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October 2017

UK: Extremely Selective Free Speech by Judith Bergman

The issue is not hate preachers visiting the UK from abroad. While banning them from campuses will leave them with fewer venues, it by no means solves the larger issue, which is that they will continue their Dawah or proselytizing elsewhere.

The question probably should be: Based on available evidence, are those assessments of Islam accurate? Particularly compared to current messages that seemingly are considered “conducive to the public good.”

At around the same time as the two neo-Nazi groups were banned at the end of September 2017, Home Secretary Amber Rudd refused to ban Hezbollah’s political wing in the UK. Hezbollah itself, obviously, does not distinguish between its ‘political’ and ‘military’ wings. In other words, you can go ahead and support Hezbollah in the UK, no problem. Support the far right and you can end up in jail for a decade.

Apparently, 112 events featuring extremist speakers took place on UK campuses in the academic year 2016/2017, according to a recent report by Britain’s Henry Jackson society: “The vast majority of the extreme speakers recorded in this report are Islamist extremists, though one speaker has a background in Far-Right politics….” That one speaker was Tommy Robinson both of whose events were cancelled, one due to hundreds of students planning to demonstrate to protest his appearance. The report does not mention student protests at any of the Islamist events.

The topics of the Islamist speakers included:

“Dawah Training… to teach students the fundamentals of preaching to others… Western foreign policy towards the Islamic world in general… Grievances…perceived attacks on Muslims and Islam in the UK… [calling for] scrapping of Prevent and other government counter-extremism measures [critiquing] arrest and detention of terrorism suspects… [challenging] ideas such as atheism and skepticism… religious socio-economic governance, focusing on the role of religion in fields such as legislation, justice… finance… religious rulings or interpretations, religious verses or other texts, important historical or scriptural figures…”

London was the region with the highest number of events, followed by the South East, according to the report. The most prolific speakers were affiliated to the Muslim Debate Initiative, the Islamic Education and Research Academy (iERA), the Muslim Research and Development Foundation (MRDF), the Hittin Institute, Sabeel, and CAGE. Most speakers were invited by Islamic student societies, and a high proportion of the talks took place during campus events such as “Discover Islam Week”, “Islam Awareness Week” and “Islamophobia Awareness Month”.

One of the most prolific speakers, Hamza Tzortis, is a senior member of iERA. He has said that apostates who “fight against the community[…] should be killed” and that, “we as Muslims reject the idea of freedom of speech, and even the idea of freedom”.

That so many extremist speaker events continue to take place at British universities should be cause for alarm. In March 2015, the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act (CTSA) imposed a duty on universities, among other public bodies, to pay “due regard to the need to prevent individuals from being drawn into terrorism”, yet at 112 events last year, the number of extremist Islamist events on campuses have not dropped significantly. In comparison, there were 132 events in 2012, 145 events in 2013 and 123 events in 2014.

Evidence shows that the danger of becoming an actual Islamic terrorist while studying at British university campuses is also extremely real. According to one report, also by the Henry Jackson society:

“Since 1999, there have been a number of acts of Islamism-inspired terrorism… committed by students studying at a UK university at the time of their offence…there have also been a significant number of graduates from UK universities convicted of involvement in terrorism, and whom… were at least partially radicalised during their studies”.

The most well known case is probably that of Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, who in 2002 was found guilty of the kidnapping and murder of journalist Daniel Pearl. He is believed to have been radicalized while studying at the London School of Economics and Political Science in the early 1990s.

How Barcelona Became a Victim of the Barcelona Process by Fjordman

The Barcelona Process, promoted by the EU, has helped to facilitate a greater presence of Islam and Muslim immigrants in Western Europe — thereby also increasing the Islamic terror threat there. That result was perfectly foreseeable.

When the number of people who believe in Islamic Jihad doctrines rises, the likelihood of experiencing jihadist attacks increases as well.

It is unlikely, though, that European political leaders will point to this connection. Doing so would be an indirect admission that Europe’s leaders have actively increased the Islamic terror threat against European citizens. This is the brutal truth they do not want exposed.

The murders on the pedestrian street of La Rambla in Barcelona on August 17, 2017 were not the first Islamic terrorist attack in Spain. On March 11, 2004, 192 people were killed, and around two thousand injured, in the Madrid train bombings.

