First came Moscow and Leningrad, with more than 300 targeted sites or Designated Ground Zeros (DGZs), in those two cities alone. Then there was Warsaw and Beijing, and an astonishing 1,200 other cities. This was the list of targets drawn up “systematic destruction” by US nuclear strikes at the height of the Cold War for nuclear strikes, and declassified more than fifty years later. The list reveals that the priority for any operation launched by the US was airfields and installations, as they wanted to be able to destroy any chance the Soviet Union had of itself attacking America. But included in each city are specific areas - a detail that to this day remains classified - that the US intended to target because of their dense human populations. This tactic was apparently at odds with international rules of war that prohibit specific targeting of civilians.
The British government has long denied that wartime air raids on German cities were intended to kill as many civilians as possible. In fact, the raids, led by Arthur Harris, were motivated largely by a desire to hit back and destroy indiscriminately / … “The aim of [Britain’s] Bomber Command should be unambiguously and publicly stated," he [Harris] wrote in 1943. "That aim is the destruction of German cities, the killing of German workers and the disruption of civilised life throughout Germany." He wanted the government to declare its commitment to "the creation of a refugee problem on an unprecedented scale", and he expressed his contempt of the official eagerness "to downplay the obliteration of German cities and their inhabitants".
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia ran headlong into the leftist meat grinder by questioning whether college admission of blacks with academic achievement levels significantly lower than the rest of the student body is beneficial to blacks ... There are beneficiaries from admitting black students with little chance of performing at the level of other students. They are college presidents, administrators and campus liberals. Whether blacks graduate or have been steered into useless "Mickey Mouse" courses is irrelevant. Government race overseers are only counting colors ... Black people cannot afford to have our youngsters turned into failures in order to support the agendas of diversity race hustlers and to lessen the guilt of white liberals.
Italian police have opened an investigation after a controversial website published a list of "influential Jews" working in the country. The names of journalists, businessmen, actors and personalities of Jewish faith were published on the Italian page of Radio Islam, a multi-language platform hosting essays from renowned holocaust deniers. The webpage branded those on the blacklist as members of the "Nazi-Jewish mafia". Some lawmakers called for the site to be taken down. Jewish community representatives decried the incident as "unacceptable" and "despicable", saying it was incitement to sectarian violence ... Radio Islam was founded by Ahmed Rami, a Moroccan native living in Sweden.
Israel has warned Brazil it will downgrade relations unless it accepts a former head of the Jewish settlement movement as its ambassador in Brasilia. Argentina-born Dani Dayan was appointed four months ago but his nomination has not yet been approved by Brazil. On Sunday, Israel's deputy foreign minister said Israel would leave diplomatic relations "at the secondary level" if Mr Dayan was not confirmed ... The fate of Jewish settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem - land claimed by Palestinians for a future state - is one of the most contentious issues between Israel and the Palestinians. The settlements are considered illegal under international law, though Israel disputes this.
On a chilly fall day, passersby on a central street in Sweden’s third largest city, Malmö, were greeted with chants in Arabic urging the killing of Jews. “Death to the Jews,’ and ‘More stabbings,’ the protesters screamed,” recalls Jehoshua Kaufman, head of communications for Malmö’s Jewish community. The protesters at the October pro-Palestinian rally were referring to the near-daily stabbings of Jews by Arab assailants over the past couple of months in Israel ... These types of incidents, where anti-Israel rhetoric turns violently anti-Semitic, have created a climate of fear for Sweden’s small Jewish community, which numbers 15,000. Hate crimes against Jews are on the rise ...
Wedding party video of Jewish zealots celebrating a Palestinian baby's death by arson sparks outrage in Israel and inflames the debate on Jewish violence.
... Beset by insecurity (economic and physical), voters in many democracies have moved towards parties rejecting traditional policies or models of co-operation ... As the migration issue dominates European gatherings, forcing other items off the agenda, some see an existential threat. "No-one can say whether the EU will still exist in this form in ten years," says the president of the European Parliament - and socialist - Martin Schulz ... In 2016 then, there will be big challenges to the international system - from the possibility of the UK leaving the EU, to the strains within the organisation caused by the ongoing migration crisis, sectarian violence in the Middle East, and increasingly ill-tempered trade disputes. As nationalistic or left-wing rejection of the international system grows, pity the diplomats struggling for consensus.
... Trump’s vague “make America great again” was the natural bookend to Barack Obama’s even more vacuous “hope and change.” The popularity of such empty slogans reflects a culture in which no one any longer trusts institutions, the media, government, or politicians ... The world that we are told about by our government bears no resemblance to what we see and hear every day ... In short, millions of citizens think the nation is headed for a financial reckoning. They feel threatened by radical Islamic terrorism. They sense that cultural and social stability has disappeared. And they know that expression of these worries can be a thought crime — hounded down by politicians, media, universities, and cultural institutions that do not enjoy broad public support and are not subject to the direct consequences of their own ideologies.
... The mainstream media has finally discovered the Jewish Defense League. And only a decade or two too late ... From a period of 1980 to 1985, there were 18 terrorist attacks in the United States committed by Jews. Fifteen of them by members of the Jewish Defense League ... What are you talking about?! There have been Jewish terrorist attacks! Should we therefore ask no Jews to please apply for a visa? ... As long as the JDL was attacking the “right” victims (real or perceived white racists and anti-Semites), the media turned a blind eye ... In July 1984, when the JDL firebombed the warehouse and library of the Holocaust revisionist/denial publishing house the Institute for Historical Review, the silence from the media moved Pulitzer Prize-winning author and historian John Toland to pen a letter condemning the blackout ...
In the early morning hours of July 4, 1984, the offices of the Institute for Historical Review in Torrance, southern California, were destroyed in a devastating arson attack ... For a long time the perpetrators’ identity remained a mystery. It was only 18 years later that responsibility for the attack was publicly and authoritatively established ... Based on its investigation of the crime, the report notes, in December 1984 the Torrance Police Department submitted the case to the District Attorney’s office for criminal complaints against Irv Rubin, Earl Krugel, Michael Canale and Danny Nichols on arson and conspiracy charges. But no arrest was ever made.
... The Taliban is back, its fighters showing a battle discipline and initiative far superior to the Afghan security forces trained and equipped by the United States. In private, top Afghan and American officials have begun to voice increasingly grim assessments of the resurgent Taliban threat ... With control of — or a significant presence in — roughly 30 percent of districts across the nation, according to Western and Afghan officials, the Taliban now holds more territory than in any year since 2001, when the puritanical Islamists were ousted from power after the 9/11 attacks.
The United States has been pursuing a wrong-headed policy in Afghanistan and the Middle East for years, an American political analyst and activist says. Mark Weber, director of the Institute for Historical Review, made the remarks in an interview with Press TV while commenting on a senior Democratic lawmaker’s proposal that about 10,000 US troops should remain deployed in Afghanistan for decades to prevent the Taliban from gaining control ... “The US has been trying to act as a kind of world policeman, a role for which it has neither the means nor the will to carry out. The only sensible policy for the US should be the one of non-intervention in the conflicts and problems of Afghanistan and in the Middle East,” the analyst noted.
U.S. officials held secret communications with members of President Bashar Assad's government to try to limit violence in Syria, and explored ways to encourage a military coup in 2011 as the civil war got under way, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday. American intelligence officials identified army officers belonging to Assad's minority Alawite sect who could lead a coup, but they found few weak spots to exploit, the Journal said, citing interviews with more than two dozen people, including current and former U.S. officials. The moves were made as Assad's government began cracking down on protests and soldiers started leaving the army, the Journal said. ... The Obama administration shifted away from trying to influence Assad's government and toward supporting Syrian rebels in 2012, the newspaper reported.
Barack Obama’s repeated insistence that Bashar al-Assad must leave office – and that there are ‘moderate’ rebel groups in Syria capable of defeating him – has in recent years provoked quiet dissent, and even overt opposition, among some of the most senior officers on the Pentagon’s Joint Staff. Their criticism has focused on what they see as the administration’s fixation on Assad’s primary ally, Vladimir Putin. In their view, Obama is captive to Cold War thinking about Russia and China, and hasn’t adjusted his stance on Syria to the fact both countries share Washington’s anxiety about the spread of terrorism in and beyond Syria; like Washington, they believe that Islamic State must be stopped ... The assessment was bleak: there was no viable ‘moderate’ opposition to Assad, and the US was arming extremists.
The number of migrants and refugees crossing into Europe by land and sea this year illegally has passed one million, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) says. This represents a fourfold rise on the total last year. Most crossed by sea, with more than 800,000 travelling from Turkey to Greece. Half are migrants from Syria. Eleven more migrants drowned on Tuesday, adding to the IOM toll of 3,695 dying or missing at sea.
More than a million people have now reached Europe through irregular means in 2015, the International Organisation for Migration has announced, in what constitutes the continent’s biggest wave of mass migration since the aftermath of the second world war. Out of a total of 1,005,504 arrivals by 21 December, the vast majority – 816,752 – arrived by sea in Greece, the IOM said. A further 150,317 arrived by sea in Italy, with much smaller figures for Spain, Malta and Cyprus. A total of 34,215 crossed by land routes, such as over the Turkish-Bulgarian border. The overall figure is a four-fold increase from 2014’s figures, and has largely been driven by Syrians fleeing their country’s civil war. Afghans, Iraqis and Eritreans fleeing conflict and repression are the other significant national groups.
In the European Union, which was founded upon ideals of democracy and inclusion, more and more young people are turning to far-right parties that lure them in with simple messages. Some experts see democracy in danger. / The National Front in France and the Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) are just two examples of far-right nationalist parties that are currently receiving an upsurge in support in European Union member states - and they're especially popular with younger voters ... One reason: the longing for a national identity inside the European Union. The far-right parties "place great emphasis on the issue of identity," Jan-Phillip Albrecht, a member of the European Parliament for the Green Party, told German daily Die Welt.
Sheldon Adelson, who was unmasked in mid-December as the secret buyer of Nevada’s largest newspaper, has another media secret. The Forward has learned that Adelson’s family foundation is the largest single funder behind JNS.org, a Jewish news service that serves a growing number of American Jewish news organizations ... JNS.org has exclusive U.S. distribution rights to the Adelson-owned right-wing Israeli daily Israel HaYom ... Tax documents reveal that the Adelson Family Foundation has committed at least $1.2 million to JNS ... The family of the casino mogul and Republican Jewish mega-donor was identified on December 16 as the new owners of Nevada’s largest newspaper, the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
... Can you name any other country with such a devoted following in the U.S. Congress? The reason, of course, is that the Israel Lobby has a reputation of making or breaking congressional careers, and that members of Congress are x-rayed to assure that they possess no detectable spine before they take office. There is more pushback from some Israeli newspapers than from the US Congress. And why not? There has never been any price to pay for obeying Israel. In fact, candidates compete to do favors for Israel and to get donations managed by Israel’s Lobby, with little or no consideration of how much they are robbing their constituents.
... Unconditional support for Israeli policies used to be the norm in Washington from both parties. But no more. New polling by the Brookings Institution shows how deep the partisan divide has become. Asked about the current outbreak of violence in the region, a plurality of Democrats, 37 percent, blamed continued Israeli occupation and the expansion of Jewish settlements; 35 percent blamed the absence of serious peace talks. Even more telling: 49 percent of Democrats in the poll recommended imposing economic sanctions or taking other serious action in response to Israel's continued settlement building.
More than 200 South African scholars pledged support for an academic boycott of Israel. In a declaration Tuesday, the scholars said they would not accept invitations to visit Israeli academic institutions and would not participate in conferences organized or funded by them. They will, however, continue to work with Israeli colleagues individually, if they share a commitment to the Palestinians as outlined in the declaration ... In its declaration, the group associates itself with recent initiatives by 600 academics in the United Kingdom and 120 Irish academics.
