The Paris Peace Charade John Kerry’s last diplomatic exertions go nowhere.

Diplomats from some 70 countries gathered in Paris over the weekend to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and once more depict Israeli settlements as a grave violation of international law. The conference was a failure, but the conferees could have helped themselves by first checking what French courts have to say about those settlements before scoring Israel again.

In 2013 the French Court of Appeals in Versailles ruled that, contrary to Palestinian arguments, Jewish settlements don’t violate the Geneva Conventions’ prohibition against an occupying power transferring “its civilian population into the territory it occupies.” The law, the court held, bars government efforts to transfer populations. But it doesn’t bar private individuals settling in the disputed territories.

The case arose after Palestinian groups sued the French industrial conglomerate Alstom over its role in the construction of a light-rail line in Jerusalem. The Palestinians lost in the court of first instance, and the Versailles court upheld the lower court’s judgment. The case didn’t go further.

That matters because the Paris conference adopted the premise that settlements are illegal as a matter of settled law and the primary obstacle to peace. The French court makes a nonsense of that judgment simply by looking at what the Geneva Conventions say, rather than basing its judgment on a legally meaningless “international consensus.”

As with so many of the Obama Administration’s Middle East peace efforts, the Paris conference makes untenable territorial demands on Israel and gives Palestinians the hope that they can achieve their aims without making compromises. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dismissed the conference as “useless,” while the U.K. refused to accept its closing declaration calling for a final-status agreement that would “fully end the occupation that began in 1967.”

The reality is that Israel will never return to those borders, and no Palestinian state is going to come into existence so long as it is run by kleptocrats in the West Bank and jihadists in Gaza. The next time a similar conference is organized, it would do better to address Palestinian capacity for responsible self-government rather than offer legally dubious claims against Israeli settlements.

Tom Price’s Trading Days His investments are an argument for index funds, not a case of scandal.

Democratic opposition to Donald Trump and his cabinet nominees is consistently shrill, but the inability—or unwillingness—to make distinctions may backfire. Not everything deserves emergency footing, and eventually people tune out. Witness the meltdown over Tom Price’s investment portfolio.

The Georgia Republican and orthopedic surgeon is on deck to lead the Health and Human Services Department, and at Wednesday’s Senate hearing and in the Democratic trade press he stands accused of abusing his office for personal profit. Mr. Price’s net worth includes about $300,000 of stock in health-care-related companies, and over the years he’s sponsored legislation, sent letters or otherwise taken policy positions that reporters are now flyspecking for evidence of insider trading.

To take the latest non-bombshell at face value, Mr. Price took a position in 2015 in a company called Zimmer Biomet that makes hip, knee and other replacements. The same year, HHS proposed changing how Medicare pays for such devices. In a letter Mr. Price cosigned, he warned that the new system “could have a negative impact on patient choice, access and quality,” and he asked HHS to delay the project. In 2016 he cosponsored legislation to do so.

According to the daisy-chain allegations, the HHS proposal would reduce reimbursements for joint replacements, and therefore harm Zimmer Biomet’s profits, and therefore Mr. Price intervened. But the rule went forward in 2016 despite Mr. Price’s criticism, and he has been consistent as someone with health-care expertise in scrutinizing all HHS regulations he believes undermine patient care.

About 5,000 bills are introduced in every Congress and far more “dear colleague” letters are posted. This background noise is rarely market-moving, and Members of Congress are not prohibited from trading. Politicians aren’t insiders in the classic definition, meaning they don’t work for companies and owe a fiduciary duty to shareholders. Many Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee, such as Tom Carper and Mark Warner, also hold health-care shares.

In any case, the Zimmer Biomet purchase was made by Mr. Price’s Morgan Stanley broker and became known to him only for financial-disclosure compliance. The broker bought 26 shares whose total value has risen by about $300 in the months since. If Mr. Price really is self-dealing, he’s doing a lousy job.

The larger question is whether politicians, or any nonprofessional investor for that matter, should hold individual securities. As a matter of financial literacy, most small investors should opt for index funds, eliminating the familiar day-trading peril of buying high and selling low, with low transaction costs to boot.

The political danger is the appearance of conflicts of interest, which is why Members would be wise to not actively trade, whatever the law allows. Chief Justice John Roberts recently had to recuse himself from a patent case because he discovered after oral argument that the petitioner was a subsidiary of a company whose stock he owned, which means the outcome could flip in favor of the Supreme Court’s judicial liberals. Why public officials think they can beat the markets is a mystery, even if such trades don’t interfere with or compromise their public duties.

