Germany: Anti-Immigration Party Surges in Popularity

  • The AfD's opponents, who often brand the party as "far right" or "extremist," claim that the party's alleged ties to neo-Nazi groups pose an existential threat to Germany's constitutional order. The AfD's supporters counter that Germany's politically correct establishment, afraid of losing its power and influence, is attempting to outlaw a legitimate party that has pledged to put the interests of German citizens first.

  • "Migration is the mother of all problems." — German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer.

  • "Extremism cannot be combated with exclusion, but with looking at the facts. Those who want to reach concerned citizens must themselves get out of the ideological trenches." — Oswald Metzger in Tichys Einblick, a prominent German blog.

Pictured: A march of silence, organized by the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, in memory of victims of violent crimes perpetrated by migrants, on September 1, 2018 in Chemnitz, Germany. (Photo by Jens Schlueter/Getty Images)

The murder of a German citizen by two failed asylum seekers in Chemnitz, and the attempted cover-up by German police, has contributed to a surge in support for the anti-immigration party Alternative for Germany (AfD), which, according to a new poll, has overtaken the Social Democratic Party (SDP) to become the second-strongest political force in Germany.

Support for the AfD has increased to 17%, while backing for the SPD has fallen to 16%. Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU)/Christian Social Union (CSU) alliance is at 28.5%, according to an Insa Institute poll published by the newspaper Bild on September 3.

The rise of the AfD — which has been fueled by widespread anger over Merkel's decision to allow into the country more than a million mostly Muslim migrants from Africa, Asia and the Middle East, and the subsequent increase in violent crime — reflects an ongoing realignment in German politics, in which voters increasingly are rejecting the multicultural orthodoxy of the mainstream parties.

When federal elections were held on September 24, 2017, the CDU/CSU won 32.9% of the vote, its worst electoral result in nearly 70 years. The SPD won 20.5%, its worst-ever showing. The AfD won 12.6%, to become the country's third-largest party in the German parliament.

The election results showed that more than a million traditional CDU/CSU voters defected to the AfD. In a sign that concerns over mass migration are not limited to conservative voters, the center-left SPD lost 500,000 voters to the AfD while the far-left Left Party lost 400,000 voters. In addition, nearly 1.5 million first-time voters cast their ballots for the AfD. This trend has continued, as consistently corroborated by opinion polls since the 2017 election.

The mainstream parties are fighting back with what some observers say are underhanded measures, aimed at delegitimizing — and possibly criminalizing — the AfD, including by calling for the party to be placed under state surveillance.

The AfD's opponents, who often brand the party as "far right" or "extremist," claim that the party's alleged ties to neo-Nazi groups pose an existential threat to Germany's constitutional order. The AfD's supporters counter that Germany's politically correct establishment, afraid of losing its power and influence, is attempting to outlaw a legitimate party that has pledged to put the interests of German citizens first.

Calls for the AfD to be monitored by German intelligence have intensified in recent days, after members of the AfD participated in mass protests in Chemnitz against spiraling migrant criminality — protests in which approximately 50 hooligans and neo-Nazis were also present.

The protests erupted after a 35-year-old German-Cuban man named Daniel Hillig was stabbed to death on August 26 by two migrants during the city's annual festival.

Police initially refused to reveal the identities of the perpetrators, but on August 27 a police report was leaked on social media — the document has since been scrubbed from German websites but it remains on a Russian site — which showed that the killers were illegal migrants from Iraq and Syria. Both had extensive criminal histories but were allowed by German authorities to roam free on German streets. Police later confirmed that the leaked document was authentic and said that they had opened an investigation into suspected "violation of official secrets."

Thousands of people took to the streets for several days to protest the killing and the inaction by German authorities over the issue of spiraling migrant crime. The protests (and counter-protests) brought together a broad spectrum of German society, including supporters of the AfD, as well as members of the so-called "far-right scene." Near the end of one of the marches, some of the protesters turned violent and began insulting some migrant passersby. That incident then shaped the media narrative from one of Germans protesting migrant crime to one of far-right attacks on innocent migrants.

Few if any of Germany's mainstream politicians condemned the murder of Hillig, but they were quick to denounce attacks on migrants.

