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April 2017

Rasmea’s exit, stage left by Ruthie Blum

Convicted Palestinian terrorist Rasmea Odeh received a standing ovation this weekend in Chicago from ‎an enthusiastic crowd at the national conference of the organization Jewish Voice for Peace.‎

Luckily for Odeh — who took part in the bombing of a Jerusalem supermarket in 1969, which killed ‎Hebrew University students Leon Kanner and Eddie Joffe — the Jewish state that she and her radical leftist ‎buddies in the U.S. Jewish community would see eradicated let her out of jail as part of a prisoner ‎exchange. Still, she has expressed no gratitude to the liberal society that set her free in 1980, or to the ‎one that has enabled her since then to roam around freely, spewing her vitriol and inciting violence. ‎On the contrary, the proud member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, who feels no ‎remorse for the innocent boys she killed, also defied the country that took her in as in immigrant — ‎concealing her terrorist past in order to enter the United States.‎

Not only that. Last month, Odeh’s three-year battle with the U.S. government, which was sparked by ‎her being convicted of immigration fraud, came to a happy end with a plea bargain according to which ‎she would be stripped of her American citizenship and deported, but serve no jail time. ‎

The Rasmea Defense Committee, a vocal group of avid supporters, had the nerve to respond to this ‎piece of luck and ill-deserved generosity by saying that her decision to accept the deal was difficult, ‎but it was the best she could hope for under the “current racist political climate” of President Donald ‎Trump, in which her “prospects for a fair trial are slimmer than ever.”‎

It is bad enough that Odeh spent only 10 years in an Israeli prison. Worse still that she is getting off the ‎hook for her subsequent crime. But the fact that she has been elevated to some kind of sainthood, ‎lauded by feminist, black and other self-described human rights activists is as shocking as it is ‎shameful.‎

To add insult to injury, Jewish Voice for Peace pressured the management of the Hyatt Regency Hotel, ‎the venue rented for the hate-filled conference, not to allow a pro-Israel group to rent a separate ‎room in which to hold a memorial service for Odeh’s victims. This is a classic case of what renowned ‎law professor Alan Dershowitz calls “free speech for me and not for thee.”‎

Yes, as long as Jewish Voice for Peace and its non-Jewish counterparts — such as Students for Justice in ‎Palestine and Black Lives Matter, which use it as a cover for their anti-Semitism — have the microphone, ‎anything goes. Even glorifying cold-blooded murder. But when an organization like StandWithUs wants ‎to present an opposing viewpoint, any underhanded tactics to prevent it from doing so are kosher.‎

The Fight for Zion By Asaf Romirowsky

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Fifty years after the Six Day War, the American Jewish community is sharply fragmented, with many Jews grappling with where Zionism fits into their Jewish identity. As the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement grows in popularity and attracts more Jewish advocates, the gap is growing even wider between American Jewry and Israel.

For American Jews, Zionism has become a source of debate, controversy, embarrassment, and guilt as they try to come to terms with the activities of the Jewish state and its elected officials. Consequently, many seek to detach themselves from what used to embody the core of Jewish identity. A case in point is Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), a pro-BDS Jewish group that uses its “Jewishness” to validate its cause.

While JVP’s desire to persuade the Israeli government to change its policies is legitimate, the growing strength of the BDS movement at large makes the demise of the two-state solution ever more likely. JVP’s executive director, Rebecca Vilkomerson, is notorious for her hard leftist views, as illustrated in her Washington Post op-ed entitled “I’m Jewish, and I want people to boycott Israel.” So strong is JVP’s antipathy to Israel that the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has called it “the largest and most influential Jewish anti-Zionist group” in the US.

Yet the true essence of Zionism lies in its ability to encapsulate both religious and secular Jewish identities. The current challenge is to identify the component of renewal. The Zionist enterprise did not end with the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948. Each generation must redefine Zionism as it is relevant to them.

