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The War on Terror

In Paris, the Grand Mosque is Open but the Grand Synagogue is Closed

January 11th 2015

Grand Synagogue of Paris

What did the shoppers in a Jewish supermarket, four of whom were slaughtered, have to do with the cartoon images of Mohammad?

In light of all the expressed concern about possible anti-Muslim incidents, claims on television that "Muslims are the most persecuted people" seemed jarring and wrong.

Perhaps they should have spent a little time reporting on the anti-Jewish rioting that took place in the heavily Muslim neighborhood of Trappes, a suburb of Paris?

A seemingly required inclusion in most reports on the recent mass murder in Paris was the rhetorical question posed by reporters has been: "Will these events invite a wave of anti-Muslim incidents"? Since these Islam-inspired murders, however, there have been only a few anti-Muslim actions -- all against property. Read more ..

The Edge of Intolerance

Anti-Semitism of BDS Movement Revealed by Linking Mossad to Charlie Hebdo Massacre

January 9th 2015

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The anti-Semitism at the heart of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement targeting Israel was again laid bare on January 8, as prominent activists from the campaign took to social media to advance the conspiracy theory that the terrorist attack against French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo was carried out by the Mossad.

Leading the charge was Greta Berlin, a spokesperson for the Free Gaza movement, an organization that has been closely involved with attempts to break Israel’s blockade against the Hamas regime in Gaza.

In a Facebook posting, Berlin declared, “MOSSAD just hit the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo in a clumsy false flag designed to damage the accord between Palestine and France…Here’s hoping the French police will be able to tell a well executed hit by a well trained Israeli intelligence service and not assume the Muslims would be likely to attack France when France is their freind (sic.) Israel did tell France there would be grave consequences if they voted with Palestine. A four year old could see who is responsible for this terrible attack.” Read more ..

The Edge of Terrorism

The Paris Attack

January 8th 2015


President Obama is wrong. Free expression and a free press are clearly not "universal values," as he asserted in his condemnation of the attack on Charlie Hebdo's office in Paris. The terrorist attack today was merely an enforcement of decades-long Islamist intimidation and terrorism campaigns against the West.


The leading Islamist terrorist group, the PLO, has pioneered the use of libel suit as threats against me and the Wall Street Journal and the National Review who published my documentation of the terrorist nature of the Hamas affiliated Holy-land Foundation in the late 1980s, and in the early 1990s, they threaten to sue me and the Wall Street Journal for publishing a detailed expose of Yassar Arrafat's corruption. But they could scare us. 


Al Qaeda's 9/11 attacks on America, marked the increase of Islamist intimidation of free expression. At first, it was in the form of economic warfare, by filing expensive libel suits against those who exposed the funders of al Qaeda. London became the "libel Capital" of the world and the British Bar was paid well to abandon its pride.   Read more ..

Faith and Reason

Pope Francis is a Wedge Issue for U.S. Republicans

January 3rd 2015

Pope Francis is increasingly driving a wedge between conservatives and the Catholic Church.

The magnetic pope has sparked new enthusiasm around the world for the church and has flexed his political muscles internationally, most recently by helping to engineer a new relationship between the United States and Cuba.

But Francis’s agenda, which also includes calls to address income inequality and limit climate change, is putting him at odds with Republicans, including GOP Catholics in the United States.
 Hours after President Obama announced moves to ease trade and travel restrictions to Cuba, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), a practicing Catholic and potential 2016 presidential candidate, criticized the deal and Francis's role in it.

“I would also ask His Holiness to take up the cause of freedom and democracy, which is critical for a free people, for a people to truly be free,” Rubio told reporters. Read more ..

The Arab World on Edge

Summing Up 2014 in the Middle East

January 1st 2015

ISIS Caliphate women terrorists in hijab and AK47

2014 was a year in which we witnessed the continued deterioration of the modern Arab state, while in contrast, two older poitical frameworks rose in popularity.

Syria is undergoing a long and bloody process of disintegration. Assad controls about a quarter of the country, including Damascus, part of Haleb in the north, the coastal strip and the Ansari mountains where the Allawites, his non-Muslim brothers, are to be found. Two new frameworks arose on the ruins of Syria: an independent Kurdish area in the northeast and Islamic State on about 30% of Syrian land. The Kurds feel a strong connection to their Iraqi brothers and have no intentions of being under Arab domination ever again. Read more ..

