Fearlessness not fearfulness: fostering discourse at Bowdoin By Nancy Geduld

Nancy Geduld is a member of the Class of 2017.https://bowdoinorient.com/2017/05/05/fearfulness-not-fearlessness-fostering-discourse-at-bowdoin/

By now, we’ve probably all heard about the recent events that unfolded at Middlebury when Charles Murray was invited to speak or the violent protests that arose when Milo Yiannopoulos was asked to speak at UC Berkeley. The issue of free and open discourse is now inextricably linked to college campuses and debated by the intellectuals that inhabit them. At Bowdoin, the inability for students to acknowledge the validity of opinions that do not align with their own signals a failure in an important aspect of our education.

Official statements from Bowdoin leaders on open discourse and intellectual tolerance directly contradict the reality of the academic environment here. President Rose, in his inaugural address, criticized academic intolerance. He pledged to uphold tenets of intellectual freedom at Bowdoin, and called upon us—students and faculty—to engage in the practice of “intellectual fearlessness.” It is up to us, he proclaimed, to create a campus safe enough to encourage the college’s mission of “full-throated intellectual discovery and discourse—which is most decidedly uncomfortable and unsafe.” How well have we achieved this goal of fostering an ideal academic environment? I say not well at all.

I am convinced that the discourse that exists on Bowdoin’s campus does not even slightly resemble the ideal image our President paints for us. Bowdoin’s academic climate more closely resembles one of intellectual fearfulness, rather than fearlessness, of rampant close mindedness rather than active intellectual discovery. The intellectual environment here represents a new form of orthodoxy, one that presents its notion of virtue and quickly dismisses anything contradictory. Currently, Bowdoin’s culture re-inscribes what students, faculty and administrators already know and believe, rendering open discourse obsolete. Rose asserts that at its core, a liberal arts education is about leaning into discomfort. We are here to be challenged and to work to uncover the truth in all disciplines. Yet, many of Bowdoin’s students are confident they have already found it. They possess the keys to the truth, and those who challenge their idea of the truth, or, even worse, actively oppose it, are not only ignorant, they are immoral.

Bowdoin’s administration clearly recognizes there is a striking lack of differing opinions and honest debate here. The apparent lack of discourse undoubtedly drives Rose’s calls for intellectual fearlessness, and the organization of campus events with outside speakers does indeed succeed in sparking moments of conversation. However, real change will only occur in the classroom, with the support of Bowdoin’s faculty.

The campus climate following the presidential election is a fitting example of the intellectual fearfulness that prevails at Bowdoin. A large majority of students were devastated by the results, and in many classes, professors needed to decide how to best proceed. Some professors ended classes early; others allowed for class debate. For instance, in a government class on Political Parties in the United States, a professor fed students a variety of questions that attempted to get at the heart of the surprising conservative victory: ‘How could the liberal candidate have lost?’ ‘What sorts of theories could explain the conservative candidate’s extraordinary momentum?’ ‘Where do we go from here?’

It was in this class that I realized how dangerously one-sided discourse is here. One student pinned the election’s shocking results on the votes of uneducated, ‘white-trash,’ racist Americans. Another student conjured up a strikingly elitist explanation involving a divergence of ‘shared-truths.’ Those who voted for the president-elect, he argued, just did not understand the ‘correct’ truth about today’s world (a truth that is, to this student, ostensibly universal). And so, by voting for such a candidate, they, in fact, demonstrated that they do not understand reality; they live within a false truth. Fittingly, during this discussion, one student sporting a “Make America Great Again Hat” sat silently.

In response to my classmates’ hypotheses, I suggested that perhaps we needed to look beyond simple stereotypes and labels in attempting to explain the shocking results of this election. Name-calling, I argued, would not help us understand what took place and how to best move forward. Apparently, the professor found this suggestion so profound that he later emailed me thanking me for having the courage to speak up and challenge my classmates—for embodying the “intellectual fearlessness” Rose so often praises.

