NICK GRAY: CHRISTIANS AGAINST BDS IN THE HEART OF LONDON

http://www.thecommentator.com/article/4723/christians_against_bds_in_the_heart_of_london

Representatives of Israel-supporting Christian groups held a bold event on Wednesday afternoon to counter the efforts of the boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign in Britain to recruit churches to join its cause.

Following the efforts of a London church to hijack Christmas in support of the anti-Israel BDS movement, Christian pastor Mike Fryer held a counter event yesterday in the very same building.

Christian groups held a bold event on Wednesday afternoon to counter the efforts of the boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign in Britain to recruit churches to join its cause

His aim was to educate Christians on how to oppose the deceptive BDS campaign with solid facts. The event drew about Christian and Jewish supporters of Israel, impressive for a soaking wet Wednesday afternoon.

The prestigious and historic St James’s Church in Piccadilly staged a dramatic series of events at Christmas this year, “Bethlehem Unwrapped”, that attempted to show Israel as a pariah state that only wants to persecute and eradicate the Palestinian people.

To make their point organisers erected a mock-up of Israel’s security barrier, building a life-sized 8 metre high (plywood) wall across their own front entrance. It soon filled with “pro-peace” anti-Israel graffiti.

Scott Hodge: Income Inequality? (More Like Robbing Hood)

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304680904579366631276573224?mod=Opinion_newsreel_2

What ‘Income Equality’ Would Look Like : Take about $4 trillion from the top 40% of families and give it to the bottom 60%—voilà, no more inequality.

President Obama has talked a lot recently about reducing income inequality. Yet he neither acknowledges how much money the government is redistributing, nor how much more would be needed to close the income gap. Perhaps that’s because the project would require redistribution on a staggering scale.

That’s the upshot of two separate studies published in November 2013 by the Congressional Budget Office and the Tax Foundation. While they used slightly different methodologies, each study measured the amount of existing redistribution by the federal government—by comparing how much Americans get back in total federal spending (everything from transfer programs to national defense) to how much they pay in all federal taxes (everything from income taxes to excise taxes). Both studies show that the federal tax-and-spending system already is extremely progressive and redistributive.

Looking at prerecession data for non-elderly households in 2006 in “The Distribution of Federal Spending and Taxes in 2006,” the CBO found that those in the bottom fifth, or quintile, of the income scale received $9.62 in federal spending for every $1 they paid in federal taxes of all kinds. This isn’t surprising, since people with low incomes pay little in taxes but receive a lot of transfers.

DE BLASIO UNLEASHES AN ASSAULT ON CHARTER SCHOOLS

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304680904579369122733527890?mod=WSJ_Opinion_AboveLEFTTop New York City is worth watching these days as Mayor Bill de Blasio begins his new “progressive” government. His first priority seems to be a political and economic assault on charter schools. The number of charters in New York City grew by over 900% under former Mayor Michael Bloomberg and they now teach some […]

CBS Blames Global Warming for Harsh Winter Weather By Kyle Drennen |

http://newsbusters.org/blogs/kyle-drennen/2014/02/13/cbs-blames-global-warming-harsh-winter-weather As a snow storm beared down on the east coast on Thursday, CBS This Morning sought to lay blame on global warming, with the headline on screen fretting: “Extreme Weather; Are These Kinds of Storms, Droughts Unprecedented?” Co-host Charlie Rose turned New York City College physics professor Michio Kaku and wondered: “What’s causing all […]

MARK DURIE:Islam’s Second Crisis: The Troubles to Come

http://mail.aol.com/38380-111/aol-6/en-us/suite.aspx

In What Went Wrong, Bernard Lewis charted the decline of Islam in the modern era and the resulting theological crisis for the Muslim world.

Now Islam is going through a second crisis, caused by the repeated failures of revivalist responses to the first crisis. This second crisis, combined with the cumulative effect of the first crisis, which remains unresolved, will lead to a long drawn-out period of political and social instability for Muslim societies.

The first millennium of Islam was a period of expansion through conquest. However for five centuries from around 1500, Western powers were pushing back Islamic rule. There were numerous landmarks of the ascendancy of the West (which includes Russia), such as:

the conquest of Goa in India by the Portuguese in 1510;
the liberation of Christian Ethiopia in 1543 with the aid of the Portuguese soldiers;
the defeat of the Ottomans at the gates of Vienna in 1683 and
the ensuing liberation of Hungary and Transylvania;
Napoleon’s conquest of Egypt in 1798;
the USA-Barbary State Wars of 1801-1815, which put an end to tribute payments by the US to the north African states to prevent piracy and the enslavement of US citizens;
a long series of defeats for the Ottomans in Russo-Turkish wars stretching across four centuries and culminating in the 1877-78 Russo-Turkish war,
which led to the independence of Romania, Serbia, Montenegro and Bulgaria;
the overthrow of Muslim principalities in Southeast Asia by the Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch and English;
the final destruction of Mughal rule in India at the hands by the British in 1857;
the defeat and dismantling of the Ottoman Empire as a result of WWI;
and finally, the establishment of the modern state of Israel in 1948, in territory formerly ruled by Islam, which was considered by many Muslims to be the crowning humiliation in this long line of defeats.

