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America on Edge

A Juneteenth Afterthought

July 1st 2020

Edwin Black

On June 19, 2020, the United States and much of the world commemorated Juneteenth. Its observance began among Americans of African Descent shortly after the Civil War and has been their cherished liberation day ever since. I know devoted humanitarians who know the culture of diverse groups; yet, most of them had never heard of Juneteenth until a few weeks ago. Despite the intense catch-up coverage by the media, a quick scan of numerous major media outlets going back years reveals unexpectedly scant mentions before now. Even the major news outlets this year that suddenly became Juneteenth-aware often ran stories headlined "What is Juneteenth?" In fact, as recently as Memorial Day, producers on the Edwin Black Show planned an episode covering Juneteenth, thinking it would be fresh coverage of a lesser-known but important observance. By the date of our show, there was wide coverage of the date and its significance.

On the other hand, Americans of African Descent need no cheat sheet; they widely embrace Juneteenth the way the rest of the nation embraces the Fourth of July. What has happened?

We will never make racial progress with mere equality slogans, budgetary measures, high visibility faces in prominent places, up front on the board of directors and slipped in among the gilded erectors—until we all understand the history.

Juneteenth is the jargonized name for June 19, 1865, when the news of the Emancipation Proclamation finally reached the furthest realm of slavery in Galveston, Texas. Yes, it took two and a half years after Lincoln issued the Proclamation for the community in Texas to finally get the news.

Juneteenth has been widely misreported as the day all slaves learned they were freed, including the furthest plantations in Texas. That is only partly true and strikes at the core of what Juneteenth means, and does not mean, to Americans of African Descent—to the whole United States and the entire world.


Palestinians and Israelis

Is the PA Deceiving Israel to Receive a $227 Million Loan?

May 22nd 2020

Abbas UN

While the PA is begging for financial aid, PMW found that in the first quarter of 2020 the PA’s revenues increased by approximately $355 million compared to the same period in 2019, constituting an increase of 47%.

Would Israel have agreed to loan the Palestinian Authority $227 million (800 million shekels) if the PA had revealed to Israel that in the first quarter of the year its revenues increased by more than $355 million (1.2 billion shekels) compared to the same period in the previous year, and increased by approximately $45 million (160 million shekels) compared to the same period in 2018?

Probably not. But that is the reality, according to the PA’s official financial reports published by the PA Ministry of Finance. Read more ..

Jewry on Edge

The HIAS-ization of American Jews

May 9th 2020

Star of David

Three years ago, the leaders of radical left-wing groups signed a letter in support of Linda Sarsour. The defenders of the anti-Semitic figure who had cheered Farrakhan and terrorists killing Jews and viewed Jews as subhuman included leaders of anti-Israel and anti-Jewish groups such as J Street, Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), T’ruah, If Not Now, Bend the Arc, and Jews for Racial and Economic Justice, as well as Tony Kushner, who once wished that Israel had never existed.

Also signing the petition alongside terrorist and BDS supporters were two leaders of HIAS.

HIAS, formerly the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, had dropped the “Hebrew” part of its name along with its Jewish identity in 2014 and left New York City, where it once aided Jewish immigrants coming to America, to refocus on lobbying Congress. Instead of listening to calls by members of the Jewish community to shut down the organization and do something productive instead, it followed the money.

“Hebrew” was an exclusionary and outdated term, HIAS CEO Mark Hatfield opined. And so he dispensed with the Jewish part of the organization’s name and with aiding Jewish immigrants in New York. Hetfield was one of the signatories of the Sarsour letter. HIAS moved to D.C. to be closer to the government grants that made up its budget. Back then, 65.3 percent of that budget came from government grants, but the writing had already been on the wall in the 1990s. Former HIAS president Leonard Glickman had admitted in the late ’90s that the decline in Jewish refugees affected “the amount of money we receive from the government,” which “is based strictly on the number of people we resettle.” Read more ..

The Struggle Against Covid-19

World Health Organization's #1 Concern During Global Pandemic is Israel

April 15th 2020

medicine and money

The World Health Organization's decision-making body has a history of singling out Israel for criticism, fueling concerns of bias as the United Nations organization faces criticism of its response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The World Health Assembly, WHO's policymaking body, has only one item on its agenda directed at a specific country—Israel—according to research by Human Rights Voices (HRV) and the Touro Human Rights Institute, which monitor bias at the U.N.

Agenda items sponsored by WHO have targeted Israel for criticism since at least 2000. Of all the reports produced each year for the World Health Assembly on the health of humankind, only one report targets a specific state—again, Israel.

