Category Archives: RELIGION

Social media is ripping apart society

Former Facebook exec: Social media is ripping apart society
www.fastcompany.com

Facebook’s former vice president for user growth Chamath Palihapitiya recently gave a talk at the Stanford Graduate School of Business that’ll probably make you think twice about your social media use (via the Verge). The entire talk is well worth a watch, but some of his most prominent remarks included:

  • That he feels “tremendous guilt” about Facebook. “I think we have created tools that are ripping apart the social fabric of how society works.”
  • “The short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops we’ve created [including the hearts, likes, and thumbs up of various social media channels] are destroying how society works.” He added, “[There’s] no civil discourse, no cooperation; [only] misinformation, mistruth. And it’s not an American problem–this is not about Russians ads. This is a global problem.”
  • Regarding an incident in which seven innocent men in India were lynched after a hoax about kidnappings spread through WhatsApp: “That’s what we’re dealing with. And imagine taking that to the extreme, where bad actors can now manipulate large swathes of people to do anything you want. It’s just a really, really bad state of affairs.”
    Unsurprisingly, when it comes to social media, his children “aren’t allowed to use that shit.”
    MG

 

The Bill Clinton Affair – Gross Disservice to Women

What if Ken Starr Was Right?
www.nytimes.com

Former President Bill Clinton

Bill Clinton in 1998. Credit Paul Hosefros/The New York Times

In the longstanding liberal narrative about Bill Clinton and his scandals, the one pushed by Clinton courtiers and ratified in media coverage of his post-presidency, our 42nd president was only guilty of being a horndog, his affairs were nobody’s business but his family’s, and oral sex with Monica Lewinsky was a small thing that should never have put his presidency in peril.

That narrative could not survive the current wave of outrage over male sexual misconduct.

So now a new one may be forming for the age of Harvey Weinstein and Donald Trump. In this story, Kenneth Starr and the Republicans are still dismissed as partisan witch hunters. But liberals might be willing to concede that the Lewinsky affair was a pretty big deal morally, a clear abuse of sexual power, for which Clinton probably should have been pressured to resign.

This new narrative lines up with what’s often been my own assessment of the Clinton scandals. I have never been a Clinton hater; indeed, I’ve always been a little mystified by the scale of Republican dislike for the most centrist of recent Democratic leaders. So I’ve generally held what I’ve considered a sensible middle-ground position on his sins — that he should have stepped down when the Lewinsky affair came to light, but that the Republican effort to impeach him was a hopeless attempt to legislate against dishonor.

But a moment of reassessment is a good time to reassess things for yourself, so I spent this week reading about the lost world of the 1990s. I skimmed the Starr Report. I leafed through books by George Stephanopoulos and Joe Klein and Michael Isikoff. I dug into Troopergate and Whitewater and other first-term scandals. I reacquainted myself with Gennifer Flowers and Webb Hubbell, James Riady and Marc Rich.

After doing all this reading, I’m not sure my reasonable middle ground is actually reasonable. It may be that the conservatives of the 1990s were simply right about Clinton, that once he failed to resign he really deserved to be impeached.

Yes, the Republicans were too partisan, the Starr Report was too prurient and Clinton’s haters generated various absurd conspiracy theories.

But the Clinton operation was also extraordinarily sordid, in ways that should be thrown into particular relief by the absence of similar scandals in the Obama administration, which had perfervid enemies and circling investigators as well.

The sexual misconduct was the heart of things, but everything connected to Clinton’s priapism was bad: the use of the perks of office to procure women, willing and unwilling; the frequent use of that same power to buy silence and bully victims; and yes, the brazen public lies and perjury.

Something like Troopergate, for instance, in which Arkansas state troopers claimed to have served as Clinton’s panderers and been offered jobs to buy their silence, is often recalled as just a right-wing hit job. But if you read The Los Angeles Times’s reporting on the allegations (which included phone records confirming the troopers’ account of a mistress Clinton was seeing during his presidential transition) and Stephanopoulos’s portrayal of Clinton’s behavior in the White House when the story broke, the story seems like it was probably mostly true.

I have less confidence about what was real in the miasma of Whitewater. But with Paula Jones and Monica Lewinsky, we know what happened: A president being sued for sexual harassment tried to buy off a mistress-turned-potential-witness with White House favors, and then committed perjury serious enough to merit disbarment. Which also brought forward a compelling allegation from Juanita Broaddrick that the president had raped her.

The longer I spent with these old stories, the more I came back to a question: If exploiting a willing intern is a serious enough abuse of power to warrant resignation, why is obstructing justice in a sexual harassment case not serious enough to warrant impeachment? Especially when the behavior is part of a longstanding pattern that also may extend to rape? Would any feminist today hesitate to take a similar opportunity to remove a predatory studio head or C.E.O.?

There is a common liberal argument that our present polarization is the result of constant partisan escalations on the right — the rise of Newt Gingrich, the steady Hannitization of right-wing media.

Some of this is true. But returning to the impeachment imbroglio made me think that in that case the most important escalators were the Democrats. They had an opportunity, with Al Gore waiting in the wings, to show a predator the door and establish some moral common ground for a polarizing country.

And what they did instead — turning their party into an accessory to Clinton’s appetites, shamelessly abandoning feminist principle, smearing victims and blithely ignoring his most credible accuser, all because Republicans funded the investigations and they’re prudes and it’s all just Sexual McCarthyism — feels in the cold clarity of hindsight like a great act of partisan deformation.

For which, it’s safe to say, we have all been amply punished since.

COMMENTS (193)

FBI PROBES PLANNED PARENTHOOD

FBI seeks Senate documents, signaling possible probe into sale of fetal tissue
thehill.com

The FBI has asked the Senate for unredacted documents it obtained from abortion providers, signaling agents may be investigating whether Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers illegally sold fetal tissue and body parts, according to sources familiar with the document request.

The request was made in recent days, the sources said, to the Senate Judiciary Committee, whose chairman, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), last December referred Planned Parenthood and several other abortion providers to the FBI for investigation after a lengthy probe into the transfers of fetal tissue.

Grassley said at the time that his committee had uncovered enough evidence in its final investigative report to show abortion providers had transferred tissue and body parts from aborted fetuses to firms for use in research by charging dollar amounts above their actual costs.

Abortion providers are allowed under a 1993 law to transfer fetal tissue for research at a cost equal to the price of obtaining it, but are not allowed to sell it at a profit.
The Justice Department declined comment, saying it does not confirm nor deny whether an investigation is taking place.

A spokesman for the FBI did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Planned Parenthood said that while it is aware of Grassley’s prior request for a criminal probe, none of its affiliates has had any contact with the FBI. It noted it provided more than 30,000 pages of documents and several witnesses to the congressional probes and believes it has complied with the law.

“Planned Parenthood strongly disagrees with the recommendations of the Senate Republican staff to refer this matter to the Justice Department, especially in light of the fact that investigations by three other Congressional committees, and investigations in 13 states including a Grand Jury in Texas, have all shown that Planned Parenthood did nothing wrong,” said Dana Singiser, Vice President of Government Affairs for Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

“These accusations are baseless, and a part of a widely discredited attempt to end access to reproductive health care at Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood has never, and would never, profit while facilitating its patients’ choice to donate fetal tissue for use in important medical research,” she added.

The Senate probe and a similar investigation by the House were prompted by the public release in 2015 of several undercover videos from an anti-abortion group showing abortion providers or fetal tissue firms discussing how they took money for aborted fetuses. The Senate committee conducted interviews and gathered documents on its own as part of an investigation triggered by the videos.

It is that information, including the unredacted documents Senate Judiciary gathered from abortion providers and fetal tissue firms, that was requested by the FBI, the sources said, speaking only on condition of anonymity.

“The report documents the failure of the Department of Justice, across multiple administrations, to enforce the law that bans the buying and selling of human fetal tissue,” Grassley wrote last December when he asked the FBI and Justice Department to investigate Planned Parenthood and other abortion and fetal tissue providers. “… It also documents substantial evidence suggesting that the specific entities involved in the recent controversy, and/or individuals employed by those entities, may have violated that law.”

Grassley staff is working to comply with the FBI’s document request in compliance with Senate rules, sources said.

One option would be for FBI agents to be allowed to come to the committee’s reading room and review the documents. A full Senate vote would be required if copies of the documents needed to be transferred to a grand jury, according to a source directly familiar with Senate document procedures.

Lila Rose, a prominent anti-abortion activist, praised the FBI’s document request.

“We, of course, applaud any action taken to follow the evidence to where it leads and to hold Planned Parenthood accountable,” she said. “The only thing that could hinder this investigation from leading to indictments of Planned Parenthood and the companies involved in the sale of fetal body parts is politics.”

The advent of a criminal investigation into abortion providers would mark a major escalation in a controversy ignited by undercover videotapes made by an anti-abortion group back in 2015.

The Center for Medical Progress, which released the videos, saw two of its executives charged with state privacy violations for making the undercover tapes. The charges were dropped in Texas but remain pending in California, where they are being appealed. The group denies any wrongdoing.

The center’s head, David Daleiden, said Monday that an FBI probe is “long overdue” and that the ”sale of aborted baby body parts is the greatest human atrocity of our times and must finally be brought to justice under the law.”

The Senate report concluded that the prices paid for tissue and body parts exceeded the actual costs, and that in some cases such costs weren’t even calculated until after investigators began asking questions.

In one example cited by the Senate report, a firm’s own records show it paid $60 for an aborted fetus from a Planned Parenthood clinic, then transferred the various parts for $2,275 – including the brain for $325, two eyes for $650, and a part of a liver for $325. The firm also charged additional fees for shipping and disease screening, the report said.

“The companies involved in transferring fetal tissue have been free to receive substantial payment with impunity, relying on an expansive interpretation of the exception to the ban on buying and selling fetal tissue,” the report said.

Some of the companies involved in the transactions “had not, in fact, conducted any analysis of their costs when setting fees, and their post ad hoc accounting rationalization invoked a bevy of indirect and tenuously related costs in an attempt to justify their fees,” the report added.

COMMENTS (46)

LIB-FASCIST PERSECUTION FAIL

Court Dismisses Charges Against Pro-Life Activists, For Now

David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt now face only 1 of original 15 felony charges in California related to undercover videos about fetal tissue procurement.

6:02 PM, JUN 23, 2017 | By CHARLOTTE ALLEN

Even in famously abortion-friendly California there is justice for abortion foes. On June 21, the San Francisco County Superior Court threw out 14 of the 15 felony counts that California Attorney General Xavier Becerra had brought against David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt, the anti-abortion activists who had made widely circulated undercover videos of Planned Parenthood officials haggling and joking over the compensation they expected to receive for supplying the organs of fetuses aborted at Planned Parenthood clinics to for-profit “tissue-procurement” companies.

I wrote about the case for THE WEEKLY STANDARD shortly after Becerra lodged the felony charges on March 28, and it seemed to me more persecution than prosecution. California law forbids the recording of conversations without the consent of all parties involved, so Becerra, a former Democratic congressman from Los Angeles, assigned a separate criminal count to each of 14 secretly recorded conversations that Deleiden and Merritt, posing as tissue-procurers themselves, had had with high-level Planned Parenthood employees at restaurants, abortion conventions, and other venues during 2013 and 2014, and also with the CEO of StemExpress, a Placerville, California, tissue supply firm, that had partnered at the time with some of Planned Parenthood’s Northern California clinics to retrieve fetal body parts onsite. For the statute in question, California Penal Code Section 632, prosecutorial discretion allows charges to be brought as either felonies or misdemeanors. Becerra went the felony route. His aim seemed to be to put Daleiden and Merritt behind bars for as long as legally possible; each separate felony conviction for violating Section 632 could entail a year in state prison plus a hefty fine.

There were always legal issues that could have stood in the way of automatic Section 632 convictions for the pair: How much expectation of privacy—an essential element of a violation of the anti-recording law—did the alleged victims really have in the public places where the conversations occurred, for example. But what really killed the greater part of Becerra’s case, at least for now, was his office’s insistence on keeping secret such key information as the names of the alleged Planned Parenthood victims. Superior Court Judge Christopher Hite ruled that those 14 charges were simply legally insufficient. “The complaint did not provide Merritt with the minimum notice required by the Constitution and California law as to what she supposedly did wrong, so that she can mount a proper and vigorous defense,” her lawyer, Mat Staver of LibertyCounsel said.. “The complaint was also vague and full of inconsistencies.”

Hite gave Becerra’s office until mid-July to file a revised and more detailed complaint, and it will be interesting to see whether the attorney general’s obvious solicitude for the delicate feelings of Planned Parenthood officials will outweigh his obvious desire to throw the book at Daleiden and Merritt. There is also that 15th count: a conspiracy charge against the pair stemming from their use of a former StemExpress employee’s password to log into StemExpress’s email account so as to learn the ins and out of fetal organ procurement.

Daleiden and Merritt had set up a fake corporation they called BioMax Procurement Services, complete with its own website, and they had obtained driver’s licenses for themselves under fictitious names—all so they could set up a vendor’s booth at a National Abortion Federation convention in San Francisco in 2014 and gain the confidence of the Planned Parenthood.

CHINA VS. JESUS

Christian church DESTROYED as Chinese police drag worshippers into street and beat them
www.express.co.uk

“While no doubt the envy of US Democrats, China will lose, Jesus will prevail.” – M Souza

Fascist-Communists

Violence broke out in Shanggiu in Henan province after 300 police officers and officials demolished the Shuangmiao Christian Church—which was under construction.

Officers dragged out around 40 Christians with one worshipper comparing the brutal scenes to the Japanese invasion of China during the Second World War, according to charity China Aid.

Eight Christians remain in custody following the incident amid a crackdown on churches by the communist regime.

China Aid said: “During the demolition, officials beat dozens of church members, pushing them to the ground and twisting their hands.

“The church was completely razed, and a church member likened the scene to the Japanese invasion of China during World War II.

“Of the 40 Christians seized, eight are still in custody, and the cases of Shuangmiao Christian Church pastor Zhang Di and the church’s vice director, Lü Yuexia, were recently transferred to the Procuratorate, which will decide whether or not to formalise their arrest.”

The Supreme People’s Procuratorate is the highest agency in China responsible for prosecutions.

According to churchgoers Xi Jinping’s Communist Party ordered the church to be destroyed after branding the building an “illegal structure”.

Party officials were sent to the church to search the building and belongings of people on site.

China Aid said the party confiscated phones and other personal property, damaged closets, smashed offering boxes, and stole laptops, money, and jewellery.

The demolition came as row between the church and government escalated over allegations the church refused to pay a £450 arbitrary road usage fee.

Pastor Zhang Di was summoned for questioning last month and accused of assaulting police officers and attacking a village official.

Church leaders are urging the government to release the pastor and churchgoers. They are also calling for police linked to the investigation to be punished.

The Chinese Communist Party has launched a major crackdown on religion in recent months in an attempt to oppress religious freedom and exercise control.

Churches not sanctioned by the government have been put under surveillance with hundreds of Christians arrested for disturbing public order for offences such as holding bible study groups and displaying crucifixes outside their homes.

There have been reports of Christians being banned from praying, singing hymns, crosses removed from buildings and people arrested for attending church services.

ANCIENT JEWISH LAND THE ROMANS CALLED “PALESTINE”

The History and Meaning of “Palestine” and “Palestinians”

There is no such thing as a Palestinian Arab nation . . . Palestine is a name the Romans gave to Eretz Yisrael with the express purpose of infuriating the Jews . . . . Why should we use the spiteful name meant to humiliate us?

The British chose to call the land they mandated Palestine, and the Arabs picked it up as their nation’s supposed ancient name, though they couldn’t even pronounce it correctly and turned it into Falastin a fictional entity.” — Golda Meir quoted by Sarah Honig, Jerusalem Post, 25 November 1995

Palestine has never existed . . . as an autonomous entity. There is no language known as Palestinian. There is no distinct Palestinian culture. There has never been a land known as Palestine governed by Palestinians. Palestinians are Arabs, indistinguishable from Jordanians (another recent invention), Syrians, Lebanese, Iraqis, etc.

Keep in mind that the Arabs control 99.9 percent of the Middle East lands. Israel represents one-tenth of one percent of the landmass. But that’s too much for the Arabs. They want it all. And that is ultimately what the fighting in Israel is about today . . . No matter how many land concessions the Israelis make, it will never be enough. — from “Myths of the Middle East”, Joseph Farah, Arab-American editor and journalist, WorldNetDaily, 11 October 2000

From the end of the Jewish state in antiquity to the beginning of British rule, the area now designated by the name Palestine was not a country and had no frontiers, only administrative boundaries . . . . — Professor Bernard Lewis, Commentary Magazine, January 1975

Talk and writing about Israel and the Middle East feature the nouns “Palestine” and Palestinian”, and the phrases “Palestinian territory” and even “Israeli-occupied Palestinian territory”. All too often, these terms are used with regard to their historical or geographical meaning, so that the usage creates illusions rather than clarifies reality.

What Does “Palestine” Mean?

It has never been the name of a nation or state. It is a geographical term, used to designate the region at those times in history when there is no nation or state there.


The Philistines were not Arabs, they were not Semites. They had no connection … with Arabia or Arabs.


The word itself derives from “Peleshet“, a name that appears frequently in the Bible and has come into English as “Philistine”. The name began to be used in the Thirteenth Century BCE, for a wave of migrant “Sea Peoples” who came from the area of the Aegean Sea and the Greek Islands and settled on the southern coast of the land of Canaan. There they established five independent city-states (including Gaza) on a narrow strip of land known as Philistia. The Greeks and Romans called it “Palastina“.

The Philistines were not Arabs, they were not Semites. They had no connection, ethnic, linguistic or historical with Arabia or Arabs. The name “Falastin” that Arabs today use for “Palestine” is not an Arabic name. It is the Arab pronunciation of the Greco-Roman “Palastina” derived from the Peleshet.

How Did the Land of Israel Become “Palestine”?

In the First Century CE, the Romans crushed the independent kingdom of Judea. After the failed rebellion of Bar Kokhba in the Second Century CE, the Roman Emperor Hadrian determined to wipe out the identity of Israel-Judah-Judea. Therefore, he took the name Palastina and imposed it on all the Land of Israel. At the same time, he changed the name of Jerusalem to Aelia Capitolina.

The Romans killed many Jews and sold many more in slavery. Some of those who survived still alive and free left the devastated country, but there was never a complete abandonment of the Land. There was never a time when there were not Jews and Jewish communities, though the size and conditions of those communities fluctuated greatly.

The History of Palestine

Thousands of years before the Romans invented “Palastina” the land had been known as “Canaan”. The Canaanites had many tiny city-states, each one at times independent and at times a vassal of an Egyptian or Hittite king. The Canaanites never united into a state.

After the Exodus from Egypt — probably in the Thirteenth Century BCE but perhaps earlier — the Children of Israel settled in the land of Canaan. There they formed first a tribal confederation, and then the Biblical kingdoms of Israel and Judah, and the post-Biblical kingdom of Judea.


Israel-Judah-Judea has the only united, independent, sovereign nation-state that ever existed in “Palestine” west of the Jordan River.


From the beginning of history to this day, Israel-Judah-Judea has the only united, independent, sovereign nation-state that ever existed in “Palestine” west of the Jordan River. (In Biblical times, Ammon, Moab and Edom as well as Israel had land east of the Jordan, but they disappeared in antiquity and no other nation took their place until the British invented Trans-Jordan in the 1920s.)

After the Roman conquest of Judea, “Palastina” became a province of the pagan Roman Empire and then of the Christian Byzantine Empire, and very briefly of the Zoroastrian Persian Empire. In 638 CE, an Arab-Muslim Caliph took Palastina away from the Byzantine Empire and made it part of an Arab-Muslim Empire. The Arabs, who had no name of their own for this region, adopted the Greco-Roman name Palastina, that they pronounced “Falastin“.

In that period, much of the mixed population of Palastina converted to Islam and adopted the Arabic language. They were subjects of a distant Caliph who ruled them from his capital, that was first in Damascus and later in Baghdad. They did not become a nation or an independent state, or develop a distinct society or culture.

In 1099, Christian Crusaders from Europe conquered Palestina-Falastin. After 1099, it was never again under Arab rule. The Christian Crusader kingdom was politically independent, but never developed a national identity. It remained a military outpost of Christian Europe, and lasted less than 100 years. Thereafter, Palestine was joined to Syria as a subject province first of the Mameluks, ethnically mixed slave-warriors whose center was in Egypt, and then of the Ottoman Turks, whose capital was in Istanbul.

During the First World War, the British took Palestine from the Ottoman Turks. At the end of the war, the Ottoman Empire collapsed and among its subject provinces “Palestine” was assigned to the British, to govern temporarily as a mandate from the League of Nations.

The Jewish National Home

Travellers to Palestine from the Western world left records of what they saw there. The theme throughout their reports is dismal: The land was empty, neglected, abandoned, desolate, fallen into ruins

Nothing there [Jerusalem] to be seen but a little of the old walls which is yet remaining and all the rest is grass, moss and weeds. — English pilgrim in 1590

The country is in a considerable degree empty of inhabitants and therefore its greatest need is of a body of population — British consul in 1857

There is not a solitary village throughout its whole extent [valley of Jezreel] — not for 30 miles in either direction. . . . One may ride 10 miles hereabouts and not see 10 human beings.

For the sort of solitude to make one dreary, come to Galilee . . . Nazareth is forlorn . . . Jericho lies a moldering ruin . . . Bethlehem and Bethany, in their poverty and humiliation . . . untenanted by any living creature . . . .

A desolate country whose soil is rich enough, but is given over wholly to weeds . . a silent, mournful expanse . . . a desolation . . . . We never saw a human being on the whole route . . . . Hardly a tree or shrub anywhere. Even the olive tree and the cactus, those fast friends of a worthless soil, had almost deserted the country . . . .

Palestine sits in sackcloth and ashes . . . desolate and unlovely . . . . — Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad, 1867


Their [the Jews] labors created newer and better conditions and opportunities


The restoration of the “desolate and unlovely” land began in the latter half of the Nineteenth Century with the first Jewish pioneers. Their labors created newer and better conditions and opportunities, which in turn attracted migrants from many parts of the Middle East, both Arabs and others.

The Balfour Declaration of 1917, confirmed by the League of Nations Mandate, commited the British Government to the principle that “His Majesty’s government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a Jewish National Home, and will use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object. . . . ” It was specified both that this area be open to “close Jewish settlement” and that the rights of all inhabitants already in the country be preserved and protected.

Mandate Palestine originally included all of what is now Jordan, as well as all of what is now Israel, and the territories between them. However, when Great Britain’s protégé Emir Abdullah was forced to leave the ancestral Hashemite domain in Arabia, the British created a realm for him that included all of Manfate Palestine east of the Jordan River. There was no traditional or historic Arab name for this land, so it was called after the river: first Trans-Jordan and later Jordan.

By this political act, that violated the conditions of the Balfour Declaration and the Mandate, the British cut more than 75 percent out of the Jewish National Home. No Jew has ever been permitted to reside in Trans-Jordan/Jordan.

Less than 25 percent then remained of Mandate Palestine, and even in this remnant, the British violated the Balfour and Mandate requirements for a “Jewish National Home” and for “close Jewish settlement”. They progressively restricted where Jews could buy land, where they could live, build, farm or work.

After the Six-Day War in 1967, Israel was finally able to settle some small part of those lands from which the Jews had been debarred by the British. Successive British governments regularly condemn their settlement as “illegal”. In truth, it was the British who had acted illegally in banning Jews from these parts of the Jewish National Home.

Who Is A Palestinian?

During the period of the Mandate, it was the Jewish population that was known as “Palestinians” including those who served in the British Army in World War II.


Jews who might have developed the empty lands of ‘Palestine’ … instead died in the gas chambers of Europe


British policy was to curtail their numbers and progressively limit Jewish immigration. By 1939, the White Paper virtually put an end to admission of Jews to Palestine. This policy was imposed the most stringently at the very time this Home was most desperately needed — after the rise of Nazi power in Europe. Jews who might have developed the empty lands of Palestine and left progeny there, instead died in the gas chambers of Europe or in the seas they were trying to cross to the Promised Land.

At the same time that the British slammed the gates on Jews, they permitted or ignored massive illegal immigration into Western Palestine from Arab countries Jordan, Syria, Egypt, North Africa. In 1939, Winston Churchill noted that “So far from being persecuted, the Arabs have crowded into the country and multiplied . . . .” Exact population statistics may be problematic, but it seems that by 1947 the number of Arabs west of the Jordan River was approximately triple of what it had been in 1900.

The current myth is that these Arabs were long established in Palestine, until the Jews came and “displaced” them. The fact is, that recent Arab immigration into Palestine “displaced” the Jews. That the massive increase in Arab population was very recent is attested by the ruling of the United Nations: That any Arab who had lived in Palestine for two years and then left in 1948 qualifies as a “Palestinian refugees“.

Casual use of population statistics for Jews and Arabs in Palestine rarely consider how the proportions came to be. One factor was the British policy of keeping out Jews while bringing in Arabs. Another factor was the violence used to kill or drive out Jews even where they had been long established.

For one example: The Jewish connection with Hebron goes back to Abraham, and there has been an Israelite/Jewish community there since Joshua long before it was King David’s first capital. In 1929, Arab rioters with the passive consent of the British — killed or drove out virtually the entire Jewish community.


It is now often proposed as a principle of international law and morality that all places that the British and the Arabs rendered Judenrein must forever remain so.


For another example: In 1948, Trans-Jordan seized much of Judea and Samaria (which they called The West Bank) and East Jerusalem and the Old City. They killed or drove out every Jew.

It is now often proposed as a principle of international law and morality that all places that the British and the Arabs rendered Judenrein must forever remain so. In contrast, Israel eventually allotted 17 percent of Mandate Palestine has a large and growing population of Arab citizens.

From Palestine To Israel

What was to become of “Palestine” after the Mandate? This question was taken up by various British and international commissions and other bodies, culminating with the United Nations in 1947. During the various deliberations, Arab officials, spokesmen and writers expressed their views on “Palestine”.

There is no such country as Palestine. ‘Palestine’ is a term the Zionists invented. . . . Our country was for centuries part of Syria. ‘Palestine’ is alien to us. It is the Zionists who introduced it.” — Local Arab leader to British Peel Commission, 1937

There is no such thing as Palestine in history, absolutely not” — Professor Philip Hitti, Arab historian to Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry, 1946

It is common knowledge that Palestine is nothing but southern Syria.” — Ahmed Shukairy, United Nations Security Council, 1956

By 1948, the Arabs had still not yet discovered their ancient nation of Falastin. When they were offered half of Palestine west of the Jordan River for a state, the offer was violently rejected. Six Arab states launched a war of annihilation against the nascent State of Israel. Their purpose was not to establish an independent Falastin. Their aim was to partition western Palestine amongst themselves.

They did not succeed in killing Israel, but Trans-Jordan succeeded in taking Judea and Samaria (West Bank) and East Jerusalem, killing or driving out all the Jews who had lived in those places, and banning Jews of all nations from Jewish holy places. Egypt succeeded in taking the Gaza Strip. These two Arab states held these lands until 1967. Then they launched another war of annihilation against Israel, and in consequence lost the lands they had taken by war in 1948.

During those 19 years, 1948-1967, Jordan and Egypt never offered to surrendar those lands to make up an independent state of Falastin. The “Palestinians” never sought it. Nobody in the world ever suggested it, much less demanded it.

Finally, in 1964, the Palestine Liberation Movement was founded. Ahmed Shukairy, who less than 10 years earlier had denied the existence of Palestine, was its first chairman. Its charter proclaimed its sole purpose to be the destruction of Israel. To that end it helped to precipitate the Arab attack on Israel in 1967.

The outcome of that attack then inspired an alteration in public rhetoric. As propaganda, it sounds better to speak of the liberation of Falastin than of the destruction of Israel. Much of the world, governments and media and public opinion, accept virtually without question of serious analysis the new-sprung myth of an Arab nation of Falastin, whose territory is unlawfully occupied by the Jews.

Since the end of World War I, the Arabs of the Middle East and North Africa have been given independent states in 99.5 percent of the land they claimed. Lord Balfour once expressed his hope that when the Arabs had been given so much, they would “not begrudge” the Jews the “little notch” promised to them.

[Note: Some of the material cited above is drawn from the book From Time Immemorial by Joan Peters.]

ISIS GENOCIDE – Supreme Knight Carl Anderson

A year ago we declared ISIS genocidal. Why are its victims still waiting for aid?

Time is running out to preserve these historic communities.

March 21

Carl Anderson is CEO of the Knights of Columbus and a New York Times bestselling author.

On March 17, 2016, then-Secretary of State John F. Kerry announced to the world that the Islamic State was committing genocide against Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East. It was an important statement, because it was only the second time our government had declared genocide in an ongoing situation — the first was Darfur, where some estimate that more than 300,000 people have been killed to date.

Congress, too, spoke, with the House passing a resolution  March 14 that the Islamic State was committing genocide against religious and ethnic minorities, including Christians and Yazidis, by a vote of 393 to 0. The Senate unanimously followed suit later last year.

The Rev. Douglas Bazi, then stationed in Irbil in Kurdistan, ran a refugee center there for Christians displaced from the Nineveh Plain. He knew well the kidnapping, torture and confiscation they had endured because he himself had been captured and tortured in Baghdad in 2009 by a different group of extremists. Sitting with me in the gallery of Congress as the bipartisan genocide resolution passed, he said using the right vocabulary was the “first right step.” But, he added, it needed to be followed up with the right action.

One year after our country used the right word, he and the other Iraqi Christians are still waiting for the next step: meaningful action.

Despite the genocide designation, our government spent the rest of 2016 operating on a business-as-usual basis. The largest displaced Christian community in Iraq — in Irbil — received no U.S. government or U.N. aid before the genocide designation. And they have received none since.

On a visit to Iraq last spring, one of our executives spoke to Yazidis who said they had been similarly overlooked.

Both the U.N. and the senior U.S. government officials there told our representative that this was the case because they prioritized individual needs, not group needs. When pressed, they admitted that they did not take into account the needs of communities — even if they had suffered genocide. This means that, when being considered for aid or resettlement, those who are the targets of genocide do not have their status as communities marked for extermination taken into account.

Unfortunately, ignoring the identity of these targeted groups plays into the hands of genocidal regimes. Such an attitude could well be a death sentence for these minority communities. What the Islamic State couldn’t accomplish, misguided aid policies just might: eliminating entire ethnic and religious minority groups from their historic homes.

The region’s Christians seem to be reaching a tipping point. Estimates vary, but the Christian population of Iraq has fallen from more than 1 million to less than 250,000 in recent years due in large part to the onslaught of the Islamic State. Syria’s Christian population has fallen precipitously as well. For these historic religious communities, extinction is a real possibility.

Dating back to World War I, the United States has rightly extended a helping hand to threatened groups. Armenian and other Middle Eastern Christians targeted by the Ottoman Empire received tens of millions of dollars in humanitarian aid from the U.S. government and the American people, and Jewish survivors of the Holocaust received priority in resettlement. More recently, America has helped survivors of the Darfur genocide in the aftermath of their ordeal. The U.S. government has put more than $7 billion into Sudan since 2003, and USAID alone has provided more than $2.7 billion in humanitarian assistance for Darfur in that time frame, according to the organization Genocide Watch.

