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Financing the Flames

Who’s Funding Illegal Palestinian Settlements in Area C—Nearly 10,000 Cases

August 16th 2019

Edwin Black

"Area C," which comprises some 60 percent of the West Bank, also known as Judea and Samaria, has become highly volatile again. In the past, debate has centered on Jewish settlements. Now, "illegal Palestinian settlements" sprouting across the region, are under the spotlight.

According to Israeli activist watchdog groups such as Regavim, during the last five years, 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.

Israeli government officials contacted did not dispute the Regavim numbers. In exasperation, one military spokesman close to the Area C files estimated "close to 10,000" illegal construction efforts are now underway—adding they feel "powerless to stop them."

In the 1990s, after years of diplomatic wrangling, Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization signed the Oslo Accords, envisioning a peaceful two-state solution. Under the complex Oslo Accords, the "West Bank" is divided into three separate administrative zones, Areas A, B and C.

Area A is reserved for Palestinian civil and administrative control and seats the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah. Area B is governed by Palestinian civil control under a joint Israeli-Palestinian security apparatus.

Area C —also called Judea and Samaria—comprises roughly 60 percent of the West Bank. The majority of Area C residents are Israelis—an estimated 325,000 alongside some 300,000 Arabs. Under the Oslo Accords, only the Israeli Civil Administration can authorize new construction in the zone—for Israeli and Arab alike.

Read more ..

The Iranian Threat

Iran Preparing a Worldwide Terror Network

July 18th 2019

Iranian Revolutionary Guard

An Iranian network of terrorist cells is spread out around the world, ready for activation at any time as tensions in the Persian Gulf remain high. Threats by the Islamic Republic to escalate its standoff with the United States mean that the chances of an Iranian proxy terrorist activation are rising.

Biting American sanctions are causing unprecedented damage to the Iranian economy. In response, the radical Shi'ite regime has already provided the world with a sample of its ability to order attacks that destabilize the Middle East.

Iranian-backed Houthis in Yemen recently launched explosive drones and cruise missiles, targeting Saudi Arabian oil installations and airports. An Iranian-backed Shi'ite militia in Iraq, Katai'b Hizballah, is suspected of firing rockets at U.S. interests, and the Islamic Republican Guards Corps (IRGC) launched mine attacks on civilian oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz and the Gulf of Oman. Read more ..


Destiination Israel

Israel’s Tourism Triumph—Part IV of IV: The Lure Below

May 16th 2019

Edwin Black

When the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement [BDS] mounted a campaign against Israel, it targeted more than Israel’s economy, including tourism—which has nonetheless flourished beyond any expectation. The "D" in BDS stands for delegitimize. So the anti-Israel movement also targeted the country’s very identity and legacy. A people’s future cannot be stolen unless first their history is abducted. BDS not only attacked Israel’s tourism industry, but also the country’s single greatest and most meaningful attraction—its multi-faith religious roots.

Yes, Israel features excitement and awesome beauty in its museums and architectonic urban spaces, stem to stern coastline, as well as the country’s deserts, caves, hill treks, river trips, zip lines, and jeep excursions, not to mention its nightlife. Then again, many nations offer outstanding museums, mountains, and wilderness. However, there is one unique tourist attraction that Israel possesses that no other nation can offer, and which the people of all nations crave—its unrivaled religious heritage. This heritage is inextricably woven into the country’s national identity.

All three major Abrahamic religions are anchored in Israel.

Christians constitute the majority of tourists visiting Israel—many on religious quests. Generally speaking, Christian pilgrims are completely detached from Palestinian and Israeli political dynamics. Christian tourists can be seen on any day. On April 27, 2019, Holy Saturday before Orthodox Easter Sunday, some 10,000 Christian pilgrims from across the world tried to squeeze into the hopelessly overcrowded Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem’s Old City for the 1,200-year old "Holy Fire" rite. On Ramadan, Muslims crowd into Jerusalem. In 2019, on the first Friday of Ramadan, 180,000 peacefully attended prayers—a 50 percent increase over 2018. In 2018, on the last day of Ramadan, some 200,000 Muslims gathered at the Al Aqsa Mosque for their prayers.  The faithful generally include hundreds from Arab and Islamic countries lacking diplomatic relations with Israel. For example, until a recent bilateral spat, Indonesians were regularly issued visas to tour Jerusalem.

