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September 2017

Can a White Person Make a Movie about African Americans? Some on the left say no. By Brendan O’Neill

Not content with harassing white people who wear their hair in cornrows and branding as “cultural appropriation” everything from college cafés serving sushi to Beyoncé donning a sari, now the new racial purists are coming for film director Kathryn Bigelow. Her crime? She’s a white woman. More specifically, she’s a white woman who dared to tell the story of the 1967 Detroit riots in her latest movie. It’s wrong for whites to tell black stories, apparently, because they can never truly understand those stories. It’s a profoundly philistine argument that exposes the misanthropy of the racial thinking that passes for radical commentary these days.

Bigelow’s Detroit is a blistering movie. It focuses on one incident in those crazy days of July 1967: the stand-off in the Algiers Motel between a group of young African Americans (and a couple of white girls) and the Detroit police and the National Guard. Through distilling the Detroit disturbance into one bloody clash, with a huge bulk of the film’s action taking place in a single motel corridor, Bigelow captures the racial and social tensions of the ’60s in a way few other filmmakers could. It’s both taut and expansive; part thriller, part social commentary. In that corridor, in those black heads pressed in fear against the wall, and in the jitteriness and hatefulness of certain of the cops (not all of them, though), the audience is given a stirring picture of a nation on the edge.

But Bigelow’s artistic achievement with Detroit, alongside that of her longstanding screenwriter Mark Boal, counts for little in the face of her racial heritage, it seems. Her whiteness apparently voids her artistic vision. No sooner had Detroit hit theater screens than she was being “called out” — PC for publicly shamed — for her cultural arrogance.

A Variety cover story asked: “How could Bigelow — a white woman raised just outside San Francisco by middle-class parents and educated at Columbia University — understand and illuminate [this] kind of raw experience?” This movie speaks to “the problem with watching black pain through a white lens,” said a writer for the Huffington Post, as if Bigelow were reducible to her whiteness; as if she turned up to work on Detroit every morning thinking and behaving as a white woman, a racial creature, rather than as a storyteller. This is a “white filmmaker [using] the spectacle of black pain as an educational tool,” says the HuffPost, which is bizarre, since Detroit doesn’t feel educational at all: It invites both emotional and intellectual responses, but it never once feels like a lecture.

At Slate, Dana Stevens argues that film directors — and surely by extension, all artists — cannot escape their origins when telling stories: “The people behind the camera . . . will create a different film from a different perspective depending on the lives they’ve led and the bodies they inhabit.” Bodies — here we get to the ironically dehumanizing element of PC racial thinking, where people are mere skin, driven, sometimes without realizing it, by their bodies, their biology. “The fact of the filmmakers’ whiteness can’t help but inflect their depiction [of racial history],” says Stevens. Can’t help. This resuscitates the very fatalism that lay at the heart of older varieties of racial thinking — namely, that we are prisoners of race, that our racial origins shape how we view and act in the world.

The Coming Terror by Mark Steyn

Most of the news bulletins I’m exposed to are on the radio, as I’m tootling around hither and yon. So it took me a while to discover that what the media call “peace activists”, “anti-racists” and “anti-Nazis” are, in fact, men and women garbed in black from head to toe, including face masks. Thus, as I pointed out on the radio last month, the violence on American streets derives from today’s paramilitary wing of the Democrat Party – antifa – working itself up over yesterday’s paramilitary wing of the Democrat Party – the Ku Klux Klan. Both have stupid pseudo-exotic self-romanticizing names and, as many commentators have observed, both have strict dress codes intended to conceal their identities. From white sheets to black bandanas is a mere fashion evolution: the purpose is the same – to do ugly things one could not confidently do with one’s face known to all.

Yet, as disturbing as antifa is, its romanticization by the respectable classes is even worse. My swaggeringly obtuse compatriot Warren “Catsmeat” Kinsella tweeted:

‘Antifa’ is short for anti-fascist. The only ones who should oppose antifa are fascists.

To which Charles C W Cooke responded:

Exactly. This is why I don’t understand anyone who is critical of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

But you’d be surprised how far a name can take you. Why, only a fascist would be anti-antifa! As Todd Gitlin explains in The New York Times:

Despite the spurious rhetoric of equivalency, supporters of antifa have, to date, killed no one.

