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Ruth King

MY SAY: NOTHING HAPPENED

Last night Trump got a C and Hillary got a B. He lost big opportunities to smash her arguments and challenge her integrity when he got on the defensive. But he didn’t erupt or insult.
She was smug and loaded for bear with the help of Lester Holt’s obvious bias.
Remember 2008? She won every debate with Barack Obama on policy, his inexperience, “training on the job” jabs, and his inability to handle the three o’clock A.M. call. She even threw in the race card when she opined that “white working class men” were more likely to vote for her. And she lost the primary and he won the election.
Those who prefer Trump still do and those who prefer Hillary still do. We’ll see what the poll weevils will say.

Hinde Street #antisemitism in the Methodist Church : David Collier

I have been to your church several times this week in an effort to engage with people over the ‘you cannot pass today’ exhibition. The Church decided to use a replica of an Israeli security checkpoint to deliver a message about ‘bringing down walls’.http://david-collier.com/?p=2305

Last night I was also at the circle discussion, that spoke about building bridges between the communities. I always try to reach out, try to understand. My learning process doesn’t include vocally arguing my case, but rather engaging and listening to others, absorbing their message (without confrontation) and trying to build a picture of what it is I see. There are three central points I would like now to get across:
The humanitarian safari park

The exhibition came about because one of the people involved with the church, Katherine Fox, had recently returned from a three-month humanitarian mission in Bethlehem.

Katherine did not go to Somalia, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan nor Libya. The reason she did not go to these places is because it is generally too dangerous and there is no similar industry to any of these life threatening areas. Only inside Israel does this type of tourism occur. It is safe to view the humanitarian situation in Israel precisely because it does not involve the dangers that exist elsewhere. I have written on this subject before.

If you had listened to Katherine speak last night, you would hear she was instructed to propagate the information. To return from the safari park and record events as if she had been into a jungle. It is part of the process, part of the industry. You get to go, provided on your return, you hold ‘x’ number of events that perpetuate the myths and convert others to the cause.

You also only get to see what they want you to see. You are on a journey with a clearly laid out path. If for example Katherine had spent three months in Ramallah, she’d be wondering what all the fuss is about . These trips are well choreographed. Your hand is held from the time you arrive to the time you leave.

So the question then becomes, is ‘bringing down the wall’, a message of peace or one of war. Is the church assisting those who seek a peaceful solution, or inadvertently helping to perpetuate a conflict, assisting in spreading the hatred?
The greatest straw man of all

The entire discussion always circles around one single straw man argument. Some suggest that the attack on Israel is dripping with antisemitism, and the offended humanitarians argue in response that they are not antisemitic.

Jihadists Target Spain “The actions of your ancestors are the reason for our actions today.” by Soeren Kern

The Islamic State document said that since the establishment of the Spanish Inquisition in 1478, Spain “has done everything to destroy the Koran.” It said that Spain tortured Muslims, including burning them alive. Therefore, according to the Islamic State, “Spain is a criminal state that usurps our land.” The document calls on jihadists to “reconnoiter airline and train routes for attacks.” It also calls on followers to “poison food and water” with insecticides.

“We will kill any ‘innocent’ Spanish infidel we find in Muslim lands, and… whether we are European in origin or not, we will kill you in your cities and towns according to our plan.” — Islamic State document, May 30, 2016.

“We will recover al-Andalus, Allah willing. Oh dear Andalus! You thought we forgot about you. I swear by Allah we have never forgotten you. No Muslim can forget Córdoba, Toledo or Xàtiva. There are many faithful and sincere Muslims who swear they will return to al-Andalus.” — Islamic State video, January 31, 2016.

“Spain is the land of our forefathers and we are going to take it back with the power of Allah.” — Islamic State video, January 7, 2016.

Islamic militants are stepping up a propaganda war against Spain. In recent months, Islamic State and other jihadist groups have produced a flurry of videos and documents calling on Muslims to reconquer al-Andalus.

Al-Andalus is the Arabic name given to those parts of Spain, Portugal and France occupied by Muslim conquerors (also known as the Moors) from 711 to 1492. Many Muslims believe that territories Muslims lost during the Christian Reconquest of Spain still belong to the realm of Islam. They claim that Islamic law gives them the right to re-establish Muslim rule there.

A recent Islamic State document includes a list of grievances against Spain for wrongs done to Muslims since the Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa on July 16, 1212, when the Christian forces of King Alfonso VIII of Castile routed the Almohad Muslim rulers of the southern half of the Iberian Peninsula. More than 100,000 Muslims were killed in the battle, which was a key victory in the Catholic Monarchs’ “Reconquista” of Spain.

