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Thursday, September 28, 2023

A Student Wants to Join West Point. But He’s the Wrong Race

By On September 28, 2023
B is a high school student with a 4.2 GPA. One of his grandfathers fought in the Army on D-Day. Three of his family members are currently serving in the military. He would like to attend West Point Academy and continue a proud family tradition of military service, but there’s one problem.

He’s white.

The United States Military Academy is highly selective, but not in the way that it should be.

In 2019, Vice President Mike Pence addressed the graduates, hailing them as “the most diverse class in the history of the United States Military Academy” with the “highest number of Hispanic women graduates”. He told them that, “I couldn’t be more proud to stand before the graduating class of 2019 that includes the highest number of African American women cadets in the history of the United States Military Academy!” That’s been the emphasis at West Point for too long.

Earlier this year, West Point put out a press release boasting of its 38% minority enrollment as part of what a new lawsuit alleges is a practice of achieving its “desired percentages … of blacks, Hispanics, and other minorities” through systemic discrimination in admissions.

As the lawsuit filed by Students for Fair Admissions on the behalf of B, the anonymous student, lays out, “West Point sets benchmarks for the percentage of each class that should be filled by ‘African Americans,’ ‘Hispanics,’ and ‘Asians,’ and it meticulously tracks its compliance with those figures down to a tenth of a percentage point.” The problem is too many white people.

During the Biden administration’s defense of racial discrimination in Harvard’s admissions policies, the federal brief complained that, “white service members are 53% of the active force, but 73% of officers.” West Point’s goal is to match the percentage of officers to the number of enlisted men and so there needs to be only 53% white officers. The white officers must go.

Thomas Jefferson may have said that, “the price of Liberty is eternal vigilance”, but the price of diversity is eternal racial vigilance.

Military systemic racism is perpetually chasing racial quotas that are constantly changing because the national demographics and the racial demographics of a volunteer military are also in flux. And a military brass dedicated to systemic racism is responding with rigid racial quotas.

Students for Fair Admissions, whose previous Supreme Court lawsuit had defeated racial quotas that discriminated against Asian and white students in colleges, launched its lawsuit by showing just how rigidly the number of Asian students admitted to West Point by race really is.

“West Point enrolled 99 Asian Americans in the Class of 2022. The number of Asian Americans enrolled in West Point’s Class of 2023? Precisely 99,” the lawsuit shows. There’s only room for 99 Asians and there are far too many white people and not enough black people at West Point.

“West Point’s benchmark for African Americans in the Class of 2020 was ‘[greater than] 14%,’ even though only 13.1% of U.S. citizens are African American, and Director of Admissions Colonel Deborah McDonald told a West Point diversity conference that a “couple of years ago, every qualified African-American applicant were offered admission into West Point, yet the class composition goal was still lacking.” Meanwhile white students, no matter how qualified, are being kept out because there are too many of them and they stand in the way of ‘diversity’.

Like the rest of the military, West Point has rationalized its systemic racial discrimination by claiming that ‘diversity’ improves recruitment, institutional legitimacy and readiness. The Students for Fair Admissions lawsuit takes a sledgehammer to all of those excuses.

West Point claims that diversity makes Army units “more effective at accomplishing their missions”, but provides no evidence that “military units that choose their members based on race are more successful on the battlefield than units who select their members based on objective measures of tactical competency, regardless of skin color.”

West Point argues that the lack of diversity will “undermine the military’s legitimacy”, but “a significantly higher percentage of Americans expressed confidence in the U.S. military three decades ago than they do today”, and to “the extent that West Point’s mission is to solidify the public’s trust, its race-based admissions policy shoots itself in the foot—especially since 70% of Americans agree that universities should not be allowed to ‘consider race in admissions.’”

West Point contends that the lack of diversity will “harm recruiting efforts. But today, at the apex of West Point’s use of racial preferences, the Army is facing a recruiting crisis that is unprecedented in the modern, all-volunteer era. The Army is spending hundreds of millions of dollars to help would-be recruits satisfy basic eligibility requirements and is accepting enlistees who were previously rejected eight different times, but it still cannot meet recruiting goals.”

The woke brass, whether at West Point or anywhere else, have provided no evidence that systemic racism provides any measurable real world benefits. Embracing racial discrimination hasn’t improved the public perception of the military, it destroyed it, and also tanked recruitment.

SFA argues that the woke brass have just rebooted the old military arguments against desegregation using the same vague claims of “morale” and “civilian sentiment” to justify racial policies. President Truman’s military desegregation commission was cheered when it stated that, “to put racial restrictions upon job opportunities” was to “ignore completely the essential factor of individual differences. And insofar as a service refused to a single Negro the technical training and job for which he was qualified, by just so much did the service waste potential skills and impair its own effectiveness. Quite apart from the question of equal opportunity, the Committee did not believe the country or the military services could afford this human wastage.”

Racial military quotas have brought back the same arguments and the same “human wastage”. The same liberals who once cheered the dismantling of military segregation have become the fiercest advocates for it because somehow refusing a job to a black man was wrong, but refusing a job to a white man is the highest form of social justice.

The SFA lawsuit makes the case that what is undermining the military is a lack of merit.

“In-depth surveys and statistical studies of the Army’s personnel crisis—i.e., the rigorous analyses that West Point has failed to offer—show that the military’s emphasis on non-merit factors in admissions and promotions decisions is a leading cause of junior officer attrition. 71% of active duty officers believe the military would retain more talent if opportunities were based solely on merit.”

The military’s racial quotas are premised on the idea that “soldiers view their peers and superiors foremost in terms of race, rather than in terms of their ability or character traits like loyalty, devotion, and selflessness” and that “black soldiers will be more likely to trust a black officer” because “of their skin color, not their trustworthiness” while ignoring the “reams of evidence showing that trust between soldiers is formed through battlefield performance, and that servicemembers in war zones are more concerned with their leaders’ competency than with their skin color.”

There are no atheists in foxholes and no soldier under fire is looking for an evac chopper pilot who shares his skin color. The military was so effective as a desegregated institution because what matters on the battlefield is what you can do, not who you are.

West Point has betrayed its mission and its country through its decision to be “fully committed to affirmative action” rather than to elevating the best of the best. The SFA lawsuit against higher education established that college admissions could not be based on race, and there’s certainly no room for it in government institutions whose purpose is to produce the men and women who will defend our nation. Systemic racism at West Point is a betrayal of America and of ‘B’ and those young men like him who want to serve, but are the wrong race.

There should not be a ‘right’ or a ‘wrong’ race at West Point or anywhere in the military.

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

Thank you for reading.

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

A Nation of Dress Codes, Not Politicians

By On September 27, 2023
Senate Majority Leader Schumer’s announcement that members of the not especially respected body will be able to wear what they want means that out go the business suits and in go Sen. Fetterman’s basketball shorts. The point of the old dress code was that the Senate was engaged in serious business and its members should look like adult professionals.

But what if its members, like Sen. Kyrsten Sinema or Sen. John Fetterman, aren’t adults? Sinema and Fetterman have both taken to wearing what feels good rather than attire that treats the offices they hold with due seriousness. And they are just flaunting what so many members of Congress already believe: that the office is all about their self-expression and about them.

It’s not just about the clothes. The pandemic allowed the House of Representatives to unleash proxy voting and even remote hearings. It became a common sight for United States government events to take place with a hotel room or a bathroom in the background.

