Articles

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Jews and Jewish Anti-Semites Collide in California

On the last weekend of May, two very different responses to anti-Semitism came out of California.

Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, whose courageous response to a Neo-Nazi shooting at his synagogue in Poway won the hearts of a nation, headed off to appear at a Jerusalem Day event. Jerusalem Day or Yom Yerushalayim is a popular celebration in Israel commemorating the liberation of Jerusalem from its Islamic conquerors. “In the face of hatred and terror by our enemies in east Jerusalem, we continue to grow and thrive, despite the physical threat of violence and psychological danger that face our families every day, “Ateret Cohanim, the Jerusalem development organization, said in a statement.

In a very different response, California Democrats struggled with a hateful resolution put forward by David Mandel, a convention delegate, and a chapter leader in the hate group Jewish Voice for Peace. The hateful resolution falsely shifted blame to Israel and Jews for the synagogue massacre in Pittsburgh. It also defended Muslim anti-Semitism and condemned attempts to reject terrorism against Jews.

Jewish Voice for Peace is neither Jewish nor peaceful. This is its latest episode of promoting blood libels, dating back to its association with an anti-Semitic bigot who claimed that Jews drank blood. Mandel, a chapter leader in a hate group that promoted an anti-Israel activist who appeared on white supremacist radio, cynically accuses Israel and Jews of collaborating with white supremacists.

Mandel is a contributor to Mondoweiss: a hate site which claimed that a previous anti-Semitic attack by a white supremacist was really an Israeli plot.

The work of another Mondoweiss contributor had been cited by that same anti-Semitic shooter.

One Mondoweiss editor has said, "I do not consider myself an anti-Semite, but I can understand why some are."

The vast chasm between Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein and David Mandel, between Jews who stand up to hate and radical activists with Jewish last names who collaborate with hate, also appeared in the AJC survey.

The American Jewish Congress, a liberal group that, despite its name, represents Jews no more than any of the other alphabet soup non-profits with a ‘J’ thrown in there do, has released its annual survey. The AJC’s survey of American Jews and Israeli Jews features its own profound chasm between two peoples.

43% of American Jews answered that being Jewish was very important in their lives. 35% allowed how it might be somewhat important. The other 24% deemed it unimportant.

Meanwhile 51% of Israelis believed that being Jewish was most important, 29% thought that it was very important, and 11% downgraded it to somewhat important.

Only 8% of Israeli Jews thought that being Jewish wasn't a significant part of their lives.

35% of American Jews disagreed and 62% agreed that caring about Israel was very important. 25% did not think that Israel is important to the future of the Jewish people. 49% identified as Democrats.

Only 18% identified as Republicans.

91% of Israeli Jews believed that Israel was vital to the future of the Jewish people. 79% of Israeli Jews supported President Trump’s handling of the relationship between America and Israel.

45% of American Jews strongly disapproved of President Trump's handling of relations with Israel. 36% listed Russia as the greatest threat to America. Only 14% put down Iran.

50% backed Trump's recognition of the Golan Heights. 39% opposed the move.

88% of Israeli Jews were in favor of recognition.

Since last year, the number of American Jews caring about Jews dropped from 70% to 62%. Among 18-29 year old American Jews, the number stands at 44%.

Less than half.

These numbers are consistent with a previous Pew survey in which 42% of American Jews complained that President Trump was favoring Israel too much. To put those numbers into perspective, historically black churches were less likely to complain that Trump was too pro-Israel than American Jews.

Pew’s mistake was contrasting members of religious groups with a dissipating ethnic identity.

The AJC’s numbers show that support for Israel is linked to a strong Jewish identity. When respondents were asked about the importance of being Jewish, the responses, ranging from 100% among the Orthodox to 63% among Conservative Jews to 35% among Reform Jews to 15% among secular Jews, reflected the overlap between traditionalism, religiosity and support for Israel.

That’s also what the split between Rabbi Goldstein and David Mandel reflects.

A Gallup poll in 2015 found that among Jews who attended synagogue services at least once a week, 60% disapproved of Obama. Among those who didn’t, 58% supported Obama.

The split was equally obvious in New York City where the left-wing Forward tabloid noted that, “Nearly every election district that Trump won in Brooklyn was in a Jewish neighborhood.”

Some of the most left-wing and right-wing neighborhoods in the Big Apple in 2016 were Jewish areas.

Like the rest of America, Jews are coming apart into two very different groups.

At the end of May, California faced the same split, with Rabbi Goldstein celebrating the liberation of Jerusalem, while David Mandel tried to find a way to blame murdered Jews for their own deaths.

Rabbi Goldstein and Mandel are both perfect examples of a particular type. The Chabad Rabbi who lost several fingers in the Poway attack, embodies the Jewish tradition of faith. Mandel, a JVP leader who is active with the National Lawyers Guild, a radical group with historical ties to the Communist Party, represents the traditional animus of leftists for everything Jewish. Israel is just one example.

Mandel and Rabbi Goldstein believe in two very different sets of ideas.

At the White House, Rabbi Goldstein, in a quote, urged introducing a moment of silence in public schools, “So that children, from early childhood on, could recognize that there’s more good to the world, that they are valuable, that there is accountability, and every human being is created in God’s image.”

While Rabbi Goldstein quoted the Lubavitcher Rebbe, a key religious leader in his movement, Mandel quoted Bernie Sanders in his hateful resolution. Bernie is also the avatar that the anti-Israel activist uses. While the leaders of Rabbi Goldstein’s Lubavitch Chassidic movement faced persecution by Communists, Mandel boasts of a “Progressive-Labor Alliance comrades” and a “post-capitalist world”.

And, while all this was going on, I was burying my mother, who had spent her life fighting Communism, in a dusty grave in the hills of Jerusalem.

Thousands of miles and a century later, the struggle between Jews and the anti-Jewish Left goes on.




P.S. I'll be speaking on The War Against Us in Los Angeles on Wed, June 19, at 7 P.M.




Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine.

Click here to subscribe to my articles. And click here to support my work with a donation.

Thank you for reading.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Thriving Glaciers and Doomed Environmentalists

"This August I visited Glacier National Park in Montana," Gianna Kelly, the founder of Climb for Conservation, wrote in the Huffington Post. "I am still stunned to have learned the following fact: by 2020, no glaciers will exist in Glacier National Park."

Kelly, who had worked for the White House Council on Environmental Quality, wrote that back in the first year of the Obama administration. It might stun her more to learn that Obama is out of the White House and that the glaciers of Glacier National Park are still there and waiting to be visited.

Throughout the Obama era, visitors to Glacier National Park were frequently harangued with false claims that the glaciers would all be gone in a decade. These warnings decorated dioramas and trash cans even as the hysterical propaganda become more ridiculous with every passing year.

The snow lay heavy on Logan Pass, when I arrived in July 2017. Visitors stomped through thick snow to reach the Hidden Lake Overlook. The alpine meadows of the Hanging Gardens didn’t live up to their name. Instead of the wildflowers that most visitors expected, there were nearly endless fields of white. Mountain goats, unaware that they were threatened by the supposed rising temperatures that were warming Glacier’s glaciers into extinction, eyed us suspiciously as we tried not to slip on the ice.

Sperry Glacier, a frequent target for environmentalist doommongers, was still there in the distance.

Next year, there was a 30-year snow record at Glacier. Snow removal crews in late April were struggling with drifts of between 10 to 20 feet. East Glacier Park Village measured 284 inches of snow.

Glacier National Park recorded “one of the coldest winters on record” this year. And across Montana, record wind chill temperatures hit 68 below zero in Bozeman and 59 below zero in Helena. In Great Falls, the temperature stayed below freezing for 32 days until the beginning of March.

In time for the 2019 summer season at Glacier National Park, the embarrassing signs claiming that the glaciers won’t be there next year have begun coming down. But the doomsday predictions won’t leave.

The melting glaciers of Glacier have been the subject of countless media stories and at least one book, The Melting World: A Journey Across America’s Vanishing Glaciers, from St. Martin’s Press, which excitingly promised to chronicle the “the first extinction of a mountain ecosystem in what is expected to be a series of such global calamities as humanity faces the prospect of a world without alpine ice.”

Melting World followed Daniel Fagre, who heads the Climate Change in Mountain Ecosystems Project for the United States Geological Survey, and is the figure most associated with the 2020 number.

Fagre had told the book’s author back in 2008 that all the glaciers would be gone in 10 to 12 years.

