Europeans for Hamas The European Court of Justice Objects to the Palestinian Outfit’s Terror Designation.

Hamas is no longer a terrorist organization. This is the astonishing verdict of the European Court of Justice, delivered only a few months after Hamas indiscriminately fired thousands of rockets against civilian targets in Israel.

The ECJ’s ruling on Wednesday in Hamas v. Council concluded that the Palestinian group’s terror-designation is “based not on acts examined and confirmed in decisions of competent authorities but on factual imputations derived from the press and the Internet.”

In an ostensibly procedural ruling, the court objected that Brussels didn’t conduct its own original research when it first put the terrorist label on Hamas in 2001. It did, however, allow that Brussels may still maintain its asset freeze on Hamas—a group that openly avows responsibility for dozens of suicide bombings over many years.

This judicial incursion into foreign policy is particularly troubling since courts should defer to law enforcers and political leaders when it comes to national security. By second-guessing European officials at a terror group’s behest, the ECJ has jeopardized the ability of those officials to set security policy. Don’t be surprised if other terror groups line up in Luxembourg to litigate their way out of asset freezes and other sanctions.

Fracking Ban in New York Puts Cuomo in Tight Spot Mike Vilensky and Erica Orden

Governor Faces Long-Term Political Consequences for His Prohibition

The decision to prohibit hydraulic fracturing in New York state Wednesday exposed the deep divisions over the issue and highlighted the political tightrope Gov. Andrew Cuomo had to tiptoe across.

On one side were liberal environmental activists who were cheered by the Democratic governor’s move to prohibit the natural-gas extraction technique known as fracking.

“This is the best example of bold, visionary and courageous leadership by him in at least a decade,” said Robert F. Kennedy Jr. , a friend and former brother-in-law of Mr. Cuomo who sat on a state fracking advisory committee but said he hadn’t counseled him on the matter in about six months.

On the other were landowners and local officials along a stretch of New York bordering Pennsylvania known as the Southern Tier, an economically depressed region where some saw fracking as a lifeline.

When Conklin, N.Y., town supervisor Jim Finch heard the news, he began drawing up plans to secede from the state. “I’m serious,” said Mr. Finch, who oversees a town of some 5,000 people on the Susquehanna River just a few minutes’ drive from the Pennsylvania border. “New York City determines policy in the Southern Tier? That’s baloney.”

The decision to ban fracking in New York, pitting environmental and health concerns versus economic growth, will have long-term political consequences for Mr. Cuomo, political observers said,

A Victory for Oppression : Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL)

President Obama’s policy is bad news for the Cuban people living under a dictatorship, and it sends a dangerous message to the world.

The announcement by President Obama on Wednesday giving the Castro regime diplomatic legitimacy and access to American dollars isn’t just bad for the oppressed Cuban people, or for the millions who live in exile and lost everything at the hands of the dictatorship. Mr. Obama’s new Cuba policy is a victory for oppressive governments the world over and will have real, negative consequences for the American people.

Since the U.S. severed diplomatic relations in 1961, the Castro family has controlled the country and the economy with an iron fist that punishes Cubans who speak out in opposition and demand a better future. Under the Castros, Cuba has also been a central figure in terrorism, narco-trafficking and all manner of misery and mayhem in our hemisphere.

As a result, it has been the policy and law of the U.S. to make clear that re-establishing diplomatic and economic relations with Cuba is possible—but only once the Cuban government stops jailing political opponents, protects free speech, and allows independent political parties to be formed and to participate in free and fair elections.

The opportunity for Cuba to normalize relations with the U.S. has always been there, but the Castro regime has never been interested in changing its ways. Now, thanks to President Obama’s concessions, the regime in Cuba won’t have to change.

The entire policy shift is based on the illusion—in fact, on the lie—that more commerce and access to money and goods will translate to political freedom for the Cuban people. Cuba already enjoys access to commerce, money and goods from other nations, and yet the Cuban people are still not free. They are not free because the regime—just as it does with every aspect of life—manipulates and controls to its own advantage all currency that flows into the island. More economic engagement with the U.S. means that the regime’s grip on power will be strengthened for decades to come—dashing the Cuban people’s hopes for freedom and democracy.