The document said that since the establishment of the Spanish Inquisition in 1478, Spain “has done everything to destroy the Koran.” It said that Spain tortured Muslims, including burning them alive. Therefore, according to the Islamic State, “Spain is a criminal state that usurps our land.” The document calls on jihadists to “reconnoiter airline and train routes for attacks.” It also calls on followers to “poison food and water” with insecticides.

The document concludes: “The actions of your ancestors are the reason for our actions today.”

On July 15, 2016, Islamic State released its first propaganda video with Spanish subtitles. The high quality of the Spanish translation, both in writing and in syntax, led some analysts to conclude that that the translator’s mother tongue is Spanish and that the subtitling may even have been done inside Spain.

Turkey: Land of Mosques, Prisons and the Uneducated by Burak Bekdil

“[I]n spite of dire predictions by secularists, the [ruling] AKP did not introduce conspicuous efforts to Islamize Turkey. But since 2011, this has changed.” — Svante E. Cornell, in “The Islamization of Turkey: Erdogan’s Education Reforms.”

In 2014, Turkey’s government introduced a scheme which forcibly enrolled about 40,000 students at Islamic “imam schools,” and granted permission for girls as young as 10 to wear Islamic headscarves in class.

A new study by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development found that 43% of Turkish women aged between 15 and 29 were neither working nor receiving education.

One way the rise of Islamist authoritarianism in a country can be seen is by the rise in the number of mosques, religious schools and prisons — coupled with a sharp decline in the quality of education. Turkey is no exception.

Most recently, the Turkish government said that it would build 174 new prisons, increasing capacity by 100,000 convicts. This is Turkey’s reply to complaints that six convicts must share a cell built for three. Convicts say they must sleep in turns in their bunk beds.

Before that, Turkey’s government released nearly 40,000 convicted criminals, in order to make space for tens of thousands of suspects, including journalists, businessmen and academics, detained after the failed coup of July 15.

Ending the Palestinian Exception Is the U.S. finally ready to lay the “two-state solution” to rest? Caroline Glick

Ahead of Monday night’s first presidential debate, Rudolph Giuliani – former New York mayor and Republican nominee Donald Trump’s current adviser – spoke at the Israeli American Council’s annual conference. Four days of intense debate preparation with Trump preceded the talk. Giuliani insisted the time has come for the US to “reject the whole notion of a two-state solution in Israel.”

It can only be hoped that regardless of who prevails in November, Giuliani’s statement will become the official position of the next US administration.
In his speech before the UN General Assembly last week PLO and Fatah chief and unelected Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said many things to drive home the basic point that he is not interested in peace with Israel. He is interested in destroying Israel. But one particular demand stands out.

It stands out not because it is new. It isn’t new.

Abbas says it all the time and his advisers say it all the time. They say it to Palestinian and international audiences alike, and it always is met with support or at least sympathy.

Abbas demanded that Israel stop arresting Palestinian terrorists and release all Palestinian terrorists from its prisons. That is, he demanded that Israel allow thousands of convicted terrorists to walk free and refrain from doing anything to interfere with terrorists engaged planning and carrying out the murder of its citizens.

The overwhelming majority of Palestinians support this demand. And so does the US government.

During US Secretary of State John Kerry’s failed peace process in 2013-14, President Barack Obama and Kerry embraced Abbas’s demand that Israel release 104 terrorist murderers from its prisons as a precondition for agreeing to negotiate with the Jewish state.

Bowing to US pressure, Israel released 78 terrorists from its jails in three tranches. Ahead of the fourth scheduled release, Abbas and his advisers bragged that they would cut off talks with Israel as soon as the last group of terrorist murderers were released.

That is, they admitted that the negotiations, such as they were, were nothing more than a means to achieve the goal of freeing murderers.

Obama’s Legacy of Demagoguery and Divisiveness The “Ferguson effect” takes its toll on the African-American community while race relations are at a nadir. Ari Lieberman

When Obama assumed office in 2009, there were high hopes that the first African American president with bi-racial parents would be able to bridge the racial divide and foster unity in the country. Those hopes were soon dashed. Nearly eight years later, the nation is more polarized than ever, as devastating race riots grip large metropolitan cities with alarming frequency.