The USGS global warming expert has been quoted in media outlets every year predicting the death of the glaciers. He is largely responsible for the comparison photos claiming that the glaciers are vanishing, which he traces back to a visit by former Vice President Al Gore during the Clinton administration.

Fagre has a BA in Environmental Science, an MS in Animal Ecology and a PhD in Animal Ecology. In 1990, the Global Change Research Act was passed. The disastrous law created a massive infrastructure of chicken little “experts” tasked with finding evidence that the sky was falling.

In 1991, Fagre was hired to start to "climate change research program" and wrote a proposal to use the glaciers of Glacier to monitor the impact of global warming.

Somewhere along the way, despite no geology degree, he was deemed a glacier expert.

"One of the first things that we did was we went up and looked at Grinnell Glacier," he recalled.

Grinnell Glacier is the environmentalist's special nemesis.

In 2010, he told CNN that Grinnell Glacier was "this little dirty glacier that seems to be obviously falling apart, that has become very tiny and decrepit".

"This one is on its last legs," he insisted.

But Grinnell Glacier refuses to die. Instead it appears to have been growing.

The photos warning that the glaciers are shrinking are the work of Fagre and Lisa McKeon, who has a BA in Zoology. Neither of the two glacier experts, so often quoted in the media, have geology degrees.

But Fagre is the doomsayer most likely to predict the end of all the glaciers in Glacier. That’s why he and the media were outraged that the “area’s top climate scientist” wasn’t able to “share his expertise on global warming’s role in the retreating ice sheets” with Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg.

Fagre, who, according to one profile, doesn’t like “deskwork”, loves sharing his “expertise”. And that means predicting that the glaciers will be gone in a decade or two or who knows when.

And the government employee is open about his motives. “My role as a scientist is to make sure that everybody understands the pace at which they’re disappearing, and the reasons for that, so that, again, better decisions could be made societally.”

That’s not the role of a scientist. It’s the agenda of an advocate. The signs and photos warning of a glacier apocalypse at Glacier National Park are political advocacy.

"We get a lot of information visually," Fagre said. "And we tend to trust that even more than what we hear.”

That’s sensible enough because listening to Fagre speak can get a little bit confusing. Over the years, his doomsday date for the great glacier apocalypse has continued to fluctuate.

In 1999, he claimed that “all of Glacier's glaciers will be gone in 30 years”.

In a 2004, National Geographic article, he predicted that “within 30 years most if not all of the park's namesake glaciers will disappear”.

By either 2029 or 2034, some or all of the glaciers are set to disappear. Or something.

In 2009, Fagre downgraded a previous claim that all the glaciers would be gone by 2030, down to 2020. That 2020 date was featured in numerous media pieces warning that the glaciers would be gone in a decade. They also popped up in the park signage that is now being taken down in time for 2020.

In an official Glacier video, Fagre claimed in 2010 that, "they’ll melt by about 2020".

In a 2010 NBC News piece, the 2020 claim was cited, but Fagre hedged that some of the largest glaciers might make it to 2030.

The glaciers of Glacier National Park are always disappearing. But they never quite do.

Six years later, Fagre claimed that most of the glaciers would be “small insignificant lumps of ice on the landscape", but these lumps might survive another 10 or 15 years.

Three years after a 2011 chat with Fagre, in which the 2020 figure was cited, the New York Times did yet another piece claiming against that the glaciers are still vanishing.

"What will they call this place once the glaciers are gone?" the 2014 article began. This time it claimed that in 30 years, "there may be none". That postponed the date of glacier doomsday to 2044.

Fagre was quoted as saying, “I think we’re on the cusp of bigger changes.” Five years later, the biggest change is that the 2020 signs are being replaced.

In a 2017 USA Today piece, Fagre warned that the glaciers would be gone in our lifetime.

"Their fate is sealed," he insisted.

Sealed, indeed.

“What is important," Fagre emphasized, "is that it will happen in our lifetime.”

According to his conversation with a PBS reporter, "estimates on when the glaciers will disappear completely vary widely, from 2030 to 2080, depending on winter weather."

2030 to 2080 is quite a range.

“We are going to go toward a virtually glacierless state in the next few decades. Fagre had told Audubon in 2010. “We don’t care whether it is 2033 or 2029 or 2035. It’s just what’s happening.”

Scientists generally care about dates and predictions. The prophets of inevitable doom are cranks.

In a Guardian article in 2017, he claimed that all the glaciers in the country would vanish in the next few decades. “It’s inevitable,” Fagre insisted.

"They will certainly be gone before the end of the century," Fagre told a CBS affiliate in 2017.

"It's not just going to happen in my lifetime,” he had insisted in 2002 "It's going to happen during my career."

Back then, Fagre had been 49-years-old. He’s now approaching retirement age.

The glaciers of Glacier seem likely to outlive the environmentalist who had spent the bulk of his career predicting their doom. And, if the Department of the Interior cleans house, they will outlive his career.




P.S. I'll be speaking on The War Against Us in Los Angeles on Wed, June 19, at 7 P.M.



Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine.

Click here to subscribe to my articles. And click here to support my work with a donation.

Thank you for reading.

How Cory Booker's Dot Com Get Rich Quick Scheme Cost Him 2020

In 2010, Mayor Cory Booker and Mark Zuckerberg were sitting across from Oprah while the Facebook boss announced a $100 million donation to Newark’s failing public schools. When the two men next met up, in a prominent forum, Senator Booker was questioning Zuckerberg about Facebook’s role in racism. The $100 million had long since vanished. So had the friendship between Zuckerberg and Booker.

And the money is drying up too.

Beto O’Rourke was able to raise $6.1 million within 24 hours of his campaign launch while Booker struggled to make $5 in his first fundraising quarter. Once upon a time, Booker owned Silicon Valley. The connections that he made would once upon a time have given him a huge war chest right from the start.

Booker’s problem was that he got greedy. And he failed.

The former isn’t necessarily a crime in an industry that wears a patina of altruism over the mass defrauding of everyone in sight. But failure carries a price. And 6 years later, Booker is still paying it.

Some of his old pals in the industry are still sticking by him. LinkedIn co-founder and old classmate Reid Hoffman and former Google boss Eric Schmidt are still helping him. But it’s not enough. Booker’s ties with them go back to his Waywire days. And that forgotten chapter in his career may help explain why an industry that once loved Booker is so cool to him. And why Oprah doesn’t call much anymore.

Booker, Zuckerberg and Oprah made a strange trio. Booker, Oprah, and the big bosses at Google and LinkedIn also made a strange group. But they were among the investors for Booker’s Waywire.

Waywire was supposed to be a more “progressive” version of YouTube that would click with young people. Oprah, Schmidt and Hoffman helped raise $1.75 million for the site. Even while Booker was serving as the mayor of a failed city, he had used celebrity and tech pals to create a company in which he owned a share of as much as $5 million. Not that he seemed to want anyone to know about it.

Booker failed to disclose the shares, the bulk of his financial assets, in his disclosure forms. He only disclosed them on the day that the New York Times ran a piece revealing his dubious behavior.

Despite his seemingly marginal status at Waywire, Booker received a larger stake than the people who were actually running it. It employed his Senate campaign social media consultant, and gave a board seat to the 15-year-old son of CNN boss Jeff Zucker, raising questions about whether Waywire was even a real company or a platform for a future presidential campaign.

There’s good reason to think that Waywire was a failed plan for a different kind of campaign.

Its stated business model was too stupid for tech royalty to invest money in it. Waywire would either push corporate video content to teens or form the core of a movement. One of its founders had compared Cory Booker to MLK.

“Social media is a movement,” she had claimed, “and Cory Booker is a leader in this movement.”

Not so much.

Waywire failed miserably. A year after its launch, it managed a little over 2,000 visitors in one month. Whatever money was poured into it was wasted. It never rivaled YouTube or even helped Booker. But, had it succeeded, Cory Booker would have figured out how to make a fortune while accepting unlimited donations for a campaign platform. It was a Silicon Valley plan for a political operation.

By 2016, Booker would have been a billionaire with a popular millennial video platform. Even if Waywire hadn’t been more than an also-ran, Google might have still acquired it for hundreds of millions.

All Booker had to do was harness his popularity to deliver better traffic than 2,000 visitors a month.

But his investors didn’t get in on the ground floor of a campaign operation slash huge payoff. Like Mark Zuckerberg in 2010, they ended up being shmucks who lost money believing in a political scam artist.