Click below to see Mr Gitlin’s finely calibrated distinction in action on the streets of Berkeley last weekend:

Clip is from live chopper feed by @kcranews in #Berkeley. No cops seen, this is #Antifa. https://t.co/vQHUculNTX pic.twitter.com/AJvowKzbev
— Nick Short

Or as a CNN headline unironically cooed:

Activists Seek Peace Through Violence

So violent thugs who “have, to date, killed no one” are peace activists, and peaceful citizens who made the mistake of voting for Trump are the real violent threat. From Todd Gitlin’s New York Times colleague Nicholas Kristof:

We’re Journalists, Mr Trump, Not the Enemy

Mr Kristof is worried that the President’s contempt for the American media may egg on his supporters:

I’ve lost reporter and photographer friends in war zones all over the world, and have had other friends kidnapped and tortured. When Trump galvanizes crowds against reporters in the room, I worry that we may lose journalists in the line of duty not only in places like Syria but also right here at home. Trump will get people hurt.

In fact, it’s Kristof, Gitlin, CNN et al who are getting people hurt, right now – including reporters and photographers. Their willingness to cover for brute thuggery has incentivized antifa, who, entirely reasonably, have concluded they’re free to punch the lights out of any fascist who gets in their way. And, happily, if you’re deluded enough to believe that the principal threat to the United States in the year 2017 is “fascism”, why then everyone and his l’il old spinster auntie looks like a “fascist”. In that video up above, that’s a cameraman getting beaten up by antifa. Here’s a female journalist for The Hill getting punched in the face by an “anti-fascist”. Oh, and here’s a CBS reporter antifa put in the hospital. What’s your problem? In America today, Democrat state senators urge the assassination of the President and pay no price. To be fair, Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal was at pains to point out that she had no plans to kill Trump herself, merely that she wouldn’t be averse to some John Wilkes Booth type volunteering his services – like that Bernie Sanders supporter who pumped those bullets into House Majority Whip Steve Scalise the other week and left him with injuries that will afflict him for the rest of his days. And without Nicholas Kristof fretting that “Bernie will get people hurt”. After all, Scalise is out of intensive care, so, as Mr Gitlin would point out, his shooter has “to date killed no one”.

This then is the good violence – the violence that brings peace. Mark Bray, author of Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook, says that “antifa isn’t concerned with free speech or other liberal democratic values” – because “fascism cannot be defeated through speech”.

One reason “fascism cannot be defeated through speech” is because the desiccated plaints of the left so hollow out speech that they render it so meaningless a graduate of “journalism school” can find himself typing up the headline “Peace Through Violence” and never stop to think, “Hang on a minute…” That CBS reporter antifa beat up? Who cares? He was “perpetuating rape culture”:

He intentionally ignored the denial of consent, still without identifying himself (though we still wouldn’t care), which was a threat to safety and should be considered in a context of perpetuating rape culture. Denial of consent by the media is still a denial of consent and is disgusting and parasitic behavior.

If the “rape culture” shtick doesn’t do it for you, well, he’s a white man with a telephone:

Due to the intensity and context of this time people are very scared of white men running full speed at them with iPhones as this is the exact behavior of a white supremacist trying to out identity of people of color and anti fascists in order to invoke fear.

I don’t know what that last bit means, but, if that Liberty Bell is named after Alexander Graham, the sooner they blow it up the better. White men with telephones cannot be defeated through speech!

Lessons for the West: Imprisoned for One’s Faith by Majid Rafizadeh

There is much that we the West — and feminists — can learn from her tale… For one thing, freedom cannot be taken for granted. For another, liberal attitudes towards Muslim fundamentalism serve only to imperil the free world.

Anyone who ignores the plight of women such as Rafizadeh — or who makes excuses for radical Islam — is effectively emboldening the extremists and enabling them to export their repressive ideology to the West.

The “biggest battle [that] lies ahead” is not merely for women’s rights; it is “against an ideology that regards female empowerment as an evil that must be eradicated.” — Gavin Mortimer, The Spectator.

