September 2017

Washington Examiner

The national debt exceeded $20 trillion for the first time ever on Friday [Sept. 8], the same day President Trump signed a bill into law that suspended the debt ceiling and allowed unlimited federal borrowing. The debt ceiling had been frozen at about $19.84 trillion since mid-March, and the Treasury Department was forced to use "extraordinary measures" to prevent borrowing from exceeding that level. But with Trump's signature on Friday, the debt ceiling was suspended ... Trump criticized the growing national debt under the Obama administration when he was campaigning for president, and talked as president about the need to rein in the debt and spending ... But last week, Trump indicated he could be open to the idea of getting rid of the ceiling entirely.

Geoffrey Aronson - The American Conservative

... Today, there is less interest in a solution to the Israel/ Palestine/ Arab conflict than at any time since Israel’s creation almost seven decades ago ... Obama bequeathed to the Trump administration a historic unraveling throughout the Middle East. Palestine was delivered to the new administration as a scorched diplomatic landscape, characterized by despair and boredom with the continuing conflict. Trump’s sympathies on Palestine are clearly with Israel’s revisionist right wing. He and his aides have little idea and even less interest about how to approach — let alone solve — the conflict.

Uri Avnery (Israel)

... It is almost taboo in Israel to talk about the crusades ... This is not as astonishing as it may sound. Jewish history is ethnocentric, not geographical ... Most Israelis would be surprised to learn that the Crusaders resided in Palestine for almost 200 years – much longer than Zionist history until now. It was not a short, passing episode. The similarity between the Crusaders and the Zionists strikes one at first glance. Both movements moved a large number of people from Europe to the Holy Land. (During the first half century of its existence, Zionism brought almost only European Jews to Palestine.) Since both of them came from the west, they were perceived by the local Muslim population as Western invaders. Neither the Crusaders nor the Zionists had one day of peace during their entire existence.

Z. Tahhan - Al Jazeera

A new UN report has strongly condemned Israel for the "de-development" and "deteriorating humanitarian conditions" of the Palestinian territories of East Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, brought about by Israel's 50-year occupation. The report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), published on Tuesday, said the performance of the Palestinian economy is "far below potential", while unemployment has persisted at levels rarely seen worldwide since the Great Depression. "2017 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the Israeli occupation ... the longest occupation in recent history. For the Palestinian people, these were five decades of de-development, suppressed human potential and denial of the basic human right to development, with no end in sight," the report states.

Patrick J. Buchanan

... The Congressional gridlock that exhausted the president’s patience may prove more serious than a passing phase. The Congress of the United States, whose powers were delineated in the late 18th century, may simply not be an institution suited to the 21st ... At the onset of the post-Cold War era, some contended that democracy was the inevitable future of mankind. But autocracy is holding its own. Russia, China, India, Turkey, Egypt come to mind. If democracy, as Freedom House contends, is in global retreat, one reason may be that, in our new age, legislatures, split into hostile blocs checkmating one another, cannot act with the dispatch impatient peoples now demand of their rulers.

JTA

In a bid to preserve interest in the Holocaust by future generations, the Basel-based Anne Frank Foundation unveiled the first authorized comic book based on the teenager’s famous diary written in hiding from the Nazis in Amsterdam. The 148-page adaptation, which is to be published September 18 in France and in some 40 languages worldwide, was presented to journalists in the French capital Thursday by the graphic diary’s Israeli illustrator, David Polonsky, and its writer, the Israeli film director Ari Folman, who is working on the first full-length authorized animation film based on the comic book.

Reuters

President Donald Trump is weighing a strategy that calls for more aggressive U.S. responses to Iran’s forces, its Shi'ite Muslim proxies in Iraq and Syria, and its support for militant groups, according to five current and former U.S. officials. The proposal was prepared by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, national security adviser H. R. McMaster and other top officials, and presented to Trump at a National Security Council meeting on Friday, the sources said ... Trump's opposition to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), poses a dilemma for policymakers. Most of his national security aides favor remaining in the pact, as do U.S. allies Israel and Saudi Arabia despite their reservations about Iran's adherence to the agreement, said U.S. officials involved in the discussions.