Not that we know for certain. Booker’s finances exist in their own black hole.

That year, in 2013, as he prepped his senate race, his campaign announced, after pressure from Republican opponents, that he would be releasing 15 years of tax returns. By releasing, the Booker campaign meant that it handed copies to reporters in a Newark hotel room, didn’t let them make copies, and then demanded them back. The typical behavior of a politician with nothing to hide.

Booker also announced that he was stepping down from Waywire and donating his shares to charity. It’s unclear which charities he donated them to or how much they were worth, but that same year saw a boom in his charitable donations. In 2013, he recorded an incredibly generous $469,906 in donations.

That was a truly impressive amount for a year in which he had only made $540,000 while claiming $241,917 in charitable deductions. He paid $72,292 in federal taxes and got a $3,210 refund. Much of those donations seemed to involve stocks and were uncharacteristic for his current donation profile.

The tax returns, no longer secret, reveal that Booker had sold his stock in Newscorp, the parent company of FOX News, and Lone Pine Resources, an oil and gas exploration company. He had also donated shares of Yandex, Russia’s top search engine, linked to Putin, to local charities.

Booker was getting rid of his politically inconvenient investments.

Next year’s tax returns revealed shares of Facebook, Apple, Amazon and Netflix.

Waywire failed downwards, trading hands, probably for stock value, landing with a Ukrainian owner.

It no longer exists.

There have been no huge public breaks with Booker over Waywire. Just a general coolness. Oprah once lavished Booker with gobs of attention. Now she sat down for an interview and helped out in his Senate race. But the groundbreaking push that helped make Obama and Booker into national figures is absent.

Silicon Valley still donates, but the former Stanford pal is no longer the industry’s big bet.

Cory Booker is polling at 2% in New Hampshire. Even in South Carolina, what ought to be his strongest state, his numbers dropped, cut in half, to 4%. His RCP average is equally miserable.

His fundraising lags behind all of the major candidates. And even one of the minor ones.

Waywire may help explain why.

Back in the day, Booker boasted of how easy it was to raise $1.75 million for Waywire because of the “power of the idea”. The idea however, like so much of digital publishing, was silly. The aspiring politician tapped into resources he would have needed now in the hopes of getting very rich.

Instead, he miscalculated. Badly.

Since then, the former darling of Silicon Valley has reinvented himself as an unconvincing critic of the industry. But every Booker reinvention is equally unconvincing. And nobody buys it anymore.

The former icon has pumped and dumped his way through politics, industries and entertainment.

For a brief and shining moment, Booker had a possible $5 million stake in the next big thing. Then his investors realized that there was nothing there. Not in Waywire or in Booker. Both were equally hollow.

Cory Booker is still burning cash chasing his White House dream. But he lost that opportunity in 2013. And when 2020 wraps, he will have burned through his donors and possibilities, and be truly worthless.




P.S. I'll be speaking on The War Against Us in Los Angeles on Wed, June 19, at 7 P.M.




Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine.

Click here to subscribe to my articles. And click here to support my work with a donation.

Thank you for reading.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Who's Really Responsible for Anti-Semitic Hate Crimes in New York

The 90th Precinct squats in a faded tan building on Union Avenue in Brooklyn. There are dirty windows and protruding air conditioners. During Chanukah, a testament to its presence in one of the densest Jewish neighborhoods in the city, the Williamsburg police precinct puts up a large menorah.

The 90th was also the precinct at the center of multiple hate crime attacks on Jews caught on tape.

But the overall winner for the highest number of hate crime complaints was the 71st Precinct with 18 complaints. Of those, 14 were labeled as "anti-Jewish", another as anti-White, another as anti-gay and two as ambiguous. All but one of the suspects arrested in the attacks in the 71st were black men.

The 71st is located in Crown Heights while the 90th is based out of Williamsburg. Both have some of the largest populations of Chassidic Jews, who dress distinctively and are easily identifiable, in the country.

They’re also at the center of a disturbing rise in hate crimes in New York City.

“I want to be very, very clear, the violent threat, the threat that is ideological is very much from the right,” Mayor Bill de Blasio insisted, in response to numbers showing a 90% rise in anti-Semitic incidents, while denying that anti-Semitism exists on the Left.

In Williamsburg and Crown Heights, populations of Orthodox Jews intersect with African-American and Latino populations, and a new wave of hipsters. All three groups live uncomfortably with each other. None of them host the “white supremacist” movement that De Blasio was blaming for the problem.

The two non-Orthodox groups in Williamsburg and Crown Heights are strongly identified with the Left.

Mayor Bill de Blasio may be under the impression that because Trump won precincts in Williamsburg, the area is a right-wing hub, but the 6 of 8 districts that he won are made up of Chassidic Jews.

As the media noted after the election, “Nearly every election district that Trump won in Brooklyn was in a Jewish neighborhood.”

They’re about the only Trump supporters in the area. And they’re the victims of the violence.

The highest numbers of hate crimes in 2018 took place in the 71st precinct with 18, the 18th with 16, the 24th with 15, the 66th with 14, the 60th with 12, the 6th with 11, and the 90th with 10.

Jews were the single largest group targeted in the 18th, Midtown Manhattan, with 5 incidents, the 24th, the Upper West Side, with 12 incidents, the 66th, Borough Park, with 14 incidents, the 60th, Coney Island and Brighton Beach, with 10, the 6th, Greenwich Village, with 5, and the 90th with 8.

Many of these neighborhoods are heavily associated with Jews, but even in Greenwich Village, the home of Stonewall and the gay rights movement, there were more anti-Semitic incidents than anti-gay ones.

None of them are ideal platforms for a white supremacist movement.

In Borough Park, Trump won 69% of the vote. A New York Times reporter was unable to find a single Hillary voter. And that’s as close as the area gets to any kind of right-wing movement.

Who’s actually carrying out these attacks?

"Forty of the alleged perpetrators were white, 25 were black, two were Hispanic and two were Asian," the JTA claimed last year.

The arrests however represent barely a third of the actual incidents. And the NYPD frequently classifies Hispanic suspects as white. The NYPD’s statistics also list multiple arrests of the same person.

The first quarter hate crimes report shows that six 28-year-old males were arrested for anti-Semitic hate crimes at the 94th Precinct in Greenpoint.

That would be statistically unlikely.

28-year-old Glenn Murto was arrested and charged with 7 hate crimes for spray painting a whole bunch of Nazi graffiti around the area. Murto, not exactly a genius, confined the vandalism to most of the same places. Two cops were waiting when he next began spraying swastikas.

Age is the only useful metric for identifying a repeat offender. And unless there’s a rash of incidents and arrests, it can be very hard to know whether a suspect of the same age is also the same person.

Back in the 90th, four white men and three black men were arrested in anti-Semitic incidents. The white people in Williamsburg are mostly Orthodox Jews and hipsters with a sprinkling of old area holdovers.

In the 66th, 3 black men, 2 white and Hispanic males, and 2 Asians were arrested.

Asians are not known for engaging in anti-Semitic hate crimes. But Borough Park has large Chinese, Bangladeshi and Uzbekistani populations. It seems likelier that the perpetrators may have spoken Bengali or Uzbek than Fujianese. Muslims would have more of an anti-Semitic motive than Buddhists.

Meanwhile in the first quarter of 2019, the 71st has seen four anti-Semitic hate crime complaints and the arrests of 4 black men.

In the 112th and the 114th, three Asian teens were arrested in anti-Semitic incidents. Both precincts are located in Queens. The borough has the highest percentage of Muslims anywhere in the city.

But that’s speculation.

Compstat statistics leave plenty of room for ambiguity. What is reasonably clear though is that the rash of cases, especially the violent assaults, are not about white supremacy. Neo-Nazis in New York City usually limit themselves to some heavy blogging and social media trolling or light vandalism.

One of the fundamental problems with hate crime statistics is that they fail to distinguish between actual violent incidents, vandalism and more nebulous problems like bias intimidation.

The violent assaults on a number of Orthodox men in Williamsburg and Crown Heights are classed together with swastikas drawn on a playground. But it’s much easier to establish that graffiti has a bias motive, because of the physical evidence, than that a violent assault was a hate crime.

Last fall, a Jewish teen walking home from his Yeshiva in Queens was violently assaulted by a gang of teens shouting, “Kill the Jew” outside Masbia, a soup kitchen run by a Jewish religious organization. Even though the teen was hospitalized, the police claimed that there was insufficient evidence for hate crimes charges. But swastika graffiti in Queens this year was treated as a hate crime.

