrants of all statuses, Muslims and those of diverse religious faiths, people who identify as LGBTQIA, Native people, Black and Brown people, people with disabilities, survivors of sexual assault—and our communities are hurting and scared.”

Organizers of the event, which are made up of typical liberal community organizers, from pro-abortion activists, to CodePink, to former associates of Al Sharpton, say it’s about more than a protest—it’s a movement and they want it to continue for years to come.

“We plan to make a bold and clear statement to this country on the national and local level that we will not be silent,” said Tamika Mallory, a gun-control activist and one of the main organizers of the march. “And we will not let anyone roll back the rights we have fought and struggled to get.”

But is this march really about the rights of marginalized groups and women, in particular? Exactly what are they protesting? What has happened that is threatening their “human rights”? They can talk about Trump’s rhetoric during the campaign, but does that translate at all into policy? In fact, are any of his policies, when you really examine them, racist, bigoted, sexist, or homophobic in any way? No, they’re not.

There was a time in the past when women actually marched for real rights. From the Suffrage movement to the Equal Rights Amendment marches in the 1970s, women had legitimate complaints and addressed actual issues that concerned them.

But not in 2016. Their rights are not being threatened by the Republican Party’s agenda or Trump. In fact, Trump is more pro-woman, particularly in business with proposals for maternity leave, than most other Republicans. One could argue that he is pro-life, which means he could turn back Roe v. Wade through a Supreme Court nomination, but killing the baby in your womb is not a human right. It’s actually the exact opposite. Getting free birth control is not a human right. Even getting free medical care, paid by the state, is not a human right. Becoming a citizen is not a human right either. Neither is a man using a woman’s bathroom. CONTINUE ON SITE

Michael Galak: An Outcast at the Table

‘This year, 2017, marks the centenary of the Bolsheviks’ takeover in Moscow and the mass loss of human life and dignity that followed. My hope is that this date will be both a milestone and a cue to teach our young that the seemingly lofty ideas so beloved by the Left are nothing but the tools of slavery and oppression. The task, the necessity and, indeed, the destiny of a healthy conservatism is the inoculation of our young against the malignant virus of totalitarianism and its bodyguard of lies, which the Left spreads with every breath. The only way to do it is through active knowledge of true history.”

……No punches were thrown, but festive gatherings with young relatives saw me accused of bigotry, racism, misogyny, homophobia and Islamophobia. How did conservatives allow an entire generations to be brainwashed? We forgot that truth cannot defend itself

­The advent of a new year is a good time to review the one gone by, to sum it up and balance one’s moral and ethical scorecard. Is the ledger mostly in the black or is red ink splashed all over? Was I a reasonably decent human or an idiot? A genius or a schlemiel? Was I treated well by others? Did I treat others the way I would want to be treated? It does feel like a regular corporate performance review, with the difference being that, as long as we are still alive, there’s always the chance to make things right.

This festive season was unusual for many reasons. The closely placed succession of Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year’s Eve parties offered plenty of opportunities for enjoying the unhealthy and sedentary, eating oily or sugary foods (Christmas puddings, stollen, latkes…) and drinking alcohol in amounts considered prejudicial by the moralisers who seem to be popping up at every corner, dubious statistics in hand. (I especially enjoyed having my red wine consumption made the subject of a stern tut-tutting by a chain smoking GP.) Most important, the past weeks offered an opportunity to talk with friends, relatives, children and whoever else came along to celebrate at the festive table. That is where the long-ignored obvious struck and, most importantly, sank in.

Contrary to the long-held convention of not discussing politics, religion and, yes, money, discussions around many a table or a backyard barbeque inevitably turned to Brexit and The Donald’s election victory. In all these exchanges I was a pitiful minority of one, tolerated while treated with the sort of polite and indulgent condescension usually reserved for small children and the mentally unwell or, in my case, a conservative old codger. This patronising came dangerously close to contempt for my presumed moral turpitude: who else but the morally deficient could defend the outrage of those in the UK and America voting other than the way their presumed betters wished and expected? My long-suffering wife succeeded in transmitting the ‘please keep your mouth shut’ signal. All it took for this well-trained husband of 43 years to do as bid was a well-aimed kick under the table. She Who Must Be Obeyed was indeed obeyed, but not before I noticed some peculiarities of the discourse that prompted the thoughts you are reading now.

The Left’s near-total dominance of the political stage in Australia is no news to me, of course. However, the personal experience of being all but openly branded a bigot, a racist and a dangerously unhinged anencephalic, who is also a misogynist, a homophobe and, given a chance, a potential mass-murder of Muslims left me quite shocked. Needless to say – I am none of those things. But perceptions matter and people, like myself, of conservative political leanings are branded morally inadequate precisely on the basis of our convictions, as Quadrant Online contributor Bill Wyndham noted some months ago.

