Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Unlike Humorless Liberals, Conservatives Can Laugh At Ourselves and Soros Is en "Thrall"ed. Elitist Condescenders Do Not Get It!

Unlike uptight, humorless Democrats, conservatives can still laugh at ourselves.:.https://www. Hz7SfkhJe74&sns=em


Obama/Clinton voters: h_popup?v=33D3NOl0-ag
The New York Times keeps going with fake news and Soros is en"Thrall"ed.. (See 1 and 1a below.)
Look around and what do you see? Some call it reality while others cannot bring themselves to see what is before their very eyes. (See 2 below.)
Elites just do not get it even when they make an attempt to get back in the game. They just cannot help themselves. They condescend at the wrong time as if there ever is a right time. Haughtiness does not pay.

Hillary told Obama's bible thumping, gun clingers they were deplorable and advised miners to go screw themselves and now she blames everyone and everything for having lost to Trump. (See 3 below.)

New York Times Marks Six-Day War Anniversary With ‘Morally Wrong…Inaccurate’ Piece Funded by Soros

avatar by Ira Stoll

The lead article in the New York Times Sunday Review section — the old “Week in Review” — is headlined “Israel’s Everlasting Occupation.”
The article claims:
official Israeli and Palestinian population statistics indicate that Jews have been a minority in the territory Israel controls for several years now, and with no repercussions: A majority of the world’s nations still speak of undemocratic rule by a Jewish minority as a hypothetical future, not an unacceptable present.
That’s not accurate. At year-end 2016, the Israeli Jewish population was 6.45 million and the Israeli Arab population was 1.796 million, and there were 345,000 “others.” The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, meanwhile, counted a Palestinian population of 2.9 million in the West Bank and 1.8 million in Gaza.
The key point here is that Gaza is not “territory Israel controls.” In fact, Israel withdrew from Gaza unilaterally in 2005, uprooting and evacuating the Jews who lived there. The place is now ruled by Hamas, a terrorist group opposed to the existence of Israel. If Israel controlled it, Hamas wouldn’t be in charge there. It is true that Israel patrols its borders with Gaza, but that doesn’t constitute “control.” The error would be like counting the Hispanic population of Mexico as part of that of the United States just because the United States maintains a border patrol along the Rio Grande.

Subtract Gaza, and there is unquestionably a Jewish majority. Even if you add together the entire West Bank and all of Israel, 6.45 million Jews are more than 1.796 million Israeli Arabs and 2.9 million West Bank Palestinians. It isn’t even close.

And that’s just the beginning of the problems with the Times article, written by Nathan Thrall of the International Crisis Group. David Makovsky, a former State Department official now with the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, wrote his own detailed and perceptive critique on his Facebook page, observing:
I have many problems with Nathan Thrall’s NYTimes Week in Review piece on June 4, 2017, claiming Israel only makes compromises if forced. His piece makes clear that such pressure is often Palestinian violence. … I think the idea as evinced in the piece is both morally wrong and it is historically inaccurate. This history matters because it creates a fatally mistaken sense of cause and effect.

*Thrall claims that Yitzhak Rabin went to Oslo because the first intifada “intensified” in 1993. In fact, the mass nature of the intifada essentially died out by the start of the Gulf War in January 1991. Rabin pursued back-channel talks in Oslo largely because he promised his voters in 1992 of major progress on the Palestinian front and the front-channel was stuck. (I wrote a book on this topic Making Peace with the PLO: The Rabin Government’s Road to the Oslo Accord.)
*In December 2003, Ariel Sharon announced Gaza disengagement – yet not because of Hamas as Thrall contends. The second intifada had already peaked. …

*Thrall makes it sound like from Gaza pullout in 2005 until 2015, nothing occurred. In fact, it was the opposite of the Thrall thesis. The unilateral impulse of the Gaza pullout that Thrall yearned for was completely destroyed by the rockets that came into Israel after Israel withdrew from Gaza and after Israel faced a war in Lebanon in the summer of 2006. … Violence discredited Israeli pullouts. It did not facilitate it.
… violence will not solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It just makes its resolution much more distant.
The International Crisis Group that employs Mr. Thrall has on its board of directors George Soros, who has described himself as neither a Zionist nor a practicing Jew and who has falsely accused Israel of “not seeking a political solution but pursuing military escalation — not just an eye for an eye but roughly speaking ten Palestinian lives for every Israeli one.”

It sure looks like Mr. Soros has gotten his money’s worth with his investment in the International Crisis Group and Mr. Thrall, who got a big Sunday splash in the New York Times to smear Israel, inaccurately.