The paradox of hate crime charges is that they’re often useless for dealing with serious problems, like physical violence and arson, but come in handy when dealing with nuisance offenses like graffiti.

New York City’s presentation of statistics blur the line, but it’s clear that Mayor Bill de Blasio is wrong.

“I want to be very, very clear, the violent threat, the threat that is ideological is very much from the right," he insisted at a press conference.

New York City does not have very much of a Right. That doesn’t mean the violence comes from the Left.

The Left is just very good at covering it up.

In response to the rash of anti-Semitic attacks, Martha Ackelsberg and Arielle Korman, two members of Jews For Racial & Economic Justice (JFREJ), an anti-Israel and anti-Jewish group, wrote an editorial, claiming that, "policing cannot solve our problems" denounced "zero tolerance policies" and "armed guards", while urging "education" and "restrorative justice, counselling and peer support."

JFREJ's site features a petition that doubles down on the left-wing group's call for the decriminalization of anti-Semitic attacks on Jews by urging "transformative justice processes that focus on challenging and transforming the perspectives of people who do harm in our neighborhoods".

Despite its false claims otherwise, JFREJ is well aware that the perpetrators of anti-Semitism in New York City aren't white nationalists or Trump supporters.

JFREJ knows that better than anyone after the black foster son of one of its members set 7 fires inside synagogues and Jewish schools in Brooklyn, while scrawling, "Jew Better Be Ready" and "Kill All Jews".

The Left isn’t behind the anti-Semitic violence in New York City. But it’s covering for those who are.





Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine.

Click here to subscribe to my articles. And click here to support my work with a donation.

Thank you for reading.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

How Bill Gates Destroyed the SAT

Standardized testing is the engine of meritocracy. When the College Board standardized testing through the SAT, it introduced merit to an educational system where status was determined by family history.

A poor immigrant who studied hard and worked hard might have a shot at the best schools in the
land.

Over a century later, the College Board has announced that the Scholastic Assessment Test will include an adversity score based on zip codes that purports to measure the social environment of the student.

After nearly a century of trying to measure intelligence, instead of class, the SAT will collude in a college admission system where class overwhelms merit to a degree unseen since 18th century Harvard.

The latest assault on standardized testing assumes that the individual student should be defined by the income, education and family averages of his zip code, more than by his actual skills and learning in a complete reversal of the entire purpose of the SAT and the meritocratic work of the College Board.

Ironically, the College Board fell victim to the success of a college dropout from a wealthy family.

William Henry Gates III, more commonly known as Bill Gates, has wielded the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as a tool for wrecking education with Common Core and has hijacked the College Board, which began as a conclave of elite college leaders, into pursuing his radical social and political agendas.

The downfall of the College Board began when it picked David Coleman, a Gates alumnus who had played a significant role in writing Common Core standards, as its new president. Coleman, a Rhodes Scholar, the son of a Bennington College president and New School dean, had degrees from Yale, Cambridge and Oxford. By the age of 25, he was working at McKinsey as an educational consultant.

The rest of the story was an escalator ride through the consulting industry that destroyed education.

Coleman’s interviews are littered with claims of wanting to teach in public school, but instead he built a consulting firm that scored contracts with public schools. The consultancy was acquired by the McGraw-Hill behemoth, and Coleman moved on to founding a non-profit, with funding from the Gates Foundation, where he played a key role in creating the Gates-approved Common Core standards.

In 2012, Coleman became the president of the College Board. Even though the professional educational consultant had never actually taught, he had been put in charge of school and then college standards.

A year later, Stefanie Sanford, the Gates Foundation’s policy director, was brought on as the Board’s head of policy, erasing the distinctions between Gates and the College Board, already funded by Gates.

Stefanie’s official mission was pursuing “equity” in education on behalf of minority students.

The collapse of SAT standards began with the official Gates hijacking of the College Board. The new dumbed down test reduced the number of multiple-choice answers, eliminated penalties for guessing, disposed of many vocabulary words, and made the essay portion optional.

And, most importantly, from the Gates Foundation perspective, it integrated with Common Core.

“It was a bad year, and I’m sorry,” Coleman admitted in 2016. “It is no good to have vision if you don’t deliver.”

The new SAT rollout had been a disaster, but Coleman ricocheted from one disaster to another. A year later, the College Board wrapped up testing its Overall Disadvantage Level, or the adversity score

The level or score is a bad idea implemented in the most ridiculous way possible.

The adversity score uses high school and zip code information to depict students as advantaged or disadvantaged based on statistical averages. The number of students getting free lunches, literally and perhaps metaphorically, at a high school, tells administrators nothing about this individual student.

Crime rates and housing prices are even more useless, especially in dense urban areas where good and bad neighborhoods can overlap. A white student growing up in a gentrified part of Manhattan or the Bronx could be rated as disadvantaged. Meanwhile a middle-class black student moving into a decent neighborhood would be rated as advantaged. And, worst of all, the ratings are hidden from everyone.

Qualities like adversity are inherently unquantifiable. No test can measure the life you’ve lived or the challenges you have overcome. Instead they measure the skills and discipline you have learned.

We don’t measure people’s achievements by their bios, but by what they can actually do.

Beyond the terrible implementation of a terrible idea, a staple of the educational disasters wrought by Bill Gates, who has done for education what he did for operating systems, and David Coleman, is the larger philosophical problem. And Coleman, who has a degree in ancient philosophy, ought to be able to understand that, even if he doesn’t seem to understand how students learn or how tests operate.

The core criticism of the SAT is that wealthy parents can afford to spend more on test prep.

(Despite the College Board’s supposed hostility to test prep, its leadership is filled with Kaplan vets.)

The most aggressive users of test prep courses are the ‘Tiger Moms’ who spend fortunes to see to it that their children get into the best possible schools. Between 15% and 30% of Asian students took test prep courses and experienced significant gains. Only 10% of white students, the whipping boys of standardized testing, took test prep courses, and they only gained 12 points. Meanwhile 11% of Hispanic and 16% of black students took test prep courses and posted larger gains than the white students.

The SAT isn’t rigged by wealthy white students taking test prep courses. Instead Asian students aggressively compete for a limited number of slots due to discrimination in higher education.

Chinese students are paying as much $60,000 just for a shot at getting into an elite college.

Opponents of standardized testing helped take the test prep industry to a new level when they insisted on making copies of old SAT tests public. Transparency has made it a lot easier to game the system. If lefties are unhappy that Chinese students can get the lay of the land before they fly to Hong Kong to take the SAT, they have Ralph Nader and their own campaigns against standardized testing to blame.

Opponents of standardized testing, teachers’ unions, social justice activists, and Coleman, claim that such tests are unfair because wealthier students have more resources. That’s true. Like democracy, standardized testing is the least fair admissions criteria for higher education, except for all the others.

The alternative to measuring merit through standardized testing is a system of admissions based on class, group and political connections. That’s what the adversity score, like affirmative action, does.

The College Board was meant to open higher education to students based on their level of ability. The Gates/Coleman version of the College Board seeks to dole out admission to the right sorts of people.

That takes the educational system back in time to an era when admission was a test of group membership, and being a member of the right group came with the assumption of qualifications.

If you could trace your family tree back to the right sorts of people, you would succeed.

These days, if you can find a trace of minority status in your family tree, even if it’s as dubious as Senator Elizabeth Warren’s, you will get a leg up in an educational system once again based on group and class.

“We’ve tried to move beyond giving tests to delivering opportunity," Coleman declared last year.

But the College Board makes $77 million a year, with as much as a billion in assets, and Coleman earns his $900,000 salary, from giving tests.

He, and the College Board, are just bad at it.

Coleman doesn’t want to give tests. In the words of one article, he wants to save the world.

This sense of messianic entitlement infects progressive policymaking so that instead of making the world better by doing their jobs, leftist leaders insist on rigging the outcome to make themselves feel good.

The progressive nobles dispense college access like medieval barons throwing gold coins to beggars.

The SAT exists because nearly a century ago, the College Board understood that giving tests was giving opportunity. The attacks on standardized testing is an attempt at deciding who truly deserves them.

A free country can only be maintained as a meritocracy. Anything else lapses into the same game of charitable nobles and hopeless peasants that Coleman and the College Board are playing with the SAT.