We are not just talking about Western colonialism. Some of the victories over Muslim principalities involved the occupation or colonisation of primarily Muslim lands, but many involved the liberation of non-Muslim peoples from the yoke of Muslim rule, such as in Ethiopia, Hungary and India, and some were defensive responses to Islamic aggression, such as the defeat of the Ottomans at the gates of Vienna.

While the external borders of Islam kept shrinking, its position of dominance within its own borders was also being challenged. During this same period there were in many places improvements in the conditions experienced by non-Muslims under Islamic rule – a weakening of the dhimmi system – which communicated to Muslims an impression of their own faith’s loss of dominance and its loss of ‘success’. A landmark in this long process was the Paris Peace Treaty of 1856, which settled the Crimean War. As part of this settlement the Ottomans were compelled to grant equal rights to Christians throughout their empire.

The gradual process of improvement of conditions for Christians and Jews under Islam was regretted by Muslim scholars, who saw it as evidence of Islam’s decline. For example a request for a fatwa from a Egyptian Muslim judge in 1772 lamented the ‘deplorable innovations’ of Christians and Jews, who were daring to make themselves equal to Muslims by their manner of dress and behavior, all in violation of Islamic law.

In a similar vein, the Baghdad Quranic commentator Al-Alusi complained that non-Muslims in Syria during the first half of the 19th century were being permitted to make annual tribute payments by means of an agent, thus escaping the personal ritual degradations prescribed by Islamic law. He concluded: “All this is caused by the weakness of Islam.”

Why would Islam’s lack of dominance be evidence of weakness?

Islamic doctrine promises falah ‘success’ to the religion’s followers, symbolized by the daily call to prayer which rings out from minarets: ‘come to success, come to success’. The success promised by Islam has always been understood to be both spiritual and material: conquest and rule this life, and paradise in the next. The Qur’an states that Allah has sent Muhammad “with the guidance and the religion of truth, that He may cause it to triumph over all (other) religions” (Sura 48:28).

Islam’s theology of success meant that the global failure of Islamic armies and states at the hands of ‘Christian’ states constituted a profound spiritual challenge to Islam’s core claims. Just as Muslim scholars had always pointed to the military victories of Islam as proof of its divine authority, this litany of defeats testified to the failure of its failure as the religion of the successful ones.

The urgency of the question ‘What went wrong?’ drove the Islamic revival, an interconnected network of renewal movements which have as their central tenet that Muslims will once again be ‘successful’ – achieving political and military domination over non-Muslims – if they are truly devoted to Allah and implement Islamic laws faithfully. These are reformation movements in the original (medieval) sense of the Latin word reformatio, for they seek to restore Islam to its former glory by returning to first principles.

Some of the main formative strands of Islamic revivalism have been:

the Wahhabi movement which originated in the 18th century;
the Deobandi movement in India and Pakistan which dates from 1866;
Jamaat e-Islami, which was founded 1941 in India;
the Muslim Brotherhood, founded 1928;
and the Iranian Revolution of 1979.

Out of these have come a myriad of offshoots and branches such as the Taliban (from the Deobandi movement); Al Qaida (a product of the ideology of Muslim Brotherhood theologian Said Qutb); the missionary movement Tablighi Jamaat; and Hizb Ut-Tahrir.
Even the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, the ‘United Nations’ of the Muslim world, is a revivalist organization: this is reflected in its Charter which states that it exists “to work for revitalizing Islam’s pioneering role in the world”, a euphemism for reestablishing Islam’s dominant place in world affairs.

RICHARD BAEHR: WALT AND MEARSHEIMER’S VICTORY

http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_opinion.php?id=7357

It took a few years, but it is hard not to conclude that the noxious doctrine first advanced back in 2006 by two American professors of an all-powerful Israel lobby, controlling and misguiding American foreign policy, has now been accepted by much of the foreign policy establishment and more importantly, by the White House itself.

Professors Stephen Walt of Harvard and John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago have never relented in their attacks on the “Israel lobby,” which started as a long paper in the London Review of Books, and was then published as a more comprehensive treatment of the subject in a book with the same name. The initial paper was well received by a predicable audience — anti-Zionists in academia and on the broader Left, Arab and Palestinian groups, and neo-Nazis and other fringe groups on the Right. But it was also harshly and justifiably attacked in many quarters for shoddy scholarship, and the authors’ tendentious tone, resulting in a screed that appeared to have been written with blinders on to screen out any evidence that might conflict with the authors’ predetermined point of view about the pro-Israel crowd causing U.S. foreign policy to go off the rails, and thereby ignore the arguments of “realists” for adhering to important American strategic interests overseas (which of course mean abandoning Israel for the Arabs).