If Democrats were praising index funds and divesting their own portfolios, they’d be more credible critics. Inflating Mr. Price’s boring investments into scandals guarantees that when something does merit outrage, fewer people will believe it.

“Statistical Evidence Not Required” The conclusions of the Justice Department’s damning report on the Chicago Police Department were probably foreordained. Heather Mac Donald

The most important statement in the Justice Department’s damning report on the Chicago Police Department has nothing to do with police behavior. Released on Friday, the report found the Chicago police guilty of a “pattern or practice” of unconstitutional force. But it turns out that the Justice Department has no standard for what constitutes a “pattern or practice” (the phrase comes from a 1994 federal statute) of unconstitutional police conduct. “Statistical evidence is not required” for a “pattern or practice” finding, the DOJ lawyers announce, citing unrelated court precedent. Nor is there “a specific number of incidents” required to constitute a “pattern or practice,” they proclaim.

Having cleared themselves of any obligation to provide “a specific number of [unconstitutional] incidents” or a statistical benchmark for evaluating them, the DOJ attorneys proceed to ignore any further obligation of transparency. The reader never learns how many incidents of allegedly unconstitutional behavior the Justice Department found, nor how those incidents compare with the universe of police-civilian contacts conducted by the Chicago Police Department. No clue is provided regarding why the DOJ lawyers concluded that the alleged abuses reached the mysterious threshold for constituting a pattern or practice. Instead, the report uses waffle words like “several,” “often,” or “many” as a substitute for actual quantification. This vacuum of information hasn’t stopped the mainstream media from trumpeting the report as yet another exposé of abusive, racist policing. EXCESSIVE FORCE IS RIFE IN CHICAGO, U.S. REVIEW FINDs, read the headline on the New York Times’s front-page story, which went on to note that the excessive force was “chiefly aimed at African-Americans and Latinos.”

The report does disclose that the DOJ attorneys reviewed 425 incidents of less-than-lethal force between January 2011 and April 2016. But what proportion of total force incidents those 425 events represent or how many of those 425 incidents the federal lawyers found unconstitutional isn’t revealed. As to how many stops and arrests were made over that same time period that didn’t involve the use of force, the reader can only guess.

We also learn that the federal civil rights team identified 203 officer-involved shootings between January 1, 2011, and March 21, 2016. How many of those were bad shootings? Fifteen? One hundred? The reader is left in the dark. The massive New York Police Department averaged 48 shootings a year from 2005 to 2015. The per-capita rate of officer shootings in the NYPD is therefore much lower than in the Chicago Police Department, which is about a third the size. But Chicago’s crime rate is much higher than New York’s; CPD officers confront many more armed and resisting suspects. It would have been useful to know how the ratio of officer-involved shootings to criminal shootings in Chicago compares to other cities. We don’t even learn how many of those 203 officer-involved shootings in Chicago were lethal.

The absence of any quantified evidence for DOJ’s judgment of systemic abuse is all the more significant, since it was only yesterday that Chicago law enforcement was the darling of the left-wing academic establishment. In 2010, the New York City Bar Association held a forum on the New York Police Department, during which Columbia University law professor Jeffrey Fagan and Yale University law professor Tracey Meares both touted the Chicago department as a model that the big, bad NYPD should emulate. (I participated on that bar panel as well.) Meares and her Yale colleague Tom Tyler have used the Chicago Police Department as a laboratory for their concept of “procedural justice and legitimacy.” The Obama administration’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing incorporated the procedural justice idea from Chicago into its May 2015 report; the Justice Department distributes the Chicago procedural justice curriculum to other departments, according to Time magazine. John Jay College of Criminal Justice professor David Kennedy worked with Chicago on his theory of violence reduction. Garry McCarthy, who was superintendent of the Chicago Police Department during the period covered by the DOJ’s report, presented himself as a “reform” commander focused on community relations, and he was received as such by academia and the media. The Chicago PD’s extensive collaboration with academic researchers was the hot topic during a November 2015 conference of the American Society of Criminology, reports Time.

The Real Situation of Arab Citizens of Israel By Robert Cherry

The liberal press has two staples in its coverage of Israeli politics. It consistently stresses that the major obstacle to settling the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the behavior of anti-Arab right-wing politicians, led by Naftali Bennett, who promote more Jewish settlements in the West Bank. We are also told incessantly that Jewish anti-Arab attitudes, nourished by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s rhetoric, threaten the civil rights of and the opportunities available to Israel’s Arab citizens. Sprinkle in stories about the pending government destruction of Bedouin towns and its mistreatment of African refugees, and it is no wonder that many college students now consider Israel among the most racist countries in the world. U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s announcement of his proposed ambassador to Israel has only further intensified criticism.

