Friday, December 15, 2017

Strassel and Intimidation Tactics - More Relevant With Each Passing Day!.

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Israel remains safe.  Chicago is not safe. (See 1 and 1a below.)


I think Congressmen should wear uniforms. You know, like NASCAR
drivers, so we could identify their corporate sponsors!
Yesterday, I posted a wake up article by Dr Emanuel Tanya.

In the article he talked about the fact that perhaps most Muslims were peace loving but the reality is too many radical ones are not and they are being allowed to take over while/because too many remain silent.

I began to think about this and what happened in Birmingham, Alabama.

Bull Connor, The Klan, members of The White Citizen's Council were able to run the city (and into the ground) for decades because few were willing to stand up and speak out and the city still suffers from the Connor stigma to this day,  as does Alabama, for that matter.

I have a personal affection for Kim Strassel, because she is/has been willing to speak out and wrote a wonderful, thoroughly researched book about Intimidation Tactics. I had her come speak here in Savannah about the book, which, I believe,  is even more relevant today. Anyone who has not read it should.

What is being successfully attempted by those who run The Justice Department and the actions of some in The FBI is an effort to intimidate Congress.  Republicans, as is their usual stance, seem willing to allow themselves to be run over and the nation.  

Those who impede legitimate investigations by legitimate authorities should be hailed before Congress and forced to be forthcoming or jailed until they are so willing.  If not, then what good is the fact that we profess to be a nation that respects its laws?

We should have learned from the recent treatment of Hillary, Ms. Rice, Obama's disdain for immigration enforcement that we are on a path of two standards.

Our Founders made an effort to form a more perfect union and because we are human that will remain an open ended effort but at least we can try and always do better. If we fail to speak out we are surely doomed because, as Franklin warned us, we have a Republic if we can keep it.

I do not claim to have answers. My memos are simply a poor attempt to get those who read them to think and to care. 
There is always a price to pay but it does not have to be this high. (See 2 below.)
The Rant has returned. (See 3 below.)
1)Last week, relating to the Palestinian protests following President Trump’s declaration recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, I wrote “Normally Friday is a good day for Islamic protests; however the weather forecast after the afternoon prayers is for rain. There’s nothing like wet weather to dampen a protest.” I was wrong, bright sunny weather favoured the protestors and it should have encouraged a more impressive turnout. Notwithstanding that, reporters for many foreign news media outlets were quick to determine that the demonstrations at the end of the week were in fact another Intifada. Admittedly the anguish and indignation were reminiscent of past Palestinian uprisings, but the protests in Gaza, the West Bank, Jerusalem and a few places in Israel fell short of anything that resembled an Intifada.
Ha'aretz correspondent Dina Kraft said, "Overall the response – especially in Jerusalem – has been muted, at least in terms of physical protest.
To be sure there is outrage, but there is also deep despair, for Mr. Trump’s declaration was issued after two decades of a Middle East peace process so stuck it has already been given up for dead by many."  

Anshel Pfeffer, a columnist for the same paper, reminded us that Saturday was the 30th anniversary of the outbreak of the first intifada. It lasted for nearly six years, ending officially only with the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993. 
He went on to describe the first and second Intifadas;"In retrospect, the first intifada had been an event waiting to happen. It just needed a spark to ignite it.
The second intifada differed in many respects. At first it was spontaneous and ‘popular’ marked by rioting that broke out in Jerusalem following Ariel Sharon’s visit to the Temple Mount. Nonetheless, from a very early stage it was better organised with the paramilitary groups of the Palestinian Authority, Hamas and other organisations competing with each other to carry out armed attacks on Israeli soldiers and terror bombings against civilians in Israel.

Seven years after the start of the Oslo process, it was an attempt by the Palestinians to make gains they had failed to achieve by diplomacy.
By 2005 it had petered out. Viewed in retrospect it was a failure. 
Although Israel vacated the Gaza Strip and dismantled its settlements there, the Palestinians remained divided: Hamas ruling Gaza, the PA the West Bank, both cut off from each other and from Jerusalem by border fences and the separation barrier. 

In the 12 years since, many have anticipated a third intifada, but so far there have only been sporadic flare-ups. With every new outbreak of violence, there was an expectation of a full-blown intifada following in its wake. 

On Friday   approximately 3,000 Palestinians took to the streets protesting and rioting at some 20 flash points across the West Bank. The following day about 500 Palestinians came out to protest President Trumps epic declaration and on Sunday the turnout was even lower.”

Pfeffer pointed out that in the two intifadas, the uprising took place almost simultaneously in all three Palestinian communities living under Israeli occupation – the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem. Currently, not only are these groups physically divided to an unprecedented extent, they also have different agendas.

In Gaza, Palestinians are eagerly awaiting the implementation of the Fatah-Hamas reconciliation, which hopefully will lead to the easing of the siege imposed on Gaza by Israel and Egypt, and a much-needed boost to the local economy.

In the West Bank, the economic situation is less is comparatively better, but there is concern about the future of the dysfunctional Palestinian Authority. Fatah in the West Bank is more focused on maintaining the security coordination with Israel, which helps keep Hamas out and President Abbas in control.

The Palestinians of East Jerusalem are probably more disposed toward a confrontation with Israel. But as they contemplate their foreseeable future under Israeli civilian control, they are beginning to explore less violent tactics in a quest for equal rights as Jerusalem residents.

"The Palestinian Authority   in the West Bank and Hamas leaders in Gaza are loath to back a new round of all-out violence in their fiefdoms. They still feel they have too much to lose from chaos. Hamas is calling for an intifada, but only in the West Bank and Jerusalem where they don’t have any control. But an intifada in the West Bank will almost certainly mean the end of the Palestinian Authority – and when tens of thousands of officials and security personnel rely on the Palestinian Authority for their livelihood, there is a vested interest to continue coordinating with Israel while controlling the simmering protests." 
Pfeffer concluded, "In 1987, there was no accepted local leadership that had anything to gain from maintaining the status quo. In 2000, Arafat took a gamble that Israel would not dare dismantle his hierarchy. He ended his life trapped in the PA’s headquarters in Ramallah. Abbas is no gambler.

The memory of the thousands of deaths in two intifadas and four Gaza conflicts inhibits any mass outpouring of rage. The Palestinians are acutely aware of the chaos and desolation caused by the Syrian civil war and in other parts of the Arab world.  There may be hundreds of individuals motivated to take a knife or homemade Carl Gustav submachine gun and attack Israelis in the hope of becoming martyrs – but that is not a feeling common to wider swathes of Palestinian society. The critical mass of tens of thousands, prepared to risk their lives in a desperate uprising isn't apparent so far.

There are other contributory elements minimising the chances of an intifada breaking out. The Israel Defence Forces in the West Bank and police in East Jerusalem have tightened their rules of engagement, reducing the number of serious casualties among Palestinian demonstrators. 

Likewise, the policy of the coordinator of government activities in the territories to continue letting over 50,000 Palestinian workers from the West Bank to commute daily to jobs in Israel has created a major incentive for maintaining the calm. At least half the families in the West Bank are reliant in some way on the Israeli economy. They haven't forgotten that during the last Intifada Israel brought in foreign workers to replace Palestinians.

