The ‘Cycle of Violence’ Fantasy in the Middle East By Steven Plaut ****

Ernst Eduard vom Rath was a German diplomat representing the Third Reich in Paris in 1938. In November of that year he was shot and mortally wounded by a 17-year-old Polish Jewish youth, HerschelGrynszpan, who had been living in Germany. Vom Rath was 29 years old. Ironically, vom Rath had earlier expressed anti-Nazi sympathies, evidently based on the Nazi treatment of Jews, and was under Gestapo investigation at the time for being politically unreliable. He died of his wounds two days after being shot. Hitler used the assassination as an excuse to launch Kristallnacht, a pogrom against German Jews, shortly after the death. My father attended school with Grynszpan and knew him casually; Dad escaped to America by the time of the assassination.

Now try to imagine how the Western media would report World War II if they were using the exact same rules of journalism that they apply to the Arab-Israeli conflict. The assassination of vom Rath by a Jewish youth would be universally held up to illustrate that the German-Jewish conflict was a circle of violence, an ongoing bloody conflict whose roots are so old that no one remembers them, a conflict where each side claims it is retaliating for the violence that the other side perpetrated, a conflict whose causes are all blurred by eons of history. Sure the Germans were murdering Jews, but then there was the vom Rath assassination, proving the violence was two-directional, symmetric. Close investigation could probably find a few other examples of Jews using violence against Germans. Innocent lives are being lost on both sides. Such senseless tragedy. Why can’t both sides just live and let live?

Of course, such a representation of World War II would not only be an absurdity but also an obscenity. World War II was not about a “cycle of violence” between Germans and Jews. It was unambiguously a campaign of annihilation and oppression of Jews committed by Germans. The fact that one can identify a handful of outlier events such as the assassination of vom Rath does not convey any symmetry to the “conflict.” Indeed to misrepresent the Nazi campaign of extermination against Jews as some sort of “symmetric” pair of movements of violence would be proof that the person so misrepresenting the situation was a Nazi-sympathizer and an anti-Semite.

The Middle East conflict is not a cycle of violence. It is not a “symmetric” campaign of retaliation by Jews against Arabs and Arabs against Jews. The Middle East conflict is as unambiguously a unidirectional campaign of violence and atrocities as was World War II. It is about Arabs murdering Jews and not the inverse. It is about Arabs seeking to deny Jews their human rights and their right to self-determination, and not the inverse. The Middle East conflict consists of a century of atrocities perpetrated by Arabs against Jews.

Life in Post-Truth America By Daniel Greenfield

Next month Americans will experience the fifteenth anniversary of the time that the President of the United States shook his finger at the country and informed it, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky. I never told anybody to lie, not a single time; never.”

Bill Clinton was lying. But the lie was more significant than the thing that he was lying about.

When the lie came crashing down, Clinton and his defenders deconstructed the English language, questioning the meaning of every word in his sentence rather than admit that the lie was a lie.

Given a choice between telling the truth or challenging the definitions of such words as “sex” and “is”, they decided to burn their dictionary.

Clinton’s antics set the stage for a current administration which can never be caught in a lie because it’s lying all the time. Obama and his people don’t just lie, they lie about the lies and then they lie about those lies. Bringing them in to testify just clogs the filters with an extra layer of lies.

Invite Gruber to testify about the time that he admitted that the administration had been lying and the only thing that will happen is more lies being told by a man who is there only because he lied.

Like the old lady who explained her cosmology to Bertrand Russell as being “turtles all the way down”, with modern progressives it’s lies all the way down.

Lena Dunham served up a rape accusation against a conservative Republican named Barry only to hide behind the ambiguity of being an unreliable narrator. The unreliable narrator likewise takes the stage at the University of Virginia where a high profile case has dissolved into contradictory stories in which it becomes difficult to tell whether it was the reporter or her subject who was doing the lying.

The unreliable narrator has crossed over from a fictional device in novels to memoirs, journalism and into politics.


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The Senate Minority Report and the CIA Rebuttal ****
It is on a website put together by a group of former CIA officials. Together they have hundreds of years of combined service and all have first-hand knowledge of the CIA’s interrogation program and know that it was authorized, legal and effective. They also have in common that during its 5+ year investigation, the SSCI did not bother to contact them and seek their views.
On the website at the top there are buttons with links to multitude of documents.

The recently released Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) Majority report on the CIA’s Rendition, Detention, and Interrogation Program is marred by errors of facts and interpretation and is completely at odds with the reality that the leaders and officers of the Central Intelligence Agency lived through. It represents the single worst example of Congressional oversight in our many years of government service.

