October 2015

Los Angeles Times – Editorial

Colleges are supposed to be places where students are exposed to a variety of opinions. Increasingly, however, administrators and students alike are deciding that free speech on campus must be stifled lest it undermine students' fragile self-esteem. The pretext is often a desire to provide a "safe space" for students, but the result is an environment in which the open expression of unpopular ideas is frowned upon as dangerous and unacceptable. Two recent examples exemplify this troublesome trend.

Eric Walberg

Canada’s prime minister for the past nine years, Stephen Harper, led a charmed life until the October 19 federal election ... For pro-Israeli, pro-war, anti-environment, anti-science, anti-culture types, he was perfect. But for people concerned about human rights, the environment, promoting the arts, and maintaining Canada’s reputation as a nation that promotes world peace, and is a haven for scientific development, he has been the worst prime minister in history ... He signed a public security cooperation “partnership” in 2008 with Israel to “protect their respective countries’ population, assets and interests from common threats.” Israel security agents now officially assist Canada’s security services to profile Canadian citizens and monitor individuals and/or organizations in Canada involved in supporting the rights of Palestinians.

Raphael Ahren - The Times of Israel

... In championing a maverick approach to history, Netanyahu is following in the footsteps of his late father, Benzion Netanyahu, whose views on Marranos, medieval Spanish Jews forced to convert to Christianity, were rejected by a majority of his colleagues ... Benzion, an expert on the history of Spanish Jewry, argued that the Marranos — also known as bnei anusim or conversos — didn’t observe Jewish laws and rituals for long. Marranism, he argued against the prevailing scholarly opinion, is basically a myth. Most historians of medieval Spain, drawing from Inquisition sources, believe that Marranos in 15th, 16th and 17th century Iberia were indeed “crypto-Jewish.” Despite having converted, they secretly lived a Jewish life — what scholars call Judaizing.

Video

Rare film footage of Manfred von Richthofen, the legendary German combat pilot of the First World War, known as the “Red Baron.” Runtime: 5:45 mins. This silent film, apparently from Sept. 1917, shows him preparing to take off, and putting on a flying suit. He is also shown with friends and comrades, and apparently after returning from a flight. Hermann Göring, a colleague who was also an outstanding combat flyer, appears briefly (at 3:05) in this film. (During World War II Göring headed Germany’s air force, the Luftwaffe.) In April 1918 von Richthofen was killed, age 25, in an air duel with a British combat pilot.

Jimmy Carter

... Iran outlined a general four-point sequence several months ago, consisting of a cease-fire, formation of a unity government, constitutional reforms and elections. Working through the United Nations Security Council and utilizing a five-nation proposal, some mechanism could be found to implement these goals. The involvement of Russia and Iran is essential. Mr. Assad’s only concession in four years of war was giving up chemical weapons, and he did so only under pressure from Russia and Iran. Similarly, he will not end the war by accepting concessions imposed by the West, but is likely to do so if urged by his allies. Mr. Assad’s governing authority could then be ended in an orderly process, an acceptable government established in Syria, and a concerted effort could then be made to stamp out the threat of the Islamic State.

B. Erickson - TimesWarp

... The Times says nothing of these contradictions, and it has maintained a resounding silence over other Palestinian deaths, including the shooting of two Hebron schoolboys who were killed last week, also in disturbing and disputed circumstances. On the other hand, the newspaper has taken pains to draw readers’ attention to an alleged stabbing attack on an Israeli citizen, which left the victim “moderately wounded” and resulted in the death of one Palestinian and the arrest of another ... It is clear from this (and many other choices they make) that the newspaper’s editors have an agenda of their own, one that is inconsistent with accepted journalistic standards. Israel is to be the perennial victim. Palestinians are to be the aggressors. Any deviation from this narrative causes dissonance at the Times.

Rick Sterling

If the U.S. is to ever change its foreign policy based on dominance and aggression to a foreign policy based on diplomacy and respect for international law, there needs to be a foundation of realistic assessments. Foreign policy decisions need to be based on reality, not fantasy and propaganda. Unfortunately, dysfunction, deception and propaganda extend across the spectrum from Congressional Republicans to Hillary Clinton to the White House to Bernie Sanders. The following are recent examples: ...

NPR

For all the wonder and appreciation St. Louis' Gateway Arch monument inspires, some see the message and history of the Arch as divisive. For instance, the Arch was built to honor St. Louis' role in westward expansion, a time when Manifest Destiny was used to push Native Americans and Mexicans out of their lands. The museum under the Arch is being redesigned to include that perspective ... Racial inequality is another shadow some see cast by the Arch ... Fifty years after the Arch was built, its anniversary has inspired National Park officials to take a closer look at what the monument represents. When the museum reopens in 2017, it may be known simply as the Arch Museum instead of the Museum of Westward Expansion.

BBC News

The US is sending special forces to Syria to assist anti-government rebels in fighting the so-called Islamic State (IS), officials have said. There will be "fewer than 50" forces deployed in the region to "train, advise and assist" vetted opposition forces, said officials. This will be the first time US troops are working openly on the ground in Syria. But there have been US special forces raids on IS militants there. A senior administration official told the BBC this does not signal a change in US strategy but an "intensification" of the campaign. For more than a year, the US and coalition forces have been carrying out air strikes on Islamic State, which controls a large part of northern Syria and parts of neighbouring Iraq.

Ron Paul

... Congress is not even consulted these days when the president decides to start another war or to send US ground troops into an air war that is not going as planned ... I cannot condemn in strong enough terms this ill-advised US military escalation in the Middle East. Whoever concluded that it is a good idea to send US troops into an area already being bombed by Russian military forces should really be relieved of duty. The fact is, the neocons who run US foreign policy are so determined to pull off their regime change in Syria that they will risk the lives of untold US soldiers and even risk a major war in the region — or even beyond – to escalate a failed policy ... This is not our war. US interventionism has already done enough damage in Iraq and Syria, not to mention Libya. It is time to come home.

Jonathan Marcus - BBC News

Russia's intervention in Syria has changed the military and diplomatic dynamic in the crisis and left the US struggling to catch up. Whatever the inconsistencies in Moscow's own policies, it has highlighted the deficiencies in Washington's approach - not least the collapse of its ailing "train and equip" programme for Syria, which was largely going nowhere. Washington badly needs a new approach. US prestige in the region is at a low point. Most of its allies are in one way or another negotiating with Moscow, and the clear message is that any new diplomatic path will run through the Russian capital rather than Washington.

Franklin Lamb

... Syria and this region are witnessing the most significant shift in great-power relations since the collapse of the Soviet Union a quarter century ago. For many reasons Russia has deployed its forces far from home to quell a revolution, entrench its military, showcase its new weapons and support a friendly regime. The evidence here in Damascus is that they are deadly serious and mean to challenge US influence in this region and, along with their Iranian “partners”, have no plans to leave anytime soon ... Expectations here are that the Iran-Russia ‘partnership’ will achieve something dramatic in short order while exposing American timidity and unreliability to the region.

The Jewish Chronicle (Britain)

Veteran Labour MP Sir Gerald Kaufman has accused Israel of fabricating the recent knife attacks in the country and claimed the Conservative Party has been influenced by “Jewish money”. Speaking at a Palestine Return Centre event in Parliament on Tuesday, Sir Gerald said that the British government had become more pro-Israel in recent years. He said: “It’s Jewish money, Jewish donations to the Conservative Party – as in the general election in May – support from the Jewish Chronicle, all of those things, bias the Conservatives. “There is now a big group of Conservative members of parliament who are pro-Israel whatever government does and they are not interested in what Israel, in what the Israeli government does.

EJP

France’s Supreme Court has confirmed a ruling that promoting a boycott against Israel is tantamount to ‘’inciting hate or discrimination,’’ upholding the convictions and fines on twelve anti-Israel activists. In 2009 and 2010, the twelve activists from the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) attempted to boycott Israeli products in Carrefour supermarkets, one in 2009 and one in 2010. The boycotters were wearing shirts with the slogan "Long Live Palestine, Boycott Israel," handed out pamphlets stating that the sale of Israeli goods supports "war crimes" in Gaza, and yelled slogans such as, "Israel assassinates, Carrefour is complicit."

Glenn Greenwald - The Intercept

The post-Charlie Hebdo “free speech” march in Paris was a fraud for multiple reasons ... It was led by dozens of world leaders, many of whom imprison or even kill people for expressing prohibited views. It was cheered by many Westerners who feign upset only when free speech abridgments are perpetrated by Muslims, but not — as far is far more common – by their own governments against Muslims ... The absurdity of France’s celebrating itself for free expression was vividly highlighted by this week’s decision from that nation’s highest court, one that is a direct assault on basic free speech rights. The French high court upheld the criminal conviction of twelve political activists for the “crime” of advocating sanctions and a boycott against Israel as a means of ending the decades-long military occupation of Palestine.

Liberty Lobby

Willis A. Carto, a prominent and influential figure in the American “far right” for half a century, died of cardiac arrest on Monday, Oct. 26. He was 89. In 1955 he founded this organization, Liberty Lobby, which for decades published a weekly paper, The Spotlight. During his active life, he was involved with many other organizations and enterprises, including Noontide Press, Institute for Historical Review, the Populist Party, The Barnes Review, and American Free Press.

NBC News

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said Tuesday that the U.S. will begin "direct action on the ground" against ISIS forces in Iraq and Syria, aiming to intensify pressure on the militants as progress against them remains elusive. "We won't hold back from supporting capable partners in opportunistic attacks against ISIL, or conducting such missions directly whether by strikes from the air or direct action on the ground," Carter said in testimony before the Senate Armed Services committee, using an alternative name for the militant group.

NBC News

The Iraqi government said Wednesday it didn't ask for — and doesn't need — the "direct action on the ground" promised by the Pentagon. The revelation came a day after Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said the U.S. may carry out more unilateral ground raids — like last week’s rescue operation to free hostages -- in Iraq to target ISIS militants. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's spokesman told NBC News that any military involvement in the country must be cleared through the Iraqi government, just as U.S.-led airstrikes are. “This is an Iraqi affair and the government did not ask the U.S. Department of Defense to be involved in direct operations," spokesman Sa'ad al-Hadithi told NBC News. "We have enough soldiers on the ground."

N. Srdoc - Huffington Post

US presidential candidates have been invited to participate in the first-ever US Presidential Candidates’ Forum held abroad [Nov. 3-4], focusing on foreign and defense policy issues. From Jerusalem, Israel, each presidential candidate will have an opportunity to present their views on U.S. foreign policy, US-Israel relations, threats affecting US allies in Europe and Asia, the instability in the Middle East, terrorism, and solutions to increase the economic well-being and security of Americans in the US and abroad.