Gerald Fleming is an internationally prominent Holocaust historian who teaches history at the University of Surrey in England ... In 1993 newspapers around the world announced that Fleming had discovered in the Soviet archives proof of execution gas chambers at Auschwitz. In addition to articles about his discovery, Fleming himself reported on his findings in several articles. In fact, he was able only to cite portions of transcripts of postwar Soviet military interrogations of four German engineers. .. Moreover, as Faurisson further noted, it is obvious that if Fleming, or anyone, had actually discovered a wartime German document that clearly says what Holocaust historians have been seeking for decades, it would be publicized everywhere as a discovery of the greatest historical importance.
The separation wall that lines the northern and western borders of Bethlehem acts as a daily reminder of occupation in one of the most iconic cities for peace on earth. As Christmas comes near, and the world looks to the birthplace of Jesus Christ, every year the people of Bethlehem find unique ways to bring the world’s attention to the reality on the ground. At protests across the occupied West Bank, one of the most popular ways to highlight the juxtaposition of Christmas under occupation is the Santa March. In villages and cities, big and small, men young and old dress up as one of the most well-known icons in the world to attract attention to their cause. In Bethlehem city, just a few miles away from where Jesus is believed to have been born, the protests, as expected, turned violent.
... The dwindling number of Gaza Christians, a small portion of the mainly Muslim population, face the same hardships as everyone else in the war-torn enclave, but some say there are added pressures as well. They speak of worries about growing extremism in Gaza, where Salafist jihadists have posed a limited yet significant challenge to Islamist movement Hamas, which rules the territory ... The Palestinian territories are located in the Holy Land at the heart of the Christian faith and include Bethlehem, where tradition says Jesus was born. But the number of Christians living in the Palestinian territories has fallen to 52,000, or 1.37 percent of the Palestinian population.
The latest and one of the most expensive weapons in the IDF’s arsenal, the Dolphin-class submarine INS Rahav, set out for Haifa from the German port of Kiel on Thursday, according to a senior naval official. Ordered a decade ago, the Rahav will be Israel’s fifth Dolphin-class submarine ... The price tag, seen by some as exorbitant, of the Rahav was offset by a considerable discount from Berlin that is rooted in a contentious 1953 reparations agreement between Germany and Israel for the Holocaust. The controversial agreement, which significantly boosted Israel’s economy during the early days of its independence, has brought billions of dollars of military and economic aid to Israel throughout its history and was further invoked to purchase the new line of naval vessels.
... Certainly the most lucrative expression of this seemingly endless campaign has been Germany's massive and historically unparalleled reparations payoff to Israel and world Jewry for the alleged collective sins of the German people during the Hitler era ... The talks culminated in the Luxembourg Agreement, which was signed on September 10, 1952, by West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, Israeli Foreign Minister Moshe Sharett, and World Jewish Congress President Nahum Goldmann. This agreement between the West German government, on the one hand, and the Israeli state and the Claims Conference, on the other, was historically unprecedented and had no basis or counterpart in international law.
The solution to the crisis in Syria could be democracy – letting the people of Syria decide who they want as their leaders – but it is the Obama administration and its regional Sunni “allies,” including U.S.-armed militants and jihadists, that don’t want to risk a democratic solution because it might not achieve the long-held goal of “regime change.” ... To force Assad out and bar him from running in an election means escalating the war by either further arming the Sunni jihadists or mounting a larger-scale invasion of Syria with the U.S. military confronting Syrian and now Russian forces to establish what is euphemistically called “a safe zone” inside Syria. A related “no-fly zone” would require destroying Syrian air defenses, now supplied by the Russians.
More than half of the rebel fighters in Syria who are opposing President Bashar al-Assad are sympathetic to Islamic State views, a leading thinktank has claimed. The Centre on Religion and Geopolitics said efforts to wipe out Isis in Syria and Iraq would not end the global threat from jihadi groups because extremist views were common among Syrian fighters of all stripes. At least 15 militias, numbering 65,000 fighters, could fill any vacuum resulting from a defeat of Isis in Syria and Iraq by a coalition led by the US, a report by the thinktank found. About 60 percent of fighters in rebel factions in Syria identified with a religious and political ideology similar to that of the terror group, it added.
... US intelligence chiefs are far more outspoken these days than their counterparts in Britain about the calamitous consequences of US-led foreign interventions over the past 12 years ... Serious powers such as Russia and Turkey are being sucked in and have invested too much of their prestige and credibility to pull back or suffer a defeat. Their vital interests become plugged into obscure but violent local antagonisms, such as those between Russian-backed Kurds and Turkish-backed Turkomans, through whose lands run the roads supplying Aleppo. The Syrian-Iraqi conflict has become to the 21st century what the Balkan wars were to the 20th. In terms of explosive violence on an international scale, 2016 could be our 1914.
... The death of 96-year old Masonic Grand Master Licio Gelli this week reopened the mystery of Italy’s greatest and most murky political scandals. I’ve been following this wonderful case since the 1980’s ... In a notorious false flag operation, in 1980 Gelli’s agents detonated a bomb in Bologna’s train station that killed 85 people. As P2 hoped, the Communist Red Brigades were again blamed for this crime. Italy’s intelligence services, SISDE and SISMI, came under strong P2 influence ... SISMI and the paramilitary Carabinieri were involved with P2 and the Mafia in various plots to overthrow Italy’s wobbly democratic government. Aircraft were shot down or bombed, politicians and newspapermen murdered, and businesses extorted.
An Australian Jewish group has criticized author Camille Paglia for referring to Taylor Swift as an “obnoxious Nazi Barbie.” The chairman of the Australian B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation Commission called Paglia’s comments, which she published in an article for the Hollywood Reporter on Thursday, “obscene.” ... Abramovich called on the Hollywood Reporter to “repudiate” the article and issue a public apology. Paglia, an eminent feminist academic and social critic, made headlines last week with her polarizing essay about Swift, who is among the best-selling American musicians of all time.
Bethlehem's Manger Square, built over the site where Christians believe Jesus was born, tour guides pace back and forth, waiting in vain for tourist buses that fail to show ... Bethlehem is preparing for the traditional midnight Christmas mass at the Church of the Nativity, but the atmosphere this year is less than festive. A wave of violence and protests has deterred many tourists from making the annual pilgrimage to the ancient city in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, though much of the unrest has occurred away from Bethlehem ... Even so, clashes between stone-throwing young Palestinians and Israeli troops have raged outside Bethlehem hotels, already badly hit by a drop in guests since Israel built a West Bank separation wall that forces visitors from nearby Jerusalem to go through a military checkpoint to get to the town.
A religious rights organization on Monday called on the police to investigate the head of an extremist anti-assimilation group after he published an op-ed branding Christians “blood-sucking vampires” and calling for them to be expelled from the country. Bentzi Gopstein, leader of the Lehava organization, penned an article published on the ultra-Orthodox Kooker website last week decrying the “lack of spiritual security” he’s felt in Jerusalem of late because of “our deadly centuries-old enemy — the Christian church.” ... Shouting, “You murdered us in exile,” and condemning European blood libels and historical persecution of the Jews, the small group waved Israeli flags and sang Hanukkah songs outside the venue, with some signs urging all the “impure” Christians to leave the Holy Land.
The infamous rightwing Israeli Benzi Gopstein, leader of the Jewish extremist terror group Lehava, is back in the headlines. He wants all the Christians out of Israel, and they can take their holiday with them. On December 17, the Haredi website Kooker published (in Hebrew) an article by Gopstein: “Christmas has no place in the Holy Land … Let us remove the vampires before they once again drink our blood” and claimed the establishment of the state of Israel was “the most ringing slap in the face the church ever received” after centuries of failed attempts to eliminate Jews.
... While December is usually a time for cheerful Christmas celebrations at the Nativity, this year the people of Bethlehem have been unable to put aside the political turmoil for the sake of the holiday. With Christmas just days away, the city of Bethlehem erected what they call a “Resistance Tree.” The tree, an olive tree which was recently uprooted by Israeli forces from a nearby neighborhood, was placed in the center of the main square, overlooking the towering Christmas tree and historical Nativity church. Instead of baubles and tinsel, the Resistance Tree was decorated with tear gas canisters clinking together like bells, photos of Palestinians recently killed or detained, Palestinian national scarves and sling shots.
Transparency. Conversation. Fairness. Those are the aims of the Forward’s salary survey, now published for the seventh year. We shine a light on the gender composition and compensation of our top national not-for-profit leaders in the hopes that it will spur serious conversation about creating a fairer workplace in the Jewish community and beyond ... How much are Jewish not-for-profit CEOs making? Click on each entry for more information.
A Tehran-sponsored international drawing contest is offering $50,000 for the best cartoon on the Holocaust, organizers said Wednesday. Organizers of the 11th Tehran International Cartoon Biennial, sponsored by the Tehran municipality, said the June 2016 contest in Mashhad will feature cartoonists from 50 countries, according to Iran’s semiofficial IRNA news agency. The top three runners-up will receive cash prizes of $12,000, $8,000 and $5,000 for their cartoons depicting the Holocaust, the Washington Free Beacon reported. “We do not mean to approve or deny the Holocaust, however, the main question is that why is there no permission to talk about the Holocaust despite their (the West) belief in freedom of speech” the secretary of the biennial, Masud Shojai-Tabatabai, was quoted as saying.
Footage released on Wednesday showed right-wing extremists linked to the suspected perpetrators of the Dawabsha family murder celebrating the killing at a wedding last week, sparking wide condemnation. The video, aired by Channel 10, shows revelers at the Jerusalem celebration waving knives, rifles, pistols and a Molotov cocktail during the wedding. Amid the festivities, a photo of baby Ali Dawabsha, who was burned to death in the July 31 firebombing in the West Bank village of Duma is shown being repeatedly stabbed, according to the report. The crowd in the video chants the lyrics of a song which include a verse from Judges 16:28, quoting Samson, blinded in Gaza, saying “let me with one blow get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes” — but changing the word Philistines to Palestine.
... Why, then, do so many self-proclaimed conservatives vote for lavish defense budgets, favor maintaining hundreds of military bases around the world, and support foreign wars? It is because they have left true conservatism behind. The vision of an exceptional America, dominating the world and shaping the fate of nations near and far, has seduced them away from conservative values ... Mainstream conservatism has joined the foreign policy consensus. By helping to push the United States into ambitious nation-building projects, its leaders have abandoned their movement’s founding principles. A true conservative looks dubiously on foreign intervention.
In this quick-paced, hour-long broadcast, Mark Weber and host Henrik Palmgren discuss the recent terrorist attack in Paris, and who is responsible. They also look at the migrant crisis in Europe, and the intensifying strife that is an inevitable consequence of policies that promote “diversity,” “tolerance” and “multiculturalism,” and which are hastening Europe’s ethnic-cultural death. US intervention in the Middle East in recent years, especially the invasion and occupation of Iraq, along with the US alliances with Saudi Arabia and Israel, betray the principles the US claims to uphold, and have all but destroyed American credibility.
Angela Merkel yesterday [Dec. 13] described the concept of multiculturalism as ‘living a lie’ and finally admitted it was time to end the relentless flow of refugees into Europe. The German Chancellor confessed her country would be ‘overwhelmed’ unless she took action as the number of asylum-seekers arriving there this year topped one million. Since she dramatically opened Germany’s doors to refugees in August, the continent has been besieged with hundreds of thousands of people wanting to get there. But ahead of an EU summit on Thursday, she restated her long-term opposition to multi-culturalism, saying: ‘Multi-kulti leads to parallel societies and is a living lie. Integration is the opposite.’ ... Merkel attempted to defend her August decision, which drew hundreds of thousands to Europe, claiming it was a ‘humanitarian imperative’.
