Monday, September 26, 2016

What If Muslim Immigrants Don’t Want to Be “Like Us”? By Leon Hadar.

A Muslim couple sitting in a private screening room and wearing 3-D goggles. Auckland, New Zealand. Wikimedia/Jorge Royan.

What If Muslim Immigrants Don’t Want to Be “Like Us”? By Leon Hadar. The National Interest, September 25, 2016.


Muslim immigrants to the West are becoming less assimilated, not more.

When they discuss immigration policy, especially when it applies to the influx of hundreds of thousands of Muslims to the West, pundits don’t necessarily exhibit a liberal bias, or for that matter, a left-leaning view of the world. How would John Locke, Adam Smith or Karl Marx respond to the current debate? My guess is as good as yours.

In fact, when they welcome immigrants, legal and illegal, from the Middle East and elsewhere, and blast the immigration restrictionists as bigots and racists, most Western policy intellectuals display what would commonly be described as the Whig interpretation of history.

According to Whig history, our societies have been moving in an almost linear fashion towards more advanced forms of enlightenment and liberty. Values like secularism, religious freedom, individual rights, women’s rights and free markets, representing the progressive future, were bound to overcome the reactionary forces of the past, represented by religious oppression, absolute monarchism, coercive government and backward-looking tradition, with liberal democracy being the culmination of this forward-looking process.

This view of the world derived in part from the ideas of the Reformation, which was seen as a central progressive force challenging the reactionary Catholic Church. So it was perhaps not surprising that while some of the leaders of the much-derided anti-immigration movement in nineteenth-century America known as the “Know-Nothings” were actually opposed to slavery, and supported extending more rights to women, they were also opposed to the immigration of Catholics into the country, believing that the followers of the pope and his illiberal traditions could end up halting the march towards progress.

The notion of a progressive or a liberal calling for restricting immigration would today sound mind-bending, if not a contradiction in terms. After all, notwithstanding the warnings from the Know-Nothings, the history of Catholic and, for that matter, Jewish immigration into the United States followed the Whig interpretation.

In fact, as political scientist Samuel Huntington put it, members of both religious groups as well as those of other non-Protestant branches followed the route of “Anglicizing” their religious practices and traditions and integrating themselves into the more secular and liberal environment of the country. They embraced what Huntington called the “American Creed,” which he regarded as the unique creation of a dissenting Protestant culture, with its commitment to individualism, equality and the rights to freedom of religion and opinion.

So from that perspective, the assimilation of these immigrants into American society could be integrated into a narrative of progress. They may have not been “like us” in terms of their view of the world when they had arrived into this country, which was why the Know-Nothings campaigned against them.

But then history proved that those who were opposed to the immigration of Catholics and Jews were wrong, playing the role of reactionaries in our forward-looking narrative. Today’s leading liberal pundits assign the role of villains to opponents of Muslim immigration, who are depicted as the modern-day Know-Nothings.

This Whig interpretation of history would recall how the children and grandchildren of Catholic immigrants from Ireland, Italy or Poland, and those of eastern European Jews, abandoned their parents’ and grandparents’ archaic religious traditions and sense of religious particularism and ethnic tribalism. They have, indeed, become very much “like us,” and in some cases, more committed to the progressive American creed than members of old Protestant families from New England.

So why should we assume that Muslim immigrants from the Middle East and South Asia wouldn’t play the same role in the sequel to that movie? Presumably the same economic, social and cultural pressures that eventually helped Anglicize the Catholics and the Jews in this country would do magic for today’s Muslim immigrants. And those who don’t share that expectations are part of the reactionary past: angry old white men who cannot come to terms with the changing demographics of the country.

But these upbeat expectations assume that many things that may be wrong, including scientific and economic progress, and other forces of modernization like industrialization and urbanization, are so powerful that they force one to leave the traditions of the past behind to embrace liberal and secular forms of identity.

We are told to remember that the granddaughters of the families who emigrated from highly stratified, patriarchal and religiously oppressive Italy’s south now wear a bikini when they go to the beach. As do the granddaughters of the ultra-Orthodox Jews who immigrated to America from the shtetl in eastern Europe. Why shouldn’t that happen to the granddaughters of the Muslim immigrants from Egypt?

But wait a minute. Why do things seem to be happening in reverse in the case of many young Muslim immigrants in Europe and the United States? Their grandmothers, growing up in the 1950s in, say, Alexandria, actually looked “like us,” wearing the latest European fashion and a spiffy swimsuit on the beach. It’s their granddaughters who are now wearing veils, the hijab and the burkini to make sure that they don’t look “like us.”