In hindsight, that attack marked a new phase in the modern Islamic Jihad against Europe. After the Madrid bombings, London was hit with deadly bombings on July 7, 2005. In recent years, the frequency of jihadist attacks on European soil has increased dramatically.

It is probably not a coincidence that Spain was an early target of Islamic terror. The Iberian Peninsula, present-day Portugal and Spain, was for centuries under Islamic rule. Militant Muslims have repeatedly made it clear that for them, reconquering Spain is a priority.

The murders on the pedestrian street of La Rambla in Barcelona on August 17, 2017 were not the first Islamic terrorist attack in Spain. (Image source: JT Curses/Wikimedia Commons)

Ironically, some people in Barcelona seem to view tourists who pay for short-term visits as a greater threat than Muslim immigrants who come to stay permanently. One can hear similar reactions among some radical left-wing activists, for instance, in Greece.

Mass tourism can potentially cause problems such as overcrowding and local pollution. Nevertheless, it is noteworthy that only a few days before the terror attack in Barcelona, some locals were complaining about an invasion of tourists. One radical left-wing group, Arran, published footage of tourist bikes in the city having their tires punctured in acts of deliberate sabotage. Of course, the problem might be even greater if there were too few tourists.

Meanwhile, a real invasion of Spain and Europe is taking place. For years, huge numbers of illegal immigrants from the Islamic world and Africa have been entering, especially through Greece or Italy. Spain, too, has seen a spike in the number of illegal immigrants. The Spanish-controlled enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla in North Africa are under increasing pressure as points of departure for migrants.

It’s 1968 All Over Again The United States and the world appear to be reliving the language, politics, and global instability of 1968. By Victor Davis Hanson

Almost a half-century ago, in 1968, the United States seemed to be falling apart.

The Vietnam War, a bitter and close presidential election, antiwar protests, racial riots, political assassinations, terrorism, and a recession looming on the horizon left the country divided between a loud radical minority and a silent conservative majority.

The United States avoided a civil war. But America suffered a collective psychological depression, civil unrest, defeat in Vietnam, and assorted disasters for the next decade — until the election of a once-polarizing Ronald Reagan ushered in five consecutive presidential terms of relative bipartisan calm and prosperity from 1981 to 2001.

It appears as if 2017 might be another 1968. Recent traumatic hurricanes seem to reflect the country’s human turmoil.

After the polarizing Obama presidency and the contested election of Donald Trump, the country is once again split in two. But this time the divide is far deeper, both ideologically and geographically — and more 50/50, with the two liberal coasts pitted against red-state America in between.

Century-old mute stone statues are torn down in the dead of night, apparently on the theory that by attacking the Confederate dead, the lives of the living might improve.

All the old standbys of American life seem to be eroding. The National Football League is imploding as it devolves into a political circus. Multimillionaire players refuse to stand for the national anthem, turning off millions of fans whose former loyalties paid their salaries.

Politics — or rather a progressive hatred of the provocative Donald Trump — permeates almost every nook and cranny of popular culture.

The new allegiance of the media, late-night television, stand-up comedy, Hollywood, professional sports, and universities is committed to liberal sermonizing. Politically correct obscenity and vulgarity among celebrities and entertainers are a substitute for talent, even as Hollywood is wracked by sexual-harassment scandals and other perversities.

The smears “racist,” “fascist,” “white privilege,” and “Nazi” — like “Commie” of the 1950s — are so overused as to become meaningless. There is now less free speech on campus than during the McCarthy era of the early 1950s.

As was the case in 1968, the world abroad is also falling apart.

The European Union, model of the future, is unraveling. The EU has been paralyzed by the exit of Great Britain, the divide between Spain and Catalonia, the bankruptcy of Mediterranean nation members, insidious terrorist attacks in major European cities, and the onslaught of millions of immigrants — mostly young, male, and Muslim — from the war-torn Middle East. Germany is once again becoming imperious, but this time insidiously by means other than arms.