The Caliphate

Horrifying Tactics used by Caliphate Described to Journalist

December 29th 2014

Israeli journalist Itai Anghel said in a radio interview last week that it was “horrifying” to hear about terrorist tactics and their graphic details described to him by captured ISIS fighters he spoke with while in Iraq and Syria.

Anghel spent a week in each country, staying in the Kurdish-held territories to report on ISIS for the Israeli television show Uvdah. He interviewed ISIS fighters captured by Kurdish forces about acts they committed as members of the terrorist group, including beheadings, as well as their stance on Jews and Israel. Some of the captives were blindfolded during their interviews with Anghel and none of them knew that the reporter was Israeli. Read more ..

The Edge of Terrorism

Was New York City's Cop-Killer a Radical Muslim?

December 24th 2014

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When Ismaaiyl Brinsley set out to murder two New York City police officers, his motive may have been more than revenge for the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown, the two men killed by police. Brinsley appears to have been influenced by Islamic extremism.

On his Instagram account several months ago, Brinsley revealed he was planning to visit “Al-Farooq Tomorrow inshallah.” This appears to be a reference to Masjid Al-Farooq in Brooklyn, a mosque with a history of hosting terror sympathizers and allegedly raising funds for al-Qaeda.

Images from Brinsley’s Facebook page (now removed) captured by the website Jihad Watch, reveal he posted one of the most controversial quotes from the Quran (8:60) in March:

And prepare against them whatever you are able of power and of steeds of war by which you may terrify the enemy of Allah and your enemy and others besides them whom you do not know (but) whom Allah knows. And whatever you spend in the cause of Allah will be fully repaid to you, and you will not be wronged. Read more ..

Israel and Palestine

The Coming Historic Election in Israel

December 22nd 2014

"In a place where there are no worthy men, strive to be worthy." — Ethics of the Father

Today, as Palestinians stage a pro-Hamas rally at Temple Mount, as a deputy speaker in the Swedish parliament calls on Jews to abandon their religious identity, the better to become proper Swedes, as Jews here and everywhere light a candle against the darkness, today, in an essay titled "The Embattled Dream of Palestine," The New York Times celebrates its "vision of two separate states, with Israelis and Palestinians living side by side in peace," as "[having] been at the core of years of arduous negotiations to solve the Middle East conflict."

But the "Embattled Dream" was not Israel's dream; it was America's. It was Jimmy Carter's (who identifies himself today as a world "elder"), Bill Clinton's, George W. Bush's and Barack Obama's. The "two-state solution" they longed so long for is "no closer to reality than it was decades ago." Read more ..

Broken Government

Some Key Provisions in the $1.1 Trillion Spending Bill

December 18th 2014

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The $1.1 trillion spending bill approved by the Senate Saturday includes emergency funding and dozens of policy riders that will affect policy throughout the government.

The main purpose of the bill is to keep the government funded, and the so-called “cromnibus” includes 11 appropriations bill that will fund most of the government through September 2015. It also includes a continuing resolution (CR) that funds the Department of Homeland Security through Feb. 27. This is to answer GOP critics of President Obama's immigration executive actions, who had pushed to defund the agency.

Here's a look at some of the key riders in the bill:

Wall Street un-reform

The bill includes language repealing part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law that will allow banks covered by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation to directly engage in derivatives trading. Read more ..

Computer Age

Europe's War on the Internet

December 17th 2014

The Internet giant Google has announced that it is shutting down its Google News service in Spain. The move came in response to a new copyright law in Spain that would require Google and other news aggregators to pay Spanish publishers for linking to their content. The Spanish law follows similar legislation in other parts of the European Union, where politicians are increasingly lashing out at Google over a host of complaints about antitrust, privacy and taxation issues.

Google has accommodated critics in some countries, but with Spain, the government appears to have completely overreached: Spain's ailing newspaper industry, which is utterly dependent upon Google News to drive traffic and revenues, is now at risk.

Spain's new Intellectual Property Law (Ley de Propiedad Intelectual) was approved in February 2014 and enters into effect on January 1, 2015. Also known as the "Google Tax" (tasa Google), the purpose of the new law is to force predominately American internet content aggregators to pay for the rejuvenation of digital media in Spain. Read more ..