On August 27, government spokesman Steffen Seibert, in a national press conference, condemned the "hunting of humans of a different appearance, of different origins" on the streets of Chemnitz.

Chancellor Merkel echoed: "We have video footage about the fact that there were hunts, that there were riots, that there was hatred on the street, and that is unacceptable in our constitutional state."

It later emerged that all of the government's allegations were based on a single 19-second video — titled "Hunting for Humans in Chemnitz" — which was posted on YouTube and later broadcast by the public television channel ARD. The video shows one individual chasing another in what appears to be an isolated incident.

Moreover, a protester who grabbed national headlines by making a Nazi salute at the Chemnitz protest was discovered to be a left-wing extremist who infiltrated the march in order to discredit it. But the media narrative had been set in motion.

The chairman of the German Parliament's Internal Affairs Committee, Burkhard Lischka (SPD), warned of the danger of a civil war:

"There is a small right-wing mob in our country that will take its violent fantasies of civil war to our streets. That in the Bundestag [German parliament] a party applauds these excesses against foreign fellow citizens as legitimate self-justice, shows that the majority of our country must become even louder when it comes to rule of law, democracy and cohesion in our society."

Bundestag Vice President Thomas Oppermann demanded that the AfD be monitored by Germany's domestic intelligence service, the Office for the Protection of the Constitution (Bundesamt f?r Verfassungsschutz, BfV): "The refugee question divides society and the AfD rides ever more radically on this wave."

German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) countered that he sees no basis for monitoring the AfD. On the sidelines of a closed-door meeting of the CSU in Brandenburg, Seehofer defended the Chemnitz protesters: "Just because people protest, that does not make them a Nazi." He added: "Migration is the mother of all problems."

Saxon Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer (CDU) later contradicted the government's claims: "There was no mob, there was no hunting down of people, there was no pogrom in this city."

Saxon Attorney General Spokesman Wolfgang Klein added: "After examining all of the material available to us, there was no hunt in Chemnitz."

When asked to rectify his claims, Seibert doubled down:

"I will not have a semantic debate here over a word. Of course, if the Attorney General's office says so, I take note. However, it remains that a video shows how people of foreign origin were chased and how they were threatened. It remains true that there were statements that were threatening, close to the call for vigilante justice. So, in my opinion, there is nothing to talk about."

Like Seibert, Merkel refused to back down:

"We saw pictures that very clearly revealed hate and the persecution of innocent people. One must distance oneself from that. That is all there is to say."

Writing for Tichys Einblick, a prominent German blog, commentator Oswald Metzger summed it up:

"'There was no mob, there was no hunting down of people, there was no pogrom in this city.' Saxon Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer (CDU) clearly corrected the almost hysterical and false reporting of countless leading media outlets on the events in Chemnitz after the deadly stabbing. Even the chancellor and her government spokesman had, as we all know, conveyed these false reports to the public, and thereby giving them publicity.

"For long enough, many citizens from all walks of life have noticed that the problems of integrating even third- and fourth-generation immigrants have grown bigger, not smaller — especially among Turks. The mass immigration of the past three years, under the banner of 'the right to asylum,' has significantly increased the fear of parallel societies, of crime, and of cultural alienation.

"When I consider the often undifferentiated, blanket accusations against 'brown Chemnitz' [brown is the color of Nazism], then the established parties will not have to wonder why, almost without exception, they continue to lose to the colorful AfD.

"When concerned citizens increasingly are stigmatized as being Nazis — accusations which, incidentally, in their excessive use amount to a shameless trivialization of Nazi crimes — they often respond with the indifferent remark: 'Well, then I'm just a Nazi!'

"Extremism cannot be combated with exclusion, but with looking at the facts. Those who want to reach concerned citizens must themselves get out of the ideological trenches."

Soeren Kern is a Senior Fellow at the New York-based Gatestone Institute.

Germany: Anti-Immigration Party Surges in Popularity

  • The AfD's opponents, who often brand the party as "far right" or "extremist," claim that the party's alleged ties to neo-Nazi groups pose an existential threat to Germany's constitutional order. The AfD's supporters counter that Germany's politically correct establishment, afraid of losing its power and influence, is attempting to outlaw a legitimate party that has pledged to put the interests of German citizens first.