Read more ..

The Tragedy of FGM

Female Genital Mutilation in the United States: Estimating the Number of Girls at Risk

May 15th 2019

Rwanda child victim

Female genital mutilation (FGM) is not at all like male circumcision. Despite the politically correct preference for calling it "genital cutting," FGM is usually far more than a mere cut.

It is a procedure that involves removing part or all of the external female genitalia (or any other injury to the female genitals) for non-medical reasons.

There are four types of FGM that have been identified. Type 1 is a clitoridectomy, which removes part or all of the clitoris. Type 2, excision, removes part or all of the clitoris and inner labia, with or without removal of the labia majora. Type 3, infibulation, is a narrowing of the vaginal opening by creating a seal, which is formed by cutting and repositioning the labia, and type 4 involves any other non-medical procedures to the genitals, such as pricking, piercing, incising, scraping, stretching, and cauterizing the genital areas (National Health Service, 2016).

In addition, a lifelong post-traumatic stress disorder routinely accompanies the experience of having been subjected to such pain and long-term suffering—by your own mother or grandmother, and traditionally, at the hands of a female butcher, or today, perhaps, at the hands of someone more expert.

The World Health Organization confirmed that this hellish procedure renders absolutely no health benefit and, on the contrary, harms its victims beyond measure and violates their human rights (World Health Organization, 2018). This practice is common in Africa, the Muslim Middle East, and increasingly in the Muslim Far East (Asian Pacific Resource and Research Centre for Women, 2019; Kine, 2016). 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.

Read more ..

Destination Israel

Israel’s Tourism Triumph—Part III of IV: The Crazy Restaurant Scene

May 2nd 2019

Edwin Black

Israel’s adversaries in the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement [BDS] thought they could starve Israel through economic warfare that included even its food sector. Many remember the BDS furor over SodaStream, Sabra hummus, ordinary fruits and vegetables, as well as Israeli cuisine and the country’s culinary scene. But none of it has stopped Israel’s restaurant sector from exploding into an audacious, red-hot success, now leading the planet in culinary excellence and bravado.

As far as the Israeli restaurant scene is considered, "BDS" stands for only one thing: "Breakfast, Dinner, and Sweets." Across the country, Israeli restaurants sizzle with celebrity chefs and horizon-expanding culinary wizardry.

Decades ago, Israel’s culinary scene was largely defined by omnipresent falafel, shawarma and pizza stands, tomatoes and cucumbers sliced with endless variation, carrot juice vendors, over-glitzed coffee and pastry bars, and truck stop-style roadside eateries offering spiced Moroccan-style salads in drab arrays. Sameness and no sophistication were the main flavors of the day—every day. All that’s over.

In recent years, highly trained and innovative, if feisty, chefs have been opening one trendy restaurant after another. Now hip dining spots can be found everywhere—from hotel rooftops with majestic views to disused warehouses, converted old homes, tight alleys and sidewalks, rooftops, seaside balconies, hilltop niches, spots overlooking the seashore, a hillside, or even a wall—and the sometimes just the cramped space between two other cramped spaces.

What is called "Israeli cuisine" is an undefinable fusion-on-steroids of 150 or so indigenous and immigrant cuisines that have left their traces on an unrestrained determination to re-imagine past foods for the palate of the future. Most ingredients are obtained within a 15-minute to 60-minute drive—meaning unparalleled same-day freshness. Unchained—yet somehow tethered to a Jewish and regional past—today’s Israeli cuisine re-blends European, Arabic, and Asian traditions in a visual audacity that erases taste borders. Israeli celebrity chefs, such as Yotam Ottolenghi, Eyal Shani, and Mike Solomonov have burned their stamps on kitchens worldwide.

Read more ..

Breaking News!

Exclusive Coverage of Exodus: Children of Israel Flee Egyptian Bondage

April 19th 2019

Rub al Khali Saudi Empty Quarter

EDITORS NOTE: All details of Edwin Black’s Passover coverage are taken faithfully from Exodus chapters 5-15, plus Rashi’s Commentary.

Approximately two million Children of Israel are now encamped in the Sinai following their extraordinary exodus from Egypt yesterday. Just days ago, they were slaves to Pharaoh. Today, they are free men and women, destined for self-determination in a land of their own. Only now are the details of their fantastic experience coming to light.