Venezuela on Edge

U.S. Sanctions Against Venezuela: A Wrong Turn for Regional Diplomacy

December 12th 2014

Venezuela army privates on parade

Led by Senators Robert Menendez and Marco Rubio, the U.S. Senate passed the Venezuela Defense of Human Rights and Civil Society Act on December 8. The House is expected to vote tonight on the bill. The new legislation hatched by the hard right wing of the Upper House will place targeted sanctions on Venezuelan officials “planning, facilitating, or perpetrating gross human rights violations against peaceful demonstrators, journalists, and other members of civil society in Venezuela.”

Such sanctions include travel restrictions and the freezing of assets of those found culpable of the offenses. On May 28, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a bill with similar sanctions against Venezuela, but at that time, former democratic Senator Mary Landrieu from Louisiana, fiercely opposed it. Similarly, the White House did not support the measure, arguing that it could  jeopardize discussions between the government and the opposition. Read more ..

Obama's Second Term

Obama's Five Challenges at the Supreme Court

December 8th 2014

The Supreme Court could have an outsized impact on President Obama’s agenda next year.

The court has been a mixed bag for Obama during his presidency. He’s had big wins, including rulings affirming the Affordable Care Act and striking down the Defense of Marriage Act. But there have been losses too, including a challenge to ObamaCare’s contraceptive mandate and the elimination of part of the Voting Rights Act.

With challenges on issues including ObamaCare, EPA regulations and potentially gay marriage, here are five ways that the Supreme Court could impact Obama’s agenda in the twilight of his presidency. Read more ..

After Ferguson

'Racism is Alive and Well', says NAACP President

December 7th 2014

The NAACP president said Sunday that full-scale changes need to be made to battle what he called a “pandemic of police misconduct.”

Cornell William Brooks, speaking on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” said that more and more citizens want to make broad changes to police culture in the wake of the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and Eric Garner in Staten Island, N.Y.
“We have to change the model of policing,” Brooks said after grand juries in both Missouri and New York declined to indict police officers involved in the Brown and Garner cases.

“So in other words where we have police fulfilling the role, or serving the role as an occupying army, as opposed to using a community policing model, that's where we have to go.” Read more ..

The Way We Are

Eugenics, Sterilization, and Impunity in Peru

December 6th 2014

In 1995, then-President Alberto Fujimori met with Peruvian feminists at the UN Women’s Conference in Beijing and announced he would liberalize Peru’s strict laws on contraception by allowing women to have their tubes tied without getting their husbands’ permission. For Peruvian feminists, who had been fighting for more reproductive rights against powerful opposition from the Catholic Church and Opus Dei, this was a victory. They had no idea that the Fujimori government would use the new law to forcibly sterilize three hundred thousand indigenous women in the Andes between 1995 - 2000.

There are many historical instances of forced sterilization, which is currently being practised on HIV-positive women in Namibia, for purposes of population control in Uzbekistan, and against the Roma in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. It is among the offenses listed as crimes against humanity by the Rome Statute of 2005: “Rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, enforced sterilization, or any other form of sexual violence of comparable gravity.” Read more ..

Edge of Tolerance

Pope Francis and Patriarch Bartholomew Call for Peace in Ukraine

December 1st 2014

Pope Francis and the spiritual leader of the world's Orthodox Christians have called for peace in Ukraine and appealed to all sides to pursue dialogue based on international law to resolve the conflict.

Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I issued a joint declaration on November 30 in Istanbul at the end of a lengthy liturgy to mark the feast of St. Andrew, an important feast in the Orthodox Church.

In the statement, the two Christian leaders said they were praying for peace in Ukraine "while we call upon all parties involved to pursue the path of dialogue and of respect for international law in order to bring an end to the conflict and allow all Ukrainians to live in harmony."

The celebration was the main reason for Francis's three-day visit to Turkey. Read more ..

Obama's Second Term

Obama Faces a Winter of Healthcare Challenges

November 29th 2014

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The Obama administration is facing a slew of healthcare challenges as the winter holidays approach.

While this fall has been a far cry from last year, when HealthCare.gov was melting down, 2014 has brought wholly unexpected problems to the fore for federal health officials and the White House.

Take the conflict surrounding Jonathan Gruber, the ObamaCare consultant whose suggestion that a "lack of transparency" and voters' "stupidity" helped the law pass, went viral.

