Torah portion of week: Moses relays G-d’s instructions to the Jewish people poised to conquer Canaan

From the Hebrew Torah Parsha of this week, VA-ETHANNAN

(Moses relays to the Jewish people the instructions from their G-d introducing them to the land GOD has dedicated to them to eternity)

Deuteronomy 7:1-11

1  When the LORD your God brings you to the land that you are about to enter and possess and He dislodges many nations before you — the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites, seven nations much larger than you.

2  And the LORD your God delivers them to you and you defeat them, you must doom them to destruction: grant them no terms and give them no quarter.

3  You shall not inter-marry with them: do not give your daughters to their sons or take their daughters for your sons.

4  For they will turn your children away from Me to worship other gods, and the LORD’s anger blazes forth against you and He will promptly wipe you out.

5  Instead, this is what you shall do to them. you shall tear down their altars, smash their pillars, cut down their sacred posts, and consign their images to the fire.

6  For you are a people consecrated to the Lord your God: of all the peoples on earth your God chose you to be His treasured people

7  It is not because you are the most numerous of peoples that the Lord set His heart on you and chose you. Indeed, you are the smallest of peoples;

8  But it was because the LORD favored you and kept the oath He made to your fathers that the LORD freed you with a mighty hand and rescued you from the house of bondage, from the power of Pharaoh, King of Egypt.

9  Know therefore, that only the LORD your God is God, the steadfast God who keeps his covenant faithfully to the thousandth generation of those who love Him and keep His commandments,

10  But who instantly requites with destruction, those who reject Him — never slow with those who reject Him but requiting them instantly.

11  Therefore, observe faithfully the Instruction — the laws and the rules with which I charge you today.

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What’s with this FISA Court hassle?

Abolish the FISA Court
The introduction of judges shields the executive branch from accountability.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes on Capitol Hill, June 7.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes on Capitol Hill, June 

On the gentle summer evening that was last Saturday night, the Justice Department finally made public the October 2016 application for a warrant to spy on Carter Page, a former Trump campaign official. The application’s release kicked off a furious effort by Democrats and their allies in the press to gaslight the American people into disbelieving what they could read with their own eyes. Yet notwithstanding all the sound and fury, its 412 pages—even in redacted form—largely vindicate the principal object of Democratic attack, as described by California’s GOP Rep. Devin Nunes.

Back in February, Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee, led by Mr. Nunes, issued a report stating that the Steele dossier, compiled by a former British spy, was “an essential part” of the application for a warrant on Mr. Page under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. In this Mr. Nunes was supported by former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, who testified to Congress that without the Steele dossier there would have been no warrant.

The Nunes report further claimed the FISA application didn’t inform the judge that the Steele dossier was paid for by the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign. Here too Mr. Nunes has been proved right.

Lost in the competing narratives, meanwhile, is the larger FISA scandal. The Page warrant confirms that a FISA court effectively insulates those who deploy the most formidable powers of the federal government from the consequences of what should be an extraordinary decision: spying on a fellow American.

Like so many other bad ideas, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act comes out of the 1970s. Senate hearings led by Idaho Democrat Frank Church exposed controversial domestic spying on Americans. Along with the general antipathy toward all things Nixon, it led Congress to enact FISA in 1978 and Jimmy Carter to sign it into law.

In the decades since, the nation has become accustomed to having oversight and accountability that should be imposed by the people’s elected representatives fobbed off on special counsels, inspectors general and the like.

We forget what a break FISA marked with our history, under which only the president, as commander in chief, was understood to have the power to surveil American citizens without warrants to gather foreign intelligence to protect the nation. The new idea aimed to temper that power by introducing another branch, the judiciary, into this process.

As even the redacted version of the document released this weekend ought to make clear, a FISA court is no guarantee against surveillance abuse. To the contrary, it can invite questionable assertions of this extraordinary power because no one is ever really on the hook. In this case, instead of vetting Mr. Steele’s specific allegations, the FBI got away with deeming him “reliable” because they’d found him credible in other cases.

