Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Magnificent Speech, Will Democrats Join Trump In Helping America Become Great? Stay Tuned.

As Chris Wallace said tonight, Donald Trump became president of The United Stated this evening.

Trump made a great speech and said things that no one in their right mind and as an American could disagree with yet, without, trying, Trump, also made the Democrats look pathetic and small as they sat like mice on their hands.

He appealed to Democrats to join him in helping to make America great again.  Will they?  Time will tell.

Can The E.U Survive? Democrat Demographic Issues.

Is The Democrat Party  facing a demographic issue? (See 1 below.)
EU will fall? (See 2 below.)
Another economic thought.

Even if corporations engage in accelerated depreciation they still may not  have the ability to finance a replacement facility due to inflation and increased costs.

For a very simplistic  example.  Let's suppose a corporation builds a $20 million facility and depreciates it over 20 years or at the rate of $1 million per year.  Twenty years go by and they need to replace it and the new facility costs $30 million, partly due to the rise in materiel costs but also because technology has changed.  If this company has not retained earnings over the 20 years they may be challenged financially to compete. Add to this their need to spend on research and development, meet all the inane rules and regulations aggressive bureaucrats dream up and union demands for more and more wage increases and benefits that outstrip productivity and it is little wonder American manufacturers leave this country in order to seek lower costs and remain competitive.

Only sovereign governments can finance deficits for a period of time at increasing interest rates but this is generally not something corporations can sustain. Even Greece can no longer finance its continuing poor economic results without assistance from its European brothers.

Tonight Trump will address American competitiveness. I seriously doubt Democrats will applaud much of his proposals except when he proposes spending for infrastructure. It is amazing how cost conscious these former big spenders and Obama deficit supporters have become.

Trump's address tonight should prove interesting and will be an attempt to begin the process of healing the nation's divide.  Results always do more than talk and legislation should soon begin.
I suspect Trump will be harsh on his own party members who try and throw sand in the gears.
Can The EU Survive.
1)  The Democratic Party is facing a demographic crisis

In 2008, Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama outperformed his predecessors 
John Kerry and Al Gore with virtually every single demographic group, handily defeating his
Republican rival John McCain.
This success spread to down-ballot races as well. Democrats expanded control over the House 
and the Senate, and they controlled most governorships and state legislatures nationwide.
Many progressives came to believe these results were not a fluke. Obama’s coalition seemed to 
The logic was simple. Most of those who are young, college-educated, women or minorities 
lean left. Older white men leaned right, but whites were declining as a portion of the electorate
due to immigration and interracial unions. Therefore, as the older generation passed away 
and a younger, more diverse and more educated cohort stepped into the fore, America would 
become more progressive in an enduring way.
Right now, these predictions are not looking so good. In a virtual inversion of 2008, only
worse, Republicans control both chambers of Congress and stand to expand their control of
the Senate in 2018. Republicans also dominate state legislatures and governorships
It may be tempting to hold onto the faith in an emerging Democratic majority. Some predict 
Trump will self-destruct and his followers will be consigned to irrelevance, to the “wrong side
of history,” as President Obama often phrased it.
On the one hand, as a social psychologist, I understand this impulse toward comforting 
thoughts. However, given my background in applied social epistemology, I also know it is 
imperative for progressives to have a clear-eyed view of the situation at hand.
The Democratic Party is in crisis. Demographics will be unlikely to save them. If anything, the 
trend seems to be going in the other direction.

From ballot counting to exit polls

The Democratic coalition rapidly deteriorated after the 2008 election. In the 2010 midterms, 
the Democrats lost the House in the most sweeping congressional reversal of the preceding 62
years. The hole only got deeper in 2014, as the Senate also came under Republican control.
Between 2008 and 2016, there was a dramatic downward trajectory across presidential races 
as well.
In 2008, Barack Obama beat John McCain by 192 Electoral College votes and 8.54 million 
popular votes. In 2012, he beat Mitt Romney by just 126 electoral votes and 3.48 million 
popular votes. Obama’s margin of victory, while objectively comfortable, represented a 59 
percent decline in the size of his popular vote lead.
In 2016, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by 2.87 million votes. Even if she had won the 
presidency, her performance would have marked another steep decline in Democrats’ margin 
of victory, down a whopping 66 percent from 2008. It would have been the narrowest popular 
vote margin of any winning candidate since the 2000 election.
However, Clinton’s popular vote lead came overwhelmingly from densely populated and left-
leaning states like California. Relative to Barack Obama, she underperformed in key
midwestern states, ultimately losing the Electoral College by 74 votes and costing the 
Democrats the White House.
To better understand this loss, I turned to exit polls, surveys of voters taken directly after 
voting. Exit polls are a great resource for understanding why a Democratic majority has failed
 to emerge over the last 10 years. They are specifically designed to help pundits and analysts 
make sense of electoral outcomes and produce narrative frames.
New York Times exit poll data from the last three midterm and presidential cycles reveals 
distinct longitudinal trends across demographic dimensions such as gender, race, age, income,
 educational attainment and ideological alignment.
As one might imagine given the Democrats’ breathtaking electoral collapse, there is basically 
nothing but bad news for Democrats across the board. The data showed that the voting 
patterns of key demographic groups shifted dramatically downward from 2008 through 2016.

