Sunday, September 25, 2016

France: The Great Wall of Calais - Soeren Kern




by Soeren Kern

In recent months, masked gangs of people smugglers armed with knives, bats and tire irons have forced truck drivers to stop so that migrants can board their vehicles.

  • Around 200 migrants from Calais, the principal ferry crossing point between France and England, are successfully smuggled into Britain each week, according to police estimates cited by the Telegraph.
  • "Before, it was just attempts to get on trucks. Now there is looting and willful destruction, tarpaulins are slashed, goods stolen or destroyed. Drivers go to work with fear in their bellies and the economic consequences are severe." — David Sagnard, president of France's truck drivers' federation.
  • "They want to go to England because they can expect better conditions on arrival there than anywhere else in Europe or even internationally. ... They can easily find work outside the formal economy..." — Natacha Bouchart, Mayor of Calais.
  • "The asylum seekers could apply for protection in France or the European country they first landed in... they only reached Calais by crossing French borders. France is part of the borderless Schengen Area of the EU, whereas Britain is not." — James Glenday, ABC News.
Building work has begun on a wall in the northern French city of Calais, a major transport hub on the edge of the English Channel, to prevent migrants from stowing away on cars, trucks, ferries and trains bound for Britain.

Dubbed "The Great Wall of Calais," the concrete barrier — one kilometer (half a mile) long and four meters (13 feet) high on both sides of the two-lane highway approaching the harbor — will pass within a few hundred meters of a sprawling shanty town known as "The Jungle."

The squalid camp now houses more than 10,000 migrants from Africa, Asia and the Middle East who are trying to reach Britain. The migrants at the camp are mostly from Sudan (45%), Afghanistan (30%), Pakistan (7%), Eritrea (6%) and Syria (1%), according to a recent census conducted by aid agencies.

Construction of the wall — which will cost British taxpayers £2 million (€2.3 million; $2.6 million) and is due to be completed by the end of 2016 — comes amid a surge in the number of migrants from the camp trying to reach Britain.

Around 200 migrants from Calais, the principal ferry crossing point between France and England, are successfully smuggled into Britain each week, according to police estimates cited by the Telegraph. This amounts to more than 10,000 so-called "lorry drops" — when illegal migrants hiding in the back of trucks jump out after reaching the UK — this year.

In 2015-16, more than 84,000 migrants were caught attempting illegally to enter Britain from the Ports of Calais and Dunkirk, according to Home Office figures cited by the Guardian. On just one day, December 17, 2015, around 1,000 migrants stormed the Channel Tunnel in a bid to reach Britain. Police, who used tear gas to disperse them, said the number seeking to cross the Channel in a single day was "unprecedented." Many of the migrants who are turned away move to "The Jungle" and try over and over again.

Migrants at the camp have been using felled trees and gas canisters to create makeshift roadblocks to slow trucks heading for Britain. When the trucks come to a stop, migrants climb aboard to stow away as the vehicles head to Britain through the Channel Tunnel or on ferries.

UK-bound migrants are building up to 30 barricades a night to stop vehicles travelling through Calais, according to French officials. Teams of traffic police now spend every night trying to keep the roads around Calais clear of migrants and their debris.

In recent months, masked gangs of people smugglers armed with knives, bats and tire irons have forced truck drivers to stop so that migrants can board their vehicles. The Deputy Mayor of Calais, Philippe Mignonet, has described the main route to the port as a "no-go area" between midnight and 6am.

Hundreds of migrants roam the highway near Calais, France, trying to stop trucks headed for Britain, in an attempt to stow away on board. (Image source: RT video screenshot)

In an interview with the French newspaper Liberation, Xavier Delebarre, who is in charge of France's northern road network, said the migrants have "tools, electric chainsaws that can be bought anywhere for fifteen euros." He added:
"There is a strategy in their concerted attacks. They launch simultaneous assaults, and also diversions. Migrants build barricades by piling different materials on the road, including branches, as well as mattresses and trash. They set it on fire, and then put gas cylinders in the fire, which is very worrying. They create traffic jams to storm the trucks, so they can board them to try to get to England."
On September 5, hundreds of French truck drivers and farmers (who complain that fields around the migrant camp are full of rubbish and human excrement) blocked off the main route in and out of Calais, in an attempt to pressure the French government to close "The Jungle." The blockage brought to a standstill the route used by trucks from all over Europe to reach Calais and Britain.

Antoine Ravisse, president of the Grand Rassemblement du Calaisis, a coalition of local businesses, said the protesters wanted assurances from the French government that the roads in Calais will be made safe again. He said:
"The main image of Calais today in the newspaper and on TV is very negative, all about the migrants and attacks on the highway. The first point is we want the highways safe again. It's unacceptable that today in France you can't travel without fear and without the certainty that you won't be attacked.
"We apologize to our British friends — our economy depends very much on the business we do with England. We apologize to all the families but some of them have experienced very bad times and dangerous times and they will agree it can't go on.
"We are standing here and we will wait until we hear something back from the government. We are not moving until we hear from the government."
David Sagnard, president of FNTR national truck drivers' federation, said:
"We have to do this. We have to escalate things, because for months now the situation has been getting worse and worse. Before, it was just attempts to get on trucks. Now there is looting and willful destruction, tarpaulins are slashed, goods stolen or destroyed. Drivers go to work with fear in their bellies and the economic consequences are severe."
The problems in Calais are a source of increasing tension between France and Britain.

