Posted tagged ‘International Community’

Suffering to Purchase Sympathy

June 25, 2017

Suffering to Purchase Sympathy, Clarion ProjectElliot Friedland, June 25, 2017

(Please see also, Illuminating Gaza, which suggests satirically that Hamas relinquish some of its weapons for electricity:

For example, what if Israel agreed to provide Hamas with 2 MWh for every stockpiled Qassam rocket turned over to us? They have thousands of these, which could keep the lights on for weeks. Not to mention longer-range rockets, which would be worth more. And tunnels – I’m sure we would be happy to give them a whole day’s worth of electricity for the precise location of a terror tunnel. Just give us the coordinates and we’ll do the rest! Anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons are valuable, too. A nice shoulder-fired SAM is probably worth 10 MWh. Even rifles and mortar shells could help keep the juice flowing.

— DM)

Hamas fighters in Gaza. (Photo by Abid Katib/Getty Images)

The choices made by Palestinian leaders are deliberately spurring on a crisis over electricity for their own benefit, with Palestinians as the victims.

Here’s the crisis explained in brief:

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, himself a dictator (since he cancelled elections after becoming president in 2005) has informed Israel that he will no longer pay for electricity to Gaza. He made the decision because Hamas is unable to pay for its electricity anymore.

This electricity is provided on behalf of the Palestinian Authority to Gaza by the Israeli electric company. Abbas asked Israel to cut power to the Gaza Strip since he decided not to foot the bill. Israel complied, reducing electricity supply by 40 percent.

News of the cuts spread internationally. Since Gaza consists of a small area where two million people live, a humanitarian disaster is in the making. Gaza’s power plant has already been shut down since April, again because of unpaid bills by Hamas, so the territory already only had power for around four hours a day.

Egypt stepped in on Thursday to ease the crisis, sending one million liters of fuel to restart Gaza’s power plant.

However this measure is only a temporary stop gap measure, and the crisis will reemerge when the fuel is used up.

What Does This Have to Do With Anything?

Gaza’s electricity crisis is symptomatic of a broader policy of Islamist terror factions, in general, and Hamas, in particular. Understanding and refusing to engage in this manipulative cycle is essential to defeating these groups and essential for ending the cycle of deprivation hitting those living in areas controlled by jihadis.

How does the cycle work? It can be loosely broken up into three stages:

1.Spend all the money on terrorism.

Hamas collects 100 million shekels ($29,000,000) a year in taxes from residents in Gaza. It has also been given hundreds of million dollars in international aid for reconstruction and humanitarian assistance. Yet, this year, Israel’s security services arrested Muhammad Murtaja, the head of the Gaza branch of the Turkish charity IHH, for siphoning off aid money for terror purposes.

“The egotistical Hamas terror organization has robbed funds that are meant for the needy of Gaza from international organizations. Hamas prospers at the expense of the residents of the Strip and uses donations meant for them to finance terror,” Major General Yoav Mordechai, coordinator of government activities in the territories said of the arrests.

Nor is this case isolated. In 2016, Israel arrested Waheed al Borsh, an engineer working for the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), for stealing aid money to build a jetty for Hamas’ naval forces.

More egregiously the manager of international charity World Vision has been charged with funneling at least $43 million earmarked for international aid to Hamas’ military wing to pay for fighters and weapons.

As the independent think tank the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies notes, “According to the budget and expenditures for the 2013 fiscal year released by the last official Hamas government in 2014, a mere 2% of total expenditures of $348 million went to development and only 11.2% to social welfare transfers (compared to 25% in Egypt, which has a similar socio-economic profile). The rival PA estimates that over two-thirds of Hamas expenditures went to the production of terror.”

Spending in this way harms the inhabitants of Gaza. This, however, is a win for Hamas, because …

2.Manipulate the Ensuing Humanitarian Crisis

It’s important to note that the humanitarian crisis is real. According to Israel itself, in addition to the blackouts, 96% of Gaza’s water is reportedly not fit for drinking, due to the strain on the aquifers. There are widespread shortages. Unemployment is at 42%.

At this stage, Hamas’ goal is now to use these crises to extract concessions from Israel and malign Israel in the international press.

During the recent electricity crisis, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri thundered that Israel “bears responsibility for the consequences of the reduction.”

“Israel is trying to cause a humanitarian crisis in Gaza to oust Hamas,” accused Vice, in an incredibly misleading headline, despite the fact that even the Palestinian Authority blamed Hamas for the current crisis.

