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Archive for June 2018

The Edge of Terrorism

Israeli Security Services Turn to Data Mining to Anticipate "Unorganized Threats"

June 23rd 2018

Shadowy Computer User

Israel's domestic intelligence agency chief Nadav Argaman last week released sobering figures on the scope of the ongoing terrorist threat facing Israelis. The figures that make it clear that the relative quiet routine in Israeli cities is deceptive, and that this quiet rests completely on counter-terrorist efforts, which almost defy the imagination in their scope.

Communities located on Israel's border region with Gaza have been experiencing frequent Hamas assaults in recent months, from rockets, mortars, and now explosive devices and Molotov cocktails attached to kites and balloons, which are sent over the border into Israel to burn down farmland and forests.

The rest of Israel, however has been mostly free of attacks for some time – though this is not because the terrorists have stopped trying. Read more ..

Campus Hate

UCLA Students File Criminal Complaints Against anti-Israel Disruptors

June 13th 2018

Edwin Black

Criminal complaints are now being filed by students following the belligerent disruption of a May 17, 2018 Students Supporting Israel [SSI] event at University of California Los Angeles. At least a half-dozen students announced they would visit the UCLA police department to file formal complaints reporting criminal disruption of a meeting, as well as disturbing the peace and conspiracy.


The move follows media disclosures that the UCLA was reneging on the public pledge by two chancellors in the Daily Bruin —bolstered by a statement for the record by a university spokesman — to refer the belligerent May 17 incident to prosecutors.


The disruption and nose-to-nose intimidation of the students attending the May 17 SSI event at UCLA was documented in a video, beginning at minute 41. Read more ..

North Korea and America

Kim Commits to Denuclearization at Summit with Trump

June 12th 2018

Kim Jong-Un

Kim Jong-un affirmed an 'unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula' in a signed document on Tuesday, President Donald Trump says.

'We're prepared to start a new history, and we're ready to write a new chapter between our two nations,' Trump said at a news conference.

The president promised 'security guarantees' for North Korea, as the two leaders met for the first time during a high-stakes Singapore summit.

The U.S. president hailed a newly forged 'special bond' with Kim following a day of historic talks, praised the dictator as a 'skilled' negotiator and said he would 'absolutely' invite him to the White House in the future. Kim said it was time to 'leave the past behind' and embark on a new era of relations with America while promising that the world will see a 'major change.'

The two men signed a joint statement at the Capella resort. The U.S. did not immediately release the document, but news photographers caught sight of the text when Trump flashed a copy to the press. Read more ..

After the Holocaust

Hitler Vanishes from Mufti Photo at Yad Vashem

June 11th 2018


Is Yad Vashem rewriting history? Changes at the world's premier Holocaust museum in Jerusalem seem to be suggesting that it is seeking to downplay the links between Adolf Hitler and the Palestinian leadership during World War II. As a result, fewer visitors to Yad Vashem will learn of the Arab role in the Holocaust.

A veteran Israeli tour guide, Shalom Pollack, has noticed that a floor-to-ceiling photo of the infamous meeting between Hitler and the Mufti of Jerusalem has been replaced by a tiny photo of the Mufti with Himmler. "Many structural and technical innovations have upgraded the visiting experience," he says. "However, one very glaring content change has caught my eye now for a while and it leaves me no rest." Read more ..

Palestinians on Edge

The Privileged Palestinian "Refugees"

June 9th 2018

UNRWA Refugee Camp

No sooner had the Palestinian Arabs fled their homes during the 1948-49 war than they were taken under the protective wing of the international community and protected like no other group in similar circumstances. This special treatment ranged from their very recognition as refugees despite the failure of many to satisfy the basic criteria for such status, to the unprecedented creation of a relief agency committed exclusively for their welfare: the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, or UNRWA.

Yet rather than help resolve the Palestinian refugee problem, this unparalleled indulgence has only served to confirm its permanency. And no factor has contributed more to this perpetuation than UNRWA, which, instead of ending direct relief and transferring responsibility for the refugees to the host Arab states within months, as stipulated by its mandate, has kept them on the U.N.’s dole for decades under false humanitarian pretense. Read more ..

The FBI on Edge

FBI Official Wants Immunity to Testify About Hillary Clinton's Emails

June 9th 2018

Capitol Building at night

Andrew McCabe, who served as Deputy Director of the FBI, is scheduled to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee within the next few days. He has apparently requested immunity from prosecution in exchange for his testimony. CNN is reporting that McCabe requested that “the Senate Judiciary Committee provide him with immunity from prosecution” so that he will talk about the FBI’s handling of the agency’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email practices while she served as secretary of state in the Obama administration. 

“Under the terms of such a grant of use immunity, no testimony or other information provided by Mr. McCabe could be used against him in a criminal case,” wrote Michael Bromwich, a lawyer for McCabe, to Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley. Grassley has requested McCabe testify next week. He has also invited former FBI Director James Comey and former Attorney General Loretta Lynch to testify. McCabe was fired in April. Read more ..

The Weapon's Edge

The F-35’s Combat Debut

June 7th 2018


After 179 months and more than $400 billion in acquisition costs, the F-35 finally made its combat debut—and almost nobody knew.

