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October 2017

Good Riddance to UNESCO By The Editors

It was easy to miss it during a hectic week, but on Thursday, the United States announced its withdrawal from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Good riddance.

In 2011, the U.S. substantially cut funding to UNESCO after the organization granted the Palestinian Authority full membership. But while Barack Obama asked Congress to restore funding, the Trump administration has taken the appropriate next step.

UNESCO’s embrace of the Palestinians in 2011 was par for the course for an organization that is a dependable opponent of Israel. In 2012, UNESCO declared the Church of the Nativity to be a World Heritage Site in Danger, ignoring the objections of the U.S., Israel, and the three churches that preside over it. That was a victory for the Palestinians, who claim Bethlehem as their own and say that Israel endangers the site. The next year, the organization’s executive board issued six condemnations of Israel (and honored Che Guevara, the Communist mercenary). It announced in 2016 that the Temple Mount had no connection to Judaism, referring to it only as the “Al-Aqsa Mosque”: The Wailing Wall became the “Buraq Plaza,” and Israel the “occupying power” in Jerusalem. UNESCO’s stated mission is to promote peace and security, but in practice it is just another international institution giving shelter to the world’s ugliest ideas.

It was never appropriate for the U.S. to support UNESCO so long as it remained a nakedly political lobby. That’s something Ronald Reagan understood. In 1984, Reagan withdrew the U.S. from UNESCO back when the group, led by Amadou M. M’Bow, was not just political — anti-Israel as well as pro-Soviet — but corrupt. American diplomat Vernon Walters was fond of pointing out that the Paris-based organization spent 80 percent of its budget in the ritzy 16th arrondissement. Reagan’s decision to leave prompted UNESCO to enact reforms, and in 2002, the Bush administration decided to rejoin. But any reforms have proven temporary, and UNESCO’s return to its old ways is justification enough for Trump’s decision.

Withdrawing makes fiscal and moral sense. Since the U.S. cut off funding to the organization, we have been accruing hundreds of millions of dollars in debt to the group. Critics of Trump’s decision have tended to ignore UNESCO’s contemptible politics and emphasize its other initiatives, which include literacy programs and environmental conservation. But if those programs are jeopardized by a lack of U.S. support, UNESCO has none but itself to blame.

Perhaps this move, like Reagan’s in 1984, will lead to reforms. A State Department official sounded a hopeful note, telling the Washington Post that pulling out “sends a strong message that we need to see fundamental reform.” But opposing Israel and standing against human rights seems to be in the organization’s genes. On Thursday, the UNESCO director-general called the U.S. withdrawal a loss for the “fight against violent extremism.” This from a group that gives harbor to anti-Israel extremists and honors Che Guevara. UNESCO, not the United States, is on the wrong side of that fight.

The Syrian Kurds: Israel’s Forgotten Ally By Rauf Baker

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: In Syria, where chaos reigns and there are no moderates among the Sunni Arab opposition, the “enemy of my enemy” principle may apply – particularly in view of Assad’s increasing dominance, the growing Iranian influence on Israel’s borders, and Turkey’s close ties with Hamas and recent rapprochement with Tehran. It is therefore in Israel’s interest to act quickly to support the nascent Kurdish political region in Syria.

Relations between the Syrian Kurds and Israel have changed dramatically over the past eighteen years. In 1999, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the most influential party among the Kurds in both Syria and Turkey, accused the Mossad of contributing to the kidnapping of its leader and founder, Abdullah Öcalan, and handing him over to Ankara after years of exile in Syria. At that time, the Syrian regime was in control of the country and engaging in delicate negotiations with Israel in the US about the Golan Heights.

Today, the scene is completely different. War-torn Syria is divided, and talks about the Golan are a thing of the past. Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister at the time of Öcalan’s capture, is back in office and is now the second-longest-serving prime minister in Israel’s history after David Ben-Gurion. The PKK has shed its Marxist skin, transforming into a pragmatic party that rules vast territory.

Since declaring “Rojava” in northern and northeastern Syria in 2013, the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its military arm, the People’s Protection Units (YPG), both of which are linked to the PKK, have built a uniquely viable entity amid the surrounding bedlam. The social contract in Rojava promises a new era, one distant from the hatred dominating the rest of Syria.

