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January 2017

Ignore Anti-Vaccine Hysteria, Mr. Trump Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s conspiracy theories have no place in the White House. By Alex Berezow and Hank Campbell

Mr. Berezow is a senior fellow at the American Council on Science and Health, of which Mr. Campbell is president.

The environmental activist Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a vaccine skeptic, told reporters Tuesday in the lobby of Trump Tower that the president-elect has asked him to lead a commission “to make sure we have scientific integrity in the vaccine process for efficacy and safety effects.” Mr. Kennedy also suggested that Donald Trump “has some doubts about the current vaccine policies” and that “we ought to be debating the science.” This is insane.

Mr. Kennedy in the past has raised doubts about thimerosal, a mercury-containing preservative used in some vaccines, which has been wrongly accused of causing autism. The notion that vaccines cause autism was decisively rebutted in a 2002 paper published by the New England Journal of Medicine. The study examined data on more than 537,000 children in Denmark, most of whom had been received the vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella. Researchers concluded that it provided “strong evidence against the hypothesis that MMR vaccination causes autism.”

Thimerosal has since been removed from most vaccines, yet autism rates continue to increase. It’s clear that the preservative isn’t to blame.

Anti-vaxxers have also latched onto the idea that children are given too many vaccines at one time. This, too, is bunk. The immune system is capable of handling countless foreign substances. When children stick their dirty fingers into their mouths, they are “vaccinating” themselves against whatever germs are in their environment.

Fifteen years after the New England Journal of Medicine study, the evidence has grown only stronger that vaccines are safe and that autism is caused by something else, such as genetics. But it shouldn’t be surprising that Mr. Kennedy would back strange ideas about vaccines. He has even flirted with conspiracy theories about the assassination of his uncle John F. Kennedy.

After the 2008 presidential election, Mr. Kennedy’s name came up as a potential chief for the Environmental Protection Agency. Yet he was quickly taken out of the running.

Why? Mr. Kennedy had made plenty of controversial statements over the years that would have caused severe blowback for the Obama administration. For instance, he had co-written an article for Rolling Stone magazine and Salon.com purporting that “government health agencies colluded with Big Pharma to hide the risks of thimerosal from the public.” The article contained serious factual errors, and Salon eventually retracted it. Clearly, this would not mesh well with President Obama’s pledge to “restore science to its rightful place.”

Although it is encouraging that Mr. Trump is reaching out to people who did not support him, Mr. Kennedy belongs nowhere near the reins of power. We encourage the incoming president to follow his predecessor’s lead—and stay far away from this nonsense.

The Real Crime Problem Doesn’t Make Much News The media play up shootings by police. Last year in Chicago, they were less than 1% of the total. Jason Riley

The Chicago video that features four black suspects assaulting a white man has sparked another discussion about “hate crimes,” but it also highlights a phenomenon that has been underreported by a liberal media more interested in political correctness.

Crime reporting these days seems more focused on the behavior of the police than on the behavior of criminals. Police shootings of black men are rare, for example, but they get far more media coverage than when black civilians shoot one another, which is much more common. There were 4,368 shootings in Chicago last year, according to the Chicago Tribune’s crime database. Almost all of the shooting victims were black, and more than 99% of the shootings were carried out by civilians, not cops. Obviously, young black men in Chicago don’t roam the streets in fear of getting shot by police.

When the media aren’t indulging liberal activists by pretending that police shootings drive black homicide rates, they’re playing down the very real episodes of black criminality shown in the video. For years, Asian students in public schools have complained of racially motivated harassment and bullying by black students. Surveillance cameras have caught young black men playing the “knockout game,” which involves sucker-punching random white pedestrians. Cities from Los Angeles to Philadelphia to Baltimore have experienced “wilding” incidents, which involve flash mobs of black youths rampaging through a mall or park or convenience store and physically attacking people in the process.

