The release of the next batch of Palestinian terrorists from Israeli jails is scheduled to take place some time next week, following a discussion about which 26 murderers with Jewish blood on their hands will be returning to the bosom of their families.

The families of their victims, in contrast, suffered another blow on Thursday, when the High Court of Justice rejected a petition against the move — the third of four such prisoner releases that Israel consented to under the agreement that restarted Israeli-Palestinian discussions.

The only issue that Washington is concerned about, however, is the revelation that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is about to approve construction tenders for 600 new apartments in Jerusalem and 800 in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank). If there’s one thing that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry can’t stand, it’s an inconvenient statement about “expanding Israeli settlements” when he’s in the process of deluding himself and everybody else about an imminent treaty between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

This is ironic for many reasons. First of all, adding housing units to existing neighborhoods does not constitute expansion. The Palestinian leadership knows this very well. It is also aware that the Israeli government doesn’t always follow through on building permits, but has proven to be capable of forcing its citizens to move out of their homes for political purposes. Gaza ended up free of Jews in 2005. PA President Mahmoud Abbas has good reason to hold out for a far greater expulsion of Jews.


Sculpture depicting Soviet soldier raping a pregnant woman sparks outrage
Soviet soldiers raped hundreds of thousands of women and girls, as their armies advanced toward Berlin in the closing years of the Second World War. Polish artist Jerzy Bohdan Szumczyk made a sculpture depicting one such incident and, in doing so, has ignited fury in Moscow.
Szumczyk’s sculpture, titled Komm, Frau (Come, woman), shows a soldier, identified as Soviet by his helmet, kneeling between the legs of a pregnant woman while holding a gun in her mouth. Earlier this month, the life-sized piece was placed, without official permission, in the Polish city of Gdansk, next to a Soviet tank commemorating the Soviet liberation of the city from the Nazis in 1945. It was on display for only a few hours before police removed it.

A French Cardinal Speaks Out: ‘They Are Our Brothers’ – Jack Engelhard

Is it ever too late to give gratitude? Must there be an anniversary? But time is running out, so every day is an anniversary.

On July 10, 1942, The Roundup of Paris had already begun. On orders from the Gestapo, the French police began knocking on doors and swiftly some 13,000 Jews were whisked to the transit depot Velodrome d’Hiver. They were permitted a blanket, a shirt and a pair of socks in addition to what they were wearing. There was no air-conditioning.

Many were dragged from their homes, their children tagging along, baffled and weeping.

They were told that they were simply being “relocated,” but all were destined for Auschwitz.

But that was Paris, and this was Toulouse – the Free Zone.


Until his arrest in October 2003, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the oligarch and oil executive, was the richest man in Russia. He might have still been the richest man in Russia today if he hadn’t started thinking about politics, and objecting to the fact that under President Vladimir Putin, Russia had abandoned all prospects for democracy.

With his billions, Khodorkovsky had the means to finance a challenge to Putin’s authoritarian rule. His arrest in 2003 and his 10-year imprisonment was ordered and orchestrated by Putin as a means of silencing and destroying the former KGB officer’s only potent challenger for power.

After 10 years behind bars, Khodorkovsky was suddenly released from prison last Friday, immediately after Putin issued him a presidential pardon. He held a press conference in Berlin the next day. There he showed that prison had changed his political thinking. Whereas in 2003, Khodorkovsky thought it was possible to transform Russia into a democracy by simply winning an election, after 10 years behind bars, he recognizes that elections are not enough.

“The Russian problem is not just the president as a person,” he explained. “The problem is that our citizens in the large majority don’t understand that their fate, they have to be responsible for it themselves. They are so happy to delegate it to, say, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin and then they will entrust it to somebody else.”

In other words, until the Russian people come to the conclusion that they want liberty, no one can give it to them. They will just replace one dictator with another one. In his words, “If you have a ‘most important person’ in the opposition… you will get another Putin.”

So whereas George Washington was seen as the first among equals, an opposition leader who would succeed Putin, would be more like Robespierre in post-revolutionary France.

