The director of the CIA has warned US President-elect Donald Trump that ending the Iran nuclear deal would be "disastrous" and "the height of folly". In a BBC interview, John Brennan also advised the new president to be wary of Russia's promises, blaming Moscow for much of the suffering in Syria. In his campaign, Mr Trump threatened to scrap the Iran deal and also hinted at working more closely with Russia. Mr Brennan will step down in January after four years leading the CIA. In the first interview by a CIA director with the British media, John Brennan outlined a number of areas where he said the new administration needed to act with "prudence and discipline" ... He also warned Donald Trump's incoming team over their position taken during the campaign to abandon the nuclear deal with Iran.
One of the most discouraging aspects of the filling out of the Donald Trump cabinet is the array of Iran haters that seem to be lining up in the foreign policy and national security areas. Trump has been personally advocating sensible policies relating to Russia and Syria but he appears to have gone off the rails regarding Iran, which just might be attributed to those who are giving him advice ... Team Trump’s attitude towards an alleged Iranian threat is delusional, more in sync with Kristol and some Israeli thinking than with any actual American interests. Just as neoconservatives always believe that it is 1938 and we are in Munich, Flynn, Pompeo and Mattis likewise seem to think that it is 1979 and the United States Embassy in Tehran is still occupied.
... During his speech at the annual AIPAC conference in March of this year, Trump declared that the number one priority of his administration would be to “dismantle the agreement with Iran, which is a disaster.” People from Trump’s inner circle (though not Trump himself) added that the “bad deal” needs to be torn up on the first day of his presidency ... Trump has three options vis-a-vis the Iranian question: to leave the deal as is (this would be the most optimal decision), to rip it up, or to negotiate an amended deal ... The Iran deal is a year old and its opponents are doing everything in their power to bring about its nullification ... The High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini was quick to send a message to Trump about the obligation of all sides to maintain an agreement that has proven itself thus far.
An extremist, radical and searcher, Jack London was never destined to grow old. One hundred years ago this month, London, author of The Call of the Wild, died at age 40. His short life was controversial and contradictory ... With his thirst for adventure, his rags-to-riches success story, and his progressive political ideas, London’s stories mirrored the passing of the American frontier and the nation’s transformation into an urban-industrial global power ... In his stories, London simultaneously occupies opposing perspectives. At times, for instance, social Darwinism will seem to overtake his professed egalitarianism, but in another work (or later in the same one) his political idealism will reassert itself, only to be challenged again later on ... Race remains an acutely vexing topic in London studies.
Israel’s nuclear weapons program is one of the biggest military open secrets in the world. Now we know a little more about the angst inside the Pentagon in the late 1960s, as Israel was months away from activating its nuclear deterrent. That’s all according to new documents obtained by the nonprofit National Security Archive at George Washington University. In 2006, the researchers revealed the Nixon administration’s wrangling over what to do about Israel’s nuclear weapons program. But the latest round of documents show new details about the debate — and the stark warnings from Pentagon officials about the dangers of Israeli nukes.
President John F. Kennedy worried that Israel’s nuclear program was a potentially serious proliferation risk and insisted that Israel permit periodic inspections to mitigate the danger, according to declassified documents published today ... Kennedy pressured the government of Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion to prevent a military nuclear program, particularly after stage-managed tours of the Dimona facility for U.S. government scientists in 1961 and 1962 raised suspicions within U.S. intelligence that Israel might be concealing its underlying nuclear aims. Kennedy’s long-run objective, documents show, was to broaden and institutionalize inspections of Dimona by the International Atomic Energy Agency.
... Nationalism has also proven to be among mankind’s most powerful, beneficial and enduring forces. You cannot wish it away. To do that is to deny history, human nature and the transparent evidence of one’s own eyes ... Was it not a sense of peoplehood, of nationhood, that drove the Jews to create Israel in 1948, which today insists that it be recognized as “a Jewish State”? All over the world, regimes are marshaling the mighty force of ethno-nationalism to strengthen and sustain themselves ... Less and less do we Americans seem to be one country and one people. More and more do we seem to be separating along religious, racial, cultural, political, ideological, social and economic lines. If a more multicultural, multiethnic America produces greater unity and comity, why have American politics become so poisonous?
... Jared Kushner, a softly-spoken 35-year-old millionaire who has quietly become one of Mr Trump's closest advisers. Mr Kushner, who is married to Mr Trump's daughter Ivanka, exerted a powerful influence over the Trump campaign - including digital strategy and top-level hires - and looks set to carry that clout into the White House. Usually camera-shy and happy to operate behind the scenes, Mr Kushner is a vastly wealthy property developer and publisher ... He has not been given an official position within the Trump administration, but Mr Kushner has been named alongside three of Mr Trump's children in the transition team, and he is said to have the President-elect's ear. An Orthodox Jew whose grandparents were Holocaust survivors, Mr Kushner used an editorial in the Observer to defend Mr Trump from accusations of anti-semitism ...
... A significant world personality in the second half of the 20th century, Castro was regarded, love him or hate him, as a superb fighter, athlete, strategist and orator (some of his speeches lasted for hours). He is widely regarded as having been endowed with extraordinary intelligence. He also lived a charmed life, having dodged the bullet on numerous occasions. There have been reports of countless attempts on his life through CIA engineered plots ... In a country which was very much a US playground and well known for Mafia interests, Castro soon endeavored to change the status quo represented by the Batista regime ... Despite all the economic difficulties, the country, under Castro, made tremendous strides forward in education, medicine, science, sport, international exchange relations and sustainable development.
A third of Germans feel they are strangers in their own country due to an “infiltration by Muslims”, a new study has revealed. An increase in violence, polarisation and a strong mistrust in democracy is taking over Germany, the Friedrich Elbert Foundation’s right-wing extremist attitudes researcher Mitte-study found. A new survey found 34.7 per cent of Germans completely or slightly agree with the view “because of the many Muslims, I sometimes feel like a stranger in my own country”. The same numbers says there are “too many foreigners in Germany”. A total of 15 per cent demanded the government stops granting citizenship to Muslims ... A majority of Germans (52.9 per cent) want a limit on refugees coming into the country, compared to 44 per cent in 2014.
There is a direct correlation between the number of immigrants entering the country and the rise in the crime rate, according to a report published Wednesday by the Italian daily, Il Giornale. In its front page report titled “More Immigrants = More Crime,” the newspaper cited results from a recent study conducted by the Confcommercio group on the statistical connection between crime and immigration ... Including loss of revenue, costs for personal injury, insurance and expenses for defense systems, crime has cost Italian businesses 26.5 billion euros in 2016, according to the study. In particular, illegal itinerant vendors account for 8.1 billion, dining in restaurants without paying 5.6 billion and shoplifting 3.6 billion, the study noted.
... To the surprise of no one who understands human nature, many whites didn’t appreciate being told that they had to die off for “progress” to be achieved. They didn’t like being derided by their betters as “bitter clingers” with their guns and Bibles, and they especially didn’t like being termed “deplorables” unworthy of compassion or consideration ... What commentators term “identity politics” has now become normative, thanks to the Democrats indulging in it, and Trump is now aping them. It would be more correct to term this what it actually is: nationalism. Ethno-racial nationalism is an enormously potent political force ... Nationalism arouses genuine passion and is a political motivator like no other ... The Republicans are now the White party, de facto, whether they want to be or not.
... Neither Obama or Clinton or any other politician clearly told the American public that their long-term objective was to convert the white-majority nation to something very different ... This -- I strongly say – is not about racism; it is about the right of a majority population to maintain a major characteristic of their nation and culture ... Any national majority has a democratic right of self-determination to use their political system to reject immigration that threatens to change that majority, whether that majority is based on race, religion, culture or language ... The Trump victory is consistent with what is going on in other democracies, namely a rejection of elitist, establishment, corporate driven systems pushing globalization and intense immigration.
A new film has gone on release in Russia retelling one of the best-known stories of Soviet heroism in World War Two. But how much of it is true? Declassified documents have already revealed that the tale of the 28 Guardsmen of General Panfilov was heavily embellished for propaganda. But 75 years on, Russia’s culture minister has described anyone who questions the story as "scum.”
In July 2016, eyewitnesses from PETA [USA] and Anonymous for Animal Rights (Israel) traveled to South America to expose one of the cruelest industrial cattle slaughter methods in the world. It’s known as “shackle and hoist.” PETA eyewitnesses went into Frigochaco, a slaughterhouse in Paraguay that ships up to 700 metric tons per month of kosher beef to Israel. Paraguay is the seventh-largest exporter of beef in the world and supplies 40 percent of all the kosher beef eaten in Israel. Teams of kosher slaughterers are sent from Israel to South America. Workers restrained cows with a sharp tool called a “devil’s fork” and by hooking them by the nose. After workers wrenched the cows’ heads back, the slaughterer cut the throats of the completely conscious animals, causing their blood to spurt out.
