A U.S. Spy Left to Hang Washington has abandoned a CIA agent facing jail in Europe.

The threat from terrorism is worse than at any time since 9/11, even as the West has limited its capacity for self-defense. One example of the latter is the way the Obama Administration has abandoned former CIA agent Sabrina De Sousa.

Ms. De Sousa was one of 26 U.S. officials convicted by Italy in 2009 for their role in the rendition of a radical Egyptian cleric. A Portuguese-American dual national who currently resides in Portugal, she received a seven-year sentence from an Italian court (later reduced to four years). Last week Portugal’s highest court cleared the way for her extradition to Italy under a European arrest warrant.

CIA agents working with their Italian counterparts in 2003 captured the cleric, known as Abu Omar, who was suspected of recruiting fighters for Islamists in Iraq, among other things, and transferred him from Milan to Egypt, where he says he was tortured. Egyptian authorities eventually released Abu Omar without charge, though Italy later convicted him in absentia on terror charges.

Among the anti-antiterror left, his case became emblematic of the evils of rendition. Italian prosecutors in 2004 launched an investigation and Italian courts eventually convicted, in absentia, the CIA agents, including Ms. De Sousa, and a U.S. Air Force colonel for their alleged participation in the affair. All of the convicted Americans had left Italy by the time the court case was under way.

Ms. De Sousa was acting in her official capacity and following U.S. policy during the 2003 rendition. Yet the U.S. government never asserted diplomatic immunity in her case, although it asserted a similar immunity on behalf of at least one other American involved in the affair.

When Ms. De Sousa sued the CIA, State and the Justice Department for failing to invoke immunity on her behalf, Justice argued that immunity is asserted for the benefit of the government, not of an individual employee. That’s a sound principle and is exactly why the government should act to protect Ms. De Sousa. Failing to do so sends a terrible signal to other U.S. operatives in the field. CONTINUE AT SITE

Netanyahu Stands Firm on Peace Talks Israeli prime minister reiterates need for bilateral negotiations without third-party mediation By Rory Jones

Alas, he stands firmly on weak knees…he should scuttle all negotiations….rsk
TEL AVIV—Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday poured cold water on a French initiative to restart peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians, saying the two sides should be speaking directly rather than through a third party.

“Israel adheres to its position that the best way to resolve the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians is direct, bilateral negotiations,” said a statement from Mr. Netanyahu’s office. “Any other diplomatic initiative distances the Palestinians from direct negotiations.”

French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault last week said he would invite ministers from the U.S., Europe, Middle East and Asia to Paris on May 30 to discuss a framework for a new round of peace talks, aiming to host an international conference later this year that would include Israeli and Palestinian leaders.

France first suggested the international conference in January, the Israeli leader expressed similar concerns at that time too.

A spokesman for Israel’s foreign ministry said the prime minister’s statement didn’t completely rule out Israeli officials attending a conference as no invitations to the two sides had been sent out yet.

After welcoming the French initiative last week, Palestinian negotiators slammed Israel’s pessimism over the plan.

“The Israeli government’s call for bilateral negotiations is not a call for the achievement of the two-state solution, but an attempt at legitimizing its settlement enterprise and the imposition of an apartheid regime,” said Saeb Erekat, the secretary-general of the Palestine Liberation Organization, which represents Palestinian political factions in peace negotiations. “We call upon the French Government and the rest of the international community to take immediate steps in order to give peace a chance.”

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has sought support from the international community in recent years at forums such as the United Nations and International Criminal Court in a bid to create a Palestinian state. CONTINUE AT SITE

The Clinton Pivot Begins You’re about to meet the second coming of Franklin Roosevelt and Bill Clinton. By Daniel Henninger

Want to know which way America’s political winds are blowing? When Bill Clinton speaks, listen.

Talking in Spokane last month about the U.S. economy, the former president mentioned “the awful legacy of the last eight years.” In Indianapolis Tuesday, Mr. Clinton let the same cat out of the bag:

“The problem is, 80% of the American people are still living on what they were living on the day before the [2008 financial] crash. And about half the American people, after you adjust for inflation, are living on what they were living on the last day I was president 15 years ago. So that’s what’s the matter.”