Standardized testing brought into being a meritocracy by reaching into decrepit ghettos and impoverished valleys to discover and educate Thomas Jefferson’s “aristocracy of virtue and talent”.

Jefferson opened a door. Bill Gates is welding it shut.









Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine.

Click here to subscribe to my articles. And click here to support my work with a donation.

Thank you for reading.

Thursday, June 06, 2019

A Movement of Professional Victims and Conspiracy Theories

Every movement has a mission statement. “Make America Great Again” is the conservative one. (It’s the “Again” part that makes it conservative.) The enemies of making America great have one too.

If the radicals had red hats, they would say, “They’re Out To Get You.”

TOTGY has been the leftist motto since before Marx learned to shave and then decided to stop doing it. The arc of history may bend toward many places, but the black rainbow serviced by a snarling leprechaun with a PhD and a cocaine problem always begins and ends in the same paranoid place.

They’re destroying the planet. They’re hoarding all the wealth. They start all the wars. They’re dividing the country. They’re killing kids in schools. They’re conspiring with the Russians. They killed JFK.

The Democrats crave inspirational leaders for the same reason that alcoholics need mouthwash. It covers up the ugly stench. Lefties love packaging their hateful ravings, paranoid delusions and plans for world domination with moving soliloquies about everyone coming together to make a difference.

So far coming together and making a difference has killed approximately 200 million people.

Between Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot and Jim Jones, more people have been killed by lefties coming together and making a difference than by AIDS and the Ebola virus combined. Every day the media warns about the threat of unvaccinated children in school spreading measles. There are far more American children infected with the disease that piled up skulls in Cambodia and filled the Russian tundra with mass graves, that starved Chinese peasants to death and served poisoned Kool-Aid to American children.

Schools spread the infection like wildfire and the only vaccine against it isn’t allowed on school grounds.

What killed all those people is a mental bacillus that can be examined under a microscope. It has cilia, no spine and whispered its sour nothings in the ears of commissars and soldiers, of peasants and workers, of Brother Number Three and a thousand frenzied schoolchildren beating their teachers to death.

The thing it whispered in their ears was, “They’re out to get you.”

Normal people do not murder their neighbors for wearing glasses. They do not sink them in boats weighed down with stones. They do not inform on their parents or poison their own children.

But they can be convinced to do these things once they’ve come together to make a difference.

Why do lefties keep coming together to make a difference? Because they’re fighting an unjust society. And what makes the society unjust and in need of fighting with protests, bombs and gulags?

They’re out to get you.

All leftist credos begin with the conviction of a powerful conspiracy against the groups of people they hope to recruit, a conspiracy that is as implausible as it is unsustainable, which can only end in genocide or social transformation. Somehow the Left usually manages to fit both into its busy schedule.

First, it was class. The capitalist pigs, the factory owners, like the Engels family, were maintaining a permanent underclass while reaping all the profits. Mankind was doomed to live in a Dickensian novel of starving orphans cowering beneath puffing smokestacks unless the proletariat rose up in a revolution. Then it was going to be a racial war and now, finally the capitalists are plotting to destroy the planet.

Like any good conspiracy theory, the “they” keep changing. So does the “You”.

One day, it’s the evil factory owners keeping the working class down. The next day it’s the racist working-class whites keeping black people down. And then it’s the homophobic blacks keeping gay people down. And then it’s the Islamophobic gays keeping Muslims down.

Finally, it’s everyone destroying the planet by driving cars without buying carbon credits from Al Gore.

Intersectionality means that everyone is a “You” and a “They”. Everyone has cause to hate and fear, and to be hated and feared. There is no such thing as being too paranoid about identity politics.

In identity politics, the only question is are you paranoid enough?

As with all murderous ideologies, the conspiracy theories begin with conscious actions and end with subconscious crimes. A list of specific charges concludes with one unforgivable offense. Existence.

The final verdict is death.

What sort of monsters go around killing millions? The same sorts of little monsters who shout down professors, assault speakers, and expect an imminent apocalypse if they don’t get their way.

Victims.

To believe that, “they are out to get you”, you need to be a victim.

To be a victim isn’t to experience suffering or to survive a horrifying act of violence. It is to be convinced that the world is an unfair place and it can only be made fair when those responsible are put down.

Or, as they call it, social justice.

Every genocide begins with a conspiracy theory. So does victimhood. The conspiracy theory claims that utopia would be possible, but the bad people insist on selfishly ruining it for everyone. In Rwanda, the bad people were the Tutsis. In Nazi Germany, they were the Jews. In America, they’re everyone.

Racism has its limits. After applying enough DNA tests, there’s someone a racist won’t kill. But when everyone is complicit in the intersectional crimes of everyone else, and, the destruction of the planet, who is really innocent? Killings in leftist societies don’t stop when they run out of people to kill. They only end when the machine runs out of executioners to shoot, beat, torture and mutilate them.

And human nature, being what it is in both evil and goodness, they eventually do.

There comes a point when killing people no longer makes anyone feel good. And that’s when the People’s Republic of Killingstan settles down to a steady decline into corruption and decay like an old gangster passing away his remaining years in a drunken haze to make the time go by more quickly.

The old gangsters died off in Russia and China, and, more recently in Cuba and Venezuela. They’re even showing signs of passing on in North Korea. Human evil is more finite than human good. And weaker.

America’s gangsters have yet to grow old and they haven’t tasted blood in a long time.

Their message, the one that gets neighbors to smash each other’s heads and sons to turn on fathers, is broadcast on every channel and taught in every school. It’s hummed in songs and made into movies.

“They’re out to get you.”

The conspiracy is all the more compelling for being nebulous, shapeless and formless. The villains are oil companies and the working class. At any moment, the progressive male college student can become a rapist. Bigotry is in our subconscious. Carbon is exhaled in our every breath. The enemy is everywhere.

Once upon a time, the conspiracies were simple. Now we live in a world haunted by our own demons.

The crime was never truly capitalism or bigotry. It was human nature. And human nature was also the motive. “They’re out to get you,” is the primal paranoid idea of politics. It taps into the part of our brain that ran from wolves or killed them. The wolves have become men. And sometimes we are them.

Leftist politics is another means of justifying the robbery and abuse of your neighbors. Its sense of oppression is just entitlement misspelled. Its targets are guilty because the perpetrators are greedy.

Cain was the first Communist. He killed Abel because he worked harder and believed in G-d.

When G-d tried to tell the first murderer that the evil was not in his brother, it was in him, he didn’t listen. Modern lefties refuse to listen to this central message of religion, that we fix the world by fixing ourselves, rather than fixing ourselves by remaking the world in our own broken image.

The mark of Cain is a red flag. Where you see it, socialism and spilled blood soon follow. A layer cake of academic theories and violent outrage are used as masks for the same old evils of envy and hate.

And so millions of leftists are coming together to make a difference in America by rioting, punching, deplatforming, firing, harassing, and suppressing, spying on their political opponents, murdering babies and reminding us that they’re a deadlier outbreak than any disease to hit this country in a century.

The cries of, “justice”, really mean power. And the cries of, “change”, really mean murder.

Utopia won’t build itself.






Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine.

Click here to subscribe to my articles. And click here to support my work with a donation.

Thank you for reading.

Wednesday, June 05, 2019

The Islamophobia Victim's Murder Plot

"Observe how peaceful we are," Imam Mahmoud Shalash urged. "We do not cause any harm to anybody."

Shalash's mosque, the Islamic Center of Lexington, had contacted Lexington cops and Homeland Security, while claiming to be suffering from Islamophobic threats.

Before long, two cop cars in the Kentucky city known as the Horse Capital of the World were parked outside the mosque to protect the imam and his congregation.

The FBI also got on board.

CAIR widely circulated reports of the threat to what it called, a "house of worship".

"Our nation's leaders must send a clear message challenging the rising Islamophobia that leads to such threats," CAIR's Ibrahim Hooper declared. With the 2016 election still imminent, his news release blamed the "extreme anti-Muslim rhetoric" of Donald Trump and Ben Carson.

Four years later, Imam Mahmoud Shalash is in jail. The imam of the Islamic Center, along with John Sadiqullah, and Abdul Hadi, were charged in a harmful and not especially peaceful murder plot.

What makes this particular murder plot interesting is that it would have been authorized with a fatwa.

