Normalization between Ankara and Jerusalem? Guess Again. by Burak Bekdil

Until Jerusalem is the capital of a Palestinian state and Israel is pushed back to its pre-1967 borders, it will be “halal” for Erdogan to blame Israel for global warming, the Ebola virus, starvation in Africa and every other misfortune the world faces.

On the press freedoms index 2014 of Reporters without Borders, Turkey ranks an embarrassing 154th, a score worse than Burundi, Myanmar, Ethiopia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Afghanistan, Libya, Uganda and Kyrgyzstan, among others. Once again, Erdogan corrupted facts and figures in order to bash Israel.

Holy struggle against Israel is a prerequisite for Erdogan’s pro-Hamas Islamism, and the cold war and Erdogan’s explosive rhetoric around it have yielded a treasure-trove of votes in a country that champions anti-Semitism.

“The Jewish lobby has lost much of its mythical power. Our prime minister’s rhetoric and actions have largely caused this. The way he [Erdogan] walked out of the Davos meeting [in 2009] has substantially tarnished Israel’s regional charisma. Despite all that, Israel has been unable to harm Turkey.” This quote was from former senior diplomat and member of parliament Volkan Bozkir, of Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party [AKP], in an interview with the daily Hurriyet on March 18, 2013. In Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu’s mini-cabinet reshuffle last month, Bozkir became Turkey’s European Union Minister and chief negotiator with the club for Turkish membership.

Kaci Hickox, Selfish Hero : By Ian Tuttle

She has no excuse for her petulance — and nor do the rest of our aid workers.

Let’s give credit where it is due: Nurse Kaci Hickox did an admirable thing going overseas to fight Ebola in West Africa. The 33-year-old medical volunteer put herself in grave danger to serve the least of these in Sierra Leone, where 1,200 people have succumbed to Ebola, and she deserves plaudits for it.

So one is reminded that human beings do, indeed, contain multitudes, when considering Hickox’s comments to Matt Lauer on Wednesday morning’s Today show: “If the restrictions placed on me by the State of Maine are not lifted by Thursday morning, I will go to court to fight for my freedom.”

By way of background: Hickox was the first person to fall under the short-lived mandatory quarantine order instituted late last week by New York governor Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey governor Chris Christie. Hickox flew into Newark airport last Friday afternoon, registered a fever, and was immediately placed in a quarantine tent outside a Newark hospital. Seen through a plastic window, Hickox’s situation did look rather more Sing Sing than merely sanitizary — which is why by Monday, having tested negative for the disease, she was on her way back to her home in Fort Kent, Maine, to be kept under a legally enforceable home quarantine until 21 days have passed since her last contact with an Ebola patient.

But that is, apparently, not good enough: “I am thankful to be out of the tent in Newark but I find myself in yet another prison in a different environment.”

A more prison-like setup would have been appropriate for Dr. Craig Spencer, the Doctors Without Borders physician diagnosed with Ebola last week (it was his case that prompted the mandatory quarantine orders). The New York Post reports that Dr. Spencer told public health officials he was in “self-quarantine” in his Harlem apartment — when, in fact, he was dining in Greenwich Village, bowling in Brooklyn, and riding the subway system. Authorities only discovered that he had been lying when detectives examined his credit-card statement and subway pass.

For individuals who in their service abroad exemplified Americans’ generosity of spirit, Hickox and Spencer have demonstrated a shocking lack of it since returning back home. Strictly monitored house quarantine — de facto house arrest — is undoubtedly an abrogation of civil liberties. But 21 days of it — lavishly state-funded — to be followed by perfect liberty assuming no problems, seems like a minimal sacrifice to ask of those who put themselves voluntarily in danger. When it comes to a disease that liquidates your internal organs and pushes blood out your eyeballs, “Better safe than sorry” would seem a dictum to which everyone could agree.

Deroy Murdock Astorino: Still Battling Cuomo

GOP gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino has won tough fights before. Can he pull this one off?

‘There is no inevitability with Andrew Cuomo,” Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino says of his Democratic opponent for governor of New York. “He is under federal investigation for corruption. Our state is dead last in almost everything. That people are voting with their feet in record numbers and moving out of here should tell you that things are bad. And they are going to stay bad unless we change governors and change these policies.”

The Republican speaks with the brashness and confidence of a man who is nipping at an incumbent’s heels. In fact, an October 20 Siena College survey had the 47-year-old challenger at 33 percent to Cuomo’s 54 percent among 748 likely voters (margin of error +/– 3.6 percent). However, the latest Rasmussen poll, which arguably samples respondents more accurately during midterm years, found Astorino at 32 percent and Cuomo at 49 percent among 825 likely voters, although those “certain to vote” gave Astorino 37 to Cuomo’s 47 in the September 25 matchup (margin of error +/– 4 percent).