New College Student Survey: Yes, Speech Can Be Violence Results like these are just as troubling as the high-profile incidents dominating the news. By David French

If you follow free-speech controversies for any length of time, you’ll understand two things about public opinion. First, an overwhelming percentage of Americans will declare their support for free speech. Second, a shocking percentage of Americans also support censoring speech they don’t like. How is this possible? It’s simple. “Free speech” is good speech, you see. That’s the speech that corrects injustices and speaks truth to power. That other speech? The speech that hurts my feelings or hurts my friends’ feelings? That’s “hate speech.” It might even be violence.

A new survey of college students demonstrates this reality perfectly. Conducted by McLaughlin & Associates for Yale’s William F. Buckley, Jr. Program, the survey queried 800 college students attending four-year private or public colleges, and the results were depressingly predictable.

First, the “good” news. Students claim to love free speech and intellectual diversity. For example, 83 percent agree that the First Amendment needs to be “followed and respected.” A whopping 84 percent agree that their school should “always do its best to promote intellectual diversity,” including by protecting free speech and inviting controversial speakers to campus. Similarly, 93 percent agree that there’s value in listening to and understanding “views and opinions that I may disagree with.”

But that’s not good news at all. It’s simply evidence that in the abstract students will claim to be open-minded. They’ll claim to value different views — right until the moment they really get offended. For example, 81 percent agree with the statement that “words can be a form of violence.” A full 58 percent of students believe that colleges should “forbid” speakers who have a “history of engaging in hate speech.”

And what is hate speech? The definition the students liked was staggeringly broad. Two-thirds agreed that hate speech is “anything that one particular person believes is harmful, racist, or bigoted.” They further agreed that hate speech “means something different to everyone.”

Given these realities, it should come as no surprise that large numbers of students believe that interruptions or even violence are appropriate to stop offensive speech. Almost 40 percent believe that it’s “sometimes appropriate” to “shout down or disrupt” a speaker. A sobering 30 percent believe that physical violence can be used to stop someone from “using hate speech or engaging in racially charged comments.”

It’s a small consolation that a slight majority of students say that they have not felt intimidated out of expressing their views — but this means that, in institutions allegedly dedicated to critical thinking and open inquiry, almost half the student respondents indicated they were indeed intimidated.

Survey findings like this should serve as an alarm bell every bit as important as the shout-downs and attacks that dominate the headlines. Naysayers and defenders of the status quo on campus will argue that the censors represent a mere fringe, that our campuses are still more free than critics suggest. That may be true on some campuses, but these poll numbers indicate that the so-called radicals are perhaps more mainstream than we’d like to admit.

Trump Finally Gets His ‘Travel Ban’ Victory Key point: The Supremes, in an 8–1 decision, vacated the lower-court rulings. By Andrew C. McCarthy ****

For President Trump’s so-called travel ban, October 10 was a big day after all. That did not seem a likely outcome when the Supreme Court removed the case from its docket, scrapping the oral arguments originally scheduled for Tuesday morning. That evening, though, the Court issued a brief order that gave the president an important victory — one that is clearer than the Court’s June 26 ruling, which the White House dubiously celebrated as a big win.

The Court not only dismissed as moot the challenge to the administration’s restrictions on travel to the United States by aliens from six countries. Critically, the Court also vacated lower-court rulings that had upheld injunctions against the travel restrictions.

These abusive lower-court decisions were exercises in sheer judicial fiat. They ignored Supreme Court precedents that recognize the executive’s authority over foreign affairs and homeland security, as well as the political branches’ plenary power to set the conditions under which aliens may enter and remain in the country. Moreover, these rulings relied on the breathtaking conclusion that the president’s expressed national-security considerations were a pretext, concealing the anti-Islamic bias that was said to be his true motivation — notwithstanding that the “travel ban” (which was not actually a ban, but sets of temporary restrictions) had no effect on the vast majority of Muslims worldwide and that the cited countries were selected not because they are Muslim-majority but because they had been cited in legislation signed by President Obama.

The mootness finding was no surprise. We foreshadowed it when the justices took up the matter only preliminarily at the end of last term. We noted the confirmation of our suspicions when the case was removed from the docket on the eve of the term just begun.

The Court’s June 26 ruling lifted the lower-court injunctions. The administration regarded this as a win because it allowed the travel restrictions to go into effect. The justices, however, left intact some important aspects of the lower courts’ reasoning (including that a potentially broad array of American citizens and institutions would have standing to sue, claiming vicarious harm from restrictions on the aliens).

