Intersectionality, the BDS Scam and Imperial Japan The lethal fairy tale of all “victimized” groups being interrelated. Kenneth Levin

With the coming start of another academic year, American college and university campuses will undoubtedly witness once more the screaming anti-Israel onslaught of the Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS) crowd. As before, it will be led by the largely Muslim ranks of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and continue their campaign seeking – as founders of both SJP and the BDS movement have explicitly acknowledged – the annihilation of the Jewish state.

And, as in recent years, SJP and others in the forefront of the BDS movement will seek to win support by invoking their particular version of “intersectionality.” The term refers to the concept that all victimized groups and identities are interrelated and face shared challenges. In the BDS version, members of all such groups and bearers of all such identities ought to join together and, in particular, rally to the Palestinian cause as the world’s paradigmatic example of victimization. They ought to work with their BDS brethren for the world-repairing fix of Israel’s destruction.

The BDS intersectionality ploy has, in fact, fallen on fertile ground in the current campus milieu. Campus groups ranging from feminist circles and LGBT advocates to ethnic and racial minorities – some African-American bodies, Asian-American associations, Hispanic organizations, Native American societies and others – have fallen in line behind the BDS pipers.

Many others have pointed out obvious absurdities in this phenomenon: feminist groups supporting a cause whose chief adherents, both within Palestinian society and in the broader Arab and Muslim worlds, are overwhelmingly abusive of women, subjecting them to enforced subservience and widespread physical, not infrequently murderous, assault; LGBT advocates embracing those who uniformly mete out the most horrific treatment to LGBT individuals in their midst.

But the incongruence also extends to ethnic and racial minority groups that sign onto the BDS version of intersectionality. The supposed reasoning behind BDS outreach to these groups, and the latter’s responsiveness, is the claim of shared victimization by Western imperialism and white supremacism. But in the context of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, this formulation sets reality on its head.

In fact, it was the Palestinians who were the benefactors of Western colonialism. In the post-World War I break-up of German, Russian, Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman empires and creation of new states on former imperial lands, the League of Nations gave Britain a mandate for creation of a Jewish National Home on a small part of former Ottoman lands. Yet Britain, pursuing what it saw as its own colonial interests, worked to subvert its Mandate responsibilities to the Jews and advance Arab interests, not least because it believed the Arabs would be more accommodating of British colonial policy. Thus, it fostered widescale Arab immigration into Mandate territory while repeatedly blocking Jewish access. In the course of doing so, and seeking to prevent Israel’s creation, it betrayed its commitments vis-a-vis both the League of Nations and, subsequently, the United Nations charter.

But the Big Lie at the heart of the BDS version of intersectionality and the BDS appeal for support from ethnic and racial minorities on American campuses goes beyond the history of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. It is a lie that can perhaps best be elucidated by analogy to a ploy adopted by Imperial Japan before and during World War II.

As it conquered huge swaths of territory from Manchuria in the north, down the eastern coastal regions of China, and then across southeast Asia, the East Indies, the Philippines, and elsewhere, Japan developed and promoted the concept of a “Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere.” That is, it sought to cast its conquests as liberating lands from Western colonial powers and opening the way for a new, shared prosperity. Japan did indeed replace Western powers – particularly Britain, France and the Netherlands – in some of the territories it conquered. But, as in, for example, myriad atrocities against local populations from Nanking in China to the Philippines, Japanese forces brought not “co-prosperity” but a cruel new imperialism.

The BDS version of “intersectionality” is a variation on Japan’s “co-prosperity sphere,” a ploy hiding another flavor of supremacism and imperialism.

M. A. Casey Living in Truth in Democracy A Tribute to Václav Havel

The most essential principle for living in truth in a democracy: first and foremost, the obligation to speak the truth and not adapt ourselves to falsehoods. This is precisely where the power of the powerless lies or, as Vaclav Havel put it, “the moral life starts at the moment we refuse to lie”.

“The Power of the Powerless” was a long essay written by Václav Havel in the summer of 1978 that began circulating in samizdat in 1979. It is justly famous for the influence it had in the decade leading up to the revolutions of 1989. Its central idea was “living in truth”, and it proved to be immensely powerful. The assessment of the Economist, in its obituary for Havel in 2011, was that “no single phrase did more to inspire those trying to subvert and overthrow the communist empire in Europe”[1].