The dramatic sequence of events began some weeks ago with the unexpected return of exiled prince Moses, who previously fled Pharaoh's wrath after slaying a taskmaster. Read more ..


Destination Israel

Israel’s Tourism Triumph—Part II of IV: Luxury Hotels Beckon

April 5th 2019

Edwin Black

The Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement [BDS] has taken particular aim at Israel’s tourism industry. Tourism accounts for about 11 percent of global GDP and 350 million jobs worldwide—more than ten percent of employment on the planet. In Israel, tourism is more than just sun, seashore, and spirituality; it infused Israel’s economy with $6 billion in 2018. Tourism is also the geopolitical inhalant that allows Israel to sustain its diplomatic and sovereign niche in the world.

For all its efforts to isolate Israel—including convincing Airbnb to remove Jewish listings in Judea and Samaria—BDS has failed to even dent Israel’s triumphant tourism growth. In 2018, a record 4.1 million visitors streamed into Israel from all over the world. Massive tourist influxes are now seen from the Chinese and Indian travel markets as well as America’s Christian community.

The escalating global demand has created an increasingly acute hotel room shortage. Year-round occupancy—with many seasonal and situational carve outs—now averages some 70 percent nationally for the country’s approximately 55,000 rooms. But on many days, Nazareth achieves 85 percent, Jerusalem hits 83 percent, Tel Aviv tops 79 percent, Haifa reaches 75 percent, and Eilat scores 72 percent. About half those rooms are taken by overseas visitors, not domestic tourists. An estimated 20 percent of all foreign visitors aren’t even using hotels, opting to stay with friends and family, rent apartments, or utilize alternative short-term boarding.

At times, the sheer volume can overwhelm capacity. One tourism insider indicates that a single American company, not of Jewish ownership, will be bringing 6,000 individuals to Israel in fall 2019 as part of a corporate incentive program. That one program is so large that no single city can host it. The company’s travelers are being split between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Read more ..


The Iranian Threat

US Envoy Speaks Out on Iran and Israel

March 29th 2019

Iran-US Hatred

The United States will redraw government maps consistent with Washington’s decision to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights. The move comes days after U.S. President Donald Trump signed a proclamation Monday officially granting U.S. recognition of the Golan Heights as Israeli territory.

VOA’s State Department correspondent Nike Ching sat down Wednesday with Brian Hook, the State Department’s special representative for Iran, to discuss U.S. actions affecting Israel and Iran. The following are excerpts from the interview.

Ching: How will President Trump’s executive order change the way the U.S. displays the Golan Heights on its official maps of Israel? What is the time frame that we can expect the maps to be updated? Read more ..


Destination Israel

Israel’s Tourism Triumph—Part I of IV: The Air Bridge

March 28th 2019

Edwin Black

The virulently anti-Israel movement known as Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions—BDS—is roiling through campuses, overflowing into city councils, encroaching into corporate boardrooms, and now chomping at the essence of Israel’s special niche in the world: its travel and tourism industry. Everywhere, the boycotters have been asking to isolate Israel. BDS even convinced Airbnb to stop listing Jewish locations in Judea and Samaria—also known as the West Bank (a term invented after Jordan invaded in 1948, when the UN’s partition suggestion failed to create two states). In Ireland, a bill advancing through Parliament may criminalize visiting the old city and even purchasing lunch or a keepsake.

Whereas similar boycotts against other countries have inflicted withering effects on national economies, in Israel—it simply hasn’t worked. The opposite is true. Yes, boycotters are busy demonizing Israel, but, despite this, Israel’s tourism industry has rocketed to a singular triumph and now employs tens of thousands. Flights are packed and new non-stops are being added across the globe. Even though new luxury hotels are going up as fast as the Mideast sun will dry concrete, rooms remain under high demand and are thus scarce and expensive. Israel has become world famous for creative cuisine and trendy eateries, so if you want to get a table at the most popular restaurants, you’ll need to book weeks in advance.