Theodor Herzl famously wrote in his diary, “Were I to sum up the [1897] Basel Congress in a word – which I shall guard against pronouncing publicly – it would be this: ‘At Basel, I founded the Jewish State. If I said this out loud today, I would be answered by universal laughter. If not in five years, certainly in fifty, everyone will know it.’”

The difference between Herzl’s generation and post-1948 generations was a first-hand understanding of what the absence of a Jewish state means for Jewish survival. The state represents the difference between autonomy and servility, indeed between life and death. But today’s millennial generation has no memory of a time when Israel did not exist or was ever on the “right side of history.”

Given the wedge that has been pushed between Zionism and Judaism, one might even suggest that were Herzl to raise the question of a Jewish homeland today, he might not receive support. The irony is that what initially led Zionist leaders to bond over the idea of a homeland was the growing threat of antisemitism. Today, even as antisemitism is on the rise around the world, anti-Zionism is often viewed as legitimate criticism.

Abba Eban dispelled this notion eloquently, stating, “There is no difference whatever between antisemitism and the denial of Israel’s statehood. Classical antisemitism denies the equal right of Jews as citizens within society. Anti-Zionism denies the equal rights of the Jewish people its lawful sovereignty within the community of nations. The common principle in the two cases is discrimination.”

Winning the Civil War of Two Americas America vs. Anti-America. Daniel Greenfield

When John Edwards touted the “Two Americas” during his presidential campaigns before his political career ended in disgrace, it was still a metaphor. It stopped being a metaphor at the end of last year.

If you doubt that, you can watch Tom Perez, the head of the Democratic National Committee, yelling that President Trump didn’t win the election. There is a huge difference between opposing the winner of an election and denying that he won it. It’s the difference between opposition and rebellion.

Democrats have not recognized a single Republican presidential victory this century. There is no real reason to think that they will recognize a third one. We can safely assume that the third or fourth Republican to win the White House, no matter who he is, will face the same treatment.

A two-party system can’t function if one party denies the legitimacy of elections won by the other side.

In the Edwards era, the Democrats denied that President Bush had won the election, but they still remained part of the government. That’s no longer the case. Their political mantra is resistance. Their position is that Trump and Republicans are inherently illegitimate and must not be allowed to govern. Instead the government must be defied, opposed, subverted and brought down by any means.

The Democrats have become an unelected shadow anti-government that is seeking to bring down an elected government. That is what I described in an earlier article as a civil war.

The crisis has its roots in Two Americas.

The Democrats artificially created another America. They built it in the elitist urban and suburban enclaves of the left. They drew it with urban welfare ghettoes and with mass immigration. But despite the vast financial, political and cultural power invested in this “New America” it did not represent the majority of the country. And democratic elections dealt repeated setbacks to this Anti-America.

Political maps show these alien concentrations of blue amid a vast national sea of red. Democrats have lost much of the country. They have been wiped out at the state level. They retain power only because they have illegally concentrated them in undemocratic political, financial and cultural centers.

Jihad Comes to Wall Street “Sharia finance” does exactly what it promises, financing the spread of sharia — and terror. By Alex Alexiev —

If you’ve seen Geert Wilders’s film Fitna, you may not have noticed a single headline amongst all the bombings, beheadings, and earnest expressions of Islam’s eventual world domination: Halal-fund: investments for Muslims. But the investment vehicles referenced are an essential part of radical Islam’s efforts to insinuate itself into Western societies in order to destroy them from within. And Wall Street, barely out of the woods from its disastrous run-in with sub-prime mortgages — and having lost one of its historic investment houses, Bear Stearns, in the process — is now chasing the very kind of “sharia finance” against which Wilders’s movie warns, a business line that may eventually wind up being even more calamitous than the subprime-mortgage fiasco.

For the growing army of its acolytes, who salivate at the prospect of tens of billions of dollars in transaction fees from the burgeoning industry, sharia-compliant finance is seen as little more than a cuddly Islamic version of socially conscious investment — with ethical strictures forbidding usury and sin industries, and emphasizing charity. Indeed, a conference on the subject last Fall co-sponsored by the Wall Street Journal was titled just that: “Islamic Ethical Investment.” According to this rosy interpretation, sharia finance is a windfall for capital markets — allowing Wall Street to skim some foam off the ocean of petrodollar liquidity in the Middle East, and put it to good use.