Astonishingly, the SSCI Majority staff interviewed no CIA officers responsible for establishing, implementing, or evaluating the program’s effectiveness. Let us repeat, no one at the CIA was interviewed.

Worse, the Committee selectively used documents to try to substantiate a point of view where ample and contrary evidence existed. Over 5 years and at a cost of $40 million, the staff “cherry picked” through 6 million pages of documents to produce an answer they knew the Majority wanted. In the intelligence profession, that is called politicization.

The SSCI Majority would have the American people believe that the program was initiated by a rogue CIA that consistently lied to the President, the National Security Council, the Attorney General, and the Congress. Nothing could be further from the truth. Nothing.

We, as former senior officers of the Central Intelligence Agency, created this website to present documents that conclusively demonstrate that the program was: authorized by the President, overseen by the National Security Council, and deemed legal by the Attorney General of the United States on multiple occasions. None of those officials were interviewed either. None. CIA relied on their policy and legal judgments. We deceived no one. You will not find this truth in the Majority Report.

ACTION ALERT: Scholastic, Inc. Published a Children’s Book that Omitted Israel from a Map of the Middle East

Check Children’s Books for Anti-Semitic, Anti-Israel Errors and Omissions; Report Problems to ZOA
Scholastic, Inc., reportedly the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books, published and distributed a children’s book containing a map of the Middle East that omitted Israel.
The book, entitled Thea Stilton and the Blue Scarab Hunt, is part of the children’s Geronimo Stilton series. It was initially published in Italy and translated into English by Scholastic.

On Scholastic’s blog, the company’s Senior Vice President for Corporate Communications and Media Relations characterized the omission of Israel as “inadvertent,” but did not elaborate. Scholastic also confirmed that it would immediately stop shipment of the offending book, revise the map, and reprint it.
ZOA urged that additional steps be taken, for the sake of families, teachers and schools around the country who rely on Scholastic for high quality, accurate books and educational materials.

In a letter today to Scholastic, the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) urged that additional steps be taken, for the sake of all the families, teachers and schools around the country who rely on Scholastic for high quality, accurate books and educational materials:
(1) investigate how this omission occurred and why;
(2) suspend relations with the book’s author, illustrator and Italian publisher until the investigation is completed and those responsible are identified;
(3) once the investigation is completed, terminate relations with those responsible for omitting Israel from the map;
(4) ensure that Scholastic’s editors and proofreaders have the requisite experience, competence and attention to detail to prevent such errors and omissions from recurring;
(5) issue accurate replacement to those who have already purchased the book omitting Israel;
(6) conduct a thorough review of Scholastic’s other books to verify their accuracy;
(7) issue a public apology and a public statement reflecting all the steps that Scholastic will be taking to remedy the incident and prevent it from recurring.

Why Matt Drudge and Lucianne Goldberg Still Rule the Conservative Media Roost : Philip Bump

A flock of (relatively) new conservative media sites have gained attention in the mainstream-ish media over the past few weeks, a function of their increased role in driving political attention and, in some cases, their savvy in redirecting Facebook’s traffic hose toward themselves. Bloomberg’s Dave Weigel notes a series of scoops from the Washington Free Beacon (largely focused on Hillary Clinton); at Slate, Betsy Woodruff explains Twitchy. At the Awl, John Herrman noted the rise of the Independent Journal Review, which “landed big” on Facebook.

For all of this success, for all of the novelty of new sites with sharp designs and well-considered social strategies, publishers will note that there’s something to be said for another genre of political news site: the old-school, poorly designed link blog.

The obvious example here is Drudge. Matt Drudge’s Drudge Report isn’t the elephant in the room, it’s the Sun in the old-school linkblog solar system. The Drudge Report has been a massive traffic driver for years, and continues to be. And it looks like it was written by hand in 1996, which, perhaps, it was. Let’s apply a new-web technique to make the point. The Drudge Report, as seen in 2001 and 2014.

More pictures, otherwise the same.

How big is Drudge for political sites? Over the course of the year, links from Google to the Post’s politics coverage have accounted for 5.5 percent of all incoming links. Drudge accounted for 4.1 percent.