There is plenty of Palestinian despair and anger at the lack of any prospect of diplomatic progress and an end to the occupation. But there is also political pragmatism and the necessity of making a living.
 For the overwhelming majority of Palestinians, the price of another intifada is simply too high."

However, tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets across the Muslim world on Friday expressing their outrage at US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

In a speech screened from his bunker in Beirut, Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah said “We’re facing a second Balfour Declaration” and called for another Intifada.

Hassan Nasrallah
At a mass rally in Gaza  today celebrating the 30th anniversary of the founding of Hamas, Ismail Haniyeh said, “There is no such thing as the State of Israel, so it cannot have a capital called Jerusalem,” he too called for another Intifada.
Seeking a united stance against Trump's decision, leaders from the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) gathered in Istanbul on Wednesday for an extraordinary session.. Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan sharply criticised Israel calling it a "terror state." 
                     Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
Prime Minister Netanyahu told reporters at a news conference with French President Emmanuel Macron.”I'm not used to receiving lectures about morality from a leader who bombs Kurdish villages in his native Turkey, who jails journalists, helps Iran evade international sanctions and who helps terrorists, including Hamas  in Gaza, kill innocent people." 

Nonetheless, business between Israel and Turkey remains unaffected by recent events. According to the Israeli Chamber of Commerce, Israeli exports to Turkey rose 39% to $950 million, and imports from Turkey rose 16% to $1.05 billion. Turkey is Israel's sixth-largest export destination. Chemicals and oil distillates are the primary exports.

Following that positive news snippet I want to conclude on a festive note.
This week we are celebrating Hanukkah.

It was about this time of year, at Hanukkah, fourteen years ago  that  I wrote” Although the weight of evidence  points against there being a  miracle of the  flask of oil, so far no one has suggested  expunging  all mention of it and all that is associated with it .

In Israel this year it is expected that more than 90% of the secular population  (the majority) of the country will light Hanukkah candles. 

The legend has become an inseparable part of the festival. The historical accuracy is less important than the tradition and the beautiful symbolism of Hanukkah.”

Happy Hanukkah

1a)  Policy speeches vs. policy
It's only fair to share...
By Caroline Glick
What is President Donald Trump’s Middle East policy?

Monday Trump is scheduled to release a new US national security strategy on Monday. This past Tuesday Trump’s National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster gave a speech laying out some of its components in a speech in Washington.

McMaster’s speech was notable because in it he laid out a host of policies that McMaster himself has reportedly opposed since he was appointed to his position in February.

McMaster for instance has been open in his opposition to linking terrorism with Islam. He has also reportedly insisted on limiting US actions in Syria and Iraq to defeating Islamic State. McMaster reportedly fired his deputy for Middle East policy Derek Harvey last summer due to Harvey’s advocacy of combating Iran’s consolidation of control over Syria through its proxies President Bashar Assad and Hezbollah.

In his speech on Tuesday, McMaster embraced the policies he has reportedly opposed. He discussed at length the threat of what he referred to as “radical Islamist ideology.”

That ideology, which the US had previously interpreted “myopically,” constitutes “a grave threat to all civilized people,” he said.

McMaster regretted US myopia noting, “We didn’t pay enough attention to how it’s being advanced through charities, madrassas and other social organizations.”

McMaster fingered Turkey and Qatar, two ostensible US allies, as the main sponsors and sources of funding for Islamist ideology that targets Western interests.

He noted that in the past Saudi Arabia had served as a major sponsor of radical Islam. But Riyadh has been replaced by Qatar and by Turkey, he said.

Trump’s electoral victory raised hopes of his supporters and some of his advisers that the US would designate the Muslim Brotherhood has a terrorist organization. The Brotherhood has spawned multiple jihadist terrorist groups including al-Qaida and Hamas. President Recep Erdogan’s AK Party is a Turkish version of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Whereas McMaster reportedly opposed those calls, and his opposition played a role in Trump’s avoidance of the designation to date, McMaster took a significant step on Tuesday toward designating the Brotherhood a terrorist group.

While stipulating that not all Muslim Brotherhood groups are alike, McMaster said there is a “big problem when Islamist radical ideology bridges into political Islam.” He criticized the short-lived Muslim Brotherhood regime of Mohamed Morsi in Egypt and singled out Qatar for its support of “the Morsi model.”

He also noted that Turkey’s ruling AK Party operated through civil society to “consolidate power through one party.” He then said that the AKP’s consolidation of power “is a problem contributing to Turkey’s drift from the West.”

McMaster referred to Iran as a “rogue regime and a revisionist regional power.”

He said the US must “counter destabilizing [Iranian] activity, especially in Syria.”

Among other things, he said this includes blocking Iran’s path to nuclear weapons and blocking support for Iran’s proxies.

The problem with McMaster’s speech and the policy paper it set the stage for is that it is hard to know if they reflect an actual change in policy. Certainly his position and general drift haven’t been reflected in US actions in several key countries this week.

The day after McMaster’s speech the US Embassy in Beirut announced delivery of another $120 million in military assistance to the Lebanese Armed Forces.

As Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman has repeatedly stated, the LAF is a wholly owned subsidiary of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps controlled directly by Hezbollah, Iran’s Lebanese proxy army.

The Hezbollah-controlled LAF is the fifth-largest recipient of US military assistance worldwide.

According to Ambassador Elizabeth Richard, the LAF has received in excess of $1.5 billion in military aid over the past decade.

The newest arms shipment will include six MD 530G light attack helicopters, six Scan Eagle drones, and communications and night vision equipment.

Earlier shipments this year included Hellfire missiles, M1A2 Bradley Fighting Vehicles, rocket-propelled grenades, carbines and ammunition as well as helicopters, fighter jets, drones, advanced night vision and communications equipment.

Recently, Iran has become brazen in asserting its military control over Lebanon. A YouTube video posted this week portrayed Kais al-Ghazali, an Iranian- controlled Iraqi militia commander, standing 200 meters from Lebanon’s border with Israel. He and his colleagues were all wearing military uniforms.

Ghazali declared, “I am here with my brothers from Hezbollah. We announce that we are fully prepared and ready to stand as one with the Lebanese people with the Palestinian cause.”

If the LAF is a wholly owned subsidiary of Iran-Hezbollah, the Lebanese government is Iran’s satrapy.
Through Hezbollah, Iran controls every aspect of governmental activity.

In an attempt to force the West to recognize that basic truth, last month Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad summoned Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri to Riyadh. Hariri’s father, former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri, was assassinated by Hezbollah in 2005.

In Riyadh, an ashen-faced Hariri announced his resignation, acknowledging that Iran controls both his government (and him) and the LAF.

Hariri’s resignation was a great loss for Iran-Hezbollah and Western countries that do not wish to acknowledge the obvious. And so, represented by French President Emmanuel Macron, the West joined with Iran to demand that Hariri return to Lebanon.

The Saudis obliged. Hariri returned to Beirut and rescinded his resignation.