The city of Idlib, near the Turkish border, is under the rule of factions inspired by al-Qaeda’s ideology, and is evolving into a Syrian version of Kandahar. Areas run by Ankara in northern Syria under Operation Euphrates Shield will collapse if Turkish aid should cease, but its Turkish-supported factions fight one another anyway. The territories under the regime’s control suffer from deterioration in the provision of essential services, ongoing repression, security chaos, and even sporadic battles, and the areas controlled by ISIS face catastrophe.

The ancient proverb “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” could be useful to Israel in this grim scenario. The Syrian regime continues to uphold its traditional anti-Israel stance, and is in any case largely dependent on Iran, Hezbollah, and the other Shiite militias, all of which want Israel destroyed. The Arab Sunni factions veer towards religious fundamentalism when circumstances allow, while the Alawites, the Druz, and the Christians are getting closer to the Russian-Iranian axis and falling under Hezbollah’s command.

The Syrian Kurdish parties opposing PYD are openly linked to Ankara, which is ruled by a president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who is obsessed with power and whose ideology considers the entire State of Israel to be illegitimately occupied by Jews. Moreover, he has recently established a rapprochement with Tehran – a worrying development. The Iranian Chief of Staff, Maj. Gen. Mohammed Baqeri, who was the first Iranian official at that level to visit Turkey since 1979, has confirmed signing bilateral security memoranda with Ankara.

Iran is now closer than ever to securing a land corridor that will connect it to the Mediterranean through Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon. This corridor will expand its sphere of influence from the Strait of Hormuz in the east to the Mediterranean in the west, and will ensure that Israel is surrounded by land and sea.

Israel would do well to eye Rojava with interest, and not only to confront Iran’s penetration. Rojava and Iraqi Kurdistan are the only entities in the Middle East, apart from Israel, that enjoy open, secular, and liberal rule granting considerable rights to the opposition, women, and minorities. This is particularly notable in a region where radical and totalitarian ideologies prevail.

Should Israel strengthen its relationship with the Syrian Kurds, its gains would extend beyond strategic, political, and security benefits. Rojava’s natural resources, especially its oil, can contribute to Israel’s energy supply and be invested in projects such as an oil pipeline through Jordan to Israel. US troops are stationed at several military bases in Rojava, which could offer an alternative to Incirlik Air Base in Turkey. Kurdish leaders regularly stress that US forces will remain in their areas for a long time, indicating that this is not an “understanding of necessity” dictated by provisional circumstances.

Using Brexit to make free trade deals will help us cut prices, boost growth and help world trade Daniel Hannan

A Steel tariff destroys more jobs in cars, aviation, construction and machine-making than it saves in steel, while free trade deals will help boost growth
The Institute of Free Trade will aim to use Brexit to cut prices, boost growth, and help world trade
AS Britain got ready to join the EEC in 1973, one of the biggest arguments in the build up was over whether food prices would go up.

They did — by as much as 40 per cent.

Britain was no longer free to buy on world markets — Canadian wheat, Argentine beef, New Zealand lamb.

Instead, we had to get much of what we wanted from expensive Continental producers. There have been some reforms to the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy since then but, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, it still adds 17 per cent to our grocery bills.

Pricey food is bad for everyone. It means we have to spend more on the basics, so have less for other things. That makes the whole economy suffer.

But it is especially bad for people on low incomes, because food bills are a higher proportion of their monthly budget.

On Tuesday, alongside Boris Johnson and Liam Fox, I’ll be launching the Institute for Free Trade, which aims to use Brexit to cut prices, boost growth and help world trade. Outside the EU, we can sign deals with Australia, China, India, the US — helping our own folk and theirs.

Until recently, it went without saying that free trade was good for ordinary people. Protectionism was seen for what it was — a way to transfer money from the poor to the rich.

Outside the EU we can sign deals with Australia, China, India and the US

Nowadays, though, free trade is often seen as exploitative.

Well-meaning youngsters protest against trade deals, imagining they are standing up for poor countries against big business.

In fact they are doing the opposite.

Nothing has done more to reduce global poverty than the spread of markets.

The Ocampo Affair A Former International Criminal Court Chief’s Dubious Links By Sven Becker, Marian Blasberg and Dietmar Pieper

This is an astonishing story of corruption at a high level…..rsk

The article you are reading originally appeared in German in issue 40/2017 (September 30th, 2017) of DER SPIEGEL.