Jeffrey Herf - The Times of Israel

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's comments about Haj Amin al-Husseini's impact on Hitler's decision-making about the Final Solution in Europe do not stand up to the consensus of historical research. Husseini's importance in Nazi Berlin lay far more in assisting the Third Reich's Arabic language propaganda toward the Arab world and in mobilizing Muslims in Eastern Europe to support the Nazi regime ... On Nov. 5, 1943, Husseini spoke at the Islamic Institute in Berlin on "Balfour Day," a day to denounce the Balfour Declaration. The speech was printed in German and broadcast on the radio ... The Jews, he said, had tormented the world for ages, and have been the enemy of the Arabs and of Islam since its emergence.

B. Sales – JTA

When Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blamed Haj Amin al-Husseini, the mufti of Jerusalem prior to the establishment of Israel, for inspiring Hitler to exterminate the Jews of Europe, he meant to show the long history of Palestinian anti-Semitism ... When the rebellion was suppressed, he [al-Husseini] fled to Italy and continued his contacts with the Axis powers from there, famously meeting with Adolf Hitler in November 1941. He continued to support the Nazis in various ways throughout the war ... Contrary to Netanyahu’s assertion, nowhere in the record is there a suggestion that Husseini told Hitler to exterminate Europe’s Jews. The record does report that Hitler announced his intentions, noting that he planned to “ask one European nation after the other to solve its Jewish problem.”

JTA

Some 42 percent of New York Times Magazine online readers said they would use a time machine to go back and kill “baby Hitler.” Another 30 percent said no, and 28 percent said they were unsure. The query on Friday came a day after Back to the Future Day in honor of the 1980s movie series in which characters traveled back in time and changed the course of their history. The poll set off a firestorm on Twitter, where the hashtag #babyHitler trended over the weekend. Many of those who said they could not kill baby Hitler were worried about bringing about unexpected consequences.

Eric Margolis

Turkey, once a pillar of Mideast stability, looks increasingly like a slow-motion truck crash. What makes this crisis so tragic is that not very long ago Turkey was entering a new age of social harmony and economic development. Today, both are up in smoke as this week’s bloody bombing in Ankara that killed 99 people showed. America’s ham-handed policies in the Mideast have set the entire region ablaze from Syria to South Sudan and Libya. Turkey sits right on top of the huge mess, licked by the flames of nationalist and political conflagrations and now beset by two million Syrian refugees.

Eric Margolis

... For ten years, the rightwing Conservatives political leader from Alberta, Stephen Harper, held power in Ottawa ... Harper suddenly emerged as the most ardent champion of Israel’s far right Likud government. Israel’s Bibi Netanyahu and Harper became best friends. Under Harper, Canada, once a leader of human rights, told Palestinians they did not deserve a state and were ‘terrorists.’ ... A cabal of pro-Israel neoconservative academics in Alberta led the flag-waving charge in hope that Canada would one day join Israel in its military efforts ... Canada will hopefully return to its former policies of peacekeeping and working through the UN. Netanyahu will no longer be able to give Ottawa its marching orders.

The Jerusalem Post (Israel)

A billboard in the Michigan city of Detroit that reads “America First Not Israel” is arousing accusations anti-Semitism. The large sign, placed on the city’s 8 Mile Road, was paid for by “Deir Yassin Remembered,” a New York-based organization that has been posting similar signs throughout the country ... In an interview with Detroit’s WXYZ radio, a Fox News affiliate, the Anti-Defamation League’s Heidi Budaj said that the ad and its choice of location is trying to “drive a wedge between the American people and the State of Israel.” ... The website of Deir Yassin Remembered, Inc. lists its mailing address under the name of Daniel A. McGowan, a professor emeritus of economics at Hobart and William Smith colleges.

Associated Press

The right-wing and anti-migrant Law and Justice party has won a majority of seats in Poland's parliament and can govern alone, the state election authority announced on Tuesday. The party got 235 seats in the 460-seat lower house of Poland's parliament and also won a majority in the Senate — the strongest position any single party has ever enjoyed in post-communist Poland to reshape the nation according to its visions ... The party also took a strong anti-migrant stand during the election campaign, criticizing the outgoing ruling party, Civic Platform, for agreeing to accept some 7,000 refugees as part of a European Union resettlement plan.

Reuters

The University of Mississippi stopped flying the state flag on its campus on Monday after students and faculty demanded the removal of the banner, whose design incorporates a Confederate battle image that has come under attack across the U.S. South. The state's flagship university, nicknamed "Ole Miss," lowered the flag during a morning ceremony and planned to relocate it to the university's archives, according to the school's website ... The university's decision to lower the flag followed votes this month by student government and faculty organizations that sought its removal. The flag has also been removed at some other Mississippi college campuses.

Fars News Agency (Iran)

Iraqi security and popular forces have caught an Israeli colonel from Golani Brigade along with a number of ISIL terrorists, a commander disclosed on Thursday. “The security and popular forces have held captive an Israeli colonel," a commander of Iraq's popular mobilization forces said on Thursday. "The Zionist officer is ranked colonel and had participated in the Takfiri ISIL group's terrorist operations," he added. Noting that he was arrested along with a number of ISIL terrorists, the commander said, "The Israeli colonel's name is Yusi Oulen Shahak and is ranked colonel in Golani Brigade of the Zionist regime's army with the security and military code of Re34356578765az231434.”

D. Palumbo-Liu - Salon

The causes and intensity of the violence in Israel-Palestine cannot be explained in a headline. But that is exactly what the New York Times tried to do in its front-page story last week entitled, “Leaderless Palestinian Youth, Inspired by Social Media, Drive Rise in Violence in Israel.” Apart from giving the weird impression that Facebook and Twitter has somehow prompted knife attacks (something akin to the claim rap music causes drive-by shootings), the headline obfuscates the fact that the violence is not in Israel, but rather on either disputed land or in the Occupied Territories. That’s the key wrong turn after which the story just gets worse and worse.

The Times of Israel

A daughter-in-law of Adolf Eichmann, the Nazi war criminal hung by Israel as one of the architects of the Final Solution, withdrew her mayoral candidacy in Argentina after defending his actions on television. Carmen Bretin Lindemann announced Thursday that she was bowing out of the mayoral race of the northeastern village of Garupa after receiving intense criticism for what she said about Eichmann during a television interview that was aired on Wednesday. “The history that you know is not the real one, the version that you know from movies and books is written by the Jews, and all the world accepts that history,” she said in the interview for the TN news channel. “He wasn’t a bad person, he obeyed orders and did not personally kill anyone,” she added, calling Eichmann “grandpa.”

David Irving – Institute for Historical Review

Twice this year [1992] I've come under the scrutiny of journalists, entirely through no doing of my own. The first occasion was my acquisition of the Eichmann papers, about which I'll be speaking shortly. The second occasion was in regard to the papers of Dr. Joseph Goebbels. I'll show you the Goebbels papers first because these have aroused enormous interest. It came about like this ...

WorldNetDaily (Washington, DC)

Austrians are arming themselves at record rates in an effort to defend their households against feared attacks from Muslim invaders. Tens of thousands of Muslim “refugees” have poured into Austria from Hungary and Slovenia in recent months on their way to Germany and Sweden, two wealthy European countries that have laid out the welcome mat for migrants ... Obtaining a working firearm and ammunition in Germany, Britain, Denmark and the Netherlands is practically impossible for the average citizen ... The laws in Austria, while still strict, are a bit less overbearing. A Czech TV report confirms that long guns – shotguns and rifles – have been flying off the shelves in Austria, and Austrians who haven’t already purchased a gun may not have a chance to get one for some time. They’re all sold out.

Eric Draitser - CounterPunch

... Reading the New York Times, Washington Post, and other allegedly liberal major media outlets, one could be forgiven for thinking that the nature of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is tit-for-tat, that it is the product of an ongoing cause-effect-countereffect relationship. That is precisely how the conflict is portrayed in nearly all so-called ‘respectable’ papers ... The effect is to justify the murder of Palestinians by portraying them as simply responses to an external factor: violence against Israelis ... The reader of the NBC article is left with the utterly dishonest, though politically very useful, conclusion that both sides are equally guilty, equally worthy of blame, and that the conflict itself is beyond critical analysis.

Jack Mirkinson - Salon

... There is currently a renewed wave of violence in Israel and Palestine. At least 50 Palestinians and nine Israelis are dead. In that climate, Netanyahu chose to rewrite the history of the Holocaust so thoroughly that he was accused of echoing the conspiracy theories of Holocaust deniers. He did this for the purpose of recasting both the current conflict and, really, any conflict with Palestinians, as something ground in a permanent Palestinian tendency towards anti-Jewish hatred. Never mind the ongoing occupation of Gaza and the West Bank, or the inexorably expanding settlements, or the fact that more Palestinians were killed by Israel last year than at any time since 1967, or the discrimination and despair that Palestinians in Jerusalem face ...

Gideon Levy - Haaretz (Israel)

... And now to the facts. One state already exists here, and has done so for 48 years. The Green Line faded long ago; the settlements are in Israel, and Israel is also the settlers’ land. The fate of the two million Palestinians who live in the West Bank is decided by the government in Jerusalem and the defense establishment in Tel Aviv, not by Ramallah. Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai, the coordinator of government activities in the territories, is their ruler far more than Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is. They are clearly part of the binational state and have been its subjects, forcibly, for some three generations. This state has three regimes: democracy for the Jews; discrimination for the Israeli Arabs; and apartheid for the Palestinians. But everyone lives in one inseparable state.

Jonathan Cook

Among Palestinians and Israelis, the recent upsurge in violence has been variously described as the children’s, lone-wolf, Jerusalem and smartphone intifadas. Each describes a distinguishing feature of this round of clashes ... After six uninterrupted years of the extreme right in power, Israelis don’t blame their government’s policy of relentless force for the backlash. They demand yet more force against the Palestinians. Polls show Avigdor Lieberman, the former Moldovan bouncer who became the hard man of the Israeli right, is most favoured to lead the nation out of the crisis. ... The chaotic violence of the past weeks looks like a warning from the future – a future Israel is hurtling towards.

Linh Dinh

... In Germany, however, the dissident crowd are often not just against the state, but their country and, perhaps only subconsciously, even their heritage. Many openly advocate for the dissolution of Germany ... Punitively flattened at the end of World War II and shamed for 70 years now, many Germans seem to welcome their ongoing erasure as an unending atonement ... In the popular mind, Nazism is seen in a vacuum. It’s as if there was no Treaty of Versailles that bankrupted and ultimately starved Germany. It’s as if your average German is, at best, a latent Nazi whose sinister tendencies will flare up if not constantly kept in check ... Nationalism is conflated with death, and that’s why all guilt-racked Germans must fight against it, but the absence of nationalism is also death. It is the drawn out death of Germany.

Reuters

Sweden said on Thursday it expected up to 190,000 migrants this year, putting unprecedented strain on a country famous for welcoming refugees but planning to house many in tents this winter. At the opposite pole of the angry debate on the migration crisis, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban urged European leaders to change their immigration policies and consult voters, or face a threat to the democratic order. Thousands of refugees continued to pour into Slovenia in the hope of reaching prosperous northern Europe, and the tiny country appealed for other European Union states to send police to help manage the flow. Europe is struggling to cope with its biggest wave of migrants since World War Two.