The first words of Havel’s manifesto mocked another famous phrase, the first words of The Communist Manifesto (“A spectre is haunting Europe—the spectre of communism”). His appeal “to live in the truth” helped to vanquish this spectre in Europe. Perhaps it can help to vanquish some of the spectres that haunt our own times. Whether this is a possibility that is open to us depends on what it means to live in truth in democracy. Considering this question can also shed another light on the public character of religion in liberal democracy, as what should be one of the pre-eminent means of living in the truth.

The origins of “The Power of the Powerless”

Havel made his appeal in very different conditions from our own. He wrote “The Power of the Powerless” at his summer home in Hrádeček (two hours north-east of Prague) under conditions of intensifying police harassment. Police stationed conspicuously on the road leading to his house stopped all visitors, sometimes fined them and confiscated their licences, and warned them that they entered “at their own risk”. Policemen accompanied Havel “wherever he went, shopping in town or walking his dog” and even into the sauna. By the end of the year they had built an observation tower across the road from his house and were sabotaging the heating and plumbing[2]. As his biographer Michael Zantovsky observes, Havel “fared better than other activists at this time”, who were subjected to “bullying, beatings, blackmail intended to make them leave the country, kidnappings [and] illegal house raids and searches”[3]; but by the end of May the following year he would be back in jail.

Havel’s first stint in jail was at the beginning of 1977. He was arrested as one of the spokesmen for Charter 77, which issued a short document calling on the government of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic to abide by its obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, to which it had acceded in 1976 under the Helsinki Accords. Shortly after Charter 77’s declaration was published in the West the communist leadership condemned the declaration as “an anti-state, counter-revolutionary document” and its signatories as “adversaries of socialism”. A ferocious public campaign was generated against Charter 77 and anyone suspected of being involved with it. In schools and workplaces around the country, people were required to attend meetings “where their task was to outdo one another in condemning the Charter and expressing their moral disgust with its signatories”. At the end of January hundreds of actors, musicians and artists attended a televised meeting to sign a declaration condemning “renegades and traitors”. Thousands “signed this and similar declarations at a number of public meetings convened in theatres, publishing houses, universities, scientific institutes and other places suspected of harbouring intellectuals”, although some resisted the intimidation and pressure to do so[4]. As Havel noted in “The Power of the Powerless”, the government collected “millions of signatures” in its “campaign to compel the entire nation to declare that Charter 77 was wrong”, which in itself proved the truth of the claims Charter 77 made[5].

House searches and interrogations of those suspected of being involved with Charter 77 accompanied this campaign. Another of Charter 77’s spokesmen, the philosopher Jan Patočka, was called in for interrogation nearly every day from early January 1977. After an interrogation on March 4 lasting eleven hours he was admitted to hospital with chest pains and died a week later. Police then disrupted his funeral[6]. Havel remained in detention until May 20. He was subjected to intense psychological pressure to repudiate Charter 77 and to resign as a spokesman. The experience left him feeling deeply compromised and humiliated, which seems to be precisely what the secret police intended in his case[7].

Following a trial in October, three other Charter 77 signatories were imprisoned while Havel was given a suspended sentence. This was probably also intended to discredit Havel and to deepen recriminations and division among Charter 77 supporters[8]. These efforts were not successful. Havel continued his work with others against the regime, signing petitions and open letters and taking part in the establishment of the Committee for the Defence of the Unjustly Persecuted (VONS) in April 1978. In August and September he attended illegal meetings with the Polish Workers’ Defence Committee (KOR) in the Krkonoše mountains on the border between Poland and Czechoslovakia[9]. By the end of October he had completed “The Power of the Powerless”.

The indivisibility of freedom

As Havel explains in his essay, the catalyst for Charter 77 and what followed from it was the 1976 trial of an underground rock band called the Plastic People of the Universe[10]. These musicians operated illegally, outside the closely regulated channels for officially approved rock music, and the lyrics of their songs and their demeanour and lifestyle reflected this[11]. For Havel, they were like any number of rock groups that exist in a free society:

They had no political past, or even any well-defined political positions. They were simply young people who wanted to live in their own way, to make music they liked, [and] to sing what they wanted to sing, to live in harmony with themselves and to express themselves in a truthful way[12].

