October 2014

National Review

The number of working-age adults in the United States with limited proficiency in English has more than doubled since 1980, according to a new Brookings Institution study. Immigrants proficient in English, the study notes, tend to earn substantially higher incomes ... The Wall Street Journal reports that the rise comes out to nearly one in ten adults who lack sufficient English skills, two and a half times more than three decades ago. Two-thirds of those lacking proficiency are Spanish speakers. In large cities, the numbers are even higher. For example, in Los Angeles and Miami, the Journal reports almost 25 percent of adults lack proficient English.

BBC News

The maths skills of teenagers in parts of the deep south of the United States are worse than in countries such as Turkey, and barely above countries such as Chile and Mexico. An international study of maths ability in the US shows how individual states would have performed if they were ranked against other countries, using the OECD's Pisa results as a benchmark. The study also shows that privileged youngsters in the US, with highly-educated parents, are lagging behind similar youngsters in other developed countries ... The US has been a mediocre performer in international education tests, based on average performance across the country, but this study shows how this average conceals a remarkably wide range of successes and failures.

Reuters

More than 3,000 students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill received credit for fake classes over an 18-year period as part of a program that allowed many of them to remain eligible to play sports, according to a report released on Wednesday. The investigation by former federal prosecutor Kenneth Wainstein is the latest of several attempts to unravel allegations of academic fraud involving student-athletes at a university known for both its academic rigor and athletics ... The report does not incriminate any coaches or athletic administrators in the scheme, which it said was carried out by a former department head and former office administrator within the African and Afro-American Studies department.

CBS News Philadelphia

You might have graduated from an Ivy League university, but that doesn’t mean you learned anything. That’s the takeaway from a new report called “What Will They Learn?” published by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni. The research looked at more than 1,000 U.S. colleges and universities in terms of seven key areas of learning: literature, composition, economics, math, intermediate level foreign language, science and American government/history. Only 23 national institutions got an ‘A’ grade for requiring classes in six of the seven subjects the ACTA calls “essential.”

Huffington Post

Only 3.3 percent of colleges require students to take a basic economics course, a new report finds. The American Council of Trustees and Alumni released an annual study titled “What Will They Learn?” on Wednesday, which criticizes colleges and universities for not requiring several basic courses the group feels are essential for a modern liberal arts education. ACTA looked at 1,098 colleges and universities. The organization found 3.3 percent require an economics class, 18.3 percent require a U.S. government or history class, and 37 percent make students take a literature course.

Peter Wainwright – The Journal of Historical Review

... Thus was born one of the great myths of modern history -- that the Nazis set fire to their own Parliament to provide an excuse for curbing the activities of the Communists ... The trial of Van der Lubbe and the other suspects should have dispelled any suspicion of Nazi guilt. It was a scrupulously fair trial which resulted in the acquittal of all the defendants except Van der Lubbe himself ... When considering the facts, it seems incredible that the myth of Nazi responsibility for firing the Reichstag could ever have been accepted at all. Yet it was, and by reputable historians ...

Mark Weber – Podcast

One of the most enduring myths of our age is the story that the Nazis set the Reichstag building on fire as a “false flag” operation to generate popular support for measures of the Hitler government to suppress dissent and consolidate power. Even some prominent historians have accepted the often repeated smear, which was invented and vigorously promoted by Communists, that Goering and other Nazi officials set the German parliament building ablaze on Feb. 27, 1933, and then cynically blamed the crime on enemies.

BBC News

Declassified US records reveal the nation's intelligence chiefs used hundreds of Nazis as spies and informants after World War Two. Central Intelligence Agency officials are said to have turned to the country's former enemies to help beat the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Academics studying the documents say America used at least 1,000 ex-Nazis. Some had served at the highest levels of the Nazi Party, and were recruited to work as spies for the US in Europe.

Eric Margolis

... We always return to the big lie promoted by the Bush administration after 9/11: Muslims hate us because of our wonderful values, and because Islam is a murderous faith – not because westerners continue to colonize and exploit parts of the Mideast ... Now, the explosive mess in Syria and Iraq threatens to set ablaze the entire Kurdish question that has bedeviled Iraq, Turkey, Syria, Iran, and the Armenians since the 1900’s. Hasty Western military intervention against ISIS is sure to pour gasoline on the fires of Greater Kurdistan ... Taking major strategic decisions in response to some sort of outrage – be it bombings, beheading, gassings, axe murderers – whose outcomes are unclear and likely hazardous is always unwise and likely to be soon regretted.

Mark Weber

… The perpetrators of the Nine Eleven attacks meant to harm the United States. But the response to those attacks by President George W. Bush and other American political leaders has proven to be even more harmful. The U.S. response has weakened this country’s security, undermined its economy, degraded its standing and credibility, and violated the principles it claims to uphold … The calamity of September 11 was a consequence, above all, of the Jewish-Zionist grip on American political life and the U.S. media. Enduring security will therefore remain elusive as long as U.S. policy, especially in the Middle East, is set by a small but very influential minority with its own agenda and strong ethno-religious ties to a key protagonist in the region.

The Local (France)

A controversial new book by French polemicist Eric Zemmour is flying off the shelves and shows no sign of stopping. The notorious right-wing writer and polemicist appears to have struck a chord with a French public feeling disillusioned and "lost". Who is Eric Zemmour? He’s a journalist, author and TV personality whose new book “Le Suicide Français - Ces quarante années qui ont défait la France” (The French suicide - the 40 years that defeated France) has been selling an average of 15,000 copies per day ... In the book Zemmour argues the May 1968 student rebellion set France on a path to failure and impotence, which is now being exacerbated by immigration.

BBC News

Americans are sharply divided as to the value of the nation's intervention in Afghanistan, a new BBC poll suggests. Fewer than half of respondents said the conflict was worthwhile for the US. Two-thirds of participants were sceptical that US involvement left the Afghan government able to defend its own people without assistance ... The US entered in its longest military conflict 13 years ago in Afghanistan, but today only 28% of respondents say America is safer as a result.

R. Devereaux - The Intercept

A new report has found the war on drugs in Afghanistan remains colossally expensive, largely ineffective and likely to get worse. This is particularly true in the case of opium production, says the U.S. Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction. In a damning report released Tuesday, the special inspector general, Justin F. Sopko, writes that “despite spending over $7 billion to combat opium poppy cultivation and to develop the Afghan government’s counternarcotics capacity, opium poppy cultivation levels in Afghanistan hit an all-time high in 2013,” hitting 209,000 hectares, surpassing the prior, 2007 peak of 193,000 hectares.

