Coronavirus and Big-Government Contagion

As usual, Kimberley A. Strassel calls the supposed Coronavirus appropriation for what it is – a giant pork spending bill having little to do with the virus but guaranteed to put the whole nation into the outhouse with impossible debt — just as Bernie Sanders and the DEMOCRAT/Socialist party have wanted all along. jsk

Big-Government Contagion

By Kimberley A. Strassel

Wall Street Journal  March 26, 2020

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Potomac Watch: Appropriators throw hundreds of billions of dollars at the virus—and at everything else.

The Senate did something good passing a bill to inject liquidity into a virus-ravaged economy. It also did something dangerous, requiring the public to be on guard.

Members of Congress are pointing out the many parts of society aided by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, styled the Cares Act. Checks for American families. Some $377 billion for small business. Help for air carriers and other industries. Money for hospitals.

Missing from their list is an important category, which underlines an inescapable fact: Government mostly “Cares” for government. Bills that hand out money are written by appropriators. And appropriators never miss an opportunity to expand departments, agencies, bureaus and commissions. A rough calculation suggests the single biggest recipient of taxpayer dollars in this legislation—far in excess of $600 billion—is government itself. This legislation may prove the biggest one-day expansion of government power ever.

Some of this money is required. Washington and the states are devoting significant resources to the virus response, and the bill earmarks funds for many specific and warranted purposes. A great deal of cash is going to frontline agencies—the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration, the Department of Health and Human Services. The bill sends money to the Bureau of Prisons, to help control the virus’s spread among inmates; to the IRS for an extended tax-filing season; to the Transportation Security Administration “for cleaning and sanitization at checkpoints.” Are the amounts a bit excessive? No doubt. But let’s not quibble.

More concerning is the extent to which Democrats used the bill to tighten every fiber of the social safety net. Put aside the $260 billion for unemployment benefits, potentially necessary in light of record jobless claims. The bill throws $25 billion more at food stamps and child nutrition; $12 billion at housing; $3.5 billion to states for child care; $32 billion at education; $900 million at low-income heating assistance; $50 million at legal services for the poor and so on. This is a massive expansion of the welfare state, seemingly with no regard to the actual length of this crisis.

There’s also the money appropriators threw at government for no purpose other than the throwing. Every outpost gets dollars, most for nothing more than the general command “to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus.” NASA gets $60 million. Has the virus infected the sun’s corona? The National Archives gets $8 million. Will it put the virus on display? Many departments get cash for research, regardless of their relevance to today’s medical crisis. Perhaps the Energy Department will use its additional $99 million in “science” to gauge how the virus responds in a nuclear reactor.

Then there’s the outright pork. The Forest Service gets $3 million for “forest and rangeland research,” $27 million for “capital improvement and maintenance,” and $7 million for wildfire management. The bill shovels $75 million to the National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities, $25 million to the Kennedy Center, an odd $78,000 “payment” to the Institute of American Indian and Alaska Native Culture and Arts Development. A water project in central Utah gets $500,000. Appropriators can sneak a lot into 880 pages.

The bill sends $150 billion to state governments, on top of the dollars for unemployment, health care and education. Some of this money will be used to backstop local governments struggling with virus response, or with the economic consequences of the shutdown. But for all the Democratic demands of oversight on the bill’s business loans, the state dollars have no real strings attached. Should a locality choose to use its dollars to create new nonsensical business regulations, so be it.

Republicans waved much of this through, viewing it as the Democratic price for urgently needed business liquidity. But they should understand the left has every intention of making these spending levels the new normal, long after this virus has passed and  long after the economy is recovering, Democrats will cry foul at any cut. Should they win the presidency or the Senate this fall, the chances of rolling any of this back fall even further.

The bill’s real failure is that it makes no distinctions between temporary and permanent expansion of government. The state has a role in short-term crises, and lawmakers have an obligation to allocate the resources to respond. But Democrats successfully exploited the crisis to expand the power of government overall—perhaps for the long term. That’s especially perverse, given it was government that imposed the restrictions that shut down the economy, necessitating this rescue bill in the first place.

The Trump administration and GOP lawmakers should have been making this distinction all along, and they’d be wise to start reassuring voters immediately of their intent to rationalize the system once the urgent moment passes. Coronavirus has done enough damage. We don’t need it to also become the excuse for a permanent government power grab.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/big-government-contagion-11585262351?mod=MorningEditorialReport&mod=djemMER_h

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Hurray! Even Editor John Podhoretz, resolute Trump-hater, gives the President a back-handed compliment.