WHO's focus on Israel is contributing to mounting concerns about the organization's bias and mismanagement, particularly in light of accusations the agency helped China obfuscate the number of deaths and illnesses from coronavirus.

The Touro Institute views this as a "pattern of highly selective handling of U.N. member states, beginning with WHO's unique singling out and condemnation of Israel."

The Trump administration signaled on Friday it is likely to cut U.S. funding to WHO over what it says is a botched response to the coronavirus pandemic. The administration pointed to multiple statements by WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who goes by Dr. Tedros though he is not a medical doctor, praising China as the virus spread across the globe. Read more ..

The Iranian Threat

Iran's IMF Loan Request Exposes Severity of Financial Crisis

April 5th 2020

Iranian Rial Close-Up

After the International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced that it was dedicating $50 billion to combat the global coronavirus pandemic, Iran’s regime, via its central bank and Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif, last week requested a $5 billion emergency loan — 10 percent of the total sum allocated by the IMF to fight the disease worldwide.

Since the 1979 revolution, Iran has never asked the IMF for help and has criticized it and other international financial organizations such as the World Bank for ideological reasons.

In order to understand why Iran has sought the IMF’s help, it is imperative to understand the current economic situation in Iran, which could be described as the most dangerous economic crisis in the country since the regime’s war with Iraq in the 1980s.


The Iranian Threat

America Must Have a 'Regime Collapse' Strategic Goal for Iran

April 2nd 2020

Iran-US Hatred

As Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated ten days after the January 3, 2020 strike that killed Iran's Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, "We have re-established deterrence." Still, he correctly acknowledged, "we know it's not everlasting, that risk remains."
Indeed, America's salutary killing of Suleimani marked the first direct U.S. military confrontation with Iran since 1988, and the first time the Trump administration added a military dimension to its "maximum pressure" policy against Iran. After long believing in U.S. fecklessness - encapsulated in Khamenei's January 1 taunt that America "can't do anything" - Tehran now fears military escalation with the United States. But how long that fear will last, and whether it will yield any benefit to the Unites States only time, and U.S. policy can tell. Read more ..

The Iranian Threat

Coronavirus Delivers the Latest Devastating Blow to Iranian Regime

March 24th 2020

Iranian Rial Close-Up

The coronavirus pandemic has hit Iran hard, and not only on the health front. The virus has delivered the latest in a succession of blows to the Iranian regime's domestic status, fractured economy, and already-low credibility level at home. It also appears to be slowing down its malign activities across the Middle East.

The Iranian regime has, in recent months, absorbed one upper cut after another. The setbacks include a deteriorating economic crisis fueled by U.S. sanctions – a crisis with no clear resolution – the Jan. 3 U.S. drone strike that killed Iranian Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani, the Ukrainian aircraft downing fiasco that followed soon after, and the growing anti-regime demonstrations driven by an Iranian public demanding a better quality of life. Read more ..

The Edge of Antisemitism

Hating Israel Means Never Having to Say You're Sorry

March 23rd 2020

antiIsrael BDS demonstration

Professional politicians say a lot of things that just aren't true, so perhaps it's not fair to hold others to a higher standard than the people we put in power. But when it comes to anti-Israel activists, it seems that anything goes, including claims that cross the line into outright anti-Semitism. And the bigger the whopper, the better.

Marc Lamont Hill can make the outrageous claim that Israel poisons Palestinian water and still be invited to speak at fundraisers and other events. Linda Sarsour can repeat the blood libel that Jews and Zionists justify police killings of unarmed black people in America – and worse, are responsible for them – and still get a lucrative Simon & Schuster book deal and serve as an official surrogate for Bernie Sanders's presidential campaign. Read more ..

Israel on Edge

Can Netanyahu Be Justly Prosecuted for Media Manipulation Crimes in a Democracy?

March 17th 2020

Edwin Black

“Seeking favorable publicity or offering it to a candidate or public official simply cannot be a crime in a democratic nation that reveres a free press.” This was the clear warning in the well-documented conclusion of the “Legal Memorandum,” submitted in October 2019 to Israel’s Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, opposing the prosecution of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for media bribery. The 22-page brief, studiously authored in mid-September in Jerusalem by famed American constitutional and Jewish rights attorney Nathan Lewin, was co-signed by four eminent attorneys: Alan M. Dershowitz, Abraham Bell, Joseph Tipograph, and Richard D. Heideman.

The brief failed to convince Mandelblit.