W. Knowles - New Europe

Viktor Orban of Hungary, outspoken critic of Europe’s migration policy ... gave a speech at the EPP [European People’s Party] Congress in Madrid today ... “What we have been facing is not a refugee crisis [Orban said]. This is a migratory movement composed of economic migrants, refugees and also foreign fighters. This is an uncontrolled and unregulated process ... I also want to underline that there is an unlimited source of supply of people, after Syria, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Africa is now also on the move. The dimension and the volume of the danger is well above our expectations.” ... [He also said:] “Neither the German nor the Hungarian way of life is a basic right of all people on the earth. It is only a right of those ones who have contributed to it. Europe is not in a shape to accept everyone who wants a better life.”

AFP

"Mein Kampf", Adolf Hitler's manifesto containing autobiographical, anti-Semitic and militaristic screeds, falls out of copyright next year, and already annotated German and French reprints are being prepared, a Paris publisher confirmed on Wednesday. The book -- whose title means "My Struggle" in German -- originally came out in two volumes in 1925 and 1926, but was banned in Germany after Hitler and the Nazis were defeated in World War II. No French reprint has been made since 1934. Various translated English versions, however, have been made and are widely available online through retailers such as Amazon. But now the copyright on the work, held by the Bavarian State, is due to expire at the end of this year -- 70 years after the death of its infamous author.

Chas F. Freeman

... From 2003 to date, Americans have racked up $6 trillion in outlays and unfunded liabilities for two wars we have lost. That $6 trillion – much of it yet to be borrowed – might otherwise have been invested in America’s human and physical infrastructure. We live amidst the falling educational standards, collapsing bridges, man-eating potholes, transportation gridlock, and declining international competitiveness that are the consequences of our not spending that money here ... By now, the consequences of multiple U.S. missteps are obvious to all but the most determined American partisans of diplomacy-free foreign policy.

Congresswoman Barbara Lee

America’s longest war continues to drag on with no end in sight. More than 14 years since the invasion of Afghanistan, our highly capable men and women in uniform have gone above and beyond the call of duty. They have done enough; it’s past time to bring them home ... Continuing this war has not made us any safer. Our protracted engagement in Afghanistan undermines our national security by sparking global resentment against the US and spurring unsustainable Pentagon spending. At present, the war’s price tag totals more than $716 billion, which continues to prevent much needed investments in critical domestic priorities ... While Afghanistan and the region still face significant challenges, history has shown that there is no effective military solution.

The Times of Israel

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was pounded Wednesday with a barrage of condemnations after he claimed that Nazi leader Adolf Hitler only decided on the mass extermination of Europe’s Jews after receiving input on the matter from Jerusalem’s then-grand mufti, Haj Amin al-Husseini, a Palestinian nationalist widely acknowledged as a fervent Jew-hater. Critics accused Netanyahu of “absolving” Hitler of responsibility for the Holocaust, a charge the prime minister later rejected, saying he had “no intention to absolve Hitler of responsibility for his diabolical destruction of European Jewry” but that it was “equally absurd to ignore the role played by the Mufti” in urging Nazi leaders “to exterminate European Jewry.

D. N. Cohen - Haaretz (Israel)

... Holocaust groups are “really upset and yet don’t want to criticize Netanyahu publicly — particularly at a moment when Israel needs support. Israel is under attack from terrorists and they want to stand together with Israel, not criticize,” said the head of another major Jewish organization, who asked not to be named ... The prime minister “has now tried to use the Holocaust as another tool in his political quiver.” But one leading Holocaust scholar, Deborah Lipstadt, spoke more freely. The implications of Netanyahu’s statement “are very bad,” said Lipstadt, a professor of modern Jewish history and Holocaust studies at Emory University in Atlanta ...His revision of long-accepted historical fact “certainly suggests that Jews play with the facts,” Lipstadt told Haaretz.

AFP

Germany on Wednesday stressed its inherent responsibility for the Holocaust, after Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu stirred controversy by claiming that a Palestinian leader gave Hitler the idea of exterminating Jews. Chancellor Angela Merkel, who hosted Netanyahu for talks Wednesday, stressed: "Germany abides by its responsibility for the Holocaust." "We don't see any reason to change our view of history." In a speech on Tuesday, Netanyahu suggested that Adolf Hitler was not planning to exterminate the Jews until he met Palestinian nationalist Haj Amin al-Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, in 1941. "Hitler didn’t want to exterminate the Jews at the time. He wanted to expel the Jews," Netanyahu told the World Zionist Congress.

J. J. Goldberg - Forward (New York)

Once the laughter and groans have died down, the unorthodox version of Holocaust history offered by Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem the other day confronts us with a deeply unsettling question: What to make of the fact that the Jewish state, of all places, has a Holocaust revisionist for a prime minister? Too harsh? Perhaps “Hitler apologist” would go down easier. What’s the proper term for a politician who stands before an international audience and declares that “Hitler didn’t want to exterminate the Jews,” but was talked into it by someone he’d just met? ... One of the clearly evident goals of the Zionist Congress speech was to draw a straight line between the Final Solution and today’s Palestinian national movement and its leader.

Thomas Harrington

... You see, the US strategic goal in Syria is not as your faithful mainstream media servants ... might have you believe of saving the Syrian people from the ravages of the long-standing Assad dictatorship. Rather, the goal was to heighten the level of internecine conflict in that country to the point where it will not be able to serve as a bulwark against Israeli regional hegemony for at least another generation. How do we know? Because important protagonists in the Israelo-American policy planning elite have advertised the fact with a surprising degree of clarity in documents and public statements issued over the last several decades ... The US-Israeli plan in Syria has never been about helping anyone in that country, but rather insuring its effective dismemberment so as to further the perceived “strategic interests” of the Jewish state.

Ivan Eland

... The United States wants to get rid of the thuggish, but secular, Assad and continues to hold the fantasy that replacing him will miraculously lead to the rise of moderates in Syria or a settlement in which all the radical Islamic opposition groups just give up their efforts to institute Islamic law there and accept a post-Assad coalition government. Unbelievably, Obama has learned nothing from the recent disastrous overthrow of secular dictators in Iraq (during the George W. Bush administration) and Libya (its own foible) ... If the United States, as the global cop, insists on using the Syrian civil war to challenge Russia’s attempt to shore up its longtime and eroding client government in Syria, perhaps it should think twice.

Haaretz (Israel)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sparked public uproar when on Wednesday he claimed that the Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, was the one who planted the idea of the extermination of European Jewry in Adolf Hitler's mind. The Nazi ruler, Netanyahu said, had no intention of killing the Jews, but only to expel them. In a speech before the World Zionist Congress in Jerusalem, Netanyahu described a meeting between Husseini and Hitler in November, 1941: "Hitler didn't want to exterminate the Jews at the time, he wanted to expel the Jew. And Haj Amin al-Husseini went to Hitler and said, 'If you expel them, they'll all come here (to Palestine).' According to Netanyahu, Hitler then asked: "What should I do with them?" and the mufti replied: "Burn them."

The Associated Press

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sparked uproar in Israel on Wednesday for suggesting that a World War II-era Palestinian leader convinced the Nazis to adopt their Final Solution to exterminate European Jews. Holocaust experts slammed Netanyahu's comments as historically inaccurate and serving the interests of Holocaust deniers by lessening the responsibility of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis. Critics also said the statement amounts to incitement against modern-day Palestinians in the midst of a wave of violent unrest and Israeli-Palestinian tensions ... Moshe Zimmermann, a prominent Holocaust and anti-Semitism researcher at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, said Netanyahu made a "far-reaching argument" for political purposes that didn't hold water. He said the comments essentially made Netanyahu a Holocaust denier.

BBC News

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been criticised for saying a Palestinian leader persuaded the Nazis to carry out the Holocaust. Mr Netanyahu insisted Adolf Hitler had only wanted to expel Jews from Europe, but that Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin al-Husseini told him: "Burn them." However, the chief historian at Israel's memorial to the Holocaust said this account was factually incorrect. Angela Merkel said Germany "abides by its responsibility for the Holocaust". "We are very clear in our minds about the Nazis' responsibility for the break with civilisation that was the Shoah," the German chancellor said. A senior Palestinian official meanwhile said it showed Mr Netanyahu hated Palestinians so much he was willing to absolve Hitler.

German newsreel (1941) -- Video

Narration: “The Führer receives the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem (Amin al-Husseini), one of the most influential leaders of Arab nationalism. The Grand Mufti is the religious leader of the Arabs in Palestine, and at the same time their chief judge and financial administrator. Because of his nationalist position, he has been harshly persecuted by the British, who have offered a reward of 25,000 pounds for his capture. After an adventurous journey he reached Germany by way of Italy.” From the German weekly newsreel, “Deutsche Wochenschau,” Dec. 10, 1941.

The Times of Israel

The Arabs were Germany’s natural friends, Haj Amin al-Husseini told the Nazi leader in 1941, because they had the same enemies — namely the English, the Jews and the Communists / The following is an official German record of the meeting between Adolf Hitler and the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, on Nov. 28, 1941, at the Reich Chancellery in Berlin.

Reuters

The German government said on Wednesday that responsibility for the Holocaust lay with the Germans, after Israel's prime minister sparked controversy before a visit to Berlin by saying a Muslim elder had convinced Adolf Hitler to exterminate Jews. "All Germans know the history of the murderous race mania of the Nazis that led to the break with civilization that was the Holocaust," Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert said when asked about Benjamin Netanyahu's remarks. "This is taught in German schools for good reason, it must never be forgotten. And I see no reason to change our view of history in any way. We know that responsibility for this crime against humanity is German and very much our own." "Hitler didn't want to exterminate the Jews at the time, he wanted to expel the Jews," Netanyahu said in the speech.

Andrew J. Bacevich

... In both countries [Afghanistan and Iraq], U.S. military policy has met with profound failure. After overthrowing the established order, U.S. forces attempted in each to restore stability while vowing to create a flourishing new order advertised as both humane and democratic ... Even today, however, few in Washington will own up to the magnitude and implications of those twin failures ... In the end, it comes down to interests and values. The primary U.S. interest at stake is self-defense, which in this instance can be best achieved by erecting effective barriers against terrorism here at home. And should our values dictate that we attempt to alleviate the suffering of Afghans (and Iraqis), then honesty requires an admission that our efforts have succeeded only in making matters worse.

Paul Kengor - The American Spectator

... Miller was not only anti-anti-communist; he was pro-communist. More than that, Arthur Miller had been a communist. And that’s something that students in their public schools and in our woeful universities had not and still will not learn as they are spoon-fed Miller’s left-wing morality plays. To the contrary, Miller’s most-lasting works have succeeded in portraying anti-communists as the lowest form of political troglodyte ... Miller’s sentiments in these publications covered a lot of ground, from politics and plays, to culture and war, to anti-Semitism and his search for his Jewish identity. Wald correctly noted that Miller’s political writing in these pages was often “militantly angry.” His tone also reflected the Communist Party USA line and language.