The Two-State Something

Redacted from article by John Podhoretz, Editor 

COMMENTARY MAGAZINE, MARCH 2020 

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The 12 Tribes of Israel over 3000 years before Muhammed even born!. 

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The logic of the Trump-administration plan for Israel and the Palestinians and its designers is to slice through two decades of stasis by means of a radical alteration in the role of the United States as one of the players in the so-called peace process.

Since the Oslo accords in 1993 effectively created a negotiating partner for Israel by incepting a “Palestinian Authority” led by Yasser Arafat, the American approach was to propose various trust-building and confidence-building measures. They were explicitly designed as precursors, as ways of smoothing the rocky road to a final deal that would be negotiated between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

That strategy was wish-based, not fact-based. It assumed that the difficulty in settling the existential row between the two parties was based in misunderstandings and suspicions that could be calmed by mediated behavior. 

That can work when the ultimate aim of both sides is a deal. But even then, such measures are not really necessary since the two sides basically have the same goal. They didn’t. Israel demonstrated its willingness to fulfill the 1947 notion of two states living side by side—not so their interlocutors. 

The Palestinians didn’t need confidence-building. What they seemed to have confidence in was the idea that Israel’s acquiescence to international demands marked it as a paper tiger. Their long-expressed hope of pushing the Jews into the sea was within reach.

Over the decades, the Palestinians have never come to the table with a plan of their own, or any plan, only lists of grievances, jaw-dropping claims that Jews have no ancestral history in Jerusalem, and finger-wagging demands that their beloved terrorist Jew-killers be released from Israeli jails.

The Israelis offered Palestinians a state twice in 2000. The Palestinians answered those offers with terrorism, hate-filled propaganda, and war. The hope of optimistic Israelis that there could be a favorable resolution of this intractable problem exploded like a suicide vest.

In the two decades since the second intifada began, there has been only one half-serious, half-ludicrous proposal—made in 2008 in secret by the unpopular, unelected, and bribery-tarnished accidental prime minister, Ehud Olmert. The Olmert plan was rejected on spurious grounds by the Palestinian Authority’s leader, Mahmoud Abbas. When he came into office in 2009, Benjamin Netanyahu immediately offered to move to final-status negotiations with the Palestinians, only to be rebuffed—and there matters have lain dormant.

Donald Trump came into office promising the “deal of the century,” and his administration’s approach is inventive. No confidence-building. No “it’s not up to us to shape the ultimate arrangement.” It’s a full-blown plan that lays out the geography of the two states, including a mammoth tunnel connecting Gaza and the West Bank. 

It ends the weird fiction that Israel could ever surrender neighborhoods, some half a century old, because they sit on supposedly “occupied” land—land that was never under any nation’s modern sovereignty.

And, most dramatically, it basically challenges the Palestinians to take it or leave it. They have four years to come to the table, at which point the deal is dead and the Israelis are (in American eyes) free to do what they want. 

The outrage with which the plan has been received in certain quarters ignores the central question: Why not try this? Nothing else has worked. Cut the Gordian knot. Bite the bond that won’t burst. See what happens.

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Gantz and Blue/White Party in Israel have only one goal- Destroy Bibi Netanyahu

Caroline Glick: How Blue and White Israeli Party undermines liberty and the rule of law

March 22, 2020

Amid a global pandemic, the threat of war with Iran and economic collapse, Israel’s Blue and White Party is dead set on bringing Netanyahu down—even if it means taking Israel down with him.

Redacted from an article By Caroline Glick, Jewish News Service (JNS)

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If Blue and White Party leader Benny Gantz forms a minority government with Avigdor Liberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu Party and the Labor-Meretz Party, based on the outside support of the Joint Arab List, Gantz’s success will torpedo Israel’s relations with the United States.

This week, a senior official who was present during Gantz’s meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump in late January revealed: “Gantz committed in the Oval Office that, if he became prime minister, he would form a government of people that would support the president’s peace deal.”

The Trump peace plan includes applying Israeli sovereignty to the Jordan Valley and the Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria. Labor-Meretz and the Joint Arab List are both violently opposed to the Trump plan. A Gantz government that includes them will be a government that is hostile to the Trump plan.

The only way for Gantz to keep the promise he made to Trump is to join a coalition government led by Netanyahu with Likud and its right-religious coalition partners. And that is an option that Gantz and his partners in the Blue and White “cockpit”—fellow former Israel Defense Forces chiefs of staff Moshe Ya’alon and Gabi Ashkenazi and former media star Yair Lapid—will not support.