Other interpretations are possible, of course. Critics see sharia finance as a massive subversion campaign by radical Islam designed to legitimize sharia in the West, to undermine our markets, and ultimately to imperil our free-enterprise system and national security — all the while exposing banks to financial risks that make the sub-prime fiasco look like a walk in the park. For its proponents and ideological enablers — such as the well known suicide-bombing advocate, Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi — sharia finance is nothing less than “Jihad with money.” As al-Qaradawi explains, “God has ordered us to fight enemies with our lives and with our money.” Unfortunately for Wall Street, it’s hard to argue with the good sheikh on that score. Far from being a guide to ethical investment, sharia finance is indistinguishable from sharia itself.

Sharia is a reactionary-to-the-core medieval Islamic doctrine that claims control over every aspect of every Muslim’s life. It imposes such “ethical” mandates on Muslims as the obligation to discriminate against women and non-Muslims; to kill homosexuals, adulterers, and apostates; to establish and maintain Muslim rule around the world; and to carry out violent offensive jihad against infidels. Notably, for those Muslims who cannot engage in physical jihad using force of arms, sharia requires that they support jihad financially. This is what sharia finance is all about.

Far from being a legitimate investment vehicle, sharia finance facilitates religiously sanctioned support for terrorist organizations — as well as providing radical Islamists with highly paid sinecures as sharia-finance board advisors in the sanctum sanctorum of capitalism, all the while that they are pursuing a subversive campaign to destroy it.

Prof. At Rollins College Involved In Suspending Christian Student Has Ties To Islamic Extremists New details shed light on the controversy. Will Nardi and Zach Swaim

New details surfacing regarding a Muslim Rollins College professor who was involved in the wrongful suspension of a Christian student show that she has multiple ties with radical Islamic individuals and organizations, most notably through an ex-lover under FBI investigation and in her position as the spokesperson for the Islamic Society of Central Florida (ISCF).

The College Fix reported last Monday that the professor, Areej Zufari, falsely accused the student, sophomore Marshall Polston, of violating the terms of his suspension by setting foot on campus, resulting in a disciplinary hearing with the university conduct system. Polston has since been exonerated of all charges after providing surveillance footage of where he really was at the time and has been officially reinstated at the college.

Polston claims he was originally suspended after sending a strongly worded email refuting his professor’s claims that Jesus’s crucifixion never happened and that his followers never believed he was the son of God. Rollins College refused to answer questions on whether they would investigate these claims and Zufari’s potential ties to Islamic extremists.

Zufari served as the spokesperson and Director of Communications for the Islamic Society of Central Florida (ISCF) from 2001 to at least 2004, according to the author bio from her 2012 book “Beyond the Headlines” and press communications from the organization. ISCF’s main mosque, Masjid al-Rahman, is owned by the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT), which was classified by federal prosecutors as both an un-indicted co-conspirator in the 2008 Holy Land Foundation terrorism financing case and as an entity that is or was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood.

In this case, the Muslim Brotherhood’s goals were identified as “establish[ing] a network of organizations in the U.S. to spread a militant Islamist message and raise money for Hamas,” and “eliminating the State of Israel through violent jihad.” Former FBI special agent Robert Stauffer stated that NAIT’s role in the Muslim Brotherhood is that of a nonprofit financial holding company, according to the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel.

“Proud Muslim” Proclaims Himself a “Triple Threat to Donald Trump” Dr. Asif Mahmood is candidate for lieutenant governor of California. Lloyd Billingsley

“As a Muslim immigrant from the great blue state of California, I’ll be a triple threat to Donald Trump. I’m running for office to fight against him, and to fight for our families.”

That was Dr. Asif Mahmood, a Democrat, last Wednesday outside ICE headquarters in Los Angeles, announcing that he is running for lieutenant governor of California.