  • "Migration is the mother of all problems." — German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer.

  • "Extremism cannot be combated with exclusion, but with looking at the facts. Those who want to reach concerned citizens must themselves get out of the ideological trenches." — Oswald Metzger in Tichys Einblick, a prominent German blog.

Pictured: A march of silence, organized by the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, in memory of victims of violent crimes perpetrated by migrants, on September 1, 2018 in Chemnitz, Germany. (Photo by Jens Schlueter/Getty Images)

The murder of a German citizen by two failed asylum seekers in Chemnitz, and the attempted cover-up by German police, has contributed to a surge in support for the anti-immigration party Alternative for Germany (AfD), which, according to a new poll, has overtaken the Social Democratic Party (SDP) to become the second-strongest political force in Germany.

Support for the AfD has increased to 17%, while backing for the SPD has fallen to 16%. Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU)/Christian Social Union (CSU) alliance is at 28.5%, according to an Insa Institute poll published by the newspaper Bild on September 3.

The rise of the AfD — which has been fueled by widespread anger over Merkel's decision to allow into the country more than a million mostly Muslim migrants from Africa, Asia and the Middle East, and the subsequent increase in violent crime — reflects an ongoing realignment in German politics, in which voters increasingly are rejecting the multicultural orthodoxy of the mainstream parties.

When federal elections were held on September 24, 2017, the CDU/CSU won 32.9% of the vote, its worst electoral result in nearly 70 years. The SPD won 20.5%, its worst-ever showing. The AfD won 12.6%, to become the country's third-largest party in the German parliament.

The election results showed that more than a million traditional CDU/CSU voters defected to the AfD. In a sign that concerns over mass migration are not limited to conservative voters, the center-left SPD lost 500,000 voters to the AfD while the far-left Left Party lost 400,000 voters. In addition, nearly 1.5 million first-time voters cast their ballots for the AfD. This trend has continued, as consistently corroborated by opinion polls since the 2017 election.

The mainstream parties are fighting back with what some observers say are underhanded measures, aimed at delegitimizing — and possibly criminalizing — the AfD, including by calling for the party to be placed under state surveillance.

The AfD's opponents, who often brand the party as "far right" or "extremist," claim that the party's alleged ties to neo-Nazi groups pose an existential threat to Germany's constitutional order. The AfD's supporters counter that Germany's politically correct establishment, afraid of losing its power and influence, is attempting to outlaw a legitimate party that has pledged to put the interests of German citizens first.

Calls for the AfD to be monitored by German intelligence have intensified in recent days, after members of the AfD participated in mass protests in Chemnitz against spiraling migrant criminality — protests in which approximately 50 hooligans and neo-Nazis were also present.

The protests erupted after a 35-year-old German-Cuban man named Daniel Hillig was stabbed to death on August 26 by two migrants during the city's annual festival.

Police initially refused to reveal the identities of the perpetrators, but on August 27 a police report was leaked on social media — the document has since been scrubbed from German websites but it remains on a Russian site — which showed that the killers were illegal migrants from Iraq and Syria. Both had extensive criminal histories but were allowed by German authorities to roam free on German streets. Police later confirmed that the leaked document was authentic and said that they had opened an investigation into suspected "violation of official secrets."

Thousands of people took to the streets for several days to protest the killing and the inaction by German authorities over the issue of spiraling migrant crime. The protests (and counter-protests) brought together a broad spectrum of German society, including supporters of the AfD, as well as members of the so-called "far-right scene." Near the end of one of the marches, some of the protesters turned violent and began insulting some migrant passersby. That incident then shaped the media narrative from one of Germans protesting migrant crime to one of far-right attacks on innocent migrants.

Few if any of Germany's mainstream politicians condemned the murder of Hillig, but they were quick to denounce attacks on migrants.

On August 27, government spokesman Steffen Seibert, in a national press conference, condemned the "hunting of humans of a different appearance, of different origins" on the streets of Chemnitz.

