December 2013

The Telegraph (Britain)

... A new study has found that at various times the British have invaded almost 90 per cent of the countries around the globe. The analysis of the histories of the almost 200 countries in the world found only 22 which have never experienced an invasion by the British. Among this select group of nations are far-off destinations such as Guatemala, Tajikistan and the Marshall Islands, as well some slightly closer to home, such as Luxembourg. The analysis is contained in a new book, All the Countries We've Ever Invaded: And the Few We Never Got Round To.

Patrick J. Buchanan

... In short, Dunkirk defiance aside, Churchill's convictions about the superiority of some races and civilizations, and their inherent right to rule what Kipling called "the lesser breeds without the law," was and is the antithesis of what Obama believes ... The point: Obama's vision of an ideal world and Churchill's are irreconcilable ... All men may be equal in rights. But most prefer their own faith, country, culture, civilization, and kind. They cherish and wish to maintain their own unique and separate identities. They do not want to disappear into some great amalgam of the New World Order. Whether globalism or nationalism prevails, the big battle is coming.

Mark Weber – Podcast

In a presentation packed with startling facts and provocative observations, Weber takes aim at the conventional view of World War II as conflict between Good and Evil. He reviews and quotes from two recent books: Human Smoke, by Nicholson Baker, and Churchill, Hitler and 'The Unnecessary War’, by Patrick J. Buchanan. Weber tackles a range of widely accepted myths, including the “Big Lie” that Hitler was trying to “conquer the world,” and discredits the iconic image of Winston Churchill as a great statesman.

Neil Irwin – The Washington Post

A century ago this week, Congress passed the Federal Reserve Act, creating a central bank for a nation that was only beginning its economic ascendance. This is the story of how it came to be, from a nearly catastrophic financial panic to secret meetings of plutocrats on the Georgia coast to the pitched battle in the halls of Congress ... / For all the apparent disagreement in 1913, there were some basic things that most lawmakers seemed to agree on: There needed to be a central bank to backstop the banking system. It would consist of decentralized regional banks. And its governance would be shared — among politicians, bankers, and agricultural and commercial interests. The task was to hammer out the details.

Tablet (New York)

“The two holidays that celebrate the divinity of Christ -- the divinity that’s the very heart of the Jewish rejection of Christianity -- and what does Irving Berlin do? He de-Christs them both! Easter he turns into a fashion show and Christmas into a holiday about snow.” Philip Roth, in Operation Shylock, was referring to Berlin’s “Easter Parade” and, of course, “White Christmas.” ... Jews wrote lots — most — of the great American Christmas songs ... This Christmas phenomenon is just one example of his larger point: that the story of American popular music is massively a Jewish story.

CNN

... Iran's top leaders used Twitter to send Christmas greetings that praised Jesus, continuing a new era of social media outreach by a government previously known for Islamic extremism and political belligerence. "May Jesus Christ, Prophet of love & peace, bless us all on this day. Wishing Merry #Christmas to those celebrating, esp Iranian Christians," said a tweet from the official account of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

Peter Beinart – The Daily Beast

... So why on earth are fourteen Democrats joining Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio in openly defying the president? In a party that is clearly moving left on economics, how can so many prominent Democratic senators support a bill so widely scorned by Democratic foreign policy experts? Because in recent years grassroots Democrats have turned their attention away from Middle East policy and AIPAC has not ... The American left is very good at punishing politicians for supporting disastrous wars. Its challenge in 2014 is to show that it can stop politicians from promoting those wars in the first place.

The New York Times

At Harvard, the Jewish student group Hillel was barred from co-sponsoring a discussion with a Palestinian student group ... On many other campuses, Hillel chapters have been instructed to reject collaboration with left-leaning Jewish groups. At American colleges, few values are as sacred as open debate and few issues as contested as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But Hillel, whose core mission is to keep the next generation of Jews in the fold, says that under its auspices one thing is not open to debate: Those who reject or repudiate Israel have no place ... The Hillel dispute has amplified an increasingly bitter intra-Jewish debate over what is permissible discussion and activism about Israel on college campuses.

Philip Giraldi

... Israel and South Africa under apartheid had a lot in common, given that both states were regarded by many as international pariahs due to their exclusionary domestic politics, in Israel based on religion and ethnicity and in South Africa based on race. Israel also was and still is regarded as an occupying power, in the 1990s due to its direct military control of the Sinai Peninsula, West Bank, Golan Heights, and Gaza Strip. South Africa and Israel’s shared perception of victimhood produced a willingness to stand together against world opinion and a mechanism for cooperation between the two governments also existed in the form of a large and wealthy Jewish community centered on Johannesburg.

Eli Gat – Haaretz (Israel)

Like many Holocaust survivors, I’ve always felt uncomfortable about the way the memory of the Holocaust has been shaped. The myth of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising is an excellent example. The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising – the very name is deceptive. The Jews of the Warsaw Ghetto never revolted ... Only a small group of young people revolted, whose size and efforts were inflated to mythic proportions in Israel after the state was established in 1948. More importantly, the uprising, which started on April 19, 1943, contradicted the survival strategy of the masses of Jews who remained in the ghetto ... The figures on the length of the real fighting were also inflated.

Robert Faurisson

Each year, around April 19, the media and politicians commemorate what they call the Warsaw ghetto 'uprising,' 'revolt' or 'insurrection.' In journalistic accounts the affair has taken on increasingly epic and symbolic proportions. At a Holocaust ceremony in New York in April 1993, American Vice President Al Gore declared: 'The story of the Warsaw ghetto is sacred text for our time.' In fact, this 'story' is a legend based only partially on historical reality.

JTA

Vice President Joe Biden said the White House will work with the Jewish community to help Holocaust survivors living in poverty. Speaking at the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee’s Centennial on Tuesday, Biden said the White House will appoint a special envoy at the Department of Health and Human Services to act as a liaison for survivors and the nonprofit community organizations that serve them. A partnership with the AmeriCorps VISTA program to increase the number of volunteers helping Holocaust survivors will be established, Biden said. Also, the White House will explore public-private partnerships to increase funding for organizations that work with Holocaust survivors.

Reuters

The famed Vienna Philharmonic orchestra has revoked awards it made during Hitler's rule to six leading Nazis, as it quietly responds to criticism of the way it has dealt with its past ... The orchestra is best known for its New Year's Concert, an annual gala of Strauss waltzes which is broadcast to millions around the world ... It has been slowly bowing to pressure to open up about its conduct during the Nazi years, which it recently called a "dark period" in its history - including the fact that the New Year's Concert was invented as a Nazi propaganda instrument. The orchestra's members voted unanimously to revoke the rings of honor and Nicolai medals it awarded to six high-ranking Nazi leaders ...

The Telegraph (Britain)

... There is no single activity that humans do more: if you live to be 90, you will probably spend 32 years asleep. It is as vital for us as eating or drinking water. Sleep deprivation will kill you as surely as starvation. It is an activity we share with every other animal species, from cockroaches to chimpanzees. Yet we do not fully understand why we do it ... Sleeping is essential for survival. But we struggle to get enough. While, on average, we need 8.1 hours’ sleep a night, a study in 2006 found that the average American got barely six hours (although 7.5 were spent actually in bed).

Theodore Kaufman

In this 1941 book, a Jewish-American author calls for the genocidal elimination of the German people through a program of mass sterilization, and the territorial dismemberment of Germany. Complete text, with an introductory note by Mark Weber.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/birmingham-city-council-blocks-commie-2905351

A council has banned the word 'Commie' from its email system - but 'fascist' and 'Nazi' are acceptable. Anyone using the shortened version of 'Communist' in an e-mail to Birmingham City Council will find their message blocked ... 'Commie’ appears on a four-page list of swear words, rude words, vile racist, homophobic, anti-Semitic and sexist terms, offensive national stereotypes and assorted terms of abuse banned by the council’s e-mail filter.

CNN

Israel reacted angrily Sunday to recent reports that British and U.S. intelligence officials spied on top Israeli officials' e-mails. "The tracking after prime ministers and defense ministers is not legitimate and not acceptable to us," the spokesman of Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz said ... On Friday, The Guardian, The New York Times and Der Spiegel newspapers reported that the communications of more than 1,000 organizations and individuals were monitored from a facility in southwest England. Der Spiegel, a German publication, wrote: "At least four Israeli targets are named in the lists, including an email address named as the 'Israeli prime minister’.”

European Jewish Press

French public radio has decided to take legal action following anti-Semitic remarks made by controversial humorist against one of the radio’s Jewish journalist. " Following the openly anti-Semitic remark by Dieudonné against Patrick Cohen, the management of Radio France decided to take legal action to the court ... A report by France2 television last Thursday showed Dieudonné joking with the Holocaust during a show at a Paris theater. ‘’When I hear Patrick Cohen , I think, you know, the gas chambers ... Too bad ," he said, triggering laughter among his fans. Richard Malka, a lawyer for the French radio said ‘’it is unthinkable that in 2013 such statements are made."

Patrick J. Buchanan

... Consider the content of the Russian president's state of the nation address ... Our grandparents would not recognize the America in which we live. Moreover, Putin asserts, the new immorality has been imposed undemocratically. The "destruction of traditional values" in these countries, he said, comes "from the top" and is "inherently undemocratic because it is based on abstract ideas and runs counter to the will of the majority of people." Does he not have a point? ... While his stance as a defender of traditional values has drawn the mockery of Western media and cultural elites, Putin is not wrong in saying that he can speak for much of mankind.

The Baltimore Sun

... That outcome is typical for male victims of military sexual assault, a Baltimore Sun analysis of hundreds of cases found. The outrage over sexual assault in the military has focused largely on female service members, and with reason: A woman in uniform is much likelier to be targeted than a man, Pentagon surveys indicate. But because male service members greatly outnumber females, officials believe the majority of sexual assault victims — 53 percent in 2012 — are men. These men — an estimated 13,900 last year alone — are far less likely than women to report an attack. Only 13 percent of reports last year were filed by men, military data show.