Women in the West are increasingly being targeted by jihadists for persecution and murder, noted the British historian Gavin Mortimer in a recent piece in the Spectator. The radical Islamists are doing this, Mortimer said, “because in their minds [females] represent empowerment and enlightenment, and also immodesty.”

Women in Muslim-majority countries are all too familiar with this attitude. Subjected to the dictates of the strictest interpretation of Islam at the hands of their patriarchal societies, they live as second-class citizens across the Middle East. Those who dare to go against the grain in any fashion — even by belonging to another religion — meet cruel fates.

Azita Rafizadeh, for instance, a wife and mother (and not related to the author), is serving a four-year sentence in Iran’s notorious Evin Prison for “acting against national security” and “membership in an illegal Baha’i institute.” The way she is being treated gives a glimpse into the severe oppression under which a non-Muslim woman is forced to live in a state governed by Islamic law, Sharia.

Born in 1980 to a Baha’i family in Shiraz, Rafizadeh was not allowed by the Iranian regime to attend university. She got around this restriction by attending programs offered at the Bahai Institute of Higher Education (BIHE), an underground university established in 1987 by Iran’s minority Baha’i community for its young members, who are discriminated against by the government because of their faith.

After completing a BA in computer engineering, she married Payman Koushk-Baghi, a fellow Baha’i whom she met at the BIHE. Together, the couple continued their education in India, and returned to Iran in 2008 with teaching jobs at the BIHE. The following year, Rafizadeh gave birth to a son. In the spring of 2010, she and her husband were arrested — and their computers and books confiscated — as part of a crackdown by regime intelligence services on BIHE teachers.

Azita Rafizadeh and her husband, Payman Koushk-Baghi, holding their son, Bashir, in a photo taken before their imprisonment.

When she was brought before a judge, Rafizadeh refused to enter a plea deal according to which she would not be sent to prison if she guaranteed that would never work for the BIHE again. She refused. Ultimately, both she and her husband were incarcerated, leaving their young son to be forced to live with another family.

To make matters worse, to punish her further, in October 2016, Iranian authorities transferred her husband to a different prison, and have denied the couple most of their visitation rights.

Due to the Islamist regime in Iran, a leading state sponsor of global terrorism, Rafizadeh had two obstacles to contend with throughout her life: being a female and a Baha’i. A third hurdle, for which she is paying dearly — as her health has deteriorated seriously in jail — is her refusal to compromise on her ideals and values. She could have remained abroad after leaving to further her education, but she chose instead to return to Iran to help others in her predicament. She could have had a far easier life in another country, where she would be free to practice her faith proudly and in peace. Yet she opted for a difficult existence, putting herself in danger for a humanitarian cause. For this she is being punished beyond all reason, other than that which Islamists employ to justify their behavior towards “infidels.”

The Forgotten Palestinians by Khaled Abu Toameh

Ayman Qawasmeh and Issa Amro would have been better off being arrested by Israeli authorities. Had that happened, their stories would have made it to the pages of major Western newspapers. CNN or NBC might have dedicated an entire program to their ordeal. Without a way for the Western media outlets to implicate Israel, however, their tale remains buried — along with their freedom.

The group also points out that it has documented some 472 cases of deaths consequent to torture in Syrian detention centers and prisons over the past few years.

Would anyone like to know about the true apartheid laws applied to Palestinians in different Arab countries? The information is readily available: all that needs to happen is for the Western media and the rest of the international community to reconsider their obsession with Israel and to start paying attention to the real Palestinian victims — those living in the Arab countries.

More than 1,600 Palestinians have gone missing in Syria, and hundreds have been killed, since the beginning of the civil war there. This is not the type of news that makes it to mainstream media in the West, however.

To catch the eyes of the international community and media, Palestinians need to live in the West Bank, Gaza Strip or Jerusalem. These are the lucky Palestinians whose stories (and plights) are regularly covered by the international media. Why? Mostly because these are the Palestinians whose stories are often linked, directly and indirectly, to Israel.

It is no secret that Western journalists and mainstream media outlets have developed an obsession with Israel. Everything that Israel does (or does not do) receives widespread coverage, especially if there is a way to blame Israel for inflicting suffering on the Palestinians.

When Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas imposed punitive measures against the two million Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip, denying them medicine, electricity and salaries, somehow the mainstream media finds a way to implicate Israel.