The Treaty of Le Touquet, signed between France and Britain in 2003, allows for so-called juxtaposed controls, meaning that immigration checks are carried out before people board trains or ferries, rather than upon their arrival after disembarkation. France, for example, maintains an immigration checkpoint at the Port of Dover in Britain to check the passports of all travelers bound for France.

Conversely, British border police check the passports of UK-bound travelers at checkpoints at Calais and Dunkirk. Travelers without proper documentation are removed from cars, trucks, ferries and trains and left behind in France. Migrants denied entry into Britain can apply for asylum in France or go elsewhere.

Some French politicians are blaming Britain for the problems in Calais. Mayor of Calais Natacha Bouchart said Britain's "black market economy" and "cushy benefits system" were responsible for drawing migrants to her town. She said:
"They want to go to England because they can expect better conditions on arrival there than anywhere else in Europe or even internationally. There are no ID cards. They can easily find work outside the formal economy, which is not really controlled.
"Calais is a hostage to the British. The migrants come here to get to Britain. The situation here is barely manageable. The UK border should be moved from Calais to the English side of the Channel because we're not here to do their jobs."
Xavier Bertrand, president of the Calais region, said: "It's all England's fault. The main reason we have so many problems is because of the English. Either they change their rules, or we hand them back their border."

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who is a candidate for presidential in elections in 2017, has said the Le Touquet treaty should be renegotiated and that Britain should be required to process asylum claims in the UK. During a campaign speech, he said:
"I demand the opening of an asylum processing center in Britain for those who are in Calais, so that the British do the work there. The British should organize charter flights to send home people they do not want."
It was Sarkozy himself who signed the treaty with Britain in 2003 when he was the French interior minister.

By contrast, British authorities view "The Jungle" as primarily a French problem. In the words of correspondent James Glenday:
"Firstly, the camp is in France.... Secondly, the asylum seekers could apply for protection in France or the European country they first landed in. Lastly, they only reached Calais by crossing French borders. France is part of the borderless Schengen Area of the EU, whereas Britain is not."
A European law known as the Dublin Regulation requires anyone seeking asylum in the European Union to do so in the first EU country they reach. In other words, according to EU law, French authorities should send most of the migrants in Calais back to Italy or Greece, where they first entered the EU, rather than to Britain.

The Dublin Regulation, however, has been in disarray since August 2015, when German Chancellor Angela Merkel suspended the requirement for asylum seekers from Syria. The move, which allowed Syrians reaching Germany to stay while their applications are being processed, has resulted in a collapse of the EU's refugee system — and has encouraged even more migrants to make their way to Germany.

Authorities in France are worried that any changes to the Le Touquet treaty could attract thousands — possibly tens of thousands — of additional migrants to Calais. This would play into the hands of Marine Le Pen, the leader of the anti-immigration National Front party, and one of the most popular politicians in France.

A recent poll showed that if the French presidential election were held today, Le Pen would win the first round with 29%, compared to 20% for Sarkozy and 11% for the incumbent, French President François Hollande.

Not surprisingly, Hollande has ruled out making changes to the Le Touquet treaty. He has also said that the decision by British voters to leave the EU will have no bearing on the treaty, which is a bilateral agreement. He said:
"Challenging the Le Touquet agreement on the pretext that the UK passed the Brexit does not make sense. What should perhaps be seen is how the UK and France could better work together to improve the situation of these immigrants."
French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve recently pledged to dismantle "The Jungle" with the "greatest determination." Migrants at the camp are to be relocated throughout the rest of France.
 
 
Soeren Kern is a Senior Fellow at the New York-based Gatestone Institute. He is also Senior Fellow for European Politics at the Madrid-based Grupo de Estudios Estratégicos / Strategic Studies Group. Follow him on Facebook and on Twitter.
Source: https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/9012/calais-migrants

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France: What Is Hidden Behind the "Burkini Ban" - Guy Millière




by Guy Millière

Have non-Muslims lost the will to fight?

  • In thirty years, France has undergone an accelerated process of Islamization.
  • Yusuf al-Qaradawi, spiritual leader of the main Islamic movement in France, explained how Muslims living in the West have to proceed: they may use terror, they may use seduction, exploit Westerners' sense of guilt, grab public spaces, change laws, and create their own society inside Western societies until they become Muslim societies.
  • France used to be a country where religious neutrality in the public space was seen as an essential principle. Muslim extremists appear to be using Islamic veils and head-coverings as visible symbols to create the impression that Islam is everywhere.
  • Politicians claim that they respect human rights, but they seem to have forgotten the human rights of the women who do not cover up -- of those who suffer from Islamization, who are no longer free to write, think, or go for a walk on the street.
  • Politicians refused to "stigmatize" Islam and do not want to see the consequences: harassment, rapes, the destruction of freedom.
  • French journalists write under the threat of trial or assault, and almost never use the phrase "Islamic terrorism." Almost all books on Islam in French bookstores are written by Islamists or by authors praising Islam.
In Sisco, Corsica, on August 13, a group of Muslim men arrived on a beach in the company of women wearing "burkinis" (full-body bathing costumes). The Muslim men firmly asked the tourists on the beach to leave and posted signs saying "No Entry". When a few teenagers resisted, the Muslim men responded with a harpoon and baseball bats. The police intervened -- but it was just the beginning.