The attack on them was “camouflaged as an attack on criminality”, “a judicial attack”, but in Havel’s eyes it was “an attack by the totalitarian system on life itself, on the very essence of human freedom and integrity”. For if the regime could punish musicians simply for playing the music they liked, especially without this being noticed, it “could well start locking up everyone who thought independently and who expressed himself independently, even if he did so only in private”[13].

How the Media Smeared Trump on Charlottesville By Bruce Heiden

As many have pointed out, since about 4 p.m. on August 12, the media coverage of Charlottesville has been much more about President Trump’s statements than about James Fields, Heather Heyer, an auto ramming, a riot, a white supremacist rally, or a statue of Robert E. Lee.

Talking heads, Capitol Hill pontificators, CEOs, and ordinary folks on Facebook have criticized the president’s Saturday remarks as inadequate at best and an oblique expression of complicity with the Ku Klux Klan at worst. For one erstwhile supporter they necessitated a clean break with the president. Julius Krein explained to Slate that he was forced to revise his views of Trump by “the simple and obvious fact that somebody died, and it was obvious that there was some neo-Nazi psychopath who killed that person. To not state the obvious, to fail to ‘tell it like it is,’ I thought was pathetic.”

It’s easy to see why Krein would think that President Trump was expected to address one simple and obvious fact—that a neo-nazi murdered someone in Charlottesville—because Krein, like virtually everybody, acquired his information about the president’s statement from the media. For example, the report about the events of August 12 on NPR’s website indicates, with respect to Trump’s statement, that the “obvious” facts about Charlottesville were exactly those mentioned by Krein, and it even notes that although President Trump approached the microphone about an hour after the car ramming, his remarks somehow overlooked both the ramming and its victims. Sure sounds like the president flunked a no-brainer, or was up to something odd.

Unfortunately for the president’s critics, what was obvious to them whenever this completed narrative reached them could not have been obvious to President Trump when he began to speak at 3:35 p.m.. Why? Because at that moment it was not obvious to anybody. The hospital where the victims of the car ramming were being treated announced that one person was dead and 19 were wounded at 3:53, more than 10 minutes after the president finished his remarks.

It is true that the mayor of Charlottesville had tweeted information about an unspecified death at 3:16, but the tweet did not link the fatality to the car ramming or to any specific cause. So when Trump was preparing his statement, and while he gave it, he did not know the “obvious fact” that Krein and so many others now insist he ought to have addressed, that a person had been killed. And he also did not know that her killer was a neo-nazi psychopath, because the driver’s identity was not announced by the police until 9:46 pm.

In fact, when President Trump addressed the cameras on the afternoon of August 12, he was not there to share with the nation his views of a terrorist attack, as many with 20/20 hindsight suppose. He was there to offer reflections on a disturbing riot which had been going on in Charlottesville since about 11:00 a.m., and about which he had already commented in a tweet at 1:19 p.m., when the simple and obvious fact that now summarizes Charlottesville to everybody was as unobvious as it could possibly be, because it hadn’t happened, and nobody imagined that it would (except possibly James Fields). From about 11:30 a.m. to 1:42 p.m. (when the ramming occurred) the obvious fact of Charlottesville was an ongoing riot, and this continued to be the case at 3:35 p.m. when the car ramming, its effects, and its causes were still subjects of unconfirmed report and speculation.

The president did not choose the time of his statement because it was opportune with respect to the status of the events in Charlottesville, but because a media appearance about a different matter was already scheduled for that hour. If his schedule had been free, then within about 20 minutes of 3:35 he likely would have learned part of what is now so crystal clear to Krein and others, and his eventual statement would probably have been very different. But at 3:35 he could not craft a statement around an event, the facts of which were not yet established and confirmed, much less obvious to everybody.