Abbas’s ongoing crackdown on the Palestinian media, including the arrest of journalists and Facebook users, is also apparently not newsworthy, in the view of the Western media. Who cares if Abbas blocks 30 news websites because of their criticism of his policies and actions? Who cares if Abbas just this week ordered the arrest of journalist Ayman Qawasmeh, the director of a private radio station in Hebron?

Qawasmeh was arrested shortly after he criticized Abbas and called on him and his prime minister, Rami Hamdallah, to resign. Western journalists covering the Israeli-Palestinian conflict dismiss these stories only, it seems, because they lack an anti-Israel angle.

As if the arrest of Qawasmeh were not enough, Abbas’s security forces later arrested Issa Amro, a Palestinian activist from Hebron, for speaking out against the arrest of the journalist. Amro was taken into custody after he published a Facebook post criticizing the Palestinian Authority security forces for arresting the journalist and stifling freedom of expression.

Qawasmeh and Amro would have been better off being arrested by Israeli authorities. Had that happened, their stories would have made it to the pages of major Western newspapers. CNN or NBC might have dedicated an entire program to their ordeal. Without a way for the Western media outlets to implicate Israel, however, their tale remains buried — along with their freedom.

The tragic tale of Palestinians in Syria exposes the double standard of the international media and community when it comes to covering the Middle East: when Israel is not involved, journalists are not involved.

What happens to Palestinians in Arab countries seems to be rather ho-hum to most of the world. So what if thousands of Palestinians have gone missing or have been killed? If an Arab state is involved, the media stays away.

Syria: Elections Gambit to Get Russia Off the Hook by Amir Taheri

In a U-turn that might enter diplomatic annals as among the most bizarre, the United Nations’ special envoy on Syria, Staffan di Mistura, is forecasting an end of the war and the holding of elections there next year.

In a BBC radio interview this week, di Mistura more than implied that the international community must now accept the prolongation of President Bashar al-Assad’s rule and the holding of elections by what is left of his administration.

Di Mistura’s new position is in sharp contrast with the analysis he offered last year when he explicitly ruled out “any possibility of holding elections under the present regime.”

Spelling out his new analysis yesterday, di Mistura speculated that the Islamic State will lose its last strongholds in Syria by October, paving the way for “free and fair elections.”

In a U-turn that might enter diplomatic annals as among the most bizarre, the United Nations’ special envoy on Syria, Staffan di Mistura (pictured), is forecasting an end of the war and the holding of elections there next year. (Image source: UN Photo / Jean-Marc Ferré)

“What we are seeing is, in my opinion, the beginning of the end of this war… what we need to make sure is that this becomes also the beginning of peace. And that is where the challenge starts at this very moment,” he said.

Analysts believe that di Mistura, frustrated by his failure to broker a deal between the rival blocs in this conflict, is trying to inject a bit of “positive mood” into what is an increasingly grim picture. Just a few weeks ago, diplomatic circles were abuzz with rumors about di Mistura either being sacked or throwing in the towel.

“His new optimism may be due to some vague promises from Moscow,” says a UN official on condition of anonymity.

“With the Trump administration apparently letting Russia play the lead in this phase of the Syrian drama, di Mistura needs some backing from Russia to get anything done. Russia, in return, demands that the issue of al-Assad’s future be set aside for the time being.”

To cajole di Mistura in line, Moscow seems to have also promised a set of as yet unspecific concessions by the Assad clan in Damascus.

What di Mistura ignores is the fact that Assad and his backers who think they have won the war are in no mood to make any meaningful concessions to their opponents who may represent a majority of the Syrian people.

“Russia and Iran are certainly trying to split the anti-Assad opposition,” says Iranian analyst Nasser Zamani. “The issue of early elections without a decision on Assad’s fate is likely to cause such a split.”

The so-called Cairo and Moscow opposition groups, believed to have a tacit understanding with at least part of the Assad regime, are likely to welcome the idea of elections in 2018. The main opposition coalition, known as the High Negotiations Committee, however, is likely to reject elections in circumstances in which the Assad regime controls at least 40 per cent of the population.