They are working feverishly to cobble together a radical government with the post-Zionists in Labor-Meretz and the anti-Zionists in the Joint List. All of which will be hard-pressed to work with the Trump administration.

What can explain Gantz’s irresponsible behavior?

Did he lie to Trump—and the Israeli public—because he and his colleagues are secretly radical leftists who seek power to undermine everything Israel stands for? They wouldn’t be the first leftist politicians to do so

Gantz’s willingness to effectively surrender Israel’s rights in Judea and Samaria to win the parliamentary support of politicians that seek Israel’s destruction as a Jewish state—shared by his partners in the Blue and White leadership—seems to indicate that they are rabid post-Zionists.

Gantz and his colleagues present themselves as champions of the rule of law and democracy, which, they insist, Netanyahu is destroying.

But consider their actions: Presently, Blue and White is viciously attacking Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein for refusing to convene the Knesset’s Arrangements Committee, which is responsible for convening the rest of the Knesset committees. They insist that in doing so, Edelstein is colluding with Netanyahu to destroy Israeli democracy. 

But as Simcha Rothman from the Movement for Governability and Democracy explained in Israel Hayom on Thursday, it is Blue and White that is blocking the Arrangements Committee from convening.

Breaking the rules to achieve one goal

The Knesset rules provide that membership in the committee is determined by the size of each party. The parties in the Knesset receive one member in the committee for every four members in their Knesset faction. Under the prevailing rules, the blocs working with Netanyahu and Gantz would have equal representation in the committee.

Blue and White and Yisrael Beitienu have submitted bills explicitly directed towards achieving one goal: Preventing Netanyahu—and only Netanyahu—from forming a government. These bills, if passed, would overturn Israel’s rule of law twice.

Then there is Iran. As the coronavirus rages through Iran, experts warn that the risk of an Iranian strike against Israel rises with the death toll. The theology of Iran’s ruling clerics holds that the Shi’ite messiah, the Mahdi, is supposed to return at the end of days. To hasten his arrival, Iran’s ayatollahs believe that they need to start Armageddon.

Which brings us back to Washington: Three weeks ago, I traveled to Washington to speak on a panel at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC)—the largest conservative gathering in America. Most of the discussions were related to U.S. domestic issues, but Israel is so important to U.S. conservatives that organizers chose to hold a panel devoted to Israeli sovereignty in Judea and Samaria.

There were no calls for the partition of Jerusalem and the expulsion of Jews from Judea and Samaria either on the panel or from the audience. On the contrary, the sentiment shared by the audience and the panelists alike was that Israel should assert its sovereign rights in Judea and Samaria wherever it deems necessary.

This salutary state of affairs will be turned on its head if the Democrats win the presidency in November. In that event, Israel will find itself under assault from a hostile president who heads a party hostile to Israel.

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Subject:ACTION ALERT: Restaurant Rescue Package

Subject:ACTION ALERT: Restaurant Rescue Package

Congress is looking to pass a broad economic rescue package that the Trump administration estimates will be around $1.3 trillion.  We need your help to ensure restaurant relief is properly addressed in this package.     

Economic forecasts indicate restaurants and the foodservice industry could sustain $225 billion in losses and eliminate 5-7 million jobs over the next three months. By taking action, you will tell your personalized story about how this has negatively impacted you, your employees, and your industry and call on President Trump and Congress for their support of the National Restaurant Association restaurant recovery plan.  This plan provides direct and targeted relief designed to benefit restaurant and foodservice businesses of every size in every corner of the country.  

It will provide:

  • direct relief from a new restaurant recovery fund
  • community grants for disaster relief assistance
  • guaranteed loans and business interruption insurance
  • lost revenue coverage from the government
  • expand access to efficient and affordable loans
  • special disaster unemployment assistance for workers
  • tax breaks to help your cash flow
  • a fix to the QIP tax glitch
  • and more.