Robert Fisk - The Independent (Britain)

While the world still rages on at Russia’s presumption in the Middle East – to intervene in Syria instead of letting the Americans decide which dictators should survive or die – we’ve all been forgetting the one institution in that Arab land which continues to function and protect the state which Moscow has decided to preserve: the Syrian army ... Earlier this year, we may remember, this same army was being written off, the Bashar al-Assad government said to be reaching its final days ... Then along came Vladimir Putin with his air and missile fleets and suddenly the whole place is transformed ... In other words, the Russians are involved in a big operation, not a one-month wonder that is going on in Syria. And it is likely to continue for quite a time.

Daily Mail (Britain)

A bombshell White House memo has revealed for the first time details of the ‘deal in blood’ forged by Tony Blair and George Bush over the Iraq War. The sensational leak shows that Blair had given an unqualified pledge to sign up to the conflict a year before the invasion started. It flies in the face of the Prime Minister’s public claims at the time that he was seeking a diplomatic solution to the crisis. He told voters: ‘We’re not proposing military action’ – in direct contrast to what the secret email now reveals. The classified document also discloses that Blair agreed to act as a glorified spin doctor for the President by presenting ‘public affairs lines’ to convince a sceptical public that Saddam had Weapons of Mass Destruction – when none existed.

W. P. Strobel, J. Walcott – Knight Ridder

A highly classified British memo, leaked in the midst of Britain's just-concluded election campaign, indicates that President Bush decided to overthrow Iraqi President Saddam Hussein by summer 2002 and was determined to ensure that U.S. intelligence data supported his policy. The document, which summarizes a July 23, 2002, meeting of British Prime Minister Tony Blair with his top security advisers, reports on a visit to Washington by the head of Britain's MI-6 intelligence service. The visit took place while the Bush administration was still declaring to the American public that no decision had been made to go to war ... “Bush wanted to remove Saddam through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD," weapons of mass destruction. The memo said "the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy."

Gideon Levy - Haaretz (Israel)

What did you [Israelis] think, the Palestinians would sit still indefinitely? Did you really think Israel would continue on its course and they’d just bow their heads in submission? Do you know many historical examples of that? Is there one example of a brutal occupation that persisted without stoking resistance? Apparently that’s what you thought, otherwise there would have been public pressure long ago to act, because who wants terror? But Israel slid into a deathly silence, with darkness over the abyss, and now it’s acting surprised. It voted for the right, for ultra-nationalism, racism and messianism, and now it’s feelings are hurt ... In the meantime, Jerusalem has become the capital of apartheid. No other city so discriminates and dispossesses or is so violent.

Walter L. Hixson

At last week’s UN meeting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu continued to thunder about an as yet nonexistent Iranian nuclear threat. It is remarkable how few historians and almost no one in the mainstream media points out Israel’s own mendacious path to cultivation of nuclear weapons and its torpedoing of US and international efforts to keep the Middle East a nuclear free zone. Beginning with the Kennedy administration the Israelis successfully lobbied for millions of dollars in American military assistance, including tanks and aircraft, in return for supposedly embracing the nuclear non-proliferation regime. The Israelis secretly developed nuclear weapons capability anyway in blatant violation of their pledges to the Kennedy and Johnson administrations.

Paul Findley

... Who is responsible for this tragic treatment of Palestinians? If you ponder that question, bear in mind that Israel could not possibly commit this criminal behavior without automatic, unqualified, U.S. government support year after year. Pro-Israel lobby pressure controls all major news media. Congress behaves like a committee of the Israeli parliament. No president since Dwight Eisenhower has had the courage to stand up to Israeli wrongdoing. Those who know the truth are afraid to speak out for fear of paying a heavy price – maybe loss of employment. All citizens of the United States must face the truth: Our government is complicit in in Israeli crimes against humanity.

BBC News

The right-wing, anti-immigration Swiss People's Party (SVP) has won Switzerland's parliamentary election with a record 29.4 percent of the vote. Its victory translates into eleven extra seats, giving it 65 out of the total 200 in the lower house. Europe's migrant crisis boosted support for the SVP, commentators say ... Swiss media are speaking of a "Rechtsrutsch" - a "slide to the right" - because the SVP, FDP and some small right-wing parties can now command a majority in the National Council (lower house) ... The SVP won the 2011 vote with 26.6 percent, becoming the largest party, but now it has made further gains. The SVP is sceptical about Switzerland's many bilateral agreements with the EU, telling voters that the country is better off remaining outside the 28-nation bloc.

Reuters

The German anti-Islam movement PEGIDA staged its biggest rally in months on Monday [in Dresden], sparked into fresh life on its first anniversary by anger at the government's decision to take in hundreds of thousands of migrants from the Middle East. PEGIDA, or Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West, almost fizzled out earlier this year ... Police declined to estimate the number of protesters but media put it at 15-20,000, somewhat below a peak of around 25,000 in January. Around 14,000 counter-demonstrators urged people to welcome refugees rather than whip up opposition. PEGIDA supporters waved the national flag and carried posters bearing slogans such as "Hell comes with fake refugees" and "Every people should have its country, not every people a piece of Germany".

Donald Neff

... The coming to power in Egypt of the energetic young warrior sent shockwaves through Britain, France and Israel ... Thus was born the fiasco that has ignominiously gone down in history as the Suez Crisis of 1956. Little remembered in the United States, it was a watershed event in the Middle East. It involved one of the most cynical schemes ever hatched by Britain, France and Israel – and one of the highest points of American diplomacy. It also made Nasser the most idolized Arab leader of his time ... Although widely reviled by Israel and its supporters, Nasser, the son of a postal clerk, had been a great Arab leader. While he was a compulsive conspirator, suspicious of others and thin-skinned to criticism, he was also charismatic, a natural leader and eventually the most beloved and admired Arab of his time.

Uri Avnery (Israel)

... With Nasser dead, and after the violent end of his successors and imitators, Sadat, Mubarrak, Gaddafi and Saddam, the vacuum invited a new force: Salafi Islamism. I have warned many times in the past that if we destroy Nasser and Arab nationalism, religious forces would come to the fore. Instead of a fight between rational enemies which can end in a rational peace, it will be the beginning of a religious war, which will by definition be irrational and allow for no compromise. That's where we are now. Instead of Nasser, we have Daesh. Instead of the Arab world led by a charismatic leader, who gave the Arab masses everywhere a sense of dignity and renewal, we are now facing an enemy which glorifies public beheading and wants to bring back the seventh century.

The New Jersey Jewish News

A presidential historian and former White House staffer told a gathering in Long Branch that the 2016 presidential race is shaping up to be the “most Jewish” in history. “Think about it,” said Dr. Tevi Troy. “Both leading candidates, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, have machatunim,” Jewish in-laws of their daughters. (Chelsea Clinton is married to the Jewish Marc Mezvinsky, and Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, married the Orthodox Jared Kushner, originally of Livingston, after converting.) “It’s remarkable how little comment there is” on this phenomenon, Troy said. “The larger American society accepts this with nary a second thought. I can’t think of any other country where the leading candidates have machatunim — except Israel.”

Jason Zengerle - New York magazine

... Over the past 30 years, and especially in the last decade, the GOP’s attachment to Israel has become remarkably fierce, to an extent that is basically unprecedented in modern American politics. On issue after issue — from military aid to settlement policy — the GOP now offers Israel unconditional and unquestioning support, so much so that some Republicans now liken the country to America’s “51st state.” The person most responsible for this development is the multi­billionaire casino magnate and Republican megadonor Sheldon Adelson ... According to Forbes, Adelson, who owns a majority of Sands stock, is worth about $26 billion ... Adelson has been known to boast that he is still “the richest Jew in the world.” ... All told, Adelson reportedly spent $100 million against Obama in 2012.

Video - Press TV (Iran)

Former US lawmaker Cynthia McKinney says every candidate for Congress must pledge to support Israel’s military superiority in the region and continued large-scale US funding for the Zionist state, or risk losing the ability to raise funds for election campaigns. “If you don’t sign the pledge, you don’t get money,” she says in this in this interview with Marzieh Hashemi, an American-born journalist who lives in Iran. "You make a commitment that you would vote to support the military superiority of Israel, that the economic assistance that Israel wants, that you would vote to provide that," she adds. If a candidate does not sign the pledge or perform accordingly, "then you do not get money to run your campaign,” McKinney says. After she made the pledge public, she says, the tactic changed, but the basic requirement remained. Runtime: 4:35 mins.

CNN

Georgia's Stone Mountain, a site that once hosted Ku Klux Klan cross-burnings and remains a home for Confederate tributes, will soon be adding a very different symbol: a tower in honor of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. According to CNN affiliate WSB, the tower will feature a replica of the Liberty Bell and give literal representation to a line from King's "I Have a Dream" speech: "Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia." The Stone Mountain Memorial Association, the authority that maintains the mountain and surrounding Stone Mountain Park, said in a statement that the "King Monument Bell" will "facilitate a more complete telling of the mountain's history and an expansion of the park's educational offerings."

Stephen M. Walt - Foreign Policy

... From a purely selfish, rational, flag-waving American perspective, therefore, peace is a goal to proclaim, to pursue, and to prize. Yet one is hard-pressed to find a leading candidate who will talk openly about his or her passion for peace, commitment to pursuing it once in office, or the specific strategies he or she intends to follow to further this goal. Why? I suspect it is because we mistakenly confuse a desire for peace with weakness, and assume anyone who exhibits a passionate commitment to peace is some sort of “Kumbaya”- singing idealist who just doesn’t understand how the world works, and is therefore not tough enough for the Big Job.

BBC News

US Republican presidential hopeful Ben Carson has defended comments that suggested the Holocaust may have been avoided if people had been armed. "The likelihood of Hitler being able to accomplish his goals would have been greatly diminished if the people had been armed," he told CNN on Thursday. An anti-Semitism monitoring group says linking US gun control to the Holocaust is "historically inaccurate". Mr Carson is polling second in the Republican race behind Donald Trump. On Friday, Mr Carson reiterated his views about gun control. “Basically, what I said is when tyranny occurs traditionally around the world, they try to disarm the people first," Mr Carson told the National Press Club in Washington.

Patrick J. Buchanan

... The liberal interventionists and neocons who goaded George W. Bush on got us into these wars. But they had no clue as to what would happen once we got in, and they have no idea today on how we can get out. Indeed, they have no desire to get out ... In analyzing the presidential race, the one conclusion upon which all agree is that the anti-Washington, anti-incumbent sentiment is far deeper and wider than most had imagined. The surge in the polls of Bernie Sanders at the expense of Hillary Clinton, and of Donald Trump at the expense of the GOP establishment, are the political stories of the year. And what do Socialist Sanders and Capitalist Trump have in common? Neither is an interventionist — both opposed the Iraq War.