The UN Special Envoy on the Peace Process Nikolay Mladenov warned that the humanitarian crisis could spark another war, giving as the reason that “people will be angry, increasingly desperate…”

“UN warns of Gaza’s ‘total collapse’ amid power crisis,” writes Al-Jazeera, lamenting that, “Further cuts to Gaza’s already diminished electricity supply has besieged Strip on the brink of humanitarian catastrophe.”

The UN humanitarian coordinator for the occupied territories, Robert Piper, warned of the disastrous effect of further power cuts. A joint statement signed by 16 NGOs, including Rabbis for Human Rights, B’Tselem and Peace Now, called on the Israeli attorney general to intervene and force Israel to give Gaza free electricity on the grounds that Israel is legally responsible for the humanitarian welfare of the Gaza strip.

Amnesty International and other global NGOs also joined the condemnation.

All these condemnations harm Israel’s image  and increase pressure on it, creating strategic opportunities for Hamas to exploit for …

3.Profit

If Israel gives Gaza free electricity, it will, in effect, be subsidizing Hamas terrorism by freeing up resources that would be spent on paying for its own electricity, thus paying for terrorism.

This money will be coming from the pocket of the Israeli taxpayer.

If Israel refuses to pay for Hamas’ electricity, it tarnishes its already battered international image. It also puts itself in a moral quandary as images of beleaguered Palestinians roll across the news. This can also create social and political tension in Israel.

If Israel decides enough is enough and invades Gaza to replace Hamas, this will also benefit Hamas. As soon as the body count starts racking up, international and Palestinian sympathy will swing to support Hamas, as happened during and after the last Gaza war.

As the Jerusalem Post noted in their editorial on the electricity crisis, “Ultimately, the so-called electricity crisis is of Hamas’s making. As with the Islamist movement’s use of human shields, its purposeful positioning of combatants and rocket launchers in the midst of population centers, so too the default on Gaza’s electricity bill presents Israel with a difficult moral dilemma.

“Hamas is willing to sacrifice the lives of Gaza’s civilians in order to win the battle of public opinion. The image of a sick Palestinian baby lying untreated in a darkened Rantisi Pediatric Hospital in Gaza City is a blow to the gut that is impossible to explain away.”

There is yet another benefit: the international aid that can be extracted from the international community when Gaza faces a humanitarian crisis.

Hamas has already asked the UN, Europe and the Arab states to intercede with Abbas over the crisis. Meanwhile a ship containing 10,000 tons of aid from the Turkish IHH charity — the same charity whose head was arrested for using aid money to fund Hamas terror — docked in Ashdod so the goods could be taken to Gaza.

International donors give millions in aid to Gaza and will in all likelihood do so again if the situation worsens.

If this happens, Hamas will reap the benefits and steal the fresh aid money to fund terrorism while ignoring those who live under its rule.

Theirs is the strategy of the boa constrictor, aiming to slowly choke out Israel, not through brute force, but through relentless attrition and making all choices bad choices. The fact that Palestinians suffer is not only not a moral consideration, but it is actually part of the plan.

It is both brilliant and evil.

Time for a Terrorism Accord, Not a Climate Accord

June 4, 2017

Time for a Terrorism Accord, Not a Climate Accord, PJ MediaRoger L Simon, June 3, 2017

(Another pleasing idea that won’t likely be tried and, if tried, won’t work. “America First” can work and, if given a chance, should. The Supreme Court is about to consider President Trump’s “Muslim ban” executive order. Perhaps recent events in Europe and England will push enough justices to reinstate it.That will at least be a step in the right direction. Please see also, Supreme Court Expedites Trump’s Petition on Executive Order Case. — DM)

[T]he recent Paris climate accord is not only based on bad or “cooked” Climategate science, it is a deliberate conscious/unconscious deflection from the genuine “present danger” in front of us.  It is no more than obfuscation allowing moral narcissists to feel good about themselves, virtue signaling about an environmental armageddon that hasn’t happened and may never happen while, in real life, people are actually murdered on London bridges and in Cairo churches.

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Yes, there’s a threat to civilization and it’s not global warming, manmade or otherwise.  And anyone who isn’t comatose should know what it is.

Islam, like cancer, needs a cure. And we all have to participate in the search for one before it’s too late.

Yes, this is about Islam, not “radical” Islam or some other off-shoot, real or imagined, because the tenets that have inspired the non-stop spate of terrorism across the world in recent years are spelled out clearly in sections of the Koran and the Hadith and other holy works of Islam. They provide justification for ISIS and a hundred other groups that may or may not replace them, now and in the future. This cannot continue — unless we really do want to destroy ourselves.

To be clear, this is not about bad people (many Muslims are fine human beings), but about a malignant ideology from the seventh century that must be expunged for the survival of all.