Proxy voting meant that members of congress didn’t even have to bother coming to work if they didn’t feel like it. An endless slew of official letters by politicians who were on vacation, attending campaign events or conferences claimed that they couldn’t be there to vote in person because of the “public health emergency”. If anyone had bothered to enforce perjury laws, most of Congress would be serving time in prison, in person, with no proxy sentences allowed.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s decision to end proxy voting restored some small measure of dignity. Members of Congress are actually expected to show up in person and conduct the business of government. And yet the complaints continue. Why should members of Congress have to put what they want to do on hold to actually conduct government business?

And why should members of the Senate have to wear pants?

Dress codes and voting in person are forms of institutional standards. And, like wigs in British courts, they can seem silly, but they serve as important reminders that public officials are the bearers of a national tradition. John Adams argued for “a government of laws, not of men.” The civilizing formalities are not just forms of basic decency which bound our behaviors, they also remind the men and women in charge of our system that they serve something higher.

Not just themselves or their parties or their donors. They serve the American tradition.

It is no coincidence that the men and women who disdain dress codes or demand proxy voting also have little regard for laws, beginning with the constitution, and who want the absolute power to reshape our lives according to their whims. Radicals and extremists invariably reject any form of discipline or limitations on their powers. Their insistence that they ought to be able to do anything they want is an egotism that begins with them and ends with us losing our rights.

Tradition teaches us to see ourselves as more than our egos. Capitol Hill and much of Washington D.C. is a history lesson writ in paint and stone. Those who pass through it are supposed to understand that they are part of a national pageant and elected officials, in particular, are taking up a role held by their predecessors for hundreds of years.

There are some who still see it that way, but the House has no shortage of cranks, radicals, foreigners, egomaniacs, extremists and others to whom history is meaningless and worthless. When they look at the statues, they don’t feel themselves to be a part of the nation’s past, they just count which ones they’d like to see taken down and how they can claim credit for it. Dress codes have no value to people who respect no national tradition and certainly no traditional clothing beyond the Islamic hijab, because they don’t see themselves within a larger body.

Until recent times, members of the two houses saw themselves as part of American institutions, in solidarity with each other, and with the nation, across party lines and partisan elections. When it comes to Sen. Fetterman or Rep. Ilhan Omar, that should not be taken for granted.

Politics has always been abusive and corrupt, the force of tradition, patriotism, heritage and other intangibles helped restrain some of the worst impulses of elected officials. Those forces are dissolving. A government of laws is being replaced by a government of men who refuse to be limited by traditions, principles or laws. As American traditions fall apart, what replaces them are the even older traditions of politics, personality cults, tribalism, and the determination to seize power by any means necessary and hold it even more ruthlessly.

“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious People. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other,” Adams warned. That is even more true of politicians who have already shown ample evidence that at the earliest opportunity they will tear any constitution or body of laws apart like wolves descending on a wounded sheep.

Dress codes are one of the niceties of tradition that serve as canaries in a coal mine. Politicians who are self-interested and undisciplined enough that they can’t be bothered to abide by them won’t be likely to keep any of the more serious traditions and laws that they help to guard.

Tradition seems silly and worthless if you’re a self-centered child which is what our average politician is. Asking them to accept any restraint on their powers is too much. Why should they be expected to abide by the minimal expectation of countless offices in the country? Or by any expectations at all? Why should they be expected to come to work or not, suddenly, decide to declare that the Second Amendment has been suspended by a public health emergency?

In a government of men, not laws, politicians don’t reason or respect the past, they feel very deeply and they believe that following their feelings is the reason that they were elected. They don’t see themselves as part of a larger body or a nation, only as righteous individuals here to destroy the past and usher in the future based on whatever they believe right this second.

America needs dress codes, more than it needs politicians, it needs standards more than it needs iconoclasts, it needs men and women willing to put the country ahead of themselves.

And it would help if some of them could also put on a pair of pants before they go to work.

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

Thank you for reading.

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

50 Years Ago Israel Was Nearly Destroyed

By On September 26, 2023
50 years ago, Israel came as close as it ever did to losing a war. While the Arab Islamic nations can repeatedly lose wars without paying much of a price, Israel can only lose one major war.

That Israel survived the grim days of that October when the sirens sounded, the radios blared unit names and young men rushed from synagogues to cars and then tanks and planes on the holiest day in the Jewish calendar, had little to do with the nation’s government.

The leftists who had ruled the country without interruption until that war (and whose rule would falter a few years later and almost entirely disappear after its disastrous deal with the PLO) had failed badly. Golda Meir and Moshe Dayan, the subjects of enduring personality cults, had brought the country to the brink of destruction. It was not the political or military leaders who salvaged the situation, but young men fighting desperately and heroically in impossible battles.

The Yom Kippur War was not the first time that Israel was outnumbered or overwhelmed by vastly superior numbers of enemy soldiers and tanks, but it was the first time that the men in the field felt like they had been left on their own by generals and politicians and had no plan to win the war. And so they fought all the more desperately knowing that there would be nothing else.

On the hill of Tel Saki, 60 paratroopers and 45 tanks held off 11,000 Syrian soldiers and 900 tanks. On Petroleum Road, a 21-year-old Lieutenant Tzvika Greengold hitchhiked to a base, took command of two damaged tanks and managed to hold off hundreds of enemy tanks and destroyed at least twenty of them. Heroism held the line and turned the tide, but it did little to excuse the disastrous failures that nearly ended the lives of millions and the State of Israel.

Before the Yom Kippur War, Israel had received multiple warnings that an attack was imminent. King Hussein of Jordan had personally flown in to warn Golda that war was coming.

“If we strike first we won’t get help from anybody,” Golda Meir had argued.

Had Israel struck first, it might have been able to neutralize the enemy and not only save thousands of slain soldiers, but the millions that would have been killed had Israel lost.

But Israel would not act without the approval of the Nixon administration. Golda assured Secretary of State Henry Kissinger that they would not strike first, and Kissinger assured the Russians that the Israelis wouldn’t strike first, and the Russians assured the Egyptians and the Syrians, who were preparing to strike first, that they had nothing to worry about.

“We’re in a political situation in which we can’t do what we did in ’67,” Defense Minister Moshe Dayan had replied to those urging him to hit the Egyptians and the Syrians first.

Despite multiple warnings, the country was not ready for war. Its disposition of forces, military doctrines and general readiness were badly out of date. The country’s political and military leaders had forgotten that they had only won through daring attacks and had come to rely on defensive positions like the Purple Line defenses in the Golan Heights or the disastrous Bar Lev Line on the Egyptian border that were structurally and conceptually flawed, and failed badly.

Israel’s old military leaders had come to rely too much on the old heroics of tanks, planes and paratroopers that had performed brilliantly in the Six Day War and had never gotten comfortable with missiles, anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons. The Egyptians had badly fumbled the use of such Soviet weapons in ‘67, and the veterans of that war failed to respect their potential. The devastating impact of Soviet anti-aircraft fire and anti-tank missiles was an expensive education.

But the deepest failure was that Golda Meir allowed Secretary of State Henry Kissinger to cripple any possible Israeli response. The architect of a disastrous foreign policy that is responsible for many of America’s problems today had wanted Israel to lose a war.

Kissinger had told Egypt’s national security adviser in the spring of the year that, “if you want us to intervene with Israel, you’ll have to create a crisis. We only deal in crisis management. You’ll have to ‘spill some blood.’”

As Kissinger later told Ford, “we didn’t expect the October War”. “But wasn’t it helpful?” Ford suggested. “We couldn’t have done better if we had set the scenario,” Kissinger replied.