S. Kashmeri – The Huffington Post

Criticism of Russia's projection of force into Syria is often laced with predictions of an impending Russian quagmire, in the fashion of the Soviet misadventure of the 1970s in Afghanistan. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Mr. Putin has made a strategic, well calibrated and thought out move on the Middle East chessboard and will soon reap significant geopolitical rewards from it ... Russia has entered the Middle-East fray in alliance with Iraq and Iran, and with sufficient military power to seriously damage the anti-Assad forces and those of the Islamic State. My forecast: Mr. Putin will achieve significant success on the battlefield within 30-60 days.

AFP

President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday slammed Washington for refusing to share intelligence with Russia on Syria, accusing it of muddled thinking. "I believe some of our partners simply have mush for brains," Putin said, expressing some of his strongest criticism yet of Washington's handling of the Syrian crisis ... “Now, we often hear that our pilots are striking the wrong targets, not IS," Putin said at an investment forum in Moscow explaining that Russia had asked Washington to provide a list of targets. But Washington declined. "'No, we are not ready for this' was the answer," Putin quoted them as saying. "Then we thought again and asked another question: then tell us where we should not strike. No answer too," he said, adding: "That is not a joke. I did not make this up."

R. Sainath – The Nation

... Students and professors seeking to change the status quo in Israel/Palestine are frequently censored, punished, or subjected to baseless legal complaints. They are branded as “uncivil” or “divisive” or falsely accused of supporting terrorism and anti-Semitism when they hold events, distribute fliers, or support the growing boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement ... Much as in Congressional politics, these big donors and Israel advocacy groups use a menacing combination of carrots and sticks to enforce an anti-Palestine agenda (casino mogul Sheldon Adelson convened a summit that reportedly raised “at least $20 million” to combat BDS efforts this past June).

NPR

... About one million Hungarians filled out Orban's questionnaire and sent it back. The government says their answers are the basis for its hard-line policy against migrants — building fences and using force to keep them out. This fall, new billboards along Hungarian highways read: "The people have decided. The country has to be protected." Meanwhile, the prime minister's right-wing party, Fidesz, has surged in the polls. Hungary's crackdown on migrants has been a boon to the government's popularity. It's co-opting messages from the far-right Jobbik party — and winning. By moving to the right, it seems to be putting the far-right fringe out of business.

Linh Dinh

... In contemporary Germany, to oppose refugees or immigrants is to risk being called a Neo-Nazi. What you have, then, is a battle between those who seek to defend a national culture based on at least a shared heritage and language, if not ethnicity, and those who subscribe to a more universalist concept. To these multiculturalists, a nation is just a collection of whoever happen to be in it, no matter their differences in core beliefs, since we’re just one big human family, after all, and all resultant frictions are more than compensated for by the varied benefits ... Free speech in Germany is limited, and one must not, above all, publicly criticize Israel or Jews, or raise questions about the Holocaust ... American culture shows up everywhere here.

Le Figaro (France)

The court of appeals of Paris confirmed today the conviction of the radical right-wing author Alain Soral, requiring him to pay a fine of 6,000 euros for inciting hatred against the journalist Frédéric Haziza and against the Jews as well ... On his website, Alain Soral described Mr. Haziza as "a journalist of a community about which we have no right to talk about, [a community] which is occupying ... Yes, that's the correct word... We are talking about occupation ... almost the whole ideological structure of France" and is carrying out "a work of tribal censorship". In the verdict, the court of appeals of Paris ruled that the words of Alain Soral are within the bounds of "the most stereotypical antisemitism, and constitute a libel against a community, libelously claiming that it is supposedly seeking to deny the French their freedom of expression".

BBC News

The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that a Turkish politician should not have been prosecuted for denying that the mass killing of Armenians by Ottoman Turkey was a genocide. Judges ruled by ten votes to seven that Dogu Perincek's 2007 conviction for racial discrimination by a Swiss court infringed his right to free speech. Mr Perincek had said "the Armenian genocide is a big fat lie". The ECHR ruled that Mr Perincek had not called for "hatred or intolerance" ... The court made a distinction with Holocaust denial, which judges said could always be seen as a form of incitement to racial hatred in certain countries. Denying that the Armenian killings were a genocide is illegal in Switzerland as well as Cyprus, Slovakia, and Greece.

B. Erickson - TimesWarp

It’s a topsy-turvy world in The New York Times. Palestinians are dying, but it is Israelis who are fearful. Unarmed Palestinians face the threat of heavily armed settlers and security forces, but it is not Palestine that has a security problem; it is Israel. This is the scenario we find today in a story by Isabel Kershner titled “Stabbings, and Deadly Responses, Add to Israel’s Security Challenge.” ... Neither Kershner nor her editors find Palestinian vulnerability at all newsworthy. It is only Israeli sentiments that matter here. Likewise, it is not the death of so many Palestinians that concerns the Times but the effect on Israel’s reputation.

AFP

Polish prosecutors on Thursday opened a libel probe against a US historian after he claimed Poles killed more Jews than Germans during World War II. Last month, German newspaper Die Welt ran an article by the Polish-born Princeton University professor Jan T. Gross in which he sought to explain Poland's wariness of accepting Syrian migrants streaming into Europe by referring to anti-Semitism during the war. "The Poles, for example, were indeed rightfully proud of their society's resistance against the Nazis, but in fact did kill more Jews than Germans during the war," wrote the 68-year-old Jewish historian ... Nowak told public television that the [prosecutor’s] office was acting under a paragraph of the criminal code that "provides that any person who publicly insults the Polish nation is punishable by up to three years in prison".

The Guardian (Britain)

The state of Bavaria is threatening to challenge Angela Merkel’s open door refugee policy in Germany’s highest court, its leader said on Friday, at the same time as he announced a four-year plan to integrate the tens of thousands who are already in the state. Horst Seehofer of the Christian Social Union, the Bavarian sister party of Merkel’s Christian Democrats, said he was prepared to take his case before the constitutional court in Karlsruhe if the chancellor failed to limit the number of refugees entering Germany ... Seehofer stopped short of a previous threat to close Bavaria’s borders – which as the state’s minister-president he does not have the legal power to do – while saying that if the government did not act to improve the situation, “we’ll do whatever is necessary”.

Video - N24 Television (Germany)

German authorities are overwhelmed by the massive influx of Middle East migrants, says Rainer Wendt, chief of the German federal police union. Political leaders were unable or unwilling to foresee the chaos and violence, which were entirely predictable. The migrants understand very well that German authority is weak, says Wendt, and that they will not be punished for violent and illegal behavior. Television interview, with English subtitles. Runtime: 4:25 mins.

AFP

Germany's anti-Islam party Pegida stepped up its attacks on Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday, slamming her as "the most dangerous woman in Europe" and demanding she resign. Pegida leader Tatjana Festerling told a rally of thousands of supporters in the eastern city of Dresden that Merkel's policy of welcoming refugees had turned Germany into a "gigantic camp in the jungle". Festerling, who came fourth in Dresden's mayoral elections in June with ten percent of the vote, denounced Merkel as "irresponsible" describing her as "the most dangerous woman in Europe". Germany, Europe's largest economy, is expected to take in up to a million people fleeing war and poverty this year, sparking anger among anti-foreigner groups and the Pegida movement ("Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the Occident").

AFP

Iran's parliament approved Tuesday the country's nuclear deal with world powers, paving the way for the historic agreement curbing Tehran's atomic programme to take effect and for sanctions to end. The vote came after fierce debate over the terms of the accord, which was struck on July 14 but has faced a rough ride from hardliners in Tehran and in the US Congress. A motion to approve the deal passed 161-59, with 13 abstentions. A tally on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the deal's official name, said 250 of Iran's 290 lawmakers were present, with 17 of them not voting. State television did not broadcast the vote, but media outlets reported angry scenes, with some MPs shouting that their concerns had not been addressed.

EJP

Addressing the annual Conservative Party Conference in Manchester, British Prime Minister David Cameron vowed to investigate and close down Islamic religious schools teaching children anti-Semitic beliefs ... “And be in no doubt: if you are teaching intolerance, we will shut you down,” he added. The Prime Minister’s Office said that the new inspection regime would apply to an estimated 5,000 religious institutions offering eight or more hours of study a week to children in England, including Christian Sunday schools and Jewish yeshivas as well as up to 2,000 madrassas ... Cameron made tackling anti-Semitism a priority in the campaign that led him to a strong victory in May’s general election.

Owen Matthews - The Spectator (Britain)

Russia was right about Iraq and Libya, and America and Britain were dead wrong. Regime change doesn’t seem to have changed Middle Eastern countries for the better, as Vladimir Putin has been warning for years ... Russia’s decisive intervention has left Barack Obama and David Cameron looking weak and confused ... And most importantly, Putin stole the show at the United Nations General Assembly last month with an impassioned speech denouncing the whole US-backed project of democracy in the Middle East at its very root ... The US and UK, on the other hand, are against almost every major group fighting in Syria.

Mark Fahey - CNBC

... Why do Americans remember Reagan so much more kindly than history suggests they should? ... Today you hear about the Reagan who instituted a massive tax cut in 1981, not the Reagan who, when revenue from supply-side economic theories failed to materialize, reversed course to sign the largest peacetime tax increase in history in 1982, and then to raise taxes again in 1983 and 1984. Candidates will talk about the Reagan who cut government regulation, but not the one who increased the size of the federal government and the national debt. We hear about the Reagan who demanded that Mikhail Gorbachev "tear down this wall" and called Soviet Russia an "evil empire," but not the Reagan who later met diplomatically with Soviet leaders to form the foundation of nuclear disarmament.

Reuters

A German actor who dressed up as Adolf Hitler and traveled through the country for four weeks chatting to smiling voters and stroking their pets for a film that opens this week says he was shocked by the warm welcome he received. The film "Look Who's Back" [Er ist wieder da] is an adaptation of a satirical novel by Timur Vermes which has sold over a million copies. In it, Hitler wakes up in modern times, becomes a celebrity and enters politics again ... “How can it be that so many people react positively to Hitler, accept him?" director David Wnendt told Germany's ARD television. The film shows actor Oliver Masucci, complete with Hitler's trademark moustache, mingling among crowds of smiling people, shaking their hands, posing for photos with firemen and even tickling pet dogs and goats.

The Guardian (Britain)

As he walked through the Brandenburg Gate, looking a little stunned and grubby, scores of the tourists gathered there with selfie sticks and phones to capture Berlin’s most famous landmark quickly turned their attention to him. Suddenly Adolf Hitler was surrounded by everyone from German teenagers to giggling Japanese holidaymakers. But the bodyguards accompanying him need not have worried. Some onlookers put their arms around him as they posed for selfies, others pouted and pretended to kiss him on the cheek. “It was incredible, I was suddenly the attraction, like a popstar,” said Oliver Masucci, the latest actor to play Hitler for the big screen, in the film adaptation of Timur Vermes’s 2012 bestselling fictional satire Er ist wieder da.

