No time to waste in taking the initiative — including a Trump announced new trade agreement with the UK.

The importance of last week’s “Brexit” vote cannot be diminished, even by those on our side of the Atlantic who insist on seeing only its possible effects on our November presidential election.

In defining the importance of Brexit, the reactions within the EU are a good place to start. Brit PM David Cameron, having staked everything on his campaign to remain in the EU, has said he’ll resign in October. Cameron wants the UK to wait until a new leader is chosen to begin the formal process of getting out of the EU under Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, the EU’s primary treaty.

The first members of the EU — France, Germany, Luxembourg, Belgium, Italy, and the Netherlands — reacted in panic. They fear, quite rightly, that the Brexit vote presages other nations’ exits from the EU. They insist that the Brits immediately invoke Article 50 to start the clock on its two-year deadline for any nation exiting the EU to negotiate its way out.

The 27 remaining EU nations will want to penalize Britain for its exit. Only Germany’s Angela Merkel has said the split from Britain needn’t be nasty. But she won’t be able to control the others.

The EU’s primary members will, as the negotiations roll out, insist on imposing tariffs and other trade restrictions on the UK. That they want to penalize the second-largest economy will affect them all negatively (as Merkel realizes). But the EU “powers” will make it as costly as they can, in economic and political terms.

They will try to insist on some form of open border agreement and with it some version of the EU’s human rights laws.

That will make it enormously difficult for the UK to succeed in its exit negotiations. Or will it?

Now that the UK Parliament is in control of the matter, it can do several things that will unwind the UK from the EU. It should begin immediately and proceed deliberately.

The Collapse of Western Democracy By Ted Bauman

Over the weekend, friends asked my opinion of Brexit. You lived abroad, they said, and you’re an analyst or something, so what can you tell us?

It wasn’t what they wanted to hear.

Most Americans who support Britain remaining in the European Union have characterized “leavers” as ignorant, backward-looking bumpkins, motivated by chauvinism or even racism: the British version of Trump supporters.

In a way, that’s what they are — a sizable group of ordinary people with valid concerns who’ve been neglected and misled by elites for so long that they’re seizing their only chance to register their rage at the established order. But just like in the U.S., Britons’ concerns have been buried under an avalanche of prejudice and mischaracterization.

Can we Americans learn anything from this … or is it too late?
The Shadow on the Cave Wall

Like the shadows in Plato’s allegory of the cave, politics is never what it seems. Brexit is a case in point.

Elite opinion says that English cultural chauvinism explains Thursday’s “leave” vote. Many “leavers” were bigots, but for most, anti-immigrant sentiment was just one way they dressed up their underlying frustrations. Tellingly, “leave” seems to have been just as popular amongst nonwhite lower-class British as amongst whites. Second- and third-generation South Asians and West Indians voted the same way as the Andy Capp pub-and-darts set.

Here’s my take on what happened — and why it’s going to happen here, too.

The EU is essentially a supersized free-trade agreement. It provides for the free movement of capital, labor, goods and services throughout the EU. But to avoid competition between member states, EU rules override laws that were previously decided by sovereign parliaments, such as agriculture, fisheries, external trade, the environment and, above all, budget policy.


“The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it.”

L. Mencken (!880-1956)

Liberty is more easily lost than discovered. It is not generally lost in revolutions. Its demise more typically resembles the ancient method of Chinese torture and death by a thousand cuts. Like boiling a lobster, liberty’s death comes slowly, subtly, almost invisibly – unfelt by the victim. The autocracies of Lenin and Stalin arose from revolution, but Hitler emerged from a democratic election. Read Victor Klemperer’s diaries (I Shall Bear Witness and To The Bitter End) to understand the insidious nature of a country’s transformation into authoritarianism, and the helplessness of those who realized their predicament too late.