The State Department got what it wanted. Israel suffered severe military and morale losses, and was then prevented from benefiting from the fruits of victory when it turned the tables. Israel was cut down to size and went on the road to becoming a client state. Egypt was lured away from the Soviet camp in the first of a series of peace deals to ‘stabilize the region’.

What looked good on paper was actually a disaster for both America and Israel. The United States was saddled with propping up and coddling Egypt’s military dictatorship which can at any moment fall to the Muslim Brotherhood. (This temporarily happened when Obama promoted his Arab Spring leading to a scenario where Islamic terrorists gained possession of high-end U.S. military equipment and a top-ranked regional military. It will likely happen again) Much the same scenario will play out even sooner and on a smaller scale in Jordan. A ‘peace’ deal turning over the Golan to Syria fortunately failed. The PLO deal however created the worst existential threat to the Jewish State by embedding an expanding terrorist state inside its territory.

These deals were based on the idea that Israeli power must be checked to stabilize the region. Israeli power, rather than being seen as a source of strength for Israel and America, was stigmatized as a destabilizing force. Stability required Israeli territorial concessions, no unilateral operations and an end to everything that had made Israel a force to be reckoned with.

Israeli governments accepted the idea that the bold strategic moves that seized the initiative had to be replaced by a balance of terror which slowly escalates conflicts rather than stopping them (and which assigns blame to Israel, rather than the growing capabilities of the terrorists and their allies, for the escalation.)

What has been happening in the last 50 years is a kind of slow-motion military and diplomatic Yom Kippur War in which Israel gradually retreats from territories, relying on defensive positions that can’t hold up and diplomatic agreements that are worthless in the long run.

Even the Abraham Accords, widely hailed and hyped, that brought together Israel and some of America’s smaller Arab oil allies to oppose Iran’s growing power, were once again based on abandoning domestic moves and initiatives to solidly lay claim to parts of the Jewish State.

Kissinger used to sneer that, “Israel has no foreign policy, only a domestic policy.” Now Israel has no domestic policy, only a foreign policy. It has sacrificed its interests to a failed regional and nation-building strategy hatched in Washington D.C. and premised on completely misguided assumptions about Arabs and Muslims, and how their societies work.

50 years after the Yom Kippur War, the generals and soldiers who had come out of the ‘kibbutz’ outposts have resentfully been making way for new soldiers who come from the outposts of the ‘settlements’. Where the Kibbutz was primarily a socialist experiment, the settlement is primarily a religious Zionist one. Its families raise 9 children, not in communal creches, but in homes and around Shabbat tables.

Labor’s twin failures in the Yom Kippur War and the Oslo Accords with the PLO, destroyed its credibility. The majority of Israelis that it had been keeping down, Mizrahi refugees from the Muslim world, religious Jews, Holocaust survivors, Russian immigrants and settlers, helped put the conservative Zionist Likud in power and make Prime Minister Netanyahu the longest serving leader over Ben Gurion. The violent leftist protests against judicial reform are primarily an attack on a new Israeli majority that is not beholden to the failed leftist experiments of the past.

Despite all this, Israel’s military leadership draws on the same incestuous elite which has yet to be tested in any major military conflict. If the Yom Kippur War were to play out again, there is little doubt that most of Israel’s new generation of soldiers would respond just as heroically, as they have through the smaller scale conflicts against Islamic terrorists, but the generals remain a question mark. Unlike the old generals who took the initiative, Israel’s generals, like America’s generals, are focused on averting wars and avoiding any escalation of existing conflicts.

American generals obsessed with avoiding conflict are covering for a state of military unreadiness. Israeli generals fearful of any conflict may be doing the same thing.

The Yom Kippur War showed that the ‘safer bet’ of relying on defenses like the Iron Dome isn’t really safe at all. When your enemies outnumber you and their ruthlessness is endless, playing defense is not a survival option. Israel thrived when it attacked brilliantly and unexpectedly. Under the ‘technological genius’ of defenses like the Iron Dome, Israelis in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv are back to huddling in bomb shelters the way that they did during the old wars.

Ever since Israel was nearly destroyed in the Yom Kippur War because Golda and Dayan had put all their trust in Kissinger, proposals to take out Iran’s nuclear program have repeatedly come up against the objections of Washington D.C. Similarly any effort to seriously deal with Hamas fizzles out in the same way. Fifty years later, Israel still can’t allow itself to strike first.

And yet, just as in the Yom Kippur War, the hour may come when Israeli leaders have to decide whether to strike first without getting permission from D.C. or face the destruction of their nation.

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

Thank you for reading.

Sunday, September 24, 2023

The Clintons Welcome Trans Queens, Muslim Politicians, Foreign Oligarchs

By On September 24, 2023
The Clintons are back in Manhattan, baby.

Once again random celebrities, Orlando Bloom, Matt Damon, Patrick Dempsey, Karlie Kloss, will rub shoulders with random foreign leaders like Mia Mottlev, the Prime Minister of Barbados,

Irfaan Ali, the President of Guyana, Biden administration officials, the heads of nonprofits with made up titles like “intersectional environmentalist”, heads of UN agencies, New York Times reporters, professional humanitarians and shady foreign oligarchs. (Mostly the latter.)

Getting to the Midtown Manhattan Hilton may not be easy due to its proximity to the masses of illegal aliens clustering around hotels that have been turned into homeless shelters, but once there delegates to the Clinton Global Initiative 2023 will have the chance to be in the same room as Atiqul Islam, the Mayor of Dhaka, and Qween Jean, the founder of Black Trans Liberation, not to mention Ashley Judd, who hopefully will not beat each other to death with swag bags.

Six years ago, when CGI appeared to be deader than everyone who had witnessed the Clintons commit federal offenses, a comeback appeared to be impossible, but thanks to the boundless generosity of Google, Pfizer, the UAE’s DP World, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Waltons, and Alfonso Fanjul, the glorious triumphant resurrection of Bill, Hillary and Chelsea is upon us.

Wait, are you wondering who Alfonso Fanjul is? The Clintons have a lot of friends. Especially wealthy friends with foreign last names. The Fanjul family controls Domino Sugar, which benefits from government subsidies, and Alfonso was a co-chair of Bill’s 1992 campaign.

But let’s not dwell on Alfonso, when another CGI sponsor is the MEBO Group.

Originally known as the “Beijing Guangming Traditional Chinese Medicine Institute”, MEBO boasts that it is a “significant partner of the Clinton Foundation” and will launch “a new action commitment” to “take action to deal with global warming and climate crises.”

MEBO, according to its head, Kevin Xu, claims to be working on “techniques that would allow humans to endogenously regenerate their own organs in the similar way that invertebrate animals do” and notes that “some government officials are appointed for life, such as federal judges in the United States. These individuals could have a powerful influence on society if they were able to hold office for centuries, which might be possible with in situ organ regeneration.”

With organ regeneration, Hillary Clinton could spend an eternity in a living hell watching people who are not her be elected president every 4 years, but Bill Clinton might be more open to it.

But enough about shady foreign oligarchs.

The Clinton Global Initiative is back under its exciting new motto, ‘Keep Going’, and has managed to bring together Padma Lakshmi, Cindy McCain, Chelsea Clinton and Jen Psaki to save the planet. Also possibly Ukraine. (Although the planet may be easier to save.)

It would be a pity to ruin all that goodwill by asking about Domuschiev Impact which is listed as only one of two presenting groups. Wouldn’t it be better to report on Matt Damon’s thoughts on water (he’s for it) or the Pope’s thoughts on war (he’s against it) than to go asking inconvenient questions about the foreigners that the Clintons befriend and then drag along behind them.