That many Muslim immigrants resist playing the role assigned to them in the forward-looking narrative may be explained, in part, by the backward turn taken by many Muslim societies where, as in the case of Turkey, the Whiggish interpretation has been turned on its head. As forces of modernization like industrialization and urbanization have accelerated, these societies have actually started shredding what remained of the secular and liberal values that were embraced by many during much of the twentieth century.

Hence the contrast between the dramatic transformation of Western societies during the age of globalization and postmodernism, where the debate has moved to a point where same-sex marriage is now the law of the land in several countries, and the trend towards more oppressive religious standards, intolerance and tribalism in the Muslim world.

So while the liberal West has been opening its doors to Muslim immigration, shrinking Christian communities in the Middle East are being decimated and its members, facing a radical Islamic assault, are forced to leave countries where their ancestors had resided before the Arab invasion.

Liberals who adhere to the Whig interpretation of history face a dilemma. They cannot accept the idea that many Muslims living in the West, not unlike members of the ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities in Israel and the United States, don’t want to be “like us,” and if anything detest the liberal and secular values that prevail in the United States and Europe.

Yet hanging to their liberal fantasy, policymakers and pundits accuse “Islamophobes” of wrecking progress and resist considering the inevitable: as these Muslim communities grow and expand, expect not only an end to same-sex marriage. Muslim citizens would then challenge other core principles of the Enlightenment, accusing bikini-wearing women of violating the changing standards of the community.

And as multiculturalism becomes a form of secular religion in the West, many liberals also try to deal with their cognitive dissonance by insisting on the preservation, if not the celebration, of regressive Muslim traditions, like the hijab. Liberal intellectuals, who spend much of their time denigrating evangelical Christians and warning of their plans to challenge the rights of women and gays, become apoplectic if someone dares to criticize Muslim traditions. Islamophobia!

Demonstrating the challenges liberals have in trying to keep their progressive narrative intact, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, a self-styled feminist and a leading global promoter of multiculturalism, appeared recently at a gender-segregated event in a mosque, singing the praise of Islam on the main floor where only men were permitted, while women were watching Trudeau from the balcony.

“Right now we have these political leaders — ironically, politically liberal leaders — who are just putting blinders on their eyes about their values,” Asra Nomani, a liberal Muslim, told Canada’s National Post. “That’s the big differential for liberals, they fancy themselves as honouring the women’s body and yet the segregation by its very definition hyper-sexualizes women’s bodies. That’s the great irony.”

Perhaps not such an irony. As liberals like Trudeau discover that Muslim immigrants are not ready to become “like us,” they conclude that they are left with only one choice: to become more like them.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

President Obama’s Remarks at the Dedication of the National Museum of African American History and Culture

Remarks by the President at the Dedication of the National Museum of African American History and Culture., September 24, 2016. Video.


What we can see of this building – the towering glass, the artistry of the metalwork – is surely a sight to behold.  But beyond the majesty of the building, what makes this occasion so special is the larger story it contains.  Below us, this building reaches down 70 feet, its roots spreading far wider and deeper than any tree on this Mall.  And on its lowest level, after you walk past remnants of a slave ship, after you reflect on the immortal declaration that “all men are created equal,” you can see a block of stone.  On top of this stone sits a historical marker, weathered by the ages.  That marker reads:  “General Andrew Jackson and Henry Clay spoke from this slave block…during the year 1830.”

I want you to think about this.  Consider what this artifact tells us about history, about how it’s told, and about what can be cast aside.  On a stone where day after day, for years, men and women were torn from their spouse or their child, shackled and bound, and bought and sold, and bid like cattle; on a stone worn down by the tragedy of over a thousand bare feet – for a long time, the only thing we considered important, the singular thing we once chose to commemorate as “history” with a plaque were the unmemorable speeches of two powerful men.

And that block I think explains why this museum is so necessary.  Because that same object, reframed, put in context, tells us so much more.  As Americans, we rightfully passed on the tales of the giants who built this country; who led armies into battle and waged seminal debates in the halls of Congress and the corridors of power.  But too often, we ignored or forgot the stories of millions upon millions of others, who built this nation just as surely, whose humble eloquence, whose calloused hands, whose steady drive helped to create cities, erect industries, build the arsenals of democracy.