Di Mistura’s election gambit may, in fact, have little do with the core problems of the Syrian tragedy. It is clear that no serious elections could be held in such a short time and with no transition authority in place.

The dramatic changes in the Syrian demographic composition mean that no credible electoral register could be established without a proper census. By most estimates, at least half of Syria’s population has been transformed into refugees or displaced persons within the country.

Even if some kind of register is worked out, other key issues such as designating constituencies or adopting the system of proportional representation are complex enough to require more time to tackle.

Then there is the problem of who will organize, monitor and ultimately certify any election.

To End DACA, Follow the Constitution The Democrats need to cooperate on legislation, for a change. By Andrew C. McCarthy

The DACA controversy demonstrates the wages of the “progressive” conceit that our ingenious constitutional system is obsolete, that modern problems are so unprecedentedly complex they demand extra-constitutional solutions — such as a president’s usurping of congressional power, exactly the road to tyranny the Framers feared.

That is what President Obama did in presidentially legislating the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals program. Contrary to much of the public commentary, the defect in DACA is not that it was done in the form of an executive action (under the guise of a Department of Homeland Security memorandum). There is nothing wrong with an executive order that merely directs the lawful operations of the executive branch.

The problem is the substance of executive action. DACA is defective in two ways. First, it presumes to exercise legislative power by conferring positive legal benefits on a category of aliens (the “dreamers,” as concisely described in Yuval Levin’s Corner post). Second, it distorts the doctrine of prosecutorial discretion to rationalize this presidential legislating and to grant a de facto amnesty. These maneuvers violated core constitutional principles: separation of powers and the president’s duty to execute the laws faithfully.

There has never been a shred of honesty in the politics of DACA. Democrats have taken the constitutionally heretical position that a president must act if Congress “fails” to. They now claim that to vacate DACA would be a travesty, notwithstanding that the program is blatantly illegal and would be undone by the courts if President Trump does not withdraw it. For his part, candidate Trump loudly promised to repeal Obama’s lawless decree but, betraying the immigration-permissivist core that has always lurked beneath his restrictionist rhetoric, Trump has wrung his hands through the first eight months of his presidency. As for the Republican establishment, DACA is just another Obamacare: something that they were stridently against as long as their objections were futile, but that they never sincerely opposed and — now that they are accountable — cannot bring themselves to fight.

It is all so unnecessary.

Trump should do what he should have done his first day in office. He should declare the Obama-administration guidance null and void. Having sworn to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution, he could explain that, while he would certainly execute any accommodations Congress enacts for “dreamers,” the president has no authority to confer positive legal benefits — such as work permits — on aliens. Trump could remind the public that President Obama himself publicly admitted he did not have the constitutional power to do what DACA does. Consequently, it makes sense for Trump to end the program now rather than continue on an unconstitutional course that the courts would inevitably invalidate. You don’t fix a problem by persisting in a lawless holding pattern.

The president could then explain how prosecutorial discretion legitimately functions, and how it would be exercised in favor of the dreamers.

In principle, prosecutorial discretion is a resource-allocation doctrine: The assets available for law-enforcement functions are finite, so the executive branch must prioritize — meaning serious violations get the most attention, while comparatively trivial violations often go unaddressed. Nevertheless, the president may not use prosecutorial discretion as a ruse to, in effect, repeal congressional statutes or decree new “laws.” To use some concrete examples, the federal government virtually never prosecutes possession of marijuana or fraud under a low dollar amount (say, $10,000). That does not mean such acts are no longer illegal; the government reserves the right to prosecute them in individual cases where peculiar circumstances warrant doing so. Still, absent highly unusual facts, these illegal acts are ignored so that sparse investigative resources can be targeted at more significant illegality.

Trump Gets DACA Right Allowing Congress to do its job is the best option. By Rich Lowry —

Even in our divided politics, it should be a matter of consensus that the president of the United States can’t write laws on his own.

That’s what President Barack Obama did twice when he unilaterally granted amnesties to swaths of the illegal-immigrant population. The courts blocked one of these measures, known as DAPA, and President Donald Trump has now begun the process of ending the other, DACA, on a delayed, rolling basis.