Why was I lauded as courageous for simply suggesting that we look beyond the easy answer—in challenging the echo chambers of news, politics and, evidently, academia, that we live in today? Is it brave to merely acknowledge that a viewpoint has a fundamental right to exist, even if you do not agree with it? To attempt to understand from where that perspective comes? To acknowledge that someone else’s beliefs contain an inherent value? I believe Bowdoin has failed in its mission to challenge us to do these very things.

Intellectual fearfulness will have far-reaching consequences, if we allow it to prevail on Bowdoin’s campus, for the policing of political opinions now functions as a modern form of orthodoxy. In dismissing those with opposing views as ignorant and immoral, in asserting that we already possess “the truth,” and in turning political debates into moral ones, we don’t just fail to be intellectually fearless: we fail to demonstrate any intellect at all. There is work to be done, and it is only in the classroom, with the support of professors, that we can foster a genuine academic environment and begin to demonstrate real intellect.

Danish Foreign Minister Set to Announce $8 Million in Grants to Pro-BDS Palestinian NGOs by Ben Cohen

Denmark’s foreign minister is set to announce a grant of over $8 million earmarked for NGOs involved in the demonization of Israel, drawing protests from a leading Israeli watchdog.

The announcement by Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen is set for Thursday in Ramallah, the political center of the Palestinian Authority (PA). According to NGO Monitor, which reports on foreign funding of NGOs in Israel and Palestinian-controlled territories, Samuelsen will confirm the release of $8.3 million to an intermediary agency, the Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat, which will then distribute the funds to Palestinian NGOs.

The Secretariat, which is based at Bir Zeit University in the West Bank, is jointly funded by the Danish, Swedish, Swiss, Norwegian and Dutch governments. According to NGO Monitor, “although these governments claim to oppose BDS, 65 percent of Secretariat funding is provided to NGOs that are BDS leaders.”

“All of these NGOs are campaigning on BDS and ‘lawfare’ – making allegations of Israeli war crimes,” NGO Monitor President Prof. Gerald Steinberg told The Algemeiner.

Among the groups receiving funds, Steinberg said, were Al Haq, a legal organization that has spearheaded accusations of war crimes and crimes against humanity at the Israeli security forces, and Adameer, which was launched by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a left-wing terrorist group within the PLO.

“The funding that the Danish government and others provide through the Ramallah framework does a tremendous amount of damage to the peace process and to human rights,” Steinberg said. “Ending that funding is long overdue.”

In a separate statement, Olga Deutsch, Director of NGO Monitor’s Europe Desk, criticized the Danish government for agreeing to the new funding without holding public hearings in the Danish parliament.

“Danish Members of Parliament should debate whether Danish taxpayers should transfer their hard-earned money to organizations that incite violence, glorify terror, and promote blatant antisemitism and BDS,” Deutsch said.

France: The Ideology of Islamic Victimization by Yves Mamou

They are not the victims of any racist system — it does not exist — but they are the victims of an ideology of victimization, which claims that they are discriminated against because of race and religion.

Victimization is an excuse offered by the state, by most politicians (right and left) and by the mainstream media.

To avoid confrontation, all the politicians from the mainstream political parties and all mainstream media are going along with the myth of victimization. The problem is that this is only fueling more violence, more terrorism and more fantasies of victimization.

French sociological research seems to have no new books, articles or ideas about French Muslim radicalization. It is not hard to see why: the few scholars tempted to wander off the beaten path (“terrorists are victims of society, and suffering from racism” and so on) are afraid to be called unpleasant names. In addition, many sociologists share the same Marxist ideology that attributes violent behavior to discrimination and poverty. If some heretics try to explain that terrorists are not automatically victims (of society, of white French males, of whatever) a pack of hounds of Muslim and non-Muslim scholars start baying to lynch them as racists, Islamophobes and bigots.

After the November 2015, terrorist attacks in Paris, Alain Fuchs, president of France’s National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), launched a call for a new project to understand some of the “factors of radicalization” in France.