Though Democrats have sought to distance themselves from Gruber, his remarks have become a new flashpoint in debate over healthcare reform, invigorating GOP critics as the party prepares to take control of the Senate. Read more ..

Edge of Tolerance

Two Major U.S. Media Outlets Report False Accusations Against Israel

November 26th 2014


At least two major media outlets have this week reported the shocking statistic that 40 percent of of Palestinian children detained in Jerusalem have been sexually abused by Israeli police. There’s only one problem – the statistic is entirely fabricated.

Writing for the International Business Times, contributor Tabatha Kinder reported the following:

Around 600 Palestinian children have been arrested in Jerusalem since June 2013, the International Middle East Media Centre news agency reports. This means approximately 240 minors could have been abused during their arrest or investigation by Israeli authorities, according to the Palestinian Prisoners Club (PCC).

The PCC say the “daily arrest campaigns” inflicted on young Palestinians living in the historic capital are a “collective punishment against Palestinian residents of Jerusalem”. Read more ..

The Edge of Terrorism

Purposely Sacrificing Children in Gaza

November 21st 2014

Hamas Kid

What kind of a society consciously and purposely sacrifices its own youth for political gain and tactical advantage? Suicide bombers are an escalation of a small-arms war introduced during the first Intifada (1987-1993) and championed by Palestinian leaders, even prior to Arafat’s arrival from Tunis in July 1994. Today the overwhelming majority of Palestinian Arabs nurture a blind hatred of Israel. They created a cultural milieu of vengeance, violence and death - preparing their children to be sacrifices in a death cult. Proud parents dress up their toddlers not in clown costumes, but with suicide belts, and countless others celebrate their children’s deaths with traditional sweet holiday cakes and candies.

It is clear that in Palestinian society something has gone dreadfully wrong. Children in Palestinian communities in the West Bank and Gaza are turned into “self-destructing human bombs” capable of carrying out casualty terrorist attacks in the struggle between Palestinians and Israelis - a phenomenon whose seeds can be traced to the first Intifada.

Clearly horrified by the use of children in armed conflict, Israeli author and peace advocate Aharon Megged wrote during the first Intifada:

“Not since the Children’s Crusade in 1212 … has there been a horror such as this – no people, no land where adults send children age 8-9 or 14-15 to the front, day-after-day, while they themselves hide in their houses or go out to work far-far away. They continue, and send them time-after-time, and don’t stop them even when they know they are liable to be killed, maimed, beaten or arrested.” Read more ..

The Healthy Edge

The Logic of Ancient Kosher Laws in Preventing Ebola Contagion

November 21st 2014

Rabbis became, in essence, the health department of their time.

Much as Jews were accused and attacked for supposedly spreading the plague in the 14th Century because their dietary ad sanitary rituals gave them a slight edge in preventing disease, doctors in West Africa have been attacked on suspicion that they are actually infecting people with the disease rather than combating it.

In an era before antibiotics, blood tests and digital scanning thermometers; In an era before EKG's, stethoscopes, blood transfusions and even refrigeration; In an era before doctors, science and even a rudimentary understanding of human anatomy, there was the ancient Jewish dietary law of kosher, which continues to offer a lesson for today's fractured societies of western Africa struggling to contain the Ebola epidemic. Read more ..

The Way We Are

Somali-Americans Grapple with Assimilation, and Youth who Side with Terrorists

November 19th 2014

Somali Muslims protest in Minneapolis, June 2014

When Dayib Ahmed Abdi and his family arrived in the United States in 1996, his son Abdifatah already had an independent streak. The family settled in Minnesota along with thousands of other refugees from Somali’s civil war and Abdifatah, known also as Abdirahman Muhumed, went in his own direction. Minnesota's ethnic Somali population has mushroomed in the last two decades from a small group to more than 50,000.

On September 27, 2013, hundreds, including Ilhan Issa, gathered at a solidarity rally in Minneapolis to protest terrorist attacks by Al-Shabab. He frequented gyms, lifted weights and played basketball. He wasn’t particularly religious. He liked going out to night clubs and was considered handsome, “a heartthrob,” his father said. Abdifatah ended up marrying three times, having eight children in all. His father hoped he would join the military. Read more ..