Hariri was embarrassed by Ghazali’s video. So Iran’s satrap denounced Ghazali and said his “activities of a military nature” 200 meters from Metulla were illegal.
He also insisted that his satrapy “is not a banana republic.”

Ahead of the US Embassy’s announcement of the new tranche of military hardware going to the Hezbollah- controlled LAF, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made clear that the Trump administration continues to view the LAF and Hariri as positive bulwarks against Iran and Hezbollah. Tillerson met with Hariri in Paris. After their meeting, Tillerson praised the French government for pressuring Saudi Arabia to permit Hariri to return to Lebanon where he could continue to pretend that he isn’t controlled by Iran.

Rather than shake their heads at the irony of Hariri becoming the servant of the forces that murdered his father, the Trump administration embraced the absurd lie of Lebanese independence.

Last Friday, Tillerson met with Hariri in Paris. After their meeting Tillerson praised the French government for pressuring the Saudis to let him return to Beirut to serve as Iran’s fig leaf.

“I think as to Lebanon, things have worked out in a very positive way, perhaps even more positive than before, because there have been very strong statements of affirmation for Lebanon, which will only be helpful,” Tillerson said.

He also expressed criticism of Saudi Arabia. Whereas Trump has backed the Saudis’ war against Iran’s Houthi proxies in Yemen, their political and economic campaign against Qatar designed to compel Doha to end its support for jihad and its alliance with Iran, and their moves in relation to Hariri, Tillerson criticized those efforts.
“With respect to Saudi Arabia’s engagement with Qatar, how they’re handling the Yemen war that they’re engaged in, the Lebanon situation, we would encourage them to be a bit more measured and a bit more thoughtful in those actions to, I think, fully consider the consequences.”

Tillerson also belittled the importance of Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, saying that the embassy won’t be moved to Jerusalem for years.

In recent weeks, members of Congress have expressed anger at statements by both US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin that indicated the administration is not requiring Qatar to stop funding Hamas.

Lawmakers sent separate letters to Haley and Mnuchin requesting clarification of the administration’s position. Whereas the administration informed Congress it continues to view Hamas as a terrorist group and demands Qatar end its support for Hamas, the administration’s diffident approach to Qatar has raised eyebrows.
Since Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt imposed a blockade on Qatar in June in retaliation for its sponsorship of terrorism and its alliance with Iran, administration officials have pointed to Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar as a reason for US’s hesitant approach. Al Udeid is the air operations center for all US air operations in the Middle East and Central Asia.

US Air Force Gen. Charles Wald transferred US air operations from Saudi Arabia’s Prince Sultan’s Air Base to Al Udeid in 2001. According to Wald, the US has several readily available options to replace Al Udeid. The Saudis have expressed willingness for the US to move their operation center back to Saudi Arabia. The Pentagon recently budgeted $143m. to expand its air base in Jordan.

It isn’t surprising, and to a degree it is reasonable, that the US is of two minds about its Middle East policy. For decades the US has both opposed and appeased its Middle Eastern enemies, and supported and turned on its allies.

Under Obama, the two-faced policy was driven by Obama’s ideological conviction that the US must align its Middle East policy with Iran and away from its traditional allies led by Israel, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
Under other presidents – including Trump – the US’s double-dealing has been more a testament to the US’s inability to tell its friends from its foes.

Over the years, the US has been unable to tell its allies from its enemies because they were fluid.
As McMaster rightly recalled, for years the Saudis behaved like the Qataris. And they also served as the anchor of the US alliance system with the Sunni Arab world.

Even today, as Crown Prince Muhammad and Saudi Arabia and Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi in Egypt make unprecedented steps to fight both jihadist forces and the ideology of jihad, the US cannot know whether either leader will be alive tomorrow or if they will have a sudden change of heart and leave the US high and dry.

Yet despite the uncertainty about their future, today we have more clarity than we had in the past.
Today it is obvious that Iran, its satellites Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Gaza and its allies Turkey and Qatar are the ascendant enemies of the US and its allies.

The forces willing to confront and fight them – Israel, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the UAE – are also self-evident.
True, Muhammad and Sisi may not be around forever. But the steps they have already taken to move their nations and Sunni Islam more generally away from jihadist ideology and practice are unprecedented.
Their actions to date have earned them Washington’s support.

The significant positions McMaster set out on Tuesday will in all likelihood be reflected in the document Trump will release on Monday. But as the arms transfer to Lebanon, Tillerson’s remarks in Paris, and the administration’s incoherent position on Qatar make clear, even the best national security strategies are not worth the paper they are written on unless they are translated into real policies implemented on the ground.

Illegal Immigration Costs U.S. Taxpayers a Stunning $134.9 Billion a Year

Illegal immigration costs American taxpayers a mind-boggling $134.9 billion annually, according to a detailed analysis of federal, state and local programs that include education, medical, law enforcement and welfare. Conducted by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), a Washington D.C. nonprofit dedicated to studying immigration issues, the in-depth probe reveals that state and local taxpayers get stuck with an overwhelming chunk—$116 billion—of the burden. State and local expenditures for services provided to illegal aliens total $88.9 billion and federal expenditures $45.8 billion, the analysis found. For those who claim illegal immigrants contribute by paying taxes, government figures show that only $19 billion was recouped by Uncle Sam.

“A continually growing population of illegal aliens, along with the federal government’s ineffective efforts to secure our borders, present significant national security and public safety threats to the United States,” the FAIR report states. “They also have a severely negative impact on the nation’s taxpayers at the local, state, and national levels. Illegal immigration costs Americans billions of dollars each year. Illegal aliens are net consumers of taxpayer-funded services and the limited taxes paid by some segments of the illegal alien population are, in no way, significant enough to offset the growing financial burdens imposed on U.S. taxpayers by massive numbers of uninvited guests.” This defies a myth, long promoted by influential open border groups, that illegal aliens pay their fair share of taxes.
More than 12.5 million illegal immigrants and their estimated 4.2 million citizen children benefit from the U.S. government’s generosity. The biggest expenditure ($17.14 billion) on the federal level is for medical services, which include uncompensated hospital costs, Medicaid births, Medicaid fraud and Medicaid benefits for U.S.-born children (anchor babies) of illegal immigrants. The second-largest federal expenditure is law enforcement and justice ($13.15 billion), which includes incarceration, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) operations and an alien assistance program. The feds spend $8 billion on general government programs and $5.85 billion on welfare, which consists of free school meals, food stamps, a supplemental nutrition program known as Women Infants and Children (WIC) and temporary assistance for needy families. FAIR points out the profound impact that illegal immigration has on programs intended to provide services exclusively to low-income Americans.

For state and local governments education is by far the largest expense, an eye-popping $44.4 billion that goes mostly to K-12 public schools nationwide, though over a billion of it is spent on college tuition assistance. General public services, described as expenses associated with garbage collection, fire departments and other locally-funded services total $18.5 billion for illegal aliens, the analysis found. Medical expenses came in third ($12.1 billion) for state and local governments and law enforcement ($10.8 billion) in fourth. FAIR researchers determined that a large percentage of illegal aliens work in the underground economy and frequently avoid paying income tax, leaving law-abiding, taxpaying Americans to foot the exorbitant tab for public services. The report also breaks down expenditures by state, with the top four spenders to provide illegal alien benefits California ($23 billion), Texas ($10.9 billion), New York ($7.5 billion) and Florida ($6.3 billion).