Perhaps the redacted material includes some verification of Mr. Steele’s claims. But so far there’s no hard evidence, and Mr. Page hasn’t been charged with anything. Is this really the way an intelligence agency should declare an American citizen “an agent of a foreign power”?

When President Trump tweeted Monday morning that it was “looking more & more like the Trump Campaign for President was illegally being spied upon,” the common rejoinder was four judges had signed off on it.

Now ask yourself: Would Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein (who signed one of the renewal applications) and others be so quick to put their names on something like this if they didn’t have a FISA judge to give them cover?

The argument is not new. Just before FISA became law, a Yale law professor wrote a prophetic article in these pages about the abuses to come. His name was Robert Bork, and among his worries were that judges would show undue deference to intelligence agencies, that congressional committees wouldn’t be able to summon judges to explain their warrant approvals, and, above all, that giving courts the last say would have “the effect of immunizing everyone, and sooner or later that fact will be taken advantage of.”

In the short term, Mr. Trump would serve himself better by forgoing tweets about witch hunts and instead ordering the declassification of documents that would show the American people just what the Justice Department and the FBI did in 2016.

In the longer term, Congress should consider getting rid of FISA courts altogether. Because without judges to hide behind, executive officials who order spying on their fellow citizens will have to own those decisions themselves.

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Jews get out of Europe now. Leave Europeans to their own self-destruction with Islamic Terrorism and Sharia law

Time  to Leave

Redacted from an in-depth analysis by Melanie Phillips  


These are alarming times for Jews in Britain and Europe.

The British Labour Party is convulsed over the realization that it is riddled with anti-Semitism. Jeremy Corbyn, its leader and a friend to Hamas, has been exposed as belonging to Facebook groups hosting claims that the Jews were behind ISIS and 9/11, that the Rothschilds controlled the world’s finances, and other such paranoid theories. 

The backwash from the exposure of these groups revealed a tsunami of anti-Jewish insults, smears, and libels by Labour supporters. Corbyn’s responses, often truculent and insulting to the Jewish community, have only deepened the crisis.

Last year, according to the Community Security Trust, saw the highest number of anti-Semitic incidents in Britain since the CST started recording such data in 1984. Worse is happening in mainland Europe: 

Paris — an 85-year-old survivor of Shoah, stabbed to death and her body burned by a young Muslim. 

Last year, a man shouting “Allahu akbar” beat up Jewish schoolteacher Sarah Halimi and threw her to her death out of her Paris apartment window.

In January, a teenage girl in the Paris suburb of Sarcelles wearing the uniform of her Jewish school was slashed in the face with a knife.

Later that month, an eight-year-old boy was beaten in the same area because he was wearing a kippah. In February, two Jewish men in Paris were attacked with a hacksaw amid a volley of Jew-hating abuse.

In Amsterdam, a kosher restaurant long targeted for attack had its windows smashed in March by a man holding a Palestinian flag and shouting “Allahu akbar.”

Holland’s chief rabbi says that, on the street, curses or taunts of “dirty Jew” are now quite normal.

At the beginning of Chanukah last year, two Syrians and a Palestinian firebombed a synagogue in Gothenburg, Sweden. A few days later, a Jewish cemetery in Malmö was attacked. In Germany, the Israeli flag has been burned and Jewish pupils bullied by Arab schoolmates. And so on and on.

In May 2017, the Pew Institute conducted a survey of 2,000 residents in each country in Eastern and Central Europe. Twenty percent of respondents said that they didn’t want Jews in their country, and 30 percent didn’t want them as neighbors. 

In Romania, 22 percent wanted to revoke rights of citizenship for Jews, and 18 percent of Poles said the same. Across Europe, nationalist parties, some with disturbing anti-Semitic echoes and histories, are rising.

And, so, many Jews are asking: Isn’t this 1933 all over again? Or the Weimar Republic, which enabled the rise to power of German Nazism? 

The threats to Britain and Europe are coming both from within and without. From without, they are coming from Islamism and Islamization. From within, they are coming from an anti-Western view of the world that also refuses to correctly identify the Islamist threat from without and combat it.