The project that emerged, “Youth and Radicalism: Religious and Political Factors”, by Olivier Galland and Anne Muxel, was thorough. Their survey is based mainly on a poll conducted by Opinion Way of 7,000 high school students, and was followed by a second “poll” of 1,800 young people (14 to 16 years old). The next phase will apparently include individual and group interviews with young secondary-school students.

Galland and Muxel do not say that their survey is “representative” of all French youth. Muslims high school students are over-represented in the polls, in order to understand what is at stake in this segment of the population.

Their proposal, however, is heretical: it means there is a problem with Muslims.

The preliminary results of this vast study were released at a press conference on March 20. To the question in the study: What are the main factors of radicalization? The answer was: religion.

“We can not deny the ‘religion effect’. Among young Muslims, the religion effect is three times more important than in non-Muslim groups. Four percent of youths of all denominations defend an absolutist vision of religion and apparently adhere to radical ideas; this figure is 12% among young Muslims in our sample. They defend an absolutist view of religion — believing both that there is ‘one true religion’ and that religion explains the creation of the world better than science.”

What about the usual explanations of lack of economic integration, fear of being on welfare, social exclusion and so on?

“A purely economic explanation appears not to be validated. The idea of ​​a ‘sacrificed generation’, tempted by radicalism, is confronted with the feeling of a relatively good integration of these populations. [Young Muslims] appear neither more nor less confident in their future than all other French youths; they believe in their ability to pursue studies after the baccalaureat and to find a satisfactory job.”

These young Muslims recognize that they are not suffering from racism or discrimination. But at the same time, many of them say they “feel” discriminated against anyway. They are not the victims of any racist system — it does not exist — but they are the victims of an ideology of victimization, which claims that they are discriminated against because of race and religion.

“The feeling of being discriminated against is twice as strong in our sample especially among young people of Muslim faith or of foreign origin. To explain the adherence [of young Muslims] to radicalism, we must consider that religious factors are combining with identity issues, and mixing themselves with feelings of victimization and discrimination”.

If Islam is an engine of radicalization, the second powerful engine of radicalization is this dominant ideology of victimization.

“Young Muslims who feel discriminated against adhere more often to radical ideas than those who do not feel discriminated against.”

These preliminary results are more than worrying. Against all sociological evidence, social origin and academic level do not outweigh the effect of religious affiliation. In other words, regardless of a young Muslim’s performance at school and his parents’ profession, he is four times more likely than a young Christian to adhere to radical ideas.

American Islam’s Most Extreme Conference by Samuel Westrop

Islamists, forming inherently political movements, insist to policy-makers and the media that Islam is homogenous and that their Islamist organizations speak on behalf of all Muslims, despite their clear lack of any mandate.

Politicians and journalists — by speaking at Islamist conferences, or treating the Muslim community as a homogenous bloc represented by self-appointed groups such as MAS or ICNA — actually serve to legitimize extremist Islamist leadership.

Now it falls to national and state governments to stop working with Islamists, and to support genuinely moderate Muslims instead.

Last month, Keith Ellison’s name disappeared from a list of speakers at one of the largest conferences in the Muslim calendar. The annual event, which took place in Baltimore from April 14-16, was organized by the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) and the Muslim American Society (MAS).

In December 2016, Ellison also withdrew from the convention’s sister-conference, the “MAS-ICNA conference,” after reports about extreme clerics sharing the stage.

April’s conference was no different. Speakers included Siraj Wahhaj, an imam who addresses Muslim events across the country every week, and is a former advisory board member of the Council on American Islamic Relations. Wahhaj has preached:

“I don’t believe any of you are homosexual. This is a disease of this society. … you know what the punishment is, if a man is found with another man? The Prophet Mohammad said the one who does it and the one to whom it is done to, kill them both.”

Elsewhere, Wahhaj cites the death penalty for adultery, advocates chopping off the hands of thieves, and tells Muslims:

“Take not into your intimacy those outside of your race. They will not fail to corrupt you. Don’t you know our children are surrounded by kafirs [disbelievers]. I’m telling you, making the hearts of our children corrupt, dirty, foul.”