In the following days, on beaches all over France, Muslim men showed up, accompanied by women in burkinis, and asking beachgoers to leave. Tourists packed up and fled. Several mayors of seaside resorts decided to ban the bathing costume, and the "burkini ban" scandal was born.

Some politicians said that banning the burkini "stigmatized" Muslims and infringed on their "human rights" to wear whatever they liked. Other politicians, including Prime Minister Manuel Valls and former President Nicolas Sarkozy, called the burkini a "provocation", and asked for a law to ban it. The Council of State, the highest legal institution, eventually declared that banning the burkini was against the law; the ban was lifted.

What is important to explain is what lies behind the "burkini ban."

Thirty years ago, France was a country where Islam was present but where Islamic demands were virtually absent and Islamic veils were rare.

Then, in September, 1989, in a northern suburb of Paris, three female students decided to attend high school with their heads covered by a scarf. When the dean refused, the parents, with the support of newly created Muslim associations, filed a complaint. The parents won.

All of sudden, Islamic headscarves multiplied in high schools and on the streets, and soon were were replaced by long black veils. Muslim associations called for an "end to discrimination," requested halal food in school cafeterias, and complained about the "Islamophobic content" in history textbooks. Unveiled women in Muslim neighborhoods were assaulted or raped.

After the French government created a commission of inquiry, a law banning "religious symbols in public schools" was passed in 2003. In the name of a refusal to "stigmatize" Islam and out of "respect for human rights," Christian crosses and Jewish skullcaps were also banned, in addition to Islamic headscarves.

Outside schools, black veils continued to proliferate, niqabs and burqas that cover the face appeared, and the demands of Muslim organizations escalated.

Suddenly, halal menus appeared in school cafeterias. Muslim students started to eat at separate tables, and refused to be seated next to non-Muslims. History textbooks were rewritten to show a more positive view of Islam. In high schools with Muslim students, professors stopped teaching topics such as the Holocaust. In Muslim neighborhoods, attacks on unveiled women did not stop. In one Paris suburb, an unveiled Muslim girl was burned alive. Muslim neighborhoods became "no-go zones."

The French government created a new commission of inquiry. In 2011, eight years after the enactment of the law prohibiting religious symbols in schools, a new law was passed: it became illegal to wear face-coverings in public places. In the name of a refusal to "stigmatize" Islam and out of "respect for human rights", the law did not mention the burqa or niqab by name.

Since then, black veils have become even more common, and face-covering niqabs, despite the ban, have not disappeared. Halal menus are present in virtually every school; students who do not eat halal food are harassed. History books praise Islamic civilization, and in most schools, speaking of the Holocaust or mentioning Judaism is understood to be forbidden. In Muslim neighborhoods, fewer women go out uncovered, and Muslim areas have become "sharia zones."

France has undergone, in thirty years, an accelerated process of Islamization.

France used to be a country where religious neutrality in the public space was seen as an essential cornerstone of the Republic. Now, Muslim extremists appear to be using Islamic head-coverings as visible symbols to create the impression that Islam is everywhere. The head-covering seems a way to stake out turf; a way to establish the visibility of Islam.

The broader desire of Muslim extremists seems to be to use the visibility of Islam to impose an Islamic worldview on still more domains.

The influence of Islam has now gone beyond transforming school cafeterias, classrooms and neighborhoods. Its effects are in the media, in the culture, everywhere. It is even more difficult, if not dangerous, to publish anything even questioning Islam. The murder of the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists showed that "blasphemy" can lead to a brutal death.

Daily life is different now. Many women do not go out alone at night; Jews know that they are being watched.

When Islamic head coverings first appeared, French politicians said nothing -- in order, they said, not to "stigmatize" Islam. They remain blind, however, to the stigmatization of women who do not cover up. They do not want to see the harassment, the sexual assaults, the destruction of freedom.

French politicians who said that the burkini is a provocation are right. The women on the beach in Corsica were accompanied by men armed with a harpoon and baseball bats -- the encounter did not happen by accident. The sudden arrival of other women in full Islamic dress or in burkinis on other beaches seems to have been planned in advance. Men with cameras were there, waiting, and the places were known to be monitored by police.

The politicians claim they respect human rights, but they seem to have forgotten the human rights of the women who do not wear a veil. They do not seem concerned by the human rights of those who suffer from Islamization, who are no longer free to write, think, or go for a walk on the street.

Muslim extremists seem to have declared a multifaceted war on France. Some use violence to create fear; others use means that are less violent to create fear. The aim seems the same: Muslim extremists have already greatly transformed France, and they want to transform it more.

They know what French politicians do not want to know: that Islam is not only a religion but a complete way of life, a doctrine of one person's conquest and another person's submission.