Please take a few moments to participate in this vital grassroots mobilization effort.  We need Congress to act—and act fast. Click here to take action:https://actnow.io/1DPlCl9?mkt_tok=eyJpIjoiWkRBMU1ERXdOVGxqT1dJNSIsInQiOiJYOVhVTXQwWVdCSmlyRTBlaUVqSnNZT0ZPXC80V0xCMmlBSVBpMW12cU03WTZOYndwNnVWRm1uYlBXdjlwWERVclRpc3BFcGhcL0NVTjJDZm4zd1FMQWVnPT0ifQ%3D%3D

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  Stacy RoofPresident & CEOKentucky Restaurant Associationwww.kyra.orgP 502-400-3736F 502-896-0465C 502-931-5420 

Stop Tax Label-page-0

Saying “No” to the Muslim Invasion of Europe

(And to the United States and Canada if we choose to open our eyes)

March 8, 2020

Muslim Invasion of Europe

By Janet Levy

The inundation of Europe with Muslim migrants intent on permanent settlement is unprecedented in world history.  Europe, which has accepted vast numbers of the migrants, has become an epicenter of Islamic terrorism replete with alarming levels of migrant crime, including Muslim sex slave gangs and sharia-controlled “no-go” zones.  

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Faced with this reality, four Central European countries — Hungary, Poland, Czechia, and Slovakia — have adamantly refused to accept Muslim refugees, earning criticism from the European community and prosecution by the European Court of Justice.

But now, with Turkey threatening to open its border and inundate Greece with thousands more Muslim refugees, the European community appears to have paused in its ongoing acceptance of migrants and pledged to protect Greece’s border.  It illustrates the threat that has existed from the beginning from the mass movement of Muslims from the Middle East and North Africa.

Some view the migration as a “humanitarian crisis” and call critics “xenophobes” or “racists” who lack compassion.  Others question the motivation for the sudden refugee onslaught and ask why Europe must shoulder responsibility and absorb the mass exodus when proximate, affluent Muslim countries have not offered assistance.  

They see, instead, a planned invasion or hijra, a 1,400-year-old Islamic doctrine modeled after Mohammed’s migration from Mecca to Medina.  It is designed to subvert and subdue non-Muslim societies and pave the way for total Islamization, in this case, of all Europe.  

It began in 1990, when the U.N. high commissioner for refugees (UNHCR) established a liaison with the European Union (E.U.) and its executive branch, the European Commission (E.C.), to monitor the asylum and migration process.  This led to resolutions and recommendations on refugee policies by the European Council, heads of state of E.U. member-nations that determine overall E.U. political priorities. 

In 2015, E.C. president Jean-Claude Juncker unveiled a proposal to redistribute Muslim refugees flooding Europe to all E.U. member-states.  The European Council followed with a plan that gave refugees the right to settle in E.U. member-states based on each country’s economic and demographic circumstances.  

All were required to participate, with substantial fines to be imposed against countries that rejected refugees. 

The E.C. edict was particularly problematic for the Visegrád (V4) countries — Hungary, Poland, Czechia and Slovakia, four Central European countries with a combined population of 64 million, constituting the fifth largest economy in Europe.  

Unlike the rest of Europe, they had only recently recovered their sovereignty after suffering under the Iron Curtain and resisted delegating power to a central authority.  They balked at the E.U. refugee resettlement policy, unwilling to jeopardize national security and their cultural and religious traditions.  

The V4 countries clearly identified the stark reality facing the continent.  They recognized that the asylum-seekers were infiltrated by ISIS and other terrorist groups, included refugees resistant to assimilation, and represented a drain on national resources.  The countries preferred to provide aid to migrants in or near their countries of origin.

Polish leader Dominik Tarczynski affirmatively stated that Poland would not accept a single Muslim illegal migrant.  He proudly points to his country’s record of safety — not one Islamic terrorist attack.  Tarczynski has compared Muslim immigrants to Polish immigrants, pointing out that “zero Poles” have blown themselves up in any country in the world for their religion or out of hatred.  Deflecting charges of “racism” and “nationalism,” he defends his policy that has protected his countrymen.  For this, he has been vilified by E.U. leadership.

Tarczynski acknowledges that Poland has taken in two million Christian Ukrainians, but he defends himself against charges of “Islamophobia” by plainly stating that Poland chooses to be a Christian country free of the problems facing the rest of Europe struggling with Muslim migration.  

His country is not responsible for conflicts in Syria or Iraq, he has said, and has pointed out that wealthy Arab countries like Saudi Arabia and Qatar, well equipped to accept Muslim refugees, do nothing to help their co-religionists. 

Government officials from Hungary, Czechia, and Slovakia have all adopted similar restrictions. 

Current V4 leader and Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán has maintained that the “refugee crisis” is a well funded, well organized invasion and that NGOs are serving as human-smuggling groups.  