A reality check

Despite these trends, many popular narratives about the 2016 election seem to reinforce the 
concept of an emerging Democratic majority.
For instance, there is a common misconception that Trump was ushered into power by old,
white, economically disenfranchised men. However, according to the exit polls, Trump actually
did worse than Romney among whites and seniors, but outperformed him among blacks, 
Asians, Hispanics and young people.
While the Democrats lost a lot of support among low-income Americans, I think it would be a 
mistake to interpret these as Trump’s base. He won a plurality of every income bracket above 
US$50,000 as well. He also won more non-Christian and nonreligious voters than any 
Republican since the 2000 election.
However the biggest surprise of 2016 probably relates to gender. The first major party female 
candidate for president, running against a notorious misogynist, captured the Democrats’ 
lowest share of female voters since 2004. And although Trump also got a lower share of female
voters than his last three Republican predecessors, he nonetheless won over a majority of
Granted, Trump’s candidacy and campaign were exceptional. However, it would be a mistake 
to think of these outcomes as aberrations rather than the culmination of a long-running trend.
Contrary to the emerging Democratic majority thesis, there does not seem to be any 
demographic category with which Democrats are progressively improving.
However, there are lots of them on the Republican side.

The perils of identity politics

Democrats may try to assure themselves that things are not so bleak. The party still pulls in 
nearly 90 percent of the black vote, two-thirds of Hispanic or Asian votes, and majorities 
among racial and ethnic “others.” They continue to capture a majority of women and young 
people. While the exit polls show that Republicans have been consistently chipping away at 
this coalition, the trend does not suggest the GOP will actually win majorities from any of 
these groups anytime soon.
But here’s the rub: Republicans actually don’t need to outright win – or even come close to 
winning – any of these demographic categories in order to come out ahead. If minority 
turnout is low, Republicans win. If Democrats fail to capture 2012 levels of black, Hispanic 
and Asian votes, they lose. It doesn’t really matter if lost votes go to Republicans or 
independents – the outcome is the same.
The Democrats’ current coalition presents a very narrow path to victory. Minority groups like 
LGBTQ, Jewish, Muslim, Asian, black or Hispanic Americans each comprise just a small slice
of the electorate. Meanwhile, whites amount to no less than 70 percent. This means 
Democrats can get 100 percent of the votes from all other groups combined, and still not be 
anywhere near a majority unless they get at least a third of the remaining white 
vote.However, Democrats do not have unanimous support from any of these populations.
Minority votes also tend to be concentrated in relatively safe states and voting districts. To 
win statewide or national races, Democrats would have to capture an even larger share of the 
white vote than the raw electoral share data would suggest – particularly in rural and
suburban areas which tend to have higher turnout despite their lower populations.
Unfortunately, most of the “favorable” demographic shifts for Democrats have occurred in 
districts that are basically noncompetitive. So long as this trend holds, Democrats stand to 
benefit little, if at all, in terms of congressional seats or Electoral College votes, regardless of 
how many more Americans happen to fall into Democratic-leaning categories.
Moreover, ideological affiliations and perceived interests tend to grow more diverse within 
groups as they expand. Therefore, while Hispanic and Asian voters currently skew heavily 
toward Democrats, Republicans could actually end up benefiting more in the long run from 
the projected demographic shifts.
Finally, Democrats rely heavily on irregular voters to win national contests, particularly 
during years with presidential elections. This group tends to stay home unless they are
actively inspired. And even when these voters truly believe in a candidate or cause, they can be
easily discouraged from going to the polls.
Adjusting for relative participation rates, internal disagreement and uneven geographic 
distribution, a winning Democratic coalition would likely require a ratio of at least one non-
minority white for each minority constituent. And to the extent that Republicans actually do 
rally the white vote – again, Trump did not – Democrats’ margin for error more or less 
vanishes. Yet Democratic support among white voters has plummeted in every election since 
2008. This 
trend is not sustainable if progressives aspire toward any kind of majority coalition in any 
foreseeable future.

Looking forward

Obama’s election was not the first time Democrats prophesied a permanent majority. Similar 
claims were made prior to the ascendance of Nixon, and then again just before Reagan took 
the country by storm. This track record alone should inspire deep skepticism about 
deterministic and epochal political predictions.
Progressives don’t have any kind of “lock” on the future. In the near term, absent radical
change, the situation may even grow worse for them.
But Republicans should hardly grow complacent with their apparent advantage either. In U.S. 
politics, overwhelming majorities tend to be unstable. Nothing is truly inevitable until it 
actually happens.

Why the EU can't make sense of the world

and why its downfall is imminent

Author:  Unknown     Source: Gatestone Institute
At its core, what is the EU? And why, despite its vast resources, does it seem perpetually unable to make 
sense of the world and meet its objectives? The two answers lie hidden in the EU’s very DNA.
First, there’s the EU’s primary internal contradiction: EU federalism is an ideology that propagates post-
ideologism; a culturally amorphous post-ideological world.
A cosmopolitan easy going agnostic world, in which the single market and currency have made nationalism 
obsolete. Indeed, a world where the European Parliament invites a long haired bearded shemale to perform in
front of its building and announces him/her as “The voice of Europe” singing for equality, without anyone 
batting an eye.
The EU’s core problem, however, is that in its way of viewing and engaging the world beyond Brussels’ 
boundaries, it is acting as if the world has already arrived at this so badly coveted post-cultural/ideological end 
This is why the EU’s foreign minister is convinced political Islam should be part of the solution for Europe’s 
bicultural malaise. It is why for almost a decade now, the EU is maintaining it is reasonable to expect a 
German fiscal discipline from Greece ― a country in which tax evasion has been a central pillar of its culture 
ever since it was conquered by the Ottoman Empire some 600 years ago. It is why the EU fails to grasp the 
fact it’s deepening the migration crisis by acting as a ferry service for human traffickers. It is why the EU 
refuses to acknowledge an inherently expansionist religion like Islam views Europe’s open borders as an 
invitation to conquest. And it is why it was caught off guard by the mass rapes in Cologne etc. Because in the 
EU’s world, man in its natural state never existed and the Rape of the Sabine Women was never told.
In short, the EU is treating the world as if it’s already an earthly EUtopia in which everything can be solved 
through dialogue and the right subsidies. And that’s why it will keep on chasing facts until its imminent demise.
But there’s something even more fundamental obstructing the EU’s ability to solve crises.
The EU is artificial and unnecessary 
What is the EU? The EU is a government looking for people to govern. It didn’t evolve organically from a 
community’s desire to be governed. It was an elitist ideological hobby project ― one that European 
Commission first Vice-President Frans Timmermans a few weeks ago referred to as:
The EU is not a peace project
This, however, is a deception. A deception so pervasive, it has become the most pivotal element of the 
Eurocrats’ belief system. But the EU is no peace project. It neither caused nor consolidated peace.
True peace is being able to hurt one another, but simply not wanting to. In 1945, after centuries of conflict, 
European nation states finally reached this status. Subsequently, the European Economic Community (EEC
consolidated this peace in 1958 by entangling the French and German economies.
The EU came afterwards, without there ever being an actual need for it ― the continent was peaceful and that 
peace was consolidated.
The EU has no actual raison d’être
So, if the EU neither caused nor consolidated peace, what is the EU’s fundamental raison d’être? The simple 
answer is: it has none. There is nothing fundamentally positive about Europe, that could not exist without the 
This is no trivial matter.
Because the EU is a highly artificial and non-organic governing body, one without a fundamental raison d’être,
the EU’s priority objective, at all times, is self-preservation. Even when this means not solving problems at 
The euro and migration crises serve as prime examples. The EU is not only not solving the euro crisis, it’s 
prolonging it by insisting fiscally dysfunctional member states remain member states, simply because their 
ejection from the EU would endanger and obscure the EU itself.
The same is true for the migration crisis. It’s not hard to solve. To simply stop being a ferry service for human 
traffickers and implement the very straight forward Australian model, is hardly rocket science. It’s no 
coincidence Australia’s migration architect claims Europe doesn’t even seem to be trying to solve this crisis.
In 2016, 490,547 migrants reached Europe. The total number of asylum applicants is almost 2.5 times higher 
at 1.205 million, which is a modest drop from 2015’s 1.323 million. During the first months of 2017, almost 
13.000 arrived by sea.
So what is the EU’s priority during the migrant crisis?
Instead, the EU’s highest priority seems to be preventing nation states from bypassing the EU, by taking their 
own measures against the crisis.
For if that were to happen, the EU would lose its ‘greatest achievement’: the federal control of European 
national borders, without which, the EU is nothing.
“Sell me this pen”
The EU has been sold to the European people by bored career politicians who persuaded them that Europe 
needed a supranational government and monetary union to prosper.
Europeans bought a pen from someone who told them to write their names on a napkin.

The Middle East. Shallow Article By Erick Erickson. Muslims and Sterling Heights.

Ah, The Middle East. (See 1 and 1a below.)
Erick Erickson's explanation why the mass media hate Trump.  (I consider this a very shallow article but am posting anyway.) (See 2 below.)
Trump's first  State of The Nation Speech tonight. It will be interesting to see what he says, how he says it and the response.
From a friend of ver 80 years and fellow memo reader: "A follow-up to Fw: My Visit to Sweden Confirms Trump Was Right | Kassam at Breitbart (Dearborn and Hamtramck) next is Sterling Heights in Michigan  What is happening in Atlanta, Birmingham, etc. all over America and not a word about it.  Slowly the take over is happening under our noses.

Obama is home laughing at us, how dumb these people are.  I stuck it to them all.  A few Republicans caught on, the Democrats are totally conned, they are fighting for my plan to give away America without firing a shot. It appears that the more educated they are the dumber they are. 



'Palestine': Who has moral high ground?

Author:  Dr. Martin Sherman     Source: Israel National News
Even if the Palestinians agree that their state have no army or weapons, who can guarantee that a Palestinian army would not be mustered later to encamp at the gates of Jerusalem and the approaches to the lowlands? And if the Palestinian state would be unarmed, how would it block terrorist acts perpetrated by extremists, fundamentalists or irredentists? –Shimon Peres, The New Middle East (1993), on the perils of the two-state prescription.
Free institutions are next to impossible in a country made up of different nationalities. Among a people without fellow-feeling, especially if they read and speak different languages, the united public opinion, necessary to the working of representative government, cannot exist. –John Stuart Mill, On Representative Government, (1861) on the perils of the one-state prescription.
With all the money that has been invested in the problem of Palestinians, it would have been possible long ago to resettle them and provide them with good lives in Arab countries.  – Andrei Sakharov, Nobel Peace Laureate, quoted in Jerusalem Post , May 24, 2009, on the merits of funded emigration prescription.
In ending last week’s article, I undertook to demonstrate why policy prescriptions that promote funded emigration of the Palestinian-Arab residents in Judea-Samaria to third party countries are superior to all other proposed alternatives—both in terms of practical outcomes and morality.  Additionally, I pledged to show why such a policy paradigm—The Humanitarian Paradigm—would be the most moral (even in terms of the value system of its detractors); and why it would produce the most desirable results if it is successful—and the least traumatic results if it is not.
Resolving “Palestine”: A Typology
In addressing the problem of “Palestine”,  approaches to resolving the conflict can be divided into two major categories:
 (a)  Those endorsing significant territorial concessions by Israel to facilitate establishment of a self-governing Palestinian-Arab entity—either in the foreseeable future or at some later, yet-to-be-determined, time;
(b) Those opposing such territorial concessions and establishment of such a self-governing entity.
As I underscored last week, the latter category, can be divided into two sub-categories: (i) Those that maintain that Israel can survive in the long-run as the nation-state of the Jewish people if over one third of its permanent population is made up of Muslim-Arabs; and (ii) those that warn that this would critically imperil Israel’s ability to endure, over time, as a Jewish nation-state.  
Clearly, the policy I have long advocated—of endorsing funded emigration for the Palestinian-Arab population –falls into the latter category.
In the ensuing sections, I will proceed to analyze the ramifications of the success and the failure of such a policy, compared to those of alternative policies based on the parameters of the other categories.
Comparing implications of implementation
The clear superiority of “Humanitarian Paradigm” in the case of successful implementation is virtually self-evident. After all, this would provide Israel with short, defensible frontiers, topographical advantage and a manageable sized Muslim minority. No other policy paradigm can produce a similarly desirable outcome—even if successfully implemented.
Thus, policies based on relinquishing large swathes of Judea-Samaria to facilitate a self-governing Palestinian entity  will leave Israel with borders that are both tenuous and tortuous (anywhere from 450 to 2000 km long depending on the precise parameters of the prescribed pull-out),  and  exposed to chilling topographical inferiority.   Indeed, it was none other than the late Shimon Peres, who aptly designated such frontiers as “constituting compulsive temptation to attack Israel”.   Such tempting vulnerability would leave little room for error of judgment, compelling the IDF to be in a constant state of alert, ready for massive preemption at minimum provocation.
Hardly a recipe for stability.   
Any hostile forces, whether regular or renegade, could potentially cripple the socio-economic routine in the coastal plain, either in compliance with, or defiance of, the regime set up in the areas evacuated by Israel.  Moreover, the goodwill and sincerity of any envisaged Palestinian peace partner (whether real or imagined) is largely irrelevant.
After all,  since he could well be replaced by some more inimical successor, likely to invoke any such “perfidious” deal with the hated Zionist entity as justification for seizing power,  any territory that was relinquished to allegedly moderate elements would fall to elements of a very different ilk.
Triumph of optimism over experience?
Similarly, if a policy of annexing all or most of Judea-Samaria and co-opting the Arab residents into the permanent population as enfranchised (or potentially enfranchised) citizens were adopted, the resulting realities would hardly be more desirable for anyone advocating the long term survival of Israel as the nation-state of the Jews.
For if such measures were implemented, even given the optimistic demographic assessment of the numbers of the Palestinian- Arab in Judea-Samaria, Israeli society would include a recalcitrant Muslim minority of anything between 35%-40%  of the permanent population.
It would be a huge triumph for naïve optimism over bitter experience to believe that in such conditions it would be possible to forge anything remotely approaching a coherent and cohesive society—never mind one with a predominantly Jewish character. 
Indeed, as the last election indelibly underscored, even the enfranchised Arab population within the pre-1967 lines, by voting overwhelming for the overtly anti-Zionist Joint List, demonstrated that it unequivocally rejects the notion of Israel being a Jewish nation-state. If annexation were to not only double (at minimum) the permanent Muslim presence in the country, but adjoin a population indoctrinated for decades with rabid Judeophobic  hatred, it is difficult to see how any form of Judeo-centric governance could be consensually administered .
Even more implications
With such a significant segment of the population not only unwilling to identify with, but viscerally opposed to, the Jewish character of the state—the flag, anthem, national symbols, structure of the calendar, conduct of public life and national ceremonies, use of Hebrew as the official vehicle of communication in commerce, academia and legal proceedings–it is entirely unclear how unmanageable frictions and alienation could be avoided.
Thus, proponents of this policy would do well to heed the warning of John Stuart Mill (see introductory excerpt): “Among a people without fellow-feeling… the united public opinion, necessary to the working of representative government, cannot exist”. In such conditions, he cautioned: Free institutions are next to impossible…”
Furthermore, implementation of a policy of annexation of land and people will inevitably induce economic and demographic dynamics distinctly detrimental to Israel’s ability to sustain itself as the nation-state of the Jewish people. 
Firstly, the need to reduce the yawning socio-economic gaps between the current Israeli population and Palestinian-Arab residents will siphon off huge budget resources, currently devoted to maintaining the standards of education, welfare, infrastructure for the existing population—where the GDP per capita is over 15 times that of Palestinian- Arabs. 
This will result in a sharp downward spiral in quality of life in the country, which together with the socio-cultural impact of a greatly enlarged permanent Muslim presence, is unlikely to make Israel a more inviting location for attracting Jewish immigration—or retaining growing segments of its existing Jewish population.
Such conditions clearly bode ill for the demographic balance in the country, irrespective of optimistic assessments of an initial Jewish majority in the immediate wake of annexation. 
 Discussing failure: Disingenuous double-standards
So it appears, beyond any plausible doubt, that if implemented, the Humanitarian Paradigm, would produce the most preferable outcome relative to all other alternatives. 
But what if implementation of these various options fails? Which will precipitate the least catastrophic outcomes?
Frequently, the prospect of failure (i.e. the Palestinian-Arabs declining the proposed grants for relocation/rehabilitation) is cited as grounds for rejecting the Humanitarian Paradigm.  But this of course reeks of intellectual duplicity and disingenuous double-standards.
After all, for any proposed policy for the resolution of the Israel-Palestinian conflict, it is possible to ask what the consequences of failure are—and what actions are required to deal with them. Accordingly there is little reason to avoid discussion of the ramifications of failure of ALL proposals and, similarly, to consider the consequences of failure as grounds for their rejection.