Luis Moreno Ocampo hunted the world’s worst war criminals and brought them to trial at the International Criminal Court. But internal documents show that he allowed himself to be exploited by a Libyan to protect him from investigation and that he took money from the billionaire.

Luis Moreno Ocampo was wearing a shiny black academic gown when he took the oath as the first chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court at the Peace Palace in The Hague. He looked attractive, determined and sophisticated, like George Clooney playing the role of a law professor, when he raised his hand on June 16, 2003, solemnly swearing “to perform my duties in an honorable fashion and never to abuse my power as chief prosecutor.”

The genocide in Rwanda and the massacre in Srebrenica had highlighted the need for a permanent international judiciary, and prompted the international community to approve the establishment of the International Criminal Court (ICC). The aim was to ensure that no war criminal would feel safe anymore, and to provide justice for the victims of bloody conflicts. Then United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan described the ICC as a “giant step forward in the march towards universal human rights.” This was the hope Ocampo was to embody.

The Argentine lawyer seemed the perfect choice. As a public prosecutor in the 1980s, he had made a name for himself in trials against commanders in the former military junta. He later specialized in human rights cases and fighting corruption. It was his resume that left no doubt that Ocampo possessed the necessary stature to fulfill the role of the world’s conscience.

It was the role of his life. During his nine-year term as chief prosecutor in The Hague, he ran an office with 300 employees whose job was to hunt down the world’s worst villains. Ocampo conducted investigations in war zones, issued arrest warrants against heads of government, and spoke with business leaders, politicians and film stars like Sean Penn and Angelina Jolie, who all wanted to be associated with him. He was often accompanied on his trips by documentary filmmakers. The chief prosecutor was a person who fascinated others, a man who seemed to personify the longing for justice and morality.

The table is now littered with the crumbled remains of the paper coaster, as Ocampo nervously taps his knees together. He confirms that he signed the $3-million contract with Tatanaki. However, he says, he was paid no more than the $750,000 and only worked with Tatanaki for one year, or “just three months basically.” He is unwilling to reveal why the assignment ended.

Unwilling To Recognize the Damage

Ocampo doesn’t understand what it is that he has supposedly done wrong. He says that he warned Tatanaki about Haftar, telling him to avoid being too closely associated with the general, “or else you could be indicted.” At the end of the conversation, he says: “What I did was not just legal, but also right. Helping Tatanaki was a good idea.”

Three days after the interview took place, DER SPIEGEL received a letter from Ocampo’s attorney. He wrote that his client attaches great importance to the statement that his consulting services for Tatanaki were “unconnected to the work he undertook as ICC presecutor in 2011.”

In London, Ocampo’s longtime employee is sitting next to him, smiling occasionally when the conversation turns to Justice First. But more than two years ago, on June 4, 2015, she wrote in an email to Ocampo, on the subject of Tatanaki: “He is seen as backing one political side, backing Haftar and backing violence as a solution to the political situation. No one seems to trust him because he is so rich and was close as well to Gaddafi, even if it was to protect his business interests. There are some strange things on the TV channel. And now everyone thinks that Ocampo has taken a side in the Libya conflict, and by extension, the ICC.”

Good Will Hunting by Mark Steyn

Tina Brown on her former business partner Harvey Weinstein:

I often used to wonder if the physical dissonance between his personal grossness and his artistic sensibility — which was genuine — made him crazy.

I’ll be talking about Weinstein’s “personal grossness” with Judge Jeanine later this evening on Fox News, at 9pm Eastern/6pm Pacific. But our Saturday movie feature is generally more preoccupied with “artistic sensibility”, so we might as well feature an old Weinstein hit, as there aren’t going to be any new ones. Obviously, nobody’s going to be putting “The Weinstein Company presents…” on anything from now on. But it’s not just the name: Without the pot-plant masturbator, there is no company. Indeed, even without his ejection from it, the long-term prognosis wasn’t good for TWC: as Weinstein’s employment contract suggests, minding Harvey’s pants was becoming as important as minding the store. As a producer, his best days were behind him.