During a recent interview in the slant-roofed Citicorp Building, 43 floors above the sidewalks of New York, Astorino insisted that those bird’s-eye-view polling figures overlook evidence that Cuomo’s support is an avenue wide and a gum wrapper deep.

For starters, in the September 9 Democratic primary, Cuomo lost 24 of the Empire State’s 62 counties to the spectacularly named Zephyr Teachout. The Fordham Law School professor even defeated Cuomo in Albany County, his seat of power. It is startling for an incumbent governor to win only 62.9 percent of the primary vote while yielding 33.5 percent to an unknown, far-left academic with one-tenth of his war chest. (Randy Credico got 3.6 percent of the vote. Thus, 37.1 percent of primary voters rejected Cuomo.)

“Cuomo lost everything tonight except the nomination,” former New York City public advocate Mark Green, a ­Teach­out supporter, told the New York Post.

Our Make-It-Up World Facts Now Pale in Comparison With the Higher Truths of Progressivism. By Victor Davis Hanson

Do bothersome facts matter anymore?

Not really. This is an age when Americans were assured that the Affordable Care Act lowered our premiums. It cut deductibles. Obamacare allowed us to keep our doctors and health plans, and lowered the deficit. Those fantasies were both demonstrably untrue and did not matter, given the supposedly noble aims of health care reform.

The Islamic State is at times dubbed jayvee, a manageable problem, and a dangerous enemy — or anything the administration wishes it to be, depending on the political climate of any given week.

Some days Americans are told there is no reason to restrict connecting flights from Ebola-ravaged countries. Then, suddenly, entry from those countries is curtailed to five designated U.S. airports. Quarantines are both necessary and not so critical, as the administration weighs public concern versus politically correct worries over isolating a Third World African country.

Ebola is so hard to catch that there is no reason to worry about causal exposures to those without clear symptoms. But then why do health authorities still try to hunt down anyone who had even a brief encounter with supposedly asymptomatic carriers?

The deaths of four Americans in Benghazi were caused by a video that sparked a riot, and then apparently not. Various narratives about corruption and incompetence at the VA, IRS, NSA, GSA and Secret Service are raised and then dropped. The larger truth is that these scandals must be quarantined from infecting the president’s progressive agenda.

Laws used to be real, not abstract. Again, not anymore. The administration sort of enacts some elements of Obamacare but ignores others. Enforcement of federal immigration law is negotiable, likewise depending on the campaign cycle.

The Tawana Brawley case, the Duke men’s lacrosse team accusations, and the O. J. Simpson verdict were constructed fantasies. No one cared much about the inconvenient facts or the lies that destroyed people’s lives — given that myths were deemed useful facts for achieving larger racial justice.

While Insulting Netanyahu, the Administration Admits That Iran Will Go Nuclear: Danielle Pletka

“But let’s forget about Obama’s own ideological dislike of the State of Israel and its leaders, whoever they may be. Set aside the fact that it is not Bibi who is acting like a selfish political actor, but Barack Obama and the personal sycophants around him who are more interested in the whims and fortunes of the American Narcissus. Let us instead focus on the fact that an unnamed “senior American official” is waxing triumphant over the fact that it is now “too late” for Israel to strike Iran’s nuclear weapons complex. This is good news? The fact that American officials believe it is more advantageous to have a nuclear Iran than to have someone in power in Israel who will not kowtow to the US president says something about the fundamental rot at the core of the Obama administration, its contempt for the national security of the American people – who are at terrible risk from an Iranian nuclear bomb – and the vileness of the cowards and chickenshit officials who people the fiefdom of Barack Obama.”

Lots of twitter today over an important piece by Jeffrey Goldberg in the Atlantic about the crisis in US-Israel relations. Most have focused on the Obama administration “senior official” sourced comment that Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu is “chickenshit.” The full quote is worth reading:

“The good thing about Netanyahu is that he’s scared to launch wars,” the official said, expanding the definition of what a chickenshit Israeli prime minister looks like. “The bad thing about him is that he won’t do anything to reach an accommodation with the Palestinians or with the Sunni Arab states. The only thing he’s interested in is protecting himself from political defeat. He’s not [Yitzhak] Rabin, he’s not [Ariel] Sharon, he’s certainly no [Menachem] Begin. He’s got no guts.”