What has been happening to the Israeli Arab population defies these demonizing narratives. In the past decade, the Netanyahu government has initiated efforts that have dramatically improved the occupational and educational attainment of its Arab citizens. Today, Israeli Arabs comprise 21 percent of the Israeli population and 23 percent of Israeli doctors. More generally, Arabs comprise 16 percent of first-year students in higher education, compared to 8 percent a decade earlier.

Between 2005 and 2011, inflation-adjusted Arab net family income increased by 7.4 percent. As a result, the share of Arab families that were “very satisfied” with their economic conditions rose from 40 percent in 2004-2005 to 60 percent in 2010-2011. Indeed, recent surveys show Arab families have virtually the same level of satisfaction with their lives as Jewish families.

These gains have made integration into Israeli society a realistic goal for many within the Arab populace. Three-quarters of Israeli Arabs consider “Israeli” a part of their identity. They demand that their elected officials — the Joint List — pursue reforms that better their lives rather than those that promote solidarity with Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. As a result, 73 percent disagreed with the decision of the Joint List not to attend the funeral of Shimon Peres.

In general, the leader of the Joint List, Ayman Odeh, has followed the desires of the Israeli Arab populace. Working together with Sikkuy in December 2015, the Israeli government passed Bill 922. The legislation aimed to correct the longstanding inequities of government funding by allocating an unprecedented sum for Arab communities. For example, it dedicated to Arab towns 40 percent of the transportation budget for the next few years, particularly in Bedouin areas. At the same time, under the direction of Merchavim, the Education Ministry’s goal of increasing by 500 the number of Arab teachers in Jewish schools whose subject of instruction is not language is moving forward. In the labor market, the number of Arabs in high-tech fields continues to grow. Arabs now comprise 28 percent of students at Technion University and more than 4,000 are employed in the high-tech industry compared to less than 400 eight years ago.

These advances are occurring because of the active role of members of the Netanyahu coalition, particularly those in Shas and Likud. Probably one of the most important backers of these advances has been Bennett. When he became director of the Education Ministry, many government critics feared that he would suspend the efforts to expand the number of Arab teachers of non-Arab-language subjects in the Jewish school system. Instead, he readily gave supplemental funding when Merchavim pointed to the need to support retention efforts. This fall, the increased number reached 300, so that for the first time, a majority of Arab teachers in Jewish schools taught subjects other than Arabic. When Merchavim communicated this to Bennett, he became emotional, his eyes tearing up. And a recent study found that these Arab teachers reduced dramatically the anti-Arab attitudes among Jewish students.

At Israel’s MIT, education, not affirmative action, triples Arab enrollment

Technion offers hopefuls a 10-month ‘boot camp’ in math, physics, English and Hebrew, funded by Jewish philanthropy.Israel’s top technological university has seen the size of its Arab student body triple over the last decade. This growth spurt, according to the president of the Technion, has nothing to do with affirmative action — which is nonexistent at the university — and everything to do with closing educational gaps.

While Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics said Arabs made up 20.7 percent of Israel’s 8.412 million citizens in 2015, Haaretz newspaper cites the Council for Higher Education as saying that the ratio of Arab students in higher education has only grown modestly over the past five years — from 9.3% to 13.2%.

The great exception to this is the Technion — Israel Institute of Technology, the highly regarded university sometimes referred to as “the MIT of Israel,” where currently 20% of students are Arab.

Prof. Peretz Lavie, the president of the Technion, told The Times of Israel that his university’s achievement is the result of a rigorous program preparing students to meet admissions requirements before they apply. It is, he said, also a total rejection of affirmative action, a policy that usually provides eased admission standards for historically disadvantaged populations.

Twelve years ago, when just 7% of students in the Technion were Arab, the university began its NAM program, a Hebrew acronym that translates roughly as Outstanding Arab Youth. The program, which is paid for by Jewish philanthropy, begins with an all-expenses-paid 10-month “boot camp” in mathematics, physics, English and Hebrew.

Israeli business man and philanthropist Eitan Wertheimer is the founder and primary supporter of the program, which to date has seen 300 participants.

Participants in the program receive full funding for tuition fees, a living stipend of NIS 800 ($210) a month and a free laptop. Spared of a financial burden, the students can focus on their studies.

