Who Is Jailing and Torturing Palestinian Journalists? by Bassam Tawil

The Palestinian Authority (PA) sees no need for international intervention to halt its own crackdown on freedom of speech. Nor does it consider the closure of a newspaper office and the detention of journalists as a “war crime.”

The report reveals that Palestinian detainees have been undergoing severe torture while in PA detention. During the past few years, ten people have died in Palestinian prisons. As far as we can see, no one from the European community has taken the slightest notice.

The detention of Khalil is seen in the context of the PA’s continued effort to silence and intimidate Palestinian journalists who dare to criticize the Palestinian leadership and its institutions.

The PA clearly wants a media that reports only against Israel. The only incitement permitted is the one directed there.

Western human rights groups that regularly condemn Israel for its actions against Palestinians have, as usual, failed to respond to this latest assault by the PA on public freedoms. The PA’s crackdown on the media is not going to attract the attention of the mainstream media in the West: the story lacks an anti-Israel angle.

Israel Helps France Fight Terrorists While EU Encourages Boycott of Israel By Karin McQuillan

Did you wonder where the French learned to do the seven-hour commando raid on the Paris apartment where the Islamic terrorists holed up? Answer: Israel. The training was thanks to an American Jewish non-profit called JINSA, The Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, an actual conservative group of Jewish patriots.

JINSA has a Law Enforcement Exchange Program, LEEP, run by Steven Pomerantz, the Former Assistant Director of the FBI. They send high level American law enforcement people to Israel to learn how to fight Islamic terrorists – think the Chief of NYPD and the Head of the Counter Terrorism Department of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department. Police and sheriffs from around our country have changed their counter-terrorism strategy and tactics thanks to cutting edge lessons they learned in Israel. LEEP also brings Israeli counter-terror experts to America to train departments here.

Harvard Plans Divisive Anti-America Conference By E. Jeffrey Ludwig

The Harvard Graduate School of Education 14th Annual Alumni of Color Conference will be held from Thursday, March 3 to Saturday, March 5, 2016 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The conference will be organized around three anti-American themes: Designing a New Blueprint for Democracy; Embracing the Mosaic as Muse; and Building Capacity for Sustainable Engagement. These three themes are defined in almost wholly negative ways. The conference organizers reject the melting pot concept, refuse to explicitly identify with non-violence (Gandhian satyagraha), and do not hesitate to depict the black minority as oppressed and dehumanized (presumably even that elite group that are Harvard alumni of color). The conference’s “search for new strategies” is thus being erected on negative premises, without any expressed love of country or one’s fellow man.

Designing a New Blueprint For Democracy. Guidelines for submissions states the following: “Our steering committee acknowledges that the foundation for democracy in this nation carries a legacy of intentional exclusion, oppression, disenfranchisement, and dehumanization that has disproportionately affected communities of color. The successful future of American democracy requires understanding and analyzing the origins and development of social and political systems designed to prevent persons of color from fully participating in the democratic process.”

Did it not occur to the organizers of this conference that the very existence of the conference with its attack on American democracy as “exclusionary” is a testimony to freedom of speech and inclusionary values? The bitter spirit in the conference’s call for a “new blueprint” sounds like an intense replay of the venom heard in the 1960s from the likes of H. Rap Brown and Stokely Carmichael. In the light of advances in civil rights since the 1950s, it seems to this writer that the black community should be capable of a more balanced view of history. The steering committee should remember that over 300,000 mostly white soldiers died in the Civil War to end slavery. The 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments were passed to assure the right of participation in the political process to African-Americans. All kinds of black run groups have formed since 1865 to promote the advancement of people of color in various venues. Some of those “activists” have been extremely intemperate in their rhetoric, and educated persons of all ethnicities should be wise enough and kind enough to eschew their methods. The Armed Forces was finally desegregated after WWII. Schools throughout the South were desegregated, and the SATs were established to discover minority talent that might otherwise be hidden from view. Affirmative Action laws which increased black educational and employment opportunities came into effect, and are still in effect.

Thought Terminated: Kafka at Kansas University By Daren Jonescu

A Kansas University professor who used the n-word during a class discussion about race is on leave while the university investigates a discrimination complaint against her.