Indeed, the consequences of failure of the Humanitarian Paradigm are more than likely to be the least catastrophic of all the major proposals currently being debated.
Thus, if the initial configuration of the incentives/ disincentives package is not effective, the former (emigration grants) can be made more enticing; and the latter (gradual withdrawal of services), more daunting.  This is certainly far less egregious than the responses called for should other policy prescriptions, fail.
After all, if the two-state endeavor were to fail, the consequences for the Palestinian-Arabs are likely to be far more calamitous than an enhanced emigration package of incentives/disincentives.
Thus, if, as is highly probable, the Palestinian state became a platform from which to attack Israel – as in every single instance in which Israel has relinquished territory to Arab control – how is Israel to respond?
With a massive retaliatory invasion of the renegade Palestinian state, on a 500-km. front, with difficult topographical disadvantages?  With all the massive collateral damage that would be inflicted on the Palestinian civilian population as a result of a defensive IDF operation? Or would it adopt restraint, while greater Tel Aviv is subjected to the realities of the towns and settlements in the vicinity of the Gaza Strip? 
Likewise, with the one-state paradigm, if, as is more than likely, it is not possible to forge a cohesive national identity out of adversarial ethnicities that have been at each other’s throats for decades, what would the resultant realities be? How would the almost inevitable inter-ethnic civil war be dealt with? Mass expulsion of recalcitrant ethnic groups? Forced annulment of their citizenship?
Accordingly, a strong argument can be made for the claim that the proposed Humanitarian Paradigm will be the most humane of all currently debated options if it succeeds, and result in the least inhumane realities, if it does not.
Palestinian desire to emigrate
Moreover, it seems to coincide with an emerging desire of Palestinian-Arabs to emigrate and extricate themselves from the trying travails the ill-conceived endeavor to foist statehood, has wrought on them.
Thus, several weeks after the end of Operation Protective Edge, precipitated by Hamas shelling civilian targets in Israel, Al-Monitor reported the tragic drowning at sea of 500 Gazans, fleeing the daunting realities at home: “Most of them are young people who have lost any hope of a better future, of a change in their situation”.
 This was not a fleeting condition. Indeed,  for well over two years after the fighting, Al-Jazeera posted an article, headlined  Palestinians paying thousands in bribes to leave Gaza,explaining: The willingness to pay such high fees to leave Gaza …reflect residents' desperation to escape the coastal enclave”.
Furthermore,  surveys  conducted  by well-known Palestinian polling institutes show consistently that between 45-52% of Gazans and between 24-30% of “West Bank” Arabs desire emigrating to other countries because of grave dissatisfaction/disaffection—even without a robust system of incentives for leaving  and disincentives for  staying being put in place.
Typical of the findings of such polls was this“… the percentage of Gazans who say they seek to immigrate to other countries stands at 46%; in the West Bank, the percentage stands at 29%. Three months ago 45% of Gazans and 22% of West Bankers said they seek to emigrate.”(September 27, 2016)
Matters of Morality
Setting aside, for moment, the matter of practicalities to address the issue of morality, the question that must be asked is “Who has the moral high-ground?   The proponents of two-states, who advocate establishing (yet another) homophobic, misogynistic Muslim-majority tyranny, whose hallmarks would be: gender discrimination, gay persecution, religious intolerance, and political oppression of dissidents?
Or those who endorse the Humanitarian Paradigm and advocate providing non-belligerent Palestinian individuals with the opportunity of building a better life for themselves elsewhere, out of harm’s way, free from the recurring cycles of death, destruction and destitution that have been brought down on them by the cruel corrupt cliques that have led them astray for decades.
Moreover, it should be asked, why is it morally acceptable to offer financial inducements to Jews in Judea-Samaria to evacuate their homes to facilitate the establishment of said homophobic, misogynistic tyranny, which, almost certainly, will become a bastion for Islamist terror; while it is considered morally reprehensible to offer financial inducements to Arabs in Judea-Samaria to evacuate their homes to prevent the establishment of such an entity?
Any honest debate on the conflict between Jew and Arab for control of the Holy Land must confront these questions squarely and stoutly.
Dr. Martin Sherman (www.martinsherman.net) is founder and executive director of the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies (www.strategic-israel.org).