Imam Shalash has worn many hats. According to a LinkedIn profile, In addition to running the Islamic Center of Lexington, a man of that name owned a mobile home park and the Bluegrass Extended Stay motel (guest reviews have complained about roaches, stained beds and unfriendliness to service dogs), was a member of the Muslim Students Association (a terror linked Muslim Brotherhood hate group) while working on a degree in electrical engineering at the University of Chicago, and, ironically, considering his current predicament, had worked as a chaplain at “federal and state prisons”.

It’s unknown which, if any of these businesses, led to the first plot.

In March, Imam Shalash met up with a government informant at the Days Motel which records indicate is owned by Shalash. (Reviews of the motel describe a man named Mohammed, accuse the staff of sexual harassment, and claim that the motel is dangerous and that the mattresses are covered in bugs.)

There the imam told the informant he needed help getting $80,000 from his target. “Do whatever you have to do to get my money back.” That, according to the informant, included breaking the man’s legs.

At a second meeting, Imam Shalash was there along with Sadiqullah, for a murder plot against another man, this time apparently involving a taxi company deal gone bad, across state lines.

“I want him dead,” Sadiqullah said. “If someone could kill him for $10,000, we all four will pay someone $10,000.”

A meeting was then meant to happen at a mosque at which a fatwa would be provided authorizing the murder. That mosque may have been the Islamic Center of Lexington, which is just across the street from the University of Kentucky.

A fatwa, a religious Islamic authorization, for murder would have provided a sharia license for violence.

"This is the month when the heart gets soft," Imam Shalash had claimed during a previous Ramadan. "You read the Quran more often, you remember Allah more often, you tend to come to the mosque more often to pray in congregation."

This Ramadan didn't seem to have softened his heart. But Imam Shalash has never been a kind man.

A decade ago, Asra Q. Nomani described Imam Mahmoud Shalash telling Muslim men to beat their wives.

"This is America," Nomani had protested. "How can you tell men to beat their wives?"

"They should beat them lightly," Imam Shalash had insisted. "It's in the Koran."

And yet, despite incidents like this, the media continued quoting Imam Shalash favorably.

When Sonny Landham called for a Muslim ban while running for a Senate seat in Kentucky, the media turned to Imam Shalash to describe the libertarian actor’s comments as “irresponsible”.

The media constantly turned to Imam Shalash because he’s a major figure in the Muslim settler community in Lexington. Documents list him as an incorporator of the Islamic Society of Central Kentucky. The Society’s site lists him as conducting marriages and funerals. And the Society founded the Lexington Universal Academy whose board appears to contain a number of people with that last name.

That includes one woman described as a CAIR board member and anti-Israel activist who shares a name with a woman who is listed as living at the same address as Imam Shalash.

The Islamic Center of Lexington responded to Imam Shalash’s arrest with a statement claiming that its leadership is “shocked” at the news, that "every American citizen is innocent until proven guilty", and that "Islam is a religion built on peace and tolerance". But how shocked can the Center really be?

News accounts report that Imam Shalash had already pleaded guilty to federal charges of $238,763 in illegal currency transactions back in 2012. Despite that, the Center didn’t cut ties with him.

It didn’t cut ties with him after the wife-beating story.

The Islamic Center is probably hoping once again that this latest Shalash scandal will blow over.

The media has been the Islamic Center’s greatest ally during its previous scandals. When neighbors protested the plans for an Islamic community center, the media took Shalash’s side. Had the media disclosed Shalash’s previous guilty plea and the wife-beating incident, the stories and the hearings might have had a very different outcome.

Instead the media waited for a murder. And nearly got one.

Imam Shalash has spent the better part of two decades trading in vague concerns about Islamophobia while preaching that Islam is a religion of peace.

When Obama ran for office, Imam Shalash claimed that his opponents were "trying to exploit the anti-Islamic sentiment in this country that ties Muslims with terrorists.”

After President Trump’s travel ban, Imam Shalash had insisted, “People come for better opportunities to this country, not to do terroristic actions.” Apparently the two are not mutually exclusive.

After repeatedly exploiting false claims of Islamophobia, the former chaplain is now facing prison.

This case isn’t about Islamic terrorism. But it is about how Islamic law can be leveraged for violent purposes. Islamic violence isn’t just terrorism. It’s violence that is licensed by Islamic authorities.

And that can be as simple as a meeting in a grimy motel or a mosque opposite the University of Kentucky where the religious authority is just a thug who wants to get his money any way he can.

"We want to come up here and show them the real Islam that carries the love and courtesy and tolerance in our faith," Imam Shalash was quoted as saying in news stories.

It took a while, but he finally did.







Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine.

Click here to subscribe to my articles. And click here to support my work with a donation.

Thank you for reading.

Tuesday, June 04, 2019

Socialism Leaves South Africa in the Dark

Nearly 150 years after electricity came to South Africa, the country is in the dark. The blackouts can strike at any time and then lights, hot water and even major industries vanish into the darkness.

Storing perishable food in the fridge has become a gamble. The meat you buy today may be inedible tomorrow if the rolling blackout arrives and lasts long enough to destroy all the food you cooked.

With rolling blackouts that can last for as long as twelve hours, South Africans have grown used to eating by candlelight and heating water the old-fashioned way. Those who can afford it have been stocking up on generators. But the demand is so high that it can take a month to even obtain a generator.

It’s not just homes and small businesses. Factories and mines are struggling to maintain the country’s industrial base when power can vanish for the entire workday. Traffic lights run off the same power grid and when it goes into ‘load-shedding’ mode, the roads become a snarled maze of honking cars.

South Africa is out of power. The load-shedding blackouts are a last-ditch effort to avert a national blackout that will send the entire country spiraling into a deeper and more enduring darkness.

At the center of the disaster is Eskom: South Africa’s state-owned power company. The socialist relic has had many scandals over the years, but its dysfunction reached epic proportions under the ANC. The African National Congress still carries a mythical luster in the United States due to the Mandela name, but it has thoroughly alienated both the country’s white population and its black middle class.

Key figures in the ANC, including Nelson Mandela, were members of South Africa’s Communist party. And under ANC rule, Eskom, the largest state-owned enterprise in South Africa, suffered massive thefts. Earlier this year, a government investigations unit tried to track down $9.6 billion in stolen Eskom funds.

And that may only be the tip of a melting iceberg.

With elections coming up, the blackouts are politically inconvenient to the government, and the opposition Democracy Alliance is accusing the ruling ANC of blowing through a secret diesel budget to keep the system up and running until the elections are over. And then the real blackouts will begin.

Eskom meanwhile is dominated by the Union of Metalworkers which has its own political movement, the Socialist Revolutionary Workers’ Party, founded due to ANC proposals to break up Eskom. The SRWP is a Marxist-Leninist movement whose manifesto calls for abolishing private property ownership.

“We will nationalize the land and place it under the control of a worker state," its national chair, Comrade Irwin Jim, the general secretary of the Union of Metalworkers, declared. "Under a Socialist government, no one will own land, therefore allowing for the worker-controlled state to decide how land is allocated, farmed and used."

Considering how well South Africa has done with state and worker control over electricity, giving the SRWP control over all the land would lead to famine and the deaths of millions.

But when it isn’t calling for a Marxist dictatorship, the SRWP is fighting the privatization of Eskom.

South Africa’s power supply is in the hands of Marxists who are fighting the more moderate Marxists. The SRWP doesn’t care if Eskom’s debts bankrupt South Africa or its blackouts leave the country in the dark. The ANC knows that it if it doesn’t find a way to keep the power on, it will lose the middle class.

The Marxist SRWP is fighting to maintain Eskom’s failing coal plants while the ANC has proposed bringing in private companies to supply renewable energy. The power struggle puts South Africa in the unique position of being the only country where the Left is fighting against solar and wind power.

That’s because the comrades of the Union of Metalworkers fear losing control if solar power comes in.

The ANC tried to cope with power problems by building two huge coal plants. Medupi and Kusile instead became hugely expensive boondoggles that continually break down because of overuse, staff incompetence and poor planning. Eskom’s engineers and brass were unqualified ANC cronies brought in through affirmative action, and were incapable of managing a project of this scale. The power plants that were meant to provide for South Africa’s future are rated as being only 40% reliable.

While the SRWP is calling for massive investments in Eskom, there’s no more money left. A $5 billion bailout hasn’t helped. The only remaining hope for the failing socialist utility is huge loan from China. While the socialists blame each other for the blackout, others are turning to the free market.

