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August 2017

When Progressives Embrace Hate By Bari Weiss (New York Times)

A mere half-year ago, before collusion and Comey, before Mika’s face and Muslim bans and the Mooch, there was a shining moment where millions of Americans flooded the streets in cities across the country to register their rage that an unapologetic misogynist had just been made leader of the free world.

Donald Trump’s election was a watershed moment. Even those like me, who had previously pulled levers for candidates of both parties, felt that Mr. Trump had not only violated all sense of common decency, but, alarmingly, that he seemed to have no idea that there even existed such an unspoken code of civility and dignity. Now was the time to build a broad coalition to resist the genital-grabber with the nuclear codes.

The Women’s March moved me. O.K., so Madonna and Ashley Judd said some nutty things. But every movement has its excesses, I reasoned. Mr. Trump had campaigned on attacking the weakest and most vulnerable in our society. Now was the time to put aside petty differences and secondary issues to oppose his presidency.

That’s certainly what the leaders of the Democratic Party, who applauded the march, told us. Senator Charles Schumer called the protest “part of the grand American tradition.” The House Democratic leader, Nancy Pelosi, offered her congratulations to the march’s “courageous organizers” and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand gushed about them in Time, where they were among the top 100 most influential people of 2017. “The Women’s March was the most inspiring and transformational moment I’ve ever witnessed in politics,” she wrote. “And it happened because four extraordinary women — Tamika Mallory, Bob Bland, Carmen Perez and Linda Sarsour — had the courage to take on something big, important and urgent, and never gave up.”

The image of this fearsome foursome, echoed in more than a few flattering profiles, was as seductive as a Benetton ad. There was Tamika Mallory, a young black activist who was crowned the “Sojourner Truth of our time” by Jet magazine and “a leader of tomorrow” by Valerie Jarrett. Carmen Perez, a Mexican-American and a veteran political organizer, was named one of Fortune’s Top 50 World Leaders. Linda Sarsour, a hijab-wearing Palestinian-American and the former head of the Arab-American Association of New York, had been recognized as a “champion of change” by the Obama White House. And Bob Bland, the fashion designer behind the “Nasty Women” T-shirts, was the white mother who came up with the idea of the march in the first place.

What wasn’t to like?

A lot, as it turns out. The leaders of the Women’s March, arguably the most prominent feminists in the country, have some chilling ideas and associations. Far from erecting the big tent so many had hoped for, the movement they lead has embraced decidedly illiberal causes and cultivated a radical tenor that seems determined to alienate all but the most woke.


Start with Ms. Sarsour, by far the most visible of the quartet of organizers. It turns out that this “homegirl in a hijab,” as one of many articles about her put it, has a history of disturbing views, as advertised by . . . Linda Sarsour.

There are comments on her Twitter feed of the anti-Zionist sort: “Nothing is creepier than Zionism,” she wrote in 2012. And, oddly, given her status as a major feminist organizer, there are more than a few that seem to make common cause with anti-feminists, like this from 2015: “You’ll know when you’re living under Shariah law if suddenly all your loans and credit cards become interest-free. Sound nice, doesn’t it?” She has dismissed the anti-Islamist feminist Ayaan Hirsi Ali in the most crude and cruel terms, insisting she is “not a real woman” and confessing that she wishes she could take away Ms. Ali’s vagina — this about a woman who suffered genital mutilation as a girl in Somalia.

Ms. Sarsour and her defenders have dismissed all of this as a smear campaign coordinated by the far right and motivated by Islamophobia. Plus, they’ve argued, many of these tweets were written five years ago! Ancient history.

But just last month, Ms. Sarsour proved that her past is prologue. On July 16, the official Twitter feed of the Women’s March offered warm wishes to Assata Shakur. “Happy birthday to the revolutionary #AssataShakur!” read the tweet, which featured a “#SignOfResistance, in Assata’s honor” — a pink and purple Pop Art-style portrait of Ms. Shakur, better known as Joanne Chesimard, a convicted killer who is on the F.B.I.’s list of most wanted terrorists.

Like many others, CNN’s Jake Tapper noticed the outrageous tweet. “Shakur is a cop-killer fugitive in Cuba,” he tweeted, going on to mention Ms. Sarsour’s troubling past statements. “Any progressives out there condemning this?” he asked.