Institute for Historical Review

On August 21 the company that had been processing credit card orders and donations for the Institute for Historical Review (IHR) abruptly shut its account with the California-based educational and publishing center, claiming that it distributes “materials promoting hate.” The TransFirst/ TSYS company cancelled its business relationship with IHR two days after ProPublica, an outfit headquartered in New York City announced its campaign to get tech companies to stop doing business with the IHR and other alleged “hate groups.”

Z. Gorvett - BBC News

Long ago, in the ancient city of Cyrene, there was a herb called silphium. It didn’t look like much – with stout roots, stumpy leaves and bunches of small yellow flowers – but it oozed with an odiferous sap that was so delicious and useful, the plant was eventually worth its weight in gold. To list its uses would be an endless task ... Then there were the medical applications. Silphium was a veritable wonder herb, a panacea for all manner of ailments ... But today, silphium has vanished – possibly just from the region, possibly from our planet altogether ... With just a handful of stylised images and the accounts of ancient naturalists to go on, the true identity of the Romans’ favourite herb is a mystery. Some think it was driven to extinction, others that it’s still hiding in plain sight as a Mediterranean weed.

Charles Lutton – Institute for Historical Review

... 340,000 British and French troops were evacuated [in May-June 1940] from the besieged port of Dunkirk. At the time the event was portrayed by the British government and press as a kind of victory ... "Far from being betrayed by their Allies, the British military commanders in France and Belgium practiced on them a methodical deception which enabled the British to get away with their rear defended." ... The British were responsible for crimes against both German soldiers and Allied civilians ... French and Belgian civilians fared little better than the Germans at the hands of their British confederates. Looting was common and "stealing from civilians soon became official policy." British military authorities executed without trial, civilians suspected of disloyalty.

Peter Jenkins

Nikki Haley’s address at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) on September 5 is so full of misrepresentations and distortions ... Either Haley has found it hard to absorb her briefs since taking up her appointment as US ambassador to the United Nations, or she is devoid of intellectual integrity ... She bases her diatribe on the assertion that judgements about the nature of the Iranian “regime” (and its behavior outside the nuclear sphere) are crucially relevant to assessing whether Iran is complying with the 2015 JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, aka the nuclear deal) ... This address is unworthy of a US ambassador to the United Nations. It advances reasons for terminating the JCPOA that are spurious, contrived, and dishonest.

Philip Giraldi

... From Netanyahu’s point of view, it is far better to stage an incident that brings in Washington and then allows Uncle Sam to do the heavy lifting ... Israel believes that bringing Washington into the conflict is doable given that the U.S. media has heavily propagandized against Tehran and that inside-the-beltway groupthink largely perceives Iran as an enemy ... Speculation in Israel is that some kind of preemptive strike is being planned, possibly directed against an Iranian target inside Syria. The danger is that such a move could quickly escalate, with the U.S. Congress and White House quickly aligning themselves with Netanyahu.

RT News (Russia)

Russian President Vladimir Putin lamented the poor level of diplomatic competence demonstrated by Washington lately, saying Moscow found it difficult to work with people who cannot tell Austria and Australia apart. Speaking to journalists on Tuesday, Putin said the Americans were acting like bullies by shutting down Russian diplomatic facilities. “The Americans were in their right to reduce the number of our diplomatic facilities. But they did it in an obviously bullying manner, and that does no credit to our American partners,” he said. “It’s difficult to have a dialogue with people who confuse Austria and Australia. There is nothing to do about it. Apparently that’s the level of political culture of a certain part of the American establishment.”