Trump’s orders set forth two categories of restrictions, both temporary: 90 days for aliens from the cited countries (originally Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen — with Iraq subsequently dropped); 120 days for refugees globally. By allowing the administration to proceed with the restrictions, the Court set the table to avoid further grappling with the case: By the time the new term began in October, the 90-day restrictions would have lapsed and the 120-day restrictions would be on the verge of lapsing. Trump, furthermore, would probably have issued new guidance. The original restrictions would be moot.

That is what happened. On September 24, after an exacting review by the Departments of Homeland Security and State, the president issued a new proclamation overhauling the multi-country visa restrictions, which are no longer temporary. Meanwhile, the refugee restrictions will lapse in less than two weeks, by which time the administration will have issued new guidance, rendering the former restrictions moot. The Justice Department said as much in the letter-brief it filed last week, at the Court’s direction. (See letter-brief, p. 6: “The United States anticipates that . . . the government will complete its review and undertake any new actions regarding refugees by October 24.”)

This is why, for the moment, the Court’s dismissal on mootness grounds is limited to one of the two “travel ban” cases: Trump v. International Refugee Assistance Project. The case the Court has not yet dismissed, Trump v. Hawaii, includes challenges to the refugee restrictions. Expect the justices to dismiss it, too, in the next few days, once those restrictions are superseded by new guidance or lapse by their own terms.

A win on the mootness point alone would have been a hollow victory. The administration badly needed to prevail on the matter of vacating the lower-court decisions. These rulings rested on damaging legal and factual conclusions that the Justice Department wanted to challenge but that the Supreme Court, due to the mootness doctrine, would have been unable to review. This is not an unusual situation. Under Supreme Court precedent (particularly, the 1950 case of United States v. Munsingwear), the “established practice” in the mootness situation is to remand the case to the lower court with instructions that it be dismissed.

This means lower-court rulings that a higher court has not had the opportunity to review should be vacated, which “clears the path for future relitigation of the issues between the parties.” The Supreme Court is not required to follow this prudential practice, however, so opponents of the travel restrictions were beseeching the justices to leave the lower-court rulings intact — the better to exploit them in litigation against Trump’s new guidance.

For example, in ruling against the president, the Ninth Circuit had controversially held that a provision of immigration law (section 1152(a)(1)(A)) prohibits the president from singling out countries for visa restrictions, despite a separate provision (section 1182(f)) that clearly permits his doing so. (We anticipated this controversy here and here.) The Ninth Circuit further ruled, against precedent and in contravention of the statute it was purporting to construe (section 1157), that the president may not direct that fewer refugees be admitted to the U.S. than the maximum number established in consultation with Congress each fiscal year.

If Trump’s Wall Only Stops 10% of Illegal Aliens, It’ll Pay for Itself Daniel Greenfield

One of the sillier arguments against securing the border is cost. Vastly inflated estimates are presented. But they leave out what failing to secure the border is costing us. As Dr. Steven Camarota at the Center for Immigration Studies points out, even if the wall only stops a fraction of illegal immigration, it will pay for itself.

A new report by the Center for Immigration Studies estimates that if a wall at America’s southern border stopped between 160,000 and 200,000 illegal crossers — 9 to 12 percent of those expected to successfully cross in the next decade — the fiscal saving would equal the estimated $12 to $15 billion cost of the wall. The analysis takes the likely education level of illegal border crossers and applies fiscal impact estimates, developed by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, for immigrants by educational attainment. Based on the Academies estimates, each illegal border crosser creates a net fiscal burden (taxes minus expenditures) of approximately $74,722 during their lifetime, excluding costs for their U.S.-born children.

Of course the left denies that there’s any cost at all to illegal migration, just benefits, but the reality is very different.