Of course, it failed. The allegations against Netanyahu are so beyond the laws of journalistic and democratic physics that the arguments can only partially dampen a determined prosecutor who has already made up his mind. It would be easier to rationalize why an apple could levitate up to the tree and instead of fall from it, thus confounding the laws of gravity. Little in the Lewin brief persuaded Mandelblit because the charge against Netanyahu and the apple rising instead of falling are both unthinkable. A rational rebuttal cannot overcome an irrational argument. Hence, the most salient and powerful parts of the memo were the signatures, and the attendant shimmer of those names.

Israel veering off the democracy road is especially troubling for the concept of democracy itself as well as the very notion of western justice and free press. Hence, the issue of Netanyahu’s innocence or guilt is not anywhere as important as the claim that his high-handed dealings with media moguls constituted not just a disheartening act but also a prosecutable crime. Doing the right thing matters so profoundly for Israel because justice and democracy are the fiery alter egos of the nation itself. Read more ..

The Battle for Iraq

The Dangerous Consequences of U.S. Withdrawal from Iraq

March 2nd 2020

Baghdad Women

The rapid escalation following the assassination of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani has threatened the already precarious state of U.S.-Iraq relations. Now, Iraq must decide how to respond, while considering the unintended consequences that any action will bring.

At present, it seems the Iraqi government’s recent 170-0 vote—in the absence of Sunni and Kurdish blocs—to expel U.S. troops may worsen Iraq’s economic crisis, shift the balance of power in the region, and worsen the political divides within Iraq. The Iraqi Parliament claims the United States violated its sovereignty by killing Qasim Soleimani and Abu Mahdi Al Muhandis, the Deputy of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), in an airstrike.


Deal of the Century

Mideast Peace Cannot Succeed Unless the Palestinian Education System is Overhauled

February 6th 2020

Hamas Kid

The U.S. “Peace to Prosperity” plan presented by President Donald Trump last week proposes unprecedented criteria for the formation of a Palestinian state. Among them is this one: “The Palestinians shall have ended all programs, including school curricula and textbooks, that serve to incite or promote hatred or antagonism towards its neighbors, or which compensate or incentivize criminal or violent activity.”

The context of this directive cannot be ignored; our 20 years of research show that the PLO has transformed Palestinian schools into a tool of war against Israel.

Just last month the PLO issued a textbook dedicated to Dalal Mughrabi, who commandeered an Israeli bus in 1978 and murdered 38 Jews, including 13 children. Four pages about Dalal present her as a role model for fifth graders to emulate.

According to Dr. Arnon Groiss, who translates these school books, “The contents of Palestinian education are exactly the opposite of any peace plan.” The P.A. school books used in all schools of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, as well as in some schools in Jerusalem, says Groiss, are based on three fundamentals: Read more ..

Middle East Peace

Why Now for Israel's Peace Plan?

January 27th 2020

Jerusalem Dome close up

From early in the Trump administration, a Mideast peace team led by Senior Advisor to the President Jared Kushner, Special Representative for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt and U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman set out to correct the mistakes of the failed Oslo Accords and redefine the terms for a peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinians.

Unlike previous peace attempts, the Trump plan recognizes that at the core of the conflict are lands central to Jewish history, particularly Jerusalem and the biblical provinces of Judea and Samaria. The Trump team establishes that Jews have rights to live in those territories, which were set aside during the British Mandate period as part of a future state. Read more ..

European Antisemitism

Italy’s Salvini says Muslim Immigration is ‘Main Cause’ of Anti-Semitism in Europe

January 21st 2020

European Anti-Semitism

These are tumultuous days for Matteo Salvini, head of Italy’s right-wing Lega (League) Party. Recent polls have projected that were elections to be held in Italy today, he would be elected prime minister, but his political opponents are trying to strip him of his immunity so they can bring charges against him for alleged misconduct while he was interior minister.

Since arriving on the political scene six years ago, Salvini has transformed Lega Nord per l’Indipendenza della Padania, better known as Lega, from a fringe movement into Italy’s largest right-wing party.

Dubbed by Italian media as “the face of anti-immigration politics,” Salvini entered the government in 2018, only to resign abruptly in the summer of 2019 after clashing with his coalition partner, the Five Star Movement. Named deputy prime minister and interior minister, Salvini worked to stop mass illegal immigration from Africa to Italy but was hindered by the constant sandbagging of his efforts. Read more ..