And so this national museum helps to tell a richer and fuller story of who we are.  It helps us better understand the lives, yes, of the President, but also the slave; the industrialist, but also the porter; the keeper of the status quo, but also of the activist seeking to overthrow that status quo; the teacher or the cook, alongside the statesman.  And by knowing this other story, we better understand ourselves and each other. It binds us together.  It reaffirms that all of us are America – that African-American history is not somehow separate from our larger American story, its not the underside of the American story, it is central to the American story.  That our glory derives not just from our most obvious triumphs, but how we’ve wrested triumph from tragedy, and how we’ve been able to remake ourselves, again and again and again, in accordance with our highest ideals.

I, too, am America.

Monday, September 12, 2016

New Trump TV Ad Responds to “Basket of Deplorables” Comment by Hillary Clinton.

New Trump TV ad responds to “Basket of Deplorables” comment by Hillary Clinton. Video. Cosmic, September 12, 2016. YouTube.

Donald Trump’s Response to Hillary Clinton’s “Basket of Deplorables” Remark.

Donald Trump Speech to the National Guard Association in Baltimore, Maryland. Video. Donald Trump Speeches and Events, September 12, 2016. YouTube. Transcript.

Commentary at: Real Clear Politics, New York Times, Rush Limbaugh

Transcript excerpt:

I am running to be a President for all Americans – and I’ve been especially humbled to have the support of so many of our men and women in uniform.

All across this country, I’ve met so many incredible members of both our military and law enforcement community. There’s nothing I’ve enjoyed more than the time I’ve spent with our service members, police officers, and also our firefighters and paramedics.

They embody the goodness and decency of our country.

I was thus deeply shocked and alarmed this Friday to hear my opponent attack, slander, smear and demean these wonderful, amazing people who are supporting our campaign.

Our support comes from every part of America, and every walk of life. We have the support of cops and soldiers, carpenters and welders, the young and the old, and millions of working class families who just want a better future.

These were the people Hillary Clinton so viciously demonized. These were among the countless Americans that Hillary Clinton called deplorable, irredeemable and un-American. She called these patriotic men and women every vile name in the book – she called them racist, sexist, xenophobic, and Islamaphobic.

She called them a “basket of deplorables” in both a speech and an interview. She divides people into baskets as though they were objects, not human beings.

Hillary Clinton made these comments at one of her high-dollar fundraisers in Wall Street.

She and her wealthy donors all had a good laugh. They were laughing at the very people who pave the roads she drives on, paint the buildings she speaks in, and keep the lights on in her auditorium.

Hillary Clinton is an insider, supported by powerful insiders, attacking Americans who have no political power.

Hillary Clinton spoke with hatred and derision for the people who make this country run.

She spoke with contempt for the people who thanklessly follow the rules, pay their taxes, and scratch out a living for their families.

While Hillary Clinton lives a sequestered life behind gates and walls and guards, she mocks and demeans hardworking Americans who only want their own families to enjoy a fraction of the security enjoyed by our politicians.

After months of hiding from the press, Hillary Clinton has revealed her true thoughts.

She revealed herself to be a person who looks down on the proud citizens of our country as subjects for her to rule over.

Her comments displayed the same sense of arrogance and entitlement that led her to violate federal law as Secretary of State, hide and delete her emails, put classified information in the reach of our enemies, lie to Congress, and sell government favors and access through her Foundation.

It's the same attitude that explains why Hillary Clinton refuses to take accountability for the deadly disasters she helped to create in Iraq, in Syria and in Libya.

To this day, she still won’t take accountability for her role in unleashing ISIS across the Middle East – or for putting Iran on the path to a nuclear weapon.

Hillary Clinton believes she is above the law, that she is above accountability, and that she is above each and every one of you.

Our campaign is about giving voice to the voiceless. It’s about representing the forgotten men and women of this country.

I’m here to represent everyone, but especially those who are struggling against injustice and unfairness.

I am running so that the powerful can no longer beat up on the powerless. I’m running to take on the special interests, the big donors, and the corrupt political insiders.

I am running to be your voice.

Hillary Clinton is a voice for Wall Street, for hedge fund managers, for the top tenth of the one percent. Just look at the people funding Hillary Clinton’s campaign, and paying for her speeches, and you’ll know who she represents.

The disdain that Hillary Clinton expressed towards millions of decent Americans disqualifies her from public service.

You cannot run for President if you have such contempt in your heart for the American voter. You can’t lead this nation if you have such a low opinion of its citizens.

