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April 2018

Palestinians: Abbas Targets Hamas, Then Condemns Israel for Targeting Hamas by Bassam Tawil

Here is the situation: Abbas is arresting and torturing Palestinians on suspicion of being affiliated with Hamas at the same time that he is criticizing Israel for killing or arresting members of Hamas.

Mahmoud Abbas and his government actually owe Israel a massive debt of thanks for targeting their enemies — the same enemies they just accused of trying to assassinate Abbas’ prime minister in the Gaza Strip last month.

Abbas, of course, knows the truth: that Hamas is sending Palestinians to be killed and disabled near the border with Israel just to be able to hold up dead Palestinian babies with which to blame Israel in front of the press.

Abbas, however, is not only hypocrite, he is a coward. He knows it is safer for him to turn the heat falsely against Israel — the same Israel that is propping up his regime in the West Bank and ensuring that Hamas does not drag him to the center of Ramallah and hang him for as a traitor.

The Palestinian Authority (PA), now calling for an international inquiry into the March 30 events along the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel, says that Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have the right to demonstrate and protest against Israel.

Ironically, however, when it comes to areas under the control of the PA in the West Bank, Palestinians are banned from staging protests in front of President Mahmoud Abbas’s “presidential” Mukata headquarters in Ramallah. In general, the PA leadership does not tolerate any form of criticism — which happens to be the reason that protests against Abbas and his government are virtually unheard of.

The only protests the PA accepts and welcomes are those directed against Israel. Yes, in PA-controlled territories in the West Bank, Palestinians can stage daily protests against Israel anywhere and at any time they wish! They can throw stones at IDF soldiers and Jewish settlers, and the Palestinian policemen will do nothing to stop them. Does any Palestinian, however, dare to throw a stone at a Palestinian policeman? You guessed it. Definitely not.

In a similar vein, the PA security forces feel free to arrest any Palestinian they want, even for the most trivial infraction. They are allowed to hold Palestinians in detention without trial and deny them visits by their family and lawyer. They are allowed to arrest any Palestinian journalists they wish for posting supposedly critical remarks on Facebook. Rami Samara, for instance, was arrested by PA security forces on April 3. for criticizing “arbitrary measures” taken by the PA against Palestinian journalists. Unwilling to face the strong protests by human rights organizations and Palestinian journalists, Abbas ordered the release of Samara hours after the journalist was taken into custody.

The Right of No Refusal By Michael Walsh

The cultural-Marxist Left’s war on Western civilization and American society is conducted on many fronts, including the courts and the streets, but also on a daily basis in the arena of public opinion, via the language. One prominent example has been their transformation of the two human sexes, male and female, first into “genders” (a term drawn from English grammar, and of which there are three, including neuter) and then into multiple genders. This of course demands a new set of pronouns which promptly are given “identity” characteristics, the better to tribalize and thus weaponize these hitherto unknown species of human beings.

Another example is the transformation of the words “immigrants” and “asylum,” which in the space of a decade or so have now acquired a host of subtextual signifiers of race and class in order to change their meaning. To those of us who are the descendants of the last great wave of genuine immigration, which ended around 1920, the words have a sentimental patina about them, recalling the great-grandparents from the old countries of Europe still glimpsed in sepia-toned photographs—the folks who arrived with nothing, worked hard, married either within or without their ethnic group, built houses, started families, moved up and moved out into the mainstream of American society and disappeared into history.

They are our familial heroes who arrived with no entitlement chips on their shoulders, and asked for nothing but an opportunity to work hard and do well. And in exchange, they promised allegiance to their new land, swore to put aside, insofar as possible, the old ways, customs, and conflicts, endure nativist tribulations, and subsume themselves into something larger called the United States of America. None of them arrived with a “right” to enter the country, none expected either a handout or the immediate right to vote, and all understood they were here at the sufferance of the American people.

Take the Loss, NeverTrump, and Move On By Julie Kelly

It’s a certain indication that NeverTrump is miserable when it turns on Rich Lowry, embraces Michelle Obama, and imitates Hillary Clinton.