Germany’s post-World War II justice ministry was infested with ex-Nazis hell-bent on protecting their former comrades, according to a new official study released Monday. Fully 77 percent of senior ministry officials in 1957 were former members of Adolf Hitler’s Nazi party, a higher proportion even than during the 1933-45 Third Reich, the study found. “We didn’t expect the figure to be this high,” said study co-author Christoph Safferling, who evaluated former ministry personnel files, speaking to the daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung ... Though the report only deals with ministry bureaucrats, it roughly matches figures for the wider justice apparatus. Historians have previously found that in the 1950s, more than 70 percent of West Germany’s top judges also had former Nazi connections.
Germany announced Saturday it is launching a probe into Nazi influence on its post-war central government at the cost of 4 million euros ($4.2 million). The investigation will run till 2020, with nearly 1 million euros from the budget allocated just to uncover Nazi influence on the German chancellery. The announcement comes even as numerous other investigations are already looking into various ministries and institutions to uncover the influence of Nazi networks on government agencies following World War II. Twenty such probes have already been completed. The newest probe will look into the government’s post-war recruitment and “the mentality of the political culture,” Germany’s culture ministry reportedly said in a statement.
... Love him or loathe him, Castro was truly remarkable. If his seizing of power in a popular revolution at the age of 33 was a startlingly precocious act, his maintenance of his position through five decades, ten American presidencies (and 638 assassination attempts) is proof of his staying power and determination ... He managed to remove direct US influence on Cuban internal politic ... Undoubtedly, life for most Cubans on the island (and that means the vast majority poor when Castro came to power) improved dramatically under his leadership. Despite what his enemies say, Cuba under Castro built one of the most impressive public health systems and achieved educational results that are the envy of the developing world.
The father of the Cuban Revolution remains unbeaten by his foes even in death. We look over the most dramatic assassination plots on El Comandante – from character-assassinations by way of LSD, to Italian mobsters, tuberculosis wetsuit, and exploding cigar. “If surviving assassination attempts were an Olympic event, I would win the gold medal,” Castro is famously quoted as saying. Cuba’s ex-intelligence chief Fabian Escalante – the person tasked with guarding Fidel’s life – puts the number of attempts at 638 ... The closest the Americans got to killing Castro was with a poisoned chocolate milkshake, Escalante claimed to Reuters. According to the 2007 documents, another batch of poison was delivered through the Mafia in 1963 in a bottle of Bayer aspirin pills.
Donald Trump’s election triumph is among the more astonishing in history. Yet if he wishes to become the father of a new “America First” majority party, he must make good on his solemn promise: To end the trade deficits that have bled our country of scores of thousands of factories, and to create millions of manufacturing jobs in the USA. Fail here, and those slim majorities in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin disappear ... The New International Economic Order imposed upon us for decades has to be overthrown. For the root cause of the trade deficits bleeding us lies in U.S. tax laws and trade policies that punish companies that stay in America and reward companies that move production overseas.
The US city of Bloomington in Indiana has renamed Good Friday and Columbus Day as "Spring Holiday" and "Fall Holiday" to be more "inclusive". Mayor John Hamilton said the move would "better reflect cultural sensitivity in the workplace", local media said. Bloomington is a traditionally liberal city. Its county gave Hillary Clinton 58.6 percent in the presidential election. But the move sparked a backlash on social media, with opponents condemning it as an act of political correctness ... “We are terrifically proud of our diverse workforce at the city," he wrote, according to the Herald-Times. “That diversity makes us stronger and more representative of the public we proudly serve. These updated names for two days of well-merited time off is another way we can demonstrate our commitment to inclusivity."
In an effort to confront its historical ties to slavery and address concerns raised by students, Rutgers University has compiled research that sheds new light on its beginnings ... The detailed report released Friday coincides with the university’s 250th anniversary this year and shows how intertwined slavery is with the early history of Rutgers, a common theme among America's colonial colleges ... Though slavery was common and socially accepted when Rutgers was founded in 1766, the new book marks the first time Rutgers has chronicled its past in such depth, university officials said. It comes as colleges nationwide are grappling with concerns about their historical ties to slavery and racism.
Sixty years ago ... “Israeli armored forces are thrusting deep into Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula.” So began the 1956 Arab-Israeli Suez war, a conflict that is now all but forgotten though it was a major historic turning point for all concerned ... A vicious, British-led propaganda attack was launched against Nasser, calling him 'Hitler on the Nile' and a threat to mankind ... The deeply humiliated British and French pulled out of Egypt with their tails between their legs as the Arabs hooted derision at their former masters ... This was the last time a US president was able to give orders to Israel. After 1956, a powerful US pro-Israel lobby was created to ensure that Israel dominated Congress, the media, and US Mideast policy.
... The coming to power in Egypt of the energetic young warrior sent shockwaves through Britain, France and Israel ... Thus was born the fiasco that has ignominiously gone down in history as the Suez Crisis of 1956. Little remembered in the United States, it was a watershed event in the Middle East. It involved one of the most cynical schemes ever hatched by Britain, France and Israel – and one of the highest points of American diplomacy. It also made Nasser the most idolized Arab leader of his time ... Although widely reviled by Israel and its supporters, Nasser, the son of a postal clerk, had been a great Arab leader. While he was a compulsive conspirator, suspicious of others and thin-skinned to criticism, he was also charismatic, a natural leader and eventually the most beloved and admired Arab of his time.
Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere is planning a major limitation of privacy rights in Germany, say data protection groups. Germans will no longer have the right to know what data about them is being collected. / A draft law released by the German union for data protection (DVD) this week revealed that the interior ministry was proposing to drastically limit the powers of Germany's data protection authorities, banning them from investigating suspected breaches of people's medical and legal records.
... For the last 70 years, we have crucified the Constitution on a cross of multi-trillion dollar gratuitous presidential wars that have crippled liberty; empowered the President to assassinate citizens at will based on secret evidence; impoverished the people; turned genius from production to destruction; and, awakened enemies who would otherwise self-destruct in internecine warfare. At present, we are engaged in nine (9) presidential wars in Libya, Somalia, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and against ISIS and Al-Qaeda everywhere on the planet. Their collateral damage has included making children orphans, wives widows and fathers dig graves for their sons. President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s worst nightmare of a multi-trillion dollar military-industrial-counterterrorism complex bestriding the corridors of power has come true.
Just as Bill Clinton wasn’t black, but he was called “America’s first black president … I believe Donald Trump should be called “America’s first Jewish president.” I should know. I’m an Ivy League-educated Jewish kid from New York. Trust me, Donald Trump is as close as you can come to being our first Jewish president ... Many of Donald’s political views and policies are tailor-made for Jews. He could be the most pro-Israel president in history. Donald will always stand with the Jews of Israel ... Donald has given generously for many years to Jewish charities ... His stance on “extreme vetting” and stopping the mass importation of Muslim refugees should be welcomed and enthusiastically embraced by every American Jew ... No U.S. president has ever in history been surrounded by so many Jewish friends and advisers.
Every year, Golden Dawn, an anti-immigrant Greek neo-Nazi party, holds a rally at a rugged mountain pass once known as the “hot gates," because of the sulfuric springs bubbling beneath. It's the site where a small band of Spartan warriors stalled the might of the advancing Persian empire almost 2,500 years ago. The Golden Dawn members gather, torches in hand, around a bronze statue of the Spartan King Leonidas ... The ancient Battle of Thermopylae, though, doesn't resonate only with them. In a year defined by growing right-wing nationalism on both sides of the pond, it remains a curiously conspicuous rallying cry for myriad populists and conservative movements ... Thermopylae is the Alamo of antiquity, a doomed contest between the brave few and a gargantuan foe that stirred their compatriots to action.
Republicans and other long-time opponents of an international nuclear agreement with Iran have walked back calls to scrap the deal and are now urging the incoming Trump administration to stiffen it rather than unravel what President-elect Trump once termed as "the worst deal ever negotiated.” With Iran and European allies imploring the new administration to honor the accord that restricted Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief, fear is growing that a unilateral withdrawal from the deal would leave the U.S. internationally isolated and might even push Tehran to reinstate its suspected nuclear weapons program.
The wave of far-right parties across Europe has been gathering steam from Greece to France and Germany. While most of the continent's extreme forces have taken pains to steer clear of Nazi imagery, Slovakia's answer to the trend celebrates it. Kotleba — The People's Party Our Slovakia — won almost ten percent of the seats in Parliament in March. It openly admires the Nazi puppet state which the country was during the World War II. Party members use Nazi salutes, blame Roma [Gypsies] for crime in deprived areas, consider NATO a terror group, and want the country out of the alliance and the European Union ... On Oct. 13, party members celebrated the 129th anniversary of the birth of Jozef Tiso, a Catholic priest and politician who was Slovakia's war president.
A bill submitted by eight members of the House of Representatives will, if enacted, put the US Congress on record as condemning any “stereotypical allegations” about Jews, including remarks that Jews are “controlling the media, economy, government, or other societal institutions.” Titled the “Combatting European Anti-Semitism Act of 2016,” the bill declares that “It is in the national interest of the United States to combat anti-Semitism at home and abroad.” It also condemns any statements “Accusing the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust."