Some years ago, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said a multicultural society is an illusion, but she is doing everything to bring about this multicultural society, which is why I can’t believe her, says Hansjoerg Mueller of the Alternative for Germany [AfD] party ... “Some years ago, she told the German people that a multicultural society is an illusion. She said the same thing yesterday. But in between she created everything to bring about this multicultural society. That is why I can’t believe her.” ... “It is very important to know that Mrs. Merkel is a politician without any conviction ... She doesn’t believe in any values. The only policy she pursues is so-called turncoat policy: whenever the wind blows from one side, she steps in, and when it blows from the other side she steps in too. And that is what is happening now.”
Dutch police have fired warning shots in an effort to disperse a crowd, as a protest against plans to house asylum seekers in a small town turned into a riot. Police in Geldermalsen, near Utrecht, said via their official Twitter account they had “so far made numerous arrests, it’s is not clear yet how many”. No serious injuries were reported. Images and videos of the incident showed dozens of youths tearing down fences, throwing beer bottles and fireworks at police, and chanting slogans against the proposed centre for asylum-seekers. According to national broadcaster NOS, around 2,000 people joined the protest in a town of 27,000. A meeting of the town’s council to decide on whether to build the centre to house 1,500 asylum seekers had to be halted.
... The news media and academic community have largely ignored a challenge by several historians to Brown University over its naming of a professorship after an extreme German nationalist who voted for Adolf Hitler ... In 2009, Brown University inaugurated a chair known as the Hans Rothfels Assistant Professor of History, funded by a $1-million gift from an unnamed source. “This public honor raises questions about the nature of endowed chairs, the voice of faculties in their acceptance, and the legacy of Hans Rothfels within the American historical community,” Harvey and Iggers wrote. Rothfels (1891-1976) was born to German Jewish parents but converted to Christianity at age 19. As chairman of the history department at the University of Konigsberg in the 1920s and early 1930s, Rothfels became known as a rabid German nationalist.
At the first rehabilitation hearing for Nazi-backed WWII-era puppet government leader Milan Nedić, his family's legal team said he was not a war criminal as he was branded by the Yugoslav Communists. “Nedic was executed and deprived of [his property and life] for political and ideological reasons,” Zoran Zivanovic, the legal representative of Nedic’s family and others who filed the rehabilitation request for the WWII leader, told Belgrade’s higher court on Monday. Zivanovic said he had witnesses and documents that would prove that Nedic was not a war criminal ... Decades after Nedic’s death, historians and the Serbian public remain split over his role during the Nazi occupation of the country.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center today expressed grave concern about the recent attempt to rehabilitate Milan Nedić, the Prime Minister of a puppet regime established in Serbia by the Nazis during World War II. In an op-ed published today on the front page of the Serbian daily Danas, the Center's director for Eastern European Affairs, Holocaust historian Dr. Efraim Zuroff harshly criticized the recent initiative to pardon Nedić, which he termed "a grave insult to the Nazis' victims in Serbia, as well as to the memory of those who bravely fought against the Nazi regime …"
How do Americans view themselves? As patriotic, honest, selfish and lazy, according to a recent Pew Research survey. Most (79 percent) say the term “patriotic” fits the average American very well or fairly well. The majority also think the typical American is “honest” (69 percent) and “intelligent” (67 percent). But Americans can also be self-critical. More than two-thirds (68 percent) believe the term “selfish” also applies to the typical American ... On average, younger people are more negative when assessing their fellow Americans. More millennials — people ranging in age from 18 to 33 – are likely to see Americans as lazy. The public’s skepticism extends to political issues. Sixty-three percent say they have “not very much” confidence or “no confidence at all” in the political wisdom of the American people.
New Orleans' leaders on Thursday made a sweeping move to break with the city's Confederate past when the City Council voted to remove prominent Confederate monuments along some of its busiest streets. The council’s six to one vote allows the city to remove four monuments, including a towering statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee that has stood at the center of a traffic circle for 131 years. It was an emotional meeting — often interrupted by heckling — infused with references to slavery, lynchings and racism, as well as the pleas of those who opposed removing the monuments to not "rewrite history." City Council President Jason Williams called the vote a symbolic severing of an "umbilical cord" tying the city to the offensive legacy of the Confederacy and the era of Jim Crow laws.
Baltimore is joining a number of cities and states across the country that are reevaluating the monuments dedicated to the Confederacy ... The monuments in question by the special commission in Baltimore currently include the LeeJackson monument in Wyman Park Dell, a particularly offensive monument for some ... This week Baltimore is holding a meeting to decide what to do with its Confederate monuments. The question on the table is whether the city will follow in the footsteps of other Southern communities, which have decided to take action. Most recently, New Orleans has joined the fight to remove these kinds of monuments.
Austria’s prestigious Salzburg University posthumously revoked Thursday the honorary doctorate of Nobel-winning ethnologist and zoologist Konrad Lorenz (1903-1989) because of his Nazi past. The university cited the Austrian’s 1938 application to join the Nazi party in which he says that he had “of course always been a National Socialist as a scientist” and that “my life’s work ... has been in the service of National Socialist thinking”. Lorenz won the Nobel prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1973 together with German Karl von Frisch and the British Nikolaas Tinbergen ... Salzburg University, which last year began looking into the past awarding of degrees, on Thursday also stripped German jurist and former SS member Wolfgang Hefermehl (1906-2001) of his honorary doctorate.
The planned statue of a key architect of anti-Semitic laws in the run-up to the Holocaust in 1930s Hungary was scrapped on Friday after an outcry from Jewish groups and others. The foundation behind the planned memorial to Balint Homan said it has "reversed its decision to erect the statue and has informed the city hall of Szekesfehervar" in central Hungary. The life-sized statue of Homan, a minister in the Nazi-allied Hungarian government before the 1944 German occupation, had been scheduled to be unveiled on Dec. 29 for the 130th anniversary of his birth. But the planned event drew several hundred protesters -- including Washington's special envoy on anti-Semitism Ira Forman -- to the monument's building site on Sunday, and on Tuesday the unveiling was postponed.
When it was revealed that an insider fraud had robbed the world’s leading Holocaust charity of $57 million meant to go to poor Holocaust survivors, the German government, which supplied these funds as reparations, was silent about the loss. It was a silence that persisted even after it became clear that eight years before the fraud was revealed, senior officials at the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany had received a tip-off about the ongoing crime but failed to seriously investigate the matter. Now, a letter obtained by the Forward indicates that more than a year and a half after the conviction of the fraud’s ringleader, Germany demanded compensation from the Claims Conference ...
A rabbi who used electric cattle prods and handcuffs to torture husbands who were reluctant to give their wives religious divorces has been sentenced to ten years in prison. Mendel Epstein, 70, from Brooklyn, New York, who was dubbed 'The Prodfather', was the leader of a gang who would beat the men into submission to make them comply after receiving thousands of dollars from their other halves. They also used rope to tie up their victims and wore Halloween masks and balaclavas to intimidate them. The well-known expert in Orthodox Jewish matrimonial law was convicted on April 21 after an eight-week trial on one count of conspiracy to commit kidnapping, along with two other rabbis including Martin Wolmark, 57.
... According to Haaretz's investigation into the flow of tax-exempt U. S. donations to groups supporting the settlements, the fund is one of the most active organizations involved in transferring money to Jewish communities across the Green Line. Between 2009 and 2013, the fund raised over $70 million in the U.S. and transferred almost all of it to Israel and the West Bank ... Among the donors are Irving Moskowitz, a Miami-based physician who made a fortune building and managing hospitals and casinos, and businessman Roger Hertog, one of the former owners of the New York Sun.
... No one who claims to be informed can plead ignorance of the long history of U.S. and Western imperialism in the Muslim world. This includes the CIA’s subversion of Iranian democracy in 1953, the U.S. government’s systematic support of compliant autocratic and corrupt Arab monarchies and dictatorships, its empowering of Iraqi Shi’ite Muslims, and its unconditional backing of Israel’s brutal anti-Palestinian policies ... What turns an angry and anguished Muslim into someone willing to kill Americans indiscriminately? That’s a hard question to answer completely. But when violence such as that inflicted by the United States drives a Muslim to the most “radical” form of the faith in search of revenge, the explanation is far more political than religious.
... The episode illustrates the continuing unwillingness of conservative hawks to acknowledge the reality that the Bush administration set in motion the policies that destabilized Iraq and led to the current chaos that has now spread elsewhere in the Middle East. It is far easier and more ideologically satisfying for GOP partisans to make Barack Obama the scapegoat for the ongoing debacle. It is also unethical to do so. We need a substantive debate about U.S. policy toward the Middle East in general and Iraq in particular. But that debate must acknowledge the pertinent facts, even if they are politically and ideologically inconvenient.
Recent attacks by ISIS sympathizers in Paris, London and San Bernardino, California, are not random acts of mindless violence and gory atrocities. Far from it, they are part of a well-developed strategy by the Islamic State, or ISIS, to draw the western powers into a far larger war in the Mideast. They are being aided in this quest by the loud-mouthed right of American, British and French politics ... The objective of ISIS and other anti-western groups is not to kill Americans, Britons and French, as many foolishly believe, but to drive the western Great Powers out of their hold over the Mideast and Muslim world ... What we call “terrorism,” a mindless, empty term, is really blowback, a reaction from our meddling in the Mideast and South Asia.
The widespread political condemnation of Donald Trump’s call for a ban on Muslims entering the United States and for surveillance of mosques was pretty great yesterday. American leaders left and right said that such policies are unconstitutional and counter to U.S. values ... But those leaders are strong supporters of Israel ... and Israel practices many of the policies that Trump wants the U.S. to implement ... Israel also discriminates against non-Jewish refugees and immigrants ... Compare Netanyahu’s racist xenophobic rhetoric to Trump’s claims re Mexicans and Muslims. There isn’t much difference ... But as all these officials can tell you, Israel’s discriminatory policies are also watched closely around the Arab and Muslim world and are held against the United States.
A university in Perth, Western Australia, has been called to account after an article published by one of its lecturers was condemned as racist and profoundly anti-semitic. Posted to The London School of Economics and Political Science website on December 3, Dr Sandra Nasr’s article [“Delegitimising Through Dehumanisation: Palestinian ‘Human’ Rights Denied”] infers Palestinians living in Israel are treated as ‘non-human’ by Jewish people who subscribe to an ideology or superiority, separateness and entitlement. The UK-based Jewish Community Security Trust has slammed the piece, claiming it was false, offensive and “had no place” in the academic world.
... Zionism, the ideological project to secure a Jewish homeland, relies upon notions of separateness, superiority and entitlement. It finds its origins in the ‘promise’ believed to have been made by God to ‘His people’ – Abraham and his descendants, the Israelites. According to this belief, they were to take the land by force, kill anyone who resisted, and take for slaves those who did not fight back (except in more distant towns which should just be cleansed) ... The narratives present in the Torah – and, indeed throughout the Tanakh -- not only raise the Israelites to special status (‘a people apart’) above all other peoples of the Earth, but legitimises – and even requires – the ethnic cleansing of non-Israelites from the land of Canaan.
Because the Holocaust has become in many ways a secular religion -- even for those who are not Jewish -- one is not permitted to say anything that can in any way be construed as less than fawning about the plight of the Jews in Europe. Likewise, one is permitted to say just about anything that supports the popular view of the Holocaust, no matter how erroneous or wrong-headed. Here are some passages that contain remarkable nonsense about the Holocaust.
... Johnstone’s new book, Queen of Chaos: The Misadventures of Hillary Clinton, is a must read, but it must be read carefully. It is a must read because it is a capsule history of the US Empire’s depredations over the past 25 years since the end of the Cold War when the Clintons came upon the national scene ... Since the 1990s Hillary has operated solo in public life and has compiled an even bloodier history both in the Senate where she was an ardent supporter of Bush Jr’s War on Iraq and then as Secretary of State ... Perhaps the sharpest insight into Hillary’s world view and bloodthirsty ways comes in the chapter, “Libya, A War of Her Own.” For as Rand Paul and many others have remarked, the assault on Libya was certainly Hillary’s war. She was the voice in the Obama regime that pushed hardest for it, and she got her way.