The Caliphate

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks: Only by Abandoning Hate, can Humanity be Truly Free

November 17th 2014

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Rabbi Jonathan Sacks - a member of Britain's House of Lords - summed up in just over eight minutes in a speech before the deliberative body a stunning and succinct analysis of the grave danger posed by ISIS in the Mideast but also by Islamic radicalism the world over. Importantly, Rabbi Sacks notes that the Jewish people want peace, prosperity, and freedom for the children of Palestine as much as for the children of Israel.

He noted that the "religion in whose name atrocities are being carried out, innocent people butchered and beheaded, children treated as slaves, civilians turned into human shileds, and young people into weapons of self-destruction, is no the Islam that once earned the admiration of the world, nor is its God the God of Abraham. It was Nietzsche not the prophets who worshipped the will to power. It was Machiavelli not sacred scripture who taught tht it is better to be feared tan to be loved." Read more ..

The 2014 Vote

Sore Loser Democrats Never Blame Themselves for their Political Setbacks

November 10th 2014

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"We ought to be debating the fact that corporations are now controlling not only the Republican Party, but the government of the United States.” — Howard ("Screamin'") Dean, November 9, Meet the Press

"Don’t let anybody tell you that it’s corporations and businesses that create jobs.” — Hillary ("What Difference Does It Make") Clinton, October 24, Boston

54-42, Senate Democrats vote in favor of S.J. Resolution 19, to gut the First Amendment, September 11 - - reported by Mark Pfiefle in The American Spectator Read more ..

The Edge of Tolerance

Can the Political Left Purge Itself of Anti-Semitism?

November 10th 2014

While I’ve never been a big fan of celebrity interventions in politics, I will concede that, on occasion, a big-screen actor or a rock star will achieve the kind of impact that mere mortals can only dream about.

Case in point: Maureen Lipman, a much-loved British Jewish actress whom American audiences will recognize from her role in Roman Polanski’s 2002 film about the Holocaust, “The Pianist,” in which she played the mother of the film’s main protagonist, Wladyslaw Szpilman.

Last week, Lipman wrote an article for Standpoint, a British political magazine, entitled “Labour has Lost Me.” (She’s referring to the current opposition party in a country where they spell ‘labor’ with a ‘u.’) In that piece, she did two things. Read more ..

Books and Authors

Why Iran-Contra Proves that Americans Were Wrong about 'Disengaged' Reagan

November 7th 2014

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One unfortunate consequence of the Watergate scandal was the demise of the White House taping system. Historians of the post-Nixon era must settle for memoirs, diaries, interviews, private collections, and official records stored in the National Archives and printed in the Foreign Relations of the United States series. Memories are selective, however; policymakers tend to win their own memoranda of conversations; and, no piece of paper can match a surreptitiously-recorded meeting with the president of the United States.

With the Ronald Reagan administration, minutes of the majority of meetings of two principals committees - - the National Security Council (NSC) and National Security Planning Group (NSPG) - - are available to researchers at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California, and are highly illuminating. Especially in the early years of that administration, Counselor to the President Edwin Meese, a longtime Reagan associate with no formal foreign policy brief, is the person steering the conversation. One might even regard Meese as the de facto National Security Advisor in 1981, since the person actually bearing the title that year, Richard Allen, reported to him.

Five years later, then-Attorney General Meese may well have saved Reagan's presidency. On November 25, 1986, he took over a White House press briefing after his boss announced the resignation of National Security Advisor John Poindexter and the dismissal of NSC staffer Lt. Colonel Oliver North. Meese provided the results of an initial White House inquiry after newspaper reports surfaced of clandestine U.S. arms transfers to Iran and illicit support for Contras fighting against the Sandinista regime in Nicaragua. Read more ..

European Jewry on Edge

BBC Continues Misrepresentation of News from Israel

November 6th 2014

The uninitiated reader spying the BBC’s initial headline about this morning’s terrorist attack in Jerusalem – “Driver hits pedestrians in Jerusalem” – could have been forgiving for thinking that this was a report of a traffic accident in Israel’s capital.

The accompanying tease – “A driver rams a car into several pedestrians in East Jerusalem” – communicated the sense that most of the victims were Palestinians, since this part of the city is predominantly Arab.

Then, the headline was changed to the more accurate “Jerusalem attack: New Palestinian car attack kills one,” prompting media watchdog Honest Reporting to ask, “Is the BBC asking to be ridiculed? Draw your own conclusions.” Read more ..