European Jewish Press

American Jewish groups have expressed support for a new bill introduced by a bipartisan group of Senators to increase sanctions against Iran if ongoing talks prove unsuccessful or if the Iranians are found to be in violation of the terms of the Geneva interim agreement. Major Jewish organizations welcomed the Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act led by Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY), Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL), and 25 of their colleagues, as complementary to diplomatic initiatives and called for even greater Senate support for the bill, which faces an uphill battle against the administration.

Marsha B. Cohen

The Forward recently released its annual list of top-earning heads of Jewish non-profit organizations and the results of an independent analysis revealing not only that they earned more than the top leadership of non-Jewish nonprofits, but that several were egregiously overpaid. Not noted by the analysts is that most of them spend a considerable portion of their time clamoring for more and stricter sanctions against Iran, something that has little to do with their stated organizational mission statements that include social justice, equality, human rights, and the well-being of the Jewish people. Several of these de facto Iran sanctions lobbyists earn more than the President of the United States ($400,000 per year).

Forward (New York)

... A new list of overpaid heads of Jewish organizations is made up of well-known names, each viewed by his board members as being exceptional, and each compensated exceptionally well. According to an independent analysis of Forward data, the list includes, in ascending order, the Anti-Defamation League’s Abraham Foxman, Malcolm Hoenlein of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, Morton Klein of the Zionist Organization of America and Matthew Brooks, who runs the Republican Jewish Coalition. Finally, Marvin Hier, the longtime head of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, is “by far the most overpaid CEO,” the analysis concluded ...

Institute for Historical Review

... In its wide range of propaganda materials, including videotapes and fund-raising mailings, and especially in its glossy magazine, Response, the Center conjures up a paranoid fantasy world in which a sinister international network of neo-Nazis, Islamic extremists and other anti-Jewish forces of "hate" are on the march everywhere, plotting a murderous new "Final Solution" of all Jews ... The phenomenal growth and impact of the Simon Wiesenthal Center is a reflection of the predominant financial-political forces in American society today, and consequently of its prevailing cultural values and historical outlook.

The Associated Press

Edgar M. Bronfman Sr., the billionaire businessman and longtime president of the World Jewish Congress, which lobbied the Soviets to allow Jews to emigrate and helped spearhead the search for hidden Nazi loot, died Saturday. He was 84. The Canadian-born Bronfman died at his New York home surrounded by family, according to the family charity he led, The Samuel Bronfman Foundation. Bronfman made his fortune with his family's Seagram's liquor empire, taking over as chairman and CEO in 1971 ... Under Bronfman's leadership, Seagram expanded its offerings and was eventually acquired by French media and telecom group Vivendi Universal in 2000.

European Jewish Press

The World Jewish Congress on Sunday mourned the passing of its long-time president Edgar Bronfman, who died on Saturday in New York at the age of 84. Bronfman served as president of the World Jewish Congress from 1979 to 2007 ... The son of Canadian liquor mogul Samuel Bronfman, he became chairman and CEO of the Seagram Company in 1971. He was also a noted philanthropist who has given large amounts of money to Jewish causes, including Hillel, The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life. He established the Bronfman Youth Fellowships in Israel, a leadership program for Jewish

Haaretz (Israel)

British police have searched the house of the 85-year-old vice president of the World Jewish Congress as part of an ongoing historical sex abuse investigation. Lord Greville Janner, a former Labour member of parliament and current member of the House of Lords, was not arrested in the raid in his apartment ... Janner, born in Cardiff, Wales to Jewish parents, was a Labour MP for 27 years and was known as a staunch supporter of Israel. He joined the British peerage after his retirement in 1997, becoming Baron Janner of Braunstone.

Forward (New York)

... Al, if you recall, was the publisher and chief protagonist of the notorious porn magazine Screw. Obscenity isn’t just a description of Screw, it was also the magazine’s primary subject ... Sometimes while watching him free associate on Midnight Blue one felt as though one were being subjected to a particularly noxious psychiatric session with a sociopathic narcissist ... Al Goldstein took the old stereotype of the dirty Jew, and embraced it, exalted it, reveled in it.

BBC News

Large crowds have begun to gather in the biblical town of Bethlehem to kick off Christmas Eve celebrations. Tourists packed Manger Square in a party atmosphere, a BBC correspondent says. The nearby Church of the Nativity sits on the spot where the Bible says Jesus was born. The number of visitors to Bethlehem has been steadily rising in recent years as peace talks to resolve the Middle East conflict have resumed. Despite the erection of Israel's separation barrier with the West Bank, which appears as a high concrete wall around the town, three gates have been opened for Christmas to allow the Christmas procession led by the Latin Patriarch coming from Jerusalem to enter the city ...

Deutsche Welle (Germany)

... Modern Bethlehem struggles under the occupation and what many see as Israel's refusal to provide some sort of financial injection into the Palestinian economy in return for propping up its own tourism industry ... Bethlehem is part of a trio of towns, including Beit Jala and Beit Sahour, that locals refer to as "the Triangle." Taken together, they comprise 70,000 residents, and Christians still maintain a majority. But in Bethlehem they are barely one-third of the population, their ranks having been severely depleted by the Christian exodus during the worst years of the Second Intifada.

Mazin Qumsiyeh (Palestine)

Christmas 2013 in Bethlehem (Beit Laham, Aramaic for House of Laham, the Canaanitic God of Sustenance) is still a very special and meaningful time even under the brutal Israeli apartheid occupation ... Nowhere on earth do people pray that the wall suffocating them is dismantled then watch and listen to Christmas carols from around the world after admiring such exhibits. No where can we hear the same singers mix Christmas and patriotic songs in the Manger Square and the Shepherds’ field.

Joshua Holland

The United States has about five percent of the world’s population and houses around 25 percent of its prisoners. In large part, that’s the result of the “war on drugs” and long mandatory minimum sentences, but it also reflects America’s tendency to criminalize acts that other countries view as civil violations ... State spending on prisons is now growing faster than any other budget item other than Medicaid. California now spends more on its prisons than its higher education system – a stark reversal from thirty years ago, when it spent three times as much educating its citizens than locking them up.

EyeWitness to History

... The Germans seem to have made the first move. During the evening of December 24 they delivered a chocolate cake to the British line accompanied by a note that proposed a cease fire so that the Germans could have a concert. The British accepted the proposal and offered some tobacco as their present to the Germans. The good will soon spread along the 27-mile length of the British line. Enemy soldiers shouted to one another from the trenches, joined in singing songs and soon met one another in the middle of no-mans-land to talk, exchange gifts and in some areas to take part in impromptu soccer matches. The high command on both sides took a dim view of the activities ...

Abby Zimet

The extraordinary story and pictures of the Christmas truce of 1914, wherein "enemy" British and German troops discovered their common humanity for a brief surreal shining moment. Set to John McCutcheon's stirring song.

Video

Footage, with music, from Germany at Christmas-time during World War II, 1939- 1945. Runtime: 2:47 mins.

J. Stahl - Slate

... Every year on Dec. 24 at 3 p.m., half of Sweden sits down in front of the television for a family viewing of the 1958 Walt Disney Presents Christmas special, "From All of Us to All of You." ... Kalle Anka, for short, has been airing without commercial interruption at the same time on Sweden's main public-television channel, TV1, on Christmas Eve (when Swedes traditionally celebrate the holiday) since 1959. ... Kalle Anka is typically one of the three most popular television events of the year, with between 40 and 50 percent of the country tuning in to watch.

Reuters

Denying that mass killings of Armenians in Ottoman Turkey in 1915 were genocide is not a criminal offence, the European Court of Human Rights ruled on Tuesday in a case involving Switzerland. The court, which upholds the 47-nation European Convention on Human Rights, said a Swiss law against genocide denial violated the principle of freedom of expression. The ruling has implications for other European states ... The court drew a distinction between the Armenian case and appeals it has rejected against convictions for denying the Nazi German Holocaust against the Jews during World War Two.

UPI

Prosecutions of people who deny the Armenian massacre of 1915 are violations of the freedom of speech, the European Court of Human Rights has ruled. Rejecting a conviction in Switzerland, the court said "the right to openly debate sensitive questions that are likely to displease someone is a fundamental aspect of freedom of expression," Radio France Internationale reported Tuesday ... The ECHR said no consensus existed on the question of whether the deaths of the Armenians constituted genocide. Drawing a comparison, the court said there no doubt of the Nazis' intent in killing millions of Jews.

Patrick J. Buchanan

... Today, neo-isolationism, bred of that "foolish globalism" of which Lippmann wrote, has made a comeback. For the first time since polling began in 1964, it is the dominant sentiment of the nation ... Will someone explain exactly what business it is of the United States which economic union Ukraine chooses to join, or not join? ... What hypocrites we must seem to the world ... How can a nation as polarized morally and paralyzed politically as ours lead the world? It cannot. The people sense what the elites cannot see. The American Century is over. Time to restore the republic.

Eric Margolis

Those wondering what lies in store for Afghanistan need only look at the way the British Empire ruled Iraq in the 1920’s. As Shakespeare wrote, “what is past is prologue.” Imperial Britain created the state of Iraq after World War I to secure Mesopotamia’s vast oil deposits that had become vital for the Royal Navy ... Winston Churchill, patron saint of today’s war-lusting neoconservatives, authorized the RAF to use poison gas against “unruly” tribesmen in Iraq and Afghanistan ... British Iraq was the prologue to today’s Afghanistan. The British Empire’s heir, the American Imperium, plans to duplicate the Iraqi Britannica in Afghanistan.

T. Osman - BBC News

A map marked with crude chinagraph-pencil in the second decade of the 20th Century shows the ambition - and folly - of the 100-year old British-French plan that helped create the modern-day Middle East ... The key tenets of the agreement they had negotiated in relative haste amidst the turmoil of the World War One continue to influence the region to this day ... / The Sykes-Picot agreement is a secret understanding concluded in May 1916, during World War One, between Great Britain and France, with the assent of Russia, for the dismemberment of the Ottoman Empire. The agreement led to the division of Turkish-held Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, and Palestine into various French and British-administered areas.