Instead of offering hope, Obama gave us demagoguery. Instead of fostering unity he stoked and encouraged divisiveness. Instead of providing concrete solutions, he issued speeches laced with empty rhetoric and platitudes. Instead of calming the nation in times of crisis, he engaged in race baiting.

The first test of Obama’s seriousness in addressing race relations came just six months after being sworn in. Police officers in Cambridge Massachusetts received a call of a possible burglary in progress and responded. When arriving at the scene, they found Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. trying to force his way into his house through a malfunctioning door. The police were unfamiliar with his identity and asked for identification to establish residency. Gates instantly became irate, indignant and uncooperative. It went downhill from there. Gates was arrested for disorderly conduct, though the charges were later dropped.

An event that was essentially a misunderstanding and a local matter was suddenly thrust into the spotlight and propelled to the national stage. You see, Gates, an African American, cried racism. He also happened to be pals with Obama. Obama could have told Gates to work things out with the police or file a complaint with the Civilian Complaint Review Board if he felt slighted. Instead, Obama stoked the flames of hate by publicly siding with Gates, claiming the police “acted stupidly.”

Before ascertaining the facts, Obama rushed to judgment and immediately condemned those entrusted with safeguarding our security. His asinine response would set the administration’s tone for the next seven years. Obama later backtracked on his rush to judgment and offered the arresting police officer, Sgt. James Crowley, a beer but the damage had already been done. The only thing that the African American community took away from the encounter was that the police acted “stupidly,” thus reinforcing preexisting negative perceptions so prevalent within that community.

There is no doubt that some level of tension exists between various police departments and members of the African American community but the president has a responsibility to calm frayed nerves and foster understanding and outreach. Instead, Obama has done the opposite. Race-baiting, tax cheats and serial liars like Al Sharpton are frequent guests of the White House. According to official records, Sharpton visited the White House on more than 100 occasions and that number excludes official administration visits to him.

Trump Takes on Holt and Hillary …and the whole system. Daniel Greenfield

Donald Trump’s main opponent in the first presidential debate wasn’t Hillary Clinton. It was NBC anchor Lester Holt. Hillary, with forced smiles as brittle as china and an eerie fake laugh, continued her primary debate strategy of repeating canned talking points while waiting for the moderator to knock off her opponent. Hillary wasn’t there to debate, but to once again seem like the only possible option.

Holt’s job was to make her seem like the only possible option by targeting Trump.

There were fears that Lester Holt would be another Candy Crowley. That was unfair to Crowley. The entire debate was structurally biased. Its general topics were framed in narrow left-wing terms, instead of discussing the economy and moving the country forward, Holt defined the topics as class warfare and racial divisiveness. Even national security was narrowed down to Obama’s favorite battlespace, cyberspace, rather than the actual battlefield.

Trump was hit with repeated personal attacks and gotcha questions by Holt, who then took to arguing with him over the facts. Hillary, despite having been under investigation by the FBI, received only a perfunctory offer from Lester Holt to comment on her emails after Trump had raised the issue.

But Holt’s overt bias also proved to be his undoing. Candy Crowley had been effective because her interjection into the debate between Obama and Romney had come as something of a surprise. Holt made his agenda clear at the outset. And it also made him easy to ignore, as Trump frequently did.

Like small boys jumping into a mud pile, media personalities had been urging each other on for weeks to abandon even the pretense of objectivity and just go after Trump. That’s what Holt did in his awkward and impotent way. And it proved to be ineffective as he quickly lost control of the debate. Holt, like the rest of his media cohort, had failed to understand that overt bias makes them less effective.

Hillary’s role in the debate was to grit her teeth and smile awkwardly, then deliver a few scripted attacks and lines that would allow her media allies to hail her as the winner. It was an easy job that she botched.

Debate Wrap-Up: Media Bashing of Lauer Has Desired Effect as Lester Holt Lets His Bias Fly Candy Crowley in a suit. By Stephen Kruiser

Forget everything you read or heard about Lester Holt being a Republican. After Matt Lauer dared to ask Hillary Clinton a couple of very fair questions at the Commander-in-Chief Forum and was savaged by the likes of WaPo, The New York Times and MSNBC, Lester Holt made sure that he didn’t end up being the story in the MSM tomorrow.

The first part of the debate was actually all right for Holt, but the wheels flew off when they got to how each candidate would handle healing the racial divide in the U.S. Holt went for the birther issue with Trump, which isn’t off the table but has very little relevance to what faces our next president. Had Hillary brought it up it would have been fine. For Holt to interject it during what was supposed to be a substantive discussion on race relations made it seem as if he were being fed questions directly from Clinton HQ.