So let’s go back a couple of decades to when Weinstein had, so to speak, a surer touch, and plucked an excellent script by two new guys who stuck with him like brothers until a couple of days ago. Around the time this film came out in 1998, there was a radio commercial for some sort of amazing do-it-yourself “literacy” course which began: “How would you like to read an entire novel in your lunch hour?” Personally, I can think of few things worse – and certainly few less rewarding ways to read a novel. Nevertheless, in Good Will Hunting, the eponymous Will, a genius, demonstrates said genius by memorizing a book simply by turning the pages and regurgitating a lot of information at extremely fast speed. This is a very Hollywood idea of genius: there isn’t a studio exec in town who wouldn’t love a kid in the outer office who could read an entire novel over lunch and then pitch it in eight seconds. No more “I just read part of it all the way through,” as Cole Porter summed up one honcho’s approach.

The writers of Good Will Hunting are, in fact, actors — Matt Damon, who back in 1998 was best known for The Rainmaker, and Ben Affleck, who’d turned in a very dreary performance in the boy-meets-lesbian romance Chasing Amy. That said, they had their own peculiar genius: The script is said to have started out as an action thriller about a race against time to avert mass destruction. Then, at Rob Reiner’s suggestion, the boys converted it into an all-talk-and-no-action touchy-feely cockle-warmer about male bonding. The final version trembles on the brink of a dysfunction-of- the-week TV movie but never quite dives in, thanks mainly to Gus Van Sant’s direction and two oral-sex jokes.

Will, played by Matt, is now a janitor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, loitering with his mop and pail by the blackboard and anonymously solving the most complicated mathematical theorems, like:

Σ = (y-¿) x zzz*/7 (@§ç) [$$$$]
a ¶

(I quote from memory)

Actually, that one isn’t too difficult, as it represents the precise formula for late Nineties Weinstein Oscar bait, where zzz = upscale Brit source material, ¿ = Gwyneth Paltrow’s breasts and § =the differential between a film directed by Quentin Tarantino and a film with a cameo by Quentin Tarantino. The line represents the line that sensitive artistic executives know not to cross, and the a=actress and ¶=Harvey’s head peeking out from the bathroom door.

Where was I? Oh, yeah. Good Will Hunting’s trump card is Mr Damon, who struts through the film with the cockiness of a good-looking serial killer. He’s not very plausible as a genius, but then he’s not very plausible as a janitor either, so it all evens out. What he has is a breezy intensity and the same kind of bantam rooster quality as the young Cagney, albeit gussied up and airbrushed, as was the Nineties’ wont. With the exception of his three minutes singing “Scottie Doesn’t Know” in Eurotrip, this remains his greatest screen performance.

What is Really Uniting the Palestinians? by Bassam Tawil

Saleh Arouri and Hamas view the “reconciliation” agreement as Fatah moving closer to Hamas and not the other way around….The “reconciliation” agreement requires from Hamas only to dissolve its shadow government in the Gaza Strip. Hamas is not being asked to recognize Israel’s right to exist, or renounce terrorism or lay down its arms. Hamas is not being asked to change its anti-Semitic charter, which openly calls for the elimination not only of Israel but of Jews: “The Day of Judgement will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Moslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him. Only the Gharkad tree, (evidently a certain kind of tree) would not do that because it is one of the trees of the Jews.” (related by al-Bukhari and Moslem). (Hamas Charter, Article 7)

The “reconciliation” agreement is clearly a Fatah submission to Hamas and not vice versa. In his accord with Hamas, Abbas has signed onto Hamas’s version of violent “resistance” against Israel and Jews. This is the real meaning of this Abbas-Hamas deal.

Buoyed by the “reconciliation” agreement reached with President Mahmoud Abbas’s Palestinian Authority (PA), Hamas has announced that it seeks to unite all Palestinians in the fight against the “Zionist enterprise.” In other words, Hamas views the agreement as a vehicle for rallying Palestinians behind it toward achieving its longtime goal of destroying Israel.

When Hamas talks about the “Zionist enterprise,” it is referring to the establishment of Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people. Hamas is not only opposed to the existence of Israel on what it and most Muslims perceive as “Muslim-owned” land; it reiterates, at every opportunity, its desire to annihilate Israel.

Those who think that the new “reconciliation” accord will have a moderating effect of Hamas are both blind and deaf to what Hamas itself has been stating both before and after the agreement. One has to give Hamas credit for being clear, honest and consistent about its goal of destroying Israel.

Hours after the latest agreement was signed in Cairo, Saleh Arouri, the newly elected deputy chairman of Hamas’s “political bureau,” stated that his movement’s next step was to work toward uniting all Palestinians against the “Zionist enterprise.”