American Jews gathered Thursday to wrestle with how they should confront an election-year surge in anti-Semitism, a level of bias not seen in the U.S. for decades. At a national meeting of the Anti-Defamation League, the Jewish civil rights group, about 1,000 people listened to talks expressing shock at the hatred expressed during the presidential campaign and questioned what they thought was a high-level of acceptance by other Americans ... During this past year, anti-Semitic imagery proliferated on social media, Jewish journalists were targeted and longstanding anti-Jewish conspiracy theories got a fresh airing. Much of the bias originated with the alt-right, or alternative right, a loose group espousing a provocative and reactionary strain of conservatism ... These developments have stunned U.S. Jewish leaders ...
Anti-Jewish hatred in the United States is worse than at any point since the 1930s, declared Jonathan Greenblatt, head of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) as he spoke at the opening of a conference on anti-Semitism in New York. “The American Jewish community, our community, has not seen this level of anti-Semitism in mainstream political and public discourse since the 1930s,” Greenblatt said. “Sadly, it is only being matched with escalating levels of hate toward other minorities today.” Greenblatt also detailed the anti-Semitic attacks that rose during the 2016 presidential campaign. “Anti-Semitism has continued to proliferate as well. According to statistics released just this week by the FBI, Jews suffer from hate crimes at more than twice the rate of any other religious group” ...
Seventy-seven percent of Americans, a new high, believe the nation is divided on the most important values, while 21 percent believe it is united and in agreement. Over the past 20+ years, the public has tended to perceive the nation as being more divided than united, apart from two surveys conducted shortly after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The latest poll was conducted Nov. 9-13 after a contentious presidential campaign involving the two of the least popular candidates in postwar U.S. history, and as protests erupted nationwide in response to Donald Trump's victory. All major subgroups of Americans share the view that the nation is divided, though Republicans (68%) are less likely to believe this than independents (78%) and Democrats (83%).
... . Despite the post-election, bring-us-together talk of unity, this country is hopelessly divided on cultural, moral and political issues, and increasingly along racial and ethnic lines. Many Trump voters believe Hillary Clinton belongs in a minimum-security facility, while Hillary Clinton told her LGBT supporters half of Trump’s voters were racists, sexists, homophobes, xenophobes and bigots. Donald Trump’s presidency will be a besieged presidency, and he would do well to enlist, politically speaking, a war cabinet and White House staff that relishes a fight and does not run. The battle of 2016 is over. The long war of the Trump presidency has only just begun.
Russia’s dispatch of a ten-ship flotilla to the Syrian Coast has raised some outrage and sneers aplenty in the West ... Washington just hates it when the Russians dare do what the US has been doing since World War II: conduct gunboat diplomacy, however limited. As a student of Russian naval affairs, I’m watching the current deployment of warships from the Red Banner Northern Fleet with much interest. .. America’s legions of pro-war neocons are now screaming that the Red Navy’s deployment to Syrian waters is somehow a grave threat to the West. It is not. The US Navy and land-based NATO airpower could easily deal with the Russians. What really worries the neocons is that the Russian flotilla might deter or impede an Israeli attack on Syria and Lebanon.
The renowned American economist Paul Krugman says "China in 2016 looks a lot like Japan in 1989" — right before Tokyo headed into a prolonged period of financial crisis known as the "lost decade.” Krugman says it is not China's economic growth and dominance in the world economy that worries him. Rather, it is the likelihood of a coming economic downturn in China, and its enormous impact on the global economy, that concerns him ... The biggest problem, he said, is what China will do in the event of an economic collapse, and what problems that would pose for the rest of the world ... China’s current situation resembles that of Japan, Krugman said, "in terms of excessive saving, not enough investment opportunities, a real estate bubble. It looks a lot qualitatively like [Japan], but with much less of a safety net."
Speaking at a joint press conference with outgoing American President Barack Obama on his farewell tour, German Chancellor Angela Merkel made chilling remarks about her views on the need for government to control the internet, and slammed anti-Islamisation protesters who she accused of hijacking the German spirit for liberty ... Calling the surge of interest in right-wing politics a “wave” that “engulfs us,” Ms. Merkel noted the sentiment “seems to come from the United States,” but in an oblique reference to President-Elect Donald Trump said it was an issue she was dealing with in Europe, too ... Apparently blaming this rising populism — politics that are popular with voters — on the internet, the German chancellor implied the internet would have to be subject to restrictive censorship laws ...
A well-known German neo-Nazi has been convicted again of Holocaust denial and sentenced to prison, but is showing no signs of changing her views. Ursula Haverbeck in her closing statement in Verden district court Monday talked of the "Auschwitz lie" and said the infamous death camp was actually a labor camp where nobody was killed by gas, the dpa news agency reported. She'd been charged with Holocaust denial, a crime in Germany, for the content of several articles she wrote for a magazine called the Voice of the Reich. Haverbeck, 88, said she'd appeal her conviction and two-and-a-half year sentence. She's currently free as she appeals other convictions from courts in Detmold and Lueneburg.
... Whatever differences American Jews may have had with Barack Obama over the Iran nuclear deal and Middle East peace, they’ve never had a president who was more in tune with their Jewish and liberal essence. Obama was the realization of the American Jewish vision of a multicultural society, a dream come true for a generation of civil rights activists. He promoted and embodied the liberal ideals that American Jews are more attached to than any other religious group in America ... It is probably no coincidence that during his tenure, American Jews reached a pinnacle of social and cultural acceptance ... And if worse comes to worst, to paraphrase Casablanca, liberal American Jews will always have Israel itself. Moderate, liberal Israelis, beleaguered and on the point of despair, will flock to the airport to welcome them with open arms.
A recently leaked 2014 email from Hillary Clinton acknowledges, citing Western intelligence sources, that the U.S.-backed regimes in Saudi Arabia and Qatar have supported ISIS. “We need to use our diplomatic and more traditional intelligence assets to bring pressure on the governments of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which are providing clandestine financial and logistic support to ISIL and other radical Sunni groups in the region,” the document states. This adds to a growing body of evidence that theocratic Gulf monarchies have helped fuel the surge of extremist groups throughout the Middle East.
Donald Trump has repudiated the fringe "alt-right" group that celebrated his election win with Nazi salutes. In a far-ranging interview with the New York Times, the US president-elect was quoted as saying: "I condemn them. I disavow, and I condemn." He said he did not want to "energise" the group, which includes neo-Nazis, white nationalists and anti-Semites. Alt-right supporters were filmed on Saturday in Washington DC cheering as a speaker shouted: "Hail Trump." In the video, Richard Spencer, a leader of the "alt-right" movement, told a conference of members that America belongs to white people ... “Hail Trump, hail our people, hail victory!" Spencer shouts at one point as some members of the audience raise their arms in the Nazi salute.
Following yesterday's US election, which saw Donald J. Trump defeat Hillary R. Clinton to become president-elect, it would be apropos to review Trump's stated Israel policy, as released by his advisors on Nov. 2: … Military cooperation and coordination between Israel and the U.S. must continue to grow … A Trump Administration will ensure that Israel receives maximum military, strategic and tactical cooperation from the United States … The U.S. should view the effort to boycott, divest from, and sanction (BDS) Israel as inherently anti-Semitic and take strong measures, both diplomatic and legislative, to thwart actions that are intended to limit commercial relations with Israel, or persons or entities doing business in Israeli areas, in a discriminatory manner ... The false notion that Israel is an occupier should be rejected.
Donald Trump’s election victory raises many unanswered questions, but it also settles a few, starting with the fate of the Israeli-Palestinian “peace process.” In the words of Israeli Education Minister and Jewish Home Party leader Naftali Bennett, “The era of a Palestinian state is over.” ... If a Palestinian state is truly dead, Palestinians will need to give up their decades-old nationalist aspirations, a wrenching blow that many will find hard to accept. Israelis, in turn, will need to find room in a bi-national democratic state for millions of Palestinians — roughly equal in number to Jews — an even more wrenching adjustment that many will fight to the bitter end. Liberal Zionists have warned for years that refusal to accept a Palestinian state would force Israel to choose between remaining a democratic state or a Jewish state.
... U.S. support of Israel and Saudi Arabia has never had a reasonable basis in terms of American interests. Such support has brought us nothing but grief, death and trouble, including 9/11, the U.S.S. Cole, war dead, war disabled, veteran suicides, enormous debts, wasted taxes, a loss of freedoms at home, loss of privacy, homegrown terrorism, increased fear, increased inconveniences, the growth of jihadist radicalism, perpetual war and serious inroads of an American police state. Now this same support of Israel and Saudi Arabia has brought us into a confrontation with Russia in a country (Syria) where we have no interests ... America is asleep, paying little or no attention to the mayhem and negatives of the unquestioning support of Israel by the U.S. government.