Robert Farley - The National Interest

... Was the decision to declare war on the United States, effectively relieving the Roosevelt administration of the responsibility of mobilizing American sentiment for war in Europe, among Hitler’s greatest blunders? Probably not. Washington and Berlin agreed that war was inevitable; the only question was who would fire the first shots. The United States and Germany were at war in all but name well before December 1941 ... Germany declared war on the United States not out of a fit of pique, but rather because it believed that the United States was already effectively a belligerent, and that wider operations against the U.S. would help win the war. In particular, the Axis declaration of war enabled an operation that the Germans believed was key to driving Britain out of the conflict; a concerted submarine attack against U.S. commercial shipping.

John Wear - Inconvenient History

... Hitler considered Roosevelt’s speech [of Dec. 9, 1941] to be a de facto declaration of war. Since war with the United States was inevitable, Hitler felt he had no choice but to declare war on the United States ... The truth is that Roosevelt did everything in his power to plunge the United States into war against Germany. Roosevelt eventually went so far as to order American vessels to shoot-on-sight German and Italian vessels — a flagrant act of war. However, Hitler wanted to avoid war with the United States at all costs ... Hitler declared war on the United States only after the leaked Rainbow Five plan convinced him that war with the United States was inevitable.

Jerome O’Connor - Naval History (U.S. Naval Institute)

... With Admiral King’s issuance [on April 18, 1941] of OPPLAN 3-41, and needing only targets to come within U.S. Navy view, America’s entry into World War II could have started as much by intention in the Atlantic as by surprise eight months later in the Pacific. As confirmed by declassified operational orders, throughout 1941 the U.S. Navy set the bar ever lower for all-out war at sea with Germany ... Six months before Pearl Harbor, lacking a declaration of war and without the knowledge of Congress or the American people, the Commander-in-Chief [Pres. Roosevelt] gave the Atlantic Fleet approval to change from defensive to offensive operations ... The New York Daily News said it all with a black headline: “SHOOT, FDR TELLS NAVY.”

Institute for Historical Review

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.

C. Dann - NBC News

It may be the land of the free and the home of the brave, but Americans are far from united in seeing the United States as an exceptional place to live, according to a new poll from NBC News and the Wall Street Journal. The survey also finds that the share of Americans who believe that the country has a “strong national character” is shrinking. In fact, one of the few things that unites the public is the belief that the nation is deeply divided ... Asked to rate the national character of America on a scale of one to 10, just 14 percent of those polled offered a “strong” rating of eight or higher, while 34 percent suggested a “weak” rating of four or lower. That’s a noteworthy slide in less than two decades ... Overall, an overwhelming majority of Americans say the country is either mainly divided (59 percent) or totally divided (21 percent).

Reuters

Indigenous Peoples Day will be celebrated in Los Angeles instead of the traditional Columbus Day after city leaders in the second largest U.S. city decided to recognize Native Americans instead of the Italian explorer. Los Angeles joined several U.S. cities and states, including Minneapolis, Seattle, Alaska, Hawaii and Oregon that have replaced Columbus Day, a federal holiday celebrated on the first Monday in October to commemorate the anniversary of Christopher Columbus arriving in the Americas in 1492 ... Support for Indigenous Peoples Day has steadily risen in recent years, paralleling the growing perception that the wave of European settlement in the Western Hemisphere was genocidal to native populations.

Associated Press

A statue of the U.S. Supreme Court justice who wrote the 1857 Dred Scott decision that upheld slavery and denied citizenship to African Americans was removed from the grounds of the Maryland State House early Friday morning [Aug. 18]. The statue of Roger B. Taney was lifted away by a crane at about 2 a.m. It was lowered into a truck and driven away to storage. The bronze statue was erected in 1872, just outside the original front door of the State House. Three of the four voting members of the State House Trust voted by email Wednesday to move the statue ... The statue was removed a couple of days after Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh ordered the removal of four Confederate monuments from the city under the cover of night. A statue of Taney in Baltimore also was removed.