Shameless!!Obama grotesquely had himself awarded a Defense Dept. medal yesterday By Thomas Lifson

President Obama has another ironic award for his trophy shelf, to accompany his Nobel Peace Prize and all those participation trophies he got at Punahou for his basketball skills. His appointee and subordinate Ash Carter yesterday pinned a military medal – the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service – on his boss, as Warner Todd Huston reported for Breitbart.

Defense Secy Carter presents Pres Obama with Dept of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service. pic.twitter.com/a5DihpPRnA
— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) January 4, 2017

The ceremony took place at Joint Base Myers-Henderson, before a crowd that had an awful lot of empty seats, almost as if the military service members who attended were there on orders.

I am sorry, but this stinks of a tin-pot dictatorship.

The #BlackLivesMatter Torture Film By Matthew Vadum

According to our leftist betters, a sickening graphic video showing a white man being brutally tortured in Chicago by four black attackers as they shout, “F— Donald Trump! F— white people!” isn’t evidence of racism or a hate crime.

In the left’s alternate universe, Pepe the Donald Trump-loving cartoon frog is racist. Kidnapping, torturing, and scalping an innocent white man because he is white is not racist. Black-hating mass murderer Dylann Storm Roof speaks for all white people, but the newly arrested black perpetrators in Chicago, Jordan Hill, Tesfaye Cooper, Tanishia Covington, and Brittany Covington, are all rogue actors.

No minorities are responsible for their actions. It’s society’s fault. It’s capitalism’s fault. It’s the fault of white privilege.

To be clear, I am referring to the #BlackLivesMatter kidnapping broadcast live on Facebook (since censored by the fake news commissars at Facebook and at YouTube) that shows a captive, reportedly mentally disabled young white male being physically abused by four young black assailants. Fortunately, Live Leak posted the full video, which runs 27 minutes and 39 seconds.

Black Lives Matter movement hero DeRay Mckesson rushed to Twitter Thursday morning to make excuses for his comrades-in-arms. “It goes without saying that the actions being branded by the far-right as the ‘BLM Kidnapping’ have nothing to do [with] the movement.”

He’s lying.

This is exactly what Black Lives Matter stands for. Its supporters lionize those who murder cops and white people. At their marches, they carry signs reading, “End White Supremacy.” America, they claim, is systemically racist. In other words, white people are racist and evil.

House of Representatives Officially Disapproves of U.N. Censure of Israel In non-binding measure, legislators on both sides of the aisle show strong support for Jewish state By Byron Tau

WASHINGTON—The House of Representatives on Thursday overwhelmingly approved a measure disavowing a United Nations resolution that condemned Israel’s settlement activities, in a rare show of bipartisan force that doubled as a rebuke to President Barack Obama’s approach to the U.S.-Israel relationship.

On a 342 to 80 vote, more than 100 Democrats joined with a nearly unanimous Republican caucus to back the measure — a significant margin that shows the depth of congressional support for the Jewish state.

A similar measure is expected to be taken up in the Senate, where it has the support of both Republican and Democratic leaders.

The congressional disapproval, which doesn’t carry the force of law, states that the U.S. “should oppose and veto future United Nations Security Council resolutions that seek to impose solutions to final status issues, or are one-sided and anti-Israel.”

The show of support for Israel in Congress comes amid years of frosty relations between Mr. Obama and the conservative government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Though Mr. Obama maintained the traditional security alliance between the two countries and sent unprecedented amounts of military assistance, the leaders have had a difficult relationship, characterized by major clashes over Israeli settlement policy and the U.S-backed international nuclear accord with Iran, among other issues.

The relationship was further strained by the passage last month of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334, a non-binding censure that accuses Israel of violating international law with its construction of settlements in the disputed West Bank and East Jerusalem. The UN resolution passed on a vote of 14-0, with the U.S. abstaining.

The U.S. previously used its veto on the Security Council to stop similar resolutions targeted at Israel, but Mr. Obama’s administration decided to allow this resolution to proceed, citing the long-stalled peace process. CONTINUE AT SITE

A Useful Trump Intelligence Shakeup The White House intel shop can be shrunk and its staff improved.

Donald Trump may or may not be planning to reorganize the 17 separate U.S. intelligence agencies, and the mere suggestion seems to be a breach of Beltway etiquette. But the intelligence services shouldn’t be immune from a bureaucratic shakeup, especially at the White House, and we have some suggestions.

The Journal reported this week that the Trump team believes the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) has become “bloated and politicized,” though incoming White House press secretary Sean Spicer called the story “100% false.” The transition also said that Mr. Trump will nominate Dan Coats, a former Indiana Senator and political grownup, as DNI, perhaps to calm the uproar.