Hillary Clinton called half of Trump voters “a basket of deplorables”. In all the discussions I have had with American “liberals”, they explained to me that Trump supporters were mostly uneducated white men. However, I am old enough to remember an era when the all the leftwing parties, socialist or communist, and even American Democrats, were based on the workers or the “working class” or the “common man”. Nobody thought to inquire whether they had university degrees or to investigate whether or not their opinions were politically correct on issues such as racism, sexism or homophobia. What defined the workers as progressive subjects was their economically exploited condition and not some ideological orthodoxy or moral purity. At the end of the 1970s a great change took place within leftwing parties.
The British Government will neither celebrate the Balfour Declaration nor apologize for it. So responded the UK’s Minister for the Middle East, Tobias Ellwood, at the close of a special debate on the Balfour Declaration at the British Parliament this morning, criticizing the Balfour Declaration for failing to include a parallel commitment to Palestinian Arab statehood in 1917 ... “The Occupation of the Palestinian Territories,” he stressed, “is unacceptable and unsustainable.” The debate was heavily dominated by concern for the “unfinished business” of the two-state solution and punctuated by repeated criticism of Israel’s settlement policies, but nevertheless included numerous supportive interjections by MPs friendly to Israel.
H.L. Mencken is often regarded as one of the most influential American political writers of the early 20th century ... Here are twelve of my favorite Mencken quotes: ... A politician is an animal which can sit on a fence and yet keep both ears to the ground. Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance ... Democracy is the art and science of running the circus from the monkey cage. ... If a politician found he had cannibals among his constituents, he would promise them missionaries for dinner. For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong ... On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.
... Mencken had a low view of politics and politicians, writing that, "The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary." ... In the 1920s he was the terror of lawmakers, the clergy, the chamber of commerce, businessmen and the so-called respectable citizenry ... Today he'd be banished as politically incorrect, but in a career that spanned five decades he wrote 19 books, including a magnificent four-volume study of the English language, along with thousands of essays and newspaper articles ... It wasn't his political views that distinguished Mencken. It was the strength of his writing, his use of metaphor, his ability to put words together, his turns of phrase and the rapier sharpness of his thinking. Mencken didn't suffer fools or try to be polite.
... Today the Korean Peninsula remains one of Asia’s chief flashpoints. Yet the peninsula is no longer critical for U.S. security. The Koreas no longer play a part in an overarching global struggle. An intra-Korean war would be tragic but would not threaten U.S. security. Such a conflict would matter much more to neighboring states, especially China and Japan, which have a corresponding incentive to do more, absent American intervention. Humanitarian concerns would be real, but would not warrant war ... Guaranteeing South Korea’s security has not made sense from America’s standpoint for years ... After more than six decades, the United States should kick South Korea off America’s defense dole.
Donald Trump’s presidential transition team includes his Jewish daughter and son-in-law, among other family members. Three of the president-elect’s four adult children are on the team, including Ivanka Trump. Her husband, Jared Kushner, a publisher and, like Ivanka, an heir to a real estate fortune, is also on the team. Kushner became one of Trump’s closest advisers during the campaign. Among the issues in which he was involved were relations with Israel. The transition team includes advisers known for their closeness both to the pro-Israel community and to Sheldon Adelson, the casino magnate who is a major pro-Israel donor and who backed Trump’s campaign with tens of millions of dollars.
President-elect Donald Trump’s decision to make former Breitbart News CEO Steve Bannon his chief strategist has triggered a Jew vs. Jew battle — and the Anti-Defamation League is squarely in the crosshairs. Right-leaning Republican groups funded by Trump’s biggest donor, Sheldon Adelson, have jumped to defend Bannon from criticism by the ADL, the Jewish organization founded to combat Jew hatred. The ADL condemned Bannon’s appointment on the grounds that he grew Breitbart’s audience by turning it into a destination for white nationalists and racists, including anti-Semites. Bannon’s supporters — the Zionist Organization of America, the Republican Jewish Coalition, and Rabbi Shmuley Boteach — are characterizing the ADL’s criticism as an attack on him personally, as an anti-Semite.
One of the more curious bits of invective hurled at presidential candidate Donald Trump was the claim that he is an anti-Semite. The allegation is particularly odd as Trump worked comfortably for decades in the heavily Jewish New York real estate world, his daughter Ivanka, whom he is very close to, has converted to Judaism and is married to a Jew who was prominent in Donald’s campaign while Trump’s grandson from that marriage is being raised as Jewish ... Calling someone an anti-Semite is fortunately a slur that is losing its effectiveness through overuse and lack of credibility. Joe Sobran put it very well when he observed that anti-Semite used to be an expression applied to people who hate Jews but now it is more often used to describe people that Jews hate.
... I was cocksure, and I was wrong. Trump won, fair and square. And if I had to get to the root of my own personal inability to foresee that outcome, I might as well start with Hitler ... You can now be called Hitler by hundreds of the most popular and respected opinion-molders and still be elected president. How in the bloody hell did that happen? More than likely, it’s due to a combination of reasons. Hitler’s been dead 71 years. To young people, Hitler is a hazy specter ... The smear has been thrown around so much and so recklessly that pundits have given the public “Hitler fatigue.” We’re all Führer’d out ... There are times when it’s good to be proven wrong; humble pie never tasted so sweet.
Tens of thousands of far-right nationalists, burning flares and carrying Polish flags, marched peacefully through the streets of Warsaw on Friday to mark Poland's Independence Day. In a yearly ritual that has become one of the largest far-right gatherings in Europe, they marched under the slogan "Poland the Bastion of Europe." The nationalists are strongly opposed to accepting refugees from the Middle East. Some of them carried banners depicting a falanga, which is a far-right symbol dating to the 1930s of a stylized hand with a sword.
Slovenia on Thursday started burying the remains of some 800 alleged Nazi collaborators killed by communist forces in the aftermath of World War II, and discovered in a giant mine in 2009. "It is our human and state duty to bury in a civilised way the victims of war and post-war killings," Slovenian President Borut Pahor said at the burial ceremony in the northern city of Maribor ... The ceremony [is] the first in a series of state burials expected to continue until the end of 2017 ... Experts say most of the victims were Croats and Slovenes who had been executed for collaborating with the Nazis, often without trial. Authorities believe the mass grave may have contained up 2,500 bodies ... A special government commission has so far registered 700 possible mass grave sites containing up to 15,000 bodies in Slovenia ...
When it comes to a few key indicators, Ireland, the UK, Canada and even Albania and Greece are surpassing America. America is declining, in large and important measures, yet policymakers aren’t paying attention. So argues a new academic paper, pulling together previously published data. Consider this: ... America’s child poverty levels are worse than in any developed country anywhere, including Greece ... and eastern European nations such as Poland, Lithuania and Estonia. Median adult wealth in the US ($39,000) is 27th globally, putting it behind Cyprus, Taiwan, and Ireland. Even when “life satisfaction” is measured, America ranks #12, behind Israel, Sweden and Australia. Overall, America’s per capita wealth, health and education measures are mediocre for a highly industrialized nation.
Several professors on [campus] Grounds collaborated to write a letter to University President Teresa Sullivan against the inclusion of a Thomas Jefferson quote in her post-election email Nov. 9. In the email, Sullivan encouraged students to unite in the wake of contentious results, arguing that University students have the responsibility of creating the future they want for themselves ... Some professors from the Psychology Department — and other academic departments — did not agree with the use of this quote. Their letter to Sullivan argued that in light of Jefferson’s owning of slaves and other racist beliefs, she should refrain from quoting Jefferson in email communications.
US President-elect Donald Trump has confirmed that he will most likely abandon the Obama administration policy on Syria to seek a possible rapprochement with Russia on the issue of Assad. “I’ve had an opposite view of many people regarding Syria,” the 70-year-old Republican told the Wall Street Journal in his first interview since the election. ... “My attitude was you’re fighting Syria, Syria is fighting ISIS, and you have to get rid of ISIS. Russia is now totally aligned with Syria, and now you have Iran, which is becoming powerful, because of us, is aligned with Syria... Now we’re backing rebels against Syria, and we have no idea who these people are.” ... The president-elect warned that if the US attacks Assad, “we end up fighting Russia, fighting Syria.”
Israel’s Foreign Ministry believes U.S. President-elect Donald Trump will reduce America’s involvement in the Middle East in general and in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in particular, according to a document written by ministry researchers and disseminated to Israeli diplomats throughout the world ... The main message of the paper, which represents the position of the ministry’s professional echelons, is that the Trump administration is expected to conduct an isolationist policy ... The paper also addresses how Trump will deal with domestic issues upon entering office on January 20. The ministry researchers noted that the divisive election could drag America into a serious domestic crisis and lead to fundamental changes in both the Democratic and Republican parties.
Officials and the media in Israel are assessing what Donald Trump’s election as the next President of the United States will mean for Israel and the region. Daily Yediot Aharonot published extracts from a leaked report prepared by the Foreign Ministry’s Centre for Political Research. The report concludes that: “Trump does not consider the Middle East to be a ‘’wise investment’’, and is likely to strive to limit his involvement in the region. “The peace process is not a top priority for the new administration,” says the report. The document suggests that Trump will focus strongly on domestic issues, saying: “The line that characterises Trump’s administration indicates a tendency towards American isolationism and a desire to reduce the burden of involvement in foreign arenas.”