Ian Sample - The Guardian (Britain)

Differences in children's exam results at secondary school owe more to genetics than teachers, schools or the family environment, according to a study published yesterday. The research drew on the exam scores of more than 11,000 16-year-olds who sat GCSEs at the end of their secondary school education. In the compulsory core subjects of English, maths and science, genetics accounted for on average 58% of the differences in scores that children achieved. Grades in the sciences, such as physics, biology and chemistry, were more heritable than those in humanities subjects, such as art and music, at 58 percent and 42 percent respectively.

Mark Weber – Podcast

American education standards and quality declined sharply during the 1960s and 1970s along with a new, "politically correct" emphasis on social-racial equality. Younger Americans perform much less well than northern Europeans and east Asians on international achievement tests. The 2002 "No Child Left Behind" law, enacted with broad bi-partisan political support, is (predictably) proving to be an ever more obvious failure. Such wasteful and irresponsible programs are based on America's prevailing egalitarian-individualistic ideology. Because this guiding outlook is based on false premises about life, society and history, the programs and policies based on it are doomed to failure.

Bob Dreyfuss - The Nation

At least he’s consistent — crazy, yes, but consistent. Back in 2007, Norman Podhoretz, the wheezing, 76-year-old neoconservative warhorse wrote a piece for Commentary magazine called “The Case for Bombing Iran.” ... In that piece, widely scorned at the time, Podhoretz urged immediate bombing of Iran ... Fast forward six years. This week, writing in the Wall Street Journal, the even older Podhoretz, 83, issued an updated version of his argument ... Podhoretz has given up on the idea that the United States will bomb Iran, so he suggests that it’s Israel’s job ...

Sheldon Richman

... Do Obama and Kerry want peace with Iran or not? If so, they have a funny way of showing it. The danger of Obama’s policy should be obvious. If Iranian officials come to believe that no matter what they do, U.S.-led economic warfare against the Iranian people — for sanctions are nothing less than this — will continue, the hope of a thaw in the absurd cold war will be dashed, and war could follow. Iran has not been making — and has no intention of making — a nuclear bomb. U.S. and Israeli intelligence say so repeatedly.

Mike Rozeff

... There is no necessity and no need to strangle Iran for the sake of protecting Americans or Israel. Neither is there any necessity or need to strangle Iran for the sake of global American hegemony, which is not a policy of peace but a policy of expansionism backed by force. Those voices in Congress and the Executive who want to dictate to Iran, not negotiate with Iran, stand for policies that drain American resources and sap the country, not strengthen it. Their policies of expansion expose Americans to huge risks of being drawn into serious wars all over the planet.

Philip Giraldi

... The discussion in Washington is now focused on possibly baseless allegations that Iran is seeking to acquire a nuclear weapon, but it is really all about Iranian military and economic power as it relates to the state of Israel ... The only alternative to talks is war because the United States and Israel have excluded all other options. And a war would have major consequences not only for Iran but also for the United States.

The Times of Israel

Germany has signed a multimillion dollar arms deal with Israel, Germany’s Bild newspaper reported Saturday. Within the framework of the deal, Germany will reportedly supply Israel with two guided missile destroyers, each valued at one billion euros. The destroyers will be used to protect Israel’s gas pipelines. In April, Der Spiegel reported that Israel may sell technologically advanced attack drones to the German military. According to the German weekly, the German defense ministry proposed the purchase several months ago, and German representatives have already held two meetings with IDF officials to discuss the matter.

Gus Hickey - PolicyMic

... In the upcoming Disney film “Saving Mr. Banks,” America's lovable uncle, Tom Hanks, will be the first man ever to portray the eccentric patriarch of family cinema, Walt Disney, on film. The inventor of Mickey Mouse, Gus-Gus the Mouse, other mice, and “Song of the South,” Disney had a career of sustained creative brilliance. He also had an oft-discussed, oft-complicated relationship with McCarthy-era anti-communism, racial minorities, and the queen of Nazi propaganda herself, Leni Riefenstahl.

Mark Weber

For more than 40 years, the company founded and built by Walt Disney offered popular, well-crafted entertainment that upheld American values and traditions. Its films and television programming -- even if sometimes sugary -- epitomized, to use the much-mocked phrase, wholesome family entertainment. It was the work largely of one man, Walter Elias Disney (1901-1966), a gifted illustrator, brilliant filmmaker and genial entrepreneur who left a lasting mark on American popular culture.

The Jerusalem Post (Israel)

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei compared Zionists to the Nazis in a Tweet on Monday; a comment that was ignored by most of the Western media. Khamenei posted a picture to mark the anniversary of the trial of French Holocaust denier Roger Garaudy, who had converted to Islam. Quotes from a speech Khamenei gave in a meeting with Garaudy in 1998 are placed above Garaudy’s picture stating: “The Zionists are just like the Nazis.” Garaudy wrote a book in French, Les mythes fondateurs de la politique israélienne, with the English version, The Founding Myths of Modern Israel.

R. Martello – Institute for Historical Review

... In admirably scholarly fashion, fortified with an impressive bibliography and endless source citations, he (possibly with help from anonymous assistants) has delivered a powerful blow to the greatest historical-political myth of our time: the transcendent victimology of Jews for the benefit of Israel. For financial gain, as an alibi for indefensible policies, and for other reasons, Jews have used what Garaudy calls "theological myths" to arrogate for themselves a "right of theological divine chosenness."

Eric Margolis

... During the 1980’s, Mandela was both number two at the African National Congress and a senior leader of its ally, the Communist Party. Mandela also headed up the Umkhonto we Sizwe or Spear of the Nation, the violent fighting arm of the ANC. He was a hereditary prince of the Xhosa people. In those days, the US and Britain branded Mandela and the ANC as “terrorists.” White civilians were killed, restaurants and bars bombed ... Compared to today’s world leaders, Mandela does looks like a saint. He was wise enough to serve only one term before failing health and grubby politics tarnished his renown. His memory will shine on.

JTA

A Native American studies association is the third U.S. academic body this year to recommend its members boycott Israeli universities. The Native American and Indigenous Studies Association in a Dec. 15 announcement said it “encourages NAISA members to boycott Israeli academic institutions because they are imbricated with the Israeli state and we wish to place pressure on that state to change its policies.”

The Telegraph (Britain)

British intelligence officers were told to ignore evidence of breaches of the Geneva convention when detainees from Iraq and Afghanistan were being interrogated in 2002, a report by the aborted inquiry into alleged British complicity in torture has found ... The report published by Sir Peter Gibson disclosed that in 2002 spies working for MI6 overseas were told to turn a "blind eye" to any evidence they witnessed of breaches of the Convention, which sets out how prisoners should be treated. Documents uncovered by the inquiry showed that “officers were advised that, faced with apparent breaches of Geneva Convention standards, there was no obligation to intervene”, the report said.

MTI (Hungary)

Lawmakers okayed on Tuesday 1.8 billion forints (six million euros; $8.27 million) of overall support for 377 civil projects within the Holocaust Memorial 2014 programme. Parliament’s cultural and media committee suggested to the Prime Minister’s Office, which will make the final decision, that the original sum of 1.5 billion forint should be supplemented by 300 million. Laszlo L. Simon, the committee’s chairman, said an additional 56 projects should receive the extra support.

Haaretz (Israel)

Roger Waters, the legendary former front man of Pink Floyd and outspoken supporter of the [anti-Israel] BDS [“Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions”] movement, has equated Israeli policies to those of Nazi Germany and slammed the "extraordinary" power of the Jewish lobby in the United States. "The Jewish lobby is extraordinary powerful here and particularly in the industry that I work in, the music industry and in rock’n roll as they say," Waters said in an interview published in the online magazine counterpunch. "I’ve spoken to people who are terrified that if they stand shoulder to shoulder with me they are going to get f-cked."

Ramzy Baroud - CounterPunch

The intellectual dishonesty of Israel’s supporters is appalling. But in some odd way, it is also understandable. How else could they respond to the massively growing Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign? When a non-violent campaign – empowered by thousands of committed civil society activists from South Africa to Sweden and most countries in between – leads a moral campaign to isolate and hold into account an Apartheid country like Israel, all that the supporters of the latter can do is spread lies and misinformation.

Paul Sperry – New York Post

After the 9/11 attacks, the public was told al Qaeda acted alone, with no state sponsors. But the White House never let it see an entire section of Congress’ investigative report on 9/11 dealing with “specific sources of foreign support” for the 19 hijackers, 15 of whom were Saudi nationals. It was kept secret and remains so today ... The Saudis deny any role in 9/11, but the CIA in one memo reportedly found “incontrovertible evidence” that Saudi government officials — not just wealthy Saudi hardliners, but high-level diplomats and intelligence officers employed by the kingdom — helped the hijackers both financially and logistically.

M. Ingall – The Tablet

... More than 200 million Nancy Drew books have been sold in the United States since their debut in 1930. Nancy has starred in numerous movies and updated reboots, graphic novels, and electronic games ... Although they were mold-breakers in some ways, Adams and Benson, born in the 1890s, were also products of their time. And that meant the early books were rife with casual racism and prejudice ... There were two early books with arguably negative depictions of Jews.

The Times of Israel

A neo-Nazi gesture, regarded by anti-Semitism researchers as a modern day Nazi salute, is rapidly spreading among anti-Semites in Europe and is being used by individuals to fly under the radar of strict anti-hate speech laws in parts of the continent. The “quenelle” signal, extending one’s right hand toward the ground while the left hand grasps the shoulder, was devised by Dieudonné M’bala M’bala, a controversial French comedian who has been condemned in court several times for anti-Semitic remarks. Over the past two months, the trend has gained popularity, prompting hundreds of Europeans to post online pictures of themselves performing the “heil” like salute.