Chancellor Merkel echoed: "We have video footage about the fact that there were hunts, that there were riots, that there was hatred on the street, and that is unacceptable in our constitutional state."

It later emerged that all of the government's allegations were based on a single 19-second video — titled "Hunting for Humans in Chemnitz" — which was posted on YouTube and later broadcast by the public television channel ARD. The video shows one individual chasing another in what appears to be an isolated incident.

Moreover, a protester who grabbed national headlines by making a Nazi salute at the Chemnitz protest was discovered to be a left-wing extremist who infiltrated the march in order to discredit it. But the media narrative had been set in motion.

The chairman of the German Parliament's Internal Affairs Committee, Burkhard Lischka (SPD), warned of the danger of a civil war:

"There is a small right-wing mob in our country that will take its violent fantasies of civil war to our streets. That in the Bundestag [German parliament] a party applauds these excesses against foreign fellow citizens as legitimate self-justice, shows that the majority of our country must become even louder when it comes to rule of law, democracy and cohesion in our society."

Bundestag Vice President Thomas Oppermann demanded that the AfD be monitored by Germany's domestic intelligence service, the Office for the Protection of the Constitution (Bundesamt f?r Verfassungsschutz, BfV): "The refugee question divides society and the AfD rides ever more radically on this wave."

German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) countered that he sees no basis for monitoring the AfD. On the sidelines of a closed-door meeting of the CSU in Brandenburg, Seehofer defended the Chemnitz protesters: "Just because people protest, that does not make them a Nazi." He added: "Migration is the mother of all problems."

Saxon Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer (CDU) later contradicted the government's claims: "There was no mob, there was no hunting down of people, there was no pogrom in this city."

Saxon Attorney General Spokesman Wolfgang Klein added: "After examining all of the material available to us, there was no hunt in Chemnitz."

When asked to rectify his claims, Seibert doubled down:

"I will not have a semantic debate here over a word. Of course, if the Attorney General's office says so, I take note. However, it remains that a video shows how people of foreign origin were chased and how they were threatened. It remains true that there were statements that were threatening, close to the call for vigilante justice. So, in my opinion, there is nothing to talk about."

Like Seibert, Merkel refused to back down:

"We saw pictures that very clearly revealed hate and the persecution of innocent people. One must distance oneself from that. That is all there is to say."

Writing for Tichys Einblick, a prominent German blog, commentator Oswald Metzger summed it up:

"'There was no mob, there was no hunting down of people, there was no pogrom in this city.' Saxon Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer (CDU) clearly corrected the almost hysterical and false reporting of countless leading media outlets on the events in Chemnitz after the deadly stabbing. Even the chancellor and her government spokesman had, as we all know, conveyed these false reports to the public, and thereby giving them publicity.

"For long enough, many citizens from all walks of life have noticed that the problems of integrating even third- and fourth-generation immigrants have grown bigger, not smaller — especially among Turks. The mass immigration of the past three years, under the banner of 'the right to asylum,' has significantly increased the fear of parallel societies, of crime, and of cultural alienation.

"When I consider the often undifferentiated, blanket accusations against 'brown Chemnitz' [brown is the color of Nazism], then the established parties will not have to wonder why, almost without exception, they continue to lose to the colorful AfD.

"When concerned citizens increasingly are stigmatized as being Nazis — accusations which, incidentally, in their excessive use amount to a shameless trivialization of Nazi crimes — they often respond with the indifferent remark: 'Well, then I'm just a Nazi!'

"Extremism cannot be combated with exclusion, but with looking at the facts. Those who want to reach concerned citizens must themselves get out of the ideological trenches."

Soeren Kern is a Senior Fellow at the New York-based Gatestone Institute.

Trump warns UN for hypocrisy on PLO, Hamas and Israel

Last year, Iran’s contribution to UNRWA was zero. Algeria’s contribution to UNRWA was zero. Tunisia’s contribution to UNRWA was zero. Haley named and shamed.

President Trump has challenged United Nations (UN) member States to put their money where their mouths are in a hard hitting speech delivered by US Permanent Representative to the UN - Ambassador Nikki Haley – at a UN Security Council Open Debate on the Middle East on 24 July.