Iran's Nukes

Behind Rouhani’s Uranium Enrichment Claim

January 19th 2020

Iran Nuclear Equipment centrifuges

On January 16, in live remarks broadcast on Iranian state television, President Hassan Rouhani stated that his country was enriching more uranium today than before the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. If true, this represents an extraordinary ramp-up in its monthly enriched uranium production since the International Atomic Energy Agency’s last accounting visit on November 3. Such high production levels were the main impetus for brokering the nuclear agreement in the first place, since Iran’s breakout time—that is, how long it would need to produce enough enriched uranium for a nuclear weapon—had become frighteningly short as a result.

A closer look at pre-JCPOA data can provide a baseline for Rouhani’s assertion. From May 2012 to May 2014, Iran was producing enriched uranium at an average rate of 232 kg per month (this figure applies to material enriched to less than 5%; for an explanation of enrichment percentages and their relation to potential weaponization, see The Washington Institute’s glossary of essential nuclear terminology). Read more ..

The Iranian Threat

Muted Democratic Support for Elimination of Soleimani

January 8th 2020

Iran Iraq Syria

The muted reaction of leading Democratic politicians to the elimination of Iranian Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani reinforces my sense of what divides our country and differentiates the two parties. One part of America still believes that there is good and evil, and one part doesn't. The American left, whose political home is the Democratic Party, lives in a world where good and evil don't exist. Everything is about politics including redemption itself.

Only someone who does not believe there is good and evil experiences no joy when evil is defeated. The destruction of Soleimani, whose life's work was carrying out the will of a despicable regime, is cause for celebration. As commander of the Quds Force, his hands dripped with the blood of hundreds of Americans, and hundreds of thousands of others throughout the Middle East, particularly in Syria. Read more ..

The Edge of Terrorism

More Accurate Attacks on Israel Could Lead to War

November 14th 2019

Iron Dome sunset

The rocket attacks on Israel – 190 so far – are being well-handled by the Iron Dome air defense system and by the Israeli Army and Air Force that is attacking the sources of the attacks, including underground rocket-launching bunkers in Gaza.

Of the 190 rockets fired, roughly half landed in “open areas” where they didn’t directly threaten populated areas. Of the other half, Iron Dome managed to knock out 90% before they struck targets. 

The Islamic-Jihad-Hamas-Iranian rockets are not very accurate. They are suited to be a terror weapon, hoping to create panic in a population, but they are not capable of intentionally hitting any military targets. Thus, the 190 rockets cannot directly inhibit Israel’s ability to respond militarily. Israel maintains complete air superiority and likely will attempt to quiet the situation by suppressing enemy fire, rather than launch a major – and massive – military operation against Gaza.


The Battle for Ethiopia

Ethiopia Will Explode if It Doesn’t Move Beyond Ethnic-Based Politics

November 11th 2019


On Oct. 11, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed received the Nobel Peace Prize for ending the long stalemate with neighboring Eritrea. Paradoxically, Abiy enjoys only fragmented and diminishing popular support in his own country. Even in his home region of Oromia, his leadership is seriously contested by the ethnonationalist forces represented by the social media activist Jawar Mohammed.

This became painfully evident on Oct. 23, when the Oromia region was shaken by a deadly wave of violence following a series of Facebook posts from Jawar. The activist, who also heads a TV channel called Oromia Media Network, announced that the police were about to detain him, an allegation that was later denied by the government. Around 70 civilians were killed when his angry supporters took to the streets, setting off an intercommunal conflict that took on an ethnic and religious dimension. Read more ..

The Battle for Syria

Turkey’s Invasion of Syrian Kurdistan as Seen from Tehran

October 29th 2019

Turkish Military convoy

Turkey’s military offensive against the Kurds in northeastern Syria prompted recriminations from the Islamic Republic, but the Iranian regime understands that it could ultimately redound to its benefit.

Ever since the outbreak of the Syrian Civil War in March 2011, Iran and Turkey have been on opposing sides, with Tehran (and Moscow) playing a critical role in the survival of the Assad regime and Ankara urging its ouster and supporting the anti-regime rebellion.

Unsurprisingly, President Trump’s announcement that US troops would be evacuated from northern Syria was welcomed in Tehran, which had considered the presence of US troops on Syrian soil a flagrant violation of Syrian sovereignty. However, Erdoğan’s decision to invade Kurdish territory in Syria led his Iranian counterpart, Rouhani, to condemn it on the grounds that it would increase regional instability.

Notwithstanding that criticism, Tehran does not want to risk its relationship with Ankara, which allows it to circumvent US sanctions and constitutes an essential channel for the supply of Iranian gas to major European countries. Parallel to the Turkish invasion, Iran launched a large-scale military exercise near its border with Turkey codenamed “One Target One Bullet.” Read more ..