Hours later, Hillary Clinton delivered her victory speech in Philadelphia after winning four of five primaries against Bernie Sanders. With that speech, the great Clinton pivot has begun. By the time she’s done repositioning herself for the fall campaign run, most likely against Donald Trump, Hillary’s pivots will make Stephen Curry look like a little old lady.

Note well this phrase toward the end: “So my friends, if you are a Democrat, an Independent or a thoughtful Republican . . . .”

That doesn’t quite sound like the Obama coalition of millennials, minorities and college-educated white women circa 2012. It sounds more like the centrist Clinton coalition, circa 1996. Democrats, independents and thoughtful Republicans—call it neo-triangulation for Trumpian times. CONTINUE AT SITE

The Agony of a Trump Delegate Rules may say they’re bound to The Donald, but many are thinking through their options. By Kimberley A. Strassel

Donald Trump, fresh off his Northeast sweep, declared himself the “presumptive nominee.” He presumes too much.

For all the news of Mr. Trump’s victories and Ted Cruz’s veepmate, the essential action of this GOP contest continues to take place far from the media lights. It’s happening in towns like Harrisonburg, Va., where Republican voters will gather this weekend to pick a slate of delegates for the Cleveland convention. That’s the action that matters, and it’s not going Mr. Trump’s way.

With the media all but anointing the mogul, it’s worth a short primer on presidential nominations, why Mr. Trump is still far from claiming the title, and why (by the way) this is, in fact, democracy in action.

Start with this: The GOP is a collection of 50 state parties. Each gets a voice in choosing who the national party nominates for president. In long-standing deference to states’ rights (a concept conservatives are supposed to revere), the state parties have total control over how they pick delegates to the national convention.

Some states, like Colorado, still do this purely the old-fashioned way. Republicans meet at the precinct level, at the district level, and at the state level, and vote for delegates who will speak for them. This isn’t a “rigged” system, but representative democracy.

Other states think it useful to canvas wider views. They hold what the media call primaries, but what are technically “presidential preference polls.” (Note those words.) In many states, the results of these polls are supposed to bind “delegates” to candidates at the national convention.

Only here’s the rub: Even states with primaries still go through an independent process to elect the actual people who will serve as delegates. The Republicans at these events can still choose whomever they want. And they aren’t electing delegates who personally support Mr. Trump.

Look at Virginia. The Old Dominion held its statewide preference poll (primary) on March 1, and 35% of voters (who included independents and Democrats) preferred Mr. Trump. Some 17% preferred Mr. Cruz. On paper, the delegates are automatically apportioned based on these results.

Yet at the two district conventions so far (in Virginia’s 9th and 10th congressional districts), attendees have elected five delegates who personally support Mr. Cruz and only one who supports Mr. Trump. At the statewide convention in Harrisonburg this weekend, 4,000 attendees will choose another 13 delegates. Cruz supporters will likely dominate.

This is happening across the country, and no surprise. While some attendees at these events are “the establishment”—party officials and operatives—many more are intensely committed GOP activists. These are the people who brought you the tea party, the rebels in the U.S. House, and the cheers for government shutdown. CONTINUE AT SITE

Missouri Students’ Latest Target: The Campus Sushi Restaurant By Jillian Kay Melchior

Early into fall semester at the University of Missouri, a student wrote to the chancellor complaining about the logo for Sunshine Sushi, a restaurant in the Student Center.

The e-mail, entitled “Racism at Mizzou,” said that the logo closely resembled the Imperial Japanese flag used during World War II, and thus “has the same meaning as the Nazi’s Hakenkreuz [also known as the swastika], which was the symbol of the Nazi.” The student, whose name was redacted, added, “I wish to have this logo changed.”

The logo did somewhat resemble the Rising Sun flag, which has a controversial history but is also symbolically significant well beyond wartime Japan.