Domuschiev appears to refer to Kiril Domuschiev, a Bulgarian tycoon, CGI board member and new best friend. Earlier this year, Bill Clinton stopped by Bulgaria (hasn’t everybody) in a big shindig where the U.S. ambassador got a copy of Clinton’s book, ‘My Life’ translated into the melodious Bulgarian, ‘Otkradnete Vsichko’, with Kiril Domuschiev in attendance.

Clinton told the audience that he will “always be proud to be the first American president to come here”. But why was Bill in Bulgaria? He was there by the invitation of the chairman of the Confederation of Industrialists and Employers: Kiril Domuschiev. The Domuschievs own media companies, ship building enterprises, a soccer club and possibly a badly aged former president. They also own Huvepharma, a livestock health company that is expanding in Nebraska.

But the Clinton Global Initiative isn’t about Chinese, Indian or Bulgarian oligarchs who just happen to be giving the Clintons a lot of money, it’s about listening to former model Christy Turlington talk about whatever she’s there to talk about and see how surprisingly well preserved Tony Blair looks and how Hillary Clinton still hasn’t bitten anyone an hour into the proceedings even though she keeps clenching her teeth and balefully glaring at Nicholas Kristof.

The Clintons had mastered turning nonprofits into the Emmys or at least the Golden Globe awards. The beautiful people are here and so are the strategically ugly people. There are women in hijabs and men in ten thousand dollar suits. Gov. Gavin Newsom is somewhere in the area if he wasn’t abducted and eaten by some of the hungry migrants outside. So is Gov. Whitmer who reportedly ate a few of the migrants when her lunch order was running late.

Why must we dwell on the fact that the supporting sponsors for CGI 2023 includes the Fondation Botnar? You don’t want to hear about the Botnar Foundation, do you? Why must we drag the noble name of a former president through the dust simply because he has the same class and standards when it comes to foreign money as Hunter Biden with an armful of crack pipes?

Alright, Octav Botnar was a wanted fugitive who fled the UK for Switzerland. He died in 1998, but not before taking center stage in helping Democrats and Israeli leftists finance a campaign against Prime Minister Netanyahu.

What is it with the Clintons and foreign criminals anyway?

Other people collect paintings of old ships or bearskin rugs, but Bill, Hillary and Chelsea keep distracting from their noble work of helping Matt Damon fight against water by hooking up with any foreign billionaire with a gleam in his eye and a loose checkbook.

The Clintons haven’t changed, but who thought they really would?

Behind the hype about the return of Tony Blair, the arrival of two Biden cabinet members, a former model, a former NBA player and a former president, the Clinton Global Initiative remains a shoddy foreign influence peddling operation for corporations and foundations that don’t have the class to just go to prison for sponsoring an all-ages drag show.

When you end up at the Clinton Global Initiative, it’s either because you’re a tacky foreign arriviste, a celebrity trying to seem serious before you’re too old to act, or a foreign leader who will show up to absolutely anything as long as there’s a camera… like Ukraine’s Zelensky.

In good news for Swiss and Bahama bankers, Hillary Clinton and Olena Zelenska, America’s most loathed lady and Ukraine’s first lady, have teamed up on the CGI Ukraine Action Network which sounds like a failed martial arts TV import from the 1990s, but is actually supposed to help the otherwise overlooked Ukrainian people who weren’t helped by anybody until now.

The Clintons are years late to the party. But they always are. Much like Nigerian scammers whose illiterate solicitation emails self-select the easiest marks, Clinton scams are so obvious that the only people who fall for them think that they’re the ones doing the scamming.

And maybe they are. In a ravenous ecosystem where the predators wear Prada, it’s hard to know who’s really ripping off whom. Only that the Clintons are probably the best at it.

At the Midtown Manhattan Hilton where hip-hop equity activists with funky hair rub shoulders with the leaders of Asians poverty NGOs that may not even exist, local politicians try to attract some favorable attention and foreign oligarchs claim that they can regenerate organs, truth is as nebulous as it was when Bill was being asked about having relations with that woman.

Teach girls in Afghanistan to code with satellites? Sure, why not. What about training formerly abused Somali women to grow sustainable marijuana? Sounds good. Or retraining former coal miners to fight climate change by blocking traffic in London? Let’s do it. It’s all made up, by me, but so is the program agenda at the Clinton Global Initiative and less creatively at that.

The Clinton Global Initiative is a magical fantasy propped up by Iranian, Indian and Bulgarian oligarchs, by the tawdry lure of the Clinton name, and by the fact that the masses of migrants flooding Manhattan still haven’t managed to overrun the steel and glass 54th Street Hilton.

Bill’s there, looking red and befuddled, Hillary’s there, gritting her teeth into a diamond hard smile, and Chelsea’s there, waiting for someone to be nice to her, knowing that this is all there is or will ever be. Like a 737 carrying a Commerce Secretary trying to land in Croatia, it’s all down from here. Getting the largest Medicaid managed care organization in the country or an Iranian video game tycoon to pony up is a very temporary balm for a future that already slipped away.

Once upon a time, Bill was going to be the new JFK, Hillary was going to be the first female president, and Chelsea was, well, going to be recognized unprompted by strangers on the street.

Now that’s all gone.

The party has moved on and all that’s left is a tawdry scam at a hotel so boring that not even Salvadorans want to invade and urinate over all its floors. The motto of CGI 2023 is ‘Keep Going’. That’s also the Clinton motto. After having failed out of the political system, they’re still going. Why? Revenge, high blood alcohol content, fear of irrelevance or desperate greed?

Like the celebrities who crowd CGI’s events, the Clintons can’t stop or people will forget them.

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

Thank you for reading.

Friday, September 22, 2023

Woke James Bond Novels Replace Him With Disabled Black Gay Superspy

By On September 22, 2023
“Do you expect me to talk?” No, I expect you to go woke.”

Earlier this year word came that Ian Fleming Publications Ltd, which controls the rights to the deceased author’s novels, hired sensitivity readers to go through his books and purge anything that might offend sensitive woke souls. The newly republished novels warn that, “this book was written at a time when terms and attitudes which might be considered offensive by modern readers were commonplace.”

Now that old Bond is dead, a new woke Bond can safely rise. Even though Ian Fleming has been dead since 1964, the estate turned to other authors to prime the giant money pump. Initially new Bond novels were written by prestigious writers like Kingsley Amis or former military men like John Gardner, but in more recent years turned the books over to wokes.

The latest of these come from Kim Sherwood, a University of Edinburgh lecturer who is interested in “women’s stories” and was authorized to write a feminist James Bond trilogy.

How do you write a feminist trilogy around one of the least feminist fictional characters around?

Easy, get rid of him.

In the new feminist novels, Miss Moneypenny has been promoted, Q has been replaced by a computer, and Bond by a woman, a black man and a Muslim man.

Sherwood’s feminist trilogy of Bond novels has the superspy go missing while she invents new zeroes to take his place. Sherwood’s “feminist perspective” on James Bond gets rid of the white man and offers an “ensemble cast of heroes who we can all identify with.”

“I want to bring a feminist perspective to the canon,” Sherwood pitched, to “create a space for all of us to be heroes.” As long as they aren't white men. The new zeroes prioritize “inclusivity, female heroes, and heroes of colour” including a black gay disabled 004, a female 003 and a Pakistani Muslim 009.

Sid Bashir, the Muslim replacement for James Bond, remembers standing by his mother’s side at an Islamic cultural fair after 9/11 under a banner reading, “Don’t Panic, I’m Islamic.” Another scene quotes the Koran and has Bashir saying, “May Allah bless your family.”