The Edge of Terrorism

After Baghdadi: How the Islamic State Rebounds

October 28th 2019


The Islamic State (IS) suffered a crushing blow over an event-filled weekend with the death of its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, in Syria’s Idlib governorate. The next day, October 27, IS spokesman—and possible Baghdadi successor—Abu al-Hasan al-Muhajir was allegedly killed as well. U.S. Special Forces raided a compound in northwest Syria close to the Turkish border, in the course of which Baghdadi reportedly detonated a suicide-bomb vest, killing himself and several children. Thereafter, Muhajir was reportedly killed when the oil tanker in which he was being smuggled across northern Syria was hit in an airstrike. One possible replacement for Baghdadi is his deputy, Abu Abdullah al-Hassani (Haji Abdullah). He is rumored to be of Quraysh lineage, which would provide religious cover as a new potential caliph. There were also rumors that Abdullah Qardash, a former Iraqi officer, would succeed Baghdadi. However, the evidence is based on a fake IS statement that was never actually released by the group. Read more ..

The Battle for Kurdistan

Kurdish Fighters Mount Counterattack Using Network of Tunnels

October 24th 2019

Kurdistan Frontline

s Turkey continues its onslaught of northeast Syria, the Syrian Kurds are using a sophisticated network of tunnels and other battlefield tactics to recapture some of the territory seized by Turkish-backed forces, Foreign Policy has learned. 

Four current and former U.S. officials who have worked closely with the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) confirmed that the group built a defensive network of tunnels beneath key towns throughout northeast Syria as a contingency against a Turkish invasion. Now, with U.S. troops evacuating and no U.S. air support, the Kurdish fighters are successfully using the tunnels to defend the border towns.


Financing the Flames

Who’s Funding Illegal Palestinian Settlements in Area C— Confronting the History

August 14th 2019

Edwin Black

"Area C," which comprises some 60 percent of the West Bank, also known as Judea and Samaria, is making news these days. This time, the hot button issue is illegal Palestinian settlements sprouting across the region, shredding the last vestige of the Oslo Accords, which, for a generation, propelled the "two-state solution."

Most observers of the Israeli-Palestinian crisis are accustomed to hearing talk of "illegal Jewish settlements" on slivers of land comprising one to two percent of the West Bank, mostly near the green line of Israel proper. But, attention now focuses on an explosion of thousands of illegal Palestinian constructions: village clusters, agricultural tracts, water networks, roads, and general infrastructure crisscrossing Area C of the West Bank. All of this violates the 1993 and 1995 Oslo Accords, which specify full Israeli administrative control in Area C. Under the international agreement, only the Israeli Civil Administration can authorize new construction in the zone—for Israeli and Arab alike. However, continuous waves of recent Palestinian settlements are being established without permits—often without even bothering to apply. One senior official of the Israeli security apparatus called it "the wild west."

According to Israeli activist watchdog groups, such as Regavim, in the past half-decade, illegal Palestinian settlements and infrastructure have sprawled across more than 9,000 dunams in more than 250 Area C locations, supported by more than 600 kilometers of illegally constructed access roads and more than 112,000 meters of retaining walls and terracing. This massive works project is being conducted in broad daylight, often heralded by tall announcement placards and proud press releases.

When questioned, various Israeli government officials did not dispute the Regavim numbers. In exasperation, one military spokesman close to the Area C files located at Bet El estimated "close to 10,000" illegal construction efforts are now underway—adding they felt "powerless to stop them." The rapid build-up is funded by hundreds of millions of euros annually, funneled by the European Union and individual European nations into scores of building and infrastructure projects.


America on Edge

Islamophobia – The 21st-century Weapon to Silence our Freedom of Speech

May 8th 2019

European Anti-Semitism

On March 5th, 2019 the House was set to vote on a resolution condemning anti-Semitism in the wake of a freshman Congresswoman Ilhan Omar’s latest hateful comments on Jews and Israel. Unfortunately, that resolution never made it to the House floor for a vote. Instead, on March 7th, a revised resolution was passed 407-23, denouncing both anti-Semitism and Islamophobia “as hateful expressions of intolerance”.

Around the same time, a resolution was introduced on the floor of the United Nations in response to recent attacks on minority groups, like the horrific murder of 50 Muslims in Christchurch, New Zealand, and the slaughter of 11 Jews at the Tree of Life in Pittsburg. Until Israel’s ambassador Danny Danon spoke out and rallied allies, the resolution only condemned Islamophobia, completely excluding anti-Semitism. Read more ..