The flag dates as far back as the 17th century and is still flown today by the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force. It’s also used commercially, adorning everything from touristy T-shirts to Japanese beer cans to the Asahi Shimbun newspaper company. Some Japanese sports fans have also adopted the symbol to root for their favorite teams. A black version of the logo emblazoned character Danny LaRusso’s headband in the classic 1984 American film The Karate Kid.

E-mails reviewed exclusively by Heat Street and National Review show that soon after receiving an e-mail complaining about the Sunshine Sushi logo, Mizzou’s administrators promptly met with twelve students from different Asian organizations on campus, facilitating a meeting with the restaurant’s owners.

“The owners . . . have agreed to consider changing their logo if our students come up with something equal or better than their current logo,” wrote Jeff Zeilenga, the university’s assistant vice chancellor. He said they were “very willing to work with our students in good faith to find a better image” even though they “are under no obligation to change their registered logo of 15 years.”

The owners of Sunshine Sushi say they chose their original logo as a symbol of American freedom, not Japanese aggression.

Oo Min Aung, the sushi restaurant’s co-owner, was born in Myanmar and marched in pro-democracy protests before immigrating to the United States. He says that he chose a shining sun because he “wanted something that would symbolize the meaning of freedom, liberation.”

“I didn’t see any problems with my own logo,” Aung says. He says he met with students and tried to explain what the logo meant to him. But, he adds, “For people who came from Korea or China, I didn’t understand how much my old logo reminded them of their dark days with Japan. . . . [So I changed it] when I found out these people were not very happy with my logo — and they were students, too, and without them, I wouldn’t be here.”

Setting the Record Straight on Britain, America, and World War II By Victor Davis Hanson

While in London last week, President Obama waded into the upcoming British referendum about whether the United Kingdom should stay in the European Union.

Controversy followed his lecture about the future of the Anglo-American relationship should Britain depart the EU. Obama also implied that without an EU, the United States might again be dragged into European squabbling, as it had been in the prior world wars.

Americans might take this occasion to reflect on Britain’s role in World War II.

Before the war, the League of Nations had done nothing to deter the future Axis powers from invading or annexing Albania, Austria, China, Czechoslovakia, and Ethiopia.

Britain’s alliance with France might have deterred Nazi Germany had Winston Churchill, not Neville Chamberlain, been prime minister in 1939. Or an isolationist United States might have helped had it been willing to conclude a defense pact with the Western European democracies.

What ensured a war were the appeasement of Nazi Germany by Britain and France, the isolation of the United States from global responsibilities, and the collaboration of the Soviet Union with Adolf Hitler. All three developments combined to convince Hitler that he could bully or invade his neighbors without consequences.

America entered the war on Britain’s side in late 1941, after more than two years of war that saw Hitler consolidate a continental empire larger than the present European Union. The United States declared war on Nazi Germany and fascist Italy on December 11, 1941 — but only after the two Axis powers declared war on us first. Had Hitler and Italy’s Benito Mussolini not declared war after Japan’s December 7, 1941 surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, America may well have concentrated on defeating Imperial Japan and stayed neutral in the European theater.

Great Britain was the only major power to fight for the entire duration of World War II, from its beginning after the invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939 until the surrender of the Japanese in Tokyo Bay on September 2, 1945.

In late June of 1940, after the fall of Western Europe, Britain was the only major power in the world still resisting Nazi Germany. Otherwise, all of Europe was either occupied by Hitler, neutral, or supposedly neutral but surreptitiously aiding the Third Reich with shipments of supplies.

What a week for integration Britain! Douglas Murray

It’s been a terrific week for integration Britain. First the National Union of Students (NUS) elected what the BBC joyously headlinedas its ‘First black Muslim woman president.’ Wahey! Another victory for diverse Britain. But amid the preliminary bunting some people still remembered that Malia Bouattia is principally known for two things: a reportedly extreme opposition to some things Jewish, and an equal opposition to measures which protect the country which gave her and her family sanctuary when they fled from Algeria. Ms Bouattia denies being an anti-Semite and insists she is, instead, simply anti-Zionist.