Following Trump’s dressing down of NATO – Haley attacked UN member States who are full of words but short on money when it comes to supporting the Palestinian Arabs.

“Haley:??? all?the words spoken here in New York do not feed, clothe, or educate a single Palestinian child. All they do is get the international community riled up.
Haley did not mince her words. “

"Here at the UN, thousands of miles away from Palestinians who do have real needs, there is no end to the speeches on their behalf. Country after country claims solidarity with the Palestinian people. If those words were useful in the schools, the hospitals, and the streets of their communities, the Palestinian people would not be facing the desperate conditions we are discussing here today. Talk is cheap.

"No group of countries is more generous with their words than the Palestinians’ Arab neighbors, and other OIC [Organisation of Islamic Cooperation – ed.] member states. But all of the words spoken here in New York do not feed, clothe, or educate a single Palestinian child. All they do is get the international community riled up."

Haley used members’ contributions to UNRWA to prove her case:

Last year, Iran’s contribution to UNRWA was zero. Algeria’s contribution to UNRWA was zero. Tunisia’s contribution to UNRWA was zero.

Other countries did provide some funding. Pakistan gave $20,000. Egypt gave 20,000. Oman gave 668,000.

Haley did not spare non-Arab and non-Islamic countries from similar naming and shaming:

Other countries talk a big game about the Palestinian cause. In 2017, China provided $350,000 to UNRWA. Russia provided two million dollars to UNWRA.

Haley contrasted America’s generosity: ?

"Last year … the United States gave 364 million dollars… And that’s on top of what the American people give annually to the Palestinians in bilateral assistance. That is another 300 million dollars just last year, and it averages to more than a quarter of a billion dollars every year since 1993."

Haley delivered this stern warning:

“But we are not fools. If we extend a hand in friendship and generosity, we do not expect our hand to be bitten. And as we extend our hand, we also expect others to extend their hands as well.”

Haley emphasised that Arab countries’ giving more money was not the only issue confronting them:

"Too often, the Arab countries give just enough money and mouth just enough uncompromising words to stay out of the crosshairs of Palestinian representatives. But if they really cared about the Palestinian people, they would not do that. Instead, they would condemn extremism and they would put forth serious ideas for compromises that could end this struggle and lead to a better life for the Palestinian people. They would tell the Palestinian leadership how foolish they look for condemning a peace proposal [Trumps’ “ultimate deal” – ed.] they haven’t even seen yet."? Dry Bones 1.8.18

Haley
צילום:INN:HK

Haley called out both aberrant PLO and Hamas leaderships:

"The Palestinian leadership has been allowed to live a false reality for too long because Arab leaders are afraid to tell them the truth… It is time for the regional states in particular to step up and really help the Palestinian people, instead of just making speeches thousands of miles away.

"Those regional States - Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon – can really help by sitting down with Israel and negotiating an end to the 100-years old Arab-Jewish conflict as formulated 51 years ago by UN Security Council Resolution 242."

Delivering this message to the UN has been long overdue.

Satellite Imagery + Social Media = A New Way to Spot Emerging Nuclear Threats



In this Wednesday, July 18, 2018 photo, National Weather Service forecaster Marvin Percha reviews monitors that track satellite and Doppler radar images, as well as his colleagues' forecasts posted on social media, at the agency's operating center in Az.

A research team is training computers to find and fuse clues from wildly different rivers of digital data.

Hiding illicit nuclear programs might be getting harder, thanks to new ways of gleaning and combining clues from various rivers of digital data. That’s the conclusion of new research funded in part by the U.S. Energy Department’s National Nuclear Security?Administration.

Satellites offer one kind of information; social media another — particularly inside countries that may be trying to flout inspections. But large volumes of satellite imagery and social media data aren’t similar. You can have one analyst examine satellite pictures and another look at social media posts to see if they align, but the process is time-consuming and generally far from comprehensive. The study’s authors developed a method for fusing different types of data in a machine-readable way to offer a much clearer?picture.