Other listed speakers included Abdul Nasir Jangda, who advocates sex-slavery and gives husbands permission to rape their wives; Suleiman Hani, who claims that “Freedom of speech is a facade” used to stifle “objective discussion” of the “Holocaust and Jews”; Mohammad Elshinawy, who claims that women who fail to wear the hijab will contract breast cancer; and Yasir Qadhi, whose violent homophobia was recently the subject of an investigative report by The Times.

Such extremism is not confined to the speakers. The organizing bodies, MAS and ICNA, are not ordinary Muslim organizations, but Islamist groups with long-standing ties to extremism at home and abroad. Senior MAS-ICNA official Ahmed Taha, the organizer of the December conference, is a strident anti-Semite. He published a text on social media that states, “O Muslim, O servant of God. There is a Jew behind me, come kill him.”

MAS was founded in 1993 by operatives of the Muslim Brotherhood, while ICNA has identified itself as an American front for Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), a South Asian Islamist group that Bangladeshi officials have linked to terrorism. One of the other listed speakers at the ICNA-MAS conference was, in fact, Yusuf Islahi, a member of the Central Advisory Council of the Indian branch of Jamaat-e-Islami. According to the academic Irfan Ahmad, Islahi claims that Jews were behind the 9/11 attacks, as part of a conspiracy to defame Islam.

As America finds itself increasingly exposed to the homegrown Islamist terror that has, in recent years, increasingly gripped Western Europe, politicians and law enforcement are starting to ask how Muslim communities have come to be represented by such extremist groups.

Interview with Howard Bloom, Part 2 by Grégoire Canlorbe

Yet there is another set of facts that progressives ignore. Every civilization that has appealed to our idealism has claimed it will lift the poor and the oppressed. But Western civilization has done this the best.

Islam’s second advantage is the eagerness of its militants to solve political disputes with violence. Violence is a potent force multiplier, especially in a world peppered with democratic societies.

Allah has given Islam’s warriors what the Qur’an calls “the fire whose fuel is men and stones” — the fire of nuclear weaponry.

There is only a handful of authors alive today whose ideas about geopolitics have won respect in both the world of Islam and in the West. Howard Bloom is one of them. The following is the second part of an interview with Bloom, published here last November.

Grégoire Canlorbe: In your 1995 book, The Lucifer Principle, you introduced a new concept in geopolitical science — “the pecking order of nations.” What new light does this shed on Islamic civilization and its relations with the rest of the world?

Howard Bloom: Research on pecking orders — known technically as “dominance hierarchies” — has gone on now for roughly 100 years. Thorleif Schjelderup-Ebbe, the naturalist who observed it in a Norwegian farmyard, called it the key to despotism. Schjelderup-Ebbe had discovered that in the world of chickens there is a social hierarchy, a division into aristocrats and commoners — lower, middle and upper class. Pecking orders also exist among men, monkeys, lobsters and lizards. And the struggle for position in a pecking order is not restricted to individuals. It also hits social groups.

The pecking order of superorganisms helps explain why the danger of barbarians is real, and why “humanitarian” assumptions in foreign policy are sometimes suicidal. With our dream of eliminating competition, we try to wish the pecking order away. But the fact is that we will continue to live in pecking orders whether we like it or not. The brutal fact is that the more we opt out of competition, the lower our position is likely to be. That holds true in our lives as individuals. And it holds even truer in our life as a nation.

We all know that Rome was picked apart by peoples any respectable Roman could see were beneath his contempt. The barbarians did not shave. They wore dirty clothes. They were almost always drunk. Their living standard was one step above that of a mule. Their technology was laughable. They usually couldn’t read and write. And they certainly had no “culture.” What could these smelly primitives do? They could fight. The moral is simple: Never forget the pecking order’s surprises. Today’s superpower is tomorrow’s conquered state. Yesterday’s overlooked mob is often the ruler of tomorrow. Never underestimate the third world. Never be complacent about barbarians.