Of course expecting people to receive asylum in our country and then feel even slightly grateful for the fact must seem so patriarchal and twentieth century. The new deal seems to be that people flee some terrorist-destroyed hell-hole, arrive in the UK and then campaign against efforts to protect ourselves from terrorism. And people wonder why people’s hearts might be hardening towards not just migrants but to genuine refugees?

Ms Bouattia made her name in student politics with a ‘Why is my curriculum white?’ campaign. And it seems nobody ever gave her the simplest answer, which is, ‘I dunno. Maybe for the same reason that if you went to Algeria you might find it somewhat ‘black’.’ Of course it would probably be considered not just rude but racist for someone who found themselves in the unlikely situation of fleeing the UK to go and live in Algeria to start a campaign called ‘Why is my curriculum black?’ But maybe that’s because of the Crusades, or the British Empire or some other tired excuse of the new demagogues.

Anyhow, we have our ‘first black Muslim woman president’ of the NUS and now a grateful nation only has to make its way through the first non-binary President of the NUS, the first non-binary President of Muslim background of the NUS and so on. At any rate, perhaps somewhere around the end of the next century the NUS could get round to electing a vaguely conservative student? Or perhaps that’s the realm of science-fiction.

In any case, yesterday brought another great success story. Naz Shah got a fair amount of sympathy at the last election, primarily because of her story of a forced marriage to a cousin in Pakistan, but also for being insulted on the campaign trail by George Galloway. Now it turns out that the new Member of Parliament for Bradford West is a bit like the old one. Except this one seems even more virulent.

I noticed earlier this year from her appearance on an edition of the BBC’s The Big Questions that although she had suffered some of the harsher corners of Pakistani culture, Ms Shah was no moderate. And then yesterday morning the wholly unsurprising news emerged that she has spent recent years railing against the Jews and the State of Israel on social media. Specifically she seems to approve of a plan toremove all the Jews of the Middle East from Israel. If there is any irony to a Bradford Muslim telling the Jews of the Middle East to ‘go back to where they came from’ then it is clearly lost on Ms Shah.

Of course this is the same Ms Shah who sits on a Parliamentary Group investigating anti-Semitism. She has already issued the pro-forma statement stressing that in the wake of this unfortunate outing of her views she will be ‘seeking to expand my existing engagement and dialogue with Jewish community organisations, and will be stepping up my efforts to combat all forms of racism, including anti-Semitism’. Yes – that’s it! All that’s needed is for Shah to ‘fight’ racism just that little bit harder. Hitherto she just hadn’t been doing it quite enough. All she needs to do now is promise to crush ‘all extremists’ a little bit more and the sunlit uplands will be reached for all of us.

But she hails from a culture and a religion where anti-Semitism is rife. Why would you expect her not to hold some of the rancid views of that culture as well as some of the nicer bits? In any case, her attitudes have now proved so extreme that she has had to resign as John McDonnell’s PPS. Imagine how extreme you have to be to be too extreme for John McDonnell.

I say all this is a success for integration Britain, because every week brings up cases like this and nobody seems remotely willing to reflect on them. While people in senior jobs in public life turn out to be open and essentially unapologetic racists, we pretend that all that’s needed for our country’s future to be secure is to tweak the racism awareness lessons a bit more or make one more big push to ‘smash’ the fascists.

The mistake is far more basic. For decades, successive governments in Britain pretended that if you brought millions of people from other cultures into this country and gave them enough time plus all the provisions of the British state then before long they would be down the pub and failing to attend church like everyone else. For some time now it should have been clear that a great many people who come into our country have no such desire. They – and very often their children – have another set of ideas, a different attitude towards the purpose of life and an alternative view of what constitutes respected ‘authority’.

Nobel Prize-worthy chutzpah: Ruthie Blum

If world-renowned physicist Stephen Hawking finally wins a Nobel Prize, more than four decades after developing his theory of black holes, he will have Israel to thank for it.

Yes, a professor at the Technion, the Israel Institute of Technology, in Haifa claims to have verified Hawking’s hypothesis. In a paper posted on the physics website arXiv.org, Jeff Steinhauer described how he had simulated a black hole in the laboratory and witnessed the process that Hawking’s equations predicted.