New York Post

Move over Christopher Columbus, it’s Peter Stuyvesant’s turn to get scorched in the monuments war. A Jewish activist group is now demanding Mayor de Blasio scrub all traces of the anti-Semitic Dutch governor from city property — even Stuyvesant High School — as part of his campaign to rid the city of “symbols of hate.” ... Stuyvesant did eventually allow the people he described as “deceitful,” “very repugnant” and “blasphemous” to settle at the order of the Dutch West India Company ... Darshan-Leitner recommends replacing all traces of his name with that of Asher Levy, one of the first Jewish settlers in New Amsterdam.

C. Long - Associated Press

It's not just about Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson. The national soul-searching over whether to take down monuments to the Confederacy's demigods has extended to other historical figures accused of wrongdoing, including Christopher Columbus (brutality toward native Americans), the man for whom Boston's Faneuil Hall is named (slave trader) and former Philadelphia Mayor Frank Rizzo (bigotry). Historians interviewed by The Associated Press offered varying thoughts about where exactly the line should be drawn in judging someone's statue-worthiness, but they agreed on one thing: Scrapping a monument is not a decision that should be made in haste during political fervor ... In Chicago, protesters want to remove a likeness of aviator Italo Balbo because it was a gift from Italian dictator Benito Mussolini.

Eric Margolis

... South Korea’s newly elected president, Moon Jae-in, keeps insisting that the US must not launch war against North Korea without South Korea’s agreement. President Donald Trump and the US media appear not to have heard Moon’s pleas, or are simply disregarding them. Amazingly, six decades after the end of the 1950 Korean War, South Korea’s 650,000-man active armed forces and 4.2 million-man reserves remain under the command of a US four-star general ... North Korea, by contrast, constantly harangues South Koreans that their nation is a US ‘puppet’ and ‘colony’ run by traitors. Pyongyang insists that North Korea is the authentic Korean state while the South is a mere US/ Japanese colony. Many young South Koreans absorb such claims ...

RT News (Russia)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has told his American counterpart, Rex Tillerson, that Moscow has initiated legal proceedings over the “seizure” of Moscow’s diplomatic properties in the country at the behest of the current White House administration. The Foreign Ministry in Moscow said that Lavrov and Tillerson spoke by phone on Tuesday. “When discussing international relations, Lavrov pointed out that the seizure of Russian diplomatic property on US soil was a flagrant violation of international norms,” the ministry said in a statement ... On August 31, Russia was given 72 hours to clear out its consulate in San Francisco, and the diplomatic annexes in Washington DC and New York. Russia says that the buildings were subsequently searched, in violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations ...

Video - SBS (Australia)

This report looks at the rise of a youthful “new nationalism” across Europe, and especially the growing “Identitarian” movement. It focuses on Martin Sellner, an articulate leader of Identitarians in Austria. “We are the voice of a forgotten generation,” he says. “We want to defend the identity of Europe.” Runtime: 27 mins.

Associated Press

The share of Americans who identify as white and Christian has dropped below 50 per cent, a transformation fuelled by immigration and by growing numbers of people who reject organized religion altogether, according to a new survey released Wednesday. Christians overall remain a large majority in the U.S., at nearly 70 per cent of Americans. However, white Christians, once predominant in the country's religious life, now comprise only 43 per cent of the population, according to the Public Religion Research Institute ... Four decades ago, about eight in ten Americans were white Christians.

If Americans Knew (California)

In a historic move, the American Legion, at its national convention in Reno on August 24, approved Resolution 40 (text provided below) calling for the first full U.S. government investigation of Israel’s 1967 attack on the USS Liberty ... The American Legion’s resolution brings the nation’s largest veterans organization back on the side of the USS Liberty survivors, families, and supporters in calling upon the “115th United States Congress to publicly, impartially, and thoroughly investigate the attack on the USS Liberty and its aftermath and to commence its investigation before the end of 2017, the 50th anniversary year of the attack.” ... The Liberty was a U.S. Navy electronics ship operating in international waters in the eastern Mediterranean when it was attacked by Israeli forces, killing 34 and injuring at least 174.

