Friday, February 3, 2017

Free Speech and Berkeley. Trump and Israel. Muslims Unhappy Terrorists?

Janet Napolitano, former head of Homeland Security, now chairs  the California University System. and thus has some involvement and responsibility for what is taking place on the campus of University of California ,Berkeley where, in the '60's it was known for its free speech policies.

Today the University and its administrators cowardly have allowed the campus to become a battlefield between those who want to speak, express a different view and rioting detractors.

Anarchists know violent restriction of free speech on university campuses and preventing those with different views is one way to undermine a free democracy. This is what Berkeley is all about.

The Berkeley administrators lamentably placed the onus on those bringing speakers to the campus to pay the enhanced costs for those rioting and causing destruction.

I was under the mistaken view colleges and universities were places where one explored knowledge and obtained such by being exposed to different views and thinking. Learning was accomplished through lectures, laboratory experiences, reading books and co-mingling not through rioting and destruction of property but then California is unlike most states.  In fact, a large number of Californians would like to leave the union.

Yes, paid professional protesters came onto the campus and livened up matters but the police stood down and allowed the riot to escalate.  Even sadder, many protesters were faculty members who also stood by as destruction of property mounted.

Many professed Liberals and progressives have a peculiar way of expressing themselves when they are displeased.They block highways, rob merchants, throw missiles at their fellow citizens, destroy public and personal property and kill police etc. If that is not sickening enough when they become legislators many embrace intimidation and obstruction tactics, resort to destruction of reputations of their opponents and engage in acts of racial divide etc.

Another tactic many  liberal and progressives have perfected is to accuse others of their own perfidious actions.  The Tea Partyers have been besmirched for expressing themselves but never engaged in destructive methods. Yet, they have been vilified for engaging in their constitutional right to protest peacefully.  TP's have been beaten, they have been scorned by those whose own conduct is reprehensible. This is blame shifting at its worst and it is growing and spreading.

This is what anarchists, fascists and the far left in our society want to encourage. This is their weapon of choice. Create dissension among the uniformed, stir the public mood so as to bring about rage. Destroy from within.

Trump is right when he responds that any university that does not allow free speech should have federal funding removed.  Any city or state that refuses to obey Federal Laws and turn themselves into sanctuaries should have their federal funds stripped.  This is what The Civil War was all about. This is what Central High School in Arkansas and other acts of Civil Rights defiance was all about. We cannot remain a unified Republic, a cohesive union if we allow two sets of laws to dictate behaviour.

Yes, states have rights but they also have responsibilities and when their actions have been determined to be in defiance of Federal Law they either must bend and mend their ways or be punished.

As for California, if they wish to secede that is their choice and they should be allowed the privilege of doing so.  The sooner the better.
Time will tell what happens vis a vis Trump and Israel.

As for The New York Times which is on its last leg and may not survive, as with many newspapers, publishing false information and/or twisting facts will not lengthen their questionable survival. (See 1 below.)

Yes, moving the American Embassy to Jerusalem will no doubt inflame Palestinians but it will also demonstrate their true intentions.

American foreign policy should not become hostage to acts of insanity. (See 1a below.)
Muslims are problems? You decide. tJnW8HRHLLw?feature=player_ embedded

More Fake News: Trump ‘Opposes’ Israeli Settlements

The mainstream media are abuzz with reports that President Donald Trump has come out against Israeli settlements. The New York Times was exultant: “Trump Embraces Pillars of Obama’s Foreign Policy,” it crowed.

That kind of story serves two propagandist purposes. First, it provides a kind of justification for Obama’s betrayal of Israel at the UN Security Council over settlements last month; second, it nods at the old NeverTrump claim that Trump would never keep his word to conservatives.

There’s just one problem: the story is false.

Here is the exact wording of the White House statement on Thursday (emphasis added):
The American desire for peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians has remained unchanged for 50 years. While we don’t believe the existence of settlements is an impediment to peace, the construction of new settlements or the expansion of existing settlements beyond their current borders may not be helpful in achieving that goal. As the President has expressed many times, he hopes to achieve peace throughout the Middle East region. The Trump administration has not taken an official position on settlement activity and looks forward to continuing discussions, including with Prime Minister Netanyahu when he visits with President Trump later this month.
The New York Times pounced on the phrase “may not be helpful”:
In the most startling shift, the White House issued an unexpected statement appealing to the Israeli government not to expand the construction of Jewish settlements beyond their current borders in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. Such expansion, it said, “may not be helpful in achieving” the goal of peace.
The statement is only “startling” if one is unaware of the history and geography of the region. In fact, the statement tacitly accepts all existing settlements. (One wonders when the penny will drop, and when the Times editorial page will attack Trump for provoking Middle East tensions with the same statement.)
Recall, too, that Obama insisted on a complete “settlement freeze,” including expansion within existing settlements, and later allowed the UN Security Council to declare the entire Israeli presence beyond the “1967 lines” — including the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem — a “flagrant violation” of international law. The Trump administration’s statement is a complete reversal of the Obama administration’s policy.

As legal scholar Eugene Kontorovich explains:
The White House Press Secretary’s statement about settlement building is a huge change of policy, in which the U.S. broadly accepts all building within settlements, including those settlements outside of “blocs.” This is huge.