Most violent crimes involve a perpetrator and victim of the same race. But when they don’t, incidents of black-on-white crimes far exceed the reverse scenario. “In 2012, blacks committed 560,600 acts of violence against whites (excluding homicide), and whites committed 99,403 acts of violence (excluding homicide) against blacks,” writes the Manhattan Institute’s Heather Mac Donald, citing federal Bureau of Justice Statistics data. “Blacks, in other words, committed 85 percent of the non-homicide interracial crimes of violence between blacks and whites, even though they are less than 13 percent of the population.”

When the mainstream media discuss relations between poor black communities and law enforcement without including data on black crime rates, readers and viewers aren’t getting the full picture. Racially motivated attacks on blacks shouldn’t be ignored or played down, but neither should racially motivated attacks perpetrated by blacks.

Nationwide, crime is down from where it was in the 1990s, but it has ticked up in recent years in some major cities. Chicago’s murder rate in 2016 was the highest in two decades. Violent crime in Los Angeles has increased for three straight years. Liberals are quick to blame poverty or economic downturns or racial bias in policing, but those explanations can’t withstand scrutiny. CONTINUE AT SITE

Germany Sets Plan to Rein In Extremists Measures would make it easier to monitor, detain and deport suspects by Ruth Bender

BERLIN—Germany released a plan to rein in known extremists after authorities failed to prevent a terrorist attack last month by a Tunisian radical on a government watch list.

The proposed overhauls aim to make it easier for police to monitor, detain and deport asylum seekers believed to pose a terror threat, Germany’s interior and justice ministers said on Tuesday.

The plan—which the government plans to implement with legal changes in the weeks to come—reflects efforts to tighten enforcement within the guidelines of constitutional safeguards, informed by abuses committed under the Nazis, that strongly protect personal freedom.

Under current state police laws, for instance, preventive custody doesn’t exceed 14 days. Detentions of foreigners to be expelled also face stringent legal requirements, such as the necessity to obtain proof of identity of a suspect from his or her country of origin.

Under the ministers’ proposals, police would be allowed to detain rejected asylum seekers deemed dangerous for up to 18 months, by lowering some of the current requirements.

German authorities have been seeking ways to improve antiterror enforcement since Anis Amri rammed a truck into a Berlin Christmas market last month, killing 12 people and exposing holes in the country’s security architecture.

The planned overhaul “shows that in difficult times we are capable of finding reasonable solutions that will increase the safety of citizens in Germany without disproportionately constraining the public’s freedoms,” said Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière.

German authorities came under criticism for failing to expel Amri in the months before the attack even though he was on a watch list of extremists, had voiced plans to commit atrocities and was using fake identities.

The target of Tuesday’s proposals are people like Amri who are found to be radical Islamists capable of committing an attack. German authorities are tracking 550 such extremists—known in German as Gefährder—according to security officials. Half of them are believed to be in Germany. Amri was killed by police in Italy several days after the Berlin attack.

Most of these individuals haven’t been determined to have broken laws, leaving German authorities few legal tools to keep them in check. Around 80 are in detention. The others are being watched by police and intelligence services, some more closely than others, security officials said.

The German constitution makes it very hard to detain people who aren’t suspected of committing a crime. That contrasts with the U.S., which allows the detention of terrorism suspects for indefinite periods.

“It’s pretty much impossible to take a Gefährder into custody unless one has a very concrete indication that a person is planning an immediate attack,” said Nikolaos Gazeas, a Cologne-based lawyer and expert on counterterrorism law. “That would mean a complete inversion of our legal system.” CONTINUE AT SITE

Iran Steps Up Threats to Israel, U.S. by Majid Rafizadeh

“En Sha’a Allah [God willing], there will be no such thing as a Zionist regime in 25 years. Until then, struggling, heroic and jihadi morale will leave no moment of serenity for Zionists.” — Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, September, 2015.

“If the Supreme Leader’s orders [are] to be executed, with the abilities and the equipment at our disposal, we will raze the Zionist regime in less than eight minutes.” — Ahmad Karimpour, a senior adviser to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ elite unit, the Quds Force.

Iran is also attempting to intimidate Donald Trump from taking a tough stance against Iran. Trump ought to be wary of falling into Iran’s tactical game of fear-mongering. For Iran, US concessions and silence in the face of Iran’s threats mean weakness and fear. On the other hand, when Iran sees that the US is taking a robust stance and that the military option is always on the table, Tehran retreats.