... Germans were so repulsed by Donald Trump's election rhetoric and why so few (four percent by one poll's reckoning) wanted him in the White House. There is almost universal shock and horror here. Even Germany's foreign minister (who once described Trump as a hate speaker) could not bring himself publicly to congratulate him. One newspaper headline exclaimed "Oh my God!", another "We're in mourning". Another minister described the result as "a nightmare from which we can't wake up". .. “The self-destruction of the West continues," noted Joerg Kramer, chief economist at Commerzbank. America is Germany's biggest trading partner ... Mr Trump's victory has been described as a political earthquake. The aftershocks will shift the German and European political landscape.
Twitter suspended high-profile accounts associated with the alt-right movement, the same day the social media service said it would crack down on hate speech. Among those suspended was Richard Spencer, who runs an alt-right think tank and had a verified account on Twitter. The alt-right, a loosely organized group that espouses white nationalism, emerged as a counterpoint to mainstream conservatism and has flourished online ... "This is corporate Stalinism," Spencer told the Daily Caller News Foundation. In a YouTube video ... Spencer said Twitter had engaged in a coordinated effort to wipe out alt-right Twitter. .. Heidi Beirich, spokeswoman for the Southern Poverty Law Center, told USA Today that the center had asked Twitter to remove more than 100 accounts of white supremacists ...
UK Lawyers for Israel has described the unprecedented disbarring of a barrister, for his anti-Semitic and racist comments on social media as “a significant victory” – and warned that more cases may be in the pipeline. Barrister Ian Millard, who tweets under his own name, was thrown out of the profession last week after an independent disciplinary tribunal found he had made “seriously offensive” comments. They include Nazi propaganda images, attacks on Jews, Muslims and ethnic minorities, and repeated racist tweets ... Jonathan Goldberg, QC, who brought the original complaint against Millard on behalf of UK Lawyers for Israel, where he is a director, told the Jewish News: “We regard this as a significant victory for two reasons. First, it has stripped this particular vile prating Nazi of his cloak of professional respectability as a barrister.
The mood in the Washington press corps is bleak, and deservedly so. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that, with a few exceptions, we were all tacitly or explicitly #WithHer, which has led to a certain anguish in the face of Donald Trump’s victory. More than that and more importantly, we also missed the story, after having spent months mocking the people who had a better sense of what was going on. This is all symptomatic of modern journalism’s great moral and intellectual failing: its unbearable smugness ... Journalists, at our worst, see ourselves as a priestly caste. We believe we not only have access to the indisputable facts, but also a greater truth, a system of beliefs divined from an advanced understanding of justice ... The public’s estimation of the press declines even further -- fewer than one-in-three Americans trust the press ...
Donald Trump’s startling and explosive victory has not only shaken America’s oligarchy to its core, it’s also sending shock waves across Europe and scaring the top hats off plutocrats and their tame politicians ... The old order is scared to death by Trump’s crashing victory ... After Trump nothing is certain. Good! Our stagnant western economies and corrupt political systems badly need shaking up and refreshing. ... In Germany, Angela Merkel’s coalition government looks increasingly fragile. Many Germans are tired of the ultra-moderate Merkel and her cautious government which is often accused of being an American vassal. If Germany ever wakens from its post-1945 stupor, all Europe will shake. So enter Donald Trump just at a time when Europe may be coming to a boil.
... The voters who elected Trump don’t subscribe to the complex ideological formulae of Beltway apparatchiks. But they know how they feel, and they know what’s happening in their own lives. They know that being an American doesn’t seem to mean as much or promise as much as it once did. And so they want to make America great again, and Trump is the instrument at hand ... A false anthropology undergirds the terrible errors that our educated leaders have made in foreign policy, economics, and governing in general. A different anthropology — hardly a completely correct one, but a more realistic one — is what informs the Trump vote, however inchoately.
... Trump won because he challenged all political convention and every single facet of the establishment. He took on his 17 Republican rivals, the Democrats, the print and TV media, Washington and Wall Street elites, and sneering foreign leaders ... Love him or hate him, he was constantly speaking about things that Americans really worry about. He also positioned himself against the corrupt, self-interested, lobby group infested political system that these same Americans feel strongly has enriched itself at their expense. Hillary Clinton perfectly personified that system; a career politician who has repeatedly fleeced her positions of power to make millions of dollars for herself and her husband, and who carried with her a permanent smug sense of entitlement to be America’s first female president.
... After a presidential race fueled by brash but constantly shifting policy proposals, Trump's millions of followers -- from social conservative activists to struggling blue-collar workers to hardline militant groups -- say if he does anything less than take a wrecking ball to business-as-usual Washington, they will be disappointed ... Trump's promises have been hard to pin down, with many policy details left elusive and vague. NBC News identified 141 "distinct shifts" on 23 major issues since Trump announced his candidacy on June 16, 2015. Still, his fiery rhetoric had an unmistakable message of ending big government and the entrenched power of establishment elites in both parties.
Steve Bannon, the right-wing media provocateur who turned Breitbart News into a haven for white supremacy, the so-called “alt-right” and anti-Semitic tropes, is poised to play a key role in the incoming administration — setting off a firestorm of criticism from Jewish leaders and anti-hate groups. Bannon, who ran Donald Trump’s victorious presidential campaign, was named a “senior strategist” on an “equal footing” with White House Chief of staff Reince Preibus, a more establishment figure who ran the Republican National Committee ... The reaction was quick and furious from Jews and anti-hate groups. The Anti-Defamation League, which stays out of partisan politics and vowed to seek to work with Trump after his election, denounced Bannon as “hostile to American values.”
Donald Trump scored an impressive Electoral College victory Nov. 8 after a campaign that revealed deep divisions – by race, gender and education – that were as wide and in some cases wider than in previous elections, according to an analysis of national exit poll data. Trump won white voters by a margin almost identical to that of Mitt Romney, who lost the popular vote to Barack Obama in 2012. (Trump appears likely to lose the popular vote, which would make him only the fifth elected president to do so and still win office.) White non-Hispanic voters preferred Trump over Clinton by 21 percentage points (58% to 37%), according to the exit poll conducted by Edison Research for the National Election Pool.
A French court fined and gave a suspended prison sentence to a man who disseminated a picture of a quasi-Nazi salute being performed at a Jewish school. On Wednesday, the Toulouse Appeals Court hit Noel Gerard with a $15,000 fine and a six-month suspended term for incitement to hatred. In 2014, he shared a picture on social media of a man performing the salute known as the quenelle in front of the Ohr Hatorah school, where in 2012 a jihadist killed a rabbi and three children, the news site 20minutes reported. ... Gerard, 34, who is known in online anti-Semitic circles as “Joe le Corbeau” — French for “Joe Crow” — was arrested in 2014 near Marseille in southern France. The photo, which surfaced on social networks, showed a young man wearing sunglasses performing the quenelle while standing in front of the school’s entrance.
The European Parliament has voted to lift the immunity of French extreme-right politician Jean-Marie Le Pen over charges of inciting racial hatred against Jews. The parliament’s legal affairs committee said that parliamentary immunity “does not allow for slandering, libeling, inciting hatred or pronouncing statements attacking a person’s honor” as it voted in favor of lifting Le Pen’s immunity. French prosecutors want to put the founder and former leader of the National Front party on trial for his 2014 comments about French Jewish singer Patrick Bruel. Le Pen said Bruel should “go in the oven.” His comment led to his exclusion from the National Front which is now led by his daughter, Marine Le Pen, who plans to run next year in the presidential election.
The latest attraction in the German capital is an underground chamber about the size of a small living room, a devotional portrait of Frederick the Great hanging on the wall. The new exhibit is a re-creation of the study in Adolf Hitler’s bunker, the space where the 20th century’s most notorious tyrant spent his final days before taking his life with a gunshot to the head. Painstakingly assembled by the curators at the Berlin Story Bunker in an attempt to evoke the horror of the Third Reich for a new generation, the exhibit has fast become a lightning rod for critics who charge the museum with doing something else: humanizing Hitler. In a nation where portrayals of the Nazis remain the ultimate cultural minefield, the museum’s approach has sparked a backlash ...
... Trump, who is largely ignorant of the world and its leaders, has relied on a mixed bag of advisors. Former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency General Michael Flynn appears to be the most prominent. Flynn is associated with arch neocon Michael Ledeen and both are rabid about Iran, with Flynn suggesting that nearly all the unrest in the Middle East should be laid at Tehran’s door. Ledeen is, of course, a prominent Israel-firster who has long had Iran in his sights ... Part of the problem with Trump is that he has some very bad ideas mixed in with a few good ones and no one knows what he would actually do if he were president.