Over the years Judicial Watch has reported on a variety of studies and assessments involving the huge cost of supporting illegal immigrants, but this appears to be the most thorough and alarming in recent memory. The breakdown by category, state and federal services offers an incredibly detailed account of a major crisis perpetuated by a famously porous southern border. As FAIR writes in its report, it’s not just about money though the cost of supporting illegal immigrants should outrage every legal U.S. resident and American citizen. “A continually growing population of illegal aliens, along with the federal government’s ineffective efforts to secure our borders, present significant national security and public safety threats to the United States,” FAIR writes. Judicial Watch has also extensively covered the dire national security crisis along the Mexican border, including an investigative seriesdocumenting how Islamic terrorists have joined forces with Mexican drug cartels to infiltrate—and attack—the United States.
3)The wave of maturing CMBS loans from 2006-2007 is now past, and the disruption was nil. Loans either got paid off, were foreclosed, or the borrowers infused equity and refinanced at a lower leverage, but the process went much more smoothly than many of feared. With that now in the rearview mirror, CMBS issuance has surpassed payoffs for the first time in 7 years. This is a very positive event since it means the market is stabilized, no new crisis is going to  occur, and funding is happening for new loans on a smooth basis. This is all good for the health of the real estate market, and for the banks. Now with rates about to rise banks will have improved profits and with tax reform that will increase banks’ profits further since they are big tax payers. This is also a positive since the bank balance sheets will improve and they will be able to make more loans.  There is a bill in Congress to start unwinding the worst parts of Dodd Frank and it will pass. This is mainly designed to help smaller banks which are the key to loans to small business. Again, a very good event when it happens. Underwriting generally remains reasonably tight at the major banks, but there is more flex at the shadow lenders. At this moment there is no chance another crisis caused by bad underwriting will occur for at least several years. One day things will get too loose again, and there will be problems, but that is far off and not issue for now.

Where there are real issues are student loans which are defaulting at astronomical rates, states like IL,CT and NJ which are fiscal disasters due to past years of Democrats granting massive pension benefits to unions, and total lack of discipline on spending for entitlements and useless programs. Even with Republican governors working to fix things, there is so much required liabilities built in that it may take a bankruptcy of a state to fix the problems. At the federal level, if GDP growth hits 4%, and if the Republicans can get real control of the Senate in 2018, then there is a small chance we can start to deal with the deficit.

It is becoming much harder for Wall St to earn the levels of profits to keep top staff. There is a new set of regulations coming from the EU which requires all commissions to be unbundled. Forever the commissions paid by institutional investors to banks and brokers were a single amount that was then allocated by the bank to the trader, research and marketing. The buy side never knew how the commission was allocated.  This is how research groups earned their money. Now the commission must be unbundled by who gets it so research is now going to suffer because many investors will say we don’t want to pay for it or do not want to pay as much. Jan 1 is the date it goes into effect and so there will be a massive reduction in the number of research analysts at year end. The market will be reduced to 5-7 top analysts per sector and the rest will likely lose their jobs. While this is an EU rule, the major banks all do business internationally so they are adopting the EU rules to keep life simple instead of having differing rules in the US and the EU. This will mean smaller firms may have a harder time making money since firms like JP Morgan can subsidize research from other areas. There is a major reduction in fees all across the board in law, accounting, and investment banking. Doctors are moving to salaries as they find it hard to have a private practice now. The combination of the internet transparency and the crash combined to compress fees and commissions across many businesses. This is just one small aspect of why inflation is low.

The west coast is now facing a real crisis of homeless on the streets. First we ask why there. Simple- they make it inviting and provide all sorts of aid, so the homeless who are unmotivated people generally, flock to the financial incentives and lack of hassle from the cops. So now the merchants in downtown Portland OR are closing their shops and leaving because the homeless use their entry areas for bathrooms and they threaten the merchants and customers. They city does nothing to deter the problems and seems more inclined to be tolerant of disgusting behavior than to crack down on this. In San Diego they have to bleach the sidewalks regularly because there is a disease epidemic forming caused by all the use of the sidewalks as bathrooms. There are many more examples, but the picture is the same in San Fran, LA, Santa Monica or any city with this attitude of welcoming for the homeless.  In New York the problem is far worse since Deblasio became mayor and now we again have problems in the subways and on the streets that had been eliminated. It is not reaching near crisis levels again. This is one more example of the liberals saying they are compassionate, but in fact creating another major problem for everyone and a lowering of quality of life.

Joel Ross
Citadel Realty Advisors

de Blasio - Certified Idiot. Ubiquitous Russia. Millennials-Can They Rise To The Challenge? FBI Again A Gum Shoe Organization?

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This from a very longtime dear friend and fellow memo reader: "Let’s get rid of the elephant for the Republicans’ mascot. Even if elephants are afraid of mice, their memories are too good for Republicans. Instead, Republicans ought to adopt as their mascot armadillos, or as the unseeing, stupid, & ubiquitous road kill are known in the Deep South, “possums on the half shell. J--"

I suggested a weasel.

New York's re-elected mayor is a certified idiot.

He does not believe Muslim fanatics and Islamist terrorists are busy tunneling their way into our lives, our university campuses, and using our freedoms to destroy our freedoms.  Ask the Israelis. They know about radical Muslim tunneling.
Stratfor and ubiquitous Russia. (See 1 below.)
The FBI has chosen to become a secret organization and believes it can withhold information from Congress which has authority over the Agency.

The FBI was a gumshoe organization under Hoover and was eventually cleaned up by subsequent Directors.

The FBI seems to have retrogressed and are back to having gum on their shoes. Sad indeed.

If they are allowed to prevail, in time, they could look more like the American equivalent of The Gestapo and that would not be healthy. (See 2 below.)
Keep smoking that peace pipe. (See 3 and 3a  below.)
Is this the world in which American millennials will live.  Are they up to the challenge?  I have serious doubts.  (See 4 below.)


Sent by a friend and fellow memo reader. (See 4a below.)

1) In The Middle East, Russia Seems  Toe Be Everywhere

Russia's growing prominence in the Middle East was on full display Dec. 11 when Vladimir Putin visited three key Middle Eastern countries in one day. The Russian president followed a surprise trip to Syria with a quick stop in Egypt before ending his day's travels in Turkey. He met with his presidential counterparts in all three countries, and the economic deals, military agreements and political settlements he discussed highlighted Russia's role in the region. While Russia has its own reasons for bolstering its relationships with Syria, Egypt and Turkey, it also benefits from being visible where its regional rival, the United States, is not.