In a country with a firmer commitment to its Constitution and the rule of law, there’d be robust argument over how to deal with the DACA recipients — so-called DREAMers who were brought here by their illegal-immigrant parents as children — but no question that Congress is the appropriate body for considering the matter, not the executive branch.

Instead, President Trump is getting roundly denounced by all his usual critics for inviting Congress to work its will. Obama came out of his brief retirement to join the pile-on. In a Facebook post, the former president said it’s wrong “to target these young people,” and called Trump’s act “cruel” and “contrary to our spirit, and to common sense.”

This is a lot of hyperventilating, even for a former president of the United States who must loathe his successor. Trump’s decision is a relatively modest way to roll back what is clearly an extralegal act.

The president goes out of his way to minimize disruption for current DACA recipients. The administration will stop accepting new applications for the program but will continue to consider two-year renewals for recipients whose status is expiring between now and March 5. This gives Congress a six-month window for its own solution before anyone’s status changes.

The proximate cause of the Trump decision was a threat by the attorney general of Texas and other states to bring a suit challenging the legality of DACA. Attention had to be paid, because Texas and other states successfully got the other Obama unilateral amnesty, DAPA, enjoined by the courts.

In his post, Obama waves off the legal challenge. He says DACA is based “on the well-established legal principle of prosecutorial discretion.” He maintained the exact same thing about DAPA, and that didn’t save it in the courts, including the Supreme Court.

True prosecutorial discretion involves a case-by-case determination by authorities. Obama’s executive amnesties were sweeping new dispensations designed to apply to broad categories of illegal immigrants. They didn’t involve simply deciding not to prioritize the deportation of the affected illegal immigrants, but the conferral of various positive benefits on them, most importantly work permits.

This is clearly a new legal system for these immigrants, and in fact, President Obama once slipped and told an audience, “I just took action to change the law.” Prior to DACA, Obama repeatedly said that he didn’t have the authority to implement his own amnesty absent congressional action — before doing just that.

Hating Israel at the Center for Jewish History When even medieval blood libels aren’t too much for the anti-Israel Left. Daniel Greenfield

The Center for Jewish History claims to hold “the largest repository of Jewish historical documentation outside of Israel.” But now the Center has fallen into the hands of an anti-Israel activist who attacked efforts to fight campus anti-Semitism and defended a hate group promoting anti-Semitic speakers.

It’s hard to find a group opposed to the Jewish State that David N. Myers, the new head of the Center, hasn’t endorsed, participated in or been a part of.

JVP, an anti-Semitic BDS hate group, listed Myers as a JVP Academic Advisory Board Member in its leaflet accusing Jewish activists of “Misusing Anti-Semitism Charges to Silence Free Speech.”

Why would JVP be concerned about accusations of anti-Semitism? Not only is the BDS hate group violently opposed to the Jewish State, but it sponsored talks by Alison Weir, who had claimed that Jews drank Christian blood and engaged in the ritual murder of Christian children during the Middle Ages.

Weir promoted her anti-Semitic conspiracy theories on the radio show of a white supremacist and Holocaust denier. An article on her personal blog claims that, “The Zionists who created Israel and still run it are descended from the Khazars.” Despite that, JVP continued hosting Weir. It cheered on Rasmea Odeh, a terrorist convicted of playing a role in the murder of two Jewish college students. When Miko Peled tweeted, “Jews have reputation 4being sleazy thieves”, JVP initially disavowed him before apologizing for its reaction. This followed the same pattern of behavior that took place with Weir.

Instead of opposing anti-Semitism in his role as an instructor, David N. Myers was one of the toxic figures at UCLA who undermined Jewish students under siege by anti-Semitic bigots.

When the UC Advisory Council on Campus Climate, Culture and Inclusion released a report warning about campus intolerance by the anti-Israel and anti-Jewish left, Myers joined other anti-Israel leftists in attacking the report. An open letter, signed by Myers, bizarrely claimed that the ADL was, which advocates for Muslim and transgender rights, was a “well-known rightwing group”.

The letter claimed that the “ADL has become known for accusing critics of Israel of being anti-semitic and denouncing Palestinian rights supporters, including Students for Justice in Palestine and Jewish Voice for Peace.”