In the West, the threat to liberty is not another Hitler. Today, liberty is imperiled by the rise of the administrative state and the bureaucracy of elites that populate it. For fear of offending other cultures (and to our shame), we have stopped promoting democracies. According to Freedom House’s 2015 survey almost twice as many countries saw freedom decline as saw freedom increase in 2014 – the ninth year of such trends. Concern about the loss of liberty, however, is not new. The Alien and Sedition Acts were passed in 1798. Lincoln suspended the Writ of Habeas Corpus in 1861. Wilson suppressed free speech during World War I, and FDR interned Japanese-Americans during World War II. In July 1914, when prohibition was being discussed in the United States, the Virginia Law Register included the headline: “The Decline in Personal Liberty in America.” In the body of the report were written words that sounded remarkably modern, if not in tone, at least in meaning: “Today…liberty is the right of part of the people to compel the other part to do what the first part thinks the latter ought to do for its own benefit.”[1] The words ‘elitism’ or ‘establishment’ were not used, but the message is familiar. These are but a few examples of how our freedoms have been curtailed during extraordinary times; they should make us more vigilant today.

This is why last week’s election in Britain was important, that a free people will resist efforts to cauterize liberty. While the favored narrative of supercilious “Remains” was that Brexit was driven by xenophobia, nativism and hate, the truth was that the 52% of the electorate who democratically voted to leave were concerned that the EU had become undemocratic, creeping toward socialism. Keep in mind, the turnout at 72% was the highest in years. Immigration, no doubt, played a role, but this vote was more significant than the establishment would like to admit. Like millions of dissatisfied Americans who see their lives managed by an elite cadre of bureaucrats in Washington, millions in England saw Brussels dictating rules by which they must abide. Sixty percent of the UK’s laws, including for example the curvature of bananas, are now created by unaccountable mandarins working out of Brussels. Those who wanted to maintain the status quo are a cadre of politicians, academics, lawyers, bankers, big business leaders, most in the media, as well as an increasing number of people grown dependent on the largesse of government. The existing system has served them well – ignored have been the middle classes and small businesses.


By Maayan Jaffe-Hoffman/

Squeals of laughter and high-spirited traditional Ethiopian dancing, coupled with deep and mournful cries of loss and pain. The piercing sound of bullets whizzing above a soldier’s head. “Ready, aim, fire.” The quiet smile of a night under the stars with your fellow comrades.

“Mekonen: The Journey of an African Jew,” the latest production from the film-focused educational non-profit Jerusalem U, is the story of an intrepid and introspective young Ethiopian-Israeli soldier.

The film, which debuted on Israeli Independence Day last month, is a spinoff of Jerusalem U’s previous documentary, “Beneath the Helmet: From High School to the Home Front” (2014), which followed five Israel Defense Forces (IDF) recruits, including Mekonen Abebe, through their military training. “Mekonen” follows up by honing in exclusively on Abebe, a young Ethiopian shepherd who overcame financial and familial hardships to realize his dream of becoming an officer in the IDF.

“After nearly every screening of ‘Beneath the Helmet,’ the audiences had burning questions about Abebe. They connected with him and wanted to know more about where he came from and how the next chapter of his story would unfold,” said Rebecca Shore, Jerusalem U’s creative director and the director of “Mekonen.”

The film, according to Jerusalem U CEO Raphael Shore, is part of the organization’s series of mission-driven productions that are meant to engage, educate, and empower Jewish young adults—particularly on college campuses, where anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism are on the rise.

“We create these products to try to inspire and push back,” Shore said at the premiere event for “Mekonen” in Israel, which welcomed more than 200 youths who were culminating a year studying in Israel before attending college in the United States. “We all tend to think of ourselves as small. But we are all leaders. I hope you step up.”

“There is definitely growing anti-Semitism on campus—swastikas being painted on houses, assaults. We see it growing,” said Moshe Lencer, an international ambassador for the Jewish fraternity Alpha Epsilon Pi (AEPi). “But on the other side, the pro-Israel camp is growing, too.…The students use these movies to help put a face to the story.”

But as much as “Mekonen” is a pro-Israel film, it is also the universal story of the Ethiopian aliyah (immigration to Israel)—and of aliyah in general.