“In light of their ubiquitous emergence, social media increasingly promise to be of great value even though associated applications have thus far remained simple, and their fusion with other data has been largely ad hoc,” the team from North Carolina State University writes in “Fusing Heterogeneous Data: A Case for Remote Sensing and Social Media.” Only by creating a new statistical method for fusing the outputs of satellite data and social media data do you get something you can use to predict what might happen next within a given area of interest, such as a specific nation’s nuclear enrichment or weapons?development.

The researchers looked at satellite and social media data from August 2013, when deadly floods killed eight people and caused widespread damage in Colorado. They sought to show that if you could algorithmically identify which imagery showed the flooding from space, and which geotagged tweets described it on the ground, you could could much more quickly verify one data set against another — that is, you could determine whether ?incoming social media data supports the conclusions you might be reaching from your satellite data, and vice?versa.

“Next steps for the project include evaluating nuclear facilities in the West to identify common characteristics that may also be applicable to facilities in more isolated societies, such as North Korea,” notes a press release on the?paper.

One of the authors, NCSU computer and electrical engineering professor Hamid Krim, said the team would try to “address the insufficient knowledge in general in areas of great interest (e.g. N. Korea and Iran). The goal is to come up with systematic methodologies to transport knowledge about nuclear environments available in other areas (e.g., in the West) to these domains where there is very little available. Creating such an environment in these places of interest will help them ?detect potential undesired?activity.”

Of course, there are limitations to media monitoring in Iran and North Korea. The former’s social media environment is largely underground, thanks to bans on Twitter and many other social networks. The latter has virtually no social media environment at all. Krim noted that the “adversarial strategy” of social-media censorship makes his team’s analysis harder. But even social posts from nearby countries can help illuminate their more secretive neighbors, he said —?think tweets from Japan after earth tremors are?felt.

New York Times’ Myths About Israel as a Jewish State

In any debate, opinions must be based on factual reality, not myths:? a professional obligation the New York Times must pay attention to when it publishes?an opinion piece?such as this one by Palestinian-Israeli writer?Sayed Kashua.

This month Israel passed the “Nation State Law,” which among other things, officially declares that Israel is the nation state of the Jewish people. This law has generated support, opposition and legitimate debate both at home and abroad.

Here are a five myths written by Kashua along with the basic the fact checking the NYT should have done in the first place.

Myth #1: “[Israel is] a country where Jews enjoy rights that others don’t have.”

Fact:?While Israel struggles with the same tensions as any ethnically diverse democracy, all citizens have equal rights under law.***

Myth #2: “A state in which Judaism is the only national expression permissible by law will, by definition, reject any minority member who wishes to be part of it…”

Fact: It is unclear to which “definition” Kashua is referring, but many countries have an official religion, ethnicity, or people-hood without rejecting minorities: such as Norway, Sweden, France, Germany, Japan?and many more.

Myth #3: “The Nationality Law prevents the possibility of multiculturalism in Israel and rejects any collective history or memory other than the Zionist one.”

Fact:?Israel expresses multiculturalism and varieties of collective histories in its literature, museums,?social/environmental projects?and more. This is unchanged by the passage of the Nation State Law.

Myth #4:
“…the 20 percent of the population who are Arabs and who live in crowded conditions, under continuous threat of having their land appropriated.”

Fact:?This is simply untrue.

Kashua is referring specially to Arab-Israeli citizens: not Palestinians who live in disputed territories such as the West Bank and Gaza.

In some communities, Arab residents complain about inequality in municipal services, permitting and the like. However, most Arab-Israeli citizens live in well established, spacious, modern cities: such as Haifa, well restored ancient ones such as?Acre,?or firmly established towns, such as Abu Gosh.

Haifa, Israel.

Myth #5: “By revoking Arabic’s status as an official state language, the law delivers yet another blow…”

Fact: Arabic’s status?is entirely unchanged:?it always had a special status, but was never an official national language, of Israel.

A common confusion results from a 1948 Israeli law (based on a 1922 British law) that requires the use of Arabic and Hebrew on government documents, signs and the like, but does not designate either as an official national language.

The 1948 law is still in effect, and the relevant section of the Nation State Law specifically provides that, “This clause does not harm the status given to the Arabic language before this law came into effect.”

Sayed Kashua engages in numerous other distortions of fact:?confusing or conflating unrelated topics, misstating international law and more.? The late senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan said “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts” and that is true of the New York Times opinion section too.