New York Times’ Destroy-Trump Agenda Exposed Undercover video reveals a glimpse of the paper’s editorial mentality. Joseph Klein

Project Veritas has just released a video further confirming what we already know about the New York Times. It is a leading member of the anti-Trump fake news media club. In this video, Nick Dudich, Audience Strategy Editor for NYT Video, who manages videos displayed on social media for the Times, admitted on hidden-camera that the Times “always” makes sure that anti-Trump stories make it to the left-wing newspaper’s front page. When asked about being objective at the Times, which its ethical handbook says is so important to preserving its reputation, Dudich replied, “No I’m not, that’s why I’m here.” Indeed, Dudich carried his political biases from his days working on the political campaigns of both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton to the Times without missing a beat.

Dudich explained how he would target President Trump as a “journalist.” Dudich would go after the president’s businesses and family. His objective would be to “ruin the Trump brand” through relentless investigations. “He cares about his business more than he cares about being President,” Dudich said. “He would resign. Or he’d lash out and do something incredibly illegal, which he would have to.”

In response to the Project Veritas video, a Times spokeswoman, Danielle Rhoades Ha, sought to marginalize Dudich’s role at the newspaper. She claimed that “a recent hire in a junior position violated our ethical standards and misrepresented his role. In his role at The Times, he was responsible for posting already published video on other platforms and was never involved in the creation or editing of Times videos. We are reviewing the situation now.”

Notably, the Times spokesperson did not comment on the substance of Dudich’s revelations. The fact is that Dudich is not an outlier at the New York Times. To the contrary, he embodies the Times’ fanatic anti-Trump resistance. According to a study conducted by Harvard Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy, analyzing news coverage of President Trump’s first 100 days in office, the New York Times’ news stories on President Trump were 87 percent negative during that period.

The New York Times editors and columnists can vent all they want on the opinion pages. Readers can determine for themselves whether the arguments put forward in the opinion pieces hold up or not. However, it is unethical and intellectually dishonest for reporters who purport to present factual information in their articles to shed objectivity and take sides in their reporting. Yet the Times’ media columnist Jim Rutenberg wrote during the presidential campaign that there was nothing wrong with reporters, who believed Trump would be too dangerous if elected president, doing just that.

“If you view a Trump presidency as something that’s potentially dangerous,” Jim Rutenberg wrote, “then your reporting is going to reflect that. You would move closer than you’ve ever been to being oppositional. That’s uncomfortable and uncharted territory for every mainstream, nonopinion journalist I’ve ever known, and by normal standards, untenable. But the question that everyone is grappling with is: Do normal standards apply? And if they don’t, what should take their place?”

Army to Deploy Israeli Trophy Armor System on Tanks Israel’s battle-tested wonder weapon impresses the Department of Defense. Ari Lieberman

On March 1, 2011 an Israeli Merkava IV tank on patrol along the Gaza periphery was fired upon by Hamas terrorists from concealed positions within Gaza. Using a deadly RPG-29, a more advanced version of the RPG-7, the terrorists waited for impact. But their moment of glory never transpired. As the anti-tank projectile neared its target, a revolutionary platform – the Trophy Armor Protection System (APS) – deployed on the Merkava IV detected the threat and instantly fired a number of pellets at the deadly menace, destroying and rendering it inert yards from the tank.

Barely three weeks later, Hamas terrorists experienced further failure. They once again attempted to engage a Trophy-equipped Merkava IV. This time, the Trophy calculated the missile’s trajectory and determined that the missile posed no threat, allowing it pass along harmlessly. But that wasn’t the end of the story. Based on the missiles flight path, the Trohy was able to determine the source of fire and transmitted the coordinates to the tank’s crew as well as to nearby units who instantly directed their accurate counter-fire toward the source of the attack, causing at least one terrorist casualty.

The Israeli made Trophy APS had instantly revolutionized armored warfare. It was the first time that such a system had been successfully deployed in battle and the results elated the army’s top brass as well as Trophy’s designers, Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and Israel Aerospace Industries’ Elta Group. No longer would an armored vehicle have to rely on its own armor to defend against anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM) and other forms of anti-tank threats. Tanks and other vehicles, such as armored personnel carriers and even HUMVEEs would henceforth go into battle with an active protection system designed to swat anti-tank missiles, shells and rockets as though they were pesky mosquitos.