Hillary Clinton still hasn’t apologized to those she slandered. In fact, she hasn’t backed down at all – she’s doubled-down on her campaign of conspiracy and contempt.

If Hillary Clinton will not retract her comments in full, then I don’t see how she can credibly campaign.

Let’s be clear. These were not offhand comments from Hillary Clinton. These were not stray remarks in an interview, or an accidental choice of words. These were lengthy, planned, and prepared remarks – it was perhaps the most explicit attack on the American voter ever spoken by a major-party presidential nominee.

Clinton was using a very deliberate page from the Democratic Playbook – smearing someone with one of those names in order to scare them out of voting for change. She just took it to a whole new level by applying it to tens of millions of people.

She used these vile words in order to bully and intimidate honest citizens out of seeking government reform.

People who want their immigration laws enforced, and their borders secured, are not racists. They are patriotic Americans of all backgrounds who want their jobs and families protected.

People who warn about Radical Islamic Terrorism are not Islamophobes. They are decent American citizens who want to uphold our tolerant values and keep our country safe.

People who support the police, and who want crime reduced, are not prejudiced. They are concerned and loving citizens whose hearts break every time an innocent child is lost to preventable violence.

Hillary Clinton doesn’t have to worry about Sanctuary Cities, or jobs moving overseas. She’s protected from her own policies.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

The War on Terrorism Won’t Be Won on the Battlefield. By Fareed Zakaria.

The war on terrorism won’t be won on the battlefield. By Fareed Zakaria. Washington Post, September 8, 2016.


On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, I was driving on the Long Island Expressway, heading out to a friend’s house to spend a few weeks working on a book. An hour into my drive, I switched from music to news and listened with horror to reports that two large passenger planes had crashed into the World Trade Center. I turned around instantly, realizing that my sabbatical was over. So was America’s.

It’s difficult now to recall the mood of the 1990s. The Cold War had ended, overwhelmingly on American terms. A world that had been divided into two camps, politically and economically, was now one. Dozens of countries from Latin America to Africa to Asia that were once staunchly socialist were moving toward capitalism and democracy, embracing a global order they once decried as unjust and imperial.

America in the 1990s was consumed by talk of economics and technology. The information revolution was just taking off. I try to explain to my children that only two decades ago, much of the world that seems indispensable today — the Internet, cellphones — did not exist for most people. In the early 1990s, AOL and Netscape gave everyday Americans the chance to browse the Internet. Until then, the revolutionary technology that had broken down government censorship and opened access to information in the communist bloc was — the fax machine. Explaining its effects, the strategist Albert Wohlstetter had written an essay for the Wall Street Journal titled “The Fax Will Make You Free.”

What few of us recognized at the time was that one part of the world was not being reshaped by these winds of change — the Middle East. As communism crumbled, Latin American juntas yielded, apartheid cracked and Asian strongmen gave way to elected leaders, the Middle East remained stagnant. Almost every regime in the region, from Libya to Egypt to Syria, was run by the same authoritarian system that had been in place for decades. The rulers were mostly secular, autocratic and deeply repressive. They had maintained political control but produced economic despair and social paralysis. For a young man in the Middle East — and there was a surfeit of young men — the world was moving forward everywhere except at home.

Into this void entered political Islam. There had always been preachers and thinkers who believed that Islam was not just a religion but a complete system of politics, economics and law. As the Arab world’s secular dictatorships produced misery, more and more people listened to ideologues who had a simple slogan — Islam is the answer — by which they meant a radical, literalist Islam. The seductiveness of that slogan is really at the heart of the problem we still face today. It is what drives some young, alienated Muslim men (and even a few women) not just to kill but — far more difficult to understand — to die.

Where do things stand now? Since that day in September 2001, the United States has waged two major wars, embarked on dozens of smaller military missions, built a vast bureaucracy of homeland security and established rules and processes all meant to protect the United States and its allies from the dangers of Islamist terrorism.

Some of these actions have protected the United States and its allies. But the striking change that has taken place across the Middle East is that stability has been replaced by instability. The United States’ intervention in Iraq might have been the spark, but the kindling had been piling up high. The Arab Spring, for example, was the result of powerful demographic, economic and social pressures pushing up against regimes that had lost the ability to respond or adapt. Growing sectarianism — Shiite vs. Sunni, Arab vs. Kurd — had reshaped the politics of countries such as Iraq and Syria. When the repressive ruler was toppled — Hussein, Saleh, Gaddafi — the entire political order unraveled and the nation (a recent creation in the Arab world) itself fell apart.