Khodorkovsky’s remarks show that you can’t instantly import democracy from abroad. The US defeated the Soviet Union in the Cold War. But the Soviet defeat didn’t make the Russians liberal democrats. Until the seeds of democracy are planted in a nation’s hearts and minds, the overthrow of its overlord will make little difference to the aspirations of the people.

Over the past two months, in neighboring Ukraine, we have seen the flipside of Khodorkovsky’s warning. There, hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians have been braving the winter cold to protest President Viktor Yanukovych’s decision to ignore the public’s desire to associate with the European Union, rather than with Russia. As the protesters have made clear, they view a closer association with the EU as a means of securing Ukrainian independence from Russia.

For the past two months, Yanukovych has been alternatively assaulting and ignoring the masses rallying in Kiev’s Independence Square. And last week he signed a deal with Russia that paves the way for Ukraine’s incorporation into Russia’s custom’s union, and its effective subordination to the Kremlin.

At this point, the opposition and Yanukovych are deadlocked. According to National Review’s Askold Krushelnyck, the protesters are trying to break the deadlock by turning to the US and the EU for help.


Amnesia hit me as I sat down to write the official “year in review.” We are talking national and global, not family. So what happened during the past 12 months that is worth remembering? Plenty, I am sure, but most of it eludes me. Was it a good year – 2013 – and if so, congratulations. Obviously I missed the fun.

Or is it true that nothing happened?

If anything happened to improve our lives, please report immediately.

A man named Barack Obama is still president of the United States (and the world). That is easy to remember. But what has he done? Other than give good speeches. This comes to mind: he flirted with Denmark’s lollypop prime minister. Michele was not happy. But Barack was happy. Anything else?

Oh sure. Obamacare. Nobody, except Obama, is happy about this, but that is all people were talking about.

Is that 2013 in a nutshell? I think so.

Nothing happened between the races. Nothing all that bad, and nothing all that good, either. Wait a minute. There was the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin case, and this caused friction between the races, especially when people like Al Sharpton chimed in to blame White America.

There was absolutely no racial tension when Dustin Friedland was murdered by African American suspects at The Mall in Short Hills, New Jersey.



“9. Real Imaging is in the midst of European clinical trials of RUTH, its radiation-free, contact-free, inexpensive and advanced imaging system for early detection of breast cancer. The system, which has won patent approvals in several countries, analyzes 3D and infra-red signals emitted from cancerous and benign tissue, generating an objective report that needs no interpretation. Founder and CTO Boaz Arnon presented RUTH at the most recent conference of the Radiological Society of North America. Initial release of the product will likely be in Europe sometime in 2015.”


Turkey is coming apart. The Islamist coalition that crushed the secular military and political establishment–between Tayip Erdogan’s ruling AK Party and the Islamist movement around Fethullah Gulen–has cracked. The Gulenists, who predominate in the security forces, have arrested the sons of top government ministers for helping Iran to launder money and circumvent sanctions, and ten members of Erdogan’s cabinet have resigned. Turkey’s currency is in free fall, and that’s just the beginning of the country’s troubles: about two-fifths of corporate debt is in foreign currencies, so the cost of servicing it jumps whenever the Turkish lira declines. Turkish stocks have crashed (and were down another 5% in dollar terms in early trading Friday). So much for Turkey’s miracle economy.


“One has to start somewhere.” That’s how the president of the American Studies Association justified the ASA’s vote to boycott Israel when he was asked why the organization had ignored the vast number of human rights abusing states that pepper the planet. He might have added, where else do we get equivalent PR bang for the buck? Would the Wall Street Journal devote an editorial and an op-ed piece (on one day!) to our radical left pint-sized under-the-radar association if we had condemned the Sudan? And if the Wall Street Journal doesn’t appreciate us, our academic peers will.

Nowhere has the long march through the institutions recommended by Antonio Gramsci as the road to power been more successful than in our colleges and universities (with the Democratic Party a strong runner-up). In all too many cases, the liberal arts divisions are occupied territory of the left.