Travel and tourism to Israel has dramatically changed. It’s not just synagogue sisterhoods and Jewish organizations. Swelling up from Israel’s "Start Up Nation," world famous top chef culture, and hard-won penetration of markets beyond America and West Europe, as well as its sophisticated travel industry burnishing, the Jewish State is now a destination for the entire world. Traditional Jewish-American travelers from Miami to Seattle must now compete with Silicon Valley techies, Chinese students, Indian tourists, East European Christian pilgrims, and diverse businessmen from across the planet. The numbers are multiplying. Read more ..


Democratic Party and Israel

Democratic Presidential Hopefuls Refuse to Attend AIPAC

March 22nd 2019

Washington K Street NW

On Wednesday, the radically left wing MoveOn political organization released the results of a member survey which found that more than 74% of MoveOn members who responded agree or strongly agree with the statement that “any progressive vying to be the Democratic nominee for President should skip the AIPAC conference.”

According to Iram Ali, campaign director at MoveOn: “The influx of progressive candidates confirming they will not attend––even those who have gone in years past––shows how the momentum is shifting. AIPAC is clearly a partisan lobbying group that has undermined diplomatic efforts and progressives want no part in it.” 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 ..


The Race for the Future Car

Battle for the Future Car is Coming to a Head

February 28th 2019

Tesla Car

The automotive industry is facing massive disruptions: Classic carmakers are increasingly competing with technology companies such as Apple, Alphabet, Baidu or Uber. This realization was not just established in the industry yesterday. The consulting and tech investment company GP Bullhound, however, is now giving precise figures based on a study of M&A activities in the automotive and technology sectors.

The report focuses on four key areas that, according to market observers at GP Bullhound, will significantly change the automotive sector over the next ten to fifteen years: Autonomous driving, e-mobility, shared mobility and connected cars. One result of the evaluation: Europe plays only a subordinate role with only 7 percent of the global M&A transaction volume - however, companies from Europe are responsible for more than a third (39 percent) of all worldwide transactions in the Autotech sector. In Europe, transactions are thus significantly smaller than on other continents.

Read more ..

The Digital Age

Wireless IoT sensors Can Be Built into 3D Printing

February 21st 2019

College math papers

SFU Mechatronic Systems Engineering professor Woo Soo Kim is collaborating with Swiss researchers to develop an eco-friendly 3D printable solution for producing wireless Internet-of-Things sensors. The research team is using a wood-derived cellulose material to replace the plastics and polymeric materials currently used in electronics. Image courtesy of SFU

Simon Fraser University and Swiss researchers are developing an eco-friendly, 3D printable method for producing wireless IoT sensors that can be used and disposed of without contaminating the environment. SFU professor Woo Soo Kim is leading the research team's discovery involving the use of a wood-derived cellulose material to replace the plastics and polymeric materials currently used in electronics.

Read more ..

Thye Battle for Venezuela

Venezuela says plane from Miami delivered weapons for use by enemies of Maduro

February 15th 2019

Nicolas Maduro

Venezuelan authorities say a U.S.-owned air freight company delivered a crate of assault weapons earlier this week to the international airport in Valencia to be used in “terrorist actions” against the embattled government of Nicolás Maduro.

An air freight company, 21 Air LLC, based in Greensboro, N.C., operates the Boeing 767 aircraft that the Venezuelans allege was used in the arms transfer. The flight originated in Miami on Feb 3.

The Boeing 767 has made dozens of flights between Miami International Airport and destinations in Colombia and Venezuela since Jan. 11, a flight tracking service shows, often returning to Miami for only a few hours before flying again to South America. Read more ..


The Edge of Terrorism

Wiretaps Reportedly Show Turkish Intel Supported ISIS

February 12th 2019

Erdogan

Turkish prosecution documents show that the regime of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was up to its eyeballs supporting ISIS, a new report by the Stockholm-based Investigative Journal has found.

Wiretaps show that Turkey's intelligence agency, known by its Turkish acronym MIT, actively conspired to bus ISIS and al-Qaida jihadists across Turkish territory to Syria. It wasn't simply a case of the MIT looking the other way. The jihadis were bused to Syria on buses owned by the MIT, former Today's Zaman editor Abdullah Bozkurt, who wrote the report, told the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT). At least 15,000 ISIS fighters entered Syria this way, he wrote. Turkish authorities knew but did nothing to stop it. Read more ..