Mr. Trump’s opponents are portraying the reorganization as his payback to the intelligence community for concluding that Russia hacked Democrats to throw him the election, and Mr. Trump’s tweets don’t help. “The ‘Intelligence’ briefing on so-called ‘Russian hacking’ was delayed until Friday, perhaps more time needed to build a case. Very strange!” the President-elect tweeted this week, though he later called himself “a big fan!” of U.S. spooks.

This brawling is a shame because the truth is that the DNI has become the stagnant, permanent bureaucracy that critics predicted when the office was proposed in the panicked runup to the 2004 election. The 9/11 Commission identified multiple failures to coordinate activities and share information across the CIA, FBI, National Security Agency and so forth, and the commissioners lobbied for the new DNI as a maestro in the war on terror.

We argued at the time that this “furniture reshuffle” would simply “create a new layer of bureaucracy to police the old layers,” and we hoped we’d be wrong. Better intelligence integration and management is a useful goal, but Congress whipped the DNI bill though with little strategic deliberation. CONTINUE AT SITE

Don’t Thank Big Government for Medical Breakthroughs New cures come from private research, not cash dumped into the National Institutes of Health. By Tom Stossel

Americans who want better treatments for their diseases should be pleased that the lame-duck Congress passed the 21st Century Cures Act, which will promote medical innovation. They should be wary, however, of the $4 billion budget boost that the law gives to the National Institutes of Health.

The assumption seems to be that the root of all medical innovation is university research, primarily funded by federal grants. This is mistaken. The private economy, not the government, actually discovers and develops most of the insights and products that advance health. The history of medical progress supports this conclusion.

Few findings in medical science significantly improved health until the late 19th and early 20th centuries. During that period came breakthroughs such as anesthesia and antisepsis, along with vaccines and antibiotics to combat infectious diseases. The discovery of vitamins and hormones made it possible to treat patients with deficiencies in either category.

In America, innovation came from physicians in universities and research institutes that were supported by philanthropy. Private industry provided chemicals used in the studies and then manufactured therapies on a mass scale.

Things changed after World War II, when Vannevar Bush, who had led the U.S. Office of Scientific Research and Development during the war, persuaded Congress to increase federal subsidies for science. The National Institutes of Health became the major backer of medical research. That changed the incentives. Universities that had previously lacked research operations suddenly developed them, and others expanded existing programs. Over time these institutions grew into what I call the government-academic biomedical complex.

Since then, improvements in health have accumulated. Life expectancy has increased. Deaths from heart attack and stroke have radically decreased, and cancer mortality has declined. New drugs and devices have ameliorated the pain and immobility of diseases like arthritis. Yet the question remains: Is the government responsible for these improvements? The answer is largely no. Washington-centric research, rather, might slow progress.

Many physicians have never lacked motivation to develop treatments for diseases. But the government-academic biomedical complex has recruited predominantly nonphysician scientists who value elegant solutions to medical puzzles—generally preferring to impress their influential peers rather than solve practical problems. Vannevar Bush believed that basic research, unrelated to specific ends, was the best approach to scientific progress. How something works became more important than whether it works. Aspirin, for example, came into use even though researchers weren’t sure exactly what made it effective. That approach would never work today. Instead of the messy work of studying sick patients, scientists now prefer experimenting with inbred mice and cultured cells. Their results accrue faster and are scientifically cleaner, but they arguably are less germane to health.

How Trump Can Tame the U.N. Resolutions against Israel aren’t the only measures Ambassador Haley should veto. Taylor Dinerman

In 1995 Congress tried to force the United Nations to reform by refusing to pay America’s dues. The effort was worthy, but it failed. The U.N. made no real changes and quickly went back to its cynical and corrupt ways. Some in Congress have suggested a repeat in an effort to force the Security Council to revoke the anti-Israel resolution it approved last month.

Instead, the Trump administration could use a far more effective tactic: the veto. The U.N. charter gives the U.S. the ability to paralyze the international body. Why not use it? Since U.N. peacekeeping operations must be renewed periodically by Security Council vote, they would be a good place to start.

New York Post Columnist Benny Avni on Secretary General Antonio Guterres and Donald Trump’s call for U.N. reform. Photo credit: Getty Images.

In 1979 President Carter negotiated the Camp David agreement between Israel and Egypt. The U.N. refused to support a peacekeeping operation in Sinai, so America, Israel and Egypt established the Multinational Force and Observers, which still patrols the region. Its soldiers aren’t allowed to wear the blue berets associated with ordinary U.N. peacekeepers, so they are issued orange ones.

Mr. Trump could easily follow this precedent and instruct U.N. Ambassador-designate Nikki Haley to veto the renewal of all current peacekeeping operations. That would save the U.S. Treasury some of the roughly $2 billion a year it pays in assessed dues for the peacekeeping budget. Countries that support peacekeeping operations in places like Mali, South Sudan, Kashmir and the Central African Republic would either have to pay for them, as the U.S. has done in Sinai, or abandon them. CONTINUE AT SITE