“I was born poor, black and gay, I know about hard times,” 004 who, it is important to note, is black and gay says.

This isn’t just bad writing, it reads like a right-wing parody of wokeness.

Joseph Dryden, aka 004, the disabled black gay replacement for Bond, is fighting to stop an evil billionaire who claims he can reverse 'climate change' without people having to reduce their 'carbon emissions'.

"You're not the first white industrialist to put a man who looks like me in a cage," he scolds the, inevitably, white male villain.

Moneypenny stops to deliver a lecture on 'climate change; warning of 'arctic melting, rising seas, flooding deadly heat waves" unless we "shift toward a global commons" and "sustainable, inclusive development" using "low material growth" while "driving down inequality". In this version of Bond, not only is he missing, but his bosses are Communists.

One scene takes place in a police station overrun by a leftist mob where “feminists, anarchists”, socialists and advocates for climate justice” have turned it into an “anti-capitalist party center.”

This is the woke utopia. Inclusivity means erasing everyone who doesn’t fit into this leftist vision of the ideal society.

“Bond has always been a fantasy, but it’s a fantasy that can reflect us and shape us and I’m so excited to get to be part of that for a contemporary world,” Kim Sherwood argued.

The thing about fantasies is that they have to be grounded in something. The old Bond was a series of fantasies grounded in the Cold War and some espionage experience by Fleming, but wokeness is already a fantasy and Bond authors no longer know anything except politics.

Politics in Bond novels used to be subtext, but now it’s text.

Earlier this year, Ian Fleming Publications Ltd rushed to publication a new novel, On His Majesty’s Secret Service, to mark Charles III’s coronation. Every monarch gets the 007 writer that he or she deserves. Queen Liz got Fleming while King Charlie has to make do with Charlie Higson, a comedian, who famously accused Winston Churchill of being secretly gay.

The Bond novel celebrated Charlie’s coronation, dubbed “King Charles the Woke”, by going up against COVID conspiracists, immigration opponents, and critics of Black Lives Matter and the transgender movement who asked things like “What are we going to do about the Muslims?”

Conservatives are a pretty reliable demographic for James Bond novels, but much like the film industry, publishing is making it clear that it not only doesn’t want them as writers, but even as readers. That is even more true of the Big 5 publishing industry in the United States.

If Ian Fleming, the actual Bond author, were alive today, he would be one of the villains. Fleming was anti-union, opposed to the welfare state and a conservative. But the old Bond novels upheld the primacy of Britain while in the new woke novels, the touchstones are no longer patriotism and country, but diversity.

“Bond was struck by something. It was a long while since he’d been at any kind of function that was almost exclusively full of men. It felt strange. There was not even a pretence at diversity here. Athelstan hadn’t been the least bit concerned about ensuring that half of the people he’d hired to carry out his coup should be women, or non-white, or disabled,” the novel has him say.

Fortunately, the new Bond novels more than make up for it with women, non-white and disabled superspies who battle the forces of ignorance and skepticism about mutilating children.

Heroically they penetrate super-secret fortresses and uncover plots to say politically incorrect things on social media after Islamic terrorist attacks. And they always take time out to remind you of their suffering as black, gay, disabled Pakistani Muslims who are the real victims.

Who needs Bond, James Bond, when we’ve got Victim, Woke Victim?

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

Thank you for reading.

Thursday, September 21, 2023

Bombs, Rockets and Torture Cells: The EU is an Islamic Narco-State

By On September 21, 2023
Less than an hour from the capital of the European Union, gangs fight gun battles in the streets or bomb each other’s outposts. Crime reporters, police and prosecutors are bought off or killed. Torture cells are set up in shipping containers and bodies can be cleanly disposed of, but when the gangs really want to send a message they set up a public execution or fire off a rocket.

That’s the way things are done, not in Bogota or Beirut, but in Antwerp.

Europe’s initial Islamic migration followed port cities. Among those leading port cities were Rotterdam and Antwerp which have become the hubs of Europe’s cocaine crisis. The Moroccan Muslims who came to the quintessentially European cities used them as links to their relatives who were growing marijuana back home. While Islam ruthlessly suppressed the use of alcohol, hashish use became widespread among the invading armies of the new religion. Islamic terrorists nourished on the drug became some of the most useful Jihadis carrying out attacks against Christian knights during the Crusades. Morocco was one of the world’s largest producers of hashish and the new Muslim immigrants established local drug empires.

The drugs grew harder and so did the gangs. Marijuana made way for cocaine in Rotterdam and Antwerp. The gangs became organized crime syndicates whose power rested on control of the docks. The docks in Antwerp are under the control of a hard leftist Belgian union that gleefully shuts down the country and violently clashes with the police during its strikes, but it knows better than to stand up to the Muslim gangs. Leading union figures have allegedly been bribed and ordinary dock workers who refuse to transport the cocaine off ships disappear.

A 2020 bust turned up a secret torture room in a shipping container with a dentist’s chair, handcuffs, pliers and scalpels. And cameras set to record it all as a lesson to others.

The Muslim gangs aren’t subtle. That we hardly hear about them is due to politics and terror.

In the Netherlands, they sent a message to the media by firing an anti-tank rocket at one magazine and then smashing a van through the lobby of the country’s biggest newspaper and setting it on fire. Reporters and bloggers have been killed, and abduction threats have been issued against everyone from the crown princess to the prime minister.

The terror is obvious, but so is the politics.

The Mocro Maffia, which controls a third of Europe’s cocaine market, was built by Moroccan immigrants to the Benelux countries. Media accounts make a point of describing most of the perpetrators in an attack as being “of Dutch origin” or from some other part of Europe to obfusticate the immigration issue. With a Moroccan Muslim criminal organization whose roots in Europe go back to the 1960s, it stands to reason that many of its younger members were already born in Europe: some even to second generation immigrants also born in Europe.

But that doesn’t make them European. And even Europe’s native criminal population is becoming Arabized and Islamized from prison level converts to more elite figures.

When Robert Mink Kok, a major Dutch drug trafficker who had considered becoming a lawyer before turning to crime, was targeted, authorities raided his compounds in Lebanon, including in Hezbollah’s drug hub in the Bekaa Valley where they found anti-tank rockets. Kok had married into a Lebanese Arab Muslim drug clan with its own drug labs and private army. The Lebanese drug clan and Kok had allegedly been working to bring two metric tons of cocaine into Europe.

The majority of drug kingpin figures, like Ridouan Taghi, once the most wanted man in the Netherlands, are North African Muslims and, when they go to ground it’s either in Muslim countries (Taghi was identified in Dubai) or, like Taghi’s associate, Sayid Razzouki, head for the shelter of the Latin American cartels whose drugs they move into Europe.

The immigrants, some of whom have been in Europe for 60 years, others who were born there, are not becoming integrated, instead parts of Europe are turning into Lebanon or Morocco. The same ports that once brought Muslim immigrants to Europe are now controlled by immigrant crime bosses who are making Europe play by their rules.

It’s not just Belgium and the Netherlands: Sweden had 90 gang bombings last year.

While the media harps on gun ownership in the United States, Muslim gangs in Sweden have taken to throwing hand-grenades and home-brewed explosives at each other. While the Muslim gang members still shoot at each other, they also like hurling explosives at apartment buildings.