The Jerusalem Post (Israel)

The time has come to admit that Israel is a sick society, with an illness that demands treatment, President Reuven Rivlin said at the opening session on Sunday of a conference ... With regard to Jews he said: “I’m not asking if they’ve forgotten how to be Jews, but if they’ve forgotten how to be decent human beings. Have they forgotten how to converse?” In Rivlin’s eyes, the academy has a vital task to reduce violence in Israeli society by encouraging dialogue and the study of different cultures and languages with the aim of promoting mutual understanding, so that there can be civilized meetings between the sectors of society. He urged the academy to take on this challenge and to eradicate the violence that threatens to scar Israel’s image.

JTA

The epidemic of violence permeates every sector of Israel, the country’s president, Reuven Rivlin, said in an address. “It is time to honestly admit that Israeli society is ill – and it is our duty to treat this disease,” Rivlin told the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities on Sunday at a conference ... “The tension between Jews and Arabs within the State of Israel has risen to record heights, and the relationship between all parties has reached a new low,” he said ... “The epidemic of violence is not limited to one sector or another, it permeates every area and doesn’t skip any arena. There is violence in soccer stadiums as well as in the academia. There is violence in the social media and in everyday discourse, in hospitals and in schools.”

Mairav Zonszein - The New York Times

... The aggressive silencing of anyone who voices disapproval of Israeli policies or expresses empathy with Palestinians is the latest manifestation of an us-versus-them mentality that has been simmering for decades ... Israeli society has been unable and unwilling to overcome an exclusivist ethno-religious nationalism that privileges Jewish citizens, and is represented politically by the religious settler movement and the increasingly conservative secular right ... Israel has also never clearly defined its borders, preferring to keep them vague and porous.

N. Brinkerhoff - AllGov

No matter how you look at it, the economic picture for most of America is not good. From too much debt to not enough savings to shrinking incomes, the vast majority of Americans are confronted with erosion of their financial security. A new economic study from the National Bureau of Economic Research paints a bleak outlook for 90% of the country. This great mass once enjoyed a growing share of the nation’s wealth from before the Great Depression until the 1980s, according to researchers Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman. The share of the wealth for that group peaked at 35% in the mid-1980s. By 2012, that share had dropped to 23%.

Center for American Progress

The American middle class is in trouble. The middle-class share of national income has fallen, middle-class wages are stagnant, and the middle class in the United States is no longer the world’s wealthiest. But income is only one side of the story. The cost of being in the middle class -- and of maintaining a middle-class standard of living — is rising fast too. For fundamental needs such as child care and health care, costs have risen dramatically over the past few decades, taking up larger shares of family budgets. The reality is that the middle class is being squeezed ... The median family saw its income fall by eight percent between 2000 and 2012.

The Associated Press

Sweden on Thursday became the biggest Western European country to recognize a Palestinian state, prompting a strong protest from Israel, which swiftly withdrew its ambassador from Stockholm. The move by Sweden's new left-leaning government reflects growing international impatience with Israel's nearly half-century control of the West Bank, east Jerusalem and its blockade of the Gaza Strip. It also comes during increased tensions between Arabs and Jews over Israel's plans to build 1,000 housing units in east Jerusalem.

Reuters

Sweden's decision to recognize the Palestine state - without formally consulting its allies - may herald a wider foreign policy shift that has at its heart the aim of asserting a new diplomatic weight around the world. The ruling Social Democrats had signaled in their election manifesto an intention to recognize Palestine. But the speed of their post-election announcement, made during Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven's inaugural address to parliament on Friday, surprised some countries including Israel ... In making it the first major West European country to recognize the Palestine state, Sweden's new center-left government looks like it is suggesting a change of direction on several of those fronts.

EJP

A few days after a vote by the British House of Commons to recognize a Palestinians state, the upper house of Ireland's parliament passed a motion calling on the Dublin government to make the same move. But both initiatives are a non-binding symbolic move that is unlikely to change government policy. The Irish motion called on the "government to formally recognise the state of Palestine and do everything it can to help secure a viable two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict so that citizens of both states can live in peace and security." It passed without a vote as it had cross-party support.

AFP

Twelve Nobel Peace Prize laureates are urging President Barack Obama to disclose the CIA's use of torture on terror suspects since the attacks of September 11, 2001. The potential release of a long-delayed Senate report about this "dark period" of American history has brought the country to a "crossroads," the Nobel laureates wrote in an open letter to Obama posted on the website TheCommunity.com. Obama, who won a Peace Prize himself in 2009, recognized in very direct terms in August that the United States had engaged in torture.

Time magazine

Twelve winners of the Nobel Peace Prize asked President Barack Obama late Sunday to make sure that a Senate report on the Central Intelligence Agency's use of harsh interrogation tactics is released so the U.S. can put an end to a practice condemned by many as torture. The release of the report, which is the most detailed account of the CIA’s interrogation practices in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, would be an opportunity for the U.S. and the world to come to terms with interrogation techniques that went too far, the laureates said in an open letter and petition ... American leaders have “eroded the very freedoms and rights that generations of their young gave their lives to defend” by engaging in and justifying torture, the peace prize winners said.

Daily Mail (Britain)

An entire high school class in Germany is being investigated into after the teenage pupils allegedly started greeting each other with 'Heil Hitler' and communicating in Nazi slogans. Parents and authorities are horrified after it emerged that the 29 boys and girls have been swapping assorted Nazi sayings and slogans throughout the school day on instant messaging-app WhatsApp. Photos of 14 and 15-year-old students at a school near Leipzig in east Germany show them giving Nazi salutes and wearing Hitler moustaches. Students in class 9A at the Landsberg Gymnasium near Leipzig regularly made anti-Jewish slurs on the messaging app, while praising Hitler as a 'great man,' local media reports.

Reuters

The German capital Berlin is scrambling to ban a planned rally against Islamists by neo-Nazis and self-styled soccer hooligans after rioting in Cologne in which 49 police officers were injured. The disturbances coincided with growing concern that Western-led air strikes to stop the advance of Islamic State insurgents in Syria and Iraq are radicalizing some young people with Muslim immigrant backgrounds in Germany and elsewhere. Sunday's clashes, when some 4,000 hooligans - many drunk - and neo-Nazis hurled objects at police who responded with pepper spray and water cannons ... The hooligans - as they term themselves - want to stage a protest against ultra-conservative Islamic Salafists at Berlin's Brandenburg Gate on Nov. 15 ...

The Huffington Post

... Last month the author of a new book entitled Naming Jack the Ripper said he had irrefutable evidence that the notorious serial killer who terrorized London in the late 1880s was a Polish émigré named Aaron Kosminski. The author, Russell Edwards, went so far as to say that “only non-believers that want to perpetuate the myth will doubt his contention." Doubt, however, is exactly what's surrounding Edwards’ claim, which has been called into question by a scathing follow-up report published this week by The Independent.

Ron Paul

... Canada’s wise caution about military adventurism even at the height of the Cold War has given way to a Canada of the 21st century literally joined at Washington’s hip and eager to participate in any bombing mission initiated by the D.C. interventionists ... Few dare to point out the obvious: Canada’s aggressive foreign policy is creating enemies abroad that are making the country more vulnerable to attack rather than safer ... Unfortunately Canada has unlearned the lesson of 1968: staying out of other people’s wars makes a country more safe; following the endless war policy of its southern neighbor opens Canada up to the ugly side of blowback.