But the majority of Western leaders don’t want to know that.  In fact, I’d wager that most have not even bothered to educate themselves in any serious way about Islam nearly sixteen years after 9/11 and with all the constant carnage that has gone on since and has been increasing significantly, not just in London and Manchester but virtually everywhere.

These Westerners are not only willfully blind, they are suicidal.  But we cannot let them commit suicide for the rest of us.  They have to go.

Similarly, the recent Paris climate accord is not only based on bad or “cooked” Climategate science, it is a deliberate conscious/unconscious deflection from the genuine “present danger” in front of us.  It is no more than obfuscation allowing moral narcissists to feel good about themselves, virtue signaling about an environmental armageddon that hasn’t happened and may never happen while, in real life, people are actually murdered on London bridges and in Cairo churches.

What we need now is an international terrorism accord — and, unlike the climate accord, a binding one — that would commit the world, including the Muslim nations themselves, to the complete reformation of Islam that is the necessary basis for an end to this terrorism.

President Trump made a good start in Riyadh in his address to the Sunni leaders, but we must go much further.  It is correct that the Islamic world should be the ones to change their religion, but the rest of us on the planet are too affected by the results to stand by and wait.  From the horrifying (London this weekend) to the daily (the constant of indignity of being scanned at airports, concerts, museums, etc.), we are all victims of Islamic ideology.  We have a right, indeed an obligation, to participate in and demand its change. Otherwise, it will only get worse.

Since Trump had the courage to open the discussion in Saudi Arabia, he should attempt to expand the dialogue and create this global accord. Egypt’s el-Sisi would be a good partner because he already had the guts to criticize his own religion.  All should be invited, even those who would never come (like the mullahs).  All must confront the question of why Islam, unique among the world’s religions today, has so much violence committed in its name. What is it about Islam that attracts this?  What therefore has to be changed, both in behavior and ideology?

The event should be public, with Islam ultimately made to pledge itself to human rights as accepted by the West — equal rights for women and homosexuals, separation of church (mosque) and state, no discrimination based on race or religion (why no churches allowed in Saudi Arabia?), etc. — not the absurd Orwellian version of human rights promulgated the UN Human Rights Council.

This demand should be made to all quarters of the Islamic world with economic punishment applied if necessary.  The time for diplomatic politesse is long over. Islam must be forced to join modernity. Reactionary multiculturalists among us must be ignored, along with their hypocritical (and nonsensical) belief that all religions are equal.  To do otherwise would be to treat Muslim people like children.  And that is what the West has been doing for some time — with atrocious results for all.

The world’s obsessive hostility towards the Jews

January 13, 2017

The world’s obsessive hostility towards the Jews, Israel National News, Richard Mather, January 13, 2017

(Please see also, Obama’s Transparent Presidency. — DM)

Syria is dying, Islamists are murdering European civilians, ISIS and affiliated groups are on the rampage in the Middle East, food and water are in short supply in Africa. And so it is remarkable that the nations of the world have gathered against tiny Israel in order to dispossess Jews of what little land they have in order to create a twenty-third Arab state called Palestine.

Indeed, it is all the more remarkable when one considers the fact that the Palestinian Arabs have no historical, cultural or legal rights to the land of Israel.

That the Palestinian Arabs are endowed with so much international and economic patronage by the United Nations, the United Kingdom, the European Union and the Obama White House is testament to the world’s perpetual hatred towards the Jews. How did the Palestinians and their international backers manage to achieve such a feat? Why does the world revolve around the Palestinians?

There are several answers to this. One is the Palestinians’ cynical calculus of terror. They have learned that violence is rewarded by the international community. Palestinians do not want a peaceful political solution, not when terrorism reaps dividends. That’s why Yasser Arafat instigated the second intifada. He did it to mask his rejection of the Camp David deal in 2000. And what happened? The world blamed Israel for the “occupation,” which garnered further sympathy for the Palestinians.

Fatah and Hamas know that terrorism focuses worldwide attention on Israel. The Palestinians  want the conflict and the boycotts to continue because they exert unbearable pressure on the Jewish state. Should a Palestinian state come into being, don’t expect terrorism to go away. On the contrary, a Palestinian state will be the launchpad for further attacks on the shrinking Jewish state.

Indeed, ethnic cleansing of the Jews is the ultimate aim of the Palestinians. A Palestinian state does not entail a peaceful political or diplomatic solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict. When Palestinians and their supporters chant “Palestine will be free, from the river to the sea,” they are calling for the genocide and/or mass expulsion of millions of Israelis – not just Israelis in the so-called ‘West Bank’ but Israel in its entirety.