As someone who backs the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against the Jewish state, Hawking is probably just as perturbed as he is elated by Steinhauer’s revelation. On the one hand, there are few pleasures in life as sweet as vindication, particularly for a scientist considered ahead of his time. On the other, someone swayed by very unscientific theories presented as facts by anti-Israel activists necessarily would be hard pressed to feel grateful to the very entity he wishes to shun.

And shun is precisely what Hawking did to Israel in 2013, when he reneged on a commitment to attend and be a key speaker at the fifth annual Presidential Conference in Jerusalem. Though his office claimed that ill health was at the root of his cancellation, a few weeks before the event, it subsequently emerged that Palestinian professors had advised Hawking to respect their academic and cultural boycott of Israel by not showing up.

Initially, everyone believed Hawking was unwell. After all, the now 73-year-old with a degenerative motor neuron disease related to ALS (Lou Gehring’s disease) is wheelchair-bound, virtually paralyzed and uses a speech synthesizer for verbal communication. That he is still alive at all, let alone functioning at the level that he does, is miraculous. So the notion that he might have had medical reasons for backing out was both plausible and understandable — until this turned out to be a flimsy excuse for his succumbing to BDS, a very different kind of malady.

Trump Declares Iran Deal a Disaster — but Doesn’t Offer an Alternative By Andrew C. McCarthy

In Wednesday’s foreign-policy speech, Donald Trump accurately described President Obama’s Iran deal, the so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), as “disastrous.” But his understanding of why this is the case is elusive — formed through his deal-maker prism, not by history, ideology, and the American interests he vows to prioritize. His remarks also raised more questions than they answered about his intentions. That means the speech was counterproductive because undermining the Iran deal — which is very much in America’s interests — requires presidential contenders to affect the behavior of the relevant players right now, not a year from now.

Trump pronounced the Iran deal disastrous because

In negotiation, you must be willing to walk. The Iran deal, like so many of our worst agreements, is the result of not being willing to leave the table. When the other side knows you’re not going to walk, it becomes absolutely impossible to win.

That is wrong. The JCPOA debacle is the result of being at the negotiating table in the first place. We gave the store away simply by sitting down, absent any conditions or changes in behavior, with a committed enemy of the United States, the world’s prime state sponsor of terrorism, while it was actively fueling anti-American jihadists, calling for “Death to America,” holding American hostages, threatening the annihilation of Israel, persecuting its own people, and developing nuclear power and ballistic missiles in violation of international law. Just by coming to the table, Obama signaled that he was ripe for the taking. It was never a matter of not knowing when to walk away.

Rutgers Goes Sharia-Compliant Student newspaper destroys every copy of latest edition featuring cartoon of Muhammad. Robert Spencer

The April 5, 2016 issue of The Gleaner, the student paper of Rutgers University–Camden, published a cartoon of Muhammad, Buddha and Jesus in a bar. Its content, however, cannot be known at this point, because at the behest of Muslims on campus, and in a case fraught with implications for the health of the freedom of speech today, the entire issue has been deep-sixed.

Two weeks after the cartoon was published, the April 19 issue of The Gleaner contained a letter from the Muslim Brotherhood campus group, the Muslim Students Association, saying that it found the image offensive and asking The Gleaner to remove the image from the April 5 issue and circulate a new edition of that issue without it. The MSA letter claims that Christians and Jews on campus told MSA members that they, too, found the image offensive.

The MSA letter states: “Even though freedom of speech and press is emphasized and is something all of us value as proud Americans, the University prides itself on diversity of people of different faith and backgrounds so we feel that it is necessary to respect those faiths and backgrounds by honoring their beliefs.”

The April 19 Gleaner also contains a response to the MSA letter, written by Christopher Church, the Editor-in-Chief of The Gleaner. Church apologizes to the MSA and agrees to meet with it “so that we can rectify this issue and ensure that it doesn’t happen again.” He also agrees to remove any copies of the offending April 5 issue from the Gleaner boxes around campus and destroy them.