On policy, there is no question that Donald Trump is the most pro-Israel, pro-Jewish candidate to ever run for the U.S. presidency. And this year’s Republican Party platform is the most pro-Israel political platform in the history of the United States, on either side of the political aisle. That is why when Jewish and pro-Israel voters learn about Donald Trump’s policies, they support Donald Trump. Let’s examine the evidence and look at other ties that bond Mr. Trump to Israel and the Jewish people ... Supporting Jews is what Mr. Trump has done all his life ... Mr. Trump’s policies, his staunch pro-Israel advisors and his personal ties to the Jewish people are why they will choose him as the next President of the United States.
A new study that aims to explore the historical wealth disparities between black and white residents in the D.C. region found that white households have a net worth 81 times that of black households. The Urban Institute report, "The Color of Wealth in the Nation's Capital," said the Great Recession and housing crisis of 2007 to 2009 exacerbated long-persistent disparities, with black and Hispanic households losing about half of their wealth. In 2013 and 2014, white households in the D.C. area had a net worth of $284,000 while black households had a net worth of $3,500, the report said. Hispanics had a net worth of $13,000. Net worth is the value of assets minus debt. Asian Americans in the region amassed more wealth than white residents, according to the study.
... The war destroyed kings, kaisers, czars and sultans; it demolished empires; it introduced chemical weapons, tanks and airborne bombing; it brought millions of women into the work force, hastening their legal right to vote. It gave independence to nations like Ukraine, Poland and the Baltic countries and created new nations in the Middle East with often arbitrary borders; it brought about major cultural changes ... The memory of July 1, 1916, the first day of the Battle of the Somme — when 20,000 British soldiers died, 40,000 were wounded and 60 percent of officers were killed — has marked British consciousness and become a byword for mindless slaughter.
The global conflict of 1914-1918 was the most destructive military clash in history, surpassed only by World War II. The war that American historian George F. Kennan called "the original catastrophe" not only brought destruction, misery and death to millions, it shattered the seemingly secure Western world order. It broke the confidence of Europeans in themselves and their long-held values, brought down dynasties that had ruled for centuries in Russia, Austria-Hungary and Germany, and forced a drastic reassessment of cherished assumptions about life and society. Runtime: 55 mins.
The political row over the First World War has intensified after one of Britain's best-known historians declared that the conflict was 'the biggest error in modern history'. Harvard professor Niall Ferguson argues that Britain should never have entered the war against Germany, saying that 'the cost was catastrophic' and it was not worth the millions of lives lost ... In an interview with BBC History magazine, the Scottish professor and author said: 'Britain could indeed have lived with a German victory. What's more, it would have been in Britain's interests to stay out in 1914.'
Britain made a terrible mistake in taking up arms in 1914, historian Niall Ferguson has claimed. In an interview with BBC History Magazine, Ferguson said Britain could not only have lived with a German victory in the First World War, but it would in fact have been in its “interests to stay out in 1914” ... Ferguson said: “The cost of the First World War to Britain was catastrophic, and it left the British empire at the end of it all in a much weakened state … Arguments about honour, of course, resonate today, as they resonated in 1914 but you can pay too high a price for upholding that notion of honour, and I think in the end Britain did.”
Most Millennials have a positive view of the Black Lives Matter movement, a USA Today/ Rock the Vote Millennial Poll finds, but attitudes are more mixed about the less well-known alt-right. In the survey of Americans 18 to 34 years old, 58 percent say they have a favorable opinion about Black Lives Matter, an activist movement that grew from protests over the shooting deaths of unarmed African Americans. Among blacks, an overwhelming 81 percent have a favorable view ... The alt-right movement, which includes groups on the far right, has gained attention recently because of the support for Donald Trump by some white supremacists and anti-Semites. But it is much less well-known among Millennials ... Among those who express an opinion, 34% say they have a favorable opinion of the alt-right, 21% an unfavorable one.
“At a time when global terrorism singles out Jews around the world, at a time when we see the impact of intolerance and hate on every continent, here in Russia, the Jewish community is thriving’’ said World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder, as he thanked the country for its efforts to crack down on anti-Semitism and make Jews feel welcome in the country, after a long history of hostility and hardship. “Right now we are witnessing one of the most stunning changes in Russia’s long history,” Lauder said, speaking at the first Moscow International Conference on Combating Anti-Semitism.
In the end, Hillary Clinton became the face of a corrupt, arrogant and out-of-touch Establishment, while Donald Trump emerged as an almost perfectly imperfect vessel for a populist fury that had bubbled beneath the surface of America ... American voters chose him in part because they felt they needed a blunt instrument to smash the Establishment that has ruled and mis-ruled America for at least the past several decades ... On foreign policy, the Establishment had turned decision-making over to the neoconservatives and their liberal-interventionist sidekicks, a collection of haughty elitists who often subordinated American interests to those of Israel and Saudi Arabia, for political or financial advantage.
... This year’s presidential campaign has brought all the anger, anxiety and frustration bubbling to the surface. Nerves are raw, people are on edge, and the trepidation is so thick you could cut it with a knife. All the recent surveys tell the same story: Americans are sick of the mudslinging, sick of the scandals, sick of the recriminations, sick of the two party duopoly, and sick of the two candidates, the two most distrusted and reviled candidates in the country’s 230 year history ... People are waking up to the fact that the American dream is dead, that the US is no longer the land of opportunity, and that the lives of their children are going to be worse than their own, far worse. This is why everyone is so upset, so frustrated, so hopeless.
... The message Trump delivered to those voters was radically different from anything they would hear from an ordinary Republican: a bracing screed that implicated the entire global power structure – the banks, the government, the media, the guardians of secular culture – in a dark web of moral and intellectual corruption. And Trump insisted that he alone could fix it. In doing so, Trump knit together a worldview, frequently propounded by Bannon, that the U.S. was on the cusp of joining the right-wing populist uprisings that have swept across Europe ... Trump’s election represents a jarring realignment of American politics ... It remains a mystery how Trump will govern. No president in living memory has as little political experience or has put forward fewer details of the policies he intends to pursue.
Voter satisfaction with the choice of presidential candidates, already at a two-decade low, has declined even further. A new survey [released on Sept. 12] finds that just a third of registered voters say they are very or fairly satisfied with the choices, while 63 percent say they are not too or not at all satisfied ... The latest national survey by Pew Research Center, conducted Aug. 23-Sept. 2 among 1,201 adults, including 947 registered voters, finds that unhappiness with this year’s choices crosses partisan lines: Just 36 percent of Republican and Republican-leaning registered voters, and 35 percent of Democrats and Democratic leaners, say they are satisfied with their choices.
Violence has broken out at anti-Trump rallies across America overnight as tens of thousands marched against the President-elect before angry mobs attacked police, started fires and shut down highways. The streets of downtown Oakland in California were choked with smoke Thursday as police launched tear gas and protesters lit fires, in what became by some distance the most violent of the many protests against the election of Donald Trump. More than 6,000 protesters were seen on the streets of Oakland with an initially peaceful march down a cop-lined street turning nasty after some protesters threw bottles at officers and torched a police car. An office block was also attacked, daubed with ‘f*** Trump’ and ‘kill Trump’ graffiti and then set alight.
What started as a protest against President-Elect Donald Trump soon turned to violent riots where one of New Orleans’ most famous monuments was covered in graffiti and glass windows were shattered out of a nearby bank ... Students holding signs reading “End white supremacy” originally gathered on the steps of the Lee Circle monument before the demonstrations turned destructive. Lee Circle was fully covered in graffiti with phrases like “Black Power” and “Dismantle White Supremacy”. Later, an effigy of Trump was burned while glass windows at a nearby bank were shattered. Other phrases like “No Trump, no KKK” were used to vandalize surrounding areas, as well as the threatening phrase “Die whites die” and “F*ck Trump”.
Demonstrations against the election of Donald Trump as president continued around the country early Friday, taking a decidedly violent turn in Portland, Oregon, where police made several arrests after deeming the protests had turned into a “riot” punishable as a “Class C Felony.” “We reject the president-elect,” many of the demonstrators chanted as they marched through the streets. Elsewhere, thousands of protesters surrounded Trump's buildings in New York and Chicago, clashing with supporters of the president-elect in some areas ... Condemning Trump's litany of crude comments about women and his attacks on immigrants, demonstrators across the country marched along city streets, blocked intersections, burned effigies and, in some places, gathered outside buildings bearing Trump's name.
A German lawyer has identified hundreds of offensive posts that were reported but never removed from Facebook / Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and multiple other fellow executives are under investigation in Germany over Nazi-themed and racist content on the social network, including Holocaust denial. According to Der Spiegel, prosecutors in Munich launched the preliminary probe in response to a criminal complaint from Chan-jo Jun, a German lawyer who has been running a campaign against hate speech on Facebook. Jun reportedly identified over 430 offensive posts on Facebook that were reported but never taken down by the company. Under German law, social media are obliged to delete any posts that incite to violence as soon as they are reported. Facebook says the allegations "lack merit.”