The letter appeared to have been put together by an activist affiliated with JVP who edited its JPN list. And many of the signatories were affiliated with the JVP hate group.

Instead of being an ally for Jewish students faced with anti-Semitism, David N. Myers was an ally of the bigots and opposed efforts to adopt the State Department definition of anti-Semitism.

The Center for Jewish History’s tragic decision rewarded an anti-Israel activist, who stood against Jewish students and with a BDS hate group linked to gutter anti-Semitism of the worst kind, by gifting him the leadership of an institution whose work encompasses that of the American Jewish Historical Society, the American Sephardi Federation, the Leo Baeck Institute, YIVO and the Yeshiva University Museum.

There is hardly an organization in the anti-Israel network where Myers hasn’t left his fingerprints.

David N. Myers vocally advocated for If Not Now: an anti-Israel hate group linked to JVP and J Street which harasses Jewish charities in a stealth BDS campaign. He’s on the advisory council of J Street, he has been listed on the Academic Council of Open Hillel and has been linked to Peace Now.

While officially claiming to oppose BDS, Myers wrote several years ago, “If President Obama does not apply the requisite pressure by the end of this year, then a boycott of Israel’s settlements and commercial activity in the West Bank may have to be the necessary next step.”

The Vatican Attacks Trump Supporters White Christian Americans are “dangerous;” Islam is non-violent. Danusha V. Goska

In July, 2017, La Civilta Cattolica published an article entitled “Evangelical Fundamentalism and Catholic Integralism: A Surprising Ecumenism,” a.k.a. “An Ecumenism of Hate.” La Civilta Cattolica is Italian for Catholic Civilization. This publication is prestigious and long-lived. It was founded in 1850 and it is vetted by the Vatican. The authors of “An Ecumenism of Hate” are Antonio Spadaro a 51-year-old, Italian Jesuit and editor-in-chief of La Civilta Cattolica, and Marcelo Figueroa, a Presbyterian, Argentinian theologian. Both are close associates of Pope Francis.

“An Ecumenism of Hate” identifies Trump voters, Protestant and Catholic, as in need of correction, as they diverge from true Christian faith, and pose a threat to American democracy and world peace. These Trump voters are wrong about, or are handling in an incorrect way, the following: abortion, same-sex marriage, the environment, education, welfare, immigration, the current influx of migrants into Europe, and Islam. Given that the article was understood as a papally-endorsed, full-frontal attack on the president of the United States and his supporters, it received wide attention.

New York Times’ readers exulted. “Glory hallelujah,” says the reader response voted most popular by other readers. “I am not a Catholic but I believe Pope Francis is a true disciple of Christ,” reads the second most popular response. “I wholly support Pope Francis’ crusade against greed and exploitation… and hate-inspired exclusionary policies,” “I am CHEERING,” “Pope Francis … is the true moral leader of the world,” read subsequent popular responses.

The Economist calls the article “startling.” In Commonweal, author and theology professor Massimo Faggioli calls “An Ecumenism of Hate” a “must-read,” because, inter alia, it shines a light on Vatican response to “Trump’s Islamophobic remarks and advocacy for the deportation of undocumented immigrants.” Trump voters and their ilk, Faggioli writes, are responsible for “new barriers … between Christianity and Islam.”

Luis Badilla, editor of a popular Italian Catholic website, Il Sismografo, asks why Rome had to produce such an article. Why hadn’t American bishops said, sooner and more emphatically, what the article said? American Catholic leaders were guilty of an “embarrassing silence.”

There were some similar outpourings of joy at the Civilta Cattolica site. “My Muslim friends say that Francis is the one man on earth who is uncorrupted and can speak the truth. They love him,” writes one reader.

John L. Allen writes in Crux that Spadaro and Figueroa “clearly reflect the kind of views held by the pontiff.” Trump supporters hated the article, and Trump critics loved the article, Allen writes: “immediate reaction here mostly broke down along pro- or anti-Trump lines. If you’re inclined to give the president a break, you probably hated the article, and vice-versa.” The article deserves attention, Allen writes, because it breaks precedent. “This is not just business as usual. It’s rare for a Vatican media outlet, even one that’s only semi-official, to comment directly on the politics of another nation, especially in a fashion that can’t help but be seen as fairly partisan.”