VICTOR DAVIS HANSON: THE SILLIEST GENERATION

Every generation, in its modesty, used to think the prior one was far better. Tom Brokaw coined “The Greatest Generation” to remind Americans of what our fathers endured during the Depression and World War II—with the implicit message that we might not have been able to do what they did.https://amgreatness.com/2017/08/21/the-silliest-generation/

For the Roman poet Horace to be a laudator temporis acti (“a praiser of a past age”) was a natural if sometimes tiring inclination. His famous lines at the end of his Ode 3.6 on moral degeneracy run, “Worse than our grandparents’ generation, our parents’ then produced us, even worse, and soon to bear still more sinful children”—and managed in just a few words to fault four generations for continual moral decline.

Yet what is strange about the present age is that our current generation uniquely believes just the opposite. Apparently, we believe that most cadres before us were not up to our standards. Indeed, we are having to clean up their messes of racism, sexism, homophobia, nativism, xenophobia, and Islamophobia, as well as environmental desecration and global warming.

Even their statues must fall as bothersome reminders of their moral depravity. And the way they come down would do either Hitler (who carted off to Germany the French dining car in Compiègne that had been commemorated as the site of the 1918 armistice) or Stalin (who primitively photo-shopped out each year’s new enemies of the people) proud. Usually our generation kills the dead by the mob or a frightened mayor in the dead of night—rarely by a majority vote of elected representatives, referenda, or the recommendations of local, state, and federal commissions and carried out in daytime.

Apparently, proof our generation’s genius is that no one in the past had a clue how to build an iPhone or do a Google search—or even make a good Starbucks Teavana shaken pineapple black tea infusion. Yet given our own present lack of humility and meager accomplishments, we have combined arrogance with ignorance to become the smuggest generation in memory. What good is the high-tech acceleration in delivering information if there is now precious little learning to be accelerated? Google is an impressive pump, but if there is no real water, what is the point of delivering nothing faster?

Ours is an age that passes easy judgment on prior generations by sandblasting away the mention of those deemed unsuitable in the past, often by our present and sometimes laudable standards of morality—but without much concession to the cruel physical landscapes and poverty of the past or our own shortcomings that will be all too clear to subsequent ages. Which prompts more activist outrage by Antifa—a century-old sullen statue of a beaten secessionist Robert E. Lee or the indifference shown to unchecked bloodletting and murder in the streets of Chicago?

When the street protests target Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, or Planned Parenthood, their progressive outrage at the public honoring of yesterday’s racists might gain more credibility. It is an easy moral judgement to condemn unhinged racists in vile Nazi and creepy Confederate garb, but quite another for progressives to demand that America finally stop honoring the now iconic former progressive attorney general of California who sent tens of thousands of Japanese Americans into camps or to march on Princeton to demand an end of deifying a progressive President Wilson whose animated hatred of blacks set back race relations for years.

But then again, we are an opportunistic generation who looks often at the past but rarely as a mirror of ourselves—and if we did, in a variety of areas, we might find ourselves wanting.

Compare how long it took just to rebuild one segment of the San Francisco Bay Bridge, with the work of those 80 years ago who in Depression-era poverty built the entire bridge near simultaneously with its twin, the massive Golden Gate, in far less time (four years compared to seven)?

Despite our much-ballyhooed high-tech achievements, California’s s high-speed rail project will likely take five times as long to build (if it’s ever finished) as did the transcontinental railroad—each foot the work of pickaxes and shovels—across the country a century and a half ago. Driving in California in 1980 was often far safer (and quicker) than in 2017.

Lone Soldiers Land in Israel to Serve “First Jewish Army in 2,000 Years” by Tzivia Fox

In a strong show of faith and solidarity with Israel, Nefesh B’Nefesh, an organization founded in 2002 to make immigration to Israel easier, is celebrating bringing approximately 2,000 immigrants to the Holy Land in the summer of 2017. Included in this number are 82 future lone soldiers (Israel Defense Force soldiers without family in Israel).

“Moving to a foreign country in the Middle East is not an easy choice in the best of circumstances,” noted Dr. John A.I. Grossman, Chairman of LIBI USA, the official welfare fund of the IDF, to Breaking Israel News. “Taking all that upon oneself in order to volunteer for Israel’s army is truly extraordinary.”

Israel’s consul-general in New York, Dani Dayan, told the new immigrants that they represented a “mortal blows to the delegitimization of Israel”. “They take notice of it in Tehran,” he said. “When Hezbollah threatens Israel, they know that you will defeat it.”