In the face of this sober criticism, Ms. Sarsour cried bully: “@jaketapper joins the ranks of the alt-right to target me online. Welcome to the party.”

There’s no doubt that Ms. Sarsour is a regular target of far-right groups, but her experience of that onslaught is what makes her smear all the more troubling. Indeed, the idea that Jake Tapper is a member of the alt-right is the kind of delirious, fact-free madness that fuels Donald Trump and his supporters. Troublingly, it is exactly the sentiment echoed by the Women’s March: “Our power — your power — scares the far right. They continue to try to divide us. Today’s attacks on #AssataShakur are the latest example.”

Since when did criticizing a domestic terrorist become a signal issue of the far right? Last I checked, that position was a matter of basic decency and patriotism.

What’s more distressing is that Ms. Sarsour is not the only leader of the women’s movement who harbors such alarming ideas. Largely overlooked have been the similarly outrageous statements of the march’s other organizers.

Kenyan election official ‘tortured and murdered’ as fears of violence grow Jason Burke

Officials say Chris Msando, who was missing for three days and had key role in 8 August poll, was tortured and murdered

Fears of electoral violence in Kenya rose on Monday after colleagues of a senior Kenyan election official who was found dead said he had been tortured and murdered.

The body of Chris Msando, the head of information, communication and technology at the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), the main body overseeing the polls, was found on the outskirts of Nairobi on Saturday but news of his death was released 48 hours later.

The corpse of an unidentified woman was also found.

The apparent murders come nine days before voters in the east African state will choose a new president, as well as lawmakers and local representatives.

Msando, who had a key role developing a new electronic ballot and voter registration systems at the IEBC, had been tortured before he died, election officials said.

Local media reported Msando told police he had received death threats before going missing last week.

“There’s no doubt that he was tortured and murdered,” Wafula Chebukati, the chair of the IEBC, told reporters outside the city mortuary in Nairobi.

The 8 August poll, which pits the incumbent, Uhuru Kenyatta, 55, against veteran challenger Raila Odinga, 72, has turned out to be unexpectedly close.

Kenyatta, who leads the Jubilee Alliance, is seeking a second and final five-year term.

Both sides have accused the other of underhanded tactics in the run-up to the polls, with the president saying Odinga is trying to divide the nation and provoke violence, and the opposition leader claiming Kenyatta plans to rig the poll.

Venezuela’s Opposition Leaders Dragged From Homes Armed officers take Leopoldo Lopez and Antonio Ledezma a day after President Nicolás Maduro promises to jail rivals By Anatoly Kurmanaev and José de Córdoba

CARACAS, Venezuela—Dozens of intelligence officers dragged out two opposition leaders from homes in the middle of the night, a day after President Nicolás Maduro vowed to jail opponents after winning a disputed vote.

Videos posted by family members showed officers armed with automatic weapons taking Leopoldo Lopez, the country’s most popular politician, and Antonio Ledezma, the elected mayor of Caracas, and shoving them into patrol cars. Mr. Lopez and Mr. Ledezma’s political parties said they don’t know where the politicians were taken.

In a speech Monday morning, Mr. Maduro said he would jail opposition politicians who have accused him of electoral fraud. The government claims to have received more than eight million votes in Sunday’s uncontested election for a special assembly that will have absolute powers.

The opposition accused the president of fraud, saying the turnout was below three million.

“Some will end up in a jail cell,” Mr. Maduro had said in the speech.

The U.S. imposed sanctions against Mr. Maduro on Monday, saying his government abused human rights and organized an illegitimate vote designed to advance an authoritarian regime.

The U.S. move freezes any assets Mr. Maduro may have in the U.S. and prevents American entities from doing business with him. Mr. Maduro also is barred from traveling to the U.S.

“This is a very serious escalation. Hustling these people out of bed in the dead of night and locking them up is a sign the regime is preparing for a showdown with the international community,” said Roger Noriega, a former senior official with the George W. Bush administration.

“It’s a defiant response to U.S. sanctions and the U.S. will have to decide very quickly how to respond.”

Both Mr. Lopez and Mr. Ledezma have been serving sentences under house arrest for allegedly instigating violence, charges that they deny. Both have posted videos in recent days condemning Mr. Maduro for staging a power grab, in an apparent violation of their sentencing terms.

