POSTINGS WILL RESUME ON MARCH 27
It is not about the executive orders. When it comes to protecting the United States from the threats posed by radical Islam, it has never been about President Donald Trump’s executive orders: the first one that was torpedoed by the radical judiciary in January, and the new and improved version that was suspended this week — the Lawyer Left having conveniently managed to shop its challenge to Barack Obama’s fellow Hawaiian and Harvard Law School classmate Judge Derrick Watson.
The issue is vetting. Each executive order was conceived as a temporary step, a “hold in place” measure while the permanent solution, vetting, was carefully crafted and ultimately implemented.
Now, just as the Left hoped, the temporary step has not only overwhelmed the permanent solution. It has made the permanent solution much more difficult — perhaps impossible — to achieve.
The president’s first order was not invalidated because it was invalid. It was invalidated by an outrageous political maneuver disguised as a judicial decision by the Ninth Circuit federal appeals court. Yet government lawyers — especially the law-and-order, have-faith-in-the-system types — can’t help themselves. They see litigation as a high-minded chess game, winnable by reasoned strategy: Look at what the court said the infirmities were, address them, and then take another crack at persuading the tribunal.
But that’s not the game being played by the Ninth Circuit and the many progressive activists among the 300-odd lawyers President Obama placed on the federal bench (that’s life tenure, boys and girls). They are about winning the war, not the skirmish.
The Ninth Circuit struck down the first executive not order because it transgressed the theoretical constitutional rights of lawful permanent-resident aliens, immigrant visa holders, or state universities. The judges struck it down because they are the political Left. This had nothing to do with law. The Left has a policy objection to the notion of subjecting Muslims to heightened immigration scrutiny, because it has a policy objection to government recognition of the nexus between Islamic scripture and terrorism committed by Muslims.
For the Left, the law is not a corpus of constitutional and statutory principles to be applied. It is a pliable weapon for achieving policy goals, enabling will-to-power to masquerade as a “legal process.”
No tweaking of an executive order will overcome that.
Children and women are being raped by human traffickers inside the Camp de la Linière, a migrant camp in the northern French city of Dunkirk; they are forced to have sex in return for blankets, food or the offer of passage to Britain. A volunteer worker referred to the children as being like “little steaks” because they were considered so appetizing and vulnerable to traffickers.
The breakdown in law and order in Muslim neighborhoods in Paris is being fueled by impunity for criminals and a lenient judicial system, according to Hugues Moutouh, a former advisor to the Interior Ministry.
“You can pass on my respects to the Grand Mufti, but I will not cover myself up.” — French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen, cancelling a meeting with the Grand Mufti of Lebanon.
The report implies that deradicalization, either in specialized centers or in prisons, does not work because most Islamic radicals do not want to be deradicalized.
February 1. The Interior Ministry reported a 45% decline in attacks against Jews and Muslims in France in 2016, but a 17.5% increase in attacks against Christians. The ministry said there were 1,125 attacks against Jews and Muslims in 2016, down from 2,034 attacks in 2015. It also reported 949 attacks against Christians in 2016, up from 808 attacks in 2015. Attacks against Christians jumped by 245% between 2008 and 2016.
February 2. Undercover police wearing burqas and qamis (traditional Arab gowns) were filmed apprehending a drug dealer in the Marseille’s Bricarde district, a notorious no-go zone. Police confirmed the “totally normal camouflage technique” after the cellphone video was posted on social media. A local resident complained: “This gives the impression that you basically have to be Muslim or look like a Muslim in order to blend in.” Another resident said:
“I think that trying to blend into the crowd in order not to attract attention is a good way of catching traffickers. What’s more, the police are not really respected on the council estates, which have become no-go areas. Even the police are scared to go there, which isn’t right. So it’s hardly surprising that when they come they have to disguise themselves — although I can understand why lots of people are criticizing them for it.”
February 3. Abdallah El-Hamahmy, a 29-year-old Egyptian national, attacked four French soldiers at the Louvre in Paris. He was carrying two backpacks when he approached the soldiers, who were on patrol at the entrance to the Carrousel du Louvre shopping mall, beneath the museum. When they told him that he could not bring his bags into the mall, he lunged at them with a machete and began shouting “Allahu Akbar.” After a brief struggle, one of the soldiers opened fire, leaving El-Hamahmy in critical condition. El-Hamahmy had arrived in Paris legally on January 26 after obtaining a one-month tourist visa in Dubai. Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve called the attack “terrorist in nature.”
The rising tide of Jew-hatred raised its ugly head in Chicago this week, hurling a slur that could signal a new rationale for anti-Semitism. The University of Illinois, Chicago (where Bill Ayers was a professor for decades), saw antisemitic pamphlets and posters. Stephen Gossett of Chicagoist writes:
“Ending white privilege starts with ending Jewish privilege,” the flyer reads. Several figures with Stars of David stand atop a pyramid. “Is the 1% Straight White Men? Or is the 1% Jewish,” it reads.