Goldberg has his own take on the accusation, and plants blame for the mutual antipathy squarely on the Israeli side. He’s a thoughtful analyst, and he’s not wrong that the Israelis have been, to put it diplomatically, incautious, in their approach to the Obama team. Nor are critics entirely wrong when they suggest that internal politicking – and not peace process politique – have been behind recent Israeli settlement decisions. But that analysis fails to adequately appreciate the fons et origo of the slow-mo disaster that has been US-Israel relations under Barack Obama, and does readers a disservice by laying out the rather shocking notion that team Obama thinks he has somehow played the Israelis into… allowing Iran to have a nuclear weapon. Here’s “another senior official” with whom Goldberg spoke (speaking of chickenshit; um, what about going on the record?):

“It’s too late for him to do anything. Two, three years ago, this was a possibility. But ultimately he couldn’t bring himself to pull the trigger. It was a combination of our pressure and his own unwillingness to do anything dramatic. Now it’s too late.”

Let’s get this straight: Bibi et al, who have what most would agree is a legitimate and existential fear of an Iranian nuclear weapon, are “good” because they’re, er “chickenshit” about launching a strike on Iran; oh, and Bibi is also labeled a “coward” for having been “chickenshit” in that regard. But he’s “bad” because he won’t cave to a Palestinian Authority and Hamas so riven by terrorism, corruption and incompetence that they won’t “accommodate” with each other.

How Un-Islamic Is Islamic Terror? – on The Glazov Gang

After the recent terror attack in Canada, the media and cultural elites were at it again: painting Muslims as the victims and pushing the obvious role of Islam in the terror attack into invisibility.

In response to all of the Islam-Denial transpiring in the West today, including the assurances from Obama about the supposed un-Islamic nature of the Islamic State, Frontpage is running The Glazov Gang’s feature interviews with two of the world’s leading scholars on Islam: Raymond Ibrahim and David Wood.

Both discussions unveil the true roots of Jihadi terrorist groups such as ISIS and reveal the lie behind the statements by our leaders and mainstream denying the Islamic role in Islamic terror. Ibrahim and Wood both issue a dire warning about the hazardous danger our society faces if it continues to deceive itself about the real enemy we face.

See both interviews below:

Immigration Politics: Where Facts and Commonsense Are Ignored Posted By Michael Cutler

On October 22, 2014 CBS News, New York posted a brief report, “City Council Votes For Bills To Protect Jailed Immigrants From Feds.” This report illustrates the unholy alliance forged between many politicians and news agencies to skew the truth about immigration. The article begins with this excerpt:

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Bills passed by the City Council Wednesday aim to keep detained immigrants from being deported by the federal government.

The City Council voted in favor of the legislation 41-6 Wednesday.

As WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reported, the measures, supported by Mayor Bill de Blasio, would prohibit correction officials and police from handing over detainees to immigration officials.

The report went on to note:

“The law will only allow the city to honor the detainer if the subject has been convicted of a violent or serious felony in the last five years or if the person is a possible match on the federal terrorist watchlist,” she said.

The bill would also shutter the federal immigration office on Rikers Island.

First of all, let’s consider that the title of the CBS article incorporates the phrase, “Protect the Jailed Immigrants From the Feds.” There are two key words that paint a deceptive image and both evoke a strong emotional response and virtually create the illusion that the efforts to impede the effective enforcement of our immigration laws against aliens who have been arrested for allegedly committing crimes is no less than heroic.

The term “protect” is a term that engenders a sense of an appropriate action taken to make certain that no harm comes to someone, especially an innocent person. Police departments around the United States adopted the phrase “to protect and serve” as their mission statement. In considering this infuriating news report, the question that must be asked is: “Who is being protected and who is being served?”

Our nation’s borders and our immigration laws are America’s first line of defense and last line of defense to protect America and Americans from aliens whose presence poses a threat to the safety and well-being of our nation and our citizens.

Will UC Berkeley Nix Maher Commencement? By Mark Tapson

One has to appreciate the tragic irony that in the 50th anniversary year of the Free Speech Movement at UC Berkeley, a petition is being circulated there to disinvite the controversial Bill Maher as commencement speaker, because of his “racist and bigoted” views.

I am no fan of Bill Maher. He’s an Obama supporter who favors income redistribution, race preferences, abortion, tough gun control, and the outlawing of home schooling. He dismisses conservatives as racist, Christians as mental defectives, Americans as “stupid,” and the Second Amendment as “bullsh*t.” I believe university students deserve a prestigious, accomplished commencement speaker with more gravitas than a foul-mouthed standup comic whose days are spent hanging out in the Playboy mansion grotto (in fact, I don’t believe celebrities in general should be invited to speak at commencements).