The challenge in defeating the Islamic State is not really about vanquishing it on the battlefield. The United States has won battles like that for 15 years in Afghanistan and Iraq only to discover that once U.S. forces leave, the Taliban or the Islamic State or some other radical group returns. The way to have these groups stay defeated is to help Muslim countries find some form of politics that addresses the basic aspirations of their people — all their people. The goal is simple to express: to stop waves of disaffected young men from falling into despair at their conditions, surfing the Web and finding within it the same old slogan — Islam is the answer. When those young men stop clicking on that link, that is when the war on terrorism will be won.

The Palestinians Were Osama bin Laden’s Most Ardent Fans. By Petra Marquardt-Bigman.

The Palestinians were Osama bin Laden’s most ardent fans. By Petra Marquardt-Bigman. The Times of Israel, September 11, 2016.

Obama & Palestine: The Last Chance. By Nathan Thrall. New York Review of Books, September 10, 2016.


It is a fitting coincidence that just in time for this 15th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks, The New York Review of Books (NYRB) has published an article by Middle East analyst Nathan Thrall urging President Obama to use his remaining time in office to pass a United Nations Security Council resolution that would define binding parameters for the establishment of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza. Like most Middle East analysts, Thrall is apparently not interested in the longstanding and well-documented Palestinian support for terrorism, even though the pervasiveness of this support has arguably serious implications for the establishment of a Palestinian state.

Thrall wants President Obama “to salvage his legacy on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” asserting right at the outset that “Barack Obama entered the White House more deeply informed about and sympathetic to the Palestinian cause than any incoming president before him.” He notes Obama’s friendship with the historian Rashid Khalidi and his acquaintance with Edward Said – whom he describes as “the most famous and eloquent Palestinian critic of the Oslo accords;” Thrall then goes on to recall that Obama “had offered words of encouragement to Ali Abunimah, the Palestinian activist, writer, co-founder of the Electronic Intifada, and leading advocate of a one-state solution.” What Thrall prefers not to mention is the fact that Abunimah is also an ardent Hamas supporter and has only disdain for Obama. As Abunimah cockily declared in a tweet some three years ago, referencing all of Obama’s Palestinian “friends” mentioned by Thrall: “Back when this photo of me, Obama, Rashid Khalidi and Edward Said was taken, even I didn’t expect him [i.e. Obama] to be THIS bad.”

While I have no way of knowing how “deeply informed” Obama is about the “Palestinian cause,” I do know for sure that anyone who gets their information from the likes of Khalidi, Said and Abunimah will simply be brainwashed with seething hatred for Israel. But this could actually pass as being “deeply informed” about the “Palestinian cause.”

When Al-Qaeda terrorists attacked the US 15 years ago, Israelis had already been living for a year with the constant threat of Palestinian terror attacks, which had intensified since September 2000 in the wake of Israel’s offer of a Palestinian state at the Camp David negotiations in July 2000. Over the course of the following decade, it turned out that Palestinians were not only enthusiastic supporters of terrorism against Israelis, but also against Americans – even though the US has not only repeatedly tried to push for negotiations that would result in a Palestinian state, but has also provided millions of dollars in bilateral annual aid to the Palestinians and is the largest single-state donor to UNRWA, i.e. the UN agency that works exclusively for the roughly 5 million Palestinians who claim inherited refugee status.

Yet, as documented in surveys by the respected Pew Research Center, Palestinians have always been the most ardent admirers of Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. In 2003, a stunning 72 percent of Palestinians were willing to go on record expressing “a lot” or “some confidence” that bin Laden would “do the right thing regarding world affairs.”

Palestinian “confidence” in bin Laden eroded only slowly: by 2009, 52 percent of Palestinians still trusted the Al-Qaeda leader to “do the right thing regarding world affairs;” and by 2011, when he was killed by US Special Forces in his hide-out in Pakistan, fully a third of Palestinians continued to hold bin Laden in high regard. Indeed, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh condemned bin Laden’s assassination and deplored “the killing of an Arab holy warrior.” Even in 2014, 25 percent of Palestinians still expressed a “favorable” opinion of Al-Qaeda. This means statistically that just two years ago, one out of every four Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza had a “favorable” opinion of Al-Qaeda. Similarly, among Muslim populations surveyed by Pew, Palestinians have always been the group most supportive of suicide bombings “against civilian targets in order to defend Islam from its enemies.” These kinds of views are also reflected in the hate-filled sermons that are delivered fairly regularly at the Al-Aqsa mosque, including rants that anticipate Islam’s conquest of Europe and America.