At the end of August, there were four blasts in one hour at different buildings in Gothenburg where 10% of the country’s Muslim settler population lives. Unlike Belgium and the Netherlands, Sweden’s gangs and their weapons come from the shattered remnants of the former Yugoslavia: Bosnians and Albanians brought as refugees formed gangs and smuggled weapons from family members in their own homelands. They were joined by the Black Cobra gang: an Iraqi, Lebanese and ‘Palestinian’, organization expanding out of Denmark.

Authorities blame some of the infighting in Sweden’s Muslim gang scene on Rawa Majid, also known as the ‘Kurdish Fox’, who operates out of Turkey. Majiid had come to Sweden as a refugee baby only to build a massive criminal empire and plan RPG attacks. The killers are particularly indiscriminate. “If there are more than one on the scene, shoot all of them. Women, children, it doesn’t matter,” one gang member ordered.

The state of terror is serious, but perhaps even more serious is the growing role of the Muslim mafias in politics. Some gang bosses bribe everyone from police officers to inspectors to local politicians. Other gangs have been getting their members involved in elections, delivering votes, and even moving their members into public office. It’s unknown to what degree elected public officials have been compromised, but some are beginning to call localities and even entire cities, narcostates.

Some of the Benelux countries, always prone to financial corruption, have become hubs for drug smuggling, human trafficking, and organized crime. Muslim gang members openly battle for territory. And the proceeds of the money are laundered through local family businesses. Rising businessmen financed by drug money are getting involved in politics. Hip-hop gang culture crossbred with Korans and mosques is transforming European cities into Islamic narco-states. The next Afghanistan or Beirut may turn out to be in Europe after all.

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

Thank you for reading.

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Democrat Car Bans Could Change the 2024 Election. Why Won't Republicans Talk About Them?

By On September 20, 2023
9 Democrat-run states, California, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Oregon, Rhode Island and Washington, have moved to ban cars by 2035.

The Biden administration has exploited EPA emissions standards to accomplish the same thing.

The green push to ban cars and force everyone to buy electric vehicles is a core part of the program and also highly unpopular with families struggling with high prices and inflation. Electric vehicles are far more expensive and much less reliable than cars and most can’t afford them.

59% of Americans oppose a ban on cars while only 40% support it. But, in worse news for banners, support for the ban has consistently fallen over the last years by 7% while opposition to it has increased. Republicans and Independents are obviously stalwartly opposed, but even among Democrats, opposition has grown until a third of Dems is opposed.

On a state by state level, opposition remains strong even in states whose Democrat governors unwisely chose to sign on to a 2035 car ban date. In Maryland, 60% opposed Gov. Wes Moore’s car ban while in New Jersey some 58% are opposed including 42% of Democrats. In Washington, 48% opposed Gov. Jay Inslee’s car ban while 38% backed it. Of those who opposed it, 31% were strongly opposed.

In Virginia, which was put on track to a car ban by following California’s illegal emissions mandates, 58% oppose a gas car ban while only 33% support it. Tellingly, while 42% strongly oppose a car ban only 12% strongly support one. Even among Democrats, support and opposition are nearly tied 44% to 43%. In Minnesota, 65% oppose a car ban while only 29% support it. (47% strongly oppose the ban while only 9% strongly support it.)

Nationwide, support for car bans is strongest among urban voters. And yet even there, ban backing never quite tops 50%. In suburban areas, support drops down to 31% and rural areas falls all the way to 24%. That stands to reason because to whatever extent electric vehicles are viable, it’s only in the core density of major urban areas. Outside them, they’re unusable.

Polls also shows support for a car ban is tied to income. Even the cheapest electric vehicles are out of the price range of most Americans. That’s why opposition to car bans climbs for families making less than $40,000 and even those making up to $80,000. The proposed car ban means families being unable to replace their minivan. It means mothers who can’t drop off their kids at school and fathers who can’t drive to work.

A car ban is an extinction level event for American families. If it goes through, 53% of Americans won’t be able to buy a car. Imagine how much their lives will change.

Pro-ban politicians act as if there will be a smooth transition from cars to electric vehicles.

The reality is that electric vehicles are not viable in any way, shape or form. America’s biggest car companies have spent and lost billions trying to make electric vehicles.

Ford is losing $32,000 on every electric car it sells. In 2023, it lost $3 billion on its EV boondoggle. Ford claimed that it will make 2 million electric cars by 2025 (at which point it would then lose $64 billion) but it only sold 61,575 electric vehicles in 2022. GM shut down the Chevy Bolt, its cheapest electric vehicle after losing $7,400 on every one it sold. It promises to profitably sell 1 million electric vehicles in 2025, but it only sold 44,000 at a loss in 2022.

The math on electric vehicles simply does not work. Many people point to Tesla. But the truth about Tesla is it made money through the fines that California imposed on makers and buyers of cars. In 2022, Tesla made $1.78 billion from carbon credit sales. Companies that make actual cars have to buy the credits from Musk’s Saudi company and pass on the cost to consumers.

While subsidizing electric vehicles for the rich by fining working class car owners worked well enough for Tesla, it’s not a pathway to shifting the entire country over to electric cars. What will really happen by 2025 is that the vast majority of Americans will be cut off from the market. They’ll be left trying to keep old cars and used cars on the road for as long as possible.

Why aren’t politicians talking more about this? Some are operating in the D.C. bubble and don’t recognize the profound impact this will have on the lives of hundreds of millions of people. Others see a 2035 deadline as being so far in the future that it doesn’t need to be dealt with now. And still others are constantly reacting to a passing parade of crises and outrages.

Car bans are far from the only issue out there, but it could have a deciding impact in 2024.

Democrats have committed to a policy that is wildly unpopular outside their small base of urban college graduates who idealize 15 minute cities navigated by bike shares. And they’ve done so with limited pushback from a Republican party that is schizophrenic and feckless in its inability to focus, to make a coherent case and to message on the things that actually matter to voters.

The car bans are an act of cultural, social and economic warfare by an urban elite against the rest of the country. If successful, they would make life all but impossible in rural areas, and increasingly challenging in many suburban areas. They would tear apart families, wreck jobs and push struggling people underwater.

Politicians have gone from two cars in every garage to no cars in the garage at all.

It’s hard to think of any single policy to devastating in its scope and so likely to outrage the working class voters that Republicans are trying to court as car bans. And yet Republicans are failing to talk about them because they are as detached as Democrats from the consequences.

Republicans assumed that they would win in 2022 by passively profiting from the miserable economy. The midterms proved that to be a profound miscalculation. If Republicans want to politically profit from the poor economy, they have to do more than put up stickers pointing a finger at Biden. They have to connect the economic misery directly to Biden’s policies.

Car bans could be a deciding factor in 2024, but only if Republicans and moderate Democrats talk about them. Otherwise another disastrous radical policy will bury much of the country.

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

Thank you for reading.

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Biden’s Candidacy and the Radicalizing Power of Desperation

By On September 19, 2023
On paper, Biden’s candidacy makes no sense. Unpopular even in his own party, most Americans believe that at the age of 80 he’s too old to run, and his long string of gaffes, lies and inappropriate behaviors are only bringing more Americans over to that view.

Even the majority of Democrats would like another candidate. Yet, bafflingly, the party has allowed Biden’s people to rig the primary calendar. Alternative candidates, most notably California’s Gov. Gavin Newsom, have been told to back down, and more fringe candidates, in and out of the party, have been subjected to harassment and smear campaigns.

A party uniting around an incumbent isn’t unusual, but in a bad economy and with widespread public dissatisfaction, there’s no apparent reason why the party should be clinging to an unpopular old white man from one of the smallest states in the country who has no strong base. It would have been nearly unthinkable for the Dems to drop Obama in 2012, but there’s no real reason for the Dems to make a politician who can barely campaign its presumptive nominee.