Some readers will be outraged by my presumption. How dare I regard any group as barbaric? What appalling ethnocentrism! There are no barbarians; there are simply cultures we have not taken the time to understand. But there are barbarians — people whose cultures glorify the act of murder, and elevate violence to a holy deed. These cultures portray the extinction of other human beings as a validation of manliness, a heroic gesture in the name of truth, or simply a good way to get ahead in the world. And traditional Islamic societies tend to be high on this list.

Progressive critics are right when they point out the West’s bloody track record. Our two world wars in the 20th century killed a combined total of roughly 70 million human beings. Our two great social experiments — the Marxist-Leninist transformation of Russia and the Marxist Revolution of Mao Zedong in China, a revolution based on the philosophy of a German Westerner, Karl Marx, killed another 80 million. With our atomic bombs, we Westerners wiped out two Japanese cities in less time than it takes to read this page. We warred to control the lives of others in Korea, Vietnam and Algeria, where the French fought from 1954 to 1962 to quash a local war of independence that cost between 350,000 and 1.5 million lives. Even our conventional weapons in World War II produced fire storms that sucked the oxygen out of the lungs of innocent civilians, miles from the center of impact and roasted them alive as they suffocated and died.

Yet there is another set of facts that progressives ignore. Every civilization that has appealed to our idealism has claimed it will lift the poor and the oppressed. But Western civilization has done this the best.

If you had been born in 1850, your expected lifespan would have been 37.5 years. If you had been born in the West in 2000, your expected lifespan would have been 78.5 years. Chinese emperors were willing to spend almost all of their wealth to achieve an extra four years of life. But Western civilization has added another 40. Western civilization has more than doubled the human lifespan. No other civilization in the history of the world — not the Chinese, Egyptian, Muslim, Russian Marxist or Roman — has ever pulled this off.

If you had been the poorest-paid worker in London in 2012, a personal assistant, you would have earned what an entire tenement full of the poorest-paid workers in London were paid in 1850. You would have earned what seven Irish dockworkers made.

If you gave a bunch of average Western kids today a Stanford Binet IQ test from 1905, today’s kids would register as near geniuses. They’d register an average IQ of roughly 135. That’s an IQ jump of 35 points.

If you were in an indigenous culture, one of those tribes that “lives in peace and harmony with nature,” your odds of dying a violent death at the hands of a fellow human being would be 10 times what they are in the West today. Since 1650, Western Civilization has upped the level of peace by a factor of 10.

If you were born in 2000, your height would have been four inches higher than if you had been born in 1850.

If our great, great grandparents could give us an extra 40 years of life, we owe an extra 40 more to our great, great grandchildren. If our great, great grandparents could septuple the incomes of the poorest workers among us, surely we owe another septupling to our great, great grandkids. If our great, great grandparents could up the average IQ by 35 points, surely we owe another 35 to our great, great grandkids. And if our great, great grandparents could increase the peace in the world by a factor of 10, surely we owe our great, great grandkids 10 times more. The only way to achieve this is to defend Western civilization with all your heart and might.

Social-Justice Math Class: ‘Math Has Been Used as a Dehumanizing Tool’ ‘Teaching Social Justice Through Secondary Mathematics’ was developed by Teach for America. By Katherine Timpf

A new online course instructs math teachers how to incorporate social-justice ideology into their lessons by discussing how mathematics has historically been used to oppress people.

The class — titled “Teaching Social Justice Through Secondary Mathematics” — was developed by Teach for America and is being offered through edX, according to an article in Campus Reform.

“Do you ask students to think deeply about global and local social justice issues within your mathematics classroom?” the course overview asks. “This education and teacher training course will help you blend secondary math instruction with topics such as inequity, poverty, and privilege to transform students into global thinkers and mathematicians.”

The idea behind the class is that many students are into the whole social-justice thing and that “setting the mathematics within a specially-developed social justice framework can help students realize the power and meaning of both the data and social justice concerns.”