Philip Giraldi

On June 8, 1967, the United States Navy intelligence ship the U.S.S. Liberty was attacked in international waters by aircraft and vessels belonging to Israel. Thirty-four sailors, Marines and civilians were killed in the attack. The deliberate Israeli air and sea onslaught sought to sink the clearly identified intelligence gathering ship and kill all its crew ... The attack was followed by a comprehensive cover-up that demonstrated clearly that at least one president of the United States even back nearly fifty years ago valued his relationship with the state of Israel above his loyalty to his own country ... Whether Congress can be induced to do the right thing by the Liberty remains to be seen, but the adoption of the resolution was a major victory ... And certainly, it is no time to relax as the Israel Lobby never sleeps, never gives up.

S. Samir - Al-Monitor (Washington, DC)

Egypt's Antiquities Ministry has renovated and reopened a museum in a cave used by Erwin Rommel, the Nazi general known as the "Desert Fox," during his campaign against the British in 1942. / An old field telephone from the 1940s, a Nazi flag and a map of Tobruk greet visitors to the newly reopened Rommel Cave Museum in Marsa Matrouh, one of Egypt's lesser known tourist destinations ... Rommel was known to the Germans as “the people’s marshal” and to the outside world as the “Desert Fox” for his surprise attacks and unbroken string of successful campaigns ... Rommel remained a highly regarded figure in the eyes of the Matrouh residents because he respected the customs and traditions of the Bedouins and did not violate the sanctity of their homes ... The people of Matrouh honored him by naming a nearby beach after him.

Michael Rinella - Warfare History Network

The appointment of Erwin Rommel as commander of the 7th Panzer Division in February 1940 seems, in the light of his many triumphs in France and North Africa, an unremarkable and perfectly natural choice. At the time, however, nothing could have been further from the truth ... What Rommel did have was regular, personal access to Adolf Hitler ... By 1940 the two had developed a liking for each other, sharing both humble origins and a deep dislike for the snobbery and elitism of the old German aristocracy ... Promotion came in January 1941, when Rommel was elevated to the rank of lieutenant general and sent to Libya to spearhead Operation Sonnenblume (Sunflower) as commander of the Afrika Korps. There, in North Africa, he would eventually earn his field marshal’s baton and cement his reputation as the Desert Fox.

RT News (Russia)

Germany’s top diplomat has backed the suggestion of Social Democrat (SPD) leader and Chancellor hopeful Martin Schulz, who has pledged to rid his country of US nukes. Washington, meanwhile, is pressing ahead to modernize its nuclear stockpile. Sigmar Gabriel’s remarks came at the end of his official visit to the US Wednesday. “Certainly, I am convinced that it is important to finally talk again about the arms control and disarmament,” Gabriel told the DPA news agency ... “That’s why I think that Martin Schulz’s words that in the end we need to get rid of the nuclear weapons in our country, are right.” Last week, Schulz, the SDP candidate for Chancellor, pledged to get rid of the US nukes if elected.

The Jerusalem Post (Israel)

In an astonishingly vitriolic attack on progressive Jews, Sephardi Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem Shlomo Amar said that Reform Jews “deny more than Holocaust deniers.” The rabbi, a former chief rabbi of Israel, made his comments the same day last week on which the High Court of Justice ordered the government to reconsider its decision to suspend its resolution to create a state-recognized egalitarian prayer section at the southern end of the Western Wall. “Today there was a hearing on the Kotel on the petition of the cursed evil people who do every iniquity in the world against the Torah – they even marry Jews and non-Jews,” said Amar ...

BBC News

A Canadian town says it will not remove swastikas from a public park because it has historical significance. The Nazi symbols adorn an anchor that was on display in Pointe-des-Cascades, Quebec. Corey Fleischer, who goes around Montreal removing hateful graffiti, tried to paint over the swastikas. But the mayor stopped him and had police remove him from the park, arguing the anchor is a part of local history. The anchor has a plaque that identifies it as a "relic of Nazism", and says it was used in Europe at the end of War, probably on a merchant boat, and found in 1980. But in a statement on the town's website, the mayor says the anchor belonged to a merchant vessel that predates World War Two and was found by local divers 25 years ago.