Trump’s DOE Pick Vows To ‘End Global Warming Scam’ by Baxter Emitry

Man-made global warming is a hoax created by the elite to make money and damage the U.S. economy, according to President-elect Donald Trump – and his picks for prominent roles in the administration prove he is serious about “ending the scam.”

Trump met with Dr. Will Happer, an outspoken climate change skeptic, on Friday in New York and sources in Washington report the prominent Princeton University professor is joining the administration.

In 2015 Dr. Happer declared UN “policies to slow CO2 emissions are really based on nonsense. We are being led down a false path. To call carbon dioxide a pollutant is really Orwellian. You are calling something a pollutant that we all produce. Where does that lead us eventually?“

Dr. Happer, who specialises in the study of atomic physics, optics and spectroscopy, also blasted mainstream media pundits for distorting facts and misleading the public, declaring himself “outraged by distortions of CO2 & climate intoned by hapless, scientifically-illiterate newscasters.”

Trump is building a team of climate change skeptics, suggesting we are about to experience an abrupt change in policy. In November,Trump selected Scott Pruitt, the Oklahoma attorney general, to run the Environmental Protection Agency, signaling his determination to dismantle President Obama’s legislation on climate change.

“Obama thinks it’s the number one problem in the world today. I think it’s very low on the list,” Trump said on the Hugh Hewitt show, indicating a major shift in U.S. policy.

Trump continued: “You know in the 1920s people talked about global cooling, they thought the earth was cooling. I believe there is weather and I believe there is change and I believe it goes up and it goes down and it goes up again and it changes depending on years and centuries.”

Pointing out that U.S. manufacturing and the economy as a whole has suffered since climate change rules were introduced by global organizations – making everybody poorer, except the elites who profit from the fearmongering – Trump has promised to make America competitive again.

Trump’s anti-establishment views on climate change have come under sustained attack by the mainstream, but Dr. Happer has the president-elect’s back, criticizing the sheeplike groupthink of the majority and the attempt to limit freedom of speech and scientific endeavor.

California Olive-Oil Fraud Funds the BDS and Hamas: Lee Kaplan

Olive oil is not only a food product but a commodity that is extremely valuable. BDS leader and ISM activist Paul Larudee, who has laundered and transferred funds through a fake business called Arlington Market, has also been involved for several years in selling fake “pure Palestinian extra-virgin olive oil” he bottles here in America. The bottling is done by hand, by as many ISM activists Larudee can sucker to work for free for him to do so. He arranges “olive oil bottling parties” where he gets BDS and ISM activists (other Israel haters) to work for free bottling the olive oil that he sells at street fairs and especially on the Internet to benefit “Palestine.” Larudee’s makes a fine living by selling fake olive oil he claims is the product of “poor Palestinian farmers.” Over the years, he has also developed this lucrative business to raise money to also fund Hamas and the BDS movement.

Olive oil fraud is such a good business that even the Mafia has been involved in production and exploitation. Some trade experts have stated that more money can be made selling olive oil fraudulently than can be made with drugs. Thus, it comes as no surprise that Larudee, who should have been jailed years ago for aiding and supporting terrorist groups such as Hamas, continues to operate his olive oil scam in blatant violations of U.S. laws. What’s also distressing is that U.S. law enforcement, from the FBI to the FDA has been feckless in doing something about it.

The Israeli government controls exports of agricultural products from the Palestinian Authority (West Bank and Gaza) due to threats of terrorism by poisoning. Palestinian terror leaders have tried on more than one occasion to poison the Israeli water supply, so the Israelis take this seriously.

Despite Laurdee’s advertised claims that the olive oil he sells is made by poor impoverished Palestinian farmers merely trying to eke out a living, the olive oil that Larudee and company have been hand-bottling in the US is not what he says it is. Israel until recently, in fact, did not allow the exportation of raw olives or olive paste from the Palestinian Authority’s controlled territories for security reasons. This does not stop Larudee from falsely advertising and labeling his bottles as containing “cold pressed pure extra virgin olive oil” from “Palestine.”

Not moderate; not radical: simply Islam Victor Sharpe image By Victor Sharpe

I remember several years ago reading the words of the late and much missed Dr. Conor Cruise O’Brien. The good doctor was referring to the erroneous belief that there is such a thing as moderate Islam set against radical Islam.

This eminent statesman known as “the Cruiser” was one of the most remarkable scholars, historians, authors, intellectuals and politicians that modern Ireland ever produced.