Turning specifically to the group of future IDF soldiers, Dayan added, “You are the commanders of the Jewish people… My young friends, you are about to join the first Jewish army in 2,000 years.”

While enlistment in the IDF is a known and expected rite-of-passage for native-born Israelis, lone soldiers can face tremendous cultural and emotional obstacles. Though each lone soldier on the Nefesh B’Nefesh flight displayed a brave and excited face, LIBI USA recognizes that the road ahead for them can be lonely and challenging.

“These immigrant soldiers rarely have a full command of the Hebrew language and often have no family or friends to turn to during the holidays and time off,” continued Grossman. “Therefore, LIBI USA funds IDF educational and cultural programs as well as special holiday gifts and activities specifically for lone soldiers.”

Natan Sharansky, the chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel, shared at the flights welcome ceremony, “There are anti-Semites on the right and anti-Semites on the left. Our best answer is what you’re doing. We continue to build together our home, the State of Israel.”

Hannah Partney, a 22 year-old from Connecticut, said that she was eager to join an IDF combat unit, even though she lacks close family or roots in Israel. “I’ve always been interested in military service,” she said. “I thought about the US military but ultimately didn’t go that way. I’m interested in the discipline and the challenges. I don’t want to live in Israel on a free ticket. I want to do a service. That’s really important to me.”

Joshua Eisdorfer, a 22-year-old from Rockville, Maryland, referred to the Bible, stating, “Israel is my home and birthright, and the homeland of every Jew. In Bamidbar (the Book of Numbers), Moses says, ‘Shall your brothers go to war, and you sit here?’ Israel is the defense of world Jewry, and I want to be in the vanguard.”

“The August 15 flight is particularly noteworthy as a quarter of those on board have volunteered to serve in the IDF,” continued Grossman. “That’s a humbling reality which should send a message to all of us. Each individual who cares about Israel should do their part to support the Holy Land and its dedicated soldiers.”

“America First: 1940-2016” by Diana West

Presentation as prepared for delivery on July 13, 2016, at the Institute for the Study of Strategy and Politics symposium on “American Strategy: The Way Forward,” available at strategyandpolitics.org

I am speaking today about the life and times of “America First” as a political idea.

Three quarters of a century ago, it was seen by hundreds of thousands of Americans as a means of mustering popular support through a vigorous public debate to resist powerful forces, seen but mostly unseen – for example, British and Communist propaganda and influence operations – seeking to drive, pull and trick the United States into the second world war.

Reading about the 1940 formation of the America First Committee, one is impressed by the wide cross section of notables drawn into this cause of strong defense but anti-intervention;

from the original contingent of students at Yale, including future Yale president Kingman Brewster, future president Gerald Ford and future Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart, to New Dealers and anti-New Dealers, to socialist party leader Norman Thomas.

There were many other political figures, from Sen. Burton K. Wheeler, Democrat, to Sen. Gerald P. Nye, Republican, many leading business men, from Hormel meat to Morton salt to railroad and steel tycoons, William J. Grace, head of one of Chicago’s largest investment firms, newspaper publishers Col. Robert J. McCormick (Chicago Tribune), Joseph Patterson (New York Daily News), also William Regnery, whose son Henry would later found Regnery Books.

We see a lot of military brass – the chairman of America First was General Robert E. Wood, sergeant quartermaster in World War I and innovative head of Sears Roebuck, a West Point grad and actually an early New Dealer; at least one movie star, Lillian Gish; heroes such as Eddie Rickenbacker and Charles Lindbergh; Robert Maynard Hutchins, president of the University of Chicago, and novelists, journalists and celebrities of the day, including architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

Outside the group itself, but within the same anti-intervention cause, were such leading Republicans as former President and world class humanitarian Herbert Hoover and “Mr. Republican,” Sen. Robert Taft.

A lot of star power, a lot of people power, too.

When we look at “America First” today, we see the idea as manifested in the highly unusual political instincts of one national figure – a one-man political movement, to be sure – but still, one individual, Donald Trump, who has revived the slogan as a battle cry against the global system and obligations the United States entered into really ever since the America First Committee disbanded after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941.

For the America First idea then, a steep downward trajectory even to this point of unexpected revival.