The vast majority of terror attacks in Britain and Europe is the work of Islamic extremists. Intelligence officials say that 23,000 jihadists who pose some degree of terrorism risk are living in Britain, with 3,000—only!—under investigation or active monitoring.

There’s sexual violence. Britain has lived through grooming and pimping gangs, overwhelmingly composed of men of Pakistani Muslim heritage targeting young white girls as “trash.” 

Germany and Sweden have seen a huge rise in rape and sexual violence associated with Muslim migrants.

Then there’s the cultural attack, as in the “Trojan Horse” infiltration of schools in Birmingham by Muslim extremists aimed to force them to confirm to Islamic precepts. Similar infiltration of Labour Party constituencies, as attested by one or two brave Labour MPs, aims to force the party to conform to Muslim demands.

Anti-Israelism has exactly the same characteristics that make traditional anti-Semitism a unique derangement. Both are based entirely on falsehoods and malicious distortions; both single out Israel and the Jews for double standards and treatment afforded to no other nation, people, or cause; both accuse Israel or the Jews of crimes of which they are not only innocent but are in fact the victims; both dehumanize Israel or the Jewish people; both impute to Israel or the Jewish people demonic global conspiratorial power; both are utterly beyond reason.


This is the new anti-Semitism. Trying to understand it, however, is like peeling a rotten onion: Beneath every rancid layer lies a yet more rancid layer.

So now every group that doesn’t conform to the left-wing definition of power—deemed to be pale, male, heterosexual, Western—claims victim status and that get-out-of-jail-free card. That’s our victim culture.

Yet Jews are in fact the most persecuted people on earth, who even now have to sacrifice their children in Israel to defend themselves year in, year out against genocidal fanatics bent on their extermination. So how can this not be recognized?

Support for Palestinianism is also innately anti-Jew. So-called Palestinian identity is a fiction invented to exterminate the uniquely historically and legally valid Jewish claim to the land of Israel. 

Mahmoud Abbas, viewed by the Western left as a moderate entitled to a state, has a doctorate in Holocaust denial, explicitly venerates the wartime Palestinian Nazi-ally Haj Amin al-Husseini, and uses his media outlets to transmit Nazi-style demonization of the Jews.


Left-wingers, however, are constitutionally unable to accept that they can be racist or anti-Semitic because such an admission would undermine their self-image of unimpeachable moral purity and go right to the root of their entire political and moral personality. So they shelter behind the fiction that hating Israel is decent and moral while hating Jews is beyond the pale.. 

A German government study published in January found that male migrants may be responsible for more than 90 percent of a recent increase in violent crime. In Sweden, a leaked report last year revealed that there were now 61 Islamic “no-go zones” where Islamist extremists have taken over. Sweden’s National Police Commissioner, Dan Eliasson, pleaded, “Help us, help us!”—warning that the police could no longer uphold the law.

Now, there’s no doubt that there is an enduring strand of virulent, indigenous anti-Semitism in Eastern Europe. Research suggests that almost one in five Hungarians openly demands the emigration of the Jews. 

In Poland, the government is intent upon denying its anti-Semitic past. A new law criminalizes anyone who accuses Poland of having been complicit in the Holocaust. Those who deny their anti-Semitism are doomed to repeat it. 

In Britain, the government’s failure to identify correctly and tackle Islamist extremism is turning the Jewish community into collateral damage. Throughout Europe there are growing pressures to ban circumcision and ritual slaughter. This liberal secular intolerance poses a real threat to religious Jewish life.

More dangerous still, Jews on the left who promote multiculturalism and campaign loudly against Islamophobia are themselves helping to stoke anti-Semitism. 

In Britain, most Jews voted against Brexit. They are frightened by assertions of national identity. They think it leads to nationalism, and that means anti-Semitism. They think Europe protects against anti-Semitism and that Brexit is motivated by nationalism. Haven’t they noticed that the rise of the ethno-nationalist groups in Europe that frighten them so much has taken place under rule by, and precisely because of, the EU?

Why is anti-Semitism on the rise in the West? Broadly because the West is in trouble. And a society in trouble always turns on the Jews. So much general hatred and irrationality now course through the West. Anti-Semitism, though, is not just a prejudice or a species of bigotry or hatred. It’s much more than that. It represents a kind of moral and spiritual death.