Student and Rohr Chabad House president Eva Zeltser, who posted a photo of the flyer on Facebook, sent a letter to the Dean of Students asking that the university take action. “If you are against hate crimes against one group, you should be against these acts of violence for ALL groups,” she wrote. “I understand free speech, but what about my freedom to feel safe on campus,” she added.
As several commenters noted, the math on the flyer, which tries to cobble together two PEW Research polls, does not add up, either.
The university’s response contained boilerplate about “the importance of tolerance, inclusion and diversity” and also “the right to free expression,” but did use the word “anti-Semitic” to describe the posters.
No doubt some people will tally this rise to Trump supporters for no good reason, but the rhetoric of “white privilege” suggests a demographic that voted heavily for Hillary. Which leads me to believe that the perps here will suffer no consequences.
The expression “Jewish Privilege” is particularly chilling for Jews, of course, because Jews are so disproportionately successful in many realms of competition. In an era when claims of victimhood are rewarded, few targets are more tempting than the disproportionately successful.
Sorry folks, Rabin who should have lived to see the disastrous legacy of his handshake with vermin Arafat…was neither dove nor hawk….he was a rat who dressed as a mouse. He was callous to the terror that followed the infamous Oslo surrender and abandoned the settlers that he encourage in 1967 stating, after a series of terrorist incidents….”let them spin like propellers in the wind” and he called the victims of the unprecedented terrorist incidents which followed Oslo- children in mangled strollers, women in markets, passengers on buses, soldiers at stations, diners at cafes- the “casualties of peace,”rsk
More than two decades have passed since Yitzhak Rabin was shot to death by a right-wing extremist in November 1995, and in the years since his assassination he has become a potent icon for the Israeli peace movement. Rabin’s signing of the Oslo Accords with the Palestine Liberation Organization and his famous handshake with Yasser Arafat on the White House lawn in 1993 have made him, as Itamar Rabinovich writes in analogizing Rabin to John F. Kennedy and Abraham Lincoln in the first chapter of his biography, “the subject of a new mythology.”
But the truth, as Mr. Rabinovich convincingly argues, is that “it is wrong to remember and commemorate Rabin as a dovish leader.” Rabin’s primary concern throughout his life was Israeli security—and throughout his long career in the military he proved himself capable of carrying out extremely tough action.
By Itamar Rabinovich
Yale, 272 pages, $25
Born in Jerusalem in 1922 to parents who had emigrated from the Russian empire, Rabin joined the pre-independence Jewish security forces in 1941 after an interview with a young officer named Moshe Dayan. During the years until Israel’s independence in 1948, Rabin rose through the ranks, working first with, and then against, the British who ruled Mandatory Palestine; he was even jailed by them for five months in 1946.
It was Rabin who, as a senior officer in the new Israeli Defense Forces in 1948, gave the order (under instructions from Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion) to fire on the Altalena, a ship carrying arms to the rival militia led by Menachem Begin, in what remains one of the most hotly contested incidents in Israeli history. It was Rabin who signed an order to expel Arab residents from Lydda in what has become a deeply controversial episode in Israel’s war of independence. Later, it was Rabin who, as minister of defense, put down the First Intifada—the violent Palestinian uprising against Israeli rule in the West Bank—with considerable force.
The remarkable rebirth of Hebrew is a tale worth revisiting in modern Israel. In 1948, besides the scholars and Jewish Palestinians probably more people spoke Kalmyc Mongolian than Hebrew. With the independence of Israel hundreds of thousands of Jews arrived from the graveyards of Europe, North and South Africa, the Arab countries, South and Central America, Australia, and Asia. They spoke and read different languages with different alphabets. Israel beset with the problems of surrounding enemies, lack of water and food, and lack of proper housing, undertook an epic ingathering of so many people from every corner of the world. They established a system of learning centers called “ulpans” where Hebrew was taught in intensive total immersion classes. Within one decade Hebrew was a language in which people joked, bickered, became leftists, were derided by rightists, and cursed and loved. Today, it is spoken by 8.59 million people. Incredible and commendable….rsk
The other day, I took some American visitors to the Shrine of the Book in Jerusalem to see the Dead Sea Scrolls. My guests were struck not so much by the parchments themselves as by the sight of a group of Israeli fourth-graders, their noses pressed to the display cases, reading aloud from texts that were two millennia old.