“This was a fraud foretold,” Mr. Ledezma, 62 years old, said in the video posted just hours before his arrest, adding he knew of the risk carried by his statement. “We know that the state apparatus has been put at the service of the totalitarian regime, of the tyranny.”

The arrest of Mr. Lopez, 46 years old, comes less than a month after the head of the Popular Will opposition party was released from military jail, where he spent more than three years.

His commuted sentences had raised hopes for a rapprochement between the government and the opposition after months of unrest, which claimed more than 120 lives to date.

Those hopes were spoiled by Mr. Maduro’s decision to go ahead with elections for the controversial assembly and the turnout of eight million announced by the president’s allies on the electoral council.

Diego Moya-Ocampos, political risk analyst with IHS, said the arrests show Mr. Maduro is worried about the country’s growing economic isolation and threat of new U.S. sanctions against the country’s vital oil industry.

Adam Rubenstein: Mahmoud Abbas: Negotiator Turned Autocrat The Palestinian leader is nothing if not a shrewd politician. One does not enter the 12th year of a four-year term by being a political neophyte. see note please

Oh Puleez! The reviewer is as ignorant as the authors . Abbas is Arafat in a suit whose speeches in Arabic praise terrorists who murder Israeli civilians- babes in strollers, shoppers in malls, passengers in or waiting for buses. Terrorists operate freely, are given safe houses and payments and their weapons depots are guarded. In 1982 as a student in Patrice Lumumba University in Russia his thesis called the Holocaust a manufactured myth by Zionists and stated that the number of Jews murdered as agreed upon by mainstream historians, six millions, was a “fantastic lie.”It morphed into a book The Connection between the Nazis and the Leaders of the Zionist Movement. In later years, he has played the gullible media and consecutive administrations like the seasoned corrupt tyrant that he is….” rsk
On Sept. 30, 2016, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas attended the funeral of Shimon Peres, the last of Israel’s founding fathers and his counterpart in the peace negotiations of the 1990s. Some observers saw his presence there as purely political, a maneuver to ingratiate himself with the world leaders also attending. Others, including many of his fellow Palestinians, found it in bad taste, even incendiary. But political calculations aside, Mr. Abbas was there to mourn the passing of an old friend, who months before his death had called Mr. Abbas “an outstanding man who really does want to commit to peace.” Peres’s daughter had phoned him to say that she thought her father would have wanted him there. “He should be recognized for coming,” she told the Jerusalem Post. “He took a risk and made a very courageous decision. We are very appreciative of that.”

Grant Rumley and Amir Tibon, the authors of “The Last Palestinian: The Rise and Reign of Mahmoud Abbas,” say that Mr. Abbas’s attendance at Peres’s funeral made him “more popular in Washington than in Ramallah, Gaza, or Jerusalem.” This tension between support in the West (which Mr. Abbas has needed for negotiations to take place) and support at home (which he has needed for negotiations to succeed) turns out to be the central struggle of the 82-year-old’s now 12-year tenure as leader of the Palestinian Authority.

Mr. Rumley, of the Washington-based Foundation for Defense of Democracies, and Mr. Tibon, of the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, open their book with a treatment of the first 58 years of Mr. Abbas’s life, from his birth through the beginning of the Oslo peace process in the early 1990s. Their assessment spares little detail in its account of his personal and political story. Mr. Abbas was born in Safed in 1935 and fled with his family during Israel’s 1948 War of Independence. They went to Damascus, where he became a teacher and a husband and got his start in politics. In the 1950s, after Mr. Abbas had taught for a few years in Syria, he moved to Qatar, where he joined the country’s Ministry of Education. By the early 1960s, he began his rise within Fatah, Yasser Arafat’s newly created Palestinian nationalist movement.

The authors’ portrait of Mr. Abbas stands or falls by its assessment of his disposition toward nonviolence and by the seriousness of his support for the concept of a two-state solution. The authors contrast their view of him, that he is peacefully disposed, with that of his predecessor, Arafat, who openly embraced terror attacks against civilians. In the West, Mr. Abbas’s relative peacefulness made him a welcome alternative to the bellicose Arafat—if not necessarily at home.