They do not even try to hide what they are doing. In his book Priorities of the Islamic Movement in the Coming Phase, Yusuf al-Qaradawi, chairman of the International Union of Muslim Scholars and spiritual leader of the Union of Islamic Organisations of France (UOIF), the main Islamic movement in France, explained how Muslims living in the West have to proceed: they may use terror, they may use seduction, exploit Westerners' sense of guilt, grab public spaces, change laws, and create their own society inside Western societies until they become Muslim societies.

Yusuf al-Qaradawi (left), spiritual leader of the main Islamic movement in France, explained that Muslims in the West may use terror, they may use seduction, exploit Westerners' sense of guilt, grab public spaces, change laws, and create their own society inside Western societies until they become Muslim societies. Right: Muslim extremists in France appear to be using Islamic veils and head-coverings as visible symbols to create the impression that Islam is everywhere.

Islamists in France use Qaradawi's strategy. It works.

They will not stop. Why should they? No one is compelling them to.

They seem to assume that the future belongs to them. Birthrates also give them hope. The transformation of France proves them right.

They are aware that the Muslim population is growing; that the majority of French Muslims age thirty or younger consider themselves Muslims first and want an Islamic France.

They see that almost no French politician, not even the most courageous ones, dares to say that Islam creates problems, and that French journalists write under the threat of trial or assault, and almost never use the phrase "Islamic terrorism."

They see that almost all books on Islam in French bookstores are written by Islamists or by authors praising Islam.

And they see that the non-Muslim French population is increasingly pessimistic about the future of the country.

Polls show that non-Muslims will vote for the populist "right" during the 2017 presidential elections. Polls also show that non-Muslims in France, no matter who wins, do not expect any major improvements.

After every attack in France, non-Muslim anger against Muslims thickens the atmosphere. But in general, non-Muslims are older than the Muslims, and decades of political correctness have had an effect. Have non-Muslims lost the will to fight?
 
 
Dr. Guy Millière, a professor at the University of Paris, is the author of 27 books on France and Europe.
Source: https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/8971/france-islam-burkini

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Report: FBI gave at least partial immunity to 5 Clinton aides - Rick Moran




by Rick Moran

Republicans were -- incensed that the immunity deals, which now cover five Clinton staffers at the heart of the controversy, did not require witnesses to cooperate with Congress


The weekly document dump by the FBI has turned up some startling information. The Bureau granted at least partial immunity to five Hillary Clinton aides who were key players in the private email scandal now roiling the Clinton campaign. 

Clinton's I.T. aide, Bryan Pagliano, has already been held in contempt of Congress for refusing to testify, despite his being granted immunity by the FBI. The documents revealed that Hillary Clinton's friend and lawyer, Cheryl Mills, also received an immunity deal for turning over her laptop. 

This has incensed congressional Republicans trying to get to the bottom of Clinton's use of a private email server and why so many emails that were deleted shouldn't have been. They wonder why the immunity agreements did not include language that would have allowed the aides to testify before Congress. 

Politico:
“If the FBI wanted any other American’s laptops, they’d just go get them — they wouldn’t get an immunity deal,” Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), an oversight panel member, said in a phone interview. “But everyone associated with the Clinton gets a different set of standards applied to them… It’s the strangest stuff I have ever seen.”
Republicans were also incensed that the immunity deals, which now cover five Clinton staffers at the heart of the controversy, did not require witnesses to cooperate with Congress, sources who reviewed them told POLITICO. Such agreements sometimes include language forcing the recipients to answer other investigative entities, but the Justice deals did not.
Republicans have been trying to question several of those protected individuals, including: Clinton’s top IT staffer Bryan Pagliano, who set up the server; Platte River Networks engineer Paul Combetta, who erased Clinton’s email archive days after news of her email use became public; and John Bentel, a tech staffer at the State Department who told his subordinates never to speak of Clinton’s email when they raised concerns.
This latest email flare-up comes at an inopportune time for Clinton, just days before her first debate against Donald Trump. Republicans said the timing of the immunity news was not intentional; they only learned on Friday of the arrangements with Mills, Samuelson and Bentel and almost immediately disclosed them to the AP, which first reported the story. Regardless, Clinton has been unable to shake the email controversy even after the FBI decided against recommending charges against her in July.
Comey's decison not to prosecute Clinton can now be seen in a different light. The fact is, granting all these immunity deals is just another way to cover up the truth. No one under Clinton is going to be held responsible for the illegal deletions of emails or the mishandling of classified data, so how can you hold Clinton solely responsible? 

Where it looked as if, at one time, Clinton aides Abedin and Mills would, at the very least, be charged with mishandling classified information, the FBI made sure that no one would be held accountable. Roger Simon of PJ Media asks, "What Happens When You Can't Trust the FBI and the Department of Justice?" 

The answer is lawlessness in government at the highest levels.


Rick Moran

Source: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2016/09/report_fbi_gave_at_least_partial_immunity_to_5_clinton_aides.html

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Obama’s Denouement - Caroline Glick




by Caroline Glick

The devil in the details of Obama's military aid deal with Israel.