Russia's diplomatic reach in the Middle East varies significantly per country. Its fair-weather relationship with strategic powers such as Iran goes back centuries, while its pursuit of a strong relationship with Saudi Arabia is developing, for example. Russia's relationship with Turkey has yielded friction and fruit over the decades, depending on which way the pendulum has swung. But what is striking about Russian diplomacy over the past couple of years is how Moscow's diplomatic presence has saturated the region. Its activity in such areas as the Palestinian territories, Libya, Israel, Lebanon, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia is in some ways reminiscent of the Soviet Union's broad presence across the region. The juxtaposition with a United States that seems to want to draw down its regional commitments and focus on other issues, such as turning at long last to Asia instead of attending to fires in the Middle East, is noticeable, and it is heightened by Russia's appearing to be everywhere at once.

In all three of the countries Putin visited, Russia's goals contravene those of the United States, or the relationship is more pragmatic where Washington's is less so, and more heavily weighted toward a couple of specific names. In Syria, the United States plays a strong counterterrorism role but has stepped away from the civil conflict almost entirely, which gives it less leverage to bring about any sort of political solution aligned with U.S. interests. Meanwhile, Russia will be bringing Turkey, Iran and the Syrian government to the table to pursue a political settlement. In Turkey, Russia's warming relationship stands in contrast to the coldness currently plaguing U.S.-Turkey ties (although the U.S.-Turkey relationship goes through peaks and valleys). While the Syrian policies of both the United States and Russia have disappointed Turkey, Russia has made itself more indispensable to achieving what Ankara wants: a political settlement that denies the Syrian Kurds a federal state. By nature of Moscow's tight relationship with Damascus, clear in the multiple tete-a-tetes between Putin and President Bashar al Assad in recent months, there is a possibility of Russia offering Turkey what it needs from the Syrian conflict.

Russia's relationship with Turkey is important beyond its contrast with the U.S.-Turkey relationship, but Russia relishes bolstering its image as a mediator, interlocutor and friend as the United States struggles to be the same. The United States also has struggled to pressure Turkey and other Middle Eastern powers to improve their human rights behavior while relying on them to carry the weight of its regional policy. European Union countries drive an even tougher bargain on human rights with their Middle Eastern allies. Russia ignores the issue, much to the relief of its regional partners.

Russia has used its strategic footprint in Syria to deepen its relationships across the region. Egypt, which has a long-standing pattern of turning alternately to the United States or Russia for external security and economic agreements, is swinging toward Russia again. A plan to build a Russian nuclear power plant in Egypt is in the works, and Putin said in Cairo on Dec. 11 that Russia was ready to resume civilian flights to Egypt after a two-year disruption. An accord to allow Russia the use of Egypt's military bases, if finalized, will solidify Egypt's importance to Russia's military posture in the region.

Increased visibility and diplomatic energy don't mean, of course, that Russia can achieve whatever it wants in the Middle East. Moscow has scant history of exercising soft power to fully achieve its ends in the region, and despite Russia's solidifying position in Syria, the U.S. military and diplomatic presence across the Middle East still dwarfs Russia's. The timing of Putin's whirlwind day trip is also linked to Russian domestic politics, with presidential elections approaching in March 2018. Putin uses Russia's successes in Syria to promote Moscow's global role as the standoff with the United States continues, and to bolster the Russian image in the wake of the Winter Olympics doping scandal. Russia will discover limits as it seeks to deepen its presence in the Middle East — the Syrian peace process likely will stall, for example. In Iran, Egypt and Turkey, the pendulum will no doubt swing again to a less cordial place for Moscow. But Russia is building a deeper economic component into these relationships to help mitigate any limitations.

To Middle Eastern states, Russia is angling to portray itself as a benevolent mediator — a superpower that does not interfere domestically but can provide diplomatic, economic and security assistance. In this way, Russia benefits from the void left by a U.S. Middle East strategy skewed decidedly in favor of Saudi Arabia and Israel.
2)Secrets the FBI Shouldn’t Keep

Sen. Ron Johnson demands answers about the bureau’s political biases.

By Kimberley A. Strassel
Congress persists in its effort to pry the real story of the 2016 election out of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, an agency notoriously reluctant to share secrets. The trick is telling the difference between legitimate secrets and self-serving ones.
The FBI—and the Department of Justice—would rather blur that distinction. In recent congressional appearances, FBI Director Christopher Wray and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein tossed around the word “classified” like confetti. Neither man answered a single substantive question, citing their obligation to protect the “integrity” of investigations, safeguard “sensitive” information, and show deference to an “independent” and “internal” inspector general reviewing the FBI’s handling of the 2016 election.
True, the FBI has plenty of things it needs to keep secret regarding national security and law enforcement. Let’s even acknowledge the bureau may be rightly concerned about turning some information over to today’s leak-prone Congress. Even so, in the specific case of its 2016 election behavior, the FBI is misusing its secrecy powers to withhold information whose disclosure is in the public interest.
Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson exposed two such instances this week, from his perch as chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. Mr. Johnson received a letter Wednesday from Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz, who graciously and nimbly provided information that the committee had requested last week.

That letter included some notable dates. Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team is emphasizing its ejection of FBI agent Peter Strzok immediately upon learning about anti-Trump texts he exchanged with another FBI employee, Lisa Page, before the 2016 election. But when did the FBI learn of the messages? The inspector general’s investigation began in mid-January. The letter explains that the FBI was asked for text messages of certain key employees based on search terms, which turned up “a number of politically-oriented” Strzok-Page texts. The inspector general then demanded all of the duo’s text messages, which the FBI began producing on July 20.
But when did the FBI dig up and turn over that very first tranche? How long has the bureau known one of its lead investigators was exhibiting such bias? Was it before Mr. Mueller was even appointed? Did FBI leaders sit by as the special counsel tapped Mr. Strzok? In any case, we know from the letter that the inspector general informed both Messrs. Rosenstein and Mueller of the texts on July 27, and that both men hid that explosive information from Congress for four months. The Justice Department, pleading secrecy, defied subpoenas that would have produced the texts. It refused to make Mr. Strzok available for an interview. It didn’t do all this out of fear of hurting national security, obviously. It did it to save itself and the FBI from embarrassment.
This week’s other revelation of jaw-dropping FBI tactics came from a separate letter from Mr. Johnson. In November 2016, the Office of Special Counsel—a federal agency that polices personnel practices and is distinct from the Mueller probe—began investigating whether former FBI Director Jim Comey violated the Hatch Act, which restricts political activity by executive-branch officials, while investigating Hillary Clinton’s private server. The office conducted interviews with two of Mr. Comey’s confidantes: FBI chief of staff James Rybicki and FBI attorney Trisha Anderson.
Sen. Johnson in September demanded the full, unredacted transcripts of the interviews. But it turned out the FBI had refused to let the Office of Special Counsel interview them unless it first signed unprecedented nondisclosure agreements, giving the FBI full authority to withhold the information from Congress. The bureau has continued to insist the office keep huge swaths of the interviews secret from Congress, including the names and actions of key political players. (The Office of Special Counsel closed its investigation in May.)
In his letter this week, Mr. Johnson demanded that Mr. Wray authorize the release of the full transcripts and other documents. Even the redacted ones have revealed important information, for instance that Mr. Comey was drafting his Hillary Clinton exoneration statement well before she was interviewed. Congressional investigators believe the unredacted versions contain pertinent information about the actions of former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates and key investigators such as Mr. Strzok.
Mr. Johnson has given the FBI until Dec. 27 to come clean. Congress and the public have a right to know what went on in the Comey investigation, and the FBI and Justice Department seem to be attempting desperately to hide their actions.
Yes, the FBI has secrets the public needs it to keep. But don’t let the agency and its defenders muddy the difference between necessary secrecy and evasion of responsibility.
Write to
3) Fruitless, drawn-out high-level negotiations could buy time for other, less diplomatic efforts to work.
By Peter Harrell

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said this week that the U.S. was “ready to talk” to North Korea. The White House and State Department walked back that statement, but Mr. Tillerson may be on to something. With time running out for a peaceful solution, the U.S. should pursue a high-level, bad-faith diplomatic initiative with Pyongyang.