Perhaps rattled by new poll numbers showing President Trump with rising approval ratings, NeverTrumpers seem particularly unnerved this week. To some degree, their columns and tweets expose (again) their fundamental contempt for Trump voters and preference for Democrats when given the choice.

But this week, die-hards such as Jonah Goldberg, Bill Kristol, and Kevin Williamson have taken it up a notch: Their collective spite has nothing to do with Trumpism, “conservatism,” or even good manners. Realizing they’re once more on the losing side of a colossal political battle—Trump is getting politically stronger, their beloved Mueller probe is foundering, and the GOP isn’t yet vanquished—NeverTrump is lashing out in an ugly way.

Good Riddance to the “Libertarian Moment”
In his inaugural column for The Atlantic, Kevin Williamson, a longtime writer for National Review and savage NeverTrumper, presented a mostly warmed-over version of his many anti-Trump rants at NR. (The Atlantic faced a fierce backlash for hiring Williamson over his comments about abortion and minorities. Just weeks before his hiring was announced, Williamson, a prolific tweeter, deleted his entire Twitter account to cover his tracks.)

The piece is classic Williamson: Bursts of compelling prose mixed with childish ridicule and pretentious preening. He laments that the “libertarian moment” is gone, sniffing how “libertarianism is an intellectual tendency rather than a cultural instinct, one that benefited from the rigor and prestige of the economists who have long been its most effective advocates.” Translation: Trumpists are morons and I am superior.

He portrayed Trump’s base this way: “Those who celebrated Trump the businessman clutch their heads as his preposterous economic policies produce terror in the stock markets and chaos for the blue-collar workers in construction firms and manufacturers scrambling to stay ahead of the coming tariffs on steel and aluminum.” (As if to unwittingly counter Williamson’s poor political temperature-taking, the Wall Street Journal ran a front-page article that same day about how Midwest manufacturers can’t find enough workers amid the tightest job market in 20 years.)

Does the Working Families Party Have an Anti-Semitism Problem? Daniel Greenfield

I’m sure the media will be discussing this as much as they’ve discussed Obama’s photo with Louis Farrakhan. And then they’ll us that the real anti-Semitism we should be worried about is on Twitter.

Assemblywoman Diane Richardson’s 50-minute rant during the Board 17 meeting Monday night faulted Jews for gentrifying in her district, which includes East Flatbush, Flatbush, Crown Heights and Prospect Lefferts Gardens, according to an eyewitness.

During a rezoning talk, a board member complained that people constantly ring her doorbell to ask if she’s interested in selling her home.

“It must be Jewish people,” Richardson responded, according to Lew Fidler, a former City Council member who is Jewish and attended the meeting as a representative of Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.

Before faulting Jewish interlopers, Richardson snidely referred to Brooklyn state Sen. Simcha Felder as “the Jewish senator from southern Brooklyn.”

Richardson suggested that the real-estate industry is gunning for her but developers had the mayor and the borough president in its pocket, an attendee said.

“All they have on me is a broomstick,” Richardson reportedly said.

That was a reference to her 2016 arrest for allegedly beating her son with a broomstick — a charge that was later dropped.

A broomstick seems appropriate. What the story leaves out is that Diana Richardson (proper spelling) is a creature of the Working Families Party. That’s spelled ACORN. And is an incubator for radical leftists. And it’s no surprise that a politician associated with the hateful WFP would be anti-Semitic. And you can bet that the WFP will keep standing by her. As they did during the broomstick incident.

ICNA Featuring Hamas Operative Monzer Taleb, in Texas This Weekend Taleb thinks masked Hamas terrorists are “superheroes.” Joe Kaufman

This weekend, the so-called charitable arm of the Islamic Circle of North America, ICNA Relief, a group that has been linked to the financing of Hamas, will be sponsoring an event in Texas featuring Hamas operative Monzer Taleb. The title of the event is ‘Changing COMMUNITIES with COMPASSION,’ but there can never be compassion with anything concerning Hamas, only hate, violence and bloodshed.

Monzer Mostafa Taleb (Talib) loves to sing about the Palestinian cause. He has been doing so for years. This includes singing about Hamas, specifically his involvement with Hamas.