But at least the atheist Maher has enough intellectual integrity to realize that not all religions are the same. He also has the courage to openly criticize Islam, something that a microscopically small number of public figures have the cojones to do. And let’s face it: it is his position on Islam that sparked the resistance of the UC Berkeley petition, because if Maher’s insults were limited to bashing Sarah Palin and Christians, no objection would have been raised.

He recently had a notable dustup on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher with the self-appointed voice of Muslims everywhere, Ben Affleck. In it, Maher and guest Sam Harris tried to reason with an inflamed Affleck about the, shall we say, problematic nature of Islam, which Harris called “the mother lode of bad ideas.” Maher sided with Harris, and Affleck called their attitude “gross and racist,” despite the always-overlooked fact that – all together now – Islam is not a race. Mere days before that, Islamic dissembler Reza Aslan took Maher to task on CNN for his “facile arguments” about Islam.

That was three weeks ago. Shortly thereafter, a petition was initiated by Associated Students of the University of California Senator Marium Navid, who, according to the school’s Daily Californian, is backed by the Middle Eastern, Muslim and South Asian Coalition, or MEMSA, and Khwaja Ahmed, an active MEMSA member. The petition asks UC Berkeley to stop him from speaking at the commencement ceremony. It has garnered 2,089 signatures as of this writing Tuesday night.


Obama’s foreign policy was supposed to reboot America’s relationship with the rest of the world. Old allies would become people we occasionally talked to. Old enemies would become new allies. Goodbye Queen, hello Vladimir. Trade the Anglosphere for Latin America’s Marxist dictatorships. Replace allied governments in the Middle East with Islamists and call it a day for the Caliphate.

Very little of that went according to plan.

Obama is still stuck with Europe. The Middle East and Latin American leftists still hate America. The Arab Spring imploded. Japan, South Korea and India have conservative governments.

And then there’s Israel.

The original plan was to sideline Israel by focusing on the Muslim world. Instead of directly hammering Israel, the administration would transform the region around it. The American-Israeli relationship would implode not through conflict, but because the Muslim Brotherhood countries would take its place.

That didn’t work out too well. Instead of gracefully pivoting away, Obama loudly snubbed Netanyahu. A photo of him poking his finger in Netanyahu’s chest captured the atmosphere. Netanyahu delivered a speech that Congress cheered. And Obama came to see him as a domestic political opponent.

The torrent of anti-Israel leaks from the administration is a treatment usually reserved for political opponents. The snide remarks by White House spokesmen and the anonymous personal attacks on Netanyahu in the media echo domestic hate campaigns out of the White House like Operation Rushbo.

Netanyahu wasn’t just the leader of a country that the left hated. He had become an honorary Republican.

‘The Science’ vs. Ebola

A quarantine is good enough for the military but not civilians.

Whatever the damage that the White House, liberals and the press corps say Ebola quarantines will do, their reaction to the state-imposed isolation policies has already done far worse. The federal contradictions and false claims of omniscience are adding to public confusion—and may discredit an important tool that the country will need if there is a major outbreak of Ebola or some other pathogen.
Somehow liberals are trying to convert the Ebola debate into the new trial of Galileo, as if any dissent over the appropriate response is the Inquisition. President Obama emerged on Tuesday to denounce the New York, New Jersey and other state quarantines, which he said “aren’t based on science and best practices.” He instructed lesser politicians to adopt the new Centers for Disease Control monitoring and movement guidelines instead—because they are “based on the science, based on the facts.”

Yet on Tuesday Army General Ray Odierno ordered personnel returning from West Africa to spend 21 days in seclusion, and on Wednesday the Pentagon extended the policy to the rest of the military. This quarantine is being called a “controlled monitoring period,” as if Ebola can tell the difference between the troops and medical workers and travellers.

Yet the White House is attempting to argue exactly that. Press secretary Josh Earnest said, “It would be wrong to suggest that it would make the American people safer to apply this military policy in a civilian context. The science would not back that up.” Does the science of Ebola distinguish between civilians and soldiers, or is he talking about political science?

The argument is that quarantine would dissuade people from volunteering to help, but they’re not being forced to return home by way of Gitmo. The subset of humanitarians must be small who are willing at great personal danger to brave a contagion in Africa but are unwilling to accept the minor sacrifice of three weeks at home for the greater good.