JTA

Two French soldiers who posed in front of a Paris synagogue while making an anti-Semitic gesture will be sanctioned by the French army. The soldiers of the Alpine Hunters elite unit currently are the subject of an investigation, the French military’s spokesperson, Bruno Louisfert, told radio station RTL France Tuesday. He said they will be punished for the act ... They posed for the photograph in front of the entrance door to the Beth David synagogue ... with their left hand placed on their right shoulder and their right hand extended over their right thigh. Dubbed the “quenelle,” the gesture is the brainchild of the anti-Semitic comedian Dieudonne ...

Polskie Radio/ IAR (Poland)

... As a young cavalryman he fought as a lancer against the Red Army in the fabled Battle of Komarow on 31 August 1920. The clash, near Zamosc in south east Poland, marked the largest cavalry battle in European warfare since 1813. Polish commander Juliusz Rommel routed the Russian forces, providing a crippling blow to the Red Army's cavalry. Within days Poles had won a subsequent victory in the Battle of Warsaw, the so-called 'Miracle on the Vistula,' during which the Red Army was repulsed from the gates of the Polish capital. Kowalski later served in the Second World War, during which he endured a period of imprisonment in a German forced labour camp.

The New York Times

An American organization of professors on Monday announced a boycott of Israeli academic institutions to protest Israel’s treatment of Palestinians, signaling that a movement to isolate and pressure Israel that is gaining ground in Europe has begun to make strides in the United States. Members of the American Studies Association voted by a ratio of more than two to one to endorse the boycott in online balloting that concluded Sunday night, the group said. With fewer than 5,000 members, the group is not one of the larger scholarly associations. But its vote is a milestone for a Palestinian movement known as B.D.S., for Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions ...

Reuters

An association of American scholars has voted for an academic boycott of Israeli colleges and universities in protest against Israeli policies towards the Palestinians, the group said on Monday. Members of the American Studies Association voted by a two-to–one margin to endorse a boycott resolution ... Ronald Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress, said, "This vote to boycott Israel, one of the most democratic and academically free nations on the globe, shows the Orwellian anti-Semitism and moral bankruptcy of the American Studies Association."

Francis Fukuyama - The American Interest

Many political institutions in the United States are decaying. This is not the same thing as the broader phenomenon of societal or civilization decline ... Political decay in this instance simply means that a specific political process — sometimes an individual government agency — has become dysfunctional. This is the result of intellectual rigidity and the growing power of entrenched political actors that prevent reform and rebalancing ... The underlying sources of political decay — intellectual rigidity and the influence of elite groups — are generic to democracies as a whole ... The American political system has decayed over time because its traditional system of checks and balances has deepened and become increasingly rigid.

James Petras

... The US economy is stagnant and has failed to re-gain momentum because of its pursuit of ‘serial’ imperial wars. But in the Middle East, the US decline, relative to its past, has not been accompanied by the ascent of its old rivals. Europe is in deeper crisis, with a vast army of unemployed, chronic negative growth and few signs of recovery for the visible future ... The thesis of the ‘decline of the US empire’ and its corollary, the ‘crises of the US’ are overstated, time bound and lack specificity. In reality, there is no alternative imperial or modern anti-imperial tendency on the immediate horizon ... If imperialism is declining, so is anti-imperialism. If capitalism is in crisis, the existing anti-capitalists are in retreat.

Mark Weber – Podcast

Is it really true, as American political leaders and educators claim, that "diversity is our strength"? And why are some countries more prosperous, stable, orderly and happier than others? Detailed research shows that ethnic-racial "diversity" actually weakens a society. In more diverse societies, levels of trust are not only lower between groups, but even among members of the same group. Ethnically cohesive societies are more prosperous, trusting, orderly, safe and healthy than those that are diverse. Extensive, path-breaking research also shows that a nation's level of prosperity, economic progress and social well-being is based above all on the average intelligence level of its people.

JTA

The final version of the congressional defense budget triples the Obama administration’s request for funding for joint U.S.-Israel defense cooperation. The $284 million in the budget released jointly on Dec. 10 by the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate budget committees – up from the $96 million requested by the Obama administration ... Defense cooperation funding, to which Israel contributes, is separate from the $3.1 billion Israel receives in defense assistance as part of a ten-year package. Separately, the House on Wednesday passed a bill by a 399-0 vote that would enhance the U.S. commitment to Israel’s qualitative military edge in the region.

Middle East Monitor (Britain)

Lawmakers in the US Congress reached an agreement on Monday in both the House and the Senate on the proposed federal budget for 2014, which would allocate $520.5 billion for defence spending and $491.8 billion for non-defence. The defence budget includes an increase in military aid to Israel that will be given as private aid, thus it will be in addition to the $3.1 billion dollars already given annually to Tel Aviv. The budget is still awaiting formal approval and the exact amount of additional aid to Israel remains unclear ... Reuters news agency reported that the additional military aid to Israel would exceed $500 million ...

The Wall Street Journal - HNN

... The U.S. government lobotomized roughly 2,000 mentally ill veterans — and likely hundreds more — during and after World War II, according to a cache of forgotten memos, letters and government reports unearthed by The Wall Street Journal. Besieged by psychologically damaged troops returning from the battlefields of North Africa, Europe and the Pacific, the Veterans Administration performed the brain-altering operation on former servicemen it diagnosed as depressives, psychotics and schizophrenics, and occasionally on people identified as homosexuals ...

John Koster - Time

The “infamy” of December 7, 1941, is deeper than most Americans have ever imagined. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was almost certainly the result of a Soviet plot — “Operation Snow” — carried out by Harry Dexter White, a figure of enormous influence in the Roosevelt administration and a known Soviet spy. Americans remember Pearl Harbor as the work of a Japanese military machine hell-bent on a war of conquest. The truth is more complicated ... Skillfully manipulating Morgenthau and Hornbeck, White was able to turn U.S. policy toward Japan in an increasingly belligerent direction.

David Kennedy - The Atlantic

... The moment had now arrived [Pres. Woodrow Wilson believed] for the United States to redeem on a global scale the full revolutionary promise of 1776 — to create everywhere the novus ordo saeclorum ("new order of the ages") that the founding generation had so extravagantly predicted ... Even Kissinger, the arch-realist, concedes that "Wilson's principles have remained the bedrock of American foreign-policy thinking." Those principles informed Franklin Roosevelt's Atlantic Charter in 1941. They shaped the array of multilateral institutions that the United States helped to create at the end of World War II, including the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the United Nations ...

Ralph Raico

... An enduring aura of saintliness surrounds Woodrow Wilson, largely generated in the immediate post-World War II period, when his "martyrdom" was used as a club to beat any lingering isolationists. But even setting aside his role in bringing war to America, and his foolish and pathetic floundering at the peace conference — Wilson's crusade against freedom of speech and the market economy alone should be enough to condemn him in the eyes of any authentic liberal. Yet his incessant invocation of terms like "freedom" and "democracy" continues to mislead those who choose to listen to self-serving words rather than look to actions.

Time & Life Pictures

... That Hitler was a galvanizing speaker is evident to anyone who has ever heard recordings or seen footage of him in action ... Whatever the true, core source of his malevolent charisma might have been, however, there’s simply no getting around the fact that, for more than a decade in the middle part of the 20th century, men, women and children were drawn, in droves, to Hitler and his message. Here, LIFE.com offers 14 color pictures by Hitler’s personal photographer, Hugo Jaeger, that testify to the Führer’s mass popularity, and the often frenzied response he was able to elicit ...

William Deresiewicz – The Nation

… Most professors I know are willing to talk with students about pursuing a PhD, but their advice comes down to three words: don’t do it … Over the past twenty years, in other words — or really, over the past forty — what has happened in academia is what has happened throughout the American economy. Good, secure, well-paid positions — tenured appointments in the academy, union jobs on the factory floor — are being replaced by temporary, low-wage employment … Social mobility is now lower in the United States than it is in Northern Europe, Australia, Canada and even France and Spain …

M. Behravesh and A. Persson - Foreign Policy in Focus

... This is precisely what is unsettling Tel Aviv: any diplomatic resolution of Iran’s nuclear controversy will deprive Israeli hawks of what they see as the sole feasible justification to overthrow the Iranian regime by military force. The fact is, with or without a nuclear bomb, Israel deems Iran’s clerical regime an “existential threat” and is intent on deposing it. It’s not simply because of Iran’s nuclear program or bombastic anti-Israel rhetoric, but mainly because post-revolutionary Iran and its clients in the Levant stand as the chief impediments to Israeli hegemony in the Middle East.

The Jerusalem Post (Israel)

The more the American public learns about the Iran nuclear agreement reached in Geneva last month, the less it seems to like it, according to a Pew Research/ USA Today Poll conducted this week. The poll found that 43 percent of Americans disapprove of the agreement, while 32% approve and 25% don't know. These results were sharply different from a Reuters/ Ipsos poll conducted just days after the agreement which found that Americans backed the deal by a two– to–one margin. The Pew poll found large disparities between Democrats and Republicans on this issue, with 50% of Democrats approving, as opposed to only 14% of Republicans.

Uri Avnery (Israel)

So here comes John Kerry again, for the umpteenth time (but who is counting?) to make peace between us and the Palestinians. It is a highly laudable effort. Unfortunately, it is based on a false premise. To wit: that the Israeli government wants peace based on the two-state solution. Unwilling – or unable – to recognize this simple truth, Kerry looks for a way around ... This approach is based on the false premise – the offspring of the overall premise – that the “security concerns” cited by our government are genuine. Kerry is expressing the basic American belief that if reasonable people sit around a table and analyze a problem, they will find a solution.

Video

“The Real Truth About Palestine” is a smart, funny Palestinian response to Zionist half-truths and lies about the Israel-Palestine conflict. In 2011 Israeli deputy foreign minister Danny Ayalon released a video titled “The Truth About the West Bank” that denies that the land was Palestinian or that it’s been occupied. In “The Real Truth,” two young, edgy Palestinian women provide a tart and persuasive reply to Ayalon’s historical distortion.