Melinda D. Anderson - The Atlantic

... History, defined as the systematic narrative of past events as relating to a particular period or person, has increasingly become synonymous with controversy in classrooms and schools ... Few famous figures in American history are as divisive as Christopher Columbus ... Starting with Berkeley, California, in 1992, cities started renaming the second Monday in October “Indigenous People's Day” to shift focus from the conqueror to the conquered ... The San Francisco Unified School District retitled the holiday “Columbus/Indigenous People’s Day/El Dia de La Raza,” giving Sautter wide berth to build his students’ conceptual framework of Columbus within the context of their own culture and community.

Kris Lane – The Washington Post

... When Christopher Columbus does come up in the media or the classroom, he is usually simply bashed or praised, depending on the viewpoint of the speaker ... Let's revisit some of the biggest misconceptions about the explorer Monday's federal holiday is named for. One. Columbus proved the "flat Earth" theory wrong ... In reality, that the Earth is more or less spherical was not news in Columbus's day ... Four. Columbus committed genocide ... Colonialism is never pretty, and in his treatment of native peoples, Columbus was following Spanish and Portuguese trading and slaving practices. We may charge him with genocide by negligence (if there is such a thing), but it is harder to prove intent. Columbus wanted living and multiplying subjects to tax and govern. He was not interested in depopulating newly acquired territories.

Patrick J. Buchanan

... What Putin seems to be saying to us is this: If America’s elites continue to assert their right to intervene in the internal affairs of nations, to make them conform to a U.S. ideal of what is a good society and legitimate government, then we are headed for endless conflict. And, one day, this will inevitably result in war, as more and more nations resist America’s moral imperialism. Nations have a right to be themselves, Putin is saying. They have the right to reflect in their institutions their own histories, beliefs, values and traditions, even if that results in what Americans regard as illiberal democracies or authoritarian capitalism or even Muslim theocracies.

J. Adelman - History News Network

... For most Americans, history is a distant shore literally and figuratively. Since the British burned down the White House and Capitol in 1814, America has never been invaded by a foreign military. Not one of the top 50 colleges or universities require a single course in American history, let alone Russian history ... Americans, until recently, were future oriented, not past and historically oriented. By contrast, history has been a powerful factor in Russia policy for over a thousand years ... To truly understand Putin’s continuing probing at the periphery with his conservative nationalism Americans need to contemplate a world often defeated, quite religious, far away and wrapped up in its history, all traits alien to the modern and liberal United States in 2015.

Robert Fisk - The Independent (Britain)

The Russian air force in Syria has flown straight into the West’s fantasy air space. The Russians, we are now informed, are bombing the “moderates” in Syria – “moderates” whom even the Americans admitted two months ago, no longer existed ... This rubbish has reached its crescendo in the on-again off-again saga of the Syrian “moderates”. These men were originally military defectors to the FSA, which America and European countries regarded as a possible pro-Western force to be used against the Syrian government army. But the FSA fell to pieces, corrupted, and the “moderates” defected all over again ... There are no good guys and bad guys in the Syrian war.

Dennis Jett

Ever since the creation of the state of Israel, it has had a special relationship with the United States. In recent months, that relationship has been damaged by domestic politics in both countries, and steps must be taken to mend it. Israel has been the single largest recipient of American foreign aid, totaling about $234 billion over the years ... Mr. Obama should use the occasion of Mr. Netanyahu's [forthcoming] visit not to shower him with gifts but to demand he replace his ambassador in Washington with a real diplomat. He should also tell him that the United States just might recognize Palestine as a nation and a full member of the United Nations (something that over 70 percent of the U.N.'s 193 member states already do) unless he returns to the bargaining table and makes rapid progress toward lasting peace.

Robert Fantina

... There is always so much concern about Israel’s safety! Does the U.S. not care about the safety and security of other Middle Eastern nations? ... It has been said that before the bloody, murderous and genocidal establishment of Israel in 1948, the U.S. had no enemies in the Middle East. Why, then, might Mr. Bennett [US Senator] be so concerned about Israel? Could it be the $108,766.00 in donations from Israeli lobbies that he received between 2009 and 2015? ... It is no secret where this great anxiety for Israel originates; money talks in the U.S., and Israeli lobby groups speak loudly. What is disturbing is how it takes precedence over every other concern ... That leading politicians so blatantly state their adoration for Israel should give every U.S. citizen cause for concern.

Rigato - ListVerse

... The Nazi government implemented a number of policies which were for the good of their people and those of the future; many of these policies are now implemented by our own governments ... Nazi Germany was the first country to ban vivisection [medical research on live animals] in the world ... High ranking Nazis ... were very concerned about animal conservation, particularly pertaining as to how animals were butchered. Most current laws in Germany, and indeed the world, are derived from the laws put forth by the Nazi Party ... When the Nazis came to power in 1933, their concerns not only laid with the people, but with the animals native to Germany ... The Nazis banned smoking in restaurants and public transportation systems, citing public health, and severely regulated the advertising of smoking and cigarettes.

Mark Weber – Podcast

Third Reich Germany was a world leader in public health policy and medical research. The regime's "war on cancer," for example, was the most vigorous anywhere, and included restrictions on the use of asbestos, bans on carcinogenic pesticides and food dyes, and restrictions on public smoking and cigarette advertising. Years ahead of their colleagues in the US, Third Reich researchers were the first to prove definitively that smoking was the major cause of lung cancer. Hitler's Germany was also a pioneer in promoting healthier and better quality foods, environmentalism, holistic medicine, animal welfare, and healthier living generally.

Reuters

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Wednesday [Oct. 7] banned any further negotiations between Iran and the United States, putting the brakes on moderates hoping to end Iran's isolation after reaching a nuclear deal with world powers in July. Khamenei, the highest authority in the Islamic Republic, already said last month there would be no more talks with the United States after the nuclear deal, but has not previously declared an outright ban ... “Negotiations with the United States open gates to their economic, cultural, political and security influence. Even during the nuclear negotiations they tried to harm our national interests." Khamenei was quoted as saying on his website.

Leo Hohmann - WND

The number of sanctuary cities has exploded since July, when the issue came into the national spotlight after a young woman was gunned down by an illegal criminal immigrant on a pier on San Francisco. In July, there were 276 sanctuary cities and counties. Now there are 340, according to a new report by the Center for Immigration Studies citing data from the Department of Homeland Security. Jessica Vaughan, director of policy studies at CIS and author of the report, said the reckless actions of these cities and counties have resulted in the release of an average of 1,000 criminal aliens per month.

Richard Jensen - Journal of Social History

... The Irish American community harbors a deeply held belief that it was the victim of systematic job discrimination in America, and that the discrimination was done publicly in highly humiliating fashion through signs that announced "Help Wanted: No Irish Need Apply." [NINA] ... The fact that Irish vividly "remember" NINA signs is a curious historical puzzle. There are no contemporary or retrospective accounts of a specific sign at a specific location ... No historian, archivist, or museum curator has ever located one; no photograph or drawing exists ... The complete absence of evidence suggests that probably zero such signs were seen ... anywhere in America, at any time ... The overwhelming evidence is that such signs never existed.

Mark Weisbrot - Al Jazeera

... The answer can be found in diplomatic communications released by WikiLeaks, which show that regime change in Syria has been the policy of the U.S. government as far back as 2006. Even more horrifying — after hundreds of thousands of deaths, untold lives ruined and more than four million refugees -- is the evidence that Washington has had a policy of promoting sectarian warfare in the country for the purpose of destabilizing the Assad government ... The cables also show that U.S. support for efforts to overthrow the Syrian government beginning in 2011 were not a response to the Assad government’s repression of protests but rather a continuation of a years-long strategy by more directly violent means.

Grant Smith - Antiwar.com

According to formerly top-secret and secret Central Intelligence Agency files released August 31 in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, the agency’s long retention of key information ultimately stymied two FBI investigations into the 1960s diversion of weapons-grade uranium from a Pennsylvania-based government contractor into the Israeli nuclear weapons program ... Though carefully redacted from the CIA release, the omitted fact was likely that highly enriched uranium of a signature unique to NUMEC had been detected in Israel, a country that did not have facilities to enrich uranium. This sensitive information was delivered to former Atomic Energy Commissioner Glen Seaborg by two Department of Energy investigators sifting for more facts about NUMEC in June of 1978.

Rabbi Gil Steinlauf - The Washington Post

... Finding our true Jewish identity can begin by questioning our whiteness. In a flawed and racist society, we Jewish Americans are prospering, reaching the top echelons of privilege and power ... Starting in this new year of 5776, we must teach our children that we are, in fact, not white, but simply Jewish ... Many [Jews] no longer value their essential Jewishness in their worldviews or life plans ... Even in times when we participated fully in non-Jewish societies, we always knew that we stood with one foot in the mainstream, and one foot outside ... The brilliance of being Jewish, though, is that we stubbornly refuse to fit into any social construct of power or oppression ... So many more of us need to own our real power, which is not our whiteness, but our Jewishness, our Torah and our tradition that motivates us to remember the stranger ...

i24 News (Israel)

Israel's top rabbinical authority has claimed that an event organized by the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem seeks to convert Jews to Christianity. The Chief Rabbinate warned of the "spiritual danger" of the upcoming conference being organized by the pro-Israel Christian group. "We have learned that missionary elements [working on behalf] of the Christian embassy in Jerusalem are organizing a large conference during the Sukkot holiday," a statement signed by Israel's Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau and Sephardic Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef read. "Some of this organization's goals are to convert Jews [to Christianity]."

The Times of Israel

An art exhibition in Iran is showcasing two paintings by Adolf Hitler, from the period when the future Nazi dictator was still an aspiring artist. According to a report by the Iranian Students’ News Agency, the exhibition “Color, Canvas, Architecture,” which opened at Tehran’s Dafineh Art Gallery on Monday, features 25 pieces by Iranian and foreign artists, many of whom focused in their work on architectural renderings and urban landscapes. The two Hitler pieces are estimated to have been painted between 1900 and 1910, when he was living in Vienna.

I B Times (New York)

An Iraqi historian and archaeologist as well as the director of Syria’s Palmyra Museum both claimed Wednesday that an “international Jewish mafia” was plotting to loot the Middle East’s most treasured antiquities. They said the so-called Jewish conspiracy is part of an effort to destroy the region’s Arab heritage ... “The Jews are always looking for antiquities -- especially Middle Eastern ones, and particularly Iraqi ones – in order to prove that the Torah is true,” Ali al-Nashmi, Iraqi historian and archaeologist, said in the video. “And so they extort, steal, and establish mafia gangs.” ... Walid al-Assad, director of Palmyra Museum in central Syria, said the Jews want “to erase the Arab origins of the antiquities” and “destroy the city [of Palmyra] and wipe it off the face of the earth.”

The Associated Press

It was considered a symbolic move — President Lyndon Johnson going to the Statue of Liberty and signing an immigration bill that gave people from every country in the world an equal chance to come to America. The president himself described the legislation as less than revolutionary. "It does not affect the lives of millions. It will not reshape the structure of our daily lives, or really add importantly to either our wealth or our power," he said during the ceremony on Oct. 3, 1965 ... Fifty years later, there's been dramatic change as a result of the Hart-Celler Act that Johnson signed. A country that was almost entirely native-born in 1965 has a significant foreign-born population; demographic diversity has spread to every region, expanding a black-and-white racial paradigm into a multicolored one.