There is another reason the world wants a Palestinian state: it is an opportunity for the nations to eradicate thousands of years of Jewish history. Places of importance have already been appropriated by our enemies. Me’arat ha-Makhpela (the Cave of the Patriarchs) and Kever Rakhel (Rachel’s Tomb) are now considered integral to a future State of Palestine.

Worse still, the Palestinians have appropriated the Kotel – the Kotel! – as an Islamic holy site named Al-Buraq. Raed Salah, leader of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, has said that the Western Wall and “all its various parts, structures and gates, are an inseparable part of the al-Aqsa compound.”

And PA-appointed Mufti of Jerusalem, Sheikh Ekrima Sa’id Sabri, believes that Kotel belongs to the Muslims alone. In an interview with German magazine Die Welt, he stated: “There is not a single stone in the Wailing Wall relating to Jewish history. The Jews cannot legitimately claim this wall, neither religiously nor historically. The Committee of the League of Nations recommended in 1930, to allow the Jews to pray there, in order to keep them quiet. But by no means did it acknowledge that the wall belongs to them.”

Since it is clear that the Palestinians are not interested in peaceful co-existence with Jews; since the decay of Arab nations in the Middle East looks set to continue; since Jewish holy sites are in grave danger; and since it is highly likely that a Palestinian state will be a human rights disaster, wouldn’t it be better for the international community to put aside childish notions of a State of Palestine and lavish their time and resources on more important matters?

Evidently not. Kurdish independence, the Syrian crisis, chronic starvation in Africa, Islamic State, child sex slavery, and so on, are apparently (and shamefully) very low down on the world’s list of priorities. Given that there are so many pressing issues, it is deliberately perverse of the nations to pursue the creation of an autocratic state (or worse still an Islamist republic) called Palestine, which will be the only place on the planet that is officially Judenrein, i.e. “cleansed of Jews.”

It is clear that the world’s desire to create an anti-Semitic Palestinian state – regardless of the human cost and at the expense of more urgent issues – is driven by an obsessive hostility towards the Jewish people and Jewish culture, as well as a hatred for Judaism. To put it another way, it is racially and religiously-inspired anti-Semitic bloodlust.

French Ambassadors Declare War on Israel

January 12, 2017

French Ambassadors Declare War on Israel, Gatestone InstituteYves Mamou, January 12, 2017

(Having done a bang-up job of integrating Islamic refugees, perhaps Paris and the rest of Europe will share the secrets of their “success” — so that avoid them in dealing with Palestinians. — DM)

If Israel does not comply with its condemnation; if Israel refuses to go back to the “Auschwitz borders” of 1949 as UN Security Council Resolution 2334 dictates; if Israel does not renounce Jerusalem, the soul of its civilization for more than 3,000 years, to make room for a Palestinian state — they also conveniently leave out that it would most likely soon be an Islamic terrorist state — then the process of international sanctions will be launched.

“It is unfortunate, however,” the ambassadors wrote, “that Mr. Netanyahu from the outset announced that he did not want to meet Mr. Abbas in Paris. But this refusal shows the need for international pressure to reframe an impossible dialogue.”

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For our ambassadors, terrorism does not exist in “Palestine”. They just whisper Quixotically about “the need for security” for Israel.

The obvious conclusion is that they are just trying to hide their own detestation of Israel behind the Arab one.

The problem is not Jewish “settlers” in “Palestine”. Before 1967, there were no settlements, then what was the Palestine Liberation Organization “liberating” when it was created in Cairo in 1964? The answer, as the PLO was the first to admit, was “Palestine” — meaning the entire state of Israel, regarded by many Arabs as just one big settlement. Just look any Palestinian map.

The problem is that these ambassadors are not as dangerous to Israel as they are to Europe and the free world, as they keep on succumbing to the demands of Islam.

Do not forget these names: Yves Aubin de La Messuzière; Denis Bauchard; Philippe Coste; Bertrand Dufourcq; Christian Graeff; Pierre Hunt; Patrick Leclercq; Stanislas de Laboulaye; Jean-Louis Lucet; Gabriel Robin; Jacques-Alain de Sédouy and Alfred Siefer-Gaillardin.

These men are retired French ambassadors. They are apparently well educated, very polite and aristocratic people and they regularly publish op-eds in Le Monde. However, they publish in Le Monde only to threaten Israel.

Their most recent op-ed in Le Monde on January 9, 2017, was to explain how an international conference on the Middle East, the one which scheduled for January 15 in Paris, would be beneficial for the “security” of Israel. Their text is a discouraging enumeration of traditional clichés of France’s hypocritical diplomacy.