Trophy works like a mini Iron Dome, another Israeli wonder weapon that intercepts and neutralizes short-range rocket threats, like Russian GRAD rockets, from the skies. It utilizes a combination of sensors and radar along with fire control technology and intercepting pellets to detect and neutralize incoming missile threats. A secondary feature enables the Trophy to accurately determine the source of fire and transmit the coordinates to nearby ground and air units through the Tzayad battlefield management system. All friendly units in the theater are instantly apprised of the enemy’s position making escape and evasion difficult.

Trophy proved its mettle once more during Operation Protective Edge, a seven-week counter insurgency campaign undertaken by the Israel Defense Forces against the Hamas terrorist organization in Gaza during the summer of 2014. During the operation, Trophy succeeded beyond all expectations, intercepting a variety of anti-tank threats. In fact, according to IDF sources, the Trophy system intercepted no less than 15 anti-tank missiles and rockets including the deadly Russian Kornet missile which is believed to be capable of penetrating 3.9 feet of armor and has a range of about 5,500 yards.

These missiles were used by the Iraqi army against American M1 Abrams tanks during Operation Iraqi Freedom and by Hezbollah against Israeli Merkava tanks during the Second Lebanon War. The Trophy system is an outgrowth of the Israeli experience during the Second Lebanon War and became operational some four years later. By 2010, an entire battalion of Merkava IV tanks had been outfitted with the Trophy. The Trophy has also been adopted for use in Israeli Namer & Eitan armored personnel carriers and there are plans in the works for deployment on naval craft.

Despite its revolutionary design features and battle-tested capabilities, the United States Army was initially hesitant in adopting the Trophy APS, preferring instead to see how a locally produced variant performed. But a confluence of emerging threats coupled with a new, no-nonsense attitude adopted by Trump’s secretary of defense, James Mattis, has finally convinced the U.S. Army to adopt the Trophy APS for its M1A2 tanks, at least in limited numbers.

Getting Them Young Minnesota is Ground Zero in the Left’s efforts to brainwash young people. Matthew Vadum

In places like Edina, Minnesota, the Left has transformed K-12 schools into indoctrination factories whose overarching purpose is to train students to be reflexively racist and anti-American.

Educators in Edina, a wealthy Minneapolis suburb, don’t even try to conceal their sinister goals. Elementary school students there are subjected to an A-B-C book titled A is for Activist. Among the alphabetized propaganda points are these gems:

“A is for Activist. Are you an Activist?”

“C is for … Creative Counter to Corporate vultures.”

“F is for Feminist.”

“T is for Trans.”

“X is for Malcolm as in Malcolm X.”

When Donald Trump won the election last November, anarchy and partisan bullying paralyzed the high school.

“I felt like the school was descending into mass hysteria,” one student said of the day after the election. Another said Trump’s victory was treated as “the end of the world as we know it.”

Students reported “[e]very teacher was crying in class, one even told the whole class ‘Trump winning is worse than 9/11 and the Columbine shooting.’” The sheer volume of “liberal propaganda that was pushed every single day in class this year was worse than it’s ever been–and you’re bullied by the teachers and every student if you dare speak against it.”

“[T]he teachers can absolutely do whatever they want. The administration will do nothing about it!! The day of the election every single student was in the commons chanting ‘F*** TRUMP’ and the teachers never did anything. A LOT of people are starting to complain and my mom has some friends who are leaving the school district.”

Teachers in Edina use totalitarian methods, particularly self-criticism sessions, to enforce ideological rigidity and reinforce social cohesion.

One mother complained of a humiliating Khmer Rouge-like denunciation process her son was forced to endure. In a 10th grade AP World History class, the teacher “called out any Trump supporters and asked them to assure the class that they weren’t racist.” In much of the United States, sending one’s children to public schools is already tantamount to child abuse. Too often elementary and secondary schools, especially in the inner cities, fail to teach pupils even the basics of reading, writing, and thinking critically. Nowadays they focus on crusades for so-called social justice instead of doing their jobs. This includes pedagogical sermons excoriating President Trump for the crime of trying to “Make America Great Again.”

In Edina radical indoctrination has supplanted actual education that helps students prepare for the real world.

Test scores in the community’s once top-rated schools have been plummeting, writes Katherine Kersten, senior fellow at the Minnesota-based Center for the American Experiment, in Thinking Minnesota magazine.

“There’s been a sea change in educational philosophy, and it comes from the top,” she writes.