N. Guttman - Forward

The singular power and influence of Haim Saban, an Israeli-American, Hollywood-based media mogul, brought top Israeli and U.S. officials together last weekend to discuss the troubles now roiling relations between Washington and Jerusalem ... Saban, the conference’s host and a major donor to Obama’s Democratic Party, told Israeli TV that bringing the president to speak to an Israeli audience was his personal highlight ... “Everybody wants to be the king of the Jews, but I think he might be the king of the Jews,” Goldberg said. “When he picks up the phone people answer and they do him favors.”

Richard Edmondson

It’s kind of one of those pictures that are “worth a thousand words,” don’t you think? What you’re looking at is Obama onstage with media mogul and Israeli dual national Haim Saban, who has stated previously, “I’m a one issue guy, and my issue is Israel.” The photo was taken last weekend at the Saban Forum, held in Washington ... Saban, of course, has lots of money. In 2002 he provided a $13 million grant which established the Saban Center for Middle East Policy, and which is part of the larger Brookings Institution think tank. Today he is a major funder of political candidates, particularly of the Democratic Party.

Mark Weber – Video

The French President called Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu “a liar” in a private conversation with President Obama that was overhead by journalists. “I cannot bear Netanyahu, he’s a liar,” Sarkozy said. Obama replied: “You’re sick of him, but I have to deal with him every day.” Behind this exchange is frustration over the routine deceit and arrogance of Israeli leaders, and the humiliation of bowing to Jewish-Zionist power. This same power determines US policy in the Middle East. The US ambassador to Israel, Daniel Shapiro, bluntly acknowledges that US policy in the region is driven by concern for Israel’s security and identity as a Jewish ethno-religious state — and not by what’s best for America and the world.

Elad Nehorai ("Manny Friedman") -- The Times of Israel

... Let’s be honest with ourselves, here, fellow Jews. We do control the media. We’ve got so many dudes up in the executive offices in all the big movie production companies it’s almost obscene ... Did you know that all eight major film studios are run by Jews? ... The truth is, the anti-Semites got it right. We Jews have something planted in each one of us that makes us completely different from every group in the world ... We no longer have to change our names. We no longer have to blend in like chameleons. We own a whole freaking country. Instead, we can be proud of who we are, and simultaneously aware of our huge responsibility — and opportunity.

Middle East Monitor (Britain)

Israel's former Knesset [parliament] Speaker Avraham Burg openly recognised that Israel possesses nuclear weapons during a conference in Haifa on Thursday that convened to discuss a Middle East free of nuclear weapons ... Burg said that: "the nuclear treasure has transformed these days into a political burden and a risk in the long run. Israel adopts a policy of ambiguity, which has become obsolete and is a childish way to prevent other countries from obtaining nuclear weapons. The new realities in the region require for states to choose whether everyone can possess nuclear weapons or to have a zone free of nuclear weapons."

Larry Gross - Truthdig

Doorstop. That’s what publishers call 400-page books like Max Blumenthal’s “Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel.” But as I read it the term that came to mind was heart stopper. The book is hard to read, despite its short chapters and accessible prose, because of its relentless parade of facts — details, names, places, events — that add up to a portrait of pain and despair and injustice ... It is a damning and depressing portrait of a society that has been accustomed to presenting itself to the world as a righteous actor, the “Middle East’s only democracy,” surrounded by implacable enemies and forced to defend itself by any means necessary.

Robert Fisk - The Independent (Britain)

... Karsten has put together a book of immense research which will remain the volume on Israel’s shame in Lebanon and its historical defeat. That’s the title of the English edition – Goodbye Lebanon: Israel’s First Defeat. His detailed questioning of torture victims – hanged by their arms, electrocuted, in one case apparently raped and in another mistreated in an Israeli hospital – have an unstoppable power to convince. Not only did he cover the events on the ground in southern Lebanon, he interviewed Israeli veterans in Israel itself.

The Guardian (Britain)

... Ashkelon is not the only Israeli town to be rocked by mob violence this year. On 7 November, a device attached to the car of a prominent state prosecutor, well-known for pursuing Israel’s crime families, detonated in Tel Aviv. This rise in incidents has inspired a fierce debate that reached a climax last week with a call from Israel’s hawkish public security minister, Yitzhak Aharonovitch, for the use of anti-terror tactics usually reserved for Palestinian militants – including administrative detention – against Jewish Israeli crime families ... Debate over the cause of the current surge in this gang war – and its unusually brutish violence – has inspired intense scrutiny among domestic commentators.

C. J. Werleman – Alternet

... We’ve become a third-world nation. America has become a RINO: rich in name only. By every measure, we look like a broken banana republic. Not a single U.S. city is included in the world’s top ten most livable cities. Only one U.S. airport makes the list of the top 100 in the world. Our roads, schools and bridges are falling apart, and our trains — none of them high-speed — are running off their tracks. Our high school students are rated 30th in math, and some 30 countries have longer life expectancy and lower rates of infant mortality. The only things America is number one in these days are the number of incarcerated citizens per capita and adult onset diabetes.

D. H. Price - Counterpunch

... When Robert Levinson was first kidnapped in Iran seven years ago, the CIA asserted that he had no ties to the agency, that he was merely a private citizen on a business trip. A leaked internal CIA paper trail showed otherwise ... Now, with news of the CIA’s $2.5-million settlement with Levinson’s family, the CIA publicly admits Robert Levinson was a CIA agent, but the agency claims he was in Iran as a rogue agent, sent by rogue analysts who had no authority to deploy him on a field operation. But these claims are difficult to evaluate.

Andrew J. Bacevich

... Reflecting on “where isolationism leads,” Jennifer Rubin, the reliably bellicose Washington Post columnist, was quick to chime in, denouncing those hesitant to initiate another war as “infantile.” American isolationists, she insisted, were giving a green light to aggression ... Military analyst Frederick Kagan was equally troubled ... Over at the New York Times, similar concerns, even if less hysterically expressed, prevailed. According to Times columnist Roger Cohen, President Obama’s reluctance to pull the trigger showed that he had “deferred to a growing isolationism.” ... Actually, Americans should beware those who conjure up phony warnings of a “new isolationism” to advance a particular agenda.

R. W. Johnson – The National Interest

... What no one can take away is that Mandela showed extraordinary courage and fortitude through twenty-eight years in jail, and he adopted a generous attitude of forgiving his enemies when he emerged from jail. These are the two things that people all over the world remember. Otherwise, people exhibit an extraordinary amnesia ... Mandela's administration also saw the passage of perhaps the most extreme labour laws in the world and radical affirmative action laws which saw the ruination of the civil service by the mass replacement of skilled whites and Asians by mainly unskilled Africans. The civil service has also never recovered.

P. Crutchley - BBC News

In 1911, Roger Casement knelt before King George V and was knighted for his humanitarian work. Five years later, he was hanged for treason at London's Pentonville prison and his naked body thrown into an open grave. The knight who had served the British Empire with distinction had become a fervent Irish nationalist. His activity in that cause, during a time of war, was deemed to be treason and a diary that held a dark secret would seal his fate at the gallows. There would be no mercy for the hero who had become a traitor in the eyes of Britain.

Ted Galen Carpenter - The National Interest

Mexico’s infamous drug cartels have terrorized the country for years. Since 2006, at least 60,000 people have perished in armed conflicts between the cartels and the Mexican government and, to an even greater extent, in turf fights among the rival drug gangs themselves. Public attitudes toward the traffickers have varied dramatically. In some portions of the country, people have treated them as modern-day folk heroes, and have been willing to look the other way while prominent drug lords provide money for schools, hospitals, and churches. Other Mexicans, though, have become increasingly angry at people they regard as thugs and terrorists.

Reuters

An Italian court has ruled in favour of the expulsion of ex-Ku Klux Klan leader and former Louisiana politician David Duke from Italy, where he had been living for a year and a half, local police said on Thursday. Duke, 63, moved to the Valle di Cadore mountain village after being granted a visa to study and write there by the Italian embassy in Malta, said Luciano Meneghetti, deputy police chief in the northern Italian province of Belluno. Italian police subsequently found that Switzerland had issued in 2009 a travel and residence ban against Duke valid throughout the entire Schengen area, a group of 26 European countries that have abolished internal border controls.

Salon.com

Seymour Hersh, the legendary investigative journalist who broke the My Lai massacre and the abuses at Abu Ghraib, says in a new report ... that the Obama administration did not tell the whole truth while arguing for a military strike against Syria’s Bashar al-Assad for using chemical weapons. Hersh accuses the Obama administration of cherry-picking its evidence and omitting key, contradictory facts. But the administration’s greatest sin, according to Hersh, was its failure to reveal its knowledge that an al Qaida-aligned group of Syrian rebels — the al-Nusra Front — had mastered the creation of sarin gas, the substance used in the chemical attack the administration cited as a cause for war.

Seymour M. Hersh - London Review of Books

Barack Obama did not tell the whole story this autumn when he tried to make the case that Bashar al-Assad was responsible for the chemical weapons attack near Damascus on 21 August. In some instances, he omitted important intelligence, and in others he presented assumptions as facts. Most significant, he failed to acknowledge something known to the US intelligence community: that the Syrian army is not the only party in the country’s civil war with access to sarin, the nerve agent that a UN study concluded – without assessing responsibility – had been used in the rocket attack.

Daily Mail (Britain)

Jesus has been named the most significant person in human history, followed by Napoleon and Shakespeare, as ruled by the internet. Based on the impact on opinions certain individuals have had over time, and how that has reflected onto their Wikipedia pages, two computer scientists have come up with the ultimate list. Professor Steven Skiena and Charles Ward use quantative analysis to rank more than a thousand historical figures and prominent people ... [The top ten, in descending order: Jesus, Napoleon Bonaparte, William Shakespeare, Muhammad, Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, Adolf Hitler, Aristotle, Alexander the Great, and Thomas Jefferson.]

The Telegraph (Britain)

Vladimir Putin sought to cast Russia as the moral arbiter of the world on Thursday, as he hit out at America’s “non-traditional values” and its influence across the world. In an annual state of the nation address, the 61-year-old Russian president said his country did not aspire to be “some kind of superpower”. “We do not infringe on anyone’s interests, we do not force our patronage on anyone, or try to teach anyone how to live,” he said. His comments amounted to an oblique rebuttal to the growing international movement against Russia’s restrictive laws on homosexuality.