The purpose would not be to reach an agreement but to buy time—to induce the North Koreans to temporarily slow their nuclear and missile programs, giving the U.S. more time to step up the sanctions, military defenses, and covert operations that can actually resolve the crisis.

For the past year, the Trump administration has largely rejected high-level diplomacy on the ground that Kim Jong Un will not make meaningful concessions. Instead, the U.S. has strengthened offensive and defensive military capabilities and launched a sophisticated campaign of economic warfare.

President Trump is right that North Korea is unlikely to make meaningful nuclear concessions, and that economic strangulation and stepped-up covert activities are needed to force change in Pyongyang. But even maximally tough sanctions take time to bite. It took nearly three years of sanctions pressure before Iran got serious about negotiating over its nuclear program in 2013. Sanctions will take at least that long to change North Korea’s strategic calculus, given the Kim family’s well-documented history of starving North Korea’s people as it perseveres through economic hardship.

Military and covert options also take time. The Pentagon is developing new missile-defense technologies, and South Korea this month appropriated the first funds for its new “decapitation unit” designed to take out North Korean leaders. But these tools will take months, possibly longer, to become operational. The current U.S. sanctions and military timelines are almost certainly longer than North Korea’s nuclear one.

Offering the North Korean regime a set of high-level, public bilateral or multilateral meetings to discuss a resolution of the North Korean crisis could slow things down. Mr. Tillerson could offer to meet with North Korean officials or appoint a high-level special envoy to open negotiations. That would be attractive to the North Koreans, who have long sought the opportunity to negotiate with senior U.S. officials over issues like a peace treaty formally resolving the Korean War.

But contrary to Mr. Tillerson’s comment this week that the U.S. is willing to talk “without precondition,” the U.S. should make one demand: that North Korea pause its nuclear and ballistic-missile tests—tests that North Korea needs to finalize its program—for the duration of the talks.

U.S. negotiators should then seek to drag out the process as long as possible. They could make a series of complex offers, introduce procedural delays, and throw up obfuscations in order to keep the talks going, while their colleagues who work on sanctions, military technology and covert operations press ahead. The administration would know the talks would almost certainly fail to reach a diplomatic resolution—but that’s not the point.

The North Koreans could reject an offer of diplomacy. But that would show the world that North Korea has no intention of a peaceful resolution to its nuclear ambitions and justify U.S. demands that China put more pressure on Pyongyang.

Assuming Pyongyang did agree to the pause and talks, it would at some point tire of the fruitless negotiations and pull out. But in the interim, the U.S. would have bought time to let economic sanctions work, to improve military defenses, and to launch new covert options. There is even a remote chance that time would bring change to Pyongyang. For a crisis with no good resolutions, simply buying time to develop new solutions may be the best of the bad options we have.

Mr. Harrell is an adjunct senior fellow of the Center for a New American Security.

Has Trump Really Isolated the U.S.?
Despite Europe’s anger and Palestinian threats over Trump’s Jerusalem decision, the only path to peace still goes through Washington.
By Jonathan S. Tobin
In the days since President Donald Trump made his historic announcement about Jerusalem, the foreign-policy establishment has fumed about his decision. But even though all the predictions from the so-called “wise men,” as well as the “adults” in the administration, that any change in America’s Jerusalem policy would stand the world on its ear turned out to be wild exaggerations, Trump’s critics are reduced to weakly arguing that he has isolated the United States.

Even if that is true, the notion that this proves Trump was wrong is a fallacy. America’s European and Arab allies may not agree with the president, but that can’t be the factor determining U.S. policy any more than the so-far largely empty threats of violence from the “Arab street.” Trump’s decision to try to foster some realism about the Middle East can only have a beneficial affect on a near-hopeless problem. More to the point, if the Palestinians and their allies and enablers in the international community really want to pursue peace, the path to an agreement will still run through the United States, whether Trump’s critics like it or not.

Making the case for the establishment’s conventional wisdom on Trump was the Washington Post’s deputy editorial-page editor and veteran foreign-policy commentator Jackson Diehl. His column, “Will someone save Trump from this disastrous decision?” dismissed both the Jerusalem statement and the refusal to recertify the Iran deal as “impulsive” and “egotistical” decisions that “endangered the status quo.” In refusing to take the advice of those who knew better than him, Trump had, Diehl wrote, essentially “flipped over the table” and left the U.S. alone in the world in a manner that Clinton, Bush, or Obama would never have considered doing. The main point here is not just that the moves on Jerusalem and Iran were unwise but that they were foolish because they strayed from the consensus of the experts and caused the U.S. to stand alone.

On its face, this last assertion is true. Outside of Israel, whose capital has been located in Jerusalem since 1949, no nation has joined the U.S. in recognizing this reality. Like Trump’s tough talk on moving toward changing or ending the Iran nuclear deal, America’s European allies are having none of it. Moderate Arab nations have also voiced disapproval, though in some cases with far less vehemence that might have been expected.

But the problems with the establishment’s argument are painfully obvious.

The first is that when it comes to the Middle East, the wise men have spent decades proving their lack of wisdom. Refusing to acknowledge that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital didn’t bring the region closer to peace. On the contrary, the longer the world persisted in denying reality, the more it served to convince the Palestinians that they had no incentive to make peace. In the past, the Palestinians have repeatedly rejected Israeli offers of statehood that included a share of Jerusalem for their own capital and refused to negotiate seriously even as President Obama sought to tilt the diplomatic playing field in their direction by allowing more “daylight” between the positions of the U.S. and Israel. The Palestinian Authority has fostered a political culture in which rejectionism and glorification of terror (which the PA continues to subsidize financially) is the norm, and the refusal of the West to hold them accountable for it has only perpetuated the standoff.

The conventional wisdom held that doing anything on Jerusalem, even if (as was the case with Trump’s carefully calibrated statement) it didn’t preclude the possibility of a two-state solution with a partitioned holy city also serving as the Palestinian capital, was that a policy shift would set off an earthquake of violence and bloodshed. The assumption was that simply saying that at least part of Jerusalem is in Israel would be the equivalent of the publication of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed by a Danish newspaper in 2005. But what has happened since Trump spoke hasn’t come anywhere near to that debacle.