Please share your considered comments the New York Times at nytnews@nytimes.com

You can contact us on Twitter: @HonestReporting or talk to the author directly: @DanielSpeaksUp

Image: Haifa via Wikimedia Commons

Chomsky Calls Russian Interference a Joke – Blames Guess Who?

  • Transparency and public accountability are the cornerstones of democracy. Prime Minister Netanyahu's very public opposition to Obama's Iran Deal -- a deal opposed by most members of Congress and most Americans -- was just as consistent with democracy as Winston Churchill's public demands for the United States to help Great Britain fight the Nazis.

  • Holocaust denial is quintessentially anti-Semitic, because it falsely accuses the Jews of fabricating stories of the murder of six million Jews.

  • Noam Chomsky may be intelligent when it comes to linguistics, but his statements regarding Israel, Russia, and the Holocaust are simply counter-factual. There is no other word for his bizarre views, if he actually believes them. If he does not, then there is another word that aptly describes his statements: bigotry.

Noam Chomsky has gone off the deep end once again. This time he claims that in "most of the world" the issue of Russian interference in U.S. elections is "almost a joke." The real villain, according to him, is, of course, Israel -- as it almost always is with Chomsky. According to the world's "top public intellectual," Israeli intervention in U.S. elections, "vastly overwhelms anything the Russians may have done." His proof of this absurd and false charge is that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave a speech in front of Congress "with overwhelming applause." Only on Planet Chomsky would it be worse for the Prime Minister of an American ally openly to accept an invitation from the Speaker of the House to address Congress about an issue of mutual concern, than for Russian agents surreptitiously to try to manipulate voters by false social media campaigns, hacking emails, and other illegal actions.

Chomsky simply fails to understand how democracy is supposed to work. Transparency and public accountability are the cornerstones of democracy. Prime Minister Netanyahu's very public opposition to Obama's Iran Deal -- a deal opposed by most members of Congress and most Americans -- was just as consistent with democracy as Winston Churchill's public demands for the United States to help Great Britain fight the Nazis.

Pictured at left: British Prime Minister Winston Churchill addresses a joint session of the US Congress on December 27, 1941 (Image source: Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images). Pictured at right: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses a joint session of the US Congress on March 3, 2015 (Image source: US House of Representatives/Wikimedia Commons).

American presidents, as well as Israeli prime ministers, seek to influence the policies and electoral choices made by their allies. That, too, is part of democracy. The United States has pressured Israel to stop building settlements, Israel has pressured the United States to be more aggressive in preventing Iran from developing a nuclear arsenal. This, too, is part of democracy.

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) is an American organization that lobbies on behalf of American support for Israel. Lobbying is as American as apple pie.

What is un-American, and what is undemocratic, is for secret agents working surreptitiously on behalf of Vladimir Putin's Russia to commit numerous crimes, for which several of its agents have been indicted, in an effort to influence American elections without transparency or public accountability.

Chomsky is smart enough to understand this, but his willful blindness toward anything involving Israel leads him to make the kind of false comparative statement that no intellectual should ever make. Again, only on Planet Chomsky would Russia's continuous efforts improperly to intervene in American elections would be characterized as "almost a joke." Only on Planet Chomsky would Israel's open, transparent and democratic efforts to have America support its security be deemed worse than Russia's crimes. But such blindness is to be expected from Chomsky when it comes to anything regarding Israel, Jews, or anti-Semitism.

Remember this is the same man who defended the so-called "research" of the notorious Holocaust-denier, Robert Faurisson. Not only did Chomsky defend Faurisson's phony research, but he denied that Faurisson -- who is a notorious Jew-hater -- had said anything that qualifies as anti-Semitic. Here is what Chomsky wrote:

"I see no anti-Semitic implications in denial of the existence of gas chambers, or even denial of the Holocaust. Nor would there be anti-Semitic implications, per se, in the claim that the Holocaust (whether one believes it took place or not) is being exploited, viciously so, by apologists for Israeli repression and violence. I see no hint of anti-Semitic implications in Faurisson's work..."