2016 didn’t just usher in political revolutions in the United States and the United Kingdom.

That was also the year that the ANC lost Johannesburg. Mayor Herman Mashaba, the Democracy Alliance candidate, is a successful entrepreneur and former chair of the Free Market Foundation. And he’s had enough of Eskom. The libertarian politician announced that he’s going to protect the city from the socialist blackouts by striking a deal with the independent power producers whom Eskom hates.

The Democracy Alliance’s victory in Johannesburg highlighted the ANC’s collapse among both the white and black middle class. Americans tend to see Mandela’s triumph as a victory against racism. But apartheid was already collapsing. The ANC’s victory put former Communists in charge of the country.

The blackouts, the corruption, thievery and even murder are the inevitable outcome of that disaster.

If the Democracy Alliance wins over the middle class, the ANC will be reduced to fighting for welfare votes against more radical movements like the SRWP and Malema’s Economic Freedom Fighters by implementing portions of their program of nationalization, redistribution and socialist terror.

And that will transform South Africa into a war zone or another Zimbabwe.

South Africa is losing billions to the blackouts as factories, mines and businesses shut down. Eskom was always a time bomb. It existed to produce artificially cheap electricity. State-owned utilities are a popular socialist gimmick. They’re so popular that Senator Bernie Sanders ran on a similar pledge.

In the seventies, the program of America’s future socialist celebrity politician was ominously similar to that of the SRWP. “The oil industry, and the entire energy industry, should be owned by the public and used for the public good,” he proposed in 1973.

In 1976, he suggested seizing Vermont’s private electric companies, claiming that it would result in cheaper rates and revenues that the government could then spend on social welfare.

"I favor the public ownership of utilities, banks and major industries," he stated in an interview.

South Africa’s rolling blackouts, families forced to turn to kerosene lamps, to firewood, and to generators is a graphic demonstration of what Bernie’s power play would have done to America.

Socialism in South Africa means being unable to store food in your fridge. It means eating dinner in the dark and finding your way around your building by using the light on your smart phone. It means that your business may need to shut down because there will be no power and no customers.

Like the ANC, socialism promises everything and instead takes everything leaving you in the dark. Socialism doesn’t work. Like South Africa’s power plants, it’s only a matter of time until it breaks down.






Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine.

Click here to subscribe to my articles. And click here to support my work with a donation.

Thank you for reading.

Sunday, June 02, 2019

Liberating Our Jerusalem

(Thank you to everyone who sent in condolences during the Shivah mourning period. Your thoughts and good wishes are greatly appreciated. The period is over and I have returned to my writing with this classic entry commemorating Yom Yerushalayim, the liberation of Jerusalem from Islamic rule.)



When Jordan's Arab Legion seized half of Jerusalem, ethnically cleansed its Jewish population and annexed the city-- the only entity to recognize the annexation was the United Kingdom which had provided the officers and the training that made the conquest possible. Officers like Colonel Bill Newman, Major Geoffrey Lockett and Major Bob Slade, under Glubb Pasha, better known as General John Bagot Glubb, whose son later converted to Islam, invaded Jerusalem and used the Muslim forces under their command to make the partition and ethnic cleansing of Jerusalem possible.

The Jews living in the free half of Jerusalem continued to be killed by Jordanian Muslim snipers. The victims of those years of Muslim occupation included Yaffa Binyamin, a 14-year-old girl sitting on the balcony of her own house and a Christian carpenter working on the Notre Dame Convent.

Under Muslim occupation, while Muslim snipers were  murdering their children, the Jewish residents living under fire couldn't so much as put in an outhouse without being reported to the UN for illegal construction. In one case a UN observer organization held four meetings to discuss an outhouse for local residents before condemning Israel for illegal construction.

It did not however condemn Jordan when one of its soldiers opened fire on a train wounding a Jewish teenage girl.

Not very much has changed.

The hysterical condemnations of “illegal construction” did not end when the Muslim occupation did. The great outhouse of the United Nations and the smaller outhouses of the foreign ministries of countries whose leaders tremble whenever Muslims grow agitated over a cartoon or a YouTube video fill the air with the vilest of substances whenever a Jewish family moves into a home in Jerusalem.

It would be inconceivable for the international community to denounce an ethnically cleansed group which survived attempted genocide for moving back into its own city. It is, however, standard policy at the State Department and the Foreign Office to denounce Jews living in those parts of Jerusalem that had been ethnically cleansed by Muslims, as "settlers" living in "settlements," and accuse them of being an "obstruction to peace."

Peace being the state of affairs that sets in when an ethnic cleansing goes unchallenged.

What we are talking about here is not peace, but ethnic cleansing. In 1948, the Jews were ethnically cleansed from Jerusalem to Islamize the city. Their synagogues were blown up by the Muslim occupiers. Their tombstones were used to line the roads traveled by the racist Muslim settlers. In 1948, the Jews were ethnically cleansed from Jerusalem to Islamize the city. Whether they were Zionists or anti-Zionists did not matter. They were not Muslims. That was all that counted.

“For the first time in 1,000 years not a single Jew remains in the Jewish Quarter,” Abdullah el-Talal, a commander of the Muslim invaders, had boasted. “Not a single building remains intact. This makes the Jews' return here impossible.” In his memoirs he wrote, “I knew that the Jewish Quarter was densely populated with Jews who caused their fighters a good deal of interference and difficulty…. Only four days after our entry into Jerusalem the Jewish Quarter had become their graveyard. Death and destruction reigned over it.”

Every politician who denounces Jews building houses in Jerusalem, but not Muslims doing the same thing is endorsing Abdullah’s genocidal vision and all the terrorism that goes with it.

In 1920, racist Muslim settler mobs in Jerusalem had chanted "Mohammed's religion was born with the sword", “Death to the Jews” and “the government is with us” as Muslim policemen under British colonial rule had joined with them in the rape and murder of the indigenous Jewish population.

Too many governments are still with those who wave the sword of Mohammed and cry death to the Jews. They encourage them, defend their agenda and issue weak rebukes when blood is spilled in the name of Islamization in Jerusalem, as it is in Kobani by ISIS and a thousand other places. Those who endorse the Islamization of Jerusalem cannot escape responsibilities for the crimes of the Islamizers.

Describing Jewish homes in Jerusalem, one of the world's oldest cities, a city that all three religions in the region associate with Jews and Jewish history, as "settlements" is a triumph of distorted language that Orwell would have to tip his hat to. How does one have "settlements" in a city older than London or Washington D.C.?

To understand that, you would have to ask London and Washington D.C. where the diplomats insist that one more round of Israeli compromises will bring peace.

They say that there are three religions in Jerusalem, but there are actually four. The fourth religion is the true Religion of Peace, the one that insists that there will be peace when the Jews have been expelled from Judea and Samaria, driven out of their homes in Jerusalem, and made into wanderers and beggars once again. Oddly enough, this religion's name isn't even Islam-- it's diplomacy.

Diplomacy says that the 1948 borders set by Arab countries invading Israel should be the final borders and that, when Israel reunified a sundered city in 1967, it was an act of aggression, while, when seven Arab armies invaded Israel in 1948, it was a legitimate way to set permanent boundaries. When Jordan ethnically cleansed East Jerusalem, it set a standard that Israelis are obligated to follow to this day by staying out of East Jerusalem. To violate that ethnic cleansing endangers peace.


When Muslims move into a Jewish town, there's no clamor. When Muslim countries fund Muslim housing in Israel, there are no angry statements. Muslim housing in Jerusalem or anywhere in Israel is not a problem. Only Jewish housing is.

The issue is not Israel. If it were, then Arabs with Israeli citizenship would also be condemned. It's only the Jews who are the problem.

The entire Peace Process is really a prolonged solution to the latest phase of the Jewish Problem. The problem, as stated by so many diplomats, is that there are Jews living in places that Muslims want. There were Jews living in Gaza before 1948, but they were driven out, they came back, and then they were driven out again by their own government in compliance with international demands. Now only Hamas lives in Gaza and it's as peaceful and pleasant without the Jews as Nazi Germany.

But there are still Jews in the West Bank and they have to be gotten rid of. Once enough Jews have been expelled, there will be peace. That's not a paragraph from Mein Kampf, it's not some lunatic sermon from Palestinian Authority television-- it is the consensus of the international community. This consensus states that the only reason there still isn't peace is because enough Jews haven't been expelled from their homes. The ethnic cleansing for peace hasn't gone far enough.