O’Brien who was born in Dublin in 1917 and who died in 2008, declared that for the past two centuries Islam has been dominated by the “House of War” (dar al-Islam) which calls for unremitting warfare against all non-Muslims.

He pointed out that it is intolerable to Muslims that Islam is not ascendant enough and that the remedy is jihad, not the struggle for inner peace that Muslim apologists falsely claim, but rather the violent struggle against non-believers which is a religious obligation imposed by Mohammad upon all Muslims.
“Islam is an ideology wrapped in a religion”

O’Brien’s view publicized in Britain’s liberal newspaper, the Independent, some twenty one years ago was not well received then, just as liberals and the ossified but vicious Left today still refuse to accept its reality. His words would certainly be derided by the apologist for Islam in chief; the man who infested the Oval Office of the White House during his last eight baleful years.

Dr. O’Brien was adamant that it was dangerous to talk about radical Islam for it falsely implied that there is some other kind of Islam; one which is well disposed and tolerant to non-Muslims. He baldly stated that there is no other kind and that Islam is “universalist, triumphant and highly political.”

Winston Churchill himself much earlier had written that, “Islam is an ideology wrapped in a religion.”

Want more proof? This from the words of the increasingly Islamist and dictatorial leader of Turkey, Tayip Recip Erdogan? Here is what he said as far back as 2009 when interviewed on Kanal TV’s Arena program about suggesting that there is both radical and/or moderate Islam.

“˜These descriptions are very ugly, it is offensive and an insult to our religion. There is no moderate or immoderate Islam. Islam is Islam and that’s it.”

Islam does not mean peace; it means submission – not to the will of the people as in a democracy – but to the will of Allah.


Yea, we must surely be at the End of Days, when improbable amities and alliances will blossom hither and yon, as they have been doing these past two months in Washington. Consider the portents:

After decades of making excuses for Moscow, the Western left now presents the Kremlin as the greatest threat to all mankind.
After decades of denouncing the imperialist machinations of the CIA, the spy agency is now the go-to source of geopolitical wisdom and must be trusted absolutely by all intelligent people everywhere.

Oscar Lopez-Rivera Doesn’t Deserve a Pardon The Puerto Rican terrorist has shown no remorse for his many crimes. He should be forced to serve his full sentence. By Ronald Kolb

Editor’s Note: After the publication of this article, the White House announced on Tuesday that Oscar Lopez-Rivera’s sentence would be commuted.

As Barack Obama begins the last week of his presidency, speculation about potential candidates for an eleventh-hour presidential pardon has inevitably heated up. And one name that has been bandied about should send a particularly unpleasant chill down the spines of law-abiding Americans everywhere: Oscar Lopez-Rivera.

Lopez-Rivera has been in federal prison since 1981, after he was convicted of seditious conspiracy and arms trafficking in connection with his leadership of the FALN, the notorious left-wing terrorist group that perpetrated more than 130 attacks on U.S. soil from the mid 1970s through the mid 1980s, killing six and wounding many more. Most members of the FALN, which purported to fight for Puerto Rican independence but maintained deep ties to Fidel Castro’s Cuba, were long ago captured and imprisoned, and many of them have already served their time and been released. But Lopez-Rivera remains unrepentant about his crimes, and he’s hardly been a model prisoner: In one of two failed attempts to escape, he conspired with others inside and outside his prison to kill his way to freedom, attempting to procure grenades, rifles, plastic explosives, bulletproof vests, blasting caps, and armor-piercing bullets. After the FBI thwarted this plan, another 15 years was added to Lopez’s original 55-year sentence.

Then, in 1999, President Bill Clinton stunned the world by offering clemency to twelve FALN members, including Lopez, without notifying the families of the FALN’s victims beforehand. Eric Holder, at the time a deputy attorney general in Clinton’s Justice Department, had been trying to free the imprisoned radicals for two years. When then-first lady Hillary Clinton’s staff thought freeing the terrorists might help her pick up the significant Puerto Rican voting bloc in her N.Y. Senate race, they reached out to Holder for an assist. Holder came up with a statement the terrorists would have to sign expressing remorse for their actions, Mrs. Clinton met with an advocate for the group who passed along documents to assist with the clemency, she gave the documents to her husband, and just two days later President Clinton made the surprise announcement.

The plan quickly began to implode when both branches of Congress overwhelmingly condemned it and the administration failed to get all twelve terrorists to agree to its conditions. As a 30-day deadline to accept the offer approached, eleven of the twelve prisoners signed on, walking free as a stunned nation watched. Lopez-Rivera was the only prisoner to decline the administration’s offer.