During the US government’s prosecution of the Hamas charity Holy Land Foundation (HLF), the trials of which took place in 2007 and 2008, a video was submitted into evidence showing Taleb participating at an event sponsored by the Islamic Association for Palestine as the lead vocalist of a singing troupe called Al-Sakhra. On the video, Taleb sings, “O Jew, O coward… I am from Hamas and have never cheered for anyone else besides her… And she is the one which marches with the light of Muhammad… towards Jihad… And Hamas refuses peace with its enemies, and her slogan is to forever fight the attacker.”

The Islamic Association for Palestine or IAP was the American propaganda wing of Hamas and was founded in 1981 by future Hamas leader Mousa Abu Marzook and future Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) leader Sami al-Arian. Both IAP and HLF were member organizations of Marzook’s Hamas/Muslim Brotherhood US umbrella group, the Palestine Committee. [Taleb has also spoken in front of and cavorted with another Palestine Committee member organization, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).]

Are We Rolling Downhill Like a Snowball Headed for Hell? The kernel of wisdom in the “declinism” impulse. Bruce Thornton

Country music legend Merle Haggard released “Are the Good Times Really Over” in 1982. Like his earlier songs “Okie from Muskogee” and “Fightin’ Side of Me,” Haggard was looking back to simpler times, before the sixties revolution began the two-bit Nietzschean “transvaluation of all values,” especially the disdain for traditional virtues like patriotism and faith. Progressives and leftists dismissed Haggard as a naïve hillbilly at best, and a white racist pining for his lost privilege at worst.

But the question in Haggard’s chorus still persists in our culture and politics, with prophecies of doom coming from both ends of the political spectrum. So, are “the good times really over”? Or is anxiety over declinism misplaced?

After all, worrying over decline is universal. In constitutional governments, much of it comes from the melodramatic hyperbole of political rhetoric. Ever since ancient Athens, prophesizing doom is a way to frighten voters into choosing one party and set of policies instead of another. After the disappointment of 1968, the left-leaning Democrats particularly turned to hysteria and hyperbole to salve their wounds and jump-start the “fundamental transformation of America.” Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and his son were all cast as portents of the coming doom: the destruction of civil liberties, the dismantling of the democratic order, nuclear annihilation, the creation of a plutocracy––these are just a few of the Horsemen of the Apocalypse predicted by Dems.

The ongoing attacks on Donald Trump are just a more hysterical and hyperbolic version of this age-old staple of electoral politics. From Robert Kagan’s “this is how fascism comes to America,” to Thomas Friedman’s looming “constitutional crisis,” bipartisan disappointment seasoned with class prejudice conjures up these signs of imminent doom that only the elite political class can ward off. Yet for now, the resilience of the Constitutional order has made theses Jeremiads mere sound and fury.

Columbia Instructor: Going Vegan Fights Racist Violence By Katherine Timpf

According to an instructor at Columbia University, eating a vegan diet can help fight racist violence.

The adjunct lecturer, Christopher-Sebastian McJetters, made the comments during a lecture for Cornell Students for Animal Rights, according to the Cornell Daily Sun.

“I want to talk about the psychology that goes into why we do this, the way that we do this, and the ways that animal violence and exploitation manifests itself outside of our food system,” he said.

According to McJetters, “what we do to other animals informs how we treat one another on this planet, and it is always — always — someone who doesn’t have institutional power, and they’re usually brown.”

“Whiteness has analyzed us and decided that we are not worthy of our individual selves and our individual bodily autonomy and that we get to be objectified and used,” he said. “Both of us, black people and animals.”

McJetters’s perspective is particularly interesting to me because lately I’ve been seeing people complain that aspects of veganism are racist. In January, a sociologist claimed that veganism had strong connections to “white masculinity” because the male vegans she interviewed used facts rather than emotions to explain the reasons behind their veganism. That same month, two professors wrote an article about how Beyoncé’s support for veganism “reproduces existing patterns of discrimination and inequality.”

Yes, There Is a Never Trump Delusion By Rich Lowry

Jonah and Ramesh have written a response to my column last week titled, “The Never Trump Delusion.” It always pains me to disagree with them. But the good news is that, judging by their response, we don’t disagree much. The bad news is that we are apparently talking past each other.