How to Save Lives With DNA Testing Most states don’t record genetic information of those who commit serious misdemeanors. Mark Helprin

Three years ago in Albemarle County, Virginia, Jesse Matthew Jr. abducted and murdered promising 18-year-old University of Virginia student Hannah Graham. Her skeletal remains were found more than a month later in the woods of southern Albemarle. Her grief-stricken father had this to say of his daughter: “She was bright. She was witty. She was beautiful. And she made people happy.”

In 2009, Mr. Matthew had murdered Morgan Harrington, another young student, and four years before that had attacked and sexually assaulted a woman in Fairfax, Va., leaving DNA beneath her fingernails, which would lead to his conviction after the two murders. But Jesse Matthew had been convicted of misdemeanor criminal trespass in 2010. Had his DNA been recorded at the time, it would have linked him to the 2005 Fairfax attack, and Hannah Graham would be alive today.

The criminal-justice system, legislatures, and, indirectly, all of us have failed these and countless other victims of brutal abductions, rapes, torture, and murder. In Virginia as in most states, no procedure is in place to record DNA following certain serious misdemeanors. Because of the efforts of Sheriff J.E. “Chip” Harding, nine Class 1 misdemeanors have been added to the previous five eligible for DNA collection, but scores of Class 1 offenses are exempt. He proposes to include them.

Last year in the U.S., according to preliminary FBI figures, more than 15,000 people were murdered and 90,000 forcibly raped. Whereas relatively few of those who commit misdemeanors go on to more consequential crimes, most of those who do commit serious crimes have a record of prior misdemeanors. In New York state the average first-time felon has three. Major felons tend to be recidivists. As illustrated by the cases outlined above, many thousands of lives could be protected or saved by solving one crime before a perpetrator has the opportunity to commit others. Police and prosecutors would be freed to work other cases, and, not least, false convictions would decrease and exonerations of the falsely convicted rise.

With the Blue Ridge as the backdrop, the Albemarle County Sheriff’s Office is hardly something out of “My Cousin Vinny” or “In the Heat of the Night.” True, there are the “No Weapons Beyond This Point” signs, the bulletproof glass, the M4 locker, and 70 sworn officers passing in and out like bees in a hive. But they are a highly qualified, integrated, and ethical force, which, with its unusual reserve division, claims interpreters of half a dozen languages, fixed-wing and helicopter pilots, and military, intelligence, medical, and legal professionals.

At the head is Sheriff Harding, one of the International Chiefs of Police “Top Ten Cops” in America, an FBI Academy graduate with more than 40 years on the job. In his office, he analyzes spreadsheets with thousands of data points relevant to the correlation of major felonies with prior misdemeanors. He has been at it for decades, working with the Innocence Project, testifying before Congress and the state Legislature. CONTINUE AT SITE

Christopher Wray Wins Bipartisan Senate Confirmation as FBI Director President Trump’s pick will lead an agency buffeted by political crosswinds that show few signs of diminishing By Aruna Viswanatha and Del Quentin Wilber

Christopher Wray, President Donald Trump’s pick to lead the Federal Bureau of Investigation, won Senate confirmation Tuesday with the support of most Democrats, putting the former Justice Department official and private lawyer in charge of an agency buffeted by political crosswinds that show few signs of diminishing.

The bipartisan 92-to-5 vote was a shift after Mr. Trump’s abrupt firing in May of the last FBI director, James Comey, amid the FBI investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and any potential connection with the Trump campaign. Mr. Comey’s dismissal alarmed lawmakers in both parties, but Democrats were especially critical.

After a largely amicable hearing last month in which Mr. Wray pledged to be an independent leader and not to carry out any orders he believed unlawful, he won the unanimous support of the 20 senators on the Judiciary Committee.

Mr. Wray is known as a hard worker who avoids drama, and current and former FBI agents have said they hope he can help the agency stay out of the political spotlight, enabling it to focus on its traditional investigations into everything from terrorist plots to transnational gangs to cyber crimes.

Mr. Comey’s departure was particularly acrimonious. Mr. Trump called him a “showboat” and said he was doing a poor job, while Mr. Comey told Congress he kept notes of his meetings with the president because he didn’t trust Mr. Trump to describe them accurately. Mr. Comey also said Mr. Trump pressured him to drop an investigation into a Trump associate, which the president denied.
Chris Wray, President Donald Trump’s pick to lead the FBI, has a complicated web of professional contacts that link him to Trump’s inner circle and people who have investigated the president. WSJ’s Shelby Holliday reports.