Palestinians: Why a 'Regional Peace Process' Will Fail

Author:  Khaled Abu Toameh     Source: Gatestone Institute
  • Many Palestinians sometimes refer to Arab leaders and regimes as the “real enemies” of the Palestinians. They would rather have France, Sweden, Norway and Belgium oversee a peace process with Israel than any of the Arab countries.
  • Hani al-Masri, a prominent Palestinian political analyst, echoed this skepticism. He, in fact, believes the Arabs want to help Israel “liquidate” the Palestinian cause.
  • The Jordanians are worried that a “regional solution” would promote the idea of replacing the Hashemite kingdom with a Palestinian state. Former Jordanian Minister of Information Saleh al-Qallab denounced the talk of a “regional conference” as a “poisonous gift and conspiracy” against Jordan and the Palestinians.
  • The Lebanese have for decades dreamed of the day they could rid themselves of the Palestinian refugee camps and their inhabitants, who have long been subjected to apartheid and discriminatory laws.
  • Israel as a Jewish state is anathema to Palestinian aspirations. Any Arab or Palestinian leader who promotes such compromise is taking his life in his hands. And Palestinian history will record him as a “traitor” who sold out to the Jews and surrendered to American and Israeli pressure.
  • Abbas and his Ramallah cohorts are already up at night worrying about the talking between Israel and some Arab countries, particularly Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states. Such “normalization”, in the view of the PA, is to be reserved for after Israel submits to its demands.
  • Any “regional solution” involving Arab countries would be doomed to fail because the Palestinians and their Arab brethren hate each other. Any solution offered by the Arab governments will always be regarded as an “American-Zionist dictate.”
  • Here is what Palestinians really want: to use the Europeans to impose a “solution” on Israel.
Here is a fundamental misapprehension: Arab countries can help achieve peace in the Middle East by persuading, or rather pressuring, the Palestinians to make concessions to Israel.
This misapprehension is both misleading and baseless.
Recently, officials in Israel and Washington started talking about a “regional approach” to solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In this view, as many Arab countries as possible would be directly involved in the effort to achieve a lasting and comprehensive peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. Advocates of the “regional approach” believe that Arab countries such as Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon, Qatar and Saudi Arabia have enough leverage with the Palestinians to compel them accept a peace agreement with Israel.
The Palestinians, however, were quick to dismiss the idea as yet another American-Israeli-Arab “conspiracy to “liquidate” their cause and force them to make unacceptable concessions. Chief among these “unacceptable concessions” are recognizing Israel as a Jewish state and giving up the demand for a “right of return” for millions of Palestinian refugees into Israel.
What the recent Washington-Israeli notion misses is that Palestinians simply do not trust their Arab brothers. The Palestinians consider most of the Arab leaders and regimes as “puppets” in the hands of the US and its “Zionist” allies. Worse, Many Palestinians sometimes refer to Arab leaders and regimes as the “real enemies” of the Palestinians. They would rather have France, Sweden, Norway and Belgium oversee a peace process with Israel than any of the Arab countries.
Palestinian leaders would rather have France, Sweden, Norway and Belgium oversee a peace process with Israel than any of the Arab countries. Palestinians simply do not trust their Arab brothers. Pictured: French President François Hollande (L) hugs Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas during a press conference in Ramallah, on November 18, 2013.
(Image source: Oren Ziv/Getty Images)
In general, Palestinians have more confidence in Western countries than they do in their Arab brothers. That is why the Palestinian Authority (PA) headed by Mahmoud Abbas continues to insist on an international conference as its preferred method for achieving peace in the region and not a “regional approach” that would give Arab countries a major role in solving the conflict. Arab involvement in a peace process with Israel is, in fact, the last thing Abbas and other Palestinians want.
Hani al-Masri, a prominent Palestinian political analyst, echoed this skepticism concerning a potential role for Arab countries in the Middle East peace process. He, in fact, believes the Arabs want to help Israel “liquidate” the Palestinian cause.
He also predicted that the recent rapprochement between Israel and some Arab countries would embolden “all opposition and jihadist groups” that are fighting against the Arab regimes. According to al-Masri, it is not even clear that any Arab states, especially Israel's neighbors, are keen on a “regional solution.” The Jordanians, for example, are worried that a “regional solution” would promote the idea of replacing the Hashemite kingdom with a Palestinian state.
Echoing this fear, former Jordanian Minister of Information Saleh al-Qallab denounced the talk of a “regional conference” as a “poisonous gift and conspiracy” against Jordan and the Palestinians.
The Egyptians, for their part, are worried that a “regional approach” would mean giving up land from Sinai to the Palestinians of the Gaza Strip — a highly unpopular idea in Egypt. The Egyptians have good reason to be worried: some Arab leaders and countries have expressed interest in this idea.
Likewise, the Lebanese are worried that a “regional solution” would force their country to grant full citizenship and equal rights to hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees living in that country. The Lebanese have for decades dreamed of the day they could rid themselves of the Palestinian refugee camps and their inhabitants, who have long been subjected to apartheid and discriminatory laws.
Another adjacent state, Syria, is far too preoccupied with own implosion to think about peace between the Palestinians and Israel. Besides, when have the Syrians ever expressed concern for the Palestinians? Since the beginning of the civil war five years ago, more than 3,400 Palestinians have been killed and thousands injured. In addition, more than 150,000 Palestinians have been forced to flee Syria to neighboring Arab countries or to Europe. The Syrian regime does not care about its own people, who are being massacred in large numbers on a daily basis. Why, then, might it be expected to care about Palestinians? It would be a Syrian nightmare to resettle Palestinians and grant them full rights and citizenship. Like most Arab countries, Syria just wants its Palestinians to disappear.
Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon and Syria are rather wary, then, about a “regional solution.” And no wonder: it poses a massive threat to their national security. So, which Arab countries would help to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? Saudi Arabia? Qatar? Kuwait? Oman? Tunisia? Morocco? Really?
Israel as a Jewish state is anathema to Palestinian aspirations. No Arab leader in the world can persuade the Palestinians to give up the “right of return” for Palestinian refugees or accept a solution that allows Israel to retain control over certain parts of the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Any Arab or Palestinian leader who promotes such compromise is taking his life in his hands. And Palestinian history will record him as a “traitor” who sold out to the Jews and surrendered to American and Israeli pressure.
Moreover, Abbas and the Palestinian Authority are far from interested in any Arab-Israeli rapprochement. Abbas and his Ramallah cohorts are already up at night worrying about the talking between Israel and some Arab countries, particularly Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states. This is “normalization” — plain and simple. Such “normalization”, in the view of the PA, is to be reserved for after Israel submits to its demands.
Abbas's foreign minister, Riad al-Malki, made it clear this week that the Palestinians reject the idea of a “regional solution” that would give Arabs a role in the peace process. Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, he said, was mistaken to think that rapprochement between Israel and some Arab countries would produce anything good. Al-Malki denounced Netanyahu's “regional approach” as a “twisted policy,” adding: “Netanyahu thinks that by establishing ties with Arab governments he could force the Palestinians to enter negotiations with Israel.” According to him, the Palestinians wish to see the Europeans, and not the Arabs, at their side when they “negotiate” with Israel.
The Palestinian foreign minister is saying that the Palestinians would rather have the Europeans in their court than their Arab brothers when it comes to trying to squeeze the life out of Israel. The Palestinians think that this is a better bet.
In any event, any “regional solution” involving Arab countries would be doomed to fail because the Palestinians and their Arab brethren hate each other. Moreover, even if Abbas were to accept terms dictated to him by such an alliance, his own people would reject them. Any solution offered by the Arab governments will always be regarded as an “American-Zionist dictate.”
Here is what Palestinians really want: to use the Europeans to impose a “solution” on Israel. That is why Abbas sticks to the idea of an international conference like a dog that holds for dear life onto his bone
Khaled Abu Toameh, an award-winning journalist, is based in Jerusalem.