Example: “For the Palestinians, nothing is worse than the absence of a state”. In which way is it the worst? As Bret Stephens wrote this week in the Wall Street Journal:

“Have they experienced greater violations to their culture than Tibetans? No: Beijing has conducted a systematic policy of repression for 67 years, whereas Palestinians are nothing if not vocal in mosques, universities and the media. Have they been persecuted more harshly than the Rohingya? Not even close.”

Stephens also noted that:

“a telling figure came in a June 2015 poll conducted by the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion, which found that a majority of Arab residents in East Jerusalem would rather live as citizens with equal rights in Israel than in a Palestinian state. “

The French ambassadors, however, do not explain. They just add: “The Proclamation of a Palestinian state will certainly not change anything on the ground,” but they say that they hope this symbolic move will create “a new dynamic imposing new realities”. Hmm. Now what could these “new realities” be in a Palestinian state in the middle of a war-torn Middle East?

“Today,” reflects Diana B. Greenwald of the Washington Post, “with Fatah in charge in the West Bank, the main threat comes from Islamist groups, such as Hamas, and even militant groups associated with Fatah that have chafed under Abbas’s heavy-handed rule.”

This evaluation was backed up by the landslide vote for Hamas, not in Gaza, but at Birzeit University in the West Bank.

For these French ambassadors, all Israeli governments, and especially Netanyahu’s, are seemingly driven by a “religious nationalism” which supposedly makes Israel’s prime minister deaf to the national aspirations of Palestinian people — the same Palestinian people who pursue a state by killing Jews with knifes, bus-bombs or vehicular ramming attacks, at the same time shouting, “Allahu Akbar” [“Allah is Greatest”]. For our ambassadors, terrorism does not exist in “Palestine”. They just whisper Quixotically about “the need for security” for Israel.

PARIS, FRANCE - JANUARY 11: French President Francois Hollande (R) welcomes Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Elysee Palace before attending a Unity rally in tribute to the 17 victims of a three-day killing spree by homegrown Islamists on January 11, 2015 in Paris, France. A mass unity rally to be held in Paris following the recent terrorist attacks on January 11, 2015 in Paris, France. An estimated one million people are expected to converge in central Paris for the Unity March joining in solidarity with the 17 victims of this week's terrorist attacks in the country. French President Francois Hollande will lead the march and will be joined by world leaders in a sign of unity. The terrorist atrocities started on Wednesday with the attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, killing 12, and ended on Friday with sieges at a printing company in Dammartin en Goele and a Kosher supermarket in Paris with four hostages and three suspects being killed. A fourth suspect, Hayat Boumeddiene, 26, escaped and is wanted in connection with the murder of a policewoman. (Photo by Thierry Chesnot/Getty Images)Unhappy France-Israel diplomacy. Pictured: French President François Hollande (right) greets Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Paris on January 11, 2015. (Image source: Thierry Chesnot/Getty Images)

Their article is a long and boring lament about the oh-so-difficult conditions of the Palestinian people. But after this complaint, our ambassadors finally get to their real intent: they threaten to banish Israel. If Israel does not comply with its condemnation; if Israel refuses to go back to the “Auschwitz borders” of 1949 as UN Security Council Resolution 2334 dictates; if Israel does not renounce Jerusalem, the soul of its civilization for more than 3,000 years, to make room for a Palestinian state — they also conveniently leave out that it would most likely soon be an Islamic terrorist state — then the process of international sanctions will be launched.

“It is unfortunate, however,” the ambassadors wrote, “that Mr. Netanyahu from the outset announced that he did not want to meet Mr. Abbas in Paris. But this refusal shows the need for international pressure to reframe an impossible dialogue.”

“Otherwise, how would Israel escape the danger of sanctions? By calling for the labeling of products from the Israeli settlements, the European Union, was being consistent with its condemnation of the settlements, and paved the way. It is a perilous process for Israel, open to the outside world, and therefore vulnerable. We recall the role of sanctions in the end of apartheid in South Africa”.

They are not precise about what “sanctions” would be. But in an earlier op-ed, published on February 3, 2016, the same group of retired French ambassadors gave some examples of their wishes.

  • Immediate recognition of the State of Palestine by France and all countries of the European Union.
  • A suspension of the association agreement between the European Union and Israel.
  • The end of economic and scientific cooperation between the European Union and Israel.

These pedantic diatribes against the Jewish state are a pathetic illustration of the traditional blindness of European diplomacy, and especially France’s. These ambassadors make the statement that “the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is eclipsed in world opinion by the misfortunes of Syria, Iraq and Yemen, and by the perilous presence of the Islamic state”, but they continue to think that “the resentment of Arab public opinion against the Western world” exists because this same Western world is “accused of complicity with Israel”.