While the Palestinian Authority has sought to orchestrate demonstrations and rock throwing in Jerusalem and the West Bank that have caused injuries and at least one Palestinian fatality, the effort has been underwhelming even by their own standards of ginned up violence. The dire warnings issued to Trump were overblown. The same is true for the demonstrations held elsewhere in the Arab world and Europe. As Aaron David Miller, veteran State Department peace processor and a stern critic of Trump’s decision noted, the reaction from the Arab world demonstrated that belief in the “centrality of the Palestinian cause” as the root of conflict in the Middle East has collapsed. As he put it, “the Palestinian street is exhausted” and “the Arab street has disappeared.” The prospect of a U.S. embassy in Jerusalem didn’t engender nearly as much anger or violence as a cartoon of the Prophet.

What Trump has done is to begin a necessary discussion that the experts and other Western nations have refused to face. Trump is right to demand that the sunset provisions in the nuclear deal that will lead within a decade to an Iranian bomb be revoked. He’s equally right that the West must begin to prod the Palestinians to give up their rejectionism. In both cases, demanding that the status quo be preserved is ultimately more dangerous than overturning it.

Until the Palestinians are forced, one way or the other, to acknowledge that their century-old war on Zionism has ended in defeat, the conflict will continue. Recognizing Israel’s right to its capital is a way to send them that message. If the Palestinians really want a two-state solution — and there is no indication that a Palestinian Authority that is tangled up in negotiations with its Islamist rivals of Hamas would even think about that — there is only one path to such negotiations, and it runs through the United States.

Despite the lip service they are getting from the EU and its members, it is the Palestinians who are isolated. The refusal of Saudi Arabia to issue anything more than a low-key statement of disapproval to Trump makes that all too clear. The PA’s days of “rage” have been a bust, as has the EU’s temper tantrum about Trump.

Try as they might to pretend that they can be the interlocutors for Middle East peace, the European nations now complaining loudly about Trump are fooling no one. As with their desire to avoid thinking about the implications of the Iran deal so as to further their own economic interests, the Europeans don’t have clean hands on this issue. By refusing to try, as Trump has done, to hold the PA accountable for its terror subsidies, which are indirectly paid for by aid from them, the European Union is complicit in the problem. Their warnings about anger from the “Arab street” also ring false when countries like Sweden, who have helped demonize Israel’s government, now see a rash of anti-Semitic violence on their own streets.

If the foreign-policy establishment is angry, it’s mostly because the falsity of their assumptions have been exposed by a president with an instinctual contempt for experts that led him closer to wisdom than the advice of the adults. Far from helping Iran or triggering a religious war, the reaction to Trump’s move has shown that the ability of radicals to hold the world hostage on Jerusalem and other issues is a gigantic bluff that only a policy ingénue had the chutzpah to call. Instead of calling for a way to restrain Trump from ignoring more of their bad advice about the status quo, it’s the experts who should have the grace to admit that a president without much background on the issues, but who has the wit to want to avoid repeating their mistakes, isn’t as dumb as they have claimed.

— Jonathan S. Tobin is editor in chief of and a contributor to National Review Online.

Jonathan S. Tobin is editor in chief of and a contributor for National Review, the New York Post, the Federalist, Haaretz, the New York Jewish Week, the Gatestone Institute and MiDA. He can be reached via e-mail at:
4)4)A German's view of Islam and History Lesson 

'In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends'.  
  Martin Luther King

A German's View on Islam - worth reading. Hard to argue with this:

This is one of the best explanations of the Muslim terrorist situation I have ever read. His references to past history are accurate and easy to understand, and well worth the read.

The author of this email is Dr Emanuel Tanya, a well-known and well-respected psychiatrist.  A man, whose family was German aristocracy prior to World War II, owned a number of large industries and estates. When asked how many German people were true Nazis, the answer he gave can guide our attitude toward fanaticism.

'Very few people were true Nazis,' he said, 'but many enjoyed the return of German pride, and many more were too busy to care. I was one of those who just thought the Nazis were a bunch of fools. So, the majority just sat back and let it all happen. Then, before we knew it, they owned us, and we had lost control, and the end of the world had come.'  My family lost everything.  I ended up in a concentration camp and the Allies destroyed my factories.

'We are told again and again by 'experts' and 'talking heads' that Islam is a religion of peace and that the vast majority of Muslims just want to live in peace.' Although this unqualified assertion may be true, it is entirely irrelevant.  It is meaningless fluff meant to make us feel better, and meant to somehow diminish the specter of fanatics rampaging across the globe in the name of Islam.

'The fact is that the fanatics rule Islam at this moment in history. It is the fanatics who march.  It is the fanatics who wage any one of 50 shooting wars worldwide. It is the fanatics who systematically slaughter Christian or tribal groups throughout Africa and are gradually taking over the entire continent in an Islamic wave.  It is the fanatics who bomb, behead, murder, or honour-kill. It is the fanatics who take over mosque after mosque. It is the fanatics who zealously spread the stoning and hanging of rape victims and homosexuals. It is the fanatics who teach their young to kill and to become suicide bombers.

'The hard quantifiable fact is that the peaceful majority, the 'silent majority', is cowed and extraneous. 'Communist Russia was comprised of Russians who just wanted to live in peace, yet the Russian Communists were responsible for the murder of about 20 million people. The peaceful majority were irrelevant. 

'China's population was peaceful, but Chinese Communists managed to kill a staggering 70 million people. 

'The average Japanese individual prior to World War II was not a warmongering sadist. Yet, Japan murdered and slaughtered its way across South East Asia in an orgy of killing that included the systematic murder of 12 million Chinese civilians; most killed by sword, shovel, and bayonet. 

'And who can forget Rwanda, which collapsed into butchery? Could it not be said that the majority of Rwandans were 'peace loving?

'History lessons are often incredibly simple and blunt  Yet for all our powers of reason, we often miss the most basic and uncomplicated of points: peace-loving Muslims have been made irrelevant by their silence. Peace-loving Muslims will become our Enemy if they don't speak up. Like my friend from Germany, they will awaken one day and find that the fanatics own them and the end of their world will have begun.

'Peace-loving Germans, Japanese, Chinese, Russians, Rwandans, Serbs, Afghans, Iraqis, Palestinians, Somalis, Nigerians, Algerians, and many others have died because the peaceful majority did not speak up until it was too late.

'Now Islamic prayers have been introduced in Toronto and other public schools in Ontario, and, yes, in Ottawa, too, while the Lord's Prayer was removed (due to being so offensive?). The Islamic way may be peaceful for the time being in our country until the fanatics move in.

'In Australia, and indeed in many countries around the world, many of the most commonly consumed food items have the halal emblem on them. Just look at the back of some of the most popular chocolate bars, and at other food items in your local supermarket. Food on aircraft have the halal emblem just to appease the privileged minority who are now rapidly expanding within the nation's shores.

'In the U.K, the Muslim communities refuse to integrate and there are now dozens of "no-go" zones within major cities across the country that the police force dare not intrude upon. Sharia law prevails there, because the Muslim community in those areas refuse to acknowledge British law.