As long as Iran’s Supreme Leader is alive and as long as the ruling clerics preserve the political establishment, Iran will maintain the core pillars of its foreign policies and revolutionary principles: these are anchored in anti-Israeli, anti-American and anti-Semitic politics. Iranian politicians across the political spectrum totally agree on these fundamentals.

Iran’s threats against Israel and the US are becoming bolder and louder. Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, is now repeatedly threatening Israel’s annihilation relatively soon.

According to Iran’s Press TV, Khamenei recently stated:

“The Zionist regime — as we have already said — will cease to exist in the next 25 years if there is a collective and united struggle by the Palestinians and the Muslims against the Zionists.”

In addition, Iranian officials are warning President-elect Donald Trump that if he makes any wrong move, it would lead to a World War, wiping Israel from the face of earth and destroying the smaller Gulf states.

Iranian leaders are adopting their classic tactics and strategy of threatening in advance — and frequently — probably to obtain concessions, push the next US administration to pursue policies of appeasement, and, more importantly, to drive the US to abandon Israel.

In addition, through anti-Israeli and incendiary statements, Khamenei and Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) are inciting Palestinians and the Muslim world to use violence against the Israeli nation. As a result, Khamenei heightens even further his anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic sentiments. Many who follow his beliefs consider it their Islamic duty to fulfill his policies, religious doctrines and prophesies.

Ahmad Karimpour, a senior adviser to the Revolutionary Guards’ elite unit, the Quds Force, previously said that Iran is ready to follow Khamenei’s orders once the leader gives the green light. According to the semi-official Fars News Agency, Karimpour said, “If the Supreme Leader’s orders [are] to be executed, with the abilities and the equipment at our disposal, we will raze the Zionist regime in less than eight minutes.”

Palestinians: Glorifying Mass Murderers by Bassam Tawil

The murderous legacy and personality of Yahya Ayyash, a Hamas mass murderer who masterminded a wave of suicide bombings, are being glorified not only by his Hamas supporters, but also by the “moderate” Western-funded Palestinian Authority (PA), headed by Mahmoud Abbas.

Ayyash won his reputation on the murdering and maiming of hundreds of Israelis, most of them innocent civilians. Had he fought for peace and coexistence, Ayyash would have been condemned as a “traitor” and gone down in history as a “defeatist” and “surrenderist.”

“The mosque that produced the mujahed [warrior] Ayyash is continuing to produce heroes.” – Sheikh Yusef al-Qaradawi, spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood.

It is in these mosques that Ayyash was taught that Islam permits people like him to build bombs and dispatch suicide bombers to blow up buses. It is also in these mosques where he was taught that devout Muslims are best engaged in spilling Jewish blood.

Children and youths who attend prayers at these mosques are being fed the same hate-speech rhetoric that their hero Ayyash was exposed to in his childhood. Hence it is no surprise that the mosques in the West Bank and Gaza Strip continue to this day to churn out new terrorists, many of whom aspire to become like Ayyash – mass murderers.

Thus, despite Fatah’s double-talk about a two-state solution and “peace” with Israel, mass murderers still take top billing in its hall of fame. Fatah is also making it known that its former leader, Yasser Arafat, approved of such terrorism against Israel.

The voices of the Palestinians who reject this education for wholesale slaughter are being marginalized by the European leaders doing business with the still-wealthy members of the Arab elite who fund these imams and these mosques.

These European leaders wrongly image that if they get rid of Israel, it will be only Israel. They fail see that Israel is just the first course. They imagine that if they accede to Muslims’ wishes, they will be safe. What they fail to see, as in France, Germany, Sweden, Belgium and Britain, is that they will be next.

Palestinian youths are being urged to follow in the footsteps of Yahya Ayyash, a Hamas mass murderer who masterminded a wave of suicide bombings that killed and wounded hundreds of Israelis. Ayyash’s expertise in manufacturing explosive devices earned him the nickname “The Engineer” and turned him into a hero in the eyes of many Palestinians. The bomb-maker was killed by Israeli security forces on January 5, 1996, thereby ending one of the bloodiest chapters of Palestinian terrorism against Israel.