“I decided to participate in ‘Mekonen’ to be there for others who need hope,” Mekonen Abebe, charming and modest, said in an interview with “It’s to give the weaker segment of society, those who are struggling, an example that you can win from nothing.”


As the blood dried at the scene of the latest Tel Aviv massacre, the city’s mayor rushed to empathize with the terrorists’ motives.

“We might be the only country in the world where another nation is under occupation without civil rights,” he claimed. “You can’t hold people in a situation of occupation and hope they’ll reach the conclusion everything is alright.”

This prognosis was quickly followed by the usual Israeli “hope” peddlers.

“The terror will continue as long as the Palestinian people have no hope on the horizon,” argued a Haaretz editorial. “The only way to deal with terrorism is by freeing the Palestinian people from the occupation.”

But this precisely what Israel did 20 years ago.

The declaration of principles (DOP, or Oslo I) signed on the White House lawn in September 1993 by the PLO and the Israeli government provided for Palestinian self-rule in the entire West Bank and Gaza Strip for a transitional period not to exceed five years, during which Israel and the Palestinians would negotiate a permanent peace settlement. By May 1994, Israel had completed its withdrawal from the Gaza Strip (apart from a small stretch of territory containing a small number of Israeli settlements that “occupied” not a single Palestinian and were subsequently evacuated in 2005) and the Jericho area of the West Bank. On July 1, PLO chairman Yasser Arafat made his triumphant entry into Gaza, and shortly afterward a newly- established Palestinian Authority (PA ) under his leadership took control of this territory.

On September 28, 1995, despite the PA ’s abysmal failure to clamp down on terrorist activities in the territories under its control, the two parties signed an interim agreement, and by the end of the year Israeli forces had been withdrawn from the West Bank’s populated areas with the exception of Hebron (where redeployment was completed in early 1997). On January 20, 1996, elections to the Palestinian Council were held, and shortly afterward both the Israeli Civil Administration and military government were dissolved.

“What happened… in the territories is the Palestinian state,” gushed environment minister Yossi Sarid. “The Palestinian state has already been established.”

Hayek in the Hill Country In Austin, a textbook case of arbitrary regulation and its costs By Kevin D. Williamson

The easiest route to political control isn’t brute force: Sure, you can stick a gun in somebody’s face, but that’s always a risky business. The easiest route to political control is economic control. It’s cleaner, it’s safer, and it works.

There are some spectacular examples of that in India. In order to “protect” pepper farmers from being exploited by the ruthless profiteers of the free market, political bosses decided that farmers could sell their produce only to a government-approved buyers’ cooperative, the representative of which was usually — because every protection racket takes roughly the same shape — the uncle or brother-in-law of the local political boss, who often was the local money-lender, too. It’s a long and complex scheme (a story told brilliantly by P. Sainath in Everybody Loves a Good Drought) that ended in pepper farmers’ being kept in intergenerational debt bondage . . . for their own protection, of course.

Ahmad Zaatari saw a fair amount of that sort of thing growing up in Lebanon, where his well-to-do family of entrepreneurs and professionals were on the outs with the local political boss. Uncles and cousins of his father saw their factories closed on this or that pretense, and their land taken by the government. Zaatari himself ended up at a high school controlled by that same political boss, who maneuvered to make life miserable for the young man. In the end, Zaatari did what hundreds of thousands of Lebanese have done over the years: He moved to the United States. There are an estimated 3 million Americans of Lebanese origin living in the United States today; there are only 4.5 million Lebanese in Lebanon.

“My grandfather invested in real estate,” Zaatari says. “He was initially in textiles in Nigeria and the United Kingdom. Those investments saved the family, and that’s how I was able to come to the United States. I’ve always known real estate was a smart investment — it’s ingrained in me.”

Naturally, he bought a house. He bought that house in Austin, where he was involved with a number of technology start-ups after getting his master’s in mechanical engineering from the University of Texas. His wife worked as a consultant, and they had a baby, and things were looking pretty good at the start-up where he worked developing high-tech equipment for the oil-exploration business. Buying a house in the Rockdale Circle section of Austin, far from the most expensive or most fashionable part of town, wasn’t a huge stretch.