A subsequent Crux article presents a “Latino / Latina take” on the article. “Underrepresented” Latinos and Latinas feel like “aliens in this Promised Land.” Latinos and Latinas voted for Hillary Clinton. (The article really does insist, throughout, on referring to male and female Latinos and Latinas separately.)

The Jesuit magazine America’s coverage features a photo of a sincere looking, attractive young woman holding a sign in front of the White House. Her message: “Resist Islamophobia.”

New York Times columnist Ross Douthat wrote a critical response, calling the article “bad but important.” The National Catholic Register condemns the article as “a collection of uninformed assertions spiced with malice.” Spadaro and Figueroa attacked an obscure website, Church Militant. That website responded sharply, suggesting that the article might be “promoting positions contrary to Catholic teaching.” In CatholicPhilly ,Archbishop Charles Chaput likens Spadero and Figueroa to Lenin’s “useful idiots.”

Two Major Antifa Groups Spout North Korean Propaganda And yet they operate unmolested. Matthew Vadum

Two leading anti-Trump resistance groups, Refuse Fascism and the Workers World Party, are siding with the gulag-filled Stalinist hermit state of North Korea that has threatened to incinerate the American homeland with nuclear weapons, evidence suggests.

Both of these extreme-left organizations have organized demonstrations against the Trump administration that have turned violent, including those around Inauguration Day. Both groups are also part of the violent “Antifa” coalition of leftist groups that portray themselves as anti-fascist but embrace fascistic tactics like beating up political adversaries to intimidate them into silence.

Both groups are also spouting pro-North Korean propaganda talking points, and in at least one case, copying and pasting official North Korean statements into communiques.

Last month, masked Antifa thugs in Berkeley, California, called for the destruction of the United States. “No Trump, no wall, no USA at all!” the large gathering of black bloc-attired protesters chanted at a conservative “No to Marxism” rally. The same weekend Antifa worked with San Francisco officials to prevent the innocuous conservative group Patriot Prayer from holding a small rally at a federal park. As this writer previously observed, thanks to Antifa, the Left now has the power to dictate what is and is not acceptable speech in California and many parts of the country.

After the UN Security Council unanimously resolved August 5 to slap North Korea with more sanctions, both groups stoutly defended the nightmarish Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the Daily Caller reports.

Leaders of Refuse Fascism indicated at a recent conference that the group hopes to deprive U.S. leaders of “international legitimacy” as a means of driving President Trump from office, an objective that would no doubt please North Korea.

Refuse Fascism has announced plans to try to overthrow the U.S. government through occupations and crippling strikes. The Trump-resistance organization plans to organize demonstrations in urban centers across the nation later this year, according to Politico.

Leftist currency speculator George Soros has ties to Refuse Fascism. He funds the Alliance for Global Justice (AfGJ), a group that took in donations on behalf of the Occupy Wall Street movement. The AfGJ now serves as a fiscal sponsor for Refuse Fascism, accepting donations on behalf of unincorporated or small groups and deducting a modest administrative fee so that donors can deduct the donations from their taxes.

Soros’s friends in the Democracy Alliance, a donors’ collaborative of wealthy left-wing one-percenters, may also be funding Trump-resistance groups like Refuse Fascism.

Refuse Fascism has characterized the situation between the U.S. and North Korea as “the largest military power in the world bullying a small, isolated country and terrorizing the people of that entire region.”

The month before, the group accused the U.S. of acting based on a “playbook of demonization” against dictator Kim Jong-un. Sounding like the seditious peaceniks of the pro-Soviet unilateral disarmament movement in the U.S. and the U.K. in the 1980s, Refuse Fascism appealed to Americans to forget about their country’s interests and “act in the interests of humanity instead.”

“Stop thinking like an American,” the group said. “Start thinking about humanity.”

Refuse Fascism asked Americans to resist what it called the U.S. media’s “lies and distortion” that put the DPRK — the most oppressive, totalitarian state in the world — in a negative light.

“No, we should not be comfortable with the disgusting media frenzy, full of lies and distortion, that marches us toward not just another invasion of a small country but a nuclear attack that can wipe out millions of people in one day and threaten the future of life on earth,” the group said.