The obvious conclusion is that they are just trying to hide their own detestation of Israel behind the Arab one. The problem is not Jewish “settlers” in “Palestine”. Before 1967, there were no settlements. So what was the Palestine Liberation Organization “liberating” when it was created in Cairo in 1964? The answer, of course, as the PLO was the first to admit, was “Palestine” — meaning the entire state of Israel, regarded by many Arabs as just one big settlement. Just look at any Palestinian map.

Middle East expert Gregg Roman straightens out the factual history distorted by the UN and Europe:

“[W]hen taking into account 3,000 years of history and context, Palestinian Arabs, not indigenous Israeli Jews, become the offending party…. Around 1,300 years ago, descendants and followers of the Prophet Mohammad from Arabia poured out of the Peninsular in an orgy of conquest, expansionism and colonization. They first annihilated ancient Jewish tribes in places like Yathrib (known today as Medina) and Khaybar before sweeping north, east and west, conquering what is today known as the Middle East, North Africa and even southern Europe…. Wherever Arab and Islamic rulers conquered, they imposed their culture, language and — most significantly — their religion…. At first, Arab settlers and conquerors did not want to intermingle with their indigenous vassals. They often lived in segregated quarters or created garrison towns from which they imposed their authority on native populations…. while slavery became rampant and unfettered…. Slowly, but surely, the “Arab world” that we know today was artificially and aggressively imposed.”

Arabs, who have been trying to kill Jews there for nearly a hundred years, long before 1967, represent a problem — there are 1.5 million Arab people in Israel, but no one considers them “settlers”. The problem is that these ambassadors are not as dangerous to Israel as they are to Europe and the free world, as they keep on succumbing to the demands of Islam.

Iran Targets Its Largest Minority

August 5, 2016

Iran Targets Its Largest Minority, Gatestone Institute via YouTube, August 5, 2016

The blurb beneath the video states,

The Iranian regime that hangs and imprisons peace-loving people for their beliefs is today a major threat to the free world. Iran is building a massive arsenal of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles. Does it not seem perverse that the UN, the EU and the US administration smile fondly on the persecutors and defame the protectors?

The EU-Progressive Paradigm is Falling Apart

June 27, 2016

The EU-Progressive Paradigm is Falling Apart, Front Page MagazineBruce Thornton, June 27, 2016

op_2

In short, millions of ordinary people in America, England, France, and many other Western nations know that the paradigm of transnational hegemony and technocratic rule created not a utopia, but an arrogant privileged class that believes it is superior and thus entitled to boss other people around and lecture them about backward superstitions and bigotry. And it looks like these average citizens have had enough.

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Long-developing cracks in the Western political establishment’s century-old paradigm suddenly widened this year. In the US Donald Trump, a reality television star and real estate developer, improbably became the Republican Party’s nominee for president. Bernie Sanders, a socialist and long-time Senate crank, challenged the Democrats’ pre-anointed nominee Hillary Clinton, who prevailed only by dint of money and un-democratic “super-delegates.” Meanwhile in Europe, the UK voted to leave the European Union, perhaps opening the flood-gates to more defections.

These three events share a common theme: populist and patriotic passions roused by arrogant elites have fueled a rejection of Western establishments and their un-democratic, autocratic, corrupt paradigm.

That political model can be simply defined as technocratic and transnational. Starting in the 19th century, the success of science and the shrinking of the world through technology and trade created the illusion that human nature, society, and politics could be similarly understood, managed, and improved by those trained and practiced in the new “human sciences.” This new “knowledge” said people are the same everywhere, and so all humans want the same things: peace with their neighbors, prosperity, and freedom. The absence of these boons, not a permanently flawed human nature, explains the history of war and conflict. National identities, along with religion and tradition, are impediments to institutionalizing this “harmony of interests.” International organizations and covenants can be created to enforce this harmony, shepherd the people towards the transnational utopia, and leave behind the misery and wars sparked by religious, ethnic, and nationalist passions.

Technocracy, however, is by definition anti-democratic. So how can the foundational belief of Western governments – the sovereignty of free people and their right to be ruled by their own consent–– coexist with an administrative state staffed by “experts” and armed with the coercive power of the state? Quite simply, it can’t. As for the transnational ideal of a “harmony of interests,” it was repudiated by the carnage of World War I, when the Entente and Central Powers sent their young to die under the flags of their nations on behalf of their particular national interests.  Yet the West still codified that transnational ideal in the League of Nations, even as it enshrined the contrary ideal of national self-determination, the right of people to rule themselves free of imperial or colonial overlords.