Thus begins an article about one Andrea Quenette, a thirty-three year-old assistant professor of communications, whose career has just been permanently blemished, if not ended, because a small group of KU graduate students decided to “expose” her use of language they allegedly found personally offensive.

The outrage occurred during a November 12 graduate class discussion of the relation between black undergraduate retention rates and systemic racism. Addressing the issue of systemic racism at KU, Quenette noted that although “I don’t experience racial discrimination so it’s hard for me to understand the challenges that other people face,” she nevertheless had to admit that “I haven’t seen those things happen, I haven’t seen that word spray-painted on our campus, I haven’t seen students physically assaulted.”

According to all concerned, no student objected openly to her politically incorrect language violation at the time. After class, however, the students (plus another graduate student who was not in the class) signed a letter calling for Quenette’s termination. I assume they are asking only for the termination of her employment, though I sincerely doubt any of them would hesitate to demand the termination of a professor’s life, if they thought such a demand would stand up in the kangaroo court of academic review. (Give it a few years, kids; we’ll get there yet.)

CAIR’s Identity Problem by Pete Hoekstra

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) styles itself as America’s largest Muslim civil rights advocacy group. Its executive director, Nihad Awad, recently took advantage of a reporter’s inflammatory article on a likely miscommunication with a presidential candidate to tweet to his English audience, “Exactly what #ISIS wants: #DonaldTrump’s recent call to force American Muslims to carry special ID.”

Moments later, Awad more directly reflected CAIR’s real status as a front for the radical Islamist Muslim Brotherhood when in Arabic he expanded upon those comments to compare the U.S. to Nazi Germany. The IPT translated the comments:

“It actually happened. The Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is calling for forcing American Muslims to carry ID’s classifying them on the basis of their religion. Exactly like Hitler did.”

Why The Iran Deal? By Herbert London

With even Obama supporters now questioning the deal with Iran, with the revelation Iranian leaders made a side deal with the IAEA, with recognition that al Qaeda has a sanctuary in Iran, with the U.S. excluded from the inspection team, with leaders in Iran shouting “death to America” and with the Supreme Leader indicating that Israel must be “annihilated,” why does President Obama insist on this arrangement?

From a perspective that is coming into focus, President Obama and his colleagues see themselves as the Sykes and Picoh of the Middle East. That is to say, like members of the British and French foreign offices in 1916 who drew lines in the sand creating states out of the dismembered Ottoman Empire, President Obama regards the nuclear deal with Iran as a way to redraft Middle East geography and, simultaneously, have the U.S. withdraw from the region.

If Iran is in possession of nuclear weapons – a pathway created through the “deal” – it becomes the regional “strong horse,” a condition that justifies U.S. withdrawal. While there is the recognition Sunni nations will object to this hegemonic status for Iran, the Obama team contends that Iran will be a more reliable (Obama used the word “responsible”) partner in stabilizing the Middle East than Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Jordan. That is a strategic calculation that many regard as misguided. Why would you put Iran, the major state sponsor of terrorism, in a position to stabilize a region it has helped to destabilize? This is the question that many, including Democratic officials, are asking.

Pete Mulherin Please, Waleed, Clichés Won’t Suffice See note please

This should be delivered to our president and to Hillary Clinton….rsk
ISIS says Islam is one thing and you insist it is nothing of the kind. Unless you are prepared to address, explain and specifically refute the Koran’s endorsements of murder, rape, intolerance and conquest, I’ll remain confused. Absent that, your latest sermon is an empty polemic, clarifying nothing.

Dear Waleed,
Anti-Muslim sentiment is growing in Australia, evidenced by the United Patriotic Front’s countrywide marches at the weekend. We learnt on this week’s Four Corners that de-radicalisation programs haven’t been very successful in Australia to date. Meanwhile, the other night, Waleed, you caused a sensation with your impassioned call for unity in the wake of the latest Paris terror attacks. But while I share your moral outrage I can’t help feeling that you’re not really helping the situation.

I’m sure you’d agree that truth is the aim of serious discussion, but on a sensitive topic like the role of Islam in terrorism it’s very hard to come by. I’m no expert on Islam; but that’s just the point. I’m typical of Australians who are confused by extremist positions on all sides and trying to make sense of where the truth lies. Extremists, by definition, don’t suffer those who disagree with them, they’re intolerant of anyone who doesn’t subscribe to their narrow view. And on that definition, I think you, too, are an extremist Waleed.