Originally published by the Jerusalem Post


The Memorandum of Understanding that President Barack Obama concluded last week with Israel regarding US military aid to Israel for the next decade is classic Obama.


Since he entered office nearly eight years ago, Obama’s foreign policy has always sought to kill two birds with one stone. On the one hand, his policies are geared toward fundamentally transforming the US’s global posture. On the other, they work to weaken if not entirely neutralize his congressional opponents at home.



The second goal is no mean task. After all, the US Constitution empowers Congress with the foreign policy powers aimed at checking and balancing the president’s.


For instance, to ensure that no president could adopt foreign policies that harm US national interests or undercut the will of the people, the Constitution required that all treaties be approved by two-thirds of the Senate before they can take effect.



Were it not for Obama’s double tracked foreign policy, that constitutional provision should have blocked Obama’s radical and dangerous nuclear deal with Iran. Understanding that he lacked not merely the support of two-thirds of the Senate but of even a bare majority of senators for his deal, Obama decided to sideline the Senate.



To this end, Obama speciously claimed that the deal was not significant enough to be considered a treaty. The Iran deal of course is a more radical course change than the US’s approval of the UN Charter and the NATO Treaty. The nuclear deal radically changes not only the US’s policy toward Iran and toward every nation, friend and foe, in the Middle East. As former secretaries of state Henry Kissinger and George Schultz argued during the nuclear negotiations, it upends 70 years of US nuclear policy, undermining the foundations of the US’s nonproliferation policies.



Obama and his advisers insisted that the deal was a mere presidential agreement. In response to their absurd claim, Sen. Tom Cotton and 46 other senators sent a letter to Iran’s leaders informing them that since the deal would not be brought before the Senate for a vote, the nuclear agreement they were negotiating with the Obama administration would be binding neither on Congress, nor on Obama’s successor.



Cotton’s letter prompted Obama to make yet another end run around Congress. The day the agreement was concluded in Geneva, and even before lawmakers had the chance to read it, the administration anchored the deal in a binding UN Security Council resolution. The maneuver gave the nuclear deal the force of international law.



Now, if Congress fails to respect the deal, or if Obama’s successor disavows it, the US will face the prospect of Iran arguing that it is free to build bombs at will, since the US breached the deal.



Another congressional authority is the power of the purse. Throughout Obama’s two terms, Congress repeatedly used this power to implement foreign policies he opposed in relation to both Iran and Israel. Over Obama’s objection, Congress repeatedly passed and upheld sanctions laws against Iran for its illicit nuclear program and its support for terrorism.



As for Israel, Obama routinely sought to slash US funding for Israel’s missile defense programs. Congress in turn routinely over road him and expanded US funding for Iron Dome and David’s Sling.



This of course brings us to last week’s Memorandum of Understanding. Just as the Iran deal gutted the Senate’s treaty approval authority, so the MoU works to empty of meaning Congress’s power of appropriation. Obama knows full well that he cannot prevent Congress from appropriating supplemental aid to Israel. So he forced Israel to agree to reject any supplemental assistance Congress might wish to appropriate.



Not surprisingly, lawmakers are irate over his action.



Sen. Ted Cruz explained, “I... have significant concerns with aspects of the MoU that attempt to restrict Congress’s rights and responsibilities – particularly our ability to appropriate additional funds as we and not the executive branch deem consistent with the interests of the American people.”



Congress isn’t the only casualty of Obama’s MoU.



The MoU strikes a body blow to AIPAC.



Since his first days in office, Obama has made a goal of weakening AIPAC.



First, Obama legitimized the anti-Israel Jewish lobby J Street. J Street’s purpose was to deny AIPAC the ability to claim that it speaks for the entire American Jewish community and so render it inherently controversial.



Today J Street, the self-proclaimed “pro-Israel, pro-peace” outfit, is lobbying the IRS to revoke the charitable status of American groups that work to protect the civil and property rights of Jews in Judea and Samaria. It is also working with Iran’s lobby in Washington and Americans for Peace Now to undermine Republican efforts to sanction Iran for its anti-US aggression.



In 2013, Obama coerced AIPAC into lobbying Congress to support his proclaimed plan to bomb Syrian-regime targets in response to the Assad regime’s use to chemical weapons. AIPAC’s action were viewed by liberal Democrats as proof that “the Israel lobby” was filled with warmongers.



It convinced Republicans that the group was the stooge of the administration.




Having hung AIPAC out to dry, Obama proceeded to tear it to shreds when he decided at the last minute to call off the air strikes.



Then of course there was the Iran deal. Obama spent a year and a half pretending away the popular opposition to his nuclear diplomacy and pretending that his only opponent was an all-powerful AIPAC, which worked at the behest of a foreign government.



And now, he has signed the MoU.



For decades, AIPAC’s bread and butter has been US aid to Israel. Indeed, the strongest opponent of Netanyahu’s announcement in 1997 that he wished to end US aid to Israel was AIPAC.



AIPAC’s role in lobbying aid bills through Congress has always been a noncontroversial way for the group to build up its power and influence and for members of Congress to exhibit their support for Israel. Since most lawmakers support Israel and support providing military aid to Israel, the vote is always an easy victory that gives it the aura of power and influence.