There will be peace when all the Jews are gone. That much is certainly undeniable. Just look at Gaza or Egypt or Iraq or Afghanistan, which has a grand total of two Jews, both of them in their seventies. Or Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Syria where peace reigns now that the Jews are gone. Some might say that violence seems to increase proportionally with the number of Muslims, but we all know that would be Islamophobic. On the other hand suggesting that violence increases with the number of Jews living on land that Muslims want, that's just diplomacy. A common sense fact that everyone who is anyone in foreign policy knows to be true.

How will we know when the Muslims have gotten all the land that they want? When the violence stops. Everyone knows that agreements mean nothing. No matter how many pieces of paper are signed, the bombs and rockets still keep bursting. The only way to reach an agreement is by groping blindly in the dark, handing over parcel after parcel of land, until the explosions stop or the Muslims fulfill their original goal of pushing the Jews into the sea.

That's the wonderful thing about diplomacy if you're a diplomat and the terrible thing about it if you are anyone else without a secure way out of the country when diplomacy fails. And diplomacy in the region always fails. Camp David and every single agreement Israel has signed with Muslim countries aren't worth the paper they're written on. The only peace treaty that counts is the one made by tanks and rifles. It's the one made by Israeli planes in Egyptian skies and Israeli soldiers walking the border. It's the one made by Jewish farmers and ranchers, tending their sheep and their fields, with rifles strung over their backs. The only peace that's worth anything is the peace of the soldiers and settlers.

In 1966, Jerusalem was a city sundered in two, divided by barbed wire and the bullets of Muslim snipers. Diplomacy did not reunite it. Israel pursued diplomacy nearly to its bitter end until it understood that it had no choice at all but to fight. Israel did not swoop into the fight, its leaders did their best to avoid the conflict, asking the international community to intervene and stop Egypt from going to war. Read back the headlines for the last five years on Israel and Iran, and you will get a sense of the courage and determination of the Israeli leaders of the day.

When Israel went to war, its leaders did not want to liberate Jerusalem, they wanted Jordan to stay out of the war. Even when Jordan entered the war, they did not want to liberate the city. Divine Providence and Muslim hostility forced them to liberate Jerusalem and forced them to keep it. Now some of them would like to give it back, another sacrifice to the bloody deity of diplomacy whose altar flows with blood and burnt sacrifices.

As we remember Yom Yerushalayim, Jerusalem Day, it is important to remember that the city is united and free because diplomacy failed. The greatest triumph of the modern state happened only because diplomacy proved hopeless and useless in deterring Muslim genocidal ambitions. Had Israel succumbed to international pressure and had Nasser been as subtle as Sadat, then the Six-Day War would have looked like the Yom Kippur War fought with 1948 borders-- and Israel very likely would not exist today.

Even as Jews remember the great triumph of Yom Yerushalayim, the ethnic cleansers and their accomplices are busy searching for ways to drive Jews out of Jerusalem, out of towns, villages and cities. This isn't about the Arab residents of Jerusalem, who have repeatedly asserted that they want to remain part of Israel. It's not about peace, which did not come from any previous round of concessions, and will not come from this one either. It's about solving the Jewish problem.

As long as Jews allow themselves to be defined as the problem, there will be plenty of those offering solutions. And the solutions invariably involve doing something about the Jews. It only stands to reason that if Jews are the problem, then moving them or getting rid of them is the solution. There is less friction in defining Jews as the problem, than in defining Muslims as the problem. The numbers alone mean that is so.

Yom Yerushalayim is a reminder of what the real problem is and what the real solution is. Muslim occupation of Israel is the problem. The Islamization of Jerusalem is the problem. Muslim violence in support of the Muslim occupation of Israel and of everywhere else is the problem. Israel is the solution. Only when we liberate ourselves from the lies, when we stop believing that we are the problem and recognize that we are the solution. Only then will the liberation that began in 1967 be complete.

Only then will we have liberated our Jerusalem. The Jerusalem of the soul. It is incumbent on all of us to liberate that little Jerusalem within. The holy city that lives in all of us. To clean the dross off its golden gates, wash the filth from its stones and expel the invaders gnawing away at our hearts until we look proudly upon a shining city. Then to help others liberate their own Jerusalems. Only then will we truly be free.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Deathwatch

Deathwatch

This is not an article. But once upon a time this was a blog where I would post my unformed personal thoughts. The thoughts eventually became articles. The articles were picked up and reprinted. But this one time, Sultan Knish will return to what it once was in a simpler time.

This is self-indulgent and personal.

Feel free to skip it.





Our lives are defined by numbers. Our deaths are defined by them too.

Somewhere out of sight, in the world or in our bodies, a clock ticks insistently away. Most of the time we are fortunate enough to be deaf to the relentless clockwork march of time.

Until we begin to hear. And are unable to stop.

There are many clocks in the hospital room where she lies dying beneath a plastic blanket inflated and deflated by one of a dozen machines in the room.

There is an old fashioned clock ticking inaudibly on the wall, there are digital clocks and timers embedded in everything. And there is the insistent count of heart rate, blood pressure and oxygen. The numbers keep going down.

The beeping is constant. One alarm, for the heart rate or the oxygen or the IV follows another. The alarms are a count. The numbers they measure are ultimately the only numbers that matter. They are the numbers of life.

I had often heard the term deathwatch, but standing on the plastic pine floor while the nurses come and go, I understand it. I am waiting for a death that I have been told is inevitable. I am waiting and dreading it all at once.

The Rabbi has come and gone. He has said his prayers and words of comfort. And I have said them with him. All the prayers in the end form one greater prayer. A fervent hope that our lives are defined by more than these numbers.

All our prayers are above all else a prayer for the existence of a G-d Whose being transcends the minutiae of material arithmetic. Whatever else we pray for, it is for a father that will never leave us and for a meaning more meaningful than our science tells us is all that there is.

We pray not merely for life but for a meaningful life. We pray not only in hope, but for hope.

We pray that there be something more on the other end of the deathwatch.

We pray that our prayers not be in vain.

Every now and then, I look from the numbers to the prayers, and back again, measuring the material life and the immaterial one, the digital prophecies of science, and the higher truth that I seek beyond the whitewashed walls, the tan blinds cutting off a view of the roof, and the endless ticking of the clocks and counts, the soft sighing of the machines trying to keep my mother comfortable and alive.

And failing at both.

Occasionally medical personnel come and go, donning purple gloves and yellow gowns, and then out again. I and she are both spectators in this play. We are amateurs at death and dying while they are the professionals. When we are gone, they will still be here, divining numbers and playing the odds.

They know secrets, not only of numbers, but of sounds and sights, and revelations of fragility and hope that the rest of us choose not to know.

But then the time comes when we poor amateurs must mount the stage and learn them anyway, when we must stumble through our paces without the benefits of schooling or script, performing poorly in our new parts.

Sometimes they ask me if I have medical training. I have. The studying of it has been more painful and expensive than theirs.

The deathwatch is a graduation. And on graduation, I will do my best to forget all that I have learned here.

After a stormy afternoon, a beam of sunlight slants through the lower half of the window.

The deathwatch has moved into the later hours of the afternoon. Perhaps it will continue on into night. I don't know and I don't want to know.

Deathwatches are always with us.

Those of us who don't fear for our loved ones, fear for our country or our way of life.

There are always things that we love and we fear losing. It is when we become aware of the very possibility of loss, as children or as adults, that we enter the outer rings of the deathwatch.

My current career began with a deathwatch of 9/11. In the ash and rubble, and the poisonous betrayals of the aftermath, the idea that we could lose our country became as real as when I first helped my mother into a wheelchair more years ago than I care to count.

I have not entered into that final deathwatch, the alarms of the end, for my country.

And I hope that I never do.

But to love something, real or ideal, or a mixture of both, is to know that it can die.

Everything we love dies. Except, perhaps our love, and the love of the Creator for his flawed creations caught between the numbers of their reason, and seeking a love and a hope that lies beyond this pale room, the fading houses stretching out in every direction, this world and all the endless worlds and stars beyond.

Hashem Hu HaElohim

The Lord is G-d, is what I will say when the deathwatch ends, and then, like Abraham and Jacob, and all my ancestors who have come before, and passed through that hope and home beyond the stars, I will seek out a place in the holy land of my ancestors to lay my dead to rest.




P.S. If you are interested in attending the funeral near Jerusalem, please contact me.