Until the bottom fell out of the oil market, as it does, from time to time. Zaatari’s company lost a $6 million order, and pretty soon it didn’t have enough money to pay its engineers. Zaatari had a pretty good-sized mortgage and had drawn down some of his investments to make the down payment, and he is not rich. “Working in start-ups,” he says, “I’ve gained a lot of experience — not a lot of money.” Those obligations weren’t too bad for a two-income household, but they were going to be pretty rough on a one-income household.

He didn’t want to sell his house. He also didn’t really want to go get a clock-punching, steady-paycheck job, either — an energetic entrepreneur, he already had a proposal in to the National Science Foundation for an education-technology project he was developing. All he really needed was a little financial breathing room until he figured out his next step. That is one of the many faces of the so-called gig economy: It isn’t just people who can’t get a regular job, but also people who don’t want one, people who are working on something else and just need a bit of income for a while. Albert Einstein worked at a patent office, but he didn’t plan on making a lifelong career of it.

The Positive Side of Nationalism Elites may scorn love of country as primitive. Brexit voters — and many Americans — beg to differ. By Elliott Abrams —

The decision of the British electorate to reject all the advice and browbeatings from the Great and Good, and vote to leave the European Union, is above all a display of nationalism.

That word was mostly absent in the discussions I watched on the BBC and in much coverage here in the United States. And when pundits mentioned the word, they used it as a synonym for chauvinism, isolationism, and ignorance much more frequently than as a synonym for patriotism.

This should not be a great surprise: Nationalism is out of favor. It has, especially in Europe and for obvious historical reasons, been understood as a basis for fascism and extreme chauvinism. Orwell wrote that nationalism is “power hunger.” Einstein considered it infantile — the view most officials in Brussels probably take. Nationalism is considered by European elites to be a primitive view — indeed, not even a view but an emotion.

In the Brexit vote, Brits chose to reject those patronizing views and express their nationalism. By this, they seem to have meant that they want to make the key decisions about their future, and about how they live, through their own democratic institutions. On the BBC on Friday morning, a typically biased interviewer spoke with Radek Sikorski, the former foreign minister of Poland, who denounced Brexit as dangerous and malevolent. His anger and resentment were so great that they finally moved even the BBC to defend the vote. How? On democratic grounds. Don’t people have a right to vote? Isn’t self-rule sacred? It was half amusing, half inspiring to see the interviewer rise to the defense of his countrymen and -women when they were treated with contempt for choosing Westminster over Brussels.

There is a message here for Israelis — and for Americans.

For Israelis, the referendum fight helps explain their unpopularity among European elites. If nationalism is primitive and infantile and dangerous, it is no wonder that Israel is criticized endlessly and its efforts to defend itself are seen as excessive. Its basic demand — to be understood and acknowledged as a Jewish state — is itself considered illicit; ethno-national states are out of the question these days. Defending your state with actual guns is positively medieval in the eyes of today’s European leaders.

Michael Cutler :Terror Investigation Obstructer Nominated for Secretary’s Award for Valor DHS manager gets honored for thwarting the San Bernardino investigation.

I have written a follow-up article to my March 18, 2016 piece with the sarcastic title, “Are DHS Leaders Seeking an MVP Award From ISIS? – The day after the San Bernardino terror attack, why exactly did USCIS managers block a team of ICE agents from entering their facility?”

I began my original commentary by saying that I was not trying to go “over the top” with the title of my article and that I had not lost my mind but that I was infuriated that a manager of USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) would block ICE agents from entering that facility.

It is worth noting that both USCIS and ICE are component agencies of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

At the time I wrote my original article, the actual identity of the manager who blocked five ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) agents was not known however, it has been disclosed that the manager is Irene Martin.

It must be noted that these ICE agents were assigned to the Joint Terrorism Task Force and the office that they sought to enter was located in San Bernardino, the very same city where less than 24 hours earlier, on December 2, 2015, Tashfeen Malik and Syed Farook carried out a terror attack that resulted in the murder of 14 and the wounding of 22 innocent victims.