David Cole - Taki’s Mag

... Over the past few weeks, ProPublica has been using its “moral force” to get “hate sites” dropped by the tech companies that host their websites and process their credit-card transactions. I was initially informed about this by my longtime friend Mark Weber, director of the Institute for Historical Review (IHR) ... Other organizations received similar emails from Kirchner, but for the sake of this piece, I want to focus on the IHR alone. The IHR has been around for almost forty years. It’s an educational nonprofit publishing house ... ProPublica is the malformed child of Herb and Marion Sandler, the infamous and corrupt left-wing billionaire Democrat donors ... ProPublica is run by a charlatan who exemplifies everything that’s bad about his supposed profession. It’s a foul enterprise run by foul people.

Emily Jashinsky - The Washington Examiner

Repeating a mistake made by many major media outlets before it, CNN on Thursday published a map of registered hate groups sourced entirely from the Southern Poverty Law Center, an irresponsible advocacy group that purports to operate as an objective assessor of hate ... The SPLC's claim to objectivity is nothing less than fraudulent, a reality that informed observers of its practices from both the Left and Right accept ... The SPLC routinely lumps conservative advocacy groups in with legitimate hate organizations, putting proponents of traditional family values in the same category as neo-Nazis and the KKK ... In June, 41 conservative movement leaders sent a letter that addressed the matter, explaining that the SPLC's "‘hate group' list is nothing more than a political weapon targeting people it deems to be its political enemies."

J. Schoffstall - The Washington Free Beacon

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a liberal, Alabama-based 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charitable organization that has gained prominence on the left for its "hate group" designations, pushes millions of dollars to offshore entities as part of its business dealings, records show. Additionally, the nonprofit pays lucrative six-figure salaries to its top directors and key employees while spending little on legal services despite its stated intent of "fighting hate and bigotry" using litigation, education, and other forms of advocacy. The Southern Poverty Law Center is perhaps best known for its “hate map,” a collection of organizations the nonprofit deems "domestic hate groups" ... Richard Cohen, president and chief executive officer of the SPLC, was given $346,218 in base compensation in 2015, its tax forms show.

The Journal of Historical Review

... A more recent example of such coverage is an eleven-page article in the February 2001 issue of Esquire, a slick, literate and prestigious monthly magazine with a national circulation of some 600,000. Written by seasoned journalist and author John Sack, "Inside the Bunker" is based largely on the Jewish author's observations and role as a speaker at the May 2000 IHR Conference in Irvine, California ... Among its positive features, Sack contrasts the open-mindedness of revisionists with the bigotry and hatred he's found at Jewish gatherings, deftly deflating such sanctimonious icons as Elie Wiesel and Edgar Bronfman ... Sack also acknowledges that many specific points made over the years by revisionists ("deniers") are, indeed, true ...

Eric Margolis

... Trump has backed himself into a corner over North Korea ... By refusing a peace to end the 1950-53 Korean War, and by continuing economic and political warfare against North Korea, the US has only itself to blame for North Korea developing nuclear weapons and missiles to deliver them. Kim Jong-un saw what happened to Libya’s Khadaffi (thanks to Hillary Clinton) and Iraq’s Saddam Hussein. Trump is now in a serious fix over North Korea. Jong-un has called Trump’s bluff and sneered at the Donald’s fire and brimstone threats. So Trump’s choices are to back away from the Korean crisis he created or else attack North Korea.