Enemies of the United States are joyously watching its upcoming elections that are exposing this once great nation as deeply corrupt. It’s as if a huge rock has been turned over, exposing the swarming, slithering underside of America’s political system. For those who admire America, like this writer, this week is a time to weep for the republic. We see two candidates who are utterly unfit for the highest office ... Hillary Clinton has long been a wholly-financed subsidiary of Wall Street and the mighty Israel lobby. Just have a look at the list of her largest donors. Her pro-Israel supporters are urging her to create a so-called ‘no-fly’ zone over Syria ... Besides disgusting many Americans, the presidential campaign has made the US an object of derision and embarrassment around the globe.
On Tuesday, sharply divided U.S. voters head to the polls to elect a new president. In many ways, the choice between Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump is emblematic of a political polarization in the United States that has been building for decades. Many experts warn that sharp divide is not likely to ease no matter who is elected on November 8 ... A New York Times/CBS News poll found that 82 percent of those surveyed said this year's election campaign has left them feeling "disgusted." The poll also indicates that both White House hopefuls will have a major challenge in trying to unite the country post-election. Forty percent said Clinton would be able to, but 57 percent said no. In the case of Trump, only 34 percent said he was capable of uniting the country, while 63 percent said no.
... Whatever happens Tuesday, Trump has made history and has forever changed American politics. Though a novice in politics, he captured the Party of Lincoln with the largest turnout of primary voters ever, and he has inflicted wounds on the nation’s ruling class from which it may not soon recover ... Trump did not create the forces that propelled his candidacy. But he recognized them, tapped into them, and unleashed a gusher of nationalism and populism that will not soon dissipate. Whatever happens Tuesday, there is no going back now ... The media, whose reputation has sunk to Congressional depths, has also suffered a blow to its credibility ... The Trump candidacy exposed what seems an unbridgeable gulf between this political class and the nation in whose name it purports to speak.
... The day after the election is our time to really focus our efforts on making the case for a peaceful foreign policy and the prosperity it will bring. While we may not have much to cheer in Tuesday’s successful candidate, we have learned a good deal about the state of the nation from the campaigns. From the surprising success of the insurgent Bernie Sanders to a Donald Trump campaign that broke all the mainstream Republican Party rules – and may have broken the Republican Party itself – what we now understand more clearly than ever is that the American people are fed up with politics as usual. And more importantly they are fed up with the same tired old policies ... We know those in Washington with a vested interest in maintaining a US empire overseas will fight to the end to keep the financial gravy train flowing.
Today, the invisible government has never been more powerful and less understood. In my career as a journalist and film-maker, I have never known propaganda to insinuate our lives and as it does now and to go unchallenged ... What is seldom reported is that both cities would not be occupied by fanatics and ravaged by war if Britain and the United States had not invaded Iraq in 2003. That criminal enterprise was launched on lies strikingly similar to the propaganda that now distorts our understanding of the civil war in Syria. Without this drumbeat of propaganda dressed up as news, the monstrous ISIS and Al-Qaida and al-Nusra and the rest of the jihadist gang might not exist, and the people of Syria might not be fighting for their lives today.
Donald Trump’s latest campaign ad, likely the final one wrapping up nearly a year of campaigning, contains content that has been criticized for having anti-Semitic overtones and implying a vast international Jewish conspiracy behind Hillary Clinton. The two-minute long ad features audio from Trump’s West Palm Beach speech in mid-October ... The video appears to go even further, illustrating Trump’s accusation of a conspiracy against the American people with images of prominent Jews. Philanthropist investor George Soros, Federal Reserve head Janet Yellen and Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, all of whom are Jewish, appear onscreen as Trump inveighs against “levers of power in Washington” and “global special interests” — both considered anti-Semitic dog-whistles.
The Democratic senator for Minnesota, Al Franken, has accused Donald Trump of launching an antisemitic TV advertisement along the lines of the fake Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Franken, who is Jewish, said he immediately was struck by what he called “a German shepherd whistle, a dog whistle” in a new two-minute advert from the Trump campaign, launched as the countdown to Tuesday’s election intensifies. The film features lurid shots of Wall Street and the Federal Reserve interspersed with images of three prominent Jewish people: Janet Yellen, who chairs the Federal Reserve, the progressive financier George Soros and the Goldman Sachs chief executive, Lloyd Blankfein.
... If your purpose is to understand the clique of people who dominate Washington today, the emails that really matter are the ones being slowly released by Wikileaks from the hacked account of Hillary Clinton’s campaign chair John Podesta ... They are a window into the soul of the Democratic party and into the dreams and thoughts of the class to whom the party answers ... Certain industries loom large and virtuous here. Hillary’s ingratiating speeches to Wall Street are well known of course, but what is remarkable is that, in the party of Jackson and Bryan and Roosevelt, smiling financiers now seem to stand on every corner, constantly proffering advice about this and that.
... According to the latest leaked emails, Mrs Clinton told a Goldman Sachs conference she would like to intervene secretly in Syria. She made the remark in answer to a question from Lloyd Blankfein, the bank's chief executive, in 2013 months after she left office as secretary of state. "My view was you intervene as covertly as is possible for Americans to intervene," she told employees of the bank in South Carolina, which had paid her about $225,000 to give a speech ... Mrs Clinton’s newfound opposition to trade deals contradicts remarks she made in a 2013 paid speech to Brazilian bank Banco Itau. She said: "My dream is a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders, some time in the future with energy that is as green and sustainable as we can get it, powering growth and opportunity for every person in the hemisphere."
If Hillary Clinton is elected president on Tuesday, and if what Bret Baier is reporting from FBI sources on Fox News is true, America is headed for a constitutional crisis. Indeed, it would seem imperative that FBI Director James Comey, even if it violates protocol and costs him his job, should state publicly whether what Baier’s FBI sources are telling him is false or true. The people have a right to know — before Tuesday. For, if true, Clinton could face charges in 2017 and impeachment and removal from office in 2018 ... The second revelation from Baier is that the Clinton Foundation has been under active investigation by the white-collar crime division of the FBI for a year and is a “very high priority.”
Regardless of whether Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump wins on Election Day, U.S. support for Israel and its policies of oppression will continue, says American historian Mark Weber in an interview with Iran’s Qods News Agency. That’s because both presidential candidates in this year’s bitter U.S. election campaign are entirely submissive to what Weber calls “Jewish-Zionist power.” Here are the interview questions and answers ...
To the Zionists, the Balfour Declaration of 1917 laid the foundation for the formation of the state of Israel. To the Palestinians, however, it was an act of dishonesty and betrayal by Britain. So who is Balfour? What was the declaration? And why does it remain contentious? The Balfour Declaration was a brief letter dated 2 November 1917 by Lord Arthur Balfour, the British foreign secretary at the time, addressing Baron Lionel Walter Rothschild, a British Zionist peer, expressing the British government’s support for a Jewish homeland in Palestine ... When the war took a bad turn in 1917, Balfour wrote to leading British Zionists in the hopes of securing Jewish support for the allies.
... Today is the 99th anniversary of the Balfour declaration. Although it did not offer partition, it sowed the seeds for it, which eventually allowed the Zionist movement to take over Palestine ... Only with the help of British bayonets could the settler colonial project of Zionism survive in its early stages through the Palestinian uprisings of 1920, 1921, 1929 and, in particular, 1936. The British army employed immense force, which included the Royal Air Force, to quell the 1936 Palestinian uprising. It lasted for three years and ended with the British elimination of the Palestinian national leadership, either by killing or by exiling ... The seeds were sown in 1917, reaped in 1947 and poisoned the country ever since. It is time to adopt a fresh moral and political view on this history for the sake of a better future.
A spontaneous national uprising that began twelve days before in Hungary is viciously crushed by Soviet tanks and troops on this day [Nov. 4] in 1956. Thousands were killed and wounded and nearly a quarter-million Hungarians fled the country. The problems in Hungary began in October 1956, when thousands of protesters took to the streets demanding a more democratic political system and freedom from Soviet oppression ... On November 4, 1956, Soviet tanks rolled into Budapest to crush, once and for all, the national uprising. Vicious street fighting broke out, but the Soviets’ great power ensured victory.
The so-called “Lads of Pest” (pesti srácok) – youngsters mostly in their teens or early twenties who took up arms to fight against Soviet occupation – are a familiar symbol of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution and freedom fight. As many of them served as commanders of armed insurgency units, many of them were either killed in combat or executed during subsequent reprisals ... While the “Lads of Pest” were no match to Soviet forces in terms of armament and headcount, they nevertheless managed to gain temporary successes – in recognition of which Time magazine named the Hungarian Freedom Fighter as the “Man of the Year” in 1956 ... In September 2016, a thematic park was opened on Horváth Mihály tér, District VIII, in memory of the Lads of Pest as part of commemorations to mark the 60th anniversary of the Revolution.
From the start of Donald Trump’s campaign, the media have covered him dishonestly ... Liberals are such transparent hypocrites. They claim to love democracy, but suddenly start worrying about its health if the people refuse vote the way they tell them to ... There is one thing that Donald Trump has changed. He has proven that Republican bromides about taxes and small government don’t excite people. He has proven that there is tremendous anger against political insiders of both parties. He has proven that Americans do want their country to come first ... And even if he has not “mainstreamed racism,” he has shown that if you have a backbone you can withstand what is surely the most intense and concentrated program of hate ever directed at an American.