Patrick J. Buchanan

The scores are in from the 2012 Program for International Student Assessment [PISA], which, every three years, tests 15-year-olds from the world’s most advanced countries. For the United States, the report card is dismal ... In the academic Olympics, the American superpower is a mediocrity ... How can a lack of money explain our declining test scores when America continues to spend more per capita on education than almost any other country? Yet, the more we spend, the lower the test scores we get back in global competition? ... If poverty explains the dismal performance of America's students, why are they being lapped by Vietnamese 15-year-olds?

Mark Weber – Podcast

Major trends in American social, economic and political life are symptoms of a society on the path to ruin. In his 1993 book, Out of Control, former US National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski warns of America’s moral and ethical decline, the corrosive role of American television and motion pictures, and much more. The Polish-born scholar and statesman stresses that American society today lacks any meaningful moral-ethical foundation. He writes of the “supremacy of decadence and hedonism” in today’s America, where “self-gratification is the norm.” A society that “puts a premium on individual self-satisfaction is a community threatened by dissolution.”

Reuters

The German state of Bavaria announced on Wednesday it had scrapped plans to publish a new academic reprint of Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf with critical commentary when its legal power to ban the book expires in 2015. The southern German state owns the copyright and has banned any republication. But the copyright expires at the end of 2015, 70 years after the author's death ... Mr Spaenle said in a statement on the state government website that Bavaria would continue to take legal action against anyone who tries to publish even excerpts of Mein Kampf.

European Jewish Press

An anti-Semitic Christmas carol broadcast by the state-operated Romanian channel TVR has caused a scandal in the country. The song played in the traditional way of a “colinda”, the Romanian Christmas carol, indirectly glorifies the Holocaust. Romania’s Foreign Minister Titus Corlațean and the Israeli embassy in Bucharest expressed their concern … The song was played already on Dec. 3 by TVR3 Verde, a channel directed to rural communities. In the carol, sung by a choir, the “jidovi”, a derogatory term for Jews, are reproached for having “mocked” the Christ Child. “Only in the chimney, in the smoke, the ‘jidov’ is good”, the lyrics further say.

CNN

... The notion that a good president doesn't lie to the American people -- that's an illusion as well. Historians say many of our greatest presidents were the biggest liars -- and duplicity was part of their greatness ... President John F. Kennedy declared in 1961 that "I have previously stated, and I repeat now, that the United States plans no military intervention in Cuba." All the while, he was planning an invasion of Cuba ... Some presidents were so deceitful that they even lied to their friends. Franklin Roosevelt was such a president ... Roosevelt told three different men that he wanted them to be his next vice president during the Democratic national convention in 1944. Then he picked a fourth man, Harry Truman, for the office ...

Srdja Trifkovic – Chronicles

… President Franklin D. Roosevelt was eager to enter the war in Europe. He wanted this strongly following the fall of France (June 1940) — when he came to believe that without American intervention the Nazis would conquer the Old Continent — and desperately after Germany attacked the Soviet Union a year later. In this desire he was supported by the old East Coast elite which was traditionally Anglophile, by the increasingly influential Jewish lobby, and — after June 22, 1941 — by Moscow’s sympathizers within his entourage and in the country at large.

Simon Hooper - AlJazeera

… As a global statesman of grace and humility, he was long courted by Western leaders drawn by his irresistible story of triumph over tyranny. Yet Mandela, who died on Dec. 5 at 95, was also a more radical and politically complex figure than has been commonly acknowledged by his admirers in the West. As a young man, he had close ties to the South African Communist Party and plotted an armed uprising inspired by Fidel Castro's 1959 revolution in Cuba.

NBC News

From the White House to the halls of Congress, U.S. government officials have responded to the death of Nelson Mandela with a hail of testimonials to the late South African president’s leadership in the struggle for freedom and human rights. Until five years ago, however, the U.S. officially considered Mandela a terrorist. During the Cold War, both the State and Defense departments dubbed Mandela’s political party, the African National Congress, a terrorist group, and Mandela’s name remained on the U.S. terrorism watch list till 2008. ...

Business Day (South Africa)

Former president Nelson Mandela was a member of the South African Communist Party’s (SACP’s) central executive committee at the time of his arrest in 1962, the SACP and the African National Congress (ANC) confirmed on Friday. Even though it had always been denied, the ANC and the SACP confirmed that Mr Mandela had served on the party’s central executive committee in their statements paying tribute to the antiapartheid icon. There had been much debate about the issue among historians and academics. SACP deputy general secretary Solly Mapaila on Thursday said he was a member of the party, but it was denied at the time for "political reasons".

JTA

... For Mandela, who rose to prominence as a leading opponent of the discriminatory racial regime known as apartheid, Jews were vital allies. Jewish lawyers represented him in multiple trials, and Jewish activists and political figures played leading roles in the fight ... Mandela’s deep ties to the Jewish community continued during his political career. ... On Israel, Mandela’s relationship with the Jewish community was not free of controversy ... “If the truth alienates the powerful Jewish community in South Africa, that’s too bad,” Mandela was reported to have said ...

BBC News

More young men in California rise in pitch at the end of their sentences when talking, new research shows. This process is known as "uptalk" or "valleygirl speak" and has in the past been associated with young females, typically from California or Australia. But now a team says that this way of speaking is becoming more frequent among men. The findings were presented at the Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America in California.

The Telegraph (Britain)

... The FSA [Free Syrian Army], a collection of tenuously coordinated, moderately Islamic, rebel groups was long the focus of the West’s hopes for ousting President Bashar al-Assad. But in northern Syria, the FSA has now become a largely criminal enterprise, with commanders more concerned about profits from corruption, kidnapping and theft than fighting the regime, according to a series of interviews with The Sunday Telegraph ... Almost three years later the fight against Bashar al-Assad is long forgotten. Discussion now surrounds fears of the growing power of al-Qaeda’s Syrian outfit, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, and the criminality and corruption that grips rebel-held areas.

JTA

When it comes to the deal between Iran and major powers, Israel and the pro-Israel community are retreating from a strategy of confrontation and working instead to influence the contours of a final agreement. In a conference call last week, Howard Kohr, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s executive director, advised pro-Israel activists and leaders not to confront the Obama administration directly over the “difference of strategy” between the United States and Israel on Iran. Instead, Kohr said to focus on passing new sanctions as a means of shaping a final deal ... Kohr’s advice comports with a recent rhetorical pivot by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who initially excoriated the interim deal with Iran reached last month in Geneva as a “historic mistake.”

Salon

During an invitation-only phone briefing for supporters, one of the Senate’s top Iran hawks relished his battle with the Obama administration over the imposition of more sanctions against Iran ... During the call, Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., reserved special attacks for Secretary of State John Kerry and lead U.S. negotiator Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman. “It’s the reason why I ran for the Senate, [it] is all wrapped up in this battle. I am totally dedicated to the survival of the state of Israel in the 21st century,” said Kirk ...

Robert J. Samuelson

... The fascination with the Kennedys endures, though it's probably on its last lap ... He was not a great president. He was somewhere between middling and mediocre. At his death, he had no major legislative accomplishments. His two major proposals -- a tax cut to spur the economy and civil rights legislation -- languished in Congress. He expanded the Vietnam War, and though some supporters argue he would have reversed that in a second term, presidents are judged on what they did, not what they might have done ... Our continuing seduction by the Kennedy narrative presumes that had he lived, the future would have been better.

The Times of Israel - AP

Israel is perceived by local experts as being among the least corrupt countries in the Middle East but among the most corrupt in the developed world, according to a global survey of 177 countries released Tuesday by the watchdog group Transparency International ... The survey also found that Israelis feel that political parties, religious institutions and civil servants are among the most corrupt entities in the country. A full 79 percent of respondents felt that political parties were corrupt or extremely corrupt, 73% said religious bodies were corrupt, and 60% said public officials and civil servants were corrupt.

Ed West - The Spectator (Britain)

.. . At some point in the English-speaking world it was agreed that people should not say things that were true, however necessary it might be, if it offended someone’s sacred identity ... After the Second World War a new faith, the radical Left, conquered all and academics who proposed vaguely controversial ideas, such as Richard Herrnstein or E.O. Wilson, became the victims of vicious student-led campaigns (Hernstein was talking about IQ and class in a meritocratic society) ...

Heather MacDonald - City Journal

The budget-strapped University of California squanders millions on mindless diversity programs / ... It’s impossible to overstate the extent to which the diversity ideology has encroached upon UC’s collective psyche and mission. No administrator, no regent, no academic dean or chair can open his mouth for long without professing fealty to diversity. It is the one constant in every university endeavor; it impinges on hiring, distorts the curriculum, and sucks up vast amounts of faculty time and taxpayer resources.

Time & Life Pictures

These 21 color photos, taken by Hugo Jaeger, vividly portray something of the pageantry of Hitler’s Germany, and the passion of popular support for the nation’s leadership.

Peter Oborne - The Telegraph (Britain)

... The CFI [“Conservative Friends of Israel”] warned Tory MPs that “the world’s most dangerous regime has taken a significant step towards obtaining the world’s most dangerous weapon” – echoing Mr Netanyahu almost verbatim. This was not merely propaganda. It was ignorant and poorly informed ... As so often happens, British politics is following the United States, where the pro-Israel lobby would love to destroy the provisional deal that John Kerry has thrashed out with the Iranian foreign minister ... Israel’s interests would be much better served if its advocates in Britain and the United States stood up and condemned the witless ranting and raving of prime minister Netanyahu.

Scott McConnell - The American Conservative

One remarkable aspect of the Iran debate now taking place in Washington is its lack of balance. From Israel and the various Iran hawks, no argument, no matter how over the top, can be in bad taste. For them it is permissible, nearly mandatory, to liken the graying revolutionary regime of Iran ... to that of Adolph Hitler ... There is something rather odd about Israel, stuffed to the gills with nuclear rockets and submarines, insisting that no one else can ever have them. But no one on Capitol Hill raises this point.

Reuters

Europe's highest court struck down European Union sanctions against an Iranian power company on Thursday, the latest legal ruling against measures that the EU has imposed over Iran's nuclear program. While sanctions are set to be relaxed under a deal last week in which Tehran promised to limit parts of its nuclear work, the EU is still keen to have the option to impose trade restrictions in the future should Iran waver. That could be complicated by this decision, the first such judgment by Europe's top court, and previous EU legal rulings. A lower EU court had already overturned several sanctions ...

The Jerusalem Post (Israel)

Israel must find other allies and reduce its dependence on the United States in the international arena, nearly half of Israeli Jews said in the monthly Peace Index poll published Monday by the Israel Democracy Institute (IDI) and Tel Aviv University ... Asked whether Israel would succeed in finding new allies, 70% of Jewish Israelis believe Israel will not find any. Of those polled, 71% believe the US is Israel’s most loyal and important ally, while 26% believe it is not.

Andrew J. Bacevich - The Spectator

... As he donned the mantle of the ‘most powerful man in the world’, the expectations that had lifted him into the Oval Office qualified as nothing short of messianic ... The infection that was Obamamania is gone for good. As for the President himself, the verdict is in: when it comes to repairing and healing, no, he can’t. In retrospect, it’s hard to fathom why so many people succumbed to the illusion that he could ... Obama has lived long enough to make the journey from rock star to something between laughing stock and object of pity ... Looking to the president to ‘fix the problem’ is to indulge in a vast delusion, inevitably leading to disappointment. Worse, it amounts to a collective abdication of responsibility on the part of citizens, who by now ought to know better.

Carol McGraw - The Gazette (Colorado)

More bad news for American education. The country’s performance in reading, math, and science has remained stagnant since 2009 as other nations have raced ahead according to the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) results released Tuesday. Nineteen countries scored higher than the US in reading on the 2012 test. On the math test, 29 nations and other jurisdictions outperformed the United States, up from 23 three years ago, according to Education Week’s website. Among those ahead included places like South Korea, Singapore, Austria, United Kingdom and Vietnam ...

J. Ryan - The Atlantic

The U.S. education system is mediocre compared to the rest of the world, according to an international ranking of OECD countries. More than half a million 15-year-olds around the world took the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) ... The U.S. ranks fifth in spending per student. Only Austria, Luxembourg, Norway, and Switzerland spend more per student ... The PISA report notes that, among OECD countries, “higher expenditure on education is not highly predictive of better mathematics scores in PISA.”

Patrick J. Buchanan

… Today, 70 years after Pearl Harbor, a remarkable secret history, written from 1943 to 1963, has come to light. It is Hoover’s explanation of what happened before, during and after the world war that may prove yet the death knell of the West. Edited by historian George Nash, “Freedom Betrayed: Herbert Hoover’s History of the Second World War and Its Aftermath” is a searing indictment of FDR and the men around him as politicians who lied prodigiously about their desire to keep America out of war, even as they took one deliberate step after another to take us into war.

Charles Lutton -- Institute for Historical Review

… Over the past half-century, Pearl Harbor revisionism has come of age. From the first writings of John T. Flynn, to George Morgenstern's masterful study, to the work encouraged by Harry Elmer Barnes, the testimony of participants in the events, and the latest findings of "second-generation" historians who are not satisfied merely to retell the standard accounts, this endeavor to uncover the truth has not been marked by paranoid "conspiracy theories" or reactionary "Roosevelt baiting." What revisionists have accomplished is a sober re-appraisal of the origins of the Pacific War, and the making of a strong case for remembering December 7, 1941 as President Roosevelt's "Day of Infamy."

The New York Times

... Until recently, Black Pete was uncontroversial. Not because the Dutch are particularly racist, but because Sinterklaas, like the royal family, is sacred in the Netherlands, perhaps because of a dearth of other, specifically Dutch traditions. A matter, in other words, of conservatism. Such traditions are even more important today, given the view that, in order to safeguard the Dutch national identity, homegrown culture and folklore must not be tampered with ... But just as the defense of traditions has grown stronger, so has the criticism that Black Pete is a racist holdover from the Netherlands’s colonial past.

Eric Margolis

... There appears no way Iran could even come close to making a few nuclear weapons – or, for that matter, delivered them at medium range. But that has not quieted the wailing and threats coming from Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu, who has some 200 nuclear weapons tucked away in his basement. Or from America’s pro-Israel lobby and its captive Republican Party ... Back in the US, having seen the full might of the pro-Israel lobby attacking their president and making Congress clap like circus seals, many Americans must be wondering if they have lost control of their nation’s Mideast policy.

Philip Giraldi - The American Conservative

... There has long been a certain acceptance both in the media and within the government that something done on behalf of or together with Israel is somehow not subject to the same laws of physics that govern the rest of the political universe ... The Mossad frequently uses so-called sayanim in its espionage, which means diaspora Jews that it recruits on the basis of a shared religion or concern for the security of Israel.

AFP

British officials burned and dumped at sea documents from colonies that were about to become independent in a systematic effort to hide their "dirty" secrets, newly released files showed on Friday. Under "Operation Legacy", officials in Kenya, Uganda, Malaysia, Tanzania, Jamaica and other former British colonial territories were briefed on how to dispose of documents that "might embarrass Her Majesty's government". The newly declassified Foreign Office files reveal how the "splendid incinerator" at the Royal Navy base in Singapore was used to destroy lorry loads of files from the region.

GlobalPost (Boston)

The current gap between America's rich and poor is the widest in history, new research using Internal Revenue Service data reveals ... The new report, entitled “Striking it Richer: The Evolution of Top Incomes in the United States,” analyzed IRS data from 2012 all the way back to 1913 ... Researchers found that while the incomes of the so-called one percent of earners have almost made a full recovery from the bust years, those in the bottom 99 percent have only just begun to bounce back. That's not all: the top ten percent of US households controlled 50.4 percent of total income in 2012, the highest figures seen since 1917 ... At very top of the heap, the richest one percent's share of total household income was a record 19.3 percent last year.

The Associated Press

Most Americans say the nation's influence in world affairs is declining, disapprove of the way President Barack Obama is handling foreign policy, and would prefer more emphasis on domestic affairs, according to a new survey from the Pew Research Center. The survey, conducted with the Council on Foreign Relations, finds just 17 percent of Americans think the country plays a more important and powerful role as a world leader today than it did ten years ago, while 53 percent say it's less important and powerful now. That's the first time in polling dating back to the 1970s that a majority has said the country's influence is on the decline.

The Guardian (Britain)

Maps of neural circuitry show women's brains are suited to social skills and memory, men's perception and co-ordination / Scientists have drawn on nearly 1,000 brain scans to confirm what many had surely concluded long ago: that stark differences exist in the wiring of male and female brains. Maps of neural circuitry showed that on average women's brains were highly connected across the left and right hemispheres, in contrast to men's brains, where the connections were typically stronger between the front and back regions ... The greatest surprise was how much the findings supported old stereotypes, with men's brains apparently wired more for perception and co-ordinated actions, and women's for social skills and memory, making them better equipped for multitasking.

The Associated Press

A majority of Croatians voted in a referendum Sunday to ban gay marriages in what is a major victory for the Catholic Church-backed conservatives in the European Union's newest nation. The state electoral commission, citing near complete results, said 65 percent of those who voted answered "yes" to the referendum question: "Do you agree that marriage is matrimony between a man and a woman?" About 34 percent voted against. The result meant that Croatia's constitution will be amended to ban same-sex marriage. The vote has deeply divided Croatia.

BBC News

A World War Two Tiger tank - thought to be the last of its type in working order - is being loaned to the makers of the latest Brad Pitt film. The star has been shooting scenes for the action movie Fury around the village of Shirburn in Oxfordshire. The German tank was restored by experts at the Tank Museum in Bovington, Dorset, where it is usually on display. Museum director Richard Smith said it was "one of the most feared weapons unleashed by the Nazis". He said it had a "formidable reputation and could destroy an enemy tank from over 2 km away".

Video

The Tiger I heavy battle tank is perhaps the most famous and most feared tank in military history. It was armed with the famous 88 mm gun and protected with 100 mm thick frontal armor. In a legendary attack on June 13, 1944, SS officer Michael Wittmann struck against a British armored brigade in Normandy. In his lone Tiger tank he destroyed at least a dozen Allied tanks, including Shermans and Cromwells, 13 M3 half-tracks, and a dozen or more thinly armored Bren carriers. Runtime: 1:34 mins.

Patrick J. Buchanan

... Egged on by Bibi Netanyahu and the Israeli Lobby AIPAC, the neocons are anticipating the return of Congress to start work on new sanctions on Iran. Should they succeed, they just might abort the Geneva talks or even torpedo the six-month deal with Iran ... If Bibi, AIPAC, the neocons, and their congressional allies should sabotage the negotiations or scuttle the existing or future deal with Iran, maneuvering us into a another war in the Middle East that America does not want, how do they think this will sit with the voters in 2016?

Rep. Ron Paul

... Why have the interventionists, the neocons, and the special interest groups claimed for so long that negotiation and diplomacy was tantamount to surrender; that countries such as Iran and Syria “only understand force”? It is because these groups are afraid of diplomacy. They do not want a peaceful resolution to these conflicts. They see US foreign relations only in the starkest terms: do what we say and we will give you aid, disobey us and we will bomb you ... Instead of listening to the American people, many in Congress seem attached to special interests like the Israel and Saudi lobbies, which oppose anything less than full Iranian capitulation. Israel refuses to join the Non-Proliferation Treaty yet it seeks to dictate the rules of the treaty to those who have signed it.

UPI

Over the last few weeks, a horrid phenomenon known as "the Knockout Game" has spread across the United States like wildfire. Generally speaking, it works like this: A group of teens or young adults single out an older individual. This unfortunate pedestrian is struck quickly and, before help can arrive, the attacking group runs off ... In virtually all Knockout assaults, the so-called gamers have been black. Their targets, meanwhile, belong to another race. This pattern is so pervasive that many of those who go on Knockout rampages call it "polar bear hunting." ... Try as no small number might, rational minds cannot ignore the racial angle, if not impetus, of Knockout Game attacks. Far too many young blacks appear to harbor extreme animosity toward others who look different than them.

N. Brinkerhoff – AllGov

Trust is in short supply these days in the United States. Only about 30 percent of Americans say most people can be trusted — down from 50 percent in 1972. For most people (nearly two-thirds), their view of others can be summed up with: “you can’t be too careful.” The high level of distrust applies to day-to-day living ...

AFP

Bob Dylan has been charged with incitement to hatred in France after he was quoted comparing Croats with Nazis in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, a judicial source said Monday. The world-famous American singer was questioned and charged last month while on a visit to Paris ... The charge against him centres on a 2012 interview with Rolling Stone magazine during which he compared the relationship between Croats and Serbs to that of the Nazis and the Jews.

Alain de Benoist – Interview

... All the important events of the last decades were not foreseen, beginning with the fall of the Berlin wall and the end of the Soviet system ... I don’t foresee any collapse but I believe that there is a strong possibility of a general collapse. At least in Europe we have the impression that the political system has exhausted all its possibilities ... There are ecological, demographic, and immigration problems. We are clearly at the end of something. Probably at the end of modernity. Never in my life can I remember a time in which all possibilities were as open as they are today. We are in a world of transition.

BBC News

An Olympic gold medal won by African-American athletics star Jesse Owens at the 1936 Berlin Games has been put up for auction online. The medal is one of four won at the event by Owens ... Owens faced discrimination and limited job opportunities when he returned home to a segregated US. The whereabouts of his other three gold medals are unknown. Owens won gold in the 100-metre and 200-metre races, the 400-metre relay and the long jump.

Daily Mail (Britain)

It has long been regarded as the greatest sporting snub in history -- when Adolf Hitler stormed out of the Olympic Stadium in Berlin because Germany had been humiliated by a black man ... Now a veteran sports reporter in Germany has come forward to claim that, though Hitler did indeed leave the stadium after the race, it was not before shaking Owens' hand. Siegfried Mischner, 83, claims that Owens carried around a photograph in his wallet of the Fuehrer doing just that. Owens, who felt the newspapers of the day reported 'unfairly' on Hitler's attitude towards him, tried to get Mischner and his journalist colleagues to change the accepted version of history in the 1960s. Mischner claimed Owens showed him the photograph and told him: 'That was one of my most beautiful moments.'

Adam Hochschild

... Up to that point, it had been the most destructive war in history, with a total civilian and military death toll of roughly 20 million. Millions more had been wounded, many of them missing arms, legs, eyes, genitals; and because of an Allied naval blockade of the Central Powers, millions more were near starvation ... Like most wars, the war of 1914-1918 was begun with the expectation of quick victory, created more problems than it solved, and was punctuated by moments of tragic folly. As the years have passed, one point that has come to symbolize the illusions, the destructiveness, the hubris, the needless deaths of the entire war — and of other wars since then — has been the first day of the Battle of the Somme.

The Guardian (Britain)

Several thousand people worldwide have taken part in protests at the Israeli government's plans to forcibly remove Bedouin Arabs from their villages in the Negev desert. In Israeli towns and cities mounted police used teargas, stun grenades and water cannon against demonstrators, in what the Association of Civil Rights in Israel described as a "disproportionate" response to stone-throwing. More than 40 people were arrested at protests across the country, and 15 police officers were injured. In what was billed as an international "day of rage", demonstrations were also held in London, Berlin, Rome, Istanbul, Cairo and in the United States.

AFP

The Foreign Press Association [in Israel] on Sunday accused the Israeli army of “deliberately targeting” journalists after soldiers fired rubber bullets and threw stun grenades at photojournalists clearly identified as press. In a statement, the Tel Aviv-based group, which represents journalists of all foreign media, including AFP, said troops had directly targeted a group of photographers covering clashes at the Qalandia checkpoint between Jerusalem and Ramallah.

The Christian Science Monitor

Two days before last month's Eid al-Adha holiday, the Israel Defense Forces arrived in this tiny Palestinian community in the Jordan Valley with an abrupt message: Clear out ... The IDF has carried out forced evacuations of Palestinians for military training in the Jordan Valley 35 times in the last year ... Dror Etkes, the director of Israeli organization Kerem Navot, which focuses on West Bank land use, says the evacuations are more than harassment. He argues that temporarily evicting the Palestinians is part of a larger effort to pressure them to leave the area permanently so that it can be more easily annexed to Israel.

VOA News

Pope Francis' criticism of what he calls “unfettered capitalism” has struck a nerve in the United States, long seen as a global proponent of the free market. In a 224-page apostolic exhortation, titled Evangelii Gaudium, or Joy of the Gospel, Francis argues that “trickle down” economic theories - associated with the late U.S. President Ronald Reagan - merely create an illusion of helping the poor. The document has prompted a backlash from some U.S. conservatives. “This is just pure Marxism coming out of the mouth of the pope,” said right-wing talk show host Rush Limbaught, who saw it as a thinly veiled attack on the United States.

Daily Mail (Britain)

An early version of the ‘King’s Speech’ reveals Britain was preparing to declare war on Germany before Hitler invaded Poland. George VI’s address to the nation, depicted in the 2010 movie starring Colin Firth as the stammering monarch, had been written at least nine days beforehand. The three-page document that has come to light is entitled ‘Draft King’s Speech’ and is dated August 25, 1939. The document, which was written on August 25, 1939 - seven days before Germany’s invasion of Poland - has come to light after 74 years ... In the Oscar-winning film, Colin Firth's royal character was given little time to prepare for his defining address to the nation but in reality it appears the speech was being readied for him more than a week beforehand.

Herbert Hoover

… The fourth abysmal loss of statesmanship was when the British and French guaranteed the independence of Poland and Rumania at the end of March 1939. It was at this point that the European democracies reversed their previous policies of keeping hands off the inevitable war between Hitler and Stalin. It was probably the greatest blunder in the whole history of European-power diplomacy. Britain and France were helpless to save Poland from invasion … The fifth major blunder in statesmanship was when Roosevelt, in the winter of 1941, threw the United States into undeclared war with Germany and Japan in total violation of promises upon which he had been elected a few weeks before … Indeed the greatest loss of statesmanship in all American history was the tacit American alliance and support of Communist Russia when Hitler made his attack in June 1941.

The Associated Press

An Israeli rabbinic court has fined a woman hundreds of dollars for refusing to circumcise her baby son, officials said Thursday, in a landmark case that has sparked a new uproar over the role of religion in the Jewish state. The case shines a spotlight on a long-running debate over religious coercion in Israel, where generations of leaders have struggled to find a balance between the country’s Jewish and democratic character. Rabbinic courts in Israel have authority over certain Jewish family matters like marriage, divorce, conversion and burial. Their decisions are binding for families that agree to take part in them, though their rulings can be appealed in the country's secular court system.

Michael Cohen - The Guardian (Britain)

... That Netanyahu describes these advances as a "mistake" is a reflection of how isolated he's made Israel on the Iran issue. No one – not even Israel's new bestie, France – is going to stand on that wall for the complete removal of Iran's nuclear program. In the pursuit of the perfect deal for Israel, they've made themselves into the enemy of the good ... Kicking Israel's most important ally in the shins, denigrating their diplomatic efforts, darkly hinting that they will unilaterally use military force and seeking to upend what is clearly one of President Obama's key foreign policy priorities, nuclear non-proliferation, is incredibly unwise.

The Times of Israel

Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert Sunday launched a bitter attack against his successor, Benjamin Netanyahu, for his “utterly misguided” policy of publicly confronting the United States over its Iran policy, and said that Netanyahu was causing an unprecedented and acutely dangerous rift in bilateral diplomatic relations. “We’ve declared war on the American government. You can’t deny this,” Olmert said at a panel discussion at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv.

Robert Fisk - The Independent (Britain)

... The partial nuclear agreement between Iran and the world’s six most important powers proves that the West will not go to war with Iran and has no intention - far into the future - of undertaking military action in the region ... There’s no doubt that Geneva has called Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s bluff. He may huff and puff, but if he wants to bash Iran now – on the basis that Israel must remain the only nuclear nation in the Middle East – he’s going to be on his own when his planes take off to bomb Iran’s nuclear plants.

Uri Avnery (Israel)

... Iran is the great victor. It has been warmly welcomed back into the family of civilized nations ... Any military strike against it by anyone, including Israel, has become unthinkable. The image of Iran as a nation of crazy ayatollahs, fostered by Netanyahu and Ahmadinejad, has disappeared. Iran now looks like a responsible country, led by sober and shrewd leaders. Israel is the great loser. It has maneuvered itself into a position of total isolation. Its demands have been ignored, its traditional friends have distanced themselves.

The Algemeiner (Brooklyn, NY)

House Intelligence Committee member Michelle Bachmann said that Iran’s nuclear facilities “must be bombed.” In a speech at a Zionist Organization of America gala on Sunday night, Bachmann said that the Geneva deal reached between Iran and world powers at the weekend will severely limit Israel’s ability to operate freely in the interests of its self defense. Bachmann said, “It may be incumbent upon the Prime Minister to make a decision he has no desire to make, and that would be to bomb facilities, that must be bombed, in Iran.”

Mark Weber -- Podcast

Michele Bachmann, who calls herself a “constitutional conservative,” is a US congressional representative who was a presidential candidate. In a video presentation, she stresses her “love” for Israel, and says that US support for the Zionist state is “critical” for America. Her views on Israel, American “exceptionalism” and US foreign policy are shared by many Americans, especially those who call themselves conservative. In this broadcast, Weber explains why her views grossly distort historical reality, are dangerously misleading, and betray the very principles she claims to uphold.