Europe lost its soul in the Shoah: the soul that was created by Jewish biblical precepts. Turning against itself, Europe has turned on the Jews.

Without its Christian base, the West is nothing. 

But Christianity in Britain and Europe lost its way a long time ago. Losing their faith, many Christian churches turned instead to social and political activism, liberation theology, and the radical Marxist analysis of the World Council of Churches. 

Many Jews, especially those on the left, see no problem with mass Muslim immigration except for Islamophobia. Such Jews are either indifferent to Israel or they believe many of the lies told about it. Indeed, tragically, many of the leaders of the new anti-Semitism are themselves Jews.

Some people think Europe is over, that the demographics are against it and that it will become a majority-Muslim culture in a few decades. My guess is that Europe won’t go down without a fight. If that happens, the Jews are likely to get it in the neck from all sides. Whichever way it goes, it’s not a pleasant prospect.

So is it time to leave? It’s very personal, and I wouldn’t presume to advise anyone what to do. I can only speak for myself and say that for some years now, I’ve been spending a great deal of my time in Israel.

Because even with 150,000 Hezbollah rockets pointing at us from Lebanon, even with Hamas trying every day to murder us, and even with Iran working toward its genocide bomb to wipe us out, Israel is where I feel so much safer and the air is so much sweeter, and it’s where Jews are not on their knees and where no one will ever make me feel I am not entitled to live and don’t properly belong.

Israel is where we have astonishingly renewed ourselves as a nation out of the ashes of the Shoah. Israel is where all those who want us gone meet their nemesis in the political realization of the eternal people.

Israel is the ultimate, and ultimately the only, definitive and triumphant repudiation of anti-Semitism and the true vindication of the millions of us who perished in the unspeakable events that we memorialize on Holocaust Memorial Day. Me!  (Melanie Phillips)

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Nikki Haley withdraws US from U.N. Human Rights Council. Blasts it as ‘cesspool of political bias’ against Israel

FILE - In this Jan. 2, 2018, file photo, United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley speaks to reporters at United Nations headquarters. Haley says the U.S. is withdrawing from UN Human Rights Council, calling it 'not worthy of its name.' (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)
The Washington Times  June 19, 2018

The Trump administration has pulled the U.S. out of the United Nations‘ main human rights body because of long-standing complaints that the panel is biased against Israel, U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Tuesday.

“For too long, [the U.N. Human Rights Council] has been a protector of human rights abusers and a cesspool of political bias,” Mrs. Haley said. “Regrettably, it is now clear that our call for reform was not heeded.”

The U.S. made the move a day after U.N. officials sharply criticized President Trump’s handling of refugee families at the Mexico border.

The withdrawal is unprecedented in the council’s 12-year history. Libya was ousted seven years ago, but no other country has ever departed voluntarily. U.N. observers said they had seen it coming since the Trump administration’s start.

Last year, during her first address to the council, Mrs. Haley threatened the withdrawal. She cited Washington’s long-standing complaints that the 47-member Geneva-based council was biased against the Jewish state and warned members that the U.S. would leave if the panel failed to end its systematic scrutiny of alleged Israeli rights abuses against Palestinians.

“It is essential that this council address its chronic anti-Israel bias if it is to have any credibility,” she said

She noted that resolutions had been passed against Israel but none had been considered for Venezuela, where protesters were being killed amid political turmoil.

During a joint appearance with Mr. Pompeo on Tuesday, Ms. Haley said the United States “would be happy to rejoin” if the council undergoes reform.

Mr. Pompeo ratcheted up the rhetoric by indicating that such a development could be far down the road.

“We have no doubt there was once a noble vision for this council,” he said. “But today we need to be honest. The Human Rights Council is a poor defender of human rights. Worse than that, the Human Rights Council has become an exercise in shameless hypocrisy, with many of the world’s worst human rights abuses going ignored and some of the world’s most serious offenders sitting on the council itself.”