This gruesome war demonstrated that people are still defined by a particular language, culture, mores, folkways, religions, and landscapes, and that nations have interests that necessarily conflict with those of other nations. That’s why the League failed miserably to stop the aggression of its member states Japan, Italy, and Germany, and could not prevent an apocalyptic second world war that took at least 50 million lives. Yet the Western elites continued to pursue the transnational dream of technocratic rule after World War II, creating the UN as yet another attempt to trump the reality of national differences with some imagined harmony of interests. In reality, the UN has been an instrument used by states to pursue those interests at the expense of other nations.

Still not learning their lesson, the transnationalists created yet another institution that would subordinate the nations of Europe to its control, on the debatable assumption that the carnage of two world wars was wrought by national particularism. They confused genuine patriotism and love of one’s own way of living, with the grotesque political religions of fascism and Nazism, both as much avatars of illiberal tribalism as nationalism grown toxic. Thus was born the supranational EU, which began modestly in 1958 with the European Economic Community, and then relentlessly expanded over the years into today’s intrusive, unaccountable bureaucracy of anonymous technocrats that has concentrated power in Brussels at the expense of national sovereignty.

Similarly, in the US the progressives of the early 20th century began transforming the American Republic based on similar assumptions. They believe that economic, social, and technological progress rendered the Constitution––particularly its separation of powers, checks and balances, and federalist protections of the sovereignty of the states––an anachronism. “The age of enlightened administration had come,” F.D.R. proclaimed, and he set about creating the federal bureaus and agencies that have over the years expanded in scope and power, and increasingly encroached on the rights and autonomy of the states, civil society, and individuals.

But the Eurocrats and progressives forgot one of the most ancient beliefs of the West, and a fundamental assumption behind the structure of the Constitution––that a flawed human nature, vulnerable to corruption by power, is constant across time and space. As Benjamin Franklin wrote during the Constitutional convention, “There are two passions which have a powerful influence on the affairs of men. These are ambition and avarice: the love of power and the love of money,” which when combined have “the most violent of effects.” As much as the democratic mob, any elite, whether of birth, wealth, or education, is subject to power’s corruption and abuse. That’s why our Constitution checked and balanced power: to limit the scope of any part of the government, and thus safeguard the freedom of all citizens no matter their wealth, birth, or education.

In contrast, the conceit of progressives and EU functionaries is that they are somehow immune to the seductions of power. They think their presumed superior knowledge and powers of reason make them more capable and trustworthy than the fickle, ignorant masses and the elected officials accountable to them. History, however, shows that technocrats are as vulnerable to the corruption of power as elites of birth or wealth, and that power is, as the Founders were fond of saying, “of an encroaching nature” and must “ever to be watched and checked.” The expansion of the EU’s tyrannical regulatory and lawmaking power at the expense of national sovereignty is the proof of this ancient wisdom. So too are America’s bloated federal executive agencies aggrandizing and abusing their powers at the expense of the people and the states.

Thus the dominant paradigm that has long organized politics and social life in the West is now under assault, for history has presented this model with challenges it has failed to meet. The resurgence of Islamic jihadism and terror has been met with sermons on Islamophobia and therapeutic multiculturalism. A newly assertive Russia has pursued its national interest with state violence, only to be scolded by our Secretary of State for “behaving in a 19th century fashion.” The financial crisis of 2008 was caused in part by government political and regulatory interference in the market, the same policies that have kept economic growth sluggish for over seven years. Feckless immigration policies have been worsened by a failure to monitor those who get in, and to assimilate those that do. And most important, the redistributionist entitlement regime has weakened the citizens’ character, fostered selfish hedonism, and is on track to bankrupt this country and many in Europe. All these crises have in the main been the offspring of progressives and Eurocrats, whose only solution is to cling to the policies that empower and enrich them, but degrade their own cultures and endanger their own peoples.

Millions of citizens both in the US and in Europe have been watching these developments and living with the baleful consequences that the hypocritical, smug progressive and EU elites seldom encounter in their daily lives. This long-festering anger and resentment of those who smear them as stupid racists, neurotic xenophobes, and fearful “haters,” has now burst to the surface of political life. People can see that the “we are the world,” “global village” cosmopolitanism enriches and empowers the political, cultural, and business elites, but passes on to the people the risks of careless and often deadly immigration policies, and the economic dislocations of a globalized economy. They see that coastal fat cats, who can afford the higher taxes and the costs of environmental regulations, care nothing for the flyover-country working and middle classes pinched by higher electric and gasoline bills. People who live in tony enclaves of white professionals and hipsters support unfettered immigration, while others have to live with the crime and disorder that comes from thrusting into their midst people from very different cultures and mores, including some who have a divine sanction to kill the same people who have welcomed them in.