According to an investigation by the New York Times, half of all the money contributed so far to Democratic and Republican presidential candidates — $176 million — has come from just 158 families, along with the companies they own or control. Who are these people? They’re almost entirely white, rich, older and male — even though America is becoming increasingly black and brown, young, female, and with declining household incomes. According to the report, most of these big contributors live in exclusive neighborhoods where they have private security guards instead of public police officers, private health facilities rather than public parks and pools ... How much more evidence do we need that our system is in crisis?
... Obama, not learning anything from Bush’s idiotic toppling of Saddam Hussein, overthrew Muammar Gaddafi in Libya – again predictably bringing chaos, mayhem, and terrorist sanctuaries – and unbelievably is still campaigning for the ouster of Bashar al-Assad in Syria. Obama not only continued Bush’s illegal and unconstitutional drone wars in several countries outside of Afghanistan, but escalated them, creating yet more terrorist enemies for the U.S. to fight ... This phenomenon happens behind-the-scenes frequently in Washington and will continue no matter who wins the presidency in 2016 – with voters becoming justifiably angrier and angrier. However, without systematic reforms that would require amendments to the Constitution, the voters will get more of the same.
... In proportion to their numbers, Jews are the most successful and powerful group in the United States today. They have both raw power, political and economic, and enormous intellectual influence, shaping America's self-understanding ... The Jews don't really “run” America; but they haunt it in a peculiar way that makes it seem as if they run it, and gives them a leverage out of all proportion to their numbers, and even to their raw power. They have a certain moral authority, which isn’t altogether specious, but is certainly lopsided, since they are exempted from the kind of public criticism they are free to dish out.
... This moment of crisis for global liberalism coincides with the translation into English of a fresh appraisal of Carl Schmitt, a leading twentieth-century German thinker who, in the course of a long life, was a consistent critic of political and legal liberalism and American hegemony. In Carl Schmitt: A Biography, published in German in 2009 and published in English late last year, Reinhard Mehring, a professor of political science at Heidelberg University of Education, has provided the most thorough study yet of the anfractuosities of the political theorist known to his detractors as “Hitler’s Crown Jurist.” ... Schmitt’s reputation as a major thinker endures, sometimes in surprising quarters.
... Last December, as part of a filing in an ongoing lawsuit, a woman charged that Mr. Dershowitz had sex with her when she was underage. Mr. Dershowitz called the claim an “outrageous lie” and over the last year has faced fallout from the accusation. “This is very serious,” Mr. Dershowitz said last month at his apartment in Manhattan ... Over time, authorities found evidence suggesting that Mr. Epstein had paid dozens of girls for sexual services. However, Mr. Dershowitz and other lawyers struck a deal in which Mr. Epstein agreed to plead guilty in a Florida court to one count of soliciting prostitution and another of procuring a person under 18 for prostitution. At the same time, federal officials agreed not to bring charges against Mr. Epstein or any of his potential co-conspirators.
There is no evidence that a Nazi train rumoured to be carrying gems and gold has been found in Poland, experts say. Researchers presenting findings about the alleged discovery in the Polish town of Walbrzych said there might be a tunnel but no train. However, one of those who claimed to have discovered the train said he still believed it was there. It was claimed that the train was hidden underground near Wroclaw [Breslau] as Soviet forces approached in 1945 ... But on Tuesday, Professor Janusz Madej from Krakow's Academy of Mining said its geological survey of the site had found no evidence of a train. "There may be a tunnel. There is no train," he told a press conference in Walbrzych.
... Today the press decides what words are permissible and what thoughts are acceptable. The press conducts the inquisitions where heretics are blacklisted and excommunicated from the company of decent men, while others are forgiven if they recant their heresies ... Millions now regard the media as ideologues who are masquerading as journalists and use press privileges and power to pursue agendas not dissimilar to those of the candidates and parties they oppose ... Enter The Donald. His popularity is traceable to the fact that he rejects the moral authority of the media, breaks their commandments, and mocks their condemnations. His contempt for the norms of Political Correctness is daily on display. And that large slice of America that detests a media whose public approval now rivals that of Congress, relishes this defiance.
The Star of David is the ultimate Jewish symbol. It has followed our tribe through the ages, and ended up on the flag of the State of Israel. Every time we [Jews] see it we feel a sense of belonging and familiarity … But when they suddenly start popping up on the big screen in major American movies, it's hard not to feel proud and smile. And indeed, the symbol has been seen in a string of recent Hollywood releases … Has our Star of David become the latest Hollywood fashion trend?
The 130 people murdered in Paris November 13 and the 224 Russians aboard a jetliner on October 31 confront America’s current and would-be policy-makers, Democratic and Republicans alike, with a fateful decision: whether to join Moscow in a military, political, diplomatic, and economic coalition against the Islamic State and other terrorist movements, especially in and around Syria, or to persist in treating “Putin’s Russia” as an enemy and unworthy partner. If the goal is defending US and international security, and human life, there is no alternative to such a coalition ... This spreading threat cannot be contained, diminished, or, still less, eradicated without Russia.
Paul Moritz Warburg, a German-Jewish immigrant who was one of the founding fathers of the U.S. Federal Reserve, had a fervent wish that his creation would be seen as one of America’s great monuments — “like the old cathedrals of Europe.” Warburg’s dream that “the Fed” would become a cherished American institution has never looked more in doubt. The Federal Reserve, which was enacted by Congress in 1913 and set up shop the following year, is today an institution under siege. More surprising perhaps is that the Fed is refighting partisan and ideological battles that Warburg and the other founders thought they had settled a century ago ... Americans, as before, are suspicious of large financial bodies, especially government ones.
The College Board — the standardized testing behemoth that develops and administers the SAT and other tests — has redesigned its flagship product again ... Critics of standardized testing are grabbing this opportunity to take their best shot at the SAT ... But this argument is wrong. The SAT does predict success in college — not perfectly, but relatively well, especially given that it takes just a few hours to administer ... The bottom line is that there are large, measurable differences among people in intellectual ability, and these differences have consequences for people’s lives. Ignoring these facts will only distract us from discovering and implementing wise policies ... Above all, the policies of public and private organizations should be based on evidence rather than ideology or wishful thinking.
School books aren't often the subject of street protest, but in South Korea a row over a government plan to write a single history textbook brought protesters to the streets of Seoul last month, with police using water cannons to disperse them. History here is not a dry subject confined to academia but a topic that exercises the passions of South Koreans. Currently, a range of books by different academics are on offer in the country's schools, but the centre-right government thinks they are biased to the left and wants to replace them with a version it approves.
The recent revelation that the Pentagon paid $43 million for a gas station in Afghanistan that was never used has placed the issue of Pentagon waste on the agenda once again. The Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction estimates that the gas station should have cost about $500,000, but somehow it ended up costing 86 times that amount ... Add to examples cited thus far the scores of other cases of overcharges, duplicate purchases, and just plain mismanagement that characterize Pentagon spending practices and the amounts wasted mount into the tens of billions of dollars. Unfortunately, these are not just “mistakes.” They are the predictable outcome of the way the Pentagon does business.
... Like many American leaders, [President Woodrow] Wilson preached peace but crashed recklessly into countries around the world. He is the United States much of the world sees: blathering about freedom while acting to crush it ... Wilson preached the supreme value of self-determination, which he called the right of all people “to choose the sovereignty under which they shall live.” In office, though, he sent American troops to intervene in Cuba, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Mexico and Russia. No other president invaded as many countries as this sworn promoter of self-determination ... Aside from acting in direct contradiction to his proclaimed principles, Wilson was capable of classically American levels of self-delusion ... He embodied the American view that since the United States is uniquely virtuous, everything it does is justified.
... Today free speech on campus is under attack from the students themselves. Protests at the University of Missouri started over concerns of racism, but moved quickly to suppress free speech for anyone who disagrees with the politically correct ... At the University of Missouri, concern over racism became increasingly self-serving and selective. In calling for a ten percent increase in black professors, for example, the offended students were not at all concerned by the disproportionate number of black athletes on the football team, whose refusal to play was the tipping point for the resignations of the president and chancellor ... This generation of college students seems particularly fearful of thinking for themselves, and is quick to stifle debate on issues they oppose.
... The Brown University professor I spoke to asked to remain anonymous not only for his sake, but for the sake of his faculty who are junior to him and depend on him maintaining a good relationship with the administration ... While some Brown students and faculty expressed concerns over freedom of speech on campus, the larger thrust of outrage was focused on the perceived subjugation of racial, ethnic, and sexual minorities on campus ... To the anonymous professor, Brown has transformed into a hostile academic culture hyper-ready to attack anyone as racists if they do not support protesting students. The mood, he said, is akin to that during Sen. Joseph McCarthy’s “Red Scare” hunt for communists.
Jonathan Pollard, the former United States navy intelligence analyst who pleaded guilty to spying for Israel, was released from prison on parole on Nov. 20 upon completion of a 30-year prison term ... As much of the narrative being promoted by the mainstream media is completely false and even hypocritical, it is important to correct the record to demonstrate just exactly what Pollard was as well as what damage he did ... The Pollard spy operation was approved at the highest levels of the Israeli government, and to this day Tel Aviv has reneged on its agreement to return all of the material stolen to enable the Pentagon to do a complete damage assessment. And Israel continues to spy aggressively on the United States, ranking first among “friendly” countries in that category.
Jonathan Pollard’s release from federal prison on Nov. 20 has triggered a flood of superficial stories in the establishment media. Few of them address lingering mysteries or contextualize huge changes in U.S.-Israel relations ... Although in 2007 Israel was secretly designated as a top espionage threat against the US government by the National Security Agency, President Obama has recently boasted of boosting intelligence aid to Israel ... News consumers should not soon expect any deep investigative reporting on these topics. Like the members of the US Congress who singed endless petitions to spring Pollard through a pardon or commutation, big media reporters have shown little interest in displeasing powerful interests by diving too deeply into the story.
American's youth are down on the future, with nearly half of those ages 18 through 29 believing the "American Dream" is more dead than alive, a nationwide survey released Thursday by Harvard University’s Institute of Politics shows. Reflecting the sour mood of the overall electorate, 48 percent of those asked “For you personally, is the idea of the American Dream alive or dead?” responded “dead.” Those who picked “alive” accounted for 49 percent. While the race or ethnicity of the poll's respondents didn't significantly impact the results, the level of education of those questioned did play a role in determining the answer.
Calling for a moratorium on Muslim immigration “until our country’s representatives can figure out what the hell is going on,” Donald Trump this week ignited a firestorm of historic proportions. As all the old the words -- xenophobe, racist, bigot— have lost their electric charge from overuse, and Trump was being called a fascist demagogue and compared to Hitler and Mussolini. The establishment seemed to have become unhinged ... Japan has no immigration from the Muslim world, nor does Israel, which declares itself a Jewish state. Are they also fascistic? ... Trump’s surge this week, in the teeth of universal denunciation, suggests that a large slice of America agrees with his indictment — that our political-media establishment is dumb as a box of rocks and leading us down a path to national suicide.
More U.S. military personnel are heading to Iraq and Syria. Trainers, Special Forces, and airstrikes haven’t been enough. The administration continues its slow progression to renewed ground combat. President Barack Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize grows more tarnished by the day ... It is striking how quickly the lessons of the Iraq War have been forgotten. Indeed, many U.S. officials, such as Graham and McCain, never learned them ... The U.S. has devoted much money and effort to bolstering the weak and decreasingly effective “moderate” insurgents in the hopes that they can defeat both Assad and the Islamic State ... For more than a decade Washington has been engaged in what historian Barbara Tuchman referred to in another time and circumstance as “the march of folly.” It is time to call a halt.