1a)  The Left's Abbas problem

By Jonathan S. Tobin

For the Israeli Left, talk about Palestinian incitement is nothing more than an excuse invented by the Right to avoid peace. The same largely applies to their views about the Palestinian Authority's payments of more than $1 billion in just the last four years in salaries to imprisoned terrorists and their families.

The PA's ongoing efforts to inculcate new generations in the ideology of hate that has driven the century-long war on Zionism is itself a barrier to peace. It also ensures that any effort to end the conflict will run counter to notions of Palestinian identity that are inextricably linked to that war. 

But if you believe that Israel's chief objective must be to achieve a separation from the Palestinians and an end to its presence in the West Bank and east Jerusalem regardless of what happens or who governs a Palestinian state, you view the issue differently. If you think separation is the only way to preserve a Jewish majority in the Jewish state and to protect both Israelis and Palestinians from the burden of the occupation, statements of support or even subsidies for those who commit violence are side issues or distractions that obscure the big picture.

Yet opponents of the Netanyahu government are making a big mistake when they downplay these issues. Though they doubt the motives of those who point out what the Palestinian Authority have been doing and even agree with PA President Mahmoud Abbas' assertion that both sides incite, they are missing the point. A failure to address these questions has been the Achilles' heel of the Left ever since the Oslo Accords were signed. Doing so is not only political poison, it also sends the wrong message to Palestinians who they insist are, against all evidence, viable partners for peace.

The issue of incitement is at the center of the discussion now because U.S. President Donald Trump has decided it is important. Trump was sufficiently ignorant of the history of the conflict and how the PA operates that he actually seems to have believed Abbas' assurances about not supporting incitement or payments to prisoners that the PA leader made during their initial White House meeting.

But when the Israelis pointed out to him that Abbas was seeking to pull the wool over his eyes, and backed it up with video evidence, he didn't like it. More than that, he rightly understood that this lie was an obstacle to achieving the unlikely diplomatic triumph he craved.
That led to Trump reportedly pounding the table and accusing Abbas of being liar when they met in Bethlehem. Since it would be difficult for Abbas to suddenly alter the nature of what is published in PA newspapers or viewed on PA television to mollify Israeli or Western sensibilities, let alone cease payments to the very same terrorist prisoners who are lauded by Palestinians as heroes, Trump's insistence on these points was no small controversy.

The Left deplores Trump's embrace of this issue and puts it down to a clever strategy implemented by Netanyahu. But if that's all they think there is to it, they're repeating the same mistakes that ensured the failure of peace talks in the past. In the 1990s, both the Clinton administration and Labor-led governments saw PLO leader Yasser Arafat's words and actions as merely fodder for domestic Palestinian political consumption. But the result of that policy was not only to convey to the PA that it could transgress with impunity; this spirit of complacency also materially contributed to the collapse of faith in the peace process once Palestinian actions moved from words to bombs in the Second Intifada.

The Left's problem is not just that serious observers understand the implications of incitement and material support for terror and that not enough people share their belief that Israeli actions are as bad or worse than those of the Palestinians. Nor are most Israelis likely to be persuaded to view actions of self-defense undertaken by their government as morally equivalent to the PA's support for terror. Just as important is that a Palestinian leader who felt constrained to engage in behavior that engendered such deep mistrust among Israelis would be unlikely to muster support for an end to the conflict among his own people, even if he wanted to make peace.

Despite repeated Palestinian rejections of peace offers, advocates of a two-state solution still cling to the belief that it is Israel that is inventing conditions designed to ensure that negotiations will fail. But if their goal is to create a genuine consensus behind peace, then rather than lament Trump's criticisms of Abbas, they ought to hope he will succeed in getting the PA leader to stop the incitement as well as the prisoner payments. If Netanyahu's opponents continue to refuse to take this issue seriously, they will have no one but themselves -- and the Palestinians -- to blame if they continue to be marginalized and peace remains a remote dream.

Jonathan S. Tobin is the opinion editor of and a contributing writer for ‎National Review. Twitter @jonathans_tobin.‎
Arguable - with Jeff Jacoby

Real Muslims, real terror

At least seven people died and dozens were wounded in Saturday night’s London Bridge terrorist attack. Jihadists drove a van into a crowd of civilians, then stormed through Borough Market with 10-inch hunting knives, stabbing anyone within reach and shouting "This is for Allah!" The bloodbath came less than two weeks since the bombing of Manchester Arena during an Ariana Grande concert on May 22, and the reaction from Prime Minister Theresa May was angrier and tougher than it had been after the earlier atrocity.

In the wake of the Manchester attack, May had avoided any mention of the bomber’s fanatical Islamism. Not this time.