Everything You Need to Know to Understand How Much the Press Corps Hates President Trump

The Circle of Jerks in Washington that make up the American political press corps hate President Trump. They lean left anyway, but Donald Trump amplifies their biases and arrogance. Having refused even a modicum of introspection after the Presidential election, the Circle of Jerks perceive every word uttered by the President as an insult and believe everyone else over the President.
Consider what happened yesterday.
The Circle of Jerks, taking a reasonable position, loathe the site called Infowars. All right thinking people should, by the way. It is a website that inspired a nutter to go attempt to shoot up a pizza place by pushing crazy conspiracy theories as truth. Infowars has no redeemable value in the minds of sane people.
But Infowars, yesterday, published an email it had obtained from the Trump Administration outlining what would be in the President’s address to Congress tonight. The website suggested they had obtained it exclusively when, in reality, numerous outlets and activists had gotten a copy of the same email, including The Resurgent.
The Circle of Jerks, which loathes Infowars and thinks the site peddles nothing but lies and conspiracy theories, took at face value the website’s claim to exclusivity. They believed the website they think does nothing but lie because their presupposition about President Trump is that he would give a site like that an exclusive.
When I publicly defended the Trump Administration and revealed that The Resurgent and other websites also got that email, more than one reporter acted incredulously. They really believed the President had given that website an exclusive. They really believed a site they think does nothing but lie was actually telling the truth.
Why? Because their presuppositions are to believe the worst about President Trump in every case and not grant him or his administration the benefit of any doubt.