Israel and America

The Bilateral Fallout of 'Chicken-Shit-Gate'

November 2nd 2014

Naftali Bennett, Israel’s economy minister, got it 100 percent right in a Facebook posting just a few hours after the latest blow to American-Israeli relations—aka “chickenshitgate”—surfaced in the media.

Responding to the anonymous “senior Obama administration” official who told The Atlantic correspondent Jeffrey Goldberg that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was a “chickenshit,” Bennett said, “Cursing the prime minister and calling him names is an insult not just to him but to the millions of Israeli citizens and Jews across the globe. The leader of Syria who slaughtered 150,000 people was not awarded the name ‘chickenshit.’ Read more ..

Financing the Flames

New Israel Fund Under Renewed Scrutiny Over Funding for Israeli NGO Led by Boycott Activist

October 30th 2014

Boycott Israel

The New Israel Fund, the New York-based non-profit which granted nearly $27 million to left-wing and progressive NGOs in Israel according to its latest financial report, is again under scrutiny following revelations of extreme anti-Israel rhetoric by the Executive Director of the Human Rights Defenders Fund (HRDF,) a body supported financially by the NIF.

A just-released fact sheet from NGO Monitor, an Israeli watchdog that monitors foreign funding for Israeli and Palestinian NGOs, discloses that the Executive Director of the HRDF, Alma Biblash, has described Israel in such inflammatory terms as “racist,” and “murderous.”

Biblash also described Israel as a “temporary Jewish apartheid state.” According to NGO Monitor, “Biblash also supports Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaigns and promotes the Palestinian ‘right of return,’ meaning the elimination of Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people.” Read more ..

Russia on Edge

Russians Commemorate the Millions Killed in Stalin's Purges

October 29th 2014

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Hundreds of Russians lined up outside Moscow's former KGB headquarters on October 29 for an annual ritual commemorating the tens of thousands of people executed during the Great Terror of Soviet leader Josef Stalin.

Each victim is granted just a few words -- name, age, occupation, and the date when they were killed, usually by a shot to the head.

Sometimes, the speakers have no connection to the victims they name. Other times, it couldn't be more personal.

"Avramov, Roman Petrovich, 56 years old. My father," an elderly man says in a shaking voice. "Manager of the All-Soviet Bakery-Building Trust. Shot January 8, 1938. After several months they arrested my mother, Avramova, Faina Avramovna. She spent eight years in the Karaganda labor camps. I was 5 at the time."

The ritual is simple but staggering in its reflection of the sheer scope of the Stalin-era purges, when people of every ethnicity, profession, and political leaning were subject to summary arrest, sentence, and execution, often on flimsy political pretexts.

The daylong commemoration, organized by the Memorial human rights organization, comes as a new public survey shows many Russians expect to see a fresh wave of similar repressions in the future.

The poll, conducted by the pro-Kremlin Public Opinion Foundation (known by its Russian acronym, FOM), indicates that 48 percent of Russians surveyed said there was a chance they would live to see a repetition of Soviet-style repressions. Read more ..

Israel on Edge

Defensible Borders in the Age of IS

October 26th 2014

Western/Wailing Wall

How has the tumult in the Middle East affected the debate over Israel’s territorial requirements? For an answer, Mosaic approached Dore Gold, head of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, who has long promoted the concept of defensible borders primarily as a means of meeting Israel’s security needs in the West Bank. Our exchange was conducted by email. 

Q. Before we get to the idea of “defensible borders” itself, can you begin by telling us about your involvement in it?  

A: I became immersed in this issue when I was serving as foreign-policy adviser to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during his first term in the late 1990s. I was tasked with converting the IDF’s “Interests Map” for the West Bank into a form that could be presented to President Bill Clinton; I joined the prime minister for that presentation in the White House Map Room. Four years later, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon asked me to condense the work for his meeting in the Oval Office with President George W. Bush. Read more ..

The 2014 Vote

Good Reason for Mary Landrieu to be Concerned

October 25th 2014

Star Parker right crop

Prospects that three term Democrat Senator Mary Landrieu will return to the US Senate to represent Louisiana for a fourth term are looking increasingly bleak. Senator Landrieu has good reason to be concerned. One reason is disenchantment among Louisiana’s black population, which amounts to 32 percent of the population of the state – the nation’s second largest black population percentage-wise. Justification for black disillusionment is eloquently and explosively captured in the ad being run by Republican State Senator Elbert Guillory’s FreeAtLast PAC.