Ethnic and gender studies are especially prone to being taken over by the wackiest elements of our species. These radical activists take over the National Councils (and more important, the executive committees) of the Associations composed of those teaching in these fields (like American Studies, Middle Eastern Studies, Asian Studies, Native American Studies, Women’s Studies etc.). They rightly see that by controlling these outfits, they will have megaphones to broadcast their junk morality on to a broader scene, never mind that these forays into “progressive” politics have nothing to do with the purposes or supposed sphere of competence of the group of which they are a part. The upshot is that these so-called scholarly associations increasingly come to resemble the UN Human Rights Council, absurdly obsessing about Israel (a human rights paragon, as these things go) as the greatest, if not only, human rights abuser on this earth.

In the case of the American Studies Association, following the annual meeting, its National Council voted unanimously to endorse the Israel boycott. Jonathan Marks (a professor of politics at Ursinus College) notes in the Wall Street Journal that the Council’s executive committee (whence such resolutions spring) has six members, five of them anti-Israel activists who had previously endorsed the U.S. Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel. Four of them had signed a 2009 letter to Obama describing Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians as “one of the most massive ethnocidal atrocities of modern times” and declared a one-state solution “almost certainly” the only road to peace. In other words the only way Israel could satisfy these human rights mavens would be to abolish itself.

Boasting of its democratic openness, the Council then opened the resolution to


While a picture may still be worth a thousand words, its repute as bondsman for the “whole truth and nothing but the truth” has become a footnote to a bygone age. A current case in point is Fiddler With No Roof, a video film produced under the auspices of Israel-based “Rabbis For Human Rights.” Starring Theodore Bikel, a practiced Israel critic reprising in narrative guise his cinematic role as “Tevye the milkman,” it strives to create a parallel between Czarist Russia’s expulsion of Tevye and his fellow townsfolk from their beloved “Anatevka” and Israel’s proposed relocation of 30,000 of its Bedouin citizens in the Negev from a disease-ridden collection of tents and corrugated metal huts sitting on the edge of a toxic waste dump to a group of modern apartment blocks equipped with running water, electricity, sewage and sanitation disposal facilities, a nearby school, health and social services. Fiddler With No Roof doesn’t waste much footage on these inconvenient facts, or with the quarter acre of land and monetary compensation each of the relocated families will be receiving, or the fact that the transferees, far from being expelled to any Arab Pale of Settlement, much less out of the Negev, are to be consolidated with an existing Bedouin community five kilometers down the road from their uninhabitable dwellings. Fiddler With No Roof’s crowning omission, however, is its failure to inform us that 15,000 of the 30,000 being considered for relocation have petitioned the Israeli government to remove them from their pestilential surroundings.

Being readied for a final reading in the Knesset, the relocation bill is the product of a carefully crafted, $2.5 billion, five-year plan enabling Israel to get a handle on a runaway Arab ethnic segment, powered by illegal polygamous marriage, that doubles in size every 15 years. At its fringes, it is a population rampant with poverty, chronic unemployment, crime, violence, illiteracy, illness, the world’s highest birthrate and an infant mortality rate seven times that of Tel Aviv. It has been allowed to run wild over the Negev for decades, erecting scores of instant slums, while claiming ownership, past, present and forever over every dunam of desert its camels may have trod. As explained by former minister Benny Begin (Likud), who with National Planning Director Uri Prawer formulated the Bedouin consolidation strategy, “We [Israel] cannot lay thousands of kilometers of water pipes to reach every group of shacks in the middle of the desert. If we want to improve the situation of the Bedouin we need to create responsibly- sized communities big enough to have a school with residents near enough so its youngest children can attend.”

Freedom vs. Security — on The Finch Gang

Freedom vs. Security — on The Finch Gang

This week’s Glazov Gang, hosted by Michael Finch, the Freedom Center’s Chief Operating Officer, was joined by Mark Vafiades, the Chairman of the Republican Party of Los Angeles County, Dr. Karen Siegemund, Founder of Rage Against the Media and Orestes Matacena, a Hollywood filmmaker and actor.

The Gang gathered to discuss Freedom vs. Security. Watch both parts of the two-part series below:

Part I: