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FAA Empowers Hamas, Sets Stage for Israel’s Long Term Win

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

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A loser in the PR battle, Hamas decided to move their international offense to a new front today. Taking advantage of the Malaysian airliner downed by pro-Russian rebels, Hamas is now targeting air traffic entering Israel. Israel National News reports:

A rocket hit a home in the city of Yehud, near the airport, on Tuesday morning. Having failed to cause significant casualties due to Israel’s extensive defense systems, Gaza terrorists have focused rocket fire on the area in hopes of disrupting Israeli air travel.

Delta Air Lines was the first to suspend service, rerouting an Israel-bound flight with 273 passengers and 17 crew members to Paris, as if France is really a safer place for Israel lovers right now. Not long after, the Federal Aviation Administration barred flights to Israel for 24 hours. Air Canada, Lufthansa, Air France, KLM and Turkish Air followed suit. The State Department (whose official tweeted #UnitedforGaza this past weekend) rushed to clarify that the FAA’s move was “in no way politically motivated”.

Israel’s Transportation Minister released the following statement in response to the flight cancellations, rightly observing:

“Ben Gurion Airport is safe — takeoffs and landings — and there is absolutely no need to be concerned about the security of planes and passengers. There’s absolutely no reason why American airlines in particular should stop their flights and thus hand a prize to terrorism.”

The brash action of Hamas may have larger ramifications than even they realize. Analysts are already commenting on the long term impact of the airline safety concerns:

The implications are enormous. Whether intended or not, Hamas has made the case as to why its rocket arsenal and infrastructure must be dismantled no matter the cost. It also has justified why Israel cannot give up security control of Judea and Samaria (the “West Bank”). Hamas has to fire a long way to scare away air traffic, but from the West Bank it’s practically a stone’s throw.

Regardless of how Israel chooses to handle the West Bank, the actions taken by Hamas today have made two things very clear: Hamas has no problem holding America and the rest of the world hostage, and right now Israel is the free world’s last, best and only hope.

 

 

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Religious Leaders Beg Obama to Force Them to Hire LGBT, Then Celebrate His Commandment

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014 - by Scott Ott

This morning’s email bag included a news release with quotes from officers at Union Theological Seminary and Auburn Theological Seminary, in celebration of President Obama’s executive order effectively requiring religious organizations with government contracts over $10,000 to hire homosexuals.

Religious leaders across the country declared victory today as the president honored their request to leave out a religious exemption in an executive order banning LGBT discrimination by federal contractors.

This follows a “grassroots campaign” to gather signatures begging the president to force them to hire homosexuals — or in politically-correct parlance, to prohibit federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. In exultant language, the news release goes on…

Present at today’s signing ceremony was Rev. Fred Davie, Executive Vice President of Union Theological Seminary and a member of the LGBT community. “Today at the White House I witnessed the arc of history bend toward justice,” said Davie. “This is a tremendous victory for those of us who believe that as people of faith we should be exemplary, not exempted. Leaving out a religious exemption is simply the right thing to do, both theologically and civically. It is my obligation, and desire, as a Christian and a member of human community to love my neighbor and it is my obligation as a citizen to treat all my fellow citizens equally, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.”

It’s a peculiar locution — “leaving out a religious exemption” — akin to “leaving out the leaving out.” The authors of the press release preferred double negative to a plain assertion, like: “the president commanded faith-based organizations to violate the tenets of their faith if they want to serve as a federal contractors.”

But why all of this unseemly lobbying?

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How Israel is Winning the PR Battle Against Hamas

Monday, July 21st, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

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Moral equivalence is dead. When Bill Clinton, the “international community”-blessed architect of Oslo, can blatantly declare

In the short and medium term Hamas can inflict terrible public relations damage by forcing (Israel) to kill Palestinian civilians to counter Hamas. But it’s a crass strategy that takes all of our eyes off the real objective which is a peace that gets Israel security and recognition and a peace that gets the Palestinians their state.

it is obvious that Hamas has finally shot themselves in the foot with the terrorists’ ideological weapon of choice. So, why do news agencies insist on reporting nothing more than body counts in evening news reports, as if the latest conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians is nothing more than a sports game?

Clinton may be a pervert, but he isn’t stupid. He acknowledged the “public relations” battle because he knows that the press follows the cues given by Hamas, the terrorist organization that holds reporters in Gaza against their will. Unless they have the intellect of toddlers, these reporters cannot be blind to the brainwashing from birth that turns children into human shields. Nor can they be so totally blind to the rocket launchers hiding behind schools and mosques in residential neighborhoods. Yet, the best they can muster is a body count followed by sarcastic commentary like that of CNN’s Ben Wedeman: “There is no Iron Dome in Gaza to protect civilians.” Amazing. Toddler Ben gets a gold star for that stellar observation.

As my PJMedia colleague Ron Radosh so excellently pointed out, the intellectuals also have no problem fettering mainstream media with arguments of moral equivalence. All they need is the right costume and a little bathtub gin and they could easily chatter the night away as if they were on the porch of Gatsby’s mansion. That is how comfortable they are turning an international war against Islamic terrorism into the banal “one person’s terrorist is another person’s freedom fighter” claim. Like America’s “restless” President, these politicos prefer the comforts of today’s Weimar. No doubt they are taking fiddling lessons so they can be fully prepared when Rome begins to burn.

There is a reality on the ground that escapes the Hamas-controlled media: Israel loves life. Israel’s policy is to warn Palestinian civilians (or, as Hamas calls them, weapons in Operation Human Shield) to get out of the way before they drop bombs or conduct ground invasions. Israel sets up field hospitals to treat wounded Gazans. We know about these things because, much to the chagrin of the death-loving Hamas, they cannot control the Internet. Just as Israelis are winning the ground offensive, Israel-supporters are winning the ideological offensive through alternative news sources and, most importantly, social media.

This past Saturday, 200 anti-Israel protesters fell to the ground in Boston in a “die-in” meant to demonstrate the number of Palestinians who have been killed thus far in Operation Protective Edge. A number of Israel supporters attended the event and were cornered by the anti-Israel crowd. One Zionist, Chloe Valdary told the Times of Israel:

We really do manage to disrupt them and distract them when we show up. We show up and it’s in the media, so the public sees how hate-filled and incredibly deluded these Hamas supporters are.

We’ve caught onto the PR game and we play to win. Now it is our turn to Tweet with a smile and watch as the death-obsessed Hamas-brainwashed fools fall and take their wretched canard of moral equivalency down with them.

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There is No Such Thing as “Black Female Culture”

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

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Last week Sierra Mannie, a liberal arts major at The University of Mississippi, nervously stepped up to the mic on CNN to explain the angry op-ed she wrote for her student newspaper that wound up getting published in Time magazine. Entitled “Dear White Gays: Stop Stealing Black Female Culture“, Mannie’s fury turned her thinly-veiled export of classroom-based critical theory into a hot-button pop culture issue. Written in typical college-quality prose, the rage-fueled piece that begins with the line “I need some of you to cut it the hell out,” is unremarkable except for the fact that the author attempts to name a non-existent entity known as “black female culture.”

“There is no such thing as black female culture,” artist April Bey explains. What Mannie was actually referring to, according to Bey, is “ghetto culture,” a destructive ideology that has been appropriated by celebrities and is the subject of pop culture idolization.

According to The Urban Countercultureghetto culture is:

Characterized by escapism and materialism, this culture calls irresponsibility freedom, glorifies crime, violence, and hypersexuality, defies all authority, and acts as a coping mechanism for those who feel rejected by mainstream society and economy.

Ghetto culture doesn’t require an address in the ghetto, nor does it appeal solely to blacks:

…you clearly don’t have to live in the ghetto to ‘be’ ghetto; thanks to the entertainment industry, the gospel of the ghetto has been spread far and wide, promising fleshy satisfaction to all who would exchange civility for vulgarity and rebellion, and who will live for today instead of planning for tomorrow.

Most disturbingly, especially in light of Mannie’s rant, is the way ghetto culture treats women:

Because  prostitution is one major aspect of the criminal economy of inner cities, the relative degradation and abuse of women is a part of the culture that members of every walk of life can participate in.

Perhaps that is why Beyonce, cited within the article and pictured by Time, is used to bespeak the “black female culture” Mannie claims to defend. As Bey illustrated in her most recent exhibit #WhoDoYouWorship, Beyonce, often a subject of feminism’s own racial double standard, exemplifies ghetto culture’s “black female culture” disinformation campaign.

This is how ghetto culture’s “black female culture” disinformation campaign works:

Seed of Truth: Ghetto culture sexually objectifies black women.

Pack of Lies:  As Mannie’s argument illustrates, it is acceptable for black women and their audience to embrace and celebrate this objectification. They may even feel free to legitimize the abuse through the use of the term “black female culture”.

The Ultimate Goal is the glasnost (a strategy of glorification): The glorification of the ghetto culture’s “Ideal Black Woman”. The purveyors of ghetto culture market “black female culture” via the glorification of the Beyonce, the “Ideal Black Woman”. Hence Mannie took such offense at “outsiders” mocking the glorified identity.

When Mannie hammers away at the idea that “black people can’t have anything” therefore they need to hold tightly to “black female culture” she ends up defending the ghetto culture that hides its abuse and subjugation of black women behind a shield of Beyonces. In “breathing fire behind ugly stereotypes” spouted in college classrooms, Mannie became another Beyonce-worshipper. The most her article did was illustrate the fact that many American universities have become propaganda outlets for ghetto culture’s disinformation campaign against black women. The only reason this college student was published in Time magazine is because she obviously excels at being duped.

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Obama at Iftar: ‘We Welcome That Debate’ on ‘Heart-Wrenching’ Images from Gaza, Israel

Monday, July 14th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

President Obama told guests at the White House’s annual Iftar dinner tonight that “further escalation” in the Middle East “benefits no one, least of all the Israeli and the Palestinian people.”

Faced with criticism from some Arab and Muslim activists who think he has been too friendly toward the Israeli side, Obama addressed the conflict near the end of his comments, which largely honored “the traditions of one of the world’s great faiths.”

“For all of us, whatever our faiths, Ramadan is a reminder of just how much we share. The values of peace and charity, the importance of family and community — these are universal values. The command to love one another, to uphold justice, and to care for the least among us — these are common threads in our faith traditions,” Obama said.

“…In Islam, there is a hadith that says God helps the servant as long as the servant helps his brother.  In other words, we’re summoned to serve and lift up one another, and that’s the lesson of several of our guests here tonight.”

Guests included Muslim Reps. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) and Andre Carson (D-Ind.), as well as Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Mich.). Ambassadors from Arab and Muslim-majority countries were also invited.

“The pictures we are seeing in Gaza and Israel are heart-wrenching. People here in the United States care deeply about what’s happening there, and I know there are strong views, as well as differences, about how we should move forward, which is part of American democracy. We welcome that debate. That makes us stronger,” Obama said.

“Our goal has been and continues to be peace and security for both Israelis and Palestinians. And I will say very clearly, no country can accept rocket fired indiscriminately at citizens. And so, we’ve been very clear that Israel has the right to defend itself against what I consider to be inexcusable attacks from Hamas,” he continued. “At the same time, on top of the humanitarian crisis in Gaza that we’ve worked long and hard to alleviate, the death and injury of Palestinian civilians is a tragedy, which is why we’ve emphasized the need to protect civilians, regardless of who they are or where they live.”

Obama promised “to continue doing everything we can to facilitate a return to the 2012 cease-fire.”

“We are encouraged that Egypt has made a proposal to accomplish this goal, which we hope can restore the calm that we’ve been seeking. More broadly, however, the situation in Gaza reminds us again that the status quo is unsustainable and that the only path to true security is a just and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians, where differences are resolved peacefully and in ways that respect the dignity of all people,” he said.

Obama has tried to forge a Mideast peace deal in his second term but the process fell apart when Fatah and Hamas negotiated a unity government. Hamas is on the U.S. foreign terrorist organization list.

“Here at home, even as we’re vigilant in ensuring our security, we have to continue to remain true to our highest ideals. In the United States of America, there is no place for false divisions between races and religions,” the president said. “We are all Americans, equal in rights and dignity, and no one should ever be targeted or disparaged because of their faith.  And that, too, is what makes us stronger.”

 

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BREAKING: Reports Indicate Israel Agrees to Ceasefire

Monday, July 14th, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

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After an unprecedented day of attacks from 4 fronts, Sinai, Lebanon, Syria and Gaza, reports indicate that the Israeli government has agreed to an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire.

The Jewish Week reports:

Israeli media is now reporting that Israel has agreed to an Egyptian draft ceasefire proposal. Hamas has not yet replied, but there are hints it may agree.

According to the proposal: There were would be de-escalation of the fighting beginning at 9 a.m. Israel time that would last for 12 hours. That would be followed by a ceasefire for 48 hours. Then delegations from Israel and Hamas would travel to Cairo for peace talks.

Israel has not rejected it, according to the media reports, because this war is seen as an achievement for Israel because it will have ended without Israel suffering any serious damage.

If Hamas were to reject it, Israel then would have international legitimacy to widen the war, according to analysts quoted in the Israeli press.

Early analysis published at the Times of Israel indicates that a deal is unfavorable to Hamas:

…there is some language providing for the opening of the border crossings, and an  easing of movement of people and goods via those crossings as permitted by the  security situation. But that language is almost a direct repetition of the  November 2012 ceasefire terms that brought Operation Pillar of Defense to a  close. Time and again, Hamas’s leaders have been stressing in recent days that “there will be no return to the 2012 ceasefire terms.”

However, Israel’s willingness to accept the ceasefire pins the terrorist organization into a tight corner in the international scene:

Hamas’s problem is that if it rejects the Egyptian proposal it will find itself  unprecedentedly isolated in the international community and the Arab world.  Cairo will accuse it of torpedoing the opportunity for calm, and Jerusalem  will have the legitimacy to mount a ground offensive into Gaza.

…And what of the Netanyahu government? It would seem that most members of the  security cabinet recognize that the Egyptian proposal represents a fair  achievement for Israel, and a significant failure for Hamas.

Will Israel only be pushing off the inevitable, or worse in seeking to negotiate with Hamas? Or is this merely a move by Netanyahu’s government to increase international support for a full-fledged military operation? With an unwilling partner in the White House, and an unlikely negotiating partner in Egypt, only time – or terrorists – will tell.

Update: 6 hours into the unilateral ceasefire, during which time Hamas fired 50 rockets into Israel, Israel has resumed strikes on Gaza. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has condemned Hamas for not accepting the ceasefire. Has Bibi called Hamas’ bluff?

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Muslims Call for Boycott of White House Iftar Over ‘Endorsement’ of ‘Israel’s Current Massacre’

Monday, July 14th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee encouraged Muslims to boycott tonight’s Iftar dinner at the White House in celebration of Ramadan, citing the administration’s support for Israel.

The dinner is scheduled in the State Dining Room for 8:55 p.m., after the sun goes down to break the daily fast in accordance with Islamic law. Ramadan ends July 28.

In a statement, the committee aid the “deplorable situation” in Gaza, “brought on by Israel’s U.S.-sanctioned illegal occupation of Palestine, has received no direct action from President Obama.”

“The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) will not be attending this year’s government iftars and calls upon members of the Arab and Muslim communities to join us in the boycott, including tonight’s White House Iftar hosted by President Barack Obama, given the government’s condoning of the current slaughter of Palestinians in Palestine and the spying of American Arabs and Muslims domestically,” the group said in a statement.

“In the government’s silence, Israel is committing a massacre in Palestine with the possibility of an all-out ground assault. Our American tax dollars have contributed to over 100 civilian casualties as of Monday morning, of which 70% are estimated by the United Nations to be women and children,” continued the statement.

The ADC cited recent reporting from Glenn Greenwald that revealed “the government’s indiscriminate and ongoing criminalization of the community” through NSA spying on some Arab and Muslim community leaders.

“Political engagement is important and having a seat at the table is crucial — but only when that seat is intended to amplify our voice as a community, not tokenize or subdue it… In lieu of this year’s government iftars, ADC asks that senior officials take immediate steps to end Israel’s current military operation in Palestine and abolish the problematic practices of the NSA regarding the illegal surveillance of our community,” said the ADC.

“If President Obama and the U.S. government truly seek to empower and connect with the Arab and Muslim communities, they must provide a forum for such dialogue to take place. While our request for a meeting with Secretary of State John F. Kerry continues to be ignored, we ask that senior officials meet with the community to discuss these important issues. Government iftars, such as the White House Iftar, are highly politicized events that will be taking place in the shadow of the government’s lack of representation of the community, and will provide no room for this productive dialogue.”

Asked about the boycott at the White House, press secretary Josh Earnest said the purpose of the Iftar dinner “is to observe a religious tradition that Muslims all around the globe are observing at this time of Ramadan.”

“It also is an opportunity for the president and other senior administration officials to pay tribute to the important role that Muslim Americans play in American communities all across the country,” he said. “There are immigrants to this country from a variety of regions of the world who are Muslim, and it is important for every American to understand that they are critical to the success of our country and inter-woven into the basic fabric that makes United States of America such a unique place to live.”

“We certainly respect the differences that some people may have on this — on these matters, but we would not want that to overshadow the efforts of the president and other senior administration officials to pay tribute to the contribution that so many American Muslims play in their communities.”

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Pro-Palestinian Rioters Corner Jews in Paris Synagogues

Sunday, July 13th, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

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The Times of Israel reports:

Several thousand demonstrators walked calmly through the streets of Paris behind a large banner that read “Total Support for the Struggle of the Palestinian People”.

But clashes erupted at the end of the march on Bastille Square, with people throwing projectiles onto a cordon of police who responded with tear gas. The unrest was continuing early Sunday evening.

Media reports said that hundreds of Jews were trapped inside a synagogue in the area and police units were sent to rescue them.

A person in the synagogue told Israel’s Channel 2 news that protesters hurled stones and bricks at the building, “like it was an intifada.”

The event comes after a firebomb was hurled at a synagogue in the suburbs of Paris this past Friday night. Despite it being Shabbat, there were no injuries and only minor damage occurred. 

On July 8, the day Israel launched Operation Protective Edge, a teenage girl in Paris was physically assaulted by a man with a “Middle Eastern appearance” who pepper sprayed her while shouting, “Dirty Jewess, inshallah you will die.”

France, home to one of the largest Jewish populations in Europe, is second only to Russia in terms of Jewish immigration to Israel. According to Israeli politician and former Soviet political prisoner Natan Sharansky, “Something historic is happening. It may be the beginning of the end of European Jewry.”

According to Israel’s Channel 2 news, Anne Hidalgo, the mayor of Paris, has confirmed that anti-Israel rioters attempted to enter two synagogues in central Paris. The rioters were stopped by French police.

Instagram user Jean-Baptiste Soufron posted a video from the Synagogue de la Roquette where pro-Palestinian activists were in the midst of a standoff with French police. One French Instagram user commented, “A shame for France ….far from the land of my childhood.” Another wrote, “The French media are responsible for inciting strong hatred and misinformation.”

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Americans Also Targets in Hamas Attacks

Sunday, July 13th, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

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The above news clip represents what the average American hears on a daily basis regarding Operation Protective Edge, the latest military spate in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that has been going on (officially) since 1948. In the span of the 2 minute report, the Palestinian civilian casualties in Gaza were mentioned 3 times. What was not mentioned: These civilians have been instructed by their Hamas government to ignore the flyers and phone calls from the Israeli Defense Forces warning citizens to get out of the way of impending rocket attacks in their areas.

While an Israeli mother putting her baby to sleep in a bomb shelter is included in the report, what the reporter didn’t bother to tell you are the number of Israelis currently being hospitalized for shock. Nor did the report include the fact that this is just another day for the residents of Sderot, who’ve received a constant barrage of rockets since Israel relinquished Gaza back to the Palestinians in 2005. That’s nearly a decade of rocket fire, making the generation who grew up under these attacks old enough to train incoming school students in how not to suffer the inevitable PTSD associated with a lifetime of death threats flying through the air and landing in your back yard.

American audiences hear none of this because the majority of American and world media have fallen prey to Hamas’s most powerful ongoing terrorist operation: A disinformation and glasnost campaign designed to destroy western support for Israel through a constant barrage of media bias.

Here is how the disinformation and glasnost campaign has been executed in response to Operation Protective Edge :

Seed of Truth: Palestinian civilians are being killed by Israeli rocket fire in Gaza.

Pack of Lies: Israelis are safely protected in bomb shelters under the Iron Dome while their military targets innocent civilians in the impoverished Gaza Strip.

Ultimate Goal: Encourage American and worldwide support for the Hamas campaign to wipe Israel off the map and eliminate all evidence of the Zionist entity, including the Jewish people and their supporters, from the face of the earth.

The glasnost element is the most perverse. Hamas plays on the western disbelief in the idea of martyrs, portraying these women and children as “innocent civilian victims” of Israeli aggression. When speaking to the non-Western media, these dead are referred to in a term most recently used by Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas, “the Gazan martyrs.” Glasnost is the term for glorifying the leader’s image abroad. In this case, Hamas is using the bodies of women and children to shield their missiles in life and glorify their reputations in death.

Some news agencies and opinion sites are catching onto this disinformation campaign, willing to call it “media bias against Israel.” This is more than media bias. This is a calculated effort on the part of Hamas to sway world opinion against the only nation willing to confront and fight against Islamic terror. Therefore, whether the mainstream media is a willing partner in this endeavor makes no matter. The bottom line is, the media is marketing this disinformation to audiences in America and worldwide that are watching blind, with no Iron Dome to protect them.

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Democrat Tells Religious Americans: You Must Choose Between Your Faith or Your Business

Friday, July 11th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Progressive Democrat Sen. Chuck Schumer (NY) admitted Thursday that he doesn’t even know what Hobby Lobby sells. He tacitly admits that he doesn’t care that it is a family-owned business.

Nevertheless, in announcing that the Democrats will pursue legislation to overthrow the Supreme Court’s decision of last week, Schumer explicitly ordered Americans to choose between our livelihoods and our religious beliefs.

“Think of the difference,” Schumer says. “You’re born with a religion or you adopt a religion. You have to obey the precepts of that religion, and the government gives you a wide penumbra. You don’t have to form a corporation.”

Our rights, according to America’s founding documents, don’t come from government, are inalienable, and come from God.

“We wouldn’t tell the owners of Hobby Lobby,” he continued, “to convert to a different religion or disobey their religion. But we don’t say that they have to open up a company. And go sell toys, or hobby kits. We don’t have any of them in New York, so I don’t know exactly what they sell.”

His audience chuckled at that.

“But the court took the protection (for individuals, per Schumer’s reckoning) and misapplied it.”

Schumer gets the Obamacare abortifacient mandate wrong, intentionally. It does tell people who object to abortifacients to disobey their religion. It tells the Little Sisters of the Poor to disobey their religion. It tells Catholic business owners to disobey their religion.

In Schumer’s way of thinking, the solution for religious people is obvious: If you don’t want to disobey your religion, refrain from starting a business in America. At all. Ever.

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Dems Introduce Bicameral Legislation to Counter Hobby Lobby Ruling

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

Democrats in both chambers today introduced legislation they say would counter the effects on contraceptive coverage from the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby ruling.

Sponsors say the Protect Women’s Health From Corporate Interference Act would “restore the original legal guarantee that women have access to contraceptive coverage through their employment-based insurance plans and will protect coverage of other health services from employer interference as well.”

The bill states that coverage is guaranteed by federal law through the Affordable Care Act, and states that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act does not permit employers to refuse to comply with the Obamacare requirement.

It would ban employers from refusing to provide any facet of healthcare coverage “guaranteed to their employees and dependents under federal law.”

It includes the administration’s accommodation compromise for religious nonprofits and house of worship, which is separately being challenged in court.

The Senate version was introduced by Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Mark Udall (D-Colo.). A companion bill was introduced in the House by Reps. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.), Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), and Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.).

“After five justices decided last week that an employer’s personal views can interfere with women’s access to essential health services, we in Congress need to act quickly to right this wrong,” said Murray. “This bicameral legislation will ensure that no CEO or corporation can come between people and their guaranteed access to health care, period. I hope Republicans will join us to revoke this court-issued license to discriminate and return the right of Americans to make their own decisions, about their own health care and their own bodies.”

Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, praised the bill as congressional action  “to fix the damage done by the Supreme Court’s decision.”

“The Supreme Court last week opened the door to a wide range of discrimination and denial of services. This bill would help close the door for denying contraception before more corporations can walk through it,” she said.

Vulnerable Democrats co-sponsoring the bill in the upper chamber include Sens. Mark Begich (D-Alaska), Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) and John Walsh (D-Mont.).

However, Sens. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.) are not original co-sponsors.

Begich stood with Murray and Udall at today’s press conference as the bill was introduced.

“Last week’s Supreme Court decision on the Hobby Lobby case was startling news for Alaska women, who don’t want their boss preventing access to birth control. Not only does this impact a woman’s personal healthcare choices, but this is an economic issue for Alaska families,” said Begich. “Because of the Hobby Lobby case, more than 60,000 Alaska women could be denied access to birth control and reproductive care.  This bill will make sure that these types of health care decisions stay between a woman and her doctor – not her boss.”

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Obama Administration Threatens Israel Under Fire

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

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What do you do when you’ve got some time to kill in an Israeli bomb shelter? Start a spirited sing along, of course. If you’re a guest in the Dan Hotel in Jerusalem, your song of choice is Oseh Shalom, (A Prayer for Peace): “He who makes peace in High Places, He will make peace for us and for all Israel and let us say, Amen.”

Meanwhile, at the Ha’aretz peace conference (where right-wing Israeli politicians get punched by pacifist leftists), White House Mideast chief Phillip Gordon delineated a series of thinly-veiled threats, so thinly veiled, in fact, that he had to actually include the following phrase in his speech:

Let me be absolutely clear that these are not threats.

No, in fact, they came off more like a public relations campaign issued from a platform granted by an already hot far-Left crowd that makes no bones about their admiration for a two-state solution. Remove the veil and it is plain to see Gordon’s threat: Israel will  ”…embolden extremists on both sides, tear at Israel’s democratic fabric, and feed mutual dehumanization.”

Embracing an HBO-esque mobster tone, Gordon so politely “advised”:

Reaching a peace agreement with the Palestinians would help turn the tide of international sentiment and sideline violent extremists, further bolstering Israel’s security. We know all too well the troubles that can arise for Israel internationally when there is no movement on the political track, especially when settlement activity continues to make the potential peace map more difficult and to undermine international support for Israel. On this, I should also be clear of the United States’ longstanding position: we consider settlements illegitimate and an impediment to progress on peace negotiations. Settlement announcements would be a counter-productive reaction to the kidnapping and murder of the three Israeli teenagers.

…if we fail to come back to peace talks, renewed efforts to isolate Israel internationally and legitimize Palestinian statehood unilaterally are all but certain. The United States will do all it can to fight boycotts and other delegitimization efforts. But in many of these realms, particularly outside the Security Council, our ability to contain the damage is limited, and becoming more and more challenging. This is what American friends of Israel mean when they express concerns about the potential for Israeli isolation if peace talks do not succeed. Let me be absolutely clear that these are not threats. The United States will always have Israel’s back.

One thing is clear from this peace conference speech: Gordon and the Obama administration have Israel’s back …up against a wall. Ironically, peace conference attendees would later run to bomb shelters for cover as sirens indicated another Hamas rocket was on its way. Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, the same guy Gordon cites as a courageous and reliable peace partner, hasn’t uttered a word to stop his government’s partner from firing in Israel’s direction. Nor has he bothered to reveal that his own Fatah members are joining in the rocket barrage. In fact, the most this “peace partner” can say is, ”it all started when Israel fired back”.

Keep singing in those shelters, Israel. While the American people support you, our administration is failing you. He Who Makes Peace in High Places is our only hope.

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The Real Reason Why Liberals Are Scared of Women with Guns

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

hollyhobbylobby

Between girls hunting big game to feed starving children in Africa to mothers bearing arms and Bibles on social media, America either needs another birth control issue or an exorcist to stop the head spinning of the most illiberal liberals among us.

Conservatives are quick to distinguish a Christian supporter of the Second Amendment (in this case, Holly Hobby Lobby) from a jihadist:

…[this] “dangerous strand of Christian fundamentalism” is so extraordinarily “dangerous” that it has not only failed to engender any “real violence” but it can’t even bring itself to threaten harm?

And we excel at drawing attention to the moral ineptitude of the pro-abortion community’s outrage at the site of tranquilized or hunted game:

Many of the liberal blogs having a meltdown over Kendall Jones are the same ones that spent a week hailing Emily Letts, who filmed her own abortion. ‘What kind of monster smiles after killing something?’ they say about the woman posing with a tranquilized rhino, but not about the woman giggling while an abortionist executes her baby.

But what we fail to clearly answer is why independent women pose such an inherent threat to the Left. After all, isn’t this the group whose messiah bows to Valerie Jarrett, goddess-in-chief?

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Obama’s Secret Directive Supporting Global Islamism

Monday, July 7th, 2014 - by Raymond Ibrahim

recent Gulf News report sheds some light on how and why the United States helped bring the Muslim Brotherhood and its Islamist allies to power, followed by all the subsequent chaos and atrocities in the Mideast region.

Large portions of the report follow with my commentary interspersed for added context:

Dubai: For the past decade, two successive US administrations have maintained close ties to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Tunisia, Syria and Libya, to name just the most prominent cases.

The Obama administration conducted an assessment of the Muslim Brotherhood in 2010 and 2011, beginning even before the events known as the “Arab Spring” erupted in Tunisia and in Egypt. The President personally issued Presidential Study Directive 11 (PSD-11) in 2010, ordering an assessment of the Muslim Brotherhood and other “political Islamist” movements, including the ruling AKP in Turkey, ultimately concluding that the United States should shift from its longstanding policy of supporting “stability” in the Middle East and North Africa (that is, support for “stable regimes” even if they were authoritarian), to a policy of backing “moderate” Islamic political movements (emphasis in bold added throughout).

And we have certainly witnessed this shift.  Chaos and the Islamic ascendancy in the Middle East and North Africa never flourished as under the Obama administration—and precisely because the administration shifted from supporting stability under secular-minded autocrats.

The most significant example of this is how the Obama administration threw Hosni Mubarak—a U.S. ally for three decades—under the bus in order to support the Islamists, most specifically the Muslim Brotherhood.  And we saw how that ended—with another revolution, hailed as the largest revolution in human history, with the average Egyptian accusing Obama of being a terrorist supporter.

To this day, PSD-11 remains classified, in part because it reveals an embarrassingly naïve and uninformed view of trends in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region.

“Embarrassingly naïve and uninformed view” is synonymous with the “orthodox and mainstream view pushed forth by Mideast studies professors and academics,” especially those with political influence, such as the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies of Georgetown University, in Washington D.C.  Such programs, which I’m only too well acquainted with, begin with false—that is, “embarrassingly naïve and uninformed”—premises, namely: that the source of all the region’s woes are (formerly) U.S.-propped autocrats (reality is that dictators don’t create such societies but rather are the natural outcome of Islamic societies and are the ones most prone to keeping law and order—compare Iraq under Saddam and Iraq now, as a “democracy,” with “ISIS” proclaiming a caliphate).

Mideast academics have also long spearheaded the idea that there are “moderate” Islamists and “radical” Islamists, and that the U.S. should work with the former (in reality they are all radical—to be an Islamist is to be radical—the only difference is that the “moderate” Islamists don’t wear their radicalism on their sleeves, even as they work toward the same goals that the more open “radicals” work for, namely, a Sharia-enforcing caliphate)… Keep reading

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July 4, 2014: Salon Crowns Obama Our Messiah

Sunday, July 6th, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

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In a long-winded, rambling essay (as its long-winded, rambling title indicates), Jim Sleeper used Salon to perform one of the most out-in-the-open disinformation and glasnost operations yet seen in the pages of the liberal press.

On the face of it, Sleeper’s complaint comes off as yet another intellectual bemoaning of the state of American culture dressed up for a hot night out in multi-syllabic tones, much akin to Julia Roberts’s whore of  a character in Pretty Woman. I’ll be the first to bemoan our declining literacy rate among adults, but really, Jim?

Our cure would also require reweaving a fabric of public candor and comity strong enough to resist the rise of ressentiment, a public psychopathology, once associated with the rise of fascism, in which insecurities, envy and hatreds that many have been nursing in private converge in scary public eruptions that diminish their participants even in seeming to make them big.

Working that hard to tart up your prose can blow even the best Mata Hari’s cover. And so it did, as I quickly sniffed out the disinformation in the works. Sleeper’s intense obsession with the politically correct “white boys with guns” myth, that has been carved into the shiv meant to take down the Second Amendment, acted as the sole defense of his thesis: We have no shared culture and it’s driving our young boys mad! A lack of shared culture is the grain of truth, blaming the guns is the disinformation that suits the bill.

Sleeper’s solution? Glasnost, of course: Obama as Messiah has come to save the day, embodying the best of shared American culture of years’ past only, somehow, in his mystical way, making it even better:

In 2008, Barack Obama seemed to incarnate so brilliantly the promise of weaving our diversity into a new republican discipline — he even invoked Puritan and biblical wellsprings in some of his speeches — that many people ’round the world considered him a prophet who would satisfy their hunger for new narratives. Probably no national political leader ever can do that.

Bow in praise of the political leader incarnate! A prophet! Our  promised Savior! That is the glasnost: not an “openness to the West” but opening to the best of the West in order to use it to glorify the leader. It should come as no surprise that two days after learning that Americans believe Obama to be the worst president since World War II, Jim Sleeper is running a glasnost campaign over at Salon for his Messiah-in-Chief.

That is how disinformation and glasnost work. These are no longer foreign nor ancient terms. These are 21st century strategies for political conquest. In his essay, Sleeper was also quick to criticize the “invisible hand of God” cited by America’s founders. He would have to, considering that invisible hand carried within its Divine reach the implication of human independence. And on July 4, Sleeper, so quick to crown his earthly messiah, was keen to have none of that.

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Hobby Lobby, Disinformation and the Real War on Women

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

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Birth control advocates were quick to crow “War on Women” this week when the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby’s ability to deny funding 4 out of 20 forms of birth control for their employees. Opponents have made a tidy disinformation campaign out of debating the merits of RFRA and hanging chad-like definitions of what is and isn’t an acceptable contraceptive. If you can concentrate past the shouting, you’ll see the gaping hole in the conversation regarding women’s health.

For all their wailing and gnashing of teeth, the anti-Hobby Lobby gang has yet to campaign against the right to restrict women to pap smears on a 3-5 year basis. Perhaps that is because pap smears aren’t being restricted by closely-held companies on the basis of religious beliefs, but by the tenets of the Affordable Healthcare Act, which follow government guidelines that have determined women no longer need PAP smears on a yearly basis.

A pap smear is a 5 second gynecological test that screens for pre-cancerous cells and cervical cancer. It also tests for HPV, the most commonly sexually transmitted infection in the United States that can lead to genital warts, and as Michael Douglas will inform you, certain types of cancer in both women and men. Despite following guidelines to the contrary, President Obama cited the importance of pap smears when justifying Planned Parenthood’s $487 million annual grant from the government, claiming the money is meant for “mammograms and cervical cancer screenings.”

With mammograms that aren’t provided for women under 50 (women over 50 qualify once every 2 years) and Pap smears that are only paid for, at a minimum once every 3 years, the real deficit in women’s healthcare has nothing to do with birth control and everything to do with women’s health beyond their supposed immediate and ceaseless need to diffuse all threats of conception. After all, cervical cancer is slower to develop than a baby in the womb.

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz was quick to react to this week’s Supreme Court ruling, saying, “This is deeply troubling, because you have organized religions that oppose health care, period.” If this was an argument about health care, Pap smears and mammograms would be on the table. Wasserman Schultz’s complaint has nothing to do with health care and everything to do with a religious belief that ranks higher than a woman’s right to choose life or death for her unborn child.

Which is potentially why the public remains consumed with the compelling dead horse that is a “woman’s right to choose”. The tension over whether or not Roe v. Wade will ever be repealed is much more engaging than the stark reality of a healthcare system that is willing to let cancer go undetected. Disinformation campaign well played, and not without its irony. Obamacare supporters’ ardent trumpeting of the War on Women should come as no surprise given that they have become the generals in charge of the massacre.

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Video: Is the Jihad Islam’s ‘Reformation’?

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014 - by Raymond Ibrahim

Does Islam need a “Protestant Reformation?” What if the jihad is it?

I recently appeared on Sun News’ Byline with Brian Lilley, discussing my PJ Media article, “Islam’s Protest Reformation” (part 1, part 2)

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Meriam Ibrahim Faces New Charges in Sudan

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

She and her family will not be safe until they are out of Sudan for good.

“There are new charges relating to her relationship to her father,” said the source. “Possibly to prove that she is Muslim, but nothing has been served so it’s unclear.”

Muslim relatives intend to take her to court to prove that she belongs to their family, according to Ibrahim’s supporters. The new charges were filed in a Sudanese family court, with a trial date set for Thursday, according to her attorneys.

Ibrahim’s case first came to the attention of Sudanese authorities back in August, after members of her father’s family complained that she was born a Muslim but married a Christian man. The relatives—including her brother– claimed her birth name was “Afdal” before she changed it to Meriam and produced a document that indicated she was given a Muslim name at birth. Her attorney has alleged the document was a fake.

Ibrahim says her mother was an Ethiopian Christian and her father a Muslim who abandoned the family when she was a child.

“I was never a Muslim,” she told the Sudanese high court during her apostasy trial. “I was raised a Christian from the start.”

Ibrahim’s loving, tolerant Muslim family are using loving, tolerant sharia law to try to kill her. There are claims of a property dispute tied up in all this, but the fact remains that sharia is available as a weapon, and her relatives are using it.

It may take a squad of Marines to get her and her family out of there. If that’s the case, then that’s the case. Get on with it. Her husband, Daniel, is an American citizen.

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Libertarian Party: Hobby Lobby Not That Great a Victory After All

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

The Libertarian Party said that the 5-4 decision at the Supreme Court in favor of Hobby Lobby on the contraceptive mandate isn’t, in the grand scope of Obamacare, really that big of a deal.

“It’s strange that liberals and conservatives are making this ruling out to be a huge deal. All the ruling does is remove a very narrow coverage requirement, in very specific cases; 99.9 percent of Obamacare is upheld,” Libertarian Party Executive Director Wes Benedict said in a statement today. “It’s true that closely held corporate entities should not be forced to pay for this particular contraceptive coverage. But focusing on that narrow issue misses the bigger point: No employer should be forced to provide any health coverage at all.”

“This ruling just draws the line between freedom and regulation arbitrarily. If these employers are free to ignore this particular mandate, why aren’t other employers free to ignore other Obamacare regulations? They should be,” Benedict said. “Obamacare is unjust and unconstitutional from top to bottom. No employer should be forced to provide health coverage to its employees, or penalized by government if it doesn’t.”

“Religion is not the issue. The fact that these employers have religious motives doesn’t matter,” he continued. “Employers have the right to associate freely with their employees, and to come up with any mutually agreeable employment terms, whether their motives are religious, secular, generous, greedy, or whatever.”

“This ruling is a tiny island in a huge sea of Supreme Court rulings that have supported the federal government’s desire to regulate and control.”

Libertarian Party Chair Nicholas Sarwark said removing prescription requirements from birth control pills “would advance liberty by giving easier access to birth control for people who want it without putting their employer in the middle of their personal choices.”

“Government doesn’t make men get prescriptions for condoms, there’s no reason it should make women get prescriptions for birth control pills,” Sarwark said.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has been advocating making the Pill over the counter since 2012, and Colorado Rep. Cory Gardner (R), running against Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) this fall, recently came out in favor of the OTC conversion as well.

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Oh My Goddess: Picture Proof of the Valerie Jarrett Cult

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

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This week, NBC News did a piece on the woman behind the man, White House senior advisor Valerie Jarrett. It was your usual human interest-meets-politics piece that didn’t garner much attention, until a piece of Jarrett’s office kitsch caught the eyes of The Blaze.

On a shelf in Jarrett’s office sits a frame lined with figurines bowing in worship to none other than Obama’s second first lady herself. Of the bizarre display, Jarrett responded via Twitter:

Don’t worry friends, it was a gag gift. Us strong women don’t need worship — just an economy for the 21st century. #WomenSucceed

It was a smart diversion; not believable, but smart. Totally lacking in humility, too, which is the scary thing. It isn’t that “strong women” need worship, she says, but she doesn’t say they — that is, the Royal They of Strong Women — don’t deserve it. The corny goddess cliches of the ’70s would’ve been more entertaining.

In fact, Jarrett’s lack of humor in general adds more than a tinge of discomfort to the entire story.  Perhaps the altar frame wouldn’t be so creepy if Jarrett hadn’t already dropped oddball statements in the press like,

“We have kind of a mind meld,”Jarrett told me about Obama. “And chances are, what he wants to do is what I’d want to do.”

Maybe we’d be willing to laugh along with the gag if so many of her friends weren’t so afraid to chuckle in her presence:

Jarrett’s critics have no dearth of examples. She has been variously described by her critics within the Obama administration as the “Night Stalker,” on account of her general ruthlessness, as well as her tendency to follow the president into the White House residence after hours; “She Who Must Not Be Challenged”; and Obama’s “Rasputin.” Former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, who clashed often with Jarrett, likened her and senior aide Peter Rouse to Saddam Hussein’s maniacal sons, Uday and Qusay.

It’s fairly easy to conclude, then, that there was no “LOL” punctuating her Tweet because, when it comes to her reputation, Jarrett never jokes around. Maybe that’s why a reporter has yet to ask why she needs a picture of herself in her own office. Or, better yet, why a mirror, mirror on the wall apparently won’t do.

****

See also at the PJ Tatler from last week: 30 Books for Defeating Valerie Jarrett’s Cult of Political Criminals

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Confronting Antisemitism Within Our Ranks

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014 - by Walter Hudson

On today’s Fightin Words podcast: An interview with PJ Media author Susan L.M. Goldberg discussing her recent piece “Gary Oldman and the Right’s Latent Antisemitism.” Are there antisemitic attitudes lurking beneath the surface of right-wing politics?

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(17:24 minutes long; 16.77 MB file size. Want to download instead of streaming? Right click here to download this show to your hard drive. Subscribe through iTunes or RSS feed.)

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Administration Urged to Steer Hobby Lobby Into Same Murky Coverage Territory as Nonprofits

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

A D.C. delegate to Congress said the Obama administration should get busy on a work-around to circumvent the religious objections to some types of birth control held by business owners such as Hobby Lobby.

Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) said that as a result of the 5-4 decision Monday, which found that a privately-held business could limit coverage on types of birth control they saw as being akin to abortion, “many women and families will be unable to prevent unintended pregnancies.”

“Unfortunately, those who are most likely to be affected are girls and young women who are not prepared to be parents,” Norton said.

“…Most forms of contraception will continue to be covered by the Affordable Care Act’s no co-pay provision for birth control. The decision applies only to ‘closely held corporations,’ which are owned by fewer than five people with more than 50 percent of the outstanding stock.”

Norton noted that “the Court leaves open the possibility that even employees of such corporations could be covered by the Affordable Care Act’s contraception provision if the federal government creates some distance between closely held corporations and the mode of payments for contraception, such as the accommodation already provided to protect nonprofit organizations that claim religious objections.”

“I urge the administration to make this accommodation available for employees of closely held corporations as soon as possible in order to prevent more litigation and interference with women’s reproductive health,” she said. “Every effort must now be made to take advantage of the five-man court majority’s effort to cabin its decision and to stress its narrow reach.”

However, the compromise touted by the administration on providing contraceptive coverage to nonprofits such as employers associated with the Catholic Church is working its way through court, as well.

“At first glance, the new rules have struck some people as a modest improvement. They appear to expand, in a limited way, the kind of religiously-affiliated entities that can claim exemption from providing insurance coverage for contraceptive and abortion-related services under the new Affordable Care Act,” Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput wrote in February 2013.

“The White House has made no concessions to the religious conscience claims of private businesses, and the whole spirit of the ‘compromise’ is minimalist… The scholar Yuval Levin has stressed that the new HHS mandate proposal, ‘like the versions that have preceded it, betrays a complete lack of understanding of both religious liberty and religious conscience.’ In reality, despite the appearance of compromise, ‘the government has forced a needless and completely avoidable confrontation and has knowingly put many religious believers in an impossible situation.’”

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Gary Oldman & the Right’s Latent Antisemitism

Monday, June 30th, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

We all know by now that actor Gary Oldman denounced political correctness in his recent interview with Playboy magazine. However, if you’re only a reader of conservative news sources, you most likely aren’t aware of the fact that Oldman dropped the n-word repeatedly, used a grotesque and derogatory slang word for the female anatomy, and included one of the oldest and most offensive Jewish American stereotypes in his rant:

Mel Gibson is in a town that’s run by Jews and he said the wrong thing because he’s actually bitten the hand that I guess has fed him—and doesn’t need to feed him anymore because he’s got enough dough. He’s like an outcast, a leper, you know? But some Jewish guy in his office somewhere hasn’t turned and said, “That f***ing kraut” or “F*** those Germans,” whatever it is? We all hide and try to be so politically correct. That’s what gets me. It’s just the sheer hypocrisy of everyone, that we all stand on this thing going, “Isn’t that shocking?”

Conservative news readers couldn’t possibly be aware of these immoral platitudes because the story was covered in right-wing media with the following headlines:

Conservative Star Gary Oldman Denounces Liberal Hollywood, Hillary Clinton

Scott Whitlock, the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center, published a report in NewsBusters that focused on Oldman’s anti-Hillary comments and criticism of Obama. Whitlock prefaced Oldman’s quote about Pelosi being a “c**t” with the statement, “In the Playboy interview, Oldman used offensive and vulgar language to complain about political correctness.” The article was promoted on Facebook with the following statement: “What this Hollywood Star Just Said About Liberals Will Make You Stand and Cheer.”

Gary Oldman Rails Against PC “Crap,” Liberal Double Standards in Hollywood

Josh Feldman at Mediaite made Oldman’s grotesque comment regarding Nancy Pelosi the centerpiece of his short coverage of the now infamous Playboy interview. But when it came to the Hollywood Jews, he summarized Oldman’s antisemitic rant down to, “He said so many ‘f***ing hypocrites’ condemned Gibson, but they privately use words like he did.”

Gary Oldman Attacks Outrage Culture in Playboy, Gets Outraged Response

Mollie Hemingway at the Federalist crowed about reading “the entire interview” and quoted several excerpts, except for the ones about the Jews who run Hollywood, n*****s, and f*gs. Because those wouldn’t really help support her point that “people lost their everliving minds” over Oldman’s belief that “political correctness is crap,” a belief Hemingway and her editors at the Federalist wholeheartedly share.

Famous Actor’s Fiery Rant Against “Political Correctness,” Hollywood Double Standards — and His Theoretical Nancy Pelosi Joke Will Make Jaws Drop

Jason Howerton’s story from The Blaze did not originally include the comments. It was later “updated with additional comments from Oldman’s interview,” including the Hollywood comment that every other conservative-leaning news outlet I’ve found so far has failed to print.

When I confronted conservative friends over their defense of Oldman’s commentary, I was told that I was “getting my panties in a bunch” over being “noogie’d” for the greater good of the anti-PC campaign. When I asked what the dividing line was between being anti-PC and pro-antisemitism, I was told that I was insinuating that my friends were antisemitic, and therefore I should issue them an apology. Again, I pressed the question and, again, I received the same response: In essence, I was being a touchy, oversensitive Jew.

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Hobby Lobby Ruling Buoys GOPs on the Hill, Has Dems Vowing to Fight Back

Monday, June 30th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

Republicans on the Hill cheered the 5-4 Supreme Court decision in favor of Hobby Lobby, particularly as they try to chip away at President Obama’s healthcare law, but Democrats said it steeled their resolve to press on.

“Today’s Supreme Court decision makes clear that the Obama administration cannot trample on the religious freedoms that Americans hold dear,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said. “Obamacare is the single worst piece of legislation to pass in the last 50 years, and I was glad to see the Supreme Court agree that this particular Obamacare mandate violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).”

Fifteen current members of Congress, including McConnell, voted for RFRA in 1993.

The court found that privately held companies, such as family-owned Hobby Lobby, do not have to provide contraceptives to employees that violate the owners’ religious beliefs.

“Today’s ruling by the Supreme Court is an important victory to protect Americans’ fundamental right of religious freedom,” said Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), who authored the “Respect for Rights of Conscience Act” and filed an amicus brief in support of Hobby Lobby. “Americans should not be forced to choose between giving up their business for their faith or giving up their faith for their business. I applaud the Court’s decision today, which simply affirms the fundamental religious freedom that Americans have enjoyed for more than 220 years.”

Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) called the ruling “another blow against the Obama Administration’s unprecedented overreach into the lives of Americans.”

“The Justices made it clear that the Administration does not have the power to force religious leaders and organizations in our country to replace their own moral standards with Washington’s one-size-fits-all mandate,” Barrasso said.

“The Supreme Court’s decision is also another reminder that the President’s health care law was poorly written and continues to hurt more people than it helps.”

Democrats, though, were slower to react, lambasting the decision while weighing how the high court ruling could affect legislative efforts going forward.

“It is no surprise that Republicans have sided against women on this issue as they have consistently opposed a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions. Republicans have also blocked the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would bring us closer to the promise of equal pay for women,” said Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.). “In the wake of this dangerous precedent set by the Supreme Court, Democrats in Congress will continue to fight on the issues of importance to women and their families.”

“While the First Amendment protects the rights of an individual to freely practice his or her religion, I fundamentally disagree with the idea that a for-profit corporation is capable of religious belief. Hobby Lobby is a nationwide chain employing more than 13,000 full-time employees and earning more than $2 billion in annual revenue. It is organized as a for-profit corporation and its owners receive all of the benefits that go along with that structure,” said Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.).

“The argument that such a business – as opposed to its owners – has religious beliefs is an unfortunate, if predictable, consequence of the decision in Citizens United v. FEC. The Court has decided that the religious beliefs of a corporation’s owners are more important than those of the vast majority of Americans who see no conflict between their religion and safe, legal methods of contraception,” Coons continued.

“Decisions about a woman’s health care should be made in a doctor’s office, not in a boardroom. If certain contraceptive options violate a woman’s personal religious beliefs, she is free not to pursue those options, but her employer should not be allowed to make that decision for her.”

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Stunning News About Divorce Rates In US Churches

Friday, June 27th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

This flies in the face of everything we’ve been hearing for a couple of decades.

It’s long been believed that half of America’s marriages end in divorce and the problem is just as bad in the Church as the rest of the country.

But when Harvard-trained researcher Shaunti Feldhahn tried to find the actual research to prove those points, she couldn’t. It started her on an eight-year odyssey to find the actual facts.

In her book, The Good News About Marriage, Feldhahn lays out what she found during her eight years of investigating the complicated, complex divorce statistics.

First, the divorce rate is way below 50 percent and much lower for those who attend church.

Feldhahn estimates the overall divorce rate for the country is around 31 percent. The studies of people who regularly go to church all show a much lower divorce rate for them.

“Maybe 15 percent, maybe 20 percent for all marriages. First marriages, second marriages, third marriages,” Feldhahn explained.

Feldhahn cited one example where a pastor tracked 143 couples who he had married.

“It was 25, 27 years later. Less than 10 percent had been divorced,” she stated.

So, heterosexuals had not actually made hash out of the concept of marriage, despite all the no-fault laws and a slackening of belief in “‘Til death do us part.” There goes one argument for changing the definition of marriage now.

As a society, we have spent the last 30 years or so unlearning some obvious things. Work is beneficial. All religions don’t in fact teach the same thing or lead to the same place. Church attendance is generally good for you and your family. Married couples tend to be better for kids than single parenting. Marriage is worth preserving. Choosing not to live together before marriage contributes to creating a stronger marriage.

“People who decide not to live together before they get married, that has been proven to have a really good effect on the marriage,” she said as an example. “And so you might get down to the 5, 10 percent divorce odds.”

We’re still unlearning. It’s difficult at this point to see us stop the unlearning and start learning again.

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30 Books for Defeating Valerie Jarrett’s Cult of Political Criminals

Thursday, June 26th, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

I just finished Ben Shapiro's new book and it's a phenomenal must-read that makes the case as it needs to be made: criminality is what matters, not ideology or personality. A longer piece forthcoming...

Almost 2 years ago I offered my picks for “The 15 Best Books for Understanding Barack Obama’s Mysterious Political Theology” as my final case against the President before the election. These were the titles I selected and still recommend everyone read, today’s new list of 30 books is an expansion of this original list:

1. Radical-in-Chief: Barack Obama and the Untold Story of American Socialism by Stanley Kurtz

2. Spreading the Wealth: How Obama is Robbing the Suburbs to Pay for the Cities by Stanley Kurtz

3. Injustice: Exposing the Racial Agenda of the Obama Justice Department by J. Christian Adams

4. Subversion, Inc.: How Obama’s ACORN Red Shirts are Still Terrorizing and Ripping Off American Taxpayers by Matthew Vadum

5. The Autobiography of Malcolm X as told to Alex Haley

6. Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable

7. Dreams from my FatherA Story of Race and Inheritance by Barack Obama

8. Barack Obama: The Story by David Maraniss

9. Among the Truthers: A Journey Through America’s Growing Conspiracist Underground by Jonathan Kay

10. Shariah: The Threat To America: An Exercise In Competitive Analysis (Report of Team B II)

11. The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America by Andrew C. McCarthy

12. Why the Jews? The Reason for Antisemitism by Dennis Prager and Joseph Telushkin

13. Marxism: Philosophy and Economics by Thomas Sowell

14. Sex Rebel: Black, Memoirs of a Gash Gourmet by Bob Greene (pseudonym for Frank Marshall Davis)

15. Afrolantica Legacies by Derrick Bell

After summarizing some of the points from the books and their real-world impact in the administration’s policies, I concluded:

Sitting here on this Sunday morning before the election, the Sun now up, reflecting back on these years scouring through dusty old Marxist books, trying to understand a president who built his career on a mountain of lies, I confess a peace with either electoral result on Tuesday. A part of me almost wishes that Obama steals wins reelection (as I anticipate he will). The thought of him quietly retiring to a mansion in Hawaii in January to live out the rest of his life in comfort and adoration should inspire nausea. Only if Obama wins reelection do conservatives have a chance to hold him accountable for Benghazi, Fast and Furious, and all the crimes we don’t even know about yet. The man has blood on his hands and we can’t let him get away with it.

An ancient dictum popularized in recent years by the late Christopher Hitchens on the path forward, should Tuesday disappoint:

Fiat justitia ruat caelum

Do Justice and Let the Skies Fall

Over the course of 2013 my views evolved about who seemed to really be making the decisions at the White House. By January this year I began arguing that Obama’s mentor, Valerie Jarrett, was the real power-broker and the one responsible for most of the terrible policies that the administration implemented. From my article “Welcome to Single Mom Nation: In 2014 Acknowledge the Matriarchs Who Really Run America,” where I presented some of the evidence and my conclusions:

Now we know that actually Jarrett was the one with the political savvy who was grooming Obama all along so that she could use him to implement her agenda. Obama is just her mask…

My prediction: when the history books are written the real decision-maker will start to emerge more fully as Jarrett. As people try and make sense of an administration adrift they’ll start to realize that this is a federal government essentially being run by two single moms pulling the strings of the performer son of a single mom with a basic goal of just trying to make America a less “mean” place for other single moms. It’s a matriarchal administration running on emotion and instinct, like a mother crocodile snapping to protect her eggs. This is what happens when a culture that rejects the importance of the Judeo-Christian, nuclear family model takes control of the Democratic Party and the federal government…

President Jarrett has been so successful because she has implemented the most effective of Saul Alinsky’s Chicago gangster community organizing tactics at the national level. (And centrist-corporatist Clinton narcissist Democrats in the primaries and neoconservative-corporatist boomer Republicans in the general elections didn’t even realize what hit them.)

Conservatives should strive to defeat Jarrett the same way that the feds eventually managed to get her ideological predecessor, Al Capone: not for the big crimes but for the small ones like tax evasion. Activists should aspire to discover conclusive, bulletproof evidence of acts she has engaged in which would force her to fall from power, no longer able to implement her across-the-board policies of American weakness.

So of course I’m thrilled with the approach my friend Ben Shapiro chose for his new book, which I’ve recently finished reading. Rather than continue to see the Democrats merely as a rival political party with differing solutions for public policy problems, Ben puts Left vs Right aside and instead makes the case for criminal prosecution of individual members of the Obama administration, structuring each chapter with opening and closing arguments:

Here are the 7 #criminal charges Ben Shapiro lays out against the Obama administration in his great new book.

1. The People Vs. Barack Obama: The Criminal Case Against the Obama Administration by Ben Shapiro

One of the biggest mistakes that I’ve observed in so many activists over the years is seeing politics and ideology as the end-all-be-all of how to fix the world. A certain mentality seems to predominate amongst many activists and writers that creates a tunnel vision. If we can just elect the right people and pass the right laws then we can fix America’s problems. Campaigning and activism arise as the paramount solutions.

But sometimes they’re not. Political opponents who embrace the legitimacy of America’s political traditions can be defeated through superior campaign tactics and more inspiring candidates. But criminal organizations willing to subvert the rule of law and do anything to maintain power — like let Americans die at terrorists’ hands rather than look bad during an election, like use the IRS to muzzle and harass opponents, like distribute guns to a Mexican drug cartel in order to further gun control legislation — cannot. The game has been rigged and trying to win it is as foolhardy as playing Monopoly against someone pocketing $500s from the bank when you’re not looking.

The realization that I hope more activists are starting to make as we round the corner into the last fourth of Obama’s presidency: the Democratic Party isn’t a political party that allies with criminals, it’s a criminal organization that has hijacked a political party. Ben lays out the evidence on 7 crimes, any of which individually would have been more than enough to impeach any other president unprotected by a friendly media.

Part of the reason why I agree with Ben’s thesis so strongly is that I’ve continued reading so many other books on related topics that support it, revealing misunderstood concepts in politics, culture, and history. Here’s a list of some of them that are most on my mind this summer as I continue to piece together the tactics and historical predecessors of the criminal organization that’s conned its way into the White House. Some of these are new books just released that I’m reading for the first time, others have been out for years and I’m just getting to them, and some are ones that I’ve already read and am returning to again to read more closely and to guide future research. For each book I’ll explain in brief why it’s a useful piece of the puzzle for understanding an aspect of how our government has been subverted by lifelong, committed activists who do not care if Rule of Law stands in the way of implementing their egalitarian fantasies.

Here’s an index of the 29 more books introduced here in support of shifting to a criminal justice approach rather than an ideological activist protest in the twilight of the Jarrett-Obama presidency; I would encourage you to jump to whichever subject or author interests you most:

  • 3 on disinformation by former Romanian spymaster Lt. Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa
  • 3 on terrorism by former federal prosecutor Andrew C. McCarthy
  • the final 2 by the late Barry Rubin, scholar of the Middle East’s history, culture, and politics
  • 3 on Islam and the Jihad today
  • 5 on racism and how to overcome it
  • 3 on Marxism, its roots, its spread in the 20th century, and how it made a foothold in America which would one day bring it to presidential power
  • 5 on cults, idol worship, and the origins of religion
  • 5 on American history and its revisionists
  • Concluding with an introduction to one of the next subjects of my writing and research, which ties together the themes of all 30 books with Jarrett and Michelle Obama’s favorite TV show…

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Sudan Frees Christian Woman Sentenced to Death for ‘Converting to Christianity’

Monday, June 23rd, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

The Daily Mail reports that Meriam Ibrahim has been freed.

A 27-year-old woman sentenced to death last month for converting from Islam to Christianity in Sudan has been freed from prison after a court ordered her release.

The case of Meriam Ibrahim, who is married to a Christian American, triggered an international outcry. She gave birth to a baby daughter while in prison.

‘The appeal court ordered the release of Mariam Yahya and the cancellation of the (previous) court ruling,’ Sudan’s SUNA news agency said. The couple’s 20-month-old son was also held in prison with Ms Ibrahim and her newborn daughter.

Ibrahim’s husband is American. She was pregnant when the court sentenced her to death for apostasy, even though she had never been a Muslim. Her father was Muslim, her mother a Christian, but the father ran out on the family when Meriam was five years old. Her mother raised her as a Christian.

She gave birth to a little girl 12 days after she was sentenced.

Ms Ibrahim’s lawyer Mohaned Mostafa said after her release she had been sent ‘to an unknown house to stay at for her protection and security.’

‘Her family had been threatened before and we are worried that someone might try to harm her,’ he said.

She and her family are obviously deserving of asylum. Now that the court has freed her, it will be Islam’s open season on her. If she does not leave Sudan, a male family member will kill her.

This is an important point: The threat to Ibrahim’s life is not Islamists or true terrorists. The threat to her comes from Islam itself. It’s the same threat that has driven Ayaan Hirsi Ali from Somalia all the way to the United States.

Granting Mrs. Ibrahim asylum forces the Obama administration to admit that all is not well with Islam and its anti-gay partners, the Muslim Brotherhood. So…

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Rape in Egypt: The Muslim Brotherhood ‘Gets Even’

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014 - by Raymond Ibrahim

Muslim Brotherhood sympathizers recently went on a sexual assault and rape spree in Egypt as a way of “getting even” with those women who dared to celebrate the presidential victory of Abdel Fatteh al-Sisi—the former army chief who overthrew Muslim Brotherhood rule in Egypt.

On June 8, when tens of thousands of Egyptians congregated in Tahrir Square to celebrate Sisi’s inauguration, dozens of women were sexually assaulted and many more harassed.  According to a statement later released by the Ministry of Interior, seven men between the ages of 15 and 49 were arrested for sexually assaulting “a number of women.”

One 19-year-old female student was especially brutalized—and videotaped as she was stripped naked and sexually assaulted by a throng of men.  (I saw the graphic video on YouTube, though it has since been removed; a much less graphic clip of the initial assault appears here.)  A gun-waving police officer eventually managed to rescue the woman from her ordeal, though after sustaining injuries himself.

Sexually harassing or raping those supportive of Sisi by way of “retribution” is not uncommon in Egypt.  Earlier, a six-year-old boy was raped by a Muslim Brotherhood member who was “angered” at the child for singing praises to Sisi.  He lured the boy into a shed, locked the doors, and proceeded to rape him, while saying, “You’re always holding pictures of this Sisi and singing his praises.  Come, I’ll humiliate and break you—and your Sisi.”

Although Western media never specify who is behind these sexual assaults—often citing “the mob”—Hala Sarhan, a popular TV host in Egypt alluded to the ultimate source that legitimizes sexual harassment and rape in Egypt, namely, Islamist preachers and leaders:

What was said to these people [rapists] to brainwash them into think that such violations on the person and body of this young girl [the aforementioned rape victim] were permissible? …  I’ll tell you.  The one in parliament who said this, is the same as the man who did that…  And the one who told that girl that she is an infidel, is the same as the one in parliament who said that it’s permissible to marry a 9-year-old girl [based on the prophet of Islam’s example when he married the girl-child Aisha].   The ones who in the mosques told him that they [women] are in the pits of hell and the lures of Satan—adulteresses, that Satan lives in their bodies…  This is what they tell them in the mosques!  And they’re so upset now [Islamist preachers] because they can no longer continue to preach like this in the mosques! We thank you minister of religious endowments for stopping this mockery!  [The new Egyptian government has cracked down on radical preachers.] Before [under Morsi], every guy that yelled and stomped got himself a pulpit to preach such thoughts into the minds of the youth—and then they went out thinking they are doing jihad.  You see, they have this thing in their mind that says “If we curse or attack an infidel, that is jihad”….  Concerning the previous cases of sexual harassment, they [Islamist authorities] told people, “Why did she [any violated woman] leave her house in the first place?  She deserves what she got!”  They told them, “Your sister needs to be circumcised”; told them, “In the house, beat her and discipline her, break her bones; and if she refuses to have sex with you, saying she’s tired or sick, curse her with the angels till the sun rises.”  We allowed these people to fill their minds with such ideas!

Such honesty is reminiscent of an Egyptian op-ed that appeared after a young Coptic woman was murdered by a pro-Brotherhood mob because they identified her as a Christian:

Those who killed the young and vulnerable Mary Sameh George, for hanging a cross in her car, are not criminals, but rather wretches who follow those who legalized for them murder, lynching, dismemberment, and the stripping bare of young Christian girls—without every saying “kill.”  [Islamic cleric] Yassir Burhami and his colleagues who announce their hate for Christians throughout satellite channels and in mosques—claiming that hatred of Christians is synonymous with love for Allah—they are the true killers who need to be tried and prosecuted.

At any rate, using sexual harassment and rape to force people to comply with Islamist agendas has a long history, especially in Egypt.  In 2011, during the “Arab Spring,” when the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists were released from prison, legitimized and eventually rose to power, sexual harassment skyrocketed, as one graph showed.  Moreover, UN research done in 2013, when Morsi was president, suggested that 99.3% of Egyptian women had experienced sexual harassment.

Indeed, in February, 2013, hundreds of Egyptian women took to the streets of Tahrir Square to protest this nonstop harassment.  They held slogans like “Silence is unacceptable, my anger will be heard,” and “A safe square for all; Down with sexual harassment.” “Marchers also shouted chants against President Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood group from which he hails,” wrote Al Ahram Online.

The response was more sexual harassment and rapes.  One woman was gang-raped for approximately 20 minutes and nearly died.  And as Hala Sarhan pointed out, elements from the then Islamist-heavy government under Morsi blamed the women themselves, saying that:

women taking part in protests bear the responsibility of being sexually harassed, [and] describing what happens in some demonstrators’ tents as “prostitution.” Major General Adel Afify, member of the committee representing the Salafi Asala Party, criticized female protesters, saying that they “know they are among thugs. They should protect themselves before requesting that the Interior Ministry does so. By getting herself involved in such circumstances, the woman has 100 percent responsibility.”

Likewise, popular Salafi preacher Abu Islam  sarcastically blamed the victims:

“They tell you women are a red line. They tell you that naked women [i.e., not wearing veils or hijabs]—who are going to Tahrir Square because they want to be raped—are a red line! And they ask Morsi and the Brotherhood to leave power!”  Abu Islam added that these women activists are going to Tahrir Square not to protest but to be sexually abused because they had wanted to be raped.  “They have no shame, no fear and not even feminism. Practice your feminism, sheikha! It is a legitimate right for you to be a woman,” he said. “And by the way, 90 percent of them are crusaders [i.e. Christian Copts] and the remaining 10 percent are widows who have no one to control them. You see women talking like monsters,” he added.

The only silver lining in this cloud of Islamist rape that hovers over Egypt is that the differences between Morsi and his Brotherhood government, and Sisi and the post-Brotherhood government, are already apparent.  In response to the endemic sexual harassment in Egypt, the new government

passed a law criminalizing all forms of sexual harassment…  A new article, which has been issued into power, adds a harsh punishment to those found guilty of unwanted sexual contact…. Other amended laws, under article 306, declare that those found guilty of verbal sexual harassment in a private or public place will be sentenced to a minimum of six months in prison and fined no less than EGP 3,000 ($US 420).

When I recently asked some analyst colleagues in Egypt if Morsi ever took any such measures against sexual harassment, the quip I received most was along the lines of “Take measures?  He was the one ordering sexual harassment against his female critics.”

Still, and in keeping with Western MSM journalism, Sisi, who at least appears to be trying to take some measures against sexual harassment, is now being portrayed by the Guardian in a cynical light—while Morsi who did nothing and whose Islamist allies were responsible for inciting violence against women got a free pass—just like the New York Times recently tried to blame Sisi for the plight of Egypt’s religious minorities, without mentioning that it was often Morsi and the Islamists who put them there in the first place.

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School Tells Distinguished Graduate Not to Mention God. The Young Man Does Not Comply.

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Brooks Hamby was the salutatorian of his high school graduating class. He had to submit drafts of the address that he wanted to give, to the school for approval. The school forbade him to mention God.

Watch what he does.

YouTube Preview Image

That is a man.

h/t Clash Daily

 

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Guess Who’s Responsible for the Sunni-Shiite Carnage in Iraq? (Hint: Starts with a ‘J’)

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014 - by Andrew G. Bostom

The jihadist butchers (see here, here, here) of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)—supported by a much broader Sunni insurgency (see here, here, and here) against the Shiite-dominated, U.S. mid-wived al-Maliki government—continue their Baghdad-bound carnage.

Predictably—confirming obvious trends I documented 8-years ago—Maliki’s longstanding patron (and puppet-master) Iran, has committed (and pledged even more) military assets against the Sunni assault. Eli Lake of the The Daily Beast reported today (6/17/2014):

The offer to help us with everything we need has been made from the highest levels of the Iranian government,” a senior Iraqi official told The Daily Beast.

Lake added,

This official stressed that Iran’s offer to assist Iraq’s fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham (ISIS) [the Levant/ (ISIL)] was not conditional on Maliki making any immediate reforms or changes to his government.

An indelible, “unconditional” feature of the Iranian, and indeed the entire region’s “religiously” imbued Muslim mindset, which transcends the bitter, violent Shiite-Sunni divide, was simultaneously on display today: conspiratorial Islamic Jew-hatred. General Hassan Firouzabadi, Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces, insisted Tuesday (6/17/14, in Tehran) Israel—i.e., in regional parlance, Jews/“Zionists”—had created and supported ISIL, while further claiming,

The ISIL is Israel’s cover up for distancing the revolutionary forces from Israeli borders and creating a margin of security for the Zionists, and the Zionist media have also admitted this fact

One year ago, a Sunni cleric also blamed the Jews—from his own Jew-hating Islamic sectarian perspective—for the internecine Sunni-Shiite bloodshed taking place in Syria. The good cleric, preaching at the renowned Umayyad Mosque in Damascus, invoked conspiratorial Jew-hating themes from the Koran and traditions of Muhammad—i.e., Jews as prophet-killers (which includes being murderers of Muhammad himself), who allegedly violated their agreements with Muslims, driving Muslims astray (from Islam), and sowing “corruption” throughout the world—before inculpating them directly for the carnage in Syria.

Below are relevant extracts from his sermon, which aired on Syrian TV on June 28, 2013.

Let us take a look at the history of mankind, which has recorded the true nature of the Jews, the slayers of prophets and violators of agreements. It shows how they have tried, since pre-Islamic times, to fragment, divide, and rip apart the Arab and Islamic nation. In an effort to gain influence in the world and to realize their desires, the Jews have set two basic goals. Listen, oh Muslims, and beware of what is happening in Syria – in that land with steadfast people and leadership. They have two basic goals. The first is to divide the nations of the world, to pit them one against the other, and to spark war and civil strife among them. The second goal is to rip apart the nations of the world, destroying their notions, moral values, and codes, and making them stray from the path of Allah. That is what they did throughout the ages all over the world. Oh nation of Islam, the Jews have been tearing this nation apart for many years. […]What is happening today in this steadfast fortress [Syria], and in the Middle East in general, is nothing new. It was premeditated. We are a nation in slumber, a nation that does not study the books of history, and has not studied what its enemies are plotting and devising against it. They kindled the spark of civil strife in Palestine and in Afghanistan, and then in Iraq, then in Egypt, and after that, in Syria. […]

Sunnis and Shiites alike, come together, perversely, in blaming a Jew (see here, here) for either Sunni-Shiite sectarianism (the Sunni claim), or “heresies” within Shiism (the Shiite allegation).

Associated with “the birth pangs” of Islam is an unabashedly conspiratorial Jew-hating theme occurring after the events recorded in the traditions of Muhammad (hadith and sira), put forth in early Sunni Muslim historiography (for example, by Tabari): the story of Abdullah Ibn Saba, an alleged renegade Yemenite Jew, and founder of the heterodox Shiite sect. Sean Anthony’s extensive modern analysis of Abdullah Ibn Saba adds another pejorative characteristic conferred upon this ostensible Yemenite Jew in the Muslim literature: his mother was black. Anthony notes that a “favorite derisive handle for him,” was “son of the Black woman.”

According to Sunni dogma, Abdullah Ibn Saba is held responsible — identified as a Jew (and black) — for promoting the Shiite heresy and fomenting the rebellion and internal strife associated with this primary breach in Islam’s “political innocence,” culminating in the assassination of the third Rightly Guided Caliph Uthman, and the bitter, lasting legacy of Sunni-Shiite sectarian strife.

Here are key extracts from Tabari’s account:

Abd Allah b. Saba’ was a Yemenite Jew. . . . He later converted to Islam in the time of [Caliph] Uthman. Then he traveled through the lands of the Muslims trying to lead them into error. . . . [For example] in Egypt he promulgated to the people the [heterodox] doctrine of the Return [of Muhammad as Messiah]. So the Egyptians discussed this idea. Then, after that, he said that there were one thousand prophets, each of whom had an agent; and that Ali was Muhammad’s agent. Then he said, Muhammad was the Seal of the Prophets and Ali was the Seal of the Agents. Also, he asked: “Who is more evil than those who denied Muhammad’s designation of Ali as his agent-successor, pounced upon this successor- designate of Ali’s messenger and seized (illegitimately) the rulership of the Muslim community?” [In answer to this question as it were,] he told the Egyptians that Uthman had seized power illegitimately while Ali was, in fact, the agent-successor of Allah’s messenger. “Rebel against this illegitimate rule, provoke it, and challenge your rulers . . .” [said ‘Abd Allah b. Saba’].

Over a millennium later, the momentous international gathering of Muslim religious authorities, sponsored by Sunni Islam’s Vatican, Al-Azhar University, the Fourth Conference of the Academy of Islamic Research, September, 1968, included Al-Azhar Professor Muhammad El-Sayyed Husein Al-Dahabi’s paper, which declared,

Among the leading figures of heresy and sectarianism was Abdullah ibn Saba the Jew, who feigned to be a Muslim, disguising his unbelief, making a show of supporting the Prophet’s offspring (Alu-l-Bait), so as to deceive Muslims and to propagate among them his heretical and noxious views… [T]he earliest heresiarch, Abdullah ibn Saba, who was the foremost leader of sedition and heterodoxy. He, with his adherents,… feigned to be devout Muslim, and went to all lengths in their deceitfulness, by simulating to be the most fervent supporters of the offspring of the Prophet, so as to corrupt the beliefs of Muslims.

Circa 2008, a Hudson Institute Center for Religious Freedom review of Saudi Arabian textbooks, (“Update: Saudi Arabia’s Curriculum of Intolerance”), demonstrated that this traditionalist, mainstream example of Sunni Islam’s conspiratorial Jew-hatred was still being inculcated amongst Muslim youth:

The cause of the discord: The Jews conspired against Islam and its people. A sly, wicked person who sinfully and deceitfully professed Islam infiltrated (the Muslims). He was ‘Abd Allah b. Saba’ (from the Jews of Yemen) began spewing his malice and venom against the third of the Rightly-Guided Caliphs, ‘Uthman (may God be pleased with him), and falsely accused him.” (Tawhid: Literature, Science, and Qur’an Memorization Section, Twelfth Grade. Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Ministry of Education. Education Development, 1428-1429; 2007-2008, p. 78.)

But what is the Shiite position on Abdullah Ibn Saba? Is this literature “silent” on the subject, for example, conceding the discussion to Sunni polemicists? In fact authoritative Shiite authors claimed he was guilty of perverting and warping the message of Caliph Ali’s true (Shiite) followers. Mainstream Shiites thus designated Abdullah Ibn Saba an archetypal avatar of extreme, heretical beliefs, notably, the profession of Ali’s divinity. This profession was an egregious heresy for which Caliph Ali purportedly had Ibn Saba burned alive, as described in a Shiite hadith:

Muhammad b. Qūlawayh al-Qummī—Sa‘d b. ‘Abd Allāh b. Abī Khalaf al-Qummī—Muhammad b. ‘Uthmān al-‘Abdī—Yūnus b. ‘Abd al-Rahmān—‘Abd Allāh b. Sinān—his father (Sinān b. T{arīf)—Abū Ja‘far (Muhammad al-Bāqir) said: “‘Abd Allāh b. Saba’ made a claim to prophecy while asserting that the Commander of the Faithful (‘Alī) is God. This reached the Commander of the Faithful, and he called for him and questioned him. (Ibn Saba’) reaffirmed this and said, ‘Yes, you are he! It was cast into my heart that you indeed are God, and I am a prophet.’ The Commander of the Faithful said to him, ‘Woe to you, for Satan mocks you! Turn away from this, lest your mother be bereaved of you, and repent!’ (Ibn Saba’) refused. (‘Alī) imprisoned him and urged him to repent for three days, but he did not repent. Then ‘Alī burned him alive with fire and said, ‘Satan led him astray with false imaginings He would come to him and cast such things into his heart.’”

Caliph Ali is also claimed to have denounced Ibn Saba’s blackness, allegedly declaring,

What do I have to do with the vile, black man?

Both Iraq and Syria were ethnically-cleansed of their indigenous, pre-Islamic Jewish populations during earlier convulsions of jihadism and Islamic Jew-hatred, which punctuated the initial 25-years after the creation of Israel, and the liberation of a portion of the Jews’ ancient homeland from 13-centuries of Sharia-imposed dhimm­itude. Iran’s vestigial remnant population of dhimmi Jews—reduced in number by over 93% since the end of World War II—still suffers grinding persecution under the revitalized theocracy of Khomeini and his currently ruling heirs. Such brutal “recompense” notwithstanding, the warped, mea culpa-free, and eternally bigoted Middle East Muslim “ethos” still blames Jews for Islamdom’s own horrific present day internecine Sunni-Shiite carnage.

Given Islamdom’s ugly history, even if the devoutly cherished jihad genocide of Israel and its Jewish population transpired, Sunnis and Shiites would continue to slaughter each other with gusto. Hence, to help preclude not only Israel’s destruction, but larger, global cataclysmic outcomes for non-Muslims, I concur with Mike Konrad’s wise, cultural relativism-free prescription, “Let Them Kill Each Other”:

Iraq’s president, Maliki has asked for US assistance. Oh really? Iraq insisted on setting up its country with an Islamic constitution; against our advice, and now he wants American help.  For what?  So Iraq’s Shia can continue to run arms to Syria and Hezb’allah in Lebanon? If our State Department had men and women with intelligence instead of a love of the Qur’an, they would tell Maliki that our help would be predicated on four conditions: 1) Get rid of the Islamic constitution, and set up a secular state; 2) Recognize Israel; 3) Naturalize the Palestinians in your state; 4) Break off ties with Iran

[T]ell the Jordanians (and Saudis, too) [i]f they want our help:1) Saudis and Jordanians have to start naturalizing Palestinians; 2) Set up truly secular states; 3) protect their women;

Of course, they won’t agree.  So let them shoot it out. Heaven has offered the administration one last chance to redeem itself by doing nothing.  If it does intervene, it will be clearly seen as an attempt to prop up Islam, once again. Let the Shia and Sunni kill each other.  In the words of the late Mayor Ed Koch, “root for whoever is losing.”

Konrad’s conclusion at least may well be shared by the vast preponderance of Americans, 74% of whom now “oppose sending combat troops to Iraq.”

 

 

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Egypt’s New Government Promotes Anti-Christian Measures?

Monday, June 16th, 2014 - by Raymond Ibrahim

Overlooked in the midst of all the celebrations in Egypt concerning the presidential victory of Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, his predecessor, President Adly Mansour—who very much shares in Sisi’s worldview and politics—made a strange comment about the place of the nation’s Christian minority, the Copts.  (Sisi installed Mansour as acting president of Egypt on July 4, 2013, after ousting former President Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood party during the June 30 Revolution, which was supported by the Coptic Church.)

Sisi (L) and Mansour

In a televised speech delivered a few days ago, Mansour addressed the Copts in a very inclusive way, one much welcomed and appreciated by Egypt’s Christians.  Among other things, he indicated that they were equal citizens, “brothers” to the Muslims; that they have been an integral part of Egypt’s history; that both Copts and Muslims are victims of and enemies to “terrorism” (a reference to the Brotherhood and other Islamist organizations).

Then he said:

I speak to you [Copts] today through the true spirit of Islam—the spirit whose values appeared in the Pact of Omar, wherein the righteous Caliph, Omar bin al-Khattab, made a covenant with the Christians of Jerusalem, after Medina opened [conquered] it in the year 638; the Pact which preserved for the Christians their churches, monasteries, and crosses, and their religion and possessions.  Egypt again renews the spirit of this pact and its principles with you; Egypt, the Muslim state, which takes from the values and principles of the tolerant and true Islamic Sharia for its legislation.

To those familiar with the actual text of the Pact of Omar—also known as the shurut, or “the conditions,” of Omar—the above speech is a strange contradiction.  After all, whereas Koran 9:29 provides divine sanction to fight the “People of the Book” (namely, Christians and Jews) “until they pay the jizya [monetary tribute] with willing submission and feel themselves subdued,” the Conditions of Omar lay out in detail how Christians are to feel themselves subdued.

Below are excerpts from the Conditions (see Crucified Again  for my complete translation and historical discussion of the text). The conquered Christians appear to be speaking and agree:

Not to build a church in our city—nor a monastery, convent, or monk’s cell in the surrounding areas—and not to repair those that fall in ruins or are in Muslim quarters;

Not to clang our cymbals except lightly and from the innermost recesses of our churches;

Not to display a cross on them [churches], nor raise our voices during prayer or readings in our churches anywhere near Muslims;

Not to produce a cross or [Christian] book in the markets of the Muslims;

Not to congregate in the open for Easter or Palm Sunday, nor lift our voices [in lamentation] for our dead nor show our firelights with them near the market places of the Muslims;

Not to display any signs of polytheism, nor make our religion appealing, nor call or proselytize anyone to it;

Not to prevent any of our relatives who wish to enter into Islam;

Not to possess or bear any arms whatsoever, nor gird ourselves with swords;

To honor the Muslims, show them the way, and rise up from our seats if they wish to sit down;

We guarantee all this to you upon ourselves, our descendants, our spouses, and our neighbors, and if we change or contradict these conditions imposed upon ourselves in order to receive safety, we forfeit our dhimma [protection], and we become liable to the same treatment you inflict upon the people who resist and cause sedition.

To “become liable to the same treatment you inflict upon the people who resist and cause sedition” simply meant that, if any stipulation of the Conditions was broken, the Christians would resume their natural status as non-submitting infidels who “resist and cause sedition” against Islam—becoming, once again, free game for killing or enslavement.

That other Muslims read the Conditions to mean what they plainly say—as opposed to Mansour’s portrayal of them as indicative of Islamic tolerance—consider how just a few months ago, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) tried to enforce the Conditions to a tee, when it issued a directive calling on “Christians in the city to pay tax of around half an ounce (14g) of pure gold in exchange for their safety.”

It [ISIS’ statement] says Christians must not make renovations to churches, display crosses or other religious symbols outside churches, ring church bells or pray in public.  Christians must not carry arms, and must follow other rules imposed by ISIS on their daily lives.  The statement said the group had met Christian representatives and offered them three choices—they could convert to Islam, accept ISIS’ conditions [based on Conditions of Omar], or reject their control and risk being killed.  “If they reject, they are subject to being legitimate targets, and nothing will remain between them and ISIS other than the sword,” the statement said.

To be sure, ISIS’s interpretation of the Conditions of Omar is more orthodox than Mansour’s—certainly more in accordance with Islamic history and doctrine.  Consider, for instance, the words of Saudi Sheikh Marzouk Salem al-Ghamdi—an Islamic cleric, not a politician like Mansour—once spoken during a Friday mosque sermon:

If the infidels live among the Muslims, in accordance with the conditions set out by the Prophet—there is nothing wrong with it provided they pay Jizya to the Islamic treasury. Other conditions [reference to Conditions of Omar] are … that they do not renovate a church or a monastery, do not rebuild ones that were destroyed, that they feed for three days any Muslim who passes by their homes … that they rise when a Muslim wishes to sit, that they do not imitate Muslims in dress and speech, nor ride horses, nor own swords, nor arm themselves with any kind of weapon; that they do not sell wine, do not show the cross, do not ring church bells, do not raise their voices during prayer, that they shave their hair in front so as to make them easily identifiable, do not incite anyone against the Muslims, and do not strike a Muslim….  If they violate these conditions, they have no protection.


According to the Conditions of Omar, Christians were little better than third-class subjects of an Islamic state

What, then, do we make of Mansour’s reference to these medieval Conditions—in a speech meant to reassure Egypt’s Christians of their equality as citizens of a modern nation?

What do we make of the fact that Mansour’s views on the Copts—often seen as inclusive and moderate—are shared by Sisi, Egypt’s new president, who is believed to be more of a pious Muslim than his predecessor?

Was Mansour employing a bit of Islamic tawriya, mentioning seemingly tolerant aspects of theConditions—that Christians are allowed to “preserve” their existing churches, monasteries, and crosses—while ignoring the “conditions” Christians must obey in exchange for such “tolerance,” namely, that they not build new or repair old churches and monasteries and to keep their crosses out of sight—otherwise they lose all “protection”?

Through such double-talk, was Mansour trying to placate, on the one hand, the Copts, many of whom do not know much about the Conditions, and, on the other, hardline Salafis who do—with words and references that convey different notions to different people?

Indeed, from a Salafi point of view, Mansour’s declaration to the Copts that “Egypt again renews the spirit of this pact [Conditions] and its principles with you; Egypt, the Muslim state,” is tantamount to telling the Copts to remember their place in a medieval Muslim society and embrace their lot as dhimmis, third-class citizens.

Nor does Mansour’s use of abstracts like “the spirit” or “values and principles” (of theConditions) lessen the significance of his words.  For however one spins it, the only meaning of the Conditions is that Christians—because they are Christian, not Muslim—must uphold discriminatory and humiliating conditions in order to experience tolerance in an Islamic state.

Then again, could Mansour himself, a judge and former head of Egypt’s Supreme Constitutional Court, be ignorant or incredulous of the truth concerning the Conditions?

In fact, a few days before Mansour’s speech, I wrote the following words which may be applicable to him:

This is the fundamental problem facing all moderate Muslims: despite what they like to believe and due to a variety of historical and epistemological factors, they are heavily influenced by Western thinking … so whenever they come up against Islamic teachings they cannot fathom [such as the discriminatory Conditions], they collectively behave as if such teachings don’t really mean what they mean.

Yet the Salafis know exactly what they mean.

At any rate, despite Mansour’s disturbing references to a medieval text that historically justified Christian subjugation, most Copts believe that Egypt’s government, first under Mansour and now Sisi, is preferable to Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood.

And most remain optimistic about Sisi.

Time will tell if such optimism is warranted, or if Egypt’s Christians will again be fated to watch their nation take one step forward only to take another one right back—the inevitable outcome of a worldview that always tries to articulate itself through Islamic terms.

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Can We, And Should We, Do Anything About the Islamist Capture of Iraq?

Thursday, June 12th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, continues its march toward Baghdad. But what does ISIS actually want? Is it capable of holding the territory that it is capturing? What are its aims? What are the consequences if it succeeds in toppling Iraq’s current, secular, government?

Iraq has 10% of the world’s oil supplies. In economic terms alone, if an Islamist terrorist government with al Qaeda’s ideology captures Iraq, the consequences will be serious.

But according to the New York Times, the Obama administration has already ruled out any intervention on Iraq’s behalf, on any scale.

As the threat from Sunni militants in western Iraq escalated last month, Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki secretly asked the Obama administration to consider carrying out airstrikes against extremist staging areas, according to Iraqi and American officials.

But Iraq’s appeals for a military response have so far been rebuffed by the White House, which has been reluctant to open a new chapter in a conflict that President Obama has insisted was over when the United States withdrew the last of its forces from Iraq in 2011.

That stubbornness may prove to be very costly. Blogs of War lays out what the US might be able to do short of putting any American troops back into Iraq.

What the United States can do is provide very limited air/drone support, intelligence support, diplomatic support, and coordination with the regional teams who would actually have boots on the ground. Assorted tools from the covert war playbook would likely be enough to make life difficult for ISIS. And frankly, that is all that the United States can, or should, do. We do not need to eradicate them in bloody urban combat or commit massive development resources to a dysfunctional Iraqi government. However, we do need to find a way to check the momentum of a rapidly expanding threat before it becomes an exponentially bigger problem. All military options are ugly, and far from a permanent solution, but engaging ISIS quickly might stave off an absolute collapse of the country.

Collapse isn’t the only risk. A full ISIS takeover is a grim possibility. TIME magazine says that what ISIS really wants is what its predecessor, al Qaeda, wanted: a restoration of the Islamic caliphate.

…if ISIS can in fact hold the area it has overrun, it may well be able to fulfill its stated mission of restoring the Caliphate, the governing structure for the Sunni Muslim world that inherited authority from the Prophet Mohammed. “This is of great significance,” according to an assessment released Wednesday by The Soufan Group, a private security company. A restored Caliphate will attract “many more disaffected young people … from all over the Muslim world, especially the Middle East, lured by nostalgia for al-Khulafa al-Islamiya (the Islamic Caliphate), which remains a potent motivator for Sunni extremists.”

Restoring the Caliphate was the stated goal of Osama bin Laden in creating al-Qaeda, but the terror group has never operated militarily. “It’s ISIS that will build the Caliphate, not al-Qaeda,” says al-Tamimi.

Guess who would be a modern caliphate’s lionized and revered founding father? Besides Barack Obama, who is at least passively enabling all this, Osama bin Laden would get his face on the new caliphate’s currency.

A caliphate would out-Islam even Iran’s Islamic Revolution. It would provide a direct challenge to every secular government in every Islamic country in the Middle East. It would unite millions of Muslims in one of the caliphate’s ultimate goals — the destruction of Israel in order to recapture the Islamic holy sites in Jerusalem. A caliphate would also provide a threat to Shiites, and might trigger a much wider Islamic civil war, on a more or less global scale.

US power would be severely weakened in all this. In fact, it already is. Iran is already shipping oil to the Syrian government, in open violation of US and international sanctions against Assad. The Obama administration doesn’t seem to care.

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Jihadis Display ‘Power of Islam’ on Donkey Victims

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014 - by Raymond Ibrahim

Very graphic videos recently appeared on Arabic-language media portraying Islamic jihadis in Syria slaughtering donkeys in order to consume them.

The main point made by some of these websites is that the jihadis are hypocrites for (again) violating Islamic law, which bans the eating of domesticated donkeys.

In the words of a fatwa, or Islamic decree, titled “Is it permissible to eat donkey meat?”

Praise be to Allaah.

It is permissible to eat the meat of onagers (“wild donkeys”) and it is haraam [forbidden] to eat the meat of domesticated donkeys. The first is permitted because of the report narrated by al-Bukhaari (5492) and Muslim (1196) from Abu Qataadah (may Allaah be pleased with him) who hunted an onager and brought a piece of it to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and he ate some of it, and he said to his companions: “It is halaal [permissible], eat it.”

With regard to domesticated donkeys, their meat was permitted at first, then the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) declared it to be haraam [forbidden] on the day of Khaybar.

Questions of wild or domesticated aside—and the donkeys do appear to be domesticated—this is yet another example of the fact that, for those waging jihad to empower Allah’s word, dispensations are always available.

As discussed here, it is precisely because the strictures of Islamic law are relaxed for the jihadi—often permitting the indulgence of depraved behavior—that the jihad has always been an appealing option.

While killing animals for consumption is commonplace, what is notable about these videos is the “supremacist” demeanor of the jihadis towards the donkeys—as if the animals are also “infidels” to be treated with contempt and brutality.

Watching them slaughter the donkeys is like watching them slaughter human “infidels”—with all the triumphant theatrics.

In one video, “Allahu Akbar!” is heard while a donkey is being decapitated.

Jihadis habitually cry “Allahu Akbar” (Islam’ supremacist war-cry, which literally means Allah is “greater”) whenever striking down infidels—especially when ceremoniously beheading them.

But why say it while slaughtering a donkey—an animal—for consumption?…Keep reading

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If You’re Skeptical of Man-Made Climate Change, Barack Obama (Who Is Not a Scientist) Is Very Unhappy With You

Monday, June 9th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Scraped from Mashable.

In an interview airing on Monday night, President Obama reveals his frustration with lawmakers who question the very existence of manmade global warming. The interview, conducted for the Showtime documentary series “Years of Living Dangerously,” features a revealing exchange between New York Times columnist Tom Friedman and Obama, in which the president admits to having the desire to “unload on” lawmakers, such as House Republicans, who question the existence of manmade global warming as well as its severity.

Excerpts of the interview were published in the New York Times on Sunday, and a video clip was posted to Youtube.

“Look, it’s frustrating when the science is in front of us,” Obama said. “…We can argue about how. But let’s not argue about what’s going on. The science is compelling.

The baseline fact of climate change is not something we can afford to deny. And if you profess leadership in this country at this moment in our history, then you’ve got to recognize this is going to be one of the most significant long-term challenges, if not the most significant long-term challenge, that this country faces and that the planet faces.

Actually, the “how” is a big part of the argument, but Obama (who is not a scientist) just leaps over it. The climate is changing, because that’s what climate always does. It changes. The steady-state universe went out of science fashion decades ago, and scientists are just now really getting a good handle on how variations in the Sun’s energy output impact climate here on earth. But “the Sun has a massive impact on Earth’s climate” is the safe way to bet. It’s just a lot bigger and more consequential than we are.

That’s not the only “how” that’s worth arguing about. Even if you accept that mankind is changing the climate, “how” do we change that — or should we? We are a part of nature, if you believe the godless leftists who are pushing their climate change narrative. If we’re a part of nature, then anything we do is natural, including making Earth warmer (or cooler, as scientists — a community that does not and never did include Barack H. Obama Jr. — thought just a few decades ago) is just part of nature. It would be unnatural to oppose that. So there’s one philosophical argument, and then there’s a practical argument — how do we go about changing the climate back? First, you have to suppose that changing it back (rolling back the clock, liberals would argue in other political contexts) is even possible. Then you have to decide that it’s desirable. Then you have to decide what measures will change it back, and whether those measures are worth it. And whether they’ll even work, as we have no history of intentionally changing the entire planet’s climate. That’s kind of a big job. This administration can’t even take care of sick veterans. Yet Obama believes he’s smart enough to heal the planet? Yes, actually, that’s exactly what he thinks — the arrogant boob. He ought to demonstrate competence in a smaller job first. Like, just to pull something out of the air, building a functional health insurance website…

What I’m saying is, Barack Obama is offering a simplistic, bordering on childish, presentation of all the arguments involved in what we think of as “climate change.” But, as he knows well, childish argumentation is often very effective at generating emotional responses.

It hasn’t proven to be very effective so far, though, in changing votes. Americans tend to rate “climate change” very low in our issue priorities. A majority of Americans are at least somewhat skeptical of “climate change”/”global warming” as an issue that’s worth their time. A 59% majority worries more about jobs than “climate change.” Even as an environmental issue, climate ranks behind air and water pollution in Americans’ concerns. It’s just not an issue that moves a lot of voters, nor is it an issue that causes its strongest advocates to change their lifestyles. Barack Obama still joins the likes of Al Gore in jetting around the world, spewing all kinds of noxious gases (in more ways than one) to lecture everyone else about our carbon footprints. Until these enviro radicals practice what they preach, they earn nothing more than the right to be ignored.

 

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Pope Francis Hosts Mideast Peace ‘Prayer Summit’ with Israeli and Palestinian Presidents This Sunday

Friday, June 6th, 2014 - by Myra Adams

When Pope Francis visited the Middle East for three days last month he extended a rather unusual invitation to host a weekend prayer summit for Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at his Vatican apartment.

These two leaders, usually at odds with each other, stunned the Pope by accepting his offer. Now, on Sunday, June 8, Pope Francis will take on a new role as Mideast Peacemaker.

One of the first American reporters to talk with the Pontiff this past week at the Vatican was Rita Cosby, Emmy-Winning TV journalist and WABC Radio host.  Cosby told PJ Media, “It is clear Pope Francis cares deeply about peace in the Mideast and would like to do anything he can to assist this very difficult process.”

When asked about the Pope’s message Cosby said, “The Pope’s words were ‘pray, pray, pray’ about the Mideast Peace process.”

So that is exactly what he will be doing on Sunday but with two rather unusual prayer partners, the Israeli and Palestinian presidents.

After having the opportunity to speak with Pope Francis on the verge of this historic prayer summit, Cosby said, “He was extremely engaging and approachable.  Although she has interviewed more than 20 world leaders, including five US Presidents, Cosby called the opportunity to speak to Pope Francis “One of the greatest moments of my life.”

As the Pope requested, let us all pray that Sunday’s prayer summit will be one of the greatest moments of Middle East peace. Perhaps Pope Francis will embody the words of Jesus in the New Testament Book of Matthew Chapter 5 verse 9:

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the sons of God.”

RitaCosby_PopeFrancis(2)

Rita Cosby with Pope Francis, Courtesy of L’Osservatore Romano

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