The Russia investigation, in which many FBI agents remain engaged, will largely be off Mr. Wray’s plate, given the appointment of Robert Mueller as a special counsel overseeing the probe.

Still, Mr. Wray is likely to have a brief honeymoon, if any. Last week, Mr. Trump attacked acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, asking on Twitter why Attorney General Jeff Sessions hadn’t replaced Mr. McCabe, whose wife ran for local office with the support of a Hillary Clinton ally.

Mr. Trump nominated Mr. Wray, 50, after a long search process that included nontraditional figures such as Joseph Lieberman, a former Independent and Democratic senator from Connecticut.CONTINUE AT SITE

ObamaCare for Congress Trump can change a rule that exempts Members from the law’s pain.

President Trump likes to govern by Twitter threat, which often backfires, to put it mildly. But he’s onto something with his recent suggestion that Members of Congress should have to live under the health-care law they imposed on Americans.

Over the weekend Mr. Trump tweeted that “If a new HealthCare Bill is not approved quickly, BAILOUTS for Insurance Companies and BAILOUTS for Members of Congress will end very soon!” He later added: “If ObamaCare is hurting people, & it is, why shouldn’t it hurt the insurance companies & why should Congress not be paying what public pays?”

Mr. Trump is alluding to a dispensation from ObamaCare for Members of Congress and their staff, and the back story is a tutorial in Washington self-dealing. A 2009 amendment from Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa) forced congressional employees to obtain coverage from the Affordable Care Act exchanges. The Senate Finance Committee adopted it unanimously.

That meant Members and their staff would no longer enjoy coverage from the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, which subsidizes up to 75% of the cost of a plan. The text of the Affordable Care Act says that staffers may “only” be offered plans created by the law or on the exchanges.

The law did not specify what would happen to the employer contributions, though Democrats claim this was merely a copy-editing mistake. A meltdown ensued as Members feared that staffers would be exposed to thousands of dollars more in annual health-care costs, replete with predictions that junior aides would clean out their desks en masse.

Mr. Obama intervened in 2013 and the Office of Personnel Management issued a rule that would allow employer contributions to exchange plans, not that OPM had such legal authority. One hilarious detail is that OPM certified the House and Senate as “small businesses” with fewer than 50 full-time employees, and no doubt the world would be better if that were true. This invention allowed Members to purchase plans on the District of Columbia exchange for small businesses, where employers can make contributions to premiums. This is a farce and maybe a fraud.

In last week’s Senate health-care debate, Wisconsin Republican Ron Johnson circulated an idea to block subsidies for Members, who earn at least $174,000 a year and would not receive generous taxpayer underwriting on the exchanges. The Johnson amendment would restore staff to the federal benefits program. Alas, the amendment commands almost no support. Not even Democrats want to sign up for their own policy.

But Mr. Trump could direct OPM to scrap the rule for Members, which is reversible because Mr. Obama reworked his own law through regulation that can be undone by a successor. Mr. Obama also refused to pursue a legislative fix for the problem lest Republicans demand something in return.

Revoking the rule would have the political benefit of forcing Members to live under the regime that Democrats rammed into law and Republicans have failed to fix. If Members are pained by higher premiums and fewer insurance choices, perhaps they will be inspired to fix the law for the millions who have had to endure it.

The Humanitarian Hoax of Transgender in the Military: Killing America With Kindness – Hoax #7 by Linda Goudsmit

The Humanitarian Hoax is a deliberate and deceitful tactic of presenting a destructive policy as altruistic. The humanitarian huckster presents himself as a compassionate advocate when in fact he is the disguised enemy.

Obama, the humanitarian huckster-in-chief, weakened the United States for eight years presenting his crippling transgender policies as altruistic when in fact they were designed for destruction. His legacy, the Leftist Democratic Party with its “resistance” movement, is the party of the Humanitarian Hoax attempting to destroy American democracy and replace it with socialism.

On July 26, 2017 President Trump announced a policy to ban transgender individuals from military service. The “T” in LGBT stands for transgender.