According to Campus Reform, the class identifies five principles of “intersectional mathematics,” including “mathematical ethics:”

Mathematical ethics recognizes that, for centuries, mathematics has been used as a dehumanizing tool. Does one’s IQ fall on the lower half of the bell curve? Mathematics tells us that individual is intellectually lacking. Mathematics formulae also differentiate between the classifications of a war or a genocide and have even been used to trick indigenous people out of land and property.

Now, I personally never enjoyed math in school. In fact, in first grade, I got into huge trouble for standing on a chair and starting a “No More Math! No More Math!” chant in the classroom. Honestly, I just wish I had had access to this information at the time. My “No More Math!” chant landed me in the principal’s office, but perhaps if I had tweaked it a little bit to, say, “For Centuries, Mathematics Has Been Used as a Dehumanizing Tool!” I may have had more success.

Lessons from the Battle of Midway America’s culture of spontaneity, flexibility, and improvisation helped win the battle. By Victor Davis Hanson

Seventy-five years ago (June 4-7, 1942), the astonishing American victory at the Battle of Midway changed the course of the Pacific War.

Just six months after the catastrophic Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, the U.S. crushed the Imperial Japanese Navy off Midway Island (about 1,300 miles northwest of Honolulu), sinking four of its aircraft carriers.

“Midway” referred to the small atoll roughly halfway between North America and Asia. But to Americans, “Midway” became a barometer of military progress. Just half a year after being surprised at Pearl Harbor, the U.S. Navy had already destroyed almost half of Japan’s existing carrier strength (after achieving a standoff at the Battle of the Coral Sea a month earlier).

The odds at the June 1942 battle favored the Japanese. The imperial fleet had four carriers to the Americans’ three, backed up by scores of battleships, cruisers, and light carriers as part of the largest armada that had ever steamed from Japan.

No military had ever won more territory in six months than had Japan. Its Pacific Empire ranged from the Indian Ocean to the coast of the Aleutian Islands, and from the Russian-Manchurian border to Wake Island in the Pacific.

Yet the Japanese Navy was roundly defeated by an outnumbered and inexperienced American fleet at Midway. Why and how?

American intelligence officers — often eccentric and free to follow their intuitions — had cracked the Japanese naval codes, giving the Americans some idea of the Japanese plan of attack at Midway.

American commanders were far more open to improvising and risk-taking than their Japanese counterparts. In contrast, Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto created an elaborate but rigid plan of attack that included an invasion of the Aleutian Islands as well as Midway.

But such impractical agendas dispersed the much larger Japanese fleet all over the central and northern Pacific, ensuring that the Japanese could never focus their overwhelming numerical advantages on the modest three-carrier American fleet.

The U.S. Navy was also far more resilient than its Japanese counterpart.

A month earlier at the Battle of the Coral Sea, the Japanese suffered damage to one of their carriers and serious aircraft losses on another. The American carrier Lexington was sunk, and the Yorktown was severely damaged.

The Iran Election Farce President Trump must close Iran’s illegal election sites. Kenneth R. Timmerman

Iranian voters go to the polls on Friday to select a new president from a list of the regime faithful chosen for them by the Supreme Leader and his aptly-named Guardians Council.

Many opposition groups, both inside Iran and in exile, have called for a boycott on these sham elections, which are a masquerade of democracy.

Regime supporters whined when the leftist government of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shut down polling stations set up by the Islamic State of Iran’s embassy in Toronto, arguing that Western governments should want more voting by Iranians, not less.

But these elections are as free as those held by Joseph Stalin in the Soviet Union in the 1930s, or by Saddam Hussein in Iraq in the 1980s. Stalin’s famous dictum – it’s not the people who vote who count, it’s the people who count the votes – is nowhere more true today than in Islamic Iran.

And while incumbent president Hassan Rouhani is trying to position himself as an election-eve convert to moderate policies, his supporters cannot name a single political prisoner who owes his or her freedom to Rouhani’s intervention, or to a single political execution Rouhani helped to block.