The Edge of Nature

Bitter Reality: Most Wild Coffee Species Risk Extinction Worldwide

January 18th 2019

Coffee tasters

Here’s something to think about as you sip that morning mochaccino: Deforestation, climate change and the proliferation of pests and fungal pathogens are putting most of the world’s wild coffee species at risk of extinction.

At least 60 percent of wild coffee species are considered “threatened,” according to a study published this week in Science Advances. And fewer than half of all the wild species are safeguarded in so-called germplasm collections—banks for seed and living plants kept in protected areas as backups.

Wild coffee species are an important source of genetic material for crossbreeding useful traits into commercial crops. A morning cup of domesticated Arabica (Coffea arabica, the species that dominates commercial cultivation) might have been produced with the help of disease-resistance genes from the once-wild robusta (C. canephora), for example. As climate change increasingly drives shifts in local environmental conditions, wild coffee species could be essential to the sustainability of commercial coffee production. Read more ..


The Weapon's Edge

Space Force: It’s Time to Act

January 14th 2019

Space X launch 2012

Space capabilities are a critical part of everything we do in the Defense Department. We could not effectively conduct military operations without space. Additionally, the commercial and civil world depends on capabilities from space; from navigation and timing to communications.

Today we do not have the focus, force structure, force posture, operating practices, or warfighting strategy to counter the current or emerging threats to our national interests in space. We do not have an organization with the authority, responsibility, budget, or even direction to assess solutions to these issues with the necessary singular focus.

Some of the rhetoric, often from non-space professionals, has been about space becoming a dangerous place in which to operate, not just for us, but for the commercial and civil markets across the entire world. The crux of some of these arguments is that a Space Force would militarize (use space for military purposes) and weaponize (put weapons in) space, thereby making space less safe and could result in wars in space. Read more ..


Financing the Flames

Congressman Calls for Halting Fed Funds to Nation of Islam

January 9th 2019

Prison bars

Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.) called on the U.S. Department of Justice to end funding for the Nation of Islam.

The Washington Examiner first reported this development and the funding of “at least $364,500 in contracts and awards” from the DOJ and the U.S. Bureau of Prisons between fiscal 2008 and fiscal 2019.

“The fact that hard-earned American tax dollars are being funded to this extremist group is not only unacceptable, it’s downright immoral,” the congressman wrote in a letter on Monday to Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker.

“As you may know, the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center have designated the Nation of Islam as a hate group for its racist and anti-Semitic beliefs,” he continued. “Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan has used hateful rhetoric pronouncing that ‘Hitler was a very great man’ and routinely denounces Jews and white people as ‘evil.’ ” Read more ..


Ant-Semitic Times

Women's March Loses Donor, More Affiliates Over Anti-Semitism Concerns

December 26th 2018

California anti-Israel rally

First, two high-profile liberal actors broke from the national Women's March because of a pattern of anti-Semitism involving march leaders. Then a number of local Women's March organizers either broke with the group or made it clear that they operated independently after a Tablet investigation provided detailed accounts of the anti-Semitism repeatedly exhibited among March leaders Tamika Mallory, Linda Sarsour and Carmen Perez. The story also uncovered some questionable financial structures established after the leadership pushed other founders aside.

The National Organization for Women (NOW), perhaps the most prominent feminist organization in the country, announced Friday that it would no longer provide financial support to the Women's March "until the current questions regarding leadership are resolved."

Read more ..

Jewry on Edge

Fundraising Site Suspends Palestinian Boycott Cccount

December 21st 2018

boycott Israel t-shirt

A U.S. software company said Friday it blocked the fundraising account of the Palestinian-led boycott movement against Israel following a complaint by a pro-Israel group that the campaign has links to militant organizations.

Donorbox, which makes fundraising management software, confirmed that the BDS campaign’s account was temporarily blocked while it investigates the allegations.

The BDS movement called the Israeli move “McCarthyite.” The decision came in response to a complaint from Shurat HaDin, an Israeli advocacy group that files lawsuits around the world against Israel’s foes, submitted in coordination with Israel’s Strategic Affairs Ministry.

Read more ..

Media on Edge

Tribune, Tronc And Beyond: A Slur, A Secret Payout And A Looming Sale

December 13th 2018

Newspapers

Several months after taking control of the troubled Tribune Publishing Co. in 2016, Chicago investor Michael Ferro convened a session of corporate leaders from within his own news empire, including chief news executives from such storied papers as the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune and The Baltimore Sun.