Patrick J. Buchanan

... If and when we manage to tamp down this crisis, we should ask ourselves why we are in this crisis. Why are we a party to this frozen conflict from 1953 that is 8,000 miles away?... The world has changed dramatically since the 1950s. But U.S. policy failed to change commensurately ... We should look upon the North’s drive to marry nuclear warheads to ICBMs as a wake-up call to review a policy rooted in Cold War realities that ceased to exist when Ronald Reagan went home. Consider. North Korea devotes 25 percent of GDP to defense. South Korea spends 2.6 percent, Japan one percent. Yet these mighty Asian allies, who run annual trade surpluses at our expense, require us to defend them from a maniacal little country right next door.

i24 News (Israel)

The US State Department said Monday it will keep the position of special envoy for combating anti-Semitism but will slash several other diplomatic positions, including the special envoy on the Iran nuclear deal, as part of major restructuring by the administration ... The envoy trains State Department officials to identify and strategize how to combat anti-Semitism abroad ... Jewish leaders and congressional lawmakers from both parties have put pressure upon the Trump administration to keep the position ... Envoys for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, Holocaust issues, religious freedom and LGBT rights will remain intact but the coordinator for Iran nuclear implementation and the coordinator for sanctions policy will be slashed ...

Alison Weir

After continuing pressure, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has announced that he will name a special envoy and maintain an office to monitor alleged anti-Semitism. All three previous anti-semitism envoys have been fervent Israel partisans ... This was part of an international campaign to expand the definition of anti-Semitism and embed this in governments and law enforcement agencies, potentially criminalizing support for Palestinian rights. When it appeared in June that Trump might eliminate the office in a cost-cutting measure, he and Tillerson came under immediate attack by Jewish organizations and some others, including the Southern Poverty Law Center ... A number of similar special envoys and ambassadorships will be maintained, including ... the Special Advisor for Holocaust Issues ...

R. Marashi, T. Cullis - The Huffington Post

With Donald Trump threatening to invade Venezuela and start a nuclear war with North Korea, his stated intention to refuse certifying Iranian compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – the nuclear deal between America, Iran, Europe, Russia, and China – has fallen from the headlines. However, the gravity of how he appears to be moving toward that end could spark a policy crisis ... Less discussed, however, is how these efforts run counter to America’s express obligations under the JCPOA. For instance, Paragraph 26 of the JCPOA commits the U.S. to “make best efforts in good faith…to prevent interference with the realization of the full benefit by Iran of the sanctions lifting.” Paragraph 27 commits America “to support the successful implementation of this JCPOA including in their public statements.”

Deutsche Welle (Germany)

Just days before the start of the World Cup, a debate about the Nazi-era sculptures that still adorn Berlin's Olympic Stadium has reignited, with calls for the images to be covered up or removed lest they offend guests. / The muscle-bound supermen in bronze and stone that can be seen in and around Berlin's Olympic Stadium have been controversial for years. Commissioned by the National Socialist dictatorship when the stadium was built to host the 1936 Olympic Games, the sculptures are now a visual reminder of the racist Aryan ideology propagated during the Third Reich ... “The style was in step with the zeitgeist," Stölzl said. "The Neoclassical sculptures made in the United States at the time of the New Deal look just like the sculptures produced in Germany in the 1930s, in the Soviet Union, Italy, or at the Palais Chaillot in Paris."

Patrick J. Buchanan

... Taken together, we are seeing the discoverers, explorers and missionaries of North America demonized as genocidal racists all. The Founding Fathers are either slave owners or sanctioners of slavery. Our nation-builders either collaborated in or condoned the ethnic cleansing of Native Americans. Almost to the present, ours was a land where segregationists were honored leaders. Bottom line for the left: Americans should be sickened and ashamed of the history that made us the world’s greatest nation. And we should acknowledge our ancestors’ guilt by tearing down any and all monuments and statues that memorialize them. This rising segment of America, full of self-righteous rage, is determined to blacken the memory of those who have gone before us ... So, what still unites us?

Associated Press

As cities grapple with what to do with Confederate statues, an advocacy group is calling for renaming Boston’s historic Faneuil Hall because its namesake had ties to the slave trade. The brick meeting house, built in 1742 and nicknamed the “Cradle of Liberty,” was where Samuel Adams and other American colonists made some of the earliest speeches urging independence from Britain ... Kevin Peterson, founder of the New Democracy Coalition, says it’s past time to change the hall’s name because it was built and donated to Boston by Peter Faneuil, a wealthy merchant who owned and traded slaves ... Massachusetts leaders have appeared more open to the idea of changing or removing other controversial memorials in recent weeks.