For AIPAC, Obama’s MoU is a disaster. In one fell swoop, he took away its main lobbying operation, the one that it was guaranteed to succeed in passing with massive bipartisan support. Following the deal, AIPAC will be hard-pressed to maintain even a semblance of the power it held when Obama entered into office.



Since the MoU was signed, Israeli media coverage has been dominated by claims by leftist politicians such as former prime minister Ehud Barak that if they were in charge, Obama would have agreed to give Israel much more than the $3.8 billion per year Netanyahu came up with.



Given that their claims are entirely theoretical, there is absolutely no way to know whether they are accurate. But what is clear is that taking inflation into account, the new level of aid is not significantly higher than the aid package approved by then-president George W. Bush 10 years ago.




The aid deal’s main financial significance is found in its multi-year lifespan. The deal’s longevity mean that lawmakers and lobbyist won’t be able to wait it out.



A number of Israeli and American commentators have argued that despite its drawbacks, Obama’s MoU shows that at the end of the day, Obama really is pro-Israel. After all, they argue, he didn’t have to sign a deal. He could have let his successor handle it.



But this of course fails to recognize the basic fact that US aid to Israel was never in jeopardy. Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump would reach a deal. And if they failed to do so, Congress would simply appropriate the assistance.



For Obama, the MoU isn’t about securing military financing for Israel. The aid is a means for him to achieve a different aim.



Administration and congressional sources warn that Obama wished to conclude the MoU in the final months of his presidency to burnish his pro-Israel credentials. He wants his pro-Israel bona fides intact as he enables the UN Security Council to adopt an anti-Israel resolution just after the US presidential election in November.



For the past year and a half, the French have been sitting on just such a resolution. If passed, the French draft Security Council resolution will require Israel to accept a deal with the Palestinians that would require it to withdraw to the 1949 armistice lines with minor adjustments and partition Jerusalem within 18 months or face the prospect of the nations of the world recognizing a sovereign state of Palestine in a formal state of war with Israel.



After the presidential election, the French draft can be pulled out for a quick vote while US Ambassador Samantha Power is in the ladies room.



In the face of the congressional outcry that would follow, Obama can now pull out the video of his meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from Wednesday where Netanyahu thanked him profusely for the military aid and praised his support for Israel.



So why did Netanyahu agree to the deal? 



The answer is that it was his best option.



Netanyahu is not delusional. He knows that he can’t prevent Obama from doing as he pleases. Under the circumstances, his best bet was to make the best of a bad situation.



If Obama hadn’t secured the MoU, and still decided to ram through the anti-Israel resolution at the UN Security Council, he might have generated so much ill will toward Israel among Democrats that a president Hillary Clinton would be unable to agree to a significant aid package with Israel.



With the MoU already signed, even if the Democrats abandon even the conceit of supporting Israel, Clinton will have a hard time abandoning a deal that Obama negotiated. So even under the worst of circumstances, Israel will continue to receive military aid from the US for the next decade.



On the other hand, if Trump is elected, he will be under no legal obligation or political pressure to maintain the MoU.



At a minimum, Trump can cancel the MoU’s provision denying Israel the right to accept or request supplemental funding from Congress. As George W. Bush’s former deputy national security adviser Elliott Abrams wrote this week, just as Obama reneged on Bush’s 2004 letter to then-prime minister Ariel Sharon accepting that the large Israeli population centers built beyond the 1949 armistice lines would remain intact in any future peace deal, so the next president can ignore Obama’s MoU.



Given the utter absence of leverage that either Israel or the Congress wields over a lame duck president, and given the alternatives, accepting the MoU on Obama’s terms was probably Israel’s least bad option. But going forward, the aid saga reinforces Israel’s burning need to diminish with the goal of phasing out all US military aid to Israel as quickly as possible.




Caroline Glick is the Director of the David Horowitz Freedom Center's Israel Security Project and the Senior Contributing Editor of The Jerusalem Post. For more information on Ms. Glick's work, visit carolineglick.com.

Source: http://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/264284/obamas-denouement-caroline-glick

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Charlotte Burning - Matthew Vadum




by Matthew Vadum

Soros-funded Black Lives Matter inflicts its terror in a sleepy Southern city.




Black Lives Matter rioters claiming systemic racial discrimination is killing black people have laid siege to largely black Charlotte, North Carolina, after a black cop who reports to a black police chief shot and killed a black suspect who reportedly refused to drop his handgun.

With Election Day only weeks away, it is possible the chaos in the Tarheel State is part of a left-wing get-out-the-vote effort to foment unrest in the state's black communities. Remember that Democrat Barack Obama narrowly won the vitally important battleground state in 2008 and narrowly lost it in 2012.

It is entirely possible that the whole exercise in civil unrest was engineered or at least exacerbated by professional left-wingers trying to win the state for Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Riots, of course, are the stock in trade of radical speculator George Soros, the preeminent funder of the Left who has given generously to Black Lives Matter. Soros has a long history of underwriting violence and civil unrest not just in America but all over the world.

Black Lives Matter ringleader DeRay Mckesson describes rioting as "a cry for justice." He told Yale students that "looting for me isn't violent, it's an expression of anger," and that "The act of looting is political. Another way to dissolve consent. Pressing you to no longer keep me out of this space, by destroying it."