This suggests that the notion of putting America first — giving priority to American interests over rest the world’s; even recognizing that America has separate interests from the rest of the world — has become antiquated, and, to many, nothing less than anathema, certainly among political professionals, journalists, and academics.

Then again, there are those many millions of Americans who have already cast a vote for America First, having made Donald Trump the presumptive GOP nominee.

If we stop and think – – – Is it not the most natural thing in the world for a politician to put his country first?

I would say yes, but not so much in our world.

How did such a world come to be?

This latest chapter in the annals of America First probably began as a set up, when a New York Times reporter asked Donald Trump if it was correct to say that what Trump was describing was – “if not isolationist, then at least something of `America First’?…

Getting Settled: EvelynGordon’s Review of ‘City on a Hilltop’ By Sara Yael Hirschhorn

Sara Yael Hirschhorn’s City on a Hilltop starts with two eminently reasonable premises. First: If you want to understand the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, you must understand Israeli settlers, since they’re one of the players. Second: If you want to understand the settlers, you must move beyond the popular caricature of them as ultra-nationalist, ultra-religious fanatics, since most are neither.https://www.commentarymagazine.com/articles/getting-settled/

Hirschhorn’s book is an attempt to do exactly that, which is all the more admirable given her own political views: She characterizes any Jewish presence beyond the 1949 armistice lines—including the large Jewish neighborhoods of east Jerusalem, whose tens of thousands of residents she also labels “settlers” (in a footnote)—as an illegitimate colonialist occupation. Yet despite the obvious sincerity of her effort, her inability to rise above her own biases ends up undermining the final product.

Hirschhorn explores the settlement movement by focusing on one particular subset of it: American immigrants from what she terms “the 1967 generation.” This has the obvious advantage of making her subjects more recognizable to non-Israeli readers.

As she notes, these immigrants grew up in the same towns, attended the same colleges, followed the same career paths, marched for the same liberal causes, and even voted for the same party as their peers who remained in America; even today, when Republicans have replaced Democrats as the more pro-Israel party and are far more supportive of the settlements, only one of her interviewees self-identified as Republican. And while popular perception dictates that most settlers, and especially most American settlers, are Orthodox, most of the settlers in Hirschhorn’s focus group were non-Orthodox.

The only major difference between the two groups is that most of the settlers whom Hirschhorn looked at came from “strongly Jewish” backgrounds that were “highly atypical of Jewish-American households at the time.”

The downside of this narrow focus is that it makes American immigrants seem far more important to the settlement movement than they actually are. For instance, over half the book is devoted to in-depth descriptions of how American Jews co-founded three settlements. That may sound impressive, until you realize there are currently more than 120 settlements, the vast majority of which were founded by Israelis with no American help. Indeed, as the book itself makes clear, even those three settlements would probably never have arisen had the Americans not had Israeli partners, since the Israelis were the ones who knew how to work the government bureaucracy.

The same goes for Hirschhorn’s estimate that Americans make up 15 percent of the total settler population (about 60,000 out of 400,000), which she repeatedly cites as proof of their importance. The accuracy of that estimate is open to question; she admits that no “accurate and objective headcount” exists and that she herself is “neither a professional statistician nor a demographer.” But even if she’s right, that still means there are 340,000 non-American settlers. In other words, the settlement movement would be flourishing even if it didn’t include a single American.

Hirschhorn also hypes the role that Americans have played in vigilante terror, despite correctly acknowledging that most American settlers—and most settlers in general—shun such vigilantism. For instance, she spends seven pages on one American involved in the Jewish Underground (1980–87) without ever explicitly saying that the other 26 suspects were Israelis.

But the book’s far more serious problem is that readers emerge from it with no clear understanding of what drives the settlement movement. This isn’t surprising, since Hirschhorn admits in her conclusion that she herself has no such understanding: “After discussions with dozens of Jewish-American immigrants in the occupied territories, I still struggled to understand how they saw themselves and their role within the Israeli settlement enterprise.”

New ISIS Threat to Spain: ‘War Has Not Been Fought and Gone’ By Bridget Johnson

A pro-ISIS media outlet that had threatened the “disbelievers” of Spain before last week’s attack issued a fresh warning over the weekend that jihad there “has not been fought and gone” and cells remain in Barcelona and beyond.