In the statement, the White House says the building of entirely “new settlements” is not great (but not sharply criticized). On the other hand, building “within existing settlement lines,” ie municipal boundaries, is totally OK. Since all building for 20 years has been within existing lines, and all planned building is within existing lines, this is as big an authorization as it gets.
This is such a big deal, that the press is trying to spin it as a limitation on settlement activity, whereas it is a broad and historic green light. It can no longer be said that the US opposes settlement building.
Perhaps the White House deliberately spun the statement as a limitation to fool the media. That is not hard to do, and it is to President Trump’s benefit, as a negotiating tactic, to appear unpredictable — aggressive one moment, compromising the next.

Nevertheless, the Trump administration has just signaled its intent to back a permanent Jewish presence in eastern Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria (the West Bank), with or without a Palestinian state. The Palestinians will see what the Times missed.

The Times makes several other slips in its effort to liken Trump’s policy to Obama’s. It claims that UN Ambassador Nikki Haley was emulating her predecessor, Samantha Power, when she talked tough about Russia this week — as if the Obama administration ever made a serious effort to confront Russian ambitions in Eastern Europe, diplomatically or otherwise. And on the Iran deal the Times reports that the administration has “shown no indication that it plans to rip up Mr. Obama’s landmark nuclear deal.” In fact, Trump’s policy from a very early stage was to beat Iran through harsh enforcement: “I would police that contract so tough that they don’t have a chance,” he said in August 2015 on NBC News’ Meet the Press.

No doubt, Trump is treading carefully in the Middle East. But he is taking a different path than his predecessors. And the mainstream media, more eager to score political points than to report the news, are setting themselves up for failure again.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named one of the “most influential” people in news media in 2016. His new book, How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

1a) Israeli Officials Actually Don’t Want The US To Move Its Embassy To Jerusalem

During a meeting with the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Jordan’s King Abdullah revealed that Israeli intelligence is concerned that moving the embassy would “enflame tensions.”

Originally posted on Jan. 31, 2017, at 9:52 p.m. Updated on Feb. 1, 2017, at 11:31 a.m. ASHINGTON — King Abdullah of Jordan Tuesday told members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee that Israeli intelligence officials are worried President Donald Trump will move forward with relocating the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

According to a lawmaker present at the meeting who asked not to be named, King Abdullah said Israeli officials are concerned that moving the embassy would “enflame tensions among radical groups.” Jordan’s Information Minister Mohammed Momani has also called the move a “red line” for Jordan that would “inflame the Islamic and Arab streets” and serve as a “gift to extremists.”

“This has been a hypothetical for a long time and we prefer it stay that way,” said one Israeli intelligence officer, who spoke with BuzzFeed News earlier this month. “Moving the US Embassy is something which gains us little and which could, potentially, inflame tensions.”

The intelligence officer said that if the Trump made a big show out of moving the US Embassy it would almost certainly “end in unnecessary violence.”

“We have communicated to our counterparts in the [American] security establishment that this situation carries the risk of a new round of violence in Jerusalem,” said the officer.

David Keyes, a spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, told BuzzFeed News, “The Prime Minister believes that moving the US embassy to Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, is a great idea. We believe all countries should relocate their embassies to our nation’s capital.”

Throughout his campaign, Trump promised he would move the US Embassy from its current location in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Similar promises have been made by past US presidential candidates, though they have never been upheld due to the potential ramifications of the move. During the last months of his presidency, Barack Obama renewed a presidential waiver that delayed plans to move the embassy to Jerusalem until May, at earliest. While Israel sees Jerusalem as its capital, and the home of its parliament, government ministries, and high court, Palestinians see the city as earmarked for the capital of their future state.

By moving the embassy, Trump would be signaling that he has signed on to Israel’s view of the city, overturning decades of international conventions that have treated the status of Jerusalem as an issue that remains to be settled in peace talks between Israeli and Palestinian officials.

Officials within Netanyahu’s government have had mixed reactions to Trump’s promise. Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, long seen as one of the more hawkish members of Netanyahu’s government, has questioned whether it would be wise for Trump to prioritize the move upon taking office.

Several Israeli defense officials who spoke to BuzzFeed News on condition of anonymity, due to the sensitive nature of the subject, said there were concerns that moving the embassy would serve as yet another rallying point for Islamist extremists looking to recruit new followers.

“There is nothing that draws more emotion than the status of Jerusalem. It would be giving a gift to those preaching for new violence against Israel, it would be a tool for recruitment,” said one Israeli defense officer.
During his meeting with the House Foreign Affairs committee, King Abdullah also said the Israelis have indicated that ISIS “has been recruiting in Israel” in an effort to open a new front within the country, and that the embassy’s move could ultimately drive recruits to the terrorist organization.

A spokesperson for the Jordanian Embassy did not return a request for comment.

Sheera Frenkel is a cybersecurity correspondent for BuzzFeed News based in San Francisco. She has reported from Israel, Egypt, Jordan and across the Middle East. Her secure PGP fingerprint is 4A53 A35C 06BE 5339 E9B6 D54E 73A6 0F6A E252 A50F

Contact Sheera Frenkel at
John Stanton is a senior national correspondent for BuzzFeed News. In 2014, Stanton was a recipient of the National Press Foundation’s 2014 Dirksen Award for distinguished reporting of Congress.
Contact John Stanton at

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