One would expect a professional Middle East analyst like Thrall to be familiar with these depressing numbers. But perhaps he thinks that the Middle East would be a better place if there was a state for people who, in the wake of 9/11, would have loved to elect bin Laden as their trusted leader and who remain highly supportive of killing civilians “in order to defend Islam from its enemies.”

Personally, I would be overjoyed if someone came up with a solution that would enable Israel to disentangle itself as thoroughly as possible from the Palestinian quagmire, but it is precisely Palestinian extremism that makes this so desirable and impossible at the same time.

Hillary Clinton Interview on Israeli TV with Yonit Levi, Channel 2.

Hillary Clinton interview on Israeli TV - Yonit Levi, Channel 2., September 8, 2016. Video, Ziv RozenblattYouTube.

Hillary Clinton: You Could Put Donald Trump’s Jacksonian Supporters Into the “Basket of Deplorables.”

Hillary Clinton: You Could Put Half of Trump Supporters Into the “Basket of Deplorables.” Video and transcript. Posted by Tim Hains. Real Clear Politics, September 10, 2016. YouTube. Full transcript at Time, Mediaite. Longer video from CBS at YouTube.

Commentary from: Fox News Outnumbered, Fox and Friends Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, NPR, The New Yorker, Time, New York Times, Daniel Denvir (Salon), Natalia Khosla and Sean McElwee (Salon), Jamelle Bouie (Slate), David Shipler, Rush Limbaugh, Jonathan Tobin (Commentary), Charles M. Blow (New York Times)


HILLARY CLINTON: To be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump supporters into what I call the “Basket of Deplorables.”

Right? The racists, sexists, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic, you name it...

But the other basket of people are people who feel the government has let them down, the economy has let them down, nobody cares about them.

Benjamin Netanyahu: “Ethnic Cleansing for Peace Is Absurd.”

PM of Israel: No Jews. Video. Twitter, September 9, 2016. YouTube.

Israeli Prime Minister: Ethnic Cleansing for Peace Is Absurd, Settlements Are Not Obstacle to Agreement with Palestinians (VIDEO). By Barney Breen-Portnoy. The Algemeiner, September 9, 2016.

Commentary from: Chemi Shalev, Gideon Levy, Rania Khalek, Philip Weiss, U.S. State Department, Herb Keinon, Raphael Ahren, Elder of Ziyon, Jonathan Tobin, Paul R. Pillar


I’m sure many of you have heard the claim that Jewish communities in Judea Samaria, the West Bank, are an obstacle to peace.

I’ve always been perplexed by this notion.

Because no one would seriously claim that the nearly two million Arabs living inside Israel – that they’re an obstacle to peace. That's because they aren’t. On the contrary.

Israel’s diversity shows its openness and readiness for peace. Yet the Palestinian leadership actually demands a Palestinian state with one pre-condition: No Jews.

There’s a phrase for that: It’s called ethnic cleansing.

And this demand is outrageous. It’s even more outrageous that the world doesn’t find this outrageous.

Some otherwise enlightened countries even promote this outrage.

Ask yourself this: Would you accept ethnic cleansing in your state? A territory without Jews, without Hispanics, without blacks? Since when is bigotry a foundation for peace?

At this moment, Jewish schoolchildren in Judea Samaria are playing in sandboxes with their friends.
Does their presence make peace impossible?

I don’t think so.

I think what makes peace impossible is intolerance of others. Societies that respect all people are the ones that pursue peace. Societies that demand ethnic cleansing don’t pursue peace.

I envision a Middle East where young Arabs and young Jews learn together, work together, live together side by side in peace.

Our region needs more tolerance, not less.

So the next time you hear someone say Jews can’t live somewhere, let alone in their ancestral homeland, take a moment to think of the implications.

Ethnic cleansing for peace is absurd.

It’s about time somebody said it.

I just did.

Friday, September 9, 2016

The Flight 93 Election. By Publius Decius Mus.

The Flight 93 Election. By Publius Decius Mus. The Claremont Review of Books, September 5, 2016. Also at American Greatness.

Restatement on Flight 93. By Publius Decius Mus. The Claremont Review of Books, September 13, 2016. Also at American Greatness.