According to Arouri — an arch-terrorist wanted by Israel for his role in funding and orchestrating terrorism — pursuing the fight against Israel should be the number one priority of all Palestinians, especially in light of the “reconciliation” deal with Abbas and the Palestinian Authority. The well-being of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip is the very farthest thing from the minds of Hamas and its new partner, the PA.

Arouri, who shuttles between a number of Arab and Islamic countries, does not live in the Gaza Strip. As such, he is not faced with the power outages, lack of medical supplies, and ill-equipped hospitals dealt with on a daily basis by most Palestinians there. Why should he care about the plight of his people when he can afford to stay in five-star hotels in Lebanon, Egypt and other countries?

“We are hoping that we will be able to reach agreement with our brothers in Fatah [Abbas’s ruling faction] and other Palestinian factions on a comprehensive national strategy to confront the Zionist enterprise,” Arouri said in an interview with the Palestinian daily Al-Quds. “It’s not hard for us to find a formula that would bring all factions together. We believe that confronting the Zionist enterprise, with all means, is not only a right, but also the duty of all of us. This does not contravene international law.”

Translation: Arouri, like most Hamas leaders, sees the “reconciliation” accord as an opportunity to advance Hamas’s genocidal agenda against Israel and Jews. He believes that the new partnership with Abbas’s Fatah should incentivize all other Palestinian factions to join forces in the fight against Israel.

“Our Lives Have Turned into Hell” Muslim Persecution of Christians, May 2017 by Raymond Ibrahim

Long touted as a beacon of Muslim tolerance and moderation, Indonesia joined other repressive Muslim nations in May when it sentenced the Christian governor of Jakarta, known as “Ahok,” to a two-year prison term on the charge that he committed “blasphemy” against Islam.

The blasphemy accusation is based on a video that Ahok made, in which he told voters that they were being deceived if they believed that Koran 5:51, as his opposition said, requires Muslims not to vote for a non-Muslim when there are Muslim candidates available. The Koran passage states: “O you who have believed, do not take the Jews and the Christians as allies. They are allies of one another. And whoever is an ally to them among you — then indeed, he is one of them.”

“Morocco’s 2011 constitution allows for freedom of religion. The authorities claim to practice only a moderate form of Islam that leaves room for religious tolerance. Yet, in reality, Moroccan Christians still suffer from persecution.” Mustafa said: “I was shunned at work. My children were bullied at school.”

One month after Islamic militants bombed two Egyptian churches during Palm Sunday and killed nearly 50 people in April 2017, several SUVs, on May 26, stopped two buses transporting dozens of Christians to the ancient Coptic Monastery of St. Samuel the Confessor in the desert south of Cairo. According to initial reports, approximately ten Islamic militants, heavily armed and dressed in military fatigues, “demanded that the passengers recite the Muslim profession of faith” — which is tantamount to converting to Islam. When they refused, the jihadis opened fire on them, killing 29 Christians, at least ten of whom were young children. Two girls were aged 2 and 4. Also killed was Mohsen Morkous, an American citizen described as “a simple man” whom “everyone loved,” his two sons, and his two grandsons.

According to eyewitness accounts, the terrorists ordered the passengers to exit the bus in groups:

“As each pilgrim came off the bus they were asked to renounce their Christian faith and profess belief in Islam, but all of them—even the children—refused. Each was killed in cold blood with a gunshot to the head or the throat.

“By the time they killed half of the people, the terrorists saw cars coming in the distance and we think that that is what saved the rest,” said one source. “They did not have time to kill them all. They just shot at them randomly and then fled.”

According to another report:

“The dead and dying lay in the desert sand amid Islamic leaflets left by the assailants extoling the virtues of fasting during Ramadan and forgiveness granted to those who abstain from eating during the Islamic ritual. Ramadan … is often seen as the worst time for persecution of Christians who live in the Middle East.”

A video of the immediate aftermath “showed at least four or five bodies of adult men lying on the desert sand next to the bus; women and other men screamed and cried as they stood or squatted next to the bodies.” According to a man who spoke to hospitalized relatives, “authorities took somewhere from two to three hours to arrive at the scene.” The man “questioned whether his uncle and others might have lived had the response been quicker.”