But regardless of what leftists say, there is no right to riot. "Although the right to peacefully protest is enshrined in the Constitution," law professor John F. Banzhaf III writes, "there is no constitutional or other legal right to commit criminal acts to make a point."

And obviously, claims by activists that this shooting death in an un-racist city is an example of systemic discrimination against African-Americans are borderline ridiculous.

If the reality on the ground weren't so grim and serious, it might qualify as a comedy of errors worthy of a "Saturday Night Live" skit. After the shooting Tuesday, Charlotte area Nation of Islam activist B.J. Murphy, a black man, demanded an “economic boycott” to protest the official racism supposedly at work in the city.

Black Americans should “take our money out of Charlotte," he said of the banking capital of the South. "I don’t want to offend nobody, but we got nothing to lose.”

This kind of rioting has become commonplace in President Obama's second term of office and it has his personal blessing.

Obama typically tries to have it both ways by denouncing the violence in front of television news cameras and then encouraging it by saying the rioters' cause is just. After a Black Lives Matter-sympathizing sniper killed five cops in Dallas this summer during an anti-police protest, cold-as-ice Obama even had the audacity to attend their memorial service and lecture the dead men's widows about police brutality.

Obama, we know from Center for American Progress president Neera Tanden, a former Obama aide, "really doesn't like people." A famously intolerant, dogmatic, self-righteous man, he suffers from a special kind of psychopathology, viewing those who disagree with him or oppose him as evil people or "enemies" who need to be confronted by getting "in their faces."

Obama's oft-repeated reflexive response to Black Lives Matter violence is a backhanded but unmistakable call to arms in which the president encourages physical attacks on the nation's police officers, the overwhelming majority of whom are decent hard-working people without a racist bone in their bodies. Many cops are shirking their duties because they are quite justifiably afraid of being called racist. This is called the "Ferguson effect," because it took hold after a police shooting of a black suspect in the St. Louis, Mo., suburbs led to huge race riots and catapulted the racist Black Lives Matter movement to national and international prominence.

Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has become arguably worse than Obama in recent months, pandering in an even more extreme way to violent mobs and excusing crimes committed by black Americans. The Democratic National Committee, the governing body of the Democratic Party, supports race riots. The DNC officially endorsed Black Lives Matter a year ago.

The rioting in Charlotte followed the police-involved shooting Tuesday afternoon. Keith Lamont Scott, 43, a black career criminal, was fatally shot by officer Brentley Vinson, 26, a former high school football star who also happens to be black.

Scott had a long criminal record. According to the Charlotte Observer:
A public records search shows that Scott was convicted in April 2004 of a misdemeanor assault with a deadly weapon charge in Mecklenburg County [North Carolina]. Other charges stemming from that date were dismissed: felony assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, and misdemeanors assault on a child under 12, assault on a female and communicating threats.
In April 2015 in Gaston County Court, Scott was found guilty of driving while intoxicated.
In 1992, Scott was charged in Charleston County, S.C., with ​several different crimes on different dates, including carrying ​a concealed weapon​ (not a gun), simple assault and contributing to ​the delinquency of a minor. ​He pleaded guilty to ​all charges.
Scott also was charged with aggravated assault in 1992​ and assault with intent to kill in 1995. Both charges were reduced, but the disposition of the case​s​ is unclear.
According to Bexar County, Texas, records, Scott was sentenced in March 2005 to 15 months in a state jail for evading arrest. In July of that year, records show, he was sentenced to seven years in prison on a conviction of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. A Texas Department of Criminal Justice spokesman said Scott completed his sentence and was released from prison in 2011.
About 4 p.m. Tuesday police were trying to serve an outstanding warrant in The Village at College Downs apartment complex, said Charlotte police chief Kerr Putney, a black man.

Scott was not the subject of the warrant but police observed him getting out of his car with a handgun before getting back in the car, the Charlotte Observer reports.

Police approached Scott and demanded he drop his gun. He refused to do so and exited the car while holding the weapon. Police on the scene apparently deemed him an imminent threat and shot him an undisclosed number of times. There is reportedly video footage of the event but police have so far refused to release it because their investigation is still underway.

Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts (D) appealed for calm. “This is a very difficult situation for everyone involved,” she said yesterday at a press conference. “I’d like to ask people to wait until all information is available.”

By 7 p.m. Tuesday, long before the public knew much about the shooting, protests had begun. Putney said about an hour later the assembled masses became “more aggressive agitators who began breaking the law.”

A few hours later rioters shut down Interstate 85, broke into at least one tractor-trailer and set its cargo on fire. At about 3:30 Wednesday morning, a mob broke windows and doors at a local Walmart store and looted its inventory.

Police showed restraint, tear-gassing rioters. “Accountability!” one man yelled several times at officers. “You don’t get to murder us and get away with it!” another person shouted.

Several reporters covering the leftist anarchy were injured and to no one's surprise, the terrorist front group known as the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is calling for an independent investigation of the shooting.