LGBTQ rights are an anthem for the leftist resistance movement. They publicly rail against Republicans as homophobes, racists, sexists, and misogynists. Their rants are emotionally charged “feel-good” slogans designed to unify their base. Sloganism is a manipulative marketing strategy designed by the advertising industry to hype the products they are trying to sell. The Leftist Democrat Party slogans are hyping transgender inclusion to sell transitioning inclusion in the military – there is a pivotal difference.

Of course transgender individuals are as patriotic as any American. Of course transgender individuals can shoot as straight as any American. Of course transgender soldiers can be as effective as any American soldier. Inclusion of transgender individuals in the military is not a matter of IF transgender individuals should be admitted it is a matter of WHEN they should be admitted.

The time for gender assignment and gender choices is BEFORE entering the military. An individual’s path to maleness or femaleness is a personal private matter and not the military’s concern. Any individual applying for military service must have matching gender, genitalia, and gender identification BEFORE entering the military. Any ambivalence, counseling, transitioning, surgeries, or any ancillary services must be completed before admittance. Let’s examine why.

Inclusion and cohesion are not the same thing.

The mission of the military is unequivocally national defense – the protection of America and the American people. The military is one of the only appropriate collectives in a democracy. The military is a unique culture with unique rules where collective units, not individuals, are prioritized and where the mission supersedes the needs of the individuals who serve. The effectiveness of the military depends on group cohesion and the ability of the group to function effectively as a single unified lethal force under extreme pressure. Anything that threatens group cohesion is contraindicated in the military.

Israel vs. Jordan Why Israel needs to be tougher. Mordechai Kedar

Reprinted from en.mida.org.il.

In 1994, Israel signed a peace agreement with the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. In this agreement, Israel granted “special status” (Article 9) to the Jordanian government on the Temple Mount (‘Muslim Holy Shrines in Jerusalem’). This concession to the Jordanians was totally unnecessary since King Hussein needed peace with Israel more than Israel needed it with Jordan, and a peace agreement was achievable without it. Even ignoring this, what normal country grants another country ‘special status’ in its capital city and in the place most holy to its nation. This special status that recognizes a degree of Jordanian sovereignty on the Temple Mount has been disastrous for Israel and the devastating effects of this blunder have played themselves out once again in the wake of the latest terrorist attack on the Temple Mount, where two Israeli border policeman were killed.

The biggest mistake Israel has made with regard to Jordan is the ‘insurance policy’ it has given to the Hashemite Kingdom for the past 23 years under the baseless assumption that Jordan can deliver on its part. This insurance policy is that Israel would protect the Hashemite Kingdom if in danger of being overthrown, and in turn, Jordan would serve as a buffer zone protecting Israel from the potential dangers threatening it from the east: Iraq falling apart, Iran and the Ayatollahs, ISIS and Al-Qaeda. As a result, the Hashemite Kingdom, whose origins are in Saudi Arabia, continues to rely on the minority Bedouin population to rule the majority Palestinian population, which thus prevents the natural process of Jordan becoming a country which is ruled by the Palestinian majority, or Jordan being split into a Palestinian and Bedouin state.

The continued rule of the Hashemite Kingdom in Jordan and the failure to establish a Palestinian state there is the source of the demand to establish a Palestinian State in Israel’s heartland, which would extend over the Judean and Samarian hills, the ancient homeland and birthplace of the Jewish people. This proposed Palestinian state in Israel’s heartland would have the greater part of Israel in its crosshairs, from just south of Tiberias in the North to Be’er Sheva and Dimona in the South, and along the coastal plains from Haifa in the North to Ashkelon in the South. All of these areas would be well within the range of Palestinian missiles, mortar shells, field intelligence and more. In short, Israel would be establishing a Palestinian state – a strategic threat within its borders – so that it can achieve an uncertain tactical achievement outside of it. Is there any absurdity greater than this?

Israel handling of the security measures it instituted on the Temple Mount vis-à-vis Jordan should have been completely different. Instead of surrendering to Jordanian demands and removing all the security measures, Israel needed to tell Jordan in no uncertain terms: “The terrorist attack on July 14th proves that you are not living up to your obligations concerning the Temple Mount, and thus you have violated the article in the peace agreement that grants Jordan a special status on the Temple Mount, which Israel gave to your father in 1994. Furthermore, regarding , you have one hour to return the Israeli embassy security guard, that defended himself in Amman after being stabbed, unharmed to Israel, and until he is returned Israel will withhold transferring the tens of millions of cubic meters of water that it committed to your father in the peace agreement.” It is the type of message that Israel must convey to the King of Jordan, especially in light of his leading the anti-Israel UNESCO resolution regarding Jerusalem. Israel cannot allow a country that has a peace agreement with it to act that way.