The Democrats (like the Republicans) have become even more of a party of superannuated elites where Sen. Dianne Feinstein may not know where she is and Rep. Nancy Pelosi has just announced she’s running for another term, but none of them could lose the White House.

Biden can. That’s what makes the DNC gamble on Biden seem so implausible. Unlike the Obamas or the Clintons, Biden doesn’t have the deep base of loyalists or the political machine to intimidate, silence and clear the field. Nor does he have even their minimal political appeal.

And yet that is exactly the point.

Biden is the presumptive nominee not because he is a sure thing, but because he can’t win. That would make no sense to.a traditional Democrat’s way of thinking, but the party is no longer run by the old school, but by a new school of radicals. Its goal is not to win elections, but to radicalize the party and the country. A hopelessly weak candidate facing an unwinnable election against Trump or DeSantis serves that purpose far better than a Newsom victory.

An unwinnable candidate in an election they can’t afford to lose will once again radicalize the Democrats and force them to break rules they hadn’t even previously thought of breaking.

To leftists the election isn’t the issue, only the revolution. From the leftist perspective they won in both 2016 and 2020 because they were able to radicalize the party, its apparatus and rank and file members. Getting suburban housewives to put on pink hats and howl in the streets after a massive defeat doesn’t look like anything that the party would have found rewarding in 1956, but the Left is not out to win elections, but to end them and take over the entire country.

While Republicans celebrated, leftists broke new ground in radicalizing Democrats and in coordinating the machinery of the administrative state to act openly against Trump and Republicans. Republicans had won an election, but leftists had unleashed a state within a state. Openly sidelining elected officials for unelected ones is much more fundamental to the leftist agenda than any of the culture war battles because it prepares the way for a totalitarian state.

Then after terrorizing Democrats and some independents with monstrous caricatures of Trump for four years, the party and its allies were willing to do anything in 2020. And they did.

Biden’s weakness, elderly and running a basement campaign, was a strength, not a weakness.

Democrats, convinced that they couldn’t win naturally, pulled out all the stops, at the state level, exploiting public health emergencies, unilaterally changing voting rules, setting off race riots and bringing the country to its knees. Would they have been as desperate with a strong candidate?

Now Democrats know just how weak their candidate is and how bad their position is. What can the Left convince them to do to win in 2024? The real question is what won’t they do.

The serial raids, indictments and investigations are just a sample of what is being unleashed.

The real purpose of this exercise is not the 2024 election. The next presidential election, like the previous ones, and all those before it, is just a means to an end to the Left. It uses those elections, win or lose, to radicalize and tear apart the country, to seize control of governing institutions and encourage those under its control (and even sometimes those on the other side) to dismantle the governing processes and safeguards against a totalitarian dictatorship.

It’s not even 2024 and leftists have normalized arresting and indicting presidential candidates and trying them during an election season. Democrats were not ready for that in 2016. If Biden weren’t on the ticket now, maybe they would still hesitate. But desperate people do anything.

The two-sided process of radicalization is to prepare the people and institutions for an emergency seizure of power. The Left finally grasped in the seventies that Americans will never go 0-60 to an overnight dictatorship. Comrade Sunshine and Brother Number 19 showing up on television tomorrow to announce food will be rationed will lead to a swift civil war.

Incremental radicalization however opens the Overton window for certain emergency power grabs and acts of domestic violence. Whether it’s temporary suspensions of the 2nd Amendment, pandemic shutdowns, domestic surveillance, or BLM riots, they’re all tests of what we are willing to incrementally accept as the new normal until our rights have been slowly cooked..

The Left exploits or manufactures a crisis, and then sees what desperate people will be willing to go along with. What do you do if you believe children are being massacred to protect the profits of gun manufacturers? What kind of violent acts would you be willing to commit if you believe black people are being subjected to genocide by police descended from slave institutions? What kind of repression would you be willing to sign off on to survive a virus? What would you do if the country were on the verge of falling to a fascist dictator who will lock you up?

These are all things that the other side has been sincerely taught to believe. And act on.

People are being made desperate to radicalize them into being willing to do anything. The more desperate they are, the weaker their position looks, the more crimes they will commit.

Even though the Left controls the country’s institutional power, much of its wealth, almost all of its culture and communications, and is far more effective than conservatives, your average leftist believes that his movement is beleaguered and fighting against the rich and powerful.

How do you make all of those people even more desperate and radical in 2024?

Run Joe Biden again.

Biden’s presidential candidacy makes no sense except to make Democrats so desperate that they will fall into the leftist trap and set even more of the Constitution on fire, use abusive tactics ever more likely to bring on a civil war and break any kind of credible system of elections.

Who benefits from that? Democrats would benefit more from running a strong candidate who can win rather than running a weak candidate who can’t. Leftists benefit from radicalizing the Democrats and tearing apart the country because their goal isn’t election: it’s revolution.

History shows that once leftists are arresting political candidates for having the wrong politics, they don’t stop with those on the right, they quickly go after Democrats, moderates and anyone who falls short of their radical doctrines. That is how it began in the USSR. It’s beginning here.

Biden may appear to be as unlikely an engine for the radicalization of a nation as he is an unlikely candidate, but an unwinnable candidate is the best incentive for breaking the rules. The more leftists convince Democrats that they need to break more rules, the closer they come to their true objective of breaking all the rules and then taking over America.

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

Thank you for reading.

Monday, September 18, 2023

John Steinbeck and the Fall and Rise of Israel’s ‘Mount Hope’

By On September 18, 2023
In 1966, a year before the war that would fundamentally change the country and the region, John Steinbeck arrived.

“I want to see everything in Israel,” he told the press.

Outraged novels of class warfare like ‘Grapes of Wrath’ had once made the author a favorite of the leftist establishment, but Steinbeck had turned to other topics. He considered his life’s work to be ‘East of Eden’, a retelling of Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel in California, which touched on his own dark family history that he had followed all the way back to Israel.

Steinbeck’s support for the Vietnam War had infuriated the literary establishment and even though he had won the Nobel Prize and his acceptance speech became one of the most famous of its kind, he continued to be dismissed as an outdated fossil. And the author, prone to an old school literary machismo, who never much liked parties and crowds, dismissed them.

After facing the establishment’s fury over the Vietnam War, Steinbeck was not worried about the leftist reaction to his visit to Israel. And he looked at Israel through the lens of a writer who had chronicled pioneers and messianists, but also a man who had come to see the world caught in a struggle between good and evil, the forces of democracy against those of Communism.

“The Israelis are the toughest and most vital people I have seen in a long time,” Steinbeck wrote to the LBJ administration with which he had developed a close relationship. “Their army is superb. They say that Israel’s secret weapon is ‘No Alternative’. They have no place to go and anyone who will invade them will have to kill them all, men, women and children, and they all go down fighting. Only they won’t go down. Right now with the weapons they have and they command, they could lick the whole Arab League single handed.”

Steinbeck was a little over a year away from being proven right when the Six Day War would see Israel, outnumbered and outgunned, defeat Egypt, Syria and Jordan, not to mention forces sent by Kuwait, Iraq and Saudi Arabia. But if the American author’s enthusiasm was especially passionate, it might have been because unlike a lot of visitors, his family had left blood here.

“I’ve started for there several times and never made it,” Steinbeck wrote. “I wonder if I have an unconscious reluctance because of what my great-grandfather tried to do there in the 1840s.”