But the elections are important to Ayatollah Khamenei. The so-called “Supreme Leader” of the Islamist Iran has repeatedly called on citizens to vote on Friday, reasoning that a high turnout will “send a message” to regime foes in Israel and the United States.

It’s an outrage that U.S. taxpayers are paying to spread the Ayatollah’s anti-U.S. propaganda, but it’s true. That and many similar “news” stories touting the virtues of Iran’s [s]elections have been broadcast by the Persian service of VOA and Radio Farda, run by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

Put simply, a vote on Friday is not a vote for moderation or freedom, or even the better of bad choices: it is a vote of support for the Islamic terror regime in Tehran.

As the pro-bono president of the Foundation for Democracy in Iran, I have joined forces with the Islamic State of Iran Crime Research Center and hundreds of others in petitioning the White House to shut down the 56 illegal polling places the Iranian regime authorities say they want to set up across the United States on Friday.

Among them are unknown locations in Buffalo, New York, Detroit, Michican, and Seattle, Washington, where the Islamic regime’s embassy plans to bus in would-be voters from across the border in Canada. (I can hear the questions from our Customs and Border Control agents: and you want to come to the United States to do what?)

We expect the regime to update its dedicated website on the elections with actual addresses at the last minute, as has been their practice in previous years. Their goal in this hide and seek is to avoid federal prosecution, and to prevent protest by regime opponents.

There are other reasons why freedom-loving Iranians and ordinary Americans should join us in calling on the Trump administration to shut down these election sites: they violate a whole gamut of U.S. laws.

As part of the 1981 Algiers Accord that ended the 444-day ordeal of U.S. diplomats held hostage by Tehran, the Iranian regime is allowed to maintain two diplomatic facilities in the United States: a Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York, and an Interests section in Washington, DC, currently under the protection of the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

But the accord also forbids those diplomats from traveling beyond a 25 mile radius from New York or Washington, DC, without a specific permit from the Department of State.

Iranian regime election law, however, requires that regime officials actually man the polling stations and certify the balloting. If any Iranian diplomats are caught traveling beyond the 25-mile limit without a permit, they should be immediately jailed and ultimately declared Persona Non-Grata.

Israel’s enemies know there will be a price to pay for attacking the Jewish state. Joseph Puder

Tel Aviv, Israel…

The period that encompasses Holocaust Memorial Day (Yom Ha’Shoah), Israel’s National Memorial Day (Yom Ha’Zikaron), and Israel’s Independence Day (Yom Ha’Atzmaut), all occurring this year on April 24, May 1, and May 2 respectively, are considered by secular Israelis as the National High Holidays. Tourists find in that week of holidays a strong burst of nationalism and pride. Israeli flags are hung on people’s balconies, windows, cars, and public buildings. Amazingly, on Yom Ha’Shoah, the entire nation stands still, in silence, while all vehicular traffic comes to a stop, even in the middle of busy highways. The same feat is repeated on Yom Ha’Zikaron. A minute of silence is observed nationwide, and it is respected.

It is in between these hallowed holidays that my good friend, Avi Golan, a retired officer in the paratrooper brigade, and currently a licensed Tour Guide, joined me on a tour of Israel’s northern and northeastern border areas. I was questioning Avi about our personal security as we embarked on the trip. He assured me that we are fairly safe. We drove from Nahariyya, on the Mediterranean Sea in northern Israel, eastward along route 89 and passed Mt. Meron, the tallest mountain in the Galilee. We then turned north along the border fence with Lebanon. Literally, steps away from us to the north was Lebanon. We came across a United Nation’s observation post just a few feet away and saw their white vehicles. A few hundred yards farther north was a Hezbollah outpost, with its yellow flag painted on a water tower. Once again, I asked Avi why they were not shooting at us since they could clearly see us, and he replied, “They know that they would receive devastating fire from our forces that would turn Lebanon upside down.” Traveling up the road to Kibbutz Menara, reaching the wide observation deck of the Kibbutz, perched high up, the Lebanese border was a few hundred meters away. We could see the Lebanese villagers going about their business, and we were assured by local Kibbutz members that Hezbollah has a presence in the village.