Bill Gates continues to “give back” what he never took in the first place.

Back in December 2008, in my column, “George Bailey’s Wasted Life,” I did Grinch duty and scored Frank Capra’s 1946 “iconic” movie, It’s a Wonderful Life, for being a cinematic paean to altruism, self-sacrifice, and living for others. While coated in the patina of Americanism, I pointed out that it was a distinctly un-American movie. I followed that in October 2011 with “Not So Wonderful a Life,” in which I dwelt on other observations I had in the meantime made about the movie and its moral premises.

Some readers complained that while I made valid points about the movie I overlooked the benevolence in it, that it was a movie which made people glow with good will. It made one “feel good.” They, however, neglected my point that emotions, good or bad, are not tools of cognition, and that anyone who “felt good” after seeing IAWL has been conned by an expert. I recommended Capra’s hectic comedy Arsenic and Old Lace as an antidote.

This week, in the spirit of the season, I contemplated adding a third column on the subject to incorporate further observations, but decided that the horse was dead and that there was no longer a reason to beat it. Then I caught an Internet squib about Bill Gates’ Stanford University commencement address in mid-June among a slew of such addresses.

I immediately thought, “George Bailey in the flesh!” Knowing that Gates is a committed altruist who has made a career of expiating his “sins” of success and creating unimaginable private wealth, which he is dedicated to dissolving in the worst instance of “giving back,” I looked up that address. And, lo and behold, there was George Bailey’s moral doppelganger and his soul-mate wife, Melinda, reading from prepared remarks to what I can only assume was an adoring audience. It’s likely he got a pinch of satisfaction for having been bestowed an honorary degree from Stanford, just as he probably did when he got an honorary “Doctor of Laws” degree in 2007 from the school he dropped out of, Harvard.

Of course, Gates can do whatever he wishes with his wealth, for whatever reasons. But because he never questioned the secular version of altruism, and had no real sound moral instruction in why he should never have apologized for having amassed a fabulous fortune and begged forgiveness in such an abysmal, pathetic way, that is his fate. And the deliberate, conscious dissolution of his wealth does constitute an apology of a particularly altruist, selfless species.

However, his attitude towards others’ wealth seems to be: I’ve made my pile; you others can take the hindmost. I’ll respect you if you want to make money, but only if it’s to help the poor, the lame, and the halt of the world.

UN: Turning Back the Clock to Pre-1948 is the Real Endgame: Anne Bayefsky

Incitement against the Jewish state is directly related to the stabbings, raping and killing of Jews inside and outside of Israel. But doing something to stop it requires confronting a very troubling fact: the global epicenter for incitement is the “human rights” leviathan, the United Nations.

From November 24, 2014 until December 5, 2014, UN human rights headquarters in Geneva mounted a public exhibit that was pure incitement. UN-driven antisemitism that takes the form of seeking to demonize, disable and ultimately destroy the Jewish state.

The exhibit was entitled: “La Nakba: Exode et Expulsion des Palestiniens en 1948” — or “The Nakba: Exodus and Expulsion of the Palestinians in 1948.” The occasion was the annual UN Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. Solidarity Day marks the adoption by the General Assembly on November 29, 1947 of the resolution that approved the partitioning of Palestine into an Arab and a Jewish state.

We Are All Hostages Every Day it’s Something Else, or Rather, Every Day it’s the Same Thing But Someplace Else…Jack Engelhard

From our Sages we have this most chilling thought: “One never knows what a day may bring.”

You’re blissfully praying at a synagogue in Jerusalem or peacefully having coffee in Sydney and in an instant, the unexpected.

Your life is shattered and the world turns dark.

Can you be called a bigot if by their incendiary words and by their treacherous deeds they have turned you into one?
You never saw it coming. You never had a chance. You never had a moment to explain, to reason, to debate, or even to protest.