But it isn’t only Drudge. Lucianne Goldberg has run since 1998, she told the Post in an email this week. Over the course of the year, 0.1 percent of incoming links to Post political coverage has been from Lucianne. That doesn’t sound like much, until you consider that it is one out of every thousand clicks. For every 55 links from Google, Lucianne Goldberg sends the Post one. (You may be familiar with Goldberg’s son Jonah, who writes for the National Review Online, or remember her role in the Lewinsky scandal.) Lucianne has sent five times as much traffic to the Post’s politics coverage as the conservative Daily Caller site and more than 50 times more than the Free Beacon. Different types of sites — Lucianne drives people to reported stories at sites like Caller and Beacon — but still suggesting a remarkable influence.

How Language Shapes Freedom and Tyranny — on The Glazov Gang

How Language Shapes Freedom and Tyranny — on The Glazov Gang
Freedom fighters Kai Chen and Nonie Darwish unveil the links between linguistics and liberty.

Al Qaeda Terrorist Wanted by FBI Crossed Back and Forth Into U.S. From Mexico

An Al Qaeda terrorist on the FBI’s most wanted list for years crossed back and forth into the United States from Mexico to meet fellow militant Islamists in Texas and piloted an aircraft into the Cielo Dorado airfield in Anthony, New Mexico, law enforcement sources tell Judicial Watch.

The same Al Qaeda operative helped plan the 2009 bombing of talk-show superstar Oprah Winfrey’s Chicago studios and the iconic Sears Tower (renamed Willis Tower), a story that Judicial Watch broke just last week. His name is Adnan G. El Shukrijumah (also known as “Javier Robles”) and over the weekend he was killed in Pakistan, according to military officials in the Islamic republic.

In 2010 Shukrijumah was indicted in the Eastern District of New York for his role in a terrorist plot to attack targets in the United States—including New York City’s subway system—and the United Kingdom, according the FBI. The plot against New York City’s subway system was directed by senior Al Qaeda leadership in Pakistan, the FBI says, and was also directly related to a scheme by Al Qaeda plotters in Pakistan to use Western operatives to attack a target in the United States

Stunning Betrayal Featuring Israel’s Top Novelists: Jack Engelhard

Aren’t Jews loyal to whatever state they live in? How about if they live in Israel?

Say it ain’t so, but apparently it’s true that Israel’s three leading novelists are demanding that Israel surrender itself to the tender mercies of Europe – and we all know what happened the last time we trusted those nations with our lives.

But if I’m reading it right, Amos Oz, David Grossman and A.B. Yehoshua are taking part in a campaign to give up their own country. They are welcoming a Trojan Horse named “Palestine.”

Israel’s three literary elites are proud signatories to a public letter petitioning European parliaments to formally recognize a Palestinian state.

A word of advice to any Israeli leader who is ready to give up “land for peace.” Start by giving up your own home and neighborhood. Illustrate your sincerity.
This does not happen very often, where citizens seek out a foreign enemy for aid, comfort and a separate peace. There is a name for this.

During the 1930s and 1940s, American poet Ezra Pound fell in love with fascism and Nazism. From Italy, he delivered hundreds of radio addresses favoring Mussolini and Hitler while denouncing FDR and the United States. In 1945, he was arrested for treason.

Prof. Eugene Kontorovich: Isolation and the Elections

The campaign against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will focus on his alleged “isolation” of Israel from the rest of the “international community” through his diplomatic policies. To be sure, Netanyahu has negotiated extensively about a Palestinian state with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, and reportedly made significant concessions to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

More importantly, it is simply not the case that Israel finds itself isolated, or that any diplomatic consequences can be attributable to the composition of the government. Rather, the specter of “isolation” is a demagogic tool wielded for political purposes. As such, it is extremely dangerous, because such things can become self-fulfilling prophecies: If you say nobody likes you often enough, you may notice you have fewer friends.

Perhaps the aspect of isolation most feared by Israelis is economic. Yet here there is simply no evidence for any isolation. Israel’s trade has risen steadily with all its major partners, even those most critical of it, like Europe. Moreover, Netanyahu has opened new doors to opportunities in India and elsewhere in Asia. Just like his ideological tension with European leaders has not impeded trade, one should not credit his compatibility with the nationalist leadership of India for these new frontiers. Rather, business has a life of its own that — except in the most extreme cases — is separate from diplomacy.

Then there is the issue of European parliaments passing nonbinding suggestions to recognize a Palestinian state. The Left can hardly blame the government for these, when some of the leading figures on the left have been lobbying European capitals to pass such measures. Indeed, major Labor Party figures — including former attorney-generals, speakers of parliament, and so forth — have been at the forefront of the Palestinian recognition campaign. They have not been drummed out of the party, or otherwise significantly rebuked. So if anything, it is not Netanyahu but his critics who should shoulder the blame for this (rather insignificant) diplomatic disturbance.