But it’s worse than that.

When Israel placed magnometers and security cameras at the Temple Mount entrance about two weeks ago, the King of Jordan, Abdullah, contacted America and European countries and warned that the security measures Israel implemented on the Temple Mount could potentially undermine his government. Since Jordan has a special status regarding Jerusalem, Israel’s actions will spark the rage of Muslims in Jordan and throughout Middle East against his government, because his inaction to influence Israeli policy on the Temple Mount would be seen by the Muslim world as collaborating with Israel. Therefore, in order for Abdullah to maintain his already unstable government, he demanded that the Israeli government remove the security measures it had recently installed on the Temple Mount. This request is unthinkable, and one wonders how Abdullah musters the chutzpah to demand such a request which implies that Israel should endanger its own police and citizens, so that he can remain secure in the monarchy inherited from his great grandfather who received it illegitimately from the British after World War I.

“The Battle over Jerusalem Has Just Begun” by Bassam Tawil

The Palestinians, feeling triumphant now that Israel has complied with their demand to remove the metal detectors and security cameras, have been clarifying that it is only the first step in their fight to eradicate any Israeli presence in the Old City of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount.

They admit that this is a battle over sovereignty on the Temple Mount and Jerusalem. For the Palestinians, the real battle is over who controls Jerusalem and its holy sites. The real battle, in their eyes, is over the Jews’ right to live in their own state in the Middle East. Many Palestinians have still not come to terms with Israel’s right to exist, and that is what this battle is really about.

The Palestinians have added it up just right. In their own words, they aim at an escalation of violence because they believe that what Israel did is the first step toward even more concessions and even further retreat.

The Palestinian “victory” celebrations that took place after Israel removed metal detectors and surveillance cameras from the entrances to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem bode badly for the future of stability and peace in the Middle East.

To the Palestinians and many Arabs and Muslims, the Israeli move is viewed as a sign of weakness. In their eyes, the removal of the security cameras and metal detectors is capitulation, pure and simple.

How do we know this? Easy: look at the Palestinian response. Rather than acknowledging the conciliatory nature of the Israeli government’s decision, aimed at easing tensions and preventing bloodshed and violence, the Palestinians are demanding more.

As far as the Palestinians are concerned, the controversy over the Israeli security measures at the Temple Mount, which came after three terrorists murdered two Israeli police officers at the holy site on July 14, is part of a larger battle with Israel.

We have reached a new level in this discourse: Palestinian Authority (PA) officials are now openly admitting that it is not the metal detectors or security cameras that are at issue.

Instead, they admit, this is a battle over sovereignty on the Temple Mount and Jerusalem. For the Palestinians, the real battle is over who controls Jerusalem and its holy sites. The real battle, in their eyes, is over the Jews’ right to live in their own state in the Middle East. Many Palestinians have still not come to terms with Israel’s right to exist, and that is what this battle is really about.

The Palestinians, feeling triumphant now that Israel has complied with their demand to remove the metal detectors and security cameras, have been clarifying that it is only the first step in their fight to eradicate any Israeli presence in the Old City of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount.

No one explained this Palestinian position better than the PA foreign minister, Riad Malki, who announced on July 27 that the Palestinians consider the Israeli decision to dismantle the metal detectors and security cameras as surrender. He also confirmed what many Israeli and Palestinian political analysts have been saying for the past few weeks — that the conflict over Israel’s security measures was merely an excuse used by the Palestinians to force Israel to make political and territorial concessions.

In a speech before the Arab League foreign ministers in Cairo, Malki explained: “The issue is not metal detectors or cameras, but who is in charge and who has sovereignty over the Al-Aqsa Mosque.” Malki went on to explain that the Palestinians do not see the recent conflict as a security issue, but rather as a purely political matter. “The battle over Jerusalem has just begun,” he said, adding that the wave of Palestinian protests over the Israeli security measures had succeeded in “thwarting” Israel’s “conspiracy” to change the historical and legal status quo at the Temple Mount.