'As for us who watch it all unfold, we must pay attention to the only group that counts - the fanatics who threaten our way of life.' 

'Lastly, anyone who doubts that this issue is serious and just deletes this email without sending it on, is contributing to the passiveness that allows the problems to expand.

Extend yourself a bit and send this on. Let us hope that thousands world-wide read this, think about it,  and send it on before it's too late, and we are silenced because we were silent.


Fatah calls for rage
"Continue the intifada," "Rage for Al-Aqsa," 
"Jerusalem is ours"

  • Fatah: "For you, O our Jerusalem #Jerusalem_the_eternal_capital_of_Palestine"
  • Fatah song encouraging violence: "I am coming towards you, my enemy, from every home, neighborhood, and street... [with cleavers and knives] 
  • PLO official: "The American administration's decision... is a sort of declaration of war against our Palestinian people... the popular uprising... will continue and become an intifada"
  • Fatah official responds to Hezbollah head Nasrallah's call for intifada: "We will not disappoint you"
by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik

Since US President Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel Abbas' Fatah Movement has encouraged Palestinians to riot and "rage" in several posts on Facebook. The posts have included images of Palestinians with rocks and slingshots, demonstrations and burning tires. (See below.)
One post quoted a Fatah song that encourages terror:

Posted text: "I am coming towards you, my enemy, from every home, neighborhood, and street 
[Official Fatah Facebook page, Dec. 11, 2017]
The text is a quote from a song by Fatah exposed by PMW in 2014. The full lyrics promise violence with "cleavers and knives":

"I'm coming towards you, my enemy, from every house, neighborhood and street 
Our war is a war of the streets... 
We're going down from every house with cleavers and knives 
With grenades we announced a popular war 
I swear, you won't escape, my enemy..."
[Facebook, Fatah - The Main Page, Nov. 22, 2014]
A branch of Fatah's military wing the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades called for continuation and escalation of "the intifada":

Posted text: "The Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades at the Al-Fawwar refugee camp south of Hebron: 'It is necessary to continue the intifada and escalate it, and to see days of popular rage in the coming days.'"
[Facebook page of the Fatah Movement - Bethlehem Branch, Dec. 8, 2017]
Similarly, Secretary-General of the Palestinian Liberation Front and PLO Executive Committee member Dr. Wasel Abu Yusuf described Trump's declaration as "declaration of war against our Palestinian people," thereby justifying his call for "continued popular uprising" and "intifada":
"Secretary-General of the Palestinian Liberation Front and PLO Executive Committee member Dr. Wasel Abu Yusuf... said the American administration's decision to transfer the US embassy to Jerusalem is a sort of declaration of war against our Palestinian people, and a prelude to carrying out the plots that strive to eliminate the Palestinian cause through what is called 'the deal of the century' or 'the regional solution.'
Abu Yusuf said in an interview with the media outlets that the popular uprising in response to [US President Donald] Trump's decisions will continue and become an intifada of return, freedom, and independence."
[Wattan, independent Palestinian news agency, Dec. 12, 2017]
Responding to Hezbollah Secretary-General Mr. Hassan Nasrallah's call for "a third intifada," Fatah Central Committee member Abbas Zaki said
"We will not disappoint you."
[Website of Al-Mayadeen, Lebanese satellite TV channel, Dec. 11, 2017]
Additional posts encouraging violence and riots on Fatah's Facebook page included:

Posted text:
"For you, O our Jerusalem
Text on image: "For you, O our Jerusalem"
[Official Fatah Facebook page, Dec. 12, 2017]
In the upper left corner appears the Fatah logo that includes a grenade, crossed rifles, and the PA map of "Palestine" that presents all of Israel as "Palestine" together with the PA areas. The logo is accompanied by the text: "Information Office of the Fatah Movement Mobilization and Organization Commission."

[Official Fatah Facebook page, Dec. 12, 2017]

The image shows a masked Palestinian woman using a slingshot while wearing a
keffiyeh, yellow Fatah headband, yellow Fatah scarf, and a black shirt featuring the Fatah logo.
Posted text: 
"The rage continues
Text on image:
The rage continues"
In the bottom of the image is written "The Fatah Movement Mobilization and Organization Commission."
[Official Fatah Facebook page, Dec. 11, 2017]

Posted text: "Rage for the Al-Aqsa Mosque"
Text on image: "#The_rage_of_Jerusalem"
In the bottom of the image is written "The Fatah Movement Mobilization and Organization Commission."
[Official Fatah Facebook page, Dec. 11, 2017]

Posted text:
"Nothing will break us
Text on image:
"Nothing will break us
This morning we will triumph, and we will unite the flags and the sad nations with a Palestinian banner
In the bottom of the image is written "The Fatah Movement Mobilization and Organization Commission."
[Official Fatah Facebook page, Dec. 11, 2017]

Posted text: "#Jerusalem_is_our_capital"
Text on image: "Jerusalem is our capital" 
In the bottom of the image is written "The Fatah Movement Mobilization and Organization Commission."
[Official Fatah Facebook page, Dec. 11, 2017]
The following are longer excerpts of some of the reports above:
Headline: "Wasel Abu Yusuf: The uprising will continue and become an intifada of return, freedom, and independence"
"Secretary-General of the Palestinian Liberation Front and PLO Executive Committee member Dr. Wasel Abu Yusuf emphasized that the Palestinian leadership firmly refuses any meeting with American Vice President [Mike Pence] or any party from the American administration. He also said that the American administration's decision to transfer the US embassy to Jerusalem is a sort of declaration of war against our Palestinian people, and a prelude to carrying out the plots that strive to eliminate the Palestinian cause through what is called 'the deal of the century' or 'the regional solution.'
Abu Yusuf said in an interview with the media outlets that the popular uprising in response to [US President Donald] Trump's decisions will continue and become an intifada of return, freedom, and independence. He added that this requires that all of the Palestinians - as we are on the verge of the [PLO] Central Council convening - outline a unified strategy that will unite the national activity and effort, aid the popular uprising to continue, and assemble popular defense committees to stand against the terror of the occupation and settlers."
[Wattan, independent Palestinian news agency, Dec. 12, 2017]

Headline: "Zaki to Nasrallah: We will not disappoint you!"
"Palestinian Fatah Movement Central Committee member [and Fatah Commissioner for Arab and China Relations] Abbas Zaki said that the [Fatah] Movement is no longer interested in any relations with the US, as it and Israel are currently two sides of the same coin. He also said that [US President Donald] Trump will no longer have a role in the political process or a [peace] agreement between the Israelis and Palestinians.
Zaki's statements came after Hezbollah Secretary-General Mr. Hassan Nasrallah's speech at a mass demonstration for Jerusalem held in the southern quarter of Beirut, in which he called on the Palestinian people to carry out a third intifada in response to American President Donald Trump's recent decision, as part of which he recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Zaki addressed the secretary-general of Hezbollah and said: 'We will not disappoint you.'"
[Website of Al-Mayadeen, Lebanese satellite TV channel, Dec. 11, 2017]