According to Orbán, Hungarian intelligence discovered that 95% of the migrants were military-age men in military-style group movements.  Few are innocent women and children who suddenly appear when the media are present.  

Orbán has financed a “Hungary Helps Project,” which provides aid directly to churches and charities to assist migrants to remain in their own countries.  The funds are earmarked for persecuted Christians, a population typically ignored by other governments and the media.

For the past five years, the V4 have remained at the forefront of an effort to stem massive Muslim migration into Europe.  They have collectively refused to accept any compulsory long-term refugee resettlement quotas set by the E.U. and notably remain virtually unaffected in a continent rife with Islamic terrorist attacks and sharia-compliant no-go zones.

In 2017, the European Commission took Hungary, Poland, and the Czech Republic to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) and charged them with breaking E.U. law by refusing to accept asylum-seekers under the E.U.’s mandatory migration quotas.  

The three countries were criticized for reaping the benefits of the union while failing to meet their humanitarian and political responsibilities.  The ECJ denied that legitimate security concerns existed and cited legal obligations to follow E.U. policies.

Leaders in Hungary, Poland, and Czechia responded that their security and cultural cohesion were threatened by the E.U.’s refugee plan and denied that legal grounds existed to impose such quotas.  The ECJ will rule on the matter later this year.

So it stood until just recently, when Turkey opened its border to Greece and threatened Europe with the arrival of several million refugees.  Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey’s president, threatened the invasion following the E.U.’s lack of support for Turkey’s military incursion into northern Syria.  

Thousands of so-called asylum-seekers from Afghanistan, Syria, Iran, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Morocco, and several East African countries have traveled to the Turkish border in recent days.  

President Erdoğan has gone so far as to make a formal announcement about the open border and supply buses and maps to facilitate the latest crossings, despite a 2016 agreement with the E.U. to prevent refugees from illegally entering Europe.  

Greek authorities claim that Turkish soldiers have used wire-cutters to open the borders and that Turkish police have provided the “refugees” with tear gas canisters to be used against Greek police blocking their passage.  

Reports from Greece also allege that freed prisoners have been escorted to the E.U. border in Turkish police cars and that Turkey has deployed 1,000 policemen to halt any pushback of migrants. 

All this has sorely tested the E.U.’s tolerance for the migrant problem, and government officials are condemning the onslaught.  They have agreed to help Greece and mobilize a Frontex force to protect the border.  

Suddenly, the Greek border is a European border, and the E.U. is expressing solidarity with the rest of the continent and a willingness to mobilize the necessary operational support to fortify the defensive actions of the Greek authorities.

It remains to be seen if this new development represents a volte face of the E.U.’s 2015 policy on refugee resettlement or is a temporary moratorium to slow the tide of migrants into Europe.  It certainly lends credence to the Visegrád Group’s characterization of Muslim migration as an invasion and a serious threat to Europe’s way of life. 

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No Jews on Temple Mount! Arab List makes demands in exchange for backing Gantz for Prime Minister

(Exactly what Rabbi Meir Kahane warned against 50 years ago and he was ostracized by ignorant, delusional, intimidated Israelis and Jews who have always had a problem facing the ugly truth) jsk

March 10, 2020

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Joint Arab List members Ahmad Tibi (r) Ayman Odeh (c) and Mansour Abbas (l) (Flash90)

By David Isaac, World Israel News

The Arab Joint List is feeling its oats.

After a preliminary meeting on Monday with Benny Gantz, the Arab party which won 15 Knesset seats in the last election, has a list of demands in exchange for throwing its support behind the Blue and White leader for Israel’s premiership.

Joint List Chairman Ayman Odeh listed some of them on Tuesday in a live Facebook event, Arutz 7 reports. They include an end to Jewish visits to the Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism, and no unilateral steps linked to the Trump administration’s peace plan, dubbed the ‘deal of the century.’

Odeh also said that half of Israel’s capital should be given over for the capital of a future Palestinian state. But he said the party would refrain from pushing that demand at present.

“We have a clear position on the issue of the al-Aqsa mosque. We want to see the cessation of all visits of extremist settlers to the mosque,” he said. Arutz 7 reports that by “extremist settlers” Odeh meant all Jews.

“This is something that [began] during the Netanyahu era, and we want the status quo to be restored. Al-Aqsa is a Muslim place of worship, and east Jerusalem should be the capital city of the Palestinian state. We will be focusing on the issue of al-Aqsa at the present stage [of negotiations],” Odeh said.