J. Hahn – Breitbart

Fifty years ago today, Ted Kennedy began changing the face of the United States by ushering the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act through Congress. That legislation resulted in the fundamental transformation of the demographic, economic, social, and political landscape of nation, exactly the opposite of what its supporters promised. The Kennedy immigration law abolished the national origins quota system, which had favored immigrants from nations with a similar heritage to our own, and opened up American immigration visas to the entire world ... Today nine out of every ten new immigrants brought into the country on green cards come from Latin America, Africa, Asia or the Middle East. The size of the numbers also grew exponentially as well.

Pew Research Center

The United States began regulating immigration soon after it won independence from Great Britain, and the laws since enacted have reflected the politics and migrant flows of the times. Early legislation tended to impose limits that favored Europeans, but a sweeping 1965 law opened doors to immigrants from other parts of the world ... A 1790 law was the first to specify who could become a citizen, limiting that privilege to free whites of “good moral character” who had lived in the U.S. for at least two years ... Long-standing immigration restrictions began to crumble in 1943, when a law allowed a limited number of Chinese to immigrate ... Since enactment of the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act, immigration has been dominated by people born in Asia and Latin America, rather than Europe.

Pew Research Center

US immigration trends have shifted dramatically over the past 160 years. Changes in the dominant countries of origin for each state and decade, and the total size of foreign-born population are shown in this series of historical maps.

Glenn Greenwald - The Intercept

Yesterday [Friday] afternoon, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power marched to Twitter to proclaim: “we call on Russia to immediately cease attacks on the Syrian opposition and civilians.” Along with that decree, she posted a statement from the U.S. and several of its closest authoritarian allies – including Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UK – warning Russia that civilian casualties “will only fuel more extremism and radicalization.” Early this [Saturday] morning, in the Afghan city of Kunduz, the U.S. dropped bombs on a hospital run by Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières). The airstrike killed at least nine of the hospital’s medical staff, and seriously injured dozens of patients.

Daily Mail (Britain)

Angry shoppers have demanded people boycott a fashion brand, claiming its logo bears a striking resemblance to the Nazi eagle insignia which became the national symbol of Adolf Hitler's Third Reich. A-list celebrities including singers Rhianna and Jessie J and model Cara Delevingne, have been spotted wearing the UK-based Boy London brand in the past. The brand's logo depicts a spread-winged eagle perched on a podium on top of the letter 'O' in the world 'Boy', which is written underneath. Outraged customers have called for the company to take action after drawing comparisons with the infamous Nazi Parteiadler symbol ... But unisex T-shirts featuring the eagle emblem were still on sale for 35 pounds at Selfridges in the Bull Ring in Birmingham today.

Ali Abunimah

Amid increasing violence in occupied Jerusalem and the rest of the West Bank, Israeli forces executed a Palestinian youth in cold blood early on Sunday morning. ... Israeli authorities claimed that 19-year-old Fadi Samir Alloun was killed after a stabbing attack that wounded an Israeli teenager. They presented no evidence connecting Alloun to the alleged stabbing. But videos posted online show that the youth was executed in cold blood as he was chased by a mob of Israeli Jews baying for his blood. As the video above begins, voices can be heard in Hebrew shouting – apparently at police – “Shoot him! He’s a terrorist! Shoot him!” and “Don’t wait! Shoot him!” ... A police officer – apparently the shooter – can be seen approaching Alloun.

Eric Margolis

... A combination of imperial hubris and ignorance has led Washington to believe it could overthrow any government that was disobedient or uncooperative. Syria was chosen as the latest target of regime change because the Assad regime – a recognized, legitimate government and UN member – was a close ally of America’s Great Satan, Iran. Formerly it had been cooperating with Washington ... President Bashar Assad is no Great Satan. He was a British-trained eye specialist forced into the dynastic leadership of Syria by the car crash that killed his elder brother ... Vlad Putin keeps his game tightly under control. I’m not so sure about the Obama White House and its confused advisors.

Ron Paul

The US regime change policy for Syria has been a catastrophe. More than 200,000 killed and an entire country reduced to rubble at least partly because President Obama decided that “Assad has lost his legitimacy.” How is it that the president of a country 6,000 miles away has the authority to decide whether another leader belongs in office or not? What if Rouhani in Iran decided that Obama had lost his legitimacy for killing a number of American citizens by drone without charge or trial? Would we accept that? ... The confusing policy of fighting Assad and also fighting his enemies does not seem to bother the neocons. They want us to forget all about their recent failures in Libya and Iraq and to try the same failed strategy one more time.

Patrick J. Buchanan

Having established a base on the Syrian coast, Vladimir Putin last week began air strikes on ISIS and other rebel forces seeking to overthrow Bashar Assad. A longtime ally of Syria, Russia wants to preserve its toehold on the Mediterranean, help Assad repel the threat, and keep the Islamic terrorists out of Damascus ... Whatever one thinks of Putin’s policy in Syria, at least it makes sense. He is supporting an ally, the Assad regime, against its enemies, who seek to overthrow that regime. It is U.S. policy in Syria that makes no sense ... It is obvious that the same blockheads who told us that if the Taliban and Saddam and Gadhafi fell, liberal democracy would arise and flourish, are now clamoring for another American war in Syria to bring down Assad.

Video - Press TV (Iran)

British Prime Minister David Cameron says Russia’s airstrikes in Syria are making the situation worse, while a Russian military spokesman insists that its air strikes are highly accurate. Russia’s new military role in the Syria conflict highlights the incoherence and confusion of US policy, says Mark Weber, who joins this six-minute broadcast as a guest commentator. The Obama administration opposes both ISIL and the Assad government, and says that it supports a “moderate” alternative to both forces. But in fact no such alternative exists as a significant, viable factor. As a result, says the IHR director, US options are very limited. There is little that the US can do now except angrily protest Russia’s role.

Reuters

German authorities expect up to 1.5 million asylum seekers to arrive in Germany this year, the Bild daily said in a report to be published on Monday, up from a previous estimate of 800,000 to one million. Germany's top-selling newspaper cited an internal forecast from authorities that it said had been classed as confidential. Many of the hundreds of thousands of people pouring into Europe to escape conflicts and poverty in the Middle East, Africa and beyond have said they are heading to Germany, Europe's largest economy. Bild said the German authorities were concerned about the risk of a "breakdown of provisions" and that they were already struggling to procure enough living containers and sanitary facilities for the new arrivals.

RT News (Russia)

A massive rally against pro-migrant government policies and what has been dubbed the “Islamic flooding” of the country took place in the southwestern Polish city of Katowice. Over 25,000 people were expected to take to streets in a protest against an influx of refugees and migrants from the Middle East and North Africa, according to reports in local media ahead of the rally. The demonstration, organized by a nationalist organization called All Polish Youth, comes after a decision by Poland’s authorities to accept some 2,000 refugees from Syria and North Africa by 2017.

Glenn Greenwald – The Intercept

When news first broke of the U.S. airstrike on the Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, the response from the U.S. military was predictable and familiar. It was all just a big, terrible mistake, its official statement suggested: an airstrike it carried out in Kunduz “may have resulted in collateral damage to a nearby medical facility.” ... All of these facts make it extremely difficult – even for U.S. media outlets – to sell the “accident” story. At least as likely is that the hospital was deliberately targeted, chosen either by Afghan military officials who fed the coordinates to their U.S. military allies and/ or by the U.S. military itself.

The New York Times

... In some ways, American cultural influence reaches into China deeper than ever. Despite censorship, restrictions on cultural imports and heavy Internet barriers, American television, films, music and technology are widely and avidly consumed ... Yet studies and surveys show that many Chinese citizens, including the young, remain wary of the United States and hostile to Washington's foreign intentions, especially when China's territorial claims and rising influence are at stake ... Opinion surveys indicate that many Chinese people back their government's views on international relations, even if they admire other aspects of American life.

Rafael Medoff - JTA

Should American Jews provide tourist dollars to a regime that massacres dissidents, facilitates genocide and finances Israel’s enemies? A spate of upcoming Jewish tours of China has raised anew an old and troubling question about the conflict between tourism and human rights ... Tourism has never been considered off-limits by American Jewish advocacy groups. Anti-Nazi boycotters in the 1930s opposed American tourism to Germany ... The Chinese likewise have a significant relationship with Iran, importing Iranian oil and providing Tehran with military aid, including assistance for the country’s nuclear program and help in the development of advanced missiles and combat aircraft. According to media reports, Beijing has now agreed to give Iran 24 of its J-10 jet fighters.

The Telegraph (Britain)

Hungary has defended its opposition to Brussels' plans for compulsory migrant quotas, saying it did not wish to repeat the West's "failed experiments" in multiculturalism. In a defiant rejection of diktats from Europe's high command, the country's right-wing government said it was not interested in "lectures" from the European Union about taking in Middle Eastern refugees ... Mr Orban's spokesman, Zoltán Kovács, responded by saying that integration in much of Western Europe had been at best a limited success. Hungary, he said, felt neither the wish nor the obligation to follow suit ... “And we especially don't like it when people who have never lived in Hungary try to give us lectures on how we should cope with our own problems. Calling us racists or xenophobes is the cheapest argument. It's used just to dodge the issues."

David P. Goldman - Asia Times (China)

... To declare that semi-literate Arab refugees do not meet the cultural qualifications for integration into German society implies that there is a cultural standard to begin with. That is a concept that most Germans (evidently including Chancellor Angela Merkel) cannot bear to pronounce. One suspects that Germans have so few children because they do not like themselves, their history or their culture to begin with. In that case, why should they require anyone else to adhere to a cultural standard they eschew themselves? And if they dislike their culture so much as to head towards extinction, does it matter to them that another culture – brutal as it might be – will replace theirs?

EJP

“Without the Jewish community, Europe will cease to exist,” European Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans told participants of the first Annual Colloquium on Fundamental Rights organized by the EU Commission ... Addressing the opening of the two-day conference in Brussels, which focuses on preventing and combating anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim hatred in Europe, Timmermans warned that ‘’Anti-Semitism, if left unchallenged will pose a great problem to our society.” ... Timmermans also announced a concrete action as he will himself take the position of EU Envoy on anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, within the framework of his current charge at the EU Commission.

Philip Giraldi

There are a lot of expressions about standing up to bullies being the best policy. Unfortunately the White House has difficulty in following that sound advice when it comes to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his governing coalition of racists and thugs ... President Obama, boasting in the letter that “no administration has done more for Israel’s security than mine,” adds that he is “prepared to further strengthen the relationship.” Indeed he does. He commits the United States to extend the U.S. commitment to provide Israel with $3.5 billion per year for purchasing military equipment for an additional decade after the current George W. Bush era program expires in 2018.