The attack occurred in the middle of a three-month state of emergency that began 47 days earlier, on Sunday, April 9, when twin attacks on Coptic Christian churches left some 49 Christians slaughtered. The December before that, 29 other Christians were killed during another set of twin attacks on churches. Both before and after the monastery attack, dozens of Christians, mostly in Sinai, but some in Egypt proper, were killed in cold blood, often decapitated or burned alive. According to a May 9 report, “A [Christian] father and his two sons were recently kidnapped by ISIS and their bodies were finally found over the weekend.”

Environmental Group Sues Trump Administration Over Walruses By Arnold Carreiro

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service regularly considers adding animals that are considered to be especially vulnerable to extinction to the endangered species list, and many ecologists are upset that 25 American creatures, particularly the Pacific walrus, didn’t make the cut this year.

According to the USFWS, giving these animals the additional protections of being an endangered species “is not warranted at this time.” The USFWS explained its decision regarding the stability of the walrus population in a press release:

While walruses use sea ice for a variety of activities, including breeding, birthing, resting, and avoiding predators, they have shown an ability to adapt to sea ice loss that was not foreseen when the Service last assessed the species in 2011. Our decision not to list the Pacific walrus under the Endangered Species Act at this time is based on a rigorous evaluation of the best available science, which indicates the population appears stable, and the species has demonstrated an ability to adapt to changing conditions. If future circumstances warrant or new information comes to light, we can and will re-evaluate the Pacific walrus for ESA protection.

There are actually two subspecies of walrus. The Atlantic walrus is found throughout the shorelines of Greenland and northeastern Canada, and the Pacific walrus resides in the icy waters along Alaska and Russia. Walruses can weigh up to 1.5 tons, are protected from the frigid cold of the Arctic region with a thick layer of blubber, and survive on a diverse carnivorous diet of clams, shrimp, crabs, sea cucumbers, and other marine invertebrates. A walrus uses its famous ivory tusks as ice hooks to pull itself out of the water, and as defensive tools against the mammoth marine mammal’s only two natural predators: polar bears and killer whales.

America’s walruses are already protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, which prohibits the harvest, import, and export of the Pacific walrus or walrus products, although there are special exceptions for Alaska natives, who are allowed to hunt walruses for food and carve items from their tusks. They were pushed to be placed on the endangered species list during the Obama administration, but other threatened animals were of higher priority at the time, and walruses were placed on a list for future consideration. Regardless of the scientific findings of how the walrus population is both adaptable and beginning to stabilize, environmentalists are furious with this decision.

For instance, Noah Greenwald, the endangered species director at the Center for Biological Diversity, has strong feelings about the future of our native walruses: “This is a truly dark day for America’s imperiled wildlife. You couldn’t ask for a clearer sign that the Trump administration puts corporate profits ahead of protecting endangered species. The Pacific walrus, Florida Keys mole skink, eastern boreal toad and 22 other species are now one step closer to extinction. We’re going to challenge as many of these bogus findings as we can.” CONTINUE AT SITE

Popcorn time: Feminists and Women’s March leftists yell at each other over Bernie Sanders, Maxine Waters By Monica Showalter

The Women’s March is throwing the Women’s Convention featuring Bernie Sanders and other feminists aren’t happy about it.

Seems the flashier new group, which made a name for itself by marching against President Trump’s inauguration in pink “pussy” knit caps, has annoyed the more garden-variety feminists by choosing a man to headline the group’s next big event, upseting the delicate identity-politics political eco-system.

Daily Caller reports:

Progressives came out in full force Thursday to denounce Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders as the headlining speaker at a convention organized by the Women’s March.

Feminists and their organizations blasted the Women’s Convention, a three-day event aimed a female liberation, for having Sanders speak on the opening night of the convention. Some women took to Twitter to voice their frustrations, while others rallied behind a petition calling for the immediate removal of Sanders.

After all, who more logical to speak for women at a Women’s Convention than a man? And not just any man, but one who published an essay on women’s “rape fantasies” with multiple men during his days as a leftist radical in 1972. You can see the idiocy of this peculiar choice for a Women’s Convention. It only make sense when one recognizes the Women’s March is better titled the Ladies Auxiliary March for leftist politicians.

That’s not to say the other side is not equally idiotic. The Women’s March organizers are snapping right back at their more conventional feminist sisters by arguing that Rep. Maxine Waters of California will be the official keynote speaker, not the featured speaker, as Bernie Sanders will be.

Organizer Tamika Mallory also pointed out that while Sanders may address the women the first night, Rep. Maxine Waters is the convention’s keynote speaker. The outrage over Sanders only serves to erase the work of black women, Mallory added.