I made several points in the column: I. Trump deserves to be criticized in many ways; II. That there is unlikely to be a serious primary challenge, and that Trump’s welfare at this point is caught up with the party’s. III. He has delivered for his coalition and achieved some significant conservative policy victories; IV. We need to take account of his populism and nationalism, which have very often been part of a successful Republican politics. Not wanting to acknowledge points II. and IV. is what I call “the delusion.”

Jonah and Ramesh dwell a lot on I., address II. somewhat glancingly, ignore III., and even more glancingly address IV.

Forgive me for being pedantic and quoting a lot, but it’s necessary to disentangle some of the agreements that are presented as disagreements or corrections, and clear up some misunderstandings.

First, there is the definitional issue. Jonah and Ramesh say that Never Trump is hard to define. I agree and that’s why I said this coterie of critics is “loosely referred to as Never Trump.” I could have spent more time delineating who they are and distinctions among them, but as Jonah and Ramesh know, space goes fast in a column, even a longer one of 950 words.

The lines are obviously a little fuzzy. I’d say Never Trumpers tend toward a totalist critique of Trump, are very reluctant to praise him for anything, and give a sense — perhaps unfairly — of being emotionally committed to their opposition. Never Trump gave us Jennifer Rubin and Max Boot.

Yes, there are many judicious critics of Trump out there and some who are fully aware of the need for a more populist direction in the GOP (I’m colleagues with many of them, obviously), but it’s not true that it’s only Jeff Flake and John Kasich who exemplify the attitude I was criticizing in the column, as Jonah and Ramesh imply. I direct you, for instance, to George Will’s columns, Morning Joe, and Bill Kristol’s Twitter feed, for starters. None of them, nor do many former Bushies who are anti-Trump, give much of a sense of wanting to take Trump’s populism seriously and learn anything from it.

Senator Kamala Harris jokes about killing Trump, Pence, or Sessions By Thomas Lifson

Remember when, in early 2011, in the wake of the massacre that wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and killed 6 others, President Obama called “for a New Era of Civility in U.S. Politics”?

The scene inside McKale Memorial Arena was a mix of grief and celebration, where a capacity crowd of 14,000 gathered beneath championship banners for the University of Arizona Wildcats. The service, which was televised nationally on the major broadcast and cable news networks, gave the president an opportunity — and burden — to lead the nation in mourning during prime time.

Aides said Mr. Obama wrote much of the speech himself late Tuesday night at the White House. Laden with religion nuance, the speech seemed as though Mr. Obama was striking a preacher’s tone with a politician’s reverb.

That was when blame was being heaped on Sarah Palin for issuing a map with targets on congressional districts that were believed to be possible wins for the GOP. There mere visual metaphor of a target was an outrageous incitement, according to the theory of the moment, because clearly insane people like the perp, Jared Loughner, could be so suggestible.

That was before the Left began its campaign to incite an assassination attempt on President Trump. The campaign has encompassed publicity-seeking entertainers as well as the ostensible guardians of high cultures, such as Shakespeare in the Park.

15 Attorneys General, Chicago Sue EPA Over Not Controlling Methane Emissions By Bridget Johnson

Fifteen attorneys general and the city of Chicago filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration Thursday charging that Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt has violated the federal Clean Air Act by stalling implementation and enforcement of the mandate to regulate methane emissions from oil and gas operations.

The lawsuit comes as Pruitt is under fire for renting a $50-per-night D.C. condo from the wife of an energy lobbyist and reportedly cutting a member of his security detail for refusing to use lights and sirens to cut through D.C. traffic to get to a French restaurant on time. A top Pruitt aide, Office of Policy senior counsel and associate administrator Samantha Dravis, also just resigned, with a friend telling The Hill that the agency was a “shit show.”

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who is leading the methane lawsuit, said in a statement that the EPA “has a clear legal duty to control methane pollution from oil and gas operations, one its largest sources,” and “its continued refusal to do so is not only illegal, but threatens our public health and environment, and squanders savings of over $100 million annually.”

“Our coalition has made clear: when the Trump administration thumbs their nose at the law and endangers New Yorkers, we’ll see them in court,” he added. CONTINUE AT SITE