In short, millions of ordinary people in America, England, France, and many other Western nations know that the paradigm of transnational hegemony and technocratic rule created not a utopia, but an arrogant privileged class that believes it is superior and thus entitled to boss other people around and lecture them about backward superstitions and bigotry. And it looks like these average citizens have had enough.

England has spoken in favor of popular sovereignty and self-government. Soon it will be America’s turn. Our British cousins made the right choice. Let’s hope we do too.

John Kerry to the World: Let’s Gang up on Israel

March 18, 2016

John Kerry to the World: Let’s Gang up on Israel, Stephen M. Flatlow, March 17, 2016

netanyahu-kerry-bibi-300x178 (1)Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu with US Secretary of State John Kerry. Photo: GPO.

JNS.org – John Kerry has a new strategy for achieving Mideast peace: mobilize the international community to gang up on Israel.

That was the essence of the secretary of state’s disturbing remarks in Paris on March 13. Kerry declared that the Obama administration is “looking for a way forward” to bring about creation of a Palestinian state. He said that Palestinian statehood is “absolutely essential.”

Not just “an idea worth exploring;” not just “something to be considered’.” Rather, “absolutely essential.” Kerry and President Obama have made up their minds and will not consider any alternatives. They have decided that establishing an independent Palestinian state is the only solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict. It’s just a question of how to make it happen.

The administration’s attempts to pressure Israel into creating a Palestinian state obviously have not been successful so far. So Kerry is looking for new ways to harangue the Israelis. Standing next to a group of European foreign ministers at the Paris press conference, Kerry said: “There’s not any one country or one person who can resolve this. This is going to require the global community, it will require international support.”

Significantly, Kerry’s quest for an international alliance to pressure Israel comes on the heels of France’s recent announcement that it will try to convene an international conference to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The French said that if the conference failed to produce a Palestinian state, they will go ahead and unilaterally recognize such a state. That’s the French idea of “negotiations.”

The French approach, which Secretary Kerry now seems to be moving towards, is reminiscent of similar proposals that were made back in 1985. Alarmed, then-Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin flew to Washington to try to head off the convening what was being called an “international umbrella” for Mideast negotiations.

“Whenever anyone mentions umbrella, it reminds me of Chamberlain and Munich,” Rabin declared. For Rabin to invoke the memory of Chamberlain selling out to Hitler at Munich — and for Rabin to use those words at a press conference in Washington — vividly illustrates how dangerous he considered the ‘international’ proposal to be.

It’s not hard to understand why Rabin in 1985 opposed such a proposal, and it’s not hard to see why Israel’s leaders today oppose it, too. If Kerry succeeds in his strategy, such an international conference or umbrella would consist of a dozen or more Arab and European countries ganging up on Israel and demanding that the Israelis make unilateral concessions to the Palestinians. Knowing the Obama administration’s pro-Palestinian slant, one must assume that the US would side with the Arabs and Europeans.

The French — evidently with Kerry’s tacit approval, or perhaps even his encouragement–are pushing forward. French diplomat Pierre Vimont will be visiting Israel and the Palestinian Authority this week to promote France’s initiative. French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, appearing alongside Kerry at the press conference: “The conflict is getting worse and the status quo cannot continue.”

The conflict is getting worse? No, it’s not.

The status quo cannot continue? Yes, it can.

I am the last person in the world to minimize the reality of Palestinian terrorism. But there’s no way anybody can say the current attacks are worse than the weekly bus bombings of the 1990s. Israel’s strong military response put an end to the suicide bombings — which shows that if Israel does not fight with one hand tied behind its back, it can beat the terrorists.

And the status quo may not be the ideal solution, but show me a better one that’s feasible. Withdrawing to indefensible borders? Setting up an armed or soon-to-be-armed Palestinian state just a few miles from Jerusalem and Tel Aviv? In 1976, people were saying “the status quo cannot continue.” They were saying it 1986 and 1996 and 2006, too. Yet here we are, nearly 50 years after the 1967 war — and it has continued, because the alternatives have been worse.

Of course, what Kerry and French call the “status quo” is not at all the same as the status quo of the 1970s or 1980s. In 1995, Rabin withdrew from the areas where 98% of the Palestinians reside. For the past 21 years, the Palestinian Authority has functioned as a de-facto state in a large portion of Judea-Samaria. The only thing the PA lacks is a full-fledged army and the ability to import tanks and planes. And from Israel’s point of view, that’s not such a bad status quo.

So maybe it’s time for Kerry and his gang of would-be interveners to step back, take a deep breath, and face the fact that the slogans and ideas of the 1980s — “status quo,” “international umbrella” and the like — are just not suited to today’s reality.