The Israeli Air Force (IAF), the first international customer to receive the Lockheed Martin-built aircraft, was quietly the first to use it in combat operations, finally revealing so on May 22.

“We are flying the F-35 all over the Middle East. It has become part of our operational capabilities,” says IAF Commander Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin. “We are the first to attack using the F-35 in the Middle East and have already attacked twice on different fronts.”

The Israeli F-35 flew in Lebanese airspace, past Beirut, on its way to attack Iranian targets in Syria, according to air force images. It has also conducted operations in another unidentified area. And according to news reports, the Israeli F-35 took part in the attacks on Syria following the downing of an Israeli F-16 by a Syrian surface-to-air SA-5 missile. Read more ..

Ken Marcus Confirmed Assistant U.S. Secretary of Education for Civil Rights

June 7th 2018

The Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law (LDB) congratulates LDB President & General Counsel Kenneth L. Marcus on the occasion of his confirmation by the U.S. Senate to the position of Assistant U.S. Secretary of Education for Civil Rights.

This is a momentous occasion not just in the fight against anti-Semitism, but against all forms of prejudice and hate. In his past work in the Office of Civil Rights, and through the founding of the Louis D. Brandeis Center, Kenneth has continuously demonstrated his abilities as both a leader and a charismatic force in the fight against bigotry. The Louis D. Brandeis Center, under Kenneth's leadership, has become a premier civil rights agency with an impact in Washington, D.C., around the country, and across the world. The Louis D. Brandeis Center's efforts in addressing bias incidents at numerous universities, educating policymakers about campus anti-Semitism and other forms of prejudice, sharing of best practices with university leaders, and pursuit of landmark public interest advocacy litigation have all been a testament to the importance the organization plays in the fight for civil rights. I cannot imagine anyone better qualified than Kenneth for this position.
Marcus was formerly Assistant Secretary of Education for Civil Rights during the Administration of President George W. Bush. He has also served in other senior positions in the U.S. government, including Staff Director of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. He is the author of The Definition of Anti-Semitism (Oxford University Press 2015) and Jewish Identity and Civil Rights in America (Cambridge University Press 2010).

The North Korean Threat

The USA-North Korea-Iran Strategic Interconnection

June 7th 2018


The geo-strategic ripple effects of the 2018 US nuclear negotiation with North Korea and the 1994 US nuclear agreement with Pyongyang have been closely scrutinized by Iran’s Ayatollahs. Similarly, North Korea has studied the geo-strategic consequences of the 2015 US-led nuclear accord with the Ayatollahs (the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action).

The track record of the nuclear negotiations with the Ayatollahs and North Korea verifies a clear and direct interconnection between the two processes. 


Pakistani 'Mystery Man' Wants Plea Deal In Case Linked to Rep. Wasserman Schultz

June 7th 2018

Debbie Wasserman Schultz

A former aide to congressional Democrats may soon enter into a plea deal with federal prosecutors in a case that has drawn the attention of President Donald Trump. Imran Awan, a Pakistani-American who provided IT services to more than a dozen Democrats in the House of Representatives, and wife Hina Alvi will appear before  U.S. District Judge Tanya S. Chutkan in Washington on July 3. The court filing did not betray any of the terms of the apparent agreement.

The Awan case has been questioned by congressional Republicans because of Awan’s involvement with prominent Democrats, such as Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, and his access to sensitive data. President Trump tweeted that Awan is “the Pakistani mystery man,” and asked in 2017 “Whatever happened to this Pakistani guy who worked with the DNC?”


Campus Hate

Pro-Israel Groups Pursue Criminal Aspects of Disruptions

June 6th 2018

Edwin Black

Disruptions of pro-Israel events by anti-Israel groups continue to intensify into physical aggression and violence across campuses and even into the community. As a result, Jewish and pro-Israel groups have started to explore the criminal aspects of such incidents.


The invasion, disruption, and nose-to-nose intimidation of a May 17, 2018 Students Supporting Israel [SSI] event at the University of California, Los Angeles was one several red lines recently crossed for pro-Israel groups and many in the human rights community. The small UCLA gathering, dubbed “Indigenous Peoples Unite,” brought Kurdish, Armenian, and Israeli individuals to discuss their common bonds.


As shown in this video, beginning at minute 41, disruptors suddenly and loudly stormed into the room mid-session. One person grabbed a flag, demonstratively pulled away a desk placard, and threateningly cursed close to the face of a panelist. With bullhorns, whistles, staged dancing, and slogan shouting, intimidation brought the event to a halt. Read more ..

The Trump Era

The President's Power to Pardon Analyzed

June 5th 2018

Supreme Court Lady Justice

The power to pardon is one of the least limited powers granted to the President in the Constitution. The only limits mentioned in the Constitution are that pardons are limited to offenses against the United States (i.e., not civil or state cases), and that they cannot affect an impeachment process. A reprieve is the commutation or lessening of a sentence already imposed; it does not affect the legal guilt of a person. A pardon, however, completely wipes out the legal effects of a conviction. A pardon can be issued from the time an offense is committed, and can even be issued after the full sentence has been served. It cannot, however, be granted before an offense has been committed, which would give the President the power to waive the laws. Read more ..

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