Patrick J. Buchanan

... To understand the appeal to such men of the Islamic State, despite its cruelties, beheadings, crucifixions, slaughter of prisoners, rape and sale into slavery of the daughters and wives of enemies, there are few better sources than the longshoreman-philosopher Eric Hoffer ... The Islamic State cannot defeat the United States. But in fighting against the United States, ISIS sends a message to an Arab and Islamic world where we are not loved that they are the enemies we fear most. If you wish to fight the Great Satan, come join us. Thus, while we are killing them, we recruit for them ... We are now on both sides of the Sunni-Shia sectarian struggle that has never been America's war, and we have no credible strategy and no credible army to win it.

Jeffrey Goldberg - The Atlantic

The other day I was talking to a senior Obama administration official about the foreign leader who seems to frustrate the White House and the State Department the most. “The thing about Bibi is, he’s a chickenshit,” this official said, referring to the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, by his nickname. This comment is representative of the gloves-off manner in which American and Israeli officials now talk about each other behind closed doors ... Much of the anger felt by Obama administration officials is rooted in the Netanyahu government’s periodic explosions of anti-American condescension.

Washington Examiner

Add another item to the list of insults officials in the Obama administration have lobbed at Benjamin Netanyahu. A senior Obama administration official recently described the Israeli prime minister as “chickenshit,” according to Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic. The list also includes descriptions such as "recalcitrant, myopic, reactionary, obtuse, blustering, pompous, and 'Aspergery,'" according to Goldberg. “The good thing about Netanyahu is that he’s scared to launch wars,” the official told Goldberg, explaining the meaning behind calling the leader of an ally a “chickenshit.”

The Associated Press

President Vladimir Putin of Russia said Friday that the world is becoming an increasingly dangerous place because of U.S. attempts to enforce its will on other countries, and that his nation will not comply. In an emotional speech before international political experts, Putin unleashed scathing criticism of the United States for what he called its disregard of international law and unilateral use of force. If the United State fails to abandon its "desire of eternal domination," then "hopes for peaceful and stable development will be illusory, and today's upheavals will herald the collapse of global world order," Putin said ...

Reuters

Russian President Vladimir Putin accused the United States on Friday of endangering global security by imposing a "unilateral diktat" on the rest of the world, and shifted blame for the Ukraine crisis onto the West. In a 40-minute diatribe against the West that was reminiscent of the Cold War and underlined the depth of the rift between Moscow and the West, Putin also denied trying to rebuild the Soviet empire at the expense of Russia's neighbors. "We did not start this," Putin told an informal group of experts on Russia that includes many Western specialists critical of him, warning that Washington was trying to "remake the whole world" based on its own interests.

Taki Theodoracopulos

... The movie premier of Fury, starring Brad Pitt ... 15 minutes into the gross-out, porno-violent movie, I was rooting for Brad to be killed, preferably roasted alive inside his Sherman tank ... This is a low, dishonest period in film, with no class and certainly no dignity. Unarmed, unresisting prisoners with their hands up are executed by our American heroes, something that definitely took place and was done by both the good and bad guys during that terrible war, especially at the end. But to show it as deserved, a comeuppance, is a cheap shot that appeals to anti-German ghouls.

B. Kendall - BBC News

Russia's efforts to reduce its reliance on trade with the West overshadowed a high-profile meeting between President Vladimir Putin and foreign correspondents in Sochi ... It makes Sochi a good metaphor for one of President Putin's favourite themes at the moment: that Russia should not rely on outsiders any more - the only way it will grow stronger is by reducing its exposure to outside influence and drawing on its own resources to solve problems ... A series of senior Russian officials who came to talk to us in our mountain eyrie tried hard to argue that Western sanctions - far from being a blow - were really an opportunity ... From the president down, the litany was the same: sanctions will only make Russia more determined and more resilient.

i24 News (Israel)

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday charged that certain East European and Baltic countries are guilty of a "glorification" of the neo-Nazi movement and other disturbing manifestations of Nazism. “Unfortunately, the vaccine against the Nazi virus, developed at the [postwar] Nuremberg trials, is losing its effectiveness in some European countries. A clear sign of this trend is open manifestations of neo-Nazism ...,” Putin was quoted the Russian agency RIA Novosti as saying. “Today, our common goal is to counter the glorification of Nazism, firmly counter attempts to revise the results of world war II and consequently fight any forms and manifestations of racism, xenophobia, aggressive nationalism and chauvinism.”

AFP

Forty-four German riot police were injured in clashes with far-right hooligans rallying against “Islamist extremism” in the western city of Cologne overnight, police said Monday. Police used batons, pepper spray and water cannon against the protesters, who hurled rocks, bottles and firecrackers at them, a spokesman said. About 20 demonstrators were detained, he added. At least 4,000 hardline football fans and right-wing extremists from across Germany had massed under the banner "Hooligans against Salafists", state interior minister Ralf Jaeger told ZDF public television ... Tensions escalated and right-wing protesters repeatedly yelled "Foreigners out!", according to national news agency DPA and witnesses on Twitter.

C. Liphshiz - JTA

A little over a year after a French court forced Twitter to remove some anti-Semitic content, experts say the ruling has had a ripple effect, leading other Internet companies to act more aggressively against hate speech in an effort to avoid lawsuits. The 2013 ruling by the Paris Court of Appeals settled a lawsuit brought the year before by the Union of Jewish Students of France ... Since then, YouTube has permanently banned videos posted by Dieudonne, a French comedian with ten convictions for inciting racial hatred against Jews. And in February, Facebook removed the page of French Holocaust denier Alain Soral .. On Monday, a British court sentenced one such offender to four weeks in jail for tweeting “Hitler was right” to a Jewish lawmaker. Last week, a court in Geneva sentenced a man to five months in jail for posting texts that deny the Holocaust.

Uri Avnery (Israel)

... In South America, public opinion has already shifted markedly against Israel. The recognition of Palestine is gaining ground in official circles, too. Even in the US, unconditional support for the Israeli government seems to be wavering. What the hell is going on? What is going on is a profound, perhaps tectonic change in the public attitude towards Israel ... In the eyes of the average Israeli, the extensive killing and destruction during the recent campaign was completely justified. He is quite incapable of understanding the worldwide outrage. For lack of another reason, he attributes it to anti-Semitism ... World public opinion is important. More than that, it is vital.

Jewish News (Britain)

Students at a top university have unanimously rejected a request to mark Holocaust Memorial Day, claiming to do so would be “eurocentic”. A student union motion at Goldsmiths University in south-east London, which asked “to commemorate the victims of genocide, totalitarianism and racial hatred”, was emphatically thrown out by 60 votes to just one. The only vote for the motion came for its proposer.

Y. Brenner - CNN

Not so long ago, Germany was vilified for its slow economic growth, high unemployment rates, and record budget deficits ... Today, Germany is the world's fourth largest economy, and the most important market in the European Union. Its 5.3% unemployment rate is the second lowest in the EU. Germany exports more merchandise than any other country aside from China, and its share of total world trade is larger than that of the U.S. Not bad for a nation of 81 million citizens that's not even among the world's 15 most populated worldwide. The roots of Germany's 21st century economic success date back to the Industrial Revolution ...

CNN

If you want a world-class education without the hefty price tag it usually carries, it's time you pack your bags and head to Germany. The country's federal state of Lower Saxony became the last region to scrap tuition fees in mid-October, which means that studying in Germany is now completely free even for international students. So wherever you come from, doors of elite institutions like the University of Heidelberg and Technical University of Munich, both among the world’s top universities, are flung wide open if you're a gifted student ... Overseas students flock to the Germany's illustrious universities, attracted by the relatively low cost of living and a vibrant cultural scene and nightlife.

CBS News

Want to attend college for free? It can happen if you learn German. All German universities are now free to Americans and all other international students ... What’s more, German students receive many perks including discounts for food, clothing and events, as well as inexpensive or even free transportation ... [However, in the US] state support has been declining for public universities for a quarter of a century ... With the average undergrad borrower now leaving school with more than $29,000 in debt, the free ride in Germany can look awfully tempting.

C. Denhart - Forbes

Following Wednesday’s decision to overturn tuition and fees in Lower Saxony, Germany, all universities will now be tuition free ... Of course this is not surprising considering Germany is the father of “Sozialstaat” or in English “Social State” founded in 1870 under Then Chancellor Bismarck’s reforms. Add on more state subsidies to keep higher education free, and the 2012 tax burden figure of 49.8 percent of income is sure to increase. There Is No Such Thing As A Free Lunch. And there is also No Such Thing As A Free Higher Education. Higher education, especially in science-heavy Germany, is incredibly costly to run and maintain.

Deutsche Welle (Germany)

A monument to deserters from the German army during World War II has been unveiled in central Vienna. This follows decades of controversy over recognition and compensation in Austria. The monument on Ballhausplatz in central Vienna, right by the Chancellery, was unveiled on Friday in the presence of Austrian President Heinz Fischer and representatives of the government and victims' rights groups.

Deutsche Welle (Germany)

On Wednesday, the Swiss retailer Migros apologized for what officials called a string of errors that put coffee cream with the faces of the leader of Nazi Germany Adolf Hitler and the Italian Fascist Benito Mussolini in cafes in the Alpine country. Migros officials promised that the company would withdraw the small pots of cream from cafes. ... Karo designed the cream pots as part of a 55-label series based on vintage cigar bands from the 1930s. Those included cigar bands from before World War II that showed the faces of the Nazi German dictator Adolf Hitler and his Italian Fascist counterpart, Benito Mussolini. For his part, Karo-Versand Managing Director Peter Wälchli remained unapologetic, arguing that pictures of Hitler appear in the media all the time.

San Diego State University - ScienceDaily

A study by San Diego State University psychology professor Jean M. Twenge shows Americans are more depressed now than they have been in decades. Analyzing data from 6.9 million adolescents and adults from all over the country, Twenge found that Americans now report more psychosomatic symptoms of depression, such as trouble sleeping and trouble concentrating, than their counterparts in the 1980s ... College students surveyed were 50 percent more likely to say they feel overwhelmed, and adults were more likely to say their sleep was restless, they had poor appetite and everything was an effort -- all classic psychosomatic symptoms of depression.

The Washington Post

There are a lot of secrets kept in Israel's intelligence community, but this is not one of them: Israel aims to become a cybersecurity superpower, and to do that, the Israeli military is launching an ambitious program to groom the next generation of cyberwarriors while they are still in high school. The little Jewish state that prides itself on the sobriquet "Start-up Nation" has set cybersecurity as a national goal, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a prominent cheerleader. Netanyahu sees cyberspace as both Israel's new frontier and new front line.

Arutz Sheva - Israel National News (Israel)

Wikipedia has become the new battleground for Israel's PR image. The Yisrael Sheli (My Israel) movement and the Yesha Council, which represents Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, have joined together for a new public relations initiative. Together they will soon offer a special course for volunteers who wish to write and edit English entries on Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia. Ayelet Shaked, who is heading the project, was interviewed on Monday on Arutz 7 Radio, and said that she was surprised at the large number of individuals who have gotten in touch with her so far and are interested in joining the course.

BBC News

White pupils in state schools in the United States are set to be in the minority for the first time when schools return for the new term. According to official forecasts, enrolments for the 2014-15 school year will mark the threshold when ethnic minorities become the majority. This demographic shift has been driven by rising numbers of Hispanic pupils ... The school figures show the number of Hispanic pupils has more than doubled over the past two decades and is projected to continue rising in the next decade. It means that in autumn 2014 the proportion of white pupils is expected to have fallen marginally below 50% for the first time, with about 26% of pupils Hispanic and 15% black.

Eric Margolis

... When Duvalier died in 1971, his tubby, 114 kilo son, Jean-Claude, was put into power as a figurehead by the TonTon Macoutes, the wealthy mulatto business elite and Uncle Sam ... The mulattos and TTM’s went on looting Haiti’s meager resources while the other 99% lived near starvation, afflicted by parasites, typhoid, syphilis, and diseases known only in Central Africa, which rural Haiti resembled. Port-au-Prince, once a charming colonial city, became a cesspool of rubbish and swarms of diseased beggars. Many Haitians considered the era 1915-1934, when Haiti was occupied and run by the US Marine Corps, as the only felicitous time in their tragic history and hoped the American military would return.

The Daily Beast

Charlotte, Seraphina, Henry and Finn are baby names too cool for the most popular lists. Naming expert Pamela Redmond Satran ranks the best names coveted by style-conscious parents. Looking for the perfect name for your firstborn, you practically earn a degree in actuarial science studying the Social Security most popular names list ... Here, the nameberry Top 25 for the first two months of this year, with the number of places higher or lower each name is on the elite list compared with the most recent Social Security list.

Jon Basil Utley

... Washington did have a “strategy” when it attacked Iraq, the neoconservative one ... [Now] with the neocons discredited, no other strategy has replaced theirs except to “win” and come home. This is not unusual in our history. In past wars American “strategy” has usually been to return to the status quo ante, the prewar situation. Washington violates nearly all of Sun Tzu’s dictums for success. Endless wars for little purpose and with no end strategy are thus likely to continue. They are, however, profitable or beneficial for many Washington interests.

N. Porzucki – BBC News

Two Norwegian scientists have won the Nobel Prize for physiology or medicine - for work published in the English language. Historian of science Michael Gordin explains why they wrote in the language of Dickens and Twain ... Gordin's upcoming book, Scientific Babel, explores the history of language and science. He says that English was far from the dominant scientific language in 1900. The dominant language was German. "So the story of the 20th Century is not so much the rise of English as the serial collapse of German as the up-and-coming language of scientific communication," Gordin says.

Patrick J. Buchanan

... Large majorities now believe America is heading downhill, that the future will not be as good as the past, that we are going in the wrong direction ... Since the mid-1970s, the real wages of working Americans have stagnated as we have run uninterrupted trade deficits totaling more than $10 trillion. Under Obama the national debt has surpassed the Gross Domestic Product. Our manufacturing base has been hollowed out with Detroit as Exhibit A ... Our infrastructure is crumbling, U.S. children fall lower and lower in international competition, and the racial divide in academic performances has never closed, despite an investment of trillions in education over half a century.

Philip Giraldi

... Why is the United States taking steps to destroy itself? Well, the lack of any political leadership that really is interested in benefiting Americans is a serious problem, but Obama is only the heir of a lot of bad ideas that have been circulating for a long time. Coming from the right (including the politically hermaphroditic Hillary Clinton), there is the assumption that the United States must exercise global leadership and make itself safer by starting and fighting war after war in places that most Americans would be unable to identify on a map. From the left there is the fiction that Washington has some kind of responsibility to play a benevolent role, using violence if absolutely necessary, to bring peace, justice and the American way.

Theodore Johnson - The Atlantic

... If black America were a nation-state, how would it stack up against other countries? How would it fare on standard measures of national power and weakness? ... In the infographics below, two pictures emerge. The first is of a strong nation with considerable manpower and purchasing power. The second is of a troubled, fragile state suffering from socioeconomic disparities and structural subjugation in ways that degrade life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness (on some measures, black America resembles countries like Brazil, China, and Russia -- emerging powers that are struggling with stark economic inequality).

BBC News

The wrecks of a German U-boat and a merchant vessel it sank in the Battle of the Atlantic have been found 30 miles (48 km) off North Carolina. Researchers led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration found U-576 within 240 yards (220 m) of the US freighter Bluefields after 70 years. It is a "rare window into a historic military battle", the NOAA said. The two ships met on 15 July 1942 when the German submarine attacked a convoy of merchant ships en route to Florida. The U-576 sank the Bluefields and seriously damaged two other ships. A US Navy Kingfisher aircraft in turn bombed the German vessel at the same time as it was attacked by the merchant vessel Unicoi.

Robert W. Merry - The National Interest

... The general outlook of the country, on foreign-policy matters today, seems to be made up of two fundamental philosophical concepts, both hopeless illusions. One flows from what might be called the ameliorative impulse — the idea that mankind can be improved, that human nature can be altered, that we can find a way to spread amity and light through the world if we just work at it hard enough. This is the philosophical foundation of Wilsonism, Woodrow Wilson’s fond conviction that the application of American power in behalf of all mankind can spread democracy; and the spread of democracy will foster peace. It didn’t work for Woodrow Wilson, and it hasn’t worked since.

Andrew J. Bacevich

... [US Senator Robert] La Follette [1855-1925] saw the Money Power at work. [President] Wilson’s request for a declaration of war against Germany in April 1917 spurred La Follette to take to the Senate floor in opposition ... “The declaration [of Pres. Wilson] that we were fighting for democracy,” he announced, “was the boldest, most wicked lie ever imposed upon a people.” ... Why, he wondered, did Wilson’s vaunted right to self-determination not apply to Ireland, India, Korea, or the peoples of the Middle East? ... The passage of time has not lessened the value of La Follette’s prophetic warning that global leadership “would make us the object of endless jealousies and hazards, involve us in perpetual war, and lead to the extinction of our domestic liberty.”

Uri Avnery (Israel)

... Who are we [Israeli Jews]? Are we Europeans facing a hostile region? Are we "a wall against Asiatic barbarism", as Theodor Herzl proclaimed? ... In short, do we see ourselves as belonging to this region, or as Europeans who accidentally landed on the wrong continent? To my mind, this is the basic question of Zionism, going back to its first day, and dictating everything they have done to this very day ... We never admit that we want war, it is always the Arabs who refuse peace. But from its first day, the State of Israel has refused to fix its borders, being ever ready for expansion by force – exactly like the Crusaders. Today, 66 years after the founding of our state, more than half of the daily news in our media concerns the war with the Arabs ...

RFE/ RL

The Russian rights group Civic Assistance has released a new video warning about the dangers of casual racism and xenophobia. In the short clip, a father, mother, and their young daughter are relaxing by a bucolic lake when a few young Central Asians come and sit near them on the beach. The father's mood changes and he starts start muttering disparaging comments laced with ethnic stereotypes ... As they speak, armed zombies in Nazi uniforms rise from below the sand behind them. The video's text reads: "By humiliating people of another nationality, you are resurrecting fascism." ... Russia has the second largest number of immigrants in the world, after the United States ... And public opinion polls show increasingly negative attitudes toward them.

Jacob G. Hornberger

... If the United States could survive Stalin and the Soviet Union, why couldn’t it have done the same with Hitler and Nazi Germany? Certainly, one cannot make the case that Stalin was somehow more benign than Hitler ... FDR embarked on a campaign to provoke Germany into attacking the United States. He began supplying England with war materiel and equipment under his “Lend-Lease” plan. He also ordered the convoying of British ships carrying war materiel to England. He ordered U.S. ships into the war zones with instructions to fire back if Germany fired on them.

William Henry Chamberlin

… American involvement in war with Germany was preceded by a long series of steps [by FDR, including] … the orders to American warships to shoot at sight at German submarines, formally announced on September 11 [1941]. The beginning of actual hostilities may be dated from this time rather than from the German declaration of war, which followed Pearl Harbor … The promises to "keep America out of foreign wars" were a deliberate hoax on the American people, perpetrated for the purpose of insuring Roosevelt's re-election and thereby enabling him to proceed with his plan of gradually edging the United States into war.

Thomas Fleming -- American Heritage

Blazoned in huge black letters across page one of the December 4, 1941, issue of the Chicago Tribune was the headline: F.D.R.’S WAR PLANS! … Chesly Manly, the Tribune’s Washington correspondent, revealed what President Franklin D. Roosevelt had repeatedly denied: that he was planning to lead the United States into war against Germany. The source of the reporter’s information was no less than a verbatim copy of Rainbow Five, the top-secret war plan drawn up at FDR’s order by the Joint Board of the Army and Navy … Rainbow Five called for the creation of a ten-million-man army, including an expeditionary force of five million men that would invade Europe to defeat Hitler.

BBC News

In the Western world the swastika is synonymous with fascism, but it goes back thousands of years and has been used as a symbol of good fortune in almost every culture in the world. As more evidence emerges of its long pre-Nazi history in Europe, can this ancient sign ever shake off its evil associations? ... The swastika was banned in Germany at the end of the war and Germany tried unsuccessfully to introduce an EU-wide ban in 2007. The irony is that the swastika is more European in origin than most people realise. Archaeological finds have long demonstrated that the swastika is a very old symbol, but ancient examples are by no means limited to India. It was used by the Ancient Greeks, Celts, and Anglo-Saxons ...

A. Zurcher - BBC News

The US Supreme Court's recent non-decision decision to allow multiple lower-court rulings against same-sex marriage bans to stand has led to a spate of articles declaring the Great American Culture War to be over. Done. Finished. Close books and mark it final. A victory for the forces of liberalism and tolerance - or hedonism and immorality, depending on your political proclivities. For those not familiar with the history of the US culture war, its unofficial beginning came in 1992, with populist firebrand Patrick Buchanan's Republican National Convention speech in which he described a religious war for the soul of America. "It is a cultural war, as critical to the kind of nation we will one day be as was the Cold War itself," he continued.

Eric Margolis

Hong Kong is at a gentle boil. As of this writing, tens of thousands of students have been politely demonstrating ... Western media, often hostile to China, is portraying the uprising as a struggle by democrats against party dictatorship. Reality is rather more complex. Hong Kong never had democracy under British Imperial rule: it was run by an autocratic British colonial governor – and run pretty well ... China would be most unwise to send its army into Hong Kong at a time when it is trying to become the world’s epicenter of commerce and finance. So a backroom deal may be likely in which Beijing makes some concessions without losing much face. Otherwise, the tempest in the Hong Kong teapot could become a political tsunami for the rest of always restless China.

Fox DC News

... According to the latest available census data, the percentage of U.S. adults who have never been married has hit a new, all-time high. In 1960, about one in ten adults over the age of 25 fell into that category. By 2012, the number had jumped to one in five. There's no formal consensus about what's driving the numbers, but data shows that among young adults who say they do want to get married, the economy is an issue. 34 percent of them cite financial security as an obstacle to tying the knot. Other analysts point to the eradication of social taboos on cohabitation and out of wedlock childbearing.

Euro News (France)

Budapest is demanding immediate clarification from Washington over the banning of six Hungarian officials in what it’s described as an unprecedented move between NATO allies. It comes against a background of worsening relations between the two governments. Washington has accused the six of corruption ... During Monday’s National Security meeting a senior Hungarian ruling party MP claimed the US was interfering in Hungary’s domestic affairs. He demanded to see the evidence for the corruption charges and for the individuals involved to be named. “The Hungarian government stands in disbelief at these events since this is not the way to handle affairs among friends ... ,” said Chief of Staff Lazar Janos.

Eric Margolis

... While covering Iraq in 1990 – just before the first massive US bombing campaign – I discovered the US and Britain had secretly built a germ weapons arsenal for Iraq to use against Iran in the eight year-Iran-Iraq War. This while both the US and Britain were fulminating with breathtaking hypocrisy against the alleged dangers of Iraq’s supposed WMD’s (weapons of mass destruction) that never existed ... Last week the widely read “New York Times” ran a multi-page exposé entitled “Abandoned Chemical Weapons and Secret Casualties in Iraq.” ... Iraq had no nuclear weapons, as the US falsely claimed. But it did have an arsenal of chemical and biological weapons – delivered by the western powers. All were battlefield arms, not strategic, weapons.

R. Zaretsky - Forward (New York)

... Eric Zemmour’s “Le France Suicide” has just elbowed aside Valérie Trierweiler’s memoir ... as the country’s best-selling book ... Zemmour, who is also Jewish ... has long polished his reputation as a provocateur by belittling the “political correctness” of the French left, with little love for the revolutionary trio of universal values of liberty, equality and fraternity. These abstract claims, Zemmour believes, have undermined the traditional values — work, family and nation — that made for France’s former glory. The French, he concludes, “no longer recognize France as their own country.” The toxin poisoning France, according to Zemmour’s diagnosis, is the flow of immigrants from North Africa.

The Washington Times

President Obama’s oratory, once thought to be his greatest strength, turns out to be about as sophisticated as former President George W. Bush’s speechmaking, according to a study. An analysis by Vocativ ... rated Mr. Obama’s State of the Union speeches as more dumbed-down than Mr. Bush’s. The Republican’s addresses averaged a grade level of 10, and Mr. Obama’s scored a grade level of 9.4 ... The firm used a Flesch-Kincaid readability test, a measure of reading comprehension, to grade speeches by every president ... The analysis found that, over the centuries, presidential speeches have grown longer and less sophisticated. Vocative said the level of sophistication has fallen as presidents try to reach broader audiences.

Shlomo Sand – The Guardian (Britain)

His past was Jewish, but today he sees Israel as one of the most racist societies in the western world. Historian Shlomo Sand explains why he doesn't want to be Jewish anymore / ... At this point in my own life, in the early 21st century, I feel in turn a moral obligation to break definitively with tribal Judeocentrism ... Now, having painfully become aware that I have undergone an adherence to Israel, been assimilated by law into a fictitious ethnos of persecutors and their supporters, and have appeared in the world as one of the exclusive club of the elect and their acolytes, I wish to resign and cease considering myself a Jew.

RFE/ RL

"Lenin lived, Lenin lives, Lenin will always live." It was one of the most deeply ingrained aphorisms of the Soviet period. And now, nearly a quarter century after the collapse of the Soviet Union, it's proving to be prophetic. That's the message of "Leninland," a 2013 documentary film by Askold Kurov ... A deputy director of the museum tells Kurov in the film that "the vibrations of Christ" are still felt on the territory of Lenin's estate -- ignoring the fact that this was the very place where Lenin, an atheist, dictated his instructions to the Politburo on the confiscation of church property and the mass persecution of priests ... There have been many signs of a resurgence of Soviet symbolism and nostalgia in Russia in recent weeks.

Mark Weber – Podcast

We’re relentlessly told that we must “never forget” the “Six Million.” But we hear far less about the vastly greater number of victims of Lenin and Stalin, and the grim legacy of Soviet Communism. Some 20 million people perished as victims of the Soviet regime, historians acknowledge. Jews played a decisive role in founding and promoting the egalitarian-universalist ideology of Marxism, in developing the worldwide Marxist political movement, and in brutally imposing Bolshevik rule in Russia. With the notable exception of Lenin, who was one-quarter Jewish, most of the leading Marxists who took control of Russia in 1917-20 were Jews, including Trotsky, Sverdlov, Zinoviev, Kamenev and Radek.

Uri Avnery (Israel)

... [Israel prime minister] Netanyahu is always quick to exploit changing circumstances to promote his unchanging attitude. The latest hot issue is ISIS (or the Islamic State, as it prefers to be called now). The world is appalled by its atrocities. Everyone condemns it. So Netanyahu connects all his enemies with ISIS. Abbas, Hamas, Iran – they are all ISIS ... Netanyahu counts on the fact that most people do not know what he is talking about ... In the real world, there is no similarity at all between Hamas and ISIS, except their professed adherence to Islam ... There cannot be any similarity between ISIS and Iran. They stand on opposite sides of the historic divide: ISIS is Sunni, Iran is Shiite.

R. Wingfield-Hayes - BBC News

... Watching the US Navy close up like this, it is hard not to be slightly awed. No other navy in the world has quite the same toys, or shows them off with the same easy charm ... The US Navy has not assembled two whole carrier battle groups and 200 aircraft off the coast of Guam for a jolly, either. This is about practising what the Pentagon now calls "Air Sea Battle". It is a concept first put forward in 2009, and it is specifically designed to counter the rising threat from China ... From Tokyo to Taipei, Manila to Hanoi, there are governments that are very happy to see America's great carrier battle groups sailing these waters.

Jackson Diehl - The Washington Post

To grasp how Vladi­mir Putin is progressing in his campaign to overturn the post-Cold War order in Europe, it’s worth looking beyond eastern Ukraine, where the Kremlin is busy consolidating a breakaway puppet state ... Let’s consider Hungary, a NATO member whose prime minister recently named Putin’s Russia as a political model to be emulated ... Obama has been congratulating himself on leading a “unified response” by the West that, he claims, has isolated Putin. In reality, a big chunk of the NATO alliance has quietly begun to lean toward Moscow. These governments do so in part for economic reasons: Dependent on Russia for energy as well as export markets, they fear the consequences of escalating sanctions.

Patrick J. Buchanan

Do the states have the right to outlaw same-sex marriage? Not long ago the question would have been seen as absurd. For every state regarded homosexual acts as crimes. Moreover, the laws prohibiting same-sex marriage had all been enacted democratically, by statewide referenda, like Proposition 8 in California, or by Congress or elected state legislatures. But today rogue judges and justices, appointed for life, answerable to no one, instruct a once-democratic republic on what laws we may and may not enact ... How, in little more than half a century, did the American people fall under the rule of a judicial dictatorship where judges and justices twist phrases in the Constitution to impose their alien ideology on this once-free people?

Jacob G. Hornberger

... Whenever there is a new debacle involving foreign interventionism (See, for example, Iraq and Afghanistan), the interventionists immediately trot out World War II as their favorite example of foreign intervention. Yet, when one closely examines the actual results of World War II, it’s difficult to understand what interventionists are crowing about. Keep in mind, first of all, that it was Great Britain that declared war on Germany, not the other way around ... When Great Britain declared war on Germany in order to free the Polish people from Nazi tyranny, it did not, at the same time, declare war on the Soviet Union to free the Polish people from communist tyranny. Why not? Interventionists always have a tough time explaining that one.

The Times of Israel

A page on a popular Russian social media network devoted to Adolf Hitler was suspended Sunday after holding a beauty pageant dubbed “Miss Hitler.” The competition, hosted by the Adolf Hitler page on VKontakte and officially titled “Miss Ostland 2014,” drew 24 contestants. The page, which had over 7,500 followers, encouraged women to enter the competition by posting sexy Nazi-themed selfies together with an entry explaining why they “love and revere the Third Reich of Adolf Hitler.”

The New York Times

The conservative author and documentary filmmaker Dinesh D'Souza was spared prison time on Tuesday after pleading guilty earlier this year to violating federal campaign finance laws. Judge Richard M. Berman of Federal District Court in Manhattan sentenced Mr. D'Souza to five years of probation -- including eight months living under supervision in a "community confinement center" in San Diego -- and a $30,000 fine ... Judge Berman rebuked the defendant repeatedly over the course of the hearing, describing his conduct as "self-destructive" and his remarks in the media as "thoughtless."

D. Reider - Reuters

For Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Iran and the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, are essentially the same thing ... It was almost as if Netanyahu views Iran and ISIS as interchangeable. But the rest of the world doesn’t see it that way ... In insisting that Iran and ISIS are essentially the same enemy, Netanyahu broadcast his isolation among world leaders ... After all these years, Netanyahu still calls for every nook and cranny of Iran’s nuclear program to be demolished by military force, though preferably not Israel’s alone.

Eric Margolis

... The real problem is that the White House’s strategy looks like it’s being run by two angry women, Susan Rice and UN ambassador Samantha Power. Neither they nor President Barack Obama seems to have any grasp of military or geopolitical strategy. It’s amateur hour driven by a frenzy of alarmist hysteria from politicians and the media. Iran’s president put it perfectly when he called America’s new Syria-Iraq a “blunder,” adding “certain intelligence agencies have put blades in the hands of madmen, who now spare no one.”

The New York Times.

President Hassan Rouhani of Iran delivered a searing indictment of Western and Arab states on Thursday [Sept. 25] in his annual speech to the United Nations, blaming them for sowing the seeds of extremism in the Middle East with “strategic blunders” that have given rise to the Islamic State and other violent jihadist groups. “Certain intelligence agencies have put blades in the hands of madmen, who now spare no one,” Mr. Rouhani said ... He also used the occasion to denounce the Western-led sanctions imposed on Iran’s nuclear program and reiterated his government’s desire to resolve Iran’s protracted dispute with the United States and other nations over the program.

Patrick J. Buchanan

... This weekend, al-Qaida's Syrian wing, Jabhat al-Nusra, lost 16 jihadists in an incursion into the Bekaa Valley. Who defended Lebanon and fought the terrorist intruders? Hezbollah, which we have declared a terrorist organization. Whose side are we on in the Hezbollah vs. al-Qaida war? ... Hence, the neocon war drums have begun to beat for U.S. strikes on Iran if negotiations on Iran's nuclear program conclude Nov. 24, with no deal satisfactory to the United States. But no matter how olfactory its regime, why start a war with an Iran that is a de facto, and perhaps indispensable, ally in preventing ISIS from establishing its caliphate in Damascus and Baghdad?

Ryan Cole - The Wall Street Journal

History has not been kind to Jefferson Davis. Beyond the stain of the Confederate rebellion, the Southern president is recalled as a bumbling administrator and military meddler whose incompetence guaranteed Southern defeat in the same manner as Abraham Lincoln's genius guided Northern victory ... But in "Embattled Rebel," James M. McPherson dissents. That Mr. McPherson, the venerated author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning "Battle Cry of Freedom" (1988), mounts a defense of Davis is provocative; the book in which he argues it is quietly persuasive ... The Confederacy was undone not by Davis's foibles, Mr. McPherson suggests, but by factors beyond his reach.