In recent years teachers have been shoving so-called white privilege, along with Marxism, feminism, and post-colonialism, down their young charges’ throats.

It’s no secret that public school teachers across America are largely driven by ideology, not a desire to educate. They teach students that America, a nation flawed in its conception by the original sin of slavery, has never truly experienced reforms. It is as if the Civil War and the Civil Rights Era never happened. Corporations and the rich oppress the citizenry daily as the U.S. unjustly pushes around less powerful countries, especially Muslim ones. America is so fundamentally corrupt and evil in their view that it can only be fixed by radical changes like those espoused by educational theorists like Paulo Freire and Bill Ayers.

In Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Freire argued that schools be used to inculcate radical, revolutionary values in students so they become agents of social change. Generations of teachers answered his call.


“When the Discussion Opened to the Floor, a pro-Israeli Commentator Spoke …”
As I noted last week, anti-Israel events are sprouting thick and fast in the countdown to 2 November and the centenary of the Balfour Declaration, with Israel-denouncing Christians doing their share of the participating.

One such event that caught my eye was that held on 7 October at the British Library. Sponsored by the anti-Israel Middle East Monitor, it was entitled “Palestine, Britain and the Balfour Declaration 100 Years on”.

Professor Avi Shlaim, Emeritus Professor of International Relations at Oxford University, was the keynote speaker, and you can read about the rest of the panelists, and their highly biased offerings, here, where there is also a video and several photos of the event. Begins the account:

“The grey weather did not deter the hundreds of attendees who arrived early on Saturday morning at the British Library in London to attend MEMO’s conference to commemorate 100 years since the Balfour Declaration. A heavily subscribed event, the conference took a detailed look at Britain’s role in the creation of Israel, past and present, showcasing an alternative narrative to the celebrations promised by British Prime Minister Theresa May.

Attendees were able to purchase books on the Palestinian issue, including those shortlisted for the Palestine Book Awards 2017 and indulge in refreshments before being ushered into the auditorium. They were welcomed by Dr Daud Abdullah, the Director of MEMO, who expressed the importance of recognising the Balfour Declaration for what is was.”

Professor Penny Green of Queen Mary’s University of London, chaired the first session, journalist Peter Oborne (notorious for his obsession with Britain’s so-called “Israel Lobby”) the second, and Corbynista ex-Labour cabinet minister Clare Short [read me here] the third.

“Zionism was a settler colonial movement and the state of Israel its progeny, is a settler colonial state,”

declares that account, inter alia,in effect summarising the conference’s thrust.

Note this paragraph:

“Journalist David Cronin [associate editor of the Electronic Intifada, folks], looked at strategies used to oppose the Israeli occupation, namely the use of boycotts. He pointed out that Balfour had an aversion to boycotts, namely because of the powerful symbolic nature that withholding payment presented. He advocated that the international community and Palestinians should harness the power of boycotts to bring about a change in Israel.”

And these (emphasis added):

“Dr Jacob Cohen [praised by no less an antisemite than Gilad Atzmon here], who joined the Zionist movement at the age of 16 before leaving it four years later, also praised how the Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) movement had expanded its international influence and hoped that the global community would continue such long-term campaigns. He was heckled during his speech when he accused of Israel of perpetuating conflict in order to receive foreign aid and weapons investment, an argument the majority of the audience applauded.

When the discussion opened to the floor, a pro-Israeli commentator spoke in defence of Israel, alleging that it had made peace with Arab countries, retreated from Gaza and was prepared to sacrifice it’s land for peace. Other questioners spoke positively of the support for the Palestine movement and encouraged all listeners to transform their attendance into activism.

As the attendees filed out of the auditorium, many expressed their gratitude to MEMO for hosting such a comprehensive event that had invited speakers from all over the world, to discuss the origins of an enduring conflict that has affected millions of people.”

There he sits, if I’m not mistaken, in the centre of this photo of the audience, that same “pro-Israel commentator”, I’ll wager, namely the intrepid Jonathan Hoffman (good onya, sir!):

A shot of the event by a certain clerical anti-Israel activist:

(Plenty of antisemitic posts below the line on the account I’ve linked to show some of the supporters of the event for what they are.)