Campus Antisemitism

College Administrators Aiding and Abetting Antisemites

May 6th 2019

uc davis swastika door

Students at Emory University awoke earlier this month to find flyers posted in their dorm rooms informing them they would be evicted in the coming days. Intended to intimidate Jewish students on college campuses, these mock eviction notices are a common tactic of Students for Justice in Palestine, an antisemitic group with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.

What distinguished this year's annual week of harassment of Jewish students on Emory's campus from other SJP events was that the eviction notices were officially sanctioned by the Emory Office of Campus Life, replete with a stamp of approval indicating that a faculty member or administrator had approved of the notice.


Iran's Nukes

Project Midan: Developing and Building an Underground Nuclear Test Site in Iran

April 4th 2019

Iran Nuclear Equipment centrifuges

Iran’s Amad Plan called for it to develop and build five nuclear weapons in the first part of the 2000s. 1 It also created an extensive program to construct an underground test site so that Iran would be prepared to test a nuclear explosive by the end of 2003. A portion of the Nuclear Archives seized by Israel in early 2018 contains a variety of information on Iran’s development and implementation of plans for underground nuclear testing, some of which was known before to the IAEA. 2

These findings add more weight to the side of a figurative balance or scale that represents evidence of Iran’s violations of its commitments under the NPT. Under Article II of the NPT, Iran is committed “not to manufacture or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.” Moreover, although Iran has not ratified the CTBT, it did sign the treaty in 1996. Thus, it has an obligation to refrain, in good faith, from acts that would defeat the primary objective of the CTBT, namely the provision, “Each State Party undertakes not to carry out any nuclear weapon test explosion or any other nuclear explosion, and to prohibit and prevent any such nuclear explosion at any place under its jurisdiction or control.” 3 Read more ..

Anti-Semitism Returns

When Europe's Jews Call Out anti-Semitism, The Response: 'Stop Whining About Your Holocaust Already'

Belgian Police

Last Sunday, during the famous carnival parade in the Belgian town of Aalst, a float featured giant puppets depicting Orthodox Jews with crooked noses and pink coats, sitting on money, Euro signs and money bags.

Behind the float, a group of dancers and singers, wearing the same demeaning costumes were opening and closing empty safe deposit boxes hanging in front of their genitals, which had no money but mice in them. The song lyrics played on the rhyming words kloos (deposit box), roos moos (pink mouse) and Jewish mouse (Joodse moos) and referred to "Jews getting extra fat." Read more ..

Vote 2020

Red-Green Axis Chokes on Omar’s Antisemitism

February 14th 2019

Nancy Pelosi

First term Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN) ignited a storm of controversy with a Tweet on Sunday 10 February 2019 that cast AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) as a Jewish lobby whose money buys a pro-Israel U.S. foreign policy. In response to a Glenn Greenwald tweet invoking the familiar “dual loyalty” trope about U.S. support for Israel, Omar’s sly double entendre, “It’s all about the Benjamins baby” roused even Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic Party leadership to demand an apology from Omar…which she provided, sort of.


The Iranian Threat

In Syria, Iran Sees a New Opportunity to Build a War Machine

January 12th 2019

Iranian Revolutionary Guard

If it goes ahead, Iran likely will view President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw American forces from eastern Syria as a green light to build a new war machine in the region.

But Iran also received a red light recently, apparently reminding it that Israel is standing guard against Tehran's takeover plans.

That red light came Dec. 25 in the form of an alleged Israeli air strike on an Iranian weapons depot in Syria. The strike looks like the latest signal of Israel's determination to block Iran's path into Syria, with or without an American ground presence.

According to media reports, including a report by the Israeli satellite image company ISI, the strike destroyed a warehouse that contained Iranian Fajr-5 rockets. The warehouse was just 40 kilometers – about 25 miles – away from Israel. Read more ..

Financing the Flames

The PLO's Justification Of 'Pay For Slay'

January 9th 2019

Money Bands=Happiness

On Dec. 9, 2018, Shira Ish-ran was shot in the abdomen by a Palestinian terrorist. She was pregnant, and she required an emergency cesarean section to save her life. Tragically, her baby, delivered prematurely, died.

Get Financing the Flames and read the original Edwin Black investigation on the topic  

Palestinian Authority law mandates "salaries" for terrorists such as the one who shot Mrs. Ish-ran if he is caught or killed. Such "pay-for-slay" programs, and the incentives they create to perpetuate terrorism, are described in the Taylor Force Act, a U.S. law enacted in March 2018, as well as in more recently enacted Israeli legislation. After much obfuscation and obstruction by the Palestinian Authority and the media, the existence of these payment programs has finally been exposed. But officials such as Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas typically defend these benefits as a form of welfare. Read more ..