The 56-year-old physician was born in Pakistan, but as he explained, “I wanted to live in America because of my children. I wanted them to grow up in a place that celebrates diversity and tolerance. . . Donald Trump continues to attack people like me – immigrants and people of color and Muslims. I say President Trump has it all wrong. It’s time to get tough on hate. California must be the leader of the Trump resistance and I will fight every step of the way.”

CAIR representative Danna Elneil told reporters, “We’re not 100 percent sure whether he’s the first Muslim to run.” Many Muslim countries, organizations and scholars would not be 100 percent sure if the candidate is a Muslim.

Dr. Asif Mahmood is a member of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, founded in 1889 on the belief that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1835-1908) was the long-awaited Messiah. Allah sent him, the Ahmadis believe, to end religious wars, condemn bloodshed and reinstitute morality, justice and peace.

According to the Congressional Record, in 2012 Democrat representatives Brad Sherman and Zoe Lofgren welcomed to Congress “His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad.” Based in Britain, he is “the worldwide spiritual leader of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community, which has tens of millions of adherents around the world in 190 countries and tens of thousands of adherents here in the United States.” Sherman commended the Ahmadi motto, “Love for all. Hatred for none.”

Sherman also welcomed “distinguished leaders” Dr. Asif Mahmood and Kareem Ahmed

who show such leadership of the Muslim community in the Los Angeles area. As Dr. Stephen M. Kirby noted in 2015, the Sunnis who represent nearly 90 percent of the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims would have a problem with the Ahmadi claim that they represent the “true” Islam.

In 1984, Dr. Mahmood’s native country of Pakistan added Section 298 to the penal code, prohibiting the Ahmadis from calling themselves Muslims, posing as Muslims by reciting Koranic verses, referring to their faith as Islam, and preaching or propagating their faith. The Pakistani law even prohibits Ahmadis from sounding the call to prayer.

Indonesia and Kyrgyzstan deploy similar prohibitions and in 1997 Sheikh Ali Bin Abdur Rahman Al Hufaifi, chief Imam of the Al-Masjid an-Nabawi mosque in Medina, Saudi Arabia, condemned the Ahmadis as “traitors” spouting “false Quranic commentary.” As Dr. Kirby noted:

Mainstream Media Distorts Reality on Israeli Settlements Even a simple announcement by the Israeli government is used as a platform to bash Israel.

Reprinted from en.mida.org.il.

Yesterday, Israel’s government approved construction of a new settlement in Judea and Samaria (aka West Bank). Media outlets CNN, BBC and the NY Times wasted no time publishing stories that distort the truth, if not outright lie. These mistakes range from offering a false impression of reality to actually getting facts wrong. Such elementary mistakes expose the disconnect between mainstream media outlets and basic truths of the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

For example, CNN wrote that this is Israel’s ‘first new settlement in Palestinian territory in more than 20 years’. The first part of the sentence is misleading and the second part is false. Israel has not built new communities in Judea and Samaria because it has given numerous chances for the Palestinian leadership to come to the table and reach an agreement. However, the Palestinians continually refused. Instead, the article leads the reader to believe that this is a new policy meant to stifle any chance for a peace agreement.

The second part of the statement asserts that Israel is building in Palestinian territory. This is because CNN incorrectly believes that Israel has no legal rights to the West Bank. Israel’s legal rights to controlling the West Bank and building communities there under international law have been affirmed time and again by respected authorities on the subject, including: Professor Eugene Rostow, Professor Julius Stone , Professor Eugene Kontorovich, Professor Avi Bell and more.

BBC wrote that this new settlement is being built after ‘the largest settlement, Amona, was evacuated by police last month.’ Amona, far from being the largest settlement, was probably one of the smallest settlements existing in the West Bank, approximately 40 families. Yet, this gives the impression that even the largest settlement in the West Bank was evacuated, and thus why not evacuate the entire West Bank.

And the New York Times topped it off by cherry picking statements to make it look as if Israel was disrespecting the Trump Administration. Author of the article, Isabel Kershner, who has been accused of anti-Israel bias in the past, writes that Israel is building settlements despite President Trump’s request ‘to hold off on settlement activity’. Then she writes that ‘the United States has long considered the settlements an obstacle to peace.’ Those two statements are mixing apples with oranges.

The Trump Administration, while suggesting that Israel hold off on settlements for a little bit, explicitly said in a press release that they ‘don’t believe the existence of settlements is an impediment to peace’. This was a clear departure from past US policy, especially under the Obama Administration, yet Kershner ignores that, and prefers to think that Barack Obama is still president.

Who Asked Susan Rice to Unmask those Names? Obama’s national security advisor is a liar — and possibly a felon. Matthew Vadum

Former President Obama’s National Security Advisor Susan Rice asked for the names of Trump transition officials to be unmasked and made public in raw intelligence files, according to media reports, a move apparently carried out to harm the incoming Trump administration.

As recently as March 22, Rice denied knowing anything about the intelligence reports. In an appearance on “PBS Newshour,” she said pretty definitely, “I know nothing about this.” The new news reports paint Rice as a liar.

The evidence we know about in the Trump-Russia saga so far seems to be pointing at Obama.

Adam Housley of Fox News reports:

The unmasked names, of people associated with Donald Trump, were then sent to all those at the National Security Council, some at the Defense Department, then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and then-CIA Director John Brennan – essentially, the officials at the top, including former Rice deputy Ben Rhodes.

The names were part of incidental electronic surveillance of candidate and President-elect Trump and people close to him, including family members, for up to a year before he took office.

The spreading of the unmasked names was carried out for “political purposes that have nothing to do with national security” or foreign intelligence, Housley said. “It had everything to do with hurting and embarrassing Trump and his team,” he said, citing his sources.

What is incidental collection, by the way?

Incidental collection “happens when an individual is in contact with the target of surveillance,” or is communicating “about” the target, according to Robyn Greene. “So if Bob were being targeted for surveillance and Alice called or emailed Bob, Alice’s communications with him would be collected incidentally.”

In this example, “if Bob is targeted for surveillance and Alice contacts him during that surveillance, resulting in the incidental collection of her communications with him, her name should be redacted or ‘masked’ unless leaving it unredacted provides foreign intelligence value.” Masking is done to protect U.S. persons (i.e. U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, etc.) who get inadvertently caught up in the electronic dragnet from being falsely accused of crimes or otherwise improper behavior.

What Exactly Is Scandalous about Trump’s ‘Russia Scandal’? So far there’s a lot of smoke, but it’s not clear what the fire is supposed to be. By Ian Tuttle

A recent report in Spain’s El País touts “the Spanish connection with Trump’s Russia scandal”:

On February 1, Alexander Porfirievich Torshin, 63, a Russian politician and banker who is close to Vladimir Putin and whom the Spanish anti-corruption prosecutor and the Civil Guard define in their reports as a godfather from a notorious Russian mafia organization, had in his diary for the next day an appointment to meet in Washington with the world’s most powerful man: Donald Trump.

The meeting never took place, but according to El País, Torshin, who is currently the deputy governor of the Central Bank of Russia and is suspected by Spanish authorities of being part of a Russian money-laundering operation, has other links to the administration: Last May, he sat beside Donald Trump Jr. during a private dinner in Louisville, Ky.

Links between the new administration and the Kremlin are not hard to come by. There are the legitimate (e.g., Jeff Sessions’s visit with the Russian ambassador), the dubious (e.g., ousted NSA director Michael Flynn’s many communications with the same), and the alarming (e.g., nearly anything involving campaign advisers Paul Manafort, Roger Stone, or Carter Page). But after months of “explosive” revelations, it remains unclear precisely what the charges against the White House are. Has the new president simply been too friendly to Vladimir Putin? In his stupendous ignorance, has he permitted his egotism to reshape American foreign policy? Or — more troubling — has he wooed the Kremlin to advance his overseas business interests? Or — most troubling — did he work with Russian sources to manipulate November’s election? Prominent critics of the president have suggested that Donald Trump is “a Kremlin stooge,” “a pawn of Putin,” and a “collaborator” with Russian intelligence. But what the president is being accused of is always left hanging in a cloud of insinuation.