Fox News

... A historic Memphis, Tennessee, theater, which has shown "Gone With the Wind" screenings for 34 years, has decided to remove the classic film from its schedule due to its racially "insensitive” content ... “The Orpheum appreciates feedback on its programming from all members of the mid-south community," Orpheum president Bret Batterson said in a statement ... Movie-goers took to the Orpheum's Facebook page to blast the theater's decision ... Many people called for a boycott on the theater's Facebook page. "Gone With The Wind" won eight Academy Awards including Best Picture. Hattie McDaniel, who played "Mammy" was the first African-American actress to win an Academy Award.

The Independent (Britain)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed that his country will never give up its settlements on Palestinian land, saying in a speech to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Six Day War that “we are here to stay forever”. “There will be no more uprooting of settlements in the land of Israel. It has been proven that it does not help peace,” he said. “We've uprooted settlements. What did we get? We received missiles. It will not happen anymore, he said in a speech on Monday in Barkan, a settlement near Tel Aviv. “We are here to stay, forever.” Israel annexed East Jerusalem and parts of the West Bank in the 1967 war, a move which has never been recognised by the international community.

A. Smale - The New York Times

... The tranquil flat plain of the Oder River and into neighboring Poland. This being the site of the biggest World War II battle on German soil ... The finding, in May, confirmed once more the blood-soaked nature of the Oder plain, where tens of thousands of soldiers on the Soviet and Nazi sides perished in the April 1945 battle for the Seelow Heights. The rocky outcrop rises just 100 meters above the plain, about 325 feet, but it gave some 80,000 Germans sufficient cover to dig in and slaughter many of the up to one million Soviet troops sent in waves to overwhelm the enemy and clear the way to Berlin. This history has never ceased to leave its mark, making Seelow a showcase for that unfailing truth of war: To the victors go the spoils, especially the chance to impose their version of events.

Video

Portion of a British documentary. With stunning footage of the furious Soviet barrage that preceeded an immense attack. For some time the German defenders held off the Soviet forces, under the comand of General Zhukov, which were vastly superior in numbers of men, artillery and tanks. Runtime: 5:21 mins.

Charles Lutton – Institute For Historical Review

Most of the actual fighting during the Second World War took place on the Eastern Front between the Soviet Union and Germany and her allies. The last stages of the war in the East are vividly described by the German journalist and historian, Juergen Thorwald. In Defeat in the East, Thorwald traces the military debacle of the Third Reich and shows what happened to the civilian population wherever the Red Army conquered.

J. Dolsten – JTA

... Across the country [in the 1930s], Jews would fight Nazis on an ad hoc basis. But in Newark, a more organized group emerged: the Minutemen. Jewish mobster Meyer Lansky had started the group in New York, but the Minutemen were shut down there by the authorities after some Jews reported them, fearing the use of violence would lead to an increase in anti-Semitism. In Newark, however, the Minutemen took hold, aided by another Jewish gangster, Abner “Longy” Zwillman, and led by former professional boxer Nat Arno. On October 18, 1933, JTA reported on a typical clash, outside a Nazi meeting at a German auditorium: “The meeting, at the Schwabenhalle, under the auspices of the Friends of the New Germany … was the target for stones and stench bombs thrown by the anti-Nazis in the crowd of about one thousand who waited outside the hall.”

Associated Press

This week’s cover of a popular German news magazine depicting U.S. President Donald Trump draped in the American flag while giving a stiff-armed Nazi salute is drawing sharp criticism from a prominent Jewish group. Stern magazine’s illustration is part of a cover story headlined “Sein Kampf,” which translates as “His Struggle,” and is a play on Adolf Hitler’s infamous “Mein Kampf.” Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center says ... “the depiction of the president as a latter-day Hitler by a major German publication is untrue and beyond the pale.” It says “Germans must surely know that by misappropriating” Nazi symbols, “they belittle and becloud” past crimes.