Not quite eight years after the initial article was published, we have a spectacle today where the leading pro-Israel lobbying group in the United States, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, appears to have given up the fight for new sanctions legislation to pressure Iran. That effort, which at one point attracted a bipartisan group of 59 senators (43 Republicans and 16 Democrats), resulted in a bill that toughened sanctions with Iran if the current second stage of negotiations between the so-called P5+1 and Iran did not produce a final agreement on that nation’s nuclear weapons program, or if Iran ignored what has already been agreed to in the preliminary deal between the two sides.

SYDNEY WILLIAMS: BOEHNER AND McCONNELL TAKE ONE FOR THE TEAM…..SEE NOTE PLEASE

http://swtotd.blogspot.com/

I LOVE EVERYTHING SYDNEY WILLIAMS WRITES….HOWEVER, THERE IS A NEW TEAM BUILDING IN THE GOP….AND IT IS BOEHNER WHO IS OUT OF STEP…REMINISCENT OF THE WAY THAT BARRY GOLDWATER PAVED THE WAY FOR RONALD REAGAN….THE OUTCOME OF ELECTIONS IN 2014 SEE THE OUTLINE OF THE NEW GOP…..RSK

Speaker of the House John Boehner decided to go against many of his Republican compatriots by having the House vote to increase the nation’s debt ceiling, without any conditions. The tally was 221 to 201, with only 28 Republicans voting with the majority. The move was necessary, however, because Republicans had lost the tactical campaign of using the threat of a government shutdown in their war against the nation’s rising tide of debt. The quid pro quo was that this should allow Republicans to focus on the disastrous rollout of ObamaCare, a law which has thus far seen at least 27 “administrative” changes since passed by a Democrat Congress and signed by a Democrat President in March 2010. Mr. Obama’s unprecedented use of executive actions will be rued by Democrats when Republicans retake the White House, as is inevitable.

SARAH HONIG: A PAGE FROM BARKER’S PLAYBOOK

http://sarahhonig.com/2014/02/14/another-tack-a-page-from-barkers-playbook/

It’s a safe bet that John Kerry hasn’t heard of General Evelyn Hugh Barker, GOC (General Officer Commanding) of British forces in Palestine (Eretz Yisrael). Lack of erudition, however, has hardly prevented anyone from regarding Jews much in the same light as Barker did.

Of course Kerry, unlike Barker, operates in an age of rigorous political correctness, so the US Secretary of State dare not give full vent to prejudice, not even when he cannot fully hide it. A case in point is Kerry’s proposal that Jews from Arab countries be compensated in the framework of the “peace” he strives to impose on Israel.

The subtext of his suggestion is that Jews can be bought, that they’ll ditch all that’s dear and sacred to them for a little lucre.

It’s here that we backtrack to Barker. In 1946 the British GOC set out to make all Jews of pre-state Israel “suffer punishment and be made aware of the contempt and loathing with which we regard their conduct.”

He therefore instructed all British military personnel to boycott “all Jewish establishments, restaurants, shops and private dwellings. No British soldier is to have social intercourse with any Jew… I appreciate that these measures will inflict some hardship on the troops, yet I am certain that if my reasons are fully explained to them they will understand their propriety and will be punishing the Jews in a way the race dislikes as much as any, by striking at their pockets and showing our contempt of them.”

Reenter Kerry. What has his initiative vis-à-vis those Israelis whose families fled Arab intimidation to do with Barker? Let’s connect the dots.

CAROLINE GLICK: WHY TURKEY IS GONE FOR GOOD

http://carolineglick.com/why-turkey-is-gone-for-good/ Last Thursday, two Turkish businessmen stopped for lunch in a fish restaurant during a business trip to Edirne in the Babaeski region.   At some point during their meal, the restaurant owner figured out that they were Jews. Rather than show them the hospitality Turkey is renowned for, he said he won’t serve Jews, […]

AMB. YORAM ETTINGER: HOW ISOLATED IS ISRAEL?

1. A record of 5.3 million tourists in Israel in 2013.

2. A record of $83.2BN foreign exchange reserves reflects the strength of Israel’s Shekel, while the currencies of the emerging markets plummet.

3. A record of $2.3BN invested in 662 Israeli startups in 2013 (21% above 2012), according to KPMG and IVC (Globes, January 23, 2014).

4. Over 250 multinational research & development centers operate in Israel (Globes, February 13).

5. “Funds from the US, Europe and China are showing interest in dozens of Israeli companies that will be forced on to the auction block by Israel’s efforts to increase competition…. The sale [of dominant Israeli companies] is required by a law passed in December, 2013 to loosen the grip conglomerates have on the economy…. [Israel’s economic] growth is projected to outpace both the US and the euro area this year and next. The stability of the Israeli economy, and its fundamentals, make it attractive to foreign investors…. You are buying not because of a crisis in Israel, but because there is a desire to boost competition (Bloomberg, February 4, 2014, Alisa Odenheimer and Sharon Wrobel).”