Two decades later, this arch-terrorist is still being revered as a hero and martyr. His murderous legacy and personality are being glorified not only by his Hamas supporters, but also by the “moderate” Western-funded Palestinian Authority (PA), headed by Mahmoud Abbas.

A few years ago, the PA decided to honor Ayyash by naming a street in Ramallah after him. The street sign was posted in Ramallah, the headquarters of the PA where Abbas lives and works, and reads:

“Yahya Ayyash, 1966-1996, born in Nablus, studied electrical engineering in Bir Zeit University. Was a member of the (Hamas military wing) Iz ad-Din al-Qassam, and was linked by Israel to a number of bombings. He was assassinated by Israel in his Beit Lahia (Gaza Strip) home on January 5, 1996.”

This week, Palestinians took to social media to glorify the arch-terrorist further, depicting him as a role model and urging youths to follow in his footsteps.

Weaponized International Law : Peter Berkowitz

If international law is law in the ordinary sense of the term—and not moral posturing, political maneuvering, or personal payback—then it must comprise settled and public requirements, effective and even-handed implementation, and impartial resolution of disputes. The Obama administration’s scandalous decision not to veto U.N. Security Council Resolution 2334 last month suggests that international law at the United Nations is not law in the ordinary sense of the term.

Endorsed by the council’s other 14 members, Resolution 2334 condemns Israeli settlement policy as “a flagrant violation under international law” and recognizes all territory east of “the 4 June 1967 lines” (or the Green Line as it is sometimes called) as lawfully belonging to the Palestinians. The sanctimonious but shoddy justifications that leading U.S. officials have offered — in what appears to have been a well-orchestrated public relations campaign — reinforce the conclusion that the United Nations and its Obama-administration enablers were bent on punishing Israel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In the process they have accelerated the delegitimization of international law.

Addressing the Security Council to explain America’s abstention, Ambassador Samantha Power stated, “Our vote today is fully in line with the bipartisan history of how American presidents have approached both the issue—and the role of this body.” That’s false.

While previous administrations have criticized settlements as bad policy, it is the Obama administration that deviates from longstanding American practice by maintaining that every last inch of the West Bank—the territory beyond the Green Line held by Jordan on the eve of the June 1967 Six-Day War—is lawfully Palestinian land. In the very 1982 address on the Middle East that Power cites in defense of Resolution 2334, President Reagan declared, “In the pre-1967 borders, Israel was barely 10 miles wide at its narrowest point. The bulk of Israel’s population lived within artillery range of hostile Arab armies. I am not about to ask Israel to live that way again.”

Moreover, the peace agreement that President Clinton negotiated at the July 2000 Camp David summit—accepted by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and rejected by Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat—as well as the December 2000 Clinton parameters envisaged Israel retaining control of population centers beyond the Green Line. So did President George W. Bush’s 2004 letter of understanding to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, which explicitly rejected a return to the 1967 lines.

Power is wrong on legal grounds as well as on security and historical ones. The Green Line is the 1949 armistice line to which Israel and Jordan agreed to end the war begun by five Arab armies invading Israel after it declared independence on the expiration of the British Mandate in May 1948. The armistice lines have no inherent legal significance. Indeed, U.N. Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338—the former passed following the 1967 war and the latter enacted after the 1973 Yom Kippur War—both recognized that the 1949 lines were not sacrosanct. Both provided for Israel to relinquish control of some portion, perhaps a large portion, of the land it seized from Jordan (and Syria and Egypt) in 1967 in exchange for security and peace.


On Sunday evening, when the details of the allegedly Islamic State-inspired truck-‎ramming attack in Jerusalem that afternoon were beginning to take shape, I received a ‎phone call from a friend in distress.‎

Unlike so many of our peers that day, neither she nor I had been directly affected by the ‎terrorist atrocity, in which an IDF officer and three officers’ course cadets were murdered and another ‎‎15 wounded. And she was not suffering from a common form of anxiety experienced ‎when the loved ones of others are killed or injured.‎

‎”I have had it with leftists,” she said.‎

Since she is not exactly a rabid right-winger herself — and though I was deeply upset by ‎the tragedy I had just spent hours reading and writing about — I laughed. What, I ‎wondered, brought this on?‎

She told me that she first learned of the attack from a mutual friend whom she ‎encountered while out running errands.‎

‎”The blood of the victims wasn’t even dry yet, and the only thing that woman had to say ‎was, ‘It’s so awful; now Bibi will go up in the polls.'”‎

Again I chuckled, this time at my friend’s naive outrage at something I have come to take ‎for granted: Whenever something bad happens, including a rainstorm at an outdoor ‎wedding, blame Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and bemoan his electoral popularity.‎

But it is not only members of the Israeli Left who respond to every ill that befalls the ‎Jewish state by bashing it and its leaders. My compatriots on the Right have a similar ‎tendency, albeit from the opposite point of view.‎

Sunday’s attack gave expression to the latest example of this phenomenon on both sides ‎of the political spectrum.‎

To understand the way Israelis — as all human beings — automatically translate every ‎event into the language of their ideology, one has to review the facts of the truck-‎ramming, as they have unfolded, based on security camera footage, eyewitness accounts ‎and other evidence collected at the scene.‎

At approximately 1:30 p.m., a large group of cadets on a weekly educational outing that ‎is part of their training to become officers arrived at the Armon Hanatziv promenade and ‎began to disembark from their buses.‎


The two-state solution, a perverse euphemism for carving an Islamic terror state out of the land of Israel and the living flesh of her people, is in trouble. The solution, which has solved nothing except the shortage of graves in Israel and Muslim terrorists in the Middle East, is the object of grave concern by the professionally concerned from Foggy Bottom to Fifth Avenue.

Obama set up his betrayal of Israel at the UN to “save” the two-state solution from Trump. The media warns that David Friedman, Trump’s pick for ambassador, is so pro-Israel that he’ll kill the “solution.”

But you can’t kill something that was never alive.

The two-state solution is a zombie. It can’t be dead because it never lived. It was a rotting shambling corpse of a diplomatic process. If you stood downwind of the proceedings, it looked alive.

Up close there was only blood and death.

Like the Holy Roman Empire, the two-state solution didn’t solve anything and it wasn’t in the business of creating two states. Not unless you count a Hamas state in Gaza and a Fatah state in the West Bank.

What problem was the two-state solution solving?

It wasn’t the problem of terrorism. Turning over land, weapons and power to a bunch of terrorists made for more terrorism. It’s no coincidence that Islamic terrorism worldwide shot up around the same time.

The consequences of giving terrorists their own country to play with were as predictable as taking a power drill to the bottom of a boat or running a toaster in a bubble bath. The least likely outcome of handing guns to homicidal sociopaths was peace. The most likely was murder. And that was as intended.

The problem that the two-state solution was solving was the existence of Israel; the Jewish Problem.

Spray the two-state solution over an irritating country full of Jews who managed to survive multiple Muslim genocides. Apply and wait for as long as it takes until the Jewish Problem is solved again.

A Georgetown University panel shows Turkish President Recep Erodagan’s Islamist support in academia. Andrew Harrod

Two graduate students and two undergraduates recalled personally experiencing the July 15, 2016 coup attempt against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government at a December 7, 2016, Georgetown University panel, before a youthful audience of about fifty. As crews from Turkey’s TRT Haber television network and Anadolu Agency (AA) filmed/recorded, the panelists praised the coup’s popular foiling as a democratic victory, irrespective of Erdogan’s dangerous Islamist policies.

Such willful blindness mirrors that of other American-educated Middle East studies scholars whose actions and pronouncements lend a veneer of legitimacy to Erdogan’s dictatorial policies, including mass purges and arrests of academics and teachers throughout Turkey. Erdogan’s personal spokesman is Ibrahim Kalin, a George Washington University Ph.D. who serves as a senior fellow at Georgetown’s Saudi-funded Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding. He joined Juan Cole of Michigan, Cemil Aydin of UNC Chapel Hill (Harvard Ph.D.) at an October 2016 conference in Istanbul even as innocent educators languished in prison or faced academic ruin.