One of his stops in Israel was to ‘Mount Hope’ and the ‘Steinbeck farm’ that his grandfather had left behind after his brother was murdered by the local Arab Muslims. The Grossteinbeck family (the name was later shortened) had joined a Christian mission in the 1850s that was the first to try and build outside Jaffa. But the idealistic farmstead had not taken into account the fanatical Muslim hatred for Christians and Jews who, under Islamic law, had no rights at all.

The Grossteinbecks and other settlers had faced Arab Muslim harassment but what happened in 1858 had international repercussions and brought American military power to bear in Israel.

90 years before Israel, as a Jewish country, had even been reborn.

In January 1858, five Arab Muslim men came to the farmstead under the pretext of looking for a lost cow, convinced Frederick Grossteinbeck, the brother of John’s grandfather, to parley and then fatally wounded him.

Frederick retreated to the farmhouse where he prayed, “Oh ! Father forgive all my sins and help me to bear this dreadful pain” while his wife Mary tried to stop the bleeding from his stomach.

Mary Steinbeck, John’s great-aunt, then only 24 years old, was dragged away and raped by each of the Arab Muslim invaders in turn. “He violated me. Before I had time to rise, another one came ; he violated me and bit my cheek. Then a third one violated me. They then went into the house, and I got up and followed them. I went to Frederick ; I could not feel his pulse,” she testified.

The Muslim colonists also sexually assaulted Frederick’s mother-in-law and robbed the farm.

While the United States had no military presence in Israel (then ruled by the Ottoman Islamic caliphate) and was unused to projecting much force abroad, its leaders were much less feckless than ours when it came to the honor of Americans.

In an account that was included in a report submitted by President James Buchanan to the Senate, the Consul to Egypt, stated that he met the Islamic leadership intending, “to make them feel our power, and the influence of our consuls, it is very evident that every effort must be made in the present case, so to act as that such a case shall never occur again,” he wrote.

American flags were raised to make a diplomatic point despite the protests of the Ottomans.

The assaults on the Steinbeck family alerted many Americans for the first time to the mistreatment of foreign and domestic Christians in Israel. Bringing justice to the perpetrators came to be seen as a test of American power and the survival of Christians in the region. The Senate report included a description of the massacre of Christians in 1856 in Nablus.

“We had to threaten them with the presence of a squadron to bombard Jaffa,” Consul Edwin DeLeon, a Jewish American diplomat who later worked as the Confederacy’s representative to Europe, wrote. “The expediency and propriety of detailing a war steamer to that coast, as a visible emblem of our power, to reassure the terrified Christians, to averawe [sic] the fanatic savages, who, like wild beasts, now lie in wait for them, and, finally, to insure the effectual punishment of those five bloodhounds of Jaffa we have in bonds, whose brethren else may rescue or bloodily avenge them on the unprotected heads of the Christians and Jews of Palestine.”

Describing his meeting with Ottoman officials, DeLeon rejected all social formalities. “When further asked by the governor whether our countries were not at peace, I promptly responded ‘ No ; we regard murder of men and the violation of women, when permitted and screened by governors, as a declaration of war. You have commenced it, not we.’”

When John Steinbeck visited the ‘Steinbeck farm’, he was conversant with the bloody scenes that had taken place in the rooms and they informed his view of the region. And with his literary imagination, he may have been able to see them as he walked around the quarters.

During his World War II special correspondent dispatches, Steinbeck had described the American soldiers as having “no love lost for the Arabs. They are the dirtiest people in the world and among the smelliest. The whole countryside smells of urine, four thousand years of urine.” He mentioned that the soldiers stayed out of cities because of all the “many little religious rules and prejudices that an unsuspecting dogface can run afoul of.”

But what must have really struck Steinbeck is that the precarious outpost outside Jaffa that his ancestors had labored and bled for was now a neighborhood. The ‘Mount Hope’ settlement has since become known as the ‘HaTikvah’ or the ‘Hope’ quarter of Tel Aviv.

During Israel’s War of Independence, Hassan Salamah, a leader of the Army of the Holy Jihad, had attacked the ‘Hope’ community now populated by Jews. The Muslim attackers were so confident of victory that they brought sacks to carry away the loot and torches to burn the rest.

While the mob fell to looting and burning, 16-year-old Ezra Tzapadiya, a Jewish refugee from Beirut who had smuggled himself into the country at only 15, managed to pick off the attackers by copying their battle cry. (Ezra lost an eye in the battle but went on to have a successful musical career.) The Muslim attackers failed to realize that by burning the Jewish homes they had highlighted themselves against the flames and were wiped out by the Israeli defenders.

Disgraced among his fellow Muslim Jihadis, Salamah had to turn to ex-Nazi volunteers to carry out attacks on the Jews. His son, Ali Hassan Salameh, became the architect of the Munich Massacre, and received CIA protection that allowed him to escape Israeli assassins for 7 years until his entire convoy was taken out in Beirut.

20th century Israelis, like 19th century Americans, meant business, and would not allow the murders of their families to go unpunished.

That is no longer the case. ‘Mount Hope’ or the ‘HaTikvah Quarter’ became a working class Jewish neighborhood, but has since been overrun by African migrants. Some of these migrants made headlines when they recently rioted in a dispute over Eritrean politics back home. Even long before the rioters, residents of the ‘HaTikvah Quarter’ have asked the government to stop the plague of crime, drugs and gang violence that has overtaken their community.

The new conservative Israeli government and its battles over judicial reform arose in part from the difficulty of deporting the tens of thousands of illegal Africans who have taken over parts of Tel Aviv. The leftist Israeli Supreme Court has repeatedly blocked lifesaving measures like amendments to the Infiltration Prevention Law allowing the country to deport the invaders.

Mount Hope, once worthy of its name, has once again become a source of despair, but it is also a reminder of the resilience of history. Steinbeck’s grandfather had left behind Jaffa for America. His father raised the family in Salinas, California: a new promised land. Israeli and American settlers had cultivated fields and changed the world around them for the better.

When Herman Meville, the author of ‘Moby Dick’, had visited the Christian settlement, he had dismissed the idea that there was any possibility of a Jewish return to Israel.

“The idea of making farmers of the Jews is in vain. In the first place Judea is a desert with few exceptions. In the second place, the Jews hate farming. All who cultivate the soil in Palestine are Arabs. The Jews dare not live outside walled towns of villages for fear of the malicious persecution of Arabs and Turks. Besides, the number of Jews in Palestine is comparatively small. And how are the hosts of them scattered in other lands to be brought here? Only by a miracle,” he wrote.

The Jews proved to be excellent farmers and the Jewish villages became settlements, towns and cities guarded by their young men. And Jews came there from around the world.

“You can search the world over and you’lI not find Israel’s equal for a stinking past of heroic proportions. The present is even worse if that is possible- surrounded by enemies dedicated to her destruction, hemmed in between the sea and illiterate compromises of an absent, but quite an innocent, academy of the nations. And the people, the Israelis, the remnants of the trampled, tormented and rejected Jews from 87 nations,” John Steinbeck wrote a year before the war that might have ended Israel, instead helped secure its future and reclaim its territory.

Israel, he summed up, “bears up what I have always felt– that only those people who have nothing to do and no place to go are tired.”

‘Mount Hope’ is not just in Israel, it is where we are too. It is a reminder that no matter how dark the past, we can strive to reclaim the future. Nothing is so hopelessly lost that hope cannot rise from it again as long as we do not despair. Only those who do nothing are truly tired.

There is hope in that truth.

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

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