Last week, reports speculated that the failure of frenzied behind-the-scenes negotiations to reform the body would trigger the Trump administration’s move. A major point of contention: Washington’s objection to Israel being the only country in the world whose rights record arose every council session as “Item 7” on the agenda.

Minutes after Tuesday’s announcement, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted his thanks to the U.S.: “Israel thanks President Trump, Secretary Pompeo and Ambassador Haley for their courageous decision against the hypocrisy and the lies of the so-called UN Human Rights Council.”

Some observers noted that the move reinforces the perception that Mr. Trump is seeking to advance Israel’s agenda on the world stage ahead of a long-awaited White House peace plan for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Mr. Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, is visiting the Middle East this week as the White House prepares to announce its plan.

Human rights advocates denounced the administration’s action.

“The Trump administration’s withdrawal is a sad reflection of its one-dimensional human rights policy,” said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch. “Defending Israeli abuses from criticism takes precedence above all else.”

Democrats on Capitol Hill slammed the administration for stepping back from another international agreement, after withdrawals from the Paris climate accord, the U.N. educational and cultural organization and the Iran nuclear deal.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee member Christopher A. Coons, Delaware Democrat, said in a statement that the U.N. Human Rights Council is not perfect but the withdrawal sends a clear message that the administration “does not intend to lead the world when it comes to human rights.”

Rep. Nita M. Lowey, New York, called the move “another isolationist maneuver in its foreign policy strategy that is weakening U.S. global leadership.”

But some leading allies, including the United Kingdom, indicted they were firmly on board.

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson joined Washington on Monday in criticizing Item 7 and urging the council to reform. Other European nations and Australia have also sided with the Jewish state, noting that countries with worse human rights records, including Syria, were spared such intense scrutiny.

A key question is where a continued U.S. retreat in the U.N. would leave a beleaguered Israel.

The U.N. Human Rights Council was created in 2006 to replace the U.N. Human Rights Commission, which was widely discredited for electing member states with questionable track records on human rights.

The year it was created, the George W. Bush administration decided against seeking membership. The U.S. joined in 2009 under President Obama.

This article is based in part on wire service reports.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.
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Why the Democrats are turning against Israel

Redacted from a more inclusive article by Caroline Glick

Originally published at

July 9, 2018

Since President Donald Trump entered the White House, hardly a day has gone by without Israel receiving a warning from a Democratic politician or a liberal American Jewish leader that it had better curb its enthusiasm and be reticent in its support for Trump and his policies.

The partisan split is clear. A Pew survey of American support for Israel in January noted a great and growing gap in partisan support for the Jewish state. 79 percent of Republicans support Israel against the Palestinians. Only 27 percent of Democrats do.

The latest warning came this week. Ambassador Dennis Ross, the former U.S. mediator for the peace talks between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), told the Jerusalem Post that Israel needs to watch out.

“Given the strong opposition by Democrats to Trump,” Ross warned, “Israel risks getting caught up in that conflict,” he told the Post.

“There will be a post-Trump U.S. … Israel risks a backlash because the Trump administration has caused such deep alienation among Democrats, so it’s very important that there is outreach by Israel to Democrats.”

Ross also had advice for what Israelis should talk about when they talk to Americans. Israelis, he said, should avoid talking about shared values and visions of the world. Instead, they should focus their discussions with Americans on both sides of the aisle on security issues and regional Middle East topics.

Ross’s warning that Israelis should avoid speaking to Americans about shared values points to the core of Israel’s problem with Democrats — and, increasingly, with the American Jewish community which splits two-to-one in support for Democrats over Republicans.

(Dennis Ross is for Dennis Ross and does not give a damn about Israel. He does and says only what will help his political career. He still has great ambitions to be back calling the shots in the American State Dept. Ross was an anti-Israel force in the Senior Bush and Bill Clinton’s State Department along with other self-hating Jews –  Martin Indyk, Aaron Miller, Richard Haase and of course,  Madeleine Albright. Their  supposed “assistance” all  but brought Israel to its knees with their various “peace plans” that continue to this very day. 