Islamism certainly colored the experiences of the panel’s two graduate students, Harvard University Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations doctoral student Rushain Abbasi and his wife Safia Latif, who were in Istanbul during the attempted coup. Abbasi is a former member of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB)-affiliated Muslim Students Association and a former teacher at the Boston Islamic Seminary, an affiliate of another MB group, the Muslim American Society. His previous writing stereotypically attributed Islamist violence to the “histories of colonialism, imperialism, and economic exploitation that still plague the non-Western world,” maintaining, “[i]t is not the texts of Islam . . . that are in need of reform.”

Latif, a Boston University doctoral student in religious studies who earned an M.A. in Middle East studies from the University of Texas, was like-minded. She previously participated in a conference chaired by the notorious Islamist and UC-Berkeley lecturer Hatem Bazian at California’s Zaytuna College. Having witnessed Egyptians in 2013 overthrowing the Muslim Brotherhood-led government of President Mohamed Morsi, she despaired of the same thing happening in Turkey. “To see another democratically elected government with an ostensible Islamist president fall was almost too much to bear. My first reaction was a religious one; I took to the prayer mat and I began praying for the Turkish people.”

Latif blasted the “shameful Western reactions to the coup,” such as media reports of its popular support and then-presidential candidate Donald Trump tweeting that Turks are “taking their country back!” She complained that after the coup, a “lot of the media focus was on political grievances against Erdogan, him consolidating [sic] power, [and] his authoritarian, totalitarian, dictatorial nature,” all of which are, in fact, critical concerns under Erdogan’s Islamist rule. Instead, she blamed the West, claiming that it “doesn’t support democracy and freedom overseas, especially when Islamists are in power,” as “it seems to threaten the universality of the West and its political hegemony.”

Abbasi agreed: “If the coup was successful, we would be very happy” in America. In contrast to reporting on coup casualties, “all the headlines the next day I had seen were about freedom of speech and Erdogan. What are we talking about?” he asked, implying that free speech is trivial.

Meryl Shoots Fish in a Barrel By Marilyn Penn

No courage was needed for Meryl Streep to stand before an audience of like-minded people to point her finger and raise her voice against the known object of their mutual disdain. That was easy. Here’s what would have taken some guts: condemning the role that the entertainment industry plays in glamorizing and disseminating wholesale violence on-screen, in video games, on television, in music and online. Particularly affected are the black youth who suffer infinitely more from the criminality of their brethren than from the purported racism of our men in blue. We’re all aware of the mind-boggling statistic of more than 750 murders in Chicago, Obama’s city of choice, this past year. Though many reasons for this may be offered and analyzed, the fact remains that extreme violence is now an available aphrodisiac 24/7 and if you have ever sat in a multiplex where one of these movies is playing, you don’t need to read here what the audience response is.

For that matter, why didn’t Meryl question why the movie Elle was nominated for several Golden Globe awards (winning two that evening). This is a movie that reverts to the canard that women can enjoy and be complicit in brutal rape. Since we westerners are free to express our vilest thoughts (on certain topics only), it’s no surprise that filmmakers can exploit this freedom, but the scolding Meryls of the industry should have the strength to question what is being singled out for special awards. As a woman who will undoubtedly participate in the Women’s March on Washington, why didn’t she at least raise that subject for her captive audience to consider?

We live in a schizophrenic society in which one industry encourages sex and violence, using the most attractive performers and sophisticated special effects to titilate viewers and turn them on. We then perversely force universities to act as campus school-marms who call any disrespect towards women sexual harassment and punish it by denying constitutional civil rights to the accused men during investigation and adjudication. Meryl had the perfect venue and opportunity to challenge her employers and peers to stop aiming powerful ammunition at a population increasingly unable to handle it.

Instead of choosing this more difficult high road, Meryl gave her audience the sure and easy high five.