The Steinhardt Social Research Institute (Brandeis U.) has released “Hotspots of Anti-Semitism and Anti-Israel Sentiment on US campuses.” ... The researchers attempted to identify “hotspots,” or campuses where antisemitism and anti-Israel sentiment were especially acute ... CUNY-Brooklyn, Northwestern, and many of the schools in the University of California system, are “hotspots” where the majority of Jewish students perceive a hostile environment toward Israel, and over one quarter perceive a general environment of hostility toward Jews on their campus ... At Wisconsin, Rutgers, and Illinois, hostility toward Jews and antisemitic harassment are relatively high but do not seem to be highly connected to criticism of Israel.
A British lawmaker who is a well-known critic of Israel is blaming Israel's treatment of Palestinian Arabs for the rise of anti-Semitism in the country. Jenny Tonge, a House of Lords member from the Liberal Democrat party, took to Facebook on Monday after the publication of a report which determined that the Labour party’s leadership is failing to confront seriously anti-Semitism in its ranks ... “It is difficult to believe that a 75% increase in anti-Semitism it reports, have been committed by people who simply hate Jewish people for no reason,” continued Tonge ... “Added to this,” continued Tonge, “is Israel's adoption of the official title of the 'Jewish State of Israel'. This conflates Israel with Jewish people here, whether or not they support the Zionist State and many do not.”
Israel condemned a “shameful” meeting held at the House of Lords in London this week at which a member of the audience won applause for claiming that Jews were to blame for the Holocaust. The meeting on Tuesday kicked off a campaign by vehemently anti-Israel Baroness Jenny Tonge to demand that the UK government apologize for the 1917 Balfour Declaration, which affirmed the right of the Jewish people to a homeland in then-Palestine. The meeting, which reportedly began with comments from the organizers, soon opened the debate up to the floor. According to blogger David Collier who was present at the event, a member of the militantly anti-Zionist ultra-Orthodox [Jewish] Neturei Karta movement launched a diatribe against an American Zionist rabbi he said drove Hitler to carry out a mass extermination of Europe’s Jews.
Jenny Tonge, a former Liberal Democrat peer, has quit the party after she was suspended over alleged antisemitic comments. She said she had resigned from the party “about the same time” as she was suspended as a party member by its leader on Thursday. Earlier, a spokesman for the Liberal Democrats said: “She has been suspended. She was not a member of our group in the House of Lords; she was an independent peer, she has had her membership suspended. “We take her comments very seriously and have acted accordingly.” ... Tonge also recently released a letter in which she blamed a rise in antisemitism on Israel’s treatment of Palestinians
Peter Eisenman believes an increase in xenophobia means his 4.7 acre memorial to the Second World War genocide of Jewish people could not be re-built today. The renowned American architect told German newspaper Die Zeit: "The social climate has changed. Much of what was long considered to be acceptable is now being questioned." The memorial in Berlin was only opened eleven years ago, but Mr Eisenman said the current climate in Germany and America has changed so much he believes the structure would cause a furore today … A study by Berlin's Free University revealed anti-Semitic feelings are being experienced across the political spectrum. The report found 34 per cent of "extreme left" members expressed negative views about Jewish people.
CRIF, the umbrella representative group of Jewish organisations in France, firmly condemned ‘’nauseating’’ remarks by Jean-Frederic Poisson, a candidate for the French center-right wing party presidential primary, who stated that “Hillary Clinton’s support among Wall Street financial giants and her submission to Zionist lobbies are dangerous for both Europe and France.” The little known candidate for the presidential primary made the comments in an interview with French regional daily Nice Matin. He also stated that Hillary Clinton “was the worst Democrat candidate and that both Obama’s mandates have been dramatic.” CRIF President Francis Kalifat called Poisson’s remarks ‘’not only insidiously anti-Semitic but also in line with conspiracy theories that are the stock in trade of the most violent extremism.”
Opium production in Afghanistan has increased by 43 percent in the past year, United Nations officials have said. The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said the area used to farm the poppy plant, the source of opium, increased by ten percent to 201,000 hectares. But better farming conditions resulted in a higher yield per hectare, increasing overall production. Afghanistan is the world's largest producer of the substance, which is the main ingredient in heroin. Growing opium is a crime in the country, but it is still a major cash crop for impoverished farming communities. The Taliban also taxes poppy production in areas it controls, which is a major source of income for its military activities. UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov said the figures were "a worrying reversal in efforts".
For eleven years, Professor Duke Pesta gave quizzes to his students at the beginning of the school year to test their knowledge on basic facts about American history and Western culture. The most surprising result from his eleven-year experiment? Students’ overwhelming belief that slavery began in the United States and was almost exclusively an American phenomenon, he said. “Most of my students could not tell me anything meaningful about slavery outside of America,” Pesta told The College Fix ... Often, more students connected Thomas Jefferson to slavery than could identify him as president, according to Pesta. On one quiz, 29 out of 32 students responding knew that Jefferson owned slaves, but only three out of the 32 correctly identified him as president, according to Pesta.
... What I am labeling as dishonest, fraudulent or deceitful comes from the fact that many more students are admitted to college than are in fact college-ready. Admitting such students may satisfy the wants and financial interests of the higher education establishment, but whether it serves the interests of students, families, taxpayers and the nation is another question. To accommodate less college-ready students, colleges must water down their curricula, lower standards and abandon traditional tools and topics.
Young adults in the United States fail to understand the world and their place in it, according to a survey-based report on geographic literacy released today [May 2006]. Take Iraq, for example. Despite nearly constant news coverage since the war there began in 2003, 63 percent of Americans aged 18 to 24 failed to correctly locate the country on a map of the Middle East. Seventy percent could not find Iran or Israel. Nine in ten couldn't find Afghanistan on a map of Asia ... Even for U.S. geography, the survey results are just as dismal. Half could not find New York State on a map of the United States.
After more than three years of combat and nearly 2,400 U.S. military deaths in Iraq, nearly two-thirds of Americans aged 18 to 24 still cannot find Iraq on a map, a study released Tuesday [in May 2006] showed ... The National Geographic-Roper Public Affairs 2006 Geographic Literacy Study paints a dismal picture of the geographic knowledge of the most recent graduates of the U.S. education system ... In the Middle East, 63 percent could not find Iraq or Saudi Arabia on a map, and 75 percent could not point out Iran or Israel. Forty-four percent couldn't find any one of those four countries ... When the poll was conducted in 2002, "Americans scored second to last on overall geographic knowledge, trailing Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan and Sweden," the report said.
During the first six months of 2016, migrants committed 142,500 crimes, according to the Federal Criminal Police Office. And Germany has been hit by a spate of horrendous violent crime including rapes, sexual and physical assaults, stabbings, home invasions, robberies, burglaries and drug trafficking. Adding to the country's woes is the fact that thousands of people have gone missing after travelling there on invitation from Angela Merkel. Germany took in more than 1.1 million migrants in the past year and parts of the country are crippled with a lack of infrastructure ... According to a report by the international policy council the Gatestone Institute, local police in many parts of the country admit that they are stretched to the limit.
Sweden is on the brink of becoming a lawless state as the police force is losing the battle against unprecedented levels of crime and violence amid a growing migrant crisis. The Scandinavian country is facing an existential crisis with on average three police officers handing in their resignations a day ... Since the migrant crisis began last summer, Sweden has been hit by a series of brutal crimes and violent incidents ... Police have now admitted the force has reached breaching point as more than 50 areas in the country have now been placed on a “no-go zone” list. In February a report from Sweden's National Criminal Investigation Service announced there were 52 areas where officers would not cope with the levels of crime being committed.
... As bad as things are in the US, they are not much better in Europe ... Here in Germany, Europe’s bulwark, the political ground is shaking ... Younger Germans are tired of bland ‘Mama Merkel’ and their nation’s kowtowing to Washington. Germany remains in some ways the defeated, occupied nation of 1945 ... Meanwhile, across the Rhine, France’s political landscape is shaking. The wretched President Holland, who has the charisma of a wet croissant, is now the most unpopular leader since Robespierre ... Like America’s Republican oligarchy facing Trump, France’s political elite trembles before Le Pen. So does the rest of Europe as her radical thinking enflames rightwing parties across the continent ... Spain is in political paralysis, unable to elect a government.
An editor of Austria’s largest paper, Kronen Zeitung, is to be tried for hate speech over a commentary he wrote about the migrant crisis last year. On Oct. 25, 2015, Christoph Biro wrote of the masses of migrants who were travelling through the Styrian countryside and remarked on the assaults and property damage committed by migrants, reports Kurier. Calling the majority of the migrants “testosterone-driven Syrians”, Mr. Biro recounted the multiple reports of migrants carrying out, in his words, “extremely aggressive sexual assaults”.