Ross was described as a “Jewish Arabist” in an article in Moment magazine (April 1991) by former Near East Report editor Eric Rozenman.   He wrote that Ross was responsible for shaping the Bush-Baker policy that was “indifferent to what Israel claimed as vital interests and undiplomatically hostile to Israel’s prime minister” and had made it “the least sympathetic American government toward Israel in that country’s 43 years.”

 Former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir has said in his dealings with Ross, that Ross was consistently more sympathetic to Arab positions than Israel’s positions. )  Jerome S. Kaufman  

Why the concern for UNRWA?

On Monday, seven former US ambassadors to the UN sent a letter to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo insisting that the administration restore full funding to UNRWA, the UN agency that funds so-called Palestinian refugees.

Since UNRWA was established in 1949, the US has given nearly $5 billion to the agency tasked with perpetuating refugee status among descendants of Arabs who left Israel in the 1948-1949 pan-Arab invasion.

In January, then-secretary of state Rex Tillerson informed the UN that the US was slashing its assistance to UNRWA by 50%, from $260 million to $130 million. At the time, citing UNRWA’s support for terrorism and economic corruption, UN Ambassador Nikki Haley recommended ending US financial assistance for the agency outright.

Both Israel and the U.S. are states based on ideals and ideas rooted in the Bible. Jewish identity and attachment to the land of Israel, like Jewish survival through two thousand years of exile and homelessness, owe entirely to the faithfulness of Jewish people scattered throughout the world to the laws of Moses and to their national identity as the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. This enduring attachment to Jewish law and heritage, and to national identity, is what brought millions of Jews to settle in the land of Israel both before and after the State of Israel was founded 70 years ago.

The Jews who have come to Israel from the four corners of the globe were not entering a foreign land as economic migrants. They were exiles returning home. Israel is not a nation of immigrants so much as a state populated by ingathered Jewish exiles.

The civic religion that emerged in the U.S. was inclusive to those who accepted its basic values and principles. Given that the social compacts of both Israel and the U.S. were forged by settlers informed by the Bible, it is little wonder that the two nations have always had a natural affinity for one another.

Which brings us back to Ross’s warning.

The problem that Israel now faces with the Democrats is that whereas Israelis have by and large remained faithful to their identity — and consequently, their nationalism, or Zionism — Democrats are increasingly becoming post-nationalist.

Consider the situation along Israel’s border with Syria.

For the past two weeks, as the Russian-Syrian-Iranian advance against rebel-held southwestern Syria has proceeded, some 270,000 Syrians have fled their homes in Deraa and Quneitra provinces. While the bulk of the displaced have fled to the Syrian-Jordanian border, several thousand have situated themselves along Syria’s border with Israel.

In Israel, there is all but consensual support for the government’s position, stated by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at his weekly cabinet meeting Sunday. Netanyahu said, “Regarding southern Syria, we will continue to defend our borders. We will extend humanitarian assistance to the extent of our abilities. We will not allow entry into our territory.” That is, Israelis are committed to being good neighbors to the Syrians.

Meretz, the Israeli far Left newspaper,  represents only some 4 percent of the electorate, opposes the very notion of Jewish nationalism, or Zionism. It believes that Israel should open its doors – as a Jewish state – to refugees and others, including illegal economic migrants from Africa.

Meretz’s leader, Tamar Zandberg, knows that her party has no significant support domestically. And so she has focused a great deal of effort on building strong ties to Democrats and to progressive, anti-nationalist American Jewish groups to increase her party’s power and leverage in Israel.

The problem is that over the past twenty years or so, the American left has undergone a profound shift in values, from liberal nationalism to radical post-nationalism. This process, facilitated and accelerated during Barack Obama’s presidency, and expressed most emblematically in Democratic support for open borders, has made post-nationalism the sine qua non of the Democrats since Trump’s electoral triumph in 2016.

But the fact is that the Democrats’ shift in values from nationalist to post-nationalist, rather than any action Israel has taken in its domestic or foreign policy, is what has caused the rupture in Israel’s ties to the American left.

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Half of all Americans now live in ‘sanctuaries’ protecting illegal immigrants!