But in Iraq, many genocide survivors are still waiting for help. The tens of thousands of displaced Christians in Irbil, and Yazidis that Christians are caring for there, have received no U.S. government assistance — despite being direct targets of the Islamic State’s genocide.

Allowing these current genocide survivors to suffer for the past two years has been a gross injustice and a blight on America’s foreign policy record. Overlooking these people after a declaration of genocide is unconscionable, and in fact, it is de facto discrimination against the Islamic State’s most vulnerable victims.

Since the 2016 election, Iraqi Christian leaders have reported that they perceive a new openness to helping them among American officials. This is commendable. Now openness should become concrete action.

Just less than a year ago,  then-presidential candidate Donald Trump said: “We left Christians subject to intense persecution and even genocide.” He added: “We have done nothing to help the Christians in the Middle East. Nothing. And we should always be ashamed for that lack of action.” He was right that our country should be ashamed of how little it has done. And while his administration inherited this problem, now it is in a position to fix it. The Trump administration should right the wrongs these shattered communities have endured through our country’s inaction by immediately taking three helpful steps.

First, ensure that no community that suffered genocide is overlooked by — or excluded from — U.S. government aid programs. At a minimum, we should do here what we did for Darfur through USAID. Second, the United States must demand that the United Nations also assist all communities that suffer genocide by including them in humanitarian and reconstruction aid. And finally, we should continue to work with the international community to defeat the Islamic State and bring the perpetrators of this genocide to justice.

Congress should also act by swiftly passing H.R. 390 — the Iraq and Syria Genocide Emergency Relief and Accountability Act — co-sponsored by Reps. Christopher H. Smith  (R-N.J.) and Anna G. Eshoo (D-Calif.). This bill would help ensure that much-needed aid reaches these decimated communities. Under this legislation, the U.S. government would be required to direct some aid to entities specifically assisting displaced people from communities of religious and ethnic minorities targeted for genocide.

The new administration should begin to right this wrong and chart a different course. It can quickly end this de facto discrimination, and in so doing,  help save ancient ethnic and religious communities that otherwise could cease to exist.

Aussie Teacher Quits – BEHEADING THREATS BY MUSLIM STUDENTS

Australian Teacher Quits After Islamic Students Threaten to Behead Her
heatst.com

Teachers at a primary school in Sydney, Australia have been threatened with beheading and other violence from young Islamic students, prompting one of them to quit her job.

One female teacher reportedly quit her job after it got too much for her. She claims she quit after receiving death threats to her family from her year 5 and 6 students, with some saying they would behead her.

The teacher also said she made numerous complaints back in 2014 about the extraordinary behavior in the class. For example, she said, she was abused by students after she stopped them from hanging a Syrian flag in the classroom.

In another example, she claimed she was pushed into a corner by students who began marching around her chanting the Koran.

The bullying wasn’t restricted to teachers. The woman also reported an incident where children bullied other students by saying that someone had “betrayed his religion” by “not going to Muslim scripture”. In another incident, she said a “group of boys had stood around a girl and called her horrible names like dog”.

The region’s education department didn’t deny any teachers received a compensation. However, they insisted they weren’t aware of any instances of religious-related violence at the school.

“All NSW schools must immediately report all concerns of anti-social and extremist behavior in NSW schools to a dedicated hotline,” a spokesman said.

“The Department of Education continues to work closely with law enforcement agencies on such matters. To maintain effective operations and protect the privacy of students, the department will not identify schools participating in these programs.”

EU TOP COURT EMPOWERS BUSINESS TO RESTRICT ISLAMIC DRESS

www.telegraph.co.uk
Employers can bar staff from wearing visible religious symbols such as the burka, the European Union’s top court has ruled.

Ironic use of a flag symbolic of women’s liberation

The ruling came in its first decision on the issue of women wearing Islamic headscarves at work.

On the eve of a Dutch election in which Muslim immigration has been a key issue and a bellwether for attitudes to migration and refugee policies across Europe, the Court of Justice (ECJ) gave a joined judgment in the cases of two women, in France and Belgium, who were dismissed for refusing to remove headscarves.

The judgement was handed down by the European Court of Justice Credit: Geoff Pugh for The Telegraph
“An internal rule of an undertaking which prohibits the visible wearing of any political, philosophical or religious sign does not constitute direct discrimination,” the Court said in a statement.

“However, in the absence of such a rule, the willingness of an employer to take account of the wishes of a customer no longer to have the employer’s services provided by a worker wearing an Islamic headscarf cannot be considered an occupational requirement that could rule out discrimination.”

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