The Edge of Terrorism

Report That Hamas, Iranian Paymasters Fuel Violent Gaza Protests

November 13th 2018

Iranian Rial Close-Up

Iran and Hamas are fueling violent protests at the Israel-Gaza border by paying Palestinian youth to participate and compensating injured Palestinians and families of those that get killed, according to young Gazans who spoke with Israeli reporter Ohad Chemo.

Hamas pays $100 a month to youth who participate in border protests that have continued unabated since the end of March, Chemo was told.

Hamas' state patron, Iran, pays $3,000 to each family of a "Shahid" (martyr) who gets killed at the protest. Seriously wounded Palestinians get $500 from Hamas, while less severely injured rioters get $200.

Even bus drivers who transfer the protesters to the Israeli border receive roughly $25 for a one-way trip.


The Trump Era

DOJ Targets Porno Star Lawyer Michael Avenatti in Conspiracy Probe

October 26th 2018

US Capital Day

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley has called on the Justice Department on Thursday to launch a criminal investigation into one of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s accusers and her lawyer.

The Republican lawmaker wants prosecutors to determine if Julie Swetnick and her lawyer, Michael Avenatti, made false statements to Congress last month about Kavanaugh.

Swetnick said in a sworn statement disclosed by Avenatti during Kavanaugh’s Senate confirmation process last month that Kavanaugh was at a party where she was gang raped. Kavanaugh has denied the allegation, which Swetnick said occurred when they were in high school in the 1980s. Read more ..

The Edge of Space

Our Solar System Is Even Stranger Than We Thought

October 19th 2018

Mars & Earth, Christopher Leather U Chicago

How special is the solar system? The history of astronomy has mostly been a one-way journey from a worldview in which our solar system is orderly (and divine) to a view in which we are not special. Our solar system’s planets, once thought to dance in god-ordained perfect circles in a “music of the spheres,” deviate from circular orbits. Johannes Kepler, who demonstrated the non-circular orbits of the planets, tried to restore a sense of heavenliness by latching onto a new pattern for their orbits based on Plato’s mathematical solids—but that notion was discredited many years later with the discovery of Uranus.

So when, on a sunny afternoon in California last year, I discovered a set of patterns that seem to rule planetary systems other than our own, I was skeptical. Were these patterns real, or were they an illusion? And if real, what did they mean about our solar system’s place in the cosmos?

In addition to our solar system, we now know of over 400 multi-planet systems, thanks largely to the Kepler Mission. Kepler is a NASA spacecraft (named after the 17th century German astronomer) that was launched in 2009 for the sole purpose of discovering exoplanets—worlds orbiting other stars. It finds those exoplanets by continuously measuring the brightnesses of about 100,000 stars and waiting for the starlight from any of them dim ever so slightly due to the shadow of a planet in transit. The transit of each planet is unique, allowing the discovery of multiple planets orbiting the same star.


Financing the Flames

Palestinian Leaders Dig In Over Payments to Terrorists

October 3rd 2018

Bundles of Cash

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Qadri Abu Bakr, who directs the Palestine Liberation Organization's Commission of Prisoners' Affairs, recently issued a defiantly assurance that they won't end payments to terrorists and their families despite international pressure.

Get Financing the Flames and read the original Edwin Black investigation on the topic

Bakr "emphasized that the leadership ... will continue to support the resolve of the prisoners and their families and will not succumb to the Israeli and American pressures calling to stop the Martyrs' (Shahids) and prisoners' salaries (rawatib) and allowances (mukhassasat)," reports the official PA daily Al-Hayat Al Jadida and translated by Palestinian Media Watch (PMW). Bakr's sentiment mirrors Abbas'.

"By Allah, even if we have only a penny left it will only be spent on the families of the Martyrs and the prisoners, and only afterwards will it be spent on the rest of the people," Abbas said on official PA TV in July, adding that "martyrs and prisoners" are "stars in the sky" and that these terrorists "have priority in everything."


Israelis and Palestinians

Israel 25 Years after the Oslo Accords: Why Did Rabin Fall for Them?

September 8th 2018

Arafat, Rabin, and Peres Peace Prizes

Precisely two decades after the failure by the Golda Meir government to identify a willing Arab peace partner triggered the devastating 1973 Yom Kippur war, another Labor government wrought a far worse catastrophe by substituting an unreconstructed terror organization committed to Israel’s destruction for a willing peace partner. Instead of ending the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the “Oslo peace process” between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) created an ineradicable terror entity on Israel’s doorstep that has murdered some 1,600 Israelis, rained thousands of rockets and missiles on the country’s population centers, and toiled tirelessly to delegitimize the right of the Jewish state to exist.