Chomsky, who is a prominent linguist, knows nothing of the meaning of language in context. Holocaust denial is quintessentially anti-Semitic, because it falsely accuses the Jews of fabricating stories of the murder of six million Jews.

Experts understand that there are different kinds of intelligence. Chomsky may be intelligent when it comes to linguistics, but his statements regarding Israel, Russia, and the Holocaust are simply counter-factual. There is no other word for his bizarre views, if he actually believes them. If he does not, then there is another word that aptly describes his statements: bigotry.

Alan M. Dershowitz is the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law Emeritus at Harvard Law School and author of "The Case Against Impeaching Trump," Skyhorse publishing, 2018.

On Ice, democrats abandon the mainstream

Despite public opposition, numerous Democrats continue to call for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to be abolished. It’s a belief that falls squarely outside the American mainstream: According to a recent POLITICO/Morning Consult poll, only 25 percent of voters support getting rid of ICE.
A majority of Americans know we must keep ICE, and for good reason: Eliminating this crucial piece of our national security force would grind immigration enforcement to a halt, with devastating consequences for public safety. Abolishing ICE would mean abolishing the agency responsible for removing drug dealers, gang members, and other criminals who exploit America’s border to take advantage of our communities.

The numbers don’t lie. Criminals arrested by ICE during the 2017 fiscal year were responsible for:?

• More than 76,000 dangerous drug offenses;

• More than 48,000 assault offenses;

• More than 11,000 weapon offenses;a

• More than 5,000 sexual assault offenses;

• More than 2,000 kidnapping offenses; and

• More than 1,800 homicide offenses.

Our immigration law enforcement officers work in dangerous conditions to protect our communities. We must stand with them. Recently, 167 Democrats in the House of Representatives refused to vote for a resolution to support these border officials. “To the courageous public servants at ICE, men and women, we want you to know that the American people are with you and my administration has your back 100 percent,”?President Trump said in his most recent weekly address.

Trump says ‘I’m not pro-Russia’ – hits ex-CIA chief Brennan for calling Putin news conference ‘Treasonous’


President Trump denied he was "pro-Russia" and slammed former CIA Director John Brennan in a Fox News interview airing Tuesday night, after the ex-intelligence chief described Trump's news conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin as "treasonous."


"I think Brennan is a very bad guy and if you look at it a lot of things happened under his watch," Trump told Fox News' Tucker Carlson on Monday. "I think he's a very bad person."

The "Tucker Carlson Tonight" interview was recorded in Helsinki following the Trump-Putin news conference, at which Trump appeared to dismiss the U.S. intelligence community's conclusion that Russia meddled in the 2016 election. Trump backtracked on Tuesday, claiming he meant to say he didn't see why Russia "wouldn't" be responsible for the meddling.

Seized archive shows Iran nuke project was larger than thought, had foreign help


...Under Tehran’s nose

Israeli officials also gave the three US reporters additional, but not full, details of the operation to seize and bring home the Iranian archive, some of which has been previously detailed.

Israel established early last year that the materials related to the Iranian program were being collected at a single warehouse in the Shorabad district of southern Tehran. The anonymous building had no overt security, and very few Iranians knew of its existence, the Israeli officials said last week.

“Mossad agents were able learn the internal layout of the building, including the location and general contents of 32 safes that contained paper records, photos and computer-storage files from ‘Project Amad,’” the Washington Post said.

“Clearly, the Israeli spies had inside help,” the Times claimed, without elaboration.

On His Birthday, Ayatollah Khamenei Calls for Israel’s Destruction

July 16 was Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s birthday. He celebrated it by calling for Israel’s destruction on Twitter.

Khamenei began the four-tweet thread by stating that the “satanic and vicious” deal that the Trump administration has planned for the Israel-Palestinian conflict “will never happen.”

“The turbulent dream that Al-Quds would be given to the Zionists will never come true,” Khamenei wrote. “The Palestinian nation will stand against it and Muslim nations will back the Palestinian nation, never letting that happen.”

The supreme leader added, “By God’s grace, the Palestinian nation will certainly gain victory over the enemies and will witness the day when the fabricated Zionist regime will be eradicated.”