Philip Slater

I can understand that after centuries of persecution it's satisfying for a Jewish state to be the aggressor for a change, but there's a codicil that goes with that role. You don't get to act like a victim any more. "Poor little Israel" just sounds silly when you're the dominant power in the Middle East. When you've invaded several of your neighbors, bombed and defeated them in combat, occupied their land, and taken their homes away from them, it's time to stop acting oppressed ... Yes, but I'm sorry to tell you, Israel, you came on the scene too late. Genocide just doesn't fly any more. I know it isn't fair, you have every right to feel aggrieved about this, but the world's smaller, cowboys are passé, and bullies aren't heroes any more.

Uri Avnery (Israel)

... There could be no greater catastrophe than for world Jewry to pack up and come to Israel. The immense power of organized US Jewry, the vast majority of which gets its orders from Jerusalem, is essential to the existence of the state ... One of the main functions of "Zionism" is to keep this people totally subservient to the interests of Israel's current (and changing) leadership. Without this connection, Israel would have to exist on its own political, economic and military resources, a vastly reduced existence ... The official designation of Israel as a "Jewish and democratic state" is an oxymoron. A Jewish state cannot really be democratic, since the definition denies equality to non-Jews, especially Arabs. For the same reason, a democratic state cannot be Jewish. It must belong to all its citizens.

J. Mirsky - The Spectator (Britain)

... The dogs indeed went to war, and they were trained to do unpleasant things, including committing suicide by charging into German strongholds carrying bombs, seeking out and identifying landmines, finding bodies under rubble, and guarding bases. But according to Clare and Christy Campbell [in their new book, Dogs of Courage: When Britain’s Pets Went to War ], war dogs’ effectiveness, despite much heroic, sometimes false, publicity, is doubtful. Another lie, intended to enrage British dog-lovers, was that in Germany ‘three million dogs were compulsorily destroyed.’ ... Before a wartime role was found for dogs, with food running short in Britain and rationing well established, tens of thousands of them were put down.

Alison Weir - Orlando Sentinel (Florida)

... U.S. politicians from both parties have given more of our money to Israel than to any other nation, thanks to the multibillion-dollar pro-Israel lobby. In fact, the U.S. historically has given more aid to Israel than to all of sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America combined ... Jewish-Americans, more than two percent of the U.S. population, make up 12 percent of the Senate and a third of the U.S. Supreme Court (which contains no Protestant Christian justices) ... Surveys in 2014 show the majority of Americans oppose taking sides on Israel-Palestine. This means ending our massive aid to Israel. It’s time for politicians to listen.

B. Erickson - TimesWarp

The United States sends at least $3.1 billion in military aid grants to Israel every year, more than the amount given to all the rest of the world combined, and although Americans oppose this excess, their opinion has had no effect: Officials are now in talks to raise the yearly amount by as much as 50 percent. If you missed that news in The New York Times, there is no reason for surprise. The issue has essentially remained out of sight, glossed over in a smattering of news stories, where readers find murky references to US aid and no enlightening details ... US aid to Israel is a subject that the Times would like to avoid ... Sixty percent of Americans polled in a survey said the United States “gives too much aid to Israel.”

If Americans Knew

Since 2012 the United States has been sending Israel $3.1 billion a year (or an average of $8.5 million a day). US tax dollars are subsidizing one of the most powerful foreign militaries. Recently the Israeli paper “Israel Hayom” reported that the US will give Israel $3.4 billion ($9.3 million per day) in defense aid for the fiscal year 2014 ... “Since the October War in 1973, Washington has provided Israel with a level of support dwarfing the amounts provided to any other state …”

Pew Research Center

Fifty years after passage of the landmark law that rewrote U.S. immigration policy, nearly 59 million immigrants have arrived in the United States, pushing the country’s foreign-born share to a near record 14 percent. For the past half-century, these modern-era immigrants and their descendants have accounted for just over half the nation’s population growth and have reshaped its racial and ethnic composition. Looking ahead, new Pew Research Center U.S. population projections show that if current demographic trends continue, future immigrants and their descendants will be an even bigger source of population growth. Between 2015 and 2065, they are projected to account for 88% of the U.S. population increase, or 103 million people, as the nation grows to 441 million.

The Associated Press

In a major shift in immigration patterns over the next 50 years, Asians will have surged past Hispanics to become the largest group of immigrants heading to the United States, according to estimates in a new immigration study. The study looks in detail at what will happen by 2065, but the actual tipping point comes in 2055. An increase in Asian and Hispanic immigration also will drive U.S. population growth, with foreign-born residents expected to make up 18 percent of the country’s projected 441 million people in 50 years, the Pew Research Center said in a report being released Monday. This will be a record, higher than the nearly 15 percent during the late 19th century and early 20th century wave of immigration from Europe.

Chas Freeman - The American Conservative

... Judging by results in the complex post-Cold War environment, diplomacy is something the United States does not now understand or know how to do. I want to speak with you today about some of the beliefs and practices that account for America’s bungling of foreign policy in recent years ... Every nation’s political culture is a product of its historical experience. The American way in national security policy, like that of other countries, is steered by unexamined preconceptions drawn from the peculiarities of our history. In the aggregate, these convictions constitute a subliminal doctrine with the authority of dogma ... Americans appear to believe that the formulation and conduct of foreign relations are best entrusted to self-promoting amateurs, ideologues, and dilettantes unburdened by apprenticeship, training, or prior experience.

Paul R. Pillar - The National Interest

One of the unfortunate corollaries of American exceptionalism is a warped and highly asymmetric conception of negotiation. This conception can become a major impediment to the effective exercise of U.S. diplomacy. Although the attitudes that are part of this view of negotiation are not altogether unique to the United States, they are especially associated with American exceptionalist thinking about the supposed intrinsic superiority of U.S. positions and about how the sole superpower ought always to get its way ... A consequence of this view is to regard concessions and compromise not as necessary parts of negotiation but instead as a source of shame or a badge of weakness.

Jesse Singal - New York magazine

Racial color-blindness sounds pretty good in theory ... An interesting new study in Social Psychology and Personality Science sheds some light on how color-blindness may affect minority kids. The authors, Kristin Pauker of the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Evan P. Apfelbaum of MIT, and Brian Spitzer of NYU, start by explaining that there's good reason to think minority kids don't benefit from a color-blind approach: A body of research has shown that "race is central to their identities, a source of psychological well-being, and a lens through which others perceive them." Ignoring race, then, may well have a negative impact on those for whom it's most salient. And yet these kids, like most American kids, are steeped in a milieu of color-blindness — many are taught at a young age that it's wrong to point out or focus on racial differences.

US News

As concerns mount over the resegregation of the nation’s public schools, a new federal study shows that black and white students at schools with a high density of black students perform worse than those at schools with a lower density of black students. The report, released Thursday by the National Center for Education Statistics, the research arm of the U.S. Department of Education, sheds new light on the achievement gap between white and black students ... Achievement was lower for both black and white students in schools where black students accounted for more than 40 percent of the student body, compared to schools where black students accounted for less than 20 percent of the student body.

William Edstrom - CounterPunch

It’s been so easy the past 15 years for local governments in the USA, state governments, government authorities, corporations, banks, hedge funds and the US federal government to simply say how many millions, billions or trillions of dollars they wanted, pay some high priced call accountants to fill out some paperwork with fine print and voila, millions, billions and trillions of dollars in borrowed money simply appeared ... Now, the government in the USA owes $46 trillion, US corporations owe $15 trillion, US individuals owe $13 trillion ... These debt figures continue to escalate with each passing month ... What we’ve seen in Detroit and Puerto Rico is what’s coming soon all over the USA, unless we the people make changes for the better, fast, to paying down debt instead of increasing debt.

AFP

... Whether it’s in the crowded old souks of Syria’s capital or the classrooms of its language academies, young Damascenes exhausted by four and a half years of war are increasingly consumed by the idea of reaching Germany. The lucky ones will get visas, while others will embark on a perilous journey by land and sea to reach a country they see as their only hope for safety and stability ... Thousands of Syrians have opted to trek through Europe on an illegal route to reach Germany, which has emerged as the top destination for those fleeing an intractable conflict ... "German fever" has now gripped Damascus, where young professionals and students are scrambling to learn German -- a prerequisite for student visas.

The Local (Sweden)

Forty-four percent of respondents in an opinion poll undertaken by Ipsos for Sunday's edition of Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter believe that Sweden should take more refugees -- an increase of 18 percentage points since February. In February, a similar Ipsos survey on attitudes to immigration and integration found that 36 percent of Swedes felt that the country should admit fewer refugees. The percentage of those who wanted to receive more then was just 26 percent. However, the situation is now reversed. When Ipsos repeated the question this month, 44 percent of the respondents said that more refugees should be taken in, an increase of 18 percentage points.

Patrick J. Buchanan

... Will the West endure, or disappear by the century's end as another lost civilization? Mass immigration, if it continues, will be more decisive in deciding the fate of the West than Islamist terrorism ... Does Europe have the toughness to seal its borders and send back the intruders? Or is Europe so morally paralyzed it has become what Jean Raspail mocked in The Camp of the Saints? ... Either Western nations take tough measures to secure their borders, or the Western nations will be swamped. The character of their countries will be altered forever, and smaller countries will become unrecognizable. And as this is happening, ethnic and racial clashes will become more common, as they are now becoming across Europe.

J. Hahn – Breitbart

Pope Francis is urging America to throw open her borders to thousands of impoverished migrants, in part to atone for the “sins” of the colonial era ... The last three headlines, however, are ripped not from today’s papers, but from the pages of a controversial 1973 French novel by Jean Raspail, which many say has predicted with shocking accuracy the events unfolding today. The novel, which has been translated into English, is entitled The Camp of the Saints, and posits that the liberalism of the West would cause Western nations to throw open their doors to so many migrants that it would spell the doom of liberal society itself. Raspail’s thesis, quite simply, is that liberalism is inadequate to defend liberalism. All around the world, events seem to be lining up with the predictions of the book.

The Sacramento Bee (California)

The elected student member of the community college system serving the Sacramento region is in hot water after questioning the number of Jews killed in World War II concentration camps and other controversial statements made during an interview with a college newspaper. It is student trustee Cameron Weaver’s comments on the Holocaust in the Sept. 18 interview that have drawn the most ire and have started rumblings of a recall against him ... Weaver, 26, also suggested that some percentage of the six million Jews who died in the Holocaust actually died during earlier religious persecution. He did not deny that Jewish people were tortured.

Fox 5 News (Atlanta)

A trio of students has been suspended from school after one of them brought a Confederate battle flag to campus. Officials said the disruption occurred Wednesday morning at Rockmart High School in Polk County [Georgia] when a 10th grade boy arrived with a Confederate battle flag attached to his backpack ... He said the sophomore, who is white, then walked through the cafeteria before school started onto the courtyard with the Confederate battle flag strapped to his backpack. That’s where he was confronted by two African-American students ... Principal Cupp also said shoving and exchange of words among the students was minimal because staff broke it up within minutes. He said no weapons were found.