The Joint List chairman also demanded that in exchange for his party’s support, Gantz would not take any unilateral steps as laid out in the Trump administration’s peace plan.

According to the plan, Israel would be able to annex the Jordan Valley and some 30 percent of Judea and Samaria – this before any demands are to be made of Israel, a break from past peace proposals which put the burden for concessions on the Jewish State.

Gantz, visiting the White House during the election campaign, told President Donald Trump that he supports the plan.

Odeh also said, “We can’t just say, ‘cancel the Kaminitz law’ and let them go and bomb Gaza, or move forward on this ‘deal of the century.’”

Odeh was referring to earlier reports that the Joint List would focus its demands on domestic issues important to the Arab sector. One of them is the cancellation of the Kaminitz Law, which was passed to combat illegal construction through stronger enforcement of planning and building laws.

The Kaminitz Law particularly impacts Arab towns, which tend to ignore Israeli construction laws and zoning regulations when building.

The Joint List also reportedly was going to demand more action to curb the high rate of violence in Arab population centers. According to one report, Israel’s Arab population accounts for 80 percent of the illegal firearms in the country.

According to Arutz 7, Odeh said that the Joint List “would not agree to a piecemeal agreement with Gantz’s party, but would demand a comprehensive series of understandings.”

Meir Kahane American rabbi

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Meir David HaKohen Kahane was an Israeli-American ordained Orthodox rabbi, writer, and ultra-nationalist politician who served one term in Israel’s Knesset. His legacy continues to influence militant and far-right political groups active today in Israel.

In 1988, after polls showed Kahane gaining popularity, the Israeli government banned Kahane for being “racist” and “anti-democratic” under the terms of a law that it had just passed. Kahane was assassinated in a Manhattan hotel by an Egyptian-born U.S. citizen in November 1990.

Dec 31, 2000 – His son, Binyamin Zeev Kahane, 34, and his wife, Talia, 31, of Kfar Tapuah were killed when Palestinian snipers opened fire while they were driving home from Jerusalem.

Ephesians 6:11 – Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil

Compiled by Jerome S. Kaufman

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Bernie Sanders hosts Palestinian Arab War Dance in Dearborn, MI

https://t.co/ZKb7qkUDm4” / Twitter

Enough said!

Opening Jihadi act at Bernie Sanders’ Dearborn, Michigan rally Dance troop performed in Palestinian war scarfs, keffiyeh, the new Swastikas Communists like Sanders have formed a dangerous alliance w/ Jihadists to destroy America from within – this is known as the Red/Green Axis

Bernie Sanders as a ‘Jewish’ President?

Not so! Please don’t blame us.

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(Sanders is Jewish by birth only. He has become an apostate Jew – one who deliberately discards his own heritage and instead attacks it in every way possible, attempting to prove he is, in fact, not Jewish) jsk

Redacted from an article by Jerold S. Auerbach

The Jewish News Service (JNS), February 26, 2020

Bernie Sanders may become the first Jewish president of the United States. But what does being a Jew mean to him?

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Sanders’s youthful Jewish credentials are impeccable. Born to Jewish immigrants from Poland, he grew up in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he saw people with numbers tattooed on their arms. Members of his father’s family were murdered in Nazi concentration camps. He developed a strong emotional feeling that “we have got to do everything we can to end this kind of horrific racism and anti-Semitism.”

After college graduation Sanders spent several months on kibbutz Sha’ar Ha’amakim in northern Israel. There he “saw and experienced … many of the progressive values upon which Israel was founded.” In turn, he urged “progressives to acknowledge the enormous achievement of establishing a democratic homeland for the Jewish people after centuries of displacement and persecution.” He subsequently described himself as “proudly Jewish.”

Relocating to Vermont and entering the political arena in a state with a tiny Jewish population, his once enthusiastic embrace of Israel evaporated over time, replaced by unrelenting criticism. 

As early as 1988 he expressed his belief that “it is wrong that the United States provides arms to Israel.” In a Haaretz interview, he stated his wish that the United States would exert more pressure on Israel to resolve the Palestinian conflict.

A decade later, he was the only Jewish member of the U.S. House of Representatives to dissent from a resolution holding Palestinians responsible for suicide bombings and extreme violence during the five years of the Second Intifada (2000-05), when nearly 1,000 Israelis were murdered. 