According to the Observer, last night police used tear gas to disperse hundreds of individuals who blocked an intersection. People then took over the EpiCentre entertainment complex. Late Wednesday afternoon, two dozen protesters stood in front of the Bank of America Tower holding signs that read “Black Lives Matter” and “Stop Killing Us.”

Many nervous Charlotte employers sent employees home early yesterday out of concern for their safety. The local chamber of commerce encouraged businesses in parts of the city to “remove or chain down all tables, chairs, signs or planters.”

Late last night Gov. Pat McCrory (R), himself a former mayor of Charlotte, declared a state of emergency and deployed the National Guard and State Highway Patrol troopers to assist local police. One person was shot during the rioting. He was reportedly on life-support at press time.

FrontPage readers know that Black Lives Matter isn't just a movement: It is a dangerous cult animated by a hatred of normal American values. Its members idolize convicted, unrepentant black militants and cop-killers Assata Shakur and Mumia Abu Jamal and have declared "war" on law enforcement. Its members openly call for police officers to be assassinated.

In legal terms, it functions as a domestic terrorist organization. A Black Lives Matter supporter, Micah X. Johnson, murdered five Dallas area police officers in cold blood at a protest march in July. As I've written before, it is well past time for the leaders of Black Lives Matter to be jailed and for the violent organization to be dismantled.

Black Lives Matter has deep roots on the radical, revolutionary Left. As James Simpson writes:
Black Lives Matter began in 2013 with a Twitter hashtag, #BlackLivesMatter, after neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman, called a “white Hispanic” in the press, was acquitted in the killing of black teenager Trayvon Martin. Radical-left activists Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi claim credit for the slogan and hashtag. Following the Michael Brown shooting in August 2014, Dream Defenders, an organization co-founded by (the ACORN-affiliated) Working Families Party activist and Occupy Wall Street organizer Nelini Stamp, popularized the phrase “Hands Up – Don’t Shoot!” which has since become BLM’s widely recognized slogan. Not surprisingly, former Communist Party USA vice presidential candidate Angela Davis sits on the Dream Defenders advisory board.
Garza, Cullors, and Tometi all work for front groups of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization, one of the four largest radical Left organizations in the country. The others are the Communist Party USA, Democratic Socialists of America, and the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism. Stamp’s ACORN—now rebranded under a variety of different names after its official 2010 bankruptcy—works with all four organizations, and Dream Defenders is backed by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), ACLU, and Southern Poverty Law Center, among others.
Perhaps if our next president isn't an America-hating leftist something can finally be done about the scourge of Black Lives Matter.

Residents in Charlotte and in cities across America would be grateful.


Matthew Vadum senior vice president at the investigative think tank Capital Research Center, is an award-winning investigative reporter and author of the book, "Subversion Inc.: How Obama’s ACORN Red Shirts Are Still Terrorizing and Ripping Off American Taxpayers."

Source: http://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/264273/charlotte-burning-matthew-vadum

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Anti-BDS campaign blasts churches for 'classic anti-Semitism' - Yair Altman




by Yair Altman

Hat tip: Dr. Jean-Charles Bensoussan

Pro-Israel activists hang signs in World Council of Churches headquarters reading, "We know who you are, we know what your ideology is, now everyone will know" • The activists say they will continue to operate against church's anti-Semitic activities.


Pro-Israeli activists fighting the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement have taken their case to the World Council of Churches in a bid to expose what they say is the council's "classic anti-Semitism."

The World Council of Churches runs the Ecumenical Accompaniment Program in Palestine and Israel. The activists entered the group's headquarters in Geneva and New York and placed signs at both sites reading, "We know who you are, we know what your ideology is, now everyone will know." 

The signs featured an image of a swastika that was photographed at one of the organization's events. 

One of the anti-BDS activists, speaking on condition of anonymity because hanging the signs at the group's buildings is illegal, told Israel Hayom that the goal was to expose the true motives behind the BDS movement. 

"These are not humanitarian activists who are boycotting Israel because of its activities in Judea and Samaria," he said. "That's just the lie that they are trying to sell. The truth is that this is a classic anti-Semitic ideology taken from the churches and mixed together with poisonous anti-Israel activity under the guise of human rights."

Another activist, who also asked to remain unidentified, said, "The World Council of Churches operates infrastructure inside Israel for anti-Israel activity, including tracking security forces and Israel Land Authority inspectors, supporting BDS, encouraging insubordination, spreading anti-Semitism and spreading false anti-Israel propaganda.

"Most of the activity is done by those posing as tourists and pilgrims, with tourist visas, which is in clear violation of the law. They need to understand that just as they know how to send activists to Israel from all over the world in order to work against Israel, we will operate against them in their home countries, in their offices, in their communities and in their homes."



Yair Altman

Source: http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=36673&hp=1

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The Jewish people's insurance policy - Dror Eydar




by Dror Eydar

Every time we encounter our past as a people, we receive an answer about our identity. The Palestinian Authority, on the other hand, is trying to erase the Jewish history in this land, as if we are foreign invaders. But archaeology proves otherwise.



Researchers present the reconstructed tiles from the Second Temple floor
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Photo credit: Dudi Vaaknin


Dror Eydar

Source: http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=36659

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