The group of about 20 people trooped from Chicago's iconic Tribune Tower on Michigan Avenue to an upscale restaurant nearby. In a private room, participants dined on seafood and steak while Ferro, then the company's chairman, held forth on his plans.

His own net worth was newly in the nine figures. Associates and peers say Ferro held ambitions that were wide-ranging, even audacious, given the newspaper industry's stiff headwinds. Read more ..


Broken Food

Rounding up Glyphosate

November 12th 2018

General Mills Cheerios

The pesticide glyphosate, also known by its trade name Round-Up®, has been in the news recently due to a lawsuit filed against agriculture giant Monsanto by a school district employee who developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma while using glyphosate weed killer as a part of his work. The plaintiff in the case, DeWayne Johnson, was recently awarded $289.2 million in damages from Monsanto, including a $250 million penalty against the company for punitive damages. This is a huge victory for the plaintiff and his legal team, which included Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., who has contributed much to the debate surrounding environmental causes of chronic illness and neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism. Read more ..


Financing the Flames

As the US Cuts Funding, UNRWA Employees Forced to Glee Gaza

October 12th 2018

UNRWA Protest

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine evacuated at least 10 international senior officials from the Gaza Strip last Monday. The reason? These top staffers had received death threats following the announcement of budget cuts and planned layoffs by the agency.

This is all because U.S. had decided not to renew its funding — emboldened, perhaps, by the Taylor Force Act's prohibition on funding organizations that abet terrorism.

UNRWA confirmed later that it had "decided to temporarily withdraw part of its international staff from Gaza following a series of worrying security incidents affecting its personnel in the Strip." Read more ..


The Edge of Autism

Autism--Not Born with It

October 4th 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 ..


The Trump Era

Video Reveals 'Communist' Cabal In Federal Government Blocks Trump Agenda Six Hours A Day

September 21st 2018

Washington K Street NW

An undercover video revealed that an auditor at the Government Accountability Office (GAO) is a member of a larger cabal of socialists within the federal government that is thwarting the efforts of the Trump administration. Released by Project Veritas, a transparency advocacy group that has produced similar videos in the past, Natarajan Subramanian is seen admitting to spending most of his time on the job at the GAO advancing the cause of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) party, of which he is a member. “No one knows I spent six hours yesterday doing social media for DSA.” 

See the Video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SYvQPKskqSU

James O'Keefe is the founder and president of Project Veritas. In an announcement on Thursday, O'Keefe promised that the next installment may prove to provide the most damning evidence of socialist activity within the federal goverment. It will be released on Friday. Read more ..


The Iranian Threat

Upcoming Iran sanctions will ‘Fundamentally’ Change How Nations do Business with Regime

September 15th 2018

Iranian Rial Close-Up

Ahead of the second round of American sanctions on Iran in November since the U.S. withdrawal from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned on Friday that those measures will drastically change the way any business is done with the regime.

“Make no mistake, come November 4th, there will be a fundamentally different set of rules on anyone who deems it necessary to engage in economic activity with the Islamic Republic of Iran,” he said.

Pompeo added that countries, especially in Europe, have already seen the ramifications of engaging with the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism. “You can see many countries already taking actions to combat Iran, discontinuing to do business” in advance of the deadline, he said. Read more ..


Campus Hate

A New Generation of Galvanized Young Jews Learns how to Fight Antisemitism

September 7th 2018

Brandeis

IfNotNow has a plan. It’s determined, according to its website, to create nothing less than “a movement led by young Jews to reclaim the mantle of Jewish leadership from the out-of-touch establishment.” Or, more specifically, to be “the generation to end our community’s support for the occupation.”

Since the term “occupation” is increasingly equated with the very existence of the State of Israel, these words written by young Jews are chilling to many for whom Israel is at the very least a safety net preventing future Holocausts, and at its height the answer to a prayer by generations of Jews who never had the opportunity to find life-saving sanctuary within its borders. Read more ..


Correcting Ethanol Myths

UK's Department for Transport Uses Boogeyman Allusions to Sidetrack E10 Adoption

September 2nd 2018

British army privates on parade

A publishing incident occurred recently that's a good example of how bad information about ethanol gets passed along and how it can propagate more insidious bad information.