In “The Story of Hebrew,” Lewis Glinert, a professor at Dartmouth College, aims to track the fate of the Hebrew language “from the Israelites to the ancient Rabbis and across two thousand years of nurture, abandonment, and renewal.” The most ambitious attempt since William Chomsky’s groundbreaking 1957 study, “Hebrew: The Eternal Language,” Mr. Glinert’s biography of Hebrew succeeds in representing the language not just as a vehicle of communication but as a crucible of national cohesion.
Mr. Glinert’s narrative, related with impressive sweep, begins with the classical Hebrew of biblical literature. The Bible’s sublime idiom is marked by stylistic suppleness and breadth, he says, that could encompass “narrative, prophecy, law, proverbs, philosophy, elegy, romance” and much else. The era of biblical Hebrew reaches as far back as the second millennium before the Christian era, and Mr. Glinert suggests that the spoken language survived the Jews’ exile to Babylon, their return and their struggles under Roman rule.
Spoken Hebrew seems to have died with little fanfare around A.D. 200, more than a century after the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. But throughout the diaspora, Jews used written Hebrew to scaffold elaborate edifices of religious and legal interpretation. Though stateless, Hebrew would flourish as a written medium of cultural continuity. If the Jews safeguarded Hebrew, it was said, the holy tongue safeguarded “the people of the Book.”
The first of these edifices, the Mishnah, was compiled in the second and third centuries. This record of religious teachings and laws “created a rich lexical heritage that could be passed on to future generations,” Mr. Glinert writes, “and that Hebrew poetry and prose would draw upon long after Hebrew had ceased to be a spoken language.” The Babylonian Talmud—another great edifice of interpretation, setting out the authoritative commentary on rabbinic law—expanded Hebrew’s expressive possibilities by inflecting Hebrew with Aramaic, the lingua franca of the ancient Near East.
In the ensuing centuries those who standardized Hebrew’s grammatical architecture and honed its philological precision saw the language not just as a precious possession in itself but also as a fulcrum of Jewish life. “It must constantly be on our lips,” the Egyptian-born linguist and sage Saadiah Gaon wrote in the year 902, “for it affords us an understanding of the Divine Law.”CONTINUE AT SITE
SEOUL—President Donald Trump and his top diplomat hardened the U.S. approach to North Korea, ruling out direct talks and raising the option of a pre-emptive strike in statements that set the stage for a potential clash with Chinese leaders this weekend.
The first-strike threat and the U.S. deployment this month of the beginnings of a missile-defense system in South Korea represent a shift in balance that is expected to provoke Beijing, which is North Korea’s top ally.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, in Seoul on Friday, slammed Beijing for its opposition to the defense system, which is aimed at protecting South Korea against missile threats from the North.
Mr. Trump chimed in hours later, saying Beijing hasn’t done enough to address the threat from Pyongyang, which is closing in on the ability to mount a nuclear warhead on a long-range ballistic missile.
“North Korea is behaving very badly. They have been ‘playing’ the United States for years. China has done little to help!” Mr. Trump tweeted.
Mr. Tillerson was expected to arrive in Beijing on Saturday for meetings over the weekend with Chinese President Xi Jinping as well as China’s foreign minister.
A spokeswoman for China’s Foreign Ministry on Friday pointed to China’s efforts to promote dialogue between Pyongyang, Washington and Seoul, and declined to comment on the secretary of state’s remarks ahead of his arrival.
Iran will hold another Potemkin election in May, and we can already predict the media narrative if one of the so-called hard-liners wins the Iranian Presidency. The blame will lie with the Trump Administration for failing to show sufficient respect for “moderate” incumbent Hasan Rouhani. Except Mr. Rouhani’s rule hasn’t been moderate.
Witness the latest repression targeting the mullahs’ usual suspects. Tehran’s Prosecutor-General on Sunday announced it had sentenced a couple to death because they had founded a new “cult.” The announcement was short on details, but the charges could mean anything from running a New Age yoga studio to a political-discussion club.
The authorities have also detained Ehsan Mazandarani, a reporter with the reformist newspaper Etemad (“Trust”), according to the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists. The nature of the charges against Mr. Mazandarani isn’t clear, and his relatives say he is on hunger strike in Tehran’s Evin Prison. He had previously served most of a two-year sentence on trumped-up security charges.
Mr. Mazandarani’s detention followed last week’s arrest of dissident reporter Hengameh Shahidi, who also faces “national-security” charges. Ms. Shahidi has been an adviser to Mehdi Karroubi, one of two pro-democracy candidates in 2009’s fraudulent election. Mr. Karroubi and opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi have been under house arrest since 2011. Having hinted at freeing them during his campaign, Mr. Rouhani has kept mum on their cases since coming to office in 2013.
Then there is the crackdown on Christians. The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps late last month arrested two Iranian Catholics in northwestern Iran and seized their Bibles and prayer books. The incident came to light in a Fox News report last week.