“To the folks yelling at @womensmarch & directly at me: Why does your version of advocating for women’s rights = bashing Black women leaders?” Mallory tweeted.

So, to complain about Bernie is to demean Maxine Waters? Guess there really were women who voted for Hillary Clinton solely because she was a woman.

The left has such fascinating logic. These people will be yelling and backbiting for years abouot this. They deserve each other.

The rest of us should break out the popcorn.

The Women’s March is throwing the Women’s Convention featuring Bernie Sanders and other feminists aren’t happy about it.

Seems the flashier new group, which made a name for itself by marching against President Trump’s inauguration in pink “pussy” knit caps, has annoyed the more garden-variety feminists by choosing a man to headline the group’s next big event, upseting the delicate identity-politics political eco-system.

Daily Caller reports:

Progressives came out in full force Thursday to denounce Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders as the headlining speaker at a convention organized by the Women’s March.

Feminists and their organizations blasted the Women’s Convention, a three-day event aimed a female liberation, for having Sanders speak on the opening night of the convention. Some women took to Twitter to voice their frustrations, while others rallied behind a petition calling for the immediate removal of Sanders.

After all, who more logical to speak for women at a Women’s Convention than a man? And not just any man, but one who published an essay on women’s “rape fantasies” with multiple men during his days as a leftist radical in 1972. You can see the idiocy of this peculiar choice for a Women’s Convention. It only make sense when one recognizes the Women’s March is better titled the Ladies Auxiliary March for leftist politicians.

That’s not to say the other side is not equally idiotic. The Women’s March organizers are snapping right back at their more conventional feminist sisters by arguing that Rep. Maxine Waters of California will be the official keynote speaker, not the featured speaker, as Bernie Sanders will be.

Palestinian Reconciliation: To What End? By Shoshana Bryen

After weeks of Egyptian-sponsored pre-talks, and a very short “cabinet meeting” in Gaza, “formal reconciliation talks” are now being held between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority (P.A. or Fatah) in Cairo under the direct auspices of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

For some Middle East-watchers, the talks are a form of progress. There are presently three functional governments between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, and this is about getting rid of one of them. Progress here is that Israel is not the government they’re talking about getting rid of. Yet. This is about whether Hamas or Fatah will lead the Palestinians – whether to peace with Israel or to war with Israel is less important for them right now than simply who between them is top dog.

The factions are “optimistic,” according to Palestinian sources in Cairo. To the extent they are, Israel and the West should be worried, because what they agree on is that Jewish sovereignty is illegitimate. What they don’t agree on is who gets the bigger army. Scylla here is an 83-year-old despotic kleptocrat whose administration has impoverished and radicalized the people of the West Bank while begging protection from Israel against Charybdis – a terror organization that has impoverished and radicalized the people of Gaza.

Most of the world – the United States included – simply assumes that the legitimate party is Fatah. Hamas assumes no such thing. In the last Palestinian election (2006 if you’re counting), Hamas won 76 of the 132 legislative seats; Fatah won 43. Hamas should have been allowed to form the cabinet, but the legislature was never seated – in part because Israel and the United States didn’t want Hamas in the government any more than Fatah did. But it was, in fact, the result of the last thing that passed for a general election. The short, brutal civil war came in 2007. Mahmoud Abbas’s term as president expired in 2009.

Hamas claims that it will turn the civil administration over to Fatah but insists that it will hold on to its army (25,000 fighters of the Izz al-Din al-Qassam brigades) in what it calls a “Lebanon solution,” a private militia outside the government. Hamas leader Ismayil Haniyeh told Egyptian television, “There are two groups of weapons. There are the weapons of the government, the police and security services[.] … And there are the weapons of resistance. Regarding the weapons of the resistance, as long as there is a Zionist occupation on Palestinian land, it is the right of the Palestinian people to possess weapons and resist the occupation in all of forms of resistance.”

P.A. president Mahmoud Abbas firmly rejected the Hamas proposal. “I will not accept or copy or reproduce the Hezb’allah example in Lebanon. Everything must be in the hands of the Palestinian Authority.” His great fear is Hamas demanding that security cooperation between Fatah and the IDF, which protects the P.A., cease – leaving the field clear for a Hamas military takeover on the West Bank. That is Israel’s nightmare as well.