Germany has taken in more than one million refugees this year, it has been reported. The crisis in the Middle East, especially in Syria, has led to a tide of refugees fleeing their countries and seeking safe haven in Europe. According to The Times, the influx has breached the one million barrier, representing more than a fourfold increase on last year. While other European leaders have sought to place a cap on the number they are prepared to accept, Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, has refused to do so. While Mrs Merkel received international plaudits for her response to the crisis, in the wake of chaotic scenes earlier this year in central Europe, it has cost her dear at home. It has seen her traditionally high approval ratings fall ...
Depending on the number of refugees coming to Germany over the next few years, the annual cost to Germany could range between 25 ($27.5 billion) and 55 billion euros, according to a study by Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW) published on Friday. With a million refugees expected in Germany this year, the annual cost would be 55 billion euros, the study found. But under the assumption the number drops to 360,000 refugees from 2018, annual costs could drop to 25 billion euros annually. Matthias Luecke, the author of the study, recognized the figures are not solid due to variables such as the number of refugees that arrive in Germany, how long they stay and how quickly they integrate and find employment.
France's Jewish leaders have called for a 'civic uprising' against Marine Le Pen's National Front after the far-Right group's record election results. The party topped the country's regional election vote on Sunday in a breakthrough that shakes up the political landscape in France. But it has prompted a backlash from France's chief Rabbi, Haim Korsia, who urged voters to 'breathe life into democracy... in these particularly troubled times for the nation'. The Representative Council of Jewish Institutions in France (CRIF) called on the electorate to block what it called a 'populist and xenophobic party', and warned 'not to let the Republic give way in the face of threats,' according to The Local.
The rise of ISIS (also known as Daesh, ISIL, or the "Islamic State") is a direct consequence of the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq. While there are a number of other contributing factors as well, that fateful decision is paramount. Had Congress not authorized President George W. Bush the authority to illegally invade a country on the far side of the world that was no threat to us, and to fund the occupation and bloody counter-insurgency war that followed, the reign of terror ISIS has imposed upon large swathes of Syria and Iraq and the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, Beirut, the Sinai, and elsewhere would never have happened.
If insanity means trying the same thing over and over and expecting a different result, President Barack Obama’s foreign policy is best understood in a psychiatrist’s office. Secretary of State John Kerry’s announcement that NATO plans to expand east by inviting Montenegro to join is guaranteed to destroy hopeful prospects of renewed cooperation between Russia and Western powers over Syria. The move follows NATO’s recent defense of Turkey’s calculated and provocative decision to bring down a Russian bomber just seconds after it may have entered Turkish air space. More important, planned expansion follows years of bad faith on the part of NATO toward Russia, led by Washington.
Once it fell to politicians and diplomats to solve international conflicts. Now, according to Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, responsibility lies with social media. Tzipi Hotovely, Israel’s deputy foreign minister, headed off to Silicon Valley to meet senior executives at Google and its subsidiary YouTube late last month. Her task was to persuade them that, for the sake of peace, they must censor the growing number of Palestinian videos posted on YouTube. Netanyahu claims these videos spur other Palestinians to carry out attacks, exemplified by the weeks of stabbings and car rammings against Israeli soldiers and civilians ... And inside Israel, officials have shut a newspaper and a separate website catering to Israel’s large Palestinian minority.
... To smile for the camera, to mug and pose, is strictly a learned habit. Historians say that the photographic grin is not only a recent ritual, but also a somewhat artificial one: abetted by the camera industry, and entwined with the rise of cheerfulness as an American cultural norm ... Their analysis offers fresh quantitative evidence for a massive cultural shift in American history. Over the course of the past century, happiness has replaced seriousness as the default emotion for photography, and for portraiture in general ... The photographic smile, Kotchemidova argues, was a byproduct of an increasingly sophisticated advertising culture focused on telling cheerful stories about products ... It’s hard to imagine that a century ago, what many people found ridiculous was the smile.
German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel (SPD) has urged Saudi Arabia to end their financial support of radical religious groups in Germany. The call comes amid growing concern about the funding of extremist mosques ... In an interview with the German newspaper "Bild am Sonntag," Gabriel said that Saudi Arabia needed "to solve the regional conflicts," but added that it was also necessary to “make clear that the time to look away is past.” "Wahhabi mosques are financed all over the world by Saudi Arabia. In Germany, many dangerous Islamists come from these communities," Gabriel said. Saudi Arabia follows the ultra-conservative Wahhabi form of Islam and is regarded by some outsiders as a cause of the international jihadist threat. Public concern about the growing number of Salifists in Germany is on the increase.
Here is the complete text of Hitler’s historic address of Dec. 11, 1941, in which the German leader recounts the reasons for the outbreak of war in September 1939, explains why he decided to strike against the Soviet Union in June 1941, reviews the dramatic course of the war thus far, and deals at length with US President Roosevelt's hostile policies toward Germany. Hitler details the US government’s increasingly belligerent actions against Germany and Italy, and concludes by announcing that Germany was now joining Japan in war against the United States.
Blazoned in huge black letters across page one of the December 4, 1941, issue of the Chicago Tribune was the headline: F.D.R.’S WAR PLANS! … Chesly Manly, the Tribune’s Washington correspondent, revealed what President Franklin D. Roosevelt had repeatedly denied: that he was planning to lead the United States into war against Germany. The source of the reporter’s information was no less than a verbatim copy of Rainbow Five, the top-secret war plan drawn up at FDR’s order by the Joint Board of the Army and Navy … Rainbow Five called for the creation of a ten-million-man army, including an expeditionary force of five million men that would invade Europe to defeat Hitler.
... Failure to foresee the aggressive and disintegrating role which a victorious Soviet Union might be expected to play in a smashed and ruined Europe and Asia was the principal blunder of America's crusading interventionists ... It was an illusion that the United States was at any time in danger of invasion by Nazi Germany. It was an illusion that Hitler was bent on the destruction of the British Empire. It was an illusion that China was capable of becoming a strong, friendly, western-oriented power in the Far East. It was an illusion that a powerful Soviet Union in a weakened and impoverished Eurasia would be a force for peace, conciliation, stability, and international co-operation.
In February 1942, barely two months after he had declared war on the United States, Adolf Hitler praised America's great industrial achievements and admitted that Germany would need some time to catch up. The Americans, he said, had shown the way in developing the most efficient methods of production ... He also touted America's superiority in the field of transportation, particularly the automobile ... In Hitler and America, historian Klaus P. Fischer seeks to understand more deeply how Hitler viewed America ... He reveals Hitler’s split-minded image of America: America and Amerika ... Amerika, however, was to Hitler a mongrel nation, grown too rich too soon and governed by a capitalist elite with strong ties to the Jews.
President Barack Obama has named a major backer of his presidential campaigns to a second term chairing the US Holocaust Memorial Council. Obama on Thursday announced his decision to name Tom Bernstein to a second five-year term. Bernstein is the president of Chelsea Piers, the Manhattan sports and entertainment complex, and the vice chairman of Human Rights First, a watchdog group. Bernstein co-owned the Texas Rangers baseball team with George W. Bush in the early 1990s and supported Bush’s campaigns for the presidency in 2000 and 2004 ... Obama named as vice-chairman of the council, which administers the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, Allan Holt, a senior partner at The Carlyle Group, a major lobbying shop. Holt had been named to the council board in 2014.
Once again, Donald Trump is ahead of the curve and taking all the oxygen out of the room for the other Republican candidates ... Hence the outraged reactions of the media and the political class from left to right ... Nearly one-fifth of Muslim respondents said that the use of violence in the United States is justified in order to make shariah the law of the land in this country ... The reaction of the media and political class has been apoplectic outrage, but I don’t know of any that deal with the survey results on Muslim attitudes — the crux, after all, of Trump’s argument ... Whatever else one might say about Trump’s comments, they are not going to erode his base. In fact, Trump’s Muslim comments might add to his base ... Trump is calling into question the entire worldview that pervades our hostile elites. And that is unforgivable.
The Federal Constitutional Court, Germany's highest court, said on Monday it would open proceedings next March on whether to ban the far-right National Democratic Party (NPD), increasing the likelihood that the party branded by critics as neo-Nazi could be prohibited and disbanded. The governments of Germany's 16 states filed a petition to ban the NPD, which the domestic intelligence agency deems "racist, anti-Semitic and revisionist", in December 2013 ... Banning the NPD has long been a demand endorsed by the Central Council of Jews in Germany. Its president, Josef Schuster, on Monday welcomed the court's move, saying that a ban on the party "would be a very important step in the fight against right-wing extremism and a significant contribution to the stability of our democracy."
Like the old story of the little boy who cried wolf, the U.S. government is finding out that – just when its credibility is most needed – it doesn’t have any. With all its “soft power” schemes of “perception management,” funding “citizen bloggers” and sticking with “narratives” long after they’ve been discredited, the U.S. government is losing the propaganda battle against ISIS ... Increasingly, almost no one outside Official Washington believes what senior U.S. officials say about nearly anything – and that loss of trust is exacerbating a wide range of dangers, from demagogy on the 2016 campaign trail to terrorism recruitment in the Middle East and in the West.
Babies born within marriage could become a minority in England and Wales within five years as younger couples turn their back on matrimony, new figures suggest. According to the Office for National statistics just over half – 52.5 per cent– of women who gave birth in England and Wales last year were married. That compares to 57.8 per cent a decade earlier and more than 61 per cent at the beginning of the new century. Although the decline appears to have stalled in the last two years, if it continues at the average rate seen over the last decade, only a minority of babies would be born in wedlock by 2020. But when the effects of immigration are removed from the figures, the landmark has already been passed - as most British-born women who gave birth last year were unmarried.
Private American donors have pumped more than $220 million into Jewish West Bank settlements in recent years through tax-deductible donations, effectively subsidizing a policy opposed by U.S. administrations for decades, according to an investigation published in an Israeli newspaper on Monday. The Haaretz daily found that some 50 nonprofit organizations from across the U.S. were raising funds for settlements in the West Bank, an area the Palestinians want as part of a future state, along with east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip. Israel captured all three areas in the 1967 Mideast war.
US Secretary of State John Kerry warned on Saturday that the current trends in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict were leading to a one-state solution, and said Israel would not be able to maintain its Jewish and democratic nature in such a reality. Speaking at the Saban Forum at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC, Kerry also warned Israel about the dangers of the possible collapse of the Palestinian Authority. He said such an event would lead to a situation that would threaten the security of both Israel and the Palestinian people. Kerry excoriated Israeli building in Area C of the West Bank as increasing Palestinian disillusionment and distancing the prospects for a two-state solution. In pointed remarks, Kerry called out Israeli government ministers who have voiced skepticism toward a two-state solution.
Deir Yassin Remembered, a not-for-profit organization of Jews and non-Jews working for the human rights of Palestinians, rented a billboard in Detroit. The message was simple: “America first, not Israel.” ... But when Deir Yassin Remembered tried to rent a billboard in Bergen County (NJ), Lamar refused saying “due to its sensitive nature, we do not want to post in here in New York or New Jersey.” In a country whose Congress gives 28 standing ovations to the Prime Minister of Israel, an apartheid state to whom we give the lion’s share of our foreign aid, free speech is often not allowed, even when you are willing to pay for it.
The right-wing Jewish group ‘Lehava’ held a protest outside of the YMCA in Jerusalem, shouting at Palestinian Christian children and families as they were entering and leaving the annual Christmas-tree decoration party. Lehava is a group that calls for the expulsion of the indigenous Palestinian population from their homes in what is now Israel, in Jerusalem and in the West Bank. At a protest last year outside of a business that had some Palestinian employees, the group chanted “Stop hiring Arabs,” “stop dating our women” and “employing Arabs equals Assimilation.” The group, whose name in Hebrew stands for the “Organization for the Prevention of Assimilation in the Holy Land”, has also disrupted weddings between Palestinians and Israeli Jews ...