How did this come to pass? Why did two of Israel’s foremost security and foreign policy veterans—Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Foreign Minister Shimon Peres—lead Israel into what a prominent PLO official candidly described as a Trojan horse designed to promote the organization’s strategic goal: “Palestine from the [Jordan] river to the [Mediterranean] sea”—that is, a Palestine in place of the state of Israel. [1]


Diplomacy on Edge

Mystery Illness Of U.S. Diplomats Matches EM Radiation Effects, Claims Researcher

September 3rd 2018

Cuban Capitol

According to Beatrice Golomb, MD, PhD, professor of medicine at University of California San Diego School of Medicine, publicly reported symptoms and experiences of a "mystery illness" afflicting American and Canadian diplomats in Cuba and China strongly match known effects of pulsed RF/microwave radiation.

Her conclusions, she said, may aid in the treatment of the diplomats (and affected family members) and assist U.S. government agencies seeking to determine the precise cause. More broadly, Golomb said her research draws attention to a larger population of people who are affected by similar health problems.

"I looked at what's known about pulsed RF/MW in relation to diplomats' experiences," said Golomb. "Everything fits. The specifics of the varied sounds that the diplomats reported hearing during the apparent inciting episodes, such as chirping, ringing and buzzing, cohere in detail with known properties of so-called 'microwave hearing,' also known as the Frey effect.


Economic Jihad

When a Nazi Comparison Makes Sense--The BDS Movement

August 27th 2018

boycott Israel t-shirt

In a remarkable finding in their May report, intelligence officials of the German state of Baden Württemberg wrote that propaganda from the neo-Nazi party Der Dritte Weg (The Third Way) calling to boycott Israeli products "roughly recalls similar measures against German Jews by the National Socialists, for example, on April 1, 1933 (the slogan: 'Germans! Defend yourselves! Don't buy from Jews!')"

The historical significance of the parallel between contemporary calls to boycott Israeli products and the Hitler movement's economic warfare against German Jewish businesses should not be ignored.

The Nazi efforts to strangle Jewish companies in order to isolate and dehumanize German Jews was a nascent phase of the Holocaust. Hence the boycott campaign against Israel is just another dangerous recurrence of history in a new form. Read more ..

Japan and Israewl

Japan has Important Role In Middle East but Must Clarify It

July 30th 2018

Shinzo Abe

For 25 years, Japan has played an important role in the Middle East, primarily through its support of the economic and social development of the Palestinians on the West Bank and in Gaza.

Since 1993, Japan has generously contributed US$1.7 billion to the Palestinians via programs that promote public and health services, economic growth, agriculture, education and help refugees.


The Edge of Autism

Not Born with It

July 11th 2018

Black infant

Recently, the newest U.S. autism prevalence numbers were released by the CDC.  It was not good news.  Among children born in 2004 and 2006, the prevalence of autism had increased from 1 in 68 to 1 in 59, respectively.  Leading the nation in terms of autism prevalence was New Jersey with a rate of 1 in 35 children and 1 in 22 boys.  In other words, nearly 5% of boys in New Jersey have autism spectrum disorder as defined by the new DSM V criteria. Of the children with autism in the U.S., 56% had an evaluated IQ of 85 or less, meaning they possessed intellectual disability, with the majority of those children having an IQ of less than 70.

Many in the scientific community have posited that autism is genetically determined, and researchers have searched the genome looking for the cause of this disorder.  However, the over 400 genes that have been attributed to autism risk were found to contribute to only a fraction of autism cases.  Climbing down this flimsy branch of genetics, researchers and lauding media contrived the phrase “individuals born with autism.” 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 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 ..

The Hillary Investigation

Long-awaited OIG report Recommends Criminal Prosecution of FBI and DOJ Figures

May 19th 2018

Capitol Hill

The long-expected report by the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Justice has moved into its final phase. DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz has found, according to the Wall Street Journal, "reasonable grounds" to believe that federal laws were broken by the FBI and DOJ it their probes of Hillary Clinton. Horowitz has referred findings of possible criminal misconduct to John Huber - Utah's top federal prosecutor who was paired with Horowitz by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. 

Horowitz has also forwarded copies of the draft report to the FBI and DOJ for their review by the end of this week. The OIG report will then go from the Office of the Inspector General to both investigative committees of Congress and  Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and is expected within weeks. According to the Wall Street Journal, Horowitz will then respond within a “few days.”  Read more ..

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