There are three vocal and extreme positions in this debate: the Islamic State, with its literal reading of the Koran and Prophet’s life; anti-Muslim groups such as the United Patriotic Front; and non-violent Muslim apologists like yourself. Common to all three is a narrow interpretation of Islam and intolerance for those who question their views.

Geoffrey Luck The Silver-Tongued Scourge of ISIS

As if the head-loppers did not have enough to worry about, what with rumours of a virgin shortage in Paradise and financial anxieties arising from missed Centerlink appointments. Now our PM has blitzed the Beard Brigade with a Dispatch Box barrage of his best, mostly borrowed cliches.
Our freshly-minted prime minister, Mr Ozemail, has appointed General Waleed Aly of Monash University, Channel 10 and the ABC, as his national security adviser. The appointment was announced to the cheers of the House of Representatives today, as the politicians re-lived the spine-shivery thrills of excitement they experienced on the hundred millionth replay of Aly’s national security address to the nation last week.

Aly, it will be remembered, broke the news that Islamic State is weak. He described ISIL as “The mouse that roars.” Listen:

There is a reason ISIL still want to appear to powerful, why they don’t want to acknowledge that the land they control has been taken from weak enemies…ISIL don’t want you to know they would quickly be crushed if they ever face d a proper Army on a battlefield.

They want you to fear them. They want you to get angry. They want all of us to become hostile.

These powerful insights had not gone unnoticed by Mr Ozemail, although busy flitting from city to city with leadership peers on international business. So it may well be that he called for Waleed to churn out the script for his first national security statement to Parliament. And this is what he read out:

The Lessons of Paris and 9/11 Unlearned Surveillance is not just about making arrests, but knowing where the next threat might come from By Jason L. Riley

The timing could have been worse, but not by much. Exactly one month before the Nov. 13 attacks in Paris, a federal appeals court reopened a discrimination lawsuit filed against New York City over a counterterrorism program begun in the wake of 9/11.

The 2001 World Trade Center attack was the second time the buildings had been hit in eight years—a car bomb was detonated underneath the complex in 1993, killing six and injuring more than 1,000. Follow-up plots to bomb the George Washington Bridge, the United Nations and the FBI’s New York office were thwarted by an informant who had infiltrated the terrorists. But after 9/11, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly stepped up the city’s offense against Islamic extremists bent on killing innocent Americans.

Among other things, the New York Police Department developed a Counterterrorism Bureau that collaborated with law-enforcement agencies throughout the U.S. and around the world. Most of the conspirators in the 1993 and 2001 attacks came from places like Egypt, Lebanon, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. They settled in Arabic-speaking neighborhoods in New York City and New Jersey, where some were radicalized in mosques and through Islamic organizations. The NYPD has long used confidential informants to infiltrate the mafia, gangs and drug rings, and it determined that an effective way to stop future terror attacks would be to employ the same tactics. Thus a so-called Demographics Unit was created in 2003 to identify specific “venues of radicalization” and “locations of concern” and provide early warning of any terrorist activity.

Thanksgiving With a Side of Public Distrust Americans may be thankful at home but are unhappier than ever with Washington. By William A. Galston

On the eve of Thanksgiving, Americans are not in a particularly thankful mood. That’s the conclusion I draw from the latest Pew Research center study of our attitude toward government.

Trust in government is near historic lows. Yet our expectations from government are very high. Diminished trust and elevated hope yield the dominant sentiment of this presidential election year—not anger, but rather profound frustration.

The research I’ve just summarized applies to both political parties. It isn’t exactly news that Democrats see a major role for government in most areas. But so do majorities of Republicans in 10 of the 13 areas covered in Pew’s study. Nor is it news that 57% of Republicans are frustrated with government. But so are 59% of Democrats.

Americans are critical of their elected officials. Only 23% say that our leaders care what people like me think; only 22% see these officials as putting the country’s interests ahead of their own; only 19% think that they try hard to stay in touch with the voters. Overall, Americans regard their elected officials as intelligent but selfish and dishonest.