“We cannot and must not pretend that things can continue as they are,” she said outside 10 Downing Street some hours after the killing spree.   
Things need to change, and they need to change in 4 important ways.

First, while the recent attacks are not connected by common networks, they are connected in one important sense. They are bound together by the single, evil ideology of Islamist extremism that preaches hatred, sows division, and promotes sectarianism. It is an ideology that claims our Western values of freedom, democracy, and human rights are incompatible with the religion of Islam.
May went on to vow that her government would crack down on Islamist zealotry, denying it “the safe space it needs to breed” — not only online but in “the public sector and across society.” She promised that counter terrorism operations in the United Kingdom will become “far more robust.” She implied that the “separated, segregated communities” in which jihadists are radicalized and recruited must be dismantled.

“There is — to be frank — far too much tolerance of extremism in our country,” May said bluntly. But she undermined her own plain speaking by parroting the politically correct disclaimer that violent jihadists aren’t legitimate Muslims. The “evil ideology of Islamist extremism,” the PM intoned, “is an ideology that is a perversion of Islam.”

There are 1.4 billion Muslims in the world. Islam is the second-largest religion in Great Britain. It is understandable that British officials are loath to speak too candidly of the motivations of Muslim terrorists. Politically it is safer to condemn the evil nature of those who perpetrate savageries like the ones in Manchester and London, while delicately avoiding comment on the religion they practice. That impulse was at play in Donald Trump’s ad hominem characterization of Islamist terrorists as "evil losers." It was even more apparent in the rote repetition by his predecessors that " Islam is peace," and that therefore a terrorist organization like Al Qaeda or Islamic State "is not Islamic."

But this is self-deception. Jihadists are not bogus Muslims any more than the murderous Crusaders of a millennium ago were bogus Christians, or than the genocidal Khmer Rouge in Cambodia were bogus Communists. Western leaders who proclaim that no real Muslim would engage in terrorist bombings and mayhem may be trying to show respect for Islam. Yet they are unwittingly providing cover for the religion’s worst expounders, and undermining those in the Muslim world most desperately in need of international support: the reformers and moderates who reject the radicals’ message, and struggle to replace it with a modern interpretation that is pluralist and tolerant.

Yigal Carmon, a former counter terrorism adviser to Israeli prime ministers and the founder of the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), developed this point in a penetrating essay last week:
The jihadis who perpetrate these horrific crimes are neither losers, nor nihilists, nor worshippers of death, nor sick cowards. On the contrary, the overwhelming majority of them are devout and fanatic believers. They are idealists who sacrifice their lives for the sake of a utopian future: a world ruled by their faith. The attacks they commit are extreme acts of piety. They seek to emulate the dedication of the early believers in order to revive the glory and grandeur of the past. In fact, as part of their training, many suicide bombers adopt a pious lifestyle: they immerse themselves in prayer, help the needy in their society, pay all their debts, and become moral and religious role models for others. . . .

[T]hese perpetrators [regard themselves as] virtuous people who follow the directives of the Koran [48:29]: “Be fierce towards the infidels, merciful towards each other.” The problem lies not in the perpetrators' innate character but in some of the core values of their religious belief system. Indeed, their faith — any faith — includes elements that are beautiful alongside elements that are malevolent. Denying that these malevolent elements are part of the faith, as the Western leaders do, is wrong. 
Instead of rushing to disassociate the terrorists’ deeds from their religious roots, Carmon argues, Western leaders should communicate a very different idea: that while Islam was spread through much of the world by means of religious zeal and military force, those values “are incompatible with modern morality” and must be reformed. It is counterproductive to keep reiterating the politically correct fiction that no true Muslim would engage in violence. Far better instead to admit that violence has deep roots in Islamic history, and to support the Muslim reformers who want their faith to transcend those roots.

More Carmon: 
These messages should be delivered by Western leaders openly and insistently, in lieu of the intellectual evasion and denial practiced today. It should be emphasized that this demand is not addressed exclusively to Muslims. It is a demand that the West and Christianity have applied to themselves, and therefore have every right to demand it of the Muslim world. Only thus will the ideological base of jihad be eradicated and terrorism significantly decline. Needless to say, this is a long-term process, but it is nevertheless the genuine solution to the problem and the only way to produce results.
Only the ignorant or the bigoted can believe that Islam cannot change. Allgreat religions have changed over time. The words of religious scripture — the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament, the Koran — may be immutable, but what those words mean depend on those who expound them.

Christians long ago accepted that some of the hardest passages in the Gospels must be understood only as metaphor. Jews even earlier did the same with many of the severest injunctions in the Torah — not merely rejecting the literal interpretation, but effectively excommunicating those who insisted the literal meaning should prevail.