Holt then hit Trump with a question about him saying that Hillary didn’t have a presidential “look,” which obviously just served as a platform for Hillary to call Trump a sexist. It was George- Stephanopoulos-are-you-going-to-ban-contraception bad.

His final question asked the candidates if they would both accept the will of the voters in November, which is the kind of thing one might find precocious and adorable if asked by a third grader but was groan-worthy coming from a grown man.

The number of vulnerable areas he pressed Hillary about was zero so I can’t give you any examples of those.

Having said all that, Trump still could have done much better. He seemed like he was trying to cover ALL the ground with every answer. That meandering took away a lot of his bite. He would have been better off picking three or four really vulnerable areas (emails, Benghazi, etc.) and hammering away at those until she became irritated and imperious, as she always does. I know the press loves to talk about him being easily provoked, but she may still have the thinnest skin in this election. He wouldn’t have to push her buttons too many times to get her into the “We are not amused…” zone. CONTINUE AT SITE

U.S. Murders Increased 10.8% in 2015 The figures, released by the FBI, could stoke worries that the trend of falling crime rates may be ending By Devlin Barrett

Murders in the U.S. jumped 10.8% in 2015, according to figures released Monday by the Federal Bureau of Investigation—a sharp increase that could fuel concerns that the nation’s two-decade trend of falling crime may be ending.

The figures had been expected to rise, after preliminary data released earlier this year indicated violent crime and murders were climbing. But the double-digit increase in murders dwarfed any of the past 20 years, in which the biggest one-year jump was 3.7% in 2005.

In 2014, the FBI recorded violent crimes of all types narrowly falling, by 0.2%. In 2015, the number of violent crimes rose 3.9%, though the number of property crimes fell 2.6%, the FBI said.

Richard Rosenfeld, a criminologist at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, said a key driver of the jump in murders may be increasing distrust of police in major cities where controversial officer shootings of African-American residents have led to protests.

Members of minority and poor communities may be more reluctant to talk to police and help them solve crimes, part of the “Ferguson effect”—a term used by law-enforcement officials referring to the aftermath of the killing of an unarmed, black 18-year-old man in Ferguson, Mo., by a policeman in 2014.

Some law-enforcement officials, including FBI Director James Comey, have said that since the Ferguson shooting and protests, some officers may be more reluctant to get out of their patrol cars and engage in the kind of difficult work that reduces street crime, out of fear they may be videotaped and criticized publicly.

“This rise is concentrated in certain large cities where police-community tensions have been notable,’’ said Mr. Rosenfeld, citing Cleveland, Baltimore, and St. Louis as examples. The increase isn’t spread evenly around America, he pointed out, but centered on big cities with large black populations.

In all, there were 15,696 instances of murder and nonnegligence manslaughter in the U.S. last year, the FBI said.

The Sino-Russian Axis Joint naval exercises show a common strategic purpose: Push the U.S. out.

China and Russia completed an eight-day joint naval exercise in the South China Sea last week, and this time the location was also the message. The two autocracies are expanding cooperation and offering each other support in their territorial disputes, a trend that could fuel instability from East Asia to Central Europe.

Days before the drill, which focused on antisubmarine warfare and what a Xinhua dispatch called “island-seizing,” Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping held their 15th bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Hangzhou. Mr. Putin announced support for Beijing’s aggressive sovereignty claims in the South China Sea and opposition to “any third-party interference,” an unsubtle reference to the United States.

Mr. Putin’s kowtow to Beijing carries some risks. Vietnam, which angrily opposes China’s behavior, is a major buyer of Russian arms and grants Russian forces access to runways and the strategic port of Cam Ranh Bay. Mr. Putin talked up ties with Hanoi and its neighbors when he hosted a summit of Southeast Asian leaders in Sochi in May, but cozying up to Beijing sends the opposite signal.

Mr. Putin also has plenty of reason to distrust China, which undermines his influence in Central Asia, asserts itself in the Arctic and may have designs on Russia’s Far East, where some two million illegal Chinese migrants work as miners, fishermen and farmers because Russia lacks the labor to tap its natural resources. Russian trade with China has fallen below expectations in recent years, and the $400 billion, 30-year bilateral gas deal signed in 2014 is stalled over pipeline construction.

Yet Mr. Putin is tilting toward Beijing anyway. He doesn’t have a better buyer for his gas and still hopes to hit $200 billion in bilateral trade by 2020, up from $68 billion last year.