Stephen F. Cohen

We meet today during the worst and potentially most dangerous American-Russian confrontation in many decades ... Beginning in the 1990s with the Clinton administration, every American president and Congress has treated post-Soviet Russia as a defeated nation with inferior legitimate rights at home and abroad. This triumphalist, winner-take-all approach has been spearheaded by the expansion of NATO ... The underlying causes of the crisis are Ukraine’s own internal divisions, not primarily Putin’s actions ... In short, twenty years of US policy have led to this fateful American-Russian confrontation. Putin may have contributed to it along the way, but his role during his fourteen years in power has been almost entirely reactive ...

The Washington Times

A Holocaust denial video that suggested Jews were not exterminated by gas chambers at the Nazi Auschwitz concentration camp mysteriously received flattering praise in letters from the offices of one U.S. representative, a Maine state representative and a high-ranking policy adviser to the president of Hungary who now works for NATO ... The Washington Times reached three of the four individuals whose offices sent out the flattering responses, and, in all three cases, officials denied having actually watched the video and offered apologies ... The video, “David Cole in Auschwitz — A Jew Questions the Holocaust,” quickly became a hallmark film in the Holocaust denial community ...

EJP

Belgium's newly-appointed Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister sparked controversy after declaring in an interview that Flemish collaborators with the Nazi occupiers in World War II “had their reasons", noting that he was not alive at the time to judge. Jan Jambon is the right-hand man of Bart De Wever, whose nationalist New Flemish Alliance (N-VA) dominates Belgium’s new center-right coalition led by French-speaking Liberal Prime Minister Charles that was sworn-in this week end after a four-month deadlock.

The Times of Israel

Several publishers from Arab countries displayed books featuring antisemitic content, Holocaust denial, and terror glorification, at the Frankfurt Book Fair last week, an annual report from the Simon Wiesenthal Center said. The worst offenders were Qatar, a Palestinian publisher, Egypt, and Iran, the report indicated, with examples including children’s books condoning jihad, a text honoring child murderer Sami Kuntar, and an adaptation of “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.”

Breitbart News

On Monday, the American Center for Law & Justice (ACLJ) sent a letter to the Westin Bonaventure hotel in Downtown Los Angeles calling upon it to "ban unlawful discrimination" on its property. The letter warns that hosting the annual meeting of the American Studies Association (ASA), which recently voted to boycott Israeli academics, would place the hotel in violation of California law because it would make them party to discrimination on the basis of national origin, race and religion. Because the boycott is specific to Israelis, the majority of whom are Jewish, the authors of the letter argue, the meeting is antisemitic in nature.

The Jerusalem Post (Israel)

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon blamed last summer’s Gaza war on Israel’s “occupation” of Palestinian territories, as he called on both parties to finalized an agreement for a two-state solution. “We must not lose sight of the root causes of the recent hostilities: a restrictive occupation that has lasted almost half a century, the continued denial of Palestinian rights and the lack of tangible progress in peace negotiations,” Ban said.

The Independent (Britain)

Parliament took the historic step tonight of voting unilaterally to back the recognition of Palestinian statehood. Voting by 274 to 12, a majority of 262, MPs on all sides urged the government to “recognise the state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel” as part of a “contribution to securing a negotiated two-state solution”. Support for the motion, while symbolic, marks a significant change in the political landscape, following the failure of successive peace negotiations and the bitter conflict in Gaza over the summer ... Even previously staunch supporters of Israel within the Conservative Party chose not to oppose the motion which was brought by the backbench Labour MP Grahame Morris.

David Hearst – Middle East Eye

Israel is losing the battle for public opinion in Britain ... Gone is the rose-tinted vision of Israel as an island of democracy in a sea of irrational and violent Arabs. Gone is the belief that Israel wants to negotiate, if only it could find a partner to talk to. Gone, too, is the notion that there is symmetry in this conflict, that this is a battle between equal forces ... The more Israel insists its supporters choose between their liberalism and their zionism, the weaker its case becomes that the two can co-exist. Britons are losing faith that a solution is just around the corner.

Patrick J. Buchanan

... And here we approach a deep-seated reason for the hatred of Columbus. He was a colonialist and an imperialist. He believed in the superiority of his Catholic faith and European tribe. He believed that what we call the West should rule, because its faith, of which God Himself had been the founder, and its culture and civilization, which excelled all others in arms, inventions, literature, governance and the arts, were superior. Christopher Columbus was a Christian European supremacist ... How else, these men would ask us, does civilization progress, if not through the imposition by superior men of superior ideas? What great nation, what great empire, what great civilization ever rose on a belief in the equality of all other peoples and all other faiths?

Ivan Eland

President Barack Obama’s claim that he doesn’t need congressional authorization for his current war in Iraq and Syria is troubling ... Obama is not the first president to believe that he has the rather imperial authority for war by executive fiat ... Contrary to the conventional belief in Washington and among the American public, the Constitution gives most of the powers in defense and foreign affairs to the Congress, not to the president.

The Telegraph (Britain)

A book by France's self-styled scourge of political correctness which claims the country's collaborationist wartime regime has been misunderstood and that it tried to save French Jews from Nazi death camps, has become a bestseller. "The suicide of France: the 40 years that defeated France" by journalist Eric Zemmour ... is a blistering attack on the failures of France's leadership since the end of what he sees as the golden era of the rule of Charles de Gaulle, which ended in 1969. The work is the latest in a long line of books by French authors charting the alleged decline of a once great nation. It argues that economic stagnation and immigration have damaged France's national identity ...

The Times (Britain)

A new French book defending the wartime Vichy regime that collaborated with the Nazis has topped bestseller lists, leading to alarm about growing support for the modern far-right. A fortnight after its release, Eric Zemmour’s Suicide Francais, which laments what it describes as the modern French state’s “suicide”, is selling 5000 copies a day. Mr Zemmour, 56, a broadcaster and historian with a record for provocation, chronicles what he depicts as France’s moral, economic and cultural self-­destruction under the impact of Arab immigration, political correctness and US power since the departure of president Charles de Gaulle in 1969.

BosNewsLife (Hungary)

Hungarian police raided a gathering in Budapest of an extremist U.S.-based group, detaining its leader and interrogating other participants ... The overnight raid in a pub near Budapest's Southern railway station came after the government banned a congress of the National Policy Institute (NPI), which promotes white race supremacy and has called for immigrants to return home ... The overnight raid came after Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban ordered his interior minister to ban the gathering and not allow participants into the country, in a decision supported by the leftist opposition and Jewish representatives ... The U.S. Embassy in Budapest seemed to agree.

Nick Thorpe - BBC News

... This was meant to be the European Congress of the National Policy Institute (NPI), based in the US state of Montana, a nationalist think-tank which billed the Budapest event as a "forum in which groups and individuals throughout Europe… can come together to compare notes, discuss ideas, and perhaps prepare the ground for collective action.” Despite his nationalist reputation, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban ordered Saturday evening's event to be banned ... In a traditional Hungarian restaurant just around the corner, about 70 participants from a dozen countries gathered around long tables laden with meat and wine ... NPI President Richard Spencer was taken away by police the previous evening from a Budapest bar.