Seventy-five years ago [Nov. 1941] this weekend, Vyacheslav Molotov left Berlin without the second Molotov-Ribbentrop treaty Moscow and Berlin had sought (and that would have contained a second set of “secret protocols”) because Hitler refused to agree to the Soviet annexation of Finland and Moscow’s expansion into the Balkans and Turkey. That made war between the two totalitarian dictatorships inevitable, Boris Sokolov, a member of Moscow’s Free Historical Society, says, and that outcome, the result of unrestrained greed on the part of both, provides an object lesson to and about those who “strive for expansion” now.
… A fascinating book, `The Chief Culprit’ by Viktor Suvorov (US Naval Institute Press), the pseudonym of a defector from Soviet military intelligence GRU, makes explosive new revelations about Stalin’s role in igniting World War II … I poured through Suvorov’s meticulous military analysis. To me, as a veteran military analyst, his figures appear to confirm that Stalin was just about to attack when Hitler pre-empted him … Had Hitler not attacked first in 1941, Stalin’s thirty-million man army, backed by mammoth industrial production, would have overwhelmed all of Europe in a 1941 surprise blitz. Suvorov’s unstated conclusion: Hitler saved Western Europe from Stalin.
... Were it not for the reckless American decision to invade and occupy a nation that, whatever its crimes, had nothing to do with 9/11, the Islamic State would not exist ... As the United States enters a presidential election year, plain talk about the prospects of our ongoing military engagement in the Islamic world should be the order of the day. The pretense that either dropping a few more bombs or invading one or two more countries will yield a conclusive outcome amounts to more than an evasion. It is an outright lie ... For a rich and powerful nation to conclude that it has no choice but to engage in quasi-permanent armed conflict in the far reaches of the planet represents the height of folly. Power confers choice. As citizens, we must resist with all our might arguments that deny the existence of choice.
... All those buffonish Republican candidates calling for US troops to be sent to Mesopotamia should be asked: what is the military objective of a new Mideast war? Military science teaches that the object of war is not to kill the enemy, as so many Washington sofa samurais believe, but to achieve a favorable political settlement. Does anyone in Washington ruling elite know what this would be? ... Why should American stick its head again in this Mideast hornet’s nest? To what gain? Can America afford such expensive imperial games when it is mired in debt? Or risk clashes with nuclear-armed Russia? ... Arrogance and ignorance led the US to invade Afghanistan and Iraq. Heedless of past mistakes, Washington is again rushing in where wisemen fear to tread.
It’s the ultimate rule in US national politics: there shall be no legitimate questioning of starting yet another war, even if all of the recent ones are the exact reason we are in our current situation with Isis. All signs increasingly point to the fact that the US is will be dragged into another ground war in the Middle East despite the administration’s insistence that it does not want to get caught up in one ... In Syria, we’re fighting both sides of a civil war, not just one – with no one even coming close to explaining what the end game looks like, and how we avoid making the situation even worse than it already is. But the fact remains: our military interventions have created the generation of terrorists that fight us now. As we gear up for the second or third generation of creating this same problem, when will the cycle stop?
A global firestorm erupted Tuesday over Donald Trump's call to bar Muslims from entering the United States, as the White House branded him a "carnival barker" unfit to lead and his campaign rivals rounded on him. Trump, the leading candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, made the provocative remarks -- just his latest on a range of topics on the campaign trail -- after last week's shooting that left 14 dead in California by a Muslim couple said to have been radicalized ... Trump's bombastic bid for the White House plumbed what critics called new depths and triggered calls for him to be barred from taking power after he urged a "total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on."
France's far-right National Front pulled off a historic win on Sunday, topping the vote in the first round of regional elections, in a breakthrough that shakes up the country's political landscape before 2017 presidential elections. Boosted by fears over the Islamic State attacks that killed 130 people in Paris on Nov. 13, as well as by record unemployment and immigration, Marine Le Pen's party secured 29.4 percent of the vote nationally, the interior ministry said, with over 85 percent of the votes counted. That is the highest score ever for the anti-Europe, anti-immigration party, which came first in six regions out of 13. "This is a historic, extraordinary result," FN lawmaker Marion Marechal-Le Pen told TF1 television. "The old system died tonight."
The far-right Front National (FN) won the first round of France’s regional elections on Sunday, taking 28 percent of the vote and topping the polls in six of the country’s 13 mainland regions ...Tempting as it may be to connect the FN’s spectacular showing with last month’s terror attacks in Paris, the party was ahead in the polls before the atrocities that killed 130 people. In fact, its popularity has been increasing for some time ... A Le Pen presidency remains extremely unlikely. Although she leads in most first round presidential polls, the FN candidate is well behind – by 60% to 40% – in the most realistic runoff scenarios. However, FN support is clearly on the rise and it is not clear where its ceiling is ... What is clear is that France today is a very different country from that of 2002 ...
A day after an ''historic'' victory of Marine Le Pen’s Front National in the first round of regional elections in France, CRIF, the umbrella representative group of French Jewish institutions has called on voters to block the extreme right party in the second round next Sunday. "On this coming Sunday go out and vote by the masses to block the National Front, a xenophobic and populist party. Do not allow the Republic to fall," the group said in a statement. Jean-Marie Le Pen, the co-founder and former leader of the party, celebrated the party's “historical’’ achievements in the elections Sunday by tweeting a video of Conservative party candidate Christian Estrosi wearing a skullcap and dancing with Jewish men.
... While its lyrics declare that the children of the Fatherland's day of glory has arrived, they also issue a blood-curdling warning - "ferocious soldiers" are coming under the "bloody banner" of tyranny to "cut the throats of your sons, your women". Citizens - not subjects - are urged to take up arms and "Marchons! Marchons!" - let's march, let's march ... Most people don't pay all that much attention to the "fairly bloodthirsty" lyrics, he says. The line "may impure blood water our fields" has been cited by critics who consider the anthem racist. But its message of defiance and resistance have proved incredibly potent at key moments in France's history ...
A judge on Monday suspended a five-month jail term for a “Holocaust denier”, describing the case as one of the most bizarre he had heard. At Ennis Circuit Court Judge Tom O’Donnell allowed the appeal by Dermot Mulqueen (49) of Steele’s Terrace, Ennis, Co Clare, against the prison term imposed in October. The sentence was for breaching section nine of the Firearms Act and section six of the Public Order Act. It arose from his lunchtime performance on January 23, 2015, when he put an axe through a TV in Ennis town centre. Mulqueen told the court on Monday the performance art was to launch International Holocaust Hoax Day. He said in September 2014, RTÉ had screened a documentary on the Holocaust and he complained to the broadcaster that the Nazis had sought a “territorial solution”.
… American involvement in war with Germany was preceded by a long series of steps [by FDR, including] … the orders to American warships to shoot at sight at German submarines, formally announced on September 11 . The beginning of actual hostilities may be dated from this time rather than from the German declaration of war, which followed Pearl Harbor … The promises to "keep America out of foreign wars" were a deliberate hoax on the American people, perpetrated for the purpose of insuring Roosevelt's re-election and thereby enabling him to proceed with his plan of gradually edging the United States into war.
… Over the past half-century, Pearl Harbor revisionism has come of age. From the first writings of John T. Flynn, to George Morgenstern's masterful study, to the work encouraged by Harry Elmer Barnes, the testimony of participants in the events, and the latest findings of "second-generation" historians who are not satisfied merely to retell the standard accounts, this endeavor to uncover the truth has not been marked by paranoid "conspiracy theories" or reactionary "Roosevelt baiting." What revisionists have accomplished is a sober re-appraisal of the origins of the Pacific War, and the making of a strong case for remembering December 7, 1941, as President Roosevelt's "Day of Infamy."
Cultural appropriation is the idea that adopting elements of a foreign culture, from dressing up as Mariachis to wearing dreadlocks if you’re not black, is oppressive ... In my research on cultural appropriation, I’ve uncovered a shocking truth, a great, unspoken crime against humanity, hidden in plain sight. It is the greatest, longest-running, and most heinous act of appropriation in global history. The appropriation of Western Civilisation ... Half-Pakistani in descent, I feel a personal sense of guilt at how non-western countries have unapologetically oppressed their fellow nations. I’ve therefore taken it upon myself to compile a list of all the things the world has culturally appropriated from the west, in hope that this injustice might one day be corrected.
As a veteran of the Russian front in the Second World War, Juan Serrano knows more than nearly [any other] European still alive about the brutal hardships of war. So 70 years on from his days as a volunteer on one of the toughest battlegrounds, he is bitterly resentful of the prospect of cuts to war pensions for the unit he fought with ... He is one of the youngest remaining veterans of Spain’s Blue Division, a volunteer corps sent to fight for Hitler by Francisco Franco, Spain's fascist dictator. Earlier this month, the division's surviving members were at the centre of a major controversy after it was revealed that the German government was still paying war pensions to 50 Blue Division veterans and their relatives. But while German MPs have queried the payments to men they describe as "Nazi collaborators", Mr Serrano is unapologetic.
Large crowds in Madrid joyfully welcome soldiers of the “Blue Division” who are returning from combat in Russia after being relieved by new volunteers. People throng the streets of the Spanish capital in May 1942 to cheer the men. Runtime: 2:06 mins. No narration. The Spaniards of the “Blue Division” were among the many hundreds of thousands of young men from across Europe who volunteered for combat in what they regarded as a decisive struggle for Europe’s security and future. Time and time again, the Spaniards proved themselves outstanding soldiers in bitter combat on one of the most fiercely contested sectors of the front. Spanish soldiers were among the final defenders of Berlin in the historic battle for the German capital in the spring of 1945.
A detachment of the Spanish “Blue Division” passes by its new commander, General Esteban Infantes, in the way to winter combat against Soviet forces, late 1942. Also, General Infantes awards the Iron Cross to Spanish soldiers who have distinguished themselves in fierce fighting in the Leningrad area. Brief, 42 second clip from a German wartime newsreel. With German-language narration.
... The dark irony of the refugee crisis, of course, is that it’s the U.S. government that is the major cause of the chaos, violence, and war that has caused people to flee their homelands in a desperate attempt to save their lives and the lives of their spouses and children. Even more darkly, the Americans who have lived their lives in fear ever since 9/11 and who now fear the refugees have been major supporters of the interventionism that has caused the refugee crisis ... Despite their having the most powerful military and intelligence force in the history of the world, Americans are among the most fearful people in the world.
... In theory, Westerners have the power to stop the mostly young males from the Middle East from swarming their borders, but in fact they apparently lack the will. Or is it worse than that? Without confidence in their own values, much less pride in their accomplishments, are they assuaging the guilt over their privilege by symbolic acts of undermining the foundations of their own culture? ... The same is true in the United States. Millions of foreign nationals from Latin America, and Mexico in particular, simply have crossed the border without even the pretense of legality. They assume Americans not only won’t enforce their own laws, but also will find ways to demonize any who suggest that they should.
Swedes are responding to their government’s historic intake of refugees by turning to an anti-immigration group that both the ruling coalition and opposition deem too xenophobic to work with. The government of Prime Minister Stefan Loefven is losing support as the Sweden Democrats -- a party that wants to significantly reduce the intake of immigrants -- surged to its highest level on record in a Statistics Sweden poll published on Tuesday ... It’s the latest sign of the major change in sentiment sweeping across Scandinavia’s biggest economy as the Sweden Democrats -- a party with neo-Nazi roots -- forces itself into the mainstream of Swedish politics. It became the country’s third-biggest party in last year’s election ...
Sweden’s liberal identity is under attack. As increasing numbers of refugees enter the country, anti-immigrant violence is rising. And the Sweden Democrats, a radical nationalist group, is now the third largest party in the country. Phoebe Greenwood meets the young Swedes who believe multiculturalism is a threat - and the migrants afraid of what this means for them. Runtime: 10:35 mins.