Fifteen people were killed and at least 130 injured Thursday when terrorists belonging to a local cell plowed a rented van through crowds on Las Ramblas, a long pedestrian mall in Barcelona. Jared Tucker, 43, of Walnut Creek, Calif., who was on his honeymoon, was one of those killed. The deceased and wounded came from 34 different countries.

The suspected driver of the van, Younes Abouyaaqoub, was shot by police today near a gas station 25 miles west of Barcelona. He was reportedly wearing a fake explosive vest. The cell of 12 men was reportedly in the attack-planning stages for six months and had amassed gas cans to use in vehicle attacks.

The new message, addressed “from the Islamic Republic of Spain to the Government of Spain” and issued by the pro-ISIS Wafa Media Foundation, warns that Spain is still considered a target because of “military operations in the Kingdom of Bahrain and in neighboring Iraq and Somalia.”

“Do not you know, O worshipers of the Cross, that the war has not been fought and gone, and that they live today in Barcelona,” the message added in reference to jihadists.

The message references Gibraltar and Andalusia, which was once under Moor rule and bears many landmarks from its Islamic era, to Catalonia. “This is one of our priorities. Today, we create our own community.”

The Wafa’ message was the second in a series, with the first part issued last year. The group ominously noted that they don’t plan on issuing a part three.

“Black days during our attack on your big cities like Madrid, Paris, London, and Brussels,” Wafa’ warned in the first part dated March 28, 2016, adding that they will kill “innocent Spanish” as they’re occupying Muslim lands.

In May 2016, Wafa’ warned in a message to the citizens of Spain and all Spanish-speaking countries that lone jihadists existing in those areas would kill the “disbelievers” as “previously planned.” In August 2016, the media foundation said that jihadists had to step up their game to make attacks in Spain worse than terrorist operations in France. Wafa’ pressed jihadists to kidnap or kill Spanish nationals.

The Wafa’ Media Foundation issued a June message encouraging arson jihad — which was detailed in the January issue of ISIS’ Rumiyah magazine — after the Grenfell Tower fire, which authorities believe was an accidental electrical fire, killed dozens on June 14 in London. The group also issued a justification of the May 22 bombing outside a concert in Manchester, UK, and promoted terrorist Omar Mateen after the June 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Fla.

In Britain, They’re Still Ignoring the Islamic Roots of ‘Grooming’ Gangs By Bruce Bawer

A few years ago, when the news reached the public that Muslim “sex grooming gangs,” for over two decades, had been systematically engaged in the mass rape of non-Muslim girls in the English city of Rotherham – and that local police and other government authorities had known about these atrocities for a long time but had said and done nothing for fear of being considered bigots – one thing seemed all but certain: this couldn’t just be going on in Rotherham.

It wasn’t. On August 10, the Express published a handy list of British cities that, since the Rotherham case exploded, have also been found to be targeted by similar sex-abuse rings. In 2012, nine men were convicted of having run such a gang in Rochdale, outside Manchester. In 2013, a group of Pakistanis and north Africans went to jail for the same crime in Oxford. In 2014, it was Somalis in Bristol.

Other places that are so far known to have been affected included Aylesbury, Peterborough, and Keighley – a motley grab-bag of municipalities, big and small, scattered across England from north to south. A piece in the Daily Mail the other day mentioned that grooming gangs have been uncovered in at least sixteen British towns and cities so far.

And there’s no reason to think that it ends there. Why Keighley and Aylesbury and not London and Liverpool, Bristol and Bradford? Chances are very strong that there’s still plenty of this sort of abuse going on, and armies of cowardly officials still looking the other way.

This month the spotlight was on Newcastle. A probe called Operation Sanctuary, launched in 2014, has led to the arrest of a mind-boggling 461 suspects, who are believed to have raped at least 278 victims. Among the 111 perpetrators convicted so far are men with names like Mohammed Azram, Jahanghir Zaman, Nashir Uddin, Saiful Islam, and Mohammed Hassan Ali.