Here’s the most powerful (and chilling) case for Trump you’ll ever hear. By Damon Linker. The Week, September 9, 2016.

The Shaming of the Never Trumpers. By Rush Limbaugh., September 7, 2016.

The Silence of the Never Trumpers. By Rush Limbaugh., September 8, 2016.

My Analysis of a Response to the Flight 93 Election Piece. By Rush Limbaugh., September 9, 2016.

No This Is NOT The “Flight 93 Election,” Rush. By Ben Howe. RedState, September 8, 2016.

The Widely-Praised “Flight 93 Election” Essay Is Dishonest and Stupid. By Ben Shapiro. The Daily Wire, September 8, 2016.

This Isn’t the Flight 93 Election, It’s the MH370 Election. By Robert Tracinski. The Federalist, September 8, 2016.

Cheer Up, Conservatives: We’re Not Stuck on Flight 93. By Heather Wilhelm. National Review Online, September 9, 2016.

An Attack on Founding Principles at the Claremont Institute. By Conor Friedersdorf. The Atlantic, September 9, 2016.

An Interview with Decius. American Greatness, September 17, 2016.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

The American Inquisition. By Caroline B. Glick.

The American Inquisition. By Caroline B. Glick. Jerusalem Post, September 5. 2016. Printable version.


This week we caught a glimpse of the advanced state of the disease in an email sent by a Syracuse University professor to an Israeli filmmaker in June.

The cancer of Jew hatred has taken over the body of US academia.

This week we caught a glimpse of the advanced state of the disease in an email sent by a Syracuse University professor to an Israeli filmmaker in June.

As The Atlantic reported, on June 24, Syracuse professor Gail Hamner disinvited Israeli filmmaker Shimon Dotan from screening his film at the university’s film festival, scheduled for March 2017.

Hamner’s decision had nothing to do with the quality of Dotan’s work. She admitted as much, writing, “Obviously, my decision here has nothing to do with you or your work.”

Dotan was disinvited because he is Israeli and because the title of his film, The Settlers, does not make it immediately apparent whether he reviles the half million Israeli Jews who live in Judea and Samaria sufficiently.

Hamner explained, “My SU colleagues, on hearing about my attempt to secure your presentation [at our upcoming film festival], have warned me that the BDS faction on campus will make matters very unpleasant for you and for me if you come.”

She then elaborated on the harm his participation would cause her, personally.

“My film colleague... who granted me affiliated faculty [status] in the film and screen studies program and who supported my proposal to the Humanities Council for this conference, told me point blank that if I have not myself seen your film and cannot myself vouch for it to the council, I will lose credibility with a number of film and women/ gender studies colleagues. Sadly, I have not had the chance to see your film and can only vouch for it through my friend and through published reviews.”

Hamner added, “I feel caught in an ideological matrix and by my own egoic needs to sustain certain institutional affiliations.”

Hamner’s letter to Dotan provides us with a rare opportunity to see something that people generally go to great lengths to hide. Hamner demonstrated how boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) activists have enmeshed Jew hatred into the fabric of academic life in America.

The BDS movement is qualitatively different from all other groups that operate on campuses today.

Unlike even the most radical, fringe groups, the BDS movement isn’t seeking to advance or protect the rights of anyone. All it works to accomplish is the obliteration of Jewish rights, and indeed of Jewish existence in Israel.

Like Hamas and Iran, BDS activists seek the annihilation of the Jewish state. Like Hamas and Iran, the BDS movement does not strive to bring peace or to protect the rights of anyone. Rather, like Iran and Hamas, the goal of the BDS movement is the genocide of the largest Jewish population in the world and the annihilation of the only Jewish state in the world.

Bullying is the BDS movement’s preferred tactic.

They bully faculty, administrators and students into becoming anti-Semitic by harassing, ostracizing and persecuting everyone who refuses to actively promote Jew hatred.

To force everyone into line, BDS groups have adopted two complementary tactics. First, they try to banish Israeli Jews entirely from their campuses by bullying their institutions into adopting and implementing anti-Israel boycotts.

Second, they enforce partial bans on Israeli Jews by requiring Israeli and non-Israeli Jews to behave in manners no one would never think of requiring of Israeli Arabs, or Italians or Japanese for that matter.

BDS activists achieve both aims by bullying non-activists into enforcing their anti-Semitic positions – as Hamner did when she disinvited Dotan.