Furthermore, Enrique Marquez, the individual the ICE agents were hoping to locate at the office, was believed to have provided the weapons used in carrying out that terrorist attack. They had discovered that Marquez was scheduled to appear for an interview that day, in conjunction with the application he filed for his wife to provide her with lawful immigrant status.

The agents were not only concerned about questioning and arresting Marquez because of the crimes he was alleged to have already committed in providing weapons and possibly other material support to the two terrorists, but the agents were greatly concerned that Marquez may have provided similar assistance to other terrorists who had not yet carried out additional attack(s). Time was obviously extremely critical and potentially innocent lives were hanging in the balance. The clock was ticking and time was not on the side of the agents- or of possible additional victims, for that matter.

Missiles for Terrorists, But No Guns for Americans Daniel Greenfield

Obama is the biggest smuggler of guns to terrorists.

You won’t find many of the Democrats who pulled their phony publicity stunt over gun control backing the Muslim Brotherhood Terrorist Designation Act. It was after all their very own administration that chose to sendF-16 fighter jets, not to mention other serious firepower, to the Muslim Brotherhood regime that ruled in Egypt before being overthrown by military intervention and popular protests.

Not only was the Muslim Brotherhood regime linked to Hamas, which was designated as a foreign terrorist group by the State Department, but it had helped ISIS open up a front in the Sinai. Hamas is an arm of the Muslim Brotherhood. Al Qaeda is currently run by a Brotherhood splinter group. Osama bin Laden had been a member of the Brotherhood. Zarqawi, the founder of the group that eventually became ISIS, was freed as a gesture to the Muslim Brotherhood. If the Muslim Brotherhood were any more involved in Islamic terrorism, it would have copyrighted the term.

But Secretary of State John Kerry had defended the weapons giveaway to the Brotherhood by claiming that, “Not everything lends itself to a simple classification, black or white.” Apparently aiding Islamic terrorists defies simple classification. Not everything is black and white. Sometimes it’s bright red.

While Democrats have harped on gun sales to potential terrorists, their own government was responsible for selling far more lethal weapons to far more dangerous Islamic terrorist groups.

Our weapons have gone to such diverse forces for democracy in Syria as the Islamist militias operating under the moniker of the Free Syrian Army whose leader defended Al Qaeda and the majority of whose commanders wanted to work with Al Qaeda, Jaysh al-Qasas, a former ally of ISIS and Ghuraba al-Sham, which had called for slaughtering Americans “like cattle” and whose former leader had ISIS ties.

Hizbullah Threatens Israel—As Its Own Support Sinks Even the terror group’s longtime Lebanese backers are fed up. P. David Hornik

How is Hizbullah doing after about four years of fighting in Syria on behalf of the Assad regime, as part of the axis led by Iran?

In terms of bluster, and particularly threats against Israel, Hizbullah hasn’t changed much. But in other ways—and not only with regard to the often-cited 1500 fighters Hizbullah has lost on Syrian soil—the war is taking a toll on the Shiite terror organization. That includes growing unpopularity in Lebanon itself—even among its traditional supporters.

On June 18, speaking to a Lebanese audience on Hizbullah’s Al-Manar TV channel (as translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute, MEMRI), Hizbullah MP Walid Sukkarieh painted a scenario in a future war between Hizbullah and Israel.

He asked: “What would the capturing of settlements mean?”

Hizbullah has indeed been planning for years to capture Israeli communities in the Galilee in a prospective war.

Answering his own question, Sukkarieh said:

First, we would be liberating land. Second, we would take hostages, prisoners. The Israeli people would be a prisoner in your hands. This would prevent Israel from targeting civilians on your side. It would not be able to implement the Dahiya Strategy. They have threatened that in the next war, they will implement this strategy and destroy all of Lebanon. What will they destroy if we hold settlements hostage? We will have hostages. If they kill us, we will kill them.