He subsequently voted against a resolution supporting Israel’s security barrier, built after waves of Palestinian terrorist attacks. He was one of 21 senators who declined to endorse a resolution of support for Israel during the Gaza war in 2014. In a newspaper interview two years later, he asserted that Israel had killed “more than 10,000 innocent people” during “Operation Protective Edge” in the Gaza Strip—a number five times higher than even Hamas claimed.

Sanders’s vitriol towards Israel began to boil over once Benjamin Netanyahu became prime minister. At first merely accusing him of “reactionary policies,” the senator eventually descended into depths of loathing. He would not support the “right-wing, racist government” in Israel, he declared in April 2019. 

At the J Street Conference last October, he claimed: “It is not anti-Semitism to say that the Netanyahu government has been racist; it is a fact.” At a Democratic debate in December, he reiterated: “We must understand that right now in Israel we have leadership under Netanyahu … who, in my view, is a racist.”

Sanders supports the establishment of a Palestinian state in pre-1967 borders, removing biblical Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) from Israeli control. Jewish settlements, now home to more than 400,000 Israelis, would vanish because, Sanders claims, they are illegal according to “international law and multiple United Nations resolutions.”

That is flagrantly incorrect. International law dating back a century to the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine guaranteed to Jews the right of “close settlement” throughout “Palestine,” defined as comprising land east and west of the Jordan River. British Colonial Secretary Winston Churchill gifted the land east of the River to King Abdullah; there was no restriction on the right of Jewish settlement west of the River.

All of this raises the question whether American Jews should anticipate with elation or foreboding the prospect of Bernie Sanders as their first Jewish president. For assimilated Jews of a liberal persuasion who are as critical of Israel as Sanders, his election doubtlessly would be cause for celebration. 

But for American Jews who embrace and defend Israel, a Sanders presidency is likely to elicit sour memories of former President Barack Obama, whose disdain for the Jewish state remains a conspicuous legacy of his White House tenure. Based on his own statements, Sanders is likely to compete with his Democratic predecessor for recognition as Israel’s most unrelenting presidential critic since the birth of the Jewish state.

The American presidents who have been most generous in their support for Israel have been Harry S. Truman, the first world leader to recognize the birth of Israel, and Donald Trump, who has announced Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, relocated the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, recognized Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights and indicated his intention to acknowledge Israeli sovereignty over Judea and Samaria—the biblical homeland of the Jewish people stretching from the Mediterranean to the Jordan River.

If elected, Bernie Sanders surely would not follow in their footsteps.

Sanders could likely surpass Obama as the U.S. president who would be most remembered by Jews for his hostility to the State of Israel.

Jerold S. Auerbach is the author of “Print to Fit: The New York Times, Zionism and Israel 1896-2016,” which was recently selected for Mosaic by Ruth Wisse and Martin Kramer as a “Best Book” for 2019.

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The Jew/Israel Hatred re-configuration of the West

US Political News and Analysis 

Redacted from an article by the brilliant, prescient Melanie Phillips, author of Londonistan (2006)

The real cause of the descent into anti-Zionism and hatred of Jews is secular liberalism, and the cultural fissure that has opened up along fault lines going back to the 18th-century Enlightenment.

Jewish News Service (JNS) February 27, 2020 

The annual parade in Aalst, Belgium, last Sunday turned into a carnival of monstrous Jew-hatred. Participants portrayed Jews as insects topped with fur shtreimel (tall ethnic hats) and peyot (side hair locks). Others were dressed in Nazi uniforms, among other vicious Jewish caricatures, libels and insults.

The mayor of Aalst defended the carnival on the basis that it mocked Christians and Asians, too. He thus showed no understanding of the difference between vulgar mockery and the murderously dehumanizing, historical phenomenon of anti-Semitism.

On Monday, the European Jewish Association revealed the results of a survey of 16,000 Europeans from 16 countries. One-fifth of them believed that a secret network of Jews influences global political and economic affairs. The same number agreed that “Jews exploit Holocaust victimhood for their own needs,” and one-quarter agreed that Israel’s policies make them understand why some people hate Jews.

In the United States, more than 50 Jewish community centers in 23 states have received emailed bomb threats within the past week.

There have been repeated attacks on ultra-Orthodox Jews in Brooklyn. There have been synagogue murders in Pittsburgh and Poway, and widespread bullying of Jewish students on college campuses. Members of “the Squad” of freshman congresswomen have made venomously anti-Israel or anti-Jewish statements.