Guillory shook things up in 2013 when the then conservative black Democrat announced he was switching to the Republican Party.
In the ad, Guillory stands on Academy Street, in a poor black neighborhood in Opelouses, Louisiana, delivering his message, graphically powerful as the camera pans across the poverty of the neighborhood, that nothing has changed during the 18 years that Mary Landrieu has represented Louisiana in the US Senate. Read more ..

Venezuela on Edge

The Ramifications of Venezuela's Seat on the UN Security Council

October 22nd 2014

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With 181 out of 193 of the United Nations representatives voting yes on Thursday, October 16, the Venezuelan government has gained not only a seat on the U.N. Security Council, but an affirmation of a leadership role in the Americas. As a result, there are now two strong features of Venezuelan foreign policy that will likely have an intensified impact on the Council: Caracas’ ongoing commitment to construct a multi-polar world, and its anticipated presidency of the Non-Aligned Movement starting next year.

Although there have been some moments of dismay over the last fifteen years with Venezuela’s evolving foreign policy, overall the nation has advanced to a position where it draws considerable respect among other Latin American nations. Acclaim for Venezuela’s international position already has stemmed from its strong support for efforts aimed at regional integration and the establishment of the region as a “zone of peace,” as well as for its long-time championing of the inclusion of Cuba at the Summit of the Americas. Read more ..

Obama's Second Term

The Dilemma of Obama's Mid-Term

October 19th 2014

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President Obama will make the first public campaign appearance of the 2014 cycle Sunday in Maryland — just 16 days before voters head to the polls.

But the event — like almost every rally on the president’s schedule over the next two weeks — will be for the state's Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Anthony Brown.

In the biggest game in town - whether or not Democrats hold the Senate - the president is virtually absent from the campaign trail to help his party hold the upper chamber. He's fundraised to help Senate Democrats for months. But just over two weeks out the White House seems to have come to a sober reality - even though he has a ton to lose if Republicans take back the Senate, the president is more of a liability than an asset for Democrats locked in tough races. Read more ..

Syria on Edge

US Holocaust Museum Displays Evidence of Torture by Syria's Assad Regime

October 16th 2014

Shocking photographs purporting to show Syrian torture victims are on display at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. The museum says the graphic images are among thousands of photographs recently smuggled out of Syria by a military policeman-turned-defector. The museum says the photos provide further evidence of atrocities committed by the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against its own people.

The images are horrifying. The semi-naked, emaciated bodies show signs of torture: severe bruises, cuts and burn marks. Read more ..

The Edge of Petropolitics

American LNG to the Rescue! Not Exactly.

October 16th 2014

Oil Pipes2

When Secretary of State John Kerry tried to lead an LNG posse to rescue the Europeans, blackmailed in the Ukraine affair by their heavy dependence on Russian natural gas, his bluff was soon called.

True, the U.S. has a growing natural gas surplus. Converted, it can move over oceans as liquefied natural gas (LNG). But we are still years away from multi-billion-dollar facilities and a fleet of refrigerated tankers that would turn domestic supplies into a geopolitical weapon.

At the moment the U.S. has only one LNG export operation in Alaska dedicated to the Japan market. A Louisiana facility-- ironically revamped in mid-construction from importing to exporting-- will go on stream shortly. And while the Energy Department has approved seven applications for building new LNG exporting plants, only one has received the environmental go-ahead. Another two dozen haven't been vetted. Read more ..

Israel on Edge

BDS Activists Turn their Attention to 'Israel Lobby'

October 15th 2014

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A leading supporter of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement has conceded that the growth of western trade with Israel shows the “limits” of the strategy – and suggests, instead, that activists turn their ire upon the political influence of the “Israel Lobby.”

“BDS, in some ways, detracts from directly dealing with the real problem: the foreign policy of the West has been seriously corrupted by Israeli influence, almost wherever you look,” wrote Alastair Sloan, a left-wing British journalist, on the website of Middle East Monitor (MEMO,) a pro-Hamas outlet based in London. MEMO’s director is Dr. Daud Abdullah, a signatory of the so-called “Istanbul Declaration” of 2010, which lauded Hamas as the “Resistance against the Jewish Zionist occupation.” MEMO’s staff includes Ben White, a long-serving Hamas propagandist who has stated, “I do not consider myself an anti-Semite, yet I can also understand why some are.” Read more ..