Finland is “one of the least safe countries in Europe for women,” according to Finland’s leading newspaper, Helsingin Sanomat. An Ilta-Sanomat headline proclaims crimes committed by asylum seekers have increased dramatically ... The topic of rape and violence against women has come to the forefront of discussion in Finnish media since highly-publicised incidents of rape committed by asylum seekers in recent weeks ... A colourful map shows that Finland is one of the top countries in the EU for incidents of violence against women ... Incidents of reported rapes by immigrants were about eight times higher than that of native Finns. The paper also writes that the most reported rapes were committed by people from the Middle East and Northern Africa.
Here is the complete text of an informative, fact-packed survey of the origins and development of the sustained propaganda campaign of bigotry and hatred that has brought untold misery to millions, and which still persists. Dr. Connors explains how millions of Americans and Europeans -- including Germans themselves -- have been conditioned to accept a "hate Germany" attitude. He examines the often-repeated claim that Germans have been much more prone to warfare than other nations. He logs the outbreaks of warfare over a century, and shows that Germany has committed far fewer acts of aggression than her European neighbors. He also examines the manipulation of public opinion through the invention of atrocity stories.
... A generation before that, German Americans faced fear, mistreatment, and a sort of cultural purge during World War I ... With the U.S. at war, Germans and German Americans quickly came to be viewed as the enemy ... Both in the press and in the minds of millions of ordinary citizens, German Americans were disloyal at best, spies at worst. The response was swift and palpable. Mobs killed several ordinary German Americans out of fear that they were working for the Kaiser; dozens more were tarred and feathered. The eradication of German-American culture proceeded apace, often with government assistance ... The teaching of the German language ended in many schools and colleges ... Several state legislatures outlawed preaching in German ...
The results of the poll ... were published in the pages of Fortune magazine in July 1938. Fewer than five percent of Americans surveyed at the time believed that the United States should raise its immigration quotas or encourage political refugees fleeing fascist states in Europe — the vast majority of whom were Jewish — to voyage across the Atlantic. Two-thirds of the respondents agreed with the proposition that "we should try to keep them out." ... Two-thirds of Americans polled by Gallup’s American Institute of Public Opinion in January 1939 — well after the events of Kristallnacht — said they would not take in 10,000 German Jewish refugee children.
... Far from the bra-burning, devil-may-care attitudes at universities in the Sixties and Seventies, today’s generation of American students increasingly appears to yearn for a campus ruled by dogmatic political correctness, in which faculty members assume the role of parents more than purveyors of academic rigour ... In this new environment, lecturers in some English departments have started to warn of the potentially traumatic effects of reading material. Literary classics are now considered potentially “unsafe” for students to read ... Lecturers unhappy with this state of affairs blame the US department of education for allowing student angst to morph into a tyranny that has many professors running scared.
On the heels of an incident of racially-charged vandalism on campus, Harvard Law School Dean Martha L. Minow has appointed a committee to reconsider the school’s controversial seal — the crest of the former slaveholding Royall family that endowed Harvard’s first law professorship in the 19th century. The school’s seal, which features three sheaves of wheat under an emblem of “Veritas,” came under scrutiny earlier this year when a group of students, calling themselves “Royall Must Fall,” demanded its removal in light of its connection to slavery ... The incident prompted some Law School students to raise broader concerns about what they described as a sometimes unwelcoming environment there; Minow herself said racism was a “serious problem” at school.
After three failed attempts since 2007 to replace No Child Left Behind, this week the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a compromise bill – the Every Student Succeeds Act – by a bipartisan vote of 359-64. The bill’s passage clears the way for a Senate vote next week, and means it will likely be signed into law by President Barack Obama ... The vast majority of the debate over reauthorization has focused on the best way to hold schools, districts and states accountable for improving student performance ... With this additional flexibility also comes additional responsibility for states and districts. Once states start implementing the new law, advocates and stakeholders will need to shift focus to making sure that state leaders are taking this responsibility seriously and creating systems that protect vulnerable students.
... Dickstein, a Democrat from New York City who served in the House of Representatives from the early 1920s to the mid-1940s ... Sam Dickstein is the only known U.S. representative to have served as a covert agent for a foreign power. His codename was Crook ... Moscow concluded that Dickstein was “heading a criminal gang that was involved in shady businesses, selling passports, illegal smuggling of people, [and] getting citizenship” ... Dickstein struck a deal with Igor, agreeing to provide the Soviet Union with materials on fascists uncovered by the committee and to steer its investigators away from looking into Communists ... Dickstein admitted to the Soviets that he had formerly worked for Polish and British intelligence — another stunning revelation — both of which, he said, “paid money without any questions.”
... The Intercept reported recently on the propaganda by opponents of Jewish immigration [to the US] during the Nazi era – many of them outright anti-Semites who cited fears of communist and Nazi infiltrators. These fears were grossly overblown, but not unfounded. Samuel Dickstein, a Jewish congressman from New York, bears the distinction of being the only congressman known to also have been a spy ... According to documents unearthed in the post-Soviet era by historians Allen Weinstein and Alexander Vassiliev and revealed in their 1999 book, “The Haunted Wood,” Dickstein was also accepting cash from the Soviets for sharing information and – on at least one occasion – for attempting to obtain US citizenship for an Austrian spy for the Soviets.
The U.S. military will let women serve in all combat roles, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Thursday in a historic move striking down gender barriers in the armed forces. "As long as they qualify and meet the standards, women will now be able to contribute to our mission in ways they could not before," Carter told a Pentagon news conference. "They'll be allowed to drive tanks, fire mortars, and lead infantry soldiers into combat. They'll be able to serve as Army Rangers and Green Berets, Navy SEALS, Marine Corps infantry, Air Force parajumpers and everything else that was previously open only to men," he said. President Barack Obama called the move a "historic step forward," saying it would "make our military even stronger."
So-called White Student Unions are springing up at universities across Australia, charged with supporting and defending the interests of white students who they say are becoming marginalised from on-campus life and political debate. At least seven unofficial unions have formed at rapid speed in the past week, claiming to represent students of European descent ... The proliferation of white student unions follows a similar trend in the US, where groups have built considerable support on social media and many intend to establish an on-campus presence in the new year.
... Young workers today are significantly more pessimistic about the possibility of success in America than their counterparts were in 1986, according to a new Fusion 2016 Issues poll reported in conjunction with the Washington Post ... That rise in pessimism among millennials is concentrated among white people. It is most pronounced among whites who did not earn a college degree ... In the three decades between the surveys, pollsters found, the share of young Americans overall who said the American Dream “is not really alive” grew sharply from 12 to 29 percent. Among white people, it nearly tripled from 10 percent to 29 percent. One in three white non-college graduates now say it is not alive, compared to one-fifth of white college graduates; the increase from 1986 was larger for non-graduates than for graduates.
The white working class, which usually inspires liberal concern only for its paradoxical, Republican-leaning voting habits, has recently become newsworthy for something else: ... its members in the 45- to 54-year-old age group are dying at an immoderate rate ... The culture, too, has been inching bit by bit toward racial equality, if not, in some limited areas, black ascendency ... At least in the entertainment world, working class whites are now regularly portrayed as moronic, while blacks are often hyper-articulate, street-smart, and sometimes as wealthy as Kanye West ... White, presumably upper-middle class people generally conceive of these characters and plot lines, which, to a child of white working class parents like myself, sting with condescension.
The Jewish donors gathered Thursday had two demands of the Republican presidential candidates who'd come to speak to them: unambiguous support for Israel and respect. Donald Trump seemed to fail at both. The party's 2016 front-runner openly questioned Israel's commitment to the Mideast peace process in his remarks to the Republican Jewish Coalition, echoing comments he made the night before in an interview with The Associated Press. He drew boos after refusing to endorse Jerusalem as the nation's undivided capital. And he suggested to the influential group simply wanted to install a puppet in the White House ... "I know why you're not going to support me — because I don't want your money. You want to control your own politician." It was an extraordinary speech to a group used to deferential treatment.
The Anti-Defamation League said it did not believe Donald Trump intended to evoke anti-Semitic stereotypes in his address to the Republican Jewish Coalition. Trump, who addressed the group’s candidate forum on Thursday along with other Republican presidential hopefuls, had made several remarks that seemed to employ anti-Semitic stereotypes. “Here, context is everything,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said in a statement Thursday evening. “Mr. Trump’s presentation was completely supportive of Israel and the Jewish community, even if one might disagree with him on some of the other issues he raised.” ... “After having carefully reviewed the speech, we do not believe that it was Donald Trump’s intention to evoke anti-Semitic stereotypes,” Greenblatt said.
The US military will open up all positions -- including frontline combat roles -- to women, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter announced Thursday in a sweeping move officially ending centuries of men-only tradition. The historic step served as a rebuke to a Marine Corps call this year for a partial exemption, after it argued mixed-gender combat units were not as effective as male groups. "There will be no exceptions," Carter said, adding he was confident the change would enhance "combat effectiveness."
Nearly 7,000 Peace Corps currently serve in about 65 countries. Roughly one in five of them is sexually assaulted during that service, according to the results of a recent anonymous Peace Corps safety questionnaire, obtained exclusively by CBS News. The report also shows that nearly half don’t report the assaults. Pressure to change a culture of victim-blaming goes back years, but some survivors still claim they are blamed or punished ... More than 500 volunteers have reported experiencing a sexual assault in a little over two years. CBS News spoke with nearly a dozen who questioned how their recent cases were handled. They told us they felt criticized and were threatened they would be fired.
A strong majority of Americans — including 63% of Hispanics — do not think America should accept Muslim Syrian refugees. A YouGov/ Economist poll that was conducted Nov. 19-23 asked respondents, “Do you think the United States should or should not accept Syrian refugees who are Muslim?” The poll found that 62% of Americans believe America “should not accept Muslim Syrian refugees” while 38% said the country should. The poll also found that 63% of Hispanics, 64% of whites, and 55% of blacks did not want America to accept more Muslim Syrian refugees. In addition, 66% of females did not want more Muslim Syrian refugees compared to 58% of males who believed the same.
... Aside from the glaring demographic homogeneity — all middle-aged-or-older white people who have spent their careers in corporatized Washington establishments — there is a suffocating ideological and viewpoint homogeneity on this panel as well, particularly when it comes to foreign policy. All of the panelists, for instance, were vocal, aggressive advocates of the invasion of Iraq ... Other than Tom Friedman, Goldberg himself was probably the journalist most responsible for tricking Americans into supporting the war by circulating blatant falsehoods under the guise of “reporting” ... To this day, being regarded in establishment circles as a serious and credible foreign policy expert for a journalist or pundit all but requires that one have supported the Iraq War along with subsequent military actions.
There may be no taboo greater in Germany than to republish Adolf Hitler's manifesto, "Mein Kampf." But historians in Munich are about to break it. The Institute for Contemporary History is reprinting the murderous dictator's book and will sell it in bookstores for 59 euros ($63) a copy, starting in January. It will not appear in its original form but will be heavily annotated to expose the "lies, half-truths and vicious tirades," the institute says, behind a Nazi vision of racist hostility that ended in the deaths of tens of millions of people in World War II. Republication is possible in Germany because the copyright on "Mein Kampf" ("My Struggle") runs out on December 31, 70 years after Hitler's death.
The 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq fueled the creation of the Islamic State (ISIS) today and must serve as a warning against similar rash military intervention in Syria, a former U.S. intelligence chief said in an interview with German media on Sunday. "When 9/11 occurred, all the emotions took over, and our response was, 'Where did those bastards come from? Let's go kill them. Let's go get them.' Instead of asking why they attacked us, we asked where they came from," former U.S. special forces chief Mike Flynn, who also served as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), told Der Spiegel. “Then we strategically marched in the wrong direction." ... “Instead of asking ourselves why the phenomenon of terror occurred, we were looking for locations. This is a major lesson we must learn in order not to make the same mistakes again.”