Study finds great surge in criminal activity in those jurisdictions

By Stephen Dinan 

The Washington Times 

About half of all Americans now live under sanctuary policies that shield illegal immigrants from law enforcement, according to the latest tally of jurisdictions that the Federation for American Immigration Reform is releasing Thursday.

FAIR calculates there were 564 states and municipalities that refuse some level of cooperation with federal immigration authorities as of April 1, up more than 200 since President Trump took office and up more than 500 compared with a decade ago. There were just 40 sanctuaries when President Obama took office.

Entire states such as California, Illinois and New York are now sanctuaries, as well as major cities and counties such as Fairfax, Montgomery and Prince George’s counties and the District of Columbia in the capital region, according to the list.

Combined, the sanctuaries on FAIR’s list cover 49 percent of the country’s population, The Washington Times calculated.

“This is just an astounding and a dramatic surge of sanctuary jurisdictions,” said Bob Dane, executive director at FAIR. “They’ve doubled in just two years, and if you game that out, if the exponential growth continues, it’s not going to be long before it’s accurate to say the U.S. is a sanctuary country.”

While there is no official definition of sanctuaries, FAIR counted any jurisdiction that bans police or other officials from asking about immigration status, forbids communication with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or refuses to hold likely deportees for pickup by ICE.

The organization scoured local government policies, looked at press reports and used ICE’s own set of reports last year listing jurisdictions that refused to honor “detainer” requests to hold illegal immigrants.

FAIR’s numbers are higher than other counts, such as the Ohio Jobs and Justice Political Action Committee, which has been tracking sanctuaries for years, or the ICE detainer list, which was started then quickly discontinued last year.

The surge in sanctuaries began under Mr. Obama, with an average of three sanctuaries per month added during his two terms, according to FAIR statistics. Mr. Trump, meanwhile, is seeing an average of 16 new sanctuaries each month.

California looms large on the list. More than 130 of the sanctuaries are in the state — including more than 80 that are new additions to the list, reflecting the anti-Trump sentiment of the West Coast.

Some jurisdictions embrace the sanctuary label, such as the District of Columbia. Mayor Muriel Bowser says the city is proud of the work it does to shield illegal immigrants.

Others object to the label.

“Fairfax County is not a sanctuary county or sanctuary city,” Virginia’s largest jurisdiction says on its website.

Fairfax says its officials try to comply with federal laws regarding information sharing, so that makes it a “welcoming community” but not a sanctuary.

FAIR says the county is a sanctuary because it tells police not to ask about immigration status even during an arrest. The group says Fairfax also refuses to hold immigrants for pickup by ICE — a courtesy most police give to other police departments, but increasingly refuse to give to federal immigration authorities.

Fairfax officials also bowed to complaints from immigrant rights activists last month and blocked ICE representatives from speaking at a public committee meeting last month where the county’s cooperation limits were being reviewed.

Mr. Dane said that while it’s generally Democratic politicians who have defended sanctuaries, it’s up to Mr. Trump to find a way to stop them.

That means continuing to harangue Congress to pass legislation punishing sanctuaries and sending even more deportation officers into sanctuaries to go after illegal immigrants, Mr. Dane said.

Trump owns this problem. The buck stops on the president’s desk, even though it’s not his fault,” he said.

The House last year passed a bill to crack down on sanctuary cities, but the Senate was unable to clear a Democrat filibuster when the issue came to the upper chamber this year. Just four Democrats joined Republicans in voting to crack down on sanctuaries — leaving them six votes shy of the 60-vote threshold to end the filibuster.

Sanctuary city defenders say communities of immigrants — including those in the U.S. legally — feel more comfortable knowing their local officials refuse to cooperate with the federal government. They say immigrants are less likely to report crimes if they fear they themselves will be turned over for deportation.

In the first months after Mr. Trump took office, Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said there was a marked drop in reports of rape or spousal abuse among Hispanics.

As controversial as they are, sanctuary cities have also been remarkably effective in their goal of keeping people out of the hands of ICE.

(Maybe you should check if your area is a sanctuary one?  Is that what you want?  I would think obviously not and you should, right now, lean on politicians to change this se]f- destructive state of affairs.) jsk

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