Every day it’s something else, or rather, every day it’s the same thing but someplace else – all the madness arriving from the one source, a radicalized brand of Islam whose mindless fury knows no boundaries and whose hand is on every neck. They have grievances against everyone, everywhere; even tribe against tribe.

The other day it was Pakistan where the Taliban entered a school and slaughtered some 150 children. As depraved as that was, listen to NBC’s chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel say that “US support for Israel creates more terrorists.” This is the depravity that we have come to expect from Engel and the rest of the news media.

Which brings us headlines that move too quickly to stop at any particular act of savagery. We hardly have time to absorb.


“The lights of the menorah embody the spirit of the Jewish people. A spirit that has outlived the atrocities of every tyrant. In the heart of the flame that has burned for a thousand years lives the soul of a people. ”

Holidays are a calendar. They mark points in emotional and physical time. They remind of us who we are.

Many of those celebrating Chanukah celebrate a holiday that does nothing more than celebrate ‘celebration’, the rituals and rites of entertainment, a special food, a symbol whose meaning they don’t remember and a little family fun.

Chanukah is many things but it is not a safe holiday. It is a victory celebration in a guerrilla war. It is a reminder that Obama’s war on Jerusalem was preceded long before him by Antiochus’s war on Jerusalem. It is a brief light in a period of great darkness.

The great irony of Chanukah is that those likeliest to strip away its historical and religious meaning would have been fighting against the Macabees. The battle to preserve the meaning of Chanukah is part of the struggle to preserve the Jewish traditions and culture that the left attacks.

Today’s struggle for Jerusalem, for Judaism, for freedom of religion and a meaningful life continues that same old struggle of Chanukah.

The overt militarism of the Chanukah story has made it an uncomfortable fit for liberal Jews who found it easier to strip away its dangerous underlying message that a time comes when you must choose between the destruction of your culture and a war you can’t win. In those dark days a war must be fought if the soul of the nation is to survive.

There are worse things than death and slavery, the fate that waited for the Maccabees and their allies had they failed, the fates that came anyway when the last of the Maccabees were betrayed and murdered by Caesar’s Edomite minister, whose sons went on to rule over Israel as the Herodian dynasty.

Pakistan School Massacre and the Evils of Islamic Extremism :Clare George-Hilley

Clare George-Hilley is Director of Communities and Social Justice, Parliament Street Research Council. She is a Contributing Editor to The Commentator @ClareHilley

The latest Islamic attack on a school in Pakistan is a reminder that these terrorists have no limits when it comes to inflicting violence on the innocent and the vulnerable. They must be met with force, whether in Pakistan, Iraq or Britain.

Today’s attack by the Taliban on a Pakistani school is reminder that Islamic extremists have no limit on their depravity and no mercy for their victims.

It is hard to imagine the fear that ran through the hundreds of innocent school children when the band of extremists burst into their classrooms, waving guns and making threats.

This grievous terrorist attack was a total massacre, with 135 children murdered, over 100 more injured and one teacher burned alive and shot in the head. Their crime, which so offended the Islamists, was that they wanted to get an education.

The group who have proudly taken credit for this atrocity are the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), yet another Islamic organisation that thrives of negative publicity by planning and committing unspeakable acts.

Like the Islamic State (IS) group which has escalated its power by brutal murders and beheadings, it is seeking worldwide attention to attract more followers and strike fear into the hearts of innocent Pakistanis.

This problem is by no means contained in the Middle East and Asia, the al-shabaab group which operates mainly in East Africa has been terrorising countries like Somalia and Kenya for years. Their target, of course is always exclusively civilians, blowing up shopping centres in Nairobi and targeting the tourist strips of Mombasa.

The result of these atrocities has been that airlines all over the world refusing to fly to Kenya, crippling the tourist industry and plunging an already struggling country deeper into poverty.

Jeb, the Chamber’s Water Boy: For so Many Reasons, It’s Time to Nip the Jeb Bush Candidacy in the Bud. By Michelle Malkin (Amen!!!!)

Allow me to unite America’s left, right, and center in just three words: No, Jeb, No.