It is the biggest financial prize in Republican presidential politics: the endorsement of Sheldon Adelson, the multibillionaire casino magnate legendary for his willingness to spend huge sums to promote the candidates of his choosing. But this year the bidding to become the winner of what is informally called the “Adelson primary” has gotten complicated. After being wooed by virtually all the major GOP contenders, the 82-year-old Adelson was believed to be close to announcing his backing of Florida Sen. Marco Rubio shortly after the Dec. 15 Republican debate — an event that, conveniently enough, is being held at the Venetian Las Vegas, a hotel Adelson owns.
... On the basis of an emotional spasm and a speech that was illogical and factually weak, we are rushing towards yet another swamp, from which we will struggle to extract ourselves and where we can do no conceivable good ... David Cameron is already suffering from galloping Churchill syndrome (the patient growls, denounces his critics as appeasers, and starts wars) ... The Prime Minister might have been better employed looking up Syria on a map, reading the relevant documents, or consulting with our former ambassador to Syria, Peter Ford – who energetically opposes what he denounces as ‘recreational bombing’. In all these modern wars real experts are impatiently pushed aside, while flatterers and yes-men take over.
The National Women’s Studies Association is the newest scholarly group to back the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel. In a vote that involved 35 percent of the association’s total membership, 88.4 percent, or 653 individuals, voted in favor of a boycott measure. Members of the NWSA’s executive committee then took their own vote on Friday to approve the membership’s recommendation that the association support BDS. The NWSA measure does not limit itself to a boycott just of Israeli academic institutions, but rather affirms the association's endorsement of "the 2005 call by Palestinian civil society for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) of economic, military and cultural entities and projects sponsored by the state of Israel."
The Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ) has welcomed the decision by the NSW [state] Supreme Court to dismiss a defamation case brought by Holocaust denier Fredrick Toben. The action – against the editor of The Australian, Clive Mathieson, senior reporter Christian Kerr, and former Greens leader Christine Milne – was in response to a 2013 article in The Australian headlined “Split in Greens over Holocaust denier Fredrick Toben”, published after Toben was invited and then disinvited from a pro-Palestinian fundraiser by NSW Greens MP David Shoebridge.
European Union leaders agreed Sunday to offer cash, visas and renewed talks on EU accession to Turkey in return for the country’s help to stem the flow of migrants to Europe. At a special EU-Turkey summit in Brussels on Sunday, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu called the agreement a ‘’new beginning’’ in the relations with the EU. A key element of the agreement is three billion euros ($3.2 billion) in EU aid for the 2.2 million Syrians now in Turkey. The money is intended to raise their living standards and so persuade more of them to stay put rather than attempt perilous crossings to the EU via the Greek islands ... Many Turks could also benefit from visa-free travel to Europe's Schengen zone within a year if Turkey meets conditions on tightening its borders in the east to Asian migrants and moves other benchmarks on reducing departures to Europe.
A German court on Tuesday permitted the trial of a 95-year-old German man accused of being an accessory to the murder of at least 3,681 people at the Nazi death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau. The higher court of Rostock in northern Germany deemed Hubert Z. fit for trial ... Z., whose last name is confidential due to German privacy laws, was a sergeant in the Nazi SS at Auschwitz from October 1943 to January 1944 and acted as one of the death camp's paramedics from Aug. 15 to Sept. 14, 1944, the indictment said ... Although Z. is not accused of having been directly involved in any killings, the prosecution's office holds that he was well aware of the camp's function as a facility for mass murder and by joining its organizational structure consciously participated and even accelerated the deaths of thousands of people.
... From coast to coast, the country's once-envied collection of bridges, dams, pipelines, sewage treatment plants and levees is crumbling. Studies have shown that a lack of investment in public infrastructure costs billions of dollars a year in lost productivity, as people sit in traffic or wait for delayed shipments. But experts on transportation infrastructure say the economic measures obscure the more dire threat to public safety: Every year, hundreds of deaths, illnesses and injuries can be attributed to the failure of bridges, dams, roads and other decaying structures.
There is no such thing as "international terrorism". To declare war on "international terrorism" is nonsense. Politicians who do so are either fools or cynics, and probably both. .. Terrorism is a method of operation. It is often used by oppressed peoples, including the French Resistance to the Nazis in WW II. We would laugh at anyone who declared war on “international resistance” ... Terrorism is a weapon. Generally it is the weapon of the weak. Of those who have no atom bombs, like the ones which were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which terrorized the Japanese into surrender. Or the aircraft which destroyed Dresden in the (vain) attempt to frighten the Germans into giving up. Since most of the groups and countries using terrorism have different aims, often contradicting each other, there is nothing "international" about it.
Israel is looking to boost the amount of money the U.S. State Department sends it every year for military aid to as much as $5 billion, a number that would give it not only the largest chunk of U.S. defense aid money, but also more than triple the amount any other country receives in total aid from the U.S. For the past two years, the U.S. has given Israel $3.1 billion in what it calls "foreign military financing.” Together with Egypt, which has received about $1.5 billion each year, the two countries make up nearly 80 percent of the more than $5.5 billion in global U.S. military aid, according to VOA analysis of government data. By comparison, Pakistan, in third place, received $280 million in 2015.
The special relationship between Israel and the United States goes deep ... real deep. It's based on security, conflict and most of all money. Most of it for the Israeli military. But given the long list of Israeli human rights abuses, is this special relationship worth the price? Runtime: 3:14 mins.
This map graphically shows the distribution of US foreign aid to countries around the world. It shows that Israel is, by far, the largest recipient, and that the US gives more to the Zionist state than to all the countries of South America combined.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu came to Washington to collect his payoff for being disgruntled over the agreement limiting Iran’s nuclear program, which was signed by that country and the world’s great powers. Although President Obama and Netanyahu seem to personally dislike each other, because of Israel’s clout in the American domestic political system with a presidential election year approaching, Obama feels he needs to kiss and make up with Netanyahu and slather Israel with even more military aid and hardware to compensate it for its supposedly eroded security.
When it comes to Palestinian rights, America’s 44th president is hardly a radical … But compared to almost all the candidates running to replace him, Barack Obama is a radical. He’s a radical because he admits that Palestinians have any rights at all … Most Democrats just don’t care that much about Israel. Except when Americans are dying overseas, voters as a whole – and liberals in particular – mostly focus on the domestic concerns that affect them day-to-day. The Democrats who do care most about Israel, and who have the resources to get a candidates’ ear, are people like Haim Saban, the hawkish billionaire who helps fund Hillary’s campaigns.
Below are the lists of the 2015 top schools Jews choose, as published in the Hillel College Guide Magazine. You’ll find the lists of the Top 60 Public Universities by Jewish Population, Top 60 Private Universities by Jewish Population, and the Top 60 Schools Jews Choose – a breakdown by percentage.
Ahead of the 2016 presidential election, the public's trust in the U.S. government stands at historic lows. According to a recent report, only 19 percent of the people in the United States trust the government “always/ all of the time.” This figure compares to numbers above 70 percent in the '50s and '60s ... And just 20 percent would state that government programs are well-run ... However, the study also showed that most Americans expect the government to perform a lengthy list of tasks, from dealing with terrorism to food and medicine safety. And, interestingly, most also believe the government is actually doing a good job in these areas. On the other hand, many are very critical of how the government handles other issues like poverty and immigration.
A year ahead of the presidential election, the American public is deeply cynical about government, politics and the nation’s elected leaders in a way that has become quite familiar. Currently, just 19 percent say they can trust the government always or most of the time, among the lowest levels in the past half-century. Only 20 percent would describe government programs as being well-run. And elected officials are held in such low regard that 55 percent of the public says “ordinary Americans” would do a better job of solving national problems.
The United States and its NATO allies offered a ritual of NATO unity after Turkish officials presented their case that the shoot-down of a Russian jet occurred after two planes had penetrated Turkish airspace ... Although the Obama administration is not about to admit it, the data already available supports the Russian assertion that the Turkish shoot-down was, as Russian President Vladimir Putin asserted, an “ambush” that had been carefully prepared in advance ... The evidence from the Turkish authorities themselves thus leaves little room for doubt that the decision to shoot down the Russian jet was made before the Russian jets even began their flight. The motive for the strike was directly related to the Turkish role in supporting the anti-Assad forces in the vicinity of the border.
... The world of 2015 is nothing like Truman’s world of 1952 or Reagan’s world of 1982. The adversary we confronted then, the Soviet Empire and Soviet Union, has not existed for a quarter century. Why then does NATO, created to defend Western Europe against that adversary, still exist? Why are we still committed to fight Russia not only to defend Germany, but Estonia and Erdogan’s Turkey, and if the neocons get their way, to be committed in perpetuity to fight Russia for Georgia, South Ossetia, Abkhazia, Moldova, Ukraine, Crimea, Donetsk and Luhansk? If the history of the 20th century teaches anything, it is that war guarantees all too often lead to war. But in this war against “radical Islamic terrorism,” who is the real ally: Erdogan, who has been aiding and abetting Islamic jihadists in Syria, or Putin, who has been bombing them?
Americans have become so accustomed to regime change as part of their federal governmental structure that most everyone has become quite blasé about the topic. A good example is Syria, which has now been pushed front and center into the consciousness of the American people. Everyone is railing about those Syrian refugees but no one asks an important question: Under what authority is the U.S. government trying to oust a foreign leader from power? Let’s keep in mind something important about Syria: Neither the Syrian government nor the Syrian people have ever attacked the United States. There isn’t even any allegation that the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, is preparing to launch WMDs at the United States, which was the allegation that U.S. officials used as the excuse to invade Iraq and achieve regime change there.
The United States suffers from a severe case of strategic confusion, manifest in the country seeing enemies where none exist and showing an inability to concentrate action where they do exist. Given the immensity of American power relative to the rest of the world, this malady has a tendency to wreak havoc and generate tension in areas of American involvement. And the confusion seems so thoroughly embedded in the country’s collective psyche that prospects for any reversal remain dim. That bodes ill for America and for the world ... The American approach following its grand Cold War victory has been just the opposite of Bismarck’s measured approach. It declared itself the “indispensable nation.” It promoted its governmental and societal structures as being most appropriate for peoples of all civilizations and cultures.
... Three young men were kneeling on the roof of a white transit van parked by the water’s edge, making a movie in which they featured themselves high fiving and laughing in front of the catastrophic scene unfolding behind them ... The FBI also concluded that there was a distinct possibility that the Israelis had actually monitored the activities of at least two of the 9/11 hijackers ... If Senator Rand Paul wants to learn more about the Saudis, it is fair to ask “What about Israel?” If Donald Trump wants to pillory fictional celebrating Muslims it is perhaps appropriate that he begin to take note of the actual celebrating Israelis who were caught in the act on 9/11.
On September 11, 2001 five employees of a moving van company called "Urban Moving Systems" were apprehended hours after the twin towers were struck. An eyewitness saw them celebrating the attacks on the World Trade Center from the window of her apartment building ... What follows are FBI reports obtained under the Freedom of Information Act regarding their detention, questioning and apparent deception during polygraphs about affiliation with Israeli intelligence agencies ... “stopped and arrested five (5) israeli nationals purported to have witnessed the initial explosion of the World Trade Center and were seen to be celebrating the event” ... “It was evident that an extremely well-organized and effective communication system existed between these Israelis, nationwide.”
On the afternoon of Sept. 11, 2001, an FBI bulletin ... was issued with regard to three suspicious men who that morning were seen leaving the New Jersey waterfront minutes after the first plane hit World Trade Center 1 ... “Three individuals with van were seen celebrating after initial impact and subsequent explosion” ... It was New York's venerable Jewish weekly The Forward that broke this story in the spring of 2002, after months of footwork. The Forward reported that the FBI had finally concluded that at least two of the men were agents working for the Mossad, the Israeli intelligence agency, and that Urban Moving Systems, the ostensible employer of the five Israelis, was a front operation.