This is likely because, as of now, there is no concrete charge to make. There is no evidence that the president or his close advisers have broken the law in their communications with Russian officials. There is no reliable evidence that anyone “collaborated” with Russian officials to influence the election, or that Russian influence was more than indirect (i.e., votes may have been swayed by WikiLeaks’s exposure of the DNC e-mails, but Russia did not “hack the election,” in the sense of manipulating voting machines). Even Manafort, Stone, and Page, the three advisers with the closest and most troubling ties to the Kremlin, have not been shown to have done anything prosecutable. All of this is provisional, of course — and must remain so until the congressional intelligence committees complete their investigations — but it’s noteworthy nonetheless, as critics on right and left compare Donald Trump to Richard Nixon and whisper about impeachment.

What, then, is the problem with the administration’s Russia ties? The news from El País is instructive.

Part of Donald Trump’s appeal was that he would keep out of the White House Hillary Clinton and her whole network of should-be felons. The Right’s chief concern about the Clinton Foundation and the Clintons’ “charitable” work was that it provided a veiled way for parties — especially foreign parties — with alarming agendas to purchase White House influence. Right-leaning voters were convinced that the Clintons would not surround themselves with responsible, ethical public servants, but with people happy to sell American policy to the highest bidder.

‘The Greatest Deregulatory Endeavor’ The U.K. should take advantage of Brexit by repealing lots of unneeded EU regulations. By Austin Yack

British prime minister Theresa May triggered Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty on Wednesday, beginning the two-year process in which the U.K. must negotiate an agreement for its withdrawal from the European Union. During this process, the U.K. government must decide the most efficient way to keep, repeal, or amend the thousands of EU regulations on the books.

One day after May triggered Article 50, the U.K. announced its intent to repeal the European Communities Act of 1972, which grants supremacy to EU law over U.K. law, and introduce a Great Repeal Bill that will incorporate EU law into U.K. law. Having imported the whole kit and caboodle, the British Parliament will begin the arduous task of scrapping any statutes it considers superfluous.

Iain Murray, co-author of “Cutting the Gordian Knot” and the vice president for strategy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), argues that the “Great Repeal Bill will begin what may prove to be the greatest deregulatory endeavor undertaken by any modern government.” But that deregulatory effort will be successful only if Parliament chooses to cut these overbearing regulations; otherwise, these same laws will simply be enforced by legislators in Westminster rather than EU bureaucrats in Brussels.

Here, the “how?” is as important as the “what?” Asking Parliament to vote to keep, repeal, or amend each law separately would be impractical and could take years. In practice, such an approach would likely lead to few laws’ being repealed. In consequence, Murray and his colleague Rory Broomfield argue that the British government should establish a Royal Commission on Regulatory Reduction and assign it the daunting job of deregulation. The committee would be chaired by a current or former justice of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, and members would represent both the governing and opposition parties.

The commission “would essentially depoliticize the process of regulatory reduction,” Murray tells National Review. Each year, it would provide regulatory revisions to be voted on by Parliament — and, to keep the process efficient, members of Parliament would be prohibited from amending the commission’s proposal.

If such a commission is formed — and if, as Murray hopes, it ends up successfully repealing a quarter of the regulations imported from the EU — the U.K. economy would save between £33 billion ($43 billion) and £140 billion ($182 billion) annually.

There is a lot of work to do before Britain reaches that point. The U.K. “won’t be able to cut the rules until they are formally out of the EU,” Murray says. Thus, as the U.K. moves toward a deal that restores sovereignty to the British people, U.K. leaders such as Theresa May must decide sooner rather than later how they expect Brexit will impact the economy, the environment, trade negotiations, and more.