Campus Jihad

Why We Edited 'The Case Against Academic Boycotts of Israel'

October 12th 2014

Early this year my colleague Gabriel Brahm and I approached a series of academics with an usual request. Higher education was facing an increasing number of struggles over the pressure to boycott Israeli universities. Academic freedom had long supported the notion that dialogue with our peers throughout the world was a fundamental value to be promoted no matter what policies their governments adopted. Indeed faculty members have traditionally seen that as one of higher education’s founding principles. But this core belief was in the process of being eroded. The movement to Boycott, Sanction, and Divest from Israel (BDS) was waging campaigns on campuses and in professional associations to make Israeli faculty, students, and their universities the one exception to a principle that had been universally honored.

Meanwhile, the leaders of the BDS movement—from Omar Barghouti to Judith Butler—were issuing a number of books in support of their cause. Yet there was not a single book supporters of universal academic freedom could turn to for help in analyzing the boycott issue and defending their beliefs. There was no lack of resources online reflecting both sides of the debate, but there was no one convenient comprehensive package for boycott opponents to use and recommend. Read more ..

The 2016 Campaign

Clinton Library Releases Papers and Reveals Clinton-Era Handling of Monica Lewinsky

October 11th 2014

Former President Clinton’s library released thousands of previously undisclosed papers on Friday, the final in a series of document dumps that have shed new light on the 1990s battles characterizing the Clinton years.

The papers released Friday included memos from Clinton staff offering advice on how to handle the Monica Lewinsky and Whitewater scandals. They offer glimpses of how the Clinton team handled the press that could take on a new light with Hillary Clinton’s expected 2016 run for the White House.

Here are five initial takeaways from the documents.

Bill Clinton has always been Hillary Clinton's best defender

After Hillary Clinton emerged bruised and beaten from the 1990s healthcare fight, Clinton adviser Paul Begala recommended that President Clinton defend his wife during the State of the Union address. Read more ..

Islam's War Against Christians

Obama Administration Denies Visa to Christian Victim of Muslim Terror

October 8th 2014

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U.S. President Barack Obama did not "publicly broach the subject of religious freedom" during talks with Saudi King Abdullah, despite a letter from 70 members of Congress urging him to "address specific human rights reforms" both in public and in direct meetings with King Abdullah. It was "remarkable that the resident could stay completely silent about religious freedom.... as well as other human rights concerns, with King Abdullah." — International Christian Concern advocacy group.

Al-Shabaab Islamists publicly beheaded a mother of two girls and her cousin after discovering they were Christians. The two daughters of one of the women, ages 8 and 15, "were witnesses to the slaughter," sources said, with the younger girl screaming for someone to save her mother. Read more ..

The Way We Are

Why the Supreme Court Dodged the Gay Marriage Issue

October 7th 2014

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The Supreme Court’s inaction on same-sex marriage Monday stunned much of the legal world, but the justices had plenty of reason to duck the hot button issue for now.

A string of lower court rulings against state bans offers both the court’s liberal and conservative wings powerful incentives to steer clear of gay marriage, despite pleas for legal clarity from both sides of the issue.

“There’s been great reluctance on the part of the Supreme Court to take up gay marriage,” said UCLA law professor Adam Winker, who suggested the justices believe the issue could “be resolved satisfactorily without Supreme Court involvement," a principle known as judicial restraint.

With legal battles over gay marriage raging across many states, the court was widely expected to take up one of the more than seven cases that had been pending before it. Instead, the justices declined to hear any of them — and no explanation was offered. Read more ..

Islam in Europe

Dutch Military Retreats in the face of Islamist Tweets

October 6th 2014

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Islamist Muhajiri Shaam

The Dutch Ministry of Defense has advised its soldiers not wear their uniforms in public. Dutch vice Prime Minister Lodewijk Asscher of the Labour Party emphasized that the proposal was merely advice. The Dutch military, however, clearly ordered -- instead of advised -- its personnel to hide their military professions in public. Dutch customs officials, whose uniforms could be mistaken as military, received the same advice.

The reason for this display of woefully misplaced 'conscientiousness' was a series of threats by the Dutch jihadist known as Muhajiri Shaam, a member of the al-Qaeda-affiliated group Jahbat-al Nusra.

Shaam tweeted: "So, now Dutch F-16's. Dutch people: your government just made you a target". Read more ..

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