Henny Hemmes, The Auto Channel's Senior European Editor, tipped me off to a story that appeared a couple of days ago on the website for Auto Express magazine. Auto Express is a very well known British publication that is about the same age as The Auto Channel. The story is titled "New E10 Petrol Plans: 800,000 Cars Would Be Incompatible." For those who don't know, petrol is the British word for gasoline. (And if you don't know, Henny Hemmes is one of the most successful Dutch race car drivers from the seventies to the present. She was the first female driver to win a Dutch FIA Championship, and has been a test driver and automotive writer for more than 30 years.) Read more ..


Significant Lives

Sen. John McCain to Lie in State

August 27th 2018

Capitol Building at night

Sen. John McCain, whose more than three-decade career in the Senate irreversibly impacted the tenor of Washington, will lie in state in the US Capitol this week, an honor given to few statesmen.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a longtime ally of McCain, said that the decision came "in coordination with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi."

"The nation mourns the loss of a great American patriot, a statesman who put his country first and enriched this institution through many years of service," the statement read. "I appreciate my colleagues and the entire Senate and House family's assistance with this honor."

McCain will lie in state in the Arizona Capitol on Wednesday, the day McCain would have turned 82 years old, according to the state's governor, Doug Ducey. After that service, he will be taken to Washington on Thursday, and will lie in state in the Capitol on Friday, according to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's office.

Read more ..

After the Holocaust

Songs Written During the Holocaust Recovered and Recorded in Toronto

August 21st 2018

Holocaust cattle cars

An audience of 200 sat stunned as University of Toronto professor Anna Shternshis lectured while clicking on her laptop to control a PowerPoint presentation, displaying yellowing, almost illegible documents that were actual songs written during the Holocaust.

“They were writing music, literally in the face of death,” she explained.

I was also in that Toronto community centre hall in 2015 as Shternshis shared the stage with Psoy Korolenko, a bearded singer better known as more of a Russian Tom Waits-type persona for his brilliant twists on language.

Korolenko performed many of these long-lost songs from one of the darkest chapters in human history. He sang about revenge, loss, orphans, separated children and refugees being denied asylum: songs written in the 1940s with subjects that couldn’t be more relevant today. Read more ..


The Russian Threat

Russian Jamming Poses a Growing Threat to U.S. Troops in Syria

August 1st 2018

Russian M17 Helos

American troops deployed in Syria are increasingly having to defend themselves against Russian jamming devices—electronic attacks with potentially lethal consequences, according to U.S. military officials and analysts.

Officers who have experienced the jamming—known as electronic warfare—say it’s no less dangerous than conventional attacks with bombs and artillery. But they also say it’s allowing U.S. troops a rare opportunity to experience Russian technology in the battlefield and figure out how to defend against it.

U.S. Army Col. Brian Sullivan described one recent episode to reporters at the U.S. Defense Department last week. He said his troops had encountered a “congested … electronic warfare environment” while fighting in northeastern Syria during their nine-month deployment, which stretched from September 2017 to May 2018.

Read more ..

The Iranian Threat

Analysts Uncover New 'Highly Active' Espionage Group Believed To Be From Iran

July 27th 2018

Computers/Nerd Silhouette

A U.S.-based cybersecurity firm has uncovered a new “highly active” espionage group believed to be based in Iran that is breaking into networks of government organizations and other firms located in the Middle East.

Symantec released information early Wednesday on the hacking collective, which researchers have dubbed “Leafminer.” The group is allegedly targeting organizations in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Eqypt, Israel and Afghanistan.

Leafminer’s targets reportedly cut across several sectors, including energy, telecommunications, financial services, transportation and government. Read more ..


Significant Events

CUFI Brings 5,000 to Washington for 2018 Pro-Israel Gathering

July 23rd 2018

Lincoln Headshot

On Monday, Christians United for Israel (CUFI) the nation’s largest pro-Israel organization, kicked off its annual Washington DC Summit. The gathering, which brings together a host of government officials and experts, is expected to attract more than 5,000 attendees.  

At the event’s opening session, attendees will hear from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (live via satellite) and CUFI’s founder and Chairman Pastor John Hagee, among others. At this Monday evening’s Night to Honor Israel speakers include Amb. Nikki Haley, Amb. Ron Dermer, and Hagee.