What Judaism and Christianity did, Islam can do as well. The jihadists’ interpretation of the Koran and the Hadith isn’t impervious to challenge from within the faith. An Islamic Enlightenment isn’t an impossible dream. There are moderate, modernizing Muslims the world over engaged in a battle of ideas with radical Islamists. We only hamstring the reformers by pretending that battle doesn’t exist.

Why Elites Hate

The liberal contempt for middle America is baked into the idea of identity politics.

By William McGurn
Nine years after Barack Obama accused small-towners of clinging to guns or religion, nearly three years after Jonathan Gruber was shown to have attributed ObamaCare’s passage to the stupidity of the American voter, and eight months after Hillary Clinton pronounced half of Donald Trump’s voters “irredeemable,” Democrats are now getting some sophisticated advice: You don’t win votes by showing contempt for voters.
In the last week or so a flurry of articles have appeared arguing for toning down the looking-down. In the New Republic Michael Tomasky writes under the heading “Elitism Is Liberalism’s Biggest Problem.” Over at the New York Times , Joan C. Williams weighs in with “The Dumb Politics of Elite Condescension.” Slate goes with a Q&A on “advice on how to talk to the white working class without insulting them.” Stanley Greenberg at the American Prospect writes on “The Democrats’ ‘Working-Class Problem,’ ” and Kevin Drum at Mother Jones asks for “Less Liberal Contempt, Please.”
None of these pieces are directed at Trump Nation. To the contrary, they are pitched to progressives still having a hard time coming to grips with The Donald’s victory last November. Much of what these authors write is sensible. But it can also be hilarious, particularly when the effort to explain ordinary Americans to progressive elites reads like a Margaret Mead entry on the exotic habits of the Samoans.


Mr. Tomasky, for example, informs progressives that middle Americans—wait for it—“go to church.” They have friends (“and sometimes even spouses”) “who are Republicans.” “They don’t feel self-conscious saluting the flag.” Who knew?
Most of these writers allow that there is at least some fraction of Trump voters who are not deplorable. What they do not appreciate is how condescending they can be while advising their fellow Democrats to be less condescending. Exhibit A: Mr. Drum’s recommendation that Democrats can “broaden [their] appeal” because these are “persuadable, low information folks.”
Still, Mr. Drum comes across as Gandhi when set against the writer at Slate who interviews Ms. Williams. The following question conveys the tone: “What attitude should we be taking toward people who voted for a racist buffoon who is scamming them?”
Ms. Williams, a University of California law professor who has written a new book on the white working class, generously avoids telling her interviewer he is a perfect instance of the problem. But the larger progressive dilemma here is that contempt is baked into the identity politics that defines today’s Democratic Party.
When Mrs. Clinton labeled Trump voters deplorable (“racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic, you name it”) she was simply following identity politics to its logical conclusion. Because identity politics transforms those on the other side of the argument—i.e., Americans who are pro-life, who respect the military, who may work in the coal industry—from political opponents into oppressors.
Which is precisely how they are treated: as bigots whose retrograde views mean they have no rights. So when the Supreme Court unilaterally imposes gay marriage on the entire nation, a baker who doesn’t want to cater a gay reception must be financially ruined. Ditto for two Portland women who ran a burrito stand that they shut down after accusations of cultural appropriation regarding their recipes.
No small part of the attraction of identity politics is its usefulness in silencing those who do not hew to progressive orthodoxy. This dynamic is most visible on campuses, where identity politics is also most virulent. It’s no accident, in other words, that the mob at Middlebury resorted to violence to try to keep Charles Murray ; after all, he’s been called a “white nationalist.” In much the same way identity politics has led Democrats to regard themselves as the “resistance” rather than the loyal opposition.
The great irony here is that this has left Democrats increasingly choosing undemocratic means to get what they want. From President Obama’s boast that he would use his pen and phone to bypass Congress to the progressive use of the Supreme Court as its preferred legislature to the Iran and climate deals that made end runs around the Constitution, it all underscores one thing: The modern American progressive has no faith in the democratic process because he has no trust in the American people.
Here it helps to remember the tail end of Mr. Obama’s snipe about guns and religion: it was a crack about voters clinging to “antipathy toward people who aren’t like them.” Sounds like a pretty accurate indictment of contemporary American liberalism, judging by all these articles begging progressives to be a little more broad-minded.
So good luck with the idea that the Democratic Party can restore its relationship with Middle America without addressing the identity politics that fuels it. Especially when it starts from the premise that the Americans they are condescending to will remain too stupid to figure it out.

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