Florida’s former GOP governor Jeb Bush made the obvious official this week when he announced on Facebook that he’s “actively exploring” a 2016 White House run. Of course he’s running. That’s what inveterate politicians do.

Well, I hate to break it to Jeb Inc. There’s no popular groundswell for Bush Part III. None, zip, nada. Independents, progressives, and conservatives are all weary of the entrenched bipartisan dynasties that rule Washington and ruin America. Only in the hallowed bubble of D.C. and New York City elites does a Jeb Bush presidential bid make any sense.

Jeb’s indulgent (and ultimately doomed) enterprise has three privileged constituencies: Big Business, Big Government, and Big Media. This iron triumvirate explains how the failed campaigns of so-called “pragmatic,” “thoughtful,” and “moooooderate” liberal Republican candidates such as John McCain, Jon Huntsman, and Bob Dole ever got off the ground. The “Reasonable Republican,” anointed and enabled by the statist Big Three, serves as a useful tool for bashing conservatives and marginalizing conservatism.

For Republicans who argue that Jeb is the most “electable” choice, I ask: What planet are you on? After two disastrous terms of Barack Obama’s Hope and Change Theater, the last thing the Republican party needs is an establishment poster child for Washington business as usual. I mean, really? A third Bush who’s been working for his dad, his dad’s friends, or the government since 1980?

A Beltway-ensconced scion so chummy with the Clinton family that he awarded close family friend — and potential 2016 nemesis — Hillary a “Liberty Medal” last year as chairman of the National Constitution Center?

That’s the GOP donor bigwigs’ “fresh idea” for “American Renewal”?


And they’re off! This morning, in a notably understated Facebook post, former Florida governor Jeb Bush announced that he was thinking about thinking about running for the White House. “I have decided,” Bush confirmed, “to actively explore the possibility of running for President of the United States.” “Best wishes to you and your families for a happy holiday season,” he teased.” “I’ll be in touch soon.”

The reactions came thick and fast. Depending on the speaker, Bush was greeted as a glorified Democrat, hiding inside an elephant’s hide; as a colorless moderate, too insipid and too dull to provoke any reaction at all; or as precisely the sort of competent, calm, and respectable politician that Republicans will need if they are to win back control of the executive branch. Celebrating the move, Bush’s champions focused on his excellent record as a two-term governor and played up his social conservatism; lamenting the news, his detractors relitigated his approach to the disaster that is Common Core, and his unreliable position on immigration. Would Bush be a good president? Your mileage may vary.

As for me: Well, I must confess that I am not entirely sure what I think of Bush’s record. But, then, I don’t really need to be. Rather, I am fundamentally opposed to his candidacy on more basic grounds: Namely, that he’s the wrong man, at the wrong time — and in the wrong country, too. “As loathsome and un-American as it may seem to hold someone’s family name against him,” Michael Brendan Dougherty wrote earlier this week, “this point needs to be emphasized: the GOP and the country don’t need another Bush.” Dougherty is right. The United States is a republic, and in republics the citizenry should be reflexively nervous about dynasties, regardless of how much they like their individual members. Certainly, America has survived the emergence of great and powerful families before. President John Quincy Adams was President John Adams’s son; President Benjamin Harrison was President William Henry Harrison’s grandson; and President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was President Theodore Roosevelt’s fifth cousin. But these were departures from the norm, rather than the norm itself. If Jeb Bush does manage to make it all the way to the top, we will be in uncharted dynastic territory — territory that, frankly, should begin to worry us.

As it stands, the Republican party has not won a presidential election without a Bush on the top of the ticket since 1984, and it has not won the presidency without a Bush somewhere on the ticket since 1972. If Jeb were elected president, it would be the case that, for three decades, one family had been in charge of the country each and every time the electorate moved in its party’s direction. What, I wonder, would that say about conservatism? And what, I wonder, would it say about America writ large if, 36 years after George H. W. was first sworn in as vice president, the Right concluded that the only way that it could credibly win power was to tap into the same, oft-pumped well?