It isn’t clear if the two Catholics, a mother and son, are converts, though that seems likely. Historic Christian communities such as Assyrians and Armenians are afforded second-class protection under Iranian law, while apostasy by Muslims is punishable by death. Despite some early rhetoric about tolerance, Mr. Rouhani has been unwilling or unable to improve conditions for religious minorities.
There is also the status of some half a dozen U.S. and U.K. dual citizens who have been taken hostage by the regime while visiting Iran. These include father and son Baquer and Siamak Namazi, both U.S. citizens, and Nazenin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a British citizen who is serving a five-year sentence on secret charges.
Nearly four decades after it was born, the Islamic Republic remains an unbending tyranny. The Trump White House shouldn’t spend energy hunting for moderate negotiating partners in the Islamist regime because there aren’t any. They’re under arrest.
Rex Tillerson caused a stir Friday on his first trip to Asia by—are you sitting down?—telling the truth about North Korea and China. The Secretary of State may be a rookie diplomat, but he can’t do any worse on North Korea than his recent predecessors in both political parties have.
“Let me be very clear: The policy of strategic patience has ended,” Mr. Tillerson said, referring to the Obama Administration policy of waiting for North Korea to give up its nuclear ambitions or collapse. A day earlier he criticized “20 years” of a “failed approach” to the North’s nuclear ambitions.
He’s right about the failure. Going back to Bill Clinton and diplomat Robert Gallucci’s Agreed Framework in 1994, three American administrations have sought to bribe Pyongyang into giving up its nuclear program and coax China to help. They engaged in years of multi-government talks and offered cash or other concessions for North Korean promises that it never fulfilled.
President George W. Bush even took North Korea off the list of terror-sponsoring states after the North tested its first nuclear weapon in 2006. And even as it came to light that Pyongyang had helped Syria build the beginnings of a nuclear program. Bush-era diplomats Condoleezza Rice and Christopher Hill have a lot to answer for after they persuaded President Bush to give up a pressure campaign against the North that was showing signs of success.
President Obama tried to coax the North with a similar invitation, but by then the Kim family regime had decided to build a nuclear-weapons stockpile along with the missiles to deliver them. That’s when Mr. Obama settled on the “strategic patience” doctrine that has now left the North close to achieving the ability to destroy Seoul, Tokyo or Seattle.
All of this has been dumped in the lap of the Trump Administration, which has to figure out a way to stop the North’s progress or accept a new existential threat to America’s homeland. That’s the story behind Mr. Tillerson’s language, which seems aimed at both the North and its political patrons in Beijing.
The outrageous report released this week by the U.N. Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia — which concludes “beyond a reasonable doubt that Israel is guilty of policies and practices that constitute the crime of apartheid” — should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with its co-author, Richard Falk.
This is not the first time that the former U.N. special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian Territories has given bias a bad name. Indeed, throughout his career, the American legal “scholar” has shown a deep loathing for Western democracies, including his own, while not even attempting to disguise his deep attraction to and affinity for evil Islamists.
Though infamous since 2001 for blaming the U.S. for the 9/11 attacks, linking the Boston Marathon bombings to America’s Mideast policies and warning that Israel was committing genocide, Falk was busy apologizing for bloodthirsty radicals and their regimes long before that.
In January 1979, when he was still a professor of international law at Princeton, Falk accompanied former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark and Don Luce, a prominent member of Clergy and Laity Concerned (established in 1965 by the National Council of Churches to “struggle against American imperialism and exploitation in just about every corner of the world”) on a private, eight-day fact-finding mission to Iran. At the end of the trip, the trio stopped over in France to meet Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who had been living in exile for 14 years.
Right around this time, the ousted, cancer-ridden Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi fled the country. Two weeks later, on February 1, Khomeini returned to his native land to take the helm of the new Islamic Republic of Iran.
On February 16, Falk published an op-ed in The New York Times called “Trusting Khomeini.” In it, he waxed poetic about the Muslim cleric, who would turn Iran into the nuclear weapons-hungry theocracy that it is today. “The depiction of him as fanatical, reactionary, and the bearer of crude prejudices seems certainly and happily false,” Falk wrote.
He then went on to praise Shiite Islam. “What is distinctive, perhaps, about this religious orientation is its concern with resisting oppression and promoting social justice,” he said, concluding: “Having created a new model of popular revolution based, for the most part, on nonviolent tactics, Iran may provide us with a desperately needed model of humane governance for a Third World country.”
This “humane governance” began with the backing of students who took over the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and held dozens of its staff hostage for 444 days, while then-U.S. President Jimmy Carter tried to negotiate their release by “understanding the grievances” of Tehran’s mullahs.