The journalist usually credited with exposing the Rotherham rape factory (as well as the official cover-up) is Andrew Norfolk, who wrote about it in the Times in 2011 and 2012. But this past May Julie Bindel, the far-left feminist who has repeatedly taken on the Islamic oppression of women, recalled in the Independent that years before Norfolk came along, she had accumulated a great deal of material on the topic – but until 2007 was unable to get anything into print because “editors feared an accusation of racism.”

(Not to take anything away from Bindel, but one wonders: how many editors did she try? Was there really no publication in the English-speaking world that was willing to run a piece by her about grooming gangs? In any case, why couldn’t she have just posted her findings online?)

Also, as even Bindel admits, the British National Party had been trying to draw public attention to the rape gangs for years – but their charges had been dismissed by “respectable” media and politicians as the ravings of bigots.

The same left-wing British media that refused to expose the grooming epidemic in the first place are at last, grudgingly, reporting on it – but now they’d have you believe that Islam (surprise!) has nothing to do with it. CONTINUE AT SITE

New York Times Blames the Jews for Donald Trump Ira Stoll –

The New York Times is blaming the Jews for Donald Trump.https://www.algemeiner.com/2017/08/21/new-york-times-blames-the-jews-for-donald-trump/

That’s what I took away from two pieces in the newspaper over the weekend.

The first was a news article from Jerusalem, headlined, “As Trump Offers Neo-Nazis Muted Criticism, Netanyahu Is Largely Silent.”

The article faulted the Israeli prime minister for failing to condemn President Trump in a manner that the Times judged to be sufficiently speedy and specific.

This is strange on two fronts. First, it’s a double standard. When Netanyahu publicly faulted former President Barack Obama for the Iran nuclear deal, the Times complained he was meddling in US politics and making an enemy out of an American president. Now that Netanyahu is doing his best to avoid a public fight with an American president, he gets criticized for that, too.

Second, the Charlottesville marchers weren’t just antisemites, they were also, at least reportedly, racists. It was a Confederate statue that triggered the whole thing, not any Jewish symbol. But the only country whose leader got put on the spot in a full-length Times news article, at least so far as I can tell, was Israel. There was no full-length Times news article I saw about any majority black African or Caribbean countries or majority Asian countries (other than Israel) and their prime ministers’ or presidents’ reactions or non-reactions to Trump’s response to the Charlottesville events. Maybe there were some such Times articles that I missed. But I usually read the paper pretty carefully, and I sure did not spot any.

In the same Saturday issue of the Times came a column by Bret Stephens headlined “President Jabberwock and the Jewish Right,” critical of “right-of-center Jews who voted for Donald Trump in the election.” This is such a small group in proportion to Trump’s overall support that it’s hard to see why it merits an entire column. Not a single one of these “right-of-center Jews who voted for Donald Trump in the election” is actually named in the column, which claims that such Jews are now subject to “moral embarrassment.”

The column says Jews should have known not to vote for Trump because of “the denunciations of ‘globalism’ and ‘international banks’ and the ‘enemy of the American people’ news media.” Yet on July 3, 1933, President Franklin Roosevelt sent a message denouncing “the old fetishes of so-called international bankers.” Plenty of Jews nonetheless voted for FDR without any moral embarrassment. Likewise, Bernie Sanders attacks the press, including CNN and the New York Times, just about as vociferously and directly as Trump does. Plenty of Jews voted for Sanders, too, and Sanders’ attacks on the press haven’t been widely interpreted as antisemitic.

In my own view, the danger of antisemitism right now is less in the Oval Office and more in the Times comment section and editorial moderation. It was just days ago that the Times was assuring us that its decision to award a gold ribbon and “NYT Pick” stamp of approval to a reader comment describing Netanyahu as a “parasitic thug” was an inadvertent mistake. Yet in the comments on the Stephens column, the Times again awards a gold ribbon and “NYT Pick” label to a comment that reads in part, “It also remains to be seen whether American Zionists have learned to stop prioritizing ‘good for Israel’ over ‘good for America.’” That comment, which earned “thumbs up” upvotes from at least 410 Times readers, could have easily fit into the Times news article about the Charlottesville racists and antisemites “in their own words.” (It was also consistent with the Stephens column itself, which explicitly mentioned Israel as part of “the gist of the Jewish conservative’s case for Trump,” but omitted taxes, deregulation, or the Supreme Court.)

There was an extended d