These actions are a clear violation not only of the civil rights of Israeli and non-Israeli Jews. They are also an indisputable violation of the civil rights of all students, administrators and faculty at US universities. They deny everyone the right to hear viewpoints and receive knowledge from Israeli Jews and so limit the academic freedom of everyone.

BDS is a postmodern version of the pure, unrefined Jew hatred of Medieval Europe. Five hundred years ago, the only Jews permitted to enter the public square were Christians. Jews were rejected, ostracized, expelled and killed unless they could enthusiastically and soulfully recite the catechisms.

On university campuses throughout the US today, Jews – Israeli and non-Israeli – are ostracized, silenced, harassed and humiliated unless they enthusiastically, soulfully and contritely declare their support for the annihilation of the Jewish state.

Non-Jews who do not require them to do so are similarly ostracized and otherwise punished.

Case in point is the fate of Milan Chatterjee.

Chatterjee is an Indian-American law student and a Hindu. Last year he was elected president of UCLA’s Graduate Students’ Association. Last week he announced his resignation from the post and his transfer to New York University Law School to complete his degree.

In a letter to UCLA chancellor Gene Block, Chatterjee explained that his decision was the result of relentless attacks, harassment and bullying he has suffered at the hands of BDS activists and their enablers in Block’s administration.

Chatterjee wrote Block: “Your administration has not only allowed BDS organizations and student activists to freely engage in intimidation of students who do not support the BDS agenda, but has decided to affirmatively engage in discriminatory practices of its own against those same students.

“Whether you choose to acknowledge it or not, the fact is that the UCLA campus has become a hostile and unsafe environment for students, Jewish students and non-Jewish, who choose not to support the BDS movement, let alone support the State of Israel.”

Chatterjee got on the wrong side of UCLA’s anti-Semitism enforcers in November 2015 when he adopted a student government policy of strict neutrality on BDS.

Under his leadership, the graduate council would neither support nor oppose BDS. To this end, he allocated funds for a “Diversity Caucus,” with the stipulation that the caucus remain neutral on BDS.

It was for his refusal to actively endorse BDS – rather than any action to oppose BDS – that Chatterjee became a target for the BDS mob. They submitted a bid to impeach him based on frivolous claims.

To its shame, rather than stand by Chatterjee, the administration joined the mob. Chatterjee was censured by the university and subjected to disciplinary proceedings. UCLA’s administration claimed that he had “violated university policy” for refusing to fund BDS groups.

Following Chatterjee’s decision to transfer to NYU, Kenneth Marcus, president of the Louis Brandeis Center, which supported Chatterjee throughout his year of anti-Semitic persecution, issued a statement. Marcus noted, “It is disgraceful that anti-Israel extremists have managed to drive out this courageous and conscientious student leader for failing to capitulate to the demands of the anti-Semitic BDS movement. The Milan Chatterjee affair reflects the insidiousness of the anti-Israel movement’s new strategy, which is to suppress pro-Israel advocacy and intimidate not only Jewish pro-Israel students but anyone who remains neutral.”

Back at Syracuse, the ironic aspect of Hamner’s disinvitation of Dotan is that Dotan actually recites the catechism both personally and in his film. His only mistake was that he failed to make his convictions clear in the title of his movie.

The university administration was embarrassed by the publication of Hamner’s statement. As a result, last Friday Syracuse University provost Michelle Wheatley issued a mass email stating that Dotan had been reinvited to the conference and that Hamner had apologized for her letter.

The most notable aspect of Wheatley’s letter is that it contained no commitment to investigate her allegations of anti-Semitic intimidation on the part of faculty and student BDS goons. It contained no commitment to purge bigoted intimidation from campus or invite Israelis with Zionist views to speak at Syracuse or participate in university events. It contained no mention of any plans to discipline Hamner for engaging in bigoted actions.

Rather, it simply reinvited Dotan, whose anti-Israel credentials were belatedly sorted out.

For nearly eight years, US President Barack Obama’s Justice Department has refused to investigate the flagrant civil rights violations carried out by BDS activists, groups and their faculty and administration allies and enablers. So there is no reason to think that any federal investigation will be conducted any time soon.

Rather, we can expect anti-Jewish prejudice to become ever stronger and more brazen. We can expect Israeli Jews to be shunned to greater and greater degrees and for pro-Israel students, faculty and administrators – Jewish and non-Jewish – to become less and less free to voice their views.

And we can expect the US higher education system to speed up its slide into moral dystopia and intellectual corruption.