Although the peace along Israel’s northern border with Lebanon has been preserved now for over a decade, there is no guarantee it will last for another decade. It is hard to gauge the true extent to which Israel would be able to deter a Hezbollah attack. But for now, Hezbollah’s deep and costly preoccupation in the Syrian conflict makes it difficult for this terrorist organization to precipitate another conflict with Israel. Moreover, domestic Lebanese considerations preclude it. Its involvement in Syria and the resultant flood of refugees into Lebanon is putting pressure on Hezbollah not to provoke another war with Israel, at least not at this time. In fact, Hezbollah has not fully recovered yet from the 2006 war with Israel. Additionally, Hezbollah’s paymaster and arms provider, Iran, has made the preservation of the Assad regime a top priority for now. It is likely that Tehran’s ayatollahs seek to reserve Hezbollah as a retaliatory force in case its nuclear facilities are attacked by Israel or by the U.S.

The Hezbollah leaders have nevertheless sought to establish a second front against Israel on the Golan Heights. Israel has managed however, to eliminate a number of key Iranian and Hezbollah officers operating next to the Golan area. Still, with an annual income of about $1 billion, Hezbollah has been able to increase its missile arsenal from 15,000 to almost 100,000 with millions in annual funding from the Islamic Republic of Iran, and it’s with ties to the Assad regime and increasingly with Russia. Some of these missiles have a ranges of 300 kilometers and can reach most areas in Israel. Hezbollah has also acquired Yakhont anti-ship cruise missiles that have proved to be lethal to Israeli naval ships.

The Anonymous Sources of Washington Post and CNN Fake News How fake news gets made. Daniel Greenfield

Media fake news is everywhere.

No, the new health care bill does not treat rape as a pre-existing condition and Republicans did not celebrate its passage with beer.

The latest media outrage is driven by a Washington Post story about intelligence disclosures based on claims by anonymous sources. The Post’s big hit pieces are mainly based on anonymous sources.

Its latest hit piece runs a quote from, “a former senior U.S. official who is close to current administration officials.” That’s an anonymous source quoting hearsay from other anonymous sources.

This isn’t journalism. It’s a joke.

Last week, the Washington Post unveiled a story based on “the private accounts of more than 30 officials at the White House.” The fake news story falsely claimed that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein threatened to resign.

Rod had a simple answer when asked about that piece of fake news. “No.”

So much for 30 anonymous sources and for the Washington Post’s credibility. But the media keeps shoveling out pieces based on anonymous sources and confirmed by anonymous sources while ignoring the disavowals by those public officials who are willing to go on the record.

The Comey memo story is based on, according to the New York Times, “two people who read the memo.” And then “one of Mr. Comey’s associates read parts of it to a Times reporter.”

And his dog.

The supposed memo contradicts Comey’s own testimony to Congress under oath.

The Times hasn’t seen the memo. No one has seen the memo except the anonymous sources that may or may not exist. The media’s fake news infrastructure relies heavily on anonymous sources. And anonymous sources are the media’s way of saying, “Just trust us.”

The question is why would anyone trust the media?

Comey fake news is popular on the left because it is convinced that he is the key to reversing their election defeat. Recently CNN got its fake news fingers burned with a story claiming that the former FBI Director had asked for more resources for the Russia investigation before he was fired.

Where did CNN get its story from? Anonymous sources. Or, as the story put it, “two sources familiar with the discussion.”

Sources “familiar with the discussion” is up there with “a former senior U.S. official who is close to current administration officials.” And their neighbor’s dog who barks exclusively to CNN.

Rod Rosenstein and Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe both shot down CNN’s fake news. CNN’s headline was, “New Acting FBI Director Contradicts White House on Comey.” Its fake news was referenced only as, “Amid reports that Comey had asked for more resources for the Russia investigation, McCabe testified that he believed the bureau had adequate resources to complete the job.”