“For years CUFI was at odds with the previous administration on a wide range of issues, but since Pres. Trump took office we’ve seen one victory after another. We are here in Washington advocating for issues that will strengthen the US-Israel relationship, during a time when the White House is keenly interested in doing just that,” Hagee, the group’s founder and Chairman, said. Read more ..


After the Election

Justice Department stonewalls evidence of Loretta Lynch deal with Clinton

July 8th 2018

Hilary Clinton

The Department of Justice refuses to release material that alleges that while serving as Attorney General during the Obama administration, Loretta Lynch conspired with Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign to prejudice the FBI investigation into Clinton’s email practices at the Department of State. The material is classified, thus requiring Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz to keep it out of his recent report on the FBI’s handling of its probe into Clinton’s use of a private email server for classified information during her tenure as America’s top diplomat. 

A suggestion that Lynch gave assurances to the Clinton campaign about the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton was included in Horowitz’s final draft of his 500-page+ report, but was eventually blanked out. The report criticized Lynch for the "ambiguous" and incomplete recusal from the Clinton email "matter" despite her secret 30-minute "tarmac" meeting with former President Bill Clinton at the Phoenix airport one week before the FBI exonerated Hillary Clinton.

In a report by Paul Sperry of Real Clear Investigations, Horowitz withheld the information from Congress. Even members of Congress holding top secret security clearance have been barred from seeing intercepts from supposed Russian sources that implicate Lynch and the Clinton campaign, on the basis of information from the erstwhile head of the Democratic National Committee, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida. For their part, Clinton, Lynch, and Wasserman Schultz all deny the allegations.Horowitz told Congress last week in testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, “The information was classified at such a high level by the intelligence community that it limited even the members [of Congress] who can see it, as well as the staffs.” Read more ..


The Iranian Threat

Official Claims Obama Admin Granted Citizenship to 2,500 Iranians During Nuclear Deal

July 4th 2018

Obama downcast

A senior cleric and member of parliament claimed the Obama administration granted citizenship to 2,500 Iranians while negotiating the Iran nuclear deal, Fox News reports.

Hojjat al-Islam Mojtaba Zolnour, chairman of Iran’s parliamentary nuclear committee and a member of its national security and foreign affairs committee, made the allegations during an interview with the country’s Etemad newspaper, cited by the country’s Fars News agency.

He claimed the move was a favor to senior Iranian officials linked to President Hassan Rouhani, and he alleged the move created competition among Iranian officials over whose children would benefit from the scheme, according to Fox News.

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 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 ..


Israel and Jerusalem

No Democrats at U.S. Embassy Event in Jerusalem

May 15th 2018

Jerusalem wide

Observers at the ceremony in Israel that marked the opening of the American embassy in Jerusalem noted that not a single elected Democrat was there to celebrate. On hand at the ceremony, however, were Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner to represent President Donald Trump, in addition to numerous other dignitaries from the United States besides Israeli representatives. 

Conservative activist Candace Owens tweeted from Jerusalem, “Amazingly, not a single elected Democrat is here to celebrate this historic event in Jerusalem, a bonafide signal that they do not stand with Israel. This snub will not soon be forgotten—not in America or abroad.” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted, “Thank you, President Trump, for having the courage to keep your promises. Thank you, President Trump for making the alliance between Israel and the United States stronger than ever.” Read more ..


Israel and Jerusalem

After 40 Years in Tel Aviv, Guatemalan President Hails Embassy Move Back to Jerusalem

May 13th 2018

Jerusalem Dome close up

Following the relocation of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem this coming Monday, Guatemala is planning to make a similar move on Wednesday and open its own new embassy in Jerusalem’s Malha Technological Park.

“Historically, we believe this is the right step and the right thing to do,” Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales told Israel Hayom in an exclusive interview.

The embassy move comes on a particularly hectic week: In a downpour of diplomatic and security events, Israel will hold Jerusalem Day celebrations on Sunday, the Palestinians will commemorate “Nakba Day” on Monday (Nakba meaning “catastrophe” in Arabic, refers to the calamity that befell the Palestinians with the establishment of Israel), and Muslims will mark the start of Ramadan on Wednesday. Read more ..



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