Bernie Sanders (along with many other far Left Democrats) who is currently the frontrunner to secure the Democratic presidential nomination, purposely did not attend the AIPAC conference because he claims it provides a platform for leaders expressing “bigotry” and opposition to “basic Palestinian rights.”

In Britain, anti-Semitic incidents rose last year to an unprecedented high, marking the fourth successive year of record-breaking figures. In France, 12 Jews have been murdered since 2003 just because they were Jews, while anti-Semitic attacks soared by more than 75 percent last year and the year before. In Germany, anti-Semitic incidents are similarly rising with a murderous attack last Yom Kippur on the synagogue in Halle.

While anti-Jewish attacks are coming from the far-right, the left and the Muslim community, the greatest threat comes from the “progressive” (It is always amazing to me the way the Left has found a way to distort word definitions) side of politics.

This is because its worldview overwhelmingly dominates Western cultural and political institutions; it harbors profound anti-Jewish views within its own ranks; and its cultural reach means that its own anti-Jewish incitement legitimizes and encourages far-right anti-Semitic attitudes that were once treated as beyond the pale.

And this is all inextricably tied up with hatred of Israel, and the entirely false but widespread belief that the Jews have displaced the indigenous people of the land and behave illegally and with wanton cruelty towards the Palestinian remnant.

From these lies and libels flows the surreal irrationality of the anti-Israel discourse that has so shockingly become the signature cause of the Western progressive.

The obvious reasons for this include the takeover of progressivism by Marxism, the collapse of education into anti-Western propaganda, and the rise of identity politics and intersectionality. This has created an ignorant and brainwashed cohort of young people who have provided the groundswell for Sanders or Britain’s (now defeated) Jeremy Corbyn.

This week, the Jerusalem Centre for Public Affairs published a book of essays called Israelophobia and the West: the Hijacking of Civil Discourse on Israel and How to Rescue It. The book provides a thoughtful analysis of the nexus between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism, where legitimate criticism of Israel stops and demonization starts, and the fundamental challenge to Israel from the left.

It assumes that the lies can and should be countered by a better application of reason. This, though, misses the critical point: that both anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism constitute an irrational belief, akin to a cult, and are therefore impervious to facts and argument.

This is understood by French sociology professor Shmuel Trigano. In the most astute essay in the JCPA’s book, he correctly says we are “entering a new age of Jew-hatred,” which cannot be argued with but must instead be fought.

The onslaught against Israel and Zionism, French sociology professor Shmuel Trigano points out, is part of the left’s broader reconfiguration of the West. Anti-Zionism, he says, is the creature of post-modernism and its satellite orthodoxies: post-colonialism, multiculturalism and gender doctrine, all of which are involved in “deconstructing” Western society.

As he writes, criminalizing the identity of the Jews as a people in the State of Israel is part of the European postmodernists’ war against their own cultures and nation-states. But even that still doesn’t explain this eruption of obsessive, primitive Jew-hatred.

For it’s not just that anti-Zionism is the contemporary mutation of anti-Semitism. The old, un-mutated anti-Semitism is still there: the open hatred of Jews as Jews. The question is why this has been allowed to roar once again into a cultural conflagration.

Populism is not in itself an extremist movement (although some bits undoubtedly are). It is rather a response to the extremism that has overtaken the entire progressive movement, and which represents the idea of the West as intrinsically evil and sinful.

Bernie Sanders and Brit Corbyn, who are both undoubtedly extreme, are not the cause of the phenomenon, but the product of a broad cultural shift. When Bernie Sanders called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “a reactionary racist” in Tuesday’s Democratic presidential candidates’ debate, the audience broke into applause.

The real cause of the descent into anti-Jewish and anti-Zionist hatred is secular liberalism, and the cultural fissure that has opened up along fault lines stretching back to the 18th-century Enlightenment.

This proclaimed the death of God and the enthronement instead of the autonomous individual freed from biblical moral codes. This led to the destruction of hierarchies of values without which there can be no morality, the replacement of duty by man-made and highly contingent human rights, and the collapse of truth and reason.

Better advocacy for Israel, necessary as that is, will not address this anti-Jewish derangement syndrome, That’s because what is driving it is the repudiation of the Jewish precepts of morality and justice that are at the heart of the Christian West.

Melanie Phillips, a British journalist, broadcaster and author, writes a weekly column for JNS. Currently a columnist for “The Times of London,” her personal and political memoir, “Guardian Angel,” has been published by Bombardier